AHB will be showcasing the voices of our youth throughout April. If you’re a K-12 student, send in your spoken word, rap, or poem to firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepting submissions until Friday, April 16.
We at AHB want to acknowledge that the land on which we live is within the aboriginal territory of the Suquamish People. Expert fishermen, canoe builders, and basket weavers, the Suquamish People live in harmony with the lands and waterways along Washington’s Central Salish Sea as they have for thousands of years.
We know you’ve got something to say, and we’d love to see it! So come and share your *poetry or *rap with us. Get submission details here. Please complete this Photo/Video Release Form. You may also upload your recordings within this form or submit them and your YouTube or Tik Tok videos to: email@example.com.
*Content must be age-appropriate & not explicit
If my life was the earth
you would be the sun,
making my day even brighter,
making my trees of hope
My forgiveness is like an old tree.
It stays there for hundreds of years
until there is nothing left
My love is like a delicate flower
waiting for the right time to bloom,
and when the right time comes,
love is everywhere!
These “Invisible Beauties” poems were part of a 3rd grade Wilkes Elementary School Arts in Education residency by AHB teaching artist, Vicky Edmonds. Edmonds is a poet and teacher who uses the written and spoken word as a means of looking further into the mysteries that are still unsolved in our lives. “Copyright 2000, All Rights Reserved. For information about use of these templates please contact: Vicky J Edmonds, “Invisible Beauties” poetry classes (206) 937-0700.
By a young person, age 16
I hope the end of every year
will be followed by a good new year.
I hope the weakest dog will find a big juicy bone
I hope the fiercest storms
will only cause goodness.
I hope every empty room
will eventually have someone to live in it.
I hope gunfire in the distance
is just fireworks.
I hope when life passes that my kids are doing good.
I hope the angriest person in me
will learn not everything is worth getting mad at.
I hope the loneliest person in me will discover love.
I hope the most lighthearted person in me will forgive.
I hope my life goes 180.
I hope I get out.
By a young person, age 18
My heart is broken
It has been since being brought to the light of this world
My heart is scarred, torn, and beaten darker than the night sky
My heart is swirling with pain and hatred
leaving no room for joy and love
My heart is empty filled with webs
and dust left from time of unease
My heart was gone until I met you
My heart is no longer broken,
my pieces placed together by glue
My heart is no longer starved,
wounds from suffering of time have lifted like a warm breeze
My heart is no longer angry,
it rings forth with choirs of passion and ecstasy
My heart is no longer deserted
but full of our joy
My heart is whole, your pieces complimenting mine,
finishing the puzzle of my life.
By a young person, age 17
i’m quiet, but i still speak.
sweet, tangy words play at my lips,
rolling from my tongue,
but are met by a wall—
unable to reach the paper or the world.
maybe it’s because of old memories,
that cause current fears,
to collide with my thoughts,
causing an internal chaos,
that chains my mouth shut.
Pongo youth author
By a young person, age 15
I’m in a trench too deep to be dug
I wonder if I’m able to climb these rocky walls
that stand in front of me
I see the dark clouds rolling over my head
Soon I can feel the cool, wet rain on my skin
As I drift to sleep, I hear a voice
through the rocky walls of the trench
I feel someone touch my arm
I jump to my feet
to find another young girl in the trench
She cannot speak a word
I know she was real
One night she said I hear someone up there
We looked at each other with excitement
We both screamed
Help! Help us! We’re trapped down here!
But no one heard us
The rain came down hard very hard
It felt like rocks
Soon the trench was a big pool
I knew how to swim but the little girl didn’t
Soon the trench was filled to the top
The little girl and I came out alive
There was nothing for the trench to swallow again
The little girl has found her family
and is now living peacefully and happily with them
She actually pushed me into the next trench
which did not get rained in
As I drift off to sleep once more
I say, Dear God, just take me now
By a young person, age 15
I remember a time when I was 13
when I was discovered
when I started
to have myself
to know pretty
to know it hurts to love myself
Dedicated to my mother
Pongo youth authors
I step on an opposite.
The game has begun.
One fat bishop, stinking of overripe cheese,
grins and leans toward me,
hurriedly undos my bun but–
Flash– Too much murder to do.
He is off, those in his path melting like butter.
One rook, dark blood on her hands,
Halts, sees me.
In a nose wrinkle, I am discarded.
I skip through an opposite.
Peter the knight is there, I wave hello.
He waves back, bloody mouth, falls.
Silverware clattering, machine-like.
I move on.
One of a different type sees me, tries to lunge.
She misses, bun flying everywhere,
Sweat and frustration transform her.
The game makes us beastly.
Suddenly, she is gone. The sun.
Her crown a brilliant ray,
Her smile the moon–untouchable.
Is this dream? Her dark hand extends,
towards mine and then–
Death of a star must not be in vain!
I skip through the opposites
There will be blood melting this board
The clatter of flesh like the knife
Golden pillow gone,
The king stirs.
His smile is bleu cheese,
His crown from Walmart.
“Don’t hurt, sweetie.”
Suns don’t get called sweetie without consequence.
My blade flashes;
he fully awakens
and admits defeat from me,
Angeline Hamilton, 7th grade Hyla student
Pongo Poetry Project’s mission is to engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth. For over 20 years, Pongo has mentored poetry with youth at two flagship program sites in the Puget Sound region; the Children & Family Justice Center (CFJC), King County’s juvenile detention facility, and the Child Study Treatment Center (CSTC), the only state-run psychiatric hospital for youth in Washington State.
Many Pongo writers are youth of color who have endured traumatic experiences in the form of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence. These incidents have been caused and exacerbated by community disinvestment, systemic racism, and other forms of institutional oppression. Pongo poetry writing offers youth a vehicle for self-discovery and creative expression that inspires recovery and healing.
Pongo believes there is power in creative expression, and articulating one’s pain to an empathetic audience. In sharing the work of those they serve, Pongo invites readers to bear witness to the pain, resilience, and creative capacity of youth whose voices and perspectives are too often relegated to the periphery.
For an opportunity to learn Pongo’s trauma-informed techniques for facilitating personal, healing poetry in your classroom, therapeutic practice, or community space, join their training on May 22nd . And to support the publication of Pongo’s 16th anthology of youth poetry, The Story of My Heart, join their book fundraising drive here.
If you or anyone you know is in distress and would like to talk, there are folks out there who want to help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), the Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386), The Crisis Clinic of the Peninsulas (360 479 3033) or find hotlines outside the United States at this link.
“We connect the mosaic tiling to geometry (area, perimeter, and spatial reasoning). One of the greatest parts of this is seeing the kids who are typically more “right brained” shine and lead the class. This taps into areas of the brain that a majority of the kids are not used to using. Starting with a smaller tile and then using the larger one is a great way to scaffold the activity.”
– Erin Graham, Susan Knottnerus, Ordway 3rd grade Classroom Teachers, describing Resident Teaching Artist Tim Lowell
“…because it allows ALL students to have an opportunity to explore dance, as some of our students might not get that chance otherwise…they learned that they can express themselves and their creativity in many different ways… so important to their overall development and appreciation of their capabilities.”
– Megan Berg Blakely Elementary Kindergarten Classroom Teacher, describing Resident Teaching Artist Gary Reed
“My favorite part was all of it. She was so good, I didn’t want her to go.“
- Zoey (3rd Grade), Wilkes Elementary Classroom Teacher, describing Resident Teaching Artist Vicky Edmonds
“Something new to me was learning I can move my body like a sea creature.”
- Cypress (2nd Grade), Wilkes Elementary Classroom Teacher, describing Resident Teaching Artist Karen Harp-Reed