I was holding my father’s hand.
We lifted our necks high into the air.
The sculpture was so high.
We gasped in amazement.

We lifted our necks high into the air.
Your mother would have loved to see this, he said.
We gasped in amazement.
It was a breathtaking view.

Your mother would have loved to have seen this, he said.
My neck hurt.
It was a breathtaking view.
I looked down to ease the pain.

My neck hurt.
I was holding my father’s hand.
I looked down to ease the pain.
The sculpture was so high.

by Kadie, 6th grade
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When somebody stomps on a flower, it will make a funny noise. And when someone waters it, it starts growing and singing. And every time it grows a leaf, it starts dancing. And every time it reads a book, it gets smarter. I will tell you how it talks. Every time it sees a bird, it talks like a baby.

by Sebastian, 4th grade
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dog_clipart_hunting.gifLast night I found out that my dog has a secret life. When we all went to bed, I saw my dog, Memory, get the car keys and drive off! When Memory came back, she had a big bag from Pappadeaux’s restaurant. She pulled out some hot bread, a seafood platter and a large Coke. She also had a bag from Funco Land full of video games.

I was shocked, but I kept quiet. I watched her jump into my dad’s chair and turn on the television. She turned on the Nintendo 64 and started to play NBC Basketball. But she wasn’t very good at it. It’s hard to play Nintendo games when you have paws instead of fingers. She turned the game off and watched the Cartoon channel. Finally, she fell asleep with the TV on.

I went into the garage to see if she had scratched my dad’s BMW when she was driving it. If she did, I was going to tell him I had nothing to do with it. But, thank goodness, the car wasn’t scratched. Relieved, but still shocked, I tried to get some sleep because I had school the next day.

When I got up in the morning, Memory was curled up in her basket asleep. To this day, Memory doesn’t know that I know she has a secret life. She doesn’t know that I know she can drive, speak, and have common sense. But her secret is safe with me.

by Alicia, 3rd grade

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The writing prompt used is The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden.


My mom’s cheeks get red when she falls in Love.
She fell in love with my dad when she first saw him.
This is how it happened:
First my dad saw another man bothering her,
So my dad went over there and said, “Stop bothering her!”
My mom said thank you and her cheeks got red.
My dad’s did too, and he told my mom,
“I will pick you up tomorrow between 5:00 pm and 6:30.”

by Paola, 3rd grade
(painting by Adrian Wallet, via flickr)

Sounds like people talking nicely, no bad words

Tastes like fresh fruit from a field
or cookies at the Gonzalez’s

and a cool drink when you are outside in the hot summer

Smells like roses when they first bloom in my garden
Feels like the soft smooth fur of my cat Tiger,

and that fuzzy feeling you get when you love someone special

Looks like a field where a war once was
but has more flowers
and happiness
than any other field.

by Madison, 2nd grade
Painting by Jordana Klein

The WITS Summer Camp programs begin on Monday, June 11. The camp, co-sponsored by Rice University, has been named the “Best Summer Program for Kids” by the Houston Press. The central campus at Annunciation Orthodox School is nearly full. There are still spaces available for children in grades K-5 on the north Houston campus, located at Aldine Academy. For more information, click here.

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My name is Majeoxy.
1. I love my family because they love me.
2. I live in the South.
3. When I grow up, I want to be a nurse, cheerleader, teacher, singer, news reporter.

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04.jpgI always like going to Aunt Ida’s house in the springtime, the zydeco music blasting from the living room, smells of the barbecue and German chocolate cake coming from the kitchen and the slapping of dominoes on the card table…grandma using her two fingers to eat her famous mustard greens while reminiscing about the old days when things were pure….

by Melissa, 8th grade

I sit thinking

Thinking if I respect myself

If my temple is truly sacred

If I am filled with the strength of my ancestors

If I am a real woman, a woman of old

If I am the voice of my lost sisters

I sit thinking.

“My Thoughts,” by Ardella Williams, Southwestern High School, Detroit, published in Digging Up, Vol. 7

Check out the great story about our sister program, InsideOut, in this great article from the Detroit Free Press which concludes with a quote from Peter Markus:

“Every student in America — not only in Detroit — needs the kind of exposure to poetics that the InsideOut writers bring to the schools we currently serve. The imagination needs to be fed and fostered, or else it’ll simply dry up and fade away. If you ask a kid to dream, he’ll dream.”
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On the Other Side

I walked into a tunnel of blue
light and on the other side I
saw a world where mothers
hold babies, where muscle
men fall down, where ships
fly, where men take care of
men, where there is a castle,
where cats cry out loud, where
women have wings, where
birds sing, where there is a
heaven.

by Ali, 4th grade
(written at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston)


I.
On a royal blue day I feel like I am king. I wear a long velvet robe and sit on a throne under the stars.

II.
Green, oh, Green! Green days make me want to sleep on a bed of seaweed and hop from lily pad to lily pad.

III.
Brown is gooey. It’s like the inside of my grandmother’s cookies, fresh-baked from the oven.

IV.
On a white day my mind is blank as a piece of paper. I keep daydreaming about the clouds outside the classroom window.

V.
Neon pink is the color of my aunt’s nail polish. She puts it on every Saturday afternoon before her boyfriend picks her up.

VI.
Yellow is the color of butternut squash, sunflowers, and an old person’s teeth.

VII.
I’m bleeding. Red is plopping and splattering onto the floor below me.

VIII.
On a black day I frown and scowl at everyone I meet. My heart is full of tears that drip, drip, drip.

IX.
Orange makes me think of the boiling, sweaty sun that rises in the big, desert sky.

X.
Gray days make me want to curl up in bed and sleep. They make me feel like a black and white picture that’s been smudged or a thick sheet of ashes after a fire.

by Lulu, 4th grade

(based on the children’s book My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss)many-colored-days-cover.jpg

The winds
Are the many boyfriends you’ve had.
They come breezing through
Your path, blowing you away.
They are different each time.
Light and snappy
Or
Heavy and lingering.
They come and go,
But not as you please.

by Lisa, 10th grade

You’re dangerous
and
perfect
all in one

GET REAL

You know
big things
about
the beautiful world.

by Timothy, 7th grade

Poetry — it is something special, something that lets me know I’m safe. When I start to write poems, I think of something warm, soft, and cuddly. I think of things I can say to let other people know that they are also safe. But there is something very weird about poetry and me, because when I write poems I feel like I also have to hide them inside something, like inside a rock. If I were to hide poems inside rocks there would be mountains of poems. And if anybody were to want to read any of my beautiful poems, they would have to peel the rocks as if they were bananas. I would pick rocks to hide my poems inside because it would be like gold inside mountains.

by Blanca, 8th grade
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One day I was babysitting my little cousins, Jahlil, Naigwan, Zayna and Elija. My uncles and aunts had gone to a movie. They didn’t want to take their children, so I had to baby-sit them which at first I didn’t think was a very good idea. It was going to be a long evening for me.

My little cousin Elija started to cry seconds after they left. I gave him his bottle of milk. My cousin, Naigwan, wasn’t doing anything but playing with his dumb wrestling toys. My cousin Zayna started to cry because Naigwan threw a toy at her. I gave Naigwan ‘time-out’ for 30 minutes as if she cared.

All of a sudden something hit my head like a rock. My baby brother had thrown his bottle at my head and started to jump up and down, crying.

“Oh brother,” I said as I picked up the bottle. I took him in my arms, sat on the couch and rocked him to sleep. Then they all started jumping on me until they fell asleep. I put them in the bedroom and turned on the television to relax for a minute. I flipped the channel to the Apollo Show.

When my aunt and uncle arrived, all the babies were asleep. They were impressed and gave me 40 crisped dollars! I went to the shopping mall the next day. I guess it was worth babysitting my bad little cousins. I told them, any time!

by Kristina, 4th grade

I’m from the sopa de arroz, caldo de arroz, y
atole de arroz
smells coming from
the kitchen.
I’m from “You’re it” and “No, you are!” outside.
I’m from the buzzing bugs attracted to flowers, babies
crying in sync, and big books in disarray.
I’m from my grouchy,
old-fashioned, grumpy granny and
my irresponsible, regretful, marked-up
Mom.
I’m from “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that”
most of the day. “You did this wrong!
You never do anything right!”
I’m from the one-bedroom apartment packed
with five people’s noise that seems to penetrate
your mind . . . .

by Fabiola, 11th grade

There is a man walking in the rain
Looking in every building he passes
Hoping to belong somewhere
But being kicked out of every place he goes
And where he is accepted
He is abused
Not in a nasty way
But the way he shouldn’t be
As the man walks he says to himself
“I’m a waste”
And he wishes for the day when he can be accepted
Though it never comes
But as he stumbles and falls
Someone comes to his rescue
A man in bright clothes and shining in radiance
The sad man falls into his hands weak and brittle
Because of how he has been tortured
And he breathes his final breaths
Falling into a deep sleep
Then the bright shiny man whispers into his ear
“It’s okay, welcome home”.

by DeMarcus, 5th grade