MPitS  Mendocino Middle School


After a light tumble
everything changes twice.
In an italic language
you see a flood of stars
in a zoom tree.
The silver constellation is like
a circle of birds
inside a stone fingertip.
with a taste of rusty salt
There is a turquoise trapezoid
directed by a silver compass.
The snow candle is like a
canoe made out of a word.

Ollie Burgess, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher


When people drop bombs
are they really thinking
that they're killing people
that don't deserve to die?
When someone fires a gun
do they realize
it's not right?
Killing innocent people
should end
Why can't the world
just be friends?
Who cares that we're
different when
we're really
the same?
If we think this is right
that's a shame.
it'll ruin our nation
I wish people of every
race, ethnicity and religion
could come together
It would make the whole world better.

Marika Tobak, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

Blue Night

millions of eyes
looking back
piercing blue
like deep in the ocean
smiles frowns faces all around
people dark as night, but light
as clouds swaying
lines, no people, not lines
people swaying in the wind
on a cold dark night
from the sky
faces talking on a silent night
the 11th one of the year.

Ryan Hinshaw, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

(from the painting Script by Jack Tworkov 1963)

An unhappy force
with no freedom to roam
to choose its own locations to be
It is told and told
to go away, go
But no one understands….
It wrecks and destroys
out of anger and inner turbulence
Will anyone ever recognize the problem

Nothing changes
It just rearranges
Nothing works
for the unhappy force
It can't live
it can't die
It's like water
or a cloud in the sky
It can't exist
only counterbalances
the rotation of the earth
Will anyone ever recognize
the problem

Matt Stephens, 8th Grade
Suzanne Jennings, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher


The piano, a great polyphony of sound and soul.

From many strings, the sound flows to many minds and many worlds.

The bright surface of the instrument reflects the spirit of creativity.

Across hills and valleys, the music sang, waking all it touched.

Outside, the empty darkness, illuminated by lonely flame.
Inside, a shadowed room, illuminated by eighty keys.

The bitter swirling darkness of chaos,
Parted by a single shaft of light and sound of euphony.

A finger strokes a single key,
and the piano lives.

The music stopped,
so, too, did the heart.

Reid Chandler, 8th Grade
Mendocino Middle-Home Schooling Program
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

from the painting Noche en el Siléncio by Vergílio Santaella

life is one big maze
paths curve and are hidden by other paths
when you finally think you have made
it through the giant, confusing maze
there are several more paths to take
only one that is right

Andreas Bassehes, 8th Grade
Suzanne Jennings, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher


zooming hedgehogs
stuck. wiggling in a rolling flood
rolling through the towns' muddy veins
italicizing their spikes
zooming hedgehogs
like silver flashes
circling movement
reaching fingertips grabbing for a ledge
kersplat! candles go out
salty puddles form on their cheeks
stuck in a fairytale trapezoid
guided by a language compass
word dreams strike again

Alicia Matsumoto, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

Six Ways to Look at a Dragon

1. The rhodochrosite is a beautiful red
like the fire of a dragon's breath.

2. You see blue azurite
and imagine that color as the dragon's skin.

3. When I look in the clouds and see
the one shaped like a dragon, I
believe that the dragon is watching
over me wherever I go.

4. The Blue Hope makes me hope I have
a chance of seeing my dragon.

5. The emerald dragon drawn in the sky
flies over with the fire of his breath
bringing heat to the fantasy world.

6. I see the dragon's shadow over
the moon and wonder when his
breath of fire will bring light

Jennifer Pescini, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

inspired by Franz Kline's painting Lehigh V Span)

Black tangled wires of emotion
all mixed up & criss-crossed
tangling around my heart
& strangling it.

The sheer white happiness
I will never have.

The bars that hold me in
this cage of pain. The nothingness that is
our love.

The hate that pulls us apart
and the wall that keeps us there....

Kyla Miller, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

Summer Wind

as the robin's egg sky
caresses the sun-burnt roof
a harmonious drift of singsong wind
comes through branches of the sturdy pine
creating a chorus of click-clacking leaves
filling the warm summer air

all the troubles of today
worries of tomorrow
as if carried away through the endless
sea of blue.

a wind arises
to carry the scent of the sea
the smell of salty air
the cries of gulls, the warm sand
between your toes
all captured in a single gust of wind.
as quickly as it came, it is gone.

Marissa Evans, 7th Grade
Dale Leister, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher


Fireflies, lighting up the sky on a moonless night
the pond flashes as the fireflies' light hits it
millions of stars in a dark sky
they are all one with silence and serenity.
Soon all light is gone except that of the firefly,
now the last star disappears into the last light of night.
A new light appears,
one stronger than before, as bright as a thousand fireflies
the rising of the sun.

May Martin, 6th Grade
Mendocino Middle School Home School Program
Linda White, Resource Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

Peace vs. War

The peregrine falcon soars on its small wings.
Suddenly, it dives, swiping a bird off a telephone
pole at 200 m.p.h. This is natural. This is peace.

The human is lying hidden in the trench.
Suddenly, it jumps up, shooting his gun and killing
another human. This is not natural. This is war.

Humans kill for things
that the falcon doesn't even think about.
Like different ideas, religions.

If only we acted like the falcon,
killing to eat and not for anything else.

Falcons have different ideas. They care for life.

Connor Jonas, 7th Grade
Anne Jenks, Classroom Teacher

War & Peace

war & peace
like cat & dog

war & peace
like mouse & snake

war & peace
like friend & foe

war & peace
like yes & no

Cameron Weir, 7th Grade
Anne Jenks, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher




In a Minute a baby cries.
In a minute a dog jumps into the ocean after a ball.
In a minute a girl looses a life long friend,but gains another.
A minute gone by can feel like a life time to someone... someone like me
always being protected
by the feeling of my father's invisible force of protectiveness

Alissa Canclini
8th Grade
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher


A Beating Heart

Things are not what they seem to be.
What can start as a dream
can end as a nightmare.

Luck only comes and goes, and is as
important as a crumpled leaf.
But integrity will never be forgotten.

A flaming arrow's target is missed.
It burns a village instead of a foe.
Strange to think of what would still stand

if it wasn't for the flaming arrow's archer.
Light strumming from a lute can be heard,
only to find out it is

the nervousness of heart,
for nothing is ever sure.

Kate Ruprecht, 7th Grade
Anne Jenks, Classroom Teacher
Karen Lewis, poet-teacher

Half of an 82 Toyota Pick-up

My Dad's truck
it really sucks
it might be something
that he likes
but I would rather
ride my bike.

He says the piece of junk is decent
but it looks like it's gonna break into three pieces
The truck is my Dad's favorite color: red
but it looks like something with four wheels that is dead.

My Dad's truck
resembles my Dad
but after all he's not so bad
but I myself resemble a Lamborghini
because every other week I come home
and he's so excited to see me

I really wish he would buy something nicer
maybe something more pricier
or maybe he'd wonder about how they appear
instead of saying, "I'll get a nicer one next year."

but in the end he's my best friend
even though he has a stupid trend.

Justin Daly, 7th grade
Dale Leister, classroom teacher
Scott Meltsner, poet-teacher

hanging from the streets
dripping off the town.
closing you off from the noise
Keeping you from the world
The coldest coat to surround you
the fluffiest shelter from the sky.
looming on the water
crawling along the road
rolling along the coast
settling in the valley
But when the fog parts, the sun shines
and a whole new problem arises.

Kristen Williams, , 7th grade
Dale Leister, classroom teacher
Scott Meltsner, poet-teacher


Cherry Red

Hope is a single red shoe floating
in a narrow strip of water
Almost forgotten
Thought to be lost
but somehow found

Hope is its twin
glittering shamelessly
in the back of a sky blue closet
with a superior look of cherry red liberty

Hope is their owner
an upside down smile of grief
squeezing the green memory
of her confused high heel shoe
like a brown teddy bear…


Christine Call, , 7th grade
Dale Leister, classroom teacher
Scott Meltsner, poet-teacher

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