1st Place: “Chlorophyll”
by Melanie Zhong
I heave a sigh of summer’s last dregs,
inhale the crisp cold where I stand,
on the astroturf that covers my front lawn,
and reminisce on broken pacts with myself,
coalesce thoughts as the final act begins,
I look down at the fake grass,
where real loquat leaves lie upon it,
light brown, oval crown
bereft of chlorophyll,
they lose me in a reverie
of how I felt,
stripping leaves from steady branches,
each one’s chlorophyll dissipating
in fall’s wrenches,
my spur, my reason faded out,
leaving behind a dull, pale yellow,
exposed for anyone to trample about,
Bygone dreams filtered away,
in came a flurry of windswept passengers,
yellow, brown, yellow, brown,
resembling the monotony
I’d come to know so well.
This year around,
I hope the leaves burn crimson,
a good sign,
of passion, fiery, vigor, courage,
autumn’s first faithful pledge.
A pigment called carotene,
allows me to cling,
even as I lose my summer green.
2nd Place: “Sweet-Toned”
by Victor Espinosa
My ears danced when I first heard her
She was loud and unintelligible
Her noise was that of lush vibrancy
She could speak no words
yet the Colors chatted heavy;
Often I heard her, as a boy and as a man
Inescapable wherever I opened my ears
apparent in every black Mirror my eyes fell into
I know her well, and rest upon her foundation –
she is everywhere yet I have not met her
3rd Place: “Refuge in the Fall Foliage”
by Isabella Gonzalez
Drowning in the stagnancy of everyday life,
She found it fit to flee.
With adversities so abundantly rife,
She sought a life carefree.
In contrast to the egomaniacs and prima donnas,
Those consumed by vanity and greed,
She found comfort in flora and fauna.
Calmness and serenity: the new life she would lead.
Creatures of all kinds, trees with leaves of bronze and amber, Welcomed her with open arms,
Assuring she would forever be safe and secure.
Ensuring protection from every harm.
Her purpose was fulfilled,
And her soul was uncovered.
A perpetual state of thrill
As there was much to discover.