Edgartown students win peace poetry contest awards

The winning poets: (L-R) Olivia Pate, Greg McCarron, J.J. Mendez and Amadine Muniz. — Photo by Connie Leuenberger

Four Edgartown School students won awards last month for poems they submitted to the 15th annual Veteran’s for Peace Poetry Contest sponsored by the Cape Cod chapter of the Veterans for Peace.

The contest was open to all Cape and Islands writers in 14 categories. The poetry criteria included a focus on thoughts of peace and the abolition of war, hate, or violence.

On Saturday, April 28, students Olivia Pate (7th grade, first place winner), Greg McCarron (8th grade, honorable mention), J.J. Mendez (7th grade, honorable mention), and Amadine Muniz (8th grade, first place winner) read their award-winning poems to a full house at the South Congregational Church in Centerville.

“The month of April is poetry month and during that time the students worked on peace poems in 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts class,” Connie Leuenberger, Edgartown School English language arts teacher, said. “During this time the students reflected on peace and finding peaceful solutions to small conflicts, as well as larger ones.”

Amadine Muniz’s winning poem appears below. All of the student’s poems may be found at mvtimes.com.

Welcome to the Funeral of Peace and EarthBy Amadine Muniz

Mama tell me a storyOne I haven’t heard beforeOne that isn’t Cinderella For that’s become quite a boreTell me of adventure MamaSomething more exciting than Peter PanA story with less fairies and magicA story of our landWon’t you tell me how it was MamaBefore the monster roseBefore bombs were dropped near our house And bullets flew out of controlTell me Mama how was it Before bodies littered the streetsBefore pain glittered in your eyesAnd you could roam as you pleasedTell me Mama was it beautifulThe landscape stretching longThe grass swaying in the summer breezeBefore pollution became too strongWas it nice to still have familiesComplete with a mom, dad, and sister tooWith everyone sharing their loveAnd maybe even babies who lived past twoNow tell me MamaWhat was this time calledThis time where smiles still existedEven with the monster on the prowlWasn’t it something like Peace MamaThat kept the monster at bayPeace that brought our soldiers homePeace that gave us sunny daysWasn’t Peace all around MamaWedged in everyone alive So why did they cut it out MamaAnd as it bled bid it good-byeWere they afraid to speak up MamaWere you afraid tooBut didn’t you think of the childrenThat would die a grueling death like youDid you not think we’d be scarredBy all the blood and souls leavingBy the impurity of a once beautiful earthThat we killed as we left it pealingIt was a meaningless war you knowWe’re all brothers and sisters in God’s eyesSo why does a man still kill his brotherWhile the world disintegrates into something worthless that we all watched and let die.

Where’s the Peace?

by Greg McCarron

Stop pulling my hair!I called it!Hey, that’s mine! Where’s the Peace? No givebacks!I ‘m telling!She has cooties! Where’s the Peace? That’s stupid!My idea is better!You can’t play here! Where’s the Peace? You’re so funny!Thank you!You’re my best friend! There … is the peace


By Olivia Pate

Today I smiled and all at once

Things didn’t look so bad.

Today I share with you all

The hopes of peace I have.

Today someone sang to me

and I felt my heart go light.

A peaceful day ahead of me,

without a cloud in sight.

Today I worked with what I had,

and needed nothing more,

and realized what looked like weeds,

were flowers at my door.

Today I hoped a little more,

peace will be achieved,

and I keep on hoping,

thinking all I must do is just believe.

Why War…

By J.J. Mendez, Jr.

Why can’t we all just get alongWhy do we think when we pull that trigger everything will be okWhy fight when we know it’s not rightWhy shoot when you know that they’re going to dieWhy argue when you’re only listening to yourself

Don’t forget about the real heroesDon’t ruin a stranger’s lifeDon’t always assume the worstDon’t jump to someone else’s conclusionDon’t fight fire with fire

We can all get alongWe don’t have to pull that triggerWe don’t always have to fightWe won’t kill anybody if that trigger doesn’t get pulledWe really argue with ourselves if we don’t listen to anyone else