Friday, October 14, 2011


I have shown up as a poet in unsuspecting classrooms for 29 years off and on. This time at Santa Fe High School at Blaise Bickett's class. I like his spirit and the fact that he covers his walls with prints of great works of art. There is a ladder in his room. You gotta love an English teacher with a ladder.

This class, a group of 26 sophomores after lunch, was one of the most playful and creative groups I've come across. I think there were embedded poets, maybe they didn't even know it. Thanks to all. We had three visits and they wrote pantoums, odes, question poems based on Pablo Neruda who I found out rhymes with Buddha, and anaphora or poems using repetition to chant our way into the material.

Here are some lines they selected from the Neruda inspired question poems:

Why do we over-think the little things
and under-think the larger things in life? Alicia Archuleta

Trees, what language do you whisper
to each other in the breeze? MRW

Is a squiggle better
than a zig-zag? MPW

What is your Quest? Ben Dahlman

What is beauty?
Can hideous be beauty? Taylor Soveranes

Why can't we be the way it is?
Oh it's because we are who we are. Por Vida A.S.

If we found aliens would they understand us
or take us away and put us in an exhibit? Mariah Garcia

Does the sun ever sleep?
Does it go to bed behind clouds of serenity? Brandon Meitz

Why is hair so difficult? ML

If my parents had never met, would I be me?
Would I be someone else or
would someone else be me? Eliana Lauren Bell

In one image, how do you capture the story of the world?
Why do tears not freeze, like those of the winter sky? Jessica MascareƱas

Do Skittles really taste like a rainbow?
Can you taste the rainbow? AE

Does the longest day ever end? Joseph Lugo

Why do the trees
touch the heads
of the parents
at the graves
of their kin? M.G.W.

How does a sword taste to a hand?
If time is on hands what is on feet?
Can there be emotion in colorless eyes? N.G.P.

How many Merry Maids could it
take to sweep a shore? Jeremy Zeilik

Why do the trees sing to the moon
on a strong, stormy night? Evan Aubrey

Thanks to Poets-in-the-Schools, Mr. Bickett, Alex Traube, and you genius sophomores.
Keep writing, you wide awake ones.

Signed, Your Poet Laureate

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