books & parenting : Poems of happiness, anti-gravity, chaos, and rest from Ann Arbor students
Last Friday night, all 27 kids from my poetry crew at Ann Arbor Open School read poems to a lively and delighted audience at Nicola's Books. Demand for the kids' new book of poems, "Why Is The Sky Purple?" outstripped supply, and several people were unable to purchase copies.
So there's a good chance we'll be printing more. Which means, if any of you out there in reader-land would like your own copy (for $9), please let me know so I can include you on the special order.
The book, as I've said repeatedly, is excellent. And meanwhile, after the students and I went through the process of selecting and compiling poems for the book, we continued to meet and work. And so the students have written quite a few more poems, and in many cases it's some of their best work.
Accordingly, I thought it would be nice to spend a column or two sharing some of the poems that you can't find in the book. Here are four wonderful poems written after the book went to press.
Reading In My Tree
by Natalie K.
Peaceful. Relaxing. I'm reading in my tree. Sitting crossed-legged with all the ants crawling around my tree and me. I feel happy, with the ants and spiders that are my friends. My hands flip through the thick pages with bold, fat letters that cover the front and back of the page. My head is tucked right into the pages filled with meaning-less words. My head and I am sinking farther and farther into the pit of words with untold stories and secrets. I am now feeling lost and afraid. NO one is here with me. No one experienced what I did. No one can feel what I am feeling now. No one.
by Leo L.
Something weird is going
on here. There's no gravity
here! every time I try to
bike and I hit a bump
I fly into the air.
We have to have fans
to turn. Mom said we
were bouncing off the
walls today. My favorite part
is bouncing from the floor
to the ceiling.
Playing tennis is so hard
the only way to win is
to spike it onto their
side it's amazing
how far out into the
lake I can dive. I
started floating out over the lake
but then I reached the
edge of the zero gravity
zone and I fell in.
so I had to swim back
to the no gravity zone
and float back to the beach.
I really wanted to see you
but the zero gravity thing
doesn't stretch that far.
It's very fun I must
have hit a hundred home
by Kayley S.
Tense. Your whole body tense.
Frustration builds in your muscles,
and your brain is commanding your
mouth to scream. Everyone around
you is running around all over,
disobeying completely what you
asked them to do. They have
lost their minds, and you can
do nothing to change it. Alone.
No other people are in the same
position as you are in this craziness.
You have nobody to tell how
you feel. Just yourself. No one
else. You stand on both feet
and bring your hands to your
forehead in tight fists and
squeeze your eyes shut. Your
patience bursts! Chaos rains down
over your tense muscles, and you
by Julien F.
Saturday is when I wish I could rest but
I've got to play in two soccer games.
Saturday is when my hair clumps up
and the shin pads and socks on my
legs stink. It's the day for working, relaxing,
biking, and knowing you can stay up late.
It's the day for winning and partying
and having a good time. Saturday Night
Live, soccer, sleepovers, the YMCA. Take a
shower for as long as you'd like. Play in a game and
score a goal and then take another
shower for as long as you want.
Saturday is the feeling of no homework
and a pillow on your face as you float
into the night.