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Selections from "City of One: Young Writers Speak to the World"

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    I'm sending a check to my mom so she can go to a better college.
    I'm sending a peace flag to Iraq.

    I'm sending food and food stamps to the poor.
    I'm sending my mom and dad home from work to rest
    because they work too much.

    I'm sending education to the world,
    and homes to the poor.

    I'm sending strength to the disabled,
    and responsibility to the youth.

    I'm sending light to the night.
    I'm sending my neighborhood art because it needs to be colorful.

    And I'm sending my neighborhood peace.

    Peter Amaya,
    Age 12

    Healer of Natoma


    Healer of Natoma
    can feel the person's pain
    In his mind, he sees
    images of the
    person, he can feel
    the pain in his heart.

    Walking in the woods,
    he appears to me
    as my aid.
    He kneels beside me
    as he stretches his arm.
    Flow of white light
    pours into my heart.


    A life in a sewer and
    an enemy that cures.
    "I hate it all," I would say.
    I laugh that my breath
    of air and poison
    makes a flower die
    from its living life.
    I love my germs. Cruelty.
    Bias. Despair. I love to
    spread them out to the world.


    They love their son,
    only he's a teenager.
    "He may get A's but he's very
    unusual and silent
    within," the parents say.
    The parents always talk about
    the son during the night.
    "Maybe friends," the father says.
    "For what he is,
    he's still our little
    boy. He's kind of unusual,
    but we still love him."


    I am a healer
    with your love
    to the world and others,
    in your heart they
    work both ways.

    My love goes to the world and others.

    Our hope may break
    like a broken vase,
    but the soul is
    filled with joy.

    The temple is our soul.
    For that we are
    beautiful in other ways.

    If you help others,
    your soul is kind.

    Vincente Nalam,
    Age 14

    The Music of Poetry

    Poetry is like the colored leaves
    that fall from the rusted trees in autumn.
    Poetry is like a huge puzzle
    that can always be put together in the right way
    no matter if it does not make any sense at all.
    Poetry is like the big, fat, orange cheesy moon
    that the hairy grey wolves
    sing their lullabies to.
    The music of poetry
    can be heard only at night when you think
    you can't hear anything at all.

    Cierra Crowell,
    Age 10

    A Simple Piece of Nothing

    Poetry can catch leaves
    falling off the autumn trees.
    Poetry should carry a small backpack
    filled with infinitable knowledge.
    Poetry should shop for those
    who are not capable of doing so
    and feed them by hand.
    Poetry should be sharp
    as the corner of a blade
    That can catch flies with its eyes closed.
    A business man walking, a homeless man sleeping, a maid
    a lawyer arguing,
    just a simple piece of nothing
    that can fulfill the world's dreams.

    Shahid Minapara,
    Age 15


Healer of Natoma
The Music of Poetry
A Simple Piece of Nothing

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