Poems

Here are two poems just arrived…and they are welcome and lovely…again, each of us has this story within us. Thank you Kieran and Vivek!

 

I am from decorations

that fill the entire

house giving the illusion that

we live in a holiday store.

I am from cans of black beans

and warm pots of chili.

I am from the constant feeling

of feeling rushed, while

in the hurry to be at

three places at once.

I am from the smells of cookies

and brownies all year long,

but the smell of pumpkin

in the fall.

I am from the smell of

dirty knee pads and the

surprise of finding granola bars

in my sports bag.

I am from the herbs in

my backyard and

the flowers on my old

peach and plum trees.

I am from the phrase of having

F-U-N even when

everything is going wrong.

I am from crispy dino nuggets

at nine pm and

Annie’s shell mac and

cheese.

I am from the question of

where did that bruise come from?

And the constant feel of floor burns.

I am from the feeling of road trips

and its constant tumble of suitcases

and the mix of Dorito bags,

pretzels, and goldfish.

I am from the groans of my dad

when my mom comes home

with more decorations for the holidays.

I am from smiles and

my back becoming sore from

laughing so I hard I can

barely breathe.

Among the walls, and within

our camera rolls

you will find just,

where I am from.

 

Thank you! – Kieran

 

 

Where I’m From

I am from a two-story wooden house,

with a basement that has all the games one can imagine.

Foosball, Table Tennis, Giant Jenga,

Treating our unfinished basement as a playground.

I am from the one-acre plot of land in our backyard,

where my sister used to read me stories under an oak tree.

I am from the weekly Buffalo Wild Wings visits,

as I used to get my three wings and a scoop of ice-cream for free.

I am from the cold north,

where winter jackets became a necessity.

I am from my grandparents’ house,

which I long to visit more than once every two years.

I am from a tennis court

where the weekly classes became an obsession.

I am from the neighborhood kids squad,

where we used to meet/play daily at the cul-de-sac.

Bicycle races, s’mores parties, and lemonade stands

are few of the amazing things we’ve experienced.

I am from our two cars, Pacifica And Camry

as my passion for automobiles became an epidemic.

I am from the books of Harry Potter,

reading to my heart’s content.

 

By Vivek Indlamuri

 

 

 

 

 

Three beautiful poems…which show us why these three words, I Am From, can tell us so much about who we are, all of us.

These are by Ariana, Daphne and Erika from  Shawna Norton’s Class and the Susan O’Dell Taylor School, in Troy New York.

 

I am From

Ariana

i am from song,
from voices i found.
voices that strangled my fears, and grew in my heart.

i am from walls.
walls that hold laughs,
and carry cabinets of memories.
pots and pans, soup
and rice, and the love in my house stem from the power in those walls.

i come from rugs of dirt
and dog hair, couches with crushed cushions.
a wagging tail in front of me,
and a sleeping dog beside me swaddled in a blanket.

i come from books i’ve forgotten i read, the stories gone from my growing ears. pens and pencils fascinate me now, but not like books do.

i am from ladles, scooping
warmth and love into my before empty bowl. i taste the hours of cooking,
the pounds of compassion in my spoon.

i come from family and friends,
and aunts that aren’t mine,
sisters that are and friends i may have never met. i am from those around me, with me, and
gone from my life.

 

 

I Am From

Daphne

I am from hydrangeas and peonies in my mom’s small garden, Bricks and vinyl siding,
The guitars and drums my father used to play,
His old, thread-bare hats,

Worn by my sister,
Real and fake wood floors,
From Eugenie,
My middle-namesake,
Who I’ve never met,
From Waterford, Troy, and Catskill,
My mom’s famous mac n’ cheese
From the guy who fell off the Mayflower, Which explains how I’m so clumsy,
From runners and guitarists and nurses, The corn seed my sister and I planted, Whichalmost​sprouted,
The Alegreya font no-one else seems to use,

And the common sense none of my friends seem to have’ From the fantasy worlds I dream in the daytime,
And the tarot cards I try to read,
The untitled documents of stories and poems I’ve yet to write, The books laying on my floor I’ve read 1 million times, Dreaming of finding my own adventure,

From the pictures I draw and the tears I cry, From the deflated volleyball I practice with, From the stars in the sky,
Made of wishes and dreams,

The ponytail and red round glasses I wear every day, And the doodles in my notebooks,
From the school I want to go to,
Same as my grandma, aunt, and sister,

I am from then and now,
From the memories I haven’t made yet, The places I haven’t gone yet,
And everywhere else.

 

 

I AM ERIKA

I come from war,
And hard times.
I come from taken homes,
And trains overflowing with people. I come from concentration camps, And slop.
I come from war.

I am from Harry Potter, And history.
I am from black beans and rice, And Kitchenaids.
I am from Kraftm cabinets, And fresh Troy air.
I am from Harry Potter.

I am from Great Ohio Bike Adventure,
And soft serve vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. I am from Nike soccer balls,
And Speedo bathing suits.
I am from yards filled with green grass,
And 30ft swing.
I am from Great Ohio Bike Adventure.

I am from Grandpa’s laugh, And Magnolia’s voice.
I am from Gavin’s sarcasm, And Mom’s sweet smell.

Erika

I am from Dad’s kindness, And Sammie’s wagging tail. I am from Grandpa’s laugh.

I am Ukraine, And Germany. I am Poland, And Slovakia. I am Scotland, And America. I am Ukraine.

I am my mother, And my father.
I am my Grandfather, And my grandmother. I am my Aunts, And my Uncles.

I am Erika.

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful variety of these poems never fails to amaze.

I Am From

Leiya Cruz

i am from sunrises.

from a shade of red,

the kind that makes you think of danger yet desperately tempts you to explore its beauty.

i am from shattered glass.

i wish i wasn’t but how else would they carve their brand into the tree we once admired so dearly.

(dry,small, curved yet the most beautiful there)

i am from division.

from a house that doesn’t look lived in,

when the cobwebs took up more space than the vibrations of my own fathers voice.

i am from pictures that leave out a face.

from that invisible entity that floats in the space.

the glass angels.

placed so meticulously on the highest shelf.

the highest shelf,

out of all the places they could’ve been.

i am from detachment.

a fill in the blank,

a void desiring to be full

a question with no solution.

i am from thunder.

counting from miles away yet still unpredictable.

from waiting for the storm to come.

i idolize thunder for never being listened to but only heard,

yet people pay attention everytime it speaks because it’s “unique”.

i idolize thunder because it reminds me of myself.

i am thunder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fine new way of creating an I Am From poem…!

From Books

Jake Williams

 

I flunked second grade; Teacher said

“Jacob daydreams and does not read.”

My days since have been packed

with insights gleaned from

thousands of pages

to help me know

for certain

I’m from

books.

 

 

Two new ones…the fall is rolling along. We have almost 400 I Am From poems now!

 

I am from

Jordan Rudd

I am from 4879

From a PS2 and Xbox

I am from Home Sweet Home

The Big White House

I am from Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Whose kept me at peace

I am from VHS to DVD’S

From Rudd to Weeks

I am Goofy and strong-willed

I come from Virtue

And from Loss

I am from a suffering Africa

From Granddads and Grandmothers

From “soul food” to Culinary feats

From Slavery to Renaissance

And from the music you listen too!

The visual arts by yours truely

I am, from those moments, 4879

 

 

Skip Carmichael

10 October 2019

 

I am From

I am from LEGO City Creations,

from sweaty Oakley sunglasses,

I am from a constantly changing climate,

and a hotel of a home,

I am from wish making dandelions,

whose flying seeds told our future,

I am from cheap guitars bought with allowance and Wii games,

from Skipper, and Addy,

I am from the Disney regulars,

from the endurance loving, endorphin craving runners,

I am from scrapes and careless playground injuries,

I am from the New Jersey State Gardener and a four time Vietnam veteran,

from homemade burgers and tacos,

from kidney cancer,

and from recessive Alzheimer’s disease,

My first race medal,

I am from those moments of perseverance through adversity that make my life complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A marvelous class poem …each student chose their favorite line and they put them all together into one sweet I Am From…

Where I’m From

Fall, 2019 SEEDs Class

Sent in by Juliea Wachowski

(Inspired by George Ella Lyon)

 

I am from the Great Divide,
the brick that brought MLK to his knees, the neighbors, friends and family who stood with brick throwers,

and went with hate instead of love.

I am from giant boxes of irresistible cereal,

unearthing its contents for a toy.

I am from herbs, spices, lamb, veggies, rice—

Lots of rice.

But now, bread.

I am from napkins on the plate

to hide the food not eaten.

I am from wringer washing machines, rising tubs, and

sheets that smell like the great outdoors.

I am from softball in the backyard,

with the long dash to first base,

the weeping willow, parting a curtain

to run through.

I am from a big, tall, dusty, rocky, beautiful,

perfect cone.

Volcano city.

I am from wishful dreams

and prayer time.

I am from The Tree of Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

Two more wonderful poems from Danny and Duke have come in this weekend. Read, find fun and hope and delight!

I AM FROM A HOUSE IN FLORIDA.

BY DANNY ARENCIBIA.

I am from a memory foam bed,

from my captain purple bear and my blue blanky.

I am from a two story home,

and a stable household.

I am from a fruit producing banana tree

who gives us nourishment.

I am from a red bike and an Xbox 360,

from Arencibia and Ponce de Leon.

I am from short and poor eyesight family,

and from a shyness to people,

from engineering.

I am from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I am from a sailor and a soldier,

from tostones and coffee,

from Cuban Missile Crisis,

and from a farmer’s life.

I fell off a bike because a dog scared me and I broke my arm.

I am from those moments a memory foam queen bed.

 

 

I am from

Duke VanWyn

I am from my bear blanket

From a game boy and a tv

I am from a play house

And a peaceful place

I am from an oak tree

Whose branches are strong as hell

I am from toy cars and the computer

From Adamec and Barrett

I am from short and tall people

And from junkies

And druggies

I am from Ching Chong dong

I am from mystery and mystery

From spaghetti and edibles

From mystery

And mystery

And the conjuring

I am from those moments that make me who I am

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a powerful poem from Joshua Hopkins, with rhythm and color and honesty.

 

I am From a Cardinal

I am from a flying red cardinal, white light surrounds

From a baby blue blanket draped over light clouds

I am from an old window into a smiling bright home

And the cracks in that window, where kids feel alone

I am from dandelions floating, in front of my eyes

Whose seeds kiss my cheeks, caressed by red lies

I am from a book worn from use, torn bits on each page

I am from Nolen and Acre.

 

I am from perfectionism, elitism

Their divide; a Great Schism

From things at mind odd

Refutation of God

I am from Kim and Gayle.

I am from simple dinners, bought at the store

From a woman of the law

From a grandmother of family

I am from the world that has birthed me

And from all these moments, I am Me.

 

I AM FROM TRADITION & THE KITCHEN

From Edgreg Chandler

I am from matching sets of dishes

From pineapple and fresh linen Yankee Candles

I am from a cul-de-sac in Alabama

And a huge backyard with a garden and homemade tree house

I am from freshly grown tomatoes and cucumbers

Whose growth gave my mom joy

 

I am from Barbie doll collections and ear-shattering BB guns

From Chandlers and Williams

I am from tradition and the kitchen

And from family reunions and yearly Christmas dinners

From planned Easter egg hunts

I am from faith in Christianity

I am from Christine and Benjamin Eaton

 

From fallen pecans and the blissful scent of homemade strawberry shortcake

From playing sports in high school

And from breast cancer survivors

From riding dirt bikes and driving toy motorboats in the lake

I am from tradition, love, and the kitchen.

 

Where I’m From

By: Isabella Douglas

 

I am from the tallest wooden shelf with miles stretched across up and down of books to read

From grandma soup and enchiladas wafting through the open doors

I am from cool, crisp white snow

And snow angels, snowmen, and snowball fights

I am from the tallest oak tree

Whose autumn leaves have fallen down the majestic sculpture as Winter comes

I am from board games and Uno and movie nights

From pumpkins and potatoes

I am from same first names and last

And from loud voices who talk with their hands

From open windows and splashes from the swimming pool

From long games of tag and football in the late hours of the night

I am from La Virgen de Guadalupe

I am from my grandma who raised me

From pot pie and steak

From military moves

And from best friend goodbyes

Long homework nights and sibling fights

I am from these moments of stories, stretched far and wide, my bookshelf growing for

these memories of mine

 

 

I Am From Twin Tigers

By Lexi Fuertes

I am from the clap of toy horse hooves on tile

From two yellow guppies, each fleet as a wink

 

I am from dust motes that float under harsh light

Swim slow past the mighty sprawl of the window

 

I am from a nomad, set roots down unbidden

Its petals were yellow, an old smoker’s teeth

 

I am from twin tigers; one ice, one oasis

From strength and from valley, a storm-swollen stream

 

I am from yellow ground and from where mountains lie

From tangles untamable, taken in stride

 

I am from the loud sour of apples devoured

From mouse-talk and birdsong, a forest alive

 

I am from the old folks who crossed snarling sea

From rice they cooked yellow, from custard so sweet

 

From sand that is shifting and sliding and swirling

From sand that is sun-kissed and tickling feet

 

I am from all those moments smoke swallows the sky, but still sparks will not die

They’re too yellow

 

 

 

Here is a  another individual poem…our voices are infinite..

I am From

By: Jamie Koopman

 

I am from creaky wooden stairs

From Barney birthday blasts and building snowmen

I am from the loud come-in-anytime corner house

And squat ceilings and scrawny walls

I am from fresh apple orchards

Graceful, beautiful, and strong

I am from beanie babies and a succession of Easy Bake ovens

From K-man and Koop

I am from stubborn needy nonnas and New York sass

And from falling head first down a ski slope

From giggles and tears

I am from holiday horrors

I am from Aunt Beth, Noah, and Fisher

From latkes and gnocchi

From the Holocaust

And from weekend road trips or catching catfish in gutters

I am from those moments of falling down stairs, tripping over air, and ultimate games of hide-and-seek that have shaped me to be me.

 

 

A new one from Imani. What a family we all are together in this country.

Imani

I Am From Everywhere and Nowhere

 

I am from my many stuffed animals

From the GameCube to the Nintendo DSi

I am from this place, that place, here and there

I am from busy streets and sunny suburbs

I am from the wonderful wise Willow tree

whose branches birthed my immense imagination

I am from tap shoes and an electronic keyboard

From Marshall and Hall

I am from always absent and addiction

And from never speaking to each other

From pretending to like each other

I am from “the tongue is a creative force, so watch what you say”

I am from Granny and Aunt Evelyn

From sweet-smelling orange yams and super-salty pieces of ham

From coming to America

And from going to the Big Apple

Staying up past bedtime, playing Minecraft and drawing ponies

I am from these moments, although not all have been divine

That I am who I am today

 

 

Here is a collection of poems from one class in North Carolina…I kept them all together so you can feel a kind of rhythm of the class itself as they send their voices out into the world. What a gift. Included are two Where I Am Going poems too!

Poems from: Catherine, Victor, Eliana, K.C.,Colin, Sadhana, Eric, Varsha, Chase, Mary, Max, Riya!

I am From

Catherine

I am from the cheap, minty floss,

from latex gloves and Erlenmeyer flasks

I am from the echoes of my home, the hard wood, which I scratched up with a turnboard.

From the the dead pines lying on the small playground, the great resource to pass the time

I’m from chopsticks and tongs,

from they say they will but do not.

I am from the suburbs of the south,

from two different sides of the world.

I’m from two different ways of living,

and that is something that is unchangeable

 

 

I Am From

by Victor

I am from Hong Kong

I am from the hammer in Donkey Kong

I am from the ghosts in Pac-Man

I am from the Made In China symbol

I am from the burritos at Chipotle

I am from the chicken sandwiches at Popeyes

I am from the default skin in Fortnite

I am from Lifeline in Apex Legends

I am from Steve in Minecraft

I am from the chicken minis at Chick-Fil-A

I am from the amazing name Victor

I am from the shoes at the store

 

I Am From          by Eliana

I am from the world globe of all the places I have traveled.

I am from Tux is a puppy that acts like a monkey.

I am from a messy art piece,splashy cool water, and beautiful slow music.

I am from Vera’s nice voice, Saanvi’s smart thoughts, and Anya’s crazy ideas.

I am from Tux’s cute face, Tux’s crazy chicken rolls, and Tux’s loud squeak.

I am from Riya’s Harry Potter party.

I am from blue wet water and soothing great dance moves.

I am from green cooked cobra.

I am from bright sparkly saris.

I am from my childhood years pronouncing okra “cobra”.I am from the biggest sleepover watching movies.

I am from beautiful Diwali festivals.

 

I Am From

K.C.

I am from the splashing water at TAC

From the cool waters at the beach

I am from the kindness and laughter of my friends

From the busy shouting at the pool every day

I am from Monopoly that people always cheat in

From my habits of being competitive in sports

From the food and the long lines at Olive Garden

I am from the mythical demigods and gods in Percy Jackson

From the stories of the people that surround me everyday

I am from the moments that make me me

From the people that came and never left my side

 

I Am From

by Colin

I am from sharp yellow thingies called pencils

From chicken and Pokemon

I am from the nice, white, small house

I am from hickory wood, pretty yet poisonous

I am from Chinese festivals and saying bad phrases

I’m from Qianli and Xu

From “dog poop” and “shut up”

I’m from Durham and China and

Dragon fruit and bread

From the moon lady who floated to the moon

The weird place of Beijing

And the nutrition of things

 

Where I’m Going

Sadhana

I’m going to sunsets and sunrises reflecting off the deep blue ocean,

I’m going to a sea of good decisions and bad ones,

I’m going to burying my feet into the warm comforting sand,

I’m going to the ocean breeze putting my mind at ease,

I’m going to happiness coming in waves,

I’m going to long quiet walks on the beach,

I’m going to bare feet and salty hair,

I’m going to sand in my shoes and seashells in my pocket,

I’m going to having only sunshine on my mind,

I’m going to a bucket full of memories,

I’m going to palm trees and eighty degrees,

I’m going to high tides and good vibes,

I’m going to dream higher than the sky and deeper than the ocean

Wherever I’m going, I’ll leave a path of seashells behind me

 

I Am From

Eric

I am from my watch I wear every day.

From Nike and Under Armour.

I am from the garden in my backyard where my grandpa grows vegetables.

I am from the thorny rose plants at the front of our house where I pricked my finger on a thorn.

I’m from Chinese New Year and Ping-pong.

From Yong and Xiaolin.

I’m from the “Work hard” and the “Read books”.

From “Turn on the lights when you read!” and “Go To Bed!”

I’m from Apex and Anhui, warm white rice and chicken noodle soup.

From the house my mom lived in that didn’t have air conditioning or heating.

The bucket my dad almost drowned and died in.

In my living room on the shelf and in the photo album are pictures that remind me of all of the happy times in my life.

 

I Am From

Varsha Sriram

I am from Samsung and Hotstar

I am from the chipped white pillars and the one creak on a step

The coziness of the dim light, and the cold feet on hard floor.

I am from the roses, bright, red, light pink, and full of thorns

I’m from the lights of Diwali and having board game night

From Kavya and Amma

I’m from the Tamil(Indian language) lessons and yoga classes

I am from music get togethers

From just relax

I’m from Hinduism and Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva

From India and Bangalore

I am from puris and dosas (Indian food)

From the time we searched for a parking lot for hours and got lost

The times when my dad got lost in the world of singing

From family moments, and singing, dancing, and instrument playing

I’m from the display of my great grandma’s Indian dolls

I am from my fun birthday and Christmas with a bright star and a big tree

I am from my friends, family, and me

 

Where I’m From

By: Chase Thompson

I am from my bed

From Target and Amazon

I am from the grass from my backyard

Green, waving

I am as healthy as I can be

I am from the roots under the ground

Whose leaves left me

But stays strong

So sturdy like a stubborn knee

I am from Christmas

From dark brown eyes

From mother and father

I’m from smart to dumb

From good job! To work harder!

I’m from ice cream

The sweet and savory taste

From bursts of flavors

I’m from Virginia and South Carolina

I’m from games to school

From A’s to F’s

From the success to mistakes

From cities to towns

These moments have made up my life

And I will not regret them

 

I am from

Mary

I am from electronics,from Sketchers and Samsung too.

From the neighborhood of Cahaba Way of the kindness, and of kids, of the quiet.

I am from the beautiful rose bushes, the thorny but pretty flowers.

I’m from family time and the beach.

I’m from my mother, Tina and my father, Paul.

I am from the teamwork from my family.

I am from the mac and cheese I grew up on.

And Pennsylvania where my family sprouted.

From the things my grandmother used to tell me.

The patience my Aunt doesn’t have.

The necklace my friends gave me.

 

Where I’m From

By: Ipsi Vasipalli

I am from blankies,

For keeping me warm

(Bright, Disgusting,

It was a very vibrant pink)

I am from salad with Italian dressing

With a lot of spinach and celery, but no onions

I am from Sushi Boi,

The love of my life, whom I learned the real name of like a week ago

I am from Todoroki

My Husobando who belongs to me and only me

I am from Alan

You’re annoying, but my K-pop friend

I am from my crackhead behavior

I am from boba

My mom hated you, but you’re delicious

I am from Nimi,

I hate you

I am from Violet,

Thanks for introducing me to K-pop and BTS

I am from sadness

It feels great when I overcome you

I am from Music,

Something that I can always rely on

I am from Water Sheep

RIP, man

I am from Motherness,

For screaming at me to clean my room,

I am from Shane,

The six months is worth the wait,

I am from everyone,

You’ve somehow impacted me one way or another

 

I am from poem

by Max

I am from the cold winter nights snuggled with my dog,

From the movies and tv we would watch by the fire,

I am from the music that we would listen to on family trips, and the songs that I would spin out on the piano.

I am from the special food that our family would eat together,

The special vacations that we would go on together,

so memorable that I feel like I am still there.

I am from the holidays we would celebrate together,

and the food we would eat.

I am from home, where I will always feel safe, and warm

 

Where I’m Going

Riya

 

I am going to live next door to my best friend

I am going to Netflix and Keeper Of The Lost Cities

I am going to the granite counters and the long leather couches

I am going to sparkly teal glasses, an adorable pet dog named Sunshine, and a palatial mansion

I am going to a garden, huge with fountains and rose bushes with no thorns

I am going to Diwali and visiting my family in India

Going to Mom and Dad

I’m going to bad eyesight and being exceptionally smart

To the paparazzi and the cameras that will DEFINITELY be swarming around my house

Going to INDIA,

And all the fun celebrations we get to do there

Going to Mountain View, California

Going to dosa,

And chutney

I am Going to the long life that awaits ahead of me PATIENTLY(It has to be, growing up takes SOOO long)

The vast void of nothingness that no one knows anything about

I am Going to the whole big world that surrounds me

Going to the adventure that is waiting for me to come explore

 

 

 

Thank you, Leslie Serra for this new poem. It explores the complexity of our lives, our histories.

The Garden State

I am from The Garden State

And I am from the indignance I feel when people inevitably scoff at that descriptor.

As if even the concept an Arden oasis was incompatible with that place.

“Ha! Joisey?! What exit?”

 

I am from immigrant grandparents

Having little but the experience of their journeys and their Catholicism in common,

Otherwise clearly distinct.

Love of garlic, olive oil and tomatoes sparring with

Freckles, a passion for Irish whiskey and a good brawl.

 

I am from a generation I never accepted as my own.

My heart attached to the values, music and esthetics of the sixties.

My reality the disco, selfishness and cocaine of the seventies.

 

I am from a family fractured by disease, disability and dependency.

By abuse, not spoken of and by limitations exposed.

And still – there was love.

 

I am from a world of business.

Success measured in carefully calibrated numbers.

Goals, achieved or missed, quarter by quarter.

Recognition doled out subjectively

Gender always a potential liability.

 

I am from a motherhood of infinite delight.

The bliss of babies, the wondrousness of little girls.

The wicked pleasure now, of shared unseemly text messages.

 

And finally, I learn that I am from a place of strength.

I am the accumulation of experience, surety and self-awareness.

I am at peace.

Leslie Serra

 

 

Two more have arrived…and they are so welcome! Florence Keogh fits the idea of where we are from, even without the phrase…rather wonderful too.

 

Here is my “I am From” poem!

I am from old downtowns,
gentrified mills,
churches on every corner,
The happeningest place in the county.

I am from collard greens,
sweet potato pie,
macaroni and cheese,
Every Sunday is a holiday meal.

I am from Carowinds,
Myrtle Beach,
camping in the mountains,
A new adventure in each season.

I am from books,
just 10 per week,
spaceships and magicians,
Entire worlds explored deep into the night.

-Christy Byrd

 

 

If Life Went My Way…

If my life went my way, nothing would be the same. 

The sound of a morning alarm disrupting peaceful sleep would never ring out

First, schools wouldn’t exist. 

That’s right, no more math, no more stress. 

Even on Mondays, I would sleep as long as I want, like a bear in hibernation.

Sometimes til ten o’ clock!

After I’m finally up, I’ll ponder on downstairs. 

On goes the kettle, the water burbling and boiling to a hundred degrees. 

It announces its readiness with a distinctive click. 

Pouring into the cup with a satisfying sound. 

I prepare fruit salad, mixing in fat juicy strawberries, plump red grapes that look as though they will pop, 

And sweet green apple slices. 

 Flaky pastry and sweet strawberry with melt in my mouth as I eat the warm fresh made strawberry rolls and crunchy green apple for breakfast. 

If my life went my way , I’d write an intriguing novel in a single day, full of mystery. 

I’d be able to do whatever I want. 

I’d make a cake, only to eat a lot of the grainy brown sugar and butter with a splash of vanilla. 

I’d bake all day if I could, with some writing and reading thrown in somewhere. 

I’d stay up late and write every detail of the day in my journal, something nobody but me will ever see. Then read for an hour more. 

Go shopping and watch Netflix, 

Listen to music and successfully make french macarons, no crinkly tops or burnt cookies, perfectly crispy cookie, a fruity filling oozing out with the first bite. 

If my life went my way, life really would be great, but it’s unrealistic. Without burdens and tough decisions, annoying siblings, failed math tests, special days wouldn’t be so special. 

Plus, why not use your smarts to solve everyday problems, then continuing leading your life, focusing on the good things that happen every day. 

By Florence Keogh

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a reflective, lovely one today.

I Am From
by Jessica Riddell
I am from seeing many new places.
I am from meeting many new faces.
I am from waking at o-dark-thirty.
I am from a military culture.
I am from conquering adversities.
I am from pushing boundaries.
I am from first generation students.
I am from McNair Scholars.
I am from hard work and dedication.
I am from connecting and having fun.
I am from homecoming with students & alumni.
I am from great minds and many accomplishments.
I am from helping others.
I am from tradition & legacy.
I am from blue & white.
I am from an HBCU.

 

Here, all on its own, is a striking, moving poem by Tia Biggs. Thank you Tia for your powerful voice.

I  Am From

Tia Biggs

Where I’m from is a family 2 different homes

Where both are unstable

Where I’m from is a body i am ashamed of

Where i’m from is raising kids that were never mine

Where i’m from suicide has always been the option

Where mental illness has always been the common cold

Where I’m from is the truth about an illness is medication

Where I’m from is a family that isn’t a family

But a grandma that is a hero

Where i am is somewhere safe

Where i am free to be me

Where i am is learning to accept that my body isn’t gonna change

Where i am is having a life to myself raising me, focusing on me

Where I am suicide is not the only solution

Where I am mental illness doesn’t define me

And medication doesn’t fix me

 

Where i’m from i am my hero where i am is where i’m going.

 

 

Poems are coming in batches of beauty! Really. This is from a class of middle schoolers in Eliana’s class in North Carolina

I am from Samsung

From air max and Mongoose

I am from heavy metal to concrete

It’ll, glistening, coldness

I am from bike

whom need to be cleaned

I’m from debaters and readers

From Lucas and Andy

I’m from book worms and movie goers

From “Do your work” and “how was your day”

I’m from the Republic of Korea,

I’m from Seoul,

and pasta

I’m from the king, imperators, and generals

The shelves and boxes, home of the paper of memory

The group leader of top medical company, mom

We now live in wake county, top education county of NC, home

Of IT and the NASCAR racer

By CV from NC

 

Where I’m From

By: Ines Antoine

I am from dish soap,

From California afternoons and all purpose cleaner from Target

I am from the walk home from preschool

( Chilly, sunny I would stop at every flower.)

I am from the red rose, the common vine,

its roots lodged in the brick of my birthplace never let go, like me.

 

I’m from rice, beans, and fries

From Amada and François.

I’m from correct the teacher and whizzing chalk,

From “Mother like daughter and Father like son.”

I’m from think good thoughts, and pray on good days, no church on Sundays

But keep God deep inside.

 

I’m from the artists branch, Mom, Dad, Granma, Grandpa,

Pommes frites and platanos and the diacritic that fits itself on my name.

I’m from the dust that my great uncle kicked up

while riding all the way  around South America,

and the years my great grandmother still lives.

 

An artists’ case and a dancers’ shoe.

A golden cross linked with a glossy chain.

A window ajar so I may see the science in the world.

Wherever I go leave a trail of memories,

So everywhere I lived is still lively,

In my thoughts,

I am from my home.

 

 

I am from a melting pot. From iPhones and the dairy capital of the us. I am from travelers, multiple languages, countries, and diverse recipes. I am from Japanese Maple purple blossoms, ornate color. I’m from Christmas and scholars. From Jeevan and Sirisha. I’m from Microsoft and Ipad. From get up and stop watching TV. I’m from S.V Temple and god. I’m from India curry and chapati. From my dad rolling over my mom’s foot when he was backing up in a car. When my sister got lost in the airport while she was going to the bathroom. My office room is where all the history of our family is. Like my diverse things which were given.

By Akhil from NC

 

Where I am From

By: Jerry Xue

I am from chess pieces,

From Chessbase and the House of Staunton.

I am from any square of the chessboard,

Fortified, Strategic,

Clever as Korchnoi.

.

I am from Venus Flytraps,

Dangerous, yet truly remarkable.

I’m from wearing full red during the year of the Zodiac

and a good sense of humor,

From Tom and Jerry.

 

I’m from the laugh it ups and live it longs.

From talk shows to Fortnite.

I’m from an empty set,

Full of ideas and imagination.

 

I am from Charlottesville and the Han Empire.

From The Home of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe,

To Cao Cao, a warlord of the 3 Kingdoms

I am from General Cao Cao’s descendant Colonel Cao.

 

When I glance at the photos in the living room,

I have a warm feeling inside my heart.

I am from those photo memories,

maneuvered above the fireplace.

 

I am From

Rich Mudunuri

I am from Soccer Balls

From Adidas cleats and Nike Socks

I ‘m from the Conjoined Backyard

Hot and Humid

Listening to the Joy of Playing Kids

I am from Mint Leaves

Aromatic and Fresh

I am from Breakfast on Thursday Nights

And Block Parties Every School year

From Raju and Siri

I’m from Easy going and Creative

From “You got it” and “Hurry up!”

I am from fireworks and lighting Candles

I am from Indiana

Drunken Noodles and Ice Cream

From the story of my sister hyperextending her knee

The crying and painful look in her eyes

I am from those memories dribbling on the field

And into the Goal

 

I am from

Eric Chen

I am from noodles.

From Honda and Yamaha.

I am from the blanket of snow covering everything the eye could see.

(Bright, Cold,

It tasted like ice cream.)

I am from peaches,

Orange, and Red

I from eating noodles, and scholars.

From Cao, and Chen.

I am from the dust free floors, and

Eating healthy.

From “Read a book!”, and “Go outside!”

I’m from long nights,

And bright lights.

I’m from Ann Arbor, and China.

Noodles,

Dumplings.

From the time my dad jumped off a garbage truck.

The hospital trips, that went overnight.

The garage

Pictures composed into albums, dusty but remembered.

 

Where I’m From

Elizabeth X

 

I am from black and white keys.

From Dawn and Kawai.

I am from the fireflies hovering over the weed covered lawn.

(Golden, blinking, sparkled like flecks of sun.)

I am from the dandelions growing in the backyard,

The fig tree whose fruit I eat in the summer.

I’m from movie nights and “common sense”.

From Ying and Jiele.

I’m from the hard-working and

pointless arguing.

From “how was school?” and “not an excuse.”

I’m from church

where I sang 2 solos in choir.

I’m from the capital of the airplane

And Ni zan of the yuan dynasty.

Egg pancakes and warm milk for breakfast

From the scholarship my dad got to go to America.

The stitches my brother had gotten falling off the stairs.

On a shelf a book of baby pictures.

Paintings my great grandfather painted once.

Elizabeth X

 

Where I’m from

By Ian Ware

I am from coins

From Razor and Mongoose

I am from the rocks next to the tree

Shining gold, chipped away

Smooth but hard

I am from maple trees

With ants marching up the bark

From Lewis and Myra

I’m from the quiet down and come inside

From 500 years from now who’ll know the difference

And would he like it?

I’m from Firestar,

Saved his clan

I’m from the U.S.A

Pizza and chicken

From the flying planes

The deep waters through high sky’s

Coins in boxes, showing famous ones

U.S mint

 

I am From

Adrien Antoine

I from screens

From nintendo and lego

I am from the mountain pass small and twisted

So hard to cross hercules would have trouble.

I am from the twisted oak.

Its trunk as twisted as my life

I am from carrots and milk for Santa

And

Donating to CHERiTY

From amada and francois

I am from the swimming and lacrosse

From mother always knows best

And

You know what i mean

From christians yet i’m not

I’m from california just my family

Lentils and pasta

From when my dad tried to jump over the brick wall

And

Protect your stuff

I am from moments saved on a

Harddrive saved before my eyes

treasured forever

Adrien Antoine

 

 

 

Here is a group of fine poems received over the weekend: from Joyce Li, Julie Ye, E.P., O.W and Divyansh:

Where I’m From Poem

By: Joyce Li

 

I am from the cats that live in the forest in Warriors

From the crickets in my backyard and the geese in my neighborhood pond

I am from warm scent of buns and dumplings on the  dinner table ready to be eaten

From the busy classes at Campanaria

I am from the maple tree in my front yard

From all the friends that I see who make me happy

I am from Mancala where it’s always unpredictable

From the family that cares for me every second of my life

 

Where I am From

E.P

I am from inflatable yoga balls

From Ticonderoga and Under Armour

I am from dozens of marigolds

Bright, glossy, the color of a yellow school bus.

I am from the brick steps that lead up to the porch

Tall, rusty filled with dozens of ants

I am from the blue and green courts, filled with intersecting lines

From the tennis ball poster perched awkwardly on my door

I am from spicy taco shells

From four square and freeze tag

I am from “Hurry up!” and “It’s a big a deal you know!”

I am from the large squeaky doors, that always took a while to shut

From oversized T-shirts and comfy sneakers

And from the awkward karaoke I sang in the shower,

Which I thought know one could hear.

 

The I Am Poem

Divyansh C.

 

I am from the pencil lead & the leftover eraser dust.

From the Cheerios and the Newest Apple Phones.

I am from the papers downstairs: written on and valued, usually scattered on my desk.

I am from the water that is fluid and fresh.

I’m from Diwali, the festival of lights and celebration, the adventurous firecrackers we burst I always remember.

From my beloved mom (Vinita) & my amazing dad (Jagat).

I’m from the Math & the Art.

From the saying “Don’t get too attached to anything, but your soul, because that is the only thing that will carry on with you.”

I’m from India’s Gulab Jamun and Pani Puri.

From the hair of my dad, thick and black.

The hands of my mom all colorful after making a painting.

Downstairs in the basement, there was a folder packed with my family river rafting and more.

Forgotten until needed.

 

 

I Am From

By Julie Ye

I am from “No passion, no life,”

From, “What really is your dream?”

I am from slipping off a rock and falling into Lake Eno,

And the smoke-filled streets of Putuo, Shanghai.

From falling asleep to 11-inch music posters, which I long to own,

The loud, yet satisfying, loud Sunday family dinners,

And the money-filled red pockets of Lunar New Year.

Yet along with fulfilling my dreams of piano and swimming,

I am also from self-doubt and pretending to be okay.

From an endless amount of classes,

And long nights of, “Will I be able to make it?”

“Will I ever be good enough?”

And, “What will happen if I don’t?”

I am from over sized T-shirts, and conservative leggings,

But most importantly, from the essence of friends, family, and hope.

 

I Am From        by Eliana

I am from the world globe of all the places I have traveled.

I am from Tux is a puppy that acts like a monkey.

I am from a messy art piece,splashy cool water, and beautiful slow music.

I am from Vera’s nice voice, Saanvi’s smart thoughts, and Anya’s crazy ideas.

I am from Tux’s cute face, Tux’s crazy chicken rolls, and Tux’s loud squeak.

I am from Riya’s Harry Potter party.

I am from blue wet water and soothing great dance moves.

I am from green cooked cobra.

I am from bright sparkly saris.

I am from my childhood years pronouncing okra “cobra”.

 

 

 

Here is one that just came in…and it is a beauty…

Where I’m From By Ann McClain Terrell

March 2018

I am from books and from Amazing Grace and Burley tobacco.

I am from hand-sewn quilts and impeccably dressed women.

I am from the Route 1 farm in Allensville and the Poplar Street homestead in Elkton.

I am from the front yard peonies, backyard garden and stable and the tobacco fields and chicken coops.

I am from Grace and hard work.

I am from Pat and Mayme, and Wilma and Annie, the Dickersons and the Bells.

I am from the “all talk at the same time” and the contemplative.

From “go outside and play” and the “be still and listen.”

I am from Phillips Chapel CME and the children’s choir and “this little light of mine.”

I am from damson plum preserves, chess pie, green tomato catsup, homemade ice cream and freshly brewed iced tea with every dinner.

I am from George Dickerson who changed his name after freedom and

I am from Jeremiah McClain’s Trail of Tears stop.

I am from Todd County, Kentucky.

I am from the Bamileke people of Cameroon, West Africa and the enslaved woman whose name I do not know

 

 

 

Individual poems are coming in…here are some fine ones…

 

Where i’m from

Hugo Feras

I am from the screens

From the tvs and the monitors

From my comfortable chair

From the noises going through my ears

 

I am from one screen to another

From the epic gamers and the screens

I from the impatient people and the angry people

I am from the do your homework people

 

I am from the lack of screen time

I am from india and the watermelons

From the people that didn’t have technology and from where  the lands are hot

From the screens that I play on all day

 

 

Aiden Adkins

 

I Am From …. (this stuff)

I am from the paint that never dries on our front porch wall,

From crepe myrtles, which are literally everywhere, along with Legos,

I am from the large bricks that cover the front of our house,

The stories that I wrote and Calvin and Hobbes,

From Harry Potter,

From the yellow blossoms that never grew until we moved the sandbox,

I am from the sky, which is blue in case you didn’t know,

From the board game closet that’s always overflowing,

I am from Christmas and birthdays,

From my mother and father, from my younger sister,

From “mm hm” and “Hm mm”

From the hospital (where most people are born)

From everything i just said

______________________________

💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩

 

 

From Let me Give you a Suggestion group

 I am From

O.W.

I am from the creaky dresser drawer that never fit right

From hair goop and basketball shorts

I am from clover and clay

Comforting beneath my bare feet

From the turkey at Thanksgiving

And cookies at Christmas

I am from Great Grandpa Jerry

Who died at 98

And Old Papa Mike

Whose napping superb

I am from the booming of thunder and the 

Flickering of lightning

From sunshine and pooltime 

And gorgeous moonlighting

I am from the excitement 

That comes with a long forest run 

From shade and shadow 

In which I hid from many a-wandering sorrow

 

 

 

 

Where I am from 

by Kai

 

I am from pine trees that are so very tall

 

From youtube and video games

 

I am from the L-shaped house with greenish siding

Linoleum floors with hardwoods underneath

Huge backyard and high-voltage powerlines

 

I am from celebrating the winter solstice

And Thanksgiving at my grandparents’

From Mom and Dad and Niko, Nana and Grandpa

 

I’m from homeschooling

From North Carolina, Asia, and Europe,

Tacos filled with ground turkey and guacamole

 

From my Big Daddy’s house where he collected toys that I could not play with

The trip to Oregon and up to Washington

 

The digital files on the computer that hold all of our memories.

 

 

 

My Life

 

My house is a brick box

Surrounded by trees, bushes, and flowers

Basically a forest

 

Warm fire on the holidays

Crackling

Logs turning to ash slowly

 

A loving dog, a bloodhound

Sophie was super sweet

Lying beside me when I was sick

 

The winter solstice

Gathering family

Turning pages of the solstice story

 

-Béla

 

 

Where I Am From

By Saha Stars Sisters Gaming

I am from my siblings,

my mom, and my dad.

I am from my stuffed animals,

The ones I have amassed among the years.

 

I am from trees,

The chocolate tree that fell.

I am from a blueberry bush,

The berries we never ate.

 

I am from road trips,

To Boston and back.

I am from my dad’s cooking,

Turkey -beef tacos and fish.

 

I am from California

Until we moved when I was 3.

I from the bright red back porch,

Where we could climb under,

until we got scared of snakes.

 

I am my bright red hair,

That skipped a generation.

I am my name,

After relatives that died long ago.

 

I am from the jungle,

A short patch of trees and bushes in the front yard.

I am from Judaism,

From a Sunday school I have just begun.

 

I am from a house of bricks,

Tennis balls banging on it day and night.

I am from video games,

A different virtual world.

 

I am from books,

Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, graphic novels.

I am from tv shows,

Preschool shows I had to watch.

 

I am from my daydreams,

Fairies, magic and mermaids.

I am from art,

Doodles said to help me concentrate.

 

I am from homeschooling,

Co-ops that didn’t work out.

I am from my friends,

Here and far.

 

I am from my family,

My mom and dad,

my sisters and brother.

This is where I am from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are poems from a class in Elmhurst Illinois…Take the time…to read each one..Wonderful collection.

Jennifer Sellers Class

Elmhurst Illinois

 

 

I am from…

By Abby Evans

I am from the chocolate jar that sits on the counter always empty I’m from phones and television
I am from a cozy bed where I spend most of my time
I am from the sweet scent of flowers and candles

I am from adventurous camping trips
Where we explore secret worlds
The long winding paths that lead to nothing but imagination I remember as if they were my own.

I’m from trips to wWisconsin and lots of cribbage games
From Andria​ ​and Ryan
I’m from keeping the lights on and never putting our shoes away And from always finding the creative way out.

I’m from “sStop it!” and “It’s okay”
and “Akalakachi”
I’m from breakfast in bed on birthdays
I’m from Chicago, Illinois​​and Germany
Broccoli casseroles and fresh green beans
I am from when we go on bear hunts
We would walk through the woods unarmed, singing Silly songs we made up
We’re from puppies not kitties
For my family is allergic
I am from home sweet home.

I am from…

By: Sarah Anstiss

I am from books, from TV and Whole Foods,
I am from the coziness of my room,
With beautiful teal walls and my comfy bed and reading corner.
I am from singing, dancing, and love.
The happiness that spreads.
My grandpa who always loved and did anything for me, I remember Just how much he had cared for me.

I’m from half birthdays and family Thanksgivings, From Jennifer and Brian
I’m from traveling and doing things together,
And from hanging out with other family members.

I’m from “Take your stuff upstairs”and “Stunata”
and “Star-Spangled Banner”, which makes everyone happy
I’m from Elmhurst, Illinois, and Italy and Sicily
From tacos and hamburgers.
From the day I met Eliza,
She was so cute and tiny!
My grandpa’s old box of coins and money from far away and long ago, That has duct tape all over the bottom.
That means so much more to me than to anyone.

I am from…

By Thomas Buhrfiend

I am from cat food and toasters.
From computers and goggles.
I am from the large three-story brick house,
which smells like paint when you walk inside.
I am from Iowa farmland.
The wind in my face while I drive the John deere ATVs One’s cargo bed is stained with pig blood. I remember it as if they were my own.

I’m from Easter egg hunts at Grams house and Thanksgiving dinner with everyone
at Grandma’s house.

From Tricia and Dan.
I’m from church on Sunday and
going out to eat on Friday evenings.
I’m from “Grandma was slow but she was old” and
“God helps those who helps themselves”
And “I’ll be there.”
I’m from the lake house on the fourth of July.
I’m from Chicago IL and Germany.
pesto and salmon.
From Kelly and the bathtub
when the ceiling fell down.
Great grandpas silver letter opener which sits in my room untouched, unused.
This is where I’m from, always.

I am from…

By Max Bui

I am from microwaves
From tissue boxes and soy sauce
I am from the kitchen of tasty foods And the smell of my father’s cooking.
I am from the Packers vs Bears games The rivalry between the family
Aaron Rodgers getting hurt I remember As if it was yesterday.

I’m from going out for sushi on Christmas Eve and birthday dinners, From Jodi and Dung,
I’m from singing in the shower and playing video games
And from refusing to go on a run with dad.

I’m from “put it in the bank” and “Throw it in the laundry” And ​Back in Black​by ACDC.
I’m from praying before bed and church on Sunday
I’m from Illinois, Vietnam, and Iowa

Short ribs and fried rice
From an ER trip to the hospital
After My brother’s allergy attack
And Framed photos of our families past Home is family and family is everything.

I am from…

By Deaghan Connell

I am from the woodland stuffed animals From Ipads and television,
I am from the loud and messy household And the lazy weekends spent in bed,
I am from the wild garden
The bees and butterflies humming Tangled but beautiful vines​ ​I remember As if they were my own.

I’m from tasty Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, and Feast on Thanksgiving, From Shiloh and fluffy Mechou,
I’m from annoying arguments​​and dirt-covered hands,
And from my mom and dad’s hugs and kisses.

I’m from “This house is a pigsty!” and “Be quiet, I’m trying to sleep!” And “If it hits you in the hands you should catch it.”
I’m from the week-long summer vacation,
I’m from New Jersey​ ​and the University of Cincinnati,

Fancy tomato chicken and greasy Friday night pizza,
When my brother crashed his bike into a large metal pole
It hit him in the forehead, which left a great big bump,
From nature we explore,
To the musical skill that runs in the family,
Where I am from is my family’s place, and that’s all that matters to me.

I am from…

By Anders Dochoff

I am from patterns on paper towels,
from granola bars and dog food.
I am from the trampoline with a hole in the net and the Golden Doodle hair on the couch.
I am from family dinners
the placemats, napkins
and the instant pot
I remember.

I’m from bright blue eyes and broad shoulders, from Karin Forsberg and Erick Dochoff,
being messy and peeing on the toilet seat
and from cracking my knuckles.

I’m from “Stop doing that” and “Swedish steel” I’m from Thanksgiving dinners,
I’m from Elmhurst and Sweden.
Lobster mashed potatoes and stuffing muffins. From Cole hitting Uncle Brad with a golf club and how he had to get stitches.

The smooth white carving on a walrus tusk from Alaska, that Grandpa brought back from WWII.
I am from these things that make me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.

I am from…

By Micah Jones

I am from comfy cushions,
From television, cooking pots and pencils.
I am from the a neat safe home
that always smells like Clorox.
I am from comedy movies,
The warm couch and tasty cheese balls,
The funny quotes from ​Christmas Vacation​ I remember As if they were my own.

I’m from a hardworking family and messy handwriting. From Nate and Rebecca.
I’m from a caring family and noise,
and from a crowded house.

I’m from my parents reminding me that family is everything and my parents saying that school is number one,
and from the home of the brave.
I’m from going to Iowa every year,

I’m from Brazil and Illinois.
Grilled steak and homemade chicken noodle soup, From that time we named our family Griswolds Because we are like them,
I am from stacks of photo albums
that are funny and some are serious,
But they all have a serious meaning.

I am from…

By: Catherine Messersmith

I am from Alexa,
from piles of books and animal shows. I am from the living room and kitchen where I come alive every morning.

I am from the treehouse in the backyard, the yam orange paint peeling off.
The swings I remember
As if they were my best friends.

I’m from the seven fish dinner and from going to Mary Queen of Heaven Church. From Jessica Testani and Mike Messersmith
I’m from learning math and helping make dinner,
and from playing sports.

I’m from be quieter and clean your room.
I’m from caroling at Christmas and witnessing fireworks. I’m from Elmhurst Illinois.
I’m from pasta and barbeque,
from traveling to different places,
and seeing unique sites
From sand from beaches.
and posters from places far and near.
I am from those moments that I hold dearly.

I am from…

By Joshua Redick

I am from knives, forks, and spoons. From lawn mowers and hoses.
I am from the neat freaks.
The cottage on the cul de sac

that smells like dish soap.
I am from kindness,
The trait that rarely goes away,
But when it does go away, I remember the trait as if it were part of me.

I’m from the German market and Easter egg hunts. From Jodi and Jeff Redick.
I’m from stories of older times, and souvenirs,
and from hard work.

I’m from ̈Shut the door ̈, and ̈Be quiet ̈ And “Boys don’t Cry”.
I’m from Elmhurst, Illinois and Hungary. Steak and mashed potatoes.

From When I broke my arm
Playing in the snow.
I am from the younger years of my life
That flashed before my eyes,
But I shall remember all of these memories in my heart.

I am from…

By Ryan Schwager

I am from family time
From baby toys and loads of books.
I am from the large butter-yellow house, warm and welcoming.
I am from Luke and Gunnar
The laughable happy days
The days when they were little I remember As if they were my own.

I’m from grandma’s house on Christmas and bright blue eyes. (Except for my dad) From Jack and Jaime Schwager
I’m from my messy rooms and that I’m nearly always late
and from frequent walks at night.

I’m from “I’m gonna get that baby” and “stop fighting!” And “Satellite” by Dave Matthews Band.
I’m from Hilton Head
I’m from the USA and Germany

I am from salmon and white rice
From when I raced down the stairs with my mom In the big Hilton Head beach house
The family portrait on the fireplace,
Taken after we had my baby brother
These memories I cherish in my heart.

 

 

 

Fall is here!  Wonderful new poems coming each day. Here are some fine ones this week.

! Am From

 

Hugo Ferras

 

I am Hugo Ferras

I am from USA

I am from playing video games

I am from my family

I am from good at behaving

I am from good at helping

I am from good at drawing

I am from good at being a big brother

I am from good at art

I am good at other stuff to help my family

 

 

 

 

I am From
By Jeran Vickers

I am From

By Jeran Vickers

 

I am from the trumpets that sound

has a beautiful straight voice.

 

I am from a family that would care for me helps

my loneliness as it fades.

 

I am from both sides of the same coin.

I am from a family of hope.

 

I am from a house of hope.

I am from a land of curiosity.

 

I am from a land of gamers. =^w^=

 

From a family that cares for you

That brings hope from within.

 

Who I am

 

By Micha

 

I am made from an assortment of places, things, and people which makes me who I am.

 

I am from Nigeria and the Netherlands which I feel I am from and makes me who I am.

 

I do not have a religion but I respect and value other people’s opinions which makes me who I am.

 

Music makes me feel alive and energetic which makes me who I am.

 

Sports make me feel happy and they put me in a good mood which makes me who I am.

 

I always celebrate Christmas with my family which makes me who I am.

 

I solve problems differently to other people and in my own way which makes me who I am.

 

I value happiness with my friends and family which makes me who I am.

 

All these things make meWHO I AM.

 

 

 

I AM

By:Allyson M

I live on a bumpy road.

I can see kids walk to school or go to the park.

Shoprite nearby.

I am from Clifton,NJ.

 

I am on Route 46.

You can see a drive thru with a menu.

The crunchy taste of Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos.

The flavor of a Baja Blast Freezy.

I love Taco Bell!

 

You can see kids playing.

The smell of nature.

The smell of food nearby.

The sound of cars.

The Park.

 

You can see the person that makes me happy.

She’s like chocolate, so sweet.

She’s a bear, a care bear.

She is my best friend, Juliana!

 

You say I love you to people.

I say words that mean I will love and trust you forever.

The words involve my favorite color.

I say, I Purple You!

 

The sound of Kpop is great.

The music artist are like life savers.

They are encouraging, helpful, caring, and much more.

Their music has a lot of meanings.

I love BTS!

 

You see people changing for others.

People not accepting others for who they are.

Be and love who you are.

My favorite quote,”You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Just be you and the right people will love you for it.”

 

I Am From

Tom Sloper

I’m from 78s, 45s, transistor radios, rabbit-ears atop the TV.

I’m from Roy Rogers, Spin & Marty, Davy Crockett.

I’m from folk music, the Smothers Brothers, the Beatles.

 

I’m from snowcone winters,

steambroiled summers,

flibbertigibbit birdsong springs,

and crystal-moon earmuff-brisk crunchy-leaf autumns

(not in that order).

Lake Effect, yo.

 

I’m from family meals of fish sticks. Goulash. Pizza made from a kit.

I’m from board games and card games at that same table.

I’m from summers on the farm: tractor exhaust, black raspberries, and rich creamy Jersey milk.

 

 

Where I’m FromBy Cooper Henry

 

I am from playgrounds

From wood mulch and hard pebbles

I am from the blue painted walls and wood floors

(Cold, slippery,

Deafening silence.)

I am from tall pines

Creaking as the wind blows by

Tipped by powerful gusts

I am from card games at family gatherings and competitive spirits

From Joseph and Charly

I’m from the stubbornness and the very opinionated

From “Great job!” and “Unacceptable”

I’m from no church and staying in class during church school

I’m from canned peaches and BBQ chicken

From the many camping trips I’ve been on with my Father

The fishing trips with my Uncle

The coffee table that opens

To reveal the many memories

Of my past

 

Ramen

 

I am from Raim and Basem.

From the soft white bed at home.

I am from the dark and loud.

I am from Dominos cheese pizza

The workers

Whos patience was as long as a hallway I remember

As if they knew me

 

I am from Clifton High School.

From the accepting and fun.

I’m from the empty and shallow hallways after school.

From the stairs up and down.

I’m form Billie Eilish who strengthened my soul

From hip-hop and rap

 

I’m from PewDiePie on YouTube and video games on the Xbox1,

Smoothies and fresh cut watermelon

From the 9 year old army who fought and keep fighting

The useless drama making others toxic.

Under my bed was a notebook

The notebook used to draw during the gloomy nights,

Telling me to keep going

A smile before hiding under my soft and purple blanket

To be thankful I am able to stay warm.

 

I am from these everyday moments-

Support everywhere I go-

Life that is so much more than this.

 

 

 

 

My Poem

Aryanna Pena

I am from plantains and fried salami.
From my striped black and white Victoria’s Secret inspired room. I am from my small white vanity
with three mirrors that I get ready at every morning.

I am from the two swirly trees that are in front of my house where I’ve been living for 14 years.
I am from my backyard and the flowers, a bench swing, beautiful garden, hammock and lights. I’m from volleyball and watching movies at home while lighting fall candles in my room.

From my heart necklace that means the world to me and that I hardly take off. I am from the mall and constantly looking at clothes.
I am from having my dad’s face and my mom’s personality.
From my curly dark hair I get from my dad.

I am from Ally, my best friend.
From our countless times laughing and our constant smiling.
From our sleepovers that never get slept at and our favorite songs we randomly sing at the same time.
I am from all the memories we had shared and more to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one that captures so much in a subtle, moving way.

I am From

Chris Lawrence

 

I am from country roads surrounded by corn tall as oak trees.

I am from breakfast for dinner.

I am from don’t talk about what happened last night, especially at school.

I am from secrets.

I am from don’t cry or smile.

I am from loud music and the sound of billiards mixed with mindless banter.

I am from out of sight out of mind.

I am from go play.

I am from the woods with trails made by Thomas and I, where wonder is plentiful with an abundance of mystery.

I am from a normal family according to family photos.

I am from do as I say not as I do.

-CL

 

 

 

Welcome to fall…here is a new one !

Where I’m from: Cheyenne Salley

I’m from first born, young love, careful or you’ll fall

Small town, bike rides, backyards playing ball

I’m from small wallets, big hearts, believing you can do it

High school Diplomas, minimum wage to a Teaching Certificate

I’m from dinner at the table, home-made ice cream, watermelon outside

Church pews, Amazing Grace, repentant tears cried

Strong faith, family ties, “in the sweet by and by”

I’m from high school sweet hearts, 20 years, three dirty boys’ smiles

Rough and tough cowboys, big semi-trucks, dirty laundry piles

I’m from guitar strings, piano keys, Hallelujah to the King

Patchwork  quilts of memories, lives torn and tattered

fervent hope and stories to tell about the things that matter

 

 

Here is a brave, beautiful poem by Sonja Vogt.

I am from a backyard swimming pool
From Easter dresses sewn with care and stockings hung each Christmas
I am from a big house
And stairs to slide down on my butt
I am from a huge cottonwood tree crawling with black and white cottonwood beetles
Whose leaves sparkle, dance and wave hello in the Kansas wind
I am from books and crayons
From Arlene and Red
I am from secrets and shame
And from a tradition of incest
From the pretense of a happy and healthy family
I am from The Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule
I am from Edna and Harold
From roast dinners on Sunday after church and family trips for ice cream
From my father’s boyhood pain and confusion
And from a long line of molestation and abuse
I didn’t know who to tell or how to make him stop
I am from those moments of diving deep to get away – but having to resurface to face the truth
And learn to be whole so I can swim in peace

 

 

Here is a fine prose poem version…!

WHERE I’M FROM

 

I’m from dinner at 5 and leave nothing on your plate, from saying grace fast so you get more mashed potatoes, from Cheez Whiz and S&H Green Stamps. I’m from parents slow dancing in the kitchen to the radio, baby formula and a bottle of Scotch on the counter. I’m from black and white, white and red, Dred Scott and Scott Joplin, Mandan and Osage, German and Irish, from southside Dutch and soft pretzels sold on every corner, from Friday fish fries during Lent and new shoes for Easter. I’m from Stand up straight and Make us proud, from What were you thinking and He’s from where? From a crisp $2 bill for driving more than 30 miles to the family reunion, from softball games and weepy tenors, from soda fountains and whisk brooms and posies for the dead at Jefferson Barracks on Memorial Day.

Holly Krummenacher Iglesias

born in St. Louis, now live in Miami, Florida

 

Wander through this gorgeous poem. Take your time. It is summer. You deserve it.

I Am From

Laura Ortiz

I am from the segregated streets of old downtown, before the yuppies were invited and gentrified 4th ward.

I am from poverty-stricken immigrant families that came to Houston following their heart, finding themselves in a milk crate furnished upstairs apartment.

I am from bare feet and nappy hair, hand me downs and lay aways, brown sacks of food from the white people in the big trucks sticking out but doing good.

I am from the neighborhoods that were up to no good, the crack house with many residents yet no resident at all, and the hidden swing in the middle of a jungle path between two blocks.

I am from displacement, you have a month to move, left everything behind without being given a choice, changing the course of my life, for the better or worse, who knows.

I am from teachers pet to rebellious black sheep, could it have been the move, or missing what I knew as life, or simply my age?

I am from a tight knit family on the outside, but an isolated clan on the inside, at least that’s how it was in the beginning; now, its tight knit on the inside, and isolated on the out.

I am from pews in my living room, because God is who we are in this house, it even shows in our living room, don’t ask for a tour, you might find yourself buying religious artifacts.

I am from natural intelligence wasted for years, learning was never a habit, until now, it’s my biggest habit and a great enjoyment, how it happened, no one knows.

I am from pets that have left our world too soon, I still feel the whipping wag of her tail on my leg, I still see the cross eyed stare when you wanted to come inside, I still hear my dad yelling at you to come back home and your claws hitting the pavement slowing down as you near him and get back inside.

I am from God, always chasing me, the apple of his eye, never understanding the end game, but letting him act and do as he sees fit, hasn’t disappointed yet, and I have no doubt that he ever will.

I am from materialistic things, a hoarder at times, having too much for no reason, yet I’m convinced I need it because there is a use for everything, yes I used to save everything to recycle and reuse, now I’m just wasteful and spend to have, poverty mindset still rooted deeply I guess.

I am from go-getting, time waits for no man, go big or go home, if I don’t do it now, it’ll never get done, might as well get started, how did I come so far, by going to get it and getting’ it done.

I am from minority, first generation Mexican American, uneducated parents according to society, low middle class, brown, short, Sam Houston graduate, although being able to keep my language came to my advantage, because it used to be disliked, now it’s sought after.

I am from teaching, because following Aurora’s degree plan was my destiny and life calling, my students have been handpicked by God, have made a difference in my life and have taught me so much, especially patience and love for children in their innocence and malice.

I am from quality time, family, friends and community make me who I am; tolerating everything to sleeping during catequesis as the word of God dripped into me subconsciously to 18 years later still somewhat the same person, but totally different at the same time.

I am from talents, my mind can never decide what it wants to learn, instruments, crafts, croqueting, creating, not cooking, organizing, planning, teaching, communicating, impulsive shopping, flower arranging, just musically inclined with a squawking wannabe voice.

I am from tough nails, the metal not the paper thin ones on the edge of my fingertips, I don’t dish what I can’t handle, I am told I dish too much sometimes, I shouldn’t be proud to be stronger than most guys, yeah moving a suburban on neutral isn’t a big deal for me, carrying lumber with my dad and brother while girly shellacs stands and watches close by, mounting heavy things on my left shoulder cuz that’s how dad does it, I could maybe even haul you in an emergency.

I am from growth, immaturity is a cozy place to be in, but I have to realize that I’ve outgrown the places and spaces, maturity rings without missing a beat, asking to come out to play, more like pray, take it day by day, and stay…still because I need to learn from my mistakes to keep growing and just grow.

I am from courage, because I’ve learned that I am and have always been a risk-taker on the outside but chicken skin on the inside, guess my arrogance helped break the shell and be willing to lose and risk anything and everything, although somehow it’s never shot me in the foot, on the contrary, it’s given me more courage.

 

 

 

 

A beautiful spring morphing into summer poem by Lauren Yeobin Park to get us all thinking about families, images, our lives.

I Am From…

By Lauren Yeobin Park

I am from fairytale books

From piano keys and metal fences

I am from the dusty shelves in the local library

(Mysterious, built by gnomes perhaps)

I am from buttercups behind the school

Whose abandoned swings showed no sign of welcome

I am from my Asian mother

From brown hair and black eyes

I am from Aretha Franklin

And the way she spoke of the world through her music

I am born out of religion

Though people say faith lasts longer

(Faith in the wise, faith in those older)

From ‘never give up’ and ‘stand tall’

From words that inspired us to be the best

I am from chopsticks and hanboks

Sewed to excellence

I am from Polaroid pictures hidden under bed covers

From arrays of colored pencils

Each a token of diversity

 

 

And now…heading toward summer…here is a beauty…! Thanks Robert Payne…

Where I’m From

Robert Payne

I’m from Sunday mornin

Sunday school

Prayer meetin

Bible study

Youth group and

Drama troupe

 

Crawdads in creek beds

Click’s General Store and the

Chat n Chew where

Liars weave lore

 

The population sign reads 353

That’s cats, dogs, my parents

And me

 

We had backyard bar-b-ques

Front porches and sweet tea

Cheeseburgers and fried taters

Apples from the tree

 

I pretend my bike’s a motorcycle

Ride from dawn to dusk

Or sit around at a friend’s house

And watch the chicken coup rust

 

I’d have pajama parties with

my best friend Brad

Bowls of ice cream with

All the toppings we had

 

They say home is where the heart is

But how can that be true

When part of me is still back there

But this feels like home too

 

 

 

This is a lovely, May, welcoming poem by Zoe Macmillan! Thank you, Zoe!

 

Where I’m From

By Zoe Macmillan

 

I’m from “better safe than sorry”

And from fresh baked pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving

The smell of spices and butter float up to my nose,

my mouth waters

I’m from JoAnne with an east coast accent who always keeps our Jewish traditions alive

from Stuart or “mister fix it” with a wrench in hand, off to the garage to work on some long forgotten car

I’m from trips to Fort Flagler in a bright blue van

Strolling to the camp store in the morning for a steaming mug of vanilla milk

I’m from the graduation dress in my closet made by my nana and me

I’m from overflowing bookshelves

all the books already read

And from family dinner on Friday night, grandpa talking about politics,

as usual

I’m from watching Marvel movies, wrapped in a blanket on the living room couch

I’m from Green lake on a hot summer’s day, the breeze in my hair

I’m from a caring community and a family who loves me

That’s where I’m from

 

 

 

Another new one…Welcome poetry..it keeps us sane..

WHERE I’M FROM by Kiril Kundurazieff
I am from a St. Patrick’s Day Card bought a couple of weeks early, from Specialized, and pedaling.

I am from the stairs up to the 2nd floor (smelling of my Mothers’ perfume, and my Fathers’ hard day working outdoors).

I am from the roses, the ivy I remember surrounding my 3rd home, and allowing me to feel secluded in an open space.

I am from immigration, and humor, from the psychological traits of Gorge Kundurdziev and Mary Alice Wells, and from twice married John Hesson.

I am from baldness in later life, and the travelers.

From the story my Father shared of his exploits in World War 2 (1 version my Mother told me, and 1 that I later learned Dad told to the IRO), and a lemon pie.

I am from Greek Orthodox, and lapsed Catholic. From experiences with organized religion that make me wonder why some people don’t believe in scientific fact.

I’m from the Pomona Valley, Kentucky, and Macedonia, baklava and homemade gravy.

From the mysterious evening, roadside, death of William Jennings Wells near Rudy’s Farm in Owensboro, and the 1 or, maybe 2, of 5 men married by Mary Hesson, and the advice Grandma Iva gave about sex (“don’t you let him ride you like a horse! Once is enough for any man!”).

I am from envelopes full of 87 years of family photos, from birth, marriage, and death certificates, and Immigration Files, a priceless record stored in a box in my studio apartment.

My new blog post = Poetry a Day Challenge 11: Where I’m From 2019 

Sincerely yours…

Kiril Kundurazieff

 

 

 

April keeps rolling along..Poetry month rocks1

Where I’m From

I am from the curio cabinet in the corner,

         From pink ribbons and purple everything else.

I am from the barn way off the road,

         With the gravel driveway.

I am from barbequed racoon.

From promises of girls’ trips with my mom,

When I turn thirteen.

 

I am from letting go of balloons on mom’s birthday,

From Tony and Shannon Holt.       

I am from using a closet full of my mom’s old clothes,

         From grandma and mom being in sync.

I am from forced family fun and

         Sit down and shut up.

 

I am from one side of my family being tall and lengthy,

         And the other side being short and stubby.

         From only living with 2 guys.

I am from the death of my mom.

 

By Kaelyn Holt

March 2019

 

 

With thanks to Prosperity Nnolim! Honesty…beauty…history…music..all here.

Prosperity Nnolim

 

I am from Home Foods,

From the silence and Bleak Moods,

Rare like a Diamond

I’m from here and there, on a mission, in all directions.

My family they like,

The ambition, Mustangs limited edition. Go home, go, fix the transmission.

It feels like I am running on water, all you can do is just run a bit harder.

I’m from the Sweet Potatoes in the garden,

The Chocolate Syrup that would harden, just stop

I’m from Complex Latin to Christian/Hip-Hop

The endless family fun.

From Leslie J. and Ray E.

and Martin Nnolim

I’m from the scraped edges of hard work and the love is unconditional

From “Stop running around!”

And “It’s ok, Amaraa, it’s fixable”.

I’m from God is good,

And the pages of Proverbs

I’m from many places, the unknown and untold,

From Nigerian Suya and Grandma’s Pistachio Pudding

From the Frozen Winters and the Mango Trees

The once present now gone Grandparents, Rest in Place

From the back porch and the box saved for winter.

I am from Lost and Found, dreams left on the ground,

From the “you’ve got a long name” and the brown horse’s black mane

That is from where I’ve come and were I am today.

 

 

Here is a link to a Google Map showing poems from a Chicago ESL/ELL class with students from The Chinese Mutual Aid Association. Click on the marker to see the poem from that student.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1YtD3q0I4x2nqh69twNdH1ciP6Ce01RwS&ll=26.597603450832622%2C137.92769425000006&z=2

 

April seems to be the month for some more lovely poems..Here is the first of 2 new ones.!

Here is a “Where I’m From”: about me

By Harminder Kaur

I am from curry and Roti

I am buried under the weight of mangoes and dirt

I am from the villages of Punjab with green trees and short shrubs

I am from dissection table cutting open the dead to learn how to treat the alive.

I am from microscope to culture media to hospital bed to morg.

I am from breakfast table to endless on calls to exhausting emergency sirens.

From Delhi to Lusaka to London to New York

Singing the Bollywood songs and eating curried cauliflower.

Praying to Guru Nanak and visiting the Sikh Gurdwara

I see the smoke on top of The Twin Towers and blood on the faces of my Turbaned Sikh brothers.

I lived through 2001 to 2013 to 2016 to now 2019

Beautiful new poem by H. Medley…welcome…all our amazing lives, our unique selves.

I am from a south Georgia town full of cotton gins and “yes mams”

I am from homemade coconut cakes and chicken and dumplings, but keep your waist tiny and “don’t be ugly”

I am from great grandmother raising 10 children while plowing the fields with a mule because her husband is too drunk from the night before

I am from Saturday afternoons in the sun surrounded by bugs buzzing and breeze blowing

I am from Sunday sermons about the love of Jesus offered by my kind Grandfather who lives exactly what he preaches

I am from a preacher’s daughter turn bartender who meets a local bouncer and is sexually assaulted by him but marries him anyway

I am from from straight A’s and academic awards

I am from riding four wheelers on dirt roads and peanut fields

I am from a grandmother who is told that you can’t get pregnant your first time who delivers twin boys alone at 15

I am from a grandmother hiding from her brothers who sexually assault her over and over again

I am from family secrets and beautiful pictures

I am from great aunts who only wear skirts, have never wore make up and have hair that touches the floor and believe that makes them more holy.

I am from watching my father beat my stepfather to a bloody mess because he sees him drinking and driving with me in the car

I am from sexual assault by a cousin while we play

I am from preoccupied adults

I am from a seventh grade teacher that believes in me and tells me I am made for more

I am from don’t ask don’t tell

I am from hiding wine coolers and zimas in the pond house to drink at 16

I am from laughter and applause from the audience as I perform on stage

I am from crowns and trophies offered for being the most beautiful

I am from hiding jars of vomit in my room after purging all of my daily food intake

I am from middle of the night waking to go to the nearest bar to pick up my step father

I am from signing country and rap songs at the top of my voice in brand new cars on dirt roads

I am from dancing my heart out

I am from giggles and connection with dear friends

I am from believing deeply that Jesus loves me and has a purpose for my life.

I am from holding my mothers shame

I am from church camps with friends that feel like safe good family

I am from horror and goodness

I am from kindness and rage

I am from the one who makes sense of things

I am from the one who restores

Sent from my iPhone

Tim Nichols has sent along this beauty….

Where I’m From

by Tim Nichols, February 20, 2019

 I am from the clatter of Amish buggy wheels on small-town streets,

from locust shells collected on burlap bedroom curtains and reading aloud at bedtime.

I am from the Swiss Alps, from Anabaptists and Quakers and Abolitionists,

from Ford Galaxies, Detroit Buicks, Chevy Impalas, and Aunt Nelle’s 1953 Pontiac.

I am from “Turn to page 306 in your hymnals,” from Isaly’s, Conneaut Lake Park, and Old 77,

from casseroles, Jello salads, apple cider, and homemade rhubarb pies,

I am from Jay & Ethel, John & Geraldine, Enoch & Rhoda, and Pieter & Grietje,

from Pennsylvania’s rolling hills, Ohio’s highways, and Indiana’s sunsets.

I am from sock monkeys, Crayola Crayons, Matchbox cars, and Charlie Brown comics,

from trick-or-treating, homemade holiday decorations, greyhounds and collies.

I am from That Girl, and Gilligan, and Samantha visiting Santa on Bewitched,

from cursive writing, marching band, the church basement, and the Bill Gaither Trio.

I am from corn-on-the-cob, cookie-press cookies, and hand-cranked ice cream,

from “Oh we ain’t got a barrel of money, maybe we’re ragged and funny, but we travel along, singing our song”

I am from postcards, Polaroid memories, and the smell and whir of the home-movie projector,

from picnics, singing around the piano at family reunions, & Christmas morning.

Here is a powerful poem. by George Burbie. Thank you for this!

I am From..

George Burbie

 

I am a nobody from nowhere.

I am from:

  • A little known and unremarkable, non-descriptive rural community known as “Ten –Mile,” which no longer exists.
  • The “Big House,” an early 1950’s typical multi-generational family dwelling unit built on stilts to avoid being flooded out whenever the “belly  washing rains came, surrounded by shotgun style share cropper’s shacks where Big Mama’s offspring, other extended family members, and several unrelated neighbors lived.
  • Meager dwelling accommodations with a pump well and rain water barrels as the only sources of water, a huge black outdoor cast iron cooking kettle, #2 tin tubs for bathing, soaking and washing laundry, several other household and farm utensils, plus other sundry uses.
  • Kerosene lanterns and lamps as the only sources of light after dark, indoor slop jars and outhouses to collect and dispose of human waste, cast iron stoves and potbellied heaters for cooking and keeping the house warm.
  • A dirt swept yard with a huge persimmon tree in the center that provided plenty of delicious, flavorful fruit when fully ripened but unpleasant, sour and bitter, mouth-turning distasteful assault on the taste buds in its green, unripen state.
  • Home grown gardens with a variety of beans, peas, leafy greens, tomatoes, okra, watermelons, and root vegetables – especially yams and sweet potatoes,
  • Curing sheds and smoked meat houses to process, preserve and store farm raised meat goods.
  • Fishing in nearby ponds, creeks, local rivers and runoff outlets to procure vital food staples and other highly desired essential dietary necessities, which were otherwise beyond our skimpy financial resources.
  • Playing pretend church in the backyard, preaching to an inattentive and uninterested audience of chicken, imitating the fire and brimstone sermons that had implanted in my 5 year old brain
  • Barn yard smells, pig pens and grazing troughs, unfenced roaming goats, mules and plow horses, free-range pullets, chickens and roosters.
  • Hop scotch, hide and seek, skipping rocks on nearby ponds and running underneath the Big House to escape from trouble or to dodge a playmate while playing “hide and seek.”.
  • Gathering newly fallen pecans and walnuts from nearby trees and picking Blackberries along countryside roads, nearby thickets, and uncultivated lands, while taking in the ubiquitous sweet fragrancies of lilacs, honeysuckle vines and other potent and pleasant smelling wild flowers.
  • Vigilantly keeping an eye out for garden snakes, blue racers, “Spread natters” rattle snakes and other creepy crawly things while simply playing in the yard, searching for “craw daddies” (i.e., Crayfish) toads and frogs or picking wild berries.
  • “Yes Sir,” “Yes Mam,”  “much obliged,”  “Thank you” and “pardon me,” which were obligatory responses to be extended to any adult who crossed my path.
  • A two room rural school house in which I was imbued with an insatiable hunger and quest for learning as many new things as I could in as short a time as possible.
  • Cotton, corn and wheat fields, Soy bean crops, sorghum and sugar cane plants.
  • Covered bed pickup trucks hauling field workers; field hoes and cotton sacks; straw hats, water buckets and newspaper lined clothing to protect one’s skin from annoying, exasperating and possibly infectious mosquito bites.
  • Field labor in insufferable heat and blistering sun from can’t see dawn to dusk and can’t see beyond; brown paper bag lunches consisting of assorted cold cut luncheon meat and cheese sandwiches, chips, soda pop, cookies – Vanilla Wafers were my personal favorite – and other snacking treats.
  • Live radio broadcast of boxing matches – especially heavy and middle weight class matches; live radio broadcast of “Theater of the Mind” comedy and drama shows; 16 mm movies shown in a makeshift temporary theater set up in a farm milk barn.
  • Round Pond, Widener, “Cat Fish,” “Greasy Corners,” Forrest City, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, South Central Los Angeles, Long Beach, Hayward, Oakland, Hercules, Dublin, Faribault and Saint Paul.
  • Segregation and denigration, from bondage to liberation; from “You’re nobody” to “You can become anyone or anything you want to be.”
  • Amos and Mary, Ada and Paul, Gertrude and George, Lucinda and Vennie.

Another beautiful poem from Ms. Harrison’s class….Thank you Janae!

I Am From Poem

By: Janaé Boyd

I am from two whose love made me.

I am from the drips of melanin that’s kissed by the sun.

I am from the black of my skin.

I am from the chuckle of my laugh.

I am from the smile on my heart.

I am from the smirk behind my gaze.

I am from a caring & loving family.

I am from siblings who uplift me.

I am from a curious mind who wants to be with the stars in the night sky.

I am from lazy mornings sleeping in to the late nights bingeing Netflix shows.

I am from love.

I am from pain.

I am from just about everything.

I am from the unpolished.

Poems from Ms. Harrison’s  Social Activism Class—wonderful! (more on their way)..

I am from deep endless forests. Towering above me like skyscrapers

Far from the city and it’s problems

Quiet and shy

Words and ideas swallowed by the sounds of trees falling

Sap sticking to your heels and staying there

The smell of pine

Max

I am from sitting in the couch,

Pulling out my phone

And losing track of time

I am from keeping my earbuds in all the time

Letting the music calm me

Shuffling every song I’ve ever downloaded

I am from not being nervous around cops

Not dealing with racism, or even noticing it

Elijah Byron

I am from Poem

Ms. Harrison

Social Activism

I am from church

And fried fish

I am from lightskins

And pink lips

I am from flatirons

And perms

I am from curly hair products

And deep conditioning

I am from coconut oil

And bbqs

I am from my family

And trials

I am me

Seraiah Hardy

I Am Self-Made

The runt in the liter,

Yet self-made.

Self-taught.

I am devoted;

Devoted to the life.

The life that will be made for me,

By me.

Doubted;

Doubted and cheated,

Cheated of a chance at life.

Because of the color of my skin.

I am the color of my skin.

I am the oppression that comes with it.

But,

I am not what they want me to be.

Hateful.

I am not who they want me to be,

Nor who they think I will become,

Because I am self-made.

A’Chy’Gei Motley

Here are two poems from Alaska…and they are needed to warm our hearts..

Where I’m From

By Jerel Williams

I am from blue bandana,

from struggle and pain.

I am from the heatwave, sweat off the back of the underdog.

(Hot like heat off of gunsmoke.)

I am from black rose garden

beauty devine never seen as antique.

I’m from gumbo pots and dreadlocks or waves,

From Hype Willie and Lil’ Cuz.

I’m from tough love and no scrubs.

I’m from a life that’s cold, plenty pretty though, so forget-me-not.

I’m from Davishood hard work in life make life all good,

country slang fried chicken man, anything to please young men.

From the 5 young boys rectified by night,

From 1 strong Queen to be bringer of light.

I Am From…

By: Matthew Mark Moore

I am from analog radio receiver,

from Marlboro 100’s cigarettes and Zig-Zags.

I am from the living room that surrounds a wood stove

(cozy yet full of life and the smell of marijuana smoke).

I am from the Rhubarb patch,

the blueberry bushes

whose fruit dyed my fingers and lips blue but

never filled my berry bucket.

I’m from helping your neighbors and the magic of the spoken word,

from Grandma June and the Dion quintuplets.

I’m from skepticism and big dreams,

from “loyalty above all else except honor” and “its what comes out of your mouth that defiles you.”

I’m from reformed Catholics,

read the Bible for yourself, there’s truth in there.

I’m from the Norton Sound Kawerakmuit people (pronounced Ca-wear-ick-mute),

oven baked salmon and Basamati rice.

From the leather belt my father whipped us with,

and the fist my brother David knocked a giant of man out with.

In my niece’s bedroom drawer lies a pile of old coins,

coins collected in the 20th century by my grandma Arella.

I’m from those coins, circulated halfway around the world,

stolen, lost and returned, almost forgotten but still here.

Judith Lesnaw Poem

Where I’m From.

I am from ships that sailed

from England, from Poland, and from Sweden;

from the buggy that rolled down

Kishwaukee Street towards the bridge over tracks below;

I am from leaf boats that sailed down

rivulets of melting ice and snow;

from the puddled field by the school

in Spring.

I am from rotifers and paramecia

that swam in the well of my

microscope slide;

from chemicals that coaxed images

from sheets of white in the dark.

I am from the mud hole in the vacant lot,

the target for marbles large and small;

from tall grasses felled by the swishing scythe.

I am from wicker seats on the trolley car

as it whisked down Irving Road

showering sparks from the pole

that danced on the wire above;

from roller skates spinning

a rough vibrato of steel on concrete,

that tickled my toes.

I am from the tattered box

of plastic cowboys and horses and Indians

and Tom Corbet Space Cadet;

from the rusted metal box

of squirming night crawlers that

The Old Geezer sold as bait

On Crystal Lake.

I am from the pages of

The Wizard of Oz, The Black Stallion,

Lodestar, and Microbe Hunters;

from Bunkie the Monkey

The Nutcracker Suite, The Emperor’s Waltz,

Bellefonte.

These are the things from which I come

the sum of them all

is Me.

JAL 2018

Here is another early, 2919, beauty!

Where I’m from

by Leslie Dane

I’m not from love.

I’m from abandonment,

alcoholism, and anxiety.

John did not want me.

Joanie, an angry single mother,

taught piano lessons to get us by.

I’m from the brilliance of my grandmother,

the alcoholism of a psychiatrist step-father,

and fingers that bled to the quick.

I’m from antique quilts,

pieced from stained,

ragged, intimidating shapes.

I’m from thumb sucking,

years of awkward smiles,

insecurity, and sad self-esteem.

I’m from saddle sores,

my cherished horse, Sugar,

4-H shows and a few blue ribbons.

I’m a Catholic raised by the Bible belt,

who whispered hushed Hail Mary’s

as I counted secret rosary beads.

I’m from frozen pot pies,

Pb &j, Popeye spinach, and

acres of corn-on-the-cob.

I’m from Laura Ingalls Wilder,

Little House on the Prairie and

sought the solace of Erma Bombeck’s cherry pits.

I’m from two ex-husbands,

one just mean and

another who did time.

I did not come from love.

But my heart would burst when each of my kids

flashed me a toothless smile.

Today, I’m from four great kids,

bifocals, two wrinkles and three grey hairs,

full-grown from my love.

A beautiful poem to start the new year…!

I am From

Levon Stallings

I am from cassette tapes

From flannel and Nestles Quick

I am from rain, blackberries, apple trees,

the damp grey Puget Sound sky and the sweet aroma of red and yellow cedars.

I am from the ferns, moss, and bark that ruined my school clothes every year.

I am from Thanksgiving frog legs and dysfunction.

From Ingborg and Gullbrand. Kristi and Ivar.

From the thunder Thor creates with his hammer and anvil

to the lord’s prayer my Gramma-gramma taught us “just in case”.

I am from Mjollnir and Yggsdrasil.

From street trolleys, earthquakes, dwarves and frost giants.

From strawberry rhubarb pie and elk stew.

From the Polish immigrant who escaped the Nazis on two separate occasions,

to the cousin who died in my arms, whose last words were: “Help me get up”.

I am from volumes of genealogy in my grandmother’s basement filled with

names of people I’ll never know but will somehow always know.

From a feeling of home that is inherently all my own.

A second new poem ….we are growing!

I  Am From by Marika Ford

I am from whatever is on sale, dangerous
pines, penny candy and Dr. Dragon.
I am from Aleksander and Marija
(Don’t loz around! You’re going to break your neck!
and I’m going to give you a licking! )
I am from a language not fully understood
and incense, choir singing, icons,
perogies and babka in the church basement.
I am from the Dugout, Thunderbird and Farm Shop
hamburgers and french fries in plastic baskets.
I am from Uncle Joe’s half missing finger,
dots of red blood on long white paper,
newspapers spat upon through the night
and I am so tired and so thirsty.
I am from one part. Two places. Fixes.
Two and more faces.
I’m from behind a small, odd door, a hidden paper doll with a growing wardrobe.
From death and birth and death and birth.

Jesse Stock shared this group poem from the Athens County cohort

Athens, County, Ohio

WE ARE FROM

We are from rolling hills,

from Starbricks and Passion Flowers.

We are from company towns,

pride, grit, fresh-tilled earth.

We’re from paw-paws,

brewed, baked, celebrated.

We’re from 30 Mile Meal

and locally owned, from Ada Adams

and the Brooks family,

from tenacity and resilience.

We’re from open arms,

open minds, authentic smiles.

We’re from coal, iron, higher education,

from the Burrito Buggy, CASA

and great pizza, from the simple

kindness of Margaret McGrainer

to the courage of the Courier sisters.

We are from connections

and thriving community centers,

where our history lives on

in each other.

A new one to welcome the new year ahead by Beldonna Brown-Chakoutahi

I am from:

I am from love!

I am from a teenage mom who was asked to get an abortion!

I am from a 21-year-old man that never wanted children,

but he came from a fortune!

I am from love!

I am from a single mom on welfare addicted to drugs!

I am from the Southside of Minneapolis surrounded by thugs!

I am from love!

I am from waking up to my mom screaming for help!

I am from the empathy inside me that feels what she felt!

I am from love!

I am from the phone once again he ripped out of the wall!

I am from running to the phone booth to make those 911 calls!

I am from love!

I am from holding my mom alone while we cried!

I am from praying to God “please don’t let my mom die”!

I am from love!

I am from watching my mom getting raped!

I am from laying in that bed and thinking how lucky I was that I had escaped!

I am from love!

I am from my own bouts of sexual abuse!

I am from thinking about life and saying “what’s the use”!

I am from love!

I am from my mom saying she just took a bunch of pills!

I am from her giving me directions for when she’s gone on how to rebuild!

I am from love!

I am from realizing I am gay at the age of 14!

I am from hoping that the love I had for HER would go unseen!

I am from love!

I am from my mom finding out and beating me like crazy!

I am from drinking beer and taking pills so that I could feel hazy!

I am from love!

I am from confusion about my gender identity!

I am from a girl and a boy I think both are inside me!

I am from love!

I am from depression, fear, PTSD, love, and hate!

I am from a mom when sober was so beautiful and great!

I am from love!

I am from a mom that died way to young!

I am from having a niece 18 days later whose life had just begun!

I am from love!

I am from a mom who was sick, tired, battered and bruised but because of her that’s not the life I choose!

I am from love!

I am from a mom that tried to teach me the best way she knew how! We went window shopping all the time taking the 21-bus downtown! She was kind, loved animals, laughed, and loved her family! She taught me to respect my elders, be goofy, have fun, love babies, smile, dance, be creative and not lazy!

I am from love!

I am from Joan Renee Brown (Blackfeet Indian) enrolled Browning, Montana. Born Oct.8.1956 and Died Feb.6.2007

I miss you and love you always and forever in my heart you will be!

I am from love!

Can’t you see?

This is me!

A lovely, powerful poem from Lori Burns

I am from a green and pink sacred space

from hairbrush “microphones”

and dolls in a row waiting to learn.

I am from domestic pain outside this sacred space

and homegrown anxiety.

I am from weeping willows

whose branches reached out to comfort me.

I am from slamming doors

from Franc’s rage and Evelyn’s tears

and from the meeting place of violence and compassion,

from truces on holidays until the turkey flew across the room.

I am from required church on Sunday

from canned vegetables and potted meat

from the Depression and sexual assault

and from assassinations and Watergate

I survived somehow

I am from the moments … and I survived somehow.

Band

Here are two lovely poems. What a gift to read these, to collect them..

Elyse Ambrose

I am from a three-in-one record player, tape player and radio

From no lye relaxers and flat irons

I am from a place of not enough quiet and raucous joy

And open stairs from which I could hang upside down from my legs or right-side up with arms

I am from English Ivy

Whose limbs crawled across windows and the étagère

I am from Huffy bicycles and Easy Bake Ovens

From Ambrose and Burrell

And from storytelling and shit-talking

From privacy and openness

I am from sunrise prayers

From gumbo and red beans

From mysterious visits to seers, in search of healing

And from open doors to family and neighbors/neighbors made family

Family drives where Maze sang and we chased the moon

I am from the moments that seemed ends in themselves, that led to new beginnings again

storäe michele

I am from quilts stitched by my Grand Ro

From pink hair grease and yellow walls

I am from dancing to the beat of your own drum

And silk worms spinning on the back porch

I am from rose bushes

Whose thorns were shielded by lush buds

I am from looking glass and unicorn paintings

From Rhoda Nixon Carson and Ida Mae Stanback

And from wide hips and determined brows

From resistance

I am from libations

From peach cobbler and collard greens

From women who buy homes for her 5 children

And from men who create businesses weaving baskets

Books with girls with afros

I am from the moments that beat to their own drum

A new poem . just in!

I Am From

By Kimberly Vaartstra

I am from a small town full of friendly neighbors,

in a messily organized home.

I am from a busy family of five,

my siblings with new, crazy stores each day.

I am from many dutch traditions,

stamppot and buttercake being my favourite.

I am from thick piles of family recipes,

along the large amount of old cookbook.

I am from bibles and devotions located all over the house,

as well as Sunday morning church with the family.

I am from long car rides to visit the relatives,

singing along to christian music along the way.

I am from spending all day outside finding things to do,

from playing with bugs to racing up the streets.

I am from finding cows and bulls to get chased by,

when we aren’t to busy camping on the summer weekends.

I am from trampolining all after school,

on the days I didn’t have gymnastics.

I am from “don’t forget your prayers!”

and “It’s not all about you!”

I am from homeschooling,

to coming to this amazing school.

I am from loving parents, family and friends,

and a busy past that make me, Me!

Another new poem today from Vicki Rottman. So good to have these coming in, day after day.

WHERE I AM FROM

© 2018 Vicki Rottman

I am from Pikes Peak in my backyard, Mt. Fuji on the horizon.

I am from cherry blossoms, weeping willows and purple mountain majesties.

I am from horses: jumping hurdles English style, barrel racing on the mesa Western style.

Before that, running around in the tall grass cantering and neighing.

After that, creating tiny horses out of red, yellow and blue modeling clay with Sandy, my next-door neighbor who was recovering from surgery.

I am from cherry blossoms and weeping willows, posing for pictures in my flowered kimono.

Learning to dance to “Sakura” and “Cho-o-cho,” the Butterfly, taking shuffling steps in my brocade zoris, while fluttering silk butterfly wings attached to my wrists.

I am from Pikes Peak or Bust, celebrating the centennial of the 1859 Gold Rush in the Centennial State.

I am from red earth and gold dust, pearls and cloisonné. Alabaster, gypsum, sandstone and mica. I am of the rock.

My mountains reach out their loving arms to me. Far East or Out West, I am home.

A sweet poem from Barbara Hoskins

Where I’m From

Betty Hoskins

I’m from cornfields and black dirt

from “walking beans” to hoeing them

from long, straight roads and treeless landscapes

from farms and a town with no stoplight, no locks on doors

I’m from lefse and lutefisk

from blueberry pies and pancakes

fresh-picked tomatoes and vine-grown peas,

from roses, day lilies, and a lilac bush gone wild

from asparagus and rhubarb in ditches along country roads

I’m from Sioux Rapids, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls

from Sioux Center, Sac City, Cherokee, and Pocahontas

from Storm Lake, Spirit Lake, and Okoboji—a haunting of the past

I’m from privilege

Not from money or land

But from firm friendships, tough teachers, and proud parents

from basketball and band, from winter storms and summer swims,

from community bridal showers and community funerals

what affected one moved everyone.

I’m from privilege

Not from power or position

But from a town that fits on a postcard

Where everybody knew my name and my business

And where getting into trouble was more trouble than it was worth.

Betty Hoskins (Rembrandt, Iowa)

(now lives in Harrisonburg, Va.)

Two new individual poems! from Dave Sykes and Barbara Leonard

Each so unique, each so clear and imagistic and honest.

I am from dust, From the confused intersection of time and matter. From that place of nothingness into the bright glare of being.

I am from youthful days in the woods, my bare feet scratched by wild things that leave a mark.

I am from short school days and endless summers that stretch forever into the fall.

I am from songs sang loudly, of jangly instruments played poorly; the moods of exultation and despair changing as we switch tunes.

I am from games played on the court and in the fields. The tests of muscle and stamina that set a life course of participation and competition.

I am from teachers good and bad, who encouraged and supported me or looked at me as a nuisance to be outlasted.

I am from friends and lovers who showed me kindness and taught me to be love and be loved. Acceptance without judgement. Rejection without explanation.

Dave Sykes

Where I’m From       By Barbara Leonard

I’m from a bouquet of Johnny Jump-ups displayed in a shot glass

Swapping soda bottles for a banana popsicle at Meloni’s store

Polkas filling the living room on Sunday morning

Pork chops frying on the stove.

I’m from the surprise of a baby lamb wrapped in a soft blanket

An injured fox puzzled by the gauze bandage around his torn leg

Muskrats, raccoons, and minks hung upside down and skinned in the garage

An electrocuted owl suspended in eternal flight from the rafters.

I’m from Cardale Crick, hiking the Jeep Trail, rock hunting on the Ball Diamond

Racing a Schwinn bike with gravel spitting from the tires

The Game of Life, Yahtzee, Trouble, and Spades

Filling a mason jar with lightning bugs for a night light.

I’m from gently bouncing on the porch swing, marking time

Lying beneath the old walnut buffet with a chunk of white chalk

Cutting tips from green beans with Uncle George at the kitchen table

Dreaming of a getaway in my upstairs bedroom with the linoleum floor.

I’m from a mother who was a confident, confidential cook and postmaster

Food from the kitchen for family and food for thought for the village

A father who built roads of concrete and grew bulbs of garlic

Waiting like an expectant father for the nine months it took to produce.

I’m from a church where spicy incense competed with the smell of fresh mums on All Souls Day

Jelly donuts dusted with powdered sugar on Christmas Eve

Snow sizzling on the ledge of the cast iron coal furnace door

A mother’s philosophy  of  “I tell it like it is”.

Here is the full Italian collection from Parma..all at once. Continue to be amazed at these fine poems from a fine teacher and her students.

Where I’m from

Poems from Parma

3M Liceo Linguistico Marconi

Martina Cavalli

I’m from milk and coffee

And plum jam,

I’m from fragrant hazelnuts

And my doll’s pram,

I’m from the smell

Of fireplace soot,

From birds chirping

And the bloomed offshoot.

I’m from the sound

Of the flowing stream

Loved by all,

From the howling wind

That makes the autumn leaves fall,

I’m from the prickly cold

That says :“The winter is coming!”,

From my little sister

Who out of the blue

Starts singing and dancing.

I’m from soft pillows

And the pounding of the rain,

I’m from an old willow

Where I used to play,

I’m from freshly washed bedsheets,

From Mary Poppins soundtrack

And the smell of coulored pencils.

I’m from giggling with my close friends,

I’m from sleep until late

At the weekends,

I’m from fairytales

And movies watched a thousands times

From every childhood games

And loud country fair.

Alice Broglia

I’m from the rays of sunlight

that come through the window every morning,

from the morning breeze and the caresses of my mother.

I’m from the fresh sheet that smells clean,

from the hot milk in the bright cup,

from the freshly baked bread.

And from the pine tree which I see from my window,

evergreen, and every day I perceive its energy,

even on cold winter days.

I’m from water and waterfalls

every year I see them in the mountain,

from raspberries and walks in the wood,

from the mountain paths.

I’m from the waves and the golden sand,

from sunsets overlooking the sea.

I’m from the falling stars,

From the fireworks on New Year’s Eve

And from the red cyclamen on my bedside table.

I’m from the school desks,

From the races with my friends

and the laughing, the somersaults and the other games.

I’m from «Hurry up!» «We are late!»

And from the matches at the stadium on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m from the goodnight kiss

with a loud ‘’smak’’ on my soft cheek,

and from darned clothes.

I’m from the smile of my father,

and the sweatness of my mother,

like the green pine tree

They never stop shining.

Alice Broglia

Dylan Casamatti

I am from blue kitchen walls

from Altan and Kodachrome

I am from my sister’s white dress

(clean, in a summer,

Climbing the Magnolia tree)

I am from osier baskets,

mountain paths

that my mother used to show me

when I was still unborn.

I am from milk-bread and crosswords

from REM and CGIL

I am from Hemp shirts

and refused skirts.

From Why so shy? and Raise your voice!

I am from Oh partisan

take me away

and then I opened-closed my hand.

I am from Iman and Paolo’s arms,

VRCs and evening books,

from the thirty-five years my great aunt waited to marry her wife;

the smell that fills the air when Fabiana cooks.

There’s a wild river into my head,

pulling and drawing my thoughts.

Upstream, sails the boat

of those primary moments,

saved by an inch from the flow.

When I can’t stand no longer the waters

this is where I rest my soul.

Cleia Anne-Christine Broh

I am from different cultures

I am from Italy

From Ivory Coast

From Cameroon

I am from a big family

The are people I care for

I’m from candy and sweets

From pizza and hamburgers

From cakes and chips

I am from cries and  smiles

From ups and downs

I am from precious teachings

My parents have taught me

Everything  you do well

I’m from many life lessons

Now I’m stronger than before

I’m from good moments

But also bad

I’m from many things

That make me who I am

Laura Cavalera

I come from an olive tree,

from its dry leaves that make noise and the fruit not ripe yet.

I come from the country land

(brown, barren,

able to make you thirsty).

I come from the pack of cicadas on the ancient trunks,

from the bushes of cappers

whose flowers have been put in my hair

for the village festival.

I come from scorching sand a clean sea

from empty, silent and incandescent afternoons.

I come from tanned skin with no return

and from the heritage of traditions,

from the Mena and Beddha mia!

I come from a black skirt and a red shawl,

from a tambourine that makes you tremble

like the tarantula poison.

I come from the branch of Cumpa’ Giuseppe and Donna Maria,

handmade pasta and fresh fish.

From the sea my grandfather gave up for a German dictionary,

the land my father did not chose for me.

On the shelf there is a big white shell

full of the noise of the waves

and the rhythm that healed the peasants

until the bare feet on the road hurt.

I come from a land I forgot,

and I want and deny—

from where simplicity is the greatest value

and you’re proud of speaking another language.

Sonia Bigliardi

I’m from hot summers and foggy falls,

From the good food and the rose wine.

I am from a white bike,

From scraped knees and ripped jeans.

I am from the scratches on my arms

And the cat playing with my hand.

I’m from the football played in the schoolyard,

From the skipping rope and the hide and seek.

I am from rock ‘n roll,

From Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones.

I’m from daydreaming and unseeing eyes,

While the car is running fast on a long gray ride.

Valentina Forni

I’m from grandma’s  sundays,

from green tortelli, cappelletti and ham,

my traditional lisles.

I’m from skating,

from small wheels

that make me fly,

i’m from hours of training

and from falls.

I’m from week in the mountains,

from skis and

black tracks with my dad,

I’m from the snowmen’s carrots.

I’m from the wooden house,

from the mountain,

from rasberries, blackberries,

blueberries and wild strawberries.

I’m from the mushrooms

collected by grandfather.

I’m from the sea,

from the sheels with a hole

to make necklaces,

from sand castles.

I’m from bathing and long swims,

I’m from those moments,

from happiness and light heartedness.

VITTORIA AMADASI

I’m from my mother
and from my father,
from a little place near Rome
that I’ve always called home

I’m from the terrace on top of the world,
where I spent hot days
and cold nights
making promises and trying to see shooting stars

I’m from the hay’s powder,
from the passion fruit treats,
from the rough brushes that I pass on the back of my horse,
from my riding boots and from my helmet,
from the leather’s smell of the harness,
from every “Well done!” and every “Try again!”

I’m from my brother and friends,
from my mistakes and right things,
from my music and books,
from my dreams and my places,
from the summer and winter,
from Christmases and birthdays,
from every hug and every nice word,
from every picture and every memory

This is me
Nice to meet you!

ELEONORA OLLARI

I am from the honey candies

that I stole from my grandmother’s pocket.

I am from my grandfather’s mess

while he worked.

I am from my mother’s heels

that I wore to feel bigger,

and I am from the desire not to grow old.

I am from my dad’s passions

that inspired me a lot.

I am from the quarrels with my brother

from the games with my cousins

and from the rebukes because I hadn’t tidied my room.

I am from the “do I tell him or not?”

maybe not is better.

I am from the well-given advices to the others

but never followed by me.

I am from my parents’ support in everything

and I am from my wish to live a life to the fullest.

LUDOVICA TARTAMELLA

I’m from the loving embraces of my family ,
from my grandparents,that have gone too soon
I’m from my neighborhood,
the walks with my dog,
I’m from the sunrise and the sunset
throught the window of my bedroom

I’m from my past ,my childhood
and all the memories that have gone-by too fast,
but that are always with me
I’m form my smiles and my tears
that have made me grow-up

I’m from all the trips that I’ve taken
and those I will go on,
they have always tought me something new.
I’m from the trip to New York
where I have understood what terrorism means,but also peace

I’m from the schools that I have attended,up to now
all the classmates that i have had
I’m from my friends,their presence
and our complicity
I’m also from my present ,
i’m here and I’m from Parma

LAURA TEBALDI

I am from my bedroom,

from the sheets and the pillows.

I am from my mum’s warm arms.

(Tanned, soft,

she smelled of lavender.)

I am from my dad’s chest,

his big hands

they taught me

how to horse ride.

I am from tasty sandwiches and pencils,

from grand-mum and grand-dad.

I’m from the traditions

and the new things,

from “be careful!” and “be responsible!”.

I’m from my family

who has raised me

with love and an education.

I’m from my brother’s

cartoons and toy cars.

From the little problems

and the happy moments.

Inside my heart there’s a special place

spilling old memories.

I am from those memories

sometimes sudden

but forever with me.

ANNA COSTI

I am from my first teddy bear.

I am from the Disney’s movies,

from the books’ perfume read by my grandparents.

I am from the park behind my house,

from the evenings in the garden,

from the card games.

I am from the trips to the mountains.

I am from the disguises and the plays.

From music and songs

sang loudly.

From the clothes randomly put on.

I am from the snowballs and the sandcastles,

from ski races and hot chocolates,

beaches and lemonades.

I am from the cookies made with my mom,

from the salt dough and the molds,

from paints and watercolours.

I am from the barbecues on Sunday

and from the rugby matches on tv, seen with my dad.

I am from the quarrels and the hugs.

I am from the photos of the sunsets,

from the red leaves collected in autumn,

from the glowing fireplace and from the smell

of burned wood.

I am from the theatres and the museums,

from the endless journey by car and from the queues on the highway.

I am from too many questions and too much curiosity.

From long braids and bangs,

from my pink school smock.

I am from faded memories,

old photo albums and far away tales.

Noemi Losapio

I am from the sun,

From Puglia’s sea and beach,

I am from simplicity,

( but not always

there are details that count)

I am from seashells,

those I picked up,

when I went to the seaside with my mom

and I think I still may have them.

I am from “pasta al sugo” and pizza,

from my grandmom’s meatballs and

her love.

Because I am from love,

my parent’s love

Now that love doesn’t evict anymore,

I am from melancholy for that,

but I am from strength

she taught me it when my dad left.

I am from my values,

my ideas and my dreams

those my mother instructed me with

and my friends helped make

them better.

I am from my little sacrifices

which have brought me great

satisfactions.

I am from my anger and my tiredness

Never giving up my “will to live”.

Manila Cerri

I am from a small ball,

that a day decided to blow up.

I am from the sky and the land

I am from the light of the day

and from the darkness of the night.

I am from oceans, mountains and trees,

I am from animals, from monkeys.

I am from Adam and Eve,

from their children and the children of

their children,

until my grandparents.

I am from the small brown eyes

of my grandfather and from

the nose of my grandmother.

I am from my parents:

from the upper lip of my father

from the lower lip of my mother.

Scientifically I came from this…

…but in the end,

Where did I come from?

Honestly I don’t know,

but I think

this will stay a beautiful

mistery.

Joelle Giuffredi

I am from two distinct parts,

from fields and tractors,

from traffic and confusion.

I am from double things,

from many languages,

from windmills and tulips.

I am from screwdrivers and light bulbs,

from blond hair and big smiles,

from night in double bed.

I am from decisions taking,

from long trips by car.

I am from “Once upon a time”,

from Barbies and magic fairies,

from reins and saddles.

I am from words never said

and dream that haven’t come true yet.

I am from the hoe and the watering can,

from Netflix marathons and pop corns,

from afternoons spent with friends.

I am from a family tree spread

all over the world.

Sofia Selatti

I am from my childhood,

from my mum and dad.

I am from the sofa in my living room.

(White, soft,

It was like being on a cloud).

I am from TV shows

from drawings and books

that keep me busy.

I am from inspiration and dreams

from shopping for my arrival.

I am from bags

and backpacks.

From “You can do this!” and

“Do not leave”.

I am from holidays

with a carefree soul

and 16 years I can say myself.

I am from candies and cakes,

Pop corns and cotton candy.

I am from silence

from all the things.

In my garage were some albums

with lots of photos

looking at the unknown faces

I can drift in the family origin.

I am from those moments

lived before I had been invented

a new chocolate candy to unwrap

with a coffee in one hand.

Federica Segalini

I’m from my family

from my parents, who have always

tried to make me happy.

I’m from the quarrels with my brother

(which were frequent in the past)

Now we get along.

I’m from my grandparents

from my grandmum

who tried to teach me how to cook

but without results.

I’m from horse-riding

from the falls on the sand

I’m from the typical smell of riding school

which for many is unpleasant

But I love it.

I’m from volleyball

from team play

from all the infinite exercises against

the wall.

I’m from sprains and injuries

I’m from the most beautiful defeats

and from the hardest victories .

I’m from my team’s hugs

which give you a unique strength

and they are of an inexplicable beauty.

I’m from God

From Christian faith

From Eucharist on Sunday morning

And the catechism on Saturday afternoon.

I’m from the children’s summer camp

before as a child

and then, now, as their entertainer.

Martina Bergamini

I’m from the hot cups of milk

From the cartoons I used to love so much.

I’m from the smell of pancakes

That my grandma used to cook for me,

From the spiral mosquito repellent lit up in the

summer nights.

I’m from the granddad I’ve never met,

Whose memories I feel so close to me.

I’m from the colorful dresses

And the ponytails.

I’m from the long mountain walks,

When my poor dad had to lift me

On his shoulders.

I’m from the books I already know by heart, but

I never get tired of.

I’m from my aunt’s advice,

From my grandparents’ house:

Now it has become my shelter.

I’m from the drawers in my room that smell like

Chlorine, that bring back a lot of good memories,

Now far distant.

I’m from the eye-contact made with strangers.

I’m from the hugs my mom gives me in difficult times.

FEDERICA SERVENTI

I’m from a very little town

that I remember so big

while I was walking to the “mill”

tasting the perfume of chestnuts,

picking up grapes

I am from my grandmother’s ice lolly

that she used to make for me

I am from the stories about her childhood

that I used to listen to

under our cherry tree

I am from her smiles,

from her reprimands

I am from school bells, desks and papers

from 40 minutes bus rides

I am from hard studying

to be able to choose my own life

wondering why my expectations are so high

I am from the fear of disappointing myself and the others

I am from plié and grand jeté

from “don’t give up!”

I am from the bright lights of the theater

I am from those satisfactions

I am from good laugh

from the funniest moments,

and from the saddest ones

I am from those hot summer nights

spent with my friens in front of the bar

This is where I’m from.

ELISA TROVATO

I’m from a little piece of heaven

where I learned to live peacefully

lying on a hay-bale

I’m from the dreadful hallway of the hospital

and the people’s gloomy faces around me

I’m from “she has a heart of gold”

and  “work hard in your life to achieve your purpose”

I’m from my great-grandmother’s eys,

she taught me to enjoy my life

I’m from my insecurity and my perseverance

I’m from the worn out tyres of the bicycle

used to go around the countryside

I’m from the cotton candy

at the end of a fun fair day

I’m from my passion, for reading and cooking cakes,

I’m from a generation of people

who judges before knowing

I’m from a world full of prejudice

I’m from the beautiful sunset under the sky

listening to my favourite person playing the guitar

I’m from my little fluffy cat

who never lets me alone

even when I am away from home.

MISIA PAPPALARDO

I am from the sun

from Salerno’s sea, where I go every summer

I am from honesty and simplicity

I am from hansle and beautiful flowers

those which I picked up

when I went to the park with my grandfather

I am from ice cream and pizza

I am from my grandmother’s cakes and her passion for cooking

I am from my strict mom , my crazy sister and my hilarious dad

I am from my fifteen cousins

I am from the love of my big family

I am from the bike that I take every morning to go to school

I am from my volleyball team

I am from “never give up”

I am from my travels around the world that I will never forget

I am from all the songs that I listen when I’m happy,

when I’m sad or when I’m nervous

I am from my fantastic friends

I used to laugh, to cry, to have fun with them

I am from my dreams and my targets

I am from my school

my classmates and my teachers

I am from my will to get better always.

MARTINA RICCADONNA

I’m from the park near my house,

the seesaw and the slide,

from the flat bread of the bakery.

I’m from the music and the dance,

from the tar under my dance shoes

and my dream of becoming a dancer.

I’m from the daisy smell,

from sweets, Gummi bears

and chocolate ice-cream taste.

I’m from the colour of the sea,

from sunny days

and from “the brightest star in the sky”

that I used to watch every night.

I’m from a shy temper

from the fear of the dark,

from laughters and smiles.

I’m from fantastic stories,

from “once upon a time”

and “they lived happily ever after”

I’m from the afternoons spent with my friends

playing with our dolls

and from my grandparents’ house, in the mountains.

I’m from my favourite cartoon videotape,

from my old DVDs

and from all my old photos in my watdrobe.

I’m from these moments

that, today, sometimes I dust

to remember my childhood

PIETRO PANICHI

I’m from the deepest abysses

their waves take me to happy-go-lucky places

cold water,

like ice,

hot like a burned ember

lulls me as if I were its child,

I live with the fish

ruby color

clammy algae

like the skin of a snake

it grumbles me when it’s hungry

making me fall

in the deeepest void

I’m from the blue sky

from the invisible air

that it turns me into a vortex

that it takes with him

the leaves, the dust and the pollution

I’m the one who transports

aloft more and more kites.

I’m from the cold air

in winter and,

I’m from the hot air, in summer.

Benedetta Leppe


I’m from every hug,
every kiss,
every “I love you” ever said

I must be from another planet,
maybe from the Moon,
I don’t belong to here,
my heart’s too pure

I’m from a graveyard of buried hopes,
I don’t belong to here,I don’t want to
because this world let me down
and so did you

I’m from the dust under my bed,
I’m from all these thoughts in my head,
from the books I’ve never read

I’m from the ghost of my grandfather I used to see and now it is gone

I’m from the Harry Potter movies and the Disney Channel series

I’m from red glasses,
from a lot of freckles
and big brown eyes

I’m from a curly haired best friend
and two friends with the same name

I’m from croissants,kinder snacks and milk

I’m from “Your generation is the worst”
but also from “What do you like the most?”

Most recent poems from Parma. Wonderful collection of poems has been coming in each day!

I Am From

Matilde Rossi


I am from the green hills,

from the hydrangea,

and the black cherry tree

In my grandparents’ vegetable garden,

where I used to go every day.

I’m from the days spent playing football 

from the “Stop it!”

and the broken windows,

I’m from the copious book read

and the many songs I listened to.

I’m from the walks in the wood 

with my grandfather,

from the moments spent with my friends

laughing and smiling,

arguing and making up.

I’m from my grandmother’s kitchen

and her lunches,

from the time spent with my sister

playing and supporting her.

I’m from the Sundays at the stadium,

the matches watched on tv

to see my idol playing,

I’m from the trainings during summer

and the great commitment.

I’m from the arguments with my parents,

from the guilty trips,

and the words not said,

I’m from their advices 

and their sacrifices.

Where I’m from

I am from a large garden,

From animals and toys.

I am from Barbies and cuddly toys.

(Soft, fragrant,

They tasted like soap.)

I am from big dinners around the table,

Where we were always smiling.

I am from smell of roast chicken

At Christmas lunch.

I am from a weeping willow,

From wisteria and an apricot tree

That did not make fruits.

I am from game with a ball,

Got lost in the canal behind the garden-

I am from “the lunch is ready!”

Screamed in the whole house.

I am from shelves full of books

That my dad used to read me

Till I fell asleep

With my sister

in my parents’ bed.

Now in my bedroom I have a bulletin board

Where I have put all my memories,

Photos, medals, seashells collected on the beach.

I have a dream catcher on my bed,

Made  long time ago

To remind me

“do not worry about nightmares”

Silvia Ampollini

Where I’m from

I’m from books and exams,

hours of study and work.

I’m from tension and errors

I’m from love and collision.

Two opposite worlds

that in the name of their love

found the way to get over their past.

I’m from hope and

desire of change.

I’m from wind and grass

sun and woods.

I’m from Sunday walks

and Friday pizzas

From scribbles and stories

I’m from Pink Floyd and Dire Straits

I’m from difficult times,

difficult challenges

I’m from two heart surgeries

and a fish as a gift.

I’m from self- doubt

and shyness.

I’m from soul music and The Aristocats

I’m from :”I don’t know who I am

and what I like”

I’m from photography and cooking

I’m from the stars and Stephen Hawking.

I’m from Stephen King’s books

I’m from art

I’m from a strange family

And besides all the bad moments

I’m happy to come from all of that

mostly because it has made me who I am.

Alliex Alli

I am from the smell of the cut grass

From the hay bales arranged in a row in the fields

Which blend in with the smell of manure

I am from green meadows

Where wild animals jump

From the weekend in tent

And from the evenings spent in front of a fire

Singing with friends

I am from the mosquitoes

Buzzing in my ear

From the stifling heat

And from the thick fog

And rainy days

I am from the rocking chair

Next to the fire place in the winter

That looks out of the window

Ah the falling snow

I am from the pool in the garden

And from the bike races

In the middle of the road

I am from the telephone jokes

With the private number

From my landline phone

(Pinck and hairy)

I am from “Zecchino d’oro”

And from Zac e Cody at the grand hotel

From winks and teletabbies

I am from hide-And-seek.

And from Monopoli

Elisa Zicardi

I’m from suburban houses                                                    Annalisa Boveri
Raised by strong spouses
Second hand blouses

I’m from 90s music and soul
From u2 hitting high notes
Blues, rock without control

I’m from Nobel prize singers
Etta James feelings
Hendrix, Prince and Janis

I’m from family fights
Secrets to hide
But still had people by my side

I’m from women who cried
Hopes that slowly died
Blasted, useless pride

But still, one of those dreams
When you can barely believe
It’s your reality

I’m from a perfect place
A little precious space
One of those dreams people chase

I’m from smiles and laughs
From periods, they’ve been tough
But everything I had, it surely was enough

At first surrounded by love
It’s something I got used to
Something I was sure of

I’m from anxiety
Imperfect society
Bloody insobriety

I’m from errors and mistakes
Morning smell of pancakes
Excursions: mountains and lakes

I’m from close friends
It’s useless to say how it actually went
But with some help, I’m starting shining again

I’m from colored dawns
Mental breakdowns
And something else I forgot to write down

I Am From

Silvia Reverberi

from my parents’ hugs and kisses.

I’m from milk with choccolate for breakfast, watching “The light blue tree” on TV,

from the biscuits under the bed and a glass of water on the night table.

I’m from nightmares in the middle of the night, the screams between the blanket and the pillow.

I’m from a fragile heart,

hidden places,

from songs and wrong words.

I’m from tears for a bad mark or a love story gone wrong.

I’m from books, my happy place.

A way to escape.

I’m from mistakes, they made me feel horrible,

from a cold winter without birds.

I’m from a storm, it shakes me to the core and makes me stronger than before.

I’m from secret messages, smiling in front of the looking glass,

from a clock, taking back time, feeling my heart beats.

I’m from his hugs, a place to live,

from a sky with stars that shine.”

Where I’m from

I am from two distinct parts,
from fields and tractors,
from traffic and confusion.
I am from double things,
from many languages,
from windmills and tulips.

I am from screwdrivers and light bulbs,
from blond hair and big smiles,
from night in double bed.
I am from decisions taking,
from long trips by car.

I am from “Once upon a time”,
from barbies and magic fairies,
from reins and saddles.
I am from words never said
and dream that haven’t come true yet.

I am from the hoe and the watering can,
from Netflix marathons and pop corns, from afternoons spent with friends.
I am from a family tree spread all over the world.

Joelle Giuffredi

Where I’m from

I am from the wheat,
from the poppies and the swings
I’m from the noise of the stones
under my shoes
and from the music in the streets.

I am from chocolate cake
and my grandmother’s hands,
From my mother caresses
and her perfume bottles
I am from the games in the backyard
and my dog’s eyes.

I am from the streets through the car window
From the sow and the noise of the skiis.
I’m from the flavour of French fries
and the perfume of the pine trees.

I’am from a dive in the sea,
The sand castles and my sister’s blonde hair.
I am from the roar of a motorcycle
and my father’s hugs.

Giuseppe Chiarolanza

WHERE I’M FROM

I’m from three gardens
full of laughters and memories.
I’m from a weeping willow
and a wooden swing
that has been left alone for a long time.
I’m from a big shed
and many tractors,
from cops and robbers
and infinite hiding places.

I’m from a strange house
with walls hidden by poems and letters.
I’m from Pucca and Nina
and a box with Polly’s clothes,
from the slope and the garage roof.
I’m from a cherry tree
tall and colorful,
which now I can only see in photos.

I’m from my aunt’s armchair
and from my grandfather’s arms,
the sandwiches with water and sugar.
I’m from a red rickshaw,
a circle that never ends.

I’m from a big family
and a lot of memories
that will always fill in these places.

Carlotta Chiesa

Poems from Parma!!

Beatrice Burani

I am from afternoons playing at the park,

from hot milk with cookies before

cartoons.

I am from the  Winx Water Wings, the pink

bandana and the SPF 50 sunscreen.

I am from the albums of stickers

my classmates and I used to swap.

I am from Christmas light illuminating

all the cold city,

from the holiday homework made the

night before school.

I am from teenaged angst insecurity,

from taking decisions impulsively.

I’m from Sunday at the movies with

friends

and Monday sitting in a little chair at

school.

I’m from “I’m proud of you!” to “You are

doing everything wrong!”, from swimming

in deep blue seas with my sister.

I am from never ending summer

nights, from mistakes that makes me feel

alive.

HERE I’M FROM

I’m from the wind,

The sun rays that woke me up

in the morning.

I’m from the chocolate cake’s fragrance

coming from my grandma’s oven.

I’m from the warm blankets,

the crackling of burning wood.

I’m from the watercolours,

from the daisies and the violets.

I’m from the olive tree my family and I

planted on the day my little brother was born.

I’m from the seashells,

from the playhouse,

and the football games with my brothers.

I’m from the love of my family,

who have always wanted the best that life could give.

I’m from the music that still brightens up

my day, being the soundtrack of my life.

Elena Sofia Nicolini

Where I’m from                                           

Aden Alestra

I am from two different countries,

from French holidays and happiness.

I am from travelling,

and from late-night talking and walking around the city.

I am from music,

and from singing till my lungs give out.

I am from the smell of new book ,

from reading with a comfortable blanket

and a hot chocolate.

I’m from very early mornings.

I’m from school, from studying,

and from injustices stored inside.

I’m from good and bad grades.

I’m from joy and complete sadness

that combine doing a kind of dance,

until they match,

causing  havoc.

I’m from new experiences.

I’m from parties, from summer nights,

from dancing like nobody is watching,

and feeling completely alive.

I’m from concerts and the stories,

that live within it.

I’m from my friends, for whom I’ll die,

and from their beautiful souls.

I’m from laughing out loud and crying with them.

I’m from long, warm hugs,

from sharing all of my deepest thoughts

an opinions, because they won’t judge.

I’m from them, because they are my second family,

and for which I feel an unconditional love.

And I’m from doing the silliest little things because it all matters.

Where I am from

Nicole Adami 4^M

I am from the salt of the sea

placed on my legs and on my lips,

from a deck chair, sunscreen and a beach towel

on the shoulders to shelter from the wind,

I am from the sand stuck on my feet

and from the sand castels destroyed by the sea.

I am from a dollhouse and a red rose on my night table,

from my bedroom

where it almost seems to live in the city of London.

I am from a Barbie’s long blond hair,

from fudge and eyeglasses,

from a suitcase and an airplane

always ready to go!

I am from a playground in the back of the garden

and from a rusty swing.

I am from a tractor and from the roost

of my neighbor, from the horses

and Ariel, my old sweet domestic donkey.

I am from the hills, from my fear of the lizards

And from the hammock under the poplar

I am from my two sisters and from my

grandmother, from my old photos hanging

over the bed in my rooms.

I am from my dreams that I hope one day

can come true.

My version of “Where I’m from”

I am from blue-painted hot-air balloons,

from a frayed pink teddy bear and shelves filled with books.

I am from the orange and Amaretto cobbler

my father always asks,

from the three little kisses before going to bed and from a chair at the kitchen table

which is sometimes empty.

I am from the rustling of printed paper and its unique scent,

from fantastic worlds and romantic stories,

from boys with a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt and from red-haired girls with marks on their body

who never give up.

I am from old bruises and incessant wounds, from insults and humans’ cruelty,

time faded the pain of the skin, the injuries of the legs and the arms,

but the heart still remembers, the heart feels invisible scars never healed.

I am from the sons of day labourers and workmen,

from the felted, grey flat cap and from the pierced, orange bonnet,

from a plate filled with panzerotti, a glass of homemade wine and the voices of politicians

which can no longer be listened to.

I am from music stands, headphones and scores,

from the emotions confessed just in front of a microphone and from the songs whispered under the shower,

from progress and heavy criticism, delusions and hope.

I am from the broken desks and from the blackboards covered in chalk,

from nights spent studying with my best friend, the book, and my soulmate, the highlighter,

from never managed stress and tears of frustration.

I am from the tired smile of the black-haired girl on the bus,

from the kiss on the cheek of the “golden-dolphin” girl on my way to school

and the resonant, warm laugh of my desk partner.

I am from the people,

those who ignore and despise me and those who love and support me,

but I know that the latter will always make the others disappear

in order to live beautiful moments.

Silvia Pistore

here I’m  from

I’m from black skin,

from a Queen of Ivory and

a man of integrity.

I’m from cuddles, hugs

of those know  how  to love.

I’m from pasta, tomato and pizza.

I’m from talking with gestures and replying

“bho” instead of “I don’t know.

I’m from diversity ,

able to break the barriers

of prejudice where people

like me are called Afroitalians.

Seratou Seouni

WHERE I’M FROM

I’m from school desks

to enrich my

from  days of study

among books and underlined notes.

I’m from walks out in the city center

with my friends,

from bubbly days full of

laughs, confidences, advice and shoulders to cry on,

from nights between a pizza and a cinema.

I’m from cereals

stuffed of dark chocolate,

candies,

lunches at Mc Donald’s

and form the braces that I hated so much.

I’m from the past few days with my

grand-parents that pampered me,

but that taught me to be a good girl.

In my heart there are most of the time beautiful memories,

that accompany

some a little less brighter,

but that make me

the person that I am now.

Rebecca Lubinu

Where I’m From

I am from the colourful little favelas
piled up over each other
to create a messy rainbow.
I am from grandma’s arepas,
from kites made of plastic bags
and old cartoons recorded on videotapes.
I am from Heely’s races
down the dangerous street,
falling and laughing over and over again.

I am from not having enough money
but enough happiness to share.
I am from independence,
from determination and insecurity
at the same time.
I am from making myself proud,
from books,
from studying until my brain
can no more,
for my mom’s smile at the result.

I am from adventures,
from getting lost
and finding the path on my own.
I am from glass marbles,
from homemade ice-creams and Doritos.
I am from Christmas
at my godmother’s and godfather’s house,
from the cityscape with a dusking sky behind,
and the honking heard in the late hours of the night.

(I am from secrets,
from mystery
and complicated love stories.
I am from eggs and bacon in the morning,
from running behind the bus
in an unknown city because we were sure
we were not going to be late.
I am from aesthetic music
in the middle of the night;
from pop corns and stargazing
on the balcony
talking ‘till the sunrise.)

I am from the mistakes of the past,
from the moments of the present
and the prospective future.
I am from this and so much more,
but I leave it up to you
to discover me and get to my core

Angy Almanzar

am from the fallen street signs,

the bumpy roads

and the abandoned houses.

I’m from the creaky swings,

from the village festivals

listening to 80’s music,

the bike rides and lost friendships.

I’m from the flooding school

the runs through the halls towards the burger man.

I’m from the flock of students awakened

when the bell rings

from bad grades in Maths

and late-night calls with my friends

talking about our hysteria.

I’m from Pippi Longstocking and Tom & Jerry,

from Disney movies and my parents’ wedding videotape.

I’m from fantasy books

And procrastinating in my bed crouched

In my favourite blanket.

I’m from the delicious smell of chocolate cake

And the falling leaves in the street.

I’m from winters passed in front of the fireplace,

the warm days of Sicily,

from “Ammunnine!” and “Comu si bedda!”

I’m from 5 Seconds Of Summer,

from crying my heart out,

warm smiles and hearty laughs.

I’m from my family,

the stupid conversations with my sister at 4 am,

from my mum who taught me to never give up and always be strong.

i‘m from shyness

and fear of not being accepted or not being enough,

from social anxiety

and dissatisfaction.

I’m from travellings,

from daydreams

and continuous battles against myself.

Benedetto Nigliazzo
I’m from my mother
and from my father,
from a little place near Rome
that I’ve always called home

I’m from the terrace on top of the world
where I spent hot days
and cold nights,
making promises and trying to see shooting stars

I’m from the hay’s powder,
from the passion fruit treats,
from the rough brushes that I pass on the back of my horse,
from my riding boots and from my helmet,
from the leather’s smell of the harness,
from every “Well done!” and every “Try again!”

I’m from my brother and friends,
from my mistakes and right things,
from my music and books,
from my dreams and my places,
from the summer and winter,
from my Christmases and birthdays,
from every hug and every nice word,
from every picture and every memory

This is me,
nice to meet you!

Vittoria Amadasi

I’m from a snowfall on December 24th

the day before Christmas

I’m from the hot and quiet sea

from a burning summer

I’m from difficult and unstable first-steps

an Autumn with yellow leaves in the garden

I am from my grandmother

and her smoking soups

I’m from long walks in the park

with scraped knees and tears

I am from laugh

and smell of cut grass

I am from hugs

and bed time stories

I am from small hat, caps

and umbrellas that save me from cold winter

I am from swings, little goats,

horses and rabbits to feed

I am from trips, songs and smiles

from my friends

I am from the force of a hurricane

and summer storms courage

I am from my mother’s car

and from our journeys

I am from the sunrise colours

while I’m walking to school

I am from crowded buses

and bike rides in the city

I am from everything that is yet to come.

Lisa Baracchi

Here is  20 more I Am From poems from Parma, Italy!

Hello. I am a High School student. I am concerned about the future of our global society, peace and justice in the world. I am from Liceo Marconi – Parma (Italy).

I’m from Disney movies,

Watched over and over again.

I’m from the song sang

By my father every night

So that I fell asleep and from Vasco Rossi.

I’m from Winnie the Pooh

And from the carnival costumes.

I’m from the warmth of a hug

All togheter

That sometimes I still miss.

I’m from the fire that heated up my feet

After the snow had frozen them.

I’m from Christmas gifts,

And from a camera,

Now turned off.

I’m from a dark pain,

In front of which I felt impotent.

I’m from what seems

Another life

But it’s also present and future instead.

I’m from hugs that speak

And from sharp looks.

From far-away words but never forgotten.

I’m from moments that I remember

Over and over again

To make them mine once more.

I’m from those moments,

Snapped to make me feel bad and good,

Snapped to make me what I am today.

Rebecca Iacci

ello. I am a High School Student. I am concerned about the future of our global society, peace and justice in the world. I am from Liceo Marconi-Parma(Italy). Herewith my I’m from “poem.”

I am from the city
from the family home
and their garden,
place of my fun.

I’m from the sunny days
playing volleyball
from laugh and school
from park and snacks
from the evenings watching television.

I am from my grandma,
the one and only,
from the eggs and the flour
from time spent together
among cousins and sibling.

I am from the sporting world
that I’ ve always loved
since I was little up to now
from the “hurry up” and many plans
and from the ability to organize everything.

I’m from these days
evolved and mature
aware of many things
and grateful for my life.

By Viola Folchini

WHERE  I’M  FROM

I am from the pages of my books,

Fromthe ink of the pens and the tips of the pencils.

I am from the fantastic world of « Hogwarts »

from the flight lessons with my friends of Griffyndor.

I’m from Nicholas Spark’s love stories,

From the walks with Jamie and Landon

and  from the timeless love of Allie and Noah.

I am from my lost love,

from the happy moments with my beloved

and from the sad memories of our goodbye.

I am from his hugs

that took my breath away ;

I am from my tears on the pillow

and from the ear – phones of my smarthphone

playing our last song.

I am from the Sicilian sea

and from the smell of the saltiness;

I am from the walks on the beach

under the shining sun of my land

and from the man crying: « Beautiful coconut! Fresh coconut! »

I am from hot and tasty « arancini »

And from the refreshing seltz with lemon and salt.

In the drawers of my writing desk,

Fumbling to find old postcards,

I remembered my childhood,

my classmates and lots of happy holiday days.

I am from those distant memories

and from the desire to return a little child

when it was the round dance to make the world fallen

and where my mom’s hug was enough

to make me smile again.

By Alessia Buccafusca

Where I am From

I am from my first teddy bear.

I am from the Disney’s movies,

from the books’ perfume read by my grandparents.

I am from the park behind my house,

from the evenings in the garden,

from the card games.

I am from the trips to the mountains.

I am from the disguises and the plays.

From music and songs

sang loudly.

From the clothes randomly put on.

I am from the snowballs and the sandcastles,

from ski races and hot chocolates,

beaches and lemonades.

I am from the cookies made with my mom,

from the salt dough and the molds,

from paints and watercolours.

I am from the barbecues on Sunday

and from the rugby matches on tv, seen with my dad.

I am from the quarrels and the hugs.

I am from the photos of the sunsets,

from the red leaves collected in autumn,

from the glowing fireplace and from the smell

of burned wood.

I am from the theatres and the museums,

from the endless journey by car and from the queues on the highway.

I am from too many questions and too much curiosity.

From long braids and bangs,

from my pink school smock.

I am from faded memories,

old photo albums and far away tales.

Anna Costi

I’m from Disney movies,

Watched over and over again.

I’m from the song sang

By my father every night

So that I fell asleep and from Vasco Rossi.

I’m from Winnie the Pooh

And from the carnival costumes.

I’m from the warmth of a hug

All togheter

That sometimes I still miss.

I’m from the fire that heated up my feet

After the snow had frozen them.

I’m from Christmas gifts,

And from a camera,

Now turned off.

I’m from a dark pain,

In front of which I felt impotent.

I’m from what seems

Another life

But it’s also present and future instead.

I’m from hugs that speak

And from sharp looks.

From far-away words but never forgotten.

I’m from moments that I remember

Over and over again

To make them mine once more.

I’m from those moments,

Snapped to make me feel bad and good,

Snapped to make me what I am today.

Rebecca Iaaci

I’m from my family                                            Frederica Segalini

from my parents, who have always tried

to make me happy

I’m from the quarrels with my brother

(which were frequent in the past)

now we get along

I’m from my grandparents

from my grandmum

who tried to teach me how to cook

but without results

I’m from horse-riding

from the falls on the sand

I’m from the typical smell of the riding school

which for many is unpleasant

But I love it.

I’m from volleyball

from team play

from all the infinite exercises against the wall

I’m from sprains and injuries

I’m from the most beautiful defeats

and from the hardest victories

I’m from my team’s hugs

which give you a unique strength

and they are of an inexplicable beauty

I’m from God

From Christian faith

From Eucharist on Sunday morning

And the catechism on Saturday afternoon

I’m from the children’s summer camp

before as a child

and then, now, as their entertainer

Where I am from

I am from different cultures

I am from Italy

From Ivory Coast

From Cameroon

I am from a big family

The are people I care for

I’m from candy and sweets

From pizza and hamburgers

From cakes and chips

I am from cries and  smiles

From ups and downs

I am from precious teachings

My parents have told me

Everything  you do well

I’m from many life lessons

Now I’m stronger than before

I’m from good moments

But also bad

I’m from many things

That make me who I am

Cleia anne-christine broh

Laura Cavalera

I come from an olive tree,

from its dry leaves that make noise and the fruit not ripe yet.

I come from the country land

(brown, barren,

able to make you thirsty).

I come from the pack of cicadas on the ancient trunks,

from the bushes of cappers

whose flowers have been put in my hair

for the village festival.

I come from scorching sand a clean sea

from empty, silent and incandescent afternoons.

I come from tanned skin with no return

and from the heritage of traditions,

from the Mena and Beddha mia!

I come from a black skirt and a red shawl,

from a tambourine that makes you tremble

like the tarantula poison.

I come from the branch of Cumpa’ Giuseppe and Donna Maria,

handmade pasta and fresh fish.

From the sea my grandfather gave up for a German dictionary,

the land my father did not chose for me.

On the shelf there is a big white shell

full of the noise of the waves

and the rhythm that healed the peasants

until the bare feet on the road hurt.

I come from a land I forgot,

and I want and deny—

from where simplicity is the greatest value

and you’re proud of speaking another language.

‘m from the  loving embraces of my family ,
from my grandparents,that have gone too soon
I’m from my neighborhood,
the walks with my dog,
I’m from the sunrise and the sunset
throught the window of my bedroom

I’m from my past ,my childhood
and all the memories that have gone-by too fast,
but that are always with me
I’m form my smiles and my tears
that have made me grow-up

I’m from all the trips that I’ve taken
and those I will go on,
they have always tought me something new.
I’m from the trip to New York
where I have understood what terrorism means,but also peace

I’m from the schools that I have attended,up to now
all the classmates that i have had
I’m from my friends,their presence
and our complicity
I’m also from my present ,
i’m here and I’m from Parma

Ludovica Tartaella

Where i’m from?

I’m from hot summers and foggy falls,

From the good food and the rose wine.

I am from a white bike,

From scraped knees and ripped jeans.

I am from the scratches on my arms

And the cat playing with my hand.

I’m from the football played in the schoolyard,

From the skipping rope and the hide and seek.

I am from rock ‘n roll,

From Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones.

I’m from daydreaming and unseeing eyes,

While the car is running fast on a long gray ride.

Best regards

SONIA BIGLIARDI
I’m from every hug,
every kiss,
every “I love you” ever said

I must be from another planet,
maybe from the Moon,
I don’t belong to here,
my heart’s too pure

I’m from a graveyard of buried hopes,
I don’t belong to here,I don’t want to
because this world let me down
and so did you

I’m from the dust under my bed,
I’m from all these thoughts in my head,
from the books I’ve never read

I’m from the ghost of my grandfather I used to see and now it is gone

I’m from the Harry Potter movies and the Disney Channel series

I’m from red glasses,
from a lot of freckles
and big brown eyes

I’m from a curly haired best friend
and two friends with the same name

I’m from croissants,kinder snacks and milk

I’m from “Your generation is the worst”
but also from “What do you like the most?”

Best regards,
Benedetta Leppe

Where I’m from

I’m from the park near my house,
the seesaw and the slide,
from the flat bread of the bakery.

I’m from the music and the dance,
from the tar under my dance shoes
and my dream of becoming a dancer.

I’m from the daisy smell,
from sweets, Gummi bears
and chocolate ice-cream taste.

I’m from the colour of the sea,
from sunny days
and from “the brightest star in the sky”
that I used to watch every night.

I’m from a shy temper,
from the fear of the dark,
from laughters and smiles.

I’m from fantastic stories,
from “once upon a time”
and “they lived happily ever after”.

I’m from afternoons spent with my friends
playing with our dolls
and from my grandparents’ house,
in the mountains.

I’m from my favourite cartoon videotape,
from my old DVDs
and from all my old photos in my wardrobe.

I’m from these moments
that, today, sometimes I dust
to remember my childhood.

Best regards, Martina Riccadonna.

I am from my honey candies

that I stole from my grandmother’s pocket.

I am from my grandfather’s mess

while he worked.

I am from my mother’s heels

that I wore to feel bigger,

and I am from the desire not to grow old.

I am from my dad’s passions

that inspired me a lot.

I am from the quarrels with my brother

from the games with my cousins

and from the rebukes

because I hadn’t tidied my room.

I am from the “do I tell him or not?”

maybe not is better.

I am from the well-given advices to the others

but never followed by me.

I am from my parents’ support in everything

and I am from my wish to live a life to the fullest.

By Eleonora Ollari

Where I am from

I’m from the hot cups of milk

From the cartoons I used to love so much.

I’m from the smell of pancakes

That my grandma used to cook for me,

From the spiral mosquito repellent lit up

In the summer nights.

I’m from the grandad I’ve never met,

Whose memories I feel so close to me.

I’m from the colorful dresses

And the ponytails.

I’m from the long mountain walks

When my poor dad had to lift me

On his shoulders.

I’m from the books I already now by heart,

But that I never get tired of.

I’m from my aunt’s advice,

I’m from my grandparents’ house:

Now it has become my shelter.

I’m from the drawers in my room,

That smell like chlorine, and bring back

A lot of good memories, now far distant.

I’m from the eye contact made with strangers.

I’m from the hugs my mum gives me

In difficult times.

By Marina Bergamini

WHERE I’M FROM

I am from the sun

from Salerno’s sea, where I go every summer

I am from honesty and simplicity

I am from hansle and beautiful flowers

those wich I picked up

when I went to the park with my grandfather

I am from ice cream and pizza

I am from my grandmother’s cakes and her passion for cooking

I am from my strict mom, my crazy sister and my hilarious dad

I am from my fifteen cousins

I am from the love of my big family

I am from the bike that I take every morning to go to school

I am from my volleyball team

I am from “never give up”

I am from my travels around the world that I wil never forget

I am from all the songs that I listen when I’m happy,

When I am sad or when I’m nervous

I am from my fantastic friends

I used to laugh, to cry to have fun with them

I am from my dreams and from my targets

I am from my school

My classmates and my teachers

I am from my will to get better always.

By Misia Pappalardo

Where I’m from

I’m from milken coffee

And plum jam,

I’m from fragrant hazelnuts

And my doll’s pram,

I’m from the smell

Of fireplace soot,

From birds chirping

And the bloomed offshoot.

I’m from the sound

Of the flowing stream

Loved by all,

From the howling wind

That makes the autumn leaves fall,

I’m from the prickly cold

That says :“The winter is coming!”,

From my little sister

Who out of the blue

Starts singing and dancing.

I’m from soft pillows

And the pounding of the rain,

I’m from an old willow

Where I used to play,

I’m from freshly washed bedsheets,

From Mary Poppins soundtrack

And the smell of coulored pencils.

I’m from giggling with my close friends,

I’m from sleep until late

At the weekends,

I’m from fairytales

And movies watched a thousands times

From every childhood games

And loud country fair.

Martina Cavalli, Parma

I’m from a little piece of heaven 

where I learned to live peacefully lying on a hay-bale

I’m from the dreadful hallway of the hospital 

and the people’s gloomy faces around me

I’m from “she has a heart of gold”

and “work hard in your life to achieve your purpose”

I’m from my great-grandmother’s eyes,

she taught me to enjoy my life

I’m from my insecurity and my perseverance

I’m from the worn out tyres of the bicycle 

used to go around the countryside

I’m from the cotton candy 

at the end of a fun fair day

I’m from my passion, for reading and cooking cakes,

I’m from a generation of people

who judges before knowing

I’m from a world full of prejudice

I’m from the beautiful sunset under the sky

listening to my favourite person playing the guitar

I’m from my little fluffy cat

who never lets me alone

even when I am away from home.

Best regards,

Elisa Trovato 

I am from a small ball,

that a day decided to blow up.

I am from the sky and the land

I am from the light of the day

and from the darkness of the night.

I am from oceans, mountains andr trees,

I am from animals, from monkeys.

I am from Adam and Eve,

from their children and the children of their children,

until my grandparents.

I am from the small brown eyes

of my grandfather and from

the nose of my grandmother.

I am from my parents:

from the upper lip of my father

from the lower lip of my mother.

Scientifically I came from this…

…but in the end,

Where did I come from?

Honestly I don’t know,

but I think

this will stay a beautiful

mystery.

Best regards,

XY.

aura Tebaldi

Where I’m from

I am from my bedroom,

from the sheets and the pillows.

I am from my mum’s warm arms.

(Tanned, soft,

she smelled of lavender.)

I am from my dad’s chest,

his big hands

they taught me

how to horse ride.

I am from tasty sandwiches and pencils,

from grand-mum and grand-dad.

I’m from the traditions

and the new things,

from “be careful!” and “be responsible!”.

I’m from my family

who has raised me

with love and an education.

I’m from my brother’s

cartoons and toy cars.

From the little problems

and the happy moments.

Inside my heart there’s a special place

spilling old memories.

I am from those memories

sometimes sudden

but forever with me.

aura Tebaldi

Where I’m from

I am from my bedroom,

from the sheets and the pillows.

I am from my mum’s warm arms.

(Tanned, soft,

she smelled of lavender.)

I am from my dad’s chest,

his big hands

they taught me

how to horse ride.

I am from tasty sandwiches and pencils,

from grand-mum and grand-dad.

I’m from the traditions

and the new things,

from “be careful!” and “be responsible!”.

I’m from my family

who has raised me

with love and an education.

I’m from my brother’s

cartoons and toy cars.

From the little problems

and the happy moments.

Inside my heart there’s a special place

spilling old memories.

I am from those memories

sometimes sudden

but forever with me.

Where I am from

I am from a very little town,

that I remember so big

while I was walking to the “mill”

tasting the perfume of chestnuts,

picking up grapes

I am from my grandmother’s ice lolly

that she used to make for me

I am from the stories about her childhood

that I used to listen to

under our cherry tree

I am from her smiles,

from her reprimands

I am from school bells, desks and papers

from 40 minutes bus rides

I am from hard studying

to be able to choose my own life

wondering why my expectations are so high

I am from the fear of disappointing myself and the others

I am from plié  and grand jeté

from “don’t give up!”

I am from the bright lights of the theater

I am from those satisfactions

I am from good laugh

from the funniest moments,

and from the saddest ones

I am from those hot summer nights

spent with my friends in front of the bar

This is where I am from

Best regards,

Federica Serventi

Where I am from

I am from the sun,

from Puglia’s sea and beach,

I am from semplicity,

( but not always,

there are details that count)

I am from seashells,

those I picked up,

when I went to the seaside with my mom,

and I think I still may have them.

I am from “pasta al sugo” and pizza,

from my grandmom’s meatballs and her love.

Because I am fromlove,

my parent’s love

Now that love doesn’t exist anymore,

I am from melancholy for that,

but I am from strenght too,

my mother’s strenght

she taught it when my dad left.

I am from my passion for music,

I can’t sing,

but Tiziano Ferro’s songs

I sang them as a child with my mom

and now with my friends.

I am from those moments.

I am from my values,

my ideas and my dreams

those my mother instructed me with

and my friends helped me make them better.

I am from my little sacrifices

which have brought me great satisfactions.

I am from my anger and my tiredness,

never giving up my “will to live”.

XY

The language—captures so much in this one..the verbs and sounds of the words!

I Am From

Bob Wayne

I am from what was once called

The Paris of the Midwest.

Nugent called it the

Motor City Madhouse.

KISS just called it

Rock City.

Rock and Roll Capital of the World

felt kind of pretentious after

Motown Records left for Hollywood.

We never forgave them.

* * *

I rolled off the assembly line at

Wayne County General Hospital

and rumbled over the potholes to

Northwest Hebrew Memorial Park.

Dad was a gravedigger.

Felt the sunrise glitter

off granite tombstones

and chased butterflies

through five foot flower beds.

My kidneys are the color of

Faygo Red Pop and Vernors ginger ale.

* * *

I am from the Motor City.

I am made of Fins and Chrome,

purring Fours and growling Eights,

assembly lines, union lines, unemployment lines.

’59 Bel Air, the car I came home in,

’64 Catalina, Dad’s first family car,

’69 LeMans, a sop to his wife,

’74 Monte Carlo, because his sons had their own cars.

My lungs bear the scars

of long trips in those cars

breathing Dad’s Lucky Strikes unfiltered

and the plastic stench of Mom’s True cigarettes.

Lively entertainment on TV:

’67 Riots

’68 World Series Champs,

Lake Erie catching fire. Twice.

* * *

I am a West-sider,

far from the Dodges, the Fords,

and the other princes of the city.

At fourteen, I sailed Grand River Avenue

to iconic Eight Mile Road,

barreling down to Telegraph Road

where the poor-boys raced

for stoplight glory.

Like Bob Seger said,

East-siders raced on Gratiot Avenue;

they raced for pinks.

Buried in the back seat

of my brother’s Torino GT.

Choking on burning rubber

and nitro-methane fumes (you wish!)

351 cubic reasons to pee my pants.

Green light gladiators

in White Castle parking lots

chasing Blond ponytails on Saturday nights.

* * *

Smokestacks tumbled to the

Japanese Auto Invasion,

when they finally got us back for

Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

At least that’s how it felt

in the unemployment lines;

squalling babies and nervous chatter of

Assembly Line Dogs and Shop Rats.

* * *

At 17 I ran to university, running from

The Murder Capital of the World,

where Mayor Young told frustrated Blacks

“Whitey in the suburbs won’t give us no money,”

and gangs slaughtered each other for turf.

Devils Night imps burned what little was left.

Today, they should put a Phoenix

on the front of City Hall,

as a few brave souls

turn the lights back on.

It’s tempting to go back

for a fresh start

# classes from New Rochelle High School sent in some beautiful, remarkable poems…

Read them all. Write your won, Send it out to tell your story!

New Rochelle High School

Ms. Vicinelli’s Period 2 Tenth-Grade English Class

“Where I’m From” poems

BRITTANY TREJO

I am from flan when the sky cries

Fairy lights and ripped jeans,

Piano keys hitting the air in the afternoon

Laugher in the kitchen, quiet in the room.

Stories of the old times and stories of the new

Feelings of the happiness seeing sunflowers on the ground

And the clouds up above, singing in the shower when people are asleep

The pictures on the walls scream how time has flown, the colors are faded

Yet the memories stick. Silent nights to hectic mornings.

I am from the scraped knees and many Band-Aids, the voice and rhythm

In my steps when I walk. The mango trees and oak green leaves. My smile

Like the yellow brick road of happiness in times of darkness. My parents’ star.

“Where I’m From” by Stephanie Salazar

I am from two flags:

from red, white and blue.

from yellow, blue, and red.

I am from “Que quibo” and “parcero.”

I am from big puffy dresses and father-daughter dances,

a party, a Quinceñera, somewhere where one goes from being a seed to a blossomed flower,

where l celebrate leaving my childhood behind, and getting ready to take on the world as a young fifteen year old.

I am from having a long day and coming home to dogs barking

and birds chirping.

I am from family Friday nights where we watch movies

and the popcorn is yellow confetti filling the room.

I am from helmets and feeling the wind brush against my skin while I ride.

I am from strings and bows made out of horse hair,

from music notes rising from the papers and flowing into my ears.

I am from kicks and punches on the punching bag.

I am from scars and bruises, but with the satisfaction of victory.

Brian Haley

I am from a tree,

Where presents lie beneath,

Full of video games and an elf,

An elf on the shelf.

I am from a screen,

With a system of entertainment,

I play with my friends,

I’m better at this than they are.

I am from oil in a pan,

Sometimes I’m crispy,

Sometimes I’m fluffy,

Sometimes I’m crispy and fluffy.

I am from a zoo,

In my head that is,

Many animals roam there,

The cats are the best!

I am from a Griffin,

Who farts on his kid,

He’s fat as a bear,

But he is a “Family Guy.”

I am from a community,

A community of videos,

Whether baking or gaming,

It’s a really great time!

Where I’m From by Christian Oseguera

I am from tall buildings and

I am from hot summers and cold winters

I am from bike rides and falls

I am from gloves and bats

I am from a ton of rain during the spring

I am from die-hard Giants fans

I am from helmets and shoulder pads

I am from fish hooks and lures

I am from water surrounding me all over

I am from the greatest city…New Rochelle

Christen Caron

Tall buildings

Quiet streets

Skateboards and cut knees

Yelling parents and sleepless nights

My fluffy dog and Christmas lights

Only child lonely days

I’m from Metro cards and missed trains

From sneakers and overpriced hoodies

Late night subway rides and sleepy eyes

Shake Shack at 2 am dreading to go back home

New York City the place I love

“Where I’m From Poem” by Griffin Conte

I am from Yankees and Giants

I am from bats and gloves

I am from pools and meets

I am from Spalding’s and Marucci’s

I am from quiet neighborhoods and loud cities

I am from New Rochelle High School and Rome

I am from the Acqualina and my bedroom

I am from good grades in English class and bad grades in math

Julian Quintero

New Rochelle High School

“Where I’m From” Poem

I am from small pixels of color to old pictures from when we were little.

I am from the shoreline and waves from where Grandpa used to bring us.

I am from the loud smell of rose from our glossy wooden bench.

I am from our aged family traditions, the white glowing lights springing from the dark green tree.

I am from large elderly memories of my family that I hold close.

Liana Secondino

I am from a town where strangers are family to loud cars downtown and large houses uptown.

I am from twelve o’clock dinners on Sundays and a choice of either Romano or parmesan cheese.

I am from visiting my dad every other weekend and waking up with my mom on weekdays.

I am from calloused fingers and using my thumbs instead of plastic triangles.

I am from pedals and tires and stopping to talk about what-if’s on church steps.

I am from thinking moving pictures are better when pages with words fulfill imagination.

I am from a bad habit of my phone to appreciating nature after dinner.

I am from old tunes and rhythms and vintage vinyls and record players.

I am from picking scabs and sunburns when summer rolls around.

I am from making sure I play with all my dolls so one does not feel left out.

Cristopher Machado

Where am I from??!!

I am from tackling and scoring

I am from Mom and Dad

I am from spending money and carrying bags

I am from learning new things and exploring

I am from playing an instrument

I am from happiness and joy

I am from caring and love

I am from lifting and getting strong

I am from excitement and bright

I am from Intelligent and smart

Where I’m from by Erick Zambrano

I am from my bed

on the sky-blue fluffy clouds

I am from the rhythm of the music

That flows like a river

I am from a solo

rather than a boring duet

I am from the battery

of my sleeping phone.

I am from a country

that lives life to the fullest.

Where I’m From

by Breyon Messiah Williams

I’m from coiled long hair and dreadlocks that shake without thought

I’m from hard hitting helmets and gloves that still make you catch with thought

I’m from music that makes you sing along about all the life lessons you were once taught.

I’m from the first, third, fourth, and sixth floor in an apartment building built with red bricks

I’m from the studio where they make bars that’s so sick.

I’m from the HOOD with all of the teddy bears and sweet angles

and from were a dunk ignites and a crossover breaks ankles.

I’m from the projects where everyone is family and superstars are born

I’m from the farms where new livestock like ox are born.

I AM FROM

I AM FROM

I

AM

FROM.

New Rochelle High School

Ms. Vicinelli’s Period 3 Tenth-Grade English Class

“Where I’m From” poems

“Where I’m  From”   Written By Adriana Quinones

I am from pasta and pizza,

rice and beans

from late night pictures with family that I don’t really see

I am from the broken bones on my sixth birthday

to melted hot summer sorbèt.

From where you hear,

La Vita Bellà in the streets of old Napoli

to sounds of trains and cars in the Bronx

and crickets in a small suburban town

I am from the home where I got my first pet

to watching the sun set

to tears when I found out that dogs go to heaven too

I am my nonna, my mom

and my dad too.

I am the music that I listen to.

Sela Wedlaw

I am from The Phantom of the Opera,

I am from iced black coffee and almond milk,

I am from my little blue journal,

My acrylic paints and rough brushes,

I am from this earth that sprouts leaves and petals,

I am from sunflowers that reach for the sky

And from words that drip from pages like honey.

I am from the color yellow, just trying to make people happy.

I am from my childhood home and now I am from new beginnings,

I am from bisexual culture, Hispanic culture, and Black culture.

I am from everything my mother taught me to be,

From the pepper pot she makes on Christmas or from the roti she brings home from Sybils,

I am from cuddles in the cold and hot chocolate in our holiday mugs,

I am from Disney movies with my sisters,

I am from vans and crop tops and losing my socks in the wash,

From 90’s fashion and music.

I am from my natural kinky curls that I flaunt like the queen I was meant to be,

But I am also from insecurities that build up like grease on a grill.

Guess what, I’m also from faking it till I make it and therapist appointments.

I am from hope and thriving and pushing myself to be better than I was last year, last month, last week and yesterday.

I am from poetry that allows me to speak my mind in an art form.

“Where I’m  From”

I am from where the beach is beautiful.

I am from the beach in the house.

I am from the sand in my feet.

I am from where fishing is fun and enjoyable.

I am from the family reunions.

Am from a strong family.

I am from where the TV doesn’t work so I have to get it.

From where there are a lot of hurricanes.

I am from where there is a lot of destruction and solutions.

Am from where streets are loud but safe .

I am from blue skies and sunny days every day of the year.

I am from where nothing but everything happens

                                                                            By Pedro Silva

By: Teresa Deda

I am from loud music and barking dogs

Wet shoes and grass too long

I am from the scrapes on my knees

That burn when I sweat

And the rosebush whose thorns make me turn red

I am from the book I don’t understand

And the words I can’t pronounce

I am from ink on my hands

And paper cuts on my thumb

I’m from the sweat that falls in my eyes

And the legs that burn when I run

I’m from the heat of a race

And the sound of a gun

I am from loud breathing

To heavy wheezing

I am from where the fish dance through water

While deers prance across streets

From the sound of thunder

And the sight of lightning

I am from the pictures of moments I can’t remember

And the laughs I can’t forget

The places I’ve been

And what I learned

I’m from the moments that cross my mind at different times

Where I am from

I am from math,

From numbers, calculators and equations.

I am from feelings, who listens,

expresses.

I am from Peru, a country beautiful as a angel.

Beautiful because of Machu Picchu one of the popular places in Peru.

I am from a family who cares about people and

Their feelings.

I am from a good behavior who helps people.

I am from a person who doesn’t care about what other people say. I care about what I think, not of what people think of me.

I am from shy

From not telling people what I really want to tell them.

By Piero Perez

by:Aggrey Scott                                      I am from

(Where we all grow up)

I am from love and closeness

from the pull of my family

I am from the warmth of others

And their faith inside me

I am from  a thought of peace in the world corrupt

From an ideal utopia where we all grow up

I am from relaxing memories

Of joyous trips in the season

Just to be with my family

that is all the reason

Whether it be on the sand

With the sun beaming on me

Or in the hotel with my siblings upon me

It could be in the cold

In the house that we abode

Telling jokes or stories or watching the snow

I am from comfort and encouragement

From faith and belief

With family to cheer me on

Without sorrow without grief

There, there, no matter, what to tell me to persevere

There, there, no matter, what to tell

Me not to fear

I am from the institution of love

The institution of peace

That’s embedded on my mind like

Your fingers on grease

To accomodate love

to accommodate kindness

To show everyone we are all of one likeness

I remember days of elementary school

learning about history and the fools from the past

As they sought only to kill others through discord so fast

Without thinking or hesitation

Without guilt or contempt

They slayed their own kind with their family……. and their friends

All due to the small differences between each of us

But what would it have taken them to remember their own  family and their own friends

Waiting at home for them to make it to the end

Why sow a seed of discord or a seed of contempt

While all we need to do is make peace and make friends

This is my perspective of the world that I see

This is my perspective of the ideal world I want to be

But don’t you think if we all thought this way our world would be filled with peace?

I am from love and closeness

from the pull of my family

I am from the the warmth of others

And their faith inside me.

I am from a thought of peace in a world corrupt

From an ideal utopia where we all grow up.

Second of three classes from Karen Vicinellis

Where I am from

I am from cleats and shoulder pads

From the weight room to home

I am from practicing three hours a day to going home and showering

I am from a family of hardworking people

From the deli to the park

From the field to the court

From the ground to the air

Like a bird soaring through the sky

I am from the tall buildings to a suburban community

I am from two different families

From parents that were united

To parents that were enemies

I am from the Bronx

Where some people might consider the “hood”

I am from a lot of pain

From having the best confidence in the world

To not knowing if I have a purpose

I am from cleats and shoulder pads

From the weight room to home

With a dream of making it to the pros

From that little Bronx kid

To that tall, skinny, teen

I am from cleats and shoulder pads…

From the weight room and home…With a dream of making it to the pros.

By: Jason Vargas

Where I’m From                         by: Ronnie Lopez

I’m from loud music

The smell of bad foods

Playing video games like we’re in them

I am from crazy soccer games where family goes psycho

Where little babies crawl around like cute little puppies.

I am from screaming crazy animals

The morning smell of fresh coffee no sugar

Talking Spanish and English sipping tea without sugar

I’m from dancing professionals

I am from sleep, like babies

But I’m from hard work

Where I’m From

I am from open field and lots of fun

I am from the center of music,

With people running and kicking,

A ball is not just a sport, is a way of life.

I am from where weather is not an excuse.

I am from food paradise, food is not just food,

It’s a gift.

I am from rainy days colorful rainbows and lots

Of mod.

I am from spicy is not a word

I am from you’re never too old to have fun

By Jose Alvarado

I am from

By Caitlyn Pimenta

I am from black knee pads

And broken ankles

I am from an all-girls team

And scoring the winning goal

I am from smiling faces

And burnt out at only fifteen

I am from all nighters

And being heartbroken at fourteen

I am from meltaways

And linzer cookies

I am from coffee bottles

And closing at six

I am from daydreams

And nightmares

I am from not knowing

And knowing too much.

“Where I’m From”

By: Lily Diamond

I am from eyes filled with chlorine,

from playing the piano with numb fingers and white ice skates with shiny blades.

I am from the vines growing on the side of the house.

I am from the beach’s golden sand getting in between my toes,

the sand that I’ve always despised.

I am from homemade grilled cheeses and buttered pasta.

I’m from long car rides and Hanukkah candles that I would watch as they melted slowly.

I’m from learning all of the presidents’ names in a song,

a song that I remember to this day.

 From dirty dishes and unclean laundry.

I am from the moments of uncertainty on third base.

From watching the leaves fall from the trees as winter began.

I’m from reading riddles and telling stories.

From kickball tournaments and soft-baked cookies.

“Where I’m From “

By: Yaira Rodriguez

I am from curly hair,

From leave-in conditioner and Cantu.

I am from the glistening water and warm sand.

I am from pointe and pique turns

that transform me into a dreidel.

I am from hands as small as a baby’s

With freckles on my wrists.

I am from Becca Fitzpatrick

And Maggie Stiefvater who’s novels

Teleport me to another world when I have to escape my own.

I am from lands of coffee

High up on the mountains of Siguatepeque, Comayagua

That my father visits twice a year.

I am from speaking more than one language.

I am from a Latino family whose

smiles are as bright as the sun,

Whose laughs are so contagious to the point where

They have the whole block laughing.

I am from five siblings,

Some I haven’t seen in 5,000 years.

I am from two families who love me with all their might.

Families that have taught me to get along with

All those that have respect.

I am from a house with walls that show

All of our childhood memories.

Good and bad.

I am from a broken window at my grandma’s house

That my cousin and I ran into when we were little

practicing our ballet.

I am from a family who always loses their marbles,

But I love them dearly.

I am from my crazy Rodriguez family and I am from a world full of happiness.

“Where I’m From”

I am from the meats and the salsas,

from my dirty uniform and my cleats.

and my smelly feet.

I am from my hard-working parents,

and a beautiful home with glycerin countertops.

I’m from a mega mansion

filled with millions of cousins.

I am from the sky being as orange as a highlighter,

and the moon being as bright as milk.

I am from the dark sky at night

with shining stars feeling as if the stars are talking to me.

I’m from the Bible and listening to my mother pray.

I am from long brown hair, and smelling the food

from the kitchen being cooked by my mother from a mile away.

I am from my father working hard by bringing out the food to the customers.

I am from my mother and father.

I am from the Spanish letters flowing through my brain.

I am from a controller and a TV.

I am from hearing barking when I arrive in my

second home. I am from coming home late in the

Afternoon exhausted when I have to pull out my jersey.

I am from being dressed appropriately for special events, and

from the musical notes flowing through my head.

I am a male teen with an amazing life.

By Erick Cardenas

“Where I’m From”

by Daniel McPherson

I am from pixels on a screen

From the rush of fun you get when you play

I am from the individual keys with letters

From the rage I feel when outplayed

I am from the cold sweats and war

The joy of winning a game

I am from the stain on my carpet

From the dent in the kitchen fridge

I am from the trees that come with jerk chicken and rice

From the warm sun calling out my name

I am from the trees filled with coconuts

From its sweet taste sublime

I am from the waves that crash on the shore

From the calming sounds of seashells

Where I stumble to find some more

From these moments I came from

There are many more to come

From the precious life I hold

I hope for some more

“Where I’m From”

by Gonçalo Pinto

I am from the food’s paradise,

where every food is delicious,

Where I eat my favorite foods,

Bacalhau, Francesinha.

I am from where the sun is always shining,

Never cold, where I have fun

With my friends, going to the

Beach and eating ice cream.

Where the sun smiles until eleven at night,

Also where the streets are always

Safe, staying outside with my friends

Until late doing funny things.

Where there is no need to go to the store

and get vegetables, just need to go to

my backyard and get them.

Where everyone is gentle and happy.

Where I Am From Poem

Brandon Pulido

I am from soft white snow.

I am from the scent of delicious tacos.

I am from looking outside while the earth is a melting pillow.

I am from walking outside stepping onto a daytime moon.

I am from where the running deer float while the bells echo.

From shoveling up the snow to hot chocolate inside.

I am from getting gifts and seeing family.

From celebrating the new year,

to watching a melting pillow.

I am from school being closed.

To tons of work the second I step in.

I am from where people are now wearing shorts.

From where people are stressed

Wishing we were back in December.

I am from where a lot of people hate the cold.

But wish it had never left.

Where I’m From By Jack Callahan

I am from the middle infield

From turning double plays to fielding ground balls

I am from my grandmother and grandfather

From my mother and father

I am from New York

Never liked the Yankees a day in my life

I am from the Mets, Jets, Knicks

I am from the hot sand at the bottom of my feet

The games played in the water to the snacks ate on the boardwalk

I am from fantasy sports

From the draft to the winnings and the competition

“Where I am From”

By: Genesis Samaniego

I am from a hard working mom who wakes up early on a early morning cleaning countertops,

From trying to keep quiet so I don’t wake my sister up,

From doing my chores so I won’t have to after school

Making my coffee and checking if my dad brought cream last night in the fridge

Wishing I have enough time to even make my lunch

Rushing out the door hoping I don’t have to chase the bus down the street

From feeling the cloudy weather and nice cool breeze blowing my hair backwards

Catching my breath as I swipe my card in the ticket machine and saying good morning to the conductor

From coming back home from school and feeling the sun coming down my body and wondering what’s due for homework for tomorrow

To the point where I lay on my bed, and tell myself that I am at a great point in life that I will always look back on

“Where I am From’’ by Keydi Murillo

I am from the dirt around my aunt’s porch.

I am from the flowers dancing like there’s no

tomorrow.

I am from the dogs walking around grandmother’s

house looking for food.

I am from tortillas with coffee in the

morning.

I am from every pink scar etched into my body.

I am from the best hide-and-seek player of my

childhood.

I am from the dark color in my skin when the day

is so sunny.

I am from river, from beaches and lobster pots.

I am from the sugary taste of my Coca-Cola drink.

I am from all that has happened and all that will be.

Oh my…third  of three classes of Kara Vicinelli—Amazing work!

 New Rochelle High School                     

Ms. Vicinelli’s Period 8 Tenth-Grade English Class

“Where I’m From” poems

 I am From

By: Jasmine Espinoza

I am from a cramped looking doll house with the

tiniest backyard that was perfect for me to play

with at the age of five

I am from the soaring grassy fields far, far away

from home

I am from a urban area with people walking so

close to you like books on a shelf

I am from my mother’s appetizing fish tacos and chicken soups

that you can whiff from my room in the third floor

I am from The Secret Garden walking close to Colin Craven

and Dickon Sowerby

I am from a flag that waves fifty stars with

the appealing colors of red, white and blue

I am from my family, from the noisy screaming of my

two younger sisters, from cleaning the counters with mom

and from watching soccer players run towards a

ball in a great big field on television

“Where I’m from” by Jaiden Bowers

I am from controllers, from consoles and competitive gamers

I am from hoops, basketballs and jerseys

I am from jerk chicken, patswa and family traditions

I am from anime, electronics and online communication

I am from sandy beaches, blazing sun and the smell of summer in the air

I am from fashion, diamond and gold jewelry and famous brand shoes

I am from friends, adults and the wonders of people in general

I am from the text messages, soothing vibrations of my typing and videos

I am from earphones, many different type of musicians and rappers

I am from the skies blue as the ocean, grass green and with life and living trees

I am from precious memories forever trapped on a piece of paper and Many more to come.

Where I’m from  Jacky He

I am from helmets to cleats,

From wide open fields that feels as if they

stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

I am from hungry for winning

but not hungry to be starving.

I am from yellow cars to their loud beeping horns,

From weekdays at New Rochelle High School to the busy

Weekends at Shack Shack with friends

I am from even at sunset it doesn’t shine

But stands in fire charcoal to the waist.

Where I’m From by Rebekah Seales

I am from palm trees and coconuts

I am from large families

I am from hand-me-downs,

Skirts, shirts and shoes

I am from long hot summer days

Although I prefer the cold ones

I am from the green mountainside where crickets sing their night time song

I am from old antenna TV, colors, black and white

I am from watching Grandma as she tends to her tomatoes

And playing with a baby on a comforter on the floor

I am watching her pray and with her Bible on the bed

Praying to bless her children and grandkids along their way

I am from BBQ’s every Saturday and Reggae

Jose Cardenas

Where I’m From

I am from shin guards, and soccer cleats to working hard and running like a cheetah.

I am from chewing gum, and eating candy as I remember eating gum and skittles at the same time.

I am from wrestling toys and Hot Wheels as I can remember playing with them as a kid.

I am from Xbox, and controllers to playing with people on playstation and PC.

I am from falling and breaking my arm to healing and being able to write again.

I am from fighting and saying mean stuff to my sister to loving her as a sister and having good times together like we used to as little kids

I am from a world of junk food as there are chips and chocolate by my side.

I am from my mom’s food, my sister’s makeup, and my dad sitting on the couch watching tv.

I am from my room just sitting around and laying down when I am tired.

I am from English and Spanish since I speak both

“Hola como estas?”

“I am fine and you?”

“Where I’m From” By: Lianna Platzner

I am from crêpes and croissants baked freshly in the South

From beaches with skies as blue and clear as the water below it

I am from long car rides to nowhere

From Frank Sinatra and classical music through the speakers of my dad’s car

I am from strings and chords

From notes and melodies

I am from script books and highlighters

And clip-on microphones with terribly old tape

I am from petals and stems

From a new bouquet of roses and tulips every week

I am from trees and ornaments

From paper snowflakes and making bland vegan gingerbread cookies

I am from Hannukah with my parents every year

And from Christmas at my best friend’s house

I am from picnics in Washington Square Park

From dancing grass and bubble tea

I am from family and friends filled with jokes and laughter

From love and caring all around

I am from happiness and kindness

From memories that will forever be meaningful

Victoria Sainvil

Where I From Poem

I am from my purple bedding along the side with my stuffy toys

I am from cuddling with my one and only, Teddy Cash Bear

I am from waking up from either dreams or nightmares

I am from going to places every now and then

I am from Florida, visiting family and having fun

I am from my reflection from the sea, once we go out to the beach

I am from feeling my skin blossom up from the sun

I am from wiping my mouth after eating some barbeque chicken

I am from saying goodbyes and “see you next time”

I am from home snuggling back into my bed

´´Where I´m From´´ By: Michael Pippo

I am from the hockey rink to the

Ice to the puck to the crease to

The net to the goal. I from the

Field to the striker to the net

To the finishing goal. To the

Sidelines of the field to the

Moving of the ice.  As the

Puck and ball are as fast as

Lightning. From the grass

To the snow is what I’ll

Always be and never

Forget. From the ice rink

to the field.

I Am From…

~Brenda

I am from the click-clacking sounds the controller makes

To the smooth, glossy touch the buttons give

And to the deep dark digital voice that announces

“Game Over”

I am from the year 2525

From Earth’s atmosphere to Halo Rings

To plasma pistols to plasma grenades

From intense training to saving the world

I am from headsets to mouse and keyboards

From blisters to sore necks and bad postures

To cursing and yelling

To getting yelled at and getting grounded 😀

Where I’m From

By: Anthony Ramos

I’m from long days of practice and running

From bruises on my body to concussions

From losing games away and home

From everyday conditioning to hard work

From a jersey with number 22

I’m from scrumcaps

From rooks

From turf burns

I’m from

New Rochelle Rugby

                  “Where I’m from” By Jaison Mock

I’m from the bat in my hand as I swing.

I’m from the bass in the background of the beat.

I’m from the group of friends I talk to and joke with everyday.

I’m from playing with my siblings everyday and never getting bored.

I’m from the hard work and sweat when my dad pushes me to be great.

I’m from my mom making sacrifices and always making sure I’m on track.

I’m from the coaches who have taught me the things I know.

I’m from my grandma who spoils me even when I don’t need to be.

I’m from my grandpa who would do anything just to see one of my baseball games.

I’m from the excitement and joy when the Yankees win.

I’m from the pain and tears when my favorite player leaves my team.

I’m from the purple and white of New Rochelle.

“Where Im from” by Katherine Godoy

I’m from seeing the stars to

feeling like one

I’m from sleeping to not knowing if I’ll wake

I’m from the tide to the sand that you feel on your feet

I’m from a girasol to a rose

From a person who buys your plants

To the one watering them

I’m from the person who’s lost but mysterious

I’m the guy you hear every morning

In Mexico screaming “agua agua’’

I’m that friend that you have had since

sixth grade

Just wondering will you every replace me

“Where I’m from” remake by Jordan Sylvester

I am from Nintendo,

From competition and the desire to win.

I am from chicken tenders, french fries

And the honey mustard of Applebee’s

As it taste like a sacred sauce.

I am from a massive group of gamers,

As we get together and have fun

Until the sun wakes up.

I am from swordsmen as my blade resembles a key.

I am from nature as the tides come up

To my feet while the wind tickles my nose

I am from “Rick and Morty” as I see portals

Open and close. I’m from Splatoon where my Oc

Has special eyes.

I am from bladers as these metal tops would spin and clash.

I’m from pokemon as my oc has an appearance like a wolf As I howl through the night.

I’m from a line of cooks as my brother complains

And my friends want more, I’m from New York

as I travel through the city and more of the U.S.

I’m from a family who I can never forget.

Where I’m from

By Annie Thao

I am from milky, rice noodles drenched in a beef based broth.
An overwhelming love for pungent reds that leave me swamped in the face but raging in the mouth.

I am from the Webster playground on a dazzling, ice cream teasing day. Coasting through emerald grass in cartwheels and front flips

I am from Selby’s diverse soul,
a neighborhood that sings a hot cocoa on a winter’s day tune.

I am from rushing waterfalls that soak my feet where the minerals lay.
The night so pitch-black but yet the hundreds of eyes glistening make it the most radiant.

I am from lectures and fathomless conversations with a family of eight. Through mishaps to success may we sprout from our past.

I am from mourning of a beloved wrinkled, toothless pot of gold who’s exuberant spirit will live forever even if we may never meet again.
An ankle that underwent a sprained willingness to dance. A form of art that I breathe in
and that serves my purpose.

I am from “work hard,” crystal, clear tears and a success crave.
Daughter of self-less immigrants whom should never be stripped from their prideful future.

I am from the Hmong women who are not heard.
An advocate for those who stand and those who can’t.

Oh my…..what beauty…what words. The project grows.

1-I am from poem and monarch milkweed art-Michelle-Kogan- 9-19-2018

Here is a group poem…they are lovely to do with a whole class, church group…

Where I’m From by the kids of Union Church

I am from sisters,
from a staircase, and blueberry pancakes.
I am from cinnamon rolls, tile,
oatmeal, a red cup.
I am from yellow walls, beautiful
counter tops, pink tulips,
where we celebrate the dog’s birthday,
and Harry Potter’s birthday,
and we snuggle.
I am from Vera and Mama and Mimi and Nana and grandparents and ridiculous friends.
I am from silly and happy,
from jobs and Minecraft,
from bacon and croissants.
I walk into church and see
people,
an organ,
and I think about God.
I remember wolves,
a huge backyard, and how I loved to dance
in the living room.

Elizabeth G. Burton just send this in…Wow!

Where I’m From

By Elizabeth Burton

I am from electric fences,

from hay mowed up the hillside.

I am from horses nobody wanted,

and wayward dogs

pushed from cars to find a home.

(They cried in the night

until I found them.)

I am from the in between

of bluegrass and coal

where the townsfolk say

ambition is above your raising.

I am from Miriam and Leon

who ignored the townsfolk.

I am from where people leave.

I’m from autoharps and fiddles,

from four-part harmonies sung

to a pump organ

in a white clapboard church.

I am from women should be silent.

I am from women who are made

of big words.

I’m from the Legend

of the Sharkey brothers,

their lost treasure sending

children into woods

filled with blackberry branches

and a town so long abandoned

tins of Sunlight Soap sit in

the general store window.

I am from cornbread

and buttermilk biscuits,

from the lung my mother

lost to a tumor,

the college job my father

lost to politics.

In my parents’ closet,

jewelry boxes lined the edges,

generations of memories

stored in their velvet insides.

On rainy days,

my mother would remove

select pieces,

encircle me in her words,

let me dream of the day

I, too, would have stories to tell.

Here is Brianna Williams sweet poem!

I am from different houses
From this school and a new school
I am from a yellow home in a cul de sac
(Green, warm air, feeling like home)
I am from the tree that hangs in the front yard
From swinging upside down
I am from sitting at home eating too much cookie dough
From always running into the screen door
I am from strict families
From “If I don’t know them you can’t go” and “I don’t think so
I’m from Elkton, Virgina
I’m from the green mountains and small dainty towns
From the hot summer nights laying in bed
The bugs buzzing around the skies
The quiet nights sitting in bed
And all the past nights I’ve taken for granted

A beautiful overlay of text and poem..so beautiful what we can do …how we can see where we are from..

By Diane Mayr

I am from

Just in: A Class sent along poems…school is awesome for this..Here they are!

I Am From

Cole Conley

I am from baseball fields

from bats and gloves.

I am from the Ranch on 33

Warm, Welcoming, Always inviting friends and family over for some fun.

I am from The Weeping Willow Tree

I always used to sit under with my grandma.

I’m from Pumpkin carving on halloween nights and blue eyes and butt chins

From listening to Lams and putting up with the Conleys

I’m from the short tempered and apologetic family

From “pick up your toys” and “never say never”

I’m from amazing grace to saying prayers at night

I’m from Harrisonburg Virginia and the hills of Ireland

deer meat, to cole slaw.

From the joys of fighting with Summer and Sydney.

The hot summers of spraying Clee with a water hose.

Childhood memories plastered on the walls

in my Grandmas house there are generations of pictures locked away for a rainey day.

I Am From

Skylar Coffey

I am from a light oak rocking chair,

From Beanie Babies and Crayola Crayons.

I am from the pristine grass on the lawn.

(Bright green, fresh,

and always feather soft on your heels)

I am from the weeping willow in the front-yard,

the leaves drifting in the breeze, skimming the ground softly.

I am from Christmas dinners and kaleidoscope eyes,

From Crystal and Mary.

I’m from the snarky attitudes

and always having the last word,

From “don’t let the bed bugs bite” and “don’t forget your prayers.”

I’m from the worn wooden cross

sitting humble on the top of a hill.

I’m from the University of Virginia, and feathered hair,

Lemon pound cake, and sugar-filled coffee.

From the splintered hole

shaped by my uncle’s fist,

The snickering laugh inherited from the whole family, that warns mischief on the way.

Aged cookbooks and bibles stacked high on a shelf, that holds all of my family secrets,

I am from those coffee stained pages that hold the truth of my past present, and future.

I Am From

Alex Czerwinski

I am from baseball tournaments

From  the slugger bat  and my Wilson mit

I am from the “White Castle” on Peterson Place

Dark, Lonely, in the search for a better group of friends to be around

I am from red roses

So beautiful it hurt to touch

I’m from Sunday’s at Nana’s and bad eyesight

From cool uncle Rusty and crazy uncle Vince

I’m from depression and anxiety

From “dream big” and “never stand down”

I’m from a religious family, but sleeping in on Sunday

I’m from ham with gravy and buttered rolls

From the late night sneak outs

Running around

Looking for the light

I have not found

I Am From by Zachary Shuff

I am from the gnar
From xbox and hula hoops
I am from the heart of the nut
Warm, cozy, beautiful
I am from the deer
Wandering through the yards
I am from camping and running
From Vickis and Jordan
I’m from the annoying and controlling
From “Santa is real and that the world doesn’t revolve around me”
I’m from the church of the brethren, at mount olive on pineville road
I’m from charlottsville and the elite microwave owners
Sun butter, Meatloaf
From the burning of my scalp by my favorite family member
The brain of my sister that is shared with me
Scrapbooks of memories on the dusty shelves
Never to be opened or loved for the rest of time

I Am From by Dalton Jefferson

I am from Rock Em Sock Em Robots
From Nike kicks and DeMarini bats
I am from the big blue house on the hill
Old, creaky, where the paint crumbles off the shutters
I am from fresh cut grass
That makes me sneezy and itchy
I’m from Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house and long legs
From Paw Paw and Uncle Brian
I’m from the functioning alcoholics and “bloom where you are planted”
From “finish your dinner before you eat dessert” and “eat that, it’ll put hair on your chest”
I’m from Christianity, but only on Easter and Christmas
I’m from the shitty Sentara workers and good ole boys out on the farm
Hot chili on a cold day and hot pot pie on any day
From the Granddad who stole an Ambulance
The old man that played at Tech, (sorta)
The foyer walls that hold these memories
The pictures on the walls tell the stories of our lives

I Am From

Sarah Michael

I am from bonfires

From s’mores and hot dogs

I am from the white two – story on Creekside

warm, inviting, always burning seasonal candles

I am from the maple tree,

that changes as the seasons pass

I’m from Christmas mornings at Grandma’s house  and uncontrollable laughter

From Tony Midgett and good old George

I’m from the nonstop jokes and never-ending sacrifices

From “I love you to the moon and back” and “Whose side are you on”

I’m from Sunday sitting in a pew, and Wednesday sitting in a circle

I’m from the hectic northern Virginia and the rainy hills of Ireland

Homemade pumpkin pie and chinese food Friday at Grandma’s

From the stick that caught on fire and burned my brother Andrew’s stomach

The old camper with the latch Jake could not unlock

In the chest my aunt kept in her living room, bundles of pictures and memories throughout the generations

I am from captured moments that mold me

Where I’m From

Alexandra Stover

I am from pale purple walls,

from American Girl Dolls and Hannah Anderson dresses.

I am from the ranch style house, cozy enough for three.

(Warm, inviting,

radiating cinnamon sticks and cloves.)

I am from the chestnut trees

I can feel the crunch of the burrs under my bare feet.

I am from fishing on the Shenandoah with my father and beady brown eyes,

from Lucille Smith and Margaret Stover.

I am from the sarcastic compassion and “You can do better Alexandra”

from “Just breathe” and “You worry too much.”

I am from “Methodist ‘til we die,” the granddaughter of a devout minister

I am from Rockingham County and the hicks of the Eastern Shore

Venison and Corn Pudding.

From the young girl who witnessed injustice in the form of segregation,

the house fire that claimed all belongings of another

I am from the black-and-white memories caught on camera,

hanging in the family room- reminding me of the love I harbor within.

I Am From

Andrew Lam

I am from a video game

From a Xbox and Wii

I am from small carpet room

(Small, Cozy, and full of a family’s love)

I am from the cherry blossom tree

A reminder of the nature’s beauty in a urban street

I’m from Christmas eve at grandmother’s and pale skin

From Scott and Patricia

I’m from the religious worshiping and discipline

From “Never give up” and “Your the best in our eyes”

I’m from church, no matter where it is

I’m from Elkton and a mystery european nation

Corn and Mac and Cheese

From the Father and Mother who both tried to fulfil their duties

unlike the parents before them

I am From

Adelyn Keenan

I am from the sheer pastel curtains,

From walls lined with photo frames and fairy stickers peeling off the headboard.

I am from my old bedroom.

(Bright, inviting, natural light flowing in from the wall of windows.)

I am from the hydrangea bush outside my window,

The light blue flowers concealing my view of the world completely.

I’m from driving around looking at Christmas lights and wiry eyebrows spiked at the ends,

From Julie and Shawn.

I’m from the aggressiveness of a Keenan and the passiveness of an Owens,

From “Don’t be shy, come say hello” and “There’s no need to be upset”

I’m from atheism, unbelieving

I’m from iHop and Sunday school in Elkton,

Corn on the cob and pink lemonade.

From the Vietnam veteran who found love in America,

The hereditary anxiety that holds my sister hostage.

A dozen family photo albums decaying at the dump, only a handful of pictures saved,

Disturbing memories rotting away with the abandoned albums.

 I Am From

Brooke Detwiler

I am from a pink princess cd player

From princess dresses and fairytale movies

I am from the light green and pink walls

Joyful screams, endless laughs, hours playing in my room with my sister

I am from dandelions

Running through patches like Belle in my favorite childhood movie

I am from Christmas eve gifts and Christmas day dinner

From Grandad and Uncle Tracy

I’m from the overbearing voices and loud footsteps

From “don’t swallow bubble gum or your going to toot bubbles”

and “always say please and thank you”

I’m from a family of god, who doesn’t attend church regularly

I am from Floyd Circle

Mac and cheese and steak dinners

From 13 brothers and sisters my great grandmother had

The the son my mother lost

In the hallway closet is a stack of picture books,

Dating back to when my mother was a little girl

I am from those pages,

Old but still attached

Remembrance of who I was

And space for who I will be

I Am From

Helen Jefferson

I am from the softball fields

From cleats and headbands

I am from the house at the bottom of the hill

(Yellow, bright, felt like sunshine)

I am from the sunflowers,

The ones who stand tall in the summer and fall in the winter

I’m from Sunday dinners and stubbornness

From Katherine and Janet

From the know-it-alls and the big mouths

From “Keep your mouth shut” and “Sit like a lady”

I’m from the hypocritical Christians that don’t accept people that are unlike them

I’m from the Shenandoah Valley and the hills of Greece

Hamburgers at 3 in the morning, Waffles with Apple butter

From the Pentagon meeting on 9/11 my grandma was at,

The addiction of my grandma forcing my mother to grow up too soon

The scrapbook in my basement telling the story of how my mother went into labor with me,

I am from these pages describing the joy my dad felt holding me for the first time,

The love my parents have for their children

And the mistakes of their parents they refused to make.

I Am From

Alana Slekar

I am from burning candles

From a rainbow tattoo sleeve and R.E.M.

I am from the log cabin house

cozy, warm, the stone chimney crackling away, adding to the always-lingering aroma of smoke

I am from picking sassafras roots,

dirt lodged under my nails and hot tea burning my lips

I’m from Seven Springs and the Slekar pout

From Uncle Vince and the Hudak clan

I’m from the “Yinz,” the “Still Mills”  and “DahnTahn”

From the “M” on the whale’s tongue and the octopus lurking in the depths of the hot tub

I’m from “you’re baptised as a Catholic to please your grandparents,” always keep an open mind, and science holds the true answers of the universe

I’m from Harrisonburg, Virginia and middle-of-nowhere, Slovakia

Hulishki and perogies on Christmas Eve

From Pop’s best friend, Billy the Crow, that watched over the yard like a guard dog

The adventures of Pap as a meteorologist back in ‘Nam

The memoir my grandfather has been working on for the past ten years

The ever so tangled tree, whose branches support love, hardships, and family bonds.

-Alana Slekarl, 17

These poems dig in. They celebrate. They are honest and open. Human. Here is a new one by Rev. Sarah Renfro

I AM FROM

Rev. Sarah Renfro

I am from lifted high in my Daddy’s arms and the community of faith

I am from my mother’s lap and my grandma’s shoulder

I am from free play and clay

I am from leotards and lipstick

I am from skinned knees and costumes

I am from Arts School and the basketball court

I am from Go Big Blue! and my Kentucky Wildcats

I am from big teeth and a wide smile

I am from masks and make-up, modeling and magazines

I am from pretty pictures and growing up too fast

I am from dieting and depression

I am from poor choices and a good heart

I am from wandering and wondering

I am from too many boys and not enough friends

I am from finding myself and therapy

I am from home again and off again

I am from marriage and divorce

I am from education and experience

I am from youth group and mission trips

I am from camp and counseling

I am from called and service

I am from justice and disappointment

I am from feminism and patriarchy

I am from activism and peace

I am from new life and hope

I am from mental illness and medication

I am from dance parties and deep discussions

I am from pain and perseverance

I am from joy and motherhood

I am from losing it and loving it

I am from partnership and companionship

I am from cheese and wine

I am from writing and writer’s block

I am from transition and stability

I am from sisterhood and servanthood

I am from homebody and concerts

I am from quiet and loud

I am from anxiety and change

I am from empathy and expression

I am from family and far away

I am from longing and laughter

I am from stoic and goofy

I am from jeans and worry

I am from running and sloth

I am from robe and stoles

I am from bread and the cup

I am from God

Rev. Sarah Renfro, Body Image Workshop Leader, Speaker & Writer

The poems are coming in…! How wonderful..!

Where I am from poem

By: winter griffith

I am from the age of icarly when all kids talked about was new episodes

I am from the tall trees you would always seeing inch worms hiding on

I am from jumping on the trampoline to swinging on the tier swing

I am from my mother no matter how many mistakes she has made

I am from my sister the person who has always been there

I am from my father tho hasn’t always been around

I am from my friends new and old

I am from the people that have bin in my life whether that are still here or just passing thru they made me who i am

A Place of My Own

I’m from
fields of tobacco,
laid out in yellow–green rows of four
under the sweltering summer sun,
collecting pine cones and picking blueberries
two hours from the beach.
I’m from slapping cards around the kitchen table
for side my side games of solitaire
and endless rounds of rummy,
paddling out to stump city
in a wood canoe,
shucking corn on the Fourth of July
before the fireworks rain,
going to Grandma’s on Labor Day.
I’m from
visits to the library,
leaving with the books stacked higher than my head,
early summer mornings
racing barefoot to the swings,
grass clippings clinging to my feet.
I’m from the land of
moon pies, Bill’s Barbecue,
corn pudding, homemade ice cream,
eating shrimp and oysters by the peck,
spooning sugared cereal
out of recycled margarine tubs
before watching Saturday morning cartoons,
pretending Superman was my brother.
I’m from
the perch nestled in the top of the pine tree
overseeing The Place,
and you wanted your place, too.
Now I have a different place
of my own
to call home.
Kay Jernigan McGriff
Freelance Writer

School has started! Here is one from a 7th grader…

Where I Am From        By: Ona Eyisi

I am from baby blankets

smelling like strawberries

and big white teddy bears

cuddling me with their soft arms.

I am from old antique paintings

hung up on the wall

proudly overlooking all who

dare to steal its pride and glory

to smaller baby versions of  my siblings and I floating around in frames.

I am from little vehicles manually and electrically started up.

From a small playground to a big playground, from trees to empty space, and green grass.

From bouncing and swimming and chasing and laughing, and good times.

I am from friendly neighbors, and large dogs.

From stray cats quenching their thirst at my pool.

From riding bikes with friends and walking to the bus stop with them.

I am from a welcoming place often called a meadow.

I am from Ifeoma and Tochuku’s  branch.

From my mother’s side with intelligence and focus,

And my father’s side with strength and hard workers,

From both sides with kindness and respect.

I am from America and Africa.

I am from do’s and don’ts, whether it had to do with me or not.

From saying good morning to saying goodbye, Whether I want to or not.

From dressing appropriately and listening to others.

I am from respect and politeness.

I am from old homes, old neighborhoods,old counties, old cities,

old friends, old schools, and old teachers. From old walks to the nearby Domino’s.

From walks to my friends house,

the friends I fear have moved on and don’t remember my name.

This. From a wonderful poet, Naomi Shihab Nye. Her work has spoken to all of us for so many years. Honored to have her voice included among us. Honored to have you all!

Naomi Shihab Nye

I AM FROM

the thin line of dust gathering above the window

Palestinian father’s frustration stirred with his

minty never-ending hope

someday there will be more justice in this world

someday we will all be chosen for care and respect

He considered the Statue of Liberty his personal girlfriend

never liked closed borders, barbed wire, lines

I am from echoes

lonesome German relatives who never married

(save grandfather Carl who took the leap)

but wrote letters to one another listing

every single Christmas present they received

from the mountainous Swiss village so icy I thought

I could die here to perfectly complete my family’s circle of migrations

from the glorious Muslim grandmother who for 106 years could not read

but read the skies and the seasons and dreamed of peace

to the son who read before he was three

the grandson who falls asleep in a mountain of books

comforted by ABC

I am from the language

the stories we told ourselves to keep going

tomorrow we won’t be depressed anymore

the fundamentalists

the fearing

the culture that is not our own but becomes our own

simply from living so long in the lilt of bienvenidos

gracias       por que?

till someone actually says

You’re half Latina right?

from the ways we eat and our tongues get bigger

tongues now Thai

from eggplant parmeson at the Purple Garlic restaurant

that we passed for decades without entering

and now can’t get enough of

the person who stands inside the door

welcoming everyone till we feel Italian too

I am from you

and you

eyes passing in airports

people we would never choose to be

(the bombasts

braggarts

that so-called president      who is he?     really?)

I am from the less not more

shining quarter found in a childhood gutter

at the intersection of South Harvey and Marguerite

Ferguson Missouri

never-quite-fitting-in acknowledged as a gift

standing-outside-the-circle      favored place

I am from daily tending and a blank page

old inside young           young ever present

yes and no intermingling forever

wisdoms posted on walls

Rabindranath Tagore       one of my first favorite writers

It is very simple to be happy but very difficult to be simple

I am from simple

quiet Sunday morning

twining vines

surprise

mostly from that

ineffable surprise

that people from utterly different places even meet in this world

and recklessly decide to stay together

even for a minute     or 56 years

I am from your life and mine

the surprise of every turning

Here is a new one…all of these reach us in so many ways…

I Am From

Rev. Adam Thomas

I am from LEGO bricks,

From Star Wars and Adidas cleats.

I am from encouragement,

From Nor’easters

And the conquesting kudzu.

I am from Christmas Eve French toast

And the roots in the glass jar atop the fridge,

From Edna Marie

And William Carl

And Melinda Emily.

I am from depression

And overflowing bookshelves,

From “It’s not on the list”

And “I love you even when I’m sad.”

I am from early church services

And that interrupted sermon.

I am from Maine (but I’m the only one)

And from too many addresses.

I am from Dad’s lasagna

And pancakes mixed too thoroughly.

From soccer and baseball and frozen bus stops.

I am from fantasy worlds.

From learning to listen and having stories to share.

______________________________________

The Rev. Adam Thomas

We are getting in more and more poems…how amazing..this is building!

Where I’m From

by Tabatha Yeatts

I’m from roads like a rollercoaster

leading to a valley town,

from clogs and fiddles,

porch swings and crawdaddies,

a little grits with my butter,

and fresh donuts around the corner

from the bookstore.

I’m from barefoot and bees,

and playing outside until someone’s hurt —

probably me —

from the smell of cows in the distance,

and from leaving the football game

as soon as I can

but staying until the

basketball game is over.

I’m from riding the lawnmower

with my granddaddy,

playing cards with granny,

from homemade popsicles

for myself and the neighbors,

from art supplies and the

bliss of blank paper,

a joy that fills me still.

Harry Landsman is visiting from New York..here is a new poem

I Am From

Harry Landsman

I am from an actor who still hasn’t grown his beard at fifty

I am from a dancer who makes animal noises when she dances

I am from Norwegians, of all the crazy Barbarians

I am from Russians who came to the US and now eat hamburgers

I am from France, finally some non crazy part in the family

I am Euro-pean, and not in the bathroom!

I am from The Earth School—ba ba-ba-BOOM!

I am from the creator of this poem thingy.

The joy of these poems is the lines…how they move and what form they take..all different from one another, all part of this poem family…poem community

From Carol Wills…

Where I’m From
I come from a Southern Railway conductor and

a woman who couldn’t for the life of her wring a chicken’s neck.
I come from a farmer crippled with arthritis and

a farmer’s wife who lost her mind.

I come from a civil service employee of the department of the Navy

and from a secretary who used to work at Charlie’s Pie Shop.

I come from a home where beans and cornbread were our usual dinner.
I come from a home where we had slices of Spam interleaved
with pineapple slices and called it good.
I come from heading to Southern California as soon as I graduated high school.
I come from the baptismal pool at Central Baptist and from
every Billy Graham crusade I could get to, seeking relief from my sins.

I come from poor and I’m still not rich.
I come from humble and I still don’t care for folks who brag.
I come from leaving it all behind and saying good-bye
and I’m sure not ashamed of where I’m from. It’s where
I’m going that occupies my mind. So put that in your pipe

and smoke it.

A new lovely one from Linda Texter Hall

I AM FROM

I am from a teenage Italian immigrant

escaping the draft into the King’s army

one of the huddled masses

in steerage with his sister

to Ellis Island

I am from a Pennsylvania German

widowed at thirty, making cigars

in a Quakertown factory

her roots going back

to a colonel in the Revolution

I am from Catholics

I am from Mennonites

I am from people

who were not welcome

in WASP neighborhoods

but came anyway

and broke the barriers

and made friends

of those who called them names

I am from people

who were barbers, teachers, musicians

proud Americans

who fell in love and taught me

to love others

no matter what

their religion

the color of their skin

where they came from

because we are all

God’s children.

– Linda Texter Hall

Here is one from Lesley Buckner who writes along with her students!

I AM From –

Lesley Buckner

I am from a cast-iron skillet
From Crisco and Valleydale Bacon
I am from the laughter of family
Snorting, rambunctious, a symphony of belly-laughs
I am from Yellow Lady Slippers
dancing on the forest floor
I’m from shooting down Mistletoe and perseverance
I’m from Grace and Margaret
I’m from the anticipation of bad news and the worry of my mother
I’m from “Little girls are to be seen, not heard” and “Do as I say, not as I do.”
I’m from the hills of Appalachia,
Wilted lettuce with hot grease drippings, soup beans and cornbread
From the bathroom heckling of Uncle David and Rommel
I’m from the weathered wrinkles of my Grandmother’s hands
The cedar chest, baby teeth, and a lifetime of Hallmark Greeting Cards
I’m from these moments, forever etched into my soul

A new, powerful poem by Sara Stack

I am from…

Sara Stack

I am from the womb of a woman

I do not know.

I am from a “father” who may not know of my existence

Maybe he wonders

Maybe he does not deserve me

I am from European decent

With a trace of middle eastern blood in my veins

I am from loving parents who always did

“The best they could”

And I turned out OK

Actually, I turned out great

I am from the city, the suburbs, and the country of the Midwest

Where I learned of life

And death too many times

I am from the country

Where I learned to be strong

To sweat

And to appreciate a cold beer after a day of filling a

Sweltering barn with 70 pound bales of hay

I am from the soil and barns

Where I learned to work and the power of a paycheck

I am from a society of double standards

Where I learned that “no” along with a physical fight

Can be heard as “yes” with no one to tell

I am from academia

A world of smoke and mirrors

Which I did not always excel at

I am from “America”

Governed by pocket lining corporations run by white privileged males

Who haven’t a clue what kids need but make laws

In the name of their country and the name of their god

Regardless of the ramifications

I am from corporations banking on the greed of power and money

Paying politicians to make rules about things like safety in schools

That they haven’t a clue about

I am from prolific optimism

Where I make a difference

A difference for people who look like me

And even more importantly… those who don’t

I am from the legacy I leave behind

I am…

See Art Work section for new I Am From Mural!

Here is the statement about the mural:

Attached is a few photos of a mosaic mural that was created by high school students in Skillman NJ. The school had a racial slur etched into the exterior wall some years ago. I am a teaching artist who was hired to work with the student population to create art work to permanently cover the word. I was introduced to the” I Am From “ project through a class I was taking at Columbia Teachers Collage. As part of that class I received a template to create my own “Where I Am From poem. This template was perfect for the students to use to create a group poem from all voices in the class. The relief tile imagery is inspired from that group poem. Where once was ugliness, now is beauty.

Thank you for your work and for inspiring this beautiful mosaic.
Sincerely,
Gail Scuderi
Teaching artist
NJ State Council on the Arts
Young Audiences of NJ

Another new one…they just keep coming. Lovely, open work, these poems.

second beauty just now!

I Am From

Dr. Judy Branscom Jenks DNP, FNP-BC

One wise man in a white hat,

I am from Discipline.

A secret agent man

wearing briefcases like bracelets.

A calculator, born in woods so tilted

they shed their rock like sweat.

I am from a thinking woman.

A hellfire and brimstone daughter,

her words muted by callused hands.

Her progeny,

I’m from that spirited visionary

on paternalistic sod

hollering, I can!

I will!

I’m from scratched vinyl records, bell bottoms,

chalk erasures and bomb drills.

Whippoorwills, crawdads,

copperheads, and raw knees.

Bobwhite, bobwhite, bobwhite,

cattle racks, pressure canners, wood heat.

June Bugs on strings

and wars fought on monochrome TVs.

Mine is the blood of Vikings,

Sword Makers, and Cherokee.

It runs thick with hills, hollers, yes ma’am

and thank you sir.

My blood flows from hilltop to creeks

and lands on a dirt road

where black walnut trees

drop their fruit on tin sheets.

A female born in July of 1962,

I’m from nowhere according to “them”

in a time when crickets gossiped

of white flowers birthing blackberries.

And grouse drummed

as if the hills themselves hummed

then… but not now.

Still,

I’m from Trust.

A Promise.

A Push.

A Chance.

A nettle in the Sun, I Am.

Here is a powerful one from Marjorie Fedyszyn
I AM FROM
I am from broken
Parents divided by walls and doors
Invisible to each other
Speaking through the child interpreter
Lost in sadness
I am from anger
Shouts across the table
About things they weren’t really about
Then the silence of simmering resentment.
I am from the outdoors
Scrubby invasive trees shaken
In pop up woods
Signaling our whereabouts to each other
Never betraying when parents called.
I am from fields of warm summer grasses
That concealed us simply by lying down
Scaring grasshoppers from their rest
Where coal cars rumbled by
Vibrating in our chests.
I am from a Great Lake
With tides pulled by phases of the moon
Where collected treasures on the shore
Formed fortresses of protection from the wind
And forces beyond my control.
I am from snow
So deep we could tunnel like mice or moles
From yard to yard
Bags in boots, it was easier to wet yourself
Under layers of clothes than go in to pee.
Under my bed was a box
Filled with the art of a child
Trying to make sense of her world
My shelves held mason jars filled
With precious glass, shells and rocks
Fragments kept to this day.
I am from broken
But I am whole.
Marjorie Fedyszyn

Summer is Here! Send in some poems! Here is a new, sweet poem…

I’m from the kitchen table, from bread and butter.

From the old suburbs,

small, cracking homes being swallowed by the dirt they stand on.

I’m from sun-ripe tomatoes, daffodils, ocean waves

and the endless sculpting sands.

I’m from mealtime arguments and whiskey breath,

from Ella-Once-Charlene and Deanie-Good-Boy.

I’m from the witchy women and the Mormons too.

From a temple built by cursing the horses,

and an orphaned great grandmother taken in by strangers.

I’m from two kids leaving their religion behind,

choosing the mystery and each other.

I’m from California and from those who went ever westward.

From smoked turkey and home-brewed beer.

From my 10 year old grandfather secretly

listening to opera in the farmhouse,

And the loneliness of my newly-wed grandmother

tending acres with a quiet man.

The stories are kept on our tongues, mine too now,

the pictures are digitized, the shell collection passed on,

even as the people and homes keep vanishing.

Jessie Huffaker

So much fun when a whole class joins in…

From An Schueger’s 4-6th graders at Brightwater Montessori School In north Minneapolis, Minnesota

by Ezrah

I am from …

My chefs spoon

My Acting skills

My runners blood

The trails in Theodore Wirth park

My mother and  father’s wisdom and intelligence

The pan African flag

A great civilization and  community

The hard work and struggle of my elders and ancestors.

My ancestors blood sweat and tears they gave while on the plantations everyday picking cotton

The buses burned  and the one’s that changed the world

The feet that walked from birmingham to washingtondc

The great leaders who made me me

My Ancestors did there work to create the future of my family.

What they think i am

And  my proud family

I am from waves

From Temples

Festivals.

I’m from long dress &

Wind fresh air.

I am from the rose

And  mountains

I am from aunts &

Cousins and Rojas.

I am from the connection

With my sister

& battle wor.

From following my dreams &

Be strong.

I am from music & sound.

I’am from MN & mexico,

Tomales & Mole

From the music &

Dreams of my

Aunt’s & Janni rivora

& plan’s of my 15 teens.

I am from the

Love of my family.

By FRQ

I am from…

Countless Hours of my Moms hard work.

My grandmas beliefs in being kind to others.

Music that i’ve listened to ever since 3 years old.

Biking around my neighborhood in the summer.

The Community of Bright Water School.

The Civilization Of America.

The streets of Minnesota.

My Jamaican And Creole Ancestors Hard Work, Power, and might.

My Interest in Video Games.

The Pollen Of Spring.

The Dead Leaves of Fall.

The Cold Snow of Winter.

The Turkey of Thanksgiving.

The Gifts Of Christmas.

The Smell of BBQ in the summer.

Wakanda.

  • by Raishawn

I am from

I am from my ancestors.

I am told that I from a land i have never been to, how can that be?

I am told that I am from the place where my ancestors lived, but there wrong, I am not from a piece of land but from the people who lived there.

I am from my ancestor’s hard work and struggle.

I am from my ancestor’s fearlessness.

I am from my ancestors.

I am from my friends.

I am from my friends that are more like brothers and sisters.

I am from talking trash with my friends before we start race.

I am from staying up to 3:00 in the morning watching Lord of the Rings.

I am from exchanging emails on the last day of school.

I am from my friends.

I am from my family.

I am from standing in the kitchen deciding what to do for dinner.

I am from from planning are next national park trip.

I am from hiking on a trail praying that we are going the right way.

I am from sitting around the table enjoying matzah ball soup and irish soda bread.

I am from my family.

I am from my community.

I am from the lessons that I learned.

I am from sitting in a circle on Monday morning.

I am from sitting at a table writing a spanish murder mystery.

I am from making faces out of school lunch.

I am from arguing about making history.

I am from my community.

I am from my ancestors.

I am from my friends.

I am from my family.

I am from my community.

I am from love.

  • by Caroline

I am from

I am from Minnesota

I am from the fresh grounds

I am from the bank’s parking lot

I am from the rose’s color

I am from the violet’s stem

I am from the Smith’s

I am from the Shabazz’s

I am from my dad

I am from my mom

I am from my auntie

I am from my dad’s tallness

I am from my mom’s tallness

I am from music

I am from sport’s

I am from not smoking

I am from making money

I am from the deep woods

I am from me Elijah.

The concrete details make this poem sing…What a variety, an immense world, “Where I Am From” encompasses! Thank you Cheryl C. Ballard…

I AM FROM

For cryin’out loud, quit acting ugly, hold your horses,

                                                                      Mind your manners, well ain’t that just hunky dory?

                                                                       Mercy me, don’t pitch a fit, goodness gracious,

Bless your heart just sit a spell” …  listen to my story.

Cornfields, gravel lanes and barbed-wire fencing

Holstein cows, Collie dogs, and squealing pigs

Wading in the creek was my Summer fun

Country ham and red-eye gravy. Yum!

Tobacco beds with green plants covered in gauze

A dairy barn smelling of cows, fresh milk and lime

A ‘56 Chevy Bel-Air was our family car

Summer nights spent gazing at stars

Eating red tomatoes fresh from the garden

Our dinner was at noon and supper at six

Church was anytime they opened the doors

Saving S & H stamps from the grocery store

Living in a house without air conditioning

Vacation Bible School mandatory every June

Home-made ice cream churned as a treat

Mud and manure stuck to my bare feet

A corncrib complete with field mice and snakes

Square bales of hay dotting all the farms nearby

Tobacco stick horses with twine for bridles

Riding a Shetland pony without any saddle

Fishing in ponds with a tin can of worms

A candy bar was always shared with my brother

Removing the ticks we saw on our dogs

Riding with Daddy to get “slop” for the hogs

Going out in the snow to ride sleds down the hill

Listening to music on my transistor radio

Getting new shoes only if the old ones were tight

Reading in bed with a big flashlight

Trudging through snow for the perfect cedar

Cutting it back because it was always too tall

Balancing our Christmas tree in a bucket of coal

Decorating it with garland that was very old

Riding the tobacco setter and dropping plants

Carrying a jug of water to Daddy in the field

Playing basketball in the hayloft with my brother

Never being very “lady like” according to my Mother
March flowers and hollyhocks grew in the yard

Life was simple on a farm in the country

Walking on bluegrass that really wasn’t blue

This is where I am from:  please tell me about you!

Cheryl C. Ballard

The poem can take you any where…into the world, into the realities of the place we live.

Racism and Xenophobia

Project “I am from ….”

My blood is from Denmark.

My skin too-rosy white, my eyes true-blue.

No one sees me scary here in the US of A;

I fit in so well … but not so proud.

Skin-deep differences trump soul and spirit.

Fear lurks. Terror grows.

Brown Sisters cover and hide,

Black Brothers run and die.

Guns fire senseless and strong.

Blood flows, oh so wrong.

Veronica Nielsen Jabrocki

A new one by Carrie Black. How this phrase reaches the poet in us, the storyteller, the survivor!

I am from, darkness and not speaking

never say what is true

never ask

hold still until the beating stops

I am from, long walks and noticing

tiny beetles, bracket fungus

looking up the new plant

finding out

I am from, the dirt, the sun, the rain

the plants that grow when tended

sweet peas still wet with dew

the plants that spring up independent

dandelions leaving yellow streaks on my arm

I am from, the future

the changing

the striving

the difference between the hell that was

and the light of now

Carrie Black (Salt Lake City UT)

From Leigh Williams 2nd grade students at Goldsmith Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky

A Class Poem!

I AM FROM I am from my mom’s belly and playing X Box One. Chol

I am from laying fort night with my cousin and family. Eric

I am from baking cake with my mom, going to the movie theater with my dad, and playing with my sister. Fana

I am from the pool on Spring Break in Owensboro. Ava

I am from being loved by my family and eating my mom’s dinner and going to the aquarium and mom baking two cakes shaped like unicorns. Kaylie

I am from getting my nails and hair done. Nykiya

I am from eating mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. Isabel I am from cutting my left foot in a glass vase open and broke, and sitting in the hospital for seven months, and missing my mom for a long time. Natalia.

I am from Disneyland and X Box One and Player Unknown Battleground. Dipen

I am from finishing iRead at Goldsmith Elementary. Damir

I am from playing X Box One , eating breadsticks, getting dirty, visiting my cousin and going to the park. Alex

I am from looking at the stars in the sky, seeing things fly up in the sky. Awa

I am from a big fight with my sister and she got grounded, but we are still best sisters forever. Neha

I am from the car shop because I like cars a lot. Sometimes I help my mom drive the car. Katherine

Ia m from sleeping at my cousin Gifted’s house, playing with them in their backyard and eating breakfast. Ruth

I am from playing Dipe.io on Thursdays when I am eating pizza and sometimes get cut. Aryan

I am from feeding my sister while my other sisters are watching TV. Ishara

I am from my mom’s belly. I am from school. I am from art and I am from school books. Amisha

I am from ice cream and I like it. I am from liking to pet the cat. I am from my favorite place, school. Niyahni

I am from playing Wii and X Box and playing Legos and Batman games. Conner I am from cookies to eat, learning at school, phones, play flowers. I am from war. Selena

I am from cheerleading, dancing, and gymnastics with my mom and sisters. Aaliyah

Look at the Video section for a new poem with music and color and words from Daniel Broten…stunning!

Sometimes the clearest phrase touches us deeply. Here is one from Kaitlyn Burns, age 14

Human

I am human and imperfect

I wonder why society has such high standards

I hear mean comments

I see perfect models

I want to be like them

I am human and imperfect

I pretend everything will be ok

I feel it’s never endding

I touch a thought

I worry too much

I cry in self pity

I am human and imperfect

I understand thing’s won’t be perfect

I say it’s ok

I dream where I want to be

I try to stay positive

I hope I make it through

I am human and imperfect

– Kaitlyn B. 14

From Kentucky….fine poem.

Hannah Botts

I am from stacked-rock wall,

from wind through the trees and water through the stream.

I am from the sun-bleached plush chair

(Ever green, soft,

it always felt like happiness.)

I am from the leaky pen,

the too-short pencil

whose writings always seemed

as if they weren’t quite good enough.

I am from sunburns and fried apple pies,

from Marybeth and Mickey.

I’m from the whisperings

of authors long-gone,

from flashlights under blankets and pages turning in the night.

I’m from the fog in the mornings

among the mountains,

and the cicadas’ sounds by early nightfall.

I am from the worn white trailer,

sweet corn and sweeter desserts.

From the litter of cats

under mamaw’s porch,

the teeth my uncle lost to keep his dignity.

Under my bed were

ghosts of memories,

fading pictures

in rusting frames.

Here is a new one just sent in…These continue to amaze…and validate the richness that is our world and our country…

I am from

Christopher Crawford

Bullitt Central High School

Shepherdsville, Ky.

I am from boxes of family photos

And pictures in every room of our house.

I am from legos and Nintendo and Xbox 360.

I am from the brick house on the corner

It tasted like Southern chicken noodle soup.

I am from the ferns hanging on our back porch.

I am from the Kentucky State Fair and cranky school mornings

I am from Stacy, and Bobby, and Aunt Joy

I am from the musical and the compassionate.

I am from the front row of a Baptist church

And ice cream sandwiches with my Papa for lunch and dinner.

I am from Max, the puppy I got for Christmas.

I am from the music that represents that we have had some things to overcome

But we don’t give up when things get difficult.

Here is one of the most recent, lovely poems.

I am from kitchen table,

From Old Spice and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

I am from where the plains meet the bluffs.

(Lush, jagged, separated by muddy water.)

I am from tiger lilies

the maple tree

whose high branches sent spinning seeds

floating to the earth.

I’m from hot dog birthdays and strong women,

from Mutt and Red Blanket.

I’m from the secretive

and the boisterous,

from love you to the moon and back and does she ever stop talking?!

I’m from tic tac toe in the back pew

and clarinet hymns in the hot summer sun.

I’m from hidden French Canadian roots,

homemade chicken noodles and pumpkin bars.

From the mother-daughter car rides through changing leaves,

the laugh-until-you-pee-your-pants games of mini golf.

A fireproof safe in the closet

full of recorded voicemails with her words,

papers with her handwriting,

and her topaz ring, bent from kneading bread.

I am from the memories these hold,

fading as the years pass,

but imprinted on my heart forever.

Jessica Sierk

New Poem from far away…sweet!

I’m from those blue sky eyes

which know the ending

I’m from the soft coloured rocks

near the water

I’m from the too-bright loudness

of a frightened girl

I’m from the wrong place,

made the wrong way,

with the wrong face

and a dangerous body

I’m from the twirl of flamenco

and the heel-strike on the earth

I’m from the thin whine of anguish

and the ocean of swallowed tears

I’m from that place

no one else wants to be

So they leave me there

And pretend they are free

I am those bruised petals

That naked little bird

And the towering black rumble

of the maelstrom

As it lowers ever closer

and kisses my cheek

I am the silenced one

Dripping into the day

The bright language of the stars

May Stenhouse McLeod

Monday 26th February, 2018

(part of Cast Off! Writers’ Workshops, Goods Cafe, Wellington)

A lovely new one today…these keep coming in and they are marvelous!

Where I’m From

Marci Auld Glass

I am from pink shag carpet,
from Coppertone sun tan lotion, and my bologna has a first name.

I am the view from the hill overlooking Loon Lake, lapping up peace from the rhythm of the waves.
I am from deep purple lilacs at the cabin,
ladybugs resting on yellow pillows at the center of daisies.

I am from being late to everything,
and people who always listened to my jokes,
and being the only morning person in a congress of night owls, from George and Esther,
and we prayed for a baby and God gave us you.

I am from let’s stop for lunch,
and let’s stop again an hour later.
From do as I say not as I do,
and beware of strangers.
I am from flannel graph Jesus
and knowing all of the best hiding places for Sardines.

I’m from Manito Boulevard and building houses in autumn leaves,
pot roast and orange rolls.
From falling in love on a bus line in Burbank,
the ten Great Dane puppies born in the refrigerator box in the kitchen, and that time the house was quiet and dim after dad went blind.

I am from the top drawer in the dining room chest, a dig worthy of an archaeologist,
where I sift through
report cards,

photos labeled “me and Edna”, immunization records,
blurry instamatic shots,
and, other than a mirror,

my only chance of seeing my face reflected back to me.

Here is one from Sweden…sweet, arrived this morning.

WHERE I’M FROM

by Lova Nilsson

I’m from green grass full of love, full of anger, full of trust.

I’m from my happy hugging mother and my goofy, tuff father.

I’m from my big brother and his drawings, I’m from a family that I love.

I’m from the small town of easter to the known town of Gothia.

I’m from my fathers amazing meat sauce to my mothers pancakes full of milk, butter and love, love, love.

I’m from a well filled refrigerator to lunch boxes outside a tent in the woods.

I’m from pop songs in the carto alternative rock in the kitchen.

I’m from “girls can’t play soccer” to “wow she’s so good”.

I’m from the strengthening sound of metal clinking together, from the medals that shines in golden.

This is one of two new ones that have come in this week…Stunning poems, our voices!

Where I’m From
By Shiloh Sophia

I am from cinnamon toast and honey milk,
and from warm beds with more than enough pillows.
I am from enough time for me with enough time for you.
I’m from the land of women.

I am from the heart of my mother’s love and breastfeeding.
I’m from the colored fabric swatches of my mother’s mother
from the incense, icons and candles of my father’s mother
I’m from my father’s unlived stories of true love.

I am from the good witches on the wrong side of the tracks,
from tarot cards, tai chi, spells, lesbians and wild redheads.
I’m from scriptured women who go thump with the Bible
who find their tables filled with friends in need of prayer.

I’m from days of prophecy pie and fear of the Lord
laced with fear of not becoming the fully unfettered me.
I’m from baked beans with Best Foods mayo in ceramic bowls,
and from patchwork dresses and roast chickens.

I am from Elvis records and hot pink curlers in blonde hairs.
I’m from the longing and the howling at the moon.
I’m from red roses in bowls of water blessings
and from quantum physics for breakfast.

I am from two women. A poet and a painter.
Precise. Pottery. Prophesy. Paradox. Wet paint.
I am from the one who thins her own forest with a chainsaw,
and from the one who is in love with language.

I am from dust, from in the beginning was the Word
and the spit of Christ mixed with the soil of seeing.
I am from the particles of a love pure enough
to raise the dead and put peace in the heart of my chaos.

I am from the non-judgement of transvestites
in red dresses and high heels on Sunday morning San Francisco’s gospel.
I am from learning to love the Lord from African Americans
who took me under their wings into the streets of creation.

I am from Native Americans who showed me where I live
smudged me from childhood and would not let me forget.
I am from the United States, occupied territory, red.
My teachers have called me to action, Aho!

I am from my sister Cinnamon, a bad ass on a motorcycle
with a devil-may-or-may-not care blues song blazing.
I am from my brother the Carpenter hammering out
an uncertain future with many daughters to call his own.

I am from my sister in the deserts of Mexico
with her miracle child holding the family secrets.
I am from the Virgin de Guadalupe’s crescent moon
and from making wrong things right.

I am from willing to die for love dreams
and from ten years of prayers and miscarriages.
I am from matriarchs and yet finally choose:
I will not walk the path of the Matriarch.

I am from the Northern parts of California
from more homes than I can count from rolling green hills
and grey blue beaches and seagulls that love pepperoni pizza.

I am from the walk on the wild side with a Prince tattoo
from his 1982 love symbol.
I’m from the constellation called Cosmic Cowgirls
and my imaginary white horse is named Commander.

I am from the need to gather the women,
the mending power of circle and drum and feather.
I am from ancient Russian women grandmother shamans
and Scandinavian grandfathers who made musical instruments.

I am from the kitchen of the Red Madonna
Mother of the all seeing all forgiving
One whose enormous tent stretches from star to star.
I am from Her mothership and from His Gospel.

I am from legends. I am from freedom. I
was born for hot summer days with nowhere to go
with my West Virginia lover in a white convertible.
I am made from adventure, that is my middle name now.

I am forged from the riddle bone of my Muse
who loves leopard print and ghetto saloons
eats chocolate with peanut butter by candlelight,
she writes poetry from a red chair at midnight.

I am from the colors of woman
from a sisterhood
who seek to serve to transform wounds into wonders
through the alchemy of dancing paintbrushes.

I am from mermaids who sing each to each
who tell tall green tales to salty sailors
seducing them with martinis, two olives please.
I am flown from wonder woman and her glass plane.

I am pulled from stardust into matter, I am star woman.
I am pulled to the gravity of earth, I am earth woman.
I am from the need for justice for all and kindness
falling in love with each day like a school girl crush.

I am from the mother tongue of creativity
expressed with intentionality I’m from the impossibility.
I’m from being totally for you without losing me.

I am from the mystics of the red thread café
a place between tomorrow and today, I’ll meet you there.
Where the mysteries of the universe drop colored ribbons
like clues just on the other side of the narrow gate.
Inspired by George Ella Lyon’s poem: Where I’m From
Written on the day after Sue’s 8oth Birthday
On the day Prince died at 57 on the Full Moon on April 21.
The day before we get the keys to our new live work space.
On the eve of Passover.

These keep coming in, each one unique, each one who we are…Thank you writers!

Where I’m From

by Pam Turner

I am from grass stains and mud pies

Velveeta and Frito pie

From four leaf clovers and handmade necklaces

Woven in a chain on the playground

I’m from tadpoles and leaf piles, spankings and write offs,

a Tupperware cookie box filled

with Dutch windmills and Fig Newtons

but never the Oreos we craved

I’m from “bless her heart” and “for crying in a bucket”

which means she just couldn’t help it

from standing in the corner and hitching a ride,

drowned in so much that couldn’t be said.

Here is a beauty….

Belonging

I am from the land of Himalayas
and the Taj Mahal

I am from where many Gods are worshipped
and names disclose your religion

I am from where I wake up
saying a prayer
looking at my hands

I am from where the entrance of homes
is decorated by drawing patterns
with rice flour

I am from yoga and the art of living
and yet obesity is often mistaken for prosperity

I am from silk sarees, red bindis
and feasting on banana leaves

I am from wearing flowers in my hair
and glass bangles on my wrists

I am from where the earth smells
like heaven every time it rains!

——————Surabhi Kaushik

Terry Focht takes the I Am From poem and expands it here;

I Am From

Terry Focht

I am from Heaven’s melting pot

Birthed from many nations

I am from the destiny of man

too many wars

victories and defeats

liberating life

wounded and deceased

honor and courage

undimmed by human tears

 

I am from Native American’s

honored warriors

nature’s keepers

revered nations

spirit quest

 

I am from The Great Migration

seekers of freedom

men of Steel

women of Faith

 

I am from the giants of history

hearts of the pilgrims

curiosity and grit of

the explorers

courage of early settlers

stamina of the pioneers

 

I am from Jamestown

Williamsburg and Plymouth

the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria

the determination within mans soul

 

I am from the sun and the stars

mornings and midnights

“Dawn’s early light

Twilight’s last gleaming”

I am from boundless skies

architecture of the land

purple mountains majesty

emerald green valleys

bounties of the fields

blessings in the air

 

I am from land of the free

home of the brave

sea to shining sea

I am from sun worn skin

rosy red cheeks

deeply carved laugh lines

scar worn ankles and wrists

I am from the colors of our flag

Manifest Destiny

Emancipation Proclamation

Pledge of Allegiance

In God We Trust

The Lords Prayer

I am          

           “ The tired, the poor,

the huddled masses

yearning to breathe free”

 

 

             I am the children

             I am the people

             I am the land

             I am…

             America

A Lovely new poem, just received..

I am From (after George Ella Lyons)

I am from endless oceans and flowing rivers,
glorious sunshine, and golden meadows,
forests with sheltering trees and winding paths over rocky, root-covered earth.

I am a traveler, a seeker of the way, of the destiny that belongs only to me.
I have scars, seen and unseen, reminders of how the hands of time have shaped and transformed me.

I am the glistening newborn that emerges from rough, weathered skin time after time in the process of becoming.

I am my ancestors, brothers and sisters, a tiny strand in the universal thread, yet one that shines as brilliantly as each other one.

I am here and I am now, learning to greet and live in each moment as it arrives. – Diana Damato, Keene, New Hampshire

Here is what happens when you have an I  Am From booth at your teacher’s conference day..a long, poem by many who stopped by the booth!

I AM FROM

St. Paul Teachers Conference, Oct. 2017

I am from a Midwest college town that prides itself on education but never knew what to do with students like me.

I am from people who live and love and laugh in spite of those who have tried to silence their voices.

I am from Napa, California but live now in N. Minnesota—seeking connections, kids, gardening, art peace and justice!

I am from the roots of many from the past. Many tribes brought together to make change

I am from a small rural town where community is a big influence in supporting education. How can we strengthen that bond in other school districts?

I am from fierce, Black ancestors, Southside Chicago, gritty streets and resilient change makers

I am from Minneapolis, I am from a lifestyle where you always help those in need get a hand up.

I am from suburban Minnesota. From a family with love and support, encouraging me to make a change.

I am from Packer land, Wisconsin!

I am from the land of Centaurs, #286.

I am from a working- class family and Europe through Ellis Island, who were welcomed. I am from/have White privilege.

I am from a strong woman and I strive to be the same for my daughters.

I am from so much! I am from a thirty minute lunch break. (My twin had the other 30 minutes).

I am a proud Asian adoptee teacher. I strive to be a role model for future Asian teachers.

I am from a family farm in Central Minnesota, transported to the urban area.

I am from familia.

I am from strong, smart women who fight for who athey are and what they stand for. I am from strength.

I am from 19 states, 12 countries and 4 continents, a true mongrel of a man and citizen of the world!

TAHWACINWASTEWIN MIYEYE.

I am from Northeast Minneapolis and my neighborhood is a huge part of who I am!

I belong to a family…that values belonging…that cares for others…that believes education is important for all!

I am from a family who lived Civil Rights in the 60’s and 70’s and I believe those beliefs still apply today!

I am from a small farming centered town. I am from a divorced family with five children. I am from a family that supports whatever you do.

I am from speaking without cursing, feeling the love of the teacher and student without being like them.

I am from the heart of Minnesota, with the dream to travel the world

I am from the heart of Minnesota, with the dream to travel the world. I am from a hard-working, family-oriented and loving background.

I’m beautiful, smart. I’m from a small village in West Africa, from a family of 9 kids, 5 girls and 4 boys and I’m the baby!

I am from generations of teachers on a journey to defend public education.

I am from wanting to learn more, grow more, and trust more. I am from wanting to be an educator and an activist.

I am from St. Paul. I am from never give up. I am from practice makes perfect.

I am from unknown origins. I as adopted ….Until I had my DNA test..Now I know I am middle Eastern, North African Italian, Jewish, Native American. Got nothing but love for all peoples.

Gaa-zagaskwaajimekaag

Ishinikaade ishkonigan

Wenjibaawad indinawemaaganag.

Mishakwad omaamaayan indaw.

Anishinaabekwew

Bagwajikwew.

I am from a land that could not provide for me. I am from a family of immigrants.

I am from a family of educators. We are strong believers of life long learning. We believe in the power of education and where it will take you. I

I believe in the power of WE!

I am from Minnesota, south Korea, the Phillipines and Thailand.

I am from the department of corrections.

I am from Adult Basic Education.

I am from the Spanish speaking world.

I am a descendant of indigenous women that struggled before me so I can dream and succeed.  I continue the journey for my children and their children.

I am from the land, the sky the water. Stop trying to poison me!

I am from Africa via Jamaica. I am a world citizen, the human race.

One people! One love!

I am from Hong Kong. My family is from Wisconsin. I hope to make a difference in the classroom.

I am from a single mother!

I am from rural Minnesota, small down, dirt roads and love.

I am from strong people.

I am from an unequal playing field.

I am from a passionate call to help create equal space for all.

I emerge from the North Woods. The cedar boughs are my hair.

I drink the lake and it is the essence of who I am, with all its peace, its fury and is soul emanates from my pores.

I am from freedom: freedom to be beautiful, ugly, finished, unfinished, known, unknown, self.

I am from the neighborhood of tall white pines that dance in the wind.

I am from the heart of my members, with them at the core of what I do!

I am from fields of hoary allysium in the hands of bridal Barbie. I am from Christmases where santa might not come, loud laughing dinners, forty- five minutes away from anything.

I am from whiteness and trying to destroy it. Interested to see what’s left over.

I am from Nebraska and the world of marigolds and endless corn.

I am from an immigrant mother who loves this country. She raised me to always be kin, respectful, non-judgmental. It has served me well in my role as a union leader.

I am from loving brown hands.

I am from a family full of love that I try to give to others.

I am from an immigrant family from Mexico, two working parents with a third grade education, who raised seven children. The believed in the power of education.

I am from rural America, educated in the public schools, first to earn a college degeree and first to earn a masters degree, all because two parents  believed in the American dream.

I am from Windy City. Buy my roots are in the deep South.

I am from a mother who grew up in the time of hate. But she raised me to be blessed and to support others in their will to lives good lives.

I am from literature, music and the strength of my students.

I am from  la tierra de Mexico Guadalajara. I am an immigrant.

I am from the strength of my parents.

I am from a land of love, a man of community of love. We include everyone.

I am fro Medellin Columbia, the city of the eternal spring.

I am from twenty years teaching in Minnesota.

I am from here!

I am from hard work, determination, goal setting.

I am from a little island, Daebu, from parents who believed in working hard, following (and being prepared to follow) one’s dreams, from public education and from being prepared for the worst and believing in the best.

I am from MPLS. My mother, myself and my children all  went to MPLS schools. I would like to see them return to the great schools they once were.

I am from the red dirt of Ghana, Hawaii, Alabama.

I am from the edge of solitude, from where the road meets the dream.

I am from a place of passion, commitment, healing, everlasting progress and determination!!!!

I am from

unknown origins, thru forced immigration

Check the box so I can put you in a box

Love, empathy and compassion

Won’t you join me?

I am from a farming community in Freeland Michigan.

I am a farmer become teacher.

I am from the farm, where we know what community is.

I am from where dreams really can be reality.

I am from a family of refugees, from not fitting in to feeling welcome.

I am from people who are often misunderstood and silenced.

I am from broken hearts to healing. I am an educator.

I am from Texas.

I am from rigid rules.

I am from a loving family.

I am from the small German town of New Ulm, Mn.

I have known the small town and big city life. I love both!

I am a strong Latina and persistence is my motto.

I want English learners to feel empowered by education, empathy and powerful role models and building relationships.

I am from seven older siblings—some grown and others split between three homes. I

am from mixed identity, evictions, red Kool-aid  and spaghetti for days.

I am from pink oil, fish frying and kick-the-can.

I am from Africa, Swali. Question: does this spark curiosity about me?

Tibu, answer, it does make me curious about you, from a different background.

To unite now and for our future generations is what we need.

Kuungana—unite!

I am from  West Africa Liberia where our education system needs a lot of improvement, especially early education

I am from suburban Sacramento but my family is from a variety of places without a true hometown.

I am from Minnesota and it needs a lot of help.

I am from Elvia and Mary.

I am from fried chicken and Sunday family dinners.

I am from hard work, education and determination.

I am from family.

I am from a land far away. I have become a strong woman and mother to be an educator, so I am a mother-teacher who does love kids.

I am from a minority people who has a dream of togetherness, solitude and one from all and all for one..

I am from trust, truth and safe spaces.

I grew up in San Diego CA but I ‘m from not just where I’ve lived but from all the communities that have raised and continue to help me grow, all over the place.

I am from Laos, Minnesota, California, to DC!

I am from  a place that calls me”Nena” but I have grown up since then and a force to be reckon with…

I Am From

Terry Focht

I am from the spirit of far away places

From the ancestral DNA

of the heavens, the earth and the Father

The idea of man’s being

From the kindness of nature

that allows my existence

 

I am from the wind, the sea, the mountaintops

The fire that formed man’s spirit

 

I come from the heritage of man

Grandparents of Switzerland and Ireland

Holland and Germany

From the blood

Folkways

Morals and mores of these people

The character of these countries

I am forged by their struggles

Strengthened by their broken bodies

Work-worn hands

Hard earned crevices in their faces

I am from the union of many souls

From the romance of their cultures

The obligation and privilege of man to exist

I am from tempered will

Muscle

Battles of man

Father’s that steered the way

I am from the strengths

The love, the values

of the many mothers

that kept the way

I am from                                                                

The Art                                                                                                            

The Music                                                               

The Poetry in the wind                                       

 

 

Now, a three part I Am From experience ! This form is ever-expanding…

I Am From

Childhood Memories

                                                           D’Vorah Clark Kelley

I am from pennies planted under a willow tree in the front yard.

I am from tears streaming down my face the day my beloved dog died.

I am from climbing on the big bales of hay in the barn on a winter day.

I am from the tops of maple trees, hiding where no one can see.

I am from sumac and lilacs and forsythia bushes in the back yard.

I am from horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and sheep in the field.

I am from mellow summer days spent free-ranging with friends in woods and fields.

I am from stonewalls and fence posts and closed in spaces.

I am from the wild, unfettered times, before the move that broke my heart.

I am from Connie and Ed, from Marion and Lester, from Audran and Edward.

I am from Scotland and England and France and the hills of North Carolina.

I am from where the trail of tears began, and where it ended in Oklahoma.

I am from bone and sinew and blood and tears.

I am from fear and anger, love and joy, from sorrow and excitement.

I am from hither and yon.

I am from cloud formations on a summer’s day.

I am from invisible forces streaming through my body.

I am from islands and lakes and puddles in the driveway.

I am from honeysuckle and dandelions and sweet smelling grass.

I am wholly the me that has been created by all of these things,

and more, so much more.

_______________________

I Am From

The Four Directions

I am from the East, from the wind under the wings of an eagle,

soaring and plunging to earth and soaring high again,

majestic and all-seeing.

I am from the South, from a fiery volcano, spewed out as hot,

molten lavato then solidify and become

a path for a shepherd boy herding his sheep.

I am from the West, from the deepest recesses of the ocean,

formed when the earth was newly bon from stardust,

churning, bubbling, hidden away for all time.

I am from the North, from sand on the beaches of the world,
tumbled by the sea after traveling through space and time –

once a mighty mountain, now a tiny grain among other tiny grains.

But, before all of these, I came from the center of the Universe,

spiraling outward, onward, believing I could understand the language of the stars

if only I listened hard enough.

_____________________________

I Am From

The Never Ending Story

I am from the seacoast,

where waves crash and

sandpipers scurry across

the wet sand.

I am from the depths of despair

and the pinnacles of hope.

I am from treetops and grass roots,

lake beds, and river stones;

all of nature is my playground.

I am from everywhere and nowhere,

all at the same time,

comprehensible and incomprehensible.

I am from twilight as lightning bugs

flash messages to each other

at the edge of the forest.

I am from continuous sunrises

over the ocean, promising a new day,

full of wonder.

I am from rainbows, sundogs, rings around the sun,

clouds that disappear in the wind,

the playground of the children

of  the sky goddess.

I am from volcanoes, cyclones,

ice storms, and tsunamis,

a force to be reckoned with.

I am from a never-ending story

of courage, passion and majesty.

I am from a city full of noise and ugliness,

and from the verdant hills of quiet beauty

that speak to me of hope.

I am from tadpoles in a springtime pond,

wondering where their tails have gone

and what their new lives will be like.

I am from the multi-faceted jewel

hanging in the void, waiting

to be discovered and honored.

I am from eagles, starlings, Cardinals,

Baltimore Orioles, and seagulls,

winging my way to a new tomorrow.

I am from deepening friendships

that make my heart

come alive with love and gratitude.

I am from all my yesterdays,

and all my tomorrows,

but for right now,

I am from this moment.

Here is a tough, honest poem by Constanza Gamardo…

Constanza Gamardo

Where I’m from: Venezuela

I’m from the Angel Falls, the Amazonian Rainforest, the Caribbean Sea, the desert,

the snow.

I’m from the salty smell of the early sunrise and the walks through wet sand.

I’m from the black gold.

I’m from the drug dealer sitting across the priest.

I’m from that gun to my head. The violence. The anarchy. The fear. The tears.

Where you can break the law but the law won’t break you.

From a land of both beauty and disgrace,

where your faith is on hands of the one that holds the knife, anyone but you.

From short skirts and big egos.

I’m from those angels that look out for me above the sky.

I’m from loud music that starts when the sun sets, until it rises again.

From the laugh that echoes on the equator.

From the eternal summer.

I’m from those happy moments. Friends and family.

From a country where money, corruption and the government are glorified,

but integrity, compassion and honesty often forgotten.

From parents that let me go to soon, for my own good.

From a broken family that sticks together.

I’m from love and gratefulness, from perseverance and resilience.

From Vernica Jabrocki

So clear and lovely…

I am from Eternity

I am from father

I am from mother birth

I am from life

I am from death

I am from Mother Earth

I am from Father

I am from Eternity

Veronica Jabrocki

2017

Here is one from Louise Bierig

She has taken her concern for water and made an I Am From poem about it! What a fine way to join this movement…Think of an issue you care about and try to do what Louise did…and sent it along…

I AM From

I am from polluted water, now clean,

thanks zebra mussels.*

I am from vineyards smelling like

scratch and sniff grape stickers

I am from loneliness

from wind.

I am from a field with a gold-

eyelashed toad.

I am from Power Rangers and tractors that run

best on non-ethanol gasoline.

I am from an old road where a

stage coach used to cross the creek.

I am from sailboats.

I am from the Brick House with

its secret trunk in the

second floor bedroom, which

Jeff tells me was on the

underground railroad, though

my father doesn’t believe him.

The bedroom where Uncle John,

eight years old, shot a groundhog

from the window.

I am from beaches filled with

coarse, metallic sand—yes, it’s

full of iron ore, the filaments of which

will stick to a magnet—covered

in logs—old tree trunks that fell

over the banks and the waves carried downwind—

and flat chunks of shale.

No, don’t use them to build

a fire ring; they will crack in the heat

and hit you in the teeth.

*In 1972, The Clean Water Act and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, signed by the United States and Canada, contributed to lowering the amount of pollutants entering the Great Lakes. The banning of DDT led to the renewal of higher level fish to the lake, as well as the return of hawks. However, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals in personal care products and plastics put the lake at risk and harmful algae blooms (a threat to Lake Erie for the last two decades) are on the rise.

Sharon Isaac

A lovely poem…thank you Sharon…

WHERE I’M FROM

by Sharon Rose Isaac

I am from The Project, The Mountain Parkway & The Rose of Sharon

I am from dirt, a swinging bridge, up Greasy Creek, a stand of white oak trees, & the Knockin’ Tree

From the mud between my toes as I hoe the corn & a vegetable garden with flowers

From a porch where secrets slip out and beans are strung

I am from a tobacco bed, tobacco crop, tobacco worms, & the tobacco check

A cast iron skillet, cornbread & fried potatoes

A canner full of glass jars, pickles, corn, green beans, a big table, biscuits & gravy, Kool-Aid & bologna sandwiches

I am from a banjo behind Mammie’s old couch, from Holy Rollers & speaking in tongues

I am from a messy marriage, long nights of quarreling & guns.

From unrealized dreams & unreached potentials, beer, whiskey & moonshine

Healers, herbalist & breathing into sick babies mouths.

I am from a story you tell over & over & over again

I am from a mountain graveyard with homemade crape papers flowers & a quilt made from feed sacks & old Army coats

I am from a carpenter, a factory worker, a storekeeper, a teacher, a farmer, a gambler & a dreamer

I am from a smokehouse on 14-mile creek with salt pork & tulip trees

I am from the forks of the road where we bury bits of potato we rub on our warts.

I am from family – for better or worse.

From Cincinnati!

We Are From WordPlay

Where are you from?
you ask.
I am from tears and mess and compromise.
I am from Cincinnati, the land of granite,
from sunken eyelids and bony hips.
I am from those places caught
between past and present lies,
from the split moment terrors
I get when I think of how my rapist is free.
I am from the powerful words
my mother made sure were in my lungs
since she knew that with the color of my skin,
people wouldn’t listen when I had to speak.
I am from a place where an orange runs a country—
no tea, no shade, but isn’t that funny.
I am from a crowd surf
of different hands and ideas.
In this beautiful fictional far off place,
every day is a gift to live and grow,
borders dissolved and no one owns the land.
I am from sticky rice and vinegar,
from teaching fish to dance,
from individuality and the correlation
between different and unique.
I am from the crack in the picture frame
that lets you reach inside to touch it.

WordPlay Cincy Scribes: Anais, Cat, Daphne, Keshawn, Lilly, and Sol

and Pauletta Hansel

http://www.wordplaycincy.org/scribes-poetry-team

Another one..just in…what these poems do, each day we receive one, is to remind us of the remarkable, brave, work of those who live in the US, day by day.

I am from..

Moya Haggerty.

I am from Cill Cartha, the ancestral hub

I am  from a higglelty-pigglelty street with twenty two first cousins.

I am from the gouged valley fringed with blue grey mountains

I am from Multiple sclerosis land where stiffened limbs collapse unintentionally

I am from a dying language where landscape holds names like Spinc na Bhfuileog

I am from purple heather land from black crumbled turf mould

I am from skeletons deep buried in bog butter

I am from the plonk of wet sods of turf on a newly cut bog

I am from a weighty creel on a man’s back

I am from a town land of rushes sloughing from tainted iron water

I am from far off places, Wagga Wagga, Mutiti and Ein Karim

I am from the Grand Canyon trodden by my grandfather crossing the Rio Grande

I am from chapatti land fringed with frangipani flowers

I am from bottle brush tree shot through with jacaranda flowers

I am from pocked marked Ogham stones

I am from the land of the slanting sun with a long pig tail

I am from the slime of the earth, from the twinkle of an eye, a spark of the cosmos

I am from the feel of silk sold in the bazaars of Tombouctou

I am from a line of storytellers who know how to entangle the knotted roots of the furze bush and pass on the musical litany of I am from

Here is a new one…a lovely one..an honest one….from Charlotte, North Carolina

I Am From

by

Veronica Corral

Charlotte, NC

I am from, neither from here or there

A hybrid, a marvelous fusion

that feels at home in a kaleidoscope

of culture

I cannot deny the birthplace of my parents

Though some deny me entrance

And I cannot spit in the face

Of the land that my parents labored in

From it I see the birth of my son

And a road of opportunity paved from

The sweat of my ancestors

Bearing fruit from their sacrifice and loss of the familiar

My colors, the red, white and blue

And the red, white and green

As well as the many unknown flags flowing in my veins

Each fused together in my blood

I sit at the table filled with a

Crayola of colors

Many of whom may feel alien at my presence

Yet I make my home among them, for me and my future

I am from neither here or there

But I feel at home

Amongst the many who call

themselves homeless

A third culture, that embraces

The rough edges of those

That find themselves as pioneers

In this new land

Two new powerful poems!

Where I’m From

by Rebecca Whitecotton

I am from starlight and angel dust,

Celestial feathers floating on the the breath of All That Is

I am from the dark of space,

from the center of the first light.

I am from the molten core of earth,

Hot, glowing, flowing to the surface,

Oozing forth and flowing to the ocean

Where it is quenched and hardened into solid form.

I am from acorns and sunflower seeds,

from hearty vines spreading life through leafy tendrils

I am from birch and maple, sycamore and oak,

Rooted in power and swaying with the wind.

I am from rocks and rain, stone and sand.

I am from the gazelle and the tortoise.

from the jackal and the bluebird,

the crow and the eagle.

I am from the mother bear who nurtures her cubs,

and the vulture who feeds on the dead.

I am from the compassion of saints

and the mistakes of sinners.

I am from the love of a mother

And the anger that drives worlds to war.

I am from joy and sadness,

pleasure and pain,

life and death.

I am from All That Is

and all that ever will be.

I AM.

Bridget Bufford

I am from skate punk, fuck off, touch my stuff and you die. I am from crystal meth, spoons and needles, paying to get high.

I am from the belt across the back, the fist in my teeth, the polished black hard soled shoe that kicks me downstairs. I am from waking in vomit, blood and snot.

I am from clay, impervious to pain. I am from stone, never cry no more. I am from dead ash that falls off the end of a reefer and I rub it into my pants leg. I am from the burning cigarette pressed into my skin. I am from the hidden razor, the secret switchblade knife.

I am from a long stretch of asphalt, too stoned to see the end. I am on my bike escaping to nowhere. I am on the side of the road, hitchhiking. I am in the car of a greasy speed freak, going too fast. Ninety mph in under seven seconds, he says. I’ll let you ride if you will hold my turtle. –Whatever, let’s go, and then the horny shell surprise

I am from Mad Dog and Thunderbird, puking down my shirt. I am from pot speed and acid, too high to die. I am from the hospital, raving, blood on my hands on my clothes is it mine? I am from four point restraint don’t tie me up god please no I can’t stand it. I’m from twenty mg. intramuscular Valium jammed in my arm, turning daylight soft and black.

I am from walking, walking the sidewalks of St. Louis, the barrios of Phoenix. Walking the highways of Houston, walking seawalls of the Gulf Coast, walking forests of the Midwest, infested. I am from chiggers and ticks and fleas.

I am from the fires of the Southwest, lightning strikes below the Rim. Late night fire fight red glow smoke choke burns your lungs and your feet blister in your boots. Know your crew in the ash-filled dark by a lock of hair, the looseness of a step. Know your weather, know the wind or die. Two Hotshots burned in the backfire, caught in the draw our own flares created. Burned those boys alive, seventeen and twenty-one, and there was too much smoke and ash to see. The locomotive wind drowns out the screams.

I am from the women: Janie, the dark-haired poet. Dreadlocked Maria, molasses-colored body artist, who threads purple beads in her hair. Elisa, the golden dancer gone to Boulder. Connie, the seeker, and Carole, the listener, and Pat when I write, and Becky who loves me even though I’m sometimes pretty bad.

I am from pen and ink, recreating my life.

By Bridget Bufford, 2004

Bewster Academy–2nd set of amazing I Am From Poems

I Am From

Jackson Barber

I am from Lemuria, from the legends of Mount Shasta and planet idon’tknow.

I am from the motherboard.

I am from the golden egg. The hot pot.

I am from good food and love. Hospitality from the west and south. Three California kids.

I am from the bees knees and the island in your dreams.

From the wild acts and childish time

I am from the town of believers.

I’m from a place of wisdom, kale and mango.

From the music and fun, the journey continues, and hopefully the universe delivers.

I am from the supreme land.

Where I am From by Mason Barchard

I am from belts, from Gi’s and finger tape.

I am from the soft canvas.

I am from where people flow like water and stand strong like rock.

I am from Jiu Jitsu and broad shoulders, from a bloodline of raw talent.

I am from the gentle art.

From hard work and perseverance.

I am from dreams and nightmares.

I’m from the mats, where the only food is food for thought and intelligence.

I am from the only place where a chess match can be expressed through movement.

From the place where we walk in the shoes of those we admire,

in those of legends and loved ones.

I am from

By Sumayya Al Kindy

I am from a country you’ve probably only heard from the citizens of the country, from the country right next to Saudi Arabia and right below Dubai.

I am from the smell of burning coal and frankincense. It blurs my vision as I set the red clay pot with melting frankincense down under the ceiling fan.

I am the daughter of an Omani who was born in Zanzibar, the African language fills my ears every time I visit my grandpa’s house and the family gathers.

I am from a country that ridiculed me as a child for looking like another race, for not speaking Arabic, for speaking English. The same country that, as I got older, saw its future in my hands.

I am from the family whose neighbors once heard us yelling and running away from someone I did not recognize at the time.

From a “candy”, it’s only good wrapped, to an unforgiving feminist who’s still looking on ways to educate her people.

I am from Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him. Although I lack in my religion, he is the ultimate role model for all things.

From the spilled blood of my brother s and sisters in Syria and Palestine. From the tears of the orphans crying for their baba and mama.

I’m from the English TV shows I watched like Days of Our Lives, and the smell of Biryani being cooked by my mother.

From the tears of my mother being hurt by a person she loved, and from the tears I shed for her.

I am from stubbornness of my mother and will be silent until i tip over with rage.

I am from all this.

I am me.

Last three from the marvelous Brewster Academy!

I AM FROM…

By Noah Spiegel

I am from Attack Cat Security, from Annie’s Shells and lacrosse sticks.

I am from the Mens Den, where the smell of fresh cuban cigars echo across the walls

I am from the Sullen apple tree out front, that has safeguarded 26 Round Hill since I was a young child.  and the woods that sleep during day and come alive when the sun sets.

I am from Cape Hatteras and Catamount Lane, from Herman who taught me how to be a Spiegel to Marian who taught me that kindness travels the farthest and Gordon who’s name I adopted as my own.

I am from the missing left socks and empty bottles to late card games and watching the stars pierce the night sky.

From “The Golden Rule” and Melting Brains.

I am from freshly baked homemade challah and 12 hour services, from Adam, Eve, Jacob, Leah, Abraham, Isaac and splitting the seas.

I’m from Eastern Germany, Poland, Armonk, NY and Roxbury, Mass. Each place more different than the other, but the building blocks of who we are.

From August 24th 2013 the day our family changed forever, but not always for worse. To the day’s weeks months and years following that proved not only resilience, but strength and compassion.

I am from Sally’s paintings, from the mantle above the fireplace where those who built our family name sit and watch over us still.

I am from so many people place and things. All of which I am forever grateful for making me, me.

WHERE IM FROM

By Peter Leach

I am from snowy winters , from Timberland Boots and Winter Jackets.

I am from the multi level home, filled with eggo waffles in the morning, and the daily funnies.

I am from the house that protects lady slippers, with the weedless gardens.

I am from searching for eggs on easter morning, and loyalty to all , from my brother Evan and my cat Chancellor, and my dear old parents.

I am from the house that never gives in, and the halls of compassion .

From shame on you, to i’m proud of you son.

I am from a past of church. To a present of sleeping in .

I’m from the woods of Derry but the hills of Europe , from Chicken Packets to Whoopie Pies.

From the time I ran away from home to the time I wished I wasn’t alone, the time I caught a monster fish, to when I blew out my candles and made a wish.

I am from Vacations such as visiting Iceland, to sleeping in front of a fire on a rainy day.

My town has shaped me into what I wanted to be. My home lay nestled in the woods between the trees.

By Bailey Kolinski

I am from

I am from grass fields, from Billy Ray’s and Diet Coke

I am from the big red house with a white porch and the crunching of dirty brown grass under bare feet (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the pine trees standing 50 feet high. and yellow daisies surrounding granite post

I am from bracket picks and sun blonde hair, from Mom and Dad and Uncle Chuck (that no one ever talks about) and Griffin the strongest of us all.

I am from the weekend spent at sporting events and weekend off spent not knowing what to do.

From ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s’ and if you don’t like what I’m cooking that’s too bad.

I am from Sunday School, three different Popes, and hard wooden pews smelling of fresh lacquer (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I’m from Steven’s Point to Pączki and casserole’s

From the Reagan giving stiches to every one of her siblings both on the face, the time Papa past out in the kitchen when only the adults were awake (another detail, and the never ending movement of my Nana through all hours of the day.

I am from Ryder field where two of the three Kolinski children fell in love with a game. Where I learned all of life’s greatest lessons and where I hope one day my children will learn the same.

Here are the first three poems sent in by Jen Dumont, who writes:

I am writing to submit several poems to the project that my students wrote last spring. My students are from all over the world – Japan, Oman, Taiwan and all over America. Our school is Brewster Academy, a private, college prepatory school in Wolfeboro, NH.

Will be sending the next three soon!

New 3 poems from Brewster Academy!

I Am From

Jackson Barber

I am from Lemuria, from the legends of Mount Shasta and planet idon’tknow.

I am from the motherboard.

I am from the golden egg. The hot pot.

I am from good food and love. Hospitality from the west and south. Three California kids.

I am from the bees knees and the island in your dreams.

From the wild acts and childish time

I am from the town of believers.

I’m from a place of wisdom, kale and mango.

From the music and fun, the journey continues, and hopefully the universe delivers.

I am from the supreme land.

Where I am From

by Mason Barchard

I am from belts, from Gi’s and finger tape.

I am from the soft canvas.

I am from where people flow like water and stand strong like rock.

I am from Jiu Jitsu and broad shoulders, from a bloodline of raw talent.

I am from the gentle art.

From hard work and perseverance.

I am from dreams and nightmares.

I’m from the mats, where the only food is food for thought and intelligence.

I am from the only place where a chess match can be expressed through movement.

From the place where we walk in the shoes of those we admire,

in those of legends and loved ones.

I am from

By Sumayya Al Kindy

I am from a country you’ve probably only heard from the citizens of the country, from the country right next to Saudi Arabia and right below Dubai.

I am from the smell of burning coal and frankincense. It blurs my vision as I set the red clay pot with melting frankincense down under the ceiling fan.

I am the daughter of an Omani who was born in Zanzibar, the African language fills my ears every time I visit my grandpa’s house and the family gathers.

I am from a country that ridiculed me as a child for looking like another race, for not speaking Arabic, for speaking English. The same country that, as I got older, saw its future in my hands.

I am from the family whose neighbors once heard us yelling and running away from someone I did not recognize at the time.

From a “candy”, it’s only good wrapped, to an unforgiving feminist who’s still looking on ways to educate her people.

I am from Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him. Although I lack in my religion, he is the ultimate role model for all things.

From the spilled blood of my brother s and sisters in Syria and Palestine. From the tears of the orphans crying for their baba and mama.

I’m from the English TV shows I watched like Days of Our Lives, and the smell of Biryani being cooked by my mother.

From the tears of my mother being hurt by a person she loved, and from the tears I shed for her.

I am from stubbornness of my mother and will be silent until i tip over with rage.

I am from all this.

I am me.

I Am From Joy C

By Joy Cartwright

I am from earth, from skin and bone.

I am from the sky.

I am from the trees, the daisies

I am from the camp and Irish blood, from Brenda, Kim and Taylor and Cartwright .

I am from opinionated contestations and addiction .

From strictly organic and Waldorf raised.

I am from Maine. From rocky shore line, and bitter wind.

I’m from Germany, beer and potato .

From the party, the 40 years, and the factory.

I am from Greenville, the lake and storms.

Bryan Chen

Where I am From

I am from the sky-touching building of 101, from the heart soothing pineapple cake and sun cake.

I am from the 30-level building with the sounds of television constantly blossom your ears.

I am from the Plum Blossom, the Bombax Ceiba itching your nose.

I am from the Chen and the Chen, from the country where most people’s last names are Chen.

I am from the family that lost its ancestry and from the fleeting Party originated in Mainland China.

From getting money from elders in Chinese New Year, but my mother would always spend them.

I am from a family that believes in the ghost stories we see on Tv.

I’m from Kaohsiung, where beef noodles and meaty rice

From the father who knew a lot of people in Taiwan, the mother who single-handed started her own business that is still running today, and the granny that can’t remember her story.

I am from love and hate family where disagreements are normal but still stick together no matter what.

Hidehiko Yamashita

“I am From”

I am from the middle size of the city; from famous sweet fish and keen knives.

I am from town surrounded by greatly traditional and historical castles and distinctively structured house.

I am from the Mt. Fuji, which is the biggest mountain in Japan, covered with snow throughout the year, from big and streaming river called Nagara river.

I am from getting together most of the time to have dinner for most of the days, from having conversation with the others, from Nobuhiko and Riyo and Yamashita.

I am from loving to watch movie together in the weekend and going out to play golf together on holidays.

From being the adult to think about other people, having the wide views and never giving up to get the result, not losing myself.

I am from Gifu, which is generally recognized as the countryside in Japan but is a great city enough in my opinion.

I’m from Gifu and Hida Beef which is one of the most famous beef in japan and Takayama Ramen which is very famous ramen in my hometown.

From dad coming back from the work at 3 o’clock and drinking as soon as coming back from the work, the mom cooking for two hours to make the different dish for my dad, my brother and me, and the brother loving to watch his favorite movie.

I am from Gifu Castle which Nobunaga Oda who is the most famous leader five hundred years ago lived.

New composite beauty from Cincinnati!

We Are From: Art for Artists, 2017

I am from a blank canvas,
from the typewriter set up
in my mother’s kitchen,
from bright colored fabric and shiny beads,
from the country attic where
obsolete treasures lived,
from the vegetable garden in the summer,
from a hand gliding over big boards,
flour dust flying in the air.
I am from that girl,
the one who called herself
writer, artist, gardener, cook,
from the space she held to grow into.

It is like a trail through my memories,
which shoots straight and sharply
through my town, my life, my thoughts.
I am from struggling children
and a nation divided,
from tall scary people all in black,
in white.
So long ago, it seems familiar.
The streets are filled with too many ghosts.
What a strange journey through time.

I am from a life reinvented,
floating in and out of fog and clarity
and plunging in again,
from a long hard slog to make my way
through scrambled streets with cul-de-sacs,
from a towering blue spruce
that mocks my journey.
I am from many steps,
the ones I tumbled down
grabbing life, reclaiming fears,
pursuing and abandoning perfection.

I am from the nest of peace
I have made of my home,
from the joy of dirt and rocks,
the delight of sun and moon,
from quiet Friends and deep meditation,
from the “see you later, welcome home”
barking of the dogs,
from the sweet shade of the same old trees.

All in all, a pretty good life.
I am here.
Now in my 50s,
my 60s,
my 70s,
80s.
Unreal.

By Art4Artists Participants: Sue Brungs, Pat Bruns, Mo Conlan, Carole Douglas, Arnelle Dow, Mary Hennigan, Vivian Kline, Sally Murray, Pat Ostenkamp and Carolyn Stewart with Cincinnati Poet Laureate Pauletta Hansel.
Dunham Recreation Center
August 15, 2017

The latest as we move into fall….!

Where I’m From                                                            Elizabeth McCommon, August 2017

 

I am from hog killing, meat chopping

       sausage, spareribs and brains

       with eggs in the morning.

 

I am from horses that work for

       corn in the crib, pigs in the pen

       chicks in the coop, Creasy greens

       and beans in a row.

 

I am from running fast and falling hard

       picking myself up with scabbed  knees and elbows as proof,

       from sling shots, sharp pocket knives

       Mumbly Peg, ball games

       and boys, boys, boys and me

       trying to keep up.

 

I am from tobacco in the field, in the barn with neighbors

       in the lungs of  Miss King and Queen County

       in the festival for queen crowning

       with Camel cigarettes high stepping it

       down Broad Street.

 

I am from stage struck

       from love struck

       from all the babies I can count on one hand

       and the death of all that .

 

I am from damp, tidewater air, glorious sunrises

       bounty of air and water,

       old British influence in place names,

       architecture and the persistent remnants of slavery.

 

I am from sexy people, their reckless behavior

       unexpected  unions, suicidal cousins,

       dyed-in-the wool Democrats and

       Southern, foot washing, Baptists.

Where I am From

Edna Lewis

I am from the ditches, streams and winding gravel roads of a back hollow.

I am from the mountain tops, above sassafras trees.

I am from where the little whip-poor-wills sing, hidden close by in a lilac bush.

I am from underneath the blue skies, bright stars, and an occasional blue moon.

I am from sugar, but not the sweet kind.

I am from grandmother’s tasty chicken and dumplings, and grand pappy’s baked potatoes under the grate of the old fire place.

I am from long winter snowy nights, sipping cocoa, with the wind howling by.

I am from granny’s cherry tree, with Pa’s stories of old, a time of war, and the Penn-line men.

I am from the hills of coal, the blue grass, the wet lands, the deep lake waters, the flowing rivers, where the horses run fast, with aging barrels of bourbon, tobacco sticks, blue grass music and strong willed Appalachian people.

I am from Kentucky y’all!

 Beautiful poem by Ruth McArthur

I Am From

I am from pine trees, oaks

with Spanish moss strangling

the branches, azaleas forming

hedgerows, canopy roads in

constant shade, moist hot air blanketing

us as we played charades or tag fleeing ”it”

as if he were the devil himself.

Learning to tithe

with nickels my father gave me, learning

the catechism

Who made you? God.

What else did God make?

God made all things.

Gathering around the supper table

each night taking a turn

reading from Barclay’s commentary

which at age seven

I was expected to do,

eliciting giggles

from my teenage sisters

at mispronounced words.

My brother didn’t like tomatoes

so without tasting I didn’t either.

The big girls combing my hair, evaluating

the cleanliness of my fingernails

commenting as if I weren’t there.

I am from books. Books stacked everywhere,

shelved, stacked, strewn on the floor.

Picked up Mama’s prewar copy

of Tess of the D’Urbervilles

and never felt such horror and heartbreak

as when weeping over the harrowing, unfair

fate of Tess

and was ill for a week.

A group  I Am From poem by seniors from St. Paul, Minnesota, Lyngblomsen program

Dogs in the Barn, Cows in the Pasture

I am from birthdays in April when my mother loved the flowers that came up just as my day arrived! Daffodils and crocuses

I grew up in New York: We were always at the beach!

I am from the country

I came from a big family where everyone described things SPECIFICALLY, BORINGLY AND REPETITIVELY

I am from the city, and the Dairy Queen on Payne Avenue, one of the first in our area. I saved my pennies to go there each weekend.

I am from a dairy farm where we milked cows and sometimes went to town. We finally moved to town and there we got spoiled. It was easier.

I spent summers in South Dakota, on a ranch; everyone there got up early to work.

I am from wild deer

I am from gangly children playing kick the can til after dark

I am from Capture the Flag, Ally, Ally In Free! I played kickball, marbles, Four Square andRed Rover Come Over

I am from farm dogs and cats in the barn, cows in the pasture, pigs wallowing in the mud, chickens in the yard, a rooster that climbed up into a tree.

I am from sweet corn, potatoes, home made bread every day (my mom started it in the morning) canning, picking cucumbers, cream of wheat for breakfast

I came from a German family—we always had sour kraut, pork roast and knedles(dumplings)

I was born on the fourth of July and I was ten years old before I knew that all that hoopla wasn’t about me!

I never thought of myself as I. It was always We, Because, you see, I had a twin. You can’t understand i if you haven’t lived it..being a twin.

I am from a big family and when they asked me my birth order, I always said, “next!”

I am from a big family, and every Sunday we all got together. There were forty people and my mother cooked for them all.

I am from Lutefisk and lefse—Fun food!

This project is leading to all kinds of poetry, music,theater, dance, around the country…spoken word, urban word, …rap, ..hip hop…it is all in where we are from….here is a powerful one to consider.

I Am From Poem

David Tojin aka Astrow

Let it bleed”
The boondocks iron city full of rum and drugs
South Central slums no fun is where I’m spawning from
The 90’s unwind me to the time these Devils tried to blind me
my opponent is myself and only i can define me
I experienced the streets
and this raw game asking for change cause raw spells war
my lineage
Down living poor
poverty corruption exposed wild flooding my core
Batteram out to get me straight shattered my door
chemical war
psychological warfare
artificial glare
seeming unfair as i stared i rebelled
kicking it
on the porch with my kin folk
avoiding the gangs owning the page with my number two pencil
Addicted to paint
Not the shank
entertained
productive
I love it
a wise mind
compared to fucking nothing but nature
cause shes beautiful
i feel so free
able to see
Mother Earth to me
a real necessity
I live blasting over hot grills
licensed to kill
Uncle Sam’s field employed ill
killing at will
all for some bills
that go to oppressors with suppressors
shadowed out in black suits playing checkers
Ain’t down with Benji
plat bronze a punk a Jimmy
slugging out the youth toxin like a Hemi
cause truth is buried
And the lies are shown
like a flee on a spree hijacking your dome
Industry ho
Living life like a slaves soul
Ghetto pigeon
Free yet glocked and locked up in a prison
Re educated by Satin
Blue eyed beast
Lynching out free colored kins
a creatures feast
Tekkknology
A physiological tactic
will mold you into clay in a world full of plastic
with pesticide
Dope Gangs Sex all the magic
potions
To replicate a Tom to kill crops like a Locust
The war is focused
advertised manipulated
advocated
Like French Spain fucked a Haitian
Embrace it
And buzz out this cell this living hell
Experience more knowledge than life’s horror struggle tales
Real committed and focused
like mad hates the roaches
Rats to hornet’s
kicked in like some horse shit if i
Had the chance for one wish
It be Docs DeLorean to blast me to 1966
When Black Panthers where bucking down Oakland pigs
To organizing free breakfast clubs for hungry little kids
Teaching self defense heritage
Under covers
About evil whites and why we lighter shaded brothers
Then off to 1493
To burn the Pinta the Niña the Santa
for 1619
No slaves free Natives
New hieroglyphic written pages
Hands on slave ships
Revenge
for all the racist hatred
So let it bleed let it bleed
Spread your pain
Throw them up if you hate the game
Fight for change
Heal the pain
Every struggle is a lesson
Create a change a difference
From this hell that were facing

Here is another beauty from a high school student

Zhaunte Destiny Wallace

I am from the smell of incense and candles ; sandalwood

I am from a small but clean home

I am from a laughing, beautiful, toothless baby boy named Zaire’

I am from a Goddess who holds phenomenal strength for herself and her children.

I am from Birds chirping in the early sunrise

Accompanied  by the loud bang from

the early garbage truck on Tuesdays

I am from the honesty of my grandmother who taught

me that I am a powerful person and staying true to myself

Is the Best love i can give to me

I am from the beauty she carries for herself  like a delicate

Star shining in the dark peaceful night.

I am from the divine scent of her when she hugs and loves me

In her arms , reminding me of when  i was a seed developing

Into a flower and she would just smile at me just because

I am from Sunday dinners filled with crazy antics, loudness, and family

I am from moments filled with love, cries, pain, surprises, hatred, and laughter

I am from strength ,beauty, and love.

I am from being Zhaunte Destiny Wallace

Wonderful, rambling poem…great to use this theme with students those first weeks of school!

Where I’m From  (for Harlan’s G.E.)

by Kate Larken

{who is from at least 7 generations in Carlisle County, Kentucky}

I’m from Yellow Dog Democrats and free thinkers.

From progressives who’d never have called themselves that,

for they were only applying common sense and integrity by way of their worldview.

I’m from publishers and teachers, farmers and politicians, singers and scribes,

and, honey, I’ve been ’em all.

I’m from the song, the story, the visual, the poem, the stage and

from some of my time’s great movements (though, alas, I still can’t dance).

I’m from both coasts and a whole lot of the middle.

From Carlisle County, Carolina, California, the Keys and the biggest rivers in North America.

I’m from a farm … and from a giant city, too.

I’m from cold fried chicken, pulled pork, pad Thai and the Shalimar Indian buffet.

I’m from fresh corn, fried green tomatoes, pickled okra, sushi, and edamame.

I’m from single barrel bourbon, cold beer, mojitos and moonshine.

I’m from native intelligence and obsessive scholarship.

I’m from that crossroads of ‘where you fixin’ to go?’ and ‘leave me the hell alone.’

I’m from livin’ just the way I intend to and lovin’ just the way I was made to.

I’m from fairness.  I’m from justice.  I’m from equality.  I’m from the future.  Get used to me.

I’m from people who’ve done me right, and I’m here in spite of those who’ve done me wrong.

Oh … and from honesty-will-go-a-long-long-way.

And I’ve chosen to be from a place where men don’t feel threatened by smart women and

where smart women aren’t afraid of any-damn-body.

From a place where dear friends enrich and entertain me:

like the woman who composed the song that says George Bush Is An Idiot,

the man who paints cityscapes and landscapes and green tea pots,

the friend who nursed me back to health near the beach,

the generous girls from the weekly music jam,

the big-hearted workaholic who can never make time,

the friends who keep up with me even when I’m lost and can’t find myself,

and, yes, the woman who wrote the book on Where I’m From.

I’m from all of them. And they, in small ways, are from me, too.

I’m also from dichotomies:

collaboration and independence,

practicality and dreams,

business and art.

I’m from education, too, and from

communication … with and without words.

I’m from

‘hand that over here and I’ll try it,’

‘hand that over here and I’ll strum it,’

‘hand that over here and I’ll edit it,’

‘hand that over here and I’ll rock it to sleep.’

I’m from knowing that joyful singin’ is pure praise, but hateful preachin’ is pure fear.

I’m proud that—by way of experience and because of all the people I’m from—I’ve evolved:

a liberal and a feminist and

a web weaver and an artist and

LGBT and a thinker and

a pretty good feller.

Look here: I’ll sing you the blues one minute and tell you a joke the next. That’s because

I’m from too much tragedy, but I’m sold on the idea that it’s comedy that gets us through.

Most important, friend:  I’m from The Golden Rule. Even when I see it no longer in evidence.

Hell, I’m from the same planet you’re from.

And I’m from knowing

that neither you nor I

have more right

than each other

to be here.

I’m hoping you’re from knowing that truth, too.

See, it’s like this:

I’m from printer’s ink and afternoon naps on stacks of newsprint waiting for

Gran to feed each blank sheet by hand from his perch high atop the big flatbed press.

I’m from the Lava and Borax in the blackened sink at the back of the News office,

from sneaking behind the complicated Linotype

(even when the grownups ordered me not to, warned me of danger)

to peel delicate and fragile silver stars from the oily-black concrete floor,

stars birthed when hot lead had dripped from the mechanism, splashed,

cooled, hardened into wonders, as if heaven had dropped them there!—

and it did, heaven being the machine that made all the words.

Way down in my veins, I’m from collecting ideas and from spreading all that good around.

I’m from farm mornings, too, with that dew-covered spider web built overnight

in one square of the American Wire fence beside the gravel lane.

From learning to bush hog, age twelve, and running the little Ford redbelly

right through the barn lot’s wooden gate, splintering it all to hell on day one,

because I didn’t yet know what high gear was capable of

at the end of a low-gear field mow way down in the bottoms.

I’m from taking a whipping over redwood stain spilled during

the hated chore of painting the board fence around our horse lot.

From riding bareback from the age of three.

From listening to my mother and her in-laws as they put up corn

and Papa’s favorite vegetable (the speckled variety he called ‘horticulture beans’)

for winter on summer days that seem never, thank goodness, to have ended.

I’m from an innate knowledge of nature that can only come from

growing up slap in the middle of it.

I’m from Daddy teaching me those first seven chords on six strings,

from bullying my way right through the blisters and the pain

and the peeling, working my way to calluses the envy of any picker.

And I’m from learning harmony vocals standing beside Mother in the pew.

Yes, I’m from throwing in my lot with song.

I come from dipping spiny gum tree balls in green creek slime to sling at my sister and

cousins and the kids from the neighboring farm in our “war” game

… and from knowing the sting of getting popped back.

From setting up little plastic Army men and plinking them one by one into same nameless creek,

BBs leaving little round pocks in their green bellies or helmets, holes that never healed,

and from shooting off the ends of most of Mother’s clothespins because they were

irresistible targets that tiny ammo made spin madly round the line when struck just right.

But I’m also from evolving into a grown-up who learned that real war is nothing at all

like children’s games … and so I am from making everlasting peace be my real-life choice.

Yes, I’m from the satisfaction of learning to take good aim, be a sound shot,

but only at what really matters. The trick is timing and patience.

I’m from something to do with Time and Distance and Place and Perseverance.

Hanging on to things and then passing them forward is where I’m stubbornly from.

For I am multiple identities; I am many years; I’m my current collection of molecules and

the result of molecular collections that preceded mine. So, I’m from aberrations, too.

An honorary hillbilly who grew older in the flats but ‘grew up’ in the mountains,

I’m from the pleasure of learning firsthand that the best of each world has always existed in both,

whether your soup beans are pinto or white, whether your cornbread is baked or fried.

I’m from the country and from a few immature decades yearning to get away from it.

And I’m from thinking thankfully at sixty that I somehow never left after all—
for my roots remain rural, even after the satisfaction of all those city years.

A secret blessing waited for me to recognize its sweetness when I was ready and

good enough to deserve it:

See, where I’m from is where I am, even when I’m not.

And if there’s one sane thing I’ve noticed where I am now, it’s this:

Sometimes what’s closest is what’s furthest away.