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Poetry contest winners, April 2017

In honor of National Poetry Month (every April), the Star sponsors a poetry contest.

Four students won first place honors – Agape Faith Alfaro, Sammie Chafai, Angelique Ortiz, Joshua Serralde. Ryan Allibone, Jennifer Pelot, Roxana Urizar, Monica Marroquin and Antonio Quinones received second place honors.

All of the students’ poems were published in the March-April 2017 Steinmetz Star.

Fifteen student judges rated all the entries, printed without the authors’ names, on a scale of 1-10.

Agape Faith Alfaro

Oshiete, oshiete yo sono shikumi wo
Boku no naka ni, dare ga iru no

I open my eyes with blurred vision
Rising, I step into the character
Meant for the human sight
Masking the inner me

Gradually, I shapeshift
To who they want to see
Neglecting who I’m meant to be
Now forgetting everything

Confidentially camouflaged into the human ideals
Using tricky tactics
I lure the earth bore creatures
Toward obscure corners

In a subtle, silent way, I strike
Feeding off this life force

So as I’m chewing, chomping
Memories are floating
While emotions are flowing

But somehow I find
A piece of me inside
Understanding this isn’t who I am

Now I’m gagging, then spitting
As my head starts spinning
I’ve been consuming mortals
Searching for fragments of myself
Trying to rip off the mask
They had forced upon me

While I thought I was eating away at them
Deep inside they were eating me
And my true identity

But I think it’s time for me to find
If I’m truly the monster inside
That I’ve been forced to hide

Clawing off their flesh
Skin turning raw and bare
Stripping myself of their ideals
Born anew
No more flesh to chew


Unborn Son
By Angelique Ortiz

Mommy, can you feel me?
I can’t wait to meet you.
I can hear you say you love me.
I’ll see you very soon, Mommy
To kiss my forehead
To feel your warm skin
To admire your grace.

Mommy, are you ready to have long nights with me?
My life is gonna be fantastic with you
I’ll hold your finger
And you’ll hold my heart.

To my precious baby boy

You’re my precious baby
You didn’t get to make it here
I’d say you went to Jesus…
but I don’t believe he would’ve taken you from me
But I know you’ll be waiting for me. And I for you
I dwell on you lost.
Every 7th of the month is your day
that I think of you more than usual.
I snuggle with the bear I got you with sorrow and grief.
I’ve suffered on Earth’s soil in horrific pain.
I’d love to bring you to me.
But I linger in Earth’s shadow, wondering what would’ve been.
So sweet it would’ve been to have you in my arms.
I wipe my tears and chase happiness
I love you even if you were only in mommy’s womb.


One day with you
By Joshua Serralde

wake up and smell the aroma of blooming roses
creeping into the space of your bedroom window
while I serve you breakfast
in bed,

and in the kitchen can be heard your favorite
vinyl player you were given as a gift
out of sudden surprise of a brand new sunrise

your eyes widen up as if it was a dream you just woke up from
that may have been intriguing
and I can tell it was just your starry eyes
but remember this, starry eyes are forever

 to me
your inner being is inevitable
you bring me stability
you are able to maintain my own equilibrium
I think of you fondly everywhere I go or
see you in every person I come cross a hallway one day
and I hope that soon enough, you never go into oblivion

I remember we watched a movie based on a best selling novel that night
and suddenly the power went out
you looked at me with such integrity
like I was an old poetry book

while you were graciously skimming through my vintage and softly ripped
pages with the touch of your delicate fingertips
I realized that I was feeling the warmth and embrace of your
body intertwining with mine until we saw the cotton candy sky
at 6:00 in the morning

 I noticed your eyes were closed and your hand on my chest
the birds are chirping in the background
I carefully head into our kitchen and there’s the fresh smell of your favorite coffee
I placed on top of the dresser next to your queen sized bed
French vanilla, half and half. just how you like it

and I take a glance at you one more time before I have to go
you sleep like an angel
with heavenly eyes that made me fall in love with
when I first met you across a crowded class room.

this is barely the beginning of
my one day with you.


My Mom is My World
By Roxana Urizar

Her hugs take my pain away
Her voice makes me feel protected
When she looks at me her eyes
Tell me that I am her world.

To me my mother is my world
My star that shines bright
Every morning,
The reason why I want to
Move on in life
To make her smile bright
Like never, ever before.


By Ryan Allibone

Just saying the name evokes an image of constant disarray
Constant fights,
Constant arguments,
Constant disruptions.
People think that,
Everyone here is just wasting their future,
Everyone here causes trouble,
Everyone here doesn’t want to learn.
They look at our school and all they see are the problems.

It’s just a school full of troubled kids,
Kids with no future,
Kids that don’t care about their lives
Kids who are just going to end up in jail.
People think that,
Everyday students fight,
Everyday students cut class,
Everyday students don’t try to learn.
They look at our school and all they see are the problems.

Just a school full of problems.
Just a school without a future.
Just a school with bad kids.
Just a school containing hard working students.

It’s exactly what I just said
Not just a school full of troubled kids,
Not just a school full of kids who are ending up in jail,
Not just a school full of students that don’t care for their future.
The people here want to go to college,
They want to have a good job,
They want to have a good future,
They want to have a good life.
Our school’s colors are green and silver
Due to the green of our future wallets and the silver linings of our beings.

Miss You
By Jennifer Pelot

You’ve gone away
Oh so far
But I can still feel you here
Where you no longer are
I can still see your smile
I can still hear your laugh
Your voice
Your face is clear in my head.
I’ve memorized everything
Every detail
I know I won’t forget
How can I?
When you were a part of me for so long
But so short of time?
You’re what makes me happy
Your eyes
Your smile
Just hearing your voice
Why is this?
I don’t know for myself
No longer can function
Without you by my side
You’ve gone so far
But I feel you here.


Do You No Harm
By Jennifer Pelot

— I never want to hurt you…

I care too much…
To break your heart…
To give you too much hope at once…
To give you too little…
You do deserve someone to love…
You deserve love in return…
You deserve happiness…
You deserve everything…
You deserve the world…
You deserve everything I couldn’t even begin to give you…
I’m afraid to actually fall in love…
I’m afraid to hurt someone so sweet…
You deserve so much more than I can give…
There’s so much I can say…
Too many ways to say them…
So many ways to hurt you…
Yet so many ways to make you smile…
I’ve only ever wanted to hear your laughter…
Caused only by me…
Never be the cause of your pain…
Just the one that causes its demise…
Yet I seem to hurt you unintentionally…
Though I make you smile…
I have no idea…
What to do….
What to say…
How to say it…
When to say it…
How not to hurt you…
How to keep the smile on your face…
How to keep your laugh in my ears…
How to keep the spark in your eye…
The spark I always see when you look at me…
I never want to see those brown eyes go dull…
Always stay bright…

White walls

By Monica Marroquin

Staring into a white wall
I take a breath, time passes by
as I lose my regrets
the day I leave is yet to come
or I’m stuck in a room with nothing but a hum.
Bunched in a corner rocking back and forth
older with time, soon to be out
at least that’s what they say.
Those girls, those girls the ones in white
the ones that walk in here at the same time,
to give me tablets that make me stare,
to stare at these white walls.
But it’s all right because
at least I can call these white walls my home.


By Monica Marroquin

Mother always told me that I look my best in pink
She would tell me it makes my eyes shine and my smile bright
That everything would be all right.
I was 6 and everything was pink
An illusion created by the human who gave me life
Tricked into thinking all was fine
I step into this world now at the age of 16
But not everything’s pink.
I have lived my life in an illusion covered in pink
Color blind to all these colors and truths
a rash awakening, that not all is pretty in pink.

Boxed in
By Monica Marroquin

A screen, more like a box,
Trapping our minds, gripping to them, never letting go
Showing us images of another world
Now our form of connecting
Boxing us in, little by little
As we depend on them for everything
They’re everywhere we go, just waiting
Taking the young out of the womb and silencing them
Where have we ended in this tragic world
where we are taught to share everything with people who don’t care
But we are humans and we evolve,
technology created by man trapping us in
and we help it build our own box
The box with the screen, the box we are trapped in.


The Bane of Man
By Antonio Quinones

I am a scaled scourge who leaves warriors scared and scarred.

Women weep at the sounds of my wings, wind-riders.

They cannot comprehend the sharpness of my curved canines.

Families and friends flee in fear as I tear down their homes,

as if to assume that I do not know of the area around me.


This is their punishment for pilfering one of my prized possessions.

It began whilst I was asleep, basking in warmth and wealth,

when a fool, who felt fortunate, deemed it right to do the folly

that was taking a treasure from a tyrant’s trove.

As he made haste to return to his home, a sad hovel, I gave chase.


He did not dare to look back into a dragon’s domain,

Or else be torn to shreds by my terrible talons.

His breathing hitched high as I tracked the hint

Of an ill-fated individual, whose intellect was incredibly low.

His kins-men would come to regret caring for this coward.


Right as he ran into his village, I was ready to wreak havoc.

My spines and scales can deflect their swords and their arrows, sky-spears.

My kin are truly the reptilian rulers of these wretched runts,

for even a full army would fall against our flames.

We carry the blood of Cain, the killer of kin, within our veins.


These Geats, fool-blades, gained no hope as I gouged their guts.

If they proceed to push an advance, I am poised to use my poison,

Skin-scalding venom that can seep into and sear their very souls.

Even water cannot wane the withering effect of their wounds.

Most medicines of this mortal realm cannot mend the burns.


My teeth and tongue, tearers of flesh, taste of Geats.

Their vision of victory vanished in vain,

as their men, meat-sacks, are mangled and maimed,

with their bawling babies the next to be burned.

Even the cowards are caught and cooked to a crisp.


Their swords cannot cut nearly as well as my callous claws,

Which were perfected after plenty of years under powerful pressure.

These warriors, iron-imbeciles, lack the insight to avoid involuntary incineration.

The steel armor they wear only serves to turn them to cinders sooner,

causing their skin to begin boiling and bubbling before dying.


And after I finished committing this astounding annihilation,

I felt the focus of my ferocity begin to falter.

This was due to my body’s desire to lay down in my den.

I left the Geats to go back to my cave, a grove of gold,

a luscious sight to look upon, and then I laid in luxury.


Next day, a shout shook through the shadows of my shelter,

a rage-roar rang out and rose me from my relaxing slumber.

Who would dare disrespect the den of a dragon?

I inspected the entrance of my enclosure for the intruder.

Whoever the foe was would face my fire and fangs.


It was Beowulf, an old-war brawler, with a beard of bright grey,

who stood there stoic, stead-fast and steel-clad.

Rage was written all over his ragged and wrinkled body.

This so called great king of Geats will gain no ground on this day.

And so I charged in, ready to chew this chivalrous champion.












If you want to write an excellent poem, consider our criteria for excellence, adapted from Chaparral Poets,

  1. Meaningful content
  • Clear topic
  • Emotional impact
  1. Natural language
  • Original personal style
  • Clarity of author’s voice
  • Avoidance of clichés and trite phrases
  1. Imagery
  • Vivid description
  • Figurative language — may include use of metaphor, simile, personification, allusion, and other poetic devices appropriate to the subject.
  1. Precise word choice
  • Specific rather than general vocabulary
  • Concise, omitting unnecessary words and phrases
  1. Effective sound patterns. Use of some form of
  • Rhyme, alliteration, assonance, other unforced devices
  • Metrical pattern
  • Line length pattern
  • Repetitive form
  1. Excellent mechanics
  • Free of typos
  • Correct spelling
  • Punctuation that aids the reader


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