Published on: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Arts & Humanities

Sidewalk Poetry Contest Winners Announced

After receiving more than 150 entries, the winners of the Takoma Park Sidewalk Poetry Contest have been selected, including 10 children and 10 adults. The winners will receive a $100 award and a chance to have their original poems stamped into a local sidewalk in the contest organized by the City of Takoma Park’s Arts and Humanities Division.

“We were impressed by the diverse breadth of poetry displaying the creativity, intellect, and whimsy of so many Takoma Park residents. We have winners ranging in age from 6 years old to seniors,” Arts and Humanities Division Coordinator Brendan Smith said. “This is a fun public art project which brings poetry to the streets and under feet. We hope the poems will provide a laugh or a moment of reflection as people walk around town.”

Local residents could submit one or two poems in English or Spanish. The selection committee included Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole and local poets Bernardine Watson and Vladimir Monge.

Poems will be stamped into local sidewalks when new sidewalks are built or existing sidewalks are repaired. The project is supported through public art funding from the Takoma Park City Council.

Child/Teen Winners

Ari Bernstein -10 years old

From the sky to the earth

and the nature in between

you can see the beauty

in which it is woven

and the space you may weave

 

Sofia Dalanda Crandall -14 years old

Poetry is not a chair

Until you eat it

From a freshly shined plate

In a rickety old bus

On a blanket of snow

 

Edwige Ghembesalu -16 years old

sunshine honeydew

drip drops from the sky

and we shimmy in the rain

by the creek and on the bridge

slippin cause we mean to

 

Graham Gould -8 years old

Joy is what I feel within

It burns right through my thin tan skin

Those I love I share my gift

You just need a hopeful lift

 

Hector Herrera -6 years old

People love

people hug

the love is strong from above

 

Ash Hewchuck -15 years old 

Song of moon, I take your hand

In dusk of sweet July night

Dappled thoughts and silver emotions

We’ll dance until first light

 

Nala Miller -7 years old

Little green ball in the tree

Bouncing and rolling free

Off the branch in the grass

Down the hill that’s all we see.

 

Maeve Monahan -11 years old

Takoma

Instead of a park

It’s more like a sea

Flowing from every

Green leafy tree

 

Ida Shaeffer-Allen -9 years old

Carving out rock

Cutting through land

Soft tender touch

Transforms more than seen.

 

Aissatou Thiam -7 years old

Six Legs

Tiny Ants

Don’t crawl up my pants!

 

Adult Winners

Sally Brucker

So here is the thing

not getting any younger

flowers

still budding

 

Chris Carson

If I had my way,

love and money would grow

All over the ground,

Like wild strawberries.

 

Colleen Cordes

Late light shines

through dusk dark pines.

Everywhere silence,

everywhere song.

Sing, silence, sing.

 

David Alberto Fernandez

(Spanish poem with English translation)

Las palabras que importan

no se imprimen,

ni están talladas o estampadas

Arden en nuestros corazones

 

The words that matter

are not printed,

carved or stamped

They blaze in our hearts

 

Rosemary Ferreira

If there is one thing I hold constant,

it is that I belong to this city

as much as it belongs to me.

 

Veronica Jackson

What will you have today?

I would like tomorrow

Ok that will cost you a day

Just give me yesterday

Sorry no refunds

 

Emily Kombe

You call it nappy,

I call it being able to breathe

for the first time

through my curls

 

Samantha Magrath

my footsteps sound

on hard surfaces

crisp and regular as a dealer

laying down card after card

on the city’s table

 

Maja Tokic

long ago

they walked this road

cold wind chilling their bones

over the ground hard as stone

long ago

 

Richard Weil

Know, that a valley,

Is a mountain resting