Tag Archives: Badgerdog alum

Stop—It Is Spring

5 Apr

To continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, we have another poem for you today. But this isn’t just any poem! Ebonie’s “Stop-It Is Spring” was a finalist in our Spring Poem Contest.  We’ll be posting each of the four finalists until Sunday…when we’ll reveal our winner!  Ebonie, a sixth grader at Ojeda Middle School, writes in her finalist poem about that special “wonderfulness in the air” that comes from the warmth of spring, the smell of newly blossomed flowers, and the dancing wind.  Ebonie’s words remind us to stop and admire the beauty spring brings and to look forward to a new beginning.

Stop—It Is Spring

The tree stops doing what is was
doing—shaking, you might say.
The grass stops dancing in a very
odd way, like a girl I don’t know
as she runs through the grass
and the red roses and the sunflowers—
she stops. Her nose is clear. It is
hot now. She can smell the
wonderfulness in the air because—
it’s spring.

Ebonie, sixth grade, Ojeda Middle School


Love and Thunderstorms

12 Mar

Carolina, a fourth grade student from Bluebonnet Trail Elementary, reminds us of the unique qualities of time, in her poem, “Love Poem to Time.” Carolina personifies time, which has the ability to provoke the deepest sentiments within us.  She also acknowledges how valuable time is to every person, whether they are stranded on an island, fighting to survive; or whether they are risking their lives to protect and care for their family. Her poem inspires us to love the time we have, and to appreciate  everything we do.

Love Poem to Time

Time, what a never-ending story.
If someone were to write it all down,
you probably wouldn’t be able to read
even five chapters. Some dull, some exciting,
happy, graceful, astonishing, sad,
and some depressing.
But know this,
they are all human stories, like the old,
white-haired woman who walked
to the Amazon on foot. Or the man
who survived four years alone on an island.
Or the man who loves his family so much
he risks his life just to get them fed.

Carolina, fourth grade, Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School


There is a distinctive feeling one gets when a thunderstorm strikes. Cheyenne, a fourth grade student from Mr. Alaniz’s class at Pickle Elementary, seems to feel fear and curiosity at the same time.  She parallels the storm with the sound of a woman screeching and the horrifying image of a cat scratching the sky.  Yet despite the terror the storm produces, Cheyenne opens her window and allows the rain to take hold of her senses and wipe away her fear.

The Thunderstorm

I was on my bed listening to the thunder;
it sounded like a woman screaming.
I opened my window and I could smell the rainwater.
It smelled like the saltwater.
I put my hand out
and it felt like a waterfall hitting my arm.
The lightning looked like a cat scratching the sky.

Cheyenne, fourth grade, Pickle Elementary School


Compressing Michael Crichton into Poetry

7 Feb

Sahar, a ninth grader and former Badgerdog summer camp writer, shows us that anything can inspire us to write, including Michael Crichton’s novel Airframe: “an aero-techno-thriller which relates the story of a quality assurance vice-president at the fictional aerospace manufacturer Norton Aircraft, as she investigates an in-flight accident aboard a Norton-manufactured airliner that leaves three passengers dead and fifty-six injured.” Sahar gives voice to the pilot, whose thoughts we never hear in the novel.  Sahar shows us what the compression of poetry can create: she develops urgency with white space between lines and demonstrates how a past tense verb can leave a reader with a lingering sense of dread.  


Fighting with yourself, internally
and externally

Because the problem never even


56 injured, 3 fatalities

In the depth of the sky


Elements that seem to be mere
fiction spark panic that gently
flows through your blood

Colder and colder you become, yet
sweat drops onto the controls

You don’t understand what’s
happening to you but you can
control it

Slowly each spark lights another
and another and your body turns

Why You? Why them?

You feel all of it tumbling down to
the world

Let reality embrace all

Let Truth be told

Simple mistakes lead to
misfortune danger

Real facts would have ruled you

They were your only savior


The People and Places

18 Oct

We come know the world through its landscapes and the people who inhabit it. And these become our landmarks, our roadmaps. As we get older, we understand home is more than a building with four walls and a roof, but an atmosphere enlivened by the people who know us best. In this week’s Unbound entry, tenth-grader Colleen explores the convergence of people and places, and how both, together, form a compass that points us where we belong.

The Things I Hear Her Say

My mother taught me that when someone dies their spirit lives on. It’s in the whispering wind, in the stubborn rocks, in the winking blue sundown lake and the promising new day’s dawn. Those who have died stay with you. They watch you, hovering far above; they guide you, pulling your feet from far below.

People say I have no family now, that my mother is gone and my father never was, but I know they are wrong. I see my mother in the whispering wind and the winking blue water, and I feel her in my heart. I hear her when I am in a new place. She sighs and says, “You know what this is, Harmony? This is the story time. My favorite time in the world. We can just lean back and relax and read this place’s story because every place has one. It is good and bad, beautiful and terrifying, all at once, and it is trying so hard to share its story with us. All we have to do is listen.”

I hear my mother when she says this, and I know I never, never want to stop moving. When you stop and stay in one place, you are only a part of its story. History forgets you. Your struggles and your joys blend and merge with those of your neighbors in time and space. You are a single line in the tapestry, a pattern if you’re lucky, but when you keep moving, you get to step back and see the tapestry, terrifying and beautiful, and you can truly understand it instead of becoming a piece in its broken puzzle.

I tell the social workers I don’t want a new family or a new home. I have my mother, and I have the world. Where the wind blows, where the water runs, that is where I go, for that’s where my home is, where my family is. My heart yearns to go and find them.

Colleen, tenth grade, the Griffin School

The Ballad of City Lights

7 Dec

HideoutI walk the darkened streets
only to meet vagrants and beggars
who I take pity on, when few
will take pity on myself.

Though ACL booms loud,
Congress, well-lit after the twilight hour,
still has its crowd;
with electricals coursing

____and bringing power
to small coffee shops, I wander
about the smell of Java and fresh cigarettes
in the air, while I wonder
why this town is so wonderful.

____And it hits me:
Because this is the domain
in which creativity isn’t squandered
but fostered in the darker rooms,
the shadowed theaters where writers loom.

Continue reading


21 Sep


And so a storm rolls in,
in the sky
and in my mind,
where I find
even God cries
for the unhappiness
of a wayward son.

Vaughan, eleventh grade, St. Michael’s Catholic Academy

Depth of Night

14 Sep

MoonWaterDeep and lonely lingers
Midnight’s lush surrender
Whispers afar yet near
Starlit tears fall tender

Moments’ ebbing murmur
Soft enticing gaze
Sighs of gentle goodbyes
Vivid upon the haze

Wind on silent waters
Torn and broken heartstrings
Sweet melody evoked
Gift of precious nothings

Gently swaying willows
Soft sweeping moonlight
Luscious silvery glaze
Kindless bittersweet night

Pen dips pearly pages
Sorrows will time withstand
Fleeting lonely eve
Retrace a dreamer’s hand

Olivia-Elyse, twelfth grade, Pflugerville High School