This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Peace Poetry Contest in Alachua County, hosted by Gainesville Veterans for Peace, where are students, grades K-12, were encouraged to submit one original poem focusing on their interpretation of “peace.” This year, VFP received 300 poems from all grades, and the poems were judged by a panel of community judges and writers. The winners were asked to read at the Peace Poetry Reading at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville on May 4, and their poems are published in the 2019 Peace Poetry Contest Book. We are pleased to include a couple of the winning poems here.
My Life Has Changed Forever
It was a day like any other day,
I tell my parents it’s game night, let’s play!
Then I hear banging on the door,
I grab the game, there’s banging once more.
Dad goes to see who’s there,
He sees it’s something worse than a bear.
He yells, “Run! Run!”
I think I see a gun!
We grab food and sheets,
Definitely less than a feast.
I hear cracking, they’re coming in,
What’s about to begin?!
I’m just a small child,
Did I do something wild?
We get pushed in the truck, all out of order –
I’m going to the border!
There’s no escape.
I must now accept my fate.
Where’s my brother, Trevor?
My life has changed forever.
Diego Frenock, Grade 4, Jordan Glen School
First Place, Grades 3–4
They call it a war on terrorism
But it’s more like a form of hypnotism
Here let me tell you their confession
Straight to the point with no digression
The U.S. says that they eliminate
Yet they’re the ones that cultivate
Have you ever heard of the group ISIS
Well yeah, the U.S. created that crisis
With aid from the news, yes they deceive
To make sure you’re in the dark and naïve
They paint you a picture, a little blurred
And give you false info, completely absurd
They say “their women are oppressed”
Just look at the way they are dressed
However, they don’t tell you they have a say
Look, they wear it for the culture by the way
The Israelis come push them off their land
And then claim that that’s their mainland
The news then attempts to hypnotize
And makes it out that Palestinians terrorize
They say the conflict is a mess
Seems pretty simple nonetheless
The news takes those lies
And make the Muslims the bad guys
Real quick I just remind
I’m not full of hate; I think I’m pretty kind
I really just want this world to integrate
And yes, my title means god is great
Muhannad Farahat, Grade 12, Buchholz High School
First Place, Grade 12