Praise Poetry: Samples

New Wings
I am a daughter of the dust.
I am a true sister of the yam.
I come from a long line of serious brown women
that don’t take no mess or apologize for living.
I am birth from the morning earth
deep, rich and free.
My middle name Gale
describes how I move in this world
sometimes gracefully other times stormy.
Glenis, welsh for valley.
I have dwelt there far too long.
I am a raven
I am a crow.
I am a nappy bat.
I am a mosquito.
Call me anything black
that has wings
and
flies.
~ Glenis Redmond, adult poet

I am a Palomino horse
Galloping through
The beautiful foothills
From which I come.
I am tall and graceful,
Racing through the
Emerald fields of life.
I am a creamy white
Blur through the day
Thundering with
The diamond river beside me.
I grow with the Sapphire flowers
Of the day
~ Carissa, age 8

Who am I?
I am the chase.
I am speed, I am form,
I am the race.
My Aztecan blood flows with the strength of returning Kings!

Like the cute mongoose
I am peace
I am Love, I am grace.
‘Til like lightening,
I fly, red-eyed-death destroying the cobra of my enemies.

For I am me.
I am here and now,
I am here and forever.
But mostly I am my past.

I am the people who have held me, helped me, loved me.
I am the people who have been there,
Down to the dreamer of the blessed rock
And the see’er of the beloved mother.

I am 5’10” Brown Pride standing tall far from home.
From the mother that rocks the family into grace,
from the heart, deep in the Tenoctitchlan,
with Pancho Villa’s fists I fight
With Cesar’s lips I shout, “Viva la Raza.”
It’s the conviction of mi Abuela that drives me.
I am fair.
I’m just.
We are wrathful!
But, we love and we don’t give up.
By the hummingbird, we stand, united tall.
For it’s not ourselves we stand for, but all who love and stand with us.

The unity, in honor, is that of all.
For I am not Jesse,
I am not Jesus Christobol Silva
I am Mexican!
~ Jesus, 9th grade

No Dainty Daisy
You may look at me and see a 4 ft. 11” small dainty daisy
but I am a strong tree that’s roots pass through Africa and Scotland
I am the comfort that comes after watching swans glide through the crystal clear lake
the gentleness of a pearl, the softness of a blanket.
Don’t let this sweetness of a child confuse you,
I am the rage of a hurricane,
the strength of a cheetah,
the darkness and the brightness after a heavy rain.
So do you see my many different ways?
Don’t try to remember them
because they change every second.
Oh, did I forget to mention
I don’t have to walk on this earth.
My name is Amber, I am earth.
~ Amber, age 12

Pride
I am the golden lightning shining as bright as I can.
I wonder while looking at
The topaz rocks, should I be ashamed of who I am or
Should I be proud of my Mexican Heritage?
Gift from my mom being from Michoacán and my dad being from Jalos
I am the red white and green with an eagle in the middle.
Mira quien soy, the beauty of my Latina heritage,
The salsa beat of my heart like a majestic eagle,
But I am deadly.
“¡Viva la Raza!” my abuelo yells it out every day.
My Mexican heritage stands with me.
We are all blessed with Jesus,
The little kids on the streets playing with their boleros and
Their delicious burritos with dancers catching my attention.
Am I Arabian…American…Canadian?
No. I am Mexican,
Mexicana.
~ Kelly, age 11

Who Am I?
I am as tall as a tree,
But smaller than a mountain,
I jump like a kangaroo and fly like a bird
I walk on the moon with no gravity boots so I can
Float with the stars as I flow through darkness
With nothing around me but the light of the sun and the stars.
I hear wind as I glide through the air.
I am the golden monkey swinging on vines and pealing bananas.
My skin tone is a golden pale pink like cotton candy.
I am from Petaluma creeks and glistening rainbows.
I am the Irish leprechaun dancing and tricking
Along the Mediterranean of the Greek Islands.
I am a yellow lightning bolt charged with energy.
~ Sean, age 11

Artist of Inspiration
I am the amber fox searching
for its food in the blistering sand.
I wander lush tropical jungles
looking to find hope.

I am five foot and one inch
of artistic creation
from the free land of inspiration
we call America.
My height extends over the tall redwood trees
of the thriving evergreen forests of America.

When you cut me open,
I bleed aquamarine blue and
fill the oceans with cheer.
My fair skin matches the icy white snow
on the Sierra mountain tops
gleaming in the sunlight.

I am the strength and flexibility
of copper wire, a conduit of energy
that flows through the world,
ever growing and changing.
~ Kyle, age 11

I Am
I am ruby San-Fran with
A splash of India.
An olive Germany girl, too.

I don’t walk,
I glide;
With violet confidence,
Not knowing what’s coming next,
Just living in the moment.

I am not the tallest redwood in the bunch,
Just around the taller end.

I am the singing bird.

I am who I am and nobody can change me.
I am who I am and who I want to be.

“Who are you?” you may ask.
If you do, read this again, and if you still don’t understand,
Read it until you make a list of things that make me,
Sonia violet confidence, medium size, Eloise, singing
Indian-German, acting, Goetschius.

Me.
~ Sonia, age 11

I Am
I am
The silence
That precedes the shout, the
Mute green of rushing
Spring – my body
Knows the season
As its father, the shadow
As its language
Watching the chaparral
Exhale in the canyon
My gaze meets the lizard’s
Scurrying up the skin
Of the oak
The coastal sage line
Rises to ancient architecture
Of hills and subways
To skyscrapers whose gargoyles
Harbor the nests
Of the indomitable innocents
Small, always hungry,
Willing to unfurl
My taloned limbs into the air
I am again
Jemi Reis McDonald
Ojai, California
Adult
I am the grandson of a man I never met
Who was born on the res at Pine Ridge

I am the garnet snow of Wounded Knee
I am the great-grandson for the man I want to be
Who spoke little but was well listened to
I am the rain in the puddle surrounded by red mud between the rows of Tobacco in his
fields
I am the 6 foot one father of my own dream
Whose deep brown eyes teach me my own humility
I am the tears who grace her lovely face
I am many colors depending on the season
I am one who stalks the earth learning from what I see
I am the mourning frost in a track by a frozen creek bed, left by a creature to which I am
kin
I am Water,
Water,
Everywhere
~ Pat, adult

A Poem for Magic
take it to the hoop, “magic” johnson,
take the ball dazzling down the open lane
herk & jerk & raise your six-feet, nine-inch frame
into the air sweating screams of your neon name
“magic” johnson, nicknamed “windex” way back
in high school
cause you wiped glass backboards
so clean, where you first juked and shook
wiled your way to glory
a new-style fusion of shake-&-bake
energy, using everything possible, you created your own
space to fly through–any moment now
we expect your wings to spread feathers for that spooky takeoff
of yours–then, shake & glide & ride up in space
till you hammer home a clothes-lining deuce off glass
now, come back down with a reverse hoodoo gem
off the spin & stick in sweet, popping nets clean
from twenty feet, right side
put the ball on the floor again, “magic”
slide the dribble behind your back, ease it deftly
between your bony stork legs, head bobbing everwhichaway
up & down, you see everything on the court
off the high yoyo patter
stop & go dribble
you thread a needle-rope pass sweet home
to kareem cutting through the lane
his skyhook pops the cords
now, lead the fast break, hit worthy on the fly
now, blindside a pinpoint behind-the-back pass for two more
off the fake, looking the other way, you raise off-balance
into electric space
sweating chants of your name
turn, 180 degrees off the move, your legs scissoring space
like a swimmer’s yoyoing motion in deep water
stretching out now toward free flight
you double-pump through human trees
hang in place
slip the ball into your left hand
then deal it like a las vegas card dealer off squared glass
into nets, living up to your singular nickname
so “bad” you cartwheel the crowd toward frenzy
wearing now your electric smile, neon as your name

in victory, we suddenly sense your glorious uplift
your urgent need to be champion
& so we cheer with you, rejoice with you
for this quicksilver, quicksilver,

quicksilver moment of fame
so put the ball on the floor again, “magic”
juke & dazzle, shake & bake down the lane
take the sucker to the hoop, “magic” johnson,
recreate reverse hoodoo gems off the spin
deal alley-oop dunkathon magician passes
now, double-pump, scissor, vamp through space
hang in place
& put it all up in the sucker’s face, “magic” johnson,
& deal the roundball like the juju man that you am
like the sho-nuff shaman that you am, “magic,”
like the sho-nuff spaceman you am
~ Quincy Troupe, adult author