This is a poem I wrote in a high school writing class. It earned a 2018 National Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest People’s Choice Award. The prompt was simply “Dreams.”

Dreams, Sweet Dreams

What kind of dreams are there?


Dreams, sweet dreams.

The ones that coat the world in sugar,

The ones that crumble and crack on the edges,

Leaving the center pure.

The dreams that sprinkle kind words on hard days.


Dreams, determined dreams.

The dreams that light inside so suddenly and bright,

Awaking and melting the steel clad soul,

Burning, keep burning, until the task is done.


Dreams, classic dreams.

The ones found in the fairy tale book,

Coated in dust, like a fallen star,

Found and revived with a new story.

Singing the familiar song in our ear,

Like an age-old hymn.


What are the most treasured dreams?


Dreams, visionary dreams.

The ones with a purpose and a meaning,

Giving a steady hope and promise.

So real,

So extreme,

Such a dream.

I wrote the following poem during quarantine after reading a fictional novel that included characters with minimal moral convictions. Clearly I had a few thoughts on character development.


Strength doesn’t lie in numbers,

Nor beauty on the skin,

Power is a brittle sword

But character lies within.


Glamor sells itself through chance

And pride a poor foundation;

Anger stirs a passive soul

Unbridled with emotion.


Though anxious are the sickened souls

That cling to cheap desire,

Works determine all their worth

Where pity fully flowers.


Yet patience is a priceless gem

That helps us where we start.

Never grows from selfish gain

But blooms within the heart.

This is an example of comical flash fiction I practiced during quarantine. The prompt was to include the narrator as a character in the story. Enjoy!

Elinor Claretta lives on 71st Street of Washington Square. She walks out of her quaint baby-blue cottage and locks the door, keys jingling. She pauses.

“John, is that you?”

She looks to her right, eyes focusing, and smiles. “I didn’t realize you got a new job as a narrator.”

She awkwardly stands on her front porch, and no other surrounding details are worth mentioning.

“So, are you going to just keep ignoring me or are you going to tell me why you are in my bushes describing every detail of my life?”

Life for Elinor was difficult. Only three years ago she was a normal person. Then she fell in love with this really avoidant introvert who liked describing things. After that, she became a main character for a short story that has no point.

“John, I mean it. Get out of my hydrangeas and stop describing me. I will not be apart of this stupid joke.” 

She continues to spew insulting things towards her bush that would normally hurt readers and other subjects of interest in her life. After realizing she’s the only one who can notice such trivial details, she flushes a beautiful shade of pink and storms down her sidewalk in hopes that her adjacent neighbors haven’t noticed the scene.