The Red Hat Lady

Posted February 28, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

kidnr-fbhtr-weylb-redhatlady72.jpgI’m walking down the street
in my pumps and my heels
with my red hat all the
fellas wanna kill

One fella said
Oh, she’s fine
The other fella said
I wish she was mine

I walk to the bus stop
All the ladies say,
I wonder what’s her secret?
What’s her secret?
What’s her secret?

I say
You really wanna know?
You really wanna know?

They say
Yes, yes what’s your secret?

I’m just the red hat lady,
I’m just the red hat lady,
I’m just the red hat lady.

by Sharde, age 12

There’s a Harlem Renaissance in my Head

Posted February 20, 2008 & filed under Notebook.


The trombones slap me in the face with their high-life beats and the piano’s glamorous tunes tap me on my shoulder and whisper in my ears. As I look down into the Juke-Joint from my bedroom floor, rotted house, rotted life, plain rotten, seems forgotten as the music plays and the beats go down to the same rhythm of my heart’s pound, there’s a Harlem Renaissance in my head, there’s a Harlem Renaissance in my head.

Through the floor a light where the music roared, overtakes the darkness that surrounds me as I look through this floorboard. I can see the hoppin’ and a dancin’ and the suave men a prancin’ around the young ladies who stand stunning on the floor….

The music stops, the poet stands up, and with each turn of the page he demonstrates, as his mind’s thoughts he will emancipate, and everybody in the room he will captivate. His pen his only weapon in which injustice he must irradiate. As I look down into the Juke-Joint from my bedroom floor, rotted house, rotted life, plain rotten seems forgotten as the music plays and the beats go down to the same rhythm of my thoughts pound, there’s a Harlem Renaissance in my head, there’s a Harlem Renaissance in my head.

Let your ink run rampant, Langston Hughes. Let your fingers tickle the ivories forever, Duke. At every moment history being make in my own personal Juke-Joint. I lean my ears to hear ever closer and find my mind in a past tense, opening my eyes to see beauty, but surrounded by pure silence. There’s a Harlem Renaissance in my head, a Harlem Renaissance in my head.

by Maurice, 12th Grade

Wisdom by Anancia

Posted January 31, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

the wavy corn the lady

standing the baby sleeping

the mom watching the morning

comes the animal waking the

daylight is coming the forest

singing the animals creeping

musical sounds everywhere it’s like

a band it’s sleeping children

keeping and sleeping they’re

waiting for morning waiting for

evening waiting for sleeping again

until that time comes

everybody will be sleeping

everybody except the moon

and the sun everybody will

be sleeping everybody

I tell you and you

believe me believe

it like a dream it’s

true it’s true and


by Anancia, 4th grade


Posted January 10, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

I ollie to the
Kickflip with my
Board, trucks, &
Wheels, the tricks
Are the element
My board I have
To ride, smoothly
I steady, I kick
Faster & faster
I bail & fall now.
It is a disaster.
I am no longer
The master.

by Giuliano, 9th Grade



Posted December 6, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


rushing to the bright light
crushing the paint that’s right
swirling the lime green on
fiber glass through the night
going to your cozy spot
and making the metal hot,
blue and orange sparks flying
through the dark like shots
swigging a swirl and making a
curl, hurling a twirl to the sky
up high—don’t let the
zigzag get in your eye
dazzle the dime and razzle
the wine, neon red hoodooing
through my inner calm, black
stalling and falling everwhichaway
as long as nobody says get outta my
way, zipping and zagging through
a lazy day, shutting the door and

by Leander, age 14


Posted December 3, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

roller coaster

Catch the breeze,
clack, clack, clack
up the tracks to the
rack at the top of
the hill, still

black silence with
no violence, heart
pounding, hounding
the air with a pair
of butterflies

suddenly, herking
and jerking, forwards,
backwards, then
dropping from the top,
plopping and flopping

my head bopping, nerves
on the curves, the
speed swooshing like
the wind, looping and
swooping and the need

to stop before I pop off
the top
but still another hit of
loops, round and
round, a blur of motion

like the ocean, rolling
and dropping, down and
down, then turning into
more loops like
hoops, racing towards

the exit, jerking, herking,
and plerking, dizzy and
zizzy, swaying and stumbling,



by Javier, age 15
photo by Johann Espiritu via flickr

Blessings from Me to You

Posted November 20, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

May your sycamore tree grow hands.

May the sun heat your heart.

May your legs swing like a carnival.

May your house never be blue.

May the rain kiss your eyelids.

May starfish protect your dreams.

May music blossom into flowers.

May a tornado dance through your enemy’s house.

May icicles hang like angels.

May you smell like white lace.

May you find an emerald ring.

May you catch the world in your hands.

May you sleep under the moon’s eye.

by Jennifer, 5th Grade

Autumn Whispered to their Upturned Faces, originally uploaded by Trapac via flickr


Writing Outside

Posted November 16, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


The invisible wind is wild and crazy like me.

When it blows, it tickles my skin,

The sun is lemon yellow,

it shines bright like my smile.

The gigantic puffy clouds float by slowly and quietly.

It is hard to sit here and write.

My friends are talking, laughing, and writing.

The old brown tree branches are moving in the breeze.

I love writing out here!

Poems fill my heart

like roses in a flowerbed.

I hope we do this next time,

when the weather is kind again.

by Graciella, 7th Grade

The Tree Turning Red

Posted October 30, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


The kind of person I was is not the kind of person I am.
Just a body,
A potato sack of nards.
A tree turning red against a blue sky full of mourning,
Summer is dying and so is my heart.
Voices flutter like the birds,
So free and blinded as their broken wings fight against the impossible,

Sitting in a window is no way to live your life.
Sitting in a man is no way either.
Mother was sewing and pricked herself.
She didn’t forget to wince but she forgot to bleed.
She went to bed without talking and no food.
Bright white skin matching purple bags of restlessness awoke the next morning,
Only to find her children had been consumed by adulthood.

I sat feeling the summer kissed skin surrendering to the pink.
The pink soon darkened,
Slowly turning my skin red,
Then fell to white as winter sucked away summer from my mind and fall from my eyes.
Every night filling halls fat with loud voices,
Never talking,
Just yelling so that the truth could never enter their ears
Lies were slapping them blind,
Leaving them daft and retarded on the floor.

I went away from the tree turning red,
Never to see it again,
To experience its beauty,
Its hatred of the world around it dying,
Bending to the winter.
Back there,
I still hear the yelling.

by Tracy Jayne, 12th Grade

photo by flummoxed1 via flickr

Ode to Friday

Posted October 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

“Let go, Monday!”
Dragging me from my fun weekend.
Yet, like all bullies, your meanness chases me to
school where I’m safe with my friends.

Tuesday, You coward, Monday’s henchman.
Yeah right, all you do is use your big, fat self to
keep me from Friday.

Wednesday, neutral. Not sweet, not sour.
I wait ‘til days end, only one more hour.

Thursday, good old fellow
like an old train, you see,
carrying me to Friday! Yippee!

Friday, Oh Friday,
The best of ‘em all.
A friendly old guy,
And kindly, indeed.

Saturday, good friend to Friday,
And me!
Why he’s more fun than climbing a tree!

Sunday, so nervous,
friend of Friday,
yet he is bullied by Monday,
and brainless fat Tuesday.
Sunday will do whatever they say
because Monday will always say,
“Give me those kids, take their weekends away!”

by James, 5th Grade

Ode To My Dogs

Posted October 4, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

My dogs bark and bark as if they see a ghost, but actually I feel joy once I open the door.

I feel love once I touch my dogs. I am sure they do too.

It seems scary things and evil is being pulled away when I am face to face with my shining dogs. Shining like stars in the night sky and the light the sun gives us, my dogs run toward me. When they get hurt I feel my heart bri-said-sit.jpgeak….

I will always love my shield dogs.

Evil is too weak to take my love away.

by Jeong, 3rd grade
Condit Elementary

El Sol [The Sun]

Posted September 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

El sol me
es un diamante
gigante. Es una
canica flotante.

Es una semilla,
es una estrella
El sol es
que me seguira todos
los dias de mi vida.


The sun
surprises me.

It’s a giant
diamond, a floating

It’s a seed,
a giant star.

The sun is

that will follow me
all the days of my life.

by Gina, 3rd grade







Photo by Sakura via flickr


Posted August 1, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I am the color yellow, bright and vibrant wherever I go.
Imagination fills my brain and
happiness covers my face. I smell
sunshine and confidence that
encourages my strengths.
I am the color yellow.

by Courtney, 9th grade, Bellaire High School

Inside a Raindrop

Posted July 18, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Go inside a raindrop
where it is cold. I see a rainbow down
the smooth side. As the rain falls,
I jump
up and down
inside the raindrop
As the rain falls,
I hear loud thunder.
I jump rope to calm myself down.
As I scream,
I hear my loud echo answering back to me.

by Samantha, 4th grade
J.R. Harris Elementary School

writing prompt = “Stone” by Charles Simic


Posted July 13, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

frida_kahlo_self_portrait.jpgShe is bleeding.
It looks like she’s angry.

She’s probably mad at her husband.
She doesn’t look like she’s in pain.
She’s letting the bird hang on her neck.
She looks like she got out of a wreck.
The thorn branches represent her anger.
The monkey is messing with one of the branches.
The cat is hiding behind her neck.
The cat might represent her anger too.
It’s a black cat.
She looks serious.
She looks like if anything gets in her way,
She would mess something up.
The flowers represent her sensitivity
And the butterfly.
She feels like nobody respects her or
Pays attention to her.

by Victor, age 17, Texas Children’s Hospital – Renal Division