Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2020 finalist, Anika Knowles! Anika finished 9th grade this past school year. The poem she submitted is called “Nature’s Shield.”  Anika told us that she likes how the poem reflects her feelings about nature and that she enjoyed playing around with poetic form. She intentionally followed a specific rhyming pattern and used iambic pentameter, like in many Shakespearean writings.


The sun shines brightly, casting a warm glow,
I smile and let it cascade over me.
Wind grabs dandelions—they fall like snow,
Floating around me like a golden sea.

My mind is so peaceful, relaxed, and calm.
I have now entered a new state of grace.
I finally feel like nothing is wrong
With the bright blue sky shining on my face.

I lie on my back and watch the clouds,
Moving so effortlessly through the sky.
At last I’m happy and free from my bounds,
Light and carefree as a small butterfly.

Suddenly the blue starts fading to gray
As I am reminded of my worries.
I think happy thoughts to push them away,
And the turquoise sky comes back in flurries.

This garden is filled with tranquil nature,
The flowers, creek, animals, plants, and trees.
I can’t wait to start a new adventure,
All the magic here makes me feel free.

A stream flows by over rocks colored slate.
The trees are so green, the flowers lilac.
The path twists and I arrive at the gate,
I open it—my panic rushes back.

My fears are crashing down, no longer weak
My insides are swirling—so hard to bear.
I am so scared that I can’t even think.
Stop. Breathe. I take a big deep breath of air.

You can do this, I say inside my head.
And I step into the unknown ahead.


 Check out our Inklings Book Contest Finalists!


This summer, we're featuring our Inklings Book Contest finaslists on the blog! Click over to read the stories and poems of some of our youth writers and keep your eyes open for our 2020 Inklings Book release in August.


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