Talking Leaves

Did you ever notice the leaves talk?
Whispers in spring, quiet like my little sister sneaking in beside me for a late night snuggle.
On blustery summer days they sound like my little brother, joyfully stomping and calling out, “Look at me, look at me!”
In autumn they are like my Nana’s knees when she gets up from the couch. Crunch. Crunch.
But in winter the leaves are silent.
And I wonder, are they sleeping or just talking in a way I can’t understand?

Connor, age 6, is a first grader at Penn Wynne Elementary School in Wynnewood, PA. He enjoys being outside in nature, reading, rhyming words, and building Legos.

Falling Jewels

The rain has been streaking down all day.
The world is gray as an old photograph.
Then the sun emerges and turns the rain into gold.
Now the rain is a diamond clear and beautiful.
Rain turns the leaves into emeralds.
Rain glitters like rubies on the sidewalk.
Rain is pearls clanking onto the ground.
Rain has transformed the sky into a sapphire.

Ari is a 3rd grader at PJDS. At school, he loves reading and writing (his favorite genre is fantasy). Outside of school, he enjoys tennis and soccer and is learning lacrosse. He is also learning acoustic guitar

The Poet of Dusk

When it’s dusk, I really must
Know your secret, dusk
When I say I must, I have to know!
You’re really great. You put on a show.
How do you make those lights shine bright?
How do you make those colors not shy? I would really like to try.
How do you make those colors glow? I really ought to know.
What I want to know most is something new
Something no one has ever asked you
How do you get so beautiful?
When it’s dusk, I really must
Know your secret, dusk.
When I say I must, I have to know.
You really do put on a show.

Paul is a kind and intensely curious boy whose intelligence and creativity find an outlet in writing poetry. He spends much of his time pursuing outside interests such as martial arts, piano, and performing in plays. Paul is a loving son and he enjoys playing with his friends and younger siblings. This poem came from a workshop from Mrs. Strong’s Third Grade Class at Neeta Elementary School.


Baseball, baseball is the sport I play

I play, I play, I play all day

I like to dive

I like to slide

I like to run from side to side

Most of all, I like to hit

I like to hit and I like to spit


I like to spit the seeds I bit!

I like to catch

I like to fetch

I like to fetch what I’m supposed to catch!

Luke Anderson loves baseball and has three siblings. He plays travel soccer and baseball. In his free time he likes to hang out with his friends and he loves pizza! He’s in third grade, and his favorite color is blue. This poem came from a workshop from Mrs. Strong’s Third Grade Class at Neeta Elementary School.

Poems from the workshop at Nokomis Elementary School

In fall leaves change color and start to fall
We play football, soccer, and go back to school
We like to go on hayrides, tractors, and sit by bonfires at night
People decorate for Halloween
Our town is filled with pumpkins, vampires, ghosts, and trick-or-treaters
Fall is windy and we feel the cool breezes
At Thanksgiving we like to eat turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes
We can smell turkeys roasting and pies baking as we sit with our families by the fireplace
Fall is awesome!


To a Once-Perfect Character

I erase all but the perfect few
To Technicolor tempers once consuming my page:
I’m glad I don’t remember you.
Silhouettes etched, every rainbow hue,
My illegible nomads exit left of the stage—
I erase all but the perfect few.
Author’s lost purpose tilts appeals askew,
Prostrate imperfections wipe clean with rage—
I’m glad I don’t remember you.
Your written life I misconstrued,
And ignored your pleas for unbounded age—
I erase all but the perfect few.

Kelly Bergh is a high school senior in Pennsylvania. She is a contributing editor for Shelf Unbound magazine.You can support young writers like Kelly with a contribution to PSJR today. Click here to read how.

Summer Venice

Tree branches swinging
Gently on a summer wind
Birds spread their small wings

The water reflects
A beautiful scene for boats
Floating down the stream

The sun shines brightly
Down on passersby smiling
A radiant beam

What a wonderful
Day to be out on a stream
Letting it carry

You to a new place
So you can see the beauty
and wish to be new.

Cory Tucker is 15 years old and is in 10th grade at Father Judge High School, where he wrestles for the Judge team. He is African American and lives in Philly. His hobbies include playing video games, hanging out with friends, eating contests (don’t challenge him; you’ll lose), and reading loads of books.

The Crow

Small outcasts,
on this small evening,
in this summer city.
Rooftops grant the crows,
outcast crows a home.
The crow,
usual times, they crow,
but outcasts back up each other.
They’re not outcasts,
at least not to each other.
They’re brothers,
and friends.
The Greatest of friends.
The outcast children,
and their parents,
and the parents of theirs,
had been outcasts to everyone else,
ever, ever since.
They've been sold, beaten, and outlasted,

Charlie goes to Jenkintown Middle School/High School. He likes to write poems, usually about the world around us and the hardships in history, and short stories about our world, what it could become of, and what has happened to it in the past. 

2013 Elizabeth Graeme Award in Poetry

WINNER: Erin Farrell
, CB East High School
Coarse Heels

The Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson Award in Formal Poetry is presented to a high school student from Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, or Philadelphia counties who has submitted the best example of a poem written in form

2013 Poetry WITS Youth Poetry Contest Winners


Addy Deloffre
, Maple Glen Elementary
Here comes the tornado

on quick and speedy legs.
It is fast and never stops.

It is sneaky and ready to catch its prey.

It is running and spinning and never stops
and then it goes away.


Zachary Porter, 
Plymouth Elementary
The Field
A Dusty, windy
Late at night

Fans cheering, bats cracking

Founded and Directed by 2008 Montgomery County Poet Laureate Elizabeth Rivers, the PoetryWITS (Writers in the Schools) Program showcases student writing and encourage poetry teaching. From everyone at PS, Junior, we send our heartiest congratulations to the 2013 Montgomery County Youth Poetry Contest winners!.

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