And now for the winner of our Spring Poem Contest: “Spring Is Like a Perhaps Camping,” a beautiful poem by Kayla, a fourth grader in Ms. La Touf’s class at Perez Elementary. Kayla wrote the poem as a response to reading and discussing e.e. cummings’ “Spring is like a perhaps hand” during her Badgerdog workshop with teaching-artist Claire Sylvester Smith.
We’ve distributed poem cards with Kayla’s wonderful words at restaurants throughout Austin. We hope you’ll celebrate her words with us as we celebrate spring—and hope it will last a very long time and that summer is a long ways away!
Here is a poem for today to continue our celebration of National Poetry Month. This poem, which is untitled, was another finalist for Badgerdog’s Spring Poem Contest and was written by Michelle, a fourth grader at J. J. Pickle Elementary. Michelle captures every detail of spring in her poem: animals running along with the wind, the beauty of rain, children playing outside, birds chirping, etc.—she leaves nothing out. Her poem has a unique rhythm to it that truly keeps us longing for more.
I picked up a blooming fresh rose that was sitting in the wet green grass.
It smelled like honey that was funny that I gave it money.
The animals run in the breeze where the sun came out and where squirrels fed their babies that were jumping up and down.
The birds chirp a beautiful melody while hawks glide through the smooth blue sky.
When I walk through the park I see children playing with their friends and they soar when they play tag.
The rain falls and it looks like clear blue dots falling from the sky with the dark, grey clouds.
The animals hide and everyone goes inside while I look at the petals and leaves that were catching the water.
Michelle, fourth grade, J. J. Pickle Elementary School
Another day in National Poetry Month means another poem! The poem “Wonder,” by Jordyn, a fourth grader at Pioneer Crossing Elementary, was another finalist for Badgerdog’s Spring Poem Contest. Jordyn personifies earth in her poem, wondering if it minds children playing on its surface or if it speaks to the birds chirping. Her beautiful poem reminds us to think about our effects on earth, whether they be big or small, and to keep its unique wonder alive.
As me and my friends run
and play around, I wonder,
does the earth mind that we’re
running on his green hair or playing
hopscotch on his concrete scalp?
As I hear the children
on the playground screaming,
the birds chirping, and the cool spring
breeze, I wonder, is this how the earth
and birds talk to each other? And is the
children screaming interrupting them?
Oh I wonder, I wonder.
Jordyn, fourth grade, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School
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—
Ebonie, sixth grade, Ojeda Middle School
To continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s a poem from Kevin, a fourth grader at Perez Elementary. Kevin’s “A Waking, Walking Dream of Spring” was a finalist for Badgerdog’s Spring Poem Contest. In his poem, Kevin writes about a different type of spring, one where he finds unknown substances, creates a portal, and watches the outside world from a mysterious place. Kevin’s poem reminds us that springtime has that unique ability to transport us into our most vivid dreams, whether we are awake or asleep.
A Waking, Walking Dream of Spring
I’m outside my house and I touch the fish
in the pool. I start digging a hole
and I find a weird substance called obsidian—
it’s pitch black. I see a person fighting
and playing around with their dog
in the grass. I go back to make a portal
with the obsidian—the portal looks like
a rectangle. I go inside because I need to eat
some chicken soup, then I come back out
and get the matches out of my pocket
and light the side of the portal. When I get
to the other place, I can’t get out.
Kevin, fourth grade, Perez Elementary School
People born in the year of the dragon are thought to be brave, innovative, and driven. In Chinese mythology, the dragon is legendary: it is powerful, majestic, and revered. And so we begin this new lunar year with the finalists of our New Years’ poem contest, who show us how we can approach the coming months: with the power of forgiveness, with our majestic senses, and a reverence, as always, for hope.
New Year’s Forgiveness
It’s a cool windy midnight
as my dad pops open the
sparkling apple juice. I
think: should I let all
of my arguments go
Should I just ignore
them forever? Or maybe I’ll
just apologize for the
arguments I started.
As I drink I decide right
when school starts things are
going to change
Jordyn, Ms. Rich’s fourth grade class, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School (Manor)
What Time Is It
I am a clock. I am a very big clock.
I am in the town.
I hear people yelling, bell ringing,
red, blue, purple fireworks.
I feel big.
I hope I can change time.
Carlos, Professor Esbrand’s fourth grade class, Oak Springs Elementary School (Austin)
We’re officially halfway finished with this first month of the new year. Some of us made promises to ourselves a short two weeks ago. Some of us may have already broken them. And that’s OK because here’s the thing: every single day can be a new beginning. That’s the feeling we get when we read the remarkable poems that won Badgerdog’s New Years’ Poem Contest. Fourth graders Eugene, from Pioneer Crossing Elementary, and Rebecca, from Oak Springs Elementary, know what it feels like to want a new start. They know how important hope is—how a new start can’t happen without it. And their poems are a great reminder that even if we fall behind, even if we didn’t get out of the gate fast enough in 2012, there’s always time to put a little bit of sadness away to make room for some happy.