I Am

Posted December 12, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

sushi-moleskine-by-renmeleonI am the taste of sushi like butter on my tongue.

I am the smell of my grandpa’s old books that smell like dust.

I am the bursting fireworks and the smoke they leave behind.

I am music without a beat.

I am the smell of exotic spices.

I am the messy fluff on my dog’s head.

I am the scholar that ponders impossible questions.

I am always sleeping.

I am the taste of spicy wasabe burning my mouth.

I am the graceful arcs and curves of the Japanese alphabet.

I am the velvety fur of my rabbit.

I am the overgrown backyard full of soft grass and strong oaks.

I am the mysterious trinkets collecting dust in the attic.

I am the smell of treats baking in the oven.

I am the scratchy blankets that warmed my mom once.

I am ancient voices telling forgotten stories.

I am a page full of printed letters worn by time.

I am the spicy bursts of flavor in Thai food.

I am the calming warmth of a cup of tea.

by Charles, 7th Grade

Orange and Black

Posted October 31, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

When I bite into an orange, the juice tickles my tongue.
Cockroaches crawl in the dark corners.

Pumpkins grow in big, beautiful pumpkin patches.
Bats fly in caves like the wind.

I see goldfish swimming in beautiful ponds.
The sky at night makes my eyes twinkle.

When I have a bite of tomato soup, it soothes my throat.
Licorice is my favorite candy of them all.

Tony the Tiger has the best cereal I’ve tasted.
Cows’ spots are the darkest shade of black I’ve ever seen.

Cheetos are the best chips I’ve eaten.
Car wheels speed down the long, black road.

When the sun sets, it is always the best time of the day.
I do the best tap dance with my tap shoes in my house.

Ronald McDonald’s hair is a very dark shade of red.
When I pick up dirt with my hands, it makes my fingers stick together.

Doxorubicin drips slowly into the IV to kill my cancer cells.
I have the best handwriting on a chalk board.

Carrots are my favorite type of vegetables.
I see black cats running to my house on Halloween night.

by Emily, 2nd grade
Texas Children’s Cancer Center

Halloween Poem

Posted October 7, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

Black Cat

The witches screech
the pumpkins gloom
the black cat sleeks
silently through the dark
the ghosts glow in the night
the zombies stomp around
the black cat sleeks silently
through the dark

the werewolves growl
the goblins moan
the black cat sleeks silently
through the dark

by Valerio, 2nd Grade

Spiral Poem

Posted May 5, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

Text = I feel like I’m a yo-yo spinning till the string falls in half. It’s like a giant twister. It’s like a bright red spinning top. It’s like a model of the solar system. It’s like I’m being sucked into a black hole. It’s like I’m in a whirlpool. I hear the clothes rumbling in the dryer. I hear the tornado roaring like a fierce lion. I see the ugly eyes of a rainbow monster.

by Charles, 3rd Grade


Posted April 28, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


When I get mad I think darkly.
Flames coming out of men.
Black, heartless, nothingness, twisters.
I feel like throwing the world into a trash can.
One man crashing everything in sight.
The black rose.
A black casket.
A cow producing black milk.
The sun falling out of the sky and the moon never coming up.
Black graffiti on every man’s heart.
The blind being able to see,
Those with sight becoming blind.

By Jaylon, age 13

(photo by FDB Graphics via flickr)

Ghost, Writing

Posted April 24, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

When I was a child, I loved watching TV programs such as “In Search Of…” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” Each one tantalized me with stories of impossibility. While I wasn’t entirely sure that I believed in, say, the Loch Ness Monster or ghosts, the very idea of these creatures ignited my imagination. In fact, I wrote an embarrassing number of unicorn poems when I was in junior high.

I find that many children share that fascination with the mysterious, carrying on the age-old tradition of swapping ghost stories at slumber parties or daring each other to summon Bloody Mary in the bathroom mirror.

Recently, I decided to capitalize on this interest in improbable creatures by asking my students to write poems from the point of view of a being or creature that most people say does not exist. Students suggested a great list of possible subjects they could speak for, including ghosts, Bigfoot, mermaids, elves and La Llorona.

The idea of writing from another being’s point of view is intriguing; you must convincingly capture the voice and ideas of someone or something completely outside your normal range of experience. I emphasized to my students that these poems must be a way for these beings to help us humans understand their lives. These could be greatly detailed, such as descriptions of the lengths a rather annoyed Bigfoot must go in order to keep away odious humans that want to pester him, or simple, such as Margaret Atwood’s “This is a Photograph of Me,” written from the point of view of what seems to be a ghost.

Here is one student’s response to the assigment:


why must people be scared
why can’t they see me
maybe because I’m just made of sand
I will walk till I find out what’s wrong
the Mars Rover will someday be found
I will be known
I will be found
I will meet the people at last
they will know about me
I will meet the water the Earthlings have
I will not just be sand and dust
I will be water and life

by Caroline, 3rd grade

[“ghost” photo by Daniel Schwabe via flickr]

posted by Tria Wood, Writers in the Schools

Elephant Wishes

Posted April 23, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


I always wanted to go somewhere
where there were no poachers
and we could rest more
and not get eaten by lions.
I always wanted to be the Emperor of China
and I would banish all of the poachers
and send them to Madagascar.

by Sydney, age 7

(originally posted on July 23, 2007)

video = 23 seconds


Posted April 22, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

I will put in my box

A giant greenish-blackish tree
Sparks from a pistol
The cries of thousands of people

I will put in my box

The founder of Pakistan
The books of the year
The uniforms of people who died in wars

I will put in my box

A beautiful day of Independence
A taste of victory
Sounds of firecrackers

I will put in my box

Celebration of our heroes
Sights of our people happy
A view of my grandfather’s garden–he died studying those books

My box is made of brown, old papers, papers of Independence
I will celebrate my country in my box with my family.
I will play cricket in my box forever!

by Mahid, 5th grade

(Originally posted on July 24, 2007)

(photo by Lakerae via flickr)

Found Poem

Posted April 21, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


Power to begin can inspire
a whole new thing.
You can taste the good life
anytime you want.

By Philip, age 13
(originally posted on September 27, 2007)

All Kids Deserve Glory

Posted April 20, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

All kids deserve glory.
In what books do artists catch gold,
What island just passes to exist?
The old men help change history
with thinking and serious writing.
Perfect is gone.
You take time from people,
You have no name…need one?
Get it free.

By Maria, age 15

(photo by Jeridaking via flickr)

Text Messaging the Ocean

Posted April 18, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


You will feel the vibrations.
If you don’t reply, you might drown.
Text the ocean, she will text you back
She will send a breeze.
You will shiver.
She will send a smell you will like.
You will see a big cloud come out of the ocean.

By Daniel, age 12
(photo by Dougww via flickr)

I am a Seashell

Posted April 17, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

seashells.jpgI am a seashell
waiting for
somebody to see

I am shiny and
curled up like a
cinnamon roll.
I’m rough and

I swim
with the
sea and
the sea
with me.

I am
cold inside
so if you
touch me
you’ll shiver and

I swim
around the
sea with
animals living
inside of me.

I’m joyful
in the sea
with fishes
and sea
surrounding me.

I like
being a

can hear
the sea
inside of

By Melissa, age 7

(photo by Omnia via flickr)

video = 46 seconds

I Walk Alone

Posted April 16, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Wynton’s eyes see the night in a whole different dawn,
Walking his dog with his headphones on.
Listening to the music that takes his mind away,
Not into the night, but a whole new day.

Ignoring the world that continues to die,
Sad-hearted people harmoniously cry,
But not Wynton Macklin in a world all his own,
Walking his dog with his headphones on.

X-girlfriend’s shoulder colder than an igloo.
His best friend is dating who?
It won’t matter to Wynton unless it’s lyrics to a song,
Walking his dog with his headphones on.

As the world falls apart, Wynton is left alone.
Keep calling but reality won’t answer the phone.
So Wynton stays proud as he grows alone,
Walking his dog with his headphones on.

By Wynton, age 14

(originally posted on July 16, 2007)

When I Write

Posted April 13, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

wrting.jpgWhen I write,
I imagine.
I use my heart.
I listen to my soul-mind.

I use my hands,
and touch the tip of the pencil.

I write words.

I imagine things I want to do.
I can write a story.
I listen to myself.
I feel free.

By Nathan, age 8
(photo by Alexander De Block via flickr)

Ode to Clementines

Posted April 12, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

clementines1.jpgOh, have you ever trifled with

a juicy tree treasure?

Oh, have you owned

an orange orb?

Oh, have you conjured

a Clementine,

With all its juicy jumble?

The delicate flavors

tango on the tongue,

spraying their

supple sweetness.

Tangy but tart,

tree treasure from

the earth—

the Courageous Clementine!

By Jacob, age 8
(photo by BabyJD via flickr)

Explaining Colors

Posted April 9, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


Red is the color of lava bursting out of a volcano.

Black is the color of a cave where the deadly bats live.

Gray is the color of metal that holds things together.

Brown is the color of mountains high in the sky.

Green is the color of leaves hanging on a tree.

Blue is the color of waves in the sea.

Yellow is the color of the sun out in space.

Purple is the color of wild berries hanging on a bush,

And white is the color of stars high above me.

By Raphael, age 6

[photo by My empress via Flickr]

video = 48 seconds

Being a Tiger

Posted April 8, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

If Billy Collins could be turned into a library
in one sentence,
perhaps he could transform me into something new:
a book with never-ending pages for me to fill with my thoughts,
a plane, a spaceship that could travel through the galaxy.

I am not bored of my life now, but a little more adventure would be great.
When Kafka writes on his pages and
loops and lines appear,
they turn me into a volcano, a comic book, a bed so I’ll always be comfortable,
or a tiger.

To awaken as a tiger,
I would pass my days in the forest,
drinking from a cool river full of natural water.
I would watch for all prey and leave a size twelve footprint in the ground saying,
“Paws Was Here!”
I would sleep in the trees, hidden in the
leaves, spying on any animal passing under me.
I would run until my legs were numb.

by Parris, age 14

I Am

Posted April 6, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


I am a snake slinking in the sky.
I am the blazing yellow of the sun.
I am a soldier wanting peace.

I am a time line traveling
in the night before dawn.
I am the spiky vine of a plant.

I am a shining pearl in a rough clam.
I am an electric guitar rumbling again.
I am the Milky Way in the world’s well.

By Cecily, age 9

[painting by Marketseq via Flickr]

Holding My Little Sister

Posted April 2, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


I remember one sunny Friday I went to the
hospital with my parents to see my newborn
sister. There was a lady holding my little sister,
and she asked me, “Would you like to hold your
little sister?” I said, “Okay.” While I was
holding my little sister, my mom said, “Why
don’t we take a picture?” The lady took the
picture for us. When I was holding my little
sister, I felt happy that I was a big brother. She
felt really small, and it felt like I could squeeze
her, but I wouldn’t do that. I felt cool about
being a big brother, and one day I can tell my
sister what happened when she was small and I
held her.

By David, age 8

[photo by Stefanie via flickr]

Contest Op: Sarah Mook Poetry Prize

Posted March 19, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

What: Sarah Mook Poetry Contest for Students

Where: P.O. Box 20 Lahaska, PA 18931

Why: To acknowledge, encourage and reward the efforts of student poets

Who: David Mook, email: davidmook (at) aol.com [Please include “Sarah Mook Poetry Contest” in subject line.]

When: the deadline is March 31, 2008

2008 Guidelines:

Prize winners will receive $100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize and $25 Third Prize in each of four categories:

  • Kindergarten through Second Grade
  • Third through Fifth Grades
  • Sixth through Eighth Grades
  • Ninth through Twelfth Grades

birdy-bento-by-look-at-my-photos-via-flickr.jpgYou may enter up to three poems of any length on any subject. All poems must be typed. Your name should not appear on the poems. Include a separate cover sheet with the poem titles, your name, grade, address, and the name of your school. Also include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to receive results by mail. An optional donation of $5 (five dollars) in the form of check or money order payable to the “Sarah Mook Outreach Fund” would be appreciated. Donations will be given in Sarah’s Memory to the boys and girls of St. Joseph’s Indian School, Chamberlain, South Dakota.Entries must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2008. Winners will be announced in May. Send entries to Sarah Mook Poetry Contest P.O. Box 20, Lahaska, PA 18931.