2006 Poetry Contest

Fifth Annual (2006) GCC Student Poetry Contest Winners

2006 poetry contest winners

Winners (left to right): Ashley Versaggi, Laura Huff, Brendan Cockman, Hameed Sharifi
(unavailable for photo: John Fiske, Tenneal Cline)

Award Poet Title of Winning Poem
First Prize Brendan Cockman the june-bug hum
Second Prize Ashley Versaggi Obsolete
Third Prize Laura Huff in this frothy water
Math Poem Tenneal Cline Empirical Rule
Honorable Mention Brendan Cockman explanation #17
Honorable Mention John Fiske Ear Grey
Honorable Mention Hameed Sharifi Where I'm From

Winning Poems

First Prize - Brendan Cockman, Fine Arts Major

the june-bug hum

planted on the concrete curbs
sneaker's laces ensnare a lady bug
red licorice,
candy cigarettes,
sun worship without a name.
wheat fields filled me,
tree roots in my chest
the earth is to rest.
the grass between train tracks
to run too fast through
and the gravel to slide down.
sneakers rough and
painted with earth,
a gift of fleeting endlessness.
blowing down the dandelion feathers,
a gift from me to bumble bees.
I laugh in tune
with the june-bug hum,
and blow entangled into
the maple leaves.
my recollection,
a stifled ease.

Second Prize - Ashley Versaggi, General Studies/Chemistry Major


I can hear, shrill,
a high-pitched abhorr'd
wailing whine
of current in my heart
that is neither
alternating nor direct
in it's consummation of
my very being.

Electric lips of
silicon and copper
widen in a silent scream
that tells the story of
our binary love in 0's
and 1's; streaming
forever green on an old,
abandoned monitor screen.

Whatever happened to
our perfect power source;
our union of plug
and socket? Swept away
in ever changing
technological advances
making our love,
the day after, obsolete.

Third Prize - Laura Huff, Fine Arts Major

in this frothy water
thin, elusive metaphors
slither past our alcohol-soiled lips
dripping with bromide and sweet humidity

so as I twist my emotions into complicated knots
the volume knobbed turned all the way up in my head,
my fingers are as round and thin as lightning bolts
just like your lies
but clear as day and black as midnight

dropping knees
dents in the carpet
maybe the blacktop, covered in ice
late night sweets
this is reality
moonlit fan blades
foggy windows
sexy, steamy glances on Sunday afternoons
make excuses
be (stay) transparent

sing me to sleep
sing me to sleep

Math Poem - Tenneal Cline, Health Studies Major

Empirical Rule

When a set of data has symmetry
A bell shaped distribution it will be.
Sometimes called a normal curve
One should make sure their data does not swerve.
However, when the data runs amuck
You will not have any luck.
But if you use the Empirical Rule
The data will play it oh so cool.
So what percentage falls in this so called rule?
68% lie within 1 standard deviation of the mean
95% lie within 2 standard deviations of the mean
99.7% lie within 3 standard deviations of the mean
Now, hopefully your data will be clearly seen.

Honorable Mention - Brendan Cockman, Fine Arts Major

explanation #17

I'm sheets of green paper,
and with an august broom
up into pine trees.
tracing paper for
western new york
A storage room for quarters.
Four quarters for mood change.

Honorable Mention - John Fiske, General Studies Major

Ear Grey

Make melody a remedy

notes written on teabags.

Submerge in the boil

Words do float.

Sink these songs

that catch in the throat

Make them sour; or sweet

That I may stand on two feet.

Honorable Mention - Hameed Sharifi, Criminal Justice Major

Where I'm From

I'm from the land of blood.
From ashy land and smoky air.
I'm from red river of kabul.
From my township's ash,
and townsmen's cry of scared young children
searching for their families' bodies.
I'm from scorched houses and black sky.
From the dirt streets of kabul,
bloody streets and burned bodies,
it smells like the fish market.
I'm from too many weapons,
in burned tanks and black grass,
from my school's ash.
I'm from the policeman's word, wisely resounding,
"boro ba khana en ja astada na show."
(Go home don't stay here.)
I'm from cold weather and dark nights.
from my country's smoke,
and dark days in my township.
I'm from those times.