150th Anniversary Poetry and Writing Contest

Award winners

Missouri S&T congratulates the following individuals for their achievement. These poems and flash fiction entries will be published in the spring 2022 edition of Southwinds and are included in the university's time capsule, to be opened in 2071.

Poetry – Youth Division

First place: For One Hundred Fifty Years by Eyram Dumor (Rolla)
Second place: Missouri’s Miner by Grant Rodriguez (St. James)
Third place: S&T Poem by Catriona Murphy (St. James)

Poetry – Adult Division

First place: Mission of a Miner by Abdullah Al Moinee
Second place: The future is bright by Peter Ehrhard
Third place (tie): Mourned by Kenneth Schmidt
Third place (tie): Winter Prayer for Lucretius by Patrick Tibbits

Flash Fiction – Adult Division

First place: The Campus Visit by Laurie Alberswerth
Second place: The Time-Traveling Miner by Anna Peacock
Third place: Playing in the Dirt by Celtic Pipkin

Poetry Winners (Youth Division)

First place: For One Hundred Fifty Years

By Eyram Dumor

She wants to be a physicist
traveled halfway around the globe
to a small town with a university
that had the first nuclear reactor in Missouri

He wants to be doctor
to stay close to mom and dad
in the town he has always known
with an amazing physics department

They visit on a school trip
a class of twenty students
all with different paths and goals
With different futures
but they sit and they laugh
as they listen in one of the lecture halls.

The world can seem so small
like it only has four walls
but for one hundred-fifty years
Missouri University of Science and Technology
has proved the small voices wrong

From the high school senior
who is attending in the fall
To the returning scholar
who wants to know more

Missouri S&T is a place
to inspire creativity
to challenge
and to learn

for us all.

Second place: Missouri’s Miner

By Grant Rodriguez

Missouri has a miner
Who demolished a diner
Roads will take its place
In the college race
To attract the designers.

Third place: S&T Poem

By Catriona Murphy

It’s time for celebration
Of your college of education
So get a cake
And sit by a lake
And enjoy this wonderful achievement

Poetry Winners (Adult Division)

First place: Mission of a Miner

By Abdullah Al Moinee

In search of an island for courageous cultivation,
values of life conceive the mindful motivation
to set the sail towards the shore with integrity
inhaling the elixir of confidence and curiosity.
Paving the pathway with persevered patience
guides the gradual growth with elements and essence.
Hope on the horizon gets harmonic oscillation
rectifying the stream with integral gravitation.
Perceiving the presence of designed destination,
creativity sparkles with ideas and innovation
in the prolific land of S&T with a pivotal pledge
to create and convey the kindle of knowledge.
‘Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law;’
Let concern & care solve the challenges and flaw.
Insight of inclusion ignites the ubiquity of unity —
Ray of resilience excavates a land of sustainable entity.
Land of Light focuses to go beyond the surface
to get a closer look at the world with aspiration & ace.
Invincible philosophy propels the mission of a miner
to sense beyond senses within & beyond, always and ever.

Second place: The future is bright

By Peter Ehrhard

Most students start out with an uncertain step
What prevents that is going to a school with solid rep
As classes begin and you start to find your fit
Facing challenges and considering calling it quits
Stretch your mind and muscles as hard as you can
For you are smarter and stronger than the average human
You’re at Missouri University of Science and Technology
So your studies are not based on some false mythology
Surround yourself with allies, partners and friends
And study together to prevent a future needing amends
Don’t worry about competing with others at school
Remember that pressure turns coal into a jewel
You will see that the effort was not in vain
With nothing to lose and everything to gain
You are not destined to spend your days on a recliner
The future burns brighter because you are a Miner

Third place (tie): Winter Prayer for Lucretius

By Patrick Tibbits

On the path beside the river, it was given me to know,
What the wind writes on the water will be written in the snow.

Above in cold thin air and splendor ice motes flash and tumble in the bright.
Where no two are linked in motion. None finds a place to light.

A primal secret, stuff unseen, by implication moves behind.
Vast teeming, germs of things primordial, forever moving blind.

Their won't always to swerve.

Unseen buffets of these atoms goad the next above in size.
Stage by stage ascend the motions ‘til they to the sight arise.

What is written up on high is written here below.
Every mote of crystal adds its wisdom to the snow.

(After the W.E. Leonard translation of De Rerum Natura)

Third place (tie): Mourned

By Kenneth Schmidt

In a lowly area just beyond the plains,
A crowd of who’s who that don’t know his name.
In a strange dance they somberly leave a stain,
Longing for a memory, that doesn’t remain.
Rain fell hard on the villager’s heads.
They had not planned for the fall shower.
All had gathered to mourn a “friend”,
Now all flee the cemetery to cower.
His life was cut short, struck down in his prime.
Friends dressed up for each other waited in line.
Much like his life, and true in the end,
He is left alone, thanks to fair-weather friends.

Flash Fiction Winners (Adult Division)

First place: The Campus Visit

By Laurie Alberswerth

“Stonehenge. Didn’t we build that thing in Britain?” The green-headed alien scratched where his chin should’ve been.
“I bet this school’s Mars Rover is actually a teleporter.”
“No one’s checked Salisbury Plain lately?”
“If they can build a concrete canoe, they can replace a few rocks with a hologram.”
“We got what Grolph wanted. Better go.”
“Grolph needs to quit stealing his R&D from here.”
“Bad idea. His fix for the replicator gives me some bald fellow whenever I ask for Tea, Earl Gray, Hot.”
“Bet that guy would check Salisbury Plain.”
They darted behind a pointy-hatted statue as a student tripped across their path. He pirouetted to save a steaming, rich beverage.
“Grolph should take notes.”
They drifted onto the familiar, round platform. “I love this part.”
The white disc spun, light streaming from three green leaves below to their ship high above.
“I know. It’s the Best Ever.”

Second place: The Time-Traveling Miner

By Anna Peacock

With a flash and a twist of energy, there appeared a young man dressed in trousers and a vest standing in the center of the Puck. As he blinked away the brightness of the light that had flashed around him, he saw the large buildings surrounding him. He spun around in awe and confusion, until he saw something recognizable. It was the building his school took place in. He realized, with a start, that he had not been transported in space but in time. Looking for clues, he spotted a banner reading “150th Anniversary: MSM UMR S&T." MSM… the Missouri School of Mines. His current place of study. But it had only just been founded, so he must be 150 years in the future! He couldn’t wrap his head around it, but looking around, he felt a strong sense of pride for his school and what it would become.

Third place: Playing in the Dirt

By Celtic Pipkin

After years of what was considered academic tribulation, Missouri S&T has rolled out what they’ve dubbed the “Joe Miner Cyber Initiative” — a program that effectively remedies the faulty student. The entirety of this semester’s enrollment successfully converted to hive mind; thousands of brilliant scholars fused together into one collective awareness. Once the mystery of consciousness was solved during a research project in 2015, the magic of the soul had been revealed to be nothing more than unexplained science. What was originally assumed to be an inexplicable, poetic condition of human nature is now known to be a mechanical function within the chassis of a versioned vessel. Humanity has struggled to come to terms with this truth; falling deep into an existential hole with no sense of which way is up. Yet, as miners, we’ve always been in that hole. We dug it. And we will continue to dig deeper.