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Showing posts from June, 2011

Poem for the Fourth of July

Screaming Fire

Streams of color light the night, Exploding across the dark dome of heaven, Red, yellow, blue and white Against the black veil they flash. Their colors light up the night.
Sulfur, charcoal, nitrate; elements
of earth
Stream fire up, up
As if to reach the heavens
Then dissolve into darkness,
Leaving one last color: black.

--Chandler Hamby (Grade 9)

Related: Ed Pacht's Reflection on Screaming Fire

Contrasting Realities

Two Real Worlds

dark and gloomy grins arise
fire burns the innocents alive
smoke and death, unbearable smell
this is the world, a second hell

bright and praise-filled voices sing
water for parched tongues He'll bring
the fragrance of life our hearts to leaven
this is the world, a second heaven

--Jordan Romain (Grade 10)

A Great Book for Summer Reading!

Reviewed by Clare Cannon

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth De Trevino written for ages 9-12 highly recommended published in 2008 (1965) Square Fish,192 pages

Juan is born into slavery in Seville, Spain in the early 1600s, and after the death of his mother, when he is just five years old, he becomes the pageboy of a wealthy Spanish lady, Emilia. Upon her death, during one of many plagues to sweep through Spain, Juan is inherited by Emilia's nephew, the painter Diego Velazquez.

Juan is an honourable and loyal slave who grows to deeply love his master. He works for him as a canvas-stretcher and paint grinder and becomes his good companion. However, his passion for painting - something which was illegal for slaves in Spain - leads him to deceive his master, and he secretly steals paints and makes his own artistic studies in his room. Juan accompanies Velazquez and his family when King Philip IV of Spain requests they move into his court, and assists the painter in his many portraits of the …

Another Dialog Poem

The Milliner's Daughter

"I love your hat, Miss Lamentaine."

     "Why thank you kindly, little Jane."

"It's made of silk, that sweet pink bow?"

     "Indeed it is. How did you know?"

"My Mama is the milliner; she uses such fine wares.

She makes each hat with tasteful eye, and always utmost care."

     "How clever she must be, my dear, to make such lovely hats!"

"Clever indeed is she, and still more clever than that."

--Miriam Parrish

And the Winners Are...

There were 5 entries this year and all were good, but only 2 were chosen as winners. They present very different images and are well crafted.

And the winning poems are Miriam Parrish's Topaz's Misadventure and Ed Pacht's Lament for the Hills.

Topaz’s Misadventure

The unblemished day is young;
The verdant hills are calling.
Topaz paces the plush new grass,
Tense, alert, tongue lolling.

She longs to leave the yard and go
Where grand adventures hang
(A joyride or a cat pursuit)
To earn a fearsome name.

She leaps over the gate and runs
Past streets and alleyways,
Even through dew-studded spiders' nets;
She will not be delayed.

She trots into the local zoo
Exploring here and there until
She comes across a tawny beast,
Sitting statue still.

He has a slanted, mint-green gaze;
A mane of golden wealth.
His tasseled tail flips listlessly;
His paws suggest his stealth.

She barks, and rage consumes the beast.
Reaching, he rants and roars
With pride and fearsome fame!
Pup flees to…

Dog Poem by Miriam Parrish

A Spot of Sunlight, Please

Lend me a patch of sunlight, please,
Oh, lend me a patch of gold.
Lend me a spot
Where the sunlight’s hot,
When times and days grow cold.

Oh, keep it there when the sun hangs up
In the middle of sky
Save me a spot
Where the sunlight’s hot,
And the rest of my life passes by.

Leave it there, for a poor old dog,
For a friend whose youth is passed,
Show him a spot
Where the sunlight’s hot,
And a bit of warmth will last.

And down will I lay;
Nor will I bark or bay.
“Till the life in my bones is passed;
Yes, the life in my bones is passed.”

--Miriam Parrish

Related reading:  Topaz

A Poem About Horses

Two Old Stallions

Forward spring the horses
Eager, reaching strides
Ears alert and muscles ready;
Wildly rolling eyes.

The bay, with coat of flaming red,
Extends across the track.
His tail behind cascading down
And flickering mane coal black.

The second -- stormy gray in color,
An ivory tail he sports --
Engages the bay with pounding hooves
And fierce, emphatic snorts.

Neck and neck, with no surrender,
Their stout hearts set on triumph.
Hearing no sound save beating hooves
They gallop yet, defiant.

The gray gains inches, laboring,
His dark eyes glint; heart drumming.
But the bay will not capitulate
He toils on, still running.

Stallions snorting fire,
Fence posts blinking by.
The gray is surging past the bay
His long legs, flashing, fly.

He drives beyond the straining bay
The latter grunts, annoyed.
The former claims his victory
And throws a buck of joy.

The stallion stops and turns around
He nickers to the bay.
Two old friends, both retired
Reliving glory days.

-- Miriam Parrish

Topaz the Hunter

Here is another poem by the talented young poet, Miriam Parrish.  The first of Miriam's poems to appear at STUDENTS PUBLISH HERE! was co-authored with Madeline Smith and titled "The Petty Slight."

Hopeless Hunt

“Topaz, my pup, small and slim,
What is it you want to win?”

“I am swift, lithe, bold, and smart
I’ll catch a squirrel: I know the art.”

“Squirrels above use twig and bough.
But you cannot, and even now
The squirrels bound overhead quite free!
Alas, you simply will not see!"

“Just watch! Such little faith have you.
I’ll catch a squirrel and slay it, too.”

--Miriam Parrish