Shelter-In Poems Series: #1 ‘There Are Monsters Nearby’

As we all shelter-in-place, students at Taft Freshman Academy continue to generate beautiful poems via E-Learning. This week’s poems are inspired by ‘Because’ by Greek poet,  Yannis Ritsos.

Lesson Note: ‘In a time of crisis, poetry can help focus our fears and transform ‘noise into music’ … In effect, poetry “aims in every possible way to reaffirm the world that we actually inhabit, in all its vital, messy, beautiful, tragic reality. Mar 10, 2020, The Washington Post.

Ms. Munoz, 9th Grade
Period One

Why can’t you sleep well at night?
Miranda G.

Just because I’m not sleeping well at night
doesn’t mean it’s ok for my neighbors to bang on my floor
doesn’t mean I wake up mad at my siblings for making noise all night
doesn’t mean I should stay get up and eat everything in sight

Just because I’m not sleeping well at night
doesn’t mean I should complain about my bed being uncomfortable
doesn’t mean I should make up the ghost in my head
doesn’t mean I should blame the heat

Just because I’m not sleeping well at night
doesn’t mean I should be on my phone all night watching Tik Tok
doesn’t mean I should be out at night

Most importantly..just because I can’t sleep at night doesn’t mean I should have so much on my mind like wondering if the world will get better…

Alan G.
Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because my mom wouldn’t let me
Because it’s past my bedtime
Because my dad came home late that day
Because i didn’t want to
Because my parents were out of town
Because i was sent to the ER
Because i got to meet Obama Obama
Because i saw a real-life Lightning McQueen
Because i didn’t care enough

Because I can’t Sleep
Katherine J.

I cannot sleep
Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor
Because my brother won’t shut off his music
Because my bed isn’t comfortable
Because I’m scared of coronavirus
Because I keep overthinking
Because there’s a chicken on my roof
Because I want to finish this Netflix series
Because I have nightmares
Because my family throws too many parties
Because my friend won’t let me
I cannot sleep!!

Truths about family
Kimoni K.

If I ever wondered who has my back
Just look at my loved ones
Because they will always protect and comfort me

We are family and friends
Not just because we share blood
But because we make memories together that will last forever

I don’t always like my family
But I will forever love them
Because at the end of the day they are my “home”

I will never be truly alone
Because no matter what they will always accept me
I am able to know the real me deep inside
Because they define the kind of person I am

Mistakes are always made and can put one down
But family is there for me
Because they are my support system
Because they will help me make decisions
Instead of judging me

Love them first and last
Because family means everything

Why I miss pre-quarantine
Justin M.

Because I can’t go to malls
Because I can’t dine in
Because I can’t bike around
Because I am worried to get sick
Because I can’t see people at school
Because I can’t go to Six Flags
Because I can’t go into places without a mask.
Because my friend’s dad wouldn’t have COVID
Because I can’t enjoy my teen life.

 Jose S.

Because quarantine is making me go crazy
Because staying inside and doing nothing is boring
Because I want to go outside and feel the spring light
Because Spring is here so it’s time to go outside
Because playing Basketball is better than video games
Because the coronavirus is having everyone home and becoming lazy
Because I’m trying to go ride my bike to downtown
Because doing homework online is not what I expected
Because I’ll rather go to school than being home
Because I want to be able to go to the store without gloves and a mask on
Now, why is quarantine not going good for you?

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
Period Two

Because I Can
Evan C.
Because the neighbors won’t stop banging feverishly I wasn’t able to sleep.
Because I didn’t practice playing Basketball every day we lost in the championship, I wasn’t able to play well in the championship.
Because I needed more time to finish, I scored low on the test.
Because the music was too loud for me to handle, I left the party early and I was able to meet with my other friends.
Because I didn’t go to school that day, 3 teachers were gone and we got no homework.
Because I was driving my 4-wheeler too fast, I ran over my older brother with it.
Because I was confident that I could finish the race, I came first.
Because I knew I could eventually finish I stopped trying and still managed to finish.
Because I stayed up too late I missed my grandparents coming over in the morning.
Because in myself and my family, I was able to become this successful in life.

Leonardo D.

Because I don’t get tired throughout these days.
Because I overthink during nights.
Because I play video games for hours before going to bed.
Because I procrastinate on schoolwork.
Because I wanna watch one more episode.
Because I wanna listen to music during the night.
Because I text my friends and they’re mostly all up around the same time.
Because I get hungry at night and grab a snack, and then I feel full.
Because I like to read at night.
Because I wanna stay up and scroll through TikTok.

That’s why I can’t sleep well.

Isabella J.

Because I’d rather read my book
Because I was tired
Because I was sleeping
Because it’s boring
Because it smells
Because there’s animals out there
Because it’s gross
Because my feet hurt
Because you won’t help me
For this reason, I didn’t throw out the garbage when you asked me to.

Georgia K.

Because I have entomophobia
Because I am introverted
Because I’d rather spend time alone
Because I have work to do
Because it’s too cold
Because I want to watch tv
Because I want to go to sleep
Because I don’t want to get coronavirus
Because my phone is dead
Because I’m stubborn
That’s why I don’t want to go outside today

Becauseee…… (I was late to the google meet and I don’t know the pattern so I’m gonna make something up)
Leslie L.
Why didn’t you do your homework?
Because my fish went sunbathing.
Because my dog ate it
Because it’s raining tacos
Because I have to go to Quidditch practice.
Because my chicken wing flew away.

Lena T.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because I ate 10 gallons of chocolate ice cream last night.
Because coconuts keep falling on my head.
Because I drank 5 red bulls.
Because I did cartwheels around the yard.
Because I spent all my money on clothes.
Because my sister keeps stomping into my room.
Because I’ve been doing the same thing every day.
Because I’m too lazy to get up and clean it.
Because I’ve been sleeping in til 4 pm.

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
Period Five

Why I Wake Up
Mia A.
Because of the morning sun shining through my window,
Because the smell of breakfast sneaks through my door,
Because my phone alarm buzzing loudly isn’t very easy to ignore,
Because I don’t want to miss online school,
Because I want to sit on the phone with my friends for hours,
Because I want to lay in bed and listen to music on full volume,
Because I want to wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket and binge The Office,
Because I want to think about how I could’ve done the day differently.

Michelle B.

Because my dog always wants to play

Because I want to watch another episode of my favorite show

Because there’s always more school work to do

Because I love to stay up listening to the sound of rain through my window

Because I hate sleeping in a messy room

Because my family is awake

Because my mind won’t stop thinking


Alexander C.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.
Because the toilet doesn’t work well.
Because of the apartment rating.
Because of my new job.
Because of the size of my family.
Because of the climate.
Because of my sickness.
Because of the crime.
I am moving to California.

Nikola D.

Because I want to live
Because I want to see the different color hues of the sunset again Because my family is waiting for me at home
Because I have not done anything yet in life
Because I have not yet had a family
Because I have not got to see all the beautiful places in this world Because I don’t want to to
This is why I don’t want to die

Maeve D.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because the elephants keep throwing people into the air!
Because Jack kept shouting and whining.
Because the pony is hilarious.
Because Penny got scratched by a cat
Because my sister’s a demon
Because I won the contest
Because the bus is late.
Because the dress is dirty
Because my grapes are too green

Why I’m Sad
Harvey D.

Because my hand is still healing
Because I stay on my computer
Because I don’t text with people often

Emma D.

Because I love nature
Because I like to admire our world
Because I want to feel alive
Because it’s healthy
Because it makes me feel good
Because of quarantine
Because its a way to get out of the house
Because I need fresh air
Because I like to see other people
Because I like feeling the wind against me
For this, only for this reason, I go on walks

Max M.

Because the dog leaped over the log
Because the jaguar pounced on the deer
Because the snake slithered up the tree
Because the ant cut off a leaf
Because the fish swam in the sea
Because the bird flew over the canopy
Because the elephant drunk from its trunk
Because the seal slept

Mischa R.

Because I can’t think of a time where I don’t regret trusting you
Because I remember falling and you neglecting to catch me
Because you caged me and led me to believe you were protecting me
Because I’m disgusted with myself for falling into your trap
Because you hung me out to dry over problems that weren’t mine
Because you suffocated me with your distortion of the truth
Because what you did to me still haunts me in my slumber
Because I can’t look at you without a tidal wave of memories
Because once upon a time I used to love you
And yet I can still see the good in you

Ms. Munoz, 9th Grade
Period Six

Last night
Joseph B.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor,

Because I really like youtube,

Because the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking,

Because of the thunderstorms,

Because the neighbor’s wind chimes,

Because the cars on the street kept honking,

Because all I heard was the “L” train,

Because my sister was playing music all night,

Because my dad’s tv was too loud,

Because my dog kept waking me up,

And for that reason, and that reason only, I didn’t sleep well last night.

Sarai G.

Because I won’t stop eating

Because my stomach is not complete

Because i won’t stop sleeping in the day

Because at night I hear the jeeps beeping and beeping over and over

Because at 8am i hear the birds tweeting at my window and my cat just staring at them like she wishing she can get out of this place we call home but really now it feels like a cage

Because everyone is spreading their sickness when i go out all i see are mask gloves mask gloves over and over ond over again

Nathan M.

Because I love my friends and family

Because I have a good life

Because I want to have the best life possible

Because I want to have fun with people

Because I want a better life

Because they need to work out

Because we were experimenting

Because I have to do it

Because if I don’t lie life won’t be easy

dominic p.

Because im lazy
Because i stay up at night
Because im tired
Because i have nothing to do
Because its peaceful
Because i like to rest
Because i dont want to do work
Because the nights i need rest i cant get any
Because i dont want nightmares
That’s why i sleep all day

All Because
Asia S.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!

Because the clouds were thick

Because the sun was too bright

Because the screams are louder than the music

Because the truth was never recognized

Because the animals hunted their next meal

Because the stores were shut down

Because the fear spread by words

Because the pollution covered the beautiful skies

Because the girl with the curly hair was too tired

Ms. Munoz, 7th Grade
Period Eight

Kevin A.

Because Chicago’s the best
because I like sports
because footballs better than hockey
because it’s better
because I said so

Kasey F.

Because my mother tells me to,
Because I would be lost without him,
Because I don’t know what else to do,
Because it makes me happy,
Because I can’t stop,
Because she won’t let me,
Because I do not belong to him,
Because it’s not worth it,
Because he loves me,
That is why I do it.

Larry F.

Because the buildings are so tall and yet limited
Because the cars constantly drive around
Because the moon shines bright
Because the start don’t
Because of that first step
Because of that last step
Because of everything in front of me, in front of us
Because we are stuck on this grand blue marble
For this, we dream of leaving.

Gaya G.

Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because they broke my heart
Because they lied to me
Because she just won’t shut up
Because the other building won’t stop having parties
Because I have a test
Because I am very stressed
Because I just don’t want to
Because I’m not tired
Because they are loud at 3 am
Because I have to finish that movie
That is why I won’t go to bed

Why it was the worst day( kinda dark)
Joseph G.

Because they were distracted

Because no one heard

Because it was dark

Because there were no street lights

Because it had rained

Because they rushed to a night shift
Because there was nothing he could do

That made his worst day when a car met his kid

There are Monsters Nearby
Elias R.

I can’t sleep at night…
Because the neighbors won’t stop banging fervently on the floor!
Because there is a monster on the ceiling.
Because the clock too loud.
Because there are monsters nearby
Because I’m thirsty
Because the fan too loud
Because I am uncomfortable
Because my feet are off the edge
Because my youtube recommended is too interesting
Because of the fake fall thing.



“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.