IMS Student has a way with words

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 10, 2004

When 12-year-old T.J. Baker sat down to write a poem for school, he just let his emotions flow.

The sixth-grader at Ironton Middle School spent about three hours writing his poem, "Moonlight." Parts of it were very emotional because he was writing about his father who passed away eight years ago.

"It was just what I thought from my heart," T.J. said.

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The youth said he never expected anyone would like his poem. He was completely wrong.

Not only did everyone who read the poem love it, T.J.'s labor of love will be published in the anthology, "A Celebration of Young Poets." In fact, it was recognized as one of the top 10 entries received from thousands of Ohio students in grades four through six.

"I didn't really think I would get get this far. I didn't think the judges would actually like my poem," T.J. said. "But now that I am in the top 10, I am quite excited."

For finishing in the top 10, he will get an entire page in the book instead of just a few lines, as well as a $50 savings bond.

His stepfather, Frank Murphy, and mother, Cristianne, were blown away that their son was able to put his feelings onto paper the way he did.

"My wife started crying and I just about did," Frank said. "We are as proud as can be of him."

Linda Washburn, T.J.'s teacher, is just as proud of her student - so much that she has encouraged him to read it aloud at the school.

"Reading this, it is just beautiful for a sixth-grader," she said. "It is well written. He has expressed his feelings and thoughts very well."


By T.J. Baker

As I lie in my bed at dim of night,

I open the curtains and see the pale moonlight,

Looking at the light gives me the thought,

Of all the miracles God has wrought.

I was only four when my dad passed away,

My memories have grown misty along the way,

I cry for the future that I lack,

But alas, my cries always echo back.

I feel the sorrow and the pain,

My tears rush down like the falling rain,

I lie in bed and watch the moon's descent,

The night growing darker is heaven sent.

A new day will dawn as I go to sleep,

Peace from the thoughts that make me weep,

When the sun rises high in the sky,

I awake back to the world that makes me cry.

My father in heaven waits for me there,

And all God's miracles we can now share,

Moonlight, rainstorms, flowers in bloom,

Warm puppy noses, the view from my