Phillip Schnackenberg, Libby – Adult Honorable Mention
As the winds shift
My little cog rocks fervently
On the dark waves below
Among these vast waters,
I see many sails.
Some grand and stout galleys,
with velvet sails of silk and silver,
with hundreds of oars
thrice the size of my own
Others are no more than a coracle,
drifting slowly like a leaf
Floating on a rippling lake.
Some are adrift
Caught in fog and twilight seas,
sailing without direction
In the shifting currents.
Other sail for lands I know not
But some sail with me,
and though I know every little
of where I’m going or when I will get there,
I light a little lamp
And setting in on the prow,
I steer my oar towards a four-pointed star
Burning brightly in the night sky.
Kimberly Green, Libby – Adult 1st Place
I grew up in the heart of Rainbow Trout river
Took too many young lives
That water’s rough but much more of a giver
Bittersweet Kootenai River
Fishin’ off the rocks
With a casted out lucky spinner
Hopin’ I’ll catch enough for dinner
Good times on Kootenai River
Flower Creek, Cedar and Parmenter
Hot summer days
Rafts float down the river
Killin’ time on the Kootenai River
Specks of red kokanee in September below the falls
Bring extra snagging hooks
Watch your step
And don’t you fall
Into that unforgiving, beautifully winded, blue ribbon
Morning smoke on the water
A few thirsty whitetail deer
Threadin’ hooks and castin’ bait out here
Below the Cabinet Mountains, careful where you steer
On the Kootenai River
Squawking Mallards, Honking geese
The sound a duck dog loves to hear
Stories of big fish, trophy deer
Around rock ring fires, holdin’ a cold beer
On the banks, water reflects your face like a mirror
That Good old Kootenai River
Follow her up to grandma’s house
Fish jumpin’ as bald eagles soar
From the river front shop door
Where grandpa fixes yet another lawnmower
Leaves you always wantin’ more
Time on the Kootenai River
Latimer Hoke, Eureka – Adult 2nd Place
Fill a backpack with
Everything you need for the
Next four days.
Except water, because, you know,
Northwest Montana has plentiful
Clear flowing streams
Perfect for refilling your bottle.
The trail may, however, have a
Fourteen mile stretch on an
Exposed ridge with
No water sources.
‘Twill be sweltering for your traverse.
You will feel
Discomforting thirst but
It won’t kill you.
While you’re out there
On that ridge,
Anxious for a refill,
You may appreciate that
Clear flowing streams are
Not for sale.
Franka Striefler, Eureka – Youth Honorable Mention
She built a palace
And a throne
Full of walls
Made of stone
Why she was so alone
Violet Bird, Eureka – Youth 3rd Place
I saw the exceptional reputation of my generation
Perfectionism was a fine flirtation
Had us running away from liberation
Searching for perfection at every turn
Oh, to watch the world burn
Burning passion, a flower without flaws
Waiting for that intoxication applause
All perfect, no rejection
No past mistakes, a smooth complexion
Madness is a beautiful irony
A pitiful dismay at harmony
Fighting for the highest mark
Crawling blindly in the dark
This is the exceptional reputation of our imperfect generation
Bill Lamey, Libby – Adult 3rd Place
As we set sail from the marina one day,
a maiden voyage so they say.
Korrie says, “Bill, I feel the wind.”
So they hoisted the main sail, and away they went.
It was late in the day, and when they pulled into the cove,
first thing Korrie did was light the cooking stove.
She cooked the chow, and it was mighty good.
After a while Korrie went for a swim.
Bill watched her dive and play,
it reminded him of another day.
We watched the eagles play and dive,
and Bill said to Korrie, “My God it’s nice to be alive
Isis Jacquiline Beisher, EDureka—Junior 2nd Place
LOVE GROWS IN THE BRIGHTEST PLACES.
LOVE GROWS IN MY HEART AND IT GROWS IN YOURS TOO!
IT’S LIKE A PLANT.
IT NEEDS CARE AND LOVE AND IT ALSO NEEDS TO LEARN TO SHARE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS
OTHERWISE, IT DIES AND FALLS TO THE DARKSIDE AND BECOMES AN EVIL SOUL.
IT NEEDS LIGHT AND A BRIGHT, WARM AND SAFE PLACE TO GROW.
WITH ALL OF THESE IT BECOMES A STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL FLOWER,
THAT IN TIME WILL SPREAD ITS LOVE AND LIFE AND GIFTS TO OTHERS AND MAYBE EVENTUALLY,
TO THE WORLD THAT ALREADY HAS SO LITTLE OF THIS THING CALLED LOVE.
LOVE GROWS IN THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACES AND EVEN MORE UNUSUAL SHAPES AND SIZES.
IT CAN GROW IN THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN AND THE DEEPEST OCEANS BUT CAN NEVER BE FAKED.
LOVE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IN THE WORLD
AND ALL THE MORE REASON TO LOVE.
Evan Gibbons, Eureka – Junior 3rd Place Winner
Camping is amazing to go and do.
Spending time in the great outdoors.
When I wake up to the morning dew.
My fingers are still sticky from eating smores.
When I roast a marshmallow.
Over a nice warm fire.
It’s so golden and yellow.
I can feel the fire getting higher.
Pitching a tent is good to do.
I like to sleep in a sleeping bag.
One day a tent might help you.
Unless you forget the poles then it might sag.
Fishing and hiking can be fun.
I go with family and friends.
It’s nice to go in the sun.
I hope it never ends.
RyAnn Lewis, Eureka – Youth 1st Place
Surrender yourself to living like you’re homeless;
It isn’t a vacation that’s smokeless.
Abandon the idea of staying clean;
Being dirty doesn’t matter because you won’t be seen.
It may be confusing to understand the joy;
Of staying in a tent, under the stars, with a dog and his boy.
A place from home that’s far away;
To live the life of a stray.
All one needs is shelter and food;
And some coffee for the morning that can be brewed.
The campfire roaring in the nighttime glow;
Marshmallows that toast nice and slow.
We head out on that trail in the dawn’s early light;
And hope that the fish will bite.
The sun is bright and the water is cool;
And there is not a single thought of school.
Family time spent in awe;
Will chase away the day-to-day blah.
The fresh air will lessen the stress;
Paige Goheen, Eureka – Youth 2nd Place
Passion and talent
Would anyone stop to think
That maybe the reason a person is successful
Has nothing to do with what you think
A wasted life is one where you regret the things you’ve done
A life is wasted when you accept that bad habits can’t be undone
If more people in life stopped to think
About their own problems and grief
About their own happiness and desires
About their own journey instead of walking someone else’s wire
Then perhaps the world today would be more comforting to those who are in