Results Are In! Here Are the Winners of the 2023 Poetry Contest

Throughout the month of April, Champion students sent in their poetry for the Charger Ink poetry contest. We received over 40 entries and enjoyed reading every single one of them. There were so many poems our judges wanted to win, but at the end of the day we had to select our top 5, which are named below. To everybody who entered, thank you so much for sharing your work and your talent. Never stop writing — it’ll take you farther than you know.


1st place: Emma Haines

2nd place: Anonymous

3rd place: Kaia Dragomir

4th place: Avarie Rosenthiel

5th place: Julia Simescu

Honorable Mention: Autumn Stevens


First place will receive a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card, and the top 5 entries are published below. All submitted poems will be available to view in the library until the end of the school year.


1st place:

A love letter to those who take up space 

Emma Haines


I am drawn towards people who

take up space.



who tap their fingers when they listen to their favorite song,

don’t laugh at the punchline of unfunny jokes, 

only wear their favorite color, 

cry when their home teams lose, 

talk for hours about obscure hobbies, 

finish their friend’s sentences, 

ask for seconds at dinner, 

sign their names especially complicated, 

crack their knuckles, 

doodle in the margins of their papers, and

smile with gapped teeth and chapped 



It’s obvious why they are magnetic, 


so easy to fall in love with. 

The type of people who take up space 

have eyes that

look at you, 

and I mean really,

look at you. 


People who take up space live so vividly

that you cannot help but 

remember them. 


To every person who takes up space,

and believes they are

too loud, 





just know that 

I remember you. 

I remember you, and you are so vivid.


Keep taking up space. 


2nd place:

Spring Weakness



I always told myself that I hated spring

Because its livelihood was too much.

I said it was too vibrant,

Too passionate and earnest, 

Joyful to the point that it overwhelmed me.


I told myself I was at home
In the cold winter,

When the strong and frigid wind extinguished 

Any brightness that 

Might illuminate my weakness.


Slowly, yet steadily,

I let spring within me.

Fragile blossoms and 

Yellow-green leaves

Crept past the walls I had built.


When I see a flower, joyful and bright, 

Yet easily crushed by the world,

I begin to see myself clearly,

And I know I would rather be happy than strong.


3rd place: 







Kaia Dragomir


April 24, 1967

A shooting star

descends from the morning sky.

But it is not a shooting star at all.

It is a man–

a man in a roaring inferno of fire.


His parachute failed to deploy

as his spacecraft desperately rattled

in that moment, 

he knew it would destroy

and in it 

he would be eternally shackled.


It slammed the earth

in a second, it was over

and that 

was his final closure.


He knew. 


He knew this would happen;

he knew his metal coffin was unfit to fly.


He must have known he was doomed from the beginning

as he went up the ramp

that his charred, unrecognizable remains

would soon be exhibited, 

mangled and ugly

as all of the people cried.


Was he angry?

Was he afraid?

Was he pounding the dashboard and crying in rage?


Are the stories true?

Did he do it to save?

Did he know that his lonely crew of one

would soon be due 

for its final parade?


Whatever he did,

whatever he thought

whether he struggled, screamed, cursed or fought

will never be known






in a sea of messy files 

hidden archives

stiff-shouldered officials 

crying cosmonauts

widowed women

fatherless children

mangled metal

and a lonely crew of one.


4th place:

The Dancing Girl

Avarie Rosenstiel


Through the window lays a child,

dressed in gold,

surrounded by tulips.

planted deep in the soil are trees.

In the wind they frolic and dance,

tickling the walls of the shed.


She wakes to the sweet smell of tulips,

Her eyes the shade of trees,

Her smile pure as gold, 

She tiptoes in the shed,

Listening to the beat while she dance,

Growing are the moves of the child, 


She twirls her hair a haze of gold,

Her laughter as vivid as the color of tulips,

The rhythm growing frantic from the trees,

The shaking of the shed,

The motion of the child,

The most beautiful of dances,


Everyday in the shed, 

She succumbed to this dance,

Motions as smooth as liquid gold,

As beautiful as the tulips,

As natural as the trees

All planted before the child,


Suddenly a man stands in the shed, 

He erupts into his own dance,

Crushes her tulips,

And chops her trees, 

The suns vanishing gold,

As the vibrance fades from the child.


The man leaves just as quick as he stood in the shed,

Abrupted is her dance,

The woman who was just a child,

Tarnished is her gold,

The petals stripped from her tulips,

The stumps crying for they were once trees, 


Tears filling the shed,

Wilted are her tulips,

As she walk instead of dance. 


5th place: 

In a closed system

Julia Simescu


entropy tends to increase or remain the same so that

a cyclic transformation can never use all of the energy it is supplied with.something is always lost as heat or a hushed whisper in an ever-expanding 

room.which okay, so no-one can build a perpetual motion machine 

although there’s 

something lurking under that statement, inspiring an anxiety that grows faster 

than the space between ourselves. 


to put it into perspective:

if you start with a noiseless bang there’s nothing for sound to travel through.everything is in its perfect state of most potential that it will ever be in at least until it starts to grow and change and all of a sudden nothing turns to everything and everything moves without a care for the strong and the weak.

We’ve all the time in the world haven’t we?

before long it’s dark and empty.little pinpoints of light start to shine.they’re not very little at all but seem like it from millions of years away.somehow things are more orderly (not by much) and the points spread like fire.onwards.

we keep going.little rocks start to circle around those little stars and on one in an incredibly ordinary corner of everything there begins a reaction that will change that rock beyond recognition.initially they think they’re the centre of everything and then they start to realise that far more special things are happening everywhere else.and that

We haven’t got all that much time, have we?


when a person is gone then there is not much you can do.time (whatever that may be) separates itself into distinct points of before and can never go back to when they were all there; some feeling is always lost because nothing can remain in true stasis.

this is the same with everything.lights dim and rooms can try to keep a shell burning on fumes but former glory can never be attained.sameness smothers all differences.

it’ll all continue like this for periods that are unimaginably long, longer than a memory or speech or law can hope to live.lonely wanderers are

pushed far from another and ripped from their starry-eyed itself disintegrates and nothing will be as it once was for everything tends towards zero.


continue onwards,

until everything