The Hornsby-Dunlap Poet Heroes gathered every Wednesday after school to share life stories and build friendships. We explored the lives of authors: Shel Silverstein, Billy Collins, and Langston Hughes; we used sensory details to write about our grandmothers and we practiced limericks, similes, and symbolism. We played imaginative games to practice identifying nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Each week, we were thrilled to see each other and sad to leave. A few parents expressed to me their surprise that their children could be so excited about poetry!
Poetry allows us to express ourselves in a way unique to and distinct from any other art form. Lara writes in her poem, “Oh, how the rain is driving me insane!” William writes, “With all this light, now I see the true meaning of life.” When we offer positive feedback and encouragement, we see our fellow writers take flight. As Danika writes, “‘You can fly?’ asked the mama. ‘Yes, I can,’ said baby bird.” There is no greater joy than witnessing a group of elementary students discovering their own potential, being supportive of each other, and having the courage to share their original works. I think once you read these wise and hilarious pieces, you will all feel like Samuel, “I am happy as a butterfly in the air.”
Badgerdog Teaching Artist
I am running, fast as a bird,
running fast as I can.
I can see the floor disappearing
The darkness is coming
fast, quite fast.
I avoid all things in front of me,
all obstacles, all stops, all problems.
I can see the door of light,
but am I fast enough? Can I make it?
The darkness is right behind me.
I make a leap for the door,
and the floor under me turns into
I grab onto the edge of the door.
I look down and see dark, dark, dark despair.
I pull myself up, then something grabs
on to my leg.
I turn over and see a
dark, decaying, evil silhouette of myself.
It tries to pull me down, but I say,
“Not this time!” as I kicked it off.
I pull myself into the doorway.
With all this light, now I see the
true meaning of life.
Run to the Sun
A bright bird had a run to the sun.
The bird always believed he could touch the sun.
As he soared by the trees.
He thought he was getting closer to the sun.
Birds watched as he flew faster than any bird in the world.
He looked back for a second, then — smash!
Straight into a tree.
Down, down, down he went.
Plopped on the ground.
Next, the mama bird flew to him and said,
“You’ll get there some day, so keep trying.”
He smiled and flew back to his nest.
A flower is like
a bower on stage
I am happy as
a butterfly in the air
I am crazy like
when I am outside
I’m sweet like
My dream is to become a skater
and to overcome my fears.
I have crazy dreams.
In one of them, I was playing
then I jumped off a tree to the ground.
In another one, I jumped to the playground bar.
I tried to jump, but my legs
They couldn’t move because I was scared.
My body was ready, but my legs
Oh, how I hate the rain.
It is such a pain.
I want to go to the shore.
But my mom said, “No go… Snore”
Oh, how the rain is driving me insane!
The Pig and the Ram
Once upon a time, there was a tooth. It was in a ram’s mouth. It always said, “Get me out of here!”
But the ram was too smart. One day, a pig came over, and he was smooth and squishy. He said, “Knock your tooth out!”
The ram said, “I thought you were on my team, best friend.”
Pig said, “Just for once, listen to me, please!”
“No!” said the ram.
The tooth giggled.
“I WOULD PUNCH YOU OUT RIGHT NOW, BUT I DON’T WANT YOU OUT!!!” said the ram.
The next night, the tooth and the pig talked while the ram was asleep. The pig punched the tooth out. The ram woke up the next morning and saw the pig dead, lying on the floor. He was shocked! He looked on the TV and saw the tooth was the king! The tooth called himself Donald Rump! The ram got mad and jumped into action. He looked on the Internet and saw that there was a special potion that had been in a cave for millions and millions of years. Seventy-three people have tried to find it, but they either starved to death or got eaten or even died from being scared.
The ram never gives up, so he got a bag with a toothbrush and mint, a pack of smiley face stickers, and other random stuff. He set off and saw a huge monster-like creature. It had a clown face and a hairy body. He was blubbery and see-through. You could see his bones. The ram said, “Do you have a problem? I could help.”
“Yes,” said the monster, “give me a toothbrush!”
“OK,” said the ram. The ram gave him his toothbrush. Then he saw an even scarier monster! It had a smell that could kill someone! The ram said, “Do you want a mint?”
The monster said, “Yes!”
Then, he walked for days. He kept walking past monsters. One ate his leg off! He finally saw the potion, ran back, and gave it to the pig. The pig saw Donald Rump (the tooth) and together they put the tooth in jail. Then the pig and the ram ruled the world! They only ruled because of the ram.
“That was a happy ending.” said the ram.
“Well, for us!” said the pig.
There was a girl before
That we all ignore
The thing that she bought
She always brought
She was kinda poor
The Always Ending Story
Once upon a time, a zebra was lying on the floor. Then a giant ant came and was nibbling everything in the city. He even bit the zebra king! “Ahhhh!” the zebra king yelled.
Then, the magical tongue got out of Jerry’s mouth and said, “I will save the city!” She ran for miles trying to find the crime. Finally, she found the screaming. “The time has come, tata,” she said. “Tongue versus ant!”
The tongue took a gigantic lick. The ant took a little nibble. The tongue yelled, “Ahhhh! That’s it! I’m taking you down whether you like it or not!”
The ant hissed at the tongue. The tongue used the taste bud slap. The ant now had terrible vision because of all that goop. Then the ant just walked right on top of the tongue. The tongue said, “I’ll eat you today then!”
By the time he ate the ant, the tongue had six bites and the ant was long gone.
He was never seen again.
Once upon a time, a bird was stuck on a bunch of little sticks. The bird was wondering where its mama was. The bird was very scared. The bird searched and waited for food. All you saw was a colorful bird behind her. The little bird was wondering, Is that my mama?
Then the big bird walked around and was waiting for a huge hug. Instead, the bird hesitated. The big bird was just waiting until she got tired. The big bird was very happy to see her little bird. She gave her baby bird a big surprise — some living worms that were pre-chewed. The baby bird was grateful and said hello to the big bird. Then the big bird had to live with the baby bird. She asked, “What is a surprise?” The baby bird thought until her brain got an idea. I might have a sibling, the baby bird thought.
So, she trained to fly. After a few days of training, she could fly. She spotted her mama. She flew faster than ever. She saw many eggs that still weren’t cracked. The mama bird was happier than anyone in the world!
“You can fly?” asked the mama.
“Yes, I can,” said baby bird.
She flew with her mama everywhere she went. After days and days of waiting, the eggs finally hatched. The mama was so happy, they found the dad, and the family was completed.