‘He’ll be safe in our land’: Poems inspired by ‘Pictures From Around The World…’

Students selected a picture that ‘spoke to them’ from a photo bank entitled: Pictures From Around The World That Will Make You Hopeful Again. The students were then led through a series of prompts to create a list of ideas and eventually a poem inspired by the photo. Margaret Atwood’s, This Is A Photograph of Me, also helped jump-start things.

Lesson Note:’ Science is helping to explain why photographs are so powerful, but it doesn’t offer much help in how to use that power responsibly. It falls upon us to use images well.’-How Pictures Trigger Empathy, Amos Zeeberg,  2016.

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period 1

The Day My Husband Was On Top Of The World
Moira I.

One might take a look at
my husband and pity him,
but for those who look closely
they see a different story
August this year we went
to a concert. My favorite
band was in town and my
and my husband surprised me with tickets
I couldn’t help but worry for
he wouldn’t be able to see.
Take a look at this picture I
took there.
My husband is up in the air.
You can see veins popping
out of fellow jammers.
So many good people doing
I know I will never forget that day
Neither will my husband.
I saw a look of happiness on
his face that I hadn’t seen in a long time.

I’m The Stairs
Ava K.

The boy has come home
from playing and shopping.
After a long day.
He sits upon me.
His weight is light
clothes are dirty.
He takes out the flute
and starts playing.
The music is soft and tender,
then the kitten walks by
She sits across from me.
almost saying ‘teach me to play’
Her white chest is out
and her black chin is tilted upward.
We both look up to him
with awe
to the boy
playing the flute.

Green Mountain
Logan R.

In the photo-the grainy mountains speak to me
Their soft folds of grass say hello and goodbye
Then their shadows break open to desert below
Rough and cracked, the sandpaper expanse is all to see

With land for years, why are all against a gate?
Those spears of wire look to harm while the mountains protect
So what do you want on the other side?
The gate separates between love and hate

Now we see you are stuck in the desert
longing to stroll in those evergreen mountains
so you send the boy, innocent can be
to explore the world where the mountains’ gates are open

They say, ‘He’ll be safe in our land.’
so you hand him in his little blue shirt
to the men who have seen the tops of the mountain
and wait until it’s your turn to reach the beautiful green

Mr. Telles, 9th Grade
Period 5

Kael C.

The world was on fire
Bridges burned and buildings fell.
It was as if the land was trying to shake a whole city
off its back
Everywhere I looked I saw people
Running and screaming.
Crying and holding their family members close.
That city had seen enough.
It knew.
As fast as it fell, it knew it could bring itself

The earthquake stopped in the middle of the night;
And when the sun rose I saw people.
Poking their heads out.
Taking the destruction in with listening ears and wide-open eyes.
I watched this
From atop a crest the ambiguous skeleton
of a great city lay before me.

One particular pile attracted me.
On it lay a book.
Held together through the terror of the last 24 hours
in it.
Held the story of a family.
Though I had not known them.
A feeling of altruistic hope.
Rose in me.
Like a phoenix reborn
From the ashes of the fire.
That had set the world
on fire.

Giana R.

He was probably just some criminal.
Another tattoo covered freak.
Only some druggie, just some immigrant

If only they saw the puppies he nurtured,
The ones he fed milk through his glove
If only they saw the kitchenettes he rented,
The ones he got money form to send back home.

These dogs will wonder where he is
Why did he never come home?
Those family members heartbroken with no more money
Why did he abandon him?

The man who went west,
And never came back

Ryan W.

Seeing a picture
A picture depicting
a cop who doesn’t care
A person in pain
Who could be helped
Who could be saved
If it weren’t for the cop
Who doesn’t care



“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.