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
WITH ONE SWEEPING MOTION
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.
Thump.
More graceful than a thump.
Whoosh.
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
Helpless

SCRATCH
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.
Steroids.
Low immunity.
Shingles.
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
Enlightenment.

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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