We received more than 300 poems this year for our annual ode to poetry.
As in past years, we asked San Luis Obispo’s poet laureate to review all of the entries and select the best works for publication. We’ll publish these on Sundays throughout the month of April in Central Coast Living.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a poem, with special gratitude to San Luis Obispo poet laureate Jerry Douglas Smith for reading them all.
— Tribune staff
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This week’s poems were written by young people, primarily in schools. They voice their concerns about the adult world, how it isn’t always logical or fair. They speak of fear and dead friends. Of love and angels and where young people might feel safe.
These poems reveal grandmas, families and pets. They portray how boring certain classes can be and how that boredom is mitigated by competitive sports for some or by the arts and music for others.
These writers are curious explorers, making sense of this world. May no poet or writer suffer from low expectations by others and may they get the encouragement and support they need.
— Jerry Douglas Smith, San Luis Obispo poet laureate
I run as fast as a cheetah
I kick like a horse
You’re as focused as a bear
Trying to catch a fish
You dive like an owl jumping off a tree
Soccer makes me as proud As I could ever be
To me soccer is the best sport
In the world
LET LOVE LIVEFaustina Marie DePaul, 17, Nipomo
So strong, so stubborn
Ignorance is bless they say
If I am ignorant
Let me stay this way
I’ll never learn If I never live
If I never yearn
For a love like his
AMUSEMENT PARKAlec Rodriguez, 14, Pismo Beach
The thrill of it holding the metal bar.
The loud screaming
As if it was the first time you saw a monster.
The wind in your face Like a soft dodge ball hitting your face.
That chill that runs down your neck
it feels like a train roughly running down my neck.
After I get off the ride I get out like the thrill of suspense.
I smell nachos and carnival rides
Then I feel that moment in my bones
Like my body wants to go on it again.
YOUMichael Hernandez, 14, Grover Beach
Dedicated to Gabby Grace Haddad
When you say you love me
Can I believe it’s true?
These feelings I have
Can only be for you.
Every day I wish you could call
So I can hear your voice.
Ending up on the phone for hours,
I know my heart made the right choice.
My heart races like a rocket
I seriously love you with all my heart.
When I’m with you I feel so loved,
because I’m with you.
You’re such a great person
and I know it’s so true,
because you decided to be with me
and I ended up with you!!
AN ARTISTSarah Mosichuk, 14, San Luis Obispo
The children think the man that sits at the bluff is a forlorn soul.
But the man is not so lonely: He has the sky and the sea.
The man finds comfort in the world around him.
This man is an artist. He doesn’t own canvas or any paint.
But he has a paintbrush And every evening he takes out his old paintbrush and paints a pastel sky.
He smiles and admires what he creates, and he watches the children
As they dance along the sandy beach and enjoy his colorful sky.
The children think the old man who sits at the bluff is a forlorn soul But he is an ARTIST.
Therefore he is never alone.
SCHOOLVerenice Mendoza, 12, Arroyo Grande
School is like burning a bump on a log
Because it is as exciting as a bonfire
Reading is like a fly on a horse
Because time goes fast when I read
Math is as boring as playing Barbies
Science is like playing board games, they are both fun
Social studies is as boring as studying for tests
P.E. is like playing the Xbox Connect
GRANDMA: A TRIBUTECristina Ozzimo, 17, Nipomo
95 years old
White hair, wrinkled skin, blue eyes
Intelligent, loving, caring
You sit in your chair
The sunlight illuminates through the blinds
Your beauty shows beneath your skin
Beneath your bones your loving heart lies
You share your love with me and I accept it.
Sixteen years old
Brown hair, smooth skin, brown eyes
Intelligent, loving, caring I run wild outdoors
The sun rays hit my skin
My beauty shows beneath my skin
Beneath my bones my loving heart lies
I share my love with you and you accept it.
Differences we present, commonalities we share
But as the sun goes down to shut its eyes
Our beauty still shines beneath our skin
Beneath our bones our loving hearts lie
Loving one another, forever and always.
SECONDHAND SMOKESam London, 8, Nipomo
Smoking is really bad for you, and your smoke is really bad for me too.
Smoking is so bad for your heart, why even bother to start?
I really don’t want to call you a fool, but smoking isn’t really that cool.
Your cigarette smoke is in the air, and if we breathe it, it’s not fair.
When you make a bad choice to smoke cigarettes, it’s true
That your bad choice can kill me too!
THE FACES OF LIBERTYAmy Arnold, 17, Oceano
A broken heart she can never replace
Two bongs too sound for a needle to sew,
Her vapor of life, the crack of her face;
The buttery metals of Pass and Stow.
Seventy-six; the American men,
Fetters of Britain no longer were bore,
As fifty-six authors in iron pen,
Etched equality of her paper core.
She’s virtue painted with ringlets of white,
With the scarlet streaks of valor and wine.
She’s truth like the stain of a cobalt night,
Flecked with the snow of the thirteen defined.
Rogues of vice sent to tauten her noose,
From valor of men; her battle unfolds.
Death to the hero as ropes are cut loose.
American blood; her riches untold.
She’s stolen our soul; she’s taken our hearts.
Never forget her stains of Victory,
Though her breath is anew, never depart.
The description of Lady Liberty.
GABRIEL SALGADO “EARS” RIPJennifer Barerra, 13, Oceano
I feel warmth around me
As if your presence was still here,
I close my eyes to visualize
Your face & looks of when you were here
I feel glad of the times I saw you
They will be forever locked inside my heart
For as long as I have those memories
We will never be apart, and I will never feel alone
Even though we cannot speak no more
My voice is always there
Because every night before I sleep I have you in my heart
And as every day passes we ask for justice!
Justice for your beloved memory is all we want
All we know is you were the greatest!
You were a Superman sent to HEAVEN!
DREAM POEMGavin Lichtenwalter, 7, Arroyo Grande
The bobcat dreams of a rabbit.
The rabbit dreams of grass.
The grass dreams of the sun.
The sun dreams of the moon.
And I dream of my rabbit.
WOODSAlexis Vanover, 14, Pismo Beach
Cold as ice
Dark as wolf’s eyes
Shivers running up my spine
The woods are pulling me into the
Night’s wondering eyes
The wind with his strong blowing breath how cruel the woods can be.
ANCHORAndie Rupprecht, 13, San Luis Obispo
I walk into the room, surrounded by people I thought I knew.
Never knew a busy room could be this lonely.
All I see are blank faces in a crowd.
Not knowing where I should stand, who I should be, I feel myself losing me.
Slipping down into the darkness,
It is a void of uncertainness and doubt.
It is pulling me into pieces, trying to rip my seams.
I am in a free fall plummeting off a cliff, But where are my wings?
I am drifting through an open sea,
But where is my anchor?
I cannot seem to find the words to speak my mind.
They are taken and replaced by others.
I am searching deep inside for the one thing I never thought I would lose.
Who am I? Who do I want to be? Where is the girl I thought I knew?
I found myself next to you.
ETERNAL DUSKLauren DePaul, 17, Nipomo
Follow the worn stone path
And duck under the low hanging branch
Then reach, Reach for the heavens however you can;
Climb the fence if you must!
Scrambling among the limbs of the old oak
Is simple and soothing,
Frustrations melt and problems fade
Into the serene sub-atmosphere
The ants scurry along, oblivious
As the jays flit and chatter
At the dogs, who pine for me —
So far from the ground
The sun only just filters through the thick foliage
Holding an eternal dusk hostage
To the gnarled mossy branches
And the deep leaf carpet below them
I am safe here,
I am happy here,
Sheltered in the old oak tree
ANGELSarece Rains, 14, Grover Beach
They’re here to help us, protect us, and give us hope
Angels are as white as the snow
As bright as the brightest light
They’re beautiful as the most gorgeous
These beautiful creatures come in many different shapes and sizes
They’re all around us Your Guardian Angel could be your best friend, or
Even the most annoying person or thing in your
Life Our Guardian Angels are Earth’s most Treasured jewels
THE SOFTBALLFiness Servin, 12, Oceano
As I hit the ball I feel
Vibration as if there was an
The people yell out like if
They won a million dollar house
Now I am up to bat again
I hit the ball so hard
It was as if I were watching a
MUSICJocelyn Evangelista, 13, Grover Beach
Music is a desire
It’s like a rhythmIt makes you smile
It makes you laugh
Music makes you dance
As if the whole world was watching
It’s like a loud thunder in my head
With an infectious beat
Acting if music is an energy drink
It feels like it will never end
FAMILYIvan Palomino, 13, Oceano
After a whole year goes by
Nothing is better than seeing family
Eating some bomb tamales
The tamales slide down your throat like sliding on a Slip ‘n Slide
Drinking hot chocolate in the cold weather
The hot chocolate warms you up like a hot fire
Spending time with family
Catching up on family things
Remembering the good old days
Family is the most special thing anyone can have
THE POEM OF LOVEJasmine Lopez, 13, Arroyo Grande
I can’t say my feelings that I have for you,
But as the days go by
The butterflies in my stomach are more nervous
My dad says it’s puppy love but I say it’s more
It is like a story
But will have an end
It might be happy or sad
It’s my first time that
I’m in love
But I hope it will last forever and ever