2000 Mount Rushmore
International Writing Contest
Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln:
Presidents with Visions for America

If they could speak today,
what might they say?

Adult Poetry Winners

Patriots Dream: (Washington, Jefferson)

We wonder why, with artist's flair,
Our faces grace the mountainside
Are we immortal through great deeds,
Or just revered because we tried
To guide a nation newly formed?
Do people come from miles around,
To view with tourist's languid eye
And tread upon the hallowed ground,
Where spirits of a by-gone day
Are buried now beneath the frost,
To speak no more, and lessons learned
So quickly soon become the lessons lost?

Do people know what principles,
Were handed down into their care?
Or is it just the artist's touch,
That makes them come and stop and stare?
Could they but see the dream we had
Could they but know our fear,
That the dream would be forgotten,
As they come year after year.
So stare at faces carved in stone,
But don't forget to see,
That behind these faces carved in time,
Is a land called "Liberty".

Geraldine. M. Stephey, Wilmington, Delaware


Mt. Rushmore Speaks (all 4 presidents)

Explosions carved our heads from a bare mountainside.
Crews of workers drilled our features into granite.
For years, we have gazed upon masses that visit,
And others that will never come.

Borglum fashioned our faces to reflect dignity.
Despite the violent acts we witness
Or the tender moments that unfold,
Our stone stares never flinch.

We represent an earlier time.
It was not simpler,
Nor better, just different from yours.
We spoke in a different manner,
We traveled more slowly,
We wore heavy clothing.

In our time, we made a difference.
We instrumented changes that you still enjoy.

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt did not work alone.
We had a troop of helpers.
From the novice aides to the senior advisors
All worked towards a common cause--
Advancement of American Ideals.
Perhaps the Men and Women doubted
Their part in the grand scheme of governing,
But each played a role.

We challenge you, those who visit, and those who do not,
To shape the direction of this country.
The future is now in your hands.
Our time is long past,
But our steady gazes should haunt your dreams
And remind you of your responsibility
To this great country.

Anne Newman, Dallas, TX


A Father's Panegyric: (Washington)

Land of liberty, how you've blossomed!
From tentative independence
And looming uncertainty,
To effusive confidence
And unmatched prosperity.
Once a land of homogeneity,
Now a melting pot of diversity.

But alas!
Peering across your borders
I see diversity unwelcome.
Senseless hatred and strife abound.
We are a people who must unite,
Yet prejudice pollutes the air we breathe,
And seeks to sunder, to divide.

Stand up!
Rise again as you rose against British oppression.
Cooperation was then your North Star,
The guide to your freedom.
Bring cooperation forth again
So that prejudice may be forever stifled.

Under the tenets of equality
Were you founded
And under its tenets alone
May you find progress.
Equality, the citadel, the fortress of freedom,
Must conquer again.

Land of liberty, how you've burgeoned!
Two hundred and twenty three years strong.
From here, the sapphire horizon sparkles,
Refulgent with promise and opportunity.
The sun beams splendidly upon the Sunshine State,
Its rays especially fond of this glorious Mount,
Illuminating our future even as we smile.

Farrokh Sohrabi, Towson, MD


We Stand: (All Presidents)

We stand.
Immortal figures carved by man.
Everlasting, set in stone,
Atop this high high mortal throne.

We stand.
For liberties at hand.
For Constitution, Bill Of Rights,
Forefather's thoughts and farther sights.

We stand.
To view throughout the land.
Hard times seen and overcome.
Hard times that made this nation one.

We stand.
And here appear as grand.
As mortals come from near and far,
See us now for who and what we are.

We stand.
A rock, a memory in sand.
A symbol of accomplished exaltations.
Providing hope for future generations.

Rick Strate, Ocala, Florida


Far Down On a Mountain: (all 4 presidents)

O'er the hills the sun came up,
and cast a hearty glow.
Far down on a mountain,
four heads the light did show.

Four famous faces,
their jaws firm and their mouths terse,
far down on a mountain,
four presidents conversed.

They talked of how far our nation has come,
of all that we have done.
Far down on a mountain,
an argument suddenly begun.

They debated current issues,
and Roosevelt began to cuss.
Far down on a mountain,
they finally agreed that the decisions belonged to us.

Us as in the people,
to exercise our right.
Far down on a mountain,
the sun had gone, and there wasn't any light.

The presidents went to sleep,
and Washington began to snore.
Far down on a mountain,
the giant heads were motionless once more.

Adam Mikesell, Farmland, Indiana


Yesteryear's Dreams Come True: (all 4 presidents)

I can't believe what our eyes behold
Our land of plenty has come fourfold.
The people are thriving and still speaking out,
They haven't forgotten what it's all about.

They stand up now as we did back then,
To fight for those who can't seem to win
The torch is still burning in our Lady's hand,
She'll never give up watching over our land.

Though years have passed since we left our mark,
Each day's a new journey on which they embark.
Americans are proud to stand up for what's right,
For justice and freedom they won't shun a fight.

They've come a long way, but there's a way to go,
But I have no doubt they know this is so.
I pray they protect what is good and true,
Preserve for your children what we did for you.

Edith Connell, Springfield, Ohio


Mr Roosevelt, upon being told of a Balkans War.

Another Balkan War has broken out,
Though we're not quite sure what its all about.
But never mind that, its gotta be stopped.
So quit the talk, there are bombs to be dropped.

A nice big air campaign should do the trick,
( Don't bother with carrots, just use the stick!)
That way we can all feel proud waiving flags,
Knowing our boys won't be sent home in bags.

Thing is, those Serbs don't know when to give in,
Seems they don't wanna let the good guys win.
Or perhaps they don't watch enough TV
To know about US supremacy.

Yep, to us folks back home he's a mystery:
- Johnny Serb, who cares so much for history.
Damn fool! Anyway, what's a Byzantine?
God knows, but they don't sound like friends of mine

Not like Tony and Bill ( forget the lies )
Who cry real tears when a Kosovar dies.
Sure do!And what's more, they care about trade,
Cos, damn it, that's how US money's made.

So, these Serbs gonna see things like they are,
Gonna forget about their Prince Lazar.
All that s___ was six hundred years ago,
And, tell me again, where is Kosovo?

Graeme Lamkin, Southampton, Hampshire, England


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