Reports from the Poetry Field

This week the young Viking writers explored reportage/jounralistic poetry. They read Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem (I lived in the first century of world wars) and Mark Jarman’s “Ground Swell.” The students were then tasked with looking at historical events that have happened in their lives as well as fun factoids about their birthdays. They were then tasked with writing a poem as a time capsule of their present experience. I have never been prouder of these writers. Buckle up.

6,705 Miles Away

By Ray H.

Awaken by the grinding noise

of my cat scratching at my door.

I groan, having slept only five hours.

Palestinian civilians are awoken

by crashes, booms, and whines of the hungry.

I get up, wincing at the aching pain in my back.

I slept wrong last night.

People in Gaza are horrifically injured and killed by airstrikes and gunfire.

For breakfast, I’m thinking I’ll eat 

cereal, maybe a banana too.

Palestinians in Gaza endure famine

and eat grain and grass meant for


Turning on my phone I see news of

the genocide in Gaza.

20,000 orphans.

9 months of murder.

30,000 killed.

70,000 wounded.

I live 6,705 miles away.

Our President

by Jaden F.

I was born in the time of sleep when we thought our wounds were

freshly closed.

When Unc. Sam made an Oscar worthy performance, a facade,

the film was titled “There Is No Dark Side of the Moon.”

Our blood was spilt to get here and we were satisfied.

Unfortunately, it was all a lie. He was not the savior we

had hoped for.

We still were waiting, even then, he wouldn’t come from them.  

I’m not one to dwell in the past

by John N.

I am not one to dwell in the past,

not one to confide in my conception.

How can I not?

The year was 2021.

The world was listening to “Blinding Lights,”

not me.

I was listening to our old videos.

The world was looking up at the sky to see the meteors,

not me.

I was looking at the sky for a sign of you.

We called you Smiley

And for that, the smile on my face remained.

It felt like one of those masks at the Halloween store

with no air circulation.

Yes, I couldn’t breathe when I heard about you.

Gold Digger

by Anabella W.

When I was born the #1 song was Gold Digger.

Not that I am one, but I definitely enjoy a lump sum of cash.

I grew up on silly things like the water bottle flip challenge,

borax, glue, shaving cream (IYKYK)

and vine.

Yes, I have enough money for chicken nuggets.

But as I changed so has the world.

Now I exist in a world where in some states

Women don’t have control over their bodies.

Where world war III is discussed.

I was protected from scary things with the innocence 

of my childhood. But I am no longer a child.

I am this world. 

I Don’t Want to be Nex(t)

by Eli H.

My whole life I knew I was different.

It wasn’t until 6th grade I figured out why

My brain was put in someone else’s body.

My attractions weren’t a straight line.

My attractions were more like a rollercoaster.

I finally started to figure out who I was

and it terrified me.

The world ain’t too kind to those who ride the rollercoaster.

Straight men don’t like those who are different.

So queer men must suffer.

If I knew I’d be killed on this ride, I wouldn’t have gotten on it.

I’d be safe.

Why must we be killed for love?

Why am I not allowed to live the way I want?

Why must I live in fear of being Nex(t)?

My gut dropping every time the ride goes downhill. 



“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.