When the World Feels Unsteady

IMG_2719_2When the world feels unsteady as it does right now after the injustice of the grand jury’s decision in the death of Michael Brown, I turn to what I trust, for ballast.
Today, I turn to something I both trust and am thankful for. More than 30 years ago, when I was a young woman, I began teaching poetry to children.
It’s true that kids are very different in a number of ways than they were in 1978, but in more ways they’re just the same. In working with a few fourth grade classes these past weeks, one of my favorite grades, I’m struck by how much children need and want to say their truths, to find the poetry in their lives—nuance, detail, the previously unspoken, and give it form. The quest for meaning starts when we are young.
Here are 3 newborn poems. With them I wish you thankfulness for the goodness you have, for the places you trust, where you, too, find ballast.


There once was a seed. The seed grew into a tree.

The tree was home to two birds.

The birds held a song that was beautiful to my ears.

It helped me sleep. It reminded me of life.

It kept me in its grip of love.

by M. N.


The voice inside me is like a flower starting to sprout.

The voice inside me is an artist getting ready to paint.

It is a child alone, crying.

The voice inside me is love, and it is so sad.

My voice is a poem.

by E.


One day after another

I sit and wait for everything to happen

before my eyes,

and it does, one day after another.

by R. N.