Happy Valentimes!

Every day can be Valentine’s Day if you have love in your heart! Or at least if you have me as a teacher. We read and responded to Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Valentine for Ernest Mann” for our fourth session with the Taft 8th graders this year. I love this poem as it’s all about finding the surprising things about our lives that just take a different and open perspective to see with fresh eyes. Also I think skunks are really beautiful. So we are trying to find what is beautiful in so-called ugliness.

Mrs. Taylor
8th Grade, 1st Period

Socks and Sandals
Monique M.

Is it hot? Is it cold?
You will never need to know!
Keep your socks on and wear your summer shoes.
What could you possibly have to lose?
Be prepared for any weather,
maybe you’ll become a trend-setter.
Wear them here, wear them there,
you can wear them anywhere!
Put your socks on,
put your sandals on
fast and easy,
just ignore the teasing!
It’s your life, go light a candle,
but don’t forget your socks and sandals.

Hairless Car
Nashylee A.

Once I knew a hairless cat,
her eyes glowed and her purr was so elegant.
She loved to play and cuddle although she wasn’t very warm.
She was very kind so they named her Sweety,
and I thought this suited her well.
Not only did this hairless cat love to cuddle,
she loved to roll in mud and slush.
The way she twirled and splashed,
as she smiled with her yellow teeth.
Often when she was done,
she would lay on my clothes,
leaving a beautiful piece of mud art,
what some people like to consider “stains.”
I love this hairless cat, although she isn’t very warm.

Taco Bell
Liam S.

Taco Bell is so very disgusting.
I feel like when I eat it, I’m
eating dog food. It makes me have to
poop my brains out. It’s so

However, I’m glad we have it. I
can appreciate Taco Bell because without
it, maybe good Mexican places like
Chipotle wouldn’t exist. Taco Bell makes
and inspires other places to be
better. And for that I must thank
Taco Bell.

Mrs. Dollear
8th Grade, 3rd Period

Emma O.

(Ed. note – Meninism is the chauvinist answer to feminism, not to be confused with Mennonites.)

meninism is good
it brings women together
to fight for themselves
it helps let women know
if someone is gross
when you see them
identify as a meninist
without having to get
to know them.

meninism is good
it gives people
a common enemy
it may not seem
like it
but meninism can
be good.

Ethan N.

No one understands the greatness of rain.
Rain is a gift from the sky.
Rain gives us water and crops.
It is no reason to stay inside.
For it brings wonderful things,
Like sunshine and rainbows.
Rain washes away pain,
As it trickles down your face.
The next time it rains, realize this,
Rain brings life.

Zoe K.

lies are such an ugly thing
at least that’s what they all say
well what about the dreams truth crushes
what about the heartbreaks the truth causes
what about everything the truth destroys

see you’ve got it all wrong
it’s the truth that’s the ugly one
lies are the pretty ones

they keep dreams alive
they keep hearts in one piece
they keep people going
they keep people believing
it’s the lies that clean up the messes that truth creates

Mrs. Taylor
8th Grade, 6th Period

Ode to Dust
Louis S.

Watching our every move
Floating around the room
Giving swiffer sweepers a purpose
On a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon

Tiny parts of us
Lots of experience and skill,
To fly away from our bodies
like a butterfly with hope of flying soon.

That Hair on your Legs
Emily W.

Hairy legs are a fabulous thing
You can braid them, you can pet them,
you can even brush them
Wow! What a nice sight that is!
Look at that hair so long it can touch the ground!
Look at the gorgeous color, black to be exact.
Wouldn’t you like to come out and play
with wonderful hair on your legs!

Thank You to a Passing Storm Cloud
Edina H.

Oh dark cloud of the sky,
casting a shadow on the people below.
You may block out the sun,
cause thunderous noise,
lash the earth with spears of energy.
But I must thank you.

Thank you for being there
on those days that I feel as if
nothing can pull me up.
For though this may sound a bit strange
Your saddening presence
that reflects mine,
makes me feel as if someone
is tugging my hand.
Giving me kindness and empathy.
And this gives me strength.

Mrs. Taylor
8th Grade, 7th Period

Nicole J.

Mud is a very majestic object.
Yes every once in a while you’ll yell out a swear word or two
When you step in mud with your new $100 shoes,
But underneath that dirty coating is beauty.

There is a whole ecosystem of life with worms
gnats and frogs rushing to the mud.
They think it’s awesome.

Every little kid after a rainy day love seeing
a bug mud puddle to splash in.
They think it’s fun.

But as you grow older, the mud just
becomes annoying, but still,
I never said it was ugly.


Hondas are ugly. The Civic is ugly.
But the only thing nice about them
is V-Tech.
V-Tech kicked in, yo!

(Ed. note – I drive a Honda Civic. I don’t know what V-Tech is.)

Vanessa A.

Fire burns through almost everything
Its exquisite colors change
As it dances across the fields
Smoke fills the air and pollutes our world
Day turns to night with the drop of a ring
The severity of it all is out of our range.
You can’t do anything about the strength it wields
And it spreads too far out of reach
You can learn from your mistake
But you can’t restore the damage done
You learn what went wrong, then teach
Don’t regret the choices that you make
If you do, it’ll come for you, and you better run.



“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.