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We’re celebrating National Poetry Month with WriteGirl!

Posted April 16th, 2021
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Print writegirl dot org national poetry month

Foothill Transit is proud to be collaborating with the amazing WriteGirl for National Poetry Month 2021. We’re working with Keren Taylor, Executive Director of WriteGirl, to uplift our community through the art of poetry and amplify the voices of young writers who are changing the world with their words. Throughout the month of April, we will be featuring 5 writers and their poems inspired by the theme of our latest Bus Book: Onward. This past year has been a challenge for many, and we don’t know what our “new normal” will look like yet. But we can certainly count on it being beautiful with talented teens like these helping to shape our future.

WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills to empower teen girls and help them get through school. Founded in 2001, this community has 200 volunteer women writers mentoring over 500 girls annually in creative writing and self-expression. By providing their teens with a caring role model and the individual guidance they need, 100% of WriteGirl’s graduating seniors have entered college, many on full or partial scholarships.

Please enjoy our featured poems!

poetry month poem 3
For Those I Aspire To Be
by Lidia E., age 14
South Gate, CA

For those who love fully
For those who help others
For those who care for me
For those who dance recklessly
For those who sing loudly with no fear
For those who live their life authentically
For those who love life
I applaud you
For I aspire to be like you
So I thank you for being you

Q: Why do you like writing poems?
A: I like writing poems because they help express emotions that I can not hold in. Poems help me realize things about myself that I didn’t know I had in me. When I write poems it feels like I am pouring my heart and soul onto the paper and that is a sensational feeling. The cool thing about poems is that you can write them about anything. Like dancing frogs who live in space, cowboys who have never seen cows, or sometimes you want to write about more serious topics.

Q: What is your muse or inspiration for writing poetry?
A: My inspiration varies from wonderful songs to incredible people. I like to get inspiration from nature like the birds flying in the blue sky or the ripples in a pond. But most of the time my main muse is my emotions because whenever I feel anything I am instantly creative. It’s like the moment I feel something, I have the urge to burst into song about it or write pages of words just to describe what I’m feeling. Inspiration can be anywhere and anything, so long as it connects to you.

chocolate cake for poetry month
Chocolate Cake
By Victoria R., age 16
Northridge, CA

Since I was a rosy-cheeked
fresh-faced 5-year-old
exploring my sense of taste,
I’ve loved red velvet cake.

I loved the elegance,
the regality,
the utter decadence
of a maroon-tinted cake
topped with mountains
of snow white icing.

Every birthday,
every event,
every excuse possible…
I asked for red velvet.

I poured my entire childhood
into loving this kind of cake,
so much so,
my stubborn, naive little mind solidified it
as a permanent preference.

Move after move,
house after house,
love after love,
friend after friend.

In my moments of peril
I turned to a comforting staple:
my fluffy, confectionary cloud of crimson.

But things change.
Experiences mold us like clay,
and we are born again.
But growing pains are far too real,
and I needed a cloying comfort.

After a cleansing yet mighty storm
in my hometown,
the petrichor beckoned me
into a little cafe
on Foothill Boulevard.

And somehow, of the many options
of delightful slices of cake,
the scarlet tower I once loved
whose colors coursed through me with a violent rush
no longer had any appeal.

Instead, I had a strong urge to reach for the chocolate fudge.
The richness of the cocoa,
the buoyancy of the fudge icing
made my heart jump for joy.

I abruptly realized –
in my state of newfound love
that nothing is certain.

My love for red velvet lasted for years –
it was something I was certain could never change.

But isn’t it so much more beautiful to explore?
Isn’t it wondrous to bask in the unknown –
to learn that you are but a piece of your future self?

We are never the same,
and yet we move forward.

Q: When did you start writing and why?
A: I started writing basically as soon as I could! When I was in fifth grade, I remember writing little mini poems I didn’t know were poems at the time. I started writing because I loved reading, and I wanted to replicate some of the more beautiful phenomenon of life, but I couldn’t really draw the art I had in my mind! So I turned to words, and realized the magic of them. There is no better feeling than finding the perfect string of words to describe a certain phenomenon. That’s one of my favorite parts of art – getting to express yourself through the magic of words.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring poets?
A: FIND. OTHERS. LIKE. YOU. Seek them out!! Search for writer friends!! A great space for me has been WriteGirl because I’ve found so many women and gender non-conforming folks who love writing and art just as much as I do! They have been CRUCIAL in cultivating my natural love and talent for writing, and continue to help me learn and grow every single day. And as a writer, you are going! to! need! that!!! <3

we are one

We are One
by Katie C. age 15
Los Angeles, CA

The smell of food
Wafts through the air
Comforting and foreign
Old and new
Familiar but unknown
We are one.

People walk through the streets
Their dogs prance along
Children laugh as they ride their bike
We are one.

Out on the soccer field
People of every age
Gather to watch and play
To cheer and encourage
We are one.

People of every ethnicity
Every race
Walk through the same streets
Swim in the same ocean
Under the same blue sky
We are one.

We don’t see our differences
In appearance
Our differences
In culture
We see
Our similarities
We are one.

We are not the same
But together we paint
A blank canvas
Full of different colors
We paint diversity
Happiness
Hope
We are one.

We are different yet the same
Contrasting but complementing
Individual but simultaneous
We are One.

Q: What was your muse or inspiration for this poem?
A: I wrote this poem to reflect on what my city means to me, and how I view it from my perspective. To me, LA is the center of diversity, where people are free to be themselves and express their own values. However, we are also unified, even with our differences. The best way to describe how I view LA would be to say that our individualities make us the unique, colorful, distinctive group of people we are.

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