Seasons of Change: Haiku for You

Today’s children need our ear. No-really. It may seem, more than any other, that this generation is heard: the internet, social media, smart phones every day, every moment in tow, but are they really heard, when everything they say is so quickly pushed out of the frame? Do we listen to their actual voices- like- when they- speak to us? I mean, literally, not figuratively. I try to hear them, in class, each one of them; I go around and try to touch each one with my actual voice to theirs, my eyes to theirs. Like a parent, I try not to let one call me away from the other, until I have given just a measure of undivided time to each. I try. I try. But sometimes I know it isn’t enough, and I wonder what impact that will have on their work, their motivation and their creativity for the day.

Though brief, haiku can be very difficult, and I wondered if my messages about nature and subtlety would translate to my students; I am going to let you be your own judge, but I was nearly brought to tears by their creations. In both classes, we read four haiku. I placed mine amongst the most famous haiku writers of all time and hoped they would and wouldn’t notice at the same time. We read the work of Matsuo Basho, Murakami Kijo and Kobayashi Issa. We analyzed them all uncovering themes of aging and growing, cycles of life and nature, and the importance of both awaiting and pursuing what is coming to you.

The 6th grade class was to choose one season and focus on creating a single haiku, while the 7th grade was tasked with moving through the seasons if they could. Since haiku don’t have titles, I have presented this week’s set with the author’s name after them poem and a line between each, so that each one stands alone.

The students truly put a lot of work into these. I know I get on their nerves with my poems, and my handouts, and my instructions and my stories, so for listening to me, I give it back to them. They are scared, vulnerable, frustrated, hopeful and precious; they bring it to the page week after week and that is all a poet can ask for. Just Listen.

7th Grade

A day in spring, rain, mud,
Bugs all day running through
Flowers like summer

Ziclaly D.

Laying in the sun
Feeling the wind pass by
Summer is here
Jacqueline G. 

I see snow falling
The frozen bodies
Myself in panoramic view

Pedro P.

A burning hot day
I’m trying to have some fun
Before its too late

Tyrell G.

Wanting to be alone
Mind as hard as ice
Reminding me of lonely snowflakes
Briana C.

Calm, colorful, cool
Red and orange are sights
Life is collected
Anitra J.

Summer makes me see money
Something that goes
Like water
Maurice F.

Sunny at the beach
Hot sun, jump in the water
Splash! Now I’m excited
Tamara C.

The drop of ice cream
Hit the sizzling ground
I cry Because its hot
Rayonna M.

Summertime will be violent
Because of all the killing and silence
I hate feeling like my life is timeless
Marshaun M.

6th Grade

A cold, frozen winter
Left me to freeze
All because of a windy breeze
Shariel H.

Deer in the wintertime
Moonlight shining off the pond
Love is in the air
Jamarion H.

Kids outside playing
The day I come for my cocoon
Stars are falling for me
Takarionna G.

Summer is too short
One walk outside can end it
Like every person’s life
Nijayla B.

It’s a hot, nice day.
In the cold pool with my cousins.
Having fun with my sisters.
Kaniya H.

A day in my life
Dandelion puffs flying in the air
I am cool and breezing
Don N. 

Flowers grow slowly in time
Beautiful, lovely and nice as honey
I guess bees and flowers grow great in the summer
William G.

Summertime is hot
So I play basketball
I am sweating inside
Demarcus T.

I grow like a rose.
Slowly my petals fall
And I constantly try to bloom

Jamil M.

Touch caressing mine
A smile that makes me tell
I love summertime
Destiny W.



“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.