Dining on Daydreams

W. H. Auden wrote that “A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten.” The quality of this meal depends on what we notice in our every day, although we can’t predict which eaten images from our dreams will send our pens across the page. The daydreams of the writers in Ms. Castillo’s and Ms. Froelich’s third-grade classes at Barrington Elementary last spring are like gourmet meals: there are black holes and unanswered wishes and men like tornadoes. Yet, however these writers are daydreaming on the page, whether they’re considering what it means to be grown-up, or addressing their fears, it’s clear from their words that these now-fourth-graders see the world in sophisticated, complicated ways. They notice everything. Prepare yourself for the excellent meal of your next daydream: read these poems and let the students’ images and words drift you into surprises delicious, serious, vivid, and intelligent.

Poetry from Ms. Castillo’s Class:


I am in an airplane to Dallas with my mom. The man is behaving like a tornado. My, like a gray tornado. I wish I was in my Home.



I am at the store with my sister. She is taking a lot of time trying clothes on. My life is like a black hole. I wish I was in the pool instead of being in the store. I wish I was at home so I could ride my bike. I am bored.



I am at the House of Torment because the HOT is so BORING. I am at the (scared house) of Torment. But I AM NOT SCARED! All that is here are people moving with make-up on and fake plastic effects and objects (saw). I had to do all of that because my sister wanted to scare me, but it didn’t work! My life is like a black and white movie. I wish I was at my house reading!


Time to Be a Grown-Up

—adapted from a newspaper

I shared money,
money feeling last week.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“I just happened to be looking.”
“You are crazy,” I said.
Joe shut the drawer. He got


Time to Be a Grown-Up

looked pale
about bills.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Joe got sweaty.
I told him,
“pay them.”


Time to Be a Grown-Up

I have shared
left me feeling monitored.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Joe quickly looked
pale, sweaty.
I told him.



I’m at the hospital with my dad because my head hurts. I am scared because they put a shot in your hand. I was so so so scared. My life is like a scary roller coaster. I wish I was in the mall with my family.

Lizbeth R.


I am in the room of the hospital, and I am sitting on the chair. I felt scared. I am at the hospital. My mom is here, and my stepfather. The doctor put a hot towel on my eye because I am a ball made out of my own meat and blood. When we were driving, it was bumpy. I was in the hospital, and I was daydreaming about if they let me watch TV. And when I was done, they did let me watch TV. And my mom brought me a snack. My life is like fun.



I’m at the hospital with my brother. It is so boring because all you do is stay in a room and wait. I was in the hospital because my brother was sick. My life is like going to a hospital. I wish I was playing a video game in my house instead of waiting and watching TV in the hospital.


Time to Be a Grown-Up

quickly ripping of his arm.
Bills, when you don’t pay.
I paid.

Lizbeth D.

Time to Be a Grown-Up

Last week
on the phone
Joe purchased
“Excuse me?”
he said.


Poetry from Ms. Froelich’s Class:


I am afraid that a hurricane is
going to knock me down.

I am fearful that a shark is going
to drown me.

I fear a tornado is going to suck me in.

I am afraid that hell is going to hit me.

I fear death because it is scary and
I don’t want to be in a deep hole.



I fear that Jeepers Creepers is real and
that he’ll come to hurt me.

I am afraid that a bridge will
collapse on me.

I am afraid that my boat will tip.

I fear sky diving.

I am fearful of the ocean because I
don’t want to be attacked.

I fear that a wolf will eat me.

I am afraid that a tornado will hurt
my whole family.

I fear that the beautiful world is ending.

I am fearful that I will get robbed. I have
valuable stuff.



One day I went fishing with GranPo at a pond. We went back and forever we were in the truck. We finally started and checked it out. It was OK. We stopped and fish were in the water. When I got a fish, I was daydreaming of swimming at Schlitterbahn and going on the slides, getting wet, having fun, and winning prizes and stuff.


Ready to Get Out of School, Cheese, a Boy, Getting Out of Work

One day I went to my dad’s house, and I was bored and lonely. I felt like I was by myself in a dark room. But when I was on the couch, I woke up. I was daydreaming. I wanted to be in Italy eating French bread. Then I told my dad I wanted to be in Italy, but he said, “No, the tickets cost a lot!”


Time to Be a Grown-Up

Last week,
on the phone
I had purchased online
A $20 pair of pajamas for
my niece. “Excuse me?”
I replied, looking at our statement.


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