These poems were written by our county’s younger people, all under 18 years old.
I was really expecting, since I have somehow recently turned into what’s called an “old person,” that these poems might be incomprehensible to me due to heavy use of up-to-date jargon, or whatever the Dickens emoticons are!
But no, the lovely language of ages is still used here, though the juxtapositions of words or images are sometimes new and startling. Isn’t that what good poetry is all about? These poems are all about human experiences, not about arbitrary lines between one generation and others. These young poets seem to have clear eyesight and definite feelings, and they know what they are up to. I envy them. I was much older before I knew what I was up to.
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Please enjoy. These are gifts from our progeny — unexpectedly funny, sweet and piercing.
— Marguerite Costigan, San Luis Obispo County poet laureate
Ryan Brennan, 16, Arroyo Grande
With his brush, the artist painted
An image of a cloud.
Simple strokes, the canvas tainted
A dark and looming shroud.
Despair was his only subject
Nothing else inspired.
No other model had effect,
Just bitterness required.
He lived in dark, and dreary light,
Was quarantined with greys.
A lonely heart, bit with frostbite,
Thought of past-colored days.
Talent and skill was very great
And his works sold for gold,
Yet the warm hand of kin or date,
He never had to hold.
The sacrifice he made for fame,
Wealth and isolation
Took his spirit and inner flame,
Swapped for aspirations.
Brian Santana, 14, Oceano
I’m Mexican and I’m proud
I don’t care if I’m white or I’m brown
I’m Mexican all the way
Being Mexican will be the way
I stay I don’t care what people say
Being Mexican is cool No matter what people say
MY DARK AND BRIGHT SIDE
Nate Perez, 13, Grover Beach
Hi, how are you.
No, don’t worry, look at my smile.
It won’t last a while.
For it is fake, like a dark blue manmade lake.
Oh, I can see my dark side in your eyes.
Well, now you have seen it.
My tongue has now become a platform for your lies.
Yeah, I know I’m a shy guy, but I’m outgoing too.
I am a race car I speed really fast
then I slow down
and have to be brought back up.
Charley Beck, 8, San Luis Obispo
The taste of gold is big juicy peaches dangling from a tree
and crunchy, buttery popcorn at a horror movie.
The smell of gold is bright, cheery sunflowers standing tall in a garden
And yellow, pink & purple wildflowers in a meadow swaying in a gentle breeze.
The sound of gold is peeping little chicks a few days old and memories filling a paper.
The sound of gold is happy ideas whizzing through your head
And soft fluffy blankets wrapped around your shoulders.
The look of gold is bright buckles on old-fashioned shoes and candlelight entering and filling up a dark room.
It is also stars pushing the moonlight that trickles through old tree leaves, and sparks flying wildly out of a campfire.
It is the sun rising up into the dark sky, putting the moon to sleep & waking you up.
Gold is a happy color, but sad at the same time.
Gold is a color to remember.
John Regoli, 13, Pismo Beach
Duck diving under a set Coming up to the next wave
Paddling hard I feel the push I quickly pop up and get on the inside
Whitewash falling like hail I spring off my board trying to go over the wave
The leash tugs like a winch I pull harder
Giant set coming Too much whitewash I dive down Not enough depth
The whitewash tumbled me like a rag doll
I’m at the ocean’s mercy
MY LIFE AT THE BEACH
Daizee Neumann, 13, Pismo Beach
The ocean waves roar
Crashing on top of each other
The water seeming to swim through itself
Swirling like a
Rolling into endless tunnels of blue
The waves settled down
Wishing to soar again through sunshine
As the sea kisses the
SHOWING OUR DREAMS
Brayan Arreola, 12, Oceano
My free kick secret
I just look at the net
and say take the kick
then score like CR7 and M10.
Your love makes me strong like
Your hate makes me
as unstoppable as a seawater wave
We don’t want to tell our
We want to show our dreams
on the field like in the TV shows
ODE TO MATHEMATICIANS
Jason Wilson, 14, San Luis Obispo
To our curious forefathers we owe our respect,
For they made good use of their intellect.
They discovered the basics of theories mathematical,
And these have been translated into things quite mechanical.
Because of their discoveries, we have achieved a great deal.
Now machines and cars and even planes are quite real.
While we continue to gain knowledge and progress as a civilization,
The principles of mathematics ensure more creation.
Our new mathematical discoveries give us a chance
For revelation, creativity and the opportunity to advance.
I think it can be said that no matter what the season,
“Mathematics is the music of reason.”*
*A quote from mathematician James Joseph Sylvester
Alexander Flores, 13, Oceano
I will destroy you
In the most beautiful way
Like beautiful mountains
When I leave
Will finally understand
How violent waves are like
Storms that are named after people
Gabriel Olivas-Rosas, 12, Grover Beach
The feeling of the grip on the ball
Through crowds of people of the opposite jerseys
I was thrown to the ground like a rag doll
With 2 yards to go
As the clock is still running down, the quarterback
Hands me the ball I jump as high as I can over the players
I hit the
Ground once more
But this time everyone is cheering and picking me up
I look at the score I see 26-26
We kick the field goal, it bounces off
The bottom post and goes in
The crowd was roaring like a lion
And I will never forget that moment
Katie Malley, 15, Arroyo Grande
In her mother’s arms, she starts to sleep
A silent vow to love and protect
Like the shepherd who had found his lost sheep,
Rejoicing and weeping, it was perfect
Years pass by, she’s getting ready for school
With an excited heart, her mother comes in
Together they walk, their fears minuscule
They walk hand in hand till the day begins
Time ticks and tocks, her daughter still grows up
She tucks herself in and walks all alone
And though she is older, she isn’t corrupt
Like a flower, her character has grown
In a hospital bed, a new life began
And a vow of love would be made again
KAYAKING IN MORRO BAY
Kirin Sweeney, 13, Arroyo Grande
Paddling by a rock I see a jellyfish
Bright pink as bright as a sun
The water ripples
Like a wave surging
People paddleboarding over by the shore
Rainbows form on top of the water
My brother splashes
There he goes into the bay
Eleanor Ayerves Brennan, 13, Grover Beach
Wet diamonds drip down her crimson face
As thoughts of the dark angel loom e’re near
The pulsing tumor is the cause of fear
Few years she has spent from the womb’s safe space
Death’s wispy fingers grasp at her thin base
Senescence will never hold her quite dear
She will never know love which makes her tear
Death strikes, leaving no small trace
Her form placed in plaster is sealed in earth
Death smirked as his shadow hangs o’er her bones
Death will not prevail, the corpse’s berth
Has a tall guardian instead of stones
Her seemingly senseless death did have worth
A tree grew sustained by her pale-white bones
Isaiah Apodaca, 14, Grover Beach
Jump shots give you power like an elephant is stomping on the
Skills spins moves crossovers
Speed moves as quick as a jackrabbit
Free throws are easy to make
Easy as pie
They count as one point
Defense guard your man like Michael Jordan
Rules out of bounds, fouls, double dribble, travel
Coach teaches you how to play
Layups have control like a car
Basketball is my life
Guillermo Miranda, 13, Grover Beach
Friends are like brothers who never leave you down
They can always help when you feel sad or when you feel mad
Friends don’t let you down
Like when the gravity holds the people down
Friends are useful when you need them but at some point you will need to thank them back
That’s why you need to know who to trust and who to not
I’m happy with the friends I have because I know they won’t leave my back
That’s why you need to trust people but not everyone at once
We always stick together like glue
MUSIC CALLS MY NAME
Carlos Ferreira Heredia, 13, Oceano
Music is very special to many people.
It can change people’s moods and feelings.
People like different types of music.
No matter what is going on in your life you will always like music.
To me music is like water I can’t live without it.
Music can help you in many ways.
If you work out and listen to rock music it will get you pumped up and make you work harder.
When you clean the house without music it will be boring
But with music it will be more fun.
Music can change your mood fast.
If you are sad and listen to happy music and you are sad you won’t be that sad anymore.
You will be mostly happy.
A song can express your feelings.
When you hear a song that expresses your feelings you will fall in love with that song and listen to it all the time.
Music calls my name when my iPod dies.
THE SKY MEMORY
Anniston Springer, 15, Grover Beach
As I walk out to the sky tonight I see a shooting star
My thoughts were a lot and the star was bright
There was around no car
I remembered times when I was young
Back when I had no school
My grandmother sang me songs along
While I watched the old bull
I watched my grandma grow old
She sat with stories untold
I sang to her all on my own
It was shame she wasn’t bold
But at last she had to go
To places that told their own
Ismael Garcia, 13, Grover Beach
Do you really know someone
You may think you know a person
But do you
People are like onions
They have layers
Your best friend may be
Happy in your eyes
But is depressed inside
Sometimes it’s better not to know
Life is like an old story
Sometimes it’s better to forget
Ricardo Ferreyra, 14, Oceano
Snow is like a tornado that destroys pieces of paper.
Snow on the ground makes me eat ice cream cones.
Snowballs can be dangerous
Like a rock, snowballs can break windows
Being in the snow makes me feel like
Superman I can do anything
Snow whispers to me to make a snowman
Snow is as peaceful as puppies
Josselyn Navarro, 13, Arroyo Grande
Los animals son muy rápidos como un carro de carreras
Y yo los miro en las montañas
Los arboles se miran altos como una jirafa
Los arroyos se van por los arboles
Me gusta entrar en las montañas para mirar cosas bonitos.
La nave es blanca como las nubes
La agua es azul como el cielo
The animals are very fast, like race cars.
I see them in the mountains.
The trees look so tall, as tall as giraffes.
The streams seem to escape through the trees.
I like going to the mountains to see all the beautiful things.
The snow is white like the clouds.
The water is blue like the sky.