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April Poems 2014

This year the 2014 MLC Library, April Poetry Contest had 23 entries. We would like to thank the student body for their participation and sharing their thoughts and ideas through poetry. Awards this year were given to four individuals. Two entries tied for first place, one placed second and one for third. Results are listed below. Enjoy!

Poetry Contest 2014 Entries


Hello Bunny and Goodbye The Light in Darkness Sweet Spot: The Center of My Racquet Kiddie Lit
Ode to the King of the Library Untitled The Shelves Call Cut Short
Demons Reference Section Heaven is My Home Lost
On Looking Behind Where God Meet the Sky Welcome Back You Would Carry Me
Letter from Home The Father's Love We are busy The Silent Songbird
A Girl and Her Saturn Disquiet Late Night



1) Hello Bunny and Goodbye by Wolf Parsons

Poem Type: Free Verse

Did you see him?
Where'd he go?
Here he comes,
And there he goes.

Turning right.
Now turning left.
Here he comes,
Straight ahead.

He's so fast,
He's hard to see.
Here he comes,
Right at me.

He turns aside
Just in time.
Here he comes
Another time.

Now there he goes.
It's the end of the day.
"Here he comes,"
I cannot say.

Original writing courtesy of Wolf Parsons. Copyright © 2014 Wolf Parsons. All rights reserved. 

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2) The Light in Darkness by Wolf Parsons

Poem Type: Free Verse

There is a light inside of me.
I cannot see it, but I know it's there,
Not by my choice, but I would choose no other way.

How do I know it's there if I cannot see it?
I cannot see it, but it can be seen in me,
In my life and in the actions I take.

It is the light of God, placed in my heart
By the Holy Spirit so I may believe
In the works of Christ, his Son, my Savior.

He came to live his perfect life to be a perfect sacrifice.
Jesus paid my debt because I cannot,
The debt for the sin found in us all.

Due to the sin throughout the world,
There is an unnatural darkness pulling at me,
Its hand so heavy as it pulls at my heart.

When the darkness is heavy, it weighs on the light
Until the light seems all but gone.
Only a flicker of my faith remains.

But even this small sliver of faith is strong,
Strong enough to hold back the darkness,
Strong enough to push the darkness back.

Through God's word alone,
This little spark fans back into a raging flame,
Until the light again bursts forth in all I am.

My faith is so powerful.
Whether it be a spark or a raging flame,
It is strong enough to save me from my sin.

I can do nothing to create or sustain this light.
My faith flows forth from God alone.
It grows in me through the power of his Holy Word.

Through this amazing gift of faith,
I know and trust his saving grace.
I am not lost in the darkness of sin because . . .

There is a light inside of me.

Original writing courtesy of Wolf Parsons. Copyright © 2014 Wolf Parsons. All rights reserved.  

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3) Disquiet by Emily Renner

Poem Type: Lyric

The silence when friends are no longer so near
is raising in front of me all of my fears,
the changes and chances that trouble me here
the snow-covered world pressing in on my ears.
Night-shrouded clarity opens my eyes,
wearing no vile or haughty disguise.
Though my heart tries to soothe with familiar sights,
no peace will be mine on this night.

Original writing courtesy of Emily Renner. Copyright © 2014 Emily Renner. All rights reserved.


4) Call Cut Short by Emily Renner

Poem Type: Haiku

dah-di-di-dit di-di-di-

 Original writing courtesy of Emily Renner. Copyright © 2014 Emily Renner. All rights reserved.

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5) Sweet Spot: The Center of My Racquet Holly Marquardt

Poem Type: Lyric

Tong, ting.
Pah! Twah?
Squeak, squeak--thhhh...WAOHP!

I have discovered that special place
In the heart of my racquet
Where waits the graceful dancer.

I pirouette to put-away the high hits,
And courteously curtsy
To slice the ball into the corner.

Every serve that I make is an ace
And the team paparazzi
Vicariously gasps to the smashes.

The tennis sonatina my racquet emits
Hums the music of my tactic
Whispering, “Love the game, win the matches.”

Original writing courtesy of Holly Marquardt. Copyright © 2014 Holly Marquardt. All rights reserved.  

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6) On Looking Behind Holly Marquardt

Poem Type: Lyric

Ahead of you, in class, your friend’s whole back
Is twisted ’round to share an inside joke.
His eyes are wide as saucers, shiny, black.
A Cheshire cat, an easy-grinning bloke.
You think of other times that you have seen
The twisted profile, naughty glance of nice,
A sneaky side-look knowing what we mean
While teachers throw us mighty stares of ice.
But oft as turning heads look back to smile,
The one you’d like to meet is ’cross the aisle.

 Original writing courtesy of Holly Marquardt. Copyright © 2014 Holly Marquardt. All rights reserved. 

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7) Welcome Back by Kayla Schoeneck

Poem Type: Limerick

I drove up the hill on this morn

After driving through fields of ripe corn.

It had been ten hours of driving,

Thank goodness I was arriving,

Herman on his perch looked forlorn.

My friends were waiting for me,

After the summer they wanted to see,

The ring on my finger,

So the boys didn’t linger,

I hurried and got my room key.

The sidewalks were full of loud cheers,

And freshman quaking with fears,

Freshman please don’t be nervous,

We’ll see you at opening service.

We welcome the new students here!

MLC, it’s good to be back.

There is, just nothing you lack!

For my faith here has grown,

And a seed you have sown,

And your mission hits home with a whack!

Original writing courtesy of Kayla Schoeneck. Copyright © 2014 Kayla Schoeneck. All rights reserved. 

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8) Kiddie Lit by Amanda Seiltz

Poem Type: Free Verse

Through the doors, up the stairs,
and just around the bend,
there is a place for millionaires,
it has become my friend.

Large and small they all stand tall,
their knowledge overwhelms me.
From the stacks I hear their call
a ringing desperate plea.

Through the stacks there nothing lacks,
even their variety,
I read their backs through the cracks,
only to be filled with anxiety.

Too many choices ring out like voices,
A chorus of language and text.
The voices become choices,
and I don’t know which to choose next.

Original writing courtesy of Amanda Seiltz. Copyright © 2014 Amanda Seiltz. All rights reserved. 

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9) Late Night by Amanda Seiltz

Poem Type: Free Verse

Classic rock plays in the background,
white noise to the inaudible conversations.
Slouched and crouched in an uncomfortably hard wooden chair,
the back sticks into my spin.
The taste of cool chocolate milk soothes my throat.
A friend devours heavy chunky peanut butter
spread on a warm cinnamon raisin bagel,
creamier with every bite.
They are serving hot dogs and stale pizza,
with nasty chicken salad that no one eats,
just sent back an untouched.
My roommate joins, her orange, floats citrus through my nostrils.
A loud talker shouts behind me, easily eavesdropped upon.
The vacuum cleaner vrooms silently under the music.
Clink, clink, clink of stacking cups,
A girl just doing her job.
As the time ticks on so the students gather more and more.

 Original writing courtesy of Amanda Seiltz. Copyright © 2014 Amanda Seiltz. All rights reserved. 

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10) Untitled by Ruth Nitz

Poem Type: Free Verse

I don't like cigarettes,
But I like smoking.
I don't like being alone,
But I like being strong.
And I don't write it for you;
Strong, Strong, Strong.
Standing in night wind,
Writing in the dark,
Where I can't see the words.

 Original writing courtesy of Ruth Nitz. Copyright © 2014 Ruth Nitz. All rights reserved. 


11) The Shelves by Rebecca Rehberger

Poem Type: Free Verse

Someone once said that stories are light.
And as I walk among the library’s shelves
mostly old and musty-smelling,
mingled with a few new starch-scented spines
and catch a whiff of coffee
I hear the ventilator, printer, computer hum
and others softly talking
and the gentle rustle of paper.
I feel energy crackle and seep out of the books' straight spines,
each title promising something new.
Many lights for seeing the truth,
many lights for keeping oneself from running aground.
Hundreds of publishers, thousands of hands,
tens of thousands of bindings, millions of words
typed and scratched and giving shape to ideas on a page.
Each book like a clockwork grenade
wound tightly, bit by bit, word by word
each waiting to fall into the right hands
and explode.

 Original writing courtesy of Rebecca Rehberger. Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Rehberger. All rights reserved. 

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12) A Girl and Her Saturn by Rebecca Rehberger

Poem Type: Free Verse

They told me that my car
had a loose steer and a dented wheel,
which gave the impression
of a constant flailing to the right,
as if the tire treads and the mighty machines
throbbing underneath
would suddenly give out
and go astray.
It seems as though we were a match made in heaven,
kindred spirits, alike to each other:
always straining towards the finish
--uncertain, restless, wondering
if the thundering within us
is a warning of trouble to come--
with still a long way to go,
fluids sluggishly thudding through our veins
but still doggedly following the track
laid out for the both of us.
Arms out, we train ourselves to scan the horizon,
for we'll see to it
that nothing we encounter will be harmed,
and we'll carry on as best as we can.

 Original writing courtesy of Rebecca Rehberger. Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Rehberger. All rights reserved. 

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13) Reference Section by Haley Roske

Poem Type: Free Verse

Your fingertips brush a broken spine
that screams, “I am loved”
and lets its pages part at your touch.
Hands of students have mauled it,
caressed it, and whispered its own words
back into its face.

You’ve often heard it wondered
how people can sit in those chairs
for two, three, five hours at a time,
or lock themselves in dimly lit cubicles
with nothing but a VCR for company.

Some might call it a purgatory period,
but you know now it is not,
not at all.
A resting place for weary minds,
seeking refuge
in the far off lands of books.

The scent of lignin and silence mix
to form a perfume, a Siren song,
calling you back night after night
until you aren’t sure how you lived
outside the company of books
and their scholars.

 Original writing courtesy of Haley Roske. Copyright © 2014 Haley Roske. All rights reserved. 

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14) Ode to the King of the Library by Tom Gorzalski

Poem Type: Free Verse

Behold! A magnificent library,
Nestled on top of the highest hill in New Ulm,
the precious gem of Martin Luther College,
where students research and learn.

For decades the old king reigned over his dominion.
His throne was a stack of books,
His scepter: a library card,
and grey hair was his elegant crown.

The librarians labored for him like dedicated peasants;
but the king oversaw their mission:
To help the next generation of pastors and teachers succeed,
Supply them with every book they will need.

Alas! now is the time for the king to step down,
turning the page to his next chapter in life.
For all of the memories we cherish and look back.
Thank you for your service, David Gosdeck.

 Original writing courtesy of Tom Gorzalski. Copyright © 2014 Tom Gorzalski. All rights reserved. 

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15) Where God Meet the Sky by Michael J. Koester

Poem Type: Free Verse

My head tilts back;

The pillow behind me is like

A brick of ice - cold and hard as

The ground beneath me. My eyes travel up

The tower of a chapel behind me.

The cupola seems to float into the sky, like an

Iceberg melting into a

Dark, frozen ocean. Then as my

Eyes begin to blur, one by one

The stars turn on. A shadow slowly shrouds

A once bright white moon - now red.

Passages of awe and wonder flood to

My mind as I stare up at

God’s canvas - now stained with

Shades of crimson. I look up once more to

The top of the chapel, now invisible in

The midnight expanse. As my prayers float up to

Heaven, I try to spot where

The steeple ends and the stars begin;

Where God meets the sky.

 Original writing courtesy of Michael J. Koester. Copyright © 2014 Michael J. Koester. All rights reserved. 

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16) You Would Carry Me by Brooke King

Poem Type: Free Verse

cradled in your darkened womb
lulled to sleep, your voice the tune
motionless and docile then
yet moving with your every bend
you would carry me

lying still, in the dark
till morn would come, I’d wake you up
feeding, changing, loving more
fragile, motionless on the floor
you would carry me

in the faded day I’d play
at the park in June or May
until the car ride home I’d fall
asleep, I still recall when
you would carry me

it’s evening now, though I am here
I still know that you’re as near
as any of my voiced requests
when I know I've tried my best
you will carry me

Original writing courtesy of Brooke King. Copyright © 2014 Brooke King. All rights reserved. 

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17) Demons by Brooke King

Poem Type: Free Verse

I need you now more than ever as my demons linger near
the familiar smell of recognition, that smell that death is near
recounting all those moments I sat upon his legs
shaken now and barely breathing, my soul for you it begs
take away these memories that haunt me in the day
the dread they bring, the pain it stings, they just won’t go away
wipe the tears that satiate each demonic tongue
take away their salty surplus and dry up every one

Hear me when I cry to you, do not turn your ear
bend down your gracious arm to me and pull me ever nearer
nestle me in your chest, a mere human in the dregs
curl me up in your arms, nestled like an egg
soothe me with your promises that you’ll forever stay
listen gingerly to me and answer when I pray
a second chance for life renewed, love on the horizon
let this be the moment when my life has just begun

In you my heart will not tremble, no longer does it fear
precious in your hands I am, one most treasured, dear
on firm ground you gently place me, stronger on my own
knowing with each step I take your hand will guide me on
keep me close by your side, along the narrow way
with you here beside me on this path, I will never stray
seeing only the light, the way, the truth, the Son
freely I can enjoy the grace because of what he’s done

So keep my focus on the horizon, never looking back
silence all my daunting demons, send them where you lack
loosen their unforgiving grip, their voices, on they groan
picking at my fragile heart, unthreading what’s been sewn
Nevermore will they linger while you are by my side
No, in fear they will surely tremble, despising you, they’ll hide
Keeping me in your comfort, an unmerited love and grace
Lord how blessed I surely am to linger in your embrace

 Original writing courtesy of Brooke King. Copyright © 2014 Brooke King. All rights reserved. 

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18) Heaven is My Home by Katie Schultz

Poem Type: Acrostic

How we remember that joyful day.
Everyone was filled with sadness,
Although gladness was there. We were
Very sad to see you go, but
Even your youngest grandchildren knew,
Now you are with the Lord.

I always remember that April day,
So many yellow roses on your casket.

Must have only been two months later,
Your husband joined you and the Lord.

How many things different now than two years ago!
Oma and Opa, I can’t wait to see you again in
My home, your home,
Eternal life, in heaven.

 Original writing courtesy of Katie Schultz. Copyright © 2014 Katie Schultz. All rights reserved. 

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19) Lost by Caleb Birsching

Poem Type: Free Verse

One little word,
One big meaning,
One thousand emotions,
One word to make a customary camping trip into anything but.
Not me.
Not an expensive item.
Much worse.
I can fend for myself, items can be replaced,
This cannot be either;
Five-year-old brothers are not that easy to come by.
Anxious mother asking us where he is.
Anxious brothers saying he went back with them.
Joy of football victory vanishes
Like my brother,
Gut feeling of sinking
Like a stone
Cast callously into the depths of the sea,
Plummeting until it is swallowed by the mud of the ocean floor.
No such rest afforded me.
Sinking hopes replaced by rising panic;
A tide of terror taking over
And we scatter like pale dandelion seeds on a windy day.
I head around the loop, steps steadily quickening
To match my beating heart.
Tears flow down my face.
I cannot tell which is fastest--steps, heart, or tears.
I see my oldest brother approach, red hair bobbing in time with his lope
“They found him, they found him!”
Tears of grief turn to tears of relief.
Turning, he ignores my tears and jogs back to camp
Leaving me to glide on air back alone.

 Original writing courtesy of Caleb Birsching. Copyright © 2014 Caleb Birsching. All rights reserved. 

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20) Letter from Home by Caleb Birsching

Poem Type: Free Verse

It’s a letter from home.
It’s for you.

My dearest child,

I have heard that you feel mediocre.
You feel you never have experienced success.
But what about your blue ribbons,
Your banners, and your trophies?
You are sad that you did not make the play
But ignore that you were the lead in the last play you did.
You say that you are indistinguishable
But I tell you the Truth,
I know you completely.
“Even the hairs on your head are numbered”
You claim you have no cause for shame
But the very fact that you so easily
Dismiss the past blessings
I have lavished on you
Is cause for shame.
You claim you have never failed
But I see you fail every day.
You continue to revel in impure things
Gratifying your disgusting sinful desire.
You are not respectable as you claim
But terrible, and you never change.
Yet you say you are never embarrassed
When any respectable soul would cringe
At the flaws I see in you.
You deserve shame, Everlasting Shame
In Hell encompassed in Eternal Flame.


“Fear not,
I have redeemed you,
I have called you by name;
You are mine.”
That is right, I have called you
Who thinks no one could remember your name.
Indeed, I have written your name in the Book of Life,
Written it in My own blood
Which I gladly shed for you
That you might not perish in Hell
But have eternal life at my side in Heaven
Where “I am going to prepare a place for You,”
Yes You, personally,
For you are My child and heir of salvation
Through faith in Christ Jesus,
Which I have given at no cost to you.

It is true I have not given you the talents in the measure you would like,
But know that I have my reasons
It was not done out of malice or spite
Or so I could get some awful kind of delight,
It was merely a part of my divine plan.
You will just have to trust me on this one,
“’For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the LORD,
‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Plans to give you hope and a future.’”

I have loved you with an Everlasting Love,

Your Heavenly Father

 Original writing courtesy of Caleb Birsching. Copyright © 2014 Caleb Birsching. All rights reserved. 

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21) The Silent Songbird by Michael J. Koester

Poem Type: Free Verse

The finch and linnet share a branch alone
But locked away there sits a bird forlorn
The songbird sings a dirge of lonesome tone
And from his cage of woe we hear him mourn:
“O Nightingale come fly, fly back to me
Back to your post; your sacred, secret place
Your perch within my heart will always be
Still waiting here while on the sill I pace
I see the park where seeds would drop in fall
A place of memory for me and you
The tree with boughs that used to stretch so tall
A resting place for crows and blackbirds too
They sing sweet songs of home where you should be
O Nightingale come fly, fly back to me.”

 Original writing courtesy of Michael J. Koester. Copyright © 2014 Michael J. Koester. All rights reserved. 

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22) The Father's Love by Leah Northrop

Poem Type: Lyric

The Old Testament once foretold to us,
Christ Jesus would be born of a virgin.
In a lowly manger, he made no fuss,
This King of Kings born without any sin.

He drove out demons and raised up the dead,
The Son of God’s great power was made known.
He wept and by the Devil was tempted,
Christ, also man, lived perfect to atone.

Christ Jesus redeemed us with his power,
Weighed down by our sins while hung on a tree.
Gave all forgiveness in his last hour,
“It is finished,” was his final decree.

Through faith in Christ, heav’n is our home above,
This is how God the Father showed his Love.

Original writing courtesy of Leah Northrop. Copyright © 2014 Leah Northrop. All rights reserved.   

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23) We are busy by Deyi Shi

Poem Type: Free Verse

We are busy.
Too busy to even notice the sunrise and sunset.
Days and nights, being busy becomes who we are.
We are busy.
Too busy to spend time with our loved ones.
Days and nights, checking Facebook turns into our only social life.
We are busy.
Too busy to go search for the soul mate of our life.
Days and nights, finding one night-stand becomes our last resort for love.

Saying you are busy is an excuse.
It is a shortcut for life that we take for granted to make everything easier.
Saying you are busy is an escape.
It is a defense that we use to justify our fear of working toward changing and improving.
Saying you are busy is a hallucinogen.
It is a disguise that we put on to pretend that our life is rich and colorful.
Saying you are busy is a mirage.
It is a lie that we tell ourselves every day that we are important and valuable to this world.
We are as busy as the hamster on a wheel, no matter how fast or how long we run, we never reach the end, not even until our last breath.
In the end, we have ignored and forgotten many, many things by simply being too busy.

Original writing courtesy of Deyi Shi. Copyright © 2014 Deyi Shi. All rights reserved.  

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 The End