Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2023 Winner

Truth, Lies, & A Beast

Truth was a scolding sun and lies were the chilled alleys,

You could melt from the heat or you could hide in the corners of the dark,

lurking, waiting, creeping….waiting on them….


They don’t want the truth, the unfiltered,

the raw, the reckoning it could bring,


The lights it would shine on the dark hidden lies

that were swept in the corners of the musty room

and between the cracks of their fractured masks,


Truth is the expiration date on the long-spoiled ingredients

of a half-baked lie

fed to fill the belly of a sickly green beast


They would rather a comfort, a blanket, a shield,

the feeling of successful avoidance

and its welcoming embrace to those who will never deny it,


Let it wash away the stains of those

with the red-stained hands and silence the deafening guilt

wracking their heads, clawing at the walls of their brain,


Screeching echoes of pained yells that’ll never matter much

when you’ve mastered shutting it out,

making it invisible, muted, distant, ghostly


Lies were the cool drink or hot tea

that wet the tongue and soothed the throat

of a shaded green beast masked by a shiny exterior

blinding the world and its every-seeing eyes to see the truth,


Lies were easy pills to swallow because they came

how you liked, chew-able, or crush-able,

you could swallow them whole,

the beast was well accustomed to that,

why shouldn’t they be?


That’s how they capture their prey


Eryn Attaway

Richard Wright Public Charter School

Grade: 10


Washington, DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

Langston Hughes is my favorite poet.

Dream for the Future:

I hope to be a successful writer as well as successful in another undetermined field of work.

Inspirational Figure:

The adult who inspires me most would be my mom.