Summer Blossoms, Amazing Kids

The Big Apple Poetry Contest for kids in New York City took place between February and April 2012.  All 22 eligible poems were published April 23rd in the PSP Blog as a contribution to National Poetry Month.  (See “Big Apple Contest Winners” under Previous Posts at the right.)

Poems from 17 students in Dermot Hannon’s 7th grade class at Hunter College High School arrived too late in April to be included in the competition.  Although the students turned in their poems by the contest due date, the poems arrived at PSP too far past the deadline, due entirely to an email glitch at Hunter.  Thus, to recognize the kids’ efforts, their poetry is printed below, listed alphabetically by the student’s name.  One other poem arrived in May from a young girl not connected to Hunter.  This is included here as the first entry.

Congratulations to each of these young poets.  Their work shows remarkable maturity and great sensitivity to the world.  The collection is impressive, memorable, and sometimes deeply touching.

It would be great if you are motivated to indicate your favorite poem(s) or to offer any other thoughts you may have in the “Leave a Comment” section at the bottom of this page.  The children are excited about having their work shown here, and this would give them valuable encouragement and support.

I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm for these amazing young people and their poetic creations.

Self-Submitted, May 2012, NYC

Care Free
[Nina Ross, age 13] 

Trying to be care free,
Is harder than not.
When everyone expects you to be someone you pretend you are,
It starts to flow naturally.
And eventually you forget who you used to be.
So by now, the old you has come and gone,
And you begin to believe you’re older than you actually are.
Reality flashes in and out,
And you realize
That who you are
Is not who you want to be.
But it’s who you’ve become.
So here and there,
You try to be the good little girl you were,
But it’s impossible to return to the world
That was care free.

Poems by 7th Grade Students, ages 12-13
Hunter High School, April 2012

The Sky Roar
(Sabrina Abrams)

The thunderous roar
Paints pictures of darkness
Smashing down the door

Clear pale blue
Milky white like cotton, forming
As the storm bids adieu

A glittering burst
First harsh,
Too bright:
It lights up the world.
It dims
Softening edges

I listen, watch.
The sky evolves,
But I don’t –
I don’t –
Cover my eyes,
From the thunderous roar.

The Mind’s Eye
(Martin Adnet)

Beautiful, magical, colorful world,
Fleeting memories of this place rush in a hurry,
Grasping for the past, you seek to turn back time,
But the force of reason pushes you to the present,
You cannot go back, and find what is now lost but once was there,
You struggle, then let go,
The past is irrelevant, but the memories you make today are,
Look at the beautiful, magical colorful world,
And let the wonder lift you,
High past what once was,
To the place where the present is now.

The Tunnel
(Ernestine Alugas)

People say there is a light
At the end of the tunnel
But walking into the world of light
Leaves no time for exploration
There is something about
The mystery
And coolness
Of this element
That causes me to linger
I’ll spread my fingers
Inspect every inch
Savor the darkness
And let it overtake me
Before I walk into
The light

(Robyn Bardmesser)

It rests
When it will wake

It sprouts through spring soil
Seeking the sapphire sky
A scarlet center
Slowly starts to be a rose

It bursts, it blooms
Ravishing red
Delicate green
Thriving in summer breeze

Green stem shrivels
Lost is its emerald sheen
Wilting rose
Loses luster

Bloodstained petals
Falling through time

Hiding, hidden
Under snow

It rests
When it will wake

(Delphine Chen)

A man immigrated to America
Hoping for a better life
A better education for his young child,
A better job for his wife
But, his expectations were set too high;
He found nothing
Fighting, endlessly with his beloved wife
Trouble arises with something
So meaningless, so invaluable
Yelling, anger, screaming!
“Stop all this! You…you aren’t the man you used to be…”
“I’m only doing what’s right! Maybe…. Maybe we should….divorce…”
Tears rolling down his daughter’s cheeks;
Her eyes panic-stricken and suffering
Pain surges through the man’s unyielding heart
The man escapes reality and finds sanction
In the park, beneath the ebony skies
Skies stained with twinkling lights
He walks along with the silent rustling of trees
He wanders in solitary in a creased shirt and disheveled jeans
Thinking to himself,
“This is the land of freedom!
But why …why do I feel so… trapped?!”
“Spare change, fair man?”
Turning his head, he sees a beggar
Whose hair is filthy, wears nothing but rags and holds a crushed tin can
With a blank, melancholy stare
The man fumbles through his pockets for some change
Struck with realization, the man says to the beggar,
“There is no change”

Writing Is An Odd Thing
(Michelle Chen)

The spider dangles from the sill
She draws and notes, her silk is born
The weaving spins without a quill
And from the glass, she hangs forlorn

(Michelle Chen)

A flying beast this way comes!
Screams shatter the peace
Of the clover-dappled
Busily working
Blessed release

They come by the triplets
Creeping through the night
Toil by day
As the sun nimbly grants a ray
The smell of growing things
Emerges through darkness’ flight

It comes and the ground moves
A shadow falls among the hills
Scented weed
A faithful seed
Blooms away
They hear the silent trills

Wind supports
A panicked flight
Of dawn’s delight
As the others say
The sun distorts

A sparrow falls within the palm
Wingbeats booming over their heads
Eerie silence follows the calm
A weeping feather tears and sheds

Perhaps this is what differs humans
And others

Mother Bear
(Pauline Esguerra)

Mother bear painfully roars into the night
The wind carries her hollow cries.
Her silhouette in the deep forest,
The moon reflected in her sad eyes.

The anguish she feels, the torture, the pain.
In front of her, the lifeless cub she bore.
In the wild it’s the cycle of life:
Nothing less, nothing more.

She picks up her cub to take out the metal bullet
Which stained its fur with dark blood.
Choking back on her painful tears, she
Quietly drops her child with a soft thud.

The moon casts down its compassion
And blankets around her broken soul.
Nature tries to make up for her unmoving cub,
The innocent life that a human stole.

Mother bear painfully roars into the night,
The wind carries her hollow cries.
Her silhouette in the deep forest,
The moon reflected in her sad eyes.

(Gillian Haggerty)

The rain trickles down my back
Down my face
Through my hair.
Masks my face
And with it
The tears.
Alone I stand.
In the street.
But for me
This moment
Is bittersweet.

Another Hope, Another Dream
(Nusrat Islam)

Street signs, city lights
Full of dreams deep in the night
Opportunities, they all take flight
Keep on dreaming, it’ll be all right.

Turn a corner, crumble down
Red lights, stops signs all around
Hardships, problems, come and surround
And you just stop and lie back down.

Can’t get help, can’t find hope
Stuck in a rut and you just mope
Everyone looks at you, they all say “Nope.”
Seems like you’re on a downward slope
Rays of light, helps comes your way
Turn over a new leaf, wake up on a new day
Problems solved, life no longer gray
In this city, you decide to stay.

Another story, another life
Turned around, away from strife

Now, just keep on dreaming, it’ll be all right
See all the street signs, all the city lights
Hope, chances, look into the night
Come on now, let your dreams take flight.

Poet’s Bird
(Samuel Noy)

The poet sits at his desk, a quill in hand
He dips it in his ink, puts it to the paper
He thinks his thoughts, and breaks the silver band
That surrounds our minds, until we begin to try and break her

His thoughts are loose, they run amok
The tablecloth he sits at, he notices the frill
And sees a pattern, shaped like a deer and buck
But although his thoughts are wild, his pen remains still

And as he sits, he sees a bird
As it goes its way, upon solemn flight
The sun goes down, but the bird hasn’t heard
He continues on, through the night

His inspiration has appeared, and he begins to write
The ink is flowing and ideas are growing, becoming something more
It’s written down, the deed is done and thus ends the night
The poet stops, his poem is done, and something is at the door

Sunlight, shining bright, the poem is done
The poet reads the shimmering words, that glow with wonderful magic
But here, you see, the poet’s life has just begun
For if it was sadly the end

You see my friend
It would have been quite tragic

The Star
(Dylan Li)

Can I reach it?
Can I reach it?
Far away it seems

I look at it more closely
Its appearance—So dainty
So bright, yet…
It seems like new hope
A glowing ember
A last soul
A star of the vast heavens

(Maeve McNamara

i give myself to the waves
let them rock me to sleep
let them gently lap over my blue cotton nightdress

i slide my hand across
the smooth
silky water
a blanket of my dreams,
and catch
a shooting star
its brilliance sure
to be dimmed
by the water     i peer
through my fingers and watch it burn
bright, flickering
only so slightly.

It is pastel on canvas
white star     echoing
through the dark sea     dark night
i toss it into the deep
blue sky
and watch it
until it is out of sight
knowing it brings

into a young girl’s

I’m Home
(Kaley Pillinger)

When you can tell the difference between the lemony scent of detergent and the usual smell
When you expect the ringing of the clock on the hour, every hour
When its ticking has ceased to bother you
When you know the one place on the couch where falling won’t hurt
When you have become a door-drumming virtuoso
When you have memorized the way the light falls on your wall, the way it reflects your shadow
When you are the psychic who can count down to the exact second the fire alarm will go off from cooking smoke
When you have heard your answering machine so many times, you want to tie a cloth over its mouth to stifle the noise
When every time you walk through the door, you scream those two words,
You know you are there.

(Gemma Sack)

Open a window
to my mind
and you will see
The shore of an ocean
Repeatedly slapped
by the water
The sand
slowly eroding away
Layers washing away
Dragged out to sea
The waves
hit the shore
with a crash
but all is


City Life
(Charlotte Soehner)

The sun never sets. Trampling footsteps
Rumble the sidewalks. Voices mumble, shout.
The city, so awake; so beautiful; so true.

Buildings tower up ahead,
Such power overhead.
The majestic city!
It leaves you just the slightest bit of pity.

Beauty? Everything is beauty.
Greenery? There’s something magical about the old tree.
So much to see, so much to be.

The sun never sets. Trampling footsteps
Rumble the sidewalks. Voices mumble, shout.
The city, so awake; so beautiful; so true.

The Tiny Toppings that Dot Cupcakes and the World
(Sophia Zhang)

Tiny colorful circles
Dot the white, whipped cream
Each one, standing out like a yellow sea
Each one is diverse like a red zebra
The petite red sprinkle is not the same as the maroon sprinkling
The creamy orange frosting is not identical to the pearly whip
The peach-colored bottom taste like carrot,
But not corn
Every cupcake is different,
Just like each and every person in the world.
Everyone and thing, has a purpose in life,
The meaning of their life,
All differ in variety
A cupcake’s purpose
Is to bring happiness to the creator’s face
And the person eating the creation
For the creator’s imagination flew
Into the endless sky
Of endless possibilities

(Matthew Zucker)

Anything can be poetry
But it is hidden away-
Between the faraway clouds;
In the small folds
Of the soft green leaf, reaching out
To get its first taste of sunlight.

Anything can be poetry
But it is hidden away-
In the dark misty depths;
In the feathers of the colored birds
And the scales of the silver fish,
Swimming in search of what is just beyond the horizon.
It is in the air, fresh as a frosty day,
And in the water, deep and blue like the endless sky.

Anything can be poetry
But no one sees it-
They walk blindly past a new idea,
As if it were just a speck of dust,
And take no notice of
The secret treasure.


Gail Spangenberg, Editor
Purple Scooter Poetry

This entry was posted in News and Views and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Summer Blossoms, Amazing Kids

  1. Earl Black says:

    There is some remarkable work in this collection of poems. I’m glad there are boys among the contributors.

  2. Katharina Rich says:

    These “encore” poems are all wonderful and, as you rightly say, show remarkable maturity and sensitivity. I’m truly amazed how well these kids write. I’m hesitant to choose my favorites because they’re all so good–but the ones that speak to me personally are: The Mind’s Eye (Martin Adnet), Untitled (Gillian Haggerty), Window (Gemma Sack), and Anything (Matthew Zucker).

  3. Clebera Leao says:

    A friend recommended this website to me. He said your posts are the best and he was right. Congratulations. You write so well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *