Choose one of the following two templates to construct your poem.
Borrowing the first words of Troupe's two stanzas, 'We used to," and "today," write your
own poem investigating these two eras in your life.
Flying Kites Student example:
we used to fly rainbow kites we used to have a bedtime
across skull caps of hours sleep was mandatory,
holes on blue wings strictly enforced by parents looking for
of the canvas of sinking suns order
running winged eyes locked to wind it was important
we'd unwind the kite string up & away a long night's rest was needed
then run them down blue tapestry to prepare for another long day.
up the sky again, then down
until a sinking sun rolled 2.
down into a swallowing sky today we have no curfew
sleep is secondary
2. night time becomes the playground
today, we fly words as kites parents need not apply
across pages of winds, through skies now a long day's rest is needed
as poems we shape from holy, bloody needed for another long night.
adjectives & nouns
we loop into sound circles, ringing 1.
like eclipse, the sun's tongue we used to chase girls across the school
teachers shouting for us to stop
Quincy Troupe playing spin the bottle
making every girl blush.
today we get chased by girls
our parents telling us to be careful
phones ringing, cells vibrating, e-mails
making us blush.
Jason Speciner, Oscar Perez, &
Write a poem like Nelson's, in which you use the first four stanzas to describe
something about your high school experience from 9th to 12th grade. Stanza five should
show the future.
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters Student example:
1. I walk down the street. 1 . I enter the cage
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. All around me are the flutterings of
I fall in. wings
I am lost . . . I am helpless. Like fireworks
It isn't my fault. Where I belong, where I go
It takes me forever to find a way out. Found a little spot
2. I walk down the same street. Found a little friend
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. As I sat with the sparrows
I pretend I don't see it. Talking games
I fall in again. 2. I hang on fences with crows
I can't believe I am in the same place Dressed in black, singing songs
but, it isn't my fault. Hung with bats, upside down
It still takes a long time to get out. With nowhere to go but
3. I walk down the same street. Down
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 3. I found a cool perch
I see it is there. Where the parrots like to be
I still fall in . . . it's a habit. They were loud and beautiful
My eyes are open. But mostly they were loud
I know where I am. 4. I strutted down the sidewalk
I get out immediately. With the pigeons going coo coo coo coo
4. I walk down the same street. A bunch of city birds with nowhere to go
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. We always end up almost
I walk around it. Getting run over by cars
5. I walk down another street. 5. Angels
Over in the corner
Portia Nelson That I didn't see before
That nobody saw
The cage is too small, too dark, too loud
We are Lost Angels
We fly away.