Poetry Poker: A Moonlit Season (collaborative poem)

Posted August 30, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Listen to the shimmering dream season
Clash, storm, fire, compose,
Forget, break and burn, leap and smile
Whisper to myself, wishing life was gold and not sour
The heart of the sea possesses a deep vast roar.

A spring season frolic, hidden in a storm
Whispers to the twisted, swaying, gleaming mountain
The shimmering smoke causes trees to leap from the earth
Vast bliss in the shy moonlight of love
I smile gracefully as the smell of roses fill the air.

I scream and leap, forgetting to whisper,
Listen to the giggles of the moonlight in winter on earth

The stony smoke breaks and the crystal shines bright

A golden tree stares into the fire of bliss
While the shy lion prowls around the crushed mountain spring

I stare at the vast moonlight as it burns into dawn
My deep, sour life turns into a golden smile
Grace whispers in the bright frolic of a dream
The roaring sea rises in heartbreak
And the winter season is a time to compose love songs
In front of the fire

The mountains sway in sea air
Winter storms grace us with their whispered wishes
Terrorists try to break the strong earth with twisted fire
While the butterfly burns for a tree in a moonlit dream—
This is the season to smile and forget about being shy and hurt.

Collaborative Poem
by 11th and 12th graders

Thank You

Posted May 1, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Thank you for participating in A Poem a Day with Writers in the Schools (WITS).

If you enjoyed reading poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month, here are some options for staying in the WITS “loop” throughout the year:

    • “Like” the WITS page on Facebook or follow us on twitter for the latest news and invitations to all our public events and performances.
    • Subscribe to the WITS blog or join our mailing list.
    • Send your children to our creative writing camp this summer.
    • Join our free writing program for grades 2-8 every Saturday morning at Discovery Green.
    • Attend the Meta-Four Space City Grand Slam poetry competition on Saturday, May 11th at the HPL Central Library Plaza at 10 AM.
    • Support young authors as they share original work at The Watchful Eye reading at the Menil Collection on Thursday, May 23rd, at 7 PM.
    • If you’d like to make a donation to keep the Writers in the Schools programs reaching as many Houston youth as possible, please click here.

    We would like to thank the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and the Texas Commission on the Arts for sponsoring A Poem a Day 2013.  Thanks to H-E-B for sponsoring poetry displays in H-E-B Montrose and Buffalo Speedway Markets.

    Organizations distributing poetry bookmarks: Agora Coffee, Amy’s Ice Cream, Andy’s Café, Antidote Café, Art Car Museum, Barnevelder, Beavers, Berry Hill, Bohemeo’s Coffee, Brazilian Arts Foundation, British Isles, Buffalo Exchange, Cactus, Cafe Brasil, Canyon Creek, Catalina’s Coffee, Cedar Creek Café, Chocolate Bar, Copy.com, Costumes and Dancewear, Crickets Café, Croissant Brioch, Crowne Plaza Hotel, District 7 Grill, DiverseWorks, Double Tree Hotel, Dry Creek Café, El Meson, Empire Café, Epicure Café, Episcopal High School, Field of Greens, FIT Athletic Club, Four Seasons, Freebirds, FrenetiCore, Half Price Books, Hilton Hotel, Hobby Center, Hotel ICON, Houston Artists’ Collective, Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Community College, Houstonian Hotel, Hyatt Regency, Java Java Café, Jewish Community Center, Khon’s, Lancaster Hotel, Leapin’ Leotards, Lola Restaurant, Main St. Theater, Menil Bookstore, NiaMoves (Pecore), Onion Creek Café, Pie in the Sky, Project Row houses, Renaissance Hotel, Retropolis, Salento Coffee, SPA at Jones Hall, Star Pizza, Stages, Swirl, Tacos A GoGo, Talento Bilingue de Houston, Teahouse Beverage, Te House of Tea, Treebeards, University of Houston, Visitors Center, Waldo’s Coffee House, Warren’s Café, Westin Hotel, Westin Oaks Hotel, West University Dance Center, Wortham Center, and 59 Diner.

    A very special thanks goes to the staff at KPFT  90.1 FMJohnston Middle School for the Performing and Visual Arts Principal Wenden Sanders, his students, staff and teachers, and producer Susan Phillips for featuring the poems on the radio each weekday.  Thank you also to KUHF for having WITS students read their Houston inspired poems for the new radio show, Houston Matters.

    May creativity spur you onward each and every day.  Happy May!

Land of the Lone Star

Posted April 30, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Leaving land of lone star

of heat, humidity, and horses

on a huge white bird

over open ocean

in night’s ebony embrace

Out of the ominous

an amazing archipelago

the pearl of perfection

the majesty of mountains

home

By Samuel, 7th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by  Carson Brown, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Ish Poem

Posted April 29, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

In the dark-ish night, deep in the

city, the sunset made blue-ish, orange reflections

in the calm river. The boats were heading

to the nearby dock. The tree in the

field with the ruffled shadow became clear.

The smoke from the burning bridge fell to peace.

By Michelle, 5th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Brianna Pierre, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

My Scarecrow (An Incantation)

Posted April 26, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

My scarecrow has a shadow so she can

scare away my feelings of being alone.

My scarecrow has a trap of knives and electrical strings

for a spine so she can scare away Old Man

Scratch. She has snakes for hair like

Medusa to scare away eight-legged arachnids.

My scarecrow has vampire teeth to scare away

my dolls that like to try to kill me. She has a glittery

eye to scare away the ugly cockroaches.

My scarecrow has a burning candle for a heart

to scare away the creepy bathrooms. My scarecrow

has an invisible neck to scare devils and spirits and skeletons.

I put my scarecrow on a necklace and earrings

and all types of jewelry and all over my room

so she scares away all of my horrible, terrible,

creepy, crawly, spooky dreams.

By Asinah, 3rd Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Christian Miller, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Hardly Myself

Posted April 25, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

Today again I am hardly myself.

Grass sprouts from my hair like antennae.

Flowers become my eye lashes

as bark covers my soul.

My teeth are like acorns

crunching on my concrete tongue.

Rocks and stones become

my hardcore bones.

Thorns grow like fingernails

on my berry-scented skin.

Roses are my ears,

only for the bees.

My toes are the squishy

clay straight from the ground.

The plaque on my teeth is

like rust from metal.

My lungs beat like the

countdown on a clock.

Why, why am I hardly myself?

By J. B., 4th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Elizabeth Tyska, an 8th grade at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Oceanlight

Posted April 24, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

A haunted lighthouse flicks on

and off. Sailors get lost.

The moon beams onto the middle

of the ocean.

Until a breezy wind floats by

and no more light shines.

Only sounds of waves float by

And mystery falls into the air.

By Julia, 3rd Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Kevin Hernandez, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

The Night

Posted April 19, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Owls are hooting

The stars look pale yellow

like they are invisible

When everyone is asleep

thousands of animals hunt

In the north sky the moon

is bright white

There’s a sweet smell coming

from the trees

The night goes by very fast

like butter slipping out of your hands

until the sun comes up

By Rhea, 5th grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jonathan Zepeda, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

q

Posted April 18, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Who are you, little q?

I am a music note

Sitting on a page

Waiting for someone to play me

I’ll be in the orchestra someday

My dreams are waiting to come true

I wait all night

for you to listen to me

By Regina, 3rd grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Charlotte Ehlers at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Yellow

Posted April 17, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Yellow

is a sun

lighting the day.

Yellow is a banana

in my stomach. Yellow

is my mother

forever cleaning

in the kitchen.

Yellow is cold

as gold. It is a rock

a child paints. A yellow blanket

wrapping a baby. It is

the smell of vegetable soup

and birthday cake. Yellow

is a duckling swimming

when the sun is setting.

By Diego, 3rd grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Trevor Mangum at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

The Birth of a Superhero: The Super Reader

Posted April 16, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

The day I was born, the best

super hero book was published.

My family crowded around that book

in the library, and then I appeared.

They looked at me and assumed

I was a robot toy, but no. I was a boy

with a dictionarial head, and my fingers were book

lights. I smelled of ink and paper from the many

books I read. I arrived in the world with dozens of science

fiction and long chapter books. I was fifteen

inches tall, four inches wide, and four inches in depth.

I had a hoarse and deep voice as if I had been talking

to myself for days on end. I tasted something in my mouth

like factory-fresh cellophane on the new books

coming off the assembly line. The air inside the amazing

circle of curiosity was dense, warm air, and everybody

was sweating. I grew and kept reading

books for the rest of my super hero lifetime.

By Ryan, 3rd Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Hannah Reeves, a 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

My River

Posted April 15, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.


My river begins with hunger.

My mother calls me in my mind.

As I hear her,

hear her,

as she sees me,

I feel that I can touch her

and smell the perfume of her body.

She is a daily memory

as if she passes by me

with her smell of cheetah.

By Kayla, 4th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Kendall Pickens, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer and KPFT volunteer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Dear Dad

Posted April 12, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

You are the campfire that smells like earth

and you are like the letter ‘U.’

You are the soccer team and

the ball getting a goal

that helps your team win. You are a

car driving all over the world.

However, you are not the pizza

trapped in heat. You are not the

paddle that slips from the canoe.

You are not the dinosaur that eats boys.

I am the days of swimming and catching fish

with friends. I am playing cars and making goals.

I am the sun that walks the earth.

By Ulises, 3rd Grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/10-dear-dad-4-12-13.mp3

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Ajay Ramsander, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Mayor Parker Announces Houston’s First Poet Laureate

Posted April 11, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

imagesMayor Annise D. Parker and Houston Public Library (HPL) Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson announced that Gwendolyn Zepeda has been selected as Houston’s first Poet Laureate.

Gwendolyn Zepeda, a Houston-based author, has published numerous works of fiction and poetry.  Her book of poems, It’s Zepeda Not Zapata, will be published in 2014. As Houston’s first Poet Laureate, she will do community outreach and conduct poetry-writing workshops in diverse neighborhoods.  We’ll post those workshops here, so that you don’t miss them!

Robin Reagler, Executive Director of Writers in the Schools (WITS), served on the Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee, which assisted in the nomination and selection process.

Life in the Hood

Posted & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

Where I’m from

people be wearing

red and

rockin’ Jordans.

You hear police sirens down the street.

Graffiti everywhere you look.

Where I live

it’s called Denver Harbor.

It smells like smoke when

I take a walk outside.

Where I’m from

people be jammin’ to

Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross

Tyga, Wiz Khalifa.

The cops arrest your

homeboys for no reason.

They give them five years

in prison.

You speak to them

but they won’t listen.

Mothers and fathers devastated.

When you’re in the hood

you gotta make the right choices.

Living at home is hard.

Your parents have that talk

about drugs, sex, and alcohol.

They say, “What kind of life are you going to have?”

By Andrea, 7th Grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/09-life-in-the-hood-4-11-13.mp3]

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Janet Asante, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

To Live Without

Posted April 10, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

To live without air,

to live without water,

I would love to love you,

but a little less.

To live without you is like

A fish that lives without water.

Give me your attention:

A bird that flies without the sky,

A flower that grows without the earth,

To live without your love

Is to live without living.

By Margaret, 2nd Grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/08-to-live-without-4-10-13.mp3]

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jordan Dora, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Slow Beauty

Posted April 9, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

A hippo ambles

on the sandy floor.

It strides and staggers

and saunters, uttering a low moan.

With great effort,

after a few minutes

of clear and glossy silence,

it hauls itself back

to the shimmering pond

making soft,

exquisite ripples.

By Seo-Ho, 4th grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/07-slow-beauty-4-9-13.mp3]

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jailyn Williams, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

We’re Built Like Horses

Posted April 8, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

We are built like horses,

Strong, free and stubborn,

Our manes meant to feel the wind

But we were not born as such

We do not live with tenderness or freedom

Because we were born into bondage

Unto fingers cold to the touch

Every step is planned

Every stray is punished

In a land ruled by the likes of injustice

Where lies spread like fires to an open plain

Speech is not free

Every word has a price

And we are afraid to speak

For our words are their scripts

We are not us

But those that they want us to be

Shackled by the atrocities of their rule

Under an oath to be their servants

So, I say, they must be cast away

Replaced with those true in heart

Overrun by those with knowledge and goodness

So that they may be realized as the monsters they are

When we finally open our eyes

The people will be free

Our ignorance will fade

And the sun will shine again

We are built like horses,

Strong, free, and stubborn

Truly free at last, horses we can be

By Alex, 8th Grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Clara Marsh, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

The Rhinocerosaur

Posted April 5, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

The Rhinocerosaur is half rhino,

Half T-Rex. He is now extinct

From the Houston Arboretum,

But he still lives in a training center

In my backyard.

I got him from an egg

That was in the ground

He smells like cologne

And feels slimy.

My Rhinocerosaur loves to perch.

He makes a luko-liko sound.

I have to use sign language

To talk to him.

By Damien, 2nd Grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/05-the-rhinocerosaur-4-51.mp3]

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Mia Coyle, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.  

Sweet and Sour

Posted April 4, 2013 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Blazing hot,

Like cookies, fresh out of the oven.

Crispy, like autumn leaves,

Salty like the sea.

Left outside too long, they droop,

Like dead flowers.

They come from a lumpy, ugly home.

When separated, they huddle together,

Like penguins on a cold, Artic day.

Golden brown, like dirty blonde hair.

Piled high on your plate,

Like the tallest pyramid.

And drizzled with deep red sweet and sour sauce.

The smell of it can be overwhelming,

But once you’re done, you want more and more,

Like a gambler.

By Alisa, 6th Grade

[audio http://wits.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/04-sweet-and-sour-4-4-13.mp3]


Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Kllana Fuller, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.

This poem is featured as part of the 2013 A Poem a Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more. 

Special thanks to Susan Phillips, an independent radio producer in Houston, who recorded and produced all the poems for the WITS A Poem a Day campaign.