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Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 5 Cafe Cultura Community Speaks Project #55 Youth Poets from Grant Beacon


Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 5 Copyright Š 2018 by Youth Poets from Grant Beacon All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.


This book is dedicated to the amazingly talented students of Grant Beacon Middle School! All of you are so intelligent and inspiring. When I think of all of your potential, I feel confident that you will be the leaders of our nation very soon. I hope you all keep writing and continue to tell your stories!!! Remember: “It is our responsibility and choice to express ourselves and lift our voice, together building unity, leaders in our community. This is how we tell our stooorrrryyyy!�


Acknowledgments We want to thank the Staff at Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! We felt welcomed and at home at your school. Special thanks to Mr. Boni for giving our students extra opportunities to share their work. And also to Mrs. Brummet for all of the support and for giving us the opportunity to work with your amazing students!


Foreword It was a privilege for Café Cultura to continue our three year partnership teaching a Poetry/Spoken Word enrichment at Grant Beacon Middle School. We enjoyed learning about the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders while using our “Telling Our Stories” curriculum to hear what they had to say. This book, the 5th volume of our series with GBMS, gives you a sense of their stories and potential for the future. Enjoy and share their words! For those who do not know about our organization: Café Cultura is an award-winning arts, culture, and youth development organization in Denver that promotes unity and healing among Indigenous peoples through creative expression while empowering youth to find their voice, reclaim oral and written traditions, and become leaders in their communities. Café Cultura has been providing positive, creative, and engaging community spaces for the Denver metropolitan area for more than thirteen years. After the passing of respected elder and veteran poet Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado, we accepted responsibility to continue using our oral and written traditions to provide opportunities for creative expression often not offered in schools or in the larger community. Café Cultura also drew inspiration from the movement connecting Indigenous people from throughout the Americas. We use creative expression to unify people representing southern Indigenous nations, known by terms such as “Chicana/o” and “Latina/o,” with those Natives of northern nations, referred to as “American Indian” or “Native American.”5 Café Cultura hosts one of the best open mic venues in the Denver metropolitan area, and the only space focused on family and youth. We also conduct highly engaging and culturally relevant spoken word/poetry workshops for underserved youth throughout Colorado. Café Cultura partners with select organizations and schools to facilitate an intensive workshop series, publish youth


poetry, and organize participant showcases. In an effort to develop young leaders within our community, we also coordinate a youth leadership program for Indigenous youth. If you or your organization is interested in collaborating, feel free to contact us. For more information about our open mic events, workshops, youth leadership program, and other programs: www.cafecultura.org info@cafecultura.org 720-460-9203


Table of Contents The Mountain by AJ ..............................................................................1 The Place Where I Live by Alejandro .................................................2 The Path You Have Shown Me by Joshua .........................................3 I Come From by Daisy..........................................................................4 My Life by Zane .....................................................................................5 The Successor by AJ ..............................................................................6 BMX by Alejandro .................................................................................8 Pride by Daisy .........................................................................................9 Flying by Josh ...................................................................................... 10 Untitled by Zane ................................................................................. 11 The Perfect World by AJ ................................................................... 12 I Am by Alejandro .............................................................................. 13


The Mountain by AJ Sometimes life can be like a mountain. You journey through making encounters with people and friends at school. You also stumble over rocks like depression. You deal with death, stress, and every day struggles. You keep letting go but that rope tied around your waist will not allow you to fall. Those are your friends and your family not allowing you to fail. You hold onto the rocks and supporters as hard as you can. I can climb any mountain. Look for me at the top!


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Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 5

The Place Where I Live by Alejandro I love where I live. It use to so peaceful. But I want the old town back. Nowadays, it is not so peaceful. I would love to change that. I want my neighborhood to be safe again, a place where no one gets harmed. But I predict that it would get destroyed like an angry bulldozer. Life can be like a drink of water. When life spills over, you refill yourself and start over.


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

The Path You Have Shown Me by Joshua My sister is an old soul. She came from the hands of my ancestors. I will always remember the strength you brought to me. You are a warrior in my eyes. You have fought through the struggles and problems that come running into your life. I will never forget when you told me to not let anyone tell you what to do. Everybody will remember your bravery, and the positive vibe you brought into any room you put your foot in. You have brought so much joy in a lot of people lives. If you were gone, it would create a shift on earth. You have given me the confidence to do things I never thought I would do throughout my life. I hope to use the same steps you used to get to the top.

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I Come From by Daisy I come from a hard-working father, who crossed the border for success. His sacrifices are the reason why I am here. I carry his pride in my veins, never letting people get in between me and my dreams. I come from a hard-working family. Everything I do is for them!


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

My Life by Zane I love my life. It is so much fun. I love my life. I love it. But life is life. Sometimes, life can be like a game. But life is not a game!!!! Life is like my every day. I do this every day! Life has its ups and downs Life is like getting up in the morning, like getting dressed. You do not always want to do it, but you try your best.

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The Successor by AJ I am from Denver, born and raised, with strong roots in South Sudan. I will never forget my family origin and family who came before. I am my mom’s magic cookies during a season. I come from my parents’ struggle. They worked hard to have me and my siblings live the life they never had. I always remember the smell of the cookies and their texture. I will never forget my mother and I waking up to music playing. When she calls us downstairs, we would rush. You would not want to know what she would do if we kept her waiting. The fear of that helped keep dominion over us. The smell came to us when we reached the stairs. I am those long nights my father spent under a board, from sharing a room with 8-9 siblings some nights. I come from my father having zero money, but still finding a way


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

to move me here with 1 newborn and 4 already. I will always remember his infamous belt thrashing my bottom, screaming, “I did too much for you to be this ungrateful and selfish.” Even though he is not with my family, the lessons he taught me left a mental scar on my brain. I will never forget my father’s hard work. I will never forget the day my little cousin lost his bike, anger helped keep dominion over every vibe in my body. I am my brother’s mistakes and I am his successor.

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BMX by Alejandro I live my life like I ride my BMX bike, always in control. When I go down the ramp, it feels like falling down a waterfall, making me feel alive. Life can sometimes be like a waterfall. School can feel like you are drowning in water. Life flows like water. But sometimes you will slip. You will make mistakes. There are always puddles in life. You may lose traction, but you hold on tight. Keep your eye on the finish line. Nothing can slow you down.


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

Pride by Daisy Pride can hold back tears. Pride can break promises. Pride can cause suffering. Everyone loses their pride.

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Flying by Josh Life is like flying a plane. It can be very difficult, but if your ride it smoothly sometimes. It will not shake. Life can be easy if you soar through it. The plane could collapse from the wings, damaging the engine. Do not worry, you have a spare engine. You are always prepared. You are meant to be in the sky.


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

Untitled by Zane I am cool. I come from my house. I will always remember Arizona. I will never forget my grandparents. I am a cool and nice person. I come from my rectangle house. I will always remember my friends and my family. I will never forget my friends or family. I am a nice person. I come from my square, cool house. I will always remember my friends. I will never forget my friends. I am happy. I come from my house. I will always remember family. I will never forget family, and friends. I come from my house. I will always remember to read. I will never forget things.

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The Perfect World by AJ In my mind, I envision the perfect world, a place where everyone is able to be themselves. People can live how they like, not living in fear Everyone leads and everyone follows. In this place, we are all one. We are all equal.


Youth Poets from Grant Beacon

I Am by Alejandro I will never forget my brother. He fights hard for a better future, and lets me follow him to make myself a better future. I like eating my mom’s food. My favorite is mole. I am good like tamales, amazing like arroz. I am a good mole plate on a long day. I am the hypebeast, and come from foot locker. I look in the mirror, and see myself without limits. In my dreams, I imagine money and shoes. I am a young man. My love for games feels like real life. I will never forget my shoes. I will remember when I traded and made profit. If I had to, I would sell my shoes. My shoes help me. I am Alejandro

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Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 5  

Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 4 (published 5/17/18)...written by participants in Cafe Cultura's Poetry/Spoken Word program (aka "T...

Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 5  

Grant Beacon Middle School Speaks! Vol. 4 (published 5/17/18)...written by participants in Cafe Cultura's Poetry/Spoken Word program (aka "T...

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