Expanded Worlds from C.D. Fulkes Middle School

Writers write. It can be a daunting task, but the young writers at C.D. Fulkes Middle School bravely put pencil to paper and engaged a world of words and new possibilities. These students tried difficult forms, such as contrapuntal poems, and imagined new worlds alongside the rich details of their daily lives while exploring elements of fantasy and creative nonfiction. I am proud of the work these students accomplished during our short time together, and I’m excited to share their work with the world on Unbound.

Amanda Johnston
Badgerdog Teaching Artist



I was in a field of flowers.
There were a trillion flowers –
blue, green, red, yellow, and some
were even see-through.


Over Winter Break

I ate my grandmother’s tamales
with my family. First time
without beans because
beans don’t go with tamales.


Love and Hate

Forever          Never
Stay                Goodbye


Three red colored pencils


I sat at my desk trying to finish homework. It was hard to concentrate since I kept drifting off. I finally decided that I should do my homework later. As I could not think, I pulled a pencil and a piece of paper from my desk drawer and started to doodle. At first, it was stable, but soon enough, my creations came alive. They got off the paper and moved around. I enjoyed watching them interact with each other. Before I realized it, my brother was calling me downstairs. I quickly put the doodles back on the paper and left. When I came back, my doodles had escaped. They had scattered my homework and were running rampant. I erased them and soon put everything back in order.



I was in the mountains when I was eleven. I was going into a really light wall when a twelve-hundred pound rock fell on top of me. I had huge muscles to pick it up and throw it down the cliff. Tan, tan…


Creative Poems

I have written poems.
I have written
100,000 poems.




Music is what has kept me here.
The sweet melodies – a pop against my ears,
each lyric a notion of sounds
put together to make me calm down.

Like relieving pressure off my shoulders,
it carries all my troubles away, into
a darkness where they can drown. While
it may seem sort of depressing, it shouldn’t
worry you that much. If it weren’t for
these words of wisdom, my brain would
falter against these words of wisdom. It’s
a form of reading.

Understanding and deciphering each line
keeps me busy, so as not to think about
my troubles. As far as it goes, it’s helped
guide me along my path in more ways
than one. A wise old woman – music really
is like that. A party in an earbud or speaker,
it makes me feel better.


These Hands

These hands have been through a lot.
These hands have so many battle scars.
You wouldn’t believe it.
These hands have wiped tears away and
sometimes even made them.
These hands will hold your future.
These hands can do just about anything.
These hands or your hands can do
good or evil. The choice is yours.



Oh, my brother,
banging and bruising his head.

Me and my mother worry, worry, worry together
about him, and whether one day his head won’t be strong.

We worry if it will explode.
Maybe he won’t survive.

I’m sure not eating isn’t helping.
He’s sure to become as skinny as a stick.

But together,
our family,

we will find a solution to this mess
and come out better.



My Mommy

My mother is happy. Like always.
My mother is sad when she is hurt.
My mother is sappy when she loves me.
So that’s, like, all the time.
My mother is mad when I argue.
My mother is crazy when she is happy.
Also, all the time.
My mother is lazy when she is tired.
My mother is the best.


These Hands

These hands are made for dancing.
These hands are made to write.
These hands were made for moving.
These hands were made to fight.

These hands were made to push.
These hands were made to pull.
These hands were made to lift.
These hands were made to rule.

These hands were made to hold.
These hands were made to hug.
These hands were made like gold.
These hands were made to love.

These hands were made to build.
These hands were meant to be.
These hands were made for change.
These hands were made for me.



My mom is cool.
My mom is bad.
My mom can cook.
My mom is sleepy.
My mom works.
My mom is cool.



These Hands

These hands have stories.
These hands have been through a lot.
These hands are in a battle.
These hands are too young to go.
These hands are under pressure.
The hands are done.


My Mother

My mother cooks the best.
My mother cares the best.
My mother helps the best.
My mother understands the best.
My mother cleans the best.
My mother is the best.




Sleep in my bed,
where the cold
cannot get me,
in the place
where I feel safe.



I see the bright screen
shine as I hear demons
screech while it slowly
gets darker in my own



Happy and Sad

Happy Halloween                Sad about getting toothaches
Joyful Christmas                  Depressed, no party or family
Delighted Hanukkah           Lonely, no family
Good Birthday                      Bad presents


Today, I

Today, I sang my favorite song.
Today, I wrote a poem.
Today, I learned a new unit in math.
Today, I watched The Lion King.
Today, I lost my best friend.
Today was a slightly good day.


Winter Break

On Christmas break
I stayed with my dad
and step-mama.
I watched TV all day
and got a new phone.



Oblivion / Existence

Crumbling towers                              In the reflection of shining eyes
Howling winds                                    Where daisies dance
People full with whimper                 Nestled into a sea of green
Humanity is brought                         They soak in the beauty
To its knees                                         Of the place they know


Sempiternal / Ending

Will we see the end                    Will we ever stop
Hold your breath                        Breathe in deep
Close your eyes                           We’re going nowhere



Winter Break

Over winter break, I was
driving with my two older cousins
all around the block
and on the street.



I slept
at my mom’s house.
I dreamt about losing my mom someday.
I ate with my mom
at my mom’s house.
Tasting the delicious food
with my mom in the house.


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