XENIA — Joe McFarland has a simple method for writing poetry.
“If I see something that inspires something I’ll just jot it down,” the Greene County Career Center junior said.
Where better to draw inspiration from than a girlfriend? McFarland was thinking about Jordan Kraft, a sophomore at Beavercreek and penned “Heart” in her honor.
That ballad recently took third in the high school division at the 2014 Paul Laurence Dunbar Memorial Poetry Competition sponsored by Sinclair Community College.
“It’s kind of a love poem,” McFarland said. “About her and how she makes me feel.”
Taking third also made McFarland, an information technology student, feel good.
“I was pretty surprised,” he said. “I think I did better than I ever thought I could do. I just remember thinking it was so surreal. Unreal.”
As an information technology student McFarland focuses on basic computer repair and programming. It’s a far cry from poetry.
“I’ve actually found that I’m very versatile in a lot of things,” he said. “I don’t like to say I’m good at stuff.”
He prefers to let his work do that talking. But that didn’t stop others from showering McFarland with praise.
“(My friends) were just talking about how proud they were,” he said. “I was shocked by all the positive reinforcement.”
Writing is actually nothing new to McFarland, who spends a lot of his spare time exploring his creative side.
“I’ve (been) influenced by a bunch of different artists,” McFarland said.
His specialty, obviously, is poetry, but he also likes to write music and other “stuff like that.”
As a placer, McFarland was invited to attend a gala to recognize all winners and will receive a cash prize. He was one of 10 GCCC students to enter the competition. In all, that division had 27 entrants.