Wordsworth’s Poe-TREE Contest Winners
Happy Earth Day, everyone! We are celebrating by announcing the winners of the Wordsworth the Poet “Poe-TREE Contest!”
In the Wordsworth Poe-TREE Contest, students were asked to write a poem celebrating their favorite tree, following the model of Wordsworth the Mouse and his friends in the book Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! The young mice in the story campaign to save the trees in their community by writing poems reminding all the neighbors about the special qualities of the trees around them.
Poems were judged based on creativity, poetic merit and how well they conveyed what makes the trees special to the students. The six contest winners will receive a copies of each of the three books in the Wordsworth series, a gardening tool kit and a Koa Legacy Tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, donated by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods.
K-5 Division Winners:
Makayla Rose Molden
Makayla Rose Molden (age 6, Kapolei, Mauka Lani Elementary), untitled
The Mountain Apple tree is yummy to me.
The fruit is up so high to knock it down is a game I try.
I collect the fruit and make apple pie.
Eli Wolfe (age 5, Honolulu, University Laboratory School), “Banyan Tree”
I like to climb the
I can climb to
You should try it too
It is so fun.
Grade 6-8 Division:
Min-Hua (Cindy) Tsou (age 11, Kapolei, Kapolei Middle School), “Red Maple Tree (Acer rubrum)”
A bright, scarlet leaf blew by.
A red lobed leaf fall and fly.
It can be red, yellow and even green.
Red maple trees makes a beautiful scene.
It grows in the north, with it’s flower blooming back and forth.
A red maple tree brings red, bright shines.
A red maple is of course, very fine.
Emerson Goo (age 12, Honolulu, Niu Valley Middle School), “Forest Guardians”
Sentinels at watch
Forest guardians holding
Grade 9-12 Division:
Sophie Corless (age 15, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Northern Highlands Regional High School), “The Lemon Tree”
The cool sticky air clings to me;
my bare feet squelch in the grass
just after the rain shower.
The lemon tree stands in the back corner
towering over the garden, and has a prevailing presence.
Under the tree lies my step ladder,
with my initials carved in the leg.
The wicker basket dangles
on a tiny branch at my height.
I have my technique down,
twist and snap over and over again.
Even the bees and ants are fixated on my movements,
their fragile wings and tiny legs
seem to stop to observe.
Little droplets collect in the pores of the rind,
making my hand cool,
droplets of lemon juice ooze through the pores
and run down my hand to my wrist and to my elbow,
stopping and then dripping off.
By the end I am covered in a mixture of rain and lemon,
dried and sticky.
With every lemon I snap off,
the branch snaps back and sprinkles me with rain.
I swear I hear my sweltering forehead
sizzle against the cool droplets.
In the kitchen I squeeze every last lemon,
popping the juice into the pitcher with the yellow flowers,
along with a fistful of sugar and a splash of water.
I crack the ice tray in half, scooping out the cubes.
The first sip makes my face contort
into an uncomfortable position,
one you can’t avoid,
but the last is always the sweetest.
Zoe Edelman Brier
Zoe Edelman Brier (age 18, Allendale, New Jersey, Northern Highlands Regional High School), “Veins of Color”
I remember maple Leaf picking
with my father before the bus
came to ship me off
to a grey school building
with a grey blacktop
and grey windows.
The colors of the Leaves
were brighter than anything
I’d ever seen, standing out
against the blah of morning.
even through fog,
the Leaves shown like bright beacons
of change and hope for the future.
the Leaves would vein and crinkle
in red and orange and yellow,
mixing in a thin canvas.
My father would sit me on his shoulders
and have me reach the highest branch
possible to get the best Leaf
to press in a book that I still have
12 years later, the colors frozen in time,
unbrowned and delicate, red stains
clashing with the dark green of Leaf.
Congratulations to all our winners and to all the poets who entered our contest. Wordsworth’s message to you all: Don ‘t stop writing poems and continue to save our trees. Give your favorite tree a hug!