2014 Senior Poetry Contest

Recognizing Outstanding Senior Poets

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The Berks Encore Senior Poetry Contest was initiated in 2000 by world traveler and poet Harold “Bill” DeLong. A poet himself, Harold began the contest on his 80th birthday in an effort to share his love of poetry with Berks County older adults. Unfortunately Harold passed away at his home in New York City in the spring of 2011. Since Harold’s death, his friend Andrey Aleksandrov has continued providing the funding for the contest prizes in Harold’s memory.

2014 Poetry Contest WinnersIMG_2269

The following are the winning poems from this year’s contest.  Congratulations to all the winners as well as to all those who entered the contest:

First Place:  Another Year…. by Jack Holcomb, Reading

Second Place:  October Rose by Diane Buchanan, Blandon

Third Place:  The Storm by Barbara Lombardo, Douglassville

Another Year by Jack Holcomb

There are ten hours left in the year

And I find myself wondering where the time went…

The years go so quickly and I lose track of yesterday

And wonder who controls life’s time clock.


Poets and philosophers wonder with words and thought

While I search to find the abstract reasons of time…

Aches and pains directed by an old wall clock

Reminding me of my many years…


Memories of champagne toasts and warm kisses

Dance in my aging brain as I dream…

Awakened by a boisterous neighbor with fireworks…

Happy New Year!!

October Rose by Diane Buchanan, Blandon

The days fade sooner into dark

and the slant of sun slips lower as summer wanes and autumn comes.

October brings a brief reprieve from fear of winter’s longest night.

My fairest rose adorns my beds in muted yellow, edged in pink.

And then I see one lovely bud pointing heavenward in late day’s sun.

How will it fare? Doesn’t it know?

The blasts of winter cannot be far.

I try to make some sense of it, not sure if it is brave or foolhardy,

and I doubt I’ll ever see full bloom.

Surely an early frost will seal its doom.

Don’t you know the bitterest winds come soon?

You don’t need to blossom wide-just stay inside your secret room.

No one would fault you for playing safe –!

Why unveil your beauty in autumn’s wake only to risk such loss, such pain?

My words seem so wise,

but in the silence of that October day a single rose spoke.

And without a word, I heard the truth.

The Storm by Barbara Lombardo, Douglassville

Dark clouds consume the horizon like a tidal wave crashing towards shore.

Distant thunder alerts all to the inevitable.

A fresh wind blows the heavily laden billows across the sky,

blocking out the warming rays of the sun.

Streaks of lightening threaten to shred the sky and dampness enshrouds me,

yet I cannot move, I am mesmerized.

Aware of the increasing roar of the wind thru the yielding trees,

my soul becomes the lightning, my passion becomes the wind

and my anger becomes the thunder.  I am awed.

As the first raindrops fall, I welcome them with open arms.

They cleanse me and they excite me.

The thunder grows louder, the lightning streaks faster and the rain hits harder.

Hard upon my upturned face, matting my hair to my head,

soaking my clothes until they cling to me for warmth.

Unafraid of danger in the face of nature’s fury, I am free.


Watch and read coverage of the 2014 Senior Poetry contest on WFMZ!