McAuley High School senior Josie Smith has been awarded an Honorable Mention in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her four poems titled Wanderlust, Love Letter to Myself, The World That Was, and A Hurricane of a Girl. She also received a Silver Key in the art category for her photo entitled "Shadows and Silhouettes." This is the fourth year in a row that Josie has been honored with a Scholastic Art & Writing Award - the nation's longest-running, largest, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Over the past 90 years, the awards have recognized and encouraged artists and writers such as: Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Tom Otterness, Zac Posen, among countless others. Josie is among the 1500+ students from throughout Iowa and the Midwest Region who will be invited to participate in the annual Belin-Blank Center Scholastic Celebration at the University of Iowa on March 10.
Josie's award-winning poems and photo are below.
There is a yearning in my soul
For so many far-off things.
There is an ache in my heart
For a sky filled with stars.
Each day I stand and wait
For when my wings will come.
And I love having dirty feet
From walking dusty roads.
The maps seem so small
While the world is so big.
There are a thousand things to see,
But not enough time to see them all.
Miles and miles I've traveled
Yet I always long for more.
The lovely, wide-reaching horizon.
I hope that I will never reach it.
I hope the journey will never be done.
I hope to always be on the run.
To those who are always moving,
There will never be anything better
Than aching feet and bright eyes.
Once I had tasted flight,
There was no going back.
Wander and roam and rove.
There is no escape.
There is no cure.
There is no greater joy.
There is no better affliction.
Those who settle think me crazy.
And I am glad to be so.
I don't know how it began.
Only that my love started when
Traveling along an open road
Began to feel like home.
Love Letter to Myself
He does not deserve you
And you deserve someone better.
You deserve someone
Who can see the fire in your eyes.
The passion in every action you make.
The exuberance with which you take each breath.
The wild in your smile.
The love in your heart.
The wanderlust in your soul.
The stardust in your veins.
You are lovely and wonderful and strange.
You are whole entirely on your own.
Something most people will not know how to love.
But one day, sometime soon or maybe far from now,
He will come into your life.
And he will stare at you with wonder.
He will give you his heart
And you will give him yours in return.
He will love you the way you've dreamed of.
Perhaps he will be as strange and wonderful as you
Or perhaps he will be an ordinary boy
Who happens to fall in love
With an extraordinary girl.
The World That Was
The stars used to shine much brighter.
Now we just have city lights.
And the pavement on the way to school
Is where all the flowers used to grow.
It feels like something's missing
And I'm not really sure what.
You can almost hear the earth sigh
Underneath all of her weight.
And maybe like me
She longs to be free.
The birds used to sing a hundred songs.
Now the horns drown them all out.
I used to dream about the sunrise.
And I would love to admire it too.
But now there's buildings blocking the view.
There was a different world here before this one.
I've dreamed about it,
But never got to see it.
What it must have been like
When the earth was new and young.
When the mountains were covered with pines
And reached up to touch the sky.
It seems the world is dying.
Soon the mountains will be gone.
I feel like I've missed out.
I guess I was simply too late.
The view is still quite grand,
But will it ever be like it was?
At what point do I embrace the world I have
Instead of wishing for the world that was?
A Hurricane of a Girl
I only wanted a little rain,
But that girl was a hurricane.
And while thunder crackled across the skies,
You could also see it in her eyes.
A hurricane since the day she was born,
The girl was less human and more sea and storm.
While some could only handle a summer breeze,
I stood fascinated by her rough and roaring seas.
When her eyes sparked and wind danced through her hair,
All I could do was stand and stare.
There had always been something beautifully wild in her smile.
Seeing her like that made all the pain worthwhile.
And when she was most like a tempest?
That was when I loved her best.
Shadows and Silhouettes