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The Moon Towards Me

Poetry by Students at

Krueger Middle School in San Antonio, Texas


The Moon Towards Me Poetry by students at Krueger Middle School in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas in partnership with Gemini Ink, readers and writers today and tomorrow Writer-in-Residence: Trey Moore Cover Artwork: Trey Moore Design & Layout: Anisa Onofre, Writers in Communities director, Gemini Ink Gemini Ink’s work in the North East Independent School District and this publication were made possible by the Rackspace Foundation Thank You! Student work has been edited as lightly as possible in order to honor the original voices Š2012 Gemini Ink

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Table of Contents pg 1

Leilani Loveless Seashell Cinnamon Stormy Night

pg 6

April Ponce Green Turtle Salt Shaker Dad

pg 9

Caulder Stratton Untitled Pain Rhyming Poem A “What the-” Moment short story Time Capsule Early Bird: 9 haikus

pg 16

Sophia Otero Fringed Shorts It’s Hard to Imagine My Home Memories

pg 24

Isaac Bernal A Comfortable Place

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Foreword

T

here comes a time in every young adult’s life, when they begin to see the connection between themselves and the world around them. Middle School is a time when children are awakening and transforming into the people they will be as adults. Krueger Middle School is this kind of place. When I taught the first class, I realized how lucky I was to be in Portable 9, where the students are there by choice and brimming with the desire to write without reservation. We embarked full of passion into the world of poetry and short story, learning as much from each other as from any lesson plan that I brought to the class. Each day presented a moment that had us all recognizing the talents and secret desires of our classmates. There are so many talents in this class. Each student grew in important ways during the course of this class, whether it was confidence, emotional maturity, or writing skills. Each member stepped up to the individual challenges presented during the workshops. The short story sessions seemed to be a success in big ways, as the students exercised their imaginations in our campfire sessions. I was impressed not only by the complex challenges of being a young adult in today’s world, but also by the assurance that they all had important and unique ideas to offer our world. Remember your seeds of greatness and water them with confidence.

Trey Moore April 2012

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leilani loveless

Seashell Seashell Swirled, Luminous Glowing, Enchanting, Flowing Mother to Pearl

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leilani loveless

Cinnamon I sit in a lonely, dusty corner. The bed I sleep on is tatters, for it is only tissues. A bed of tissues made for me many years ago. Wind rises, chilling me and rustling my fur. I have not had warmth except from the sun, Left alone while the warmth goes away. When I was young, a little girl would hold me, play with me. As she grew older, her nose in a book, she had no time for me. Now she has left me forever, moved away. Her parents come in here sometimes, Crying about the little girl that grew up. They still own the house, but the girl never comes back. The walls were once blue but now have turned gray.

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leilani loveless

My striped fur has changed with the room. I once had orange fur with darker orange for stripes, but I am now gray. All of the girl’s furniture has gone, Replaced by new cabinets that I hide behind. Someday the girl will come back, but not now. Not yet. Who am I? I think I was once called Cinnamon. It has been so long. I am the toy left behind, and I need Love Hope Care

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leilani loveless

Stormy Night Boom! I awoke. Crash! Screaming, I dash to my parents’ room. Flash! Lightning sent shadows across the tan carpet. Rumble! I flew through my parents’ doorway. I leap onto the scratchy quilt that serves as my parents’ top cover. The quilt has greens, blues, browns, and whites elegantly patterned on it. I had to push my way through the layers of covers until I reached my parents’ pillows. I glanced at the green and brown drapes Just as lightning streaked across the sky, And I dove underneath the covers.

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leilani loveless

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, pitter-patter. When the rain got lighter, I peeked from the covers. It seemed like a peaceful, quiet place, Just like beds are supposed to be. I glanced at my gray cats, Misty and Stormy, as they came out of their hiding places. I leave my parents’ bedroom quietly, Hoping that I can go to sleep, After this frightening night.

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april ponce

Green Turtle My room is a sailing place, Like a boat swaying to be lost. With paints and clothes Like nobody knows. I just love the heart-beating notes That soothe the brain, With silence that shreds to the wall, The thick wall of frustration. Helping me to outrun reality Even though I know I’ll get tired. Paintings spaced around the four ugly white walls. All of which are opened by my soul. One of them, Of a green Turtle, Weaving across the dark clouds, crystal clear With brightness Escaping away from the azure sky Craving to hold the chartreuse sands.

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april ponce

Salt Shaker If I could be anything, What would I be? Maybe a salt shaker, Filled with glee? Standing right next to my love, Mr. Pepper? I’d be stuck to him forever and ever, With different personalities every time he is refilled. I would have a strong and weird thing about me. People would love me like this, But would hate me if I was a little too much. Sitting there watching people chat What would I be? Probably just THAT!

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april ponce

Dad I don’t see my dad anymore, Maybe I should walk out the door, I don’t hear his voice, Nor any advice. I don’t smell his cologne. I feel kind of alone. I don’t feel his chest giving me a hug, I remember he would pick me up And just spin me around by my hands All across the lands I watched the Earth go round and round. I remember he would take me on his Harley With my arms wrapped around him. I feel I can’t move on through life Without having a father To walk me down the aisle Or give me some advice for life, Advice which a mother could not.

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caulder stratton

Untitled Lots of people think that you can leave all of your thoughts at home. Trying new things is like finishing building an apartment. You are making room for more feelings. Doing something like reading a new book or joining a new class or buying that apartment. All those new feelings come moving in. You may find out that you love art; you just never gave it a try.

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caulder stratton

Pain Rhyming Poem A wave crashing down on a plane The feeling that you will never gain All the bad feelings you start to hoard Like a hollow and empty gourd The world inside you, all in a mess A self-destruct button you have to press All of your dreams crushed with force A lightning bolt made to drive you off course The tears flowing from your eyes The yells of loved ones and their cries The loss of everybody’s grin The only feeling to never win

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caulder stratton

A “What the-” Moment Short Story “I don’t want to be a pilot!” shrieked Danny. “Too late. You’re going into the family business,” replied his dad. Danny and his dad lived in a small town in Idaho. They flew crop dusters for a business. Danny has just turned the legal age to fly. “What’s not to like about flying, anyways?” “Err… the seats are, uh, too hard. I-I can’t fly sitting on a rock.” Nobody knew the truth except Danny. He always got nervous in the plane. He really didn’t want to disappoint his dad. He wanted to be an author, where he could be safe in his own little world. “You are becoming a pilot and that’s final!” “Dad, but…” “This conversation is over!” Danny ran up to his room. Just then, POOF! A corndog showed up. What the He got one of his posters off the wall and poked the corndog. Nothing happened. Danny shrugged and took a bite. Suddenly, he started falling. Wait- falling? He looked to the left. Clouds? Then, he made out where he was headed: right towards the gaping mouth of a dinosaur! He decided to eat his corndog now. POOF! 11


caulder stratton He could see that he was still falling. But, despite the horrifying experience before, he landed on a cloud. He saw a projection. No, it was more like a hologram. It showed his dad’s plane falling out of the sky. Then, the scene shifted. He saw a time lapse of a field near his home. It turned from bright green to yellow, then brown. Then, he realized the fields needed him. His town needed him. He then crossed his fingers and took a bite. POOF! He landed on his bed. He started walking down the stairs to tell his dad his new decision, keeping yet another secret.

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caulder stratton

Time Capsule Photography is like taking a moment from time And keeping it forever It captures memories To put in the Universal time capsule

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caulder stratton

Early Bird 9 haikus I wake this morning Now I have to brush my teeth Then I rush downstairs I eat breakfast now I think I’ll have cereal I love Special K I must hurry now The clock’s forever ticking I need to finish Now I am ready I take off with my backpack I must catch the bus I sit with my friend We’ll talk about anything Great conversation I sit with Jesse We will talk about the news Or video games “Hey, have you seen __________? …and then that guy exploded… …ate a huge rainbow…”

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caulder stratton

“The walrus ate that Cheeto… …smelled like root-beer and pepper… …only two dollars…” What just happened? Oh, now I think that I know Now we are at school

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sophia otero

Fringed Shorts I have never wanted to marry someone Or have ever been in that type of love. If you asked me about that type of love, I wouldn’t have an answer. I do know What it is like to love family. For as long as I can remember, I have loved My mom My sister, Alex My best friend, Anissa And her family, Mrs. Ana and Alyssa. I can remember Mrs. Ana’s black pickup truck Without an air conditioner Coasting along the highway. Ani, Aly, Alex, and I were in the truck And I had gotten the window seat. It was scorching hot and we were all super tired. Somewhere, along the way, Sitting on the plush seats We had all decided to take a nap. All I really remember was Ani sleeping on my knee. There was sweat, Little diamonds in the light Along her hairline and cheek. I have always loathed sweat, So much that I couldn’t even look at it.

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sophia otero

But then, In my fringed shorts that I had cut myself I decided that I didn’t care. We drove the rest of the way like this, Watching the highway speed by. When we got there I had honestly felt That I really might not be as lonely As I sometimes felt.

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sophia otero

It’s Hard to Imagine My house is timeless. Its walls never change color, The garage never fixed And my room, Still the soft pink it was when I was born. Only the people change. My sister gets closer and closer To the day she will go off to college. And my mother, Looking more worn every year. I don’t feel like I change, But I know I do, I can tell By the way they look at me sometimes. Like I might crumble to dust in front of them At any second now. My home though, Stays the same. It mocks at how fragile and human I am. I know That one day, I will die. My home is where I feel Like I can and will stay forever. Like I will stay forever, Surrounded by coffee walls And a long green couch. As if the TV will be here forever, Where everyone just talks And pays no attention to it. 18


sophia otero

It’s hard to imagine That one day My mother and I will stop having our daily creative discussions, Or what I like to call arguments. It’s hard to imagine That one day Someone else will live here, That the TV might not always be on, Or that my room Will not always be a delicate shade of pink. Like a crushed rose petal on a baby’s cheek. My sister and I might not always be fighting for the computer Or making fun of The Bachelor. It feels like just yesterday That me and my sister played dress up. She would have on a vivid purple wig And I A soft, shiny brown wig. We would smile at my mom And watch her Try to capture us forever In that moment. I can see the bittersweet look in her eyes, Like she already knows that she can’t.

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sophia otero

My Home My home is where the blues look bluer And the grass, Greener than anywhere, Even though it’s half dead. I say whatever I want And do whatever I want. “No filter,” my mom would say. It’s true. There’s no shiny filter To weed out my mean or sarcastic thoughts. I’ll lie, Sprawled on the lumpy green couch Not caring If my sister wants to sit or not. It’s not mean. It’s honest. Or maybe the truth is mean. Either way, I don’t care. I try to leave my clothes on the floor Not caring about guests. But my mom does. She’ll make a point to sit me down, On that lumpy green couch And tell me that I need to try harder. “I try,” I tell her, “It’s just that I fail.” Then she’ll lecture me for I don’t know how long, And I pretend not to listen. But, I listen. I care about what my mother feels 20


sophia otero

And maybe, Only sometimes, My sister too. My home is where I can be myself, Not who I want to be. I don’t choose who I want to be. I just am. My dreams were born in that house. And so were my sister’s dreams. My sister wants to be an actress or a singer. I have to admit, She sings really well. Even if her dreams sound kind of Cliché. She’s the good child. The child that was sent from heaven in a golden crib. And without any shipping charges, of course. I’m the “bad” child. I was planned, But I guess I went wrong. I was kind of a slap in the face, About exactly how imperfect your child can come out. Strangely, I’m okay with that. My home isn’t necessarily the physical house. It’s my mother, my green couch, And yes, My crazy sister.

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sophia otero

Memories I wouldn’t mind being my couch. All green, lumpy, soft, warm, And you could drown in me if you felt like it. I have little lines all over me, They are essential, Like the hair on a girl or fingers on an artist. People have tried to cover me, To change me, From green to blue Or from blue to white. But they always fail Because I still remain green. I’m what helps people relax And not worry Or stand around, Unsure of what to do next. A place where people can crowd together, Not caring about personal space, Drinks spilled, Food dropped. But it’s okay Because these stains are memories. Memories of a little girl Who tried to cover up spilled nail polish With a cheap cotton blanket. Tears clouded her eyes Making them shine Like soft diamonds made of water. She couldn’t bear to let her mom see, Couldn’t bear to see anger or disappointment in 22


sophia otero

her eyes. But she couldn’t bear to let her mother find out by herself. So she told her, Her voice thick while she chokes on tears. Instead, Her mom doesn’t get angry Or disappointed. She looks sad. As if she is sad that her daughter was scared of her. She got up and embraced her daughter. Told her that she could tell her anything, That it doesn’t matter. That it’s just a couch. And kissed her on the forehead. Every time I look at that smeared nail polish, Or that cheap blanket, I can’t help but smile.

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isaac bernal

A Comfortable Place For me, a comfortable place would be outside in a tent looking at the moon, because I feel as if the moon is watching over me at night as I sleep. Sometimes I think I can just pull the moon towards me, yet it is so far away. Sometimes I think the moon is God trying to tell me something, like if he was giving me a sign that I belong out there. I like when a fire is burning outside, talking to my cousins, staying up late, and messing around in the summer. Sometimes, with the fire, I feel like I am throwing all my worries and bad feelings into it and watching them leave as smoke into the air. Also I seem to see images of my childhood. Like when my sister was born. The first time I saw her.

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Writer-in-Residence Biography Trey Moore, a poet and fourth-generation carpenter, holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Texas State University. He has traveled extensively (Alaska, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos) and has taught as a poet in public schools and juvenile detention centers, as well as at Northwest Vista college in San Antonio, Texas. His work has appeared in the Texas Observer and a number of anthologies, including Is This Forever or What? and Between Heaven and Texas. He has two books of poetry—We Forget We Are Water, and Some Will Play The Cello. A Spanish-speaking Texas native, arts activist, and builder of community gardens, Trey’s poems investigate “our intimate, indivisible relationship to nature” from a city-dweller’s perspective.

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A FOCUS ON READING AND WRITING FOR ALL Gemini Ink nurtures writers and readers and builds community through literature and the related arts. At Gemini Ink we believe human story in all its diverse and complicated forms and genres—from poetry and fiction to memoir and oral tradition—is essential to developing compassion and richness in both individual and community life. We encourage focused reading, writing, and exchange at every level, from elementary school students to incarcerated youth and from the polished professional writer to the elder who has always wanted to record her family stories. Writers in Communities (WIC) sends professional writers into diverse community settings to work alongside students of all ages, needs, interests, and abilities in free workshops based in oral traditions, reading, and creative writing. Open Classroom, comprising Autograph Series and Breakthrough Thinkers, presents writers of national and international stature—many of them recipients of major prizes such as the Pulitzer or National Book Award—in free public performances followed by audience Q&A. University Without Walls (UWW) offers three semesters of fee-based reading groups and workshops and also many free literary events, all led by professional writers, scholars, and interdisciplinary artists. Dramatic Readers Theater (DRT) features professional actors interpreting literary works in free performances, often accompanied by original music. Contributions and donations of time and resources are gratefully accepted. For more information about Gemini Ink, visit www.geminiink.org or call 210.734.9673


The Moon Towards Me  

Poetry by Students at Krueger Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. In partnership with Gemini Ink, readers and writers today and tomorrow.

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