In honor of National Poetry Month in April, NeXt prints poems from area poets 18 and younger. The photos, by high school photographers, are on display in the Storrs All-High Photo Show at the Kenan House Gallery, 433 Locust St., Lockport, through Sunday.
This poem won fourth prize in the University at Buffalo's High School Poetry contest.
SACCO AND VANZETTI
We cried when America burnt down and the Chicago River flowed like Styx, carrying the cats of Fifth Street,
to the basins of the Great Lakes, where they found Sacco and Vanzetti and a match flowing slowly through the water on an air mattress and good luck.
We put them on trial and Vanzetti bit his lip. We put them on trial and Vanzetti wrote a note to heaven. We put them on trial and Vanzetti screamed out,
"You live in a wheel, the rich men steal,
the poor man works 'til his hands can't feel!"
We put them on trial and Sacco translated,
"We have the bones of our fathers who worked in the fields and carried the bones of
their fathers who broke their backs under the sun of Italy under the son of the man whose
father's bones broke the bones their fathers carried and fought with under the sun of Italy.
We carry these bones for the first time with wrath, and scribbled on tenement walls,
"burn it all down!
burn it down like nero did rome
burn it down like the english did joan,
burn it down like the anarchists back home."
We put them on trial and wept for ashes of rock mountains and cinemas and gods and Ferris
wheels. We put them on trial and we sought justice, we put them on trial and looked to kill,
until Vanzetti dropped seeds from his pockets, and a sprout grew and beans grew and the plant
grew. We bent down to taste legumes and got a mouth full of freedom, and then all we could see
was a land of fields, and we understood our chains, but made solemn good-byes, Yes! We
fruitful, we godless, we free.
-- Scott Robinson, Canisius High School
This poem won honorable mention in the UB contest.
"MATHEMATICS OF CONFORMITY"
I am a man
Who can only take
So much before
He is solved and begins
To become less and less of who he is
And more and more of what he hates.
I can only subtract so much
And add more
Of you to me
Before I become just like you
In all your thinking and actions.
But there are parts of myself
The deepest parts of my mind
That even I can not subtract
And lead to our difference.
-- Patrick Riedy, St. Francis High School
This poem was written last year while Faustino was living in Troy, Mich.:
Would you tell me the way to somewhere?
I've heard of a place called Somewhere --
I have heard of a place called Somewhere too
It is way back in the middle of the woods
Where the lions, tigers and bears are
I really do not want to go there
Can you come with me?
Well, maybe tomorrow,I have lots of work to do today.
-- Faustino Galante, 8, Buffalo
They have thick blubber
They look just like torpedoes
They help their babies.
-- Stanley Zolnowski, Union East Elementary, Cheektowaga
A CRITTER TO REMEMBER
I got a little critter
When I was in third grade
I had him since then
Unfortunately, his life started to fade
He wasn't acting normal
Sleeping by his food dish
I constantly checked on him
But nothing could help him or me.
I came home from school
On Thursday afternoon
His body lay like dirt
On the peach colored shavings.
My brother came in
I told him the bad news
My critter was gone
And there was nothing I could do.
-- Rebecca Coleman, Grade 6, West Seneca West Elementary
The leaves from the trees
The only sound is crunching,
You can't see the grass.
-- Joshua Sudyn, Union East Elementary, Cheektowaga
The following poems will be part of the free Buffalo/Williamsville Poetry, Music, Dance Celebration at Kleinhans Music Hall at 7 p.m. April 26. World-renowned poet Sonia Sanchez will read from her work.
THE WAY YOU MOVE
The way you move
is not the way
you tie your
You can get on the dance
floor and show your
that juicy jazz
that jiggles that fazz.
Or tick-tock tap
to the swirling swing.
Maybe even the romantic
rumba or the
fast tangle tango.
Whatever you do
don't land on a toe
or you may be doing the quick step.
Don't look back
or you'll stay off track.
Try to move with the rhythm
and the drums to African
Whatever you do
don't land on a toe
or you may end
-- Ariana Harvin-Mahiques, Grade 10, Leonardo da Vinci
ODE TO MY TRUMPET
My trumpet has a metal mouthpiece
and a golden metal body.
My trumpet is gold and it has
curves like a wild roller coaster.
My trumpet smells like an
old antique store.
My trumpet makes me feel
like I'm playing for the
first time. My wet lips, blowing
into the mouthpiece for hours.
My trumpet sounds like
a musician with many talents.
My trumpet makes me want
to play up the scale to
the highest note.
My trumpet changes sound
by the way you blow in the
My trumpet is special
to me because it is my
My Trumpet is a
-- Brittany M. Mieth, Grade 7, Buffalo Elementary School of Technology No. 6
Poetry Corner prints original poetry from local youths 18 and under. Send poems to Poetry Corner, Next, Features Department, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Include your name, age and address. Poems should be typed and cannot be returned.