Mackenzie Harr wins The Writer’s Eye Literary Competition

Mackenzie Harr reading her poem
Mackenzie Harr reading her poem

By Adison Godfrey

Last month, freshman Mackenzie Harr won The Writer’s Eye Literary Competition, Creative York’s annual writing contest.

She had submitted an original poem based on a piece of artwork in Creative York’s “One Earth” exhibit. She wrote about the artwork “The Fire and the Flood” by Maryann Worrell (pictured below).

To celebrate the end of National Poetry Month, Mackenzie shared her winning poem.


The Fire and the Flood

First came the fire.

It arrived as a scorching, volcanic blaze,

attacking us in an army of embers.

I remember the amber haze that spread across the horizon,

how the fire slithered through the trees like a snake.

Fumes consumed my father,

taking with them my childhood, my happiness, and my hope.

How could nature be so cruel?

Why did it condemn us to this fiery fate?

I can still see the unforgiving flames dancing mockingly,

as they devoured our homes with their crimson breath.

Despite everything, we pulled each other from the ashes and decided to rebuild.

Next came the flood.

It froze us to our cores.

The cold soaked into our bones,

turning us into fragile snowflakes.

The sapphire waves came upon us in a swarm.

My sister fell victim to the saltwater abyss.

Once again, a plague of loss tore apart our hearts,

bringing back memories of the inferno that haunted our dreams.


Why did tragedy have to strike us again?

Did we do something wrong?

In the aftermath, our spirits lay scattered like driftwood,

discarded with dirty bubbles of seafoam upon an abandoned bay.

Despite everything, we pulled each other from the currents and decided to rebuild.


Mackenzie said there’s one thing she hopes people will take away from her poem: the idea that no matter how tough life can get, there’s always a way to make things a little bit better.

I’m Adison Godfrey, Trojan News.

Artwork that inspired poem
The artwork that inspired Mackenzie’s poem