Collaborative Poetry

This week at writing club, we wrote some poetry together! In an effort to come up with some things to print in our August library bulletin, the theme was ECLIPSES, in honor of Eclipse Day coming up on August 21! This is a super easy group writing exercise that often creates really fun and unique writing pieces. Each member of your group just needs a sheet of paper and a pen. Pick a theme or word to get everyone started. (We broadened our theme to include anything related to space, the sun or moon, planets, etc.) Everyone takes about thirty seconds to write the first line of a poem. Then everyone passes their paper to the left and continues the poem on the new sheet in front of them. Continue this until you pass as many times as there are people in the group, making sure to let everyone know when it’s the last pass so they can wrap up the poem with an ending. Some might be silly or not make much sense, but sometimes you get a few truly beautiful gems! Either way, it’s a great brain work-out to come up with short lines quickly and to build on what others have started! Here are our poems from this week!

Space is a being that has been feared, loved, and explored.
It never quits expanding, for it must make more.
Farther and farther, longer and longer,
One could never explore it all.
Endless energy passes through every bit of matter.
And endless energy passes through all its inhabitants.
And endless energy passes through all its types of energy as well.
Energy and matter pass through the whole galaxy.
But is there an end in it, in which the energy disappears?
Perhaps we shall never know, but wondering is magical.

This huge space, we’re so small.
And yet we can make actions so big.
Though sometimes the smallest actions are the biggest of all.
And the smallest of things can change it all.
Never discovering it all, forever wondering.
But for all we know, our space could contain infinite existence.
Though this may be true, we may never know why.
All we know is we can find it if we try.

Bright stars
Silver night
Sky turn black as we near twilight
Moon becomes a crescent as we approach nighttime
Straining eyes for a sliver of light
Searching for stars, but Venus is the first to peek between the curtain
Beautiful, ethereal, fiery goddess
So lovely, yet so dangerous
All seems dark, but there is light

The universe is all so vast, ever expanding.
Billions of stars, planets, asteroids… dancing, crashing, flying.
Dancing across the cosmos in an endless streaming ballet.
Lucky for them, I know not how to dance, yet I can try.
Dreaming and leaping and dancing, through the galaxy I fly.
I hope one day I shall be able to sway with the stars and jig with the asteroids.
But the only way I could do that is if I was an interstellar object, and I’m not.
So I should wish upon a star.
I may never be able to do these achievements, but the universe is still big.

Spirits staring down at me.
With large, gassy, fiery, star-like eyes.
I am enveloped in light, I’ve never felt more seen.
I am intimidated; eye contact is uncomfortable.
The universe’s eyes bore through me.
Energy of this being takes control of me.
It is like a doctor’s visit, being poked and prodded and examined.
But this examiner is good, for once the stars think I’m cool to hang with them.

In an infinite universe, you are only a small piece of the puzzle.
Only when it’s put together can the big picture be seen.
One by one, over the years, fitting together.
It’s so close to being finished, but not close enough.
If only we could speed up the process.
Or we could patiently wait for the universe to do it on its own.
Maybe there are lost pieces stuck in oblivion.
The piece that is me seems insignificant, yet without it the puzzle would be incomplete.

Perpetually celestial.
Could there be beings above, watching us?
Possibly the galaxy’s guardian angels?
Is there a god who chooses our fates?
I stare at the stars and wonder
Of all the things that have ever existed
And all the things still yet to be
How did I end up here and now?
How could this vast universe have created me?
Forever questions
I suppose we will never know

Oh beautiful space (or ugly… I have never seen space)
But maybe aliens have (or not)
Maybe they have done amazing things (or maybe they’re dumb)
Or maybe their conspiring against the humans—US.
Or maybe they are helping us.
Maybe they are not so bad (or good)
Maybe they just want to learn (or maybe they don’t even care)
Sometimes I wish they would take me away on space vacation.
Yet somehow when I wish for them the most, they never seem to be there.
Oh beings of space, take me away from here!
(Or don’t, I don’t really care.)

Copyright © 2017 by Ahmed Rashid, Amberly, Angela Solon, Angie Tonucci, Elizabeth Trader, Fatima Rashid, Iris Young, Lea, & Twyla Rose. All rights reserved.


Collaborative Stories

At Imaginators Teen Creative Writing Club, we LOVE working on writing exercises and collaborating on fun, silly stories! A few weeks ago, we did a simple exercise using only pens and scrap paper. This works well for a group size of 5-8 people, and it’s a great warm-up to get those creative juices flowing. Everyone starts with a sheet of paper and a pen. (If writing prompts are needed, you can have each person draw a word or two from a prepared box or use story cubes.) Have each person write one sentence at the top of their paper to start a story. When finished, everyone simply passes their paper to the right, and adds a sentence to the new story in front of them! Play continues around the circle until you decide you’re ready to add the endings, usually 8-10 passes, but you can go on as long as you want! Here are some of our stories from our last collaboration.

“Once there was a super friendly safari burrito that loved fried chicken. Its favorite type of fried chicken was Mexican KFC. One day the Mexican KFC was closed. This caused the safari burrito to become unfriendly. The safari burrito barged into the company’s kitchen and demanded some chicken. He grabbed Colonel Sanders and held him at gunpoint. The Colonel demanded to be released, but the safari burrito would have none of it. It was a question of honor. And of chicken. At that moment two tacos walked in and the burrito was so surprised, he jumped and dropped his gun. He was so enamored by one of the tacos, that he fell in love. The safari burrito forgot all about his chicken, and he married the girl taco, and they lived happily ever after.”

“The courtroom was silent. Everyone in the jury box was focused on the man on the witness stand. He looked weary. The prosecutor asked again, ‘How did you kill him?’ After a pause, the man said, ‘A paintbrush.’ Looks of shock appeared on everyone in the room. One lady, a tall, elegant woman in a purple hat, fainted onto the floor. The man came up to her and painted her face with a burrito. But the jury hated burritos, so they immediately gave the man the death penalty: hanging with a noose made of toenails. The man begged and begged not to die. All he wanted to do was express his artistic views. He looked up with regret. ‘It was a mistake,’ he said. ‘A mistake?!’ the judge cried, outraged. ‘There are no mistakes in art! Only happy accidents.'”

“There are lots of times when it would be bad for your zipper to go crazy. But the worst time is probably at your Great Aunt Mildred’s funeral. When the zipper broke, its remains zoomed in the air and flew into Great Aunt Mildred’s coffin. Suddenly, we heard a cough from the coffin. Great Aunt Mildred slowly rose up and faced me. The whole funeral was chaos, and I got trampled and was left groaning on the floor. Great Aunt Mildred’s gnarled and crooked finger stretched accusingly toward me. ‘X…Y…Z…’ she groaned. My eyes wide with horror, I looked slowly from Great Aunt Mildred’s frozen stare to my pants. Down went my zipper, then up, then down again. It had gone berserk, just like Great Aunt Mildred!”

“A hairy banana lived on his beautiful home, an asteroid. But one day, it started hurtling toward the earth and the heat singed his hair. As the surface of the asteroid heated up, he wondered if he ought to peel himself. But he decided his thick, hairy peel would protect him from the flames. ‘Weeeeeeee!’ he shouted as the asteroid broke through the clouds. Before he landed, he saw a friendly burrito eating fried chicken. But the chicken exploded. The hairy banana was amazed, but scared, but mostly amazed at the fried chicken exploding. He wished he was a beautiful exploding specimen of edible material! The hairy banana crashed down to the land, yet he was alive thanks to his banana peel armor.”