The Saints Alumni Association in conjunction with the Saints English Department and the guidance of department chairman Mr. John Lamerato held the school’s first annual Poetry Contest. The first rule of the contest, there are no rules. Students were simply encouraged to share themselves with the passion, conviction and feelings of their own words in any poetic style. In this inaugural year, Seniors and Sophomores volunteered to take the challenge.
Saints English department staffers whittled the entries down to the top 30 in each class. The top poems were submitted to a panel of alumni judges who selected three from each class for monetary awards.
Many thanks are owed to the alums who stepped forward to share their time and talent as judges in the contest. Judging the senior poems were Ryan Luz, Kelly McNeil, Joe Morstad, Mark Johnson, Bob Kevane and Ed Querin. The sophomore class judging panel was John Bowman, Bob Spence, David Gonzalez, David Davey, Dave DeCelles and Dan Summers.
The winning seniors were:
First Place—Kristian Arceo: “Playing Chess With Cupid”
A boy once asked his father,
Can artist see what they paint?
He told me you can never see the Path ahead.
I was too dumb;
And too young to understand.
A boy once asked a fifth grade crush,
Will you go out with me?
She gave him a blank look and without hesitation said no.
I was too unrealistic;
And too hurt to be broken.
The same boy once asked a beautiful girl,
Will you be my girlfriend?
She smiled a smile so bright the sun could not compete.
I was more technical;
And let the scars guide me.
He once asked a priest,
What is that chain on your wrist?
He quoted Paul and asked have you ever been manacled by love of someone?
I was too unsure;
And, by far, skeptical of the alluring idea.
That same gorgeous girl once asked him,
Why do you love me?
His feelings were fettered and his speech was shackled.
I was too frozen by her warm lips;
And while the answer seemed clear it was evident my head was not.
The girl with flowery eyes and a heart of gold cried,
You don’t love me like I love you!
She didn’t know she circles my mind in endless loops.
I can’t explain because I’m scared;
And I found myself playing chess with cupid.
The same boy, now older, came to a realization,
Quarrel with oneself creates poetry.
Certain darkness is needed to see the stars;
You need dark to see the light, evil to know goodness.
Let love grow without question.
The answers may be revealed looking back,
But for now it is you and I
And that is my greatest question.
Focus on what is happening now;
Question what was done when it doesn’t matter.
Have you ever stopped on your path to gaze at the stars?
To feel the wind on your face?
I hope this explained my thoughts;
Justified my actions.
I surmise this helps you understand
The man behind the curtain
Because I sure as hell don’t.
Second Place—Rex Hammock
If any man would lend his ear
He’d hear the old sage say
That life is long
And full of pain
But worries need not stay
And any man who’d dare to look
Might see the old sage walk
And tell the secret truths of life
That do not come from talk
If such a man could lend an arm
And help the old sage stand
They’d feel the gift that is to love
And receive the strength to command
If just a single man could touch the sage
And feel his wrinkled skin
They’d understand the power of life
And the beauty that lies within
But no one hears the old sage speak
And no one cares to watch
Not one man stopped to help the sage
Or feel his gentle touch
So life remains long
And worries stay
And secrets remain untold
Love slowly dies
And beauty hides
And the old sage grows more old
Third Place—Steve Borja: “Parallels”
What is time?
Time is more than just a construct;
Time is measured only by those who wish to limit it
Time is something you give to others when they need it
Time lost or wasted will leave you with regret
Running out of time leaves you gasping for air
You can never have too much time
After so much time one feels different
Time changes body and mind, makes them wiser
Given enough time anything will grow
Give time away and it will find its way back to you
What is space?
Space is more than a construct;
Space is measured only by those who wish to limit it
Space is something you give to others when they need it
Space lost or wasted will leave you with regret
Running out of space leaves you grasping for air
You can never have too much space
After so much space one feels different
Space changes body and mind, makes them wiser
Given enough space anything will grow
Give space away and it will find its way back to you
What is love?
Love is more than just a construct;
Love is measured only by those who wish to limit it
Love is something you give to others when they need it
Love lost or wasted will leave you with regret
Running out of love leaves you gasping for air
You can never have too much love
After so much love one feels different
Love changes body and mind, makes them wiser
Given enough love anything will grow
Give love away and it will find its way back to you
The winning sophomores were:
First Place—William Frank: “Power’s Address”
Power exists in but one place
Behind each face
It lies in
Neither king nor coin
No prayer can pay for power
It rest not in
Sign nor symbol
Never a body nimble
In the end where does power make its home
But in the mind of mankind
That is where it hides
Where men believe it resides
Second Place—Jon Garcia:“Tree”
Crackling like it will break
Yet Strong and never failing
Worn down with years of wear
Yet never falling down
I climb knowing it is safe
Simply you’re a tree
With leaves and bark and roots
Yet simply who am I? I have
Roots and I extend into the
World. You can be strong or
Weak just like me.
Maybe you’re just a tree
Or maybe you’re just me
My whole life you have been
There and I have climbed. You
Never failed, the one thing in
My Life. Always consistent. Just
There to lift me above the regular
Path. Just enough so I knew to not
Fit in, I knew to myself, stand my
Ground and never fall until it was my time.
You never said anything yet taught me everything.
Third Place—Benjamin Evans: “Pieces”
Everywhere I go
Every place I stay
If it ever shows
I’m never far away
Pieces of me here
Residing in memories
Pieces of me there
Little, tiny remedies
Thoughts in minds
Love in hearts
My influence finds
Itself in parts
Certainly I’m in pieces
Riddled with holes
But it’s all these pieces
That makes me whole