Yetti Frenkel’s Art Class @ Swampscott Library

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Darren Goldman’s Art Class @ Swampscott Library

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Poems from 2011 Lee Golomb Cadiff Teen Poetry Contest



Swampscott Middle School
Grade 8

Blazing Hope

Remember the gemstone sunset.

The sky was made of fire,

The autumn leaves matched the blazing sun.

I stopped, and stared, and barely noticed

The train screeching to a halt


But I do see it, and so I get on.

And I don’t look away

From the fading sky

Even when the fire dies

And turns into cold, black ashes.

The countryside rushes by and

Staring out the window, I

See the night sky.

But the memory of the shimmering clouds –

It doesn’t fade. And

It – the beauty, the hope it gave –

Never will.


Swampscott Middle School
Grade 8

Just Because………………

Just because I’m Black
I’m not going to the N.B.A.
I’m not from the Ghetto
Just because I’m Black
I’m not dumb
I’m not in a gang
I’m not carrying a weapon
Just because I’m Black
I know I’m not an ignorant person
I can’t always be perfect in everything
I’m not a troublemaker
Just because I’m Black let me be me…


Swampscott High School
Grade 10


Waiting for people is a pain.
Not only are you wasting
Precious moments of your life
Doing nothing
But there is the whole
Embarrassment thing.
You have to pretend that
You are doing something.
You can never just do nothing.
You have to call someone,
Or pretend to.
Or bring a book to read
Or be me and write
Poetry about it.
Why is everything being judged
By other people?
Why do we live in a world
Where we cannot even
Wait for someone?
But then again,
Everyone else is too busy
Looking for something to do
To judge me.

Olivia Forman THIRD PRIZE

Swampscott Middle School
Grade 8

Carnival Games

Life is like a carnival

Like a rollercoaster, it has its ups and its downs

Like a Ferris wheel, always moving

When you’re at the bottom, your sight is blocked

But when you’re at the top, make sure to enjoy the view

Like cotton candy, it is sweet and sticky

It’s always more fun to get messy

You want to eat it fast, but it is best to slow down and enjoy it

Like a carnival game, life is challenging and fun

You are always in it to win it

But if you lose, don’t worry, there is always another chance to try again

When you do win, reward yourself with a prize from the top shelf

Like a carousel, life goes round and round

It doesn’t matter which animal you choose, they all take you to the same place

So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride

Though carnivals, like life, will eventually come to an end

It is the ride that counts

The ups and the downs

The sticky and the sweet

The winning and the losing

Life is like a carnival

Elise Friedman DONOR PRIZE

Shore Country Day School
Grade 8

Hidden Beauty

to lie on the grass
to look to your side
and see each individual blade of grass
lean into the cool summer breeze

to look up at the sky
peaceful, blue, and endless
and see three birds of color
graze clouds of powdered complexity

to close your eyes
and focus on sound
of the tree whispering a song
that’s impossible to hear

to stand up from the ground
and abandon the beauty
of nature’s greatest gift
that we will never know


Swampscott High School
Grade 12

On The Streets

He carries his worldly possessions in a brown plastic bag
Bruised, fragile hands rest at his side
He is vulnerable and weak
His eyes stare with envy as he approaches us
What is that in his pocket?
Not a penny, not a dime
Clearly he is more complex than the average man
Why is it that we fear the unusual?
Immediately we seek protection
As if shattered glass were falling from the sky
Look Away! Hide! Run!
Remember first impressions are important
But do not let this man fool you
Underneath his face of filth is an untainted heart
We believe to be face to face with demons
But who are the real monsters in this world?
Assumption leads to corruption
And in fact it is your own pocket that is empty

Thomas McEnaney FIRST PRIZE
Swampscott High School
Grade 10


Each knot tied
wrinkles and ages the face
of a rope worn smooth
from passing through the hands of you and I.

Each slipknot I pull through
weakens the twists in your story,
because these knots are little more than child’s play,
and children have no place among this rigging.

What is frayed and tangled,
this salty air will only weaken in due time.
And when the strings unravel,
face the shame for knots you can’t untie.

Though the salt air blew upon my rope as well,
no harm can come from knots that I’ve untied.
Will you have the strength to face yourself,
when all that you have left is knotted ropes?

Joseph Medoff SECOND PRIZE

Swampscott High School
Grade 11

Forever Endeavor

Excuse me
Pardon me
Hey, you.
No, not you.
Yeah, you.
Don’t see me like this.
You’ve got to understand
I’m not this
Well, I AM this
But I could be that.
Actually, I’m that a lot.
Just not when your around.
I don’t know why.
I think you pay attention to this
More than you pay attention to that.
I don’t blame you for hating this
I hate this.
I don’t know anyone who likes this.
I think you’ll like that.
See me when I’m that
And not this.
I want you to see that because I think
You’ll want to be around that.
And that wants to be around you.
That’s that.

Paulina Perlin THIRD PRIZE

Swampscott High School
Grade 11

The End

Dusk collapsed on a balmy summer day,
inaugurating night with a swell of violet clouds.
He sat beside me.

Cigarette smoke coiled through the heavy air,
and sank into the cracked maple floorboards,
sailing the purple skyline, then gone forever.

His fur stroked my ankle’s curve as he stood.
My eyes flicked in his direction, but looked away.
The last wisps of light rolled under the black trees,
and I turned to watch their stark silhouettes.

he disappeared into the smoky night.

August Solone SECOND PRIZE

Swampscott Middle School
Grade 8

Past to Present

Sitting on my parents lap listening to a story

Sitting in my room consumed with my Ipod

Looking up to my parents

Looking down to read my unopened text message

Holding my parents hands while we take a walk

Holding my head down to not be seen together

Laughing at every word they say

Arguing about every word they say

Taking all their advice

Ignoring their advice

The past is very different than the present today

We have drifted apart

Sometimes I forget that they were the people

Who raised me, loved me, and taught me to be the best person I can be today

And yet I decide to keep pushing away

Why I do…I will never know

Alexandra Vogel FIRST PRIZE
Swampscott Middle School
Grade 7

Picture of a Family

The photo is still and silent.
There is no movement at all,
but the memories are still there.

I close my eyes
and remember the warm glow
of the sun,
the soft gentle touch of the sand,
the delicious, but sticky ice cream.

I can still hear the waves crashing
behind us and the cheers
and laughs of my family.

I can still smell the salty air of the
ocean and my dad’s special cologne
as I hug him.

I can still feel the sweaty hand of my cousin
as we play Red Rover
and the warm feeling inside me,
from knowing I have a family
that loves me. I open my eyes.

I look down and see
a picture.
How can I remember all this from a photo?


Swampscott High School
Grade 9

Pretty Words

I’m sorry but
No pretty words
Will issue from my lips
I have no pretty words
No jokes or clever quips

No graceful words
To write across
The folded yellow page
No pretty words
To express
One’s sorrow, love or rage

But if I did my dear- they’d be
Lovely words
Handsome words
So soft and yet
So clear


Swampscott Middle School
Grade 7

At Peace

With the sun on my back,
And the sand between my toes,
I let the waves crawl across my feet.
I feel alone and at peace.

Sitting outside absorbing everything,
My eyes drift across each page, slowly,
Taking in the brilliant words.
I feel relaxed and at peace.

Making friends that will last a lifetime,
Spending day after day with them.
My house or your house? How about the mall?
I feel loved and at peace.

Friday night is movie night,
Or at least at my house it is,
Snuggled close between my mom and dad.
I feel cherished and at peace.

With the wind in my hair,
And the sand crunching under my wheels
I bike across the beach.
I feel free and at peace.

Alexander (Shurik) Zavriyev HONORABLE MENTION

Swampscott Middle School
Grade 8

Battle with air

“Hey you!” yelled the air,
in fact the air was quite bare,
as it started talking to me when I ruffled my hair.
“Don’t push me around,” said the air with delight
“Or I’ll push back at you with all my might!”
And so to satisfy curiosity of a curious boy,
I swung at the air with my brand new toy.
Whoosh! A gust of air hit me from the east.
The gust must be flying eight-hundred miles per hour at least!
I was swished from my breakfast into the shower,
Because of the powerful eight-hundred miles an hour.
There the air made me stay almost all day,
I was forced into hot water to my great dismay.
It made me stay there three hours tops,
I had to stay there till the sores in my neck muscles stopped.
So if the attendance marks me late today, no fair,
For on my way to school, I had a ferocious battle with air!
All because I tiredly ruffled my hair!

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