Read the winning poem from our 2023 poetry contest

Check out the poems below, including the contest winner our readers voted for.

A graphic with the words "2023 poetry contest finalists"

Drumroll, please.

Graphic by 6AM City

Table of Contents

This April, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged you, our readers, to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here are the original contest guidelines if you want to give it a try).

Turns out, you’re all poets and we didn’t even know it. We were beyond thrilled to read the original, creative, and awe-inspiring poems Kansas Citians created from our newsletter copy. Check out the finalists’ poems below, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite.

Winner: “Ballad for Springtime Dreamers Waking Up in Kansas City”

By Gretchen Kaufman

And the pink sunrise is a runway show —

It’s 6:57 a.m.

Outside — the bright, spring boulevard

and you’re putting on a Friday song.

The city is brewing for you — get going.

Everything a poem,

calling — Hello Kansas City!

Don’t submit to gravity.

Take a chance — the stadium rocket,

imperial monarch,

an everything enchilada,

dancers in the rain.

Make this greenday a feast.

Raise your radio

and do happy —

Hello Kansas City!

Finalist: “A Grateful Existence”

By J.C. Olson

Penrose was right
Everything is physics
Flight will laugh at the folly of gravity
Like a rocket followed by a current of pink and chartreuse
Our world is a multi-sensory phenomenon
We are all just travelers at the crossroads of cancer and recovery
Like dancers, simple and beautiful
Everything is theater
As we wait for the future
To be free at last from the limitation of our mortal form

Finalist: “A Phenomenon”

By Nevaeh Moritz

Today’s a new day
Use your gusto to fight
Ups and downs will appear
But keep it beautiful and bright
Love during and beyond
Turn today’s rain into sun
Enjoy the sunset for some fun
You can do all with a phenomenon

Finalist: “April’s Call”

By Shera Bhala

here’s to April
the rain
an erasure of the blues
the sun
a chartreuse monarch
the month between everything
I want to soak in spring
drink vintage cuvée
feast on artisan cheeses
stand on the green ground
watch the pink sunset
maybe you are the same
we breakthrough the unknown
open to mortal folly
when you hear the demand of time
forget yesterday and today and the future
listen to the quartet of spring

Finalist: “The Awakening: A.I. Emerges”

By Louis Sage

Feedback comes in from the screen,
And appears an unknown mortal feed,
An imperial monarch host,
Crossing the world in a night at most,
Programming without creativity,
A redesigned future and reality,
No music, fun, books, or dancers,
All of us will live in simulators,
Everything we love is f#&ked,
Forget the world we enjoyed once,
A breakthrough that we guided on,
Now rules us today and beyond.

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