Arts & Culture

From soul to paper: Week 3 of the The Tribune's 15th annual celebration of National Poetry Month

More local poetry: Week 1 » | Week 2 »

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.

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

Mexicans rule!


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


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



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

Rey Mysterio

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


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

Crumbling revealing


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

While running

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


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

All because

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


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.


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.

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