Three new poems that are so varied..with rhyme, image, detail, story…Enjoy these in all their variety. Isn’t writing simply wonderful?

Olivia McClure

II Am From

I am from red, bricked roads on Seventh street

From stained clothing and dirty feet

I am from an old white house where the fighting was indiscreet 

Cracked wood floors, broken windows, slammed doors

I am from the green grass that surrounds these sores 

The tall trees that gave me shade before

I am from distant yelling and my bedroom smelling 

From “when will it stop … there is no telling”

I’m from the fire inside me to make things change: the frustration, the pain

From “don’t be so vain” and “don’t ask for help, they’ll call you insane”

I’m from a family who only went to church to not seem so inhumane

I’m from too many small towns, I’ve learned to find hope in the rain

My journals are filled to the brim, with the words I wish I could say to him 

I’m getting out of here, everything I have learned about love is solely from within

I Am From

Zoe Crall

My childhood is filled with laughter,

Of my brother’s drumming and my sister’s piano,

Shared Crabby Patties and mustard yellow walls,

Of my grandparents with an ancient house,

That smelled like home cooking and old wax melts,

And sounded like quiet conversing and Cartoon Network,

And the “head ’em up and move ’em out”

That preceded a short drive home every Friday night.

Of my shared room with a creaky bunk bed and a neon karaoke.

Dancing to the beat of Kroeger and Hetfield,

And singing our hearts out to our favorite boy bands.

Performing for our friends made of stitches and stuffing.

Of summer days spent on the Xbox 360,

In a room that perfumed of dust and cat hair,

Mining away and crating my own world,

And the sound of melancholy instrumental, 

That is forever etched in my memories.

Of marveling at the Mp3’s slick design,

And never getting enough of Dad’s playlists.

Of watching Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings,

And feeling like I was a part of something magical.

Of training wheels, fireflies, and sidewalk chalk,

Making stew with rain water and grass clippings,

And checking on our fairy house for any lost Tinkers.

My childhood is filled with Happy Meals,

And a 30-minute drive home from Vacation Bible School.

Of my brother’s new license and his old and tiny convertible,

That always had its top down.

Of friendship bracelets and Wonder Loom bands,

And never leaving the house without a citric sent.

And though I may cringe at some of my fashion choices,

I can’t help feeling a sense of nostalgia 

Whenever I see hot pink leggings, leopard print, and hand-me-down Hollister.

I know that my sister is the only person who truly understands

The growth and happiness these experiences gave me.

These times may have come and gone,

But the memories will always live on

In the after-school talks and nights spent in each other’s rooms,

Over shared snacks and shared earbuds.

On recipes that remind us of our grandma’s cooking,

And remembering how the world will always be more magical in our young eyes.

Where I’m From 

by Evelyn Smiley (Age 9, Matthews, NC)

I’m from my mom’s dining corner in the dining room

and Thanksgiving Dinners.

I’m from knitting and sewing

while watching football on the couch.

I’m from yummy pizza nights at the beach

with garlic rolls and black olive pizzas.

I’m from eating Ruffles with French Onion Dip,

while listening to Walker Hayes.

I’m from loving 4th grade

with Sofia and Estella.

I’m from baking cookies in the winter,

Christmas Eve sleepovers,

and helping the homeless.

I’m from cheering for the Panthers and Bills.

I’m from my preschool teachers,

Ms. Michelle and Ms. Fowler.

I’m from the sadness of my two cats,

Jax and Benji,

who loved catnip.

I’m from soccer and chess and playing catch with my brother.

I’m from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,

graphic galore,

checking out at the library.

I’m from Mac and Cheese,

mashed potatoes.

I’m from Brownies,

Ice Cream Cake,

Hot Chocolate.

I’m from fun neighbors,

who taught me how to sew.

I’m from the middle of the woods.

Two poems…inspired by the I Am From poem…these are beautiful and very different poems…images and thoughts and stories.

I  Am Filled poem

Ella Basham 

I am filled with sunshine

From swimming in pools to being on the lake

I am filled with summer 

Tan skin and bright clothes 

I am filled with pop music and Musicallys 

Fashionable barbies and annoying sisters

I am filled with fun times and babysitters 

Ice cream trips and playdates 

From believing in mermaids to creating fairy gardens

Summer is always my time

I am filled with books and side walk chalk 

From boat rides and sandwiches 

Long car rides and Disney channel 

The water was where I always was

To sneaking into Lake Camelot pool

To sleepovers late at night 

I am filled with those long days 

I am filled with baking random desserts

From cookies and cakes

To making glitter filled slime 

To watching new movies all day

Summer was my sunshine

Shraddha-Andi Cheffings

Knots and Tangles

Here I am,

Flowing out from something,

Spiralling around,

Revisiting the same places and situations,

Over and over,

If not in person,

At least, in my mind.

Leaves are rustling in a cold north breeze,

And bees carry apple pollen from tree to tree.

The stream still flows by the ghost of the orchard

Where I played whistle with the birds as a small child.

Everything fell away from me

Into ever-altering memory.

Never given a second chance,

I follow a displaced path

Of knots and tangles.

Something shoved me, hard, and pushed me off-course.

Someone dug a trench to move me from my valley.

I watered someone else’s life,

Until, no longer needed,

I seeped back into the soil,

Slowly descended to the valley floor,

And formed a stagnant marsh,

Where, once, I could have flowed.

New poem, new phrase. “I was raised” . Try that too! Fine poem, Makenzie!

I Was Raised-

Makenzie Spruill

I was raised in a small town,

Where everyone knows everyone

But are always apart

And whenever they see you they say, “look how much you’ve grown”

I was raised in the grass,

Where I first learned to ride a bike

To then fall many times on the rocks 

And eventually, chip my tooth.

I was raised on the road,

Where I had races with my brother and cousins to see who was the fastest

And with basketball to see who could make the net the most.

I was raised on the beach,

Where I spent hours upon hours

Grilling hotdogs and hamburgers on our small grill 

Which was always paired with chips and a kind of fruit.

I was raised with dogs and cats,

Where there was always hair on everything.

And my small dog was my best friend who’d follow me everywhere 

I was raised with board games.

Where I would make bets on who would win

And whoever did would scream in excitement.

I was raised in the kitchen,

Where I would make desserts of all kinds all throughout the year.

Whether it be pies or cookies or who knows what else.

I was raised in the garage and shed,

Where I would help a variety of people to build things.

Sometimes it was fixing something and sometimes it would be from scratch.

I was raised next to the field,

In the house, I call fine.

I was raised next to the good and bad,

In the life, I call mine.

Here are another group of three. What is so amazing is the variety, each the unique voice of the creator. All about image, joy, sorrow, taste, touch, smell, sound and sight!

I Recall

Serenity Moore

 I recall coming from a mother who is diligent and independent and from a semi- nonexistent father. 

I recall being at my Godmother’s house, watching Dora on my tv while I eat sausage and grits. 

I recall starting Pre-K at 3 years old. 

I recall being out in the back of my godmother’s house helping her plant vegetables and playing with the girl down the street, riding bicycles. 

I recall the days of asking for ice cream every morning at my godmother’s.

I recall growing up with the Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nickelodeon channels.

I recall the shared and crowded room with me and my sister. Having a dance party every night with my siblings when mom was at work. 

I recall the smell of sweat and grass, the tiredness of playing baseball in the back. Playing football in the house with my brothers, when mom was gone. 

I recall going out of town, it feels like almost every week. 

I recall a pet named Lucky who was a little tiny puppy and then grew big into a strong healthy dog that ended up dying from being outside. 

I recall at Eastern Elementary School, a boy had pushed me down in the library, but I then got up and pushed him which resulted in him crying and me getting in trouble. 

I recall my mom or grandma saying that you better not keep running in and out of my house, you gonna stay in or out, but you not going to keep running in and out of my house. 

I recall going to church every Sunday early in the morning, not wanting to move a muscle as I want to stay in ‌bed. The rushing from mom for her kids to hurry and get out the door so that we won’t be late, but still end up waiting for her when everyone is ready to go.

I recall coming from a childhood so hurtful to me that it messed with my mental state

I recall not having a good male figure around me growing up, as each and every one of them was either abusive or nonexistent

I recall my father calling to say he is going to pick me up but then never comes, nor text or call that he is not coming

I recall my mother being hurt inside which caused her to not intentionally mentally hurt her kids

I recall wanting to leave this Earth as I couldn’t find a reason to stay

I recall feeling so alone and backed into a corner as I didn’t know which way to go

I recall praying each night even though I hate God at those moments

I recall having to heal my broken soul and mind in order for me to live and feel free

I recall right now at this moment even with everything I have been through that with me being here right now at this moment is the best gift that I have allowed myself to receive. 

Where I’m from

By: Sarah Hudnell

March 29th 2023

I’m from going to my grandparent’s house every other weekend

I’m from going into their house smelling cinnamon 

I’m from staying outside all day playing with my 3 brothers

I’m from listening to the long glistening rain on the roof.

I’m from hearing the loud hammers and drill sounds

I’m from petting cows, horses, and the dogs 

I’m from laying on the grass listening to the birds

I’m from the church on Sundays 

I’m from my pink princess bed and stuffed animals

I’m from the red, blue, and brown striped couch where we used to sit and get read stories

I’m from playing with my barbie dolls 

I’m from a big house with a white fence wrapped around it, living on a farm

I’m from my moms smile 

I’m from my dad’s eyes

I’m one of the four children 

I’m one that makes a lot of mistakes

I’m from making desserts on the holidays when the family gets together

I’m from cleaning up the house every day

I’m from working at the restaurant

I’m from hard-working hands 

I’m from all of these things

If I didn’t go through any of this I wouldn’t be where I am today 

I wouldn’t be who I am today

This is where I’m from, HOME!

I Am Poem – Lilah LePera

I am from a supportive Mom and Dad

And a cool little sister. 

I am from the loud and exciting dinner conversations every night. 

I am from savouring wonderful memories 

With friends and family. 

I am from fishing in the hot months 

At my cottage. 

I am from watching gorgeous sunsets in the summer

And reading romantic books

On rainy days. 

I am from having an Italian feast 

Every Christmas Eve. 

I am from believing in working hard 

From never giving up

I am from trusting my instincts

And never letting my guard down. 

I am from being the funniest person in the whole world 

And thinking that I should be a comedian for a living. 

I am from being Grade 8 valedictorian, 

But getting stressed and anxious for tests. 

I am from drinking smoothies

And eating ice cream in July.

I am from going on vacations, 

And travelling with my favourite people

From being obsessed with the beach 

And the fascinating sky.

I am from loving anything that my Nonna bakes or cooks, 

From making cookies right before Christmas every year

And eating any sweets that I see. 

I am from my fluffy sheets that get washed with Tide every weekend 

And my blue comfy blanket that is in my bed at all times.

I am from going out for breezy rides in my Dads boat,

From long bike rides with my sister 

And swimming in my pool on starry nights.

I am from looking up to my Nonno in heaven

And still snuggling the Charlie Brown stuffed animal he gave me. 

I am from always being kind, respectful and empathetic

And embracing every day of life. 

From living it to the fullest.

I am from listening to rap and pop music 

That will instantly put me in a good mood. 

I am from late night drives with the windows down 

And the music blaring.

Here are three very different and moving and feisty poems for the warmth of spring. Powerful.

I Am From

Megan Payne

I am from a field

Where colors are brassy and warm.

I am from the dirt roads sparsely filled with diesels

Where washing your hands after being outside is required to eat dinner.

I am from a Blue’s Clues house

Where flowers cover every crevice of the yard.

I am from a pebble in the larger scheme of life

But still, we grow the food on your plates.

I am from loving hands

The ones that made the blankets I sleep under with patience and practice.

I am from the open skies

Where stars shine brighter than any city lights.

I am from God

And the tiny town that showed me His love. 

I am from people

As everyone is a piece of the people they meet and experiences had.

I am the cuffed sweatshirt sleeves of my closest friend.

I am the serendipity of my friendships.

I am the giggle of my mother.

I am the love of my neighbors.

I am from my home

No matter who or where that may be. 

Where I Come From

Janet Holloway

I come from Hatfield land where legend is a close neighbor,

    where old Devil Anse Hatfield will git you if you break the rules or disobey your elders;

    where someone you know is a cousin, nephew, step-brother, half-sister — part of the original clan;

     where a taller than life-sized statue, cut in creamy carrerra marble, stands high on the closest  hill, amid pokeberry and poison ivy, surveying all that was once his land;

     where occasional tourists climb a weeded path to show respect or swap stories about the feud.

I come from a haunted place.

I come from creeks and valleys and hollers, narrow as a ribbon, 

     some reached through noisy streams and muddy climbs,

     shaded by the color of poplars and sugar maples,

     infused with the scent of rotting earth.

I come from deep pools of creek water where we were baptized in the fall and swam in summer in spite of warnings about water moccasins.

I come from hillbillies,

     barely educated families who ate the food they grew,  

     passed down used clothes and shoes, well past dreaming of a future. 

I come from men who drilled seams of black coal, 

     and women who served beers to drooling customers with broken backs and nameless sins.

I come from one-room churches,

    where women were saved at the front altar and, 

    teens, in the back row, leafed through hymnals and Bibles 

    whispering under the bed to song titles like Softly and Tenderly or words like Jesus Saves under the bed.

I come from furnished apartments and coal camp houses,

    where front porches and windows, imprinted with carbon soot, 

    required repeated cleaning each day, 

    where we played hide and seek in alleyways 

    and threw eggs and firecrackers on Halloween.

I come from a mother who knew nothing about her birth family, 

    who suffered from what doctors called “nerves,” 

    and who treated her with valium and lithium, 

    while she treated herself to alcohol and sad escapes from our family life.  

I come from a father who labored underground and who always took her back.

I come from a time where trouble came from within families 

      and kids were parceled out for protection;

      where alcohol drained life from strong men and fragile women.

I come from hot summers working on my grandmother’s farm in the Knobs of Virginia, 

      a home without running water or indoor niceties, 

      time spent working tobacco fields, hiding in apple orchards, learning to dream;

      a place where I felt needed and free.

I come from teachers who told me I was smart, 

     that I needed to read and study and stay in school. 

I come from schools here and there, each year a different one, a different state, 

     learning about the wider world, and about loneliness 

     and being on my own from an early age, 

     grasping at friendships, bundling into others’ families for warmth.

I come from a moonshining grandmother who carried a gun, 

     who loaned money and gave respite, 

     who fed and clothed those who needed it,

     bought votes at election time to ensure her point of view, 

     who knew most people’s secrets, 

     and used her power to protect and get even.

I come from the unrestrained yet tough love of this grandmother,

     who taught me to be strong,

     to stand up for what I believed,

     to care for others.   

I may not be of her seed but I am of her heart.

Alicia Evans

I Am from

I’m from an ex-coal mining town that was neglected with time
Devoured by injustice and Maggie Thatcher’s class crimes
Monkey dust, spice- a narcotics buffet
Drugs are the home in your head when you’ve no house to stay
Community crushed and we’re looking for love
Searching for connection that’s not a drunken kiss in a club
Staring out your bedroom window and you’re hungry for more
Empty feeling in your stomach, its not just cause you’re poor
It’s the shift work, taxes, the “community” online
But a screen can’t replace a human soul and a mind
It’s safe behind a screen and realities hard 
But don’t blame social media, it’s not what’s tearing us apart
It’s the neoliberal system that steals your labour and art
It’s the landlords and the rich and the ones who’re in charge 
But it is us that can break it and keep our community’s heart. 

I am from generations of abuse, of addiction, and fear 
I am from the workers, the poor, I’m from blood sweat and tears
I’m from a father with a shit life that he ended with rope 
I’m from a mother who was crushed and alone with no hope 
I’m from a city that I love, but the spirit is dead
I had to flee the trap, and it was to Bristol I fled;
The beating heart of action, of a people that fight
Creative visionaries and passion that will lead us to light
Whilst people lose faith and only fight for themselves,
Our communities in Bristol will destroy this capitalist hell.