Singing Birds

Posted April 10, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

In the morning a bird sings

“chirp, chirp, chirp.”

It sings about how it wants

to use words instead of sounds.

Soon there is a choir of birds

singing about what they want to do.

They will sing about eating good food,

about being grown.

They will sing about human things,

how they would want arms for wings,

and mouths for beaks, singing.

by Luke, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alexandra Maynard, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

Wake Up

Posted April 9, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by Anis Mojgani’s “Direct Orders”)

Wake up like there’s no tomorrow

Wake up like you’ve had a bad dream

Wake up like there’s a tiger racing after you

Wake up like the sky is falling

Wake up like your house is on fire

Wake up like you’re being chased down the street

Wake up like you’re Batman beating the Joker

Wake up like you’re late for basketball practice

Wake up like you didn’t finish your homework

Wake up like you’re ready to start the day

Wake up like you’re happy to see your friends

Wake up before you fall back to sleep

Wake up like you have a fridge full of Dr. Pepper

Wake up like it’s time for the cheer competition

Wake up like the universe is ending and

you only have one chance to be yourself.

By Alyssa, age 11

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Laura Anawaty (4th grade) and Jacob Goins (2nd grade) from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

La mariposa/The Butterfly

Posted April 6, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Un día vi una mariposa.

Yo me asomé por la ventana, y me salí de la casa.

Yo quería agarrar esa mariposa tan bella.

Corrí y tomé mi bicicleta para poder atraparla.

Después me subí a un avión para poder atraparla.

Luego la toqué y se sintió suave. Pude oler un rico perfume.

Yo escuché a la mariposa que seguia volando.

Mi corazon se sintió feliz de ver a la mariposa rosada tan bella.

Por eso me sentí contenta y feliz.

~

One day I saw a butterfly.

I looked out the window, and I went out of the house.

I wanted to catch the butterfly, it was so beautiful.

I ran and took my bicycle to try to catch it.

After that I went up in an airplane to try to catch it again,

then I touched the butterfly which felt so soft. I was able

to smell a magnificent perfume.

I heard the butterfly that continued to fly.

My heart felt happy to see the pink butterfly so beautiful.

For all these things I felt so content and happy.

By Emily, Kindergarten

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Chase Hayes and Van Logan Garcia, 4th grade students from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

Red Triangle Piñata

Posted April 5, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Me and my brother will hang

my red triangle piñata from a half-moon,

and I’ll punch it in.

It will sound like a song

when it breaks

and the candy melts out and falls on me

and then it drips on me

and feels like chocolate.

Inside are my cousins

jumping on the bed,

screaming so loud my brain

starts to scream.

And JD’s throwing a pass

to Josiah who passes it to me,

and I run for a touchdown

and do a Michael Jackson dance by myself.

With shiny black Jordans flying in the air,

I fly with them.

Inside the piñata

I will sit there with my family,

eating chicken nuggets

and nobody’s talking

because we’ll all be laughing.

By Daylen, 2nd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Conner Duffey, a 2nd grader from Parker Elementary.
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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

Lily Pads

Posted April 4, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

I like the lily pads that float on the pond

Green with a touch of pizzazz

The lily pad is the only one who has a heart

It spreads its magical beauty with its pinky petals

They come in all shapes and sizes

One is purple, a small sliver like a broken heart

It is a beautiful thing to look at in winter

by Alvara, 4th grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jennvie Bui, a 2nd grader from Parker Elementary.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

The Silent World

Posted April 3, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel)

The government has decided

to only allow us 167 words per day.

Nobody hears me.

The only one who hears me is my Grandma

because it’s silent, and she’s the one who sits with me.

And at school there is touching but not talking,

just making hand signals.

I feel like I’m not on the planet.

And when I get home nobody is talking.

I want to save my words for my Grandma

because she is so sweet.

I would like to tell her, “I love you.

You are my soul. You are my sky.”

By Natalia, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Marin Hart, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.

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This poem is featured as part of the 2012 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.

A Poem a Day, As You Like It

Posted March 29, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

April is almost here. This year there are more ways than ever to get your daily poem.  Pick your favorite. Celebrate National Poetry Month your way.

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Sign Up for A Poem a Day in April!

Posted March 15, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) celebrates National Poetry Month locally through bookmarks, public readings, and our email campaign, A Poem  A  Day.

Through this project, WITS will email a child’s poem each weekday during the month of April. If you subscribe to our blog, A Poem A  Day,  you know how inspirational it is to open your email or RSS feed each morning and be surprised by the words of children as young as 5 years.

All poems featured in A Poem A Day are written by students in grades K-12 who have participated in the WITS program. If you have a friend who appreciates the written word as much as you do, suggest they subscribe or sign up for a poem in April by clicking this link.

Be on the lookout in the coming days for ways you can share poetry with children all month long.  Here are the words of WITS student Quondaijah, a fifth grader, in honor of National Poetry Month:

We understand the sky

and see, laugh,

and love poetry.

The World Is With Me

Posted October 12, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

When I am lost, I turn to the stars

When I am lonely, I climb trees

When I am angry, the storm screams in my ear

When I don’t have any answers, I walk in the woods

When I feel strong, I run in the wind

When I am happy, the sun burns bright

No matter what, the world is with me

By Sid, age 11

How To Stay Young Forever

Posted August 29, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Ingredients:

2 cups green goop

1 tablespoon squishy mud

1 teaspoon gravel

1 cup of water from a tree

1/2 cup of a man’s red beard

1 squiggle from the sun

1 1/2 cup paper

Instructions:

1.  Go to the beach.  Collect lots of seaweed. Squeeze into a container until you have 2 cups.  (If it’s too much, drink some.)

2. Go to the woods and find dirt.  (If you get too much, feed it to a caterpillar and watch it blow up!)

3.  Find a tree and squeeze the bark to get a cup of water. Put it into the dirt. Mix to make 1 tablespoon of mud.

4.  Go to a graveyard. Brush the gravestones and measure a teaspoon of gravel.

5.  Go to your dad and tell him to grow a beard. If it’s not red, dye it!

6. Get on a flying pony and head for the moon. Take a bite of the moon. Mix it with spit and put it in a water bottle.

7.  Go home and tear up paper to get 1 1/2 cups.  Mix well with the mud and gravel mixtures. Stir in the man’s red beard.

8.  Add the moon and everything else.  Stir thoroughly.

9.  Microwave for 300 years.

10. Mix well and eat.  You’ll stay young forever.

by Lauren, 3rd grade

The Hurricane

Posted August 18, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

On August 18, 1983, Hurricane Alicia hit the Texas coast. It killed 22 people and caused a billion dollars in damage.

Many children have lived through natural disasters and witnessed difficult things. Creating a safe space for them to talk and write about their experiences is a form of healing.

Today, as we remember the destruction caused by Hurricane Alicia and other hurricanes, here is a poem by a high school student about what it feels like to live through one.  Her first-hand testimony captures the intensity of the storm, her fear, and her new-found understanding that home is not always safe.

We shouldn’t have stayed

Slashing winds, my parents arguing, and the electricity cut off

No way to take a bath to calm down because of this storm

My mom says I could get shocked

My dad says quit complaining

We shouldn’t have stayed

The rain looks like a wall of water

The winds are howling like monsters of my childhood

And I feel scared because I might be blown away

We shouldn’t have stayed

It’s black and dark and LOUD outside

I can’t sleep because I’m worried about the pets

that people might have left outside

I want to go home but I am home

We shouldn’t have stayed

by Lauren, 11th grade

Zeus

Posted April 29, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

You are the leafless trees
That refuse to shade me
You are the dark, looming sky
That strikes fear into the hearts of many

However, you are not the snow-capped mountains
With immense beauty
The clouds that run over them
They are not you

You are a goddess
Serving Zeus
But I am Zeus
Ruling the world

I am the glaring eyes of the deer you made into a trophy
And, I am the tall, powerful mountain
That overlooks your tiny home

Don’t worry though
You can still be the insignificant trees
Of which I have thousands
The sky, which I pierce with my lightning
Whose heart this poem touches

by  Julian, 10th grade
[photo by Jason Arends via flickr]

This poem (originally published 6/10/10)  is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Ode to Poetry

Posted April 28, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

O poem, you bring light

to my dark world.

O poem, you open my mind

to different things.

O poem, your words of wisdom

are like a saint.

O poem, you bring the gift of laughter

to my family and me.

O poem, each time I read you

you give me a chance in the spotlight.

O poem, when I read you,

it’s like I read God’s

spiritual mind.

O poem, you are like a chipmunk

wandering in the wild.

by Jose, 4th grade

This poem  is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Querida hermanita (Dear Little Sister)

Posted April 27, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Querida hermanita,
tu cabello es tan brillante
como las estrellas.
Tus manos son tan suaves
como las plumas de los pájaros.
Tus ojos son tan claros
como el agua del mar,
y tus labios son tan rojos
como las rosas.
Tus orejas tienen aretes
que parecen como joyas amarillas,
muy brillantes.
Tu sonrisa es tan blanca
como una perla,
y tu ropa parece como un arcoíris.
Tú eres tan valiente
como el fuego,
y corres tan rápido
como el chita.
Tú eres tan buena
que yo te daría todo mi amor,
como tú me lo diste a mí,
y te daría todas las perlas
que encuentre en el fondo del mar.
~
Dear little sister,
Your hair is very shiny
like the stars.
Your hands are so soft
like the feathers of the birds.
Your eyes are so clear
like the water in the sea,
and your lips are so red
like the roses.
Your ears have earrings that look like
yellow jewels,
very shiny.
Your smile is so white
like a pearl,
and your clothes look like a rainbow.
You are so brave
like the fire,
and you run so fast
like the cheetah.
You are so nice that
I would give you all my love,
like the way you gave it to me,
and I would give you all the pearls
that I could find in the bottom of the sea.

by Camila, 2nd grade
[photo by Just Megan via flickr]

This poem (originally posted on 8/10/2010) is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Where It’s Quiet

Posted April 26, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I come from
the dog that barks
in my neighbor’s backyard.
I come from
the noise of the hurricane
in 2008 when
many things were
crushed.
I come from
the clouds
in the middle of the sky.
I come from
a tree in the middle
of the world
where it’s quiet.

by Jonathan, 2nd grade

Photo by angus clyne via Flickr

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Let Sunrise Come

Posted April 25, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Let the night’s darkness
turn into the light of the sunrise.
Let it shine through
the windows of houses, buildings,
and barns.
Let the farmers start milking,
let the clouds float in.
Let sunrise come.
Let the children flood
into school.
Let the babies make messes
with their breakfast.
Let sunrise come.
To the lazy cats,
to the active puppies,
to the croaking frogs,
let sunrise come.
Let the roosters call
cock-a-doodle-doo as everyone
wakes up to their alarms.
Let it come
and let it be bright,
let sunrise come.

by Claire, 3rd grade

Photo by Jason A. Samfield via Flickr.

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Nature Metaphors

Posted April 22, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I am the koala that climbs. 
You are the wind that flows through the trees. 
I certainly am flowers in the meadow. 
There is not a doubt that you are the wolf that runs, 
but I am the sound of birds that sing in the morning, 
and you are the soft stream that flows. 
I am the lemur that swings, 
and you are the eagle that soars. 
I definitely am the breaking dawn, 
and you are the colors of the rainbow. 
I am the silence of night, 
and you are the monkey that howls. 
I am the shepherd’s sheep. 
You are the swaying branches. 
I am the bright blue sky. 
You are the white, clean dove. 
I am the icy mountain. 
You are the fruit that ripens. 
I am the Arctic Circle. 
You are the calmed ocean. 
I am the soft, sweet sand. 
You are the sound of joy. 
I am the lion that sleeps. 
You are the shark that moves forward. 
I am the shining fish. 
You are the nature of the world. 

by Antonio, 3rd grade

Photo by semuthutan via Flickr

Happy Earth Day! This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

The Mystery City

Posted April 21, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I hear the sounds of gangs fighting like red fire,
lobster and shrimp being cooked on orange, warm grills.
People being served at tables with happiness,
the loud sound of barking dogs that turn black,
sounds of footsteps walking through the night with sadness,
loneliness roams in the air,
gleaming light from the moon that the blind can see though the streets of Alabama.
The wind blows to make people fear the eye.
As the storm comes, people close their windows and doors to get away in fear.
As the winds pass, the city calms
so the midnight moon can pass once again.

by Valerie, 3rd grade

Photo by David Purdue via Flickr

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.

Living at the Arboretum

Posted April 20, 2011 & filed under Poem of the Day.

This morning I found
blueberries outside my window.
The branches of my house
smell like yummy nuts.
My friends are leopards
and run like air.
They dream about being kings.

by Heriberto, 3rd grade

This poem is featured as part of the 2011 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to learn more.