2017 Poetry Winners

Enter This Year’s Welsh Festival Poetry Contest

Download The 2018 Adult Poetry Competition Form


Malad Welsh Festival Overall

1st Place (BARD):


by Jan Crowther Myers

My grandfather was a miller.

And when, holding my father’s hand,
I trudged up the ramp to the mill on the stream,

I could smell grains fresh from the field,
flour still warm from the miller’s stone,
rich feeds scooped into bags.

I could hear the rumble of harvest trucks,
the whirr of belts,
the swoosh down chutes,
the low cries of men stitching sacks.

I could feel the trembling of great machines,
the flour dust powdering my grandfather’s clothes,
the kernels slipping through my fingers,
the soft down of chicks bound for waiting coops.

I can still see my grandfather’s large, weathered hands,
the sacks of flour standing on the dock,
the scales that measured a farmer’s wealth.

And this day as I knead my own loaves of bread,
All the whiffs, sounds, impressions come floating back to me.

And I am glad my grandfather was a miller.

2nd Place:


by Matt Wray

It was mid-August, a beautiful summer day,
My horse and I were working hard to earn our pay.
I was ridin’ pasture wages for the K-5 Brand,
The man in the saddle beside me was a true Top Hand.

We had drawn the assignment of gatherin’ cows in Hell’s Hole,
To do the job right and come out alive was my main goal.
We were pushin’ deep rocky draws and steep cedar ridges,
It’s a place few men have been because there aren’t any roads or bridges.

We had worked over half a day and had gathered quite a bunch,
When a white face calf figured it was time to eat my lunch.
Ya see that calf had become confused and somehow or another,
Had gotten separated from the rest of the herd, including his mother.

I could hear him bawlin’ way up in the trees,
So I set out after him like a feather caught in the breeze.
When I tried to turn him right he started to run,
And headed back the same way we had just come.

He moved like a deer to avoid both the horse and the rope,
By the time the chase was over I sure felt like a dope.
I did the best that I could to get that calf to turn,
Yet from my defeat there were a couple of lessons to learn.

Give your very best effort to recover those who go astray,
Help them find the power that comes when you listen and obey.
Never allow yourself to get separated from those that you love,
And never refuse guidance and help that is sent from up above.

Remember in the end you must honor the agency of others,
But the most important lesson of all is stay close to your mothers!

3rd Place:


by Dotty Thorpe Evanson

Visited but once,
Yet nestled deep in my being,
Much as the coal and slate mines nestle in Mother Earth.
Those miners created common stages
For the life of a people,
Who somehow,
Never lost their need for music.
Perhaps the depths and the dark played counter,
To the heights and the light
Found in song,
In their lives.

They looked beyond.
Leaving the stage,
Carrying their voices and hearts forward,
Trusting that “Hiraeth”
Longing to move ahead,
Yet being pulled back by the same Hiraeth.
Longing for home.

Pristine, Deseret,
A new stage for family bonds,
A place to grow “Hiraeth” down through the generations,
With song and values and covenants
For the life of a people,
Who somehow,
Strengthened their commitment to grow,
Because of the toil, struggle and loss,
While building a Cymru
Just for us,
With their lives.

Hiraeth – longing
Cymru – fellow countrymen

4th Place:


by Jon C. Ward

Machines gasped and a red light blinked its slice of light
into blackness
where my father lay. I thought
about a four-leafed clover he found for me as a child
and I wished
I could find one for him then.

My father’s fingers felt and pinched at empty air.
A sister stood
at his side and held
his hands for a moment. “You’re at the hospital, dad.”
I closed my eyes
and hoped to dream.

A twenty-three-year-old sat on a street
his Nike-covered feet
folded Tonto style, and an old yellow dog curled
in slumber by a sign: WE ARE HUNGRY!
I hated the wretch
and his little dog too
until I realized that beggars had nothing to do
with good men dying young. I tossed
my guilt into a dirty hat, listened to its tin-like embrace
and walked on. My father stirred and I awoke.

He gripped empty air between fingers and thumbs,
and I could hear his parched voice. My sister leaned
close to him. “Dad, you’re at University Hospital. Can I get
something for you?” She held his hands
until they relaxed and rested at his side.

Watching the neon blink of the monitor made me think
of darkened sky
and the wonder of an occasional celestial scratch
sail toward child-like optimism. But this light
faded into night
without fulfilling wishes.

My father never knew the sound of broken glass that sent
mirrored reflections skyward
and he never stepped
upon cracks of sidewalks or passed
under the lean of ladders. No pagan superstition summoned
this disease that doctors shrugged shoulders at
and neither the musk of clover
nor the hiss of a dying meteor could end my father’s pain
without the silence of the machines.
Two arms raised toward the ceiling in the night, and I joined
my mother and sisters at his side.
“What’s wrong dad? What are you doing?” He looked
at us until recognition sparkled in his eyes.

“Just pickin’ beans,” he said. And for a moment
we were all together again
kneeling in the warm soil
of a summer day
under a blue sky where gentle breezes chased
etchings of clouds
and laughter filled the air
while we joined hands
just pickin’ beans.

Honorable Mention:


by Patsy Scott

The home at the end of the lane
Holds sweet memories for you and me.
There was a special feeling in that home.
That’s the way it was meant to be.

Everyone who dropped by from day to day
Was welcomed by a special pair.
No matter where you might roam,
You always felt at home there.

As you approached the house
There was a special smell.
There was something delicious cooking
You could always tell.

Are you hungry?
This is the first thing Dad would say.
Ruth will fix you something.
Mother could always fix a meal no matter the time of day.

The old coal stove adorned the kitchen.
The top was always shiny and black.
If you ever ate a meal cooked on that stove
You were sure to come back.

As we came home from school
Long before we hit the door.
You could smell that homemade bread
And rice pudding, who could ask for more.

Mustard pickles were cooked on the stove
Chili sauce, corn relish and other good things to eat.
In the fall it was time to can.
Mother’s recipes could not be beat.

Every night Dad would chop wood
To have for the next day.
Then it was the kid’s chore to carry it to the home
And stack it by the old coal stove before they
Could go back to play.

Mother carried chips of wood in her apron
To start the fire a blaze.
Just how she knew how much fuel it took to get
The right temperature
I was always amazed.

It made the homemade bread
Beautiful and brown.
Oh the pies that came from that oven —
They were world renown.

My favorite was the raisin cream pie;
It was good to the very last slice.
Mother made other good pies;
They were also quite nice.

The raisin filled cookies and
Currant biscuits were kept on the pantry shelf.
The containers were always low
So the grandchildren could help themselves.

Eight loaves of bread were baked in that oven
Every other day, come rain or shine.
It was the staff of life that sustained the family;
We all thought that it was fine.

The stove had many uses;
Dad started the fire in the early morn.
When we got up to get ready for school
Everything was cozy and warm.

It was important to feel that warmth
As we prepared to face the day
To feel the love that was felt in that home
As you left for school or play.

At night a flat iron was wrapped in a piece of blanket;
It was left on the stove.
It felt really good in a cold bed
As it warmed our feet and toes.

It’s wonder as we slept
That we didn’t burn the house down.
By morning the blanket was scorched
Sometimes even dark brown.

The stove was used to heat the water.
The washing was to be done just right.
The stove also held the boiler with water and homemade soap
So the white clothes could be boiled and come out pretty and white.

The clothes were then hung on the line —
Everything in order we were taught.
Even though we lived at the end of the lane —
It didn’t matter if other people could see them or not.

When the ironing was done
Not a wrinkle, no not one
Or we had to iron them over
And that wasn’t much fun.

The rinse water was heated on the stove
After the washing was done.
We added a little lye,
Then the fun had begun.

We scrubbed the porch till it was pink —
The outhouse was next in line.
We scrubbed it from top to bottom
Till Ma said, it looks just fine.

The stove was used to heat the water
For our Saturday night bath and fling.
We hid behind blankets draped over a chair
So no one could see a thing.

When it was time to do the dishes
The stove came in handy once more.
We would heat the water to wash and rinse;
They had to be clean that’s for sure.

We also popped popcorn on the old coal stove;
It tasted mighty good.
We had to shake it over the stove,
But it came out just like it should.

I only remember one spanking;
Dad delivered it to Jerry and I.
Behind the old coal stove was where we went for comfort
To sit and have our cry.

When a new baby was born in that home
Whether it be daughter or son —
Grandma Price who was the midwife
Would brown flour on that old coal stove
To put on the naval of that wee one.

One day as mother removed something from the oven —
The door was still down and very hot —
Jerry fell from his chair onto the oven door and
Received a terrible burn on his face and neck.
He was just a tot.

Mother in her wisdom
Doctored it the best she could.
The Dr. when looking at it later
Said she had done just as she should.

When Dad came home from work
He was very tired from the day.
He toasted bread on the old coal stove;
He had bread and milk to help him on his way.

His recipe was a good one;
We must kept it in mind.
A loaf of bread, a bowl of milk and a cup of sugar —
It’s a recipe that’s hard to find.

The most important thing was sitting around the stove
As a family
With the oven door down
Warming our feet and enjoying each other —
We were the happiest family in town.

Many memories were made in that little home —
We always felt safe from harm.
It was Ma and Pa who made it special
And the old coal stove that made it warm.

Honorable Mention:


by Julie Williams Brock

A snowflake is a “crystal palace”
Of water, frozen to ice.
It has so many corridors to explore,
That we’ll never walk down the same one twice.

Finding our way along its many paths
Can be a joyous journey, indeed:
Discovering the handiwork of God, Himself,
Writes a story for all to read:

One of intricacy beyond compare:
Visible for all to see.
Just imagine, — God created it for man,
To witness His indescribable beauty!

But we must look quickly: for, one-at-a-time,
They fall and fade silently away.
Only when cascading from heaven to earth
In groups, do they choose to stay.

Covering the earth with a blanket of white,
They keep her warm until spring.
Allowing her surface to rest in peace,
Preparing for when she will bring

Forth her fruits after slumbering, long
Into the winter’s night.
Then, bursting forth to greet the dawn
Of springtime, shining bright;

The earth, with the aid of this shimmering coat;
Awakens from slumber, to live;
Ridding herself of the casket of gloom
So that she, to mankind, can now give

Renewed life and vigor to all who reside
Upon her shores, day-by-day.
Helping men see that ’twas for you and me
That she lay at rest in that way.

For, now resurrected, life can burst forth from the grave
Where the “crystal palace” once stood:
Allowing life to begin anew:
All for mankind’s best good.

Grades 1 & 2

1st Place – Malad Valley Welsh Festival Crown Winner:


by Hadlee Olsen

Mother tuber, mother tuber
grow the plant so well
grow a sprout, grow some leaves
may I pick a tuber please.

I love potatoes of every kind.
Mashed potatoes, hashbrowns, sweet potato pie,
red potatoes, brown potatoes, purple potatoes oh my!

Yummy yummy in my tummy
I can not eat just one
I keep eating and eating until all the taters are gone.

2nd Place:


by Hope Briggs

You make my bones freeze like ice.
You taste so nice.
Vanilla is the kind I choose.
Vanilla ice cream can never lose.
Ice cream is cold
but tastes very bold.
Ice cream is a sweet treat;
in the summer it can’t be beat.

3rd Place:


by Parker Price

Snow, snow is everywhere
The wind is blowing in my hair
My feet are wet but I don’t care
Because snow, snow is everywhere!

Grades 3 & 4

1st Place – Malad Valley Welsh Festival Crown Winner:


by Alivia Waldron

Piano is awesome.
Piano is cool.
Piano is like a blossom;
Piano is not for fools.
Piano is a talent –
That talent is waiting for you.

2nd Place:


by Emma Bird

I am a soccer-scoring,
Homerun-hitting girl,
Who lives in soft, cushiony, green, grassy hills
With wildflowers,
Pink popcorn trees blossoming,
And birds chirping songs
That echo in the trees.

3rd Place:


by Natalie Faith Webster

There once was a fish on the deck.
He cried and he broke his neck.
He fell down and
Broke his crown
Then he didn’t have his looks on the ground.

Then, I saw a ship go by,
It broke down and made me cry.
I thought the people had died
But there were mermaids on ride.

Grades 5 – 8

1st Place – Malad Valley Welsh Festival Crown Winner:


by Kristal Ford

The Welsh people knew they were in gain
Because they were ruled by Edward the First’s reign.
In the 14th century there was one man in power
His name was nobleman Owain Glendower.

Welsh pride is their flying flag as it prevails
White, green, and a red dragon are symbols of Wales.
The beauty of the daffodil describes their culture and traditions
This always makes the Welsh strong with ambitions.

Sheep farming to the Welsh is a part of their society
Many types of sheep make up a large variety.
Raising sheep is a rewarding lifestyle
Seeing baby lambs is always worthwhile.

In Welsh history mining was a very big demand
Whether for gold or coal it was hard to withstand.
Mining is a very dangerous job to do
It is not only challenging but hard to get used to.

Welsh pride is strong in their generation
It follows them from Wales to the Malad Valley location.
As you can see from century kings and queens aside
Nothing is as strong as true Welsh pride.

2nd Place:


by Savanna Young

I was walking down an aisle
When I tripped on a big huge apple.
I fell on the floor
Then crashed in the door
Then, to get up, I had to straddle.

My bad luck that day never changed
And I felt simply deranged.
I tripped on my shoe
And spilled out my glue
Yes, my bad luck simply remained.

Soon I felt half dead;
I bet my face looked red
I fell on my face.
(That was in a race.)
And for everything I had constant dread.

All day I was in constant doom.
When I got home, I had to clean my room.
I picked up a toy
(My mom said it would bring great joy)
But after that I fell with a boom.

As you can see I had a really bad day,
And that would be an understatement to say
Everything went wrong
And I felt like I didn’t belong
But for the bad luck, there was a great array.

3rd Place:


by Timmy Jensen

How do you play baseball, you may ask,
Well, baseball may not be a hard task.
It is an easy sport to teach;
You swing the bat if you can reach.
If you hit the ball, you run to first base,
Don’t forget to check your shoes or your place.
If you catch a ball, use your trusty mitt,
Don’t use your hand and don’t trip in a pit.
You may now play baseball if you like,
But don’t get hurt on your own bike.

High School

1st Place – Malad Valley Welsh Festival Crown Winner:


by Garren Huckaby

A song is more than some notes on five lines,
It’s hour upon hour of painstaking time.
When people listen to three minutes of song,
They don’t realize what could take the writer so long.

But to the writer, it’s a work of art,
A blessing in which they merely took part.
They sweated, they cried, they laughed and they sang;
The song was a gift, they didn’t need fame.

So mock the author when you hear a dissonant key.
I didn’t write it for the critic,
I wrote it for me.

2nd Place:


by Parker Peterson

The sun starts to melt the snow,
Life starts to grow,
Grass begins to show,
It’s lovely, don’t you know?

It’s warmer all around,
The seeds come from the ground.
Everyone tries to lose a pound,
And the birds sing a graceful sound.

The reservoirs begin to fill,
The gardeners begin to till,
Less and less people are ill,
There is no more freezing chill.

Where frost thrived
Only the strong survived.
After the temperature dived
Spring finally has arrived!

3rd Place – TIE:


by Sam Poulson

If possibility took a form,
it’d look a bit like this:
a piece of wood with hinges
and a knob with which to twist.
A gateway made to keep us warm
and scare away the wind;
or to hide the pain inside,
conceal the storm within.
A single scratch can tell a tale
as long as it hath stood–
the dog that Ma and Papa bought
whose claws splintered the wood.
One never knows what lies behind
the door that guards a room;
A baby may be sleeping
or a grey and gritty tomb.
What lies behind is endless,
a killer or a kiss;
So put the fear inside your mind
and give the knob a twist.

3rd Place – TIE:


by Landon Smith

This is my land from long ago.
With flag in hand, we will grow.
With colors true and song in heart,
I’ll fight for you, I’ll never part.

After I’ve traveled far away.
My roots unraveled, will always stay.
I long to go back where I’m from,
But I’m on a track where I can run

On to Malad is where I’ll be.
Just a young lad, as you can see.
Although it’s fair, where I’ll be,
I’ll always care for my Welsh country.