2005 Poetry Contest

Fourth Annual (2005) GCC Student Poetry Contest Winners


Award Poet Title of Winning Poem
Grand Prize Keith Andrew Rincon Ristras
First Prize Carla Southwell Wood mouth
Second Prize Dawn Brinson Algebra
Third Prize Peggy Walsh Death please cease your taunting
Fourth Prize Jeremy W. Skrzypek .3452
Fifth Prize Gracja M. Nowak My Son Learns To Swim
Sixth Prize Ashley Versaggi City Lights

Winning Poems

Grand Prize - Keith Andrew, English Major

For Jose B. Serna
grandfather, and lovely man

Rincon Ristras

the chiles hang
on vines sunlit
kissed with green.

they'll turn blood red when detached from connection.

Our people are from this earth:
the deep, dark New Mexico soil,
the land I irrigate with my pen.

I hear my grandfather call out,
speaking Spanish,
words of love: vamanos hijo

an echo in Organ Mountain shadow
that prays
for Rio Grande rain.

First Prize - Carla Southwell Wood, Health Major


froze in silent scream
dull from horror unseen
arched back cannot resist;
the final choice that had been missed.
how many others lie there still?
flat, forgotten
road kill

Second Prize - Dawn Brinson


Some say to them it’s easy
Some say to them it’s hard
I say it makes me queasy
I do not know
How far does math have to go?
Find the square root of three?
Wow, you got me
The ratio of this and that
Find the circumference of a hat?
This math is leaving an impression
Just look at my radical expression


Third Prize - Peggy Walsh, Math and Science Major

Death please cease your taunting

Death please
cease your taunting
I know
you will
ask of me
some unexpected day
When I
have set myself
a cozy existence
with soft pillows
a stock of favorite tea
plentiful in my cupboard
I will
have just
made love
to the morning
in the pleasure
of a new day
and you will be there
ever so
to make it all
I am
I am
Not able
To breach
this contract I hold with you
You have
no need
to scatter
decaying leaves about my door
or drop
remnants of an unfortunate bird
to remind me of my obligation
They may
have fulfilled
their commitment
but I
still have
to fear
our joint conclusion from a distance


Fourth Prize - Jeremy W. Skrzypek, General Studies Major


My horoscope was flawless,
except the day i died.
It never told me to tie my shoes
or where the rake would hide.


Fifth Prize - Gracja M. Nowak, Paralegal Major

My Son Learns To Swim

Test the waters, dear
Boiling the brook, a boy soup
Boy turns into frog

Splish, splash, strong breast stroke
An umbilical cord for
A life preserver

Kicking in protest
Struggling in shallow pool
My son goes under


Sixth Prize - Ashley Versaggi, General Studies Major

City Lights

City lights
Dance in front of my eyes
Going so fast, they blur with my speed.
Wheels turn, I look out the window,
Feel the hum of the motor beneath me.

City lights
Neon and florescent. Melting into one another
With the raindrops on the window,
Streaming and coalescing. Fog plays
On the glass, from the warmth of my breath.

City lights
Are pinpoints against the darkness
Colors, colors, colors, bright, I close my eyes
And see the outline of the buildings
Behind my eyelids. Picture perfect.

City lights
Remind me of where I came from,
From a far away place whose lights were not false
Whose lights were the stars in the sky. I cannot see the stars.
These lights are my stars. Nostalgia overtakes me.

City lights
Are the essence of change. My life
Swept and uprooted, I find myself in a cold
And busy realm of abstract steel scaffolding.
And the rain turns to snow.

City lights
Shine with frost. I am alone. I smell
The asphalt and the grime, the gasoline.
Traffic. Noises. Life. Foreign. All of these
Things foreign to me.

City lights
Blur together
As I try to see my way through
My tears. I am like litter tossed with the wind,
So very alone, so very alone and confused. Scared.

City lights
Become my only friends.
In a world where I do not know myself, or where I’m going,
Or what I’m doing. I take comfort in their falseness.
In the warmth that is not really there.

City lights
Instill in me a feeling, of which I will never
Forget. These lights are all I have. Together we will survive.
We will not be burnt out. I will always remember these
City lights.