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Poet Zai'ere Watson, Photo by Kevin Massey

Poets Rainey Thompson (left) and Nasir Crawford (right)

Three Grimsley Poets Voted Finalists

Poems by Nasir Crawford, Rainey Thompson, and Zai’ere Watson were selected in the GCS poetry competition.
By Ashley Pritchett

April 4, 2024

Three Grimsley students were voted finalists for their submission of poems in Guilford County Schools’ High School Poet Laureate Project. In March, judges from different schools selected Nasir Crawford, Rainey Thompson, and Zai’ere Watson after carefully considering and critically analyzing their submitted works. 


Crawford, a ninth grader, is one of the winning contestants of the poetry contest. He is the author of the poem “Why the Sky?” In his poem, Crawford describes his delivery of an alternate perspective of the accompanying world that we are swallowed by. 


Crawford depicts the stress of societal restraints as he embodies a bird flying through the wind passing the sun. 


“I want to fly past the sun, and see how far I can get without using my eyes.” 


The remainder of the poem highlights tumultuous times and the hardships of life that can result in growth, regardless of the scars left behind. 


Crawford describes his poem as painting a verbal visual of himself. Crawford explains how he is able to sow himself into his poetry like a seed and bloom along with the formation of the poem. 


Initially, he was inspired by rapper Tupac Shakur’s poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”. “When I saw Tupac’s work for the first time,” said Crawford, “ideas began to flood my mind.” 


 “I revert to poetry to indulge in the ideas that my mind creates,” said Crawford, “and I try to display those pieces into characteristics that attribute to the person I find in myself in the foundation of my poems.” 


“Poetry uncovers your soft spot,” said Crawford. “People see me as a big tough guy and wouldn’t expect me to write poetry, but I’m really a chill laid-back person.” 


Another one of the winning contestants is Rainey Thompson, a junior. She is the author of the poem, “The Flow.” 


In her poem, she alludes to the feeling of her mind whirling, emptied of coherent thought as if she is in a dream.


 “I spin around in circles, traveling along with the air, Getting caught up with the leaves.”


Thompson tries to draw a picture of stillness caught in a rapture of the effects of personal emotion and its contributing attributes in her poem. “I create a pathway between dreams and nature by comparing and connecting them to capture the essence of time passing by,” she said. 


 “For I get restless, and I find myself walking through the green fields.” 


Most of her poems follow a scheme that pertains to nature and dreaming. “I seek to display the feeling of going places you never may have dreamed of going,” said Thompson. “I hope to continue to write and share my works with others.” 


She is eagerly looking forward to the next step in the advancement of her poetry. “I’ve always loved to write, even since I was five.” 


Grimsley’s final winning contestant is Zai’ere Watson, a 10th grader.  She is the author of the poem What is love? 


In her poem, she peers into the depths of limitless love. “Love is a journey, an endless quest,”she said. “I delicately unravel the presence that love takes over in our lives.”


“It’s the strength to forgive, to heal the pain, to cherish the moments when two hearts remain.” 


Watson said she tried to take a universal emotion, capture it, and give it a story in her poem. “Love can be unspoken yet heard, it is located in the pits of our hearts and stretches out towards others like the branches of an evergreen tree,” she said. 


“It’s the power to uplift, to inspire and create, a love that transcends a love that’s innate.”


Watson strives to redefine the meaning of love in her own way and elaborates on the mental strife that comes along with love. “I like to place specific reminders throughout my poems that remind the reader that love is found within hope and grace and that we are love,” she said.


 “For in the depths of love’s embrace, we find solace, hope, and grace.”


Watson is able to express herself through her poems. “Writing is my safe haven. I like to go with the flow as thoughts and ideas flood my mind causing me to place pen to paper and write down my thoughts,” she said. 


“I like to refer to my poems as 12 a.m. poems because they’re random and I often write them at night, “ Watson said. “I hope that I am able to deliver a message to my readers that they can interpret for themselves.” 


Why the sky? 

By Nasir Crawford

I wish I could fly

Everyone is asking me for a reason why

I wanna fly past the sun and see how far I can get without using 

my eyes. Why?

Because I am who I am for a reason it’s no reason for me to lie

I'm going to just fly as high as I can until the day I die

The reason why is that there is no limit to the sky.

So if there is no limit to the sky. There should be no limit in my eyes or 

my mind

Sorry if i got off subject but some of you needed to be remind.

Remember who you are you can become anything you want no matter

the scars

You keep moving forward because as soon as you look back that’s 

When everything falls apart

Im not like the teachers imma tell you what it really is

They keep the truth away from you just to hide you and their fears

You gotta face your fears to get where you wanna be no matter if it 

comes to tears

Now let me tell you a lil about myself 

And how i made it here without no help even when i had to put

everything on the shelf

Might be a lil cook but ion care its not for anyone else


The Flow.

By Rainey Thompson

I spin around in circles

Traveling along with the air,

Getting caught up with the 


Going nowhere.

I search for something in the


I search for something in the 


I land down on Jupiter

And travel on to Mars.

Then I catch a ride with the wind

Back to earth again.

I land safely on the grass… and 

The weather is fair.

But then my bones being to ache

From sitting.

For I get restless,

And I find myself

Walking through the green fields, 

Searching for something else ..



What is Love?

By Zai’ere Watson

In the tapestry of life, love weaves its thread, 

A force that’s felt, in words left unsaid.

It’s a gentle touch, a warm embrace,

A connection that time cannot erase.


Love is a journey, and endless quest,

Through highs and lows. We give our best.

It’s the strength to forgive, to heal the pain,

To cherish the moments when two hearts remain.


Love is a language, unspoken yet heard, 

A symphony of emotions, no need for a word.

It’s the power to uplift, to inspire and create,

A love that transcends a love that’s innate.


So let love guide you, on this path we share,

Embrace its essence, handle it with care.

For in the depths of love’s embrace,

We find solace, hope, and grace.

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