In honor of poetry month, The Big Green asked MSU’s best poets to send us their favorite pieces. We were sent many moving, funny, and inspirational poems but after careful consideration we have selected first and second place winners and several equally talented honorable mentions. Thanks to everyone who submitted their work!

First Place


by Devon Orrin, English Freshman

The beauty of motion likes to dance

through her slumber as

nighttime falls. And if

each sunset brings one

graceful escape, then a dream is

worth watching.

Supper is time for watching

mother practice her dance

among the pots and pans. She is

elegant in her craft, as

she adds each piece, one

by one, part of a whole. If

all flow cohesively, if

no critic is watching,

never will exist one

bad review of mother’s kitchen dance.

She will not fail, as

only she tastes the choreography. It is

beauty in the eye of the beholder. Why is

it necessary to aim to please if

others needn’t see? As

long as the blinds are drawn from the watching,

imperfections may dance,

for they are only judged by one.

She sleeps only one

moment more. Morning is

for new, if

she chooses to dance.

The dreamer rises, watching

her clumsy feet stumble as

She leaves her sanctuary, as

she journeys to motion. One

girl near solitude, only the silence watching

her every move, never judging. Dreaming is

to enhance our daytimes, if

our dreams lead us to dance.

Dance, we will, as

if no one

is even watching.

Second Place

only for a little while

by Christopher Galford, Journalism Sophomore

Those who ever seek to see

will never bring their thoughts to be.

Those who always claim the highest peak

but never give their lives to seek,

will never live beyond the meek.

Those who always strain to hear

but never lend an open ear,

will disappear, unable to persevere.

Those who swim within a sea of dreams

but never bathe within reality’s streams,

will never feel the sunlight’s beams.

Those who will forever wait

and always fear a change of state,

will always bear eternal weight.

Those who always wear a thorny crown,

but never seek to break the frown,

will drown, in their own renown.

And those who always smile, never life beguile,

will be happy, if only for a little while.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

In Tandem

by Kelsey Turek, English Junior

Gliding on pavement,

one wind cheering me on,

the other hating my freedom.

Faster, I ran,

just to prove them all wrong.

I was strong and untouchable,

running away from he said, she said,

running to God knows where,

running harder with each predictable chorus,

running in tandem with the beat of my heart,

only confident in this one thing.

It’s been a long day.

The sun forgot to rise

and my room shook because the heat didn’t turn on;

I stood in the mood-shattering cold as cars passed,

one by one,

two by two,

busy bus by busy bus,

faster and faster

while I lingered in slow-motion.

So I ran.

I was safe

somewhere between being caught in a crowd and walking alone on a beach,

a trip into a world of my own,

outside where my thoughts could mix amongst others,

impossible to trace back to me.


More graceful than a thump.


More complicated than just a breeze.

No speaking aloud,

there was no room to breathe;

no speaking aloud,

it would ruin the moment I cherished like a vivid dream;

no speaking aloud,

I hated drawing attention to myself;

no speaking aloud,

I wanted to hear God talk to me.

Just running in tandem with the beat of my heart,

no speaking,

faster and faster,

until I lost it,

and left it somewhere on the pavement behind me.

After The War There Will Be Beetles

by Julie Eckstein, English Senior

Knowing our love crunches makes me think

it is delicate, like the fragile skeleton

of beetles.

We dodge curiosity,

the fear of being crushed in hands

or stomped underfoot.

Some people bend like butterflies,

folding and unfolding all their colors—

but we’ve never been that flamboyant.

No, we’ve never liked flowers or spring,

or the threat of being captured by a child

and held captive in a glass jar.

We crunch in the darkest corners,

hiding from the constant threat

of exterminators.

Squirrel Attack

By Jeff Beck,English Junior

Swirling terror

Bushy tailed devil

I about face, to no avail

The assault reverses in time



By Devon Orrin, English Freshman

It itches.

And I don’t know where I got it.

Perhaps the hot tub.

But that just makes me feel worse.

Who knows what takes place in stagnant foam?

I’m taking you in.

For what, a rash?

It could be contagious.

To what, my pants?

I don’t intend on trading my trousers

To spread my scratch.

I’m no Ann Brashares.

This doesn’t look good.

Seven years of medical school,

And I’ve got Dr. Nancy Drew.

Ever had the chicken pox?

Yes, but they didn’t all congregate to form a book club on my ass.

But no itchy teenager gives that much sass to the doc.

Ointment over wit.

Where could we have gotten this?

Nice use of a pronoun.

I don’t see her scratching.

Where could we have gotten this, young lady?

Farmer Jack. In the unpleasant possibilities aisle. Next to health foods.

The contrast is night and day.

She glances at my medical file and is glad to see that I don’t have a fever.

You were here a week ago. How is your asthma?

It cleared up with the steroids, like always.

Alcoholics call it a moment of clarity.

I see ointment in her eyes.


Low immunity.


Great. Would you like fries with that?

Under my Skin

by Ken Jackson, English Senior

Beneath my skin

There’s nothing much

More than a history

Of Nostalgia for

The times when

We lived Simply

Not frittering our

Lives away with

Every detail.

Beneath my skin

There’s something present

Like the Vitality

Some of us get

From braving new

Territory, then reaching

Those new horizons,

With every breath

We might conceive.

Beneath my skin

Is my -Skein

Soaked in black

Ink of Black

Magick and Market

Trades just for

That extra push

In my quest for


Beneath my skin

Is a highway

Of innocent veins

Forged in the

Image of Lightning

And Tree branches,

Pumping blood

Processing fury

Into unbridled Strength.

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