Youth Poetry Workshop

What a wonderful group of kids. Already very artistic as they have been attending Artlore’s Art Camp. Lena and Stephen invited me in to give them a taste of poetry. I told my story about how in 7th grade this woman came into our classroom carrying a clip board and said she wanted us all to write a poem. “A poem” I thought. I don’t know how to write a poem. So our teacher suggested that we all just try to write about something happy or sad.

My neighbors older brother had just died in Vietnam. So I put pen to paper and wrote


We go to our hill

where the wind blows the still

lavender flowers

Straight and tall for a world so small

Our men in Vietnam

coninue to drop bombs

Dropping the ball

on finding peace

Won’t wars ever cease

The men are tired of

the fighting, dying, and

ever lasting crying

So we go to our hill

where the wind blows the

Still Lavender flowers

It turned out that the whole exercise was for something called the City of Erie student writing sampler. My poem was included.

Out of the mind of a seventh grader because she was asked to write about something sad. Knowing that day, started my love and continued writing of poetry, compelled me to work with youth and help them start a lifetime of writing. Writing poetry for me has been such great therapy for the bad times, and joyous for the great times.

It was an honor yesterday to work with those fun kids. I asked if any had heard poetry, gone to readings, and then who wrote any poetry. Several of the fifteen raised their hands for each question. Then I asked if anyone was sure they couldn’t write a poem and several others raised their hands. I said I would take that challenge and used a Portrait Poem to get them started. six out of the fifteen read what they wrote out loud. And all but one did write a poem.

All in all it was a superb morning.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

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