Your donation today, helps FREE WILL tomorrow.

2015 Sonnet Contest Winners

Grades 4 - 12 and Adult Categories

2015 HASF Sonnet Contest Winners

Group I:  Grades 4–8

First Place-Emma Nunnink

The Barstow School

A Wolf's Sonnet

From the darkest of forests I come
With shadows perched on every bush and tree
Hated by many and known as scum
I crawl from the depths to hear your crying plea

A monster I am not, just your average pet
Just with added bane and strength
And maybe shining claws and fangs scarlet wet
My fur along, grey,matted length

The ground shudders with my every footfall
Hackles raised and muscles primed to pounce
Piercing dusk eyes a steep warning to all
A canine I am, but with no collar to flounce

I lift my head up with a desolate cry to the moon
People will accept the wolves of this world, maybe one day soon

Second Place-Annie James

The Barstow School

The Forest

The morning breeze wafts gently through the trees.
Dew drips silently from a blooming bud.
Bright dandelions spring up to my knees,
A young bird takes off, but lands with a thud.

Willows whisper small secrets to no one.
Magnolia petals fall into my hair.
Trees obstruct the bright and curious sun,
Take in the crips air, nothing can compare.

My fingers trace the lines of the rough bark.
The trees create a never-ending maze;
Something about the forest lights a spark,
Weaving through the trees in a content daze.

The forest is a place for peace of mind,
Where everything is somehow intertwined.

Third Place-Joe Mirakian

Oregon Trail Middle School

Eight-Year Old Perspective

I'd tell you that your eyes are like sapphires.
But unfortunately, I'm not a fool.
I'd say that you speak like a million choirs,
Alas, your voice brays like a rented mule.

Is your skin soft?  Is it clear and milky?
Do your cheeks bloom in a rosy carpet?
Are your flowery locks smooth and silky?
No, you look like you fell in a tar pit.

I honestly think that it could be said
That here is nothing about you to like.
When I'm near you, I wish that I was dead,
Or better, that you wold go take a hike!

But I wouldn't be shocked if someday soon,
I learned I was wrong and I changed my tune.

Honorable Mention-Stella Kahl

The Barstow School

Time Gone By

Past is made of breaths worth remembering.
So many moments erased from our mind,
Thoughts used like tools for dismembering
Yet a rare few manage to stay inclined.

Present is the one that will never stay.
When you hold its hand it pulls you along.
It lasts for an instant then fades away.
But you can't depart from its eerie song,

Future is the unknown we all must face.
Most are afraid, but it could be so bright,
Though that light could be hellfire in good's place,
It's inevitably out of sight.

Time happens, abides, and bows out too soon,
But ever alike, night brings out the moon,

Honorable Mention-Julia Butch

The Barstow School

Essence of Sauntering

Prepossessing leaves with abundant hue,
Sun glimmering on the thriving vineyard.
All loving nature leading back to you,
Ambled through branches yet never hindered.

Endless wondering yet not feeling lost,
Mind lets off an anguished cry of dispair.
The beauty comes at an outrageous cost,
I shall continue rambling but where?

Supposing it does not matter at all,
As long as the nature is quite stunning.
No reason to worry for it is fall,
But next season might be far from cunning.

Continue smelling the lavender air,
Keep on going without one single care.

Group II:  Grades 9-12

First Place-Coleman Crosby

Lee's Summit North High School


I want to cross the ocean of this life
Explore the caverns deep throughout the sea
Slowly follow rippling tides without strife
Hearing the bright blue world whisper to me
Call me Ismael, for I must embark
Starboard and port toward my destination
The voyage to unlock my inner stark
A criss crossed sea to serve my summation
Though stormy clouds may arise, I will stay
When billows crash against the battered hull
O tempest, ever strong, steer me away
And let me prevail to live all days full
I must continue on this sacred chase
And feel the winds of change upon my face

Second Place-Kyana Tehrani

Blue Valley High School


Together, we can cultivate a love
Banish all hostility that awaits
Take my hand and I will take you above
And show you what goes beyond those dark straights
Together, my daughter, we shall flourish
I will watch you grow up as I grow old
Consumed by love that time will nourish
I'll make sure your heart never becomes cold
However, Time whipped us and changed routes
Distance between embraces grew apart
Quarrels and tears led to silence and doubts
But never fear, you always have my heart
Old and wise you ask, "Forgive me I have done wrong"
"Darling" I say, "I've loved you all along"

Third Place-Sarani Pachalla

Blue Valley High School


To her genuine mind, she kissed goodbye,
With little hands, she gave up her pure heart,
Wrung out her soul and hung it up to dry,
Voluntarily tore herself apart.
At first, the life seems compelling, and yet
The conversations always feel so stale,
Carbon copies kill the unique, so let
Their eyes speak, insincerity prevails.
And she find solace within emptiness,
Prepared face, anonymity,
But pangs of joy leave her with bitterness,
And longing of a hundred "rather be's."
And now, years later she can clearly see
The hollowness of popularity.

Honorable Mention-Jonathan McHenry

Blue Valley High School

Minding Today

New day, new dawn, a time to start anew
In which, like treasures, many joys do lay;
My mind is fresh just as the morning dew,
But it too 'vaporates, to my dismay.
I soon am overcome by a thick veil
Of things undone, unseen or 'haps foregone;
It weighs down on my head, my mind does ail
Til I doth rest, now waits for morrow dawn
I oft see present as if through a glass,
At other times it seems to be opaque:
If only 'twere translucent as a gas,
I needn't worry that which time doth take.
If only there were more time in an hour
I should dimish waking's vile power.

Honorable Mention-June Somsanith

Lee's Summit North High School


With eyes reflecting misery's deep gorge,
Created by a tactful fool's arrow,
And craters only salty tears can forge,
The moon looks down at earth with deep sorrow.
He sees his love at night when heaven sleeps,
Her sadness drives him to canyon and cliffs,
Creating waves as high as mountain peaks.
His love and pasion for her insists.
A lone angel in darkness, he sees her,
When darkness masks her light, he feels her pull.
But fate keeps them from coming together
Yet time has shown their love will never dull.
They show that love is more than just distance
But love is all about coexistence.

Group III:  Adult

First Place-Linda Greiner

A Tragedy

When Lear becomes a tourist in his realm,
So willingly relinquishing his pow'r,
He leaves two scheming daughters at the helm.
The final heir has NOTHING as her dower.

The lure of pow'r, the change in royal roles,
No Eden here, no loyal peace, all crazed.
The sisters feud, as lust consumes their souls.
The evil mounts as cruelty is praised.

Cordelia's NOTHING cuts with deepest knife.
Beloved child, why can't you speak your thought?
Your bond is strong but father asks for life,
In silence thus your banishment is bought.

The moors heal Lear, a pilgrim seeking peace.
As sanity returns, the storms then cease.

Second Place-Michael Harty


We tread the meadows, and a hundred small
sparks die beneath our boots.  We call ourselves
the apex of creation, over all
that crawl or creep or fly, wear fur or shells-

but where is our superiority?
The myriad lives around us take no note
of all our claims to high authority.
regardless of what scriptures we may quote.

We are no more than furniture to them.
We are one star, they are a galaxy-
surrounding us, within us; ancient when
we first appeared; outliving history.

The meadow grass springs back; the planet turns;
the termites feed on our abandoned barns.

Third Place-Michael Harty

Response to Sonnet 19

When glorious morning yields to afternoon
And thence to evening, should we then be grieved?
If clouds turn gray that seemed to once festoon
The east with strands of gold, are we bereaved?
When dwey blossoms dry, the grounded lark
Goes songless to her forest  retreat,
And shadows lengthen with advancing dark,
Is Nature's face less comely, time less sweet?
I hold the evening equal to the morn-
The shaded colors lovely as the bright,
The new-fledged leaf no finer than the worn,
The flow of sunset fair as dawn's new light-
For fading beauty's beauty nonetheless,
And all the sweeter for its passingness.

Honorable Mention-Linda Greiner


The key to Lear lies in one constant word--
Cordelia's "Nothing" breaks his ancient heart.
The kin, once wise, grew senseless, mad and stirred.
His resignation tore the realm apart.

The moors became a maze, a learning tool.
The storms on earth, the storms in mind, grew worse.
The only sane one, a "nothing"--the Fool--
Has nothing, giving all to break the curse.

The winds, the wrack, the storms, Lear wails,
With nothing left to say to gain, to lose.
He seeks his death with help from Fool and fails.
The rain, the hurt, betrayal dim his views.

So something goes to nothing--then a fall,
And nothing comes from something after all.

Honorable Mention-Jeanne Kent

Shall I Compare You to a Winter's Day?

Shall I compare you to a winter's day?
You're more loathsome and more intemperate:
Rough winds do shake you're daring duds, my Ray,
And winter's lease has all too long a date:
Sometimes to cold the air of heaven whines,
And seldom is his white complextion dimmed;
And every hair from hair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed'
But your eternal winter shall not biodegrade,
Nor find posession of that hair you grow;
Nor shall you brag you pay your MasterCard,
When in eternal fines to time you owe;
So long as women breathe, or gadflies chew,
So long lives this, and this gives strife to you!