GRASS

It sways in the wind

Green although not envious

Seen but never heard

Maurice Chevalier

Grade 9, Jefferson

Junior High School

NYC

Roads

Cars

People

Buildings

Fire hydrants

Hotdog stands

Cats

Dogs

Rats

Punks

Hippies

Preppies

Saks

Chanel

Prada

Emilie Blechman

Grade 6, Georgetown

Day School

BROWN SKIN

a dark milkyway

a caramel twist

a chocolate swirl

a Coca-Cola bliss

a tad of tan

a blotch of fudge

a mocha latte

a creamy crunch

a pretty brown

a Hershey's kiss

a chocolate shake

a cocoa mist

a cinnamon roll

a sugar frosting

a chocolate eclair

a doughnut glistening

a chocolate chip

a Oreo circle

a taste of turtles

a lick of pudding

a pretzel stick

a cluster of nuts

a whip of peanut butter

a maple syrup coating

a dap of peach

a dip of white chocolate

a pinch of brown sugar

a brown skin 'holic'

Shanday Travis

Grade 9, the Lab School

of Washington

THERE WAS ONE

There was one, one woman

Who sat down on that bus and refused to get up,

So that we could be integrated.

There was one, one man

Who spoke out against racism,

So that we could no longer be discriminated.

There was one, one child

Who stayed in that white school,

So that we could no longer be separated.

There was one, one mother

Who taught her child to love thy neighbor,

So that there was no reason for anyone to be hated.

There was one, one father

Who told his daughter about the consequences of sex before marriage,

So that a neglected baby would not be created.

There was one, one grandmother

Who took in her grandchild,

So that prison would not be her belated.

There was one, one teacher

Who cared about her students enough,

So that their education could never be debated.

There was one, one

Who began life,

And it was we that He created.

Fateema Blackwell

Grade 12, Banneker High School

WHAT THE MIRROR SAID 2 ME

Listen,

You a pearl.

You an ocean

Of a lady.

You got English

Of your own.

Listen,

Somebody need an ear

To understand you.

Somebody need to be brave

To move in your face.

Listen,

Lady,

You not a game.

Sherrell Jones

Grade 7, Hart Middle School

ANGER POEM

Yesterday I tried to paint you but the colors weren't there

I guess it's true what they say life isn't fair

The day Juice left me was a horrible day I swear

The only brother that I knew and love

The only brother that made me feel like I was a gift from above

When he left me I became angry inside

My mom told me "God wanted Juice closer to his side"

I cried and cried and soon replied

"God can have him later, I need my brother by my side, doesn't

anybody

understand my pain inside"

It took me a while to realize my brother was gone for the best

Because he didn't have to worry about surviving danger's test

Jasmine Baxter

Grade 9, Jefferson Junior High School

DRESSED UP

She arrived in her new world in pink padded clothes

her round head bald and her black eyes wide

At one, her black hair stood straight up

her tiny feet wore patent leather boots

and her teeth grew in sets of six

At two, she already loved pink dresses and shoes

her brown face laughed and cried as she tightly sucked her right thumb

At three, she wore her first ponytails

she dressed as a pink princess for Halloween and danced on small toes

in a white tutu

At four, she sparkled from head to toe in layers of dress-up clothes

at her new school she sat quiet and shy with art supplies and books

At five, she lived in blue jean bellbottoms

she sat eyes closed, legs crossed, palms together in yoga

At six, she was scary as a black vampire

she stood focused on the t-ball in her blue team cap and shirt with her

front teeth missing

My sister, Thea, now seven is a miniature rock star

long black hair, a skinny body singing Britney Spears songs

just to annoy me

Gideon E. Bender

Grade 6, Capitol Hill Day School

AN UNFORGETTABLE DAY

May 3rd, 2001

Sorrow sweeps over my family

The sun is shining

Yet if feels cloudy

It's officially time to

Say good-bye

To my great-grandfather

The graveyard is as silent

as the tombs it holds

Standing next to my great-grandfather's tomb

Head bowed in respect

I quickly look up

And see my mother and her sister

With tears on their faces

He's now in a better place

I want to tell them both

Their tears sparkle like diamonds in the sun

How can it be such a beautiful day

When it feels

Like rain

Sarah L.E. Schroer

Grade 10, the Lab School of Washington

CITY LIFE

"Beep, beep, beep"

a horn honks,

a stereo blasts.

I close my window,

in an effort to close out

the noise

and the heat.

I lie back,

try to relax.

I feel the cool breeze

of the fan

and try to enjoy the silence,

but something is wrong.

I open my window

and hear the beat of the city,

and I smile.

Emma Berman Fernandez

Grade 7, Capitol Hill Day School

WELCOME TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD

Living in the city

Rowhouses

Side streets

People standing on the corner

Monday through Sunday

24 hours a day

365 days a year

Boys on the corner selling drugs to people, mothers & fathers, sisters &

brothers, aunts & uncles

Cars driving by slowly

Summertime

Girls in short skirts

Boys in wife beaters

See a man smoking jacks or blunts with a cup of remy in his hand

Schools, Parks, Carry outs, Corner stores, a fire station,

a Hospital are in

my neighborhood

Alley cats fighting each other

Dogs barking

Trash on the ground everywhere

Kids outside running around all hours of the night

. . .Welcome to my Neighborhood. . .

Nika Phillips

Grade 10, Parkmont School

PAIN TO COME

Black against White,

White against Black,

Spanish against White

Black against Spanish

Who we are,

Don't Know

What we do,

Determines who we are,

The way we act,

Determines who we are,

We are changing,

The world is changing.

And we can't even see it.

Can you change it?

Negros contra blancos,

Blancos contra negros,

Hispanos contra blancos,

Negros contra hispanos.

Quienes somos,

No se.

Lo que hacemos,

Determina lo que somos.

Estamos cambiando

El mundo esta cambiando

Y ni podemos verlo.

Puedes cambiarlo?

Jenrris Pleitez

Grade 11, Cesar Chavez Public Charter

High School for Public Policy

POVERTY

The nightmare of illusions of tomorrow

stalk quietly around the corner

cherishing the patterns of abuse and sinister rage

upon this fragile soul.

Yearning for the grave

and wanting to escape this crisscrossed rickety bridge of a life from this morning, the day of his birth.

Tomorrow's day will come in grief

so will hunger, stealing, no too weak, a loan he can't pay back.

Illusions of hard eternities haunt my life

draining from my self-esteem until suicide strikes my brain

like a bolt of lightning from the hand of Zeus.

Until his sinister rage paralyzes my brain and overwhelms

my temples

and as the last blow strikes the heart,

the fragile soul is shattered.

Nations are not shattered, memorials are not built.

Nobody will miss him. Nope, not one person.

But some things will

The corner on which he sat will.

The tin cup which earned him a few cents each day of his miserable life.

Reginald Williams

Grade 8, Hart Middle School

THE FALL

At first summer was an eternity.

We'd be beautiful and free for always.

The golden sunlight, soft stars, laughing sea,

Ours were the rains, the flowers, the long days!

Then these sweet summer months slipped from her grasp.

They crept away in the cool of the night,

While the earth moaned, the moon mourned,

the wind gasped,

And she jolted awake, trembling for fright.

She found her verdant canopy shriveled,

Her sea now crying and her sunlight gray.

And herself, no longer as beautiful,

But fading and musty like a late autumn day.

Now the summertime maiden we wistfully recall

At the end of Eden and the eve of fall.

Brooks Swett

Grade 11, National Cathedral School for Girls

MUSIC

My soul cries with bittersweet joy

As I listen to the notes play,

My heart fills with inexplicable emotion.

It is my passion; with every stroke of the keys

And the touch of my horn, I yearn for more,

What cannot be expressed through words

I write in C major;

The passion that fills each note on the staff

Is an instant remedy for the most incurable hunger pangs,

Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto tickles my spirit, while

Stevie Wonder's lyrics fulfill the very essence that is me;

Music fills my world and my world is filled with music,

The sounds of the streets, even the pitter-patter of the rain

Create a melody so bright and fair,

My canvas is my staff and time signature,

While my brush is my pencil,

The only colors I use are dull grayish-brown

From the #2 graphite and red eraser marks from corrected mistakes;

When my opus is complete

And the orchestra begins to play

My heart speeds up to the tempo of slashed common time

While my hands and feet, from nervousness, move to a beat of their own.

As the musicians begin to tune their instruments

From the signal of the conductor's white-tipped baton,

The violas and trumpets play B flat

While the rest of the orchestra chimes in;

Carpenters sharpening their tools in melodious unison,

In harmonic unity;

Symphonic; not to the ears but

To the intense rhythmic beating of my music-filled heart,

Then I hear it,

The first movement of my opus, and again;

My soul cries with bittersweet joy

As I listen to the notes play,

My heart fills with inexplicable emotion,

It is my passion.

Zainep Mahmoud

Grade 12, Banneker High School