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Earth Day Poetry Contest 2007

This year's Earth Day Poetry Contest received over 400 entries from young writers in grades K-6 from Tucson and beyond. We had first, second, and third place winners, plus several honorable mentions in each grade. (Full list of winners.) Many of the winners came to a reception at the Museum and read their poems for admiring family, friends, teachers, and classmates.

First place winners all received a free membership to the Coati Kid's Club. Usually one overall winner earns a free outreach program for his or her school, but this year the vote was so close that we had one overall winner and a runner up. Both enjoyed a live animal presentation at their school in May. Here are the first place winners' poems!

Grade K*

Owl by Maya Wood
Teachers: Deborah Barca and Martha DePauli, Highland Free School

I see soft feathers.
I hear Whoooo-whooo.
I feel amazed.
I taste quiet.
I smell rain.
I see OWL.

*The contest was for Grades 1-6 but we got entries for Grade K and couldn't resist...

Grade 1

The Arizona Desert by Lindsey Weaver
Teacher: Mrs. Nancy Kayhart, Lineweaver Elementary

The Sonoran Desert, all pretty and dry.
Cactus and plants and the mountains and sky.
Animals, animals, big and small.
Meat eaters, plant eaters, lions and rabbits.
They all live in the desert, the Sonoran Desert.
My favorite desert on Earth.
If it was gone I'd be very sad, if my desert had ever been gone.

Grade 2

Listen by Mary Gillis
Teachers: Kelly Murphy and Dion Griffon, Highland Free School

Howling coyote at night
High on a rocky ledge
What shall I do?
Just listen

Grade 3

Petey McGinnis

The Night Hunter by Petey McGinnis (Runner up Overall Winner)
Teacher: Ms. Greer, St. Cyril

I sleep all day,
No resting at night.
That's the time I take a long flight.

Hidden away quiet as a feather,
I stay in my cactus in all kinds of weather.

Then as nighttime falls I roam the sky
Looking below me as I quietly fly

Until a movement I see in the night
A Kangaroo Rat will make a nice bite

I swoop down without making a sound
And grabbed that rat right off the ground
I eat everything, not leaving a bit
My stomach is full no doubt about it

I head back to my cactus, settle in for the day
I'm a hunter; we owls have no time for play.

Grade 4

A Day in the Desert by Jamie DeConcini
Teacher: Charles Lohr, Manzanita

The gleaming saguaro stands proud and tall
Showing me its fragrant flowers
A colorful cardinal perches on a palo verde tree
Singing her song of sorrow
While the magnificent sun sets in the pink and orange sky
The extraordinary mountains sit like statues

The sparkling river holds secrets of the past
Now is it dark and the hungry bats start the night's forage
While the majestic coyotes howl at the glowing, full moon
When suddenly, a soft wind whispers,
"Arizona is amazing!"
The desert life agrees with me.

Grade 5

Anza Wiedenkeller

Desert Sunset by Anza Wiedenkeller (Overall Winner)
Teachers: Teresa Rodriguez and Patricia Morrison, Highland Free School (overall winner)

Walking up the red mountains for hours
The sun begins to set

I reach for my water and take a big gulp
It feels smooth and wet

Then I smell them, the javelina family
They're going to bed

A little rat scurries in to a bush
It's getting darker

My only light
Is the orange and purple of the sky

I sit on a rock and think,
I never want to leave

The saguaro looks like an octopus,
Eight arms

It's peaceful and quiet,
Sadly, it's time to leave

"Good night," I say as I descend
The now purple mountains

Grade 6:

O, What a Desert This Is by Martha Estrada
Teacher: Shantell Kubat, Avenue B. Elementary

O, what a desert this is,
There are none like ours'
In our desert there are many animals
That are all different,
There are foxes, rabbits, rats, deer, snakes, bats,
O MY!
As I watch the scaley snake hiss on by, I get the
Creepy CRAWLIES!

Then snorting on by just to say HI
A Javelina named Gina with her long, black bristles,
Went on by...
OH NO!
What is that I see in the corner of my eye?
What could it be?
Oh, wait
I know,
RUN LITTLE CREATURES, RUN!
Here comes no fun!
A fully grown bobcat's son
Is on its way!

PHEW!
That was close!
But hey, look there goes a cute Pocket Mouse with a
Furry little friend the Cactus Wren.
Oh No, Oh My!
You'd better bring out that tomato sauce,
Because a Spotted Skunk is about to cross!

What's that I see peeking out of the poison ivy as
Shy as can be, a Desert Kangaroo Rat is peeking out at me.

Man, am I tired from this long day in the
Sonoran Desert
I think we'd better sit down on this rockā€¦
OOPS!
That's not a rock that's a
Porcupine
Wouldn't want to sit on that
Or that will surely hurt A LOT!

Now that the sun is down the
Mexican Freetail bats and the Mastiff Bats
Are out on the prow and ready for a midnight snack!

THE END!