Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a place of your creation? Or wondered about the images sounds produce in our minds? For Ms. Golliher’s class at Highland Park Elementary School, the answer is yes. They create places such as Kids Land, where money grows on trees and there are such things as cookie mountains; Baseball Land, where the air tastes like chocolate and the fans are constantly screaming; or Main Fun, where everything is free and you walk on trampolines. The poets imagine pies that win talent shows by dancing to Michael Jackson, colossal pies that only grow in Austin, and pies that have pickles as their best friend. Death sounds black, concerts sound like rainbows, and airplanes and laughter sound blue. These poets take in sights and sounds around them and create something magical: poems that know no boundaries.
If I were a place, the place would be a piece of land where animals live, like horses, cats, and lions, and there would be a cookie mountain and money trees everywhere and lots of toy stores. And for the boys, I would put a soccer place there. The air tastes like cotton candy and pizza, and there’s a giant spring on a cloud that you can jump on. And there’s a fair that’s so big, you’d think it was the biggest thing in the world. And there is TV Land. But girls, there are no boys unless I say they can come! When it snows, it snows snowflakes and hearts. When it rains, it rains jellybeans. The place is calledKidsLand. You won’t have to buy a basket to pick money from the money trees.KidsLandis the best place in the world. Wait! I forgot the best part—free video games! No—I think the best part is that we give out puppies for free if you want to adopt one.
It was a silver sound. It smelled like burnt shotgun shells. It felt like a burst of wind pushing me back. I was shooting clay plates with my friend’s shotgun. I got to fire the clay plates out of the warehouse.
It sounded blue. The sound felt sharp and ragged. I was in the airplane, buckling my seatbelt. The sound of it tasted like calamari. I was thinking of what the flight attendant and captain would do with me. I was going toHoustonby myself.
The Place Called Baseball Land
If I were a place, it would be Baseball Land.
It would feel like grass and dirt.
It would smell like all kinds of smells, like cinnamon and mint.
The air would taste like chocolate.
It would look like baseball fields with designs, like a polka-dot outfield and a glitter infield made of dirt.
It would sound like fans screaming and bats smashing.
And that’s the place I would be.
Once upon a time, there was a tree. He was all by himself in a boy’s front yard. The boy climbed on him and picked his leaves. The tree was tired of it. That night, he saw a shooting star and wished he had wings. The next morning, he woke up and had wings, so he went off toHollywood.
Pie was very lonely. He thought that people would like him because he was cherry, but it turned out everybody but one hated him, and that was his best friend, Frank the Pickle.
Frank had a wonderful idea for everybody to love pie—he got an air pump and made Pie into Colossal Pie. He’s faster than gunshot cherries! He’s stronger than stale crust! He’s Colossal Pie! He’s saved the world three times with his sidekick, Frank the Wonder Pickle! (He’s actually saved the world four times!)
Coming soon to a school near you. . . .
The Pie Tree!
The pie tree grows a lot of pies! It feels soft, like a pillow. It tastes magnificent. It smells very good. The pie tree grows 999,999 pies in a day—it grows pies very, very, very fast! There is only one pie tree in the world. It is inAustin,Texas. The pie tree is tremendous! The pie tree lives a very long time.
A Russian World
If I were a place, it would be Russia.
I see people walking by in their pajamas. It’s 1:30 a.m. People are walking to the church. It’s 2:30 a.m. now. The priest walks out on a balcony. Suddenly, it’s quiet. Nobody makes a sound for an hour. 3:30 a.m. Finally, the priest says, “Christos voskres.” It means, “Christ has risen.” Then the people say, “Da,” “Yes.” I run home and get my mom and sister for the giant feast. 4:30 a.m. Finally, they wake up. They are as slow as a turtle. 5:30 a.m. We are there. It smells delightful.
Then I wake up in my bed. It was a dream!
It was a cool morning. A bored lady sat in a lone house on the prairie. She thought to herself, I feel as if I were a rock. There is a bird over there and I am just right here. . . . Wait! Wait just a minute! I can blow bubbles so that the bird can pop them!
So, the lady got her bubbles. She started to blow, and the bird started to pop the bubbles. Yay! she thought. Now this is fun!
After 5,600,700 bubbles, the lady was bored again. Wait a bubble-popping minute! she thought. I will feed him walnuts!
So, the lady got the walnuts and started to feed the bird. The bird hated the walnuts, but he was hungry, so he ate the lady’s hair till she was bald! No! thought the lady. You rotten bird. Well, I will just get a wig.
The Food Island
If I were a place, the place would be raining ice cream. There would be no girls allowed! I would only let my family and my friends play. It would smell like bubble gum. You would see kids playing onDonutIsland. The air would taste like Coke. The bushes would grow sodas so you wouldn’t have to waste money. You could go fishing in the gummy pond. You could play baseball in the clouds. There would be money trees. When we had a tornado, it would be made of Jell-O. The place would sound like root beer being shaken. The best part is, you get free video games and video game consoles, but only if you are a boy.
The Super Duper Annoying Sound!
Hudsonwas scratching the chalkboard. It was an orange sound. The sound felt like chocolate and chicken on my skin.Hudsonwas playing on the chalkboard, and on accident, he scratched it. The sound tasted like chocolate chip cookies and milk. I was in Mrs. Golliher’s class, thinking of a screeching sound. I wish he hadn’t scratched the chalkboard.
My Dog Henry
It sounded black. My dog Henry was about to die.
“Does he have to go?” I asked.
I was going to miss him. We couldn’t let him go, but we had to. Some of his organs were failing. He wouldn’t have made it anyway. He misses me a lot. I miss him more. We were sad to see him go. He was the best dog I ever had. It sounded like a baby crying. I was crying. He was struggling. I was very, very sad.
The ladies stick together.
They both lost their jobs. The city people didn’t like them. They didn’t want them around. They lit the ladies’ houses on fire after the ladies packed their bags. They had to leave and they knew it. They walked and walked for hours. They looked back at their smoldering houses. It was hard to breathe. The air was thick with smoke. Everything was trashed up, like a tornado had gone by. They looked at the oil rigs. They were crying. They liked their houses and the city, but they kept walking. They stopped at the bus stop and put their bags down. There was nothing living around. The plants were dead. No animals, no plants, no people, and most of all, no buses in sight. The ladies could barely breathe. It was as if the smoke was going to follow them until it wiped out the world.
They saw a little smoke from the bus.
“Oh phew,” said the lady in the black dress.
They got on the bus. They were so happy. They thought they would die. They sat down and left all their worries and sorrows behind. They were going to start again in anew city, with a new life.
It sounded blue. The sound felt warm and soft. I was at the park. Children played all over. I heard laughter all down the road. Children laughed and babies snug in their cribs giggled. People told jokes to one another. Children tickled other kids. My parents saw some babies and smiled dreamily, like they were thinking about my life as a baby. The sound of the laughter tasted like chocolate milk. I thought about my childhood and all of the fun and exciting things in my life and I started to laugh.
Dreamy Ice Cream
Dreamy Ice Cream loved ice cream, only he was blind, so he used two of his other senses, smell and taste. He also had no arms, so he went to the great, best, and powerful genie. The genie would only grant you wishes if you brought him ten bags of Doritos. And so, off Dreamy Ice Cream went. When he got to the genie, he gave him his ten bags of Doritos and told him his wish.
“I want arms,” Dreamy Ice Cream said.
With a poof, he had arms. Now he could go back to his house and tell his family. He felt as happy as if he lived in a mansion.
One day later, they came up with a new flavor of ice cream—peanut butter Cheetos. Dreamy Ice Cream felt so great he sent the genie a thank-you card for his arms. And his whole entire family lived happily ever after.
The Talented Pie
There was a talented pie. He was unique because he was a talented pie. The talented pie’s problem was that everyone wanted to eat him. The talented pie wanted everyone to like him.
One day, at his school, he heard that the talent show was coming up. His whole life, he’d been dreaming about winning the talent show. So, he signed up and he decided he was going to do a Michael Jackson dance.
Finally, the night of the talent show came, but when it was his turn, the talented pie was really scared. Then he had an idea—to pretend the audience were the rubber duckies from his bathroom. He danced awesome, and he won the talent show.
(By the way, the talented pie was so talented because his dad was Michael Jackson.)
It sounded like a rainbow. It was a BIG sound. The sound felt happy and jumpy on my skin. I was at my very first concert. I was there to see Taylor Swift. I was singing along, dancing and jumping like a MANIAC. The sound of the concert tasted like my favorite ice cream, chocolate chip cookie dough. When I was leaving the concert, I was thinking about skipping school the next day. And I did.
He smells like barbecue. I call him Picklepie for short. Just in case you walk by him, ask for his address: 508 The Pickles He Ate. I know what you’re thinking, because yeah, I know, he’s a dork. But he’s from outer space. I bet he’s just shy if you talk to him. Picklepie is made out of chocolate cupcakes—I know, right!
Well, that’s the story of Picklepiecupcakeswiedorkydunt Corpysmell.
If I were a place, it would be Main Fun in 1999 with no air conditioning (because everyone would be running around so fast) and bowling and rock climbing, and it would be on the ocean. You can see sharks, a money tree with millions, laser tag like in the Hunger Games arena. All-you-can-eat cotton candy and other food. The air smells like bubble gum. You walk in a ball pit with spikes that blow up. And there’s skydiving and hang gliding and zip lining. Everywhere you walk, there’s a trampoline. Free anything! It’s free for boys and girls.