I know, I know, "Who cares about your kids' poems? No one, that's who!"

Just the same, I want to keep them and the scraps of paper they get written on aren't really archival material. Hence, poetry entries.

The Dormouse participated in a School-Sponsored Poetry Slam last month, and let me just hold right there for a moment and repeat that: School-Sponsored Poetry Slam.

When I was in the seventh grade if anyone had said the words "poetry slam" in our school, two things would have happened:

  1. All the parents would have called the police because they would have been certain that a large amount of The Reefer would be present at The Poetry Slam.
  2. All the children would have run screaming from the building
And yet, here they were, at a School-Sponored Poetry Slam. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. They met in the library after school, turned down the lights and set up battery-powered candles all over the place, then wore berets and black stretch pants and snapped their fingers in appreciation every time someone said something the crowd agreed with... or maybe some of those things came from an Audrey Hepburn movie I saw once.

The Dormouse hadn't written anything for this event, but she had showed her English teacher some of her other work and he encouraged her to attend. So while she was sitting there listening to others' poems, she jotted something down on a piece of paper and then got the encouragement only friends and peers can provide to go up and recite it without edits. Look, I was a pretty gutsy kid when I was her age, but there's no power on earth that would have gotten me to write something on the spot and then get up and recite it in front of everyone.

Here's what she wrote down.


We come far.
We work hard.
We soar.
But even though our wings have reached the sun,
Still, we want.
Want to achieve more,
Want to help more,
Want more happiness
Most wants are for making good.
And what I say to these good-deed thoughts, is keep dreaming.
Keep wanting. So that you can change those "I wants" into "I wills."

And then there's this one, from The Caterpillar, who isn't learning poetry in school, but doesn't like to be outdone, so she just writes this stuff on post-it notes and leaves them around the house.

Under the Piano

Loud, graceful, sweet and sorrow, under the piano.
Soft, presto, neat, and narrow, under the piano.
Staccato with every note, like a woodpecker on a tree, pecking.
A smooth beat floating across the sky like a cloud...
...under the piano.
Beautiful melody, under the piano.