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  4. Grade 9 -Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020:


Bianca Todini, Grade 9

Gold Key in Poetry

Crisp gusts of sharp winds whip my hair in circles.

Flushed faces and noses, rosy with cold.

As I walk home, my eyes linger on a wooden crate of pomegranates:

a guarded gate to the shop behind them.

I carefully pick two.

Deep crimson-tinted skin,

unscratched and pure of imperfections.

Cold hands exchange rusted drachmae for these cherry-tinted treasures.

I gently place them in my bag, as if they were made of porcelain,

and I continue to escape the cold.

Upon arriving home, I sit down and reach for the pomegranates.

The sharp knife slices cleanly through the tough skin as if it were butter.

Two sides pulled apart,

drops of blood spill out onto my hands and down my arms.

The cherry-tinted skin reveals its yellow underbelly

as the bloody fruit gets pulled apart to expose its treasure.

Shimmering, crimson rubies all stuck together:

a conglomerate of wine-colored sweetness.

To my pleasure, the jewels release with ease.

Persephone's downfall has become my nectarous treasure.

Garnet-stained fingers bring a handful of precious stones to my lips.

The fruit bursting in my mouth.

I lick my lips, searching for more sweetness remaining from the crimson rubies.

My lips are now stained along with my fingertips.

Permanent color, equal to the permanent urge for more:

Neither recede, even after soap and water douse my garnet-stained hands.


Nothing can compare to this heavenly fruit.

Godly Ambrosia sent down from the clouds .

To bless our lips, our hands, and anything they touch.

Adagio, poco a poco crescendo

by Phoebe Ciocca, Grade 9

Silver Key in Poetry

A halo of dense Pacific fog settles

on a vast teal enigma

of ceaseless shimmering waves,

Jagged black boulders

peppered across the coast.


Milk-foam crashes

at the feet of a cliff

lined with wispy lavender bushes

Swaying in the salty breeze,

Engaged in a lyrical dance.


Slender palms reach

for the silver sky,

watchful, shifting clouds

with lightning veins,

electric, purple prickles.


Fallen junipers sprinkle the damp earth

Small sprouts of spearmint

prance about the musky air,

the petrichor spiked with fragrance.


Pearly curtains close

over remaining light,

the wind howling goodbye.


Specks of people retreat to the sand,

riding on trusted wooden steeds

Coated in coloured streaks,

No longer yelling “Surf’s up!”


A symphony of seagulls

now glides above the empty abyss

A thunder-clash crashes from above

the sky begins its song:

Gentle droplets start to fall,

Tides turn flat.


The sun peeks out ever so slightly.


Phoebe Ciocca, Grade 9

Silver Key in Poetry

Gray masses cover the sky.

A cypress stands alone,




above infinite hills.


Hills in a soft cotton uniform,

questioned by nobody.




But the cypress is rough,

a proud dab of emerald

against a blank canvas. 


It stands tall,

floating on a blanket of mist,

so fragile,




It lurks everywhere,

sliding off the hills,

through the valley,



But the cypress clings to it,

for it knows it is not



It is a statue.


Admired from afar,

but unreachable,


yet still



The mist begins to vanish,


an inflamed orb replacing it,

melting the gray.


The world is bathed in baroque light.

Hills now radiant green.

The sky a screaming scarlet,

filling the canvas.


The mist is gone,

the cypress unprotected.


Surrounded by other colours,

the emerald fades.


The cypress shrinks.


Notes once strummed alone,

muffled by new sounds.


They grow smaller,


until they die out.




The cypress can no longer be seen.

Lost in all the colour,

it has become a monochrome.

Lavender-Colored Glasses

Bianca Todini, Grade 9

Silver Key in Poetry

The sky still sleeps when my eyes open.

My alarm rings in my ears.

Mindlessly, I get ready and leave.

Only then, the sky begins to stir.


I arrive at my destination

Cold winds push me towards a large door

Inside I am led up high, to the ceiling of a warehouse,

A bridge above the ground.

Below me, people scatter in unison, pushing tall metal carts of flowers,

a raging sea of color and floral aromas

35 million flowers…..

I can’t quantify numbers such as these;

they become background music.

I can only take in so much at a time.

My senses overloaded with beauty and surplus.


A cart of lavender, thousands of bundles, races before my eyes

Leaving a trail of sweet scent behind them.

I follow the trail blindly, letting my nose lead the way.

Their smell puts me in a periwinkle trance.


I am suspended in space,

A bubble floating up and up.

Far from life on Earth

I watch the world shrink as I rise towards her.


She is awake now, I fear I have woken her.

Her bright eyes blink at me.

They are stars, glittering in a navy sky.


She fills my head with sweet dreams.

They roll off her tongue like warm honey,

Putting me back to sleep,

Suffusing me with amaranthine dreams and a lilac reality.

Suddenly, Icarius’s curse hits me like a nightmare during a peaceful slumber.

The bubble pops as I am transported back down to Earth.


I hit the ground and blink away tears.

I miss her comforting words and embrace.

So I stare out, onto the sea of stems

And try to be satisfied with the what if ahead of me.


Maybe tonight I will be reunited with her, but until dark I shall wait,

daydreams must suffice for now.

to all the Gods on Earth,

Giulia Di Cicco, Grade 9

Honorable Mention in Poetry

I kindly beg you to listen

my single futile thought,

as Eyes began to glisten

and Head began to rot.


I implore you

and all your brawn,

to let Memory

and Head not be gone.


I no longer hear Memory’s

airy voice whispering

her fragile stories

and calm whistling.


I no longer see

those glittering colors

falling behind the

unlimited seas.


memories begin

to disintegrate in paltry fractions:

gentle God Air singing

in her pale tone;

furious God Sun

flaming innocent heads;

joyful God Animal happily

frightening trembling minds;

disheartening God Shadow

continuously kidnapping velvet lips.


I beg you to prevent Mind

from discarding me,

while rivers of velvet beads

soak what was left of those merry cheers.

Never wanted it to end

Lucy Panetta, Grade 9

Honorable Mention in Poetry

The long, annoying

train ride

but then to finally arrive

at a wonderful place.


The warm and comforting hugs,


long-lost memories

of some days

that you never wanted to end.


...the smell of fresh, new perfume,

while combing the long, soft hair

of the sweetest person ever…

the parties, the dancing, the music

...the stolen kisses

happened last night...


But then all these memories

make you sad,

once you leave

and return home.


The cold and hard feel

of nostalgia,

that makes you think

“I can’t wait to come back

and see you again.”

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