Signals of Spring

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2006 Poetry Contest Winners!

Learning about animal movements sure inspires some amazing writing. Signals of Spring students in Grades 6-8 submitted 200 poems this season, the most ever!

From flight to conservation, food finding to rehabilitation, Signals poets from across the country tackled a variety of topics related to this spring's migration. With so many great entries, the judges' decisions were tough!

Congratulations to all of the 2006 winnersincluding honorable mentions for each participating school. The first, second and third place poems are featured below.

certificate 1st Place
Julia B.
Sussex County Charter School for Technology
Sparta, NJ
Mrs. C. Sior, Teacher


What if this night is their last?
What happens then?
Everything silenced, from the swamps to the oceans.
Without the song of the sandhill crane or the call of a Caspian Tern,
Nature is silenced, for lack of concern.
What we have is now,
And once it's gone; it's gone.

For nature we depend on, creatures in all.
We rise together, and together we fall.
Actions of a species affect one another.
Such as our building, others' homes we smother.

Pollution, the cause,
Destruction, the answer,
Caused by our ignorance,
We all shall suffer.

We of the present, can't change the past,
We can't live last week, or a week from Tuesday of last,
We must live today, changing from past,
Learning from our mistakes, effecting the vast.

Working together species in all,
Preserving the species we mustn't stall.
If we do not act quickly, it'll be too late,
For thousands of species, extinction; their fate.

We are all connected in the circle of life,
Carelessness acting as the final knife.
In remembrance of those species long gone; I can only say this,
We know what should change, a chance, we can't miss.

We are nature; creatures one and all,
We rise together; and together we fall.

certificate 2nd Place
Nathalia C.
Ann Street School
Newark, NJ
Ms. M. Santos, Science Teacher

Americas' Freedom... "The Bald Eagle"

Soaring and Gliding
through the air,
like a kite
on a windy Spring day.

It grasps the branch
with its wrinkled orange talons,
and sometimes the fish
in the cold blue water.

On top of a tall tree
with his family indeed,
close to the sun on lonely lands
representing America's freedom, he stands.

certificate 3rd Place  TIE
Khristy A.
Waimea Middle School
Waimea, HI
Mrs. L. Noetzel, Teacher

We watch you
and your every move.
We study about you
1 hour and 24 minutes a day.
With your graceful wings
you soar to sections of Colorado.
You are the magnificent creature
called the golden eagle.
We track you where you migrate.
We find our what you eat.
We see what area,
and weather you are living.
Every few days
you have flown
in majestic motions
flying to new grounds,
new places,
and new life.

certificate 3rd Place  TIE
Beck U.
Sussex County Charter School for Technology
Sparta, NJ
Mrs. C. Sior, Teacher

The Journey of the Eagle

Wake up, sun slowly rising
Try to fly, incredibly difficult
Look down at my bent wing & that's not supposed to be there
I take a leap of faith and gracefully fall out of my nest onto the damp, warm earth.
I got lucky
Start to walk, try to find help
Other birds circle me as if I was a mouse
Do I look that bad?
Keep on walking, this is getting difficult now

Walk into the forest trying to stay alive
See other birds in cages; they seem to be doing well
I let out one huge cry for help hoping that someone,
anyone would hear me
Get one last look at the old gray owl sleeping in a tree, oh how peaceful he looks

My eyes close
I can see nothing but endless darkness
Am I dead?

My eyes open
I am no longer on the ground next to the cage of the old grey owl
I am in a nest
My nest?
No, this isn't my nest.

Look down at my bent wing wait& what is that on my wing?
It seems to make the pain go away, I'm happy, so I'll worry about it later.

Someone is coming.
I notice that I'm in a cage as I try to walk away from this person
They grab me
I have no energy to protest
They stroke me
I feel safe
They check my wing as I try to move it away
They move it up and down it starts to feel better
This is going to take a while

I have gotten used to this routine.
When I am not trying to fly I am resting.
My wing starts to feel better after a few weeks
The food is good, but I am yearning to hunt on my own again
Time flies like an arrow whizzing past my head
Spring turned into summer and summer turned into fall
Winter was hard, my wing hurt more then ever

Now it is spring again and I am able to fly around my cage
It is nice. I soon have come to realize that this person is here to help me
I call her trainer.
Trainer helps my wing get better
Each day I am able to move a little swifter then the day before
Soon I will be free

Summer has come again and I am ready to be released
My wing is mended and now I wish to hunt more then ever.
As Trainer opens my cage I swoop out and into the sky
I search for food
I see a mouse scuttling in the nearby field near my old nest
I dive at it and am able to catch it in my claws

I take my food back to Trainer and carefully drop it in her lap
I allow her to pet my head as I sit on the bench next to her
I will return one day
But for now
I am Free

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