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My Neighborhood/Mi Barrio Writing by students from the San Antonio Independent School District in partnership with Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities Program

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My Neighborhood/Mi Barrio Writing by students from the San Antonio Independent School District in partnership with Gemini Ink, readers and writers today and tomorrow Writers-in-Residence: Donna Peacock, Lyle Rosdahl, Rachel Jennings, and Regina Moya Artists-in-Residence: Fadela Castro, Michael Marks, and Robert Poschmann Layout, Design & Editing: Daniel Torres, Gemini Ink intern Anisa Onofre, Director, Writers in Communities Special thanks to The San Antonio Independent School District and the George W. Brackenridge Foundation Rosemary Catacalos, Executive | Artistic Director, Gemini Ink Gemini Ink’s work with the San Antonio Independent School District and this publication was made possible by The George W. Brackenridge Foundation Student work has been edited as lightly as possible in order to honor the original voices Š2010 Gemini Ink

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Foreword

   The My Neighborhood/Mi Barrio poetry and mural project was a partnership between the Gemini Ink Writers in Communities program and five elementary schools and academies in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD): Bonham Academy, Crockett Elementary, Douglass Academy, Gates Elementary, and Storm Academy. Some 120 fifth- and sixth-graders worked with professional writers and artists to create poetry and portable murals reflecting the neighborhood theme. The twelve-week project began with four weekly meetings when writers-in-residence inspired students to write about their homes, neighborhoods, and families. Muralists joined the group in the fifth week, helping students select images from their writing to represent visually in a collaborative mural. The resulting 8x4-foot portable wooden panels are on display in each school. From neighborhood bakeries and baseball parks to stray dogs, gangs, and the homeless, these young writers and artists have given us insightful portraits of their everyday experience and surroundings. A full-color reproduction of each mural is included in this anthology along with poetry from each school. Gemini Ink thanks writers-inresidence Rachel Jennings, Regina Moya, Donna Peacock, and Lyle Rosdahl, as well as muralists Fadela Castro, Michael Marks and Robert Poschmann. Gratitude also goes to principals, teachers, and administrators at SAISD who were key to the success of the project: Deputy Superintendent Betty Burks, Reading/Language Arts Coordinator Mary Dowd, Principal Janet Perez and Teacher Sheila Vardiman at Bonham Academy, Principal Bertha Rubio and Teacher Alfredo Lopez at Crockett Elementary, Principal Melanie Zepeda and Teacher Michael Avila at Douglass Academy, Principal Derrick Thomas and Teacher Cynthia Wright at Gates Elementary, and Principal Jackie Ibarra-Lanford and Teacher Brian Faro at Storm Academy. Special thanks to the George W. Brackenridge Foundation for their generous support And finally, a very special thanks to the young writers and artists who are our future. Anisa Onofre Director, Writers in Communities

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Table of Contents I. Bonham Academy........................................................8 II. Crockett Elementary....................................................15 III. Douglass Academy......................................................27 IV. Gates Elementary.........................................................36 V. Storm Elementary........................................................42

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Bonham Academy Ms. Vardiman’s 5th grade class

Writer In-Residence: Lyle Rosdahl Artist In-Residence: Michael Marks Host Teacher: Sheila Vardiman

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A Neighborhood Is Like a Village Brandy Alvarez The lights are on night and day. The streets are awake day and night. The neighborhood is alive like the people of our city – they are a poem that grows with the neighborhood. Jaguar Ashley Cortez My neighborhood is like a jaguar because of the roaring engines, tire marks and sharp turns. It tastes like smoke, and scents pray from far away. The jaguar sees lights up the hill. It is our neighborhood.  My Happy Neighborhood Amaris Sanchez My neighborhood is a big, bright, golden meadow. It smells like a hot apple pie. As I walk through my neighborhood, the wind chimes tinkle softly against each other as if the metal was still soft. When I breathe I taste a candy apple. As I lay my body on my neighborhood, I feel the wind pressing on my face – this is a roller coaster. My Neighborhood Christian Gonzalez  My neighborhood sometimes smells like wet dog. My neighborhood is loud like a bark. My neighborhood looks like a muddy dog, wet and happy. My neighborhood is soft like a dog's mane. My neighborhood is like a dog because it is ruff.  My Neighborhood Raul Terrones  In it I see cats trying to catch birds and dogs behind fences trying to get cats. I smell cut grass and dead leaves. I hear dogs barking in the distance and children screaming and laughing. 

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Carnival Mariah Reyes My dog, Chloe, and I were sitting outside our house watching people walk by our neighborhood park. As we waited we saw more people. We went to the front and asked my dad, "What's going on?"  "There's a carnival," my dad said.  I really wanted to go, but my dad said, "No."  So I sat and played with Chloe. When I heard dogs barking, including Chloe, I looked up and saw people coming back. I asked one of them why they were coming back and they said that it was too packed. They were going to go back tomorrow. I thought my dad would maybe take me the next day. But when I asked him he said nothing. I thought maybe I was getting on his nerves.  The next day, I asked my dad, "Can we go to the carnival, please, please?"  My dad said we could go, but only if I washed Chloe. My mouth dropped open. Chloe stunk really bad. But that was my only chance to go to the carnival. So I grabbed the dog shampoo and wet her with the hose.  When I was finished, Chloe was sparkly clean.  "Yes," I yelled. I dashed to my dad and told him I was finished. He grabbed his keys and we got in the car.  I had the time of my life at the carnival, playing and laughing with my neighborhood friends. I was so happy.   Bart Jason Alderete  One day I went to Edgewood Park. I saw my friend's dog, Bart. He saw me in the car. I went to the water fountain. It tasted like tarp. My friend Mart was playing with Bart. Mart fell on top of Bart and Bart bit Mart. We had to make Mart to the emergency room, so he could get stitches for Bart's bite. One week later and his leg looked great.  10


Shark Sophia Rojas-Rogers My neighborhood is like a shark. It smells like my baby brother's diaper -- furious. Some trees fall from a chomp. It tastes like salty sea water (blah). It sounds like a wave on the shore. Wapush. The Accident Nathaniel Centeno On one dark morning the sun was sleeping. While children slept inside their houses, one family was out in the world. The family was a mom, dad and twin boys. Jude and Alex liked the same things. Their family was going to Hemisphere Park. The were driving in the Honda Civic. Jude got mad and slapped Alex.  "What was that for?" Alex asked.  "Sorry, there's a fly on your cheek," Jude lied.  As soon as they turned to their mom, a big tree appeared in front of the car.  "Dad!" they yelled.  Their dad swerved past the tree. Now they were heading for the restaurant, Tito's. They ran right smack into the wall. No one knew that they had crashed because no one was outside at the time. The next morning when the owners of Tito's got there, they saw the big hole in the wall. Cat Emma Durst  My neighborhood reminds me of a cat.  The grass feels soft like my cat's soft fur. My cat's rumbling purr sounds like a train in the distance. When the wind howls it sounds like my cat hissing at dogs. My gray cat looks like a shadow in the distance. My cat's food smells like fish at the restaurants in my neighborhood. His food tastes like the fish in the sea. 

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Neighborhood Ice Cream Catherine Martinez One morning on Alamo Street, while the birds chirped, Bob planned to eat an ice cream sundae on Sunday. He checked in the pantry for some peanuts.  Uh oh, no peanuts. So he went in the bathroom and took all the peanuts off his peanut plant. He checked in the fridge for ice cream. No ice cream. He got some ketchup, onion and garlic. He mixed it up and ate it all.  His friend, Patrick, came over. They were going to the movies. As they walked to the movie, Bob said "Hi" to the town. Everyone fainted. Bob had forgotten that he made ice cream with garlic and onions. He was creating a stinky cloud all over the neighborhood.  "Go home," everyone shouted when they woke up, and Bob did.   He brushed his teeth and never made ice cream again. Everyone in the neighborhood got along forever.  My Panda Neighborhood Sadie Rodriguez  My neighborhood is like a panda. It is slow and cuddly. Sometimes all the plants, panda food, make my neighborhood look like China. I love my neighborhood like I love pandas and I love pandas a lot! It sounds like a panda swinging on bamboo. But most importantly, my neighborhood tastes like broccoli and rice!  My Neighborhood Is Like a Cheetah Devin Hernandez The grass is soft like their fur.  When the wind blows, the tree leaves sound like a cheetah growling.  At night when I look at the stars I feel like a cheetah lying down.  When I smell dirt, I smell a cheetah digging in the ground.  When I eat a mushroom, I taste raw animal meat.  12


Kitty City Safia Mahmood The trees look lie kitty's paws, shark and prickly.  The dew in the morning feels wet and sticky like kitty's tongue.  The sound of kitty purring is like the sound of you zipping up your jacket when it's cold outside.  Kitty smells smoky like a barbeque.  Kitty tastes feathers when they pounce on a bird.  My Neighborhood Traci Arellano My neighborhood is peaceful and has lots of dogs that bark, softly and smooth as glass. The fresh air is cool and feels as soft as cat fur. The plants and the houses make the neighborhood look like a rainbow. So much blue sky makes me feel like I’m flying. My Neighborhood, the Poem Denise Idrogo A poem is a work of art, but in your words my art is about my neighborhood. My neighborhood has roses, blue bonnets and tulips. But what I love most about my neighborhood is the smell of ribs and steak, hot dogs and burgers. Mmmmmm, my tummy is singing and dancing and jumping up and down. That is what I love most about my neighborhood. Nature Asenath Younger When I sit on a bench I think of America as the American robin. When I look at the American flag, I think of the bald eagle. I look at the Texas night sky and when I turn around I hear the barn owl say, hoo, hoo. When I see a larkspur I think of the Spurs playing a game. When I see the Texas bluebonnets, I think of the blue sky. When I see the Mari-mum, I think of a merry-go-round. When I smell the trees I think of paper and school. When I look at the front of my house I think of happy faces. When I see the cars I think of alien spaceships. When I see a weeny dog, I think of hot dogs. My neighborhood is full of aliens.

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My Neighborhood Garden Madeline Santiago My neighborhood has a garden with lots of flowers. It smells like perfume. It looks like a clean, perfectly green place to live. If the garden was made out of candy, it would taste so delicious, like almonds and caramel candy. Every time I’m in the garden I hear little people scrambling around. The flowers feel as soft as a cloud and so comfortable that I could sleep on them. This is my neighborhood garden. My Donkey Kong Neighborhood Rebekah Sanchez When I go out walking, I think my neighborhood is like Donkey Kong. These are kings’ houses to me. It smells like a big, fat kiss. One day I might eat it. It sounds like a zoo, and it might look like one too. If feels like a rough taco shell, too, but I love my neighborhood. Happy Rolando Flores I hear the birds chirping happily above me. I taste the new fruit that spring bears. I see the flowers blooming slowly and I smell the freshly cut grass and I feel happiness all around me. Pecan Trees Noah Collins The train roars. The neighborhood dogs yell. Their breath smells like dog food. The blades of grass stab the bottom of my feet. The sky is a sea of blue. Pecan trees hang over my house. 14


Crockett Elementary Mr. Lopez’s 5th grade class

Writer In-Residence: Donna Peacock Artist In-Residence: Fadela Castro Host Teacher: Alfredo Lopez

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My Neighborhood in Small Pieces

(lines written by Mr. Lopez’s fifth grade students and arranged by Donna Peacock)

I carry with me little things:

Juanita, who has a good house and invites me in; the man who never moves his truck with the boat behind.

Street names that sing-Ruiz, Perez, and Travis; Martin (it was my uncle’s name), and Albert Street where my cousin lives. Rivas Street where my friends and I play almost every day. Calaveras; Morales. Oh, and Navidad; it reminds me of Christmas.

You will also meet the neighborhood pets: Panda, the black and white dog who likes to play or the black dog that eats the cat’s food, or Kassy the puppy who eats my dog’s food. Then there’s Princess the friendly poodle and Linda, the big dog who loves my kitten. Angel and Chico and Rocky the Rooster.

The streets run among favorite trees: the pine tree in front of my house; the coconut tree over my backyard; the tree we call “Old Tree” because it is old; the tree with bananas, a banana tree; my mango tree and the tree with flowers-I could jump out of that one and others too,

The sounds of my streets are yellow and red like the bird who, with its beak, knocks on my window. Henry’s truck going “tk-tk-tk-tk;” the car alarm that talks to say, “Step away from the vehicle.” The city bus that passes by Ruiz Street; the motorcycle speeding. My neighbor’s parties with loud music; they don’t let me go to sleep. My mom’s loud voice - “Despiertate!”- when she wakes me in the morning.

like the small tree that’s been in front of my house for years and never grows, or the one that grows over the top of my house and keeps me away from the sun. There is a tree shaped like a heart, but it’s really a lime tree. It has a hole in it. I hide my secrets there.

Fill yourself with the smells that surround me: camarones con chili and cheese; my mom’s tamales or tamales from the restaurant one block away; barbecue every Monday, Friday, and Saturday from my neighbor’s parties and rotten, sticky soda, too; the pizza my dad and mom bring home after work; homemade chorizo and menudo. Good!

Walk my neighborhood and you’ll meet Guillermo with his wavy hair; Magdalena with the pretty name. Sandra, a not very nice lady, or Guadalupe, the nice lady with black-brown hair;

Small pieces of where I live, small enough to carry with me in the palm of my hand. 16


For Someone Else to See Nahbi Cantero

Artist Jennifer Segovia

I would draw a pile of leaves falling down when the wind blows hard.

If I could draw my neighborhood for someone else to see who has never, ever been there, I would draw the church in front of my house. I would draw the pigeons that get on top of the roof in a red and yellow house. I would draw the sunflowers outside the gate. I would draw the big yard and the house that is next to my house. I would draw Irwin that is one block away.

I would draw roses growing in the ground while butterflies are going around them. I would draw a water fountain with real goldfish and lily pads. I would draw the very old house in the corner. When you enter, you hear squeaky sounds from the floor. That’s how I would draw my neighborhood for someone else to see who has never, ever been here. Many Allergies Jose Mejia and friends My mailbox sneezes because there’s a cat on top of the edge, there’s a dog inside. It has allergies for outside, It has too much mail inside.

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How Will You Recognize My House? A spontaneous community response from a few classmates and neighbors in Mr. Lopez’s 5th grade class

The Green Balloon Ruben Ortega The balloon will pop any time then the poems will be free.

Two trees in the front yard. Just two. You’ll see. Green windows and a white front door. A really big window in front, at least five feet high. Four cars in the driveway: a Camaro, a Chevrolet, a Mustang, and a white limo. Look for the peach-colored house. When the sun goes down, it glows like an igloo.

Calavera Street Armando S.

My Special Place Jasmine Contreras

No, it is not the skeleton street. It is the skull, like the crown.

It’s a little room my dad built for me when I was small. It’s green, blue, pink, red, and yellow. It’s smaller than a restaurant. It’s in the very corner of my back yard. Everyone tries to go in it but only I have the keys. It makes me feel like I am in a garden park, surrounded by lots of flowers and butterflies.

Lonely Street Alex Orozco My street yawns because no cars pass through there and it is so lonely, it cries with cracks.

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Growing Up in the Neighborhood --combined lines of Nahbi Cantero, Alexis Torres, Jorge Ramirez, Jose Mejia, and Yulissa Hernandez

In My Backyard Daisy Hernandez Poems hide in my backyard. They’re like butterflies flying as I try to catch them in my little paw and put them in my journal.

I remember the lady who always says hi to me while she is walking her dog I don’t remember the lady’s name that helps me do my homework I remember that I hit my brother and bumped his head I don’t remember what the name of my friend who moved or changed school in pre-kinder was I remember when I accidentally slammed my hand in the door I don’t remember last night when I fell out the window in my dreams I remember when I touched my baby sister when I petted my first puppy when I met my first friend I remember that I climbed a tree so very high that I threw up

Two Streets Jennifer Segovia On Picoso Street The dogs scream to my nephews. They even laugh like they want to explode. My sister says, “Leave my babies alone, you silly dogs!” On Calaveras Street My dad and his friends splash into H.E.B. like water popping out. Grandpa claps as he whistles and says, “Good job jumping.”

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If My Neighborhood Could Speak

Its voice would be grouchy and he was born with it. So grouchy that he says, “Get off my lawn!” (Alex Orozco) My neighborhood’s voice would be loud and scream at all the cars, “Get off my street, you cars!” (Brenda Garcia) Mine would yell, “Fire Fire!” because my dad is making BBQ. (Ruben Ortega) My neighborhood shouts to call you from far away. He whispers when there’s something wrong. His voice is always happy for a new day. He uses short words just to talk normal. (Daisy Hernandez) The voice of my neighborhood is shy because it doesn’t like to talk. (Jose Mejia)

My neighborhood laughs at funny commercials. (Alex Orozco) … at funny videos. (Daisy Hernandez) when I say jokes. (Jose Mejia) He laughs when the squirrels run around because it tickles! (Brenda Garcia) Funerals make him cry. (Daisy Hernandez) Car crashes. (Gabino A.) When I say that I am sad. (Jose Mejia) My neighborhood is embarrassed by his own voice. (Jocelyn Gomez) 20

by the pot hole that is deep. (Alexis Torres) when it looks like a dumpster. (Nahbi Cantero) by people that make fun of our neighborhood. (Roman Garcia) Sometimes my neighborhood is jealous of other neighborhoods that are quiet. (Alexis Torres) of everyone that has cool cars. (Roman Garcia) because it thinks it is uglier than other neighborhoods. (Nahbi Cantero) My neighborhood is afraid of the horrible storms. (Brenda Garcia) of a grouchy dog. (Jocelyn Gomez)


of the big dog that digs holes a lot. (Daisy Hernandez) of my friend’s dog named Psycho. (Yulissa Hernandez) of bears, raccoons, wildcats and the darkness. (Nahbi Cantero) It loves a friendly person. (Alexis Torres) It loves the flowers in my house. (Jocelyn Gomez)

There’s a secret laboratory where every neighbor meets underground! (Alex Orozco) My neighborhood hides all the roses from bushes. (Nahbi Cantero) It hides its lonely soul. (Brenda Garcia) OK, I’ll tell you, but don’t tell. The secret is my neighborhood is hiding a cat in a tree! (Daisy Hernandez)

to see people happy. (Brenda Garcia) It loves ME. (Roman Garcia) My neighborhood hides secrets: holes in the ground you can’t see. (Jorge Ramirez) Some people shoot guns at night. (Roman Garcia)

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Have A Good Day Alicia Torres

The Dark Night Nahbi Cantero, Alicia Torres, Leslie P.

My street yawns because it is sleepy. I hear it every morning, and I give it a pat on the back.

Where do the colors of my neighborhood go in the dark of the night? There in the trees. in the streetlights, in the stars, in the movement, in the lightning bugs, in the stoplight. This is my neighborhood at night.

My Hiding Place Jocelyn Gomez When I hide inside my room I disappear like ice that melts, like the cookies from the cookie jar.

My House Speaks to the House Next Door Yulissa Hernandez

The Neighborhood Artist Alexis Torres

Are you cold inside during the winter months?

If I could draw my neighborhood for someone else to see who has never, ever been there, I would draw a dog named Pepe that lives in front of my house, the big hole where the tree was, the two-story house that is old and scary that is a lime color with white. I would draw the Ogden Elementary School and the two ladies walking around it, then put it all into a mural so that everyone can see.

Yeah. I’ve been cold.

How old are you?

I’m one hundred and two. Can’t you tell by my creaks?

How are you? 22

I’m good, but I’m old.


No Teenagers Allowed Leslie P.

They Hide Nahbi Cantero

I would hide on the top of my roof so the teenagers wouldn’t see me. I would feel that I’m alone and a little bit happy. It will make me see and understand the world and want to be there with you!

Poems hide in my chimney with fire In my jewelry box with pink and red colors In my mom’s smile Under my little brother’s blue blanket By the crumbs of the cookie jar Disappearing Act Jose Villegas

My Barrio Armando S. If I could draw my neighborhood and all that happens there, I would draw a rose with purple bruises.

In my neighborhood, inside my house, I can disappear just like my football and my money.

A View From the Air Roman Garcia

Picture This Jazreel Dominguez

The balloon from to

I am running down Zarzamora Street like a cheetah getting its prey. My shoes sizzle and scream.

and

goes house

Crazy Street Alexis Torres and friends

house

On my street, I’ve never seen a monster covered in chocolate with a big sundae, a million bucks, a dog jumping four feet in the air, a monster truck grave-digger, an alien from Mars, a parade of dogs, a person running around in circles for a week. I will be happy to see them.

pops

into air.

blue

the POP!

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My Kitchen Magician Jazreel Dominguez

Moving Jocelyn Gomez and friends

My sister was washing dishes. Then she was folding clothes in triangles , and she was cooking enchiladas at the same time!

If I moved away from my neighborhood, I would miss my friends and the yawns of my house, the moon’s light glowing at midnight, the stars glowing like glowing sticks in the sky. But I will move on to a new neighborhood and make more new friends.

A Bite of Heaven Ruben Ortega

Maybe, Maybe Not Alex Orozco

I remember the smell of huevo con chorizo, At first I didn’t love it, but then my mom gave me huevo con chorizo con frijoles on a taco. One bite from the taco made me love it. I said, “I have eaten something good and have gone to heaven!”

My poems hide In my house, In my closet in a box, In the television, Even in the back of my jacket. My poems hide On the kitchen table, On my hands, In my backpack.

Questions Asked From a Bedroom Window Roman Garcia Who can open my heart without the key? Who can open my heart to fix me?

Maybe poems don’t hide, They’re scattered all around my house. No One Knows Jorge Ramirez

Secret Gabino A.

In my own room under my roof No one knows where I hide, where I feel safe. No one knows but me.

Poems hide in my house. There is a secret in the closet. Don’t ask. 24


The Artist Ruben Ortega I would draw the leaves atop my house, and my neighbor who has three pets a turtle and two dogs. I would draw the white car that comes by everyday and the motorcycles, too, I would draw the garden that my mom has in the back and front of our house. Then everyone could see. The Streets Where I Live Jasmine Contreras I laugh and shout on Rivas Street like a person in the football games. I play soccer with my family, going up and down screaming and blaming the other team that they are cheating. My mom shouts out loud, “You’re cheating!” At Morales Street, David Crockett Elementary is located. It’s a street where I have lots of friends and it feels like a second home. We shout, laugh, clap, and hide when we go to P.E. “Get away from me!” I yell. On Navidad Street my sister and I knock on doors playing pranks on people. When they open the doors, we start to run and all we hear is “Y’all are in so much trouble, young ladies, I’m gonna call the police!”

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If I Could Draw My Neighborhood Jocelyn Gomez

Shhhh... Roman Garcia

I would draw the dog across the street that always barks at cars, who lives in a green and white house.

Poems hide, In my room, Inside a secret chest. All of the words, For the poems, Hide there.

I would draw the store three blocks away and the lady from across the street that never leaves her house. I would draw the cat my little brother tries to catch, then put it all into a mural for everyone else to see.

Martin Street Brenda Garcia I go to Martin Street because my friends are there and I play hide and seek with them. “1,2,3,4,5” me counting to thirty and yelling to the top of my lungs, “Ready or not, here I come!”

Horton Street Joe Mejia On Horton Street, I jump, run, and skip. I am exercising. I am playing with my friend. “I’m going to get you!” “No, you can’t!” We start playing catch with a football on Horton Street. Surprise Alexis Torres Outside my window I see an old woman at her window looking back at me. 26


Douglas Academy Mr. Avila’s 6th grade class

Writer In-Residence: Rachel Jennings Artist In-Residence: Fadela Castro Host Teacher: Michael Avila 27


Shevonne Elizondo

Angelina Barrientes

Every hour I hear the rumbling of a train on the tracks in my neighborhood. In my neighborhood you can hear mocking birds crowing in the trees. My neighborhood has beautiful grass and flowers. My neighborhood is peaceful at night. My neighborhood has a great view of the dark, starlit sky with slowly moving clouds. My neighborhood is where we all get along and we smell homemade tortillas in my house for a get together.

A little boy fell off the tree, and he started to cry loud when his mom came out. The boy couldn’t move his arm, and they took him to the hospital.

April Y.

Amanda Laguna My mom and I had to walk to the barbershop to pick up my cousin and his dad. When we had picked them up, my cousin and his dad looked totally different cause they both shaved their heads. Then we went to the ice cream shop to buy an ice cream cone. We all go the same flavor, strawberry. It tasted good. The day was already over, so we went home and watched a movie.

I see and hear the VIA buses passing by. I feel the cold breeze against my body. bus, cold breeze, wet pavement, very light drizzle, bakery and washroom, lots of flowers and other plants, the tires of cars driving through puddles of water in the street, the other students talking, the commotion of the chattering of us students.

Damian Granado

Mariana Miramontes

Andrew Villareal

The child flew off of the swing set, broke his arm, and started crying to the back door, but he couldn’t open the door because his hand was broken. He could feel the beast of his heart on his hand. 28

The beautician entertained the little boy by giving him an ice cream. The boy was happy. It was his favorite, chocolate. He didn’t know he got a haircut.

My little cousin likes to play with the clothesline, always making it fall. My cousin’s mom gets mad at him and asks me if I can help him pick it up. Paul S. The barber loves to cut hair. He wants to cut hair till he dies. A kid made him mad, and he strapped him to the chair and cut his hair.


Angelina Barrientes

Elijah

My mom took me to Supercuts. After that I cut my hair right next door at a beauty salon instead. Doing her hair they shared something.

As I was riding my skateboard, I tripped and fell. As I got up, I realized my leg was broken as I yelped I pain.

Enrique M.

Shevonne Elizondo

With my twisted mind, I create murals. I twist my fingers because I can’t draw any murals. I can’t think of a subject to draw. I don’t know what I should draw because it has to be a nice, clear picture with a good story to explain it.

I want to see kids playing around Animals running happily all around Dogs and cats, birds flying the in the air

William E. Outside I saw a sweeper truck washing the streets.

I want to see our school and us learning And people helping stray animals because It shows people caring And also people recycling, it’s important to help the environment!

Eathen O. I spent a dollar at a dollar store. This is what I bought from the store: a big rocket ship. I couldn’t fix it in my car, so I tied it up to the top of my tower. Mario G.

I want to see two to three kids playing football or jumping rope and animals running around in the yard like cats and dogs.

It was cold outside, and I saw a guy curl up in the dumpster. I saw a lady curling her hair next to a dumpster. There were three kids going to put a prank on a lady that lives in a dumpster. They saw her curling her hair with a long cord, so they went to unplug it and ran away. She screamed, “You rotten kids!”

April Y. I would like to see animals like a cat—a cat that is skinny when you cut its hair but fat with its fluffy hair that sheds everywhere. I would like to see the cat creeping up on a pigeon or ready to hunt it down. Also, I would like to see the cat when it’s running up a tree in panic because of a dog.

Rene D.

Jose N.

The boy fell off the fence, and peopled laughed at him, and he said “Stop!” and started to cry.

On the mural I’d like to see the ice cream man A person on a skateboard Dogs, cats, and cars with people in them People riding bikes and the Alamodome

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Damian Granado

William E.

My neighborhood has a lot of loose dogs running around. The dogs are bad. They knock down everybody’s trash cans and everybody gets mad at them. The other bad thing about them is that they mess with the dogs in their fences. And all the barking makes me really mad. I don’t like those dogs. There are about seven to ten dogs that do that.

In my neighborhood I see a lot of crime. Once a week I see police on the street. There are also good things about my neighborhood, like when I play with my friends.

Oscar B. In my neighborhood, I see the Alamodome and the Tower of the Americas and the parking lots of the Alamodome. And when something important takes place, like a game, there’s a lot of people in front of my house.

My home would be black on one side and white on the other, but next door it would be four different colors. As seasons change, colors get covered: yellow, green, blue, and red.

There are some trees on my neighborhood, and sometimes I hear the train passing close to the Alamodome. Ragina R. My dog’s name is Tinkerbell. She is a Yorkie terrier mixed with Chihuahua. She is so cute because one of her ears is down and the other is up sometimes. I think that her ear is broken and she doesn’t like shots. Her name was Tinkerbell when we got her. This is who I want in my mural. Eathan O. On the mural I’d like to see a kid putting a toy boat in the lake Three people jumping rope A rose bush And kids doing nothing on their lawn

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Elijah

Shevonne Elizondo My neighbor is my friend. He says the front of his house is haunted so they live in the back. My neighbor has four dogs and five puppies. They bark and cry as loud as the train. The other house is smaller yet big on the inside. My neighbor’s name is Rico. He is twelve years old. He has two sisters and one brother. Rico is my best friend. We have our fights, but we always work it out. My neighbor’s house is haunted, old and grey with the paint peeling off. The house is really creepy. There are so many windows with bars. It’s really scary. It feels like someone is watching me. His grandma and grandpa died in there.


Paul S.

Zayra B.

I see maybe four or six dogs looking for food and lying down. I saw a black dog and I wanted it, but my mom said no, but I see it every day. There’s a big brown dog that follows him.

My next door neighbor’s house is white and an apricot color. My next door neighbor’s grass is green and pretty. They have toys in their yard. In the backyard they have a pretty dog that is brown and white. They have plants and one tree in their backyard. They have a slide and swings on the front yard. It’s a one-story house with three rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. There are two men and two women with three kids. They have a gray van, a white car, and a green car. On the house, the corners around the window are an apricot color and the house is white. The dog is big, and he has his little house in the yard.

Angelina B. My neighborhood is where a lot of gun shots happen. My neighborhood is where a lot of gang members hang out. My neighborhood sometimes has drunk drivers talk about their life. My neighborhood is where my friends live. My neighborhood has a lot of speeders.

Damian Granado

My neighbor is my friend, and her name is Ingrid. She’s eight years old. She has two sisters and one brother. Astrid is ten, Sophia is a baby, and Diego is seven years old. They are very special to me. They always help us out, and we always help them. We always spend time with each other. We invite them to do everything like barbecues, birthdays, holidays, and so on. We’re just like one big family that loves each other. They have a medium house. It’s a pink and orange house. The door is white. They have two dogs. The first is black, and he is small. The second is big and white. They have a big tree with a swing and a big trampoline. I always go there.

My next door neighbor has been there since I was one year old. The colors of his house are blue and white. That house has a lot of tall old trees. Their yard always has been clean. They have a big dog that always barks a lot. That’s the bad thing. They also have a very big house. It’s two stories tall. The people there are very quiet. They always come over to have parties, and it’s very fun. Their lawn is very green and clean because they wake up early to water their grass every day. Also, the dog is a light brown color. The ears are a medium size. The roof of their house is white and the rest is a sky blue color. Their lawn has a lot of flowers. They also have lawn gnomes that surround the whole house.

Destiny Sherman

April Y.

My neighborhood is full of friends and dogs. It is like a junk yard. My neighborhood is a stray animal neighborhood. My neighborhood is full of people. My neighborhood is your neighborhood.

The house next door looks the same as my house on the outside. It’s tan with borders of a brown color. It’s the same size as my house. It might be different on the inside, but I’ve never been in it. People I’ve seen come in and out, but I never got a chance to talk to anyone. I’m not sure if it’s the same inside as my house. The house next to me is like the twin to my house because the color, the lawn, and the size of the house are the same. They both look the same.

Amanda Laguna

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Rene

Enrique M.

My neighborhood is good and full of animals. My neighborhood is colorful and cool. My neighborhood is fearful.

My neighborhood is calm. My neighborhood is big. My neighborhood is a place to relax. My neighborhood has a lot of grass. My neighborhood is quiet. My neighborhood is full of dogs.

Ragina R. There is a church next door, and when all the people are gone from the church I practice my skating or I just ride my bike or run with my sisters. The church is white and one of the knobs is missing at the front. It has a beautiful window. I have never been to church before— only this one time when I went with my friend Andrew Villareal, the one in this class. We have been friends since kindergarten. The church next door has bushes on the side of it, and the bushes are trimmed like a rectangle. The windows are made of very colorful glass like red, green, yellow, and blue, and it reminds me of a seethrough lollipop. The church is made of light colored bricks, and it is pretty big. It’s not a two-story building, but the parking lot is big. Sometimes I still see people there at midnight. Oscar B. My neighborhood is always alive. My neighborhood is close to my school. My neighborhood sometimes has burning houses. My neighborhood has a lot of traffic. My neighborhood is very noisy. My neighborhood is close to the Alamodome. My neighborhood has a lot of big trees and sometimes we have a lot of green plants. 32

My neighborhood is a dog city. My neighborhood is where I go to school. My neighborhood is very quiet and peaceful. My neighborhood is a very friendly neighborhood. My neighborhood is very messy. My neighborhood is where I live. Mariana Miramontes My neighborhood is so cold in the winter but so hot in the summer. My neighborhood is filled with kids playing on the streets with other kids. My neighborhood is people walking the streets just to get out of the house. My neighborhood is every Friday a man comes drunk down the street and yells out to the dogs. My neighborhood has lots of strays. My neighborhood is not so pretty.


Zayra B.

Amanda Laguna

My neighborhood is so fun they have music on the weekends. My neighborhood is full of adults and no kids. My neighborhood is quiet at night and sometimes during the week. But sometimes dogs are loud at night. My neighborhood is scary, People walk at night talking to themselves. But still I love my neighborhood.

I smelled rain like it was falling from the sky. I smelled gas coming from the motors of cars. I saw buses taking people where they needed to go. I saw colorful houses that looked like the rainbow. I smelled donuts coming from the bakery. I heard birds that were singing.

Mario G.

I saw the cars passing on the slippery street. The children with different ways. The street buses picking up strange people. School skippers buying things at the Palmas bakery. The dog chained up and guarding “his” property. My hands were freezing in the air. People crossing streets. The nice, brightly painted houses. The pavement wet, not dry. I saw a rattlesnake, but it was fake. The whole neighborhood practically looked like a ghost town.

My neighborhood rocks. My neighborhood is bright at night. My neighborhood is very clean. My neighborhood is fun. My neighborhood has a baseball park. My neighborhood helps each other. My neighborhood is very quiet at night. My neighborhood is close to the school. My neighborhood smells good. My neighborhood has little bid cars passing by.

Mariana Miramontes

Shevonne Elizondo

Andrew Villarreal We went on a walk today. I wrote down everything, but I will say a few. I saw graffiti. My dad’s friend’s house a fake snake in the front yard. I saw a TV set, but after a while it got boring, so I wrote whatever so that maybe it wouldn’t be boring, but it was still boring. I saw a Ram 1500. That was probably the cool part. Even a classic car in somebody’s yard.

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While we walked, there was commotion everywhere. I could feel the coldness on my cheeks and hands. I could feel the light drizzles on my shoulders. I smelled the air filled with wet grass, colorful flowers, green trees, and gasoline. I saw the bus escorting people to their location, and cars and trucks driving by. I observed beautiful light pink roses blooming. I saw junk on sidewalks waiting for the brush pick-up. I noticed an abandoned house waiting for someone to live there. The last thing I saw was the whole neighborhood doing things they do every day. I heard birds chirping in the trees. I heard wind blowing on the leaves. I heard the tapping of our feet on the pavement.


Damian Granado

Oscar B.

Walking around the block, I saw cars passing by me. I saw birds flying south, and smelled trash and rain. I heard plants moving because of the wind. I saw ivy climbing a wire. I saw a lot of signs, and run down houses with colorful roses. I saw fog in the air, but no sun out. I saw people wearing jackets cause it’s a cold month (December). I saw Christmas stuff hanging outside. I saw people writing. I saw people laughing. I saw people having a bad time, and people having a good time.

The air was cold. And there was a lot of cars and trucks passing on the street with different colors. The weather was very foggy with no sun. When I stepped on the floor, I felt that it was very wet. And the dirt was muddy. But most of what I heard was a lot of noise because the other students were making noise. Then I saw big, green leaves next to a brown house and a rooster that seemed to be looking for food in the back yard of the brown house. When we went further, the neighborhood was different. The houses were nice and newer than the other ones. But we were on the right side where two houses were next to the parking lot of a church. And on the second house was a neat car, but the model was a Cadillac, and it looked like the nineteen [hundreds].Then we turn to a street where on one house there was a lot of trash out front. After that we turned to the next street where we could see our school. And we got in.

I smelled tortillas and doughnuts, heard cars and buses. I touched rocks and fences, and saw flowers and trees. I tasted cold spit from the cold air and saw trash and old trucks. I heard a commotion around me. I touched wet trees and cold poles. Heard car tires on the road. Saw houses of different kinds of paint and surfaces. I touched old things on the floor and leaves.

Zayra B. Today I went outside and saw cars passing by me, a bakery on the street, houses with red leaves, big yards, trash beside the fence. I saw fabulous flowers like roses, trees, rocks, grass, water on the street, a church, and way more things. What I heard were the cars passing by, a little bit of wind, kids talking and laughing. What I touched was the fence, my pencil, rocks, notebook paper. I smelled the bread from the bakery and the fresh air from the morning. I didn’t taste anything, only the fresh air. My hands were freezing because of the cold. It was a very cold today. There was a little bit of rain, so I didn’t feel like walking.

Destiny Sherman I felt the coldness of the air. The warmth of my jacket. I heard the sound of cars driving by. The sound of students walking and talking. I smelled food from the cafeteria. And the smell of the sewers. I saw houses and students walking in a line. I tasted nothing but my spit. The air around me outside. 34


Alondra Gomez

See water, big rocks, wet grass Little Ruben’s house Big tree, fake snake, see trash See church, wet street, laundromat Bakery See dump truck See clouds Smell donuts People talking And water on sidewalk

On my walk I heard cars and their engines. On my walk I saw the nice, big tower with an elevator. On my walk I felt the nice, bumpy branch with leaves full of water. On my walk I saw a bakery full of fresh bread and a washeteria the nice smell of soap and people buying fresh bread and washing clothes at the same time.

Jose N.

On my walk I felt water dripping on me like it was about to rain. On my walk I heard music from cars and beautiful singing from a special bird. On my walk I saw beautiful red roses that looked very cool with the house. On my walk I saw a rattlesnake and puddles of water On my walk I had a great time seeing, feeling, touching, and hearing.

My neighborhood is dirty. My neighborhood is bad. My neighborhood is sad. My neighborhood is quiet. My neighborhood is lonely. My neighborhood is full of birds.

Andrew Villareal

Clifford P.

I smell rain, hear cars, see water and a yellow house Lots of signs, bases, brick house, and big yards See trees and people outside See graffiti, see breath, see school See hemisphere, and Amtrak Trash can, trash, brush, leaves Pole, white roots Rooster, see pigeons, plants See climbing ivy, dump truck Colorful house, rundown house Hear trash, see Alamodome, See TV Mattress, blankets, recycled cans Roses Walk House needs work

I love my neighborhood.

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Gates Academy

Ms. Wright’s 5th grade class

Writer In-Residence: Lyle Rosdahl Artist In-Residence: Michael Marks Host Teacher: Cynthia Wright 36


Glass Kiana James Once it was a blazzin’ hot day and my friends and I decided to go to the park in our neighborhood. I went to get Joseline, Sarilu and Dia’vian. They popped on their shoes and ran out the door. We had to pass all the dumpsters and yellow houses. Once we got to the park no one was there but we could see why. The park was dirty. I went around our neighborhood and asked people if they wanted to volunteer to help clean the park.  When they came we split up into five groups of two. We picked up glass, paper, plastic, and wood. And all of a sudden I heard Samantha scream, “Yeeeeeeeeouchhhhh!” She had gotten a piece of glass stuck in her foot. We got it out and walked her home. When we got back we had a nice clean park to come play at. And with only one injury. Not bad. Neighborhood Streets Sierra Flowers One day me my mom my granny and my auntie went to see what was going on at my neighbor’s house. Then we went to knock on the door to see what was going on. They opened the door. We watched as the dogs ran out. We thought they were somebody else’s dogs.  There were two dogs. The first one looked like a miniature chihuahua. It was light blue. The next one looked like a pit bull. It was light brownish with white spots on it. The two dogs came over my fence and started barking at our dog. Then they ran down the street barking at other dogs. It took us all afternoon to catch them. It was fun to chase the dogs down the neighborhood streets. Despair Al’deshon Brooks Neighborhood is dull I see no life. I smell despair in the air. I feel the cracks in the concrete roads. I hear people crying because there is no future. I tasted fear in people hearts.

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Neighborhood Witch Da’vora Jones-Bettey One day a new neighbor was unpacking. She came next door and asked us, “Do you have any frogs?”  I came to the door and said, “Sorry we don’t have any frogs.”  So she left. My friend and I wondered, “What did she need frogs for?”  I said, “I guess she likes to keep them as pets.”  The next day she had all her stuff in order and stacked. My mom made her some cookies. She always does that when a new neighbor come in. Mom made me give her the cookies. My friend and I walked next door and knocked. With a squeaky voice, she said, “Come in my pretties.”  We opened the door I said, “My mom made these for you.”  But she got mad and said, “Tell me where I can get frogs or I will turn you into one.”  I said, “How will you turn me in to a frog?”  With the snap of her fingers I became a frog. My friend ran out the door as fast as he could before he turned into a frog too.   “I’m going to ask you one more time,” the witch said, “where do you get them?”  “At the pet shop,” I said. “It has a big dog on it.” She picked me up and put me on my broom stick and we flew up before I could scream “heehaw.” After she got her frogs, she took me back to her house and turned me back into a person. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could.  I told my mom everything. My mom kissed me on my forehead and said, “I’m so glad my baby is back.”  “What a strange neighborhood,” my friend said. But the witch was already gone. 38


Tornado Houstina M. It was a hot day on Friday in August. Everybody was outside playing or doing something. Me and my friend Alexis were planning to go to the park on Sunday. When Alexis came to my house, we played video games, watched TV, and played outside. “I cant wait till Sunday comes!” Alexis said.  “Me too!” I said.  When Sunday hit, I got dressed to go to the park. When Alexis came, we walked to the park. When we got there, nobody was there because it was so trashy and dirty. We were mad because it was our park. It was so trashy. It looked like a tornado went through it.  Me and Alexis volunteered to help clean up the park. We did not want to go home because we wanted to play. Then we gathered up some other kids who wanted to help. After we cleaned up the park, all the kids screamed happily and started playing. Me and Alexis felt proud of ourselves. Every since then we tried to keep our neighborhood park clean.     Beautiful Day Shyann Carter Beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeep. I woke up to turn the alarm off. I got out of bed and opened the curtain. What a warm day it was. I changed then went to eat breakfast. The school bus came so I had to go. It was a warm day. I did not need a jacket. I got my backpack and went to get on the school bus. Me and my friend talked until we got to school. First I went to P.E., then reading class. Oh, no, I forgot my homework at home on my dresser. When my teacher said everyone take out your homework, I didn’t know what to do. I was the only one who didn’t have my homework. So at lunch I could not sit with my friends. Even though I had a bad day at school, I knew that walking home would brighten up my day. So after school, I went outside to enjoy the beautiful day. Since it was spring all the flowers in my neighborhood were blooming. The flowers smelled like cherries. I watched cars pass by. I watched dogs chase cats. I hoped the next day was just as good.

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School Playground Dajanek Stevenson    One day at school, me and my friends went out to recess. The workers were destroying our playground. They needed to use our playground for a dump because they ran out of room. If they used our playground for a landfill, it would smell awful and where would we play?     We all got together and decided we had a right to a playground. It didn’t make sense to put a landfill so close to the school. We made posters, banners and radio announcements to let everyone know what was happening to our playground. We even went out and laid down in front of the bulldozers. The workers were mad, but they didn’t run us over.     After many days of struggling, we finally got the mayor’s attention. He announced that a landfill was not in the best interest of the school. We had gotten our playground back. Chicago Terrell Graves Once, in Chicago, IL, me, Nick and Tawan went to the park. But we saw our worst enemies, The Snakes. They were Terrell, Ravon, and last, but not least, Kevin. The were trashing our favorite part of the park. We went to the football field and we could see yards of trash. They said that it was their turf. They said the only way to get the field back was to beat them in a game of football. We agreed to play and went out to find the best players we could. We found two wide receivers (Anthony K. and Nicholas), one defender (Amram) and two running backs (David and Elijah). We had everything that we needed. It was a tie game and three quarters were gone. We were on our own goal line, but we still had one play. It was a run to me and I sprinted the entire 100 yards for the winning touchdown. The football field was ours again.

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Neighborhood Aaron M.

My Neighborhood Elijah B.

My neighborhood is so loud and quiet but not inside my cool house

One summer morning it seemed kind of boring birds singing crows crowing sun shining clouds scattering mom’s cooking breakfast me playing video games flowers blooming my dog barking my grandfather snoring kids playing adults working sitting all day in my room having nothing to do while the sky is a shade of blue.

In My Neighborhood Esperanza Cardenas In my neighborhood I spend my time with my friends. We play hopscotch and we pick up trash and put it in the blue recycle bins. Then we walk through the door to my house and we’re home. My Neighborhood Is Like Sydney Gonzales

Neighborhood David Espinoza

My neighborhood is likea hot, sunny day A rainbow with little colors Thunder with no rain Neighbors that argue

Neighborhood is weird Neighborhood is dangerous yet still peaceful

My neighborhood is like a clock with it’s ticks  and tocks.

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Storm Academy Mr. Faro’s 5th grade class

Writer In-Residence: Regina Moya Artist In-Residence: Robert Poschman Host Teacher: Brian Faro 42


My Neighborhood Sergio James Olveda

Abuelito Elio Rafael R.

My neighborhood is white Like the birds flying Big like my friend’s pecan tree It is beautiful as my dogs And happy like my friends and family

His hands are warm and big He wears a white shirt, Black shoes and dark grey pants with skinny white stripes, He smells like sweat because he is in the sun all day He used to say “I’m gonna stay at the Huasteca and I’m going to take you.”

The Wet Blue Sergio James Olveda

Dreamland Rafael R.

It is the color of wet and cold and smooth When it touches your skin It’s fun to play in When it’s a very cloudy day

There is a money tree In my neighborhood Protected by a 15 foot electric fence And only I have the key to unlock that fence When it rains, it rains sour skittles I have a big bag to catch them all

Candyland Neighborhood Sergio James Olveda

Grandma Samantha Crowell

My house is made of ice cream Roads are made of beef jerky Trees and flowers and grass made of jolly ranchers Gates made out of Twix Flying cars made out of money Electric fences and poles made out of chocolate It snows marshmallows

Irine L, your hands are kind of rough You wore a purple dress With lots of flowers You smelled like peppermint You told me to be proud of myself I love you and wish you were here, Grandma, you rock!

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Black Samantha Crowell

My neighborhood Abel Ramirez

Black is the color of the night sky Smooth and fuzzy A Brownie during the winter

My neighborhood is purple Like the car by my house Big like my apartment And small like my dog Fit. It is beautiful as the sun setting And happy as playing with my dog.

Untitled Samantha Crowell

My Neighborhood Stephanie Gaitan

My neighborhood is red like Alice’s car And big as my dad’s truck But also small as my dog, It is beautiful as Laura’s cat And happy as my dad.

My neighborhood is green like the grass on my beautiful yard Big like my tall palm trees And small as the little green caterpillar that crawls on the leaves that fall from the trees My neighborhood is beautiful as my little niece riding her tricycle on the porch It is happy as my mom knowing she made the good choice of moving here.

Spike Nicholas Rodriguez He likes to sleep under the gray big rock His shell is green, yellow, black, he is beautiful His feet are smooth and clawy My turtle smells like poop from the toilet.

New Year’s Eve In My Neighborhood Abel Ramirez A whole bunch of flowers falling To the ground at night Smoke floating through the air Burnt charcoal on Sundays Bombs exploding miles away The touch of fire in a BBQ pit.

Dark blue Marcos Ramirez Blue is an ocean It is a liquid with heat or cold It is a lake in the evening 44


Ama Ramon Ortiz

My Neighborhood Ramon Ortiz

Her hands are wrinkly soft A white T shirt and sand gray warm ups She smells like Suave shampoo Always calls me “Gordo” in a good way Ama, I wish you could come back I miss your voice. I love you with all my heart And will never forget you.

My neighborhood is green Like my mom’s sillon It is big like the palm tree in front of my house And small like my dog Chiquita My neighborhood is beautiful like my home and happy like my family. Alina Ruby Vega

New Year’s In My Neighborhood Ramon Ortiz

Her name is Alina Her hands are always soft She likes to be in the mud She picks the color red to put on She likes to smell my mom’s perfume She makes funny noises like a running horse

Beautiful colors From popping fireworks Happy expressions on my family’s faces Inside Tia Janie’s house the smell thick, juicy turkey and cheesy, salty, mild nachos and outside the house it smells like fireworks everyone is happy and excited.

My Neighborhood Ruby Vega

My Perfect Neighborhood Ramon Ortiz

My neighborhood is beautiful like the big oak tree beside my house It is also small like the germs that Live in our bodies It is like a rainbow up high in the sky With different colors It is happy as a little puppy when it is born

The cactus in front of my house Would turn into a money tree The streets would be roller coasters I would plant a tree that gives Xbox 360’s I could sell them to Game Stop and Best Buy My house would be sixty stories high Everyone else would have had the same house except forty stories smaller.

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Ariel Elizabeth Sarmiento

New Year’s Eve in my Neighborhood Angel Lopez

My Ariel has soft and smooth hands She wears silky purple dresses She smells like lavender rose Her favorite words are “beautiful” and “gorgeous” Ariel, you are my big sister, no matter what.

Colorful Hot spices Fireworks and happiness The sound of guns and bursting bones! My Neighborhood Angel Lopez

My Neighborhood Elizabeth Sarmiento

My Neighborhood is blue like my room Big like my house It is beautiful as the sunset at five o’clock And happy as the party we have every weekend With dances, volleyball and the smell of BBQ

My neighborhood is purple like the flowers next door It is big like the pino in my backyard But also small as the ants and flies everywhere It is beautiful like parents playing with their kids And happy as the fiestas we have on the weekends

My Neighborhood Jordan Marie Rodriguez

My Wish For My Neighborhood Marcos Ramirez

My neighborhood is blue like my swimming pool Big as my house But also small as a pebble in my collection It is beautiful as my little cousin Angel And happy just like my family.

I wish the cars would be go carts And all the kids could drive them The go carts would have the power To give pizza and free drinks And drive us anywhere Anyone could play races There would be plenty of money And free vending machines I would have a pet dragon So I could go anywhere

Blue Jordan Marie Rodriguez Blue is the color of the sky A small blue jay bird Singing in the afternoon 46


Mason Jordan Marie Rodriguez

My Neighborhood Edgar Villareal

Mason is my little cousin He is small and chubby He wears basketball shorts and a red T shirt He says Grandma when she is next to him Mason, I miss you and your hug.

My neighborhood is red like The paletas in my neighborhood Big like my house But also small like an ant Beautiful as the grill in front yard And happy as all the pictures in my house.

Mamalala Ashley Gomez

It Is Blue Jacob

Her name is Mamalala She has soft, hard and wrinkly hands She wears a dress with flowers on it Her hair smells like coconut She always tells me “Hi mija, como ‘stas?” Mamala, I love you, please come back.

When the light hits the stand In Mr. Faro’s class The curves of the globe stand turn clear and hard it is blue, it holds the world

Black Ashley Gomez

Blue Michael S.

It is the color of my hair And the sky at night Smooth, long, straight. The color of calmness.

Blue is the color of my love for my grandfather It is a pale blue with clouds in the sky A winter morning’s sky He passed away and left sadness in my heart

Juanito Edgar V.illareal

My Favorite Senses Michael S.

Your hands are soft Because of the lotion mom puts on you You wear spiderman’s clothes You smell like candy You always say “Quiero leche” Juanito, I like playing with you.

The feeling of lying down in a soft bed of flowers The smell of fresh coffee in the morning in Christmas time The taste of Grandma’s cinnamon pie It feeling of moist sand on the beach 47


My Neighborhood Ralph G.

The Sky In My Neighborhood Maria E.

My neighborhood is yellow and purple like The Lakers It is big like my school And small like a little store It is happy like my family and all the people that surround me

The sky in my neighborhood at night Is full of stars They are so bright and shiny They twinkle and sometimes I think they move but it is just the clouds.

Star Ralph G.

Light Greenish Eric Zapata

She has paws with pink nails She wears pajamas with dots on it She smells like dawn And bites my pants so we could play

Light greenish is the color of my bird It sings a song and flaps it’s wings It is small and flies around it’s cage I hear him singing the same song in the mornings

Welita Maria E.

My Neighborhood Eric Zapata

My Welita’s hands are always smooth and soft She always wears her pink or purple robe My welita smells like red roses and her perfume My welita always asks if I want to eat Please come back Welita, I miss your voice.

My neighborhood is purple like marbles Big like my trampoline But also small as a quarter stuck on the ground It is beautiful as my neighbor’s puppy And happy as the gym.

My Neighborhood Maria E.

New Years In My Neighborhood Karrigan M.

My neighborhood is red and green Like the roses and the grass It is big as a tree but small as a puppy It is beautiful like the colors in my house And happy as my mom and dad

Looks like stars in the air shining from above Tastes like cookies baked fresh from the oven Smells like burnt fire crackers Feels like family and friends gathering together Steam, cheer and happiness. 48


My Neighborhood Ashley Gomez

My Neighborhood Stephanie Gaitan

My neighborhood is purple And pink like my bike, Big like my school But small like the pecans It is beautiful like the flowers in my tree And happy as looking at the pictures That bring back memories From back then.

My neighborhood is green like the grass on my beautiful yard Big like my tall palm trees And small as the little green caterpillar that crawls on the leaves that fall from the trees My neighborhood is beautiful as my little niece riding her tricycle on the porch It is happy as my mom knowing she made the good choice of moving here.

Tia Juana Eric Zapata Tia Juana Your hands are smooth You wore a purple shirt and khaki shorts You smell like your delicious tamales You always said “Hola mijo� Tia Juana, I miss you and your tamales.

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My Neighborhood/Mi Barrio  

Writing by students from the San Antonio Independent School District in partnership with the Gemini Ink Writers in Communities Program. Fall...

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