Paint Me Like I Am

This summer I will have a short, yet exciting residency with the students at the O-School. I will be working with the groups: The Terrapins and The Dreamers. The theme for our first session last Tuesday was self-portraits. I showed students self-portraits painted by famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Students noticed the colorful flowers, exotic animals, and necklaces made of thorns that Kahlo painted herself with. Kahlo loved to incorporate magical realism, her Mexican heritage, and her emotions into her artwork.

Together we read the poem, “Paint Me Like I Am,” by Delia Garcia, a teen poet whose poem became the title of the anthology, she was featured in. In her poem Delia describes her uniqueness through the positive things she wants to be painted with, and the negative things she wants to be painted without. Paint me with sunflowers, red and white roses/Paint me with bears, rabbits, and baby deer/ Paint me without sorrow/paint me without tears.

Below are students’ self-portraits poems and drawings below. To keep students confidentiality, there names are withheld. But please enjoy their amazing work.

The Terrapins Group

In My World

In my world, there’s no pain.
Inside me I can’t feel lame—
I don’t want to be mean.
I want to dream beautiful themes—
When people put me down, I’ll stand tall.
Cause nothing can stop me.
Not at all!
I feel proud
I’ll stand tall
And say it Out Loud!

The Spontaneous

In my world, Life is exciting
And grief is never there.
Like a frame without a portrait
Or like a game with missing pieces.
There’s room for imagination.
There’s room for creation.
There’s room for everything.
With no object mission in my world.
In my world, we are all vegetarian.
We all take care of others.
With no sole occupation.
We all are happy.
We all are loved.
We all love each other.
And all the ones above.
We all have friends.
We all have pets.
We all smile from beginning to end.
It hurts our faces.
But we deal with it.
In my world all there is, is happiness.
In my world anything can happen,
(like talking animals).

A Rope Of Sadness

What if the world was a lie we lived in.
With a drought of pain.
I don’t want my world to be a dream.
I’m going to make it.
Become the true dream.
But I can’t because, I’m stuck in
a rope of depression.

The Dreamers Group


I speak for the trees
I do not know why I speak Vietnamese.

In my world I would rule

People would be safe from the Brits
And nobody would watch it
Cuz they do to much

I wonder why humans are such influencers.
So save it for the tutors

The key cannot fit
Can you feel it?

My dog stepped on a bee
I got lost in eternity.

Haiku In This World

Haikus aren’t that fun
But in my world they are
I want to shapeshift too.

The Wild Out The West

I met a girl, That mornin’.
I said, “Gurl, you lookin fine.”
But I ran outta time.
So, I flew like the wind.
To the farthest town in my mind.

Inside My World…

Inside my world
I don’t understand anything
Inside me
I feel overstressed
I decide at times to get rest
To open up the day
With someone to impress

Earth: My Version

No players

If I want something
I can go to the location in which I
would normally get.

I don’t have to pay for anything.

Although there are no humans besides me.

The world operates as if there were
other humans.

What I say instantly becomes reality.
I can fly and I have brute strength

I am immortal

Which means I am not affected by anything.
Also, memes.



“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.