Summer Poetry Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who submitted poems to Queens Library’s Summer Poetry Contest!

All the entries had to reflect the 2016 Summer Reading theme of “Get in the Game.”

You’ve had a chance to read the poetry of our four winners, and see the pictures from our awards ceremony. Now, we’d like to share the poems from the three honorable mentions in each age category.

To be selected for this recognition shows how truly talented all these poets are!



Grades 4-5 Honorable Mentions: Samyuktha Arvind, Jason Ramdeo, and Erin Wong

Grades 6-8 Honorable Mentions: Jaeden Casasnovas, Syeda Rahman, and Sujay Sundar

Grades 9-12 Honorable Mentions: Malachi Mitchell, Sara Nordlicht, and Emily Scarpati

Post High School/Adult Honorable Mentions: Felicia Hang, Arlene Levine, and Francie Scanlon


Grades 4-5 Honorable Mentions

Samyuktha Arvind









Fun in the Sun
by Samyuktha Arvind

Get into the game,
Get into the action,
Get into the fun!
It’s time for a run in the sun!
Go to the beach
With sand beneath your toes,
And water in your hair.
Make a fort
Spring leaks of water!
Through Paris
And visit
The Eiffel Tower!
Bungee-jump through
A safari
In Africa!
Make a hoverboard
And fly on it,
Visit the world
And get an award!
Breakdance through a
Karate class!
Climb Mt. Everest
In my new pink heels!
Seeing how a
Volcano feels!
Going to India
And bringing back
Seeing why milkshakes
Taste so bland!
Order a triple-scoop cone
For me,
And an order of
Iced tea!
Swing into the park,
Landing on the bark!
Load into a baseball game,
(I tried the cannon,)
Blast into space, taste the
Cotton candy clouds,
There is no too much fun now,
It is time to get into the game!


Offense or Defense
by Jason Ramdeo

               Courageous, Confident
            Passing, Running, Scoring
    Touchdown, Goal...Interception, Block
            Taking, Tackling, Stopping
                  Jeering, Taunting


First Tryout
by Erin Wong

Come on! It's basketball tryouts!
"You can do this," My mom shouts!

Slowly, I walked to the coach in the court.
She started calling names from her board.

The coach said her name was Mrs. Bagwerds.
Her shirt spelled the team's name backwards!

Cheerily she said to me, "Get in a game!
By the way, what is your name?"

Pass, dribble, dribble, pass,
I learned these all very fast.

Steal, dribble, dribble, shoot!
I kept on missing the hoop.

So many times, I missed
And I wanted to quit!

Sweat dripped on my neck,
But I didn't care to take a rest!

My coach taught me, "Aim at the backboard!"
I kept on trying and finally I scored!!!

Tweet! Tweet! The whistle blows,
My coach said, "Now it's time to go!"

What a great, first game!


Grades 6-8 Honorable Mentions

Get In The Game
by Jaeden Casasnovas

When you wail and you cry just to get what you want
That is not how you try to get fame
Be in it
To win it
Set yourself apart
Be ready to get in the game!

Live your life for the moment, no time to resist
Just play it, don’t wait for next time
Be in it
To win it
Because you have the smarts
Be ready to get in the game!

Do your very best and have good sportsmanship
Don’t brag, or you’ll be very sorry
Be in it
To win it
We all have your back
Just be ready to get in the game!


More than a book
by Syeda Rahman

A book is an adventure
A book is a dream
Where you can visit places
You've never been

You can see gardens
Visit castles and more
When you have never even
Gone past your door

You can meet people
Both good and bad
And the end to their quests
Could be happy or sad

A book is just a book
But you'll find it's so much more
If only you know where to look
A book can open doors


Sujay Sundar









The Game of Life
by Sujay Sundar

You roll the dice,
Take your chances but be wise.
The Game of Life,
Can be fun without strife.

To Play hide and seek,
Scaling tall peaks.
To Swing and sway,
With birds chirping each day.

To talk and walk,
But always on the sidewalk.
Time for flowers and trees,
And feeling the cool breeze.

To seek Good books to read,
Learning about a good deed.
To think and write,
On topics fresh and bright.

To be healthy and eat,
More veggies and wheat.
To stay fit and play,
Keeping doctors away.

The Game of life is good,
And forever it should.
It is eternal and fun,
And is never really done.


Grades 9-12 Honorable Mentions

Malachi Mitchell









Can You Feel It?
by Malachi Mitchell

I can feel it
It's right there
Almost in my hand
It's now or never
Failure's not the plan
Success is at the end of the path
I'm getting closer
But something seems to be holding me back
Laziness and procrastination
Blocking my drive and determination
Keeping me from getting my blessings
But still I let myself entertain the distractions
Have I forgotten my lessons?
I was told to reach for stars
Well now I'm reaching for it all
And I'm not gonna fall
Only thing I'm letting drop are my chains
Getting my head in the game
Putting a legacy to my name
Crazy how much can change in a blink of an eye
A year ago I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life
Now I can't go a day without wanting to write
I can feel it
Now's my time
And I'm ready to shine
Are you ready to shine?
Are you ready to spread your wings and fly?
Are you ready to be the best you can be?
Then take this sincere advice from me
Drop your chains
And get in the game
Reach for the stars
Don't be afraid of the change
It might be hard
But life is short
And it's better to do it now than to leave it for "some day."


The Game
by Sara Nordlicht

I ought to write a poem, I think,
One that flows, with words that link.
Pertaining to the pertinent theme:
Get in the game, get in the game.

"This is hard," aloud I say,
"Maybe I cannot write, anyway."
An impossible task this does seem:
Get in the game, get in the game.

"I must write something down," I voice,
Yes, I still can make this choice.
The maxim floating around in my head:
Get in the game, get in the game.

I put pen to paper and write,
An end does not appear in sight.
Still I remember the words that were said:
Get in the game, get in the game.

I needed to write, I knew I ought,
A poem on paper being what I sought.
I knew I would give up, all too soon:
Get in the game, get in the game.

I thought that with words I could express,
Yet with all this time, I still digress.
A message clear as the light of the moon:
Get in the game, get in the game.

So before you sit and cry the blues,
Think of the talent within your own shoes.
Make the right choice and decide:
Get in the game, get in the game.

Don't deem impossible, your big dream,
Pull yourself together and join a team.
Bring some friends along for the ride:
Get in the game, get in the game.


Cans of Expired Pie Filling
by Emily Scarpati

Every time you insert yourself into the game
You shatter your bones or your skull explodes and you
Think it is the worst day of your life,
But how foolish you humans are
Much worse days are to follow this one in which you
Lost your game

On the worst day of your life
Your golden mother shakes with rage like lava as she hurls
Hundreds of glass shards at your head
You try to halt them with your catcher’s glove but your
Young hands get sliced
It’s Father’s Day and the new Prius crashed into your
Garage’s aging shelving unit, unleashing a tsunami of
Boxed lasagna and cans of expired pie filling

Your head fills with lime pudding as the events progress
The gods above which you hardly believe in desire
For your throbbing red chest organ to be made aware,
You are a miniscule entity in a scene never to be
Included in that independent film
If only your kneepads were applicable to your heart

Oh, volleyball player, on the most torturous twenty-four
Hour block of your time on this polluted star,
Your foundation crumbles to the sea
You wish that you were back at the stadium
In which you lost your baseball
Much better it is to put yourself in the ring


Post High School/Adult Honorable Mentions

Felicia Hang









Remember You
by Felicia Hang

They say you've got to be in it to win it
and there's nothing more true
If you want to see it happen, it's all up to you

Getting in the game is not always about winning,
It's showing up, and being willing
Take a chance, cause you never know,
You may end up finishing,
Even if you start out slow

Challenge yourself, be all that you can,
Cause in the end, the power is in your hands

Be yourself, have courage to be true.
Begin each day, with hopeful anew.
And remember, to always be you.


Playing Catch with John Lennon
by Arlene Levine

The field is dark…

The pitcher prepares to throw
A crowd of catchers crouches, the only
audience invited to this dream game

Something soars; we all
run to receive, yet it is me
who captures, not a ball but a heart

And the pitcher is John,
of the words and the songs
Repeatedly he tosses; I reach
and clasp each heart to mine, my soul

opening in awe and joy
while I wonder:
now that I have caught
to whom must I throw?

I wake with a peaceful feeling
I grab my pen
Words begin

The field is dark...


Player's Prayer
by Francie Scanlon

YO, shot put pecadiller of pawn'd placements
YO, race walker outpacing the rabbit to heel and toe triumphs
YO, would be shadow blade-runner pass the baton
YO, racquet ball wall'd fortress of fire, unleash that furl of fabulous furor
YO, back-splashing, butter-fly sliding, air-brush'd time-tyrant of water's pool palaces
YO, archer with more targets than buzzhead bows can magnet-bulls-eye one for ages by-passed and centuries yet imagined
YO, tennis player sizzle slice serves that punctuate the fault-lines of your opponent's baseline blues
YO, golfer on the bunker for the birdie hole in one, too
YO, hoop master drop it like it's hot,  until it's not and drape your dreams with the
net of  gods
YO, diver machine blast your lungs with the oxygen of eternity, count your blessings and catapult dive daring destiny
YO, cyclist burn the road ahead of you with the steel of your drive and the buoyancy of your foot speed gyration
YO, boxer deflect, distract, drive punch when and where it matters 'til your spar mate is embroidered in the ropes
YO, badminton ballerina first break '30' and keep frying those half-moon eggs in the sky
YO, fencer fake a slide, foible a thrust, do what you must but first flaunt ferocious fearlessness
YO, ALL, blow a kiss to the boys of summer, the polo-ists, tug-of-war-farers of yesterday no longer reckoned contenders.
YO, ALL, in your, our, my game: PLAY BOLD, BEAUTIFUL, BOUNTIFUL.

Love the finish line.

All poems copyright 2016 Queens Library and the individual authors.