Augusta to Honor Maine Coast Waldorf School Poets!

For the second consecutive year, Maine Coast Waldorf High School Students swept the top prizes in The University of Maine at Augusta’s Plunkett Festival student poetry contest.  Junior Wilson Haims and sophomore Miles Lloyd earned first and second prize, respectively, and will be honored at the Festival’s evening program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, during which they will read their winning poems, which are printed in full below.  Following the student awards, nationally renowned poet Sharon Olds will read her work as well.

Last year, current juniors Charles Van West and Avery Bakewell were the recipients of the Plunkett prizes.

Wilson Haims’ First Place Poem:

At the Roots of the Orange Tree

When my skin melts away

my bones will become the roots of a tree

I’ll rise through the trunk

splitting the grain

lightning within every limb

and at the end of each twig, I’ll bloom through the bark

slowly unfurl my delicate arms

and grin at the flirtatious sun.

The days will become moments, strung together like beads

each moment a pearl.

And the sun will pull me away from the branches,

my ivory arms will fall away and I will ripen

the sun’s golden jewel.

In the moonlight I’ll cling close to my branch

and gaze at the ghostly face in the dark

reflecting off the tides

and I’ll stare in wonder at her milky complexion

powdered with the dust from seashells and bones.

I’ll hear her whisper stories to her children

scattered about her, and they will all listen,

tucked into the folds of darkness,

sleep settling upon their eyes.

I’ll listen and let myself fall a little closer to earth.

And as the days pass

I’ll grow older, lean closer to the grass,

smell the dirt, see the ants parade along the rough bark.

And I’ll remember running upon this earth, climbing this tree,

eating an orange from the highest bough

the tangy flesh all blended with seaspray

and watching

the gulls dive off the cliffs, into the ocean.

I’ll remember the way my legs dangled as I sat high above the ground,

And how my arms clung to the trunk.

And then I’ll fall

in the darkest hours.

The moon will gasp, her children will stop their chatter

and I’ll rest at the roots of the orange tree

returning to my bones.

Miles Lloyd’s Second Place Poem:

The Fisherman

The cormorant and his master

settle on the shore of the River Li.

The water is calm

clear and dark as misty sorrows

that have been ground up

into grey pebbles—

stars that lost their light

and fell to earth.

Behind them the limestone pinnacles

of Guangxi province reach into the pale blue air.

They scrape the sky like fingernails.

The bamboo raft has been pulled

out of the water, and a man

sits on it cross-legged,

smoking a pipe.

Bits of wisdom are stuck in his teeth.

He is wearing a wide brimmed

woven hat and large brown shoulder pads

like wings, to keep off the sun.

It is evening and the air is thick with fog,

the cormorant perched near

a lantern. His feathers are

creamy brown, the light

gives them a shine.

He is the fisherman that floats on air

gliding like a boat on silk.

His claws snatch a fish from the arms

of the River. But he does not eat it.

His throat is girded

with a metal ring—he cannot swallow his prize

He returns the fish to the raft

to his master who is smoking a pipe.

The day has worn down to darkness,

the only light comes from a lantern.

The fisherman and his master

are searching its warmth for peace,

on the bank of the River Li.

The water is quiet and calm.