Posts Tagged ‘Teen Poets’

Wordsworth continues to smile

I walked into the office of my new dentist last year in Sacramento and imagine my surprise to see Shelly at the front desk. We last saw each other when she was about five. Her mother , my cousin’s wife, brought her to my first book  signing in Hilo, HI. I remember Shelly because somewhere, there’s a photo of her, a young child,  holding a copy of my book of poems, Sand Grains. Well, guess what. Here are two poems written by her two sons. Shelly’s mom and I are claiming, “It’s the Kakugawa blood” but that’s up for debate.


I Am Poem


I am shy and quiet

I wonder what my future would be like

I hear water hitting the ground

I see giant buildings in the sky

I am shy and quiet

I pretend to fly through the sky

I feel soft clouds

I touch ripped up leaves

I worry when my brother is alone

I cry when me and my brother fight

I am shy and quiet

I understand to not use violence

I say I could pass all my obstacles

I dream when I sleep at night

I try to accomplish my goals

I hope I have a good future

I am shy and quiet.

©Lars Cabuco

15 years old

Roseville, CA


I Am Poem


I am happy and nice

I wonder what my brother is doing

I hear a monster growling

I see a flying ghost

I want a charm

I am happy and nice

I pretend to never mess up

I feel very shy

I touch a sandstone

I worry about falling behind,

I cry when I fall behind

I am happy and nice

I understand my mom is very tired

I say I can fall behind

I dream of the world’s gravity

I try to work hard

I hope I never fall behind

I am happy and nice.


©Bourne Rizal Cabuco

9 years old

Roseville, CA




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Teens Writing Support Group: March 13, 2010

Sophia and I sat across each other. She was the only one in attendance today.
We both wrote, synchronized, a flute and a baton. She was the baton. We paused whenever she put her baton down.

Silence Please

The staccato rumbling of the AC,
A door opens, then closes.
The sound of her pen against paper.
The flush of a toilet.
Shhh…hush, we’re in the library.
No voices please.

Pen against paper
Shouts over the AC.
In the silence, she lays down
Her baton.
She has a poem for her grandpa.

“You are a caged bird,” she writes,
“Pleading for a way out
Where escape is not possible.”

“ I have another one,”
She says and returns,
Pen to paper.
A door closes, the AC rumbles.
Shhh…No voices please.

Sophia’s 2nd poem drew a Wow from her when I explained how she had written a two 4-lined stanza poem without consciously being aware of her form. She wrote 4 lines at the bottom of a page, flipped the page over and continued writing on the next. Another Wow when I said,” You have a natural sense of writing poetry.”

Sophia, age 12, wrote the following poems until it was time to put both flute and baton away.

The Cage Bird

You are a cage bird,
Pleading for a way out
Where escape
Is not possible.


The Never Ending Time Bomb

You’re living in a time bomb,
Filled with emotion.
One moment you go off.
You’re filled with anger.

The next moment you forget
And you’re filled with joy.
You’re stuck in the time bomb
That is everlasting.


Pouring My Emotion

My pen scratches against paper,
Writing poems about
Caged bird and time bombs.
Pouring my emotion on this sheet,
Thinking about my grandpa
While doing so,
Remembering fond memories
Realizing that I am
A big part of his life.
I will share the rest
Of his lifetime with him.
I will create more memories
And will continue pouring
Them out in this notebook.


Becoming a Poet

I am in the library
This breezy Spring day,
Capturing memories of my grandpa.
Picking the one blade of grass
And writing about it.
Reminding me not to pick
The forest.
Remembering to use
The fewest words possibly,
Becoming a better poet.

If He Were Here

If he were here now,
He would be smiling.
“Keep writing,” he would tell me.
“Go for the one blade of grass.”
If he were here now,
He would be proud of me.

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Poetry Writing Support Group for Teens

I met someone just like me  at my first Poetry Support Group for Teens. She was 12 years old. I started this group for teens whose grandparents have Alzheimer’s or other dementia related illnesses. She wrote three poems about her grandfather. I joined her and wrote a few poems. I could sense the poet in her and read my children’s book “Wordsworth the Poet.” By her reactions, I knew she understood and related to the character Wordsworth. I later signed the  book,  “You are Wordsworth”,  and gave it to her. I wanted to hold her and protect her from her deep sense of feelings and awareness but knew she wouldn’t need my protection. Here are the poems I wrote. Sophia gave me permission to use her name and will share her poems later.

Poem #1


When I was her age,
Where did my pen take me?
To far away places,
Writing to pen pals
In Michigan, Germany
And even France.
It was my escape from
The tiny little village of my birth.

And here is Sophia,
This rainy Saturday afternoon,
Preserving memories
Of her beloved grandpa.

Shouldn’t she, too, be
Dreaming dreams
Of any 12 year old?
Frivolous, funny,
Texting messages
In a generation
Unfamiliar to me?

But this thief Alzheimer’s
Who came uninvited
Into her grandpa’s life,
Has given her another pen.
And she has grasped it,
Bravely, with all her heart.
She sits here, writing, capturing,
Preserving the Grandpa
She loves.


Poem # 2

Sophia’s Blades of Grass

“Go for that one blade of grass.”
I said. “Not the whole yard,
Just that one blade of grass.”

She took that one blade of grass
And wrote of her visit with her Grandpa.
Images of a doll held in his arms,
Her grandpa’s mind,
A library of memories,
Flow from her pen.

But there are so many more
Blades of grass.
And she’s taking another one,
And another one.

Alzheimer’s has become
A whole ball field and more.
Unlike a weed whacker.
She’ll take it one blade at a time,
Weakening that thief,
In her Grandpa’s name.


Poem #3

Sophia the Poet

Wordsworth, I found you a friend.
Her pen is as powerful as yours.
Her senses, like a thousand and one antennae,
Will blow your mind away.
She’ll be that friend
Who’ll sit next to you
Without saying a single word.
And she will know that you know,
What’s she’s saying in her silence.

For this is how poets are.
Wordsworth the Poet,
Meet  Sophia  the Poet.


My support group for teens is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association. Please call

916-930-9080 for more information.

My books “Wordsworth the Poet” and “Wordsworth Dances the Waltz”  ( Wordsworth’s grandma has dementia) , are available through major bookshops and the author.

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