The Presence We Need to Sing

Like Walt Whitman and so many others, a number of our Barrington Elementary writers this week have taken to the open road. The Earth was sufficient for Whitman, and so too for Mr. Chapa’s third-graders, many of whom have buckled into their dream rides: cars whose roofs keep them “fresh,” cars that parachute into California. Like Whitman, our writers don’t need “the constellations any closer”; on the open road, sitting next to someone they care about, in the embrace of a few doors, and the concrete speeding beneath, they’ve found everything they need. But there’s more than one way to head for that open road the poet sings of; Whitman writes that we—we writers, we human beingsdo not convince with our arguments or our rhymes, so much as with our presence. And this is the key to the engine of each poem this week: the presence of a mother in a fast car on the way to the park, of a caring teacher who might grow a long beard, of a father who moves slowly in the morning. Whether we sing for the open road or the next math test, we want to sing in the presence of someone else.

The Best Car in History

When I get a car, I’m going to let everyone ride in my car.
I’m going to test the car and see what it can do.
I am going to ride in the desert so I can ride freely.
I will ride it on December 1, 2029, because I want to have some fun.
Some people ask me, “How many years did it take to make it?”
I say, “Five years!”
The car has 999,999-horse power.
It’s as fast as five sonic booms.
It has hemi engines and a limo/low-rider/Lamborghini/Mustang/helicopter
It has eighteen gallons of fuel and plenty of nitro to last for a year!
It drives like a king car.
Also, I can drive on water as well as on land.
It’s waterproof.
It is going to be black and white with red flames.



my car is a Jetta and is 1.8
and has turbo and go fast go
we went shopping
and rode in that car
with my dad
it is standard
we go too fast
because we have turbo

Jose G.

My Car

I have a car I ride in; it’s color is blue. It goes fast like a motorcycle. I went to Mexico with my own car. I went October 2006. I went to Mexico to see my grandma and grandpa. It went really fast like a motorcycle or more, maybe or maybe not. My car wheels are snake wheels. The name of the car is Mustang; it opens up and it closes whenever you want. It goes almost as fast as a motorcycle. It’s fun riding Mustang cars. The wheels were baby blue. I went with Kimberly, Stephanie, Ericka, and Marlin. And I forgot that Mr. Chapa rode in it because it’s open.


The Best Teachers!!!!

—Mr. Chapa

Mr. Chapa is a teacher.
I imagine he likes sandwiches.
He works like a teacher.
He helps students, and he works so hard.
I imagine next time when he has more third graders,
he is gonna blow out their heads.
Now he is tall, and he is such a good teacher.
For every special student, he always comes with energy
and tells sometimes silly jokes.

—Ms. Irene
Ms. Irene loves us, but she also sometimes
gets angry with some of the walkers because they are not following rules.
I think every time she will be going with us on field trips.
Ms. Irene works like an assistant to also help kids who are stuck.
I imagine she likes healthy things and treats.
She likes to help kids.
I think next year she will blow out like Mr. Chapa.


Fun Day

One day when my mom had a whole free-time day, we got an amazing car. The car is green and would go really fast; it has a roof to keep us fresh. My mom said, “Go to a playground so we can have a really fun day.” When my mom went really fast, the fresh air came to me. When my mom went a little bit fast, she was using her feet. We had a really fantastic time! We bought food not to be hungry, like cheese pizza. When we finished eating, we got in the car and drove the car. When I saw the speed my mom was going, it was 25 mph.



I have a low-rider. It has rims.
The color is blue and black.
It is the fastest car.
It carries up to six people in it.
It jumps over a hundred buses.
I do it for fun.
I race with other cars.
They’re all low-riders, but mine
has the fastest engine.
My car has nitrous.
The nitrous stays up to ten minutes.
I win a trophy and go home.
I show my trophy to my family.
Then I will go to Hollywood
and live there for five weeks.
I go to races somewhere to get trophies.


Lightening Fast

I would ride a Superbird
that would go 199,999 miles per hour
hear my engine 543
a sunroof
a whale tail
colored blue stripes and all red
fast wipers
a parachute
it could take 35 gasoline with turbo
with wings to make big jumps
three exhausts on each side
three inches in the middle
I would go to California
A hundred sonic booms
would be slower


My Dad

My dad has black hair, and he works to build houses. My dad built a big house with a pool in the back of the house. My dad works with my uncles. My dad likes to work building houses. When my dad comes to the houses, he comes with a big smile on his face. My dad works every day. When my dad comes to my house every day, we watch a movie. The movie we watch is called Pirates of the Caribbean. My dad likes to see the movie every day. My dad, sometimes when I don’t go to school, takes me to his work, and we live happy all day.

Jose M.

My Fastest Car

my fastest car
my favorite car
is a Lamborghini
they go really fast
faster than a jaguar
maroon and black
they are classic cars
my favorite car is the Diablo
they go fast
my car color is green
and I would go to Houston
to buy TNT for my motor
to make fire
I would go with my mom


Good Person

I know
Mr. Chapa is a good person
he gets us to play nicely
practice multiplication with each other
he gets us to do pictures for Mother’s Day
he gets us paint and paper
he gets us a popcorn party
to see the planet
he gets us to see the fish
he gets us to give food to the fish
he gets us to see the newspaper
when it is time to read
he gets us such nice books
we get to go to the real library
play soccer in the park
when it is time
he gets nice
gives us a star on Fridays
for those who gets lots on the practice tests


Little Bay in Holabay

the car I like is a Superbird
it has speed
me and my mom and dad drive away
to the little bay in Holabay
the color of it is red
like we always liked
we have fun when we drive
to the little bay in Holabay
we are going as fast as we can go
when we went to the little bay in Holabay
at night we went there because of fun
we went there with fast speed


Lamborghini Fun

My uncle has a Lamborghini, and the car is blue like the sky is blue.
He has it in New York where there are many people and buildings.
He rides very fast, 900 miles per hour, and that’s really fast.
He does it to have fun. He has fun at the racetrack.
He warms up the car about twenty minutes.
Then he steps on the gear and it roars very hard.
In twenty seconds he was already far.
My uncle goes with my brother-in-law to the racing track.
It was dark, the moon was rising, and then it goes.


Long Beard

Mr. Chapa is a teacher. He teaches math and reading. He is so funny, and he tells funny jokes about a classmate and us. He is so similar to other teachers. He likes teaching with students. He has a dog too. Mr. Chapa plays the guitar. He always brings a sandwich. Mr. Chapa is nice and happy. He likes to wear jeans every day. He goes to the park with his dog so he can run and have fun. He has a beard. I think he wants a long beard when he is an old man. His attitude is nice. Mr. Chapa is late sometimes when he goes to school. He is my favorite teacher.


Dr. Doffer Day

school is almost over
ready to get out
let’s have fun
let’s give a shout
ready to jump
ready to play
let’s have fun
with our Dr. Doffer Day
let’s make friends
let’s all play
let’s all shout
with our Dr. Doffer Day
can we remember our friends
or can we not
when we get to fourth grade
we will not
some will
and some will not
we’re going to be sad
but have the best summer
and the Dr. Doffer Day



When my dad wakes up to go to work, he is quiet. He brushes his teeth and washes his face and makes food. He wakes us up, and then we eat and go to school. He gets his food, turns on the truck, and he starts to drive.
When he gets to work, he has to first go pick up some of his helpers. The he gets to work and has many different kinds of jobs.

One kind of work he does is landscaping. He also trims trees, and he plants plants. Then it’s lunchtime. He eats his sabas and whatever he wants.

I like to play with him games.


Penguins Are Fishing

Today I saw something,
I see a trillion penguins diving and swimming.
They are finding food.
They are like fish and squid.
So that’s why penguins are diving and swimming,
They are very hungry
And they need to feed the babies.
A sea leopard is trying to eat them.
The penguins are not afraid.
The sea leopard didn’t catch any penguins,
One by one
A penguin gets squid and fish.
Penguins have a fishing day!
How cute are they?


My Car

My car is a black car.
It has two seats in the front and three seats in the back.
It can run 110 mph and that’s fast.
My mom’s car is a girl car.
It has little tiny blue lights.
My three sisters went to the car.
Dad and Mom and I went to Dallas.
We went to Dallas to visit my family.
It takes a long time to get to Dallas from here.
It takes three hours.
I went to Dallas all Saturday and Friday.



My car is the color of red.
I go to the park with the car.
The speed is number 120.
It goes so fast.
If you go too fast, the police can come.
I go with my mom and dad.
What I do in the car is see out the window.
The park has a river, mad dogs, insects, and trees.



Mr. Chapa is happy with his job.
He loves teaching and loves
teaching us about math.
He has examples
of what he learns about things.
He is teaching us about math.
Teaching us many things like science.
Mr. Chapa likes teaching many things.


One thought on “The Presence We Need to Sing

  1. Bravo Barrington students! Your poems took me on a racing ride I will never forget! I am so proud of your creativity. Martin’s penguin poem reminds me as life is speeding by always listen for your own ideas. They are unique just like you!
    Write on Badgerpups! -Ms. Jena

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