2017 AstroPoetry Winners - Young Adult Category

Jun 16
Congratulations Entrants

First Prize
Elsa Neuman, Dunedin, New Zealand

The Morepork's mournful lament
Fluttered eerily across the still night
Rising and falling in time with the sigh
Of the earth's sleeping breath

Mountains loomed in the dark
Rough shoulders clad in stone Snow coating somber heads
Cloaked in ancient forest

The moon shone like a coin
Caressing the alps
With her soft touch
That cast silver shadows

Minute stars framed her face
Hopeful pinpricks wavering
In the cold mountain air
Scattered like sand in the black

The tussock whispered in silence
To the clouds that veiled the night
Who murmured to the stars of the girl
That sat and fell in love with the midnight sky.


Second Place
Muychheng Oeng, Dunedin, New Zealand

My Moon

I expected you to be soft, tender;
You turned out to be covered
with craters and lava flows,
dead volcanoes.

You are rough and ruthless
abandoning me in the blankness
feeding upon my light,
while I'm swallowed by your darkness.

You are in synchronous rotation
always showing the same proportion.
Your gravitational influence produces tides
that drop me from a high altitude.

Once in a while we are in conjunction
They name us the solar eclipse
Attacking people when they least unpredicted
Baby, we are a beautiful tragedy.

You have a side of you.
So dark even I couldn't shine on it;
So cold even I couldn't burn it.
What intellect conceives such artistry?


Third Place
Manit Singh, Delhi/NCR, India

I often look at the sky in the night,
And wonder what keeps the stars fixed tight!
What keeps the planets in perfect harmony,
Their dance in space seems like a symphony.
I know that Newton had an explanation,
But still in my mind there is constant confusion.
For if gravity binds the stars together,
Why don’t they come and crash together?
Hubble says that the universe is expanding,
But why is then gravity not intervening?
What keeps the stars burning so bright?
I’m told that nuclear fusion, provides them light.
The universe started in a big bang, it’s been shown,
At that very instant, the seeds of stars were sown.
As clusters of gas moved under forces of attraction,
There started a chain of nuclear reactions.
I never thought a star would have a life,
I could never imagine that a star could ever die.
The critical balance on which a star depends,
Gets disturbed when the fusion reaction ends.
And when there is a supernova explosion,
It seems like celestial fireworks in motion.
The lifecycle of a star remains a mystery,
Its footprints are found, in the cosmic history.


Honorable Mention
Maddie Millhouse, Dunedin, New Zealand

Burning Red
For billions they live, and brightly they die. 
Perishing in glory too great for the eye.

Behold the twinkling lights within the inky sea
That illuminate the night above our heads.
Silently twinkling from places beyond our reach Vigilantly hovering over our cosy beds.

In the sky, stunning as they light up the shadows
In space, even more so yet elusive to humankind.
Scattered throughout the universe and ever changing
Until they are no more, their purpose reassigned.

Burning hotter as they approach their explosive end
Changing in shape and color as fate draws near.
Growing with age, akin to the maturing of our kind
Until it has reached it’s limit and is ready to disappear.

At warmth beyond touching, a supernova is born
Energy and matters travelling like birds from an earthquake.
Yet from the ruins, a star or a blackhole comes into being
For the cycle of the universe reciprocates what it may take.

For there comes life from destruction and destruction after life
As strife follows peace and peace once again follows strife.

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