Tosa's All-CityRead gave an opportunity to poets to apply their art to the assignment 'Write a poem that tells a story.'

Cash prizes were awarded by All-City Read to first and second place in four categories:

·Grades 3-5: $25 to the winner, Jordan Nash; $15 for second place to Annabelle Wilson

·Grades 6 to 8: $50 to the winner, Sylvi Teich; $25 for second place to Jack Kluth

·High school: $75 to the winner, Clare Conteh-Morgan; no second-place prize awarded

·Adult, 18 years or older: $100 to the winner, Daniel McCollum; $50 for second place to John Kaufman

The judges were Elise Riepenhoff, Denise Lindberg, Wendy Buettner and Sarah Luther.

The first-place poems in each age group are printed here.

The Wave

By Jordan Nash

a fifth-grader at

Madison Elementary School


wave after wave comes and goes

But the people stay

Person after person comes but

Never leaves

two kids, brother and sister

entered on that fateful day,

and swam farther and farther



The wave wipes them out

Air leaves their lungs

They struggle for air

Tweet!! Tweet!!

The whistle blows

The struggle continues


Will they make it?

Their life flashes before their eyes

Birthdays, houses, schools

They breathe in a lungful of air

In, out In, out

Tweet, Tweet,

The whistle blows

They find a ladder

Waves come, fast and furious,

They climb, battling the waves

They make it


By Sylvi Teich

a sixth-grader at

Longfellow Middle School

One brave soul

Among many

Stands up

For the right.

One young girl,

No fear inside

Just strength and power.

One day

Like any other

Malala wakes up

Goes to school,


After school,


A bus.

One soldier

Among many

He asks

For a girl,

He steps forward.

Malala is shot down.


Is strong

And will stay strong.

She fights,

With words

For women's rights.

She was hunted

For wanting what's right

For wanting

An education.

We realize the importance of light, she said,

When we see darkness.

We realize the importance of our voice,

When we are silenced.

She saw darkness,

And was silenced,

She raised her voice,

And influenced many.

Peace is our only way.

Raise your voice for what you think is right.

The Arrow

By Clare Conteh-Morgan

a sophomore at

Wauwatosa East High School

The sky was dark

The wind was cold

The lightning flashed

And thunder rolled

The queen looked out

Upon the land

The stub of a candle

In her hand

The sky was dark

The rain poured down

The fog was thick

And hid the ground

The queen knew not

What was in store

Her royal army

Was no more

They lay upon

The muddy ground

Where never again

Would they be found

The enemy knights

Had killed them all

And soon would scale

The castle wall

The sky was dark

The queen looked down

And in her shock

She almost drowned

The enemy

Was drawing near

She felt her throat

Choke up with fear

She ran upstairs

To ring the bell

She hoped the guards

Would hear it well

They heard it ringing

Loud and clear

They knew their end

Was drawing near

The sky was dark

The rain poured down

It pounded hard

Upon the ground

The guards looked out

Upon the hills

They saw the army

And felt quite ill

The men dismounted

At the gate

The guards in the castle

Questioned their fate

But alas! One man

Surprised them all

For a flaming arrow

Cleared the wall

To the ground

The missile flew

The arrow

To its mark was true

The enemy king

Had been shot down

The army quickly

Turned around

A cheer rang out

With sheer delight

A thousand lives

Were saved that night

But try as they might

They never knew

From whose hands

The arrow flew

The man remained

To all unknown

Who shot the arrow

And saved his home

But the queen looked out

Upon the land

A smile on her face

And a bow in her hand

For she knew who

Had made the shot

And saved the castle

Upon its motte

The Tree-Splitters:

The Song of Dietrich

(Part of a longer work.)

By Daniel D. McCollum

an adult

Hark! And hear me, a humble poet,

As I tell a tale of times gone by

When warriors walked this wonder-land

And dangerous, daring deeds were done

Heroes never haltering 'gainst horrendous evil.

For glory and greatness those good men lived!

From the Old World those warriors wandered

Folk seeking freedom from famine and despot

Here they harkened hoping for new homes

To break the bonds of old for bright futures.

Of these was Dietrich The doer of deeds

The son of Sigmund slayer of men

Bavaria born and branded by strife

The Theoden's thane of thunder and might

So honored was the hero heralded by all

That he was given a great, noble prize

The proud hand of the princess of the realm

Wed on Christmas Morn the couple was in bliss

But soon sorrow fell sadness sank into

the hero's great heart horror gripped his soul

Wilda; Christ-like companion cut short by child-birth

Rumors rained down rancid tales spread

By conniving craven men crawlers in shadows

They sounded a sinister sermon of hate

Turning the King's ear once kind and noble

With their vile and vicious ear-venom

This King, was corrupted by the consol of liars

Deeming his daughter's death the doing of Dietrich

His hallman harried the hero within the Hall

His wife Wilda still warm in her grave

The rifle-man struck; spilling their blood

The stone-floor was flooded with it!

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