Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Peace Poems

This year I was delighted to teach writing workshops for young people at The Kujichagulia Lutheran Center's 8th Annual Dr. King Day Event, 2008 (http://www.lutheransonline.com/lo/Kuji). I gave the students some simple poem starters to spark their writing, and they came up with amazing poems. Here are some of the starters that students worked with:

*Instead of . . .; You could . . .

*This is what I need to say. . .

*Peace is when . . .

*The truth is . . .

We also talked together about why poets write. Sometimes poets write poems for ourselves--to help us work through experiences or emotions. Sometimes poets write poetry to help change the community and the world. To this end, I offered to mail any or all of the poems to the Mayor or the President. I also promised to publish poems on this blog. The following poems come from students who asked that their poems by published here. Others are on their way to President Bush and Milwaukee's Mayor. Read them and then write your own poem for peace.

Young Brother
by Josiah Williams

Young Brother, I’ll let you know.
The truth of the world, to let you grow.
The truth of the world, to let you see.
How a man in this life is supposed to be

Young Brother, keep your word.
Learn what you’ve heard, the truth is verb.
Although you will hurt, you shall not hate.
I’m tellin’ you now, before it’s too late.

Young Brother, the truth is sad.
The way you are judged will make you mad.
The stereotypes, labels and names,
could crush your heart and hurt your brain.

Young Brother, keep faith awake
When times get hard, you should rise, not break.
So one day, you will teach to another
Another great soul. Another Young Brother.


This is What I Need to Say
by Elisha Branch

This is what I need to say:
Do what you need to have a good day.
This is what I have to say:
Pick someone positive to show you the way.
This is what I could say:
You have no business here; go away.
But this is what I should say:
Talk to me and don’t let your mind stray.
This is what I want to say:
Come with me if you may
But this is what I choose to say:
Nothing at all.


Peace Haikus
by Nile Lloyd

Peace is with great Love,
Apart of peace is good joy,
You should have wonderful peace.

Share peace with your friends
Always know what your peace is.
Children have really great peace.

God’s gift is great Peace
The smell of flowers is great peace.
See peace everywhere now.


by Samuel Melander-Eppley

4 pints of joy
2 cups of no war
10 pounds of love
2 quarts of trust
1 Tablespoon of living
2 teaspoons of peace

First, mix 4 pints of joy with two cups of no war.
Then, clump 10 pounds of love like a rock.
Throw in 2 quarts of trust, 1 Tablespoon of living,
and 2 teaspoons of peace. Mix them all together.
Put it in the oven at 360 degrees
and congratulations, you have got a freedom cake.


by Sojourner White

P is for Power!
E is for Equality!
A is for Adventure!
C is for Creativity
E is for Enrichment


I Am
by Sojourner White

I Am Trustworthy
I Am Peace
I Am Creative
I Am Peace
I Am Faith
I Am Peace
I Am Me!
I Am Peace!

I Am My Mother
I Am Peace
I Am My Father
I Am Peace
I Am That Stranger
I Am Peace
I Am Me!
I Am Peace!

I Am Sojourner
I Am Peace
I Am Sojo
I Am Peace
I Am Helen
I Am Peace
I Am Me!
I Am Peace!

I Am What I Wanna Be
I Am Peace
I Am Who I Be
I Am Peace
I Am What I Be
I Am Peace
I Am Me And Only Me!


by Natalie Branch

Instead of fighting
You could walk away

Instead of dying
You could live another day

Instead of using foul language
You could say Grace

Instead of crying
you could play, play, play.

Instead of going from here to there
You could stay in one place.


I Wish
Alexis Miller

I wish that one day all this can stop because little babies and kids are getting killed and this is getting so bad and gangs, I don’t like how they sell drugs in the city.
I think that people could have programs that get young people off the streets instead of young kids having sex on the streets, doing drugs. Young people need adults to sit down and talk to them. Like today, I went to these programs about Rev. King. They talk about color and violence in the streets and about guns smoking like it is the young kids that are out there and the Moms taking care of us. But that is not always true because some Dads take their kids in like my dad took me.
What can we do about things that are going on?


by Aliyah Durden

This is what I need to say.
I wanna talk about
Milwaukee’s violence today.
Guns, drugs, everything else;
the violence in Milwaukee
needs to stop.
Killings, shootings, robberies, suicides, rapists,
and anything I forgot.
Milwaukee’s streets are terrible.
Why is that so?
I don’t know.
I want to stop all the hatred and poverty.
It’s not right.


Instead of
by Maya Montgomery

Instead of fighting
You could talk it out.
Instead of smoking
You could do something healthy.
Instead of talking in class,
You could do your work.


Peace is when . . .
by Maya Montgomery

Peace is when there is no war.
Peace is when everyone loves each other.
Peace is when there is no violence.


by Nubia Lloyd

Peace is love!
Enjoy one another
And also have respect
Care for each other
Enjoy your family.


by Nubia Lloyd

Peace is love, friendship, trust,
understanding, laughter, no war,
respect, joy, faithfulness, patience,
kindness, goodness, gentleness,
and loving everyone!