Heather Anne from Bristol, England is starting us off with a beautiful poem for July.

I am from

I am from a city built of honeycomb coloured stone.

A city of elegant crescents and squares.

A city built on the wealth of Slave Traders.

I am from a paternal grandfather who enjoyed the football at Twerton Park.

I am from a paternal great grandfather who came home shell shocked from the Boer War.

I am from a paternal great great grandfather who entered running competitions on the streets of Bath.

Abel ran – he was a printer on the Chronicle.

I am from further up the Avon River.

Close to where John Hallett the cheesemonger lived.

The Whitings lived close to Lower Bristol Road.

Paradise Street, Wood Street, Westmoreland Buildings.

I am from a paternal grandmother who always wore a blue dress.

I am from a maternal grandmother whose first child was born when she was 38.

I am from a family of women who sewed their own clothes.

A family of women who did other people’s laundry.

I am from close to Twerton Roundhill.

A place we played on Sundays.

I am from the Sandpits – formerly a Brick and Tile Works.

I am from the Brickfields – a short cut through Victoria Brick Works.

I am from close to the Somerset and Dorset line.

The train that took us to the south coast.

I am from days on the beach of a Devon or Dorset resort.

I am not from a place where I saw a seahorse for the first and only time.

I am here now – and this is my home.

Heather Anne (Bristol)

Poems from Atlanta: Caroline Henry’s Lark Languages ESL students got our summer off to a beautiful start!

Where I’m From

Svetlana Shcherbik

I am from floor to ceiling bookshelves

tightly packed with books and encyclopedias

my books are at the bottom,

 but the most interesting are, of course, up high

I am from the quiet family nights

filled with rustle of newspapers and book pages

From watching hockey games and figure skating on TV

I am from big white birch tree behind the window,

branches touch the window while I do my homework

I am from wooden toys and glass stars on a Xmas tree

I am from summer garden with current and raspberry bushes

and from hot strong black tea with jam and honey

I am from dense forest with high pines and cedars  

And lingenberries and mushrooms under the feet

I am from my grandma Frosya and her small white clay house

I am from my grandma Zenya’s village and the smell of a fresh hay

I am from the war my grands and my parents lived through and survived

I am from the folk dance and loud singing around the table

To celebrate the life and enjoy it to its fulness.

Where I’m From

Karen Hong

I am from a big city with skyscrapers, highways, and streams of heavy traffic

from a panda home and spicy cruise

I am from the big city with a fast-paced environment and city noise

I am from the big city with abundant white peach trees

whose flowers and fruits decorate and feed us

I am from a notebook and pike pen, precious gifts from my grands and parents

I am from traditional sports and family games and from subdivision storytellers. 

I am from the place where TAO spiritual beliefs rose about 2500 years ago with compassion,

kindness, love, simplicity, frugality, and humility

I am from both traditions my mother’s and my father’s families

from the traditional dumpling and steam Bao Bun that we eat

from a Chinses New Year festival

and from the celebration of life’s prosperity with a “Red Envelope” and firework

I am from those moments of living in the big city and my culture traditions.   

Where I’m From

Yuna Kim

I am from an attic and a pump

From a television with four legs and 12 color crayons

I am from a little house with a roof top where laundry dries in a sunlight

And a blue colored gate with hinged doors

I am from yellow forsythia and dandelion with white puffs

Whose greeting and whispering make me happy

I am from good health and honesty

From Kim and Ha

I am from a blue-collar worker and Confucianism

From “Stay low, and say humbly”

From “Men have to take responsibility for family”

I am from “Today is always better than yesterday”

I am from a bear wanted to be human and a big egg laid by a woman

From steamed rice and Kimchi

From Hangeul created by King Sejong

And from Democracy achieved through civil movements

I am from a spoonful of warm rice soup by my grandma

From cold water pours from the pump,

From a cloudy incandescent bulb in the attic,

From the laundry dries in the sunlight,

And from the dandelion puffs blown away.

Summer is here next week. Best way to celebrate is to think about where we are all from! JE Cabrera helps with her poem

Where I am from

By: Johanna Ellerbe Cabrera

I am from beaches that nourish your soul

and hurricanes that blow your mind, roof and floor boards

I am from tiny ants bubbling over sweet bread crumbs

dropped on Mami’s immaculate front porch

I am from tree climbing cousins that

introduced me to honied mangos and quenepas

I am from an unmentioned town

that no one knows about

until they need a Caribbean getaway

I am from Lela’s blissful kitchen and rosary schedule

I am from rice and bean dinners ready by midday and “you better clean that plate”

I come from the strongest women I have ever met,

their prayers and praises

to “go to school”, because “you are smart”

But choose a career suited for a woman, and choose a career for a mother

I come from words so honest they stab your soul for decades

and curses so loud they cure any ailments

I come from Vicks rubbed on your chest so you can breathe

and on your cuts so they can heal

I am from Sundays are for church and “damn it, sit still”

I am from my tribes’ prayers and tears,

I am from thick, thick, love and pasteles for breakfast

I am from poverty I did not know existed until I left home

and street games that we played barefoot

I am from rivers deep and muddy

shells for necklaces, and my flag on everything. 

Two stunning, honest, beautiful poems from Karen Green’s ESL group in Austin Texas. Thank you poets.

By Ricardo Rodriguez

Where I am From

From Tampico, Mexico, living in Austin, Texas

De dónde soy?

Soy de dónde el águila devoró a la serpiente

De dónde los hombres usan sombrero y grandes bigotes,

Estoy hecho de maíz y de pirámides Mayas, de plumas de aves de muchos colores.

También soy del lugar donde se Reza mucho, de la ciudad de perros de agua, dónde el río y el mar se besan, dónde Don Porfirio encontró el amor.

Estoy hecho por médicos y cirugías, de pocos meses en el horno, de tamaño poco mayor a la mano de mi madre.

Soy de diabluras y juegos de Niño, de bromas pesadas y corazón noble,

Soy de las largas filas en las tortillerías y de frijoles con queso fresco y de cocodrilos como mis vecinos

Soy de la religión, de los largos sermones 5 veces a la semana y de dónde Disney es el diablo.

Soy de una familia de 4 y un pilón, del trabajo duro y de un día de cine.

Soy de la soledad del cuarto y de noches de frío, de pócimas para dejar de respirar y de grandes lágrimas;

Soy de dónde vienen los amigos invisibles, y de dónde las almohadas te escuchan, soy de dónde el fracaso es más que los logros.

También  Soy de ese lugar dónde nacen las ganas de volar, de vivir, de salir, de experimentar, de crear, de volver a nacer.

Soy de la esperanza y ansias de futuro, de mejorar, de aprender,

Soy del otro mundo, de la libertad, de ser yo, y gritar si es necesario.

Soy de mi y para mi, soy yo y soy feliz.

I’m from where the eagle devoured the serpent.

Where men wear wide-brimmed hats and have big mustaches.

I’m from maize and Mayan pyramids, from feathers from multi-colored birds.

I’m also from a place where they pray a lot, the city of water dogs known as otters, where the river kisses the sea, where Don Porfirio found love.

I am made from doctors and surgeons, only a few months in the oven, born the size a little bigger than my mother’s hand.

I am from horse play and child’s play, from harsh jokes and noble hearts.

I’m from long lines at the tortilla shop and from beans with farmer’s cheese and from neighborly crocodiles

I am from religion, but the martyrdom kind; from long sermons five times a week and from where Disney is the devil.

I am from a family of 4 and a beautiful surprise; from hard work and a movie days

I am from solitude in my room and cold nights, from potions to stop breathing and from giant tears.

I am from a place where my imaginary friends live, from where your pillows listen to you, from a place where you are never good enough.

The place where I was born, inspired me to fly, to live, to leave, to experience, to create, and the desire to be reborn

I’m from hope and anxiety about the future, and from being better and wanting to learn

I’m from another world, from freedom, from being me and to scream if it’s necessary.

I’m from me, for me, I’m me and I’m happy.

Where I Am From

Saúl E. Beschorner

From Venezuela, now living in Austin, Texas

Where I came from 

I can still hear the ocean 

divided for your greatness

this crazy jungle

of pavement and green

can you feel it?

it’s more than blood

it’s history

running through my veins

as a reminder

of where I came from

I can still hear the laughter
the gossip

the Margarita with the arome of Chanel

can they hear me?

My heart is beating 

roots are not ready

the tree is shaking 

and the guacamayas are flying away

now this tree has broken in two

like a horcrux

but it’s not the end 

there’s something else

I’m calling you

I’m missing you

can you hear it?

A Beautiful collection of poems from the El Buen Samartano Community ESL Program..Amy Herman, teacher…Thank you!

WHERE I AM FROM

           BY 

ALEJANDRO MOLINA

I Am from a “pueblo pequeno”, as little as a hummingbird.

From a place where the rivers flow milk.

I am from Sunday afternoons of matinee,

with my sisters and friends.

From processions, prayers

and lent during the Holyweek.

I am from an unknown “abuelo”,

full of great stories to enjoy.

From my “abuela” who said: “Visitors two joys give us,

one when they arrive, and another when they leave.

I am from summer vacations at the ranch,

sipping milk at the cows’ feet.

From spending Sunday lunch, gathered with the whole family,

enjoying bone soup, chopped meat, rice and salad,

then, a lemon pie.

I am from begonias, lilies and roses,

embellishing our garden.

From a place where we called 

all razors: Gillette. 

I am from a “pueblo pequeno”, living now in weird and beautiful Austin,

I love the city and the way of life.

From a place where wherever I go or wherever I stay, I carry,

not in a backpack, but in my heart, all my traditions and memories

because we have the conviction that probably tomorrow, we can stay 

death.

WHERE I AM FROM

BY

CARMEN ELENA CALLES

I am from the sun, the dew,

the smell of wet earth

and the smell of coffee every morning.

From the flavor of bean and cheese arepa

and family meetings at the table.

I come from a large family, united and reunited many times.

To share, laugh and celebrate life.

From flowery fields, from the shade of large trees, 

from ripe mangoes on the ground and 

from animals playing with each other.

From the music of the vast plain, the playing of children in the streets,

and teenagers playing on the soccer field.

From the great friends of childhood and memory

of our ice creams and dances at school.

And the unforgettable memory of our game with dolls.

WHERE I AM FROM

BY

JESUS GARCIA

I´m from a traditional town. 

Where historic events are celebrated.

I love to walk around the historic buildings.

I love to eat delicious enchiladas mineras.

I love to eat exotic ice cream in the plaza.

I´m from drinking natural water, tamarindo, horchata, my favorites.

I´m from eucaliptos and mezquites trees.

I´m from a traditional meeting in my grandparents’ home.

I love when my grandmother cooks something delicious for everybody.

I´m from playing with my cousins.

I love it when the whole family decides to visit the mountains.

I´m from breathing fresh air.

I love when little insects fly around me. Sometimes it scares me.

I love the sound of the water running across the river.

I love to see a colorful flower over the grass.

Sometimes I feel afraid when it rains too hard.

I´m from eating tacos, pozole and tamales, especially when my mom cooks for the family.

I´m from the mariachi songs and bands too.

I’m from dancing because I feel happy.

I´m from the excepcional memories in my school.

I love to play during school break times.

I love to imagine new things and opportunities.

I love to help other people.

I love dreaming day by day.

I´m from beautiful memories.

Where I am From

WHERE I AM FROM

BY

LOANNY SALCEDO

I am from fun, 

from soups every sunday, (eaten in the company 

of 4 generations of family)

warming me up, from both 

grandmas singing in the background

filled with joy.

I am from lakes, breezes

cooling me off every morning,

from colourful houses and the 

beloved sun and where the flashes of  

Catatumbo lightning would

light up the nights.

I am from warm afternoons in 

my neighborhood, where the wheels 

of my skates rolled in the streets. I am 

from the month of November, from the 

gaitas, from those nights that lasted 

till dawn.

I am from there, from the

lakes, from the big bridge, black and blue, 

descended from a people accustomed to heat,

and I look at the sky, I wonder when I can

feel that heat again where I am from.

WHERE I AM FROM

BY

LUZ GUERRA

I am From M. Muzquiz Coah. Mexico. 

I am from big mountains, 

from the smell of tierra mojada. 

I am from walnut trees. 

I am from clear and sweet water, 

bathed with dirt. 

From blue skies and pure air, 

From playing on the street with my friends. 

I am from where we gather around the table, together on Sundays, 

eating barbacoa. 

From the smell of flour tortillas. 

I am from unconditional love from my grandparents, from a small house, modest food. 

I am from going to church and enjoying a snow cone and chips at the plaza. 

From where they call us norteños. 

I am from where there is always 

something to celebrate, 

from singing las mañanitas then 

ending with a “mordida” to the cake.

I am from where with tears I brought a full suitcase of memories.

From when  I need strength I open the suitcase and continue.