Poetry Chapbook 2022

Poetry cover

Poems below were written by students for Ellen Rosenberg's Spring 2022 Poetry Workshop course.

Download Collection (PDF)

"Whin I Grwo Up" by Evan Barnard

Whin I grwo up I would lik to b an astronaut
Sittin with stars siping appal juis all day
I wood b a vary good astronaut
Wood listin hard to spas and tail folks what moons say 

My hulmit wood b pink
My suit wood hav bolts of lightning on its back I wood own a robot call “Tim”
And it wood look banana yullo
Floating siluntly through mils of black 

Alins r to slow for our ship
But can join if thay bring cak
Will do my har with saturn-dust And play goosball on planit Gack 

Momma says my condition is not imporving And that thair iz no whar alz to go
But I think shi dozant undarstand
I brith in sicrat patturns 

I spik a langgiug only I know 

Tim and I laf as satalights r past
Hand in hand as suns swallow us hol Boost and scoot to tha suns thick roots Cut out its hart as blak as coal 

I am tird now and wood lik to stop
Cant tail if its nighttim or aftarnoon
But whin I grwo up I think I will b an astronaut Whin I grwo up I know I will b an astronaut
In fact ill blast off soon 

"The Hearth" by Michael Drusdow

The original hearth is the mother’s womb

A place where you receive soft, soothing love

Sitting, incubating.

The flames of life twist themselves around you

Then it becomes her arms, as she holds you close to her breast

With adoring, lively eyes

Love radiating from her skin

It is your father’s strong, weatherworn hands holding yours as you take your first steps

You slip, he catches you in the first unknowing game of the “trust fall”

Pretending to be asleep so he carries you to your bed

It is the laughter of friends, the tearful and the unknowing goodbyes as the tire swing swings for you for the last time

The Hearth is the kind twinkle inside your eyes

The Hearth is the bond shared between friends

Because you know what they say

Wherever you have friends, that’s your country

Where you receive love, that’s your home

(Last two lines are a famous Tibetan saying)

"My Starlight" by Emily Evangeline

Love met in April
Our paths converge in darkness
In shadow, alight

You are my starlight
Fringe crafted of auburn red
Crafted from stardust

Chasing like children
Love, far from ordinary
Not just a phase

They glimpse our aura
Your starlight meets silver glow
Then youth recedes us

We diverge, again
To meet at another time
Our love precedes us

Love died in April
When your light had disappeared
I will wait for you

Untitled by Opal Garrett

Crisp winds cradle perfumed memories across chilled azure skies

Slumbering ivory blooms hide betwixt the folds of glossy emerald leaves -

Shimmering waltzes of crystalline flakes swirl beneath these proud ancient boughs

And I take pause within this solitary cathedral

Within serenity's embrace


"Free Write in the Shadow of Our Times" by Kelsie Grigg

you danced like a sparkler and smiled like the sun,
but your flame soon burnt out and I was left with the ashes of what remained. to remember what was and to see what could have been,
was a blissful memory in the burned up field of the past.
so long my friend, this is a goodbye. may these feelings be put to rest.

"Kitchen" by McKenna Leach

I see it from Below in technicolor
A Vibrancy only youth can give
In cold tile and loud crashes
In sweet sugar and broken glass
In the way my mother says my full name
I see it from below and remember how large it all was

I see it from Between in grey rushed mornings
A nausea felt between each lung
In granola bars and quick “I love yous” peppered between timers and closing doors In the way my sister would wave goodbye every morning
I see it from between and heave a sigh of relief

I see it from Above in the shadow of night
A the quiet closing of a lid
In late night snacks and countertop conversations
In the way I’d curl up in the floor and trace grout
In the way I’d blast music meant to crack me open
I see it from Above and trace the lines of where I’ve been put back together

I see it from the End in sweetened salty haze
A softness only age can acquire
In the way you can ball your fist but not in anger
In the squeeze given before you let go
In the sound of my family saying goodbye
I see it from the End and know that every version of me is baked in the walls

And I may always come home.

"Look into his eyes" by Rohit Lila Ram

Look into his eyes
You will see the vulnerable in him
The truths that overshadow his present The past which has shaped his being 
The brown in it tells where he comes from But you deny....
Look into his eyes
You see a tall, suited boy 
Content, Happy, forward
Could be true, could be misunderstood or mis-judged He tries to succeed, condemns his failure
Makes these big plans to grip his future 
And then life happens

Shatters his dreams, peace and quakes his soul
NOW trapped in his own head, getting away from his goal The goal of being happy, surrounded, and in peace Questioning leads him to..... overthink
It goes for months
It scratches, suffocates, and tries to kill him
In an unknown place to ask for help
In a place where judgment is a coping mechanism 
In a place where no room to make mistakes
In a place where few people passed through his eyes
In a place where people forgot to look in the DARK of the brown this time Everyone..... misunderstood 
Because no one...... looked into his eyes

Untitled by Patrick Morris

I’m reminded of my father’s thin frame as it squeezes past my knuckle. 

I’m reminded of his intellect and charm as it fits tight on my finger. 

I’m reminded that cremains can’t don wedding bands as I wear it.

Long since have the black suits retired. Long since has the church emptied. All that remains is the small gold thing on my finger, and a big question: 

what now?

"Rough Soul" by Vasso

harsh words hide you
in old rings.
ballpoint nibs
balance your worlds. 

η καρδιά σου από πέτρα 

comparing my spirit
to your rough soul. 


"Push Forward" by Bill Parham

Push Forward,
don't go within dark shadows
Don't bring your soul to gallows.

Don't burrow low, it will cost.
Launch up far in a galaxy of stars.
Don't look down, look up.

Push forward by faith,
by God or no God.
You will your own path.

As day and night,
You'll always fall,
but can always pick back up.

"m.y me.m.or.i.s d.ka.y t. m.ld" by Amelia Salinas

found on old printer paper in the basement of an old house

m.y me.m.or.i.s d.ka.y t. m.ld

when i was young
you pou.red gasoline on m.y life
and set i.t aflame.

bla.ck mo..ld gr.ows on the wall of that old ho.use just like this o.ne now
a.nd the .ne tha.t ca.me b.ef.ore.

wh.en will you learn to st.op??
when wil.l y.u lea.rn that
everything you say
brin.gs m.e further do.wn???

there wi.ll be no e.nd for m.e until y.u’re de.d and underground
r.tt.ng lik.e t.he m.l.d
.n th.e wa.ll..s 
.f a h.use

. coul.dn’t d.are c.al.l h.me.

y.ou k.lled m. w.th.ut kn.owing
y.u se.r..d hate i.n.to .y he.rt.
y.. d.d th.t wh.le know.ng
. was n.thing ... c.uld ever l.v..

. remember the st.irs ..u
th.rew me d.wn.
t.e bl..k m.o..ld .n t..e w.a..s
.f th.t .ld h..se.
.he c.lder d.ys
.n .. r..m al...ne,
r.ain dri.p.ping fr.. ..e c..il.ng
.n .ur n.w h..s..e.

..d ev.r. t.me.
... s.y y.u w.n..t m. dead
e.e.n t..ou.h a..l . d. .s bl..d a.d bl..d
. st.il w.n’.t di. u.n.il ..u.r.. u.n.er.gr.und
fu..zy w..h m..d l.ik. t..e w...ls .o.f ... h.ous..e .... was never home.

found in a waterlogged notebook on the side of the road, transcribed

my memories dekay to mold

when i was young
you poured gasoline on my life
and set it aflame.

black mold grows on the wall of that old house
just like this one now
and the one that came before.

when will you learn to stop??
when will you learn that
everything you say
brings me further down???

there will be no end for me until you’re dead
and underground
rotting like the mold
on the walls 
of a house

i couldn’t dare call home.

you killed me without knowing
you seared hate into my heart.
you did that while knowing
i was nothing you could ever love.

i remember the stairs
you threw me down.
the black mold on the walls
of that old house. 
the colder days
in my room alone,
rain dripping from the ceiling
in our new house.

and every time
you say you want me dead
even though all i do is bleed and bleed
i still won’t die until you’re underground
fuzzy with mold like the walls of the house that was never home. 

"La Isla del Encanto" by Omar Sosa

Se desapareció el sol, y la luna dijo hola.
En mi corazón escrito en bolígrafo mis sueños, Cuando en mis ojos cerrados veo las olas,
De mi mente ya no soy el dueño. 

I am a vessel for your rhythm and melody, Through you my music flows.
In this phase of my Latino rhapsody, Where I’ve discovered beauty grows. 

Yo soy el hijo de la Isla del Encanto,
La sangre Boricua corriendo en mi fuerte. Quiero mantenerme al tanto,
Ya pronto podre verte. 

A love letter to my Island I have written.
For many chapters lie ahead, a story for now unwritten.

"Babies' Babel" by Raysean Waddell

Panic on the peninsula!
Watch out! For they are coming!
City sunken! City sunken! 


After acarids arise from the ashes of ashlars —
and noble notions become novelties,
With soot shadows blinding buildings that remain.
Their tops, reserved for remembrance. 
Reverence for a world long lost.
A sun, so bright, so brilliant,
Skies that once cried crystals ‘round this time,
Mama used to make mocha ‘round this time,
I was so rowdy ‘round this time.
Someday, maybe sometime ‘round Sunday,
I’ll see myself up top that tower,
And see if the stories are true for me.
On the 12th story, where I heard the light ain’t so soft,
the mothers, the ministers, the killers, the sinners,
can see past the past, a further future.
Fostered foundations, foreign familiars,
the presence past the precipice,
the genesis of our renascence,
the embassy of infinity,
could cause consciousness to crack.
Just to see what we lost come back.
Is it worth it to see what was lost come back?
Last month was the last month,
I was with my mama.
I picture a place where we both save face,
holding back tears meant to be shed like snakeskin, upon seeing each other once again.
The world isn’t worth the worry.
I’ll see myself out anyday.
Maybe someday, sometime ‘round Sunday.
I’ll see if that sun I used to know,
shines brighter on its day.


Panic on the peninsula!
Watch out! For they are coming!
City sunken! City sunken!

"Music" by Melody Wheeler

Her life and everyone else's, 
goes through ups and downs
everyone needs something to escape the pain it brings.
Music feeds the soul, feeds into your emotions, makes you happy,
makes you cry.
It takes you to places without you having to travel.
She listens to music when shes sad,
she listens to music when she wants to be happy.
Music brings her peace.
Music helps her through the stages of life.
It is not a specific song,
but the music itself is the song of life.