Poetry, Grades 7 – 9: First Place

My Eden is Bare — Lia Harel

Today the elders moan their voiceless prayers
in between the light piercing through the haze.
So many of us here have not been spared
from a lumberjack’s swift swing of the blade.
For centuries we’ve stood in this soil
with heads high up among the heaven’s blue.
Looming over our kingdom, we’re royals
in a peaceful forest of pure virtue.
They’ve stabbed cold steel into our mighty backs.
“THWACK” rings out and there falls yet another.
A long ways down. Such a deafening crack.
So long my old friend, good-bye my brother.
Dust, dirt, and homeless leaves pollute the air.
Ample silence, but my Eden is bare.


Lia Harel is in the eighth grade at Hopkins West Junior High School. She enjoys traveling, writing, watching movies and spending time with her family. Her photo, “Aqua,” won first place (Grades 7-9) in the Keren Or contest last year.