Two individual poems to begin your weekend. Each unique and each imagistic..storied..Enjoy

Brit Sjoberg

I am Someone

I am from the worn toy, battered and bruised,

from the smell of fresh cut wood and old books,

I am from the smell of coffee brewing,

and the smell of the crisp mountain air,

I am from the wheat waving in the breeze,

whose resilience matches mine.

I am from the smell of wet dog and the creaky stairs at the farm,

from my grandad and my aunt,

from stubborness and quick wit,

from resilience.

I am from the lunch socials at the old schoolhouse,

from the saskatoon pies to swedish meatballs,

from moving to a new land, into a shack on a sand dune,

and from the pain of leaving one behind.

The farm was the place where I ran free,

sunday night dinners and the chilly ride back,

running in the wheat and sampling a sprig or two.

I am from those moments, 

Thank you

I am from

Jayla Godsoe

I am from barbie dolls

from quads and swings

I am from big welcoming walls

and picture frames

I am from blossom trees

whose arms reach out to grab the clouds

I am from knitted blankets and brown sugar candles

from Boones amd Barnets

and from strong and stubborn 

from independence 

I am from pizza fridays

from banana bread and macaroons

from my great grandpa’s fiddle

and from working to support family 

I am from cutting trees for christmas

I am from the moments of growing up with a big loving family

 I am Jayla

Alanna WellingtonI

 am Alanna

I am from a glass candy bowl

from sewing needles and thread

I am from the pink bedroom walls

and a big white bookshelf

I am from a small heart shaped tree

whose expressing the love

I am from a knitted blanket and a thumper teddy bear

from Brown and Wilson

and from loud laughter and stubbornness

from picking at your nails

I am from pajamas on christmas eve

from butterscotch cookies and costco pumpkin pie

from my grandpa being a hero

and from the cancer that killed my grandpa

I am the homemade birthday cards

I am from the moments of loud family dinners around my grandparents dining room table

A whole class from Cambridge Massachusetts! 3rd and 4th graders show us their thoughts and stories. Thank you!

Founded in 1967, Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, MA is a PreK to grade 8 school with an emphasis on progressive education. We strive to help students connect with their own curiosity and find joy in learning. We offer a thematic, project-based curriculum, with a focus on social justice issues, and an anti-bias curriculum. We have a diverse student population, plus a co-teacher model with multi-age classrooms. Our third/fourth grade class wrote their I Am From Poems after reading and listening to several “Where I’m From” and “I Am From” poems.

I Am From

By Eve

I am from I am from warm cheese ravioli and avocado sushi 

and warm cheese pizza with warm soft crust 

I am from sitting on my back porch while smelling smells like flowers 

I am from reading in my bed at night

I am from playing with slime

I am from drawing 

I am from baking 

I am from making bracelets

I am from playing with my dog 

I am from swimming 

I am from drawing foods

I am from baking 

I am from doing cartwheels

I am from going to the park 

I am from playing board games 

I am from playing tag games 

I am from planting flowers 

I am from getting  ice cream

I am from jump roping

I am from doing hopscotch 

I am from hula hooping  

      

I Am From

By Maribel

I am from My dog who would bark at the mailman

I am from warm fire crackling in the hearth

I am from cute animals playing all day

I am from fresh slime being made

I am from hot water boiling in a pot

I am from cold ocean flowing in the wind

I am from the earth moving from within

I am from fresh grass growing 

I am from chilly snow falling from the sky

I am from wet rain falling down to earth

I am from a fresh drawing being made

I am from soft dogs howling in the distance

I am from a soft horse galloping into the horizon

I am from the sounds of friends laughing

I am from cold ice cream cake

I am from doughy mochi

I am from warm pizza being baked in the oven

I am from loud cars driving past the window

I am from hot mashed potatoes with marshmallows

I am from hot chicken and rice 

I am from jiggly jello

I am from red rubies, blue sapphires, and purple amethyst

I Am From Love

By Antonia 

I am from

Pizzelles made with love

I am from

Biscottis yelling “Eat me!”

I am from

Mashed potatoes saying “Thank you!”

I am from

Marbles and Grass “Yum!”

Every food I ever eat

Even if it’s not a treat 

Smells yummy

And is!

I am from words I always hear replaying 

“I love you!”

And 

“Hi Bella Chachita!”

I repeat one back

“I love you too!”

I am from 100 year old Grandpa Phil

I am from Mommy and her laugh and sweet sweet voice

I am from Daddy whose jokes fill me with excitement

I am from Miles whose energy boosts mine 

I am from Iggy who we call “Iggy-Piggy”

I am from Zuzu whose howling was like singing 

I am from Mimi whose food blossoms my taste buds

I am from Papa whose tickles make the saddest laugh

I am from Poppy who is 93 and still going strong

I am from Mere whose pastina was the BEST

I Am From LOVE!

I Am From Poem   

By Neve

I am from rice, chicken, pasta, and cheese

I am from my dad’s special chicken sauce and i am from cake 

I am from my dad, dog, brother,mom and 2 hamsters 

I am from 

               Fresh

                        Air

And friends laughing 

I’m From the darkness 

I the am from sizzling from the pan on the oven

I am from “no” “yay” “ok” and “come here”

I am from the nature and trees

I am from the trickling

                                  Water

                                           From the sink

I am from a death of a grandma 

  

I Am From

By Zoe

I am from England and sad queenless days

From warm fish and chips,

I am from takeaway pizza laid on the floor ,

From everyday bagels brought from the store,

I am from cars zooming past,

GIANT houses 

Crickets chirping ,

While small children talk

I am from the saying of “control your temper”,

From  the never ending words of “just a few more bites “ ,

I am from  the phrase “crumb queen” and “no”,

                        I am from my mom dad and sister,

                  From endless grandparents,aunties and uncles

          I am from cousins,friends,neighbors

                      From half aunties and uncles

                      I am from  hours dancing with my sister

                I am from raindrops falling on summer days

I Am From

By Max

I am from pepperoni pizza and root beer watching the Marvel series

I am from playing ball tag with my friends on the block playing soccer in my backyard with friends you never know who’s going to win!!

Trading pokemon cards with my friends

I am from a sunny day eating peppermint ice cream

I am from “no’”yes,”maybe,”can I?

I am from playing with my friends school named Zac’mateo’kairee’august’jabril’

I am from BB+N slushy and gaga ball

I am from Hero Wars and Mine craft 

I am from burgers and rootbeer floats

I Am From 

By Gus

I am from cold melty ice cream

Mint chip, salted caramel and cookies and cream.

I am from laughing with joy and with my brother.

I am from my

fun brother and him saying, “can you play with me Gus.”

I am from

warm pizza,crispy tacos

and s’mores.

I am from my dad 

planting and reading to and my brother and him saying,

“You can have screen time.”

I am from dance starting with tap

and then hip hop.

I am from playing with my neighbors and friends

Elan,Toby and Theo.

I am from playing sports Basketball, and soccer and sometimes tennis.

I am from my mom snuggling me and my brother and

Doing yoga at my school.

  I Am From

      By Toby

I am from singing            

long and clear

I am from sushi

yummy and sweet

I am from pineapple pizza

I am from screen time

loud and fun

I am from Scoop N Scootery

campfire s’mores and peanut butter cup

ice cream

I am from pets

dogs and cats

I am from “Time for dinner”

loud and strong

I Am From

By Ben

I am from hot mac n cheese for dinner,

Ramen with tofu islands in steaming broth

I am from grass stains, video games

And a house that i don’t  remember

I am from running downstairs on christmas morning wooping with joy

I am from boba tea in Davis Square, from mochi and traffic on a sunny weekend

I am from “wake up” “get out of bed” “eat breakfast” “now get in the car”

I am from my family, friends and neighbors making my day

I am from skateboarding with my sister riding her bike

I am from beach days on the Cape going whale watching at sea

I am from this big wide world that we will never understand.

I Am From Love…

By: Beatrice

I am from mushed up sweets and loving meatballs,

I am from little kids playing and having fun,

I am from fighting and making up,

I am from laughter and joy,

I am from a caring mom and loving dad,

I am from amazing role-models and clever responsibilities.

I Am From By Serena

I am from,

“If you have nothing to do, clean your room.”

From crisp and tart apples.

From my annoying little brother.

I am from

Warm rice,

With red, saucy pork

For chinese new year.

From climbing trees,

And knitting,

And my silly dad.

I am from,

Mooncakes

With red bean,

Egg yolk,

Or melon seeds inside.

From my caring mom.

From eating pine needles.

From how it’s noisy

Or quiet and never

In between.

I Am From.     by Zac

I am from the white rice to smoking salmon

I am from the steaming pasta to cooking meats

I am from the game known as roblox and minecraft

I am from a family of a dog

Mom

Dad

sister

I Am From

By Coco

I am from delicious fresh picked blueberries 

I am from the sounds of my dog barking

And the subtle sound of my cat purring outside

As I look outside the window I see cars whizzing by

I smell the cookies in the oven that me and my sister made

I Am From 

By Kairee

I am from warm rice and beans 

Oxtail and ginger cubes

I am from the north’s weird temperature ( if you don’t like the weather wait five seconds)

I am from delicious soup and parents saying 

H
E
L
L

N
O

I Am From a Long Life

By Arielle 

I am from rice and  salmon  

and soup joumo 

I am from music and kompa 

and bākey

I am from “DEFO!”

“Uh oh”

“Wolsh”

“Ou kraze peyi a!”

I am from Esti, uncels, family, all my tatis, and school 

I am from cabret marching with people 

I am from WILD dogs chasing people in the streets

I am from people running to get their soccer balls

I am from people constantly telling people to STOP and go catch the cows!

I am from people getting fresh mangoes from the trees. It smells soooo good

I am from sweaty gyms with people doing gymnastics

I am from people surfing at Encantro and breaking their boards doing 180’s and top turns

I am from getting my hair done for over one night

I am from fearless warriors

I Am From

By Anonymous

I am from the smell of quesadillas cooking in the skillet

chicken cheese tomato lettuce

I hear the sounds of basketball 

bouncing, and touchdowns being scored

I am from a kind and helpful family

I look up to my big bros

I am from playing a game 

And having fun with my family

I am from my grandma making

 lemon meringue pie

I am from my grandpa taking me

To the store

I am from my dad

Taking me to the pool

I Am From

By Louisa

In Michigan I am from the smell at the McBarn of McFrickles

with no pickles

At home l am from listening to my cats purring

I am from buns and marshmallow salad on Thanksgiving 

I am from me and my sister eating ramen for lunch and playing games on the computer and walking to the corner store to get slushies 

I am from getting in the car to go to school and my mom saying “have a good day”

I am from waking up on Saturday to go to fencing and drop my sister to work 

I am from going to Harvard square

To get 

Boba

I am from when I get home to snuggle my cats 

And  

Go 

To

Bed

I Am From

By Elan

I am from being a human because I can

I am from the smell of hot pizza and the cold scoops of icecream. The cheese drips from a taco. 

I am from the wind blowing. The dogs bark as loud as they can. 

I am from hearing my mom yell to me “Elan it’s time for lunch!”                                                                                                              

I am from my favorite sister checking her phone while i play with my friends Toby, Gus, and Theo,

I am from my dad yelling about his left side hurting but then my mom says “Elan its time for bed!” 

I am from my weird dog that barks when he sees a person. 

I am from the leaves falling outside but i hear my mom say “Elan its time to brush yout teeth!”

I am from the almost melted popsicle.

I am from the sushi place right next to me and for some reason there are tacos and burgers inside.

I Am From

By Luna

I am from thin slices of prosciutto and the sweet smell of filet cooking on the grill.

I am from the family pasta dinner with the best tomato sauce. 

I am from cool mochi on a hot summer day 

I am from a warm hug from the chicken my mom makes.

I am from the sound of cars whooshing on a daily basis. I am from the sound of construction building high. 

I am from the smell of new fish made on the stove. I am from a family discussion about dinner

Here is a magnificent group of poems…places, images, thoughts, l feelings..it is all there, from all over.

I am from

Keeley Irwin

i am keeley

i am from our big green garden

from beatles and bears

i am from a big brown house

and sunflowers

i am from the moon

whose lights further me

i am from candles and tea

from lucille and gary

and from strawberry picking in the spring

from sadness

i am from sunday night dinner

from ice cream and art

from fighting

and from loss

i am charlie boy

i am from the moments of fall

i am keeley

I am From

Sarah Benson

I am Sarah

I am from a swing set that I would soar on all day

from a box of toy cars and my box of jewellery

I am from a blue sided house that had a big window in the front for me to watch life go by

and the scary storage room with our microwave

I am from a maple tree that peaked over my neighbour’s fence

Whose leaves made the best piles in autumn

I am from our van that took us on many adventures and our camera that captured all of the memories

from Benson and Hollows

and from humour and sarcasm

from being extremely empathetic and caring

I am from writing a letter to Santa each year 

from summer berry pie and british custard

from some adoptions that make my family a mystery

and from fighting in World War 2

I am from a tricycle

I am from the moments of adrenaline before going on stage

I am Sarah and these are the memories that I hold so dearly

I am Sarah and this is where I came from

I Am From

Laia Carrion Batet

I am Laia

I am from the game’s room that as a child I used to spend hours and hours,

From my doll house, my skates 

I am from the table where I spent so much time trying to finish the food I didn’t like

And the sofa where I used to fell asleep while watching movies

I am from the roses I watered every week

Whose smiled at me every time that I did that

I am from my scooter, my shoes with lights

From my mom and dad

And from the sandwiches my grandmother made me every day after school

From the school mornings in which my grandfather made me finish all my breakfast

I am from the christmas dinners where the whole family gathers

From my grandmother’s macaroni and my dad’s omelet

I am from the moments I spent with the people I love.

I Am From 

By Hailey Olney

I am from tall trees that I used to climb,

From the rocks and sticks that I collected.

I am from the happiness,

And the competitiveness of my family.

I am from the many flowers,

Who were bright and colourful.

I am from the pumpkins and the snow,

From the witches and overplayed Christmas songs,

And from the glasses and the laughs,

From the pure weirdness that makes us family.

I am from Christmas brunch, and tailored costumes, 

From homemade buns, and banana bread.

I am from the divorce of my grandma

And from the death of the other.

I am from the moments of joy, and am the reflection of the past.

Where I’m From: Hannah Pretorius

I am Hannah

I am from rental movies from the DVD store

From fish and chips takeout and walks along the harbour

I am from the big beautiful nature reserve right in my backyard

And the round pool where I would rescue frogs from the gutter

I am from the big lemon tree 

Whose lemons never ripened

I am from the wooden rocking horse and pretty, blonde barbie dolls

From Pretorius and Maakal

And from stubbornness and impulsiveness

From change and braveness

I am from swimming in the ocean on christmas day

From biltong and braais

From moving across the world

And from starting over

I am riding in the trunk, unbuckled to my friends house

I am from the moments of loneliness

I am Hannah and this is where I’m from

I Am From

Annabelle Gerber

I am Ocean

I am from stories upon shelves

From oak wood and ghosts

I am from warmth

and curiosity 

I am from gardens

who grew up along side me

I am from pencils and paper

from Morris and Gerber

and from creativity and adventure

I am from christmas eve churches

from soiled egg salad and barbeque smoke

from finding a new life

I am from friends I never thought would leave

I am from the moments fear traced my steps

I am made from experiences

I am  From

Dayton Mason

I am Dayton

I am from flannel fitted sheets,

from Chevrolets and loud Apple Music.

I am from a beautiful countryside,

and a home for animals and people alike.

I am from a cherry blossom tree,

whose presence signifies love.

from Swedish and Indigeonous descent,

and from open minds and open arms.

from constant music.

I am from sunday school and presents of Christmas Eve,

from meatballs and salmon, 

from world record bighorns,

and from big game hunting.

I am an instrument.

I am from the moments that define me for me.

I am who I am.

I am Me.

I Am From

 Julia Penner

am from refusing to sleep in my crib,

from always carrying around my signature blanket,

and keeping my stuffed animals close.

I am from watching childhood shows, 

from singing Spongebob’s “Best Day Ever,”

and tormenting my parents with “In The Night Garden.”

I am from running around the house as fast as I can, 

from falling on the Slip n’ Slide, 

holding my breath as long as possible,

and racing my friends in the swimming pool.

I am from believing in every fairytale, 

from waiting for my Christmas elf to arrive, 

and leaving cookies out for Santa.

I am from carving pumpkins,

from roasting their seeds,

and always putting way too much salt on them.

I am from dressing up for Halloween, 

from Trick or Treating with my cousins, 

and binge eating candy till I feel sick.

I am from living in the middle of no where,

from taking long walks along the canal,

and watching the water get sucked away as the boats floated by.

I am from losing my cat,

from adopting more,

and finding the lost one.

I am from doing terrible in online school,

from being extremely stressed, 

and trying my hardest.

I am from making friends in 8th grade,

from getting awards,

and having a class of thirty-two.

I am from learning electric guitar,

from taking lessons,

and trying to show off.

I am from staying up till 6am with my friends,

from playing video-games with them,

from losing some and gaining even more.

I am from moving houses,

from experiencing family problems,

and learning it’ll be okay.

I am from going on a 4-day long camping trip,

from having waves twice my size almost drown me,

from having a killer sunburn,

and complaining.

I am from worrying about school starting,

from bragging to my friends that I start later than them,

and staying up late the day before school started.

I am from starting 9th grade at Thorold Secondary, 

from getting lost in the hallways,

and trying to make a good first impression.

I am From

Lillie McKenzie

I am LillieI am from a blanket that I sleep with 

From fishing with my dad to camping 

With my family 

I am from a good home with lots of  love

Playing  with my brother and sister 

I am from fishing in the lake early in the morning to late at night 

The fish Who are in the deep water 

I am from fish hocks in my face to good times 

From Sean and Wendy

And from a loud family 

From big to small 

I am from going camping every summer 

From fish and meat 

From going hunting in early morning  and late night with my dad and brother

I’m from the moments with my family and being outdoors 

I am from the best life I could ever have asked for

WHERE I AM FROM

Ignacio Oliero del Campo 

I am from the past , where everything was bigger ,

I am from spain , where i was born , 

I am from  the love and hugs of my mom ,

I am from my parents room  , 

I am from my safe place , my dad’s big and warm arms  ,

I am from play board-games with my parents , 

I am from eat that giant chocolate ice cream ,

I am from the playgroup , 

I am from my favorite persons , my guardians , my grandparents , 

I am from my childhood .

I am from the present , where everything is different ,

I am from canada , where i am living ,

I am from the hang outs with my friends ,

I am from my room  ,

I am from my safe place , my ps5 , 

I am from watch movies , shows and play videogames with my friends ,

I am from eat sushi ,

I am from the school , 

I am from my favorite persons  , my guardians , my grandparents ,

I am from my adolescence .

I am from the future , “ my perfect place “ , 

I am from spain , 

I am from the love of my daughter and son ,

I am from my new house ,

I am from my safe place , my parents ,

I am from play  video games and board-games with my son and daughter , 

I am from cook the perfect dinner for my family , 

I am from the work , 


Am From

Ulyana Doerksen

I am Ulyana.

I am from the softly glowing ceiling stars that rocked me to sleep.

Barely clinging,

they hung with love;

Though they weren’t bright or twinkly,

They kept me company.

I am from cameras and lenses,

that clicked and whirred,

 capturing my dwindling youth, 

and from doodled papers that sprawled the floor.

I am from the golden-honey sun,

peeking through the rain stained panes.

I am the cold white tiles, 

and the eggshell walls

that lined the halls.

I am from the great, big raspberry bush,

whose arms nicked and cut my own.

I am from garden flowers of

blue, pink and red, 

and from the brambles in my hair.

I am from two worlds.

They stood oceans apart;

different “hellos”,

and ways of being.

With slipping grasps,

two ropes to hold,

I am from balancing the bridge.

From hot bursts of crimson anger

To a gentle butterfly’s touch;

from a bull’s will and stubbornness,

To match my grandma’s horns.

I am from the sweet breakfasts to wake up to

on a cozy weekend morning,

from hibiscus tea and Russian crêpes,

from the warm Crimean sun,

and from leaving home for love.

I am the trembling and the worry,

of speaking to a crowd,

and from the hot round tears that came.

I am from the moments of wonder and daydream

of a watercolour vision.

I am from drawing in the margins,

and the aimless pencil marks.

The celebration of hot and cold,

shy and bold.

I am from drifting eyes

and drifting clouds.

I am from questions with no answers,

the rambles of my thoughts.

I am from here and I am from there;

I am from me.


I Am From

Morgan Godard

I am Morgan

I am from countless books

From my little ponies and monster high dolls

I am from the blue house at the top of the hill

And the two huge windows that cover its front face

I am from a staghorn sumac

Whose fuzzy hands held mine in hard times

I am from the one gift on Christmas Eve that was always PJs 

From Lynn and Sue

And from making time for one another, and intense feelings of love

From brown hair and blue eyes 

I am from eating dinner together every night 

From peanut butter cookies and huckleberry jam

From moving back to their place of origin

And from the old Toyota passed down through the generations

I am picking cherries from the towering cherry tree in the backyard

I am from the moments in which I am sad, happy, hurt and man

I am from the places I have lived, and the moments that live within them

Cyriaque Anhe 

I Am From

I am from hand washing laundry 

From soap and hands 

I am from group eating 

Where there was 1 big plate 

Of food that a big group would 

Eat. 

I’m from cocoa trees 

Whose 45 percent of cocoa 

Produced in the world comes from 

My country 

I am from hot chocolate and bread as breakfast 

From my dad and mom.

I’m From a happy home From nothing 

I’m from a give your stuff away for free 

 never sell them for money. 

I am from a Christian family 

I’m from a rice and soup family 

I’m from a place where my ancestors celebrate 

Thé festival of masks.

I’m from a place were my ancestor would wear 

Shorts or wrap shorts pieces of cloth around their bodies 

And women wear pagnes or blouses with long pieces  of coth 

That they wrap around themselves as skirts. 

I am a cocoa tree 

I am from the moments of 

Enjoying the little you have 

I am Ivorian surrounded by elephants 

Two more new poems. Fall is a time for these: story, memory, details. Thank you poets!

I am from…

Bruna Quesada Nepomuceno

I am from the beautiful beach,

From the sunny days and waves sound,

I am prom the buildings,

The big city, the calm ocean,

That sometines, in the city, it has difficult locomotion.

I am from the sunflowers and the banana trees,

That had such cute monkeys,

That we alway gave bananas to eat.

I’m from the volleyball at the beach,

And the food table with rice and beans.

From my sister and my cousins,

I’m from the pranks and jokes we did,

And the smile when we were kids.

From my mom’s words, that we were buying the expensive doll when we get back,

Words that moms always said,

And in the end of the shopping, we never did get back.

I’m from no meat when god died,

But still have a delicious lunch that my grandma made,

I’m from the good brigadeiro,

And my mom’s delicious cake.

I’m from the Brazilians roots,

From the sunny day playing volleyball,

And then just get home at 13:00 pm,

And finally have a nice barbecue.

I’m from the sound that the piano did when me and my grandfather played together,

From the Christmas pictures that we took every year,

From every vacation that me pass in the same house,

I’m from Brazil,

The place that I love the most and always will love.

.

Salem

Ariana Alvarado 

I come from women

Who prefer not to smile.

From witches and warlocks

And spirits,

I come from the vampires

that roam the streets

Of New Orleans at night

And the cab drivers who refuse 

To take you down dark alleyways.

I come from designated drivers

And text me when you get home,

So I know you’re okay.

I come from bad decisions

With good outcomes,

Repeated mistakes

masquerading as stubbornness,

Cycles of pain

And secrets swept under rugs.

I come from ghosts hiding in pennies,

An inescapable need

To make my parents proud.

I come from constellations and guitar solos,

A love-hate relationship with life

And a hatred of the color pink.

I come from evolution,

Because as I grow I realize 

There is absolutely nothing wrong 

With the color pink,

And I am nowhere near close to mapping

Every vein, every street of my hometown,

Every word in the English language.

I come from Aphrodite and Sappho,

From shame and hatred

And love and growth.

I come from duality,

Realizing that the world is not black and white,

But a twisted blend of yellows and blues

And the red that always seems to creep 

Into my dresses and dreams.

I come from washed up prom queens

And artists who never quite made it.

I come from fire and rejection after rejection

after rejection after.

I come from dreams deferred and abandoned,

Puppy love and devotion,

Shallow graves and high notes.

I come from lost men, what ifs,

Second guessing and thinking

I only wish I had done more.

I come from misunderstandings and misanthropy,

Hallucinations, Halloween, and chipped nail polish

On hands covered in dirt.

I am from dirt

And stardust.

I am so much more

Than what I come from,

Because I come from

hometown gossip

And trauma,

To give me the opportunity to say

That I come from love

I am the eerie stillness before a storm

And every downed power line.

I come from power

And sadness

And imperfections

And regret.

I come from everything and nothing at the same time,

But I still don’t know

If I’ll ever really understand

Where I’m from.

What a beautiful experience!I Am From brings us together from far…and wide..and next door.

Creative Writing for Youth Workshops is a joint project of the Open Literary School of Almaty named after Olga Markova, Chevron company and the U.S. Consulate General Almaty. It is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan and run online courses for students all over Kazakhstan once a year. It is targeted at the authors aged 13-21 and aimed at teaching creative writing to emerging authors. Kazakh and Russian modules usually run simultaneously for 3-4 months.

Thanks to Erin Robertson, poet from the U.S., who visited Kazakhstan in September, 2022, teachers and students from the Creative Writing for Youth Workshops learned about the “I’m from” project and tried to write their own poems.

Alyona Timofeyeva (20 y.o.), Almaty, Kazakhstan

I am from…

I am from felt hats

From Greenfield and Reserved

A girl from Khrushchevka

Three-floored, with unpainted spots on the cladding

Like on avant garde painting

I am from daisies

Field but odorless

I am from 1st January meetings

With grandma’s laugh and cardboard shows on TV

I am from the one

who owns the world

And he is from the Victorious and Dolgorukiy

I am from boredom and support

From silly poems and gentle lullabies

I am from faith in handsome males

Which tends to disappoint me all the time

I am from Kazakh Russia and Jewish Kazakhstan

From salted watermelons and dry fruit compote

From granddad’s falling from the third floor –

He was dancing so hard that he flew over the balcony railing

I’m rom his dislocated kidney and broken ribs

I am from the brown Soviet headset

That keeps so many secrets

Which you’ll never find out

Even if you will.

Danila Toktasynova (21 y.o., Zhambyl region, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from the dust of the books in the archive.

I am from the law of nature that mixes oxygen with carbon dioxide.

I am from the space near the window.

Through transparent, clean glass one can see sadness from the other side of the world.

I am a green fir tree that never changes its color.

With my whole being I am trying not to change.

I am a short prayer that is said after eating.

I hide my feelings in my heart closed tight like a jar for winter.

I am from my grandmother’s prophetic dreams and my mother’s actions.

I am from the heat of the sauna which I take every Saturday, and from the cold aura of people.

I’m from “Wherever the front wheel of the cart goes, there the last wheel will go.”

I am one of those who live like the ummah of Muhammad.

I am from the mouth of the river Asa, from the line of Tole bi.

I am my mother’s bread, the banana that everyone eats with pleasure.

Before my father’s testament is gone, my grandfather’s adviser will be gone.

I am a storehouse of memories, old things, ghosts.

I keep them to revive the past.

To restore the days gone.

Diana Murzygaliyeva (16 y.o., Astana, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from thick grasses and Aloe Vera

I am from books and certificates 

(books as life philosophy 

and certificates are the way I have gone so far)

I am from energy, help, humanity and kindness 

Tidying up and cooking thick pancakes at the weekend,  walking tours, picnics and strolls 

 (warm, pleasant, my favourite)

I am from tulips that remind me of my home country – those like Greig’s tulip,

The symbol of nature reserve Aksu-Zhabagly (real paradise)

I am from family adventures 

From Myrza, Oken, Serikzhan and Bota

From the quotation: “There is nothing impossible”. 

I am from prophet Muhammad and the Goddess of the moon Diana

I am from ecohabits, from “I can cope with everything”, “I will have time for everything” and “Wonder is somewhere nearby”

I am from nuclear tests that were carried out near my hometown and influenced me

I am from a Kazakh family

From the dairy product Emil

From my delight while admiring the night sky and the stars together with my mum

I was about eight when I heard that my mum believed in extraterrestrials 

From my dad’s big picture album and the war album where photos embodied my childhood, relatives, hometown anniversaries, those who are no more but who are forever in our hearts. The picture album kept their faces and memories of them.

Gulnur Muratbay (20 y.o. Almaty, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I’m from the bus stop.

I am from the last fallen leaf of the apricot tree,

I’m from the key to the fourteenth apartment,

(always needed and safe)

I’m from the torn tickets at the theater,

I am from the unfamiliar streets of Almaty.

I’m from the baby’s own language,

I am from my mother’s white hair,

I am from my father’s brown autumn coat,

Maybe,

If my religion is love,

then I’m from love

from friendship and trust…

Yes, I believe in God. I am from God.

Then

I am from a drop of Caspian sea that was left on the shore,

I’m from the Olivier salad for the New Year’s table,

delicious and fun.

I am from the songs my mother and father memorized, 

When they were young…

Nursultan Sarbay (18 y.o., Almaty, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from a stick.

From “Mukaltin” and “Maxi tea”.

I’m from the brick stairs

Warm, cold and safe.

I’m from a tall tree that fell after being struck by lightning.

I’m from the leftover coin in the piggy bank and drinking tea at one in the morning.

I’m from Ruslan and Asem.

I’m from family dinner and work early in the morning.

From “step with your right foot” and “pray before going to sleep.”

I’m from Islam and going to the mosque.

I am from Salkynkol and Chistopol.

Fried potatoes, pasta.

From the merry wedding of my uncle, my sister’s one-year-old daughter,

Album on the nightstand.

From love and memory.

Ruslan Ivanov (16 y.o. Almaty, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I’m from frost on the glass,

From milk and ice cream in a waffle.

I am from the walls, in lime glaze, in darkness,

Which froze inside, on the tiles.

I am from the leaves of a fleshy living tree,

In a ceramic shell, warmed by yellow light.

I’m from movies faded after time with black and white.

And from the candles in the sideboard, in the evenings without light.

I’m from a piece of synthetic winterizer,

In a hole of a jacket,

I’m from an old sled and rust metal.

And a snow figure.

I am from conversations that are heard at night,

Disputes at dinner, with a philosophical flavor,

I’m from “Sit down, your time is up”

And “Start to talk with meaning.”

I’m made of matter with a mixture of faith,

From disbelief not completed,

I am from a measure blooming at the end of the world,

Cities born in the void of the world.

I’m from a tincture, mixed with tea leaves

On the windowsill in a jar.

I am from a handful of sugar weighed 

In the palm of my hand, and dry bread loaves.

I’m from an orphanage on the outskirts,

Where my father and I used to sneak in.

I’m from a hole in the fence,

Behind it, there is dusty grass, a spacious lawn.

I’m from a holey ball, crumpled

Which we played on that lawn.

I am from a cartridge with sloped sides,

Which we dissembled with the boys.

I am from rough linoleum in our house

We used to draw on it.

We remained on it as a blurry scene,

And created a picture in our memory.

Aleksandra Edel (13 y.o., Karaganda, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from stone

From cigarettes: Marlboro and Lark

I am from a brick house 

Battered, old as it has always been, in an old neighborhood

I am from catkins of crack willow and weeping willow 

That did not lower their eyes.

I am from movies, warmth.

From Mashka and Chris.

From music and quarrels

From “Do your homework” and  ‘tidy up” 

I am from “You can’t be like them, you believe in God”,

I am from the city of Qaraghandy, my home steppes 

Apples, plums, grape clusters,

From my mother’s plastered leg (she broke it trying to catch the train), a hematoma on my sister’s body and a metal pipe that was used to murder her

From boxes, caskets, dusty closets and, of course, picture albums 

From notepads, lines of old poems that store large amounts of memory.

Fatima Maisar (17 y.o., Almaty. Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from orange juice

From the bedside table from Ikea and a plush toy.

I am from beige bricks with the initials of our family

Hard, made from stone, so familiar.

I am from the cactus named Nicole,

a prickly little thing.

I am from a turkey on New Year’s Eve and a good sense of humor

From Mukhtar and Ilgiza.

I am from watching TV series and videos together with my cats.

From “Put on your hat” and “Grades don’t matter”.

I am Islam, bedtime prayers

I am from Almaty, Tashkent, Shymkent

Cola, apples

And a dog presented by Elbasy (President Nazarbayev)

A house in Shymkent

An apartment in Tashkent 

Tasty beshbarmak.

Regina Rynkovskaya (16 y.o., Almaty, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I came from the smell of autumn wind,

From a cup of tea with fresh cut mint,

From a cozy house with many cats,

With love, that one could always get.

I came from dreams and stars, and tears,

I came from bravery and fears,

I came from where we all come from,

And yet we all have different homes.

Some come from orange peels and leaves,

Some come from rainy days.

One at a time we all will leave

And meet, we’ll meet again.

Rassul Kassymbekov (15 y.o., Astana, Kazakhstan)

I’m from…

I am from the capital of my country.

From “SPUTNIK” and “kumis”

I am from Astana, from Akmola

Not from the yurt, not from the steppe –

I am from the capital’s city center. 

I’m from Berkut under the sun

blue sky on the background. 

I am from Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

I’m from a country with two new years

Nauryz kozhe, Bauyrsak and kurt.

From grandpas and grandmas

Everyone here has read the “Way of Abai”

I’m from the seven shelpeks on Fridays,

From a Kazakh family.

I’m from Islam, atheism and Christianity,

Where everyone lives happily together.

I’m from Astana, not from Nur-Sultan.

Where hundreds of nations and peoples gather.

Where everyone eats beshbarmak with kumis.

From the people where everyone knows the great Abai,

The great poet, recognized by the whole world.

Where everyone knows Akhmet Baitursynov,

Teacher of the nation.

He’s beloved by all Kazakhs,

We call him “Atam”.

He is our unique figure.

Our memory of him is bright. 

We keep all the memories,

Because we can’t forget them.

It’s very important – the Motherland, the heroes of the Nation.

Our language, culture and traditions.

After all, who else needs them

Other than us?