Giving A Voice Through Poetry

Julia Bonk is an eighth grader at Flintridge Preparatory School. As part of her community impact project she encouraged younger students to develop their poetic and creative voice. She asked sixth grade students from Valley View Elementary School to compete in a poetry contest that she organized. She asked them to describe a moment they felt empowered. It was her hope to not only inspire their self-expression but to also build their confidence.

“As an aspiring writer myself, I realize how terrifying it can be to throw yourself out [there]and then pray other people will appreciate your work,” she said. “Poetry requires a level of commitment to face failure and then struggle onward.”

Bonk shared with CV Weekly those works that were judged the best that were submitted to a board of students and teachers.

No. 1: The Song with Wings by Ella Gedgaudas

I stood on the stage, scared and alone,

And then I started to sing,

And I felt free.

It’s like I had my own wings.

Soaring above a crowd of people

The feeling was truly great.

My fear had walked out the door.

My passion had come through the gate. 

The song started to end,

So I flew down to that old lonely stage.

My passion was finally running free.

It was filled with fiery rage.

Now I stand on the stage

Not so scared or alone.

My passion was filled rage,

And I was sitting on my throne.


No. 2: The Surgery by Hayden Meadows

I was shivering in my bed sheet,

I was frightened of it all. 

The bright lights shone upon me,

And the doctor shouted a call.

He told me not to worry

As a nurse injected my arm.

My vision began to get blurry.

I started to worry of harm.

With a bat of an eye and an eyelash,

I was visiting Singapore.

I awoke to the sound of a piercing crash,

But I wasn’t afraid anymore.

I saw that a hospital TV

Had fallen upon the floor.

I began to feel quite lively

When I saw my mother at the door.


No. 3: The Dark by Sophia Lim

I cowered in the light,

Shaking my head no.

It was dark at night.

I said no.

My head was bent low,

My eyes shut.

Who knows what could be lurking in the shadow?

I was in a knot.

I stepped away,

Away from the light.

It was okay.

I ventured through the night.

The moon was milky white,

The stars bright and set –

The stunning sight.

This is something I’ll never forget.

Honorable Mentions:

The Big Cliff by Aaron Mendoza

Climb, climb, higher, and higher

With jagged rocks in the way.

I reach the top already tired.

‘It’ll be fun,’ they say; I just hope I get my pay.

They yell, jump, jump, but I freeze.

I feel like I am spinning.

My knees feel like lead – oh my knees!

My brain says, ‘no,’ but my instincts are winning.

With a deep breath I jump!

My hearts sinks into my chest.

The hot, humid air fills my throat.

I feel like a bird wanting to sink into its nest.

With a great splash I hit the water.

The cold, wet water hits my face.

Ten feet down, I can’t find any trace.

I arise to the surface and do it again.

The Roller Coaster by Charlize A.

Have you every felt the way I felt?

When you feel really sick?

Strapped in a ride, 100 feet of the ground,

And your breath is so quick?

You hold tight to the lap bar,

Your eyes glued to the floor.

People below look like tiny ants.

You just can’t stand it anymore!

Then you stop to think, catch your breath.

Close your eyes and smile.

“You can do this,” you mutter to yourself.

Gosh, this is taking a while!

Then suddenly, the ride drops you fast.

You get off, and turn to your friend,

“I did it! I really did it!”

“Now let’s never do it again!”

The Water Slide by Avery Stewart

How did I feel?

I’m glad you ask.

I realized this wasn’t a nightmare, it was real.

As I look down the slide, I let out a small gasp.

My fear was so loud, I felt almost deaf.

“Maybe if I tried,” I thought to myself,

“I wouldn’t be scared nearly to death.

Maybe if I tried, I wouldn’t act as short as an elf.”

I looked at the slide in fear.

Then I looked at my friend, like I was about to die.

Then my mother whispered, “You will be fine, my dear.”

So I took a deep breath, and went down the water slide.

No longer was I afraid of the slide.

I felt the water run down my back, as I felt the adrenaline.

Then I asked myself, “Why was I scared of this fun ride?”

I then said, with excitement, to my mother, “Let’s do that again!”