Monday, April 29, 2013

The Poetry Issue 2013

April is National Poetry Month and Sound Off is proud to present a variety of poetry styles from local teens. From prose poetry to standard poetry to entries in The Good Tern's Postcard Project in Rockland, thanks go to the teens from The Community School's Passages Program as well as The Watershed School for sharing their poems with us. Note:  Each of the poems in the photos has been transcribed below.

Watershed School poems and artwork

  Laurel Brooks

A dream you dream alone is only a dream; a dream you dream together is reality.
-John Lennon 

Author Comment: I've always liked the Beatles and this has always been my favorite quote. I interpret it you're not going to succeed in your dream unless you get help from someone else.

Jerin Brooks

Snow is falling but will never stay.

Everything gives way to change

Nature’s sacrifice gives way to life.

Nothing is ever truly lost

Always found in something else.

And whatever beauty melts from our grasp

Gives, sprouts life to something else. 

Author Comment: Everything has to change eventually, but not everything is always lost.  You see these patterns in nature and in other things.

 Ben Moon-Black

Sitting alone 
I think
empty voices

Calls of those gone 
from the hollow chambers.

break them 

They fall into 
grains of 
falling through a 
to history.

Author Comment: This was a poem I wrote when I was 13. I usually write at night and this was a depressing poem. I used to be a nihilist. 

Jesse Dunn

I'm just an old printer in some school.
I haven't worked in a week.
But no one seems to care.
No one needs an old printer anymore.
If they cared, they would fix me.

Author Comment: The printer was broken and no one had fixed it in awhile. I thought if I wrote this, it would draw some attention--it was more of a joke. By the time I'd written it, the printer was fixed, but I taped this poem to it anyway.

 Louisa Crane

It's the fire in my eyes,
and the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm  woman
-Maya Angelou

Author Comment: I'm female obviously and 15 and take pride in being a girl. But I think there's a lot of things in the world that are unequal for women. I put together some photos that I thought represented the poem.

Emma K. Faunce

Curve the word
Bend the Pen
Ink and Quill
as lovers do
Two of a kind
One of the same
the words bend me
and take me away
adventurers bending
without my leave
the words unite me
like dancers
lost on the wind.

Author Comment: The poem itself is like the process of writing. I like to write a lot and don't think about it it just happens. Writing has a certain kind of flow like dancing.

Adult Comment: Entering the contest was a bit spur of the moment because just the weekend before we had finished mounting a production of the 18th-century comedy She Stoops to Conquer. Lois Anne's (organizer of The Good Tern Poetry Postcard Project) deadline was the same day, so we decided to make our impromptu entries and send them in. We followed Lois's guidelines - art about poetry, or poetry about art, or anything related to poetry - as long as it fit on a single postcard - a great idea, and one the students really enjoyed. The students who participated are all in either 9th or 10th grade. By the way, some wrote their own poems and some made artwork accompanied by quotes from published poems.
-Watershed English Teacher, Brian Boyd

Passages poems


Mikayla Williams

A relationship shouldn't be work.

It shouldn't be fighting to make things work,

It should be two people no more no less.

Outside conflicts shouldn’t reflect it.

Outside parties shouldn’t disrupt it.

So many times I have cried myself to sleep.

So many times I have begged for you to stay.

No more letting myself get hurt,

For someone who doesn’t care.

No more letting myself give in to you,

For simple things to change your mind.

I am done being let down.

I am done being broken down.

Author Comment: My relationship was mostly fighting and going downhill when I wrote the poem. When I got pregnant things had begun to get rocky, and still were when my daughter turned one. That is when I had enough of being treated poorly. We ended things on bad terms and that is when I wrote the poem.

Adult Comment: Mikayla's poem came to be after being encouraged to do a creative writing piece.  Expressing oneself can be challenging and this student wrote this poem as a way to sort her feelings after being hurt in a relationship.  I love that it expresses her feelings and her writing style allows readers to hear her voice.
Passages Teacher, Erica Gates

This Window

Niomi M. Johnson

He asked me why I was looking out the window, I never spoke.

He said it's only black out there, and I thought if you could know what is seen through my eyes.

Behind this window is a person who looks out waiting for the window to open.

Behind this window is pain, is tears, is lies.

I lie to myself about a lot of things, that I'm happy, that I'm fine, that I'm okay. When you see my smile or laugh, is it me just laughing at myself? I question this constantly. My weakness, my insincerity, my thoughts. Is being me a joke? I guess that is a good enough reason to laugh.

So sitting in the dark with spiders and dirt is where I lay, where my state of mind is all the time. I seen rain pour down and I can relate to my poor face. The snow piles up like emotions, creeping up slowly, turning cold.

Relationships? Is like a spider crawling down from a web, eating the fly's insides, am I the fly? Rabbits eating their children, is that my parents?

Where to go I am not sure of, I am a schizophrenic when it comes to life, who is to say they are someone, when they just imagine they are?

Cigarettes help me cope, it's just like life burning away at your fingertips, but it burns slow, and you can't breathe, kinda like after you are done smoking, with life you are done.

Am I a Luna Moth? All they do is live to breed and make more, is that life? Or do they know how bad of a world we “live” in? Because they don't live long enough to find out.
Looking out this window makes a lot of sense. For once I'm just waiting to smash a rock through and let light in to be happy, but it's too bad every time I feel like smashing it, it's always night time. 

Author Comment: When I wrote this poem, all of my time was spent in a bedroom. There was this one window I would look out of because that was all I could do. Finally, one night all of my emotions hit me all at once. I had a lot going on in my life at the time. I felt so trapped and the best way to express myself was to pick up my pen and paper, look out the window and let my feelings flow.

Adult Comment: Niomi wrote this poem because she is a poet. She happened to share it with me because I appreciate poetry and also because I am her teacher. She "handed in" this poem as part of her requirement to create something, but the topic and content were entirely her choice.
-Passages Teacher, Fern Hilyard

The Pregnancy Project

a poetic response by Haileigh Ingraham

I faked a pregnancy

I got a lot of hate because of it

everyone said it was bound to happen

because every family member of mine had
become a parent at a young age

statistics show a lot of teen pregnancy each

so I wanted to help prevent it by this project

and to show everyone how it was like to be

after the big reveal came out that I was not

a lot of people were touched

and I had a lot of news reporters wanting to
interview me

it became something bigger than I expected

I want to become something more than what
my family became

so that would mean I didn’t want to follow in
their footsteps and become a teen mom.

my name is Gaby and this is my story.

Adult Comment: Haileigh is a new, first time mom and we loaned her a book called the Pregnancy Project based on the true story of Gaby Rodriguez, the 18-year-old Washington state high school student who pretended to be pregnant in an effort to explore conventional stereotypes and the treatment of pregnant teens. It's her take on the story of Gaby herself, the girl who faked her own pregnancy, but also society looks at preganncy and what a new mom faces.
Passages Teacher, Cindy Stevenson 

To submit something to Sound Off, email, call (207) 236-9800 or mail to: Five Town Communities That Care, P.O. Box 1135, 219 Meadow Street, Rockport, ME 04856. Please include a real name and a phone number/email address so we can get in touch with you for editing purposes. 

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