A Planet Full of Channing Tatums: Your Missed Destination Is Poetry

“All aboard!!!” (or not) in this 7th week of poetry at Taft. Ms, Munoz’s 7th Grade class looked at the poem, We Are Not Going To Malta by Latino poet, Richard Blanco. In this Prose Poem  and Mix Poem  he details the fantastical and humorous possibilities about almost arriving at a destination (Malta) when his tour boat cannot reach the island due to rough seas. Students were invited to play with this form while looking at travel brochures from various ‘exotic’ destinations. ‘What if?’ ‘What would I do?’ or in this case, ‘…not do.” Hoped for destinations included: Spain, Bora Bora and even a planet filled with multiple Channing Tatums, where Oprah baked you bread. Wow!  Note: If students chose to use actual lines from the brochures, as Blanco did, they are written in Italics.

Bon voyage!

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
1st Period

We Are Not Going To Spain
Anh L.

I planned to go to Spain, to Madrid, to Barcelona, to Seville
and to every great city that I can find in every corner of Spain
Over there I can feel the rhythm of Flamenco dancing and make new
Spanish friends while I am there. Maybe I can relax on the Costa del
Maybe over there I can visit the Ronda, the oldest building in Spain.
Where I can watch some Spanish bulls while sitting on Spanish chairs
while eating Spanish, while enjoying Spanish atmosphere while talking to
Spanish people. Maybe I can then enjoy a Spanish dinner and stay in a
Spanish hotel and sleep in a Spanish night. Ah, how nice and relaxing that
seems and it really is. But, we cannot go. I cannot enjoy the good foods. Cannot
stay in a Spanish hotel and sleep in a Spanish night. ‘You must do your homework,’ my Mom’s voice
rang in my ear, and it hurt. It hurled and rang loudly in my
ear like a gun fire.


We Can’t Go To Cancun
Haley S.

“…due to turbulence,” the pilot booms. All
around me, as if I am in a tornado. We
can’t go to Cancun. More like Can’t Cun.
But what if we did go? What if we
could stroll along a 3 mile stretch of white sandy beaches. What if I lived in
Cancun? I would go to 5 Star All Inclusive Masterpieces.
Everyday I would spend in a Paradise in the Caribbean. I would
be in heaven.


We Are Not Going To Japan
Paul R.

because the Japanese Mafia are after me.
We are not going to Japan and the amazing parks. But
what if we did go to Japan? What if we got the
glorious hotel and technology as well as the
great authentic food. The Mafia are still after me
waiting for me to walk in. I dream of buying a
good car and worth it and worth the price tag.
I also dream of going to the sea for a cruise. I want to
work as a Sony worker, buying everything in stock. I believe I
will go someday, but now
is not the time to go.


We’re Not Going to Tokyo
Madeline G.

because the plane doesn’t have enough fuel to take off, said the
pilot on the plant. We’re not going to Tokyo-the beautiful capital
of Japan
based on all the research I did. But what if I did go
to Tokyo? What if we explored the subway with the loud trains
that lead us to different parts of the city. We can go to Akiharbara a place in
Tokyo that offers a variety of stuff all the way
from food to anime. We can try to eat sushi, a traditional food in Japan or we
can even try fish eggs. All the beautiful trees called Sakura Trees can talk to
me as I walk around the parks, exploring the city. But we’re
not going to Tokyo, the weirdly-shaped island that is surrounded
by water will not be visited by me, but if I was there, I
think I would’ve caused another Tsunami.


Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
3rd Period


Africa and the Middle East
James G.

I was about to go to the Middle East and Africa
but they all were infected with other bad diseases.
But what If I did go. I could ride an elephant, bird,
tiger, white tiger, leopard. I could meet new people.
I could have eaten new foods.


Nightmares Do Come True
Destiny C.

We are not going to Hawaii.
Mom promised we would go.
I sometimes think to myself. What if we
did go? I’d go snorkel with the dolphins
go on the a Twilight Volcano Adventure hike
Maybe even go on a Zipline Safari.
I would stay at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa: It includes
golf, kids programs, nanny services and even 5 pools!!
I know it was all a dream.

So Long…Mexico!
Maciej K.

We were on our way, at the airport. We were
going to take the Mexican plane to Mexico.
But we weren’t going to be served by the Mexican waitress.
We weren’t going to go
swim in the Mexican Bay or eat authentic
Mexican food or use the Mexican sunscreen
we bought for this occasion. We weren’t
going to be in our Mexican hotel, use
our Mexican candles or flourish ourselves in
the Mexican culture. We were, but aren’t.

Jaedon A.

We are not going
to China anymore.

But if we did
we’d have lots of fun.

We’d see distant
family and friends.

We’d have lots
of fun and visit
the Wall of China.

Tyrone P.

I thought I was going to Africa
but the country is on lockdown. I was
going to wake up and hear the nature
and the lions roar. Want to see the
beautiful skies. I was on my way to the airport
when the country was on lockdown and
I was disappointed. I was imagining
about listening to the country,
cultural tribes and I would listen to the tribe as they sang
the tribe’s song, listen to
African nature as it will be alive in the day.


Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
6th Period

We Are Not Going To Australia
Lee N.

The flight has been cancelled. Please contact
the flight attendant to reschedule. I stop
mid step and my jaw drops open.
“But how about the koalas? Beaches? Fun?
Weather? How about Australia?” I am not thrilled.
I run to the attendant and ask-“-How about the family?
Food? Accents? How about Australia? How about Australia?
How about Australia?”

“What about Australia?”–she asks.

We Are Not Going To Mexico
Leslie V.

because there are no seats available on the plane, the
letter says on a piece of thick, white paper. We’re not
going to Mexico-a country rich in culture, tradition and beauty, according
to the brochure of a hotel we won’t be staying in. But what if we did go to Mexico?
We would have seen Playa del Correr and stayed in an Iberostar Hotel.
We’d have swam with the dolphins, gone snorkeling, wind surfing and kayaking. But, we’re
not going to Mexico.


Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
7th Period


Planet Sheila
Sheila B.

Maybe it was the absence of candy
fuel or something other than cardboard and chocolate.
Maybe if I made it there. Maybe I could have
kidnapped Channing and made a
civilization. Maybe I could have
been queen. Maybe Clark Kent
can be my king. What if I
lived in a mansion with food and
Superman. What if Oprah cooked
me bread. But these things
didn’t happen, but I know
I cant say that it won’t.


Luke L.

We’re not going to Mexicao-as far as the eye can see,
as far as the soul can feel.
We’d see everything. Nothing we
haven’t seen before. Mexico’s beautiful beaches. Mini bars, adult lake pools,
gardens, spas, Jacuzzis, and many more.
We’d do so much every day.
If we want room service from 11:00am-11:00pm. Food from Mexican, Italian, Steakhouse, Japanese and
Everything we could have done if we went.

We’re Not Going To Mexico
Victor W.

We’re not going to Mexico, we are in a plane 20,000
feet above ground. I can see the wonderful oceans and landforms
on the coast. But what if we did go to Mexico and stayed at
the Iberostar Lindo, sitting on their sandy beach or
one of their 14 bars. Eating their Mexican cuisine at one of their
14 restaurants, swimming in their pools and bathing in their hot sun.
It would be wonderful to go jet skiing.


Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
8th Period


I’m Not Going To Hawaii
Kailani V.

We Are Not Going to relax on the
beautiful beach
We are not going to eat crazy exotic foods.

But if we did relax on the beach I would
get a beautiful tan.

But if we did eat crazy foods I could
see what I like.
We’d see crazy new birds
We’d see different culture
We’d do the most
We’d do all the fun things.

Grace K.

Sitting in the black uncomfortable airport chair
Leaning my head against the cold window
The words still rang in my head
We are not going to Costa Rica due to the lightening
in the skies

Costa Rica we are not going to splendid sand beaches
Costa Rica we are not going to head out and explore
Costa Rica we are not going to your stunning luxury retreats
Costa Rica we are not going to remember our stay here

If only we could see endless possibilities
or celebrate in style
Well, thank you lightening
I’ll have to enjoy my weekend indoors

We Aren’t Going to Cuba
Yuriy R.

No Cuban cigarettes
or nice tans on your back
No Cubans
or stuff.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.