SpeakEasy 16

SpeakEasy 16 SpeakEasy 16: Fresh Minds, New Words was held on Sunday, April 12, 2015, in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 120 people was attentive and enthusiastic as kids and adults read poetry. SpeakEasy was honored to host Pamela Porter, author of The Crazy Man, a novel-in-verse for young people, as our guest poet at this special event inspired by Poetry CHaT, a Western Washington University project that is assembling a definitive collection of children’s poetry books published since 1960.

At the request of audience members and with the permission of the participating poets, we are posting here a selection of student poetry that was read as part of SpeakEasy. The poems are posted in the order they appear on the program, below. Age, grade, school and teacher are included according to each poet’s wish. Poems will be added as we receive additional permissions.

SpeakEasy 16 Program

Solstice Black
Age 10, grade 4, homeschooled, teacher: Mama
Your Inner Unicorn

Your eyes are blue as the sea
your lips are as beautiful as a rainbow
you’re a unicorn!
You’re dripping glitter off of your never-wet nose
you’re running through daisy fields without twisting an ankle
’cause you’re a unicorn.

You heal the mama deer.
you kick the hunters butt.
you race with the leopard,
winning by miles.
’Cause you’re a unicorn.

You walk on the lily pads,
singing to the faeries who live there
you gallop through the forest to the dragons den,
teasing her ‘til she laughs
you patrol the forest floor,
walking as though you own it
’cause you’re a unicorn.

You dance on the edge of the waterfall
you climb to the top of the tallest mountain and yell into the wind
unicorn, you’re free.
Lucy Guerra
Age 7, grade 1
Observations of Nature

The grass is silent as I look at it.
The wind starts to blow.
Everything is silent.

       The leaf skeleton in the grass.
       The wind sweeps it away as fragile as a vase.

       The cherry blossoms in the tree,
       They will fall soon. When they do we all shall cry
       On the base of the cherry blossom tree.

       The feather on a faraway hill.
       It blows into the ocean
       With true bravery.

A distant Lily sits on a pond.
A bee flies by. It sips the pollen
from the crest of the flower.
It flies away.
Serenity McAlister
Grade 4

Thank you,
the rubies say
to the storm.

through the upset cry
of the blue protector of the Earth.
They try to cheer him up
till light hits the Earth.

You don’t think
they call you
to do
their dance
for the rain

and that
they say every morn
to you specifically,

Notice these
and you will hear
from the green-haired, brown-clothed giants,
the whisper of
thank you.

Rowan McConnell
Age 15, freshman at Mount Baker High School

The fresh, swollen buds
Hang off the springtime rose bush
Burst into bright wings

Ray of subtle moon
Soars from behind midnight clouds
Air crackling with life
Emily Welsh
Grade 7, Fairhaven Middle School
Like snowflakes

Do you ever feel like just running in to the unknown or just racing into to whatever is in front of you? Or just like there is so much stuff to do that you are not doing everything to the standard that you hold yourself at, do you ever want to just drop every responsibility and fly, I feel like a bird with weights pulling it down but mostly have you ever been scared that you cannot do it, that all of this is just the tip of the iceberg and you have barely enough strength to get you through that, I am allot of things but relaxed is not one of them with every passing moment more things pile on to my schedule like snowflakes, and even thou I are happy that it is closer to summer the ticking of the clock to get everything done is dampening happily speeding time.

Charlotte Hasbrouck
Teacher: Mrs. Attar

          Last night,
                    after you went to sleep

                    I got up and tip-toed into the kitchen


                    I opened up the fridge,
                    shining with its bright refrigerator light

                    I was looking at it with such temptation!

                    And then *crunch*!
                    *Slurp* and then…
                    It was gone.

          Last night,
                    When I tip-toed back…


                    There you were,
                           There we were
                                  standing …

                           Me guilty
                           with sugary juice

                                                stuck to my smile.
Grace Hooper
Age 13
Don’t Eat the Mushrooms

The wild. The wild. The wild. Nope. Not doing it for me. No matter how I say it, I can’t imagine myself surviving in it. I’d probably go blundering around, get eaten by a bear, and then ask what the Wi-Fi passcode was. Not in that order. Yes, the wild is a beautiful place, but it just isn’t for me. I don’t know the first thing about wilderness survival. Well, I do know a few things. One: Don’t make large things with teeth and claws mad at you. Two: Fires are good, except when they aren’t. (Like forest fires) Three: If something is chasing you, climb a tree. Four: DON’T EAT THE MUSHROOMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are probably poisonous. This is kind of like the rule for Australia. That is: Everything and its brother wants to kill you, and everything and its wife is poisonous. That is why I am never, ever going to Australia. Ever. I wouldn’t go to Australia if you paid me a million dollars. Okay. Maybe I would go then. Actually, I would probably be happy to go if you did that. And then I would go skipping off and get eaten by a platypus.
Finnigan Cooper

I have Asperger’s as you can see,
and most of you don’t get life to me,
I hate it when people yell all around,
my brain can’t compute all the sound,
all brains spark but mine gets on fire,
when you tell jokes that are not in desire,
it unlocks memories of things that are sad,
I really can’t help it if you think I’m bad,
brains are like highways and thoughts are like cars,
but they go straight like most of ours,
but my highway has stops and smaller roads attached,
so my thoughts pick up more thoughts
so more thoughts are latched,
my brain records movies, pictures, and shows,
I even record movies of my very own,
I plan things in my head when I run around,
I even watch them with real life sound,
sometimes Asperger’s can be such a pain
but my life is nowhere done and I have much to gain.
Grace Hughes
Age 13
The sunset

The sunset drips down the sky like molten lava drying into a dark, stony night. I missed another day. The same feeling of regret washes over me, covering every inch of my body. It’s an unwelcome feeling. Familiar, but not by choice. The hours slipped through my fingers like fine sand from a picturesque white beach, each grain an opportunity. The days are spent walking through a thick haze that shrouds my vision. It’s like walking through a dream. The only time I’m awoken from my slumber is after it all. I’m conscious, but not when it matters. The impending bitterness reduces me to my knees, accompanied with a side of selfish guilt. The playback of imaginary scenarios of how it could have been begin. The only way to shut all of it off is to find solace in the idea that there will always be a tomorrow. The sun will rise and set again and again, giving thousands of chances to succeed or fail.
Thomas Boyle
Grade 4, teacher: Mrs. Attar
To Rizzy

Rizzy, oh Rizzy, how I love you!
Your face lights up my day.
That smile of yours — ah, it’s beautiful.

Your eyes are diamonds
sparkling in the midnight sky.
Your fur is as soft as a new cozy blanket.
Your big wet nose is as wet as a big puddle.

You give the best alarm-clock “kisses”.
It makes you feel like a big black thing
dropping oceans on you.
(I love it though.)

Rizzy, oh Rizzy
You make my day
as bright as a hot sun.

I hope you always remember…
Elisha Foster
Grade 4
To Grandma

I don’t want to leave you.
I look out the window
over the city
a blazing furnace
crying out
to a mother
who will never find
a child’s hand
that is strong enough
to shake her, and wake her, that sleeping giant
who will never wake up
from under it.

I look out the window
over the city
and turn to get in the plane,
but hestitate.
I don’t want to leave you.
Just don’t fly away.
Don’t fly away.
Kaya Sherwood-Bally
Cycle of Love

They come and go
Breathing happiness
Into our lives

They come and go
Causing trouble
Making mischief

They come and go
Reviving our soul
Licking our wounds

These are the days
Before they go
Leaving behind
Our love

Then someone new
Enters our life
Never replacing
Always remembered
Klara Schwarz
Age 13, grade 7

I found that it is simple things and actions that light fires beneath greater problems. Small things always lead to big things. Sometimes the problem is so close to a tipping point that the lightest thing will be the one with the biggest impact. Like in the story with the lost mitten in winter and all of the animals fit in to have a warm shelter and every time it was closer to ripping until a cricket came along and when it got in that was the tipping point and the mitten burst open. Wow, I never really thought that simple children’s picture books such as that one related to big concepts in our life that much. Another good lesson, you can always learn something from anything you read. Writing is based solely on ideas, emotion, and knowledge. Those are also the fundaments of society I would like to say. We base our lives only on these three concepts. Such a complex life we lead but underneath it is so simple, too simple. We as humans strive to improve, to be the best on this world. We take pride in how far we’ve gone. But the truth is that is that simple. Our lives seem too complicated. We live lies. We live off of others ideas. We live off of not our own instincts, but instead on what is cool at the time. That is us, we live only to show off and strive for each others approval. Wow. And around us our world is just falling. Can’t you see what’s happening? Do you feel that sense of dread that sometime soon our whole everything will just crash. Yes you do, it’s pushed back there in your mind. Because we’ve built our tower too high this time. We’ve gone too far. And people act like there is no simple reason to saving this planet, but of course there is. It just means giving up this lifestyle. What if everyone lived like they did, what, 200 years ago. Sure it had its faults, but so does our society. We also have so many faults. Maybe we should just suck it up and deal. Because we made this place like it is and now it’s our job to fix it. It’s the right thing to do and you know it. Just act, just do, just care, just let go. And maybe things will change.

2 Responses to SpeakEasy 16

  1. Laurel Leigh says:

    These poems are amazing. Hearing the young poets at SpeakEasy 16 left me without any worry for the future of poetry. It’s in good hands!

  2. Pingback: April 2015 Open Mic ~ The End of NaPoWriMo | Dear Writers

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