Poetry Publications from Summer Class

This summer, The Highlander staff collaborated with Fairfax County Public Library to hold the Summer Writing Program for upper-elementary school and middle school students. During each class session through Zoom, participants work on a category of writing and receive edits from the staff. Here are some poetry highlights from students’ second session on July 23.

Elementary School: (listed by alphabetical order)

Sophia Seoyoon Chang, Grade 4, Churchill Road Elementary School, “The Race to Freedom”

The day I awake, with my brothers and sisters

The day, the day, the race to freedom.

The waves crashing, dangerous vultures lurking,

Getting ready to dive, getting ready for supper.

The wide length, the sandy beach shore

And the free waves whirling as if calling to us.

We start to move our flippers, crawling, crawling

We inch along, glancing anxiously at the vultures

Just as we reach the black rocks, a vulture squawks

The flock spies us and starts flying towards us.

The flock is gaining on us, a vulture eyes me hungrily

I hurry along, with the vulture behind,

He dives now, from the sky and with his flock

His beak flashing, a loud thump!

As I open my eyes, I see what stopped him.

The rocks! They hang overneath, sheltering us

From the hungry vultures. 

And finally… one by one we slip

 Into the safety of the ocean.

Freya Guessford, Grade 3, Canterbury Woods Elementary School, “Limerick”

I almost ate the last bite

And I thought to myself “what a fright!”

I set it down

And saw a clown

o  boy o boy what a night

Masoom Ray Kurukumbi, Grade 5, Mosby Woods Elementary School, “The Life of a Snowflake”

One cold winter day

The clouds are making snow

And then I am born

I grow five arms

And then I start to fall

I fall slowly

And land softly

But when I touch the ground

I melt and turn to water

Amelia Nunez, Grade 5, Oakton Elementary School, “Ode to Fred the Inchworm”

Poor, poor Fred.

We think he’s dead.

We’re filled with deepest sorrow:

We won’t see him tomorrow.

Found on broccoli,

He had so much curiosity.

He explored,

Never got bored.

When it was time to say good-bye,

It was hard not to cry.

We gave him some broccoli,

To give him a home, possibly.

The broccoli molded.

And then, we unfolded

What finally occurred:

It’s such a terrible word.

I tell you: Fred did die!

Like a fly

Swatted away.

And I will speak of Fred to this day.

[Followed by tears of sadness.

There isn’t any rad-ness.

My tears stream out in rivers, 

I’m crying so hard, I have shivers.]

Samah Shibili, Grade 4, Oakton Elementary School, “COVID-19 Haiku”

Make sure to wash hands

Or else the Covid Monster

Gives great consequence

Middle School: (listed by alphabetical order)

Weston Borodin, Grade 8, Thoreau Middle School, “Crunch”

Crunch crunch crunch 

That is the sound you make as you step on the leaves 

That is the sound that you are hearing 

As you hear this noise all of your worries drift away into a void of nothingness

All of the things you have to do just float away and then you feel so much better 

Because you know that everything will be ok.

Jason Chang, Grade 7, Cooper Middle School

When I was walking home after school, 

I heard something weird.

It sounded like an angry elephant,

Something that should rightly be feared.

I quickly ran five blocks ahead,

Then for good measure, went one more.

I crept around the corner,

Hearing now a peculiar roar.

It sounded like a crazy tiger, 

And I wondered when it’d attack.

My legs trembled with fear,

And wondered when I’d turn into a snack.

I could hear the monster coming closer,

Tromping towards me quickly

I hoped that it would be over fast,

and I closed my eyes and swallowed thickly.

I pressed myself tightly to the wall,

But when nothing tried to eat me,

I quietly look back around the corner,

I expected a sight very beastly.

However, I started to smile,

For my imagination really was grand,

Because the noises that I had heard,

Were nothing more than our school band!

Soliana Daniel, Mark Twain Middle School, “The Ocean…”

My sandy rapid feet move quickly in the direction of the turquoise water

I shift further into the ocean as I see myself shrink into the rising water 

As cautious as I am, I look up to see an emerging wave coming near

I hear my mouth screeching as I see the wave curl under me 



I backflip underwater -left leg straight -right bended

Seconds later my body crashes onto the wet sandy shore

I lick my salty lips while my wet hands wipe my face 

my desperate lungs gasp as soon as I reach fresh air

I feel a sting on my right wrist

As I look to it, I see 7 scars and one bump

I fight the pain as I run back into the water

The insane, vicious water 

Kevin Geng, Grade 7, Luthur Jackson Middle School, “Airplanes”

Flying in the sky

The slow rumbling of its engine

Up in the cloud

Traveling hundreds of miles per hour.

Then suddenly it disappears into a cloud. 

Dag Guessford, Grade 7, Frost Middle School, “Limericks”

Ronaldo went up in an plane

Despite that he was a birdbrain

His passengers cried

A little dog died

And that was the end of his free rein

Timmy went off to the store

But the drive was sadly a bore

He crashed into a bike

A man on a hike

And Timmy drives no more

Tompson loves to eat meat

He likes to eat with his feet

He ate munchies

Got a disease 

And now he won’t eat with his feet

Jeff went up into a tree

Then of course he scraped his knee

He got a big bruise

Lost both his shoes

And never came down from that tree

Tomson likes to play bass

At bass he is an ace

Took fishing class

Caught a big bass

Which slapped him right in the face

Jimmy is great at ping pong

When he wins he strikes a big gong

He lets sportsmanship die

The losing players cry

Now he’s kicked out of ping pong

Moubon Ray Kurukumbi, Grade 7, Frost Middle School, “Hope”

The land

is empty


To quench its thirst

And fill its void

The sky

Is empty

No balls of cotton

No drops of crystals


Except the howling wind

A dark tower in the sky

Brings empty people from their homes

Their minds fill

with celebration and hope

Their hearts fill 

with joy and love

Their mouths fill 

with crystal jewels falling from above

The land

Is no longer empty

It is filled with water

It is filled with peace

It is filled with people

It is filled 

with hope

Morgan Hueber, Grade 7, Cooper Middle School


I start off little

Then I grow taller than you

Now I give you shade


Laying on the ground

Everything is falling

A tree is up above

For now I am dead

L. Valandra, Grade 7, Seton School, “An Argument Between a Brother and Sister”

It’s not my fault that I 

Tripped over a bush and began to cry.  

You were behind me so I blame it on you.  

I believe it was you, I can see that it’s you.  

It’s not my fault that I 

Tripped over a bush and began to cry.  

I also have proof it was you.  

I heard you cackle like a witch when it happened.  

You didn’t even call for help.  

But you should have.  I felt like a clown!  

So why didn’t you call for help like a good brother would do?  

It’s not my fault that I 

Tripped over a bush and began to cry.  

So we’re still sitting here 

Fighting like deer 

And I can hear mother from downstairs.  

We have to make it up.  

But there’s no way, cub! 

How dare you call me a cub!  I know how to punish you for that.  


It is my fault that you 

Were pushed off the bed into the blue box.  

At least it’s a box of toys.  

But well, you still made noise.  

So ends our giant fight.  

I still feel like a clown from falling down. 

I just have to say that 

It’s not my fault that I 

Tripped over a bush and began to cry.  

Anisa Yusuf, Grade 7, Lanier Middle School, “Season Haikus”


Flowers everywhere

The most colorful season

Oh Spring, I love you


Summer is the best     

It’s our big break from school

Let’s go to the pool


The leaves are falling

Fall is now coming to town

Leaf piles everywhere


The world is all white

               We all know what that means, right 

Winter is now here