2015 Poetry Contest

14th Annual (2015) GCC Student Poetry Contest Winners

poetry contest winners
Left to right: Cierra Hand, Justine Kenney, Cheyenne Zaremba, Dennis Bleier, Harald "Jay" Rothmund
Not pictured: Matthew Cray

The authors were honored at an awards ceremony in the library on Thursday, April 23.


First Place: Justine Kenney for Freedom's Bond

Second Place: Cierra Hand for Soldier Poem

Third Place: Cheyenne Zaremba for Wanted: One Mind, Lost

Honorable Mention: Matthew Cray for Window Seat

Honorable Mention: Harald "Jay" Rothmund for Look at Yourself

Best Haiku/Short Form Poem: Dennis Bleier for Haikus for You


Freedom's Bond by Justine Kenney


It’s fickle, really

Constantly slipping away

Close enough to see

But suspended just out of reach


You take the reins



It’s impermanent, you know

A small drop of taste

Enough to get you obsessed

Not nearly enough to sustain


You settle in the irons



Found in many ways, actually

A passion for adventure

Or an escape from the world

But is never stays


You come along for the ride



It can be borrowed, you see

Easily held in our hands

Comforting as silk

And near impossible to see


You watch the wind



A concept to be embraced, indeed

The air whipping

Thunder on the ground

Petrifying to most


You share the same spirit



My undying desire, genuinely

The throw of mane and tail

Painting the sky

This is how it’s sated


Through the bond of horse and rider

Justine Kenney
Justine Kenney

Soldier Poem by Cierra Hand

I am an American soldier.
“I’ll be back soon”, that’s what I told her.

I am willing to give my life to protect my country.
I miss her eyes, as blue as the sea.

We are soldiers, and we stand as one.
Her beautiful blonde hair, lighter than the sun.

With my troops, we unite together.
The way she dances, light as a feather.

Tall and strong is how I shall be.
I will always remember that day I asked her to marry me.

Protecting our country thousands of miles away.
I love her more every single day.

Forgotten by the many, remembered by the few.
I wonder if she’s thinking about me too.

We march into battle, ready to fight.
How I wish to have her in my arms tonight.

The gunshots and screams bombard my ears.
Will she cry when they tell her? Will she cry wet tears?


I am an American soldier.

“Our condolences ma’am,” that’s what they told her.

Cierra Hand
Cierra Hand

Wanted: One Mind, Lost by Cheyenne Zaremba

Where is my youth?
I think lost it among the
rows of identical houses—
all white, and clean, and 
perfectly spaced like 
privileged teeth—
I left it under one of the beds.
I can’t remember which.

Where is my fear?
I’ve looked under 
couches and in closets
and found no monster.
I’m not complaining,
It’s not like I’m afraid
anymore—I just sleep with
the light on out of habit.

Where is my mind?
I can’t remember if
I lost it or if I’m just asleep.
I found a key in the
attic under a picture
of the aunt who looks like
me, but isn’t. Now I 
have a two locks to find.

Where is my imagination?
Somehow I imagined
this would go differently,
but I haven’t slept since 
the fall semester and 
I can’t remember if I’ve 
forgotten how to dream, 
or if I never knew how.

Cheyenne Zaremba
Cheyenne Zaremba

Window Seat by Matthew Cray

Choose seclusion,
...exhausted bipedal reaction
Warmth of a sun drenched cushion
...entertains posterior intrusion

On a slant
...curving vertebrae
Adjustable support
...jointed rotation

Enjoy a shower
...refracted illumination
Nature’s provision expressed in double-pane separation
Comfort by design
As icy fingers tap on once molten sand

Enter years,
Time may witness
...translucent imperfection

Look at Yourself by Harald "Jay" Rothmund

Look at yourself, a friend once said.

    You look exhausted, you look a mess.

    You’ve got to slow down, enjoy the day.

    That ain’t no life, all work and no play.

Look at yourself, my father once said.

    There’s work to be done and you’re still in bed!

    You’ve got to work hard to be the best.

    No time to sleep, no time to rest.

Look at yourself, society screams!

    You’re just a number, part of the machine.

    Work all your life, you never can win.

    Too late to change, too late to begin.

Look at yourself, my doctor said.

    Your hands are shaking, your eyes are red.

    It could be your job, the push and the grind.

    It may be that drugs are destroying your mind.

Look at yourself, the bartender said.

    What is your problem, what’s wrong with your head?

    Just pour me a double, don’t worry ‘bout me.

    I can’t feel the pain when I’m too drunk to see.

I look at myself, but what can I say?

    Just living my life, day by day.

    I can’t please the world if I can’t please myself.

    So quit looking at me ‘til you’ve looked at yourself.

Harald "Jay" Rothmund
Harald "Jay" Rothmund

Haikus for You by Dennis Bleier

Many growing mounds

What was once pure, now dirty

Is this snow or life?

Dennis Bleier
Dennis Bleier