Thanks to everyone who wrote a poem for this contest.  We had entries posted on all three blogs containing the contest information, and many more were emailed directly to me.  There were rhymed, free verse, Haiku and narrative poems; some were humorous and some were poignantly sad. Some taught a lesson, some recreated a memory, several recounted a frightening or heartbreaking experience, and others used similes and metaphors to express emotions, struggles, and loss.  To all of you, my sincere thanks for sharing your creative spirits with us for this contest.

And now, special thanks to the four judges who volunteered their time, energy and talents to select the following winners:

$25.00 First Place ~ Laura Horsfell, Great Bend, KS


There he sat, in his black robe.

There I stood, shaking like a leaf.

I didn’t want to be there

But knew I’d done wrong.


When his gavel hit the table,

The damage had been done.

One year of probation.

Life without fun.


$15.00 Second Place ~ Vivian Kirkfield, Colorado Springs, CO


Childhood often invades adult life.

Fears laid down early create later strife.

Afraid of adventure and trying new things,

Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!

To conquer that panic is my fervent wish.

I’ve parasailed, skydived and swum with the fish.


And a special “Educator, Thank You” award for a GED teacher in Junction City, KS who wrote this poem as an example for his students…and as a tribute to his wife’s nonexistent domestic skills.  (But she’s a soldier at Ft. Riley, so none of us really cared that she can’t cook!)

To teacher Jesse Nicholas the judges present $10 so he can buy his own chicken dinner!


You tried to make chicken

It did not come out finger licken

The children and I

Sat down and did cry

Because what was served

We did not deserve

Only to those

You wish to poison and die


To the King we did go

To secure a feast

My children and I

Were saved for the moment at least


Author Jaye Manus is again graciously publishing the contest winners on her blog,   You will learn some valuable writing and publishing information from Jaye, so be sure and visit her blog.




Filed under lessons about life, writing


  1. Nancy Gibbs

    Congratulations to the winners! My favorite line: “Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!” Sound like me and my grandmother.

  2. Pingback: Poetry Contest Winners | J W Manus

  3. Congrats to the winners, Marylin. I wish I could have been one of the judges, but next time.

    • You’re so busy editing and formatting fiction for Kindle/Amazon–and doing a great job–that I didn’t want to give you more to do.
      Next contest, you’re back in the judge’s seat!

  4. Thank you so much, Marylin, for this wonderful opportunity! And thank you to the judges…I’m honored to have my poem take the 2nd place prize! I loved reading the other entries in the comment section…there are so many people out there with a lot to say and a great knack for saying it well. 🙂

    Congratulations to First Place winner Laura!!! Well-done!!! You said so much in so few words…very powerful!

    And congrats to Jesse…what a great sense of humor you have…and what a terrific way to help your students understand poetry. 🙂

    I’ll be posting this tonight along with my Perfect Picture Book Friday review and craft and I’ll come back here to add the link to that.

  5. I think your reminder of childhood fears struck a cord with many of us, Vivian. Each time I read your poem I think of another “oh, no, don’t try that, it’s too risky” message I’ve received during my life.
    In 50 words you triggered a book’s worth of memories! Well done.

  6. Pingback: Perfect Picture Book Fridays: Julius…The Baby of the World « Positive Parental Participation

  7. Molly

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fabulous job Laura, Vivian and Jesse. You are all very gifted in the area of poetry….it is so amazing the stories that you can tell in 50 carefully chosen words. Laura yours was such a FABULOUS fit to the contest regulations…..something you didn’t want to do, but had to…..and Vivian yours rings so true of how parents try to protect us from EVERYTHING…..and then we go out to prove we can do it!!! I think that you hit the nail on the head with finding a universal truth. Jesse yours had such great humor, and a fun approach. And thank you for encouraging students to participate in the activity!

  8. Molly

    Thank you Mom, Marylin, for offering these fun and fabulous contests…..they are super phenomenal!!!!!

  9. Aw, you are such a great daughter. I’m still smiling at the poems you and Grace wrote in comment boxes, even though as family you knew you couldn’t actually enter the contest. Years from now, when Grace and Gannon are grown, I hope they look back at these blogs about their great-grandmother and see how her fishing poem, “My Great Hobby,” was the seed of a poetry contest that decades later brought together many people who wouldn’t have “met” otherwise.

  10. Pingback: Sunday Post: Treasured Pleasure or Guilty Pleasure « Positive Parental Participation

  11. Just wanted you to know that I received your lovely note on Saturday, along with the check. 🙂 Thank you, Marylin…and Molly and judges, for providing the opportunity for all of us to share our creations. 🙂 It was lots of fun!

  12. It was our pleasure, Vivian. I read your poem over the phone to my mother, telling her again (and again) how this contest was inspired by her original fishing poem. Then, just when I thought she wasn’t hearing the details, she asked when it was she had gone swimming with fish. Dementia doesn’t ruin everything!

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