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Poetry Contest Winners

By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Congratulations to first place winner Max Benning ’18 and honorable mention Caleb Petry ’19 in the Amy Marie Watkins Poetry Contest announced at Honors Convocation on Wednesday, May 30 in the Amphitheater.
Now in its 31st year, the Amy Marie Watkins Poetry Contest honors the memory of Amy Marie Watkins who was an LJCDS student, poet, actress and musician who tragically died in a car accident in 1987 at the age of 17. She won awards for both her poetry and her prose and was one of the editors of Pegasus, LJCDS’s literary magazine. The contest gathers submissions from independent schools throughout San Diego. This year’s guest judge was W. D. Ehrhart who has published a wide variety of nonfiction prose, books of poetry and personal narratives. His poems reflect his respect for nature, his love of friends and family and his active engagement with the world around him.

Max Benning ’18  
First Place

There was something about driving and being content
     Specifically at fresh air midnight with the windows down
After a day of love, joy, jest, and faked contempt

Before that, much time spent with lips just hairs apart
     Bodies intertwined in motionlessness
No dichotomy—one part; no words—just eyes via heart

Before that, serious conversation to be had
     The future is scary and the past is volatile
Mutual understanding that no one is the good guy or the bad

Before that, at night looking up to Orion’s Belt
     During that one week they couldn’t see each other
And the cliché “seeing the same stars” united feeling he felt

Before that, comfort finally climbed a high peak
     Secret’s out with hands and expectations together
Two open books—tomes antique

Before that, for weeks ruled Love the Stressor
     He found the year-old love poem he never showed
Written in rhyme and iambic pentameter to impress her

There have been words that hurt and love to assert
     Last night, windows up to avert the air—cold and curt
And so I fell asleep with the smell of you on my shirt

Caleb Petry ’19
“The Accumulation of Little Problems”
Honorable Mention

I woke up late
And lost my keys
My brother took my shirt
And my shoes
I failed my test
And my quiz
My parents gave me stress
And a headache
I ripped my jeans
And had no spare
My work drowned me
And killed my spirit
I sat there and cried
And woke up the next day

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