National Poetry Month 2019

Posted April 5, 2019 & filed under Notebook.

WITS is celebrating National Poetry Month!

Join us at our WITS events in April–we can’t wait to celebrate poetry with you! Use our hashtag #HoustonIsPoetry to connect with us on social media.

April 7th: Space City Slam Grand Slam

Watch as the most talented youth poets in Houston perform original poetry in front of a live audience for the chance to join Meta-Four Houston and represent our city at Brave New Voices this summer. Jackson Neal, Houston Youth Poet Laureate and 3-time Meta-Four Houston member, will be our emcee! Sunday April 7th, 3pm at Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH).

Reserve your free standby ticket here:

https://witshouston.org/grandslam

April 8th: KPFT Open Journal

Tune in to KPFT’s Open Journal Monday, April 8th at 6pm for an interview with WITS Executive Director Robin Reagler and Bayouth Collective co-founder and member Mackenzie. Hear about their work and the impact of poetry in Houston.

Listen here, or on the radio at 90.1FM:

http://kpft.org/

April 13th: Young Writers Reading Series – Blooms

At our Young Writers Reading, WITS students read their work for the first time in front of an audience. Celebrate storytelling as our young writers share their best poems, stories, and essays from the school year at this important and exciting experience that will stay with them for a lifetime. Saturday April 13th, 11:30am at Discovery Green.

Sundays, April – June: Poetry and Pose

A free family-friendly program for Houston’s creative writing and yoga enthusiasts. The session will open with a 45 minute creative writing activity inspired by yoga practice and close with a 45 minute yoga session with an instructor from Happy Feet Yoga. 11 am at Discovery Green every Sunday, Hess Deck Patio.

H-E-B Poetry Pop-Ups

While shopping for groceries at H-E-B stores, take a look around for WITS student poems! In the classroom, our writers encourage students to write about what they love most–and often, that includes food. With Poetry Pop-Ups at the Bellaire, Buffalo Speedway, Bunker Hill, Heights, Montrose, and San Felipe locations, WITS partners with H-E-B stores around Houston to share that love with our communities. Can you find all of the poems in your store?

Rain Poems

Our WITS Bayouth Collective will be installing poetry in Buffalo Bayou Park–with a catch. Bring some water or wait for a rainy day to reveal #rainpoems, stenciled in invisible ink that only emerges when wet. Look for signs near water fountains on the trail for a chance to splash water on the poetry-covered path:

 

* Eleanor Tinsley Park

* Rosemont Bridge

* Inside the dog park

* Houston Police Memorial

 

Poem-A-Day

Follow our Twitter for daily excerpts from WITS classrooms, Facebook for weekly student poems, and Instagram for three-panel reveals and stories from our events!

 

What a Poem Is

Posted April 1, 2019 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

A poem

is like when

you blow a balloon,

and the words go in

its stanza or its room.

 

A poem

is when clouds

are in your brain

and the raindrops

are your thoughts.

 

A poem

is when your mind

turns to something

really special.

That is a poem.

 

-3rd grader, DeAnda Elementary

Minute Maid Park

Posted October 13, 2017 & filed under Event, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

 

Minute Maid

Saturday!

Five forty five  A.M.

Screaming, booming

Jose Altuve, Orbit, Carlos Correa

Play games, eat ice-cream

Two months!

Happy.

by Anthony,  2nd grade

U.S. Poet Laureate To Visit Houston

Posted April 17, 2017 & filed under Event, free Houston event, News, Public Poetry.

April is National Poetry Month, and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will make a special Houston visit on Wednesday, April 19th. Herrera is the son of migrant farmers. He has published 30 books in his illustrious career, and he was named the first Mexican-American U.S. Poet Laureate in 2015. The University of Houston – Downtown will host this performance and discussion in the Robertson Auditorium at 5:30 pm. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

 

 

I Am Thankful

Posted November 23, 2016 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

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I’m thankful for the sunshine and for food.

I’m thankful for warm weather, for clouds and for

leaves.

But!

I don’t like getting shots, I don’t like cheese,

And I Hate frogs!

 

by Delila, 1st grade

Future Traveler

Posted April 30, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Angelo Rossi

 

I’m the brightest parrot

flying in the jungle.

I’m the sugar in the coffee,

maybe the salt to the sour salad.

I’m the moon that glistens in the dark;

he’s like the sun to the sunset.

We are the peak of a cold mountain.

You are the skyscraper to the breeze;

I’m the greatest spark in the crystal,

shining like when the sunlight

touches a diamond and it starts

to blink brightly. I’m a big

ball of fire, made from hot lava

that comes out of a volcano

of courage. I’m the future traveler,

and I will meet you in the future.

 

By Kevin, 6th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Summer Ames, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Gary Leger, Magnet Coordinator. Music is by Gerry Davis, “Magical Forest.” www.jamendo.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: November 14, 2014

What am I?

Posted April 29, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Judy Schmidt

 

I am in the center of a galaxy.

I am a circle or a sphere.

I am black.

Light cannot escape from me.

Flying objects get sucked into me.

It is very silent where I live.

 

What am I?

A black hole!

 

By Kavin, 1st grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Gabriel Canepa, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Ches Smith, Campus Technologist. Music is by NonMemory, “Black Hole II” www.freemusicarchive.org. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Original post: July 18, 2014

A Story to Tell

Posted April 28, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: dbr Atl

 

My eyes have a story to tell.

I was born in a place that freezes the ground.

Life was beautiful before the war.

Now I am devastated.

I feel like the world has come to an end.

There is no house, there is no food.

I beg for money.

I am scared of dying and soldiers with guns.

I dream of peace.

All I want is to be with my family.

I dream of love.

 

By Natasha, 2nd grade

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Kylie Silva, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Dr. Ben Grube, Orchestra Director. The background music is “When the Moon Fall” by Ketsa, www.jamendo.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Change

Posted April 27, 2015 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

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Photo by: Aikawa Ke

 

Sometimes I don’t like change

but then I remember how

leaves turn red and gold,

then fall of and then grow

back again bright green.

I remember change is part of the life

cycle and I’m okay with it.

 

By Justine, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Caprice Haddad, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Susan Calvin, 8th grade History Teacher The background music is “Hope For Tomorrow” by Seastock. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: January 12, 2015

 

Mist of the Night

Posted April 24, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Great Beyond

 

In the mist of the night,

I zoned to sleep.

An antelope, very fleet,

at tremendous speed

crashed through my body

into my heart

to ram and break

or carry away

those bad things breaking my heart.

 

It runs away

then comes back like a

magnet pulling and pushing.

The antelope travels up my bloodstream

to my brain, and it

rams and breaks

or carries away

those bad memories

breaking my brain.

 

It runs away

then comes back

like a magnet pulling and

pushing.

The antelope slides down

to my right foot, and it

rams and breaks

or carries away

those bad kicks

breaking my feet.

 

It never gets tired,

running around,

doing its job

to make me better.

 

By Rohan, 3rd grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Windell Gradiz, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is John Latchett, Math Teacher. The background music is “Digya,” by Kevin MacCleod. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

When a Sheep Dreams

Posted April 23, 2015 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

 

When sheep dream

They don’t look up at

the sky, but their heads

are filled with clouds

floating quietly

this way and that

 

By Alashia, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Arianna Vara, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Jerri Deleon, Assistant Principal. The background music is “J. S. Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze – BWV 208” by Kevin MacLeod. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: February 12, 2015

Ode to Ink

Posted April 22, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Perlaroques

 

Crushed from the black rock

captured in a bottle of dark gold

like gunpowder in musket on paper

black as night

wandering in the shadows

like a spider

waiting for its prey

captured in its web

ink like armour drip by

drip on my paper

captured in a bottle

 

By Charlie, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alexandria Collins, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Special thanks to Arvis Allen, Head Custodian at JMS. The background music is “Mysterioso March,” by Kevin MacLeod. www.Incompetech.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Hope

Posted April 21, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: Darryl Neeley

 

The ocean writes notes to those

who seek its majestic treasure of beauty.

My future is swallowed by those

who disturb its tranquility.

Belief cries and sounds like a person’s heart

being double crossed and tossed away.

Monday is defeated by all the other days

like the weakest god on Mt. Olympus

being beaten by Zeus.

Determination cartwheels over

the lost hope of the living.

My heart explodes after being

broken by my first true love.

Knowledge tumbles after it has been

put to the test and failed

with a relentless fate ahead.

Hope dances as it goes down the meadow.

 

By Eti-Ini, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Kyla Mays, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Diana Grosscope, Piano Teacher. The background music is “Our Tape” by Jurrivh www.soundcloud.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

I Can Write From

Posted April 20, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

I can write from an arrow of fire of the cruelness of this world.

I can write from a sword of ice of all the cold hearted people in our earth.

I can write from a rainbow feather of the kindness of my people.

I can write from a flower burning but not dying,

because I know we will stand even on the ends of the earth.

I can write from a sword with the stabbing truth.

I can write from broken chains because even in times of slavery

I will let my people free.

 

By Christian, 3rd grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Donovan Williams, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Dr. Jose Rocha, Orchestra Director. The background music is “Aftermath” by Gregoire Lourme from www.jammendo.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

What Is

Posted April 17, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

 

Funny is when you see an animal

that plays

Music is a joyful journey

through your heart.

Writing is your imagination

taking you to different places.

Reading is a race to knowledge.

Flowers are the smell of joy.

Art is the imagination

of a blank piece of paper.

 

By Cheyenne, 3rd grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alex Huff, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Chandel Bonner-Hancock, Assistant Principal. The background music is “Life of Riley” by Kevin McLeod. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

My Name

Posted April 16, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem of the Day.

My name, to me, in English means fire,

And water, raging and fighting, but not

Very different, in all they are friends,

It smells like mint, burning and sighing,

Crackling and dying,

My name has a secret, it shall not tell,

Of a magical place, hidden in a forest,

It wanders and roams a dark palace,

Dreading the ghost of a wizard,

When a hard day is over, it goes

And hides in its imagination,

It feels light, silky, and cold, but it will

Burn your finger, harsh

 

By Marina, 5th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Ambar Caldwell, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Jennifer Wood, Drama teacher.  The background music is “The Snow Queen” by Kevin MacLeod from www.Incompetech.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: July 31, 2014

Guardian of Kids

Posted April 15, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: mrhayata

 

My mom is the ferocious dragon

Defending her egg on the lake.

My mom is the queen of nature

And defender of homes.

She always lets me have

The last piece of food at the dining table.

My mom is the chef of all sweets in the world.

She is the gatekeeper of perfume land.

When I am sick, the bridge to heaven

Opens when she walks through the door.

When I yell for help

She is like a gust of wind ready to aid me.

Whoosh!

 

By Maddox, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Grant Cambron, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Chelsea Kennedy, KickStart Karate Instructor.The background music is by Kevin MacCleod, “The War is Not Lost” from www.incompetech.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

Yo soy (I Am)

Posted April 14, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: ANGELOUX

 

Soy de México donde viven mis abuelos.

Soy de las gotitas que me caen en mi cara.

Yo soy de mi mamá que me abraza y me susurra cuando me duermo.

Soy del sonido del canto de los pájaros.

Soy del corazón de mi familia.

Soy de donde la lluvia sale del cielo y me salpica mis dedos.

Yo soy de donde yo vengo.

 

I Am

 

I’m from Mexico where my grandparents live.

I am the droplets falling in my face.

I am from my mom who hugs me and whispers when I sleep.

I am the sound of the birds singing.

I’m from the heart of my family.

I’m from where the rain falls out of the sky and splashes my fingers.

I am where I come from.

 

By Emmanuel, 1st grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Fidel Argueta, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Meliza Hull-Frederick, Spanish teacher. The background music is Music by Los Dinomitos Estefan, “Mexico,” 1998. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

The River Home

Posted April 10, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by Eric Leslie

 

Home is a River

Flowing perfectly in silence

Like a big rock for support

The waves crash against the

Sand, washing away

All obstacles in my way

 

By Maejon, 7th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alex Cweren, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Art Teacher, Tobi Arsham. The background music is “Turning Wheel” by Ketsa. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

It Can Wait

Posted April 8, 2015 & filed under Poem of the Day.

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Photo by: torbakhopper

 

I see what you’re trying to do

I promise

Many believe that words gave us life

So you type and you swipe

Your numbers and letters

To give life to a maximum of 160 characters

 

In your driver’s seat

You become the narrator

But what is it worth

If you can’t save the five most important characters

Y-O-U

And don’t forget

M-E

 

I don’t understand

How could this be going on

Our lives are finally worth more than a drink

But worth less than an emoticon

 

Just a few letters

That could be all it takes

Keep your eyes on the road

So you can put your foot on the brakes

 

We have to make a change

We’ve got to make it right

It’s all fun and games

Until LOL stands for Loss of Life

 

You only have one chance

You don’t get to do this twice

So as you drive

Strive for life

 

You still have 160 characters

All I’m asking is that you save five

But if you can’t

And decided that you are worth less than three

Don’t do it for you

Do it for M-E

 

By Homer, 12th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Sophia Singleton, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Sun-Filled” by Ketsa, from the Free Music Archive. freemusicarchive.org Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.