Poetry Contest

125th Anniversary Poetry Contest

All submissions were judged anonymously.

Judges: President’s office: Molly Adams-Dodd

Communications: Lucia Raatma

Department of English, Fine Arts & Humanities: Dr. Kurt Wilt

Sandhill Review, Sandhill Writers Retreat: Gianna Russo


Saint Leo’s Blessings     Janet Franks (University Campus)



125 Years of Spirit     Sally Sharkey (COL)



Brother Bernard     Carol Ann Moon (University Campus)



Janet Franks (University Campus)

Saint Leo’s Blessings

Amid the fields of green rolling hills,

Citrus groves, majestic oaks and palms,

A golden light reflects off Clear Lake:

The Holy Vision of 1889.

Behold, the seeds of a better world,

Planted in fall,

Enlightened with wisdom,

Immersed in the wellspring of knowledge.

A community of respect, integrity and excellence

Develops them into responsible stewards.

Each spring gathers a bountiful harvest,

As the fruits of our labor branch outward,

Sowing anew seeds of faith

And social justice

Throughout the Earth.



Sally Sharkey (COL)

125 Years of Spirit

A deeply rooted belief system, 1500 years of Benedictine tradition, Serving past, present and future, and providing spiritual expedition. Fostering leadership, moral depth, and care for all Creation, Character is built through thoughtful and mutual deliberation.

Learning communities that build upon timeless Christian themes, Made to challenge, develop, learn, improve and forge lifelong teams. Individuals are encouraged to discover in each other what is unique, Fair and honest in word and deed is among what we all seek.

Growth of mind, body and unifying spirit is for what Saint Leo strives, Embedded core values that we embrace, give meaning and shape our lives. Community, respect for all, and stewardship are priorities our hearts do reach, And forever integrity, excellence and personal goals are steeped in what we teach.

Serving so many, and a devotion to the Catholic faith and learning, Building better lives, communities, and for more knowledge, a true yearning Students are first, and Saint Leo is committed system wide, Always reflecting and sharing to improve within and outside.

Values, dedication, hard work and a community that hears, Saint Leo has been making a difference for over 125 years. The mission will always carry on with academic standards held high, Supported by the faith, devotion and the values upon which we rely.




Carol Ann Moon (University campus)

Brother Bernard

Monk with a Mamiya

Japanese camera captured

Bread-baking Benedictines singing,

Class-bound clergy waving,

Clean-cut Catholic co-eds posing,

Peach-fuzz peaceniks winking in VW


Puny baby lions mewling,

Music professor’s dimpled children dreaming,

All in the sand – lots of sand,

Leotarded theater players jumping, and

Huge campus billboards hawking in sunshine and in shade!

Abbey Brother’s wide aperture gathered

Baseball uniforms smiling,

Canopied Easter processions steaming on gravel roads,

Glistening spiders webbing,

Grace-filled grottos kneeling,

All in the sand – lots of sand,

Three-speed Raleighs whizzing, and

Young palm trees gleaming in sunshine and in shade.

Publicist Bernard’s images not Paul’s chronicled

Daring divers coming up for air off of Jovita’s dock,

Shimmering sailboats hovering in the clear deep,

Flying nuns searching for best sellers in the library stacks,

Goggle-less scientist monks mixing acids and bases in beakers,

Melting miracle workers building wooden basement walls,

All in the sand – lots of sand,

Endangered ballerinas leaping, and

Young fertile minds soaring in sunshine and in shade!

*A Mamiya is a professional camera made by a Japanese company of the same name; the word is pronounced mah - me - yah. I wish to thank Mr. Koichi Tasa, University Archivist at the University of Miami, for the pronunciation guidance.