In third grade, Nicole Lindsley learned what takes many writers a lifetime to discover: Write about what you know.
Nicole drew on her family's love of the outdoors and of ancient Utah history to write a prize-winning poem, "In Search of the Ancient Ones." The contest, sponsored by the Young Writers Contest Foundation with support from Ronald McDonald Children's Charities and Falcon Press Publishing, drew more than 18,000 entries this year.A hundred winning entries, including Nicole's, will be printed in an anthology, "Rainbow Collection: Stories and Poetry by Young People." It will be distributed nationally through a number of outlets.
Nicole's poem is a recollection of the ancient Anasazi in Utah. Her family spends time in Utah's wilds and has collected items related to the Anasazi, said her father, William, and mother, Shirley Lindsley.
The award-winning poem:
Can you hear the voices of the Anasazi
In the red rock canyons when the sunlight fades
And the stars fill the sky?
Can you see footprints of the Ancient Ones
In the sand by the stream
In the shade of the willow tree?
Can you taste the dry corn
Ground by hand and stone
Where broken pottery and arrowheads are found?
Can you smell the smoke and ash of burnt juniper
In the ruins of the cliff dwellings
Where the Old Ones lived and made baskets?
Can you feel the cold wind and hot sun
On the desert mesa where
The Anasazi appeared and disappeared long ago?