Tag Archives: Del Valle MS

Love Is in the Air

14 Feb

We’ll not wax poetic about the meaning of love. Instead, we bring you a few young writers who, with their poems, remind us of love’s beauty and its quirks. First, you’ll read a poem by Jessie, a fourth grader from Ortega Elementary School and the winner of our Spring 2011 poem card contest. You can also find Jessie’s poems in restaurants across Austin today. Who knows, you may find one tonight in your check at the end of your date. Next, you’ll read a poem from Cesar, a fourth-grader from Zavala Elementary School and a finalist in our contest. Cesar wrote the poem first in Spanish, and we’ve translated it into English, but we’re proud to present both versions of his piece. Finally, a poem from Viviana of Del Valle Middle School, another finalist in our contest. We hope these poems inspire you look for love everywhere, in all things.

Love Is

Love is like friendship, but
it is a little bit stronger.
If a man gives a woman
a heart and a very red ruby ring,
that shows his love for her.
Sometimes, if they go on a date
and they love each other, the man
might ask if she wants to share
a plate of chocolate– and whip-cream–
covered strawberries. At the end,
his heart will beat as loud as a bass drum.

Jessie, fourth grade, Ortega Elementary School

From a Dog to His Love, the Beach

The dog said to the beach, “You are a rose.
You are a wheel that makes me dizzy.
You are like a chair of gold.
You are a little mouse who hides from me,
and you are someone very intelligent.
You are like a key that opens all the doors of my house,
a jacket that covers me in the cold so I don’t get sick.
You are a little donkey that carries me everywhere,
and a computer with Cool Math.
You are like a flower bud barely born.
You are a little girl who exercises to get strong.
You are a table that holds all my things.”

De un perro a su amor, la playa

El perro le dijo a la playa, “Eres una rosa.
Eres una rueda que me marea.
Eres como una silla de oro.
Eres una ratoncita que se esconde de mí,
y eres una persona muy inteligente.
Eres como una llave que me abre las puertas de mi casa,
una chamarra que me cubre del frío para que no esté enfermo.
Eres una burrita que me lleva a todos lados,
y una computadora que me mete en Cool Math.
Eres como una florecita que apenas nació.
Eres una niña que hace ejercicios para estar fuerte.
Eres una mesa que me deja poner todas mis cosas.”

Cesar, fourth grade, Zavala Elementary School

Dear Harp…

Dear Arpa (Harp),

You sing the lullaby of sorrow.
I can feel your pain
and suffering.
I can tell that your wounds
haven’t healed.
Not even my comfort helps.
I won’t be able to catch you
when you fall from the clouds
with my tiny arms.

Love,
Rana (Frog)

Viviana, sixth grade, Del Valle Middle School

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The Unfortunate and the Unlucky

8 Dec

William Carlos Williams’s poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” exemplifies for all aspiring writers the possibility of evoking strong emotion through simple imagery. Using Williams’s poem as her guide, sixth-grader Tianna does the same in her poignant selection of spare but delicate images. It takes great skill to create images at once so haunting and thought-provoking, an ability which this Del Valle Middle School student performs with grace and subtlety. Congratulations, Tianna!

I.
So much depends
upon
the unfortunate orphan
lying on a dirty
brown quilt
next to a battered,
scraped wall.

II.
So much depends
upon
the person in cheap
green flip-flops
on a sandy beach
beside the crinkling
brown leaves
blown from miles away.

III.
So much depends
upon
the poor old pelican
covered in oil
stuck in midnight waters,
the apricot sun
rising in the distance.

Tianna, sixth grade, Del Valle Middle School

Mother's Day Poem Card Contest Winner

5 May

For our Spring Holiday Poem Card Contest and in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we asked our 170 Badgerdog writers to wax poetic about the women they call Mom. We received more than 120 poems celebrating the strength, wisdom, and beauty of mothers who sing songs and wash flip flops, mothers with skin so soft and eyes that shine in the sun, mothers who work too hard, and one mother, who, if she were an animal would be a cat. We selected the three poems that moved us most with their artistry, insight, and vision. You can find the first two of these in preceding posts.

Today, we are pleased to announce the contest winner—Siearra at Del Valle Middle School, whose poem “Tiger Mama,” hits on one mother’s toughness, verve, bite, and beauty. Siearra’s poem will be distributed in restaurants across the city, so if you’re taking mom to brunch on Sunday, you may find this beautiful poem—an ode to mothers everywhere—tucked inside your check.

Tiger Mama

She’s like a grasshopper,
hopping in the streets of Hynoon,
eating the guts of insects,
saying, “Clean your room, Siearra!”
She’s like Air Jordans—fresh and tight.
She’s tough as a tiger biker,
always yelling, “Yield!” in the strangest places, like the grocery store.
She’s the Himalayas—courageous and extraordinary, the mountain of wisdom.
She’s always asking me, “How much do you love me, McShorty?”
She loves the taste of dark chocolate.
She’s like poison ivy—contagious in so many ways.

Siearra, seventh grade, Del Valle Middle School

Original artwork by Sarah Meraz.

Mother’s Day Poem Card Contest Finalist

3 May

For our Spring Holiday Poem Card Contest and in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we asked our 170 Badgerdog writers to wax poetic about the women they call Mom. We received more than 120 poems celebrating the strength, wisdom, and beauty of mothers who sing songs and wash flip flops, mothers with skin so soft and eyes that shine in the sun, mothers who work too hard, and one mother, who, if she were an animal would be a cat. We’ve selected the three poems that moved us most with their artistry, insight, and vision, and we’ll be publishing these on the Badgerblog over the next few days. On Wednesday, we’ll announce the winning poem, which will also be distributed in restaurants across the city, so if you’re taking mom to brunch on Sunday, you may find a beautiful piece of poetry—an ode to mothers—tucked inside your check.

Today we present one of our finalists, a poem from Luna at Del Valle Middle School. We were stunned by its depiction of a mother who seems to both obey the rules but defy expectations; she seems to even teeter on invincibility. Congratulations, Luna!

Converse Mum

She’s like a fly,
Always running up and down Dearbonne Drive,
Eating the leftover raw meat.
You better love her.
She loves wearing Converse.
She’s cool, like hot rocks.
She always stops at stop signs.
She’s pretty as a lovely river falling over smooth pebbles.
The way she talks makes me think she was born in the Country of Sarcasm.
Do you love her yet?
She loves the ripe, watery taste of watermelon.
She is a redwood tree.

Luna, seventh grade, Del Valle Middle School

Out of Time

29 Mar

The writing process, in some ways, allows us to bend time, to stretch and remake it, to weave in and out, to revisit and forget. When we commit an event to the page, we make it timeless. When we roll verbs together and mind the rhythms of our words we can spark a sense of motion, of acceleration. But this week’s Badgerdog selection feels almost like a time-out. It holds us in the suspension of a moment, in quiet pause and thought. Congratulations to Elsie from Del Valle Middle School on this stunning prose piece, which communicates powerfully through mood and image.

Time Can’t Tell

I’d step on the wooden fence to look at the same perspective I saw every day. I’d look down and see the kids playing in the dirt. Funny to say, I never got a splinter.

I’d get bored standing there. I’d go and leave my socks on and wet my toes in the puddle after it rained and just sit there, waiting until my mom would call me in to eat with the family.

I’d go where the bikes were sitting. I’d feel the plastic—blue and textured—and I’d look at the glass door and see the smudges and smears of fingerprints. I’d feel relaxed, like time couldn’t stop me from staying or leaving the balcony. I could hear the lawnmowers start up, and I could smell the freshly cut grass. I’d see the red ball we used to play handball and remember its bouncy sound.

Elsie, Del Valle Middle School

Photo courtesy of Lanie Anderson.

Leggy Legs

9 Nov

Ur legs that look
like they belong 2 a
chicken. Ur legs that
need more meat
on ya’ bones. Ur
short but long legs
that don’t have no
kind of hair on them.
Ur I need 2 join the
track team legs. Ur
thighs as skinny as
tooth picks. Ur dark
black-looking legs.
Ur legs that don’t
really take up that
much space in the
car legs, you know,
the same ones that
will stand up for your
older sisters when
we’re injured legs.

Amber, seventh grade, Del Valle Middle School

Black

26 Oct

PlanksIt looks like a metal snake I had to tame. It
hissed electric guitar chords, and I liked how
it sounded so I didn’t stop. It had a sour
smell and tasted poisonous. I got the feeling
it was telling me to stop but I was
testing it to see how far I could push before
this venomous reptile would bite me. I was
scared and excited at the same time, kind of
like listening for the lottery numbers late at
night, scared you might lose but excited
there’s a possibility you might win.
When I was done I heard cheering, as if
I’d won a staring contest with death, looking
him dead in the eye, his cold black eyes.

Angel, eighth grade, Del Valle Middle School