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SUNY GCC - Genesee Community College

22nd Annual (2023) GCC Student Poetry Contest Winners

Thank you to The Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion for generously providing prizes. Special thank you to the Judging Committee: Doreen Bortle, Loy Gross, Jessica Hibbard, Nicki Lerczak, and Mary-Clare Tasber. Winners will be honored at the college-wide Student Celebration of Excellence on Tuesday, May 9. Congratulations to this year’s winners!


Best Body of Work: Shalom Bloodman for If Love is Fire, Change is Wind; She Loved Me, I Loved Her Sometimes; and Boggy Peak: Antigua

First Prize: Lydia R. Hofmann for  Inspiration

Second Prize: Hannah Camiolo for Flipped

Third Prize: Irelyn Curry Arachnids Can Play House

If Love is Fire, Change is Wind; She Loved Me, I Loved Her Sometimes; and Boggy Peak: Antigua by Shalom Bloodman

If Love is Fire, Change is Wind 

If love is fire, change is wind.
Subtle and slow, it creeps,
As smoke emerges from the pit,
A pool of flames set near your feet.
You hope and pray the flames will last,
You laugh, converse, enjoy the night.
A love like this has come to past,
Unaware of impending fright.

If love is fire, change is wind,
Blowing heavy, blowing hard.
The flames we knew are now thinned,
As we face the winds that scarred.

We hold on tight and try to weather
The gusts that threaten to extinguish forever.
Our love that once burned bright and true,
Now flickers weakly, a painful hue.

The storm has passed, the fire grows.
We look into each other’s eyes
And see the fire within our souls.
Subtle and slow, our flames rise.

With heart ablaze for her or him,
Hold them close and keep them warm.
If love is fire, change is wind,
Let love light shine through windy storm.

She Loved Me, I Loved Her Sometimes

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
Of course, she wouldn’t know.
My face says I’d rather be elsewhere,
My heart screams I love it here.

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
Gas lighting starts a fire within,
Not of anger, but passion;
A fire that situates in her heart.

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
Is it weird that if she came and sat near,
Her presence would be embraced?
Of course, just in my mind.

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
She saw me as a mystery,
I was just in misery,
The puzzle of grief we must solve.

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
Our connection, a tangled web of emotions,
Your mind veiled in a carefully crafted facade,
Mine burdened by the weight of your love for another.

She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.
I hoped that sometime in the future,
We could both find substance,
In a love so elusive.
She loved me, and I loved her sometimes.

Boggy Peak: Antigua

Such natural wonder to behold,
Rising high above the isle,
Its majestic beauty doesn’t get old,
Its lush greenery, will leave a smile.

As one ventures through the forest,
Through ferns that carpet the forest floor,
A myriad of wonders, you’re sure to witness,
Vines cascade from trees, and more.

As you trek up winding trail,
Indigenous fruit trees come into view,
Juicy mangoes, sweet and pale,
Sour sop, a delight so true.

Birds and Monkeys playfully sing,
Amidst the canopy of leaves and vines,
Scent of guava, a fragrant offering,
Nature’s orchestra beautifully aligns.

The journey to the summit, a test of will,
With panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea,
These rewards at the top, you’ll savor still,
A sight to behold, is what you’ll see.

The sparkling waters stretching far and wide,
A euphoric reminder of nature’s power,
A breathtaking vista, impossible to hide,
As one sits in awe atop this tower.

As the sun casts a golden hue,
Gazing down from Boggy Peak,
It takes on a magical view,
A natural wonder, inspiring and unique.

Inspiration by Lydia R. Hofmann

She flutters,
takes flight and flies.
Then sputters,
shifty like skies.
She is now near,
underneath a tree;
in the skies clear;
by the stormy sea.
Knows not time,
visits as she pleases.
Lives between rhyme,
fragile as the breezes.
Now she is far,
a granule of sand;
a twinkling star;
a fairytale land.
In faith I reach out,
for her brief dawn;
in fear search about,
but then she is gone.
She flutters,
takes flight and flies.
Then sputters,
and suddenly dies.
I had but a moment,
only just enough time,
a kindly bestowment,
to catch her in rhyme.

Student poet Lydia Hofmann outside in Fall with hat

Flipped by Hannah Camiolo
you only live once
that’s why they say
play it safe
why should we
be more than we are
i wish that we could
just stay here
we weren’t meant to
go down this foreign path
all i want is to
just stay friends
(now read it from the bottom up)

Student poet Hannah Camiolo sitting on bridge with guitar

Arachnids can Play House by Irelyn Curry

I need to know why my dad married such a manipulative and destructive spider
What does he see in the webs she leaves across the rooms of our house I once jumped and played in?
She is constantly crawling dangling and lingering in the way
She is always there.
She bites and is poisonous leaving ravenous red gouges into each of our bodies.
Shredding our skin to bits
Making a meal out of all of us
She seeps her teeth into us and releases a toxin.
One which I have almost grown immune to.
But stings more and more each time she latches ahold of me.
She is however a spider I cannot stomp away.
So, in ways I guess that makes her a roach
She never dies.
She grows legs back when I rip them off of her fat body.
She comes back stronger with more spirit and continues to fill our head with webs
She travels these connected tracks through all of us.
Slowly killing us all.

Student poet Irelyn Curry leaning against wooden door in house