How fitting that we can all celebrate the last Sunday of April as National Poetry Month with our future adult poets, those “under 18.” An amazing number of subjects catch the attention of these young poets, stretching from glory to pathos, as their search evolves. Han-Shan, the seventh-century Chinese poet, wrote: “My mind is like the autumn moon;/ An emerald lake—pure, clean, and bright./ There is nothing with which it compares;/ Tell me, how can I explain?” Like Han-Shan, the young writers are full of questions, of ten finding answers as they put pen to paper.
To all of you who sent poems, we raise a salute. Even if your entry was not published here, believe in it, and follow the advice of Goethe, the frequently quoted German author and poet: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.” Several people have commented on how much they have enjoyed reading the poems of our community these past Sundays. Today you are all invited to share inthe wonder of words by our young poets!
-Bonnie Young, San Luis Obispo poet laureate
ODE TO MUSIC
Georgia Reynolds, 13, Shell Beach
The sweeping of wind in the grass, The clatter of a pen dropped to the floor, Each an element of music, Each element contributes, more and more.
Music is a refuge, In the raging storm of life. Each finds their own kind of shelter, Hidden away from strife.
The clippity-clop of horses’ hooves, The pound of running feet, The cacophony of a pizza, With six different kinds of meat.
And I thank you music, For giving life expectations to meet, For giving life rhythm, And for giving tapping feet a beat.
You paved the way to dancing, You taught us how to sing, You gave life a blitz, and a bling!
THE TINIEST SOUND
Olivia Cisneros, 8, Los Osos
Maybe, the tiniest sound in the world is bare darkness that creeps with fear and sadness into my room, out the window and fills the street with blackness and silence and fills an angry person’s soul, lonely and dark. Could There Be a Tinier Sound Than That?
My friend says the tiniest sounds in the world are the white soulless clouds that move over our heads on a breezy, bright day gracefully, softly and fluffy, motionless, never speaking, and hiding their faces behind the green mountain peak.
WHAT SOUND COULD BE TINIER THAN THAT?
I used to think the tiniest sound in the world might be heavy red curtains slowly drifting across my bare open window, silently tiptoeing in the breezy wind, on a cool summer night.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Natalie Wells, 8, San Luis Obispo
Blue is the shake of the rolling blueberries and the whoosh of the mixing tropical smoothie in the blender. Blue is the pastel gleaming ocean rising through the hot burning sand with the smooth crust of aglass bottle lying in the sunken ground. Blue is the blueberry syrup with the sugar on my waffle all fried up in the steaming pan, blue is the fresh air coming to my face from the freezing wind outside. Blue is the riding of the ocean wave at the sandy beach and the blue whale’s blowhole searching to find a way out to sea. Blue is the rain drops tickling my umbrella and the green garden hose spraying out water like a volcano on the dry, brown grass in the backyard.
I AM ANCIENT EGYPT
Lily Schalde, 11, San Luis Obispo
I am the mummy of ancient Egypt.
Gold as a golden crown, Blue as the sky.
Stretched through time.
My heart flows rapidly over cataracts, protecting me from invaders.
My eyes rise up to heaven, where I will be someday.
Gods guided me to grander and eternal life.
With loyalty from loyal cats I travel to the afterlife beloved.
Now watching myself down on earth embalmed for all to see.
I am the mummy of ancient Egypt
Gold as a golden crown, Blue as the sky.
Melodie Clement, 16, Atascadero
Until you see The wind as it sighs through the boughs Until you speak The language of the trees You will not understand me.
Until you understand The eagle’s proud spirit, its longing for flight Until the wildcat’s Need for travel is clear You do not understand me
When you know Why the brook laughs over moss-covered rocks When you know why The tall cedars sing You will know me.
Emma Hotaling, 13, Morro Bay
The peacock sits upon its throne Prideful, radiant, handsome and arrogant O, how his feathers shone! As he strutted along with his tail positively flagrant
But what lies beneath those wings? A lonely peacock is one with no color, Like an ocean with no water, or a canary with a note not to sing, Our sad peacock is no longer a king.
My dear peacock, Act as yourself, not as your feathers When someone needs help, don’t be smug and just sneer, The beauty of one is by how they act, not how they appear
AS A CHILD
Alyssa Vardas, 14, Pismo Beach
Remember when I was just a little tyke? Trying to ride my first bike? When it was time to go to the pool, I jumped around and acted like a fool. When you rode your bike and I sat in the cart, Watching the cars go by on the way to the mart. Making forts, as the day went on, Watching the geese sitting on the pond. Ashley and Seth were our best friends, When I hurt myself my cut you would mend. Playing in our playhouse, While our cat was chasing a mouse. I played with my Barbies all day long, At night you would sometimes sing me a song. I loved cookies and I still do, On our way to Auntie’s house the cows went moo. Taking long walks down to the park, When we went camping we would sit on a tarp, Remember the times when I had so much fun? Running and running all day in the sun.
Brandon Spiller, 16, Arroyo Grande
Man’s desires are as foolish as can be,
To attempt to soar at unfathomable highs
Yet the birds of the air, you see,
Do not covet man’s abilities
A BRIEF MOMENT
Charles Schmidt, 12, Cayucos
The brief moment Between day and night Sunset
Everything shines golden The sky turns pink The sand, glowing
The mist of the waves Dancing through the air
The sun’s light Broken into a rainbow Through the mist
The brief moment Between night and day Sunrise
Everything is quiet The world stops
Everything is dark Waiting
It comes Turning the sky into a sea of fire The world bursts into applause
Tarahann Todd, 13, Nipomo
As soft as the wind dreams come like whispers in the night,
As light as a feather, yet they can be like an anvil,
Weighing you down for the rest of the your life,
Sometimes dreams can change, like a boat changing course
You could be flying like a bird, then fall into a sword fight
Or swim into the night
Dreams, please stay for if you go away sleeping will always be the same
Like a chore, just darkness in our heads while we lie
ODE TO SOFTBALL
Kendell Schemmer, 12, Morro Bay
Nothing could replace
The feeling you get
When you’re stained with dirt,
And mentally exhausted,
But you realize it’s all worth it
When the rush of adrenaline
Washes over you,
Pumping you up,
To pitch another pitch,
And swing just one more time.
Softball. MY HOBBY
Keoni Bio, 13, Grover Beach
Wind blowing my hair Like a dog sticking their head out a window
Music to my ears
To silence the cars that drive by
Soreness from doing the one thing I love
Running I run as much as a baby cries for their mom
When I run it lets me experience new scenery
When I grow up I want to be as fast as Usain Bolt
Running makes my life full of joy
It runs in the family
Amanda Weddle, 13, Morro Bay
The midnight sky is so beautiful,
The moon so bright at night.
They create something wonderful: A simple starry night.
A starry night so bright,
You can see it from your tent,
A starry night so bright,
All your wounds shall mend.
And when you feel lonely,
Look up and you will see
The constellation, Capricorn, protecting you and me.
LE MANI DELLA TERRA (THE HANDS OF THE EARTH)
Tess Goodnowott, 16, San Luis Obispo
Drips of rain fall quietly fall quietly from the sky their soft pattering gently reminds me of the earth’s power. Gradually the sound of sweetly chirping birds overwhelms my senses, fused with the essences of flowers. Suddenly the gusting of wind twists its frail fingers around my body sending tingles up my spine, lovingly caressing my soul, the hands of the earth softly embrace this being.
THE MYSTIC NIGHT
Michelle Roide, 13, San Luis Obispo
The darkness drapes over the forest
Like a blanket of black velvet
Oh, how I long for daybreak
But cherish the starry midnight
The shadows frolic and play tricks
And the owl owns the night I dance in the moonlight’s path
The shimmery silver forever imprinted
On my heart
AN ELEGY TO SANITY
Natalie Marquardt, 13, Morro Bay
Goodbye Sanity Soon you will be completely missing From this world You are an endangered species Being replaced by chaos and Destruction
I wish you could stay a little while longer But some do not allow it And happily bid you farewell
You and peace are simply Not allowed anymore Neither are good and honest people
They are being eaten by greed Greed coats his lips with obscure Profanity Goodbye Sanity
Sarah Rutland, 14, Arroyo Grande
Love, a spice with an array of flavors, Sometimes it may leave hurt upon your tongue, Or bring a taste like a sweet sugar plum, Both good and bad memories it savors, As a steady light it does not waiver, It shines into the hearts of old and young, Love does not care whom it is found among. Its prominent voice speaks without quaver. Afraid to love something that could be lost, Not moving on could become a large cost, Love is not an easy thing to muse in, Lest the relationship become chagrin, An unquenchable love will never part, Til death has come to seal love in the heart.
GOOD BYE SHADOW
Lily Mendez, 15, Santa Maria
My dog is a shadow A shadow that I will never see Feeling his cold nose against my hand Hearing his barking as I arrived home A shadow lurking in the night His breathing against my neck My shadow has died.
WHAT IS POETRY?
Kathleen Schwind, 14, Grover Beach
Poetry is what? You might ask. Some say it is anything that rhymes. Others say it is just a brutal task. Another says it is merely saying something a thousand times. Poetry is like a flower that blooms, As it grows it gets better each and every day. And like the wind that makes designs in the dunes, Each poem touches the soul in its own special way. Poetry is not simply a type of writing in which lyrics are written. Or where poets beat around the bush, Poetry is not just a voice of the smitten Nor is it just a bunch of love song mush. Poetry is aflowing word-river, It feeds the fertile fields of the mind. As the poets put their pen to the page, thought-seeds quiver, And up sprout emotions of every kind. From inspiration to elegy, from gasp to sigh, Poetry’s true value is in the beholder’s eye. I think poetry is anything you want it to be, The point of poetry is to bestow on you a new way to see.
WALL OF CLOCKS
Layly Roodsari, 12, San Luis Obispo
In the small little house, there was a little couch. On the little couch, was a little leather pouch.
In the little leather pouch, there was a little mouse.
The mingy, mopey mouse had a little house.
And in the little house, there was a little room.
In the little room, there was a mushroom.
And across the little mushroom, there was a little wall.
And on that little wall there were bunches of clocks.
There were big clocks, little clocks, square clocks, purple clocks,
Quiet clocks, noisy clocks, ugly clocks, and pretty clocks.
The mysterious wall of clocks was one of a kind.
The clock will never stop turning time.