9 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A RIVER
You can watch the reflection of the moon
glitter bright on the river. You can hear
a fish calmly jump out of the water.
The touch of your hand to the river
slowly creates commotion and disruption.
You can see rocks mumbling under the frigid water.
You can hear rocks sliding off the edge
and plopping hard into the glistening water.
You can stare as a flower blossoms,
creeping out from the stem. You can taste
the delicious, mouth-watering drink
sitting in front of you, mocking you.
You can see the plants bow down
to the water, as if going to bed.
You watch as the river drifts to sleep.
What I Am
I am a battlefield.
I am a rainbow blowing up.
I am a leprechaun throwing gold at people.
I am a dodo bird looking in a mirror.
I am counting pennies out loud.
I am jumping into a pit of hungry piranhas.
I am a fox chasing
cars in a dark dimension.
I am a meteor
slamming down on the earth.
I am an orb
spinning around our heads.
I am falling
off a ship.
I am a
I am falling
through an endless hole.
A lumbering rug just waiting to be walked on,
A slow giant that is just harming the grass,
A herd that is a mangle of fuzz from the sky,
Brown kelp swaying slowly in the sea.
The piano keys were playing sarcastically.
The strings of the piano quivered as I messed up a note.
The revenge of the piano tried to grab me.
The deep sounds of the piano were sacred.
The piano discarded me.
There are no
stars tonight. I knew I
shouldn’t have ate all
the cookies. No stars
is nature’s sign that I’m
going to have to do
a ton of chores in the
winter and my food
will not be good.
I just should have
planted all the crops,
harvested all the peaches,
and not ate all the cookies.
Why can’t everything be my way?
Why can’t I control the past and future?
This life is terrible, boring, and difficult.
Oh, why, oh why, oh why me?
I am the Snow
As I fall from dark gloomy gray
clouds I land one by one on the
warm grass. While I build up children
come out and play, I can feel
their hands as they push me and
roll me, as I glide through the
air I feel buttons and I can taste the crunchy
carrots push in me. I hear children scream.
I realize that I am glad to be
snow, when I melt I will always
come back. I am the one and only
I am the Tornado
I get out of my twirling soft bed. I
yawn and grow, I eat my eggs and
grow. I hear all the kids play hide and
go seek. I can’t deal with those kids
screaming loud. I eat my lunch and hear
wind. I go out and all the kids are
horrified. I go up and up and up. And
finally I hit houses and buildings and
skyscrapers. I hit schools and I gobbled
the schools up. They were so good that I
grew 20 inches. I smelled the clouds and
then it rained. I went back in my
home and ate my supper. I had chicken
and for my dessert I went back outside
and ate some buildings. Then I went
back to sleep. And I was listening
to the peaceful falling buildings.
The Day I Was A Hermit Crab
The soft currents of the big, blue sea
brush against my body as I search for a new
shell; I have one now, so roomy and colorful
As my little legs fall into the sand, I decide
to go “up,” where the creatures called “humans” are
I feel the hard, dried sand now as rough
as sandpaper, but I can hear the humans
talking in some foreign language
I stare at big pink tongues and this hair, skin,
face, clothes, glasses. I decide to eat something
called a “hot-dog”
It tastes like hard coral and soft sand
Some people and food smell like salt and fish
I go back to my cave in the warm blue sea
As the green, smooth seaweed brushes against
my bleach-blond orange-spotted shell, I
fall asleep wondering what a day as a
human would be like.
The day I was a rainbow trout
I feel the soft sand on my scaly skin
The smooth indigo water brushes softly
against my face.
Silver hooks and boats rock above the
water’s bumpy surface.
Fishermen drop their hooks, I am careful
but gently pull on the shiny hook.
The fisher yanks and reels in his line but
I just swim to a distance and slowly watch
the boat rock back and forth.
Other fish swim past me and I sway
my long body from side to side avoiding
the bigger fatter fish that surround me.
Then all is dead silence. Suckers swim across
the pitch-black water floor. Minnows scurry
around the water’s surface.
My jaw is strong and sturdy.
My colorful body is shiny in the clear light
of the water.
I am a fish of the
deep waters, and I
always will be.
The best day ever
A platypus jumped in a
house today so the exterminator
came and he told me that he
climbed Mt. McKinley and he chipped
a tooth so he went to the
dentist’s office he got a
gold filling and then went to
a cold pond and found a narwhal.
I am a blizzard, when I sneeze mountains
of snow hit Colorado. While kids are
playing I come and form 9 feet of snow
in a blink of an eye. I take out power
in many places. I make the North Pole the
coldest place on earth. I get kids out of
school when I tilt my head. I am a
blizzard this is what I do.
John Grady Harper
All my days
Monday is a cancelled summer.
Tuesday is a frown.
Wednesday is a bee’s work day.
Thursday is an amusement park.
Friday is a birthday party.
Saturday is Christmas.
Sunday is a spa.
All my days
Monday is a broken coffee cup,
Tuesday is a dead cat,
Wednesday is a broken heart,
Thursday is chunky milk,
Friday is expired,
Saturday is a vacation in Hawaii,
Sunday is when you step on a crack and break your mama’s back.
All my days
Monday is a cut on the bottom of my foot
Tuesday is weird
Wednesday is a rotten sandwich
Thursday is getting gum stuck in your hair
Friday is an amusement park
Saturday is my favorite
Sunday is a shy friend.
I’m from long shorts and T-shirts in my closet.
I’m from the wonderful outdoors in the spring.
I’m from the deep lake in the country.
I’m from the hard pencil in my desk.
I’m from strong words on a paper.
I’m from warm cookies on a plate.
I’m from sweet hay smells in a barn.
I’m from cuddly animals in bed.
I’m from cold skis in Colorado.
I’m from strong love in friendship and family.
A turtle is as slow as an oven.
and as slow as a TV commercial.
A turtle tastes like an old printer.
A turtle looks like an old computer screen.
Tell me minnow.
Why are you so small?
You’re as small as a ladybug.
Why do you live in water?
Why are you so slippery?
You’re as slippery as a frozen pond.
You feel like a metal dishwasher.
Why can’t you live with me?
How do you eat if your mouth is so small?
Why can’t you be big?
Why can’t you speak English?
It’s almost time
The great, strong blizzard
We can’t wait much longer
Vandergriff Elementary School
Date of Visit: November 14 – 15, 2013
Faculty Sponsor: Marci Tate
Grade Levels: 3, 4, 5
Appx. Number Students Served: 250
Visiting Writers: Megan Clark, Stefan De La Garza, Jesse Irwin, Michelle Myers, Alice Otto, and John Scott