Ten-Tin Poem Contest

ROMP Ten-Tin Poem Contest Winners

To celebrate ROMP’s 10th anniversary in 2022, ROMP conducted a poetry contest on the theme of ten or tin. 1st place winners received $100, 2nd place received $75, and 3rd place received $50. Entries were received from many states across the U.S. and one foreign country. There were no winners in the 6th-12th grade category.

ROMP greatly appreciates all the entries-they are helping us celebrate our 10th! Congratulations, especially, to these winners:

K-5th Grade

1st, Gordon Bryan, Glenpool, OK
2nd, Anna Brown, Edmond OK


1st, Julie Jeannene Rickard, Fayetteville AR
2nd, Julie Shannon, Bethany OK
3rd, L. Carol Scott, Livingston TX


1st, Bill Chatfield, Peterborough NH
2nd, Zhenya Yevtushenko, Tulsa OK
3rd, Traci Neal, Hopkins SC

*Professional = A poet who has had a book published

1st Place, K-5th Grade: Gordon Bryan, Glenpool OK

Tin Ten Story House

The tintinnabulation of the tin, ten story house,
From the door down to the basement
Foretold good times that they would have.
In that basement lurked a furnace,
Bored behind a board,
‘Till a man came down to fill it, using coal from his vast hoard.
Joyous for a moment, rumbling and glad,
The furnace warms the tin, ten stories,
Forgetting back when he was sad.

2nd Place, K-5th Grade: Anna Brown, Edmond OK

If only I had ten

If only I had ten tin cans
I would use them to hide my secret treasures
If only I had ten tin cans
I would use them to store my candy
If only I had ten tin cans
I would use them to surprise my mom
If only I had ten tin cans
I would use them to have a party
If I only I had ten tin cans
I would use them for cups when I do not want to do dishes

1st Place, Adult: Julie Jeannene Rickard, Fayetteville AR

Decades, Distilled

Ten years old,
I’m barefoot, kicking a tin can
down the root broken sidewalk
to the mill store for a ten cent
Sugar Daddy and a Dr. Pepper

Ten birthday cakes later, and I’m writing
lusty poems and tapping out college papers,
lifting a tin can of Budweiser to
my glossy lips, dancing to the
Talking Heads, ten songs straight

Ten new trips around the sun, sitting,
rocking by the fire, my mate strumming
softly, our baby boy at my breast
Ten tiny toes, flexing and bending
Rain like fairy applause on the tin roof

Ten again fervent, blazing wishes,
I’m cooking chicken supper for four,
brushing a horse with my daughter,
hanging my art on ten blank walls
now swirling with color, then
Circling with sisters under magic Ozark moons

Ten solid years hence,
I’m curling up in my counselor’s chair
crying – then cleansing and sprawling
In ten desert springs – Alive half a century,
still counting decades of love and poetry

2nd Place, Adult: Julie Shannon, Bethany OK

River Road: Oklahoma Highway 10

What twists and turns she takes,
What highs and lows.
She slips, she slides, she breaks
And trickles down below.
A gift. A dream. A flight.
Like a sunbeam on afternoon wheat.
The life and death of it all.
Pines growing from rocks.
Timeless but fleeting.
Moonshine and meth.
Horseback and machine.
Tourist and local meet,
Headlight to headlight,
Beams burning eyes.
A hope and a prayer there’ll be no deer,
No elk, no drunkard.
No crossing the line.
She carries on, the weight of the bluff, over.
The force of the water, under.
A black ribbon
Unfolding into the night.

3rd Place, Adult: L. Carol Scott, Livingston TX

The Ten of Tin (Sn)

Soft metal, poor metal, ductile and weak, and yet you speak
Your “tin cry,” that twinning crystalline shriek
As you eagerly bend, a metal meek.

Seizing in cold to pest and disease and yet you freeze
My reflection in shimmering calligraphies,
Revealing atomic magic, your hidden Hercules.

Alloyed for strength and adornment, the making of an Age
Unto yourself, you hid in cast statues and coins of wage.
In a bronze bridge from stone to iron, centuries of tin rampage.

1st Place, Professional: Bill Chatfield, Peterborough NH


All we could bowl
at the Merrymount Candlepin Lanes
for a few bucks when I was twelve
in nineteen hundred and fifty-nine

ten dollars for ten pins
overandover again
until my little finger bled
after ten strings

and I always knew that exactly ten pins would
plop down as a tempting triangle
with each push of the magic button.

2nd Place, Professional: Zhenya Yevtushenko, Tulsa OK


A man holding a tin coffee can
Asks for change by waving his
smile like his hand and I reach
to grab some loose coins in
a cashless era to gift him
with a dollar and ten cents
of jingling hope in Tulsa, Oklahoma
as I see another driver behind me
and two other cars
find some spare kindness
despite brief our hesitations
before we each remembered
-that on this earth
we are all beggars-
those who have forgotten
this plan simple fact
are the world’s poorest.

3rd Place, Professional: Traci Neal, Hopkins SC

Celebrate Your Ten

Throughout the years, words surround this museum’s den.
Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry, celebrate your ten.
Some may gift you with a can made of tin,
But your passion plays out patterns beyond a pencil or a pen.
See, poets here have a voice and a vitality that feels like Eden.
Continue to connect and create a community to win.
Your journey joins others to joy from now to back then.
Sounds are heard near or far from your writing wren.
I wish I were to witness your wonder, but I have never been
Where words surround this museum’s den.
Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry, celebrate your ten!