Poems from Humboldt County

Updated: Apr 16


By MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53754719



Yellow? Yellow, the color of happiness and hope. It’s what makes the sweet honeysuckles so inviting, but it’s also what makes the sun so intimidating. Yellow, a bright, fragile song, whispering in the waves, but also a bitter, impatient lemon. Yellow feels like water, it has so many ways, sometimes it’s cold and numb, sometimes it’s burning so hot it gives you blisters, sometimes it’s a refreshing trickle or mist. Yellow, without touch, soothes your wounds, or makes them worse. Its unpredictable, ever-changing self is sweet on the outside, broken on the inside. Yellow hides spicy secrets and holds impossible grudges. As confident as yellow may seem, sometimes it hates being a lemon or a sunflower. Yellow wants to change, and stop living in the shadow of gold, stop being called a gold wannabe. Yellow wishes she were a furious, bold red, or an optimistic orange, or a lonely, underestimated blue, or, or, even a vomit green! That disgusting color of jealousy would be better than yellow! At least that’s what yellow would think. Yellow doesn’t understand its beauty and grace, or what joy it spreads. Naeva Wilke, 6th Grade Skyfish School, Humboldt Pete Harrison, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Hello I’m Helix. Extended kisses is what I have. Lick lick. I’m Milo’s dog. X out cats! Milo Boyer, 2nd Grade Dow’s Prairie Elementary School, Humboldt Jenny Ramos, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Geode Can Mean Ode You are the earth made of life, You are a poem crazy and cool, You are the other half’s wife, You feel like the walls of a pool. When you’re in the sun, You glimmer and shine, You look fun, But you are not mine. You belong to earth, You saw the world, On the day of your birth, Then you curled. Hailey Trone, 3rd Grade Hydesville Elementary School, Humboldt Rachael Riggs, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher




Gone (a poem on global warming) Life will change soon. So will the colors. Red, the wilting flower that sits in front of me, the one that used to bring me hope. Orange, all the Halloweens I spent trick-or-treating with my friends and family. Yellow, accepting people the way they are. Green, the trees that would sway in the wind. Blue, the waves tickling my feet as I lay on the shoreline. Purple, reminding me that it’s coming. Black, to the dark hole of all our memories. They’re all gone. Gone. Lula Andrae, 6th Grade Garfield School, Humboldt Alaina Kelley, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


I Don’t Know I don’t know what’s inside of me but every second I feel like it’s snowing outside and I’m inside with my friends and family sipping heated cocoa and watching a nice movie it’s like a fair with fun rides and candy floss and mini donuts it feels like a burning summer day at camp it’s like a sleepover with your best friend doing your favorite things it’s like the end of school activities it’s like a birthday pie it’s like when you actually get math it’s sledding down a snowy hill it’s anything but bad. Phaedra Steadman, 4th Grade Whitethorn Elementary School, Humboldt Elizabeth Ballou, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Baby Blue See what Baby Blue can do. He is as cool as a Lamborghini. He feels like a diamond as tall as a pyramid. He says he is ready for another poem. He is as calm as an everyday time. He moves like a cheetah getting its food taken away. He tastes like an ice cream sandwich. Baby Blue wants to be baby new. I wonder what else Baby Blue can do. Probably more than you. Davey Hipes, 2nd Grade Ambrosini Elementary School, Humboldt René Brown, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Book I am a book dropping. The kind that can see the monsters in you. The one book that can read you instead of you reading it. I’m no original book perhaps I’m not a book at all maybe I’m a dream. A musical dream that doesn’t play music at all. Or I’m a wish that people have seen never before. A wish that could fly away close my eyes get lost in a secret place no one will find. Baylee Carpenter, 5th Grade Peninsula Elementary School, Humboldt Tess Yinger & Linda Stewart, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Remember When Remember when you had so much fun shaking with joy. Remember when you were scared you were shivering hoping that it would just end. Remember when you were alone and then you felt like you could never fit in. Remember when you just found that friend that could keep you company. Remember when you saw the real world for the first time. Remember when you were crying on your parent’s shoulder and your parent helped you. Even if you think things are just left forgotten, please remember when. Isaiah Case, 4th Grade Morris Elementary School, Humboldt Melika Huneke, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher



life, time, Death and the ocean life time Death roll all the same ways they feed off the ocean they breathe in the ocean’s mist life time and Death also copy it life rises as the way the ocean waves do the ocean repeats so does time Death crashes down upon the living the way the waves crash and break the coral River Mattole, 6th Grade Mattole School, Humboldt Kevin Vesely, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Elodia Blows She glows and feels rough She tastes like sorrow She hears you when you scream She sounds like a baby crying She moves like a zombie She is always angry at you She knows what we did She tries to fix it We ruined her life ELODIA Lost everyOne During fIres And global warming Avin Clow, 3rd Grade Mattole School, Humboldt Nick Tedesco, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Earth Speak Up I am old to some young to others. I’m the weight of the world. Am I trash. Do I matter. I keep heaven and hell at peace. While you’re sleeping I keep moving. Don’t put trash in my ocean. Don’t keep hurting me. Don’t play your war games anymore. Speak up earth and I will answer your call. Madison Weaver, 4th Grade Trillium Charter School, Humboldt Aly Lescht, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher



Why Cut Me Down? The redwood forest knows, feels, and sees. When the redwood moans he whispers, when he whispers he sings, when he sings he says, “Why cut me doooown? I just want to be a home and help you breathe.” Then one day I heard him singing this song while I was getting ready to cut him down. When the redwood tree starts singing I wonder and imagine what it would be like to be a redwood tree having to deal with people trying to cut me down every day! When the redwood sings once more I think if he can sing he is alive. The redwood forest knows, feels, and sees. When the redwood moans he whispers, when he whispers he sings. Aurelia Stage, 4th Grade Orleans Elementary School, Humboldt Shelly Slusser, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Thirst for Sound I wish I could hear your eyes’ voice. The way they roar when you’re excited. How. When your passion comes up in a conversation they scream. I wish I could hear your mind’s life beat. How when you’re drawing, creativity gives your ideas. Oxygen. I wish I could hear your blood travelling. Every beat the cells are bouncing. When you’re angry the road is. Popping. I wish I could hear your smile forming. Knowing you’re happy is comforting and if you were forcing to show your teeth I will know because. The sound. It would be different. I wish I could hear the universe speaking. Adriana Cutsall, 9th Grade Redwood Writing Project, Young Writers Camp, Humboldt Marsha Mielke, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


In 100 Years (after “A Hundred Years from Now” by David Shumate) What’s going on? How’s everything? Is the tundra still there? Has cancer been cured? Please tell me?! Are there new animals? new fruits, vegetables, races? I’m hoping it’s about the same, better. I’m leaving you knowledge, right now May 26, 2016 we have an election, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. Do you remember this? Polar bears are almost extinct, the tundra is melting, send help. —100 years ago Anaiyah Yemaya, 6th Grade McKinleyville Middle School, Humboldt Lizzie Dostal, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher



Why Questions fall out of thoughts like asteroids falling out of the sky. Questions come out that have no response as some have no meaning. I have gone ill of these wonders as they come at me like an attack, as I age. Why Why Why don’t do ain’t bears people I a fly? exist? horse? In my reason. perspective no these have questions So why do they keep on paying treason? Lying under the stars I doze, then the answer soaks into me! WHY NOT?! Asa Ryce, 4th Grade Skyfish School, Humboldt Sean Anderson and Ella Early, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

Black My heart is black like a panther, my eyes are red like a monster, I feel strong like burning fire, I will never stop following the sun, I will follow the sun until I die, I will not stop until my feet turn brown, I will die when the wolf sees me, I will turn into the ocean, the sound of my voice sounds like dead waves, I will look for the sun, I will never stop following the sun, you will see me everywhere you go, you will see fish jump up, that will be me or my friend. Elijah Valentine Estrada, 4th Grade Washington Elementary School, Humboldt Sarah Drisko, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


My Twisted Love, Anxiety I’m a shaky hand, A stuttered word, A desert in your mouth, A pounding heart, A wobbling stance, The cold in your chest, yet the heat of your face I’m the dark spots in your eyes getting closer, and closer, as your throat closes, and your vision darkens, and blurs I’m the thud of your head hitting the ground the embarrassment afterwards, our bestest friend I’m Anxiety and NOTHING will keep me from you, my love Gabrielle Bakotich, 12th Grade East High School, Humboldt Jen Femenella, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Blind Even if it makes me blind, I just want to see the light. But the shadows hold me back, like I am a dog on a black leash. I struggle, then turn around and face the shadows with a white smile. I stay out of the rain, so the smile will not run. Maddy Estes, 6th Grade McKinleyville Middle School, Humboldt Anne Hartline, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

Desperation Desperation is a wild card flashing reds and greens. It tastes like leftovers from other people’s meals. An orange peel, half of a banana, stale bread crust thrown out by the wealthy to rot in barrels and jars, but the hunger is always there and will never leave. Desperation lives in the empty stomachs of starved Jews in concentration camps. Desperation wears things stolen from the innocent and looted from the graves of children who died before their time. Desperation feeds on pain and hunger and regret. It whispers words of encouragement to thieves, it never really leaves. It lingers in the minds of the poor and up the wealthy’s sleeves. Connor Olson, 8th Grade Blue Lake School, Humboldt Ann Lawlor, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

The Definition of Living Art My family is like poetry We work together like a complete poem We think with one reflex and are exquisitely descriptive Like acrostics We know when to give each other breaks Like stanzas We can be weird and goofy but get the point across Like limericks But we can also be serious and help each other like free verse We know no limit and we’re honest with each other Much like poetry Kaileigh Moore, 12th Grade Willow Brook High School Learning Center, Humboldt Mark Blackwood, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher This poem appears in WHERE ANIMALS MOVE LIKE PLANETS, 2016 Statewide Anthology


Shade & Shadow The shade, the small pockets of night, trapped in the sunlight. Cover of thieves, murderers, and sunburnt people too. Realm of shadows, who waltz in the night. The shadow migrates into the shade in the daytime. The shadow’s skin is delicate, it can easily burn. They cling onto cover, anything it might be. Waiting patiently . . . patiently . . . patiently . . . Until at last . . . The sun has dusked, and moon has dawned. Music plays, footfalls quake, singing and chanting wake. Julia Calkins, 7th Grade Murphy Elementary School, Humboldt Amy Gossien, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Default Purposes I like to imagine humans as IKEA pieces Nuts, bolts and fastened plywood we are We get pounded into our purposes One’s purpose might be a hinge to a door holding it together The other would be a door taking credit for everything the hinge has done Others may be a drawer holding new purposes A sink’s purpose is to wash away the bad purposes At one point in our lifetime We will have a screwdriver in our head One 360 after another we will be closer to our purpose Emma Fechner, 8th Grade Blue Lake School, Humboldt Ann Lawlor, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


The Untold Story of a Half Written Novel I am a book half unwritten, but still on the shelf. I’m small, full of mistakes, and always being edited. My story so far is full of loss, and hurt, but I must keep moving on. I fear that I am forgotten, for my author has gone missing, unseen for years now. I fear that I may be a book with no ending. No happiness, but then again, no sadness in the end. I wish to find my author so he may write me the suitable ending for this interesting story. Maybe someday . . . Kasey Throssel, 11th Grade East High School, Humboldt Jen Femenella, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

the trees are sleeping but golden flowers sparkle on the wild green sea Mabel Houle, 8th Grade Honeydew School, Humboldt Margaret Fraser, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

Today Today I died, my soul floated from my lifeless body. My world has gone where I cannot follow. Seamless symphonies broke. Death is softer than rain, harsher than fire, no eyes to see it, no hands to feel it. It is unbearably peaceful, horribly calm. I watch as life continues. Today I lived, my soul was full of joy as it rose from my skipping form. I have finally entered life. Cacophony turns to lullaby. Life is harsher than the sea, softer than the sun, all heads look down at concrete, all hands in pockets. It is beautiful chaos, lovely disorder. I stand by as death takes its toll. Today, as usual. I dress, eat, sit in the car. School arrives, work handed out, scratchy pencil marks. Lunch. I sit in the car, I am home. Again I pick up the pencil. Again. I lay it on paper. This time wondrous colors flow through gray graphite, sparks fly from letters. The picture I paint, my words paint, is passionate, eerie, discomforting, joyful, this is truly living. Pencil back in the case, case in my back pocket, just another usual Tomorrow. Mina Mayer, 6th Grade Jacoby Creek School, Humboldt Megan Day and Karen Simmons, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

Silence A box sitting in a corner Silence is a color of white Nothing there White is soft not loud like bombs but silence like air going past you in a blink of an eye That is how soft silence is Soft times quiet S x Q = silence Silence comes from the sky then into your heart Tanak Chum, 5th Grade Pacific Union School, Humboldt Cherie Paul, Classroom Teacher Daryl Ngee Chinn, Poet-Teacher This poem appears in PARTING THE FUTURE, 2011 Statewide Anthology


Poems thoughts in my head come together and form rhythm and rhyme silence and noise clashing together to make an awkward song. Nadya Verick, 4th Grade Skyfish School, Humboldt Mark Jensen and Ella Early, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

My Heart a heart is something that can love but would really rather not my heart squeals and snorts pulls and tramples to get away from love my heart is an angry horse a wild thing Devon Garlick, 3rd Grade Fieldbrook School, Humboldt Rene McBride and Cheryl Valley, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher This poem appears in PARTING THE FUTURE, 2011 Statewide Anthology


Dream the Dreams of Music-Makers Right here, right now, I’m making a difference By putting this pencil to paper, I’m shouting my defiance to the world Ages come and ages gone My voice has been ignored Catalogued and “duly-noted” Filed under stereotype But these words cannot be ignored A blind man sees and understands He smiles my smile and dances to a song heard around the world, as it spins right round like a record These are the words and I am the composer Tall enough at last to see over the music stand I will slough my ignorant label I will reach out to touch the flame and share it with the world I will join the dance someday, but Right here, Right now I’m too busy writing this poem Dakota Heveron, 9th Grade Redwood Writing Project, Humboldt Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson and Megan Day This poem appears in PARTING THE FUTURE, 2011 Statewide Anthology

The Inner Space Between the Mind and Soul To understand me you would have to look deep. Deeper and deeper, past my dark eyes and plain face. Past my simple smile and forgettable personality. Past all of these physical characteristics lies the deep inner space of the soul. To the East of this inner world is a forest of Dreams, where trees stretch as high as my hopes. Pools of ideas swirl below, full to the brim with stories waiting to be written. The canopy is heavy with dew, each drop a steady word waiting to be heard. A peaceful place of deep thinking. To the South is a desert of Fear, a frigid world with no hope in sight. The sand of despair itches at the soles like shards of glass. The cold wind of rejection bites at the skin, and howls in the ear. Weakening the spirit and killing the mind. To the West is a place of Anger, where the heat of bitterness boils over. Dark pent-up feelings of pain spew out like corrosive lava searing all as it seeps. The earth is covered with the Ash of innocence. An unhealthy world of hate, where all seeds of forgiveness are burned to Dust. To the North is a land of Joy, where the memories of yesterday thrive. Thunder and lightning fill the sky, inspiring the mind. Pure snow falls in great, white, innocent heaps. The suns rays shine through frozen icicles, a reminder of the Innocence. And finally filling in the leftover space is the Sea of Thought, that reaches every corner of the inner world. The surface is covered with whatever comes to mind, each wave a sudden epiphany. Below the rolling surface is a current of emotion. All flowing together and forming one. Deeper still lies the depths of the subconscious mind, filled with things even the mind itself is unaware of. Hidden thoughts of times of happiness and age-old scars that never fully healed. This is a very complicated place. It is the Place where the Mind and Heart meet. Abigail Geist, 10th Grade Alder Grove Charter School, Humboldt Marian Baker, Homeschool Teacher Julie Hochfeld, Poet-Teacher

Don’t Forget that Behind Don’t forget that behind an adult’s smile there is pain. Don’t forget that behind a child’s smile there is sheer joy. Don’t forget that on the other side of an adult’s yelling there is a need to protect. Don’t forget about how children don’t always have it easy. We have it tough, too. Don’t forget about a child’s need to belong and an adult’s need to be loved. Stella Moore, 6th Grade Coastal Grove Charter School, Humboldt Jenny Rushby, Classroom Teacher Julie Hochfeld, Poet-Teacher


My Heart's Diary My heart's diary the key I have to find to open my heart to find all my secrets ones I don’t even know to find all my feelings My heart's seas the ones I haven't sailed the deep and ferocious ones so unpredictable My heart's forests the ones dark and gloomy moist and cold the ones I haven't explored the ones I haven't found all the mythical creatures My heart's land the land so far and bare so wet and snowy the lands I haven't even found out about My heart's world Kyra Myers, 4th Grade Coastal Grove Charter School, Humboldt Marjorie Berscht, Classroom Teacher Julie Hochfeld, Poet-Teacher

Slowly As I slowly walk toward the sun, consumed, Dreams dance before my mind open wide, Seeking the warmth of consuming love. People stare at the blank pages of their lives, Flashing colors stream before their eyes, As I slowly walk toward the sun, consumed. Stepping, stepping on ice cold snow, Burning feet scream from the sharp sting below. Seeking the warmth of consuming love. Heartbreak beats into pieces on the floor, Puzzles sweeping away in the wind, As I slowly walk toward the sun, consumed. Tears drop, drop down from an elegant face, As I walk toward the sun, consumed, Seeking the warmth of consuming love. Natalie Luken, 10th Grade Alder Grove Charter School , Humboldt Julie Hochfeld, Homeschool Teacher and Poet-Teacher

The Wind Is at My Back (a mirror sonnet) The wind is at my back as I turn to walk away you probably feel deserted. Well, I feel betrayed. You made me a promise and then you walked away. I thought I was important. I thought I was important and then you walked away. You made me a promise. Well, I feel betrayed. You probably feel deserted as I turn to walk away. The wind is at my back. India Allen, 7th Grade Coastal Grove Charter School, Humboldt Shana Langer, Classroom Teacher Julie Hochfeld, Poet-Teacher This poem appears in TURNING INTO STARS, 2012 Statewide Anthology

I Cry (inspired by the Civil Rights Movement) I cry for the people getting beaten on the streets I cry for the mothers missing their children I cry for the breaths that were never taken I cry for the little girls who were bombed I cry for the people getting sent to the back of the bus I cry for the kids with smoke in their eyes I cry for my husband who was murdered I cry for freedom I cry Eilish McNulty, 8th Grade Coastal Grove Charter School, Humboldt Carlotta Clark, Classroom Teacher Julie Hochfeld, Poet-Teacher

if it makes you less sad you’ve been in this pit of depression for weeks you’re down, i know but we care about you. we don’t want to see you like this. i kid you not Dear, i know this is hard & you’re tempted he left so you’re leaving yourself scars but i can relate i also feel quite alone i’m banging on your door, i hear nothing. you won’t let me in you’re lying on the ground. but you aren’t breathing, you woke up the next day but, don’t take life so seriously, be strong you can pull through this Cassie Spencer, 9th Grade Eel River Community School, Humboldt Felicia Doherty, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher This poem appears in TURNING INTO STARS, 2012 Statewide Anthology


They Say When you are here, they whisper, when you are gone they talk, when you are here they take no notice but when you are gone they grieve. When you are here they make their decision but when you are gone they take a second thought. But now is too late or that’s what they say. David Alec James Hansen, 7th Grade Cuddeback School, Humboldt Cori Borges, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

never alive in life try to breathe can’t listen to the wind can’t smell the flowers can’t try to walk can’t see the sun can’t I’m dead alone thinking of my old life I’m a zombie dead and alone eating hope Charlotte Mead, 7th Grade Blue Lake School, Humboldt Ann Lawlor, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

non-ode Rock I un-ode you go back to the river rumble yourself round be weathered smooth w/ all your conformity Kieran Cook, 10th Grade Probation Environmental Preservation Project, Humboldt Marty Casillas, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

The Sea of Free You got the eye. Love has been catching you. The sun follows you with kindness. Darkness can't get in. Wondrous things. l love you, brother. Samantha Bowen, 4th Grade Redway School, Humboldt Kurt Stoffel, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher


Here Where I come from here you know it I know it it’s not Mars the moon the sun it’s here you come from here too I don’t want to live anywhere else but here where the trees are green the sky is blue where cows graze and birds chirp my home my state my place Heather Zingaro, 5th Grade Eagle Prairie Elementary School, Humboldt Teresa Miguel, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

The Tree on Top of Mt. Everest The long stretches of paved roads. Simply lead to the unpaved ones. Curving, spiraling, twisting. The stars align for you and you only. The best thing I could say for you has already been said. Like a cliché it is. Now I need you to drop the book. Leave the house twisting, melting. Nonsense I tell you. Like the crusades. Fighting over a ruined city? Killing millions? If there was television it would simply be a tv war like the tv wars that have happened. Nonsense. The roof is in your ears. Leave. Before the lemons fall from the cactus. Amy Myrick, 8th Grade Monument Middle School, Humboldt Denise LoMiglio, Classroom Teacher/GATE Coordinator Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

blue sky green grass the sky is blue the grass is green butterflies' wings are soft silk. Dogs bark cats meow and they never ever stop. Babies cry mom cooks dad watches football teenagers scream when they don't get stuff they want but I'm so perfect the way I'm. Amyia Murry, 5th Grade Peninsula School, Humboldt Linda Stewart & Catherine Arnold, Classroom Teachers Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher

Darkness Darkness, darkness, skies are black, owls are screeching, giant bats. People are screaming, leaves aflutter, fire is burning. Like the moon shine. The water glistens like the moon. The rocks click, chitter and chatter just like the animals blither and blather. Darkness Darkness Darkness. Orion Magpie, 6th Grade Skyfish School, Humboldt Mark Jensen, Classroom Teacher Dan Zev Levinson, Poet-Teacher




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