Streams 16


Published by The Waterways Project of Ten Penny Players, Inc. (a not for profit corporation) with funding support from: NYC Public Schools, Learn & Serve America, The NYS Council on the Arts, The NYS Education Department, The New York Times Company Foundation, The Empire State Partnership, and Independence Community Foundation. Richard A. Spiegel & Barbara Fisher, Co-editors A. Thomas Perry, Admirable Factotum Richard Organisciak, Superintendent

Margaret Bing-Wade, Alan Werner, and Timothy Lisante Deputy Superintendents Ellen Kirshbaum, Director of Arts Education and Cultural Literacy

Waterways workshops included participants from the Chancellor’s District Lawrence Block, Superintendent
Joanna Fuhrman, Barbara Fisher, Ofelia Rodriguez Goldstein, Magdalena Gomez, Ron McBee, D. Nurkse, A. Thomas Perry, Louis Reyes Rivera, Richard Spiegel Poets, Artists and Performers working with students through the Waterways Project.

Alternative, Adult and Continuing Education Schools and Programs

School faculty members working with the Waterways Project of Ten Penny Players to encourage, recognize, and publish student expression.

Jenny Adams, Warren Adams, Carol Bahna, Al Barbarino, Norman Benjamin, Maxine Best, Jeanne Bitterman, John Blodgett, Brenda Bordofsky, Joan Calister, Donna Campbell, Sal Canale, Judy Caputo, Ron Carter, Lillian Coleman, Christopher Croton, Benny Daniels, Patricia Drew, Barbara G. Fisher, Wolfgang Fundinger, Jenny Gacetas, Marie Genuard, Jack Giordano, David Glick, Douglas Goetsch, Frank Grabinski, Lynda Gregg-Mullings, Janet Griffith, Gordan Hatchett, Arline Hirsch, Kurlene John, Patricia Jones-Bryant, Harry Kimbraugh, Ronald G. King, Andre Knight, Rebecca Langan, José Lima, Miriam Lock, Bryna Malik, Sharyn Marsh, Joan Martinez, Gary Mauro, John McKenna, Max Mendes, Nina Morris-Farber, Don Murphy, Irwin Nayman, Moli Ntuli, David Pambianchi, Michael Quinn, Rosanna Rodríguez, Steven Romagnoli, Nena Shaheed, Hale Simms, Richard Spiegel, Barnaby Sprung, Andrea Stanet, ToniAnn Tepedino, Mary Tisi, Sean Turner, Jo Ann Del Valle, Milagros Vazquez, Tyona Washington, Anthony West, Myron Young

Cover art — Aaliyah, 2001. A mosaic created by Marcio Graham, Christian Sexton, Done Blackwood, Christopher Graham, Steven Diaz, Gregory Smith, Saleh A., Isaiah Strickland, Leo Rio, Gabriel Urena, and Maurice Solomon in art classes taught by Donna Campbell.
The Waterways Project is a program of Ten Penny Players, Inc. a NYS chartered not for profit 501c3 corporation. Waterways, 393 St. Pauls Avenue, Staten Island, N. Y. 10304-2127 isbn 0-934830-69-X Printed by The Print Center ©2002, Ten Penny Players, Inc. ii Book Design on Quark Xpress by Richard Spiegel

Auxiliary Services for High Schools, Bed/Stuy Outreach, Brooklyn College Academy, Bridges to Brooklyn, Career Education Center, City As School, Crossroads, Ebbets Field Learning Center, EBC High School for Public Service, Frederick Douglass Literacy Center, Horizon, Horizons Academy, Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science, Lincoln Square, Linden Learning Center, Lower Manhattan Outreach, Manhattan ATD, Metropolitan Corporate Academy, NYC Vocational Training Center, Offsite Educational Services, Outreach Program, Passages Academy, Project YOU, Queens ATD, RIEF, School of International Business and Finance (George Washington Campus), South Bronx Job Corps, Street Academy, Summit, The Sprungs, Unity High School, VTC at Dr. S.S. McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, VTC at Bellevue Hospital, VTC at Bronx Community College, VTC at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, VTC at Educational Alliance, VTC at Haym Salomon Coöperating Administrators: Thomas Baskin-Bey, Sydney Blair, Michele Blatt, Frank Brickler, Michael Cataldi, Marie Cassar, Joanna Chin, Gloria Claros, Frank Dody, Christine Dooley, Shirley Edwards, Michael Fienga, Robert C. Galli, McMillian Gerald, Lois Rekosh Goldberg, Benito Herrero, Dorita James, Elayna Konstan, Jerry Long, Bob Lubetsky, Elizabeth McCullough, Olga Mejía Glenn, Gloria Ortiz, Francesca Peña, Myrta Perez, E. Robinson, Juliana Rogers, Robert Rogers, Paul Rotondo, Mary Shaw, Maritza Tamayo, Carmen Walston, Loretta White, Sherry Zekowski, Robert Zweig, Our thanks for their continued encouragement and support to Arts in Education, The New York State Council on the Arts: Amy Duggins Pender, Gary Dayton, Tanya Gallo, Kara Yeargans Nathan Straus Young Adult Center of the New York Public Library: Joanne Rosario New York State Education Department: Fran Hollon and New York State Regent Emeritus, Norma Gluck.

Student contributors attend the following NYC schools and programs:


A Friend, A Lover by Erica Crews Amiris Ramirez Anthony Rolon Anthony Zullo Anthony Zullo Book II Ashley Wheeler Carlos Matos Catherine Marie Ayala Chad Rodriguez Christopher Colon Contradictions by Jo Ann Gajadhar Daniel Sielly Emotions by Tema Ryals Felicia Ursule Ngassam Forced to Live in Jail by Ronald Blackman Forced to Live in Jail Part 2: I Still Don’t Understand by Ronald Blackman Ghost Stories I by Miguel Ghost Stories II by Miguel Gillian Guiseppi Haiku by David G. In Jail for No Reason Ernesto Mateo Irvin Gill (Poetry and commentary from SOL) Is There Such a Thing? and Other Inspirational Poems by Tatyana Cabrera It’s Over and other poems by Fatima Choudhury JAY* LOVE: Life Filled With Pain Jemel Jordan Jennifer DelaCruz: My Poems Jessica Marrero Johnequa Shontel Furby

Sixty Four Individual Poetry Chapbooks published by Waterways during the 2001-2 school year

Johnny Saillant Kadeema G. Kareem Edwards Kathianne Sandiford Kimberly David aka Heartbreaker Kimberly Harris Lauren Natalie Robinson Lauren Walton Leah Ariel Peterkin Linda Lowman Liz Ann Panteau Luis T. McCartha Thomas Michael Muniz Natasha Yvelise Victoria Osvaldo O. Mercado Poems by Edilma Ponce Poems by Ismael Gomez Poems by Kibi-Anne Edwards Poems by Meggan Lugo Raecia Catchings Ranisha Grossett Safraaz Alli Salleen Michel Shavonne Henderson Shawn Marshall Shayna W. Tameeka Gibson Tariell Hilliard Tyrina Shantel Coward Victoria Johnson Words From The Heart by Dezroy Bobb Works by Kelly Yasoda Brathwaite Young Love by Roxanne


Forty Two Poetry Anthologies published by Waterways during the 2001-2 school year
2 Poets (I’Nish King and Niesha Brown) 4 Voices Andre Nugent with Delphia Brooks and Phil Sharpe Disappointments Evidences and Explanations Gather Together Hearts and Souls: Whispered Words Poetry From The Lost Generation I Can Dream I Decided to Write These Words I Shared My Secret Language I Walk Through the Streets I Wonder How My Life Will Go In My Life In the Summer I Show Myself Is This My Word? Just a Memory Lost in the Rain Maybe Some Day Not Part of My Plans Nydia Clipper and Ruth Milius Sharing Personalities Shine So Bright: Poems Snapshots Lines and Haikus Some Times Tell the Air What I Believe The Awful Scar in My Memory The Herb Book by R.I.E.F. Students The Street Has No Name: Streams On Line Discussion Things to Think About Thoughts of You Three Authors (Tiffany Hicks, Ramon Cabot, Joseph McDonald) To Stay Strong Two Poets (Maylin and Stephanie Monsset) VA Voices at Crossroads Voices II at Crossroads Voices III at Crossroads Voices IV at Crossroads VTC @ Bellevue Hospital VTC @ Bronx Lebanon Hospital VTC @ Educational Alliance VTC @ Haym Salomon Was It All Worth It? what I hear

Rashaun Nicholson’s Introduction to A Troublesome Teen was first published in Keeping It Real edited by Don Murphy.


In his “Enjoyment of Poetry,” Max Eastman uses the apt illustration of a man crossing the river, we will say coming into New York City on a ferry boat, to bring out the nature of an esthetic experience. Some men regard it as simply a journey to get them where they want to be — a means to be endured. So, perhaps, they read a newspaper. One who is idle may glance at this and that building identifying it as the Metropolitan Tower, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and so on. Another, impatient to arrive, may be on the lookout for landmarks by which to judge progress toward his destination. Still another, who is taking the journey for the first time, looks eagerly but is bewildered by the multiplicity of objects spread out to view. He sees neither the whole nor parts; he is like a layman who goes into an unfamiliar factory where many machines are plying. Another person, interested in real estate, may see, in looking at the skyline, evidence in the height of buildings, of the value of land. Or he may let his thoughts roam to the congestion of a great industrial and commercial center. He may go on to think of the planlessness of arrangement as evidence of the chaos of a society organized on the basis of conflict rather than coöperation. Finally the scene formed by the buildings may be looked at as colored and lighted volumes in relation to one another, to the sky and to the river. He is now seeing ecstatically, as a painter might see. Now the characteristic of the last-named vision in contrast with the others mentioned is that it is concerned with a perceptual whole, constituted by related parts. No one single figure, aspect, or quality is picked out as a means to some further external result, nor as a sign of an inference that may be drawn. The Empire State Building may be recognized by itself. But when it is seen pictorially it is seen as a related part of a perceptually organized whole. Its values, its qualities as seen, are modified by the other parts of the whole scene, and in turn these modify the value, as perceived, of every other part of the whole. There is now form in the artistic sense.

from Art As Experience John Dewey (1859-1952)

that is what I hear

2 4 3 5


Ask Momma by Jemel Jordan If I Were by Chinalese Ellis Music by Robert Taveras Lines by Lauren Walton
Javier Gonzalez

Noise at Night Is What I Hear Inside My Head by Andre Nugent What Happens To A Song Not Sung by Timothy D.

6 8


seems like yesterday
Riann B. Winchester

Introduction to A Troublesome Teen
Rashaun Nicholson

10-11 13-14 12 14

My Job Site by Victoria Johnson Yesterday by David G.
by Natasha

Looking for Me by Kyle B.

The Cutest Ones Are the Dirtiest Ones Journey to the Past by Jason Samuel


Yvelise Victoria



Sightseeing by Angel France
by Fritzner

Riding the Staten Island Ferry by Curtis Trim 21-22 Crossing the Staten Island Ferry On the Ferry by Kelley S. Jones Unknown by Jason Irizarry Niemann by Edilma Ponce Haiku by David G.
Regis, Jr. 23-24 26-27 25


Forever on the Ferry by Erikka Bolding One Night Stand by Kimberly David My Waves Stay Spinning by Kareem Edwards

28-29 30 32 31

I’m afraid to go outside
Tell Me Why by Carolyn Bad News by Ray M.
by Lauren

32 34

Love’s What Made Me Strong by Kadeema Greene 35 There’s a Three-Month-Old Baby Dad’s Foot by Paul N.
Natalie Robinson 36 38-39 39


You Stay by Leah Ariel Peterkin Cruel by Jennifer DelaCruz I’m Afraid by Tariell Hilliard


Think by Natasha Yvelise Victoria
Felicia Ursule Ngassam

Don’t Cry for Someone Who Makes You Cry Perihelion Freedom by Luis Torres Day by Day by Ernesto Mateo

41-42 42




Haiku by David G

The New Place by Lewis Williams Wasted by I’Nish King A Sister in a Struggle by Erica Crews Tears by Jennifer Jordan Rainy Days by Raquel Marshall Why Do You Do What You Do by Ruth Milius No You Can’t Feel My Pain by Jessica War on America by Salleen Michel 9/11/01 by Seleana Scala

45 47-52

46 54

53-54 56 55

Look Through the Window by McCartha Thomas




extend our thread of wonder


Free by Roxanne Williams 62-63 A Night Without Armor by Malikah Kelly 63 For the Humans of Silence by Niesha Brown 64 Times by Sandra Carillo 65 Taking a Vacation by Yasoda Brathwaite 66 A Learn and Serve Conference by Reann Charles 67-68 Learn and Serve America by Kareem Phipps 68-69 The Way I Feel by Jamaria W. 70 I Refuse by Catherine Marie Ayala 71 Don’t Rush, Wait by Tameeka Gibson 72 Being Eleven Is Like . . . by Raecia Catchings 73 One of the Greatest Moments of My Life by Bishaunti P. 74 The Perfect Drug by Ismael Gomez 75 Black Child of the Ghetto by Seleana Scala 76-78 When Do Dreams Come True? by Sandra Carillo 78 For the Educated Thugs by I’Nish King 79

I woke up and thought

Shadows by Niesha Brown

80 82 82 83 84 84 85 86 87 88 88 89 90 90

concealed in a world full of jagged question marks
Forced to Live in Jail by Ronald Blackman 92-96 The Street Has No Name by Kareem Edwards 97 Time by Fabian Greene 98 She Lost Him by Jacobs 98 Spoken Thoughts by Osvaldo O. Mercado 99 The River of Ice by Anthony Andrew Zullo 100 This Is the World by Aris Lopez 101 Tears by Jennifer DelaCruz 101 Souls Die Without the Feeling of Nature by Romy Henriquez 102 I Am a Car by Elvis Perez 103 Odell H. Pearson, Jr. 104 Finding My Missing Part by Jayra Marmolejos 105 The Problem by Brian Colon 106 Ode to O’s by Ebony Brokette 107-108

The Break of Dawn by Dezroy Bobb Haiku by Edward S. Confusion by Meggan Lugo Confused by Salleen Michel Confusion by Raymond Dickerson Confusion by Edilma Ponce Confused by Tameeka Gibson Lies by Tema Ryals Reflection by Jessica Marrero Forgiveness by Geraldine S. Where I Am From by Amiris Ramirez Nicole England Rainy Day Thoughts by Shayna Williams

writing is my skill

Streams Poems by Fatima Choudhury Diary by Cristina Santiago What Is Poetry? by Andre Nugent I Just Can’t Put the Words Right by Carla J. Thomas Nash Lidiana Rodriguez Judged by Kadeema Greene The Book by Ismael Gomez Me by Fatima Choudhury Haiku by Bishaunti P. Word by Lauren Walton Kenya Capers Books by Taisha Haiku by David G.
Comments on Writing and Publishing


110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 118 119 120 121 121

2002-3 Streams On Line Workshops Author and Title Indexes


that is what I hear

Jemel Jordan
Ask Momma
Ask Momma. She’ll shake her head Her eyes She’s sly

Ask Momma,

What time is it? and move her hips. are stunning. and cunning. time is it?” She’s quick to trick. Momma,”What

2 — Streams 16

Noise at Night Is What I Hear
Noise at night Inmate crying that is what I hear. for his mom to be near that is what I hear. the turtles here,” C.O.s screaming, saying, “Shut up before I call that is what I hear. that is what I hear. that is what I hear. that is what I hear.

Javier Gonzalez

Airplanes flying at night far and near Walkie-talkie from the captain up and down the tier Kids praying to God saying,

“I won’t smoke or drink beer” Fifteen months of Island time that’s the noise I hear.

3 — Streams 16

Chinalese Ellis
If I Were
If I were water

I would make you clean. If I were the sun I would brighten your day. If I were the wind If I were a bird I would blow through your ear. I would sing you a song all day long.

4 — Streams 16

Andre Nugent
Inside My Head
In my head there are pictures of people swing dancing. There are saxes, tubas, with tender passion. trombones and clarinets.

The ladies’ spiked heels puncture my brain She strokes the dance floor with jungle fever causing the tension to feel thick like pudding. As we cut a rug I feel the slugs crashing against my bones. gushes in the air; My ligaments tear and my blood and now I step into the light causing a sense of relief.

5 — Streams 16

Robert Taveras
Music is like my soul —

till death won’t let it go.

Music is the light to my goal. Even if music never existed Taking music away from me is like taking a loved one. and I will never let it go. I won’t ever forget it so deep if I were brainwashed I would be dancing in a coma. I would know there was something wrong. Music is an addiction in my life

6 — Streams 16

What Happens to a Song Not Sung?
After Langston Hughes*

Timothy D.

What happens to a song not sung? Does it get lost and then fall? like a spare set of keys or roll like a wheel Does it burn like a fire or mold up like bread Or maybe it soars Is this my word? or a sugar bun instead? like an exotic bird.

*What happens to a dream deferred?

7 — Streams 16

Lauren Walton
The lines on my paper help me So I can write my piece and my voice Ideas shoot out on these straight lines leading to To that mystical question saying, “What will she My lines don’t talk back and they don’t They help to take the words I learn And form them into poetry. Criticize me. Write next???” Abyss; Can be heard. Flow with my words

8 — Streams 16

seems like yesterday

Early one Sunday morning… breakfast was on the table, I sang as I sat in my cell thinking about the old songs my mother used to play back at home. It was a song re-sung by R .Kelly, that I remember my mother sometimes playing on weekends, when she and her friends would stay up late, partying. It never was much of a party, maybe three or four of her girlfriends and their male friends, playing cards and drinking forty ounces of Colt 45, and Budweiser. I had always liked to see those old folks get drunk and start dancing, it made me laugh every time. It was sort of like a routine, Friday night my mother would clean and cook, and I’d get sent back and forth to the store, and later on my little sister, Phatima and I would get a front row seat laughing and pointing. If my mother noticed she would send us off to the other room, but we would sneak up front every now and then getting ourselves caught, meddling in “grown folks business,” they would say. “Rashaun!” I remember my mother yelling one night, “bring yo li’l yella ass here!” I knew I was in for it, but I would come along as if I hadn’t known anything, trying to fade my smiling with frowning. “What da hell you keep sneakin your li’l ass pass me fo’,” she said. Now, I wasn’t smiling. The sad face was a regular whenever I’d have to face my punishment. “Um…I…I… keep forgetting stuff, my last dragon tape,” I was lying. The Last Dragon, is a movie my family and I memorized from watching it over and over again. “Get the damn tape and keep ya li’l ass in there,” she was always cursing, it’s part of her vocabulary, “and whay yo sista ass at?” She asked. “In there,” I replied, as I scurried along with the tape in my hand, laughing to myself when my back was toward her. “Tima!” she called, “Come here baby.”
10 — Streams 16


Introduction to A Troublesome Teen

Rashaun Nicholson

Tima always got off the hook easy because, she was the baby, and the only daughter from my mother, Willie Mae Nicholson. Besides, it was obvious she was following her big brother. At least, one of her big brothers, it was a family of four. First there’s Kelvin Nelson, we called him Kevin, or Kev, my mother’s first and oldest son. Then there was Careem Nicholson, my mother’s second son, who took my mother’s last name. We called him “Tell It”, short for “Tell It All”. We called him that because, if any thing happened, any thing, he didn’t tell half the story, he would, “Tell It All.” Next, it was I, Rashaun Nicholson, the 3rd and last boy. I had no nickname as a child, but now, everybody and their mothers call me Rah NassT. Because if you put me on the mic, Rah is Nasssty!!! And last but not least, there’s the baby of us all, Phatima Grant, who took on our father’s last name. My sister and I shared the same father, but I took my mother’s last name. My brothers, both of them, had two different fathers. I can’t quite remember where my brothers would be on Friday nights, but they were hanging out someplace close. Somehow, they always made it back in time to see the elders “bug out” dancing, but would leave very quickly after. I often thought it was because they didn’t want to get sent back and forth to the store or their days of showing off dances for my mother’s friends were over. Personally, I loved coming in the room dancing for them. I thought I was Michael Jackson. I remember my mother calling, “Rashaun!” and I’d answer, “huh?” “Come here, come here, gohead boo, do that dance you be doin.” I would act shy for a few seconds, get bribed into doing it, then bust out sliding and twirling, doing all sorts of dances. Now that I think about it, I would go overboard. Yeah, those were the good ole days.
first published in Keeping It Real 11 — Streams 16

Riann B Winchester
As I press the button on the elevator, two persons are confused about the floors.

I fuss about the smell of cigarettes and a high perfume. The floors as I approach were just the same, A long time ago it was quite different, Different music, a different smell, A run down building with old folks, with a glass door and people rushing to get in. with loud songs echoing from door to door. lots of friendly people with the time to say, “Hi.” and gangster boys running away from the cops . A different smell because it’s a different day. Weed is the new scent of the day. I see lots of different cultures, and two little girls speaking a language I can’t understand. They greeted me with a smile and they found the time to say, “Hi.”

12 — Streams 16

Victoria Johnson
On a typical day I come and do my class work. Then at 10:00 AM I go to my job placement. These are some of the things that I do. I tend to the older people and make them feel good about themselves. Nothing has changed. Everything is still the same. I like the responsibility that they give me, because I love working with older people. This week was going good until I went to my job placement and they told me that one of the older guys had passed away. I became very sad, because I had just talked to the man the day before. That was on Monday, then Tuesday he passed. One day he is here, then one day he is not. The best thing that happened to me this week was when Victoria, my supervisor, said I love the way you work with the older people. That was my goal. I accomplished it. I feel real good about myself. The most difficult part of my job is when the old people die. That is very hard for me, because I don’t like it when people die. It makes me feel sad. I wish no one ever had to die. This week I did not like it when the nurse told me that I could not have any ice. I told her, “I get ice everyday. So what are you talking about?” She said, “I didn’t know that.” I told her, “You should ask before you yell.” If I were in charge I would have this place working so nice that when you look outside you would want to come inside because inside will be looking like a place where cool older people live. I would expect nurses to work for their money.
13 — Streams 16

My Job Site

If I were a supervisor the volunteers would do the same things that they’re doing now. And, I would never ever treat them differently, because they are people just like supervisors are people. They should be treated the same and not differently. The person that I find the most challenging is a patient. His name is Mr. Lovell. I find him challenging because you never know what he is going to do next. He is a guy that keeps you on the move. But, that’s my guy. My main contribution is to always be there with the patients and always keep them very happy. I have been doing fine so far. I will keep on keeping them happy like I always do. If somebody would ask me if I would change anything, I would tell them, “No. I would do everything the same. When I came here I was glad to be here, because I love working with older people.”

David G.
Seems like yesterday Chillin’ with my girl

That I was out in the world

14 — Streams 16

Looking For Me
I had a whole neighborhood looking for me the time I ran away when I was 7. I visited every place in Brooklyn, went to family members’ houses, but no one was there. I finally got on the train. It was the first time and I was terrified. I was walking what seemed to be miles.

Kyle B.

After like an hour or two of walking I didn’t know which one it was but I was on it. And my uncle found me on the train sleeping.

15 — Streams 16

The Cutest Ones Are the Dirtiest Ones
I was on the Six Train when a man next to me asked me for the time I said, “3:00.” He was like, “Thanks Shorty.” As the train stopped on 77th street going uptown a cute fine light skin boy who looked Puerto Rican but had that black complexion got on. He had some weird eyes, but they were the most gorgeous eyes I had ever seen before in my life. He had a black Coogi on and black suede Vasques, had a platinum necklace with a cross on it. There were diamonds all around the cross. He had 4 rings on the fingers of each hand. He came in the train and sat down. I was standing up behind the doors. He kept looking at me and when the train got to 96th St. a girl came inside the train. She had on a short mini skirt, a tight short shirt showing her pierced belly button, and a jean jacket. She had on some leather high heel boots that were actually leather. She had long blond hair, a lot of make up on her face, and she had her tongue pierced. Once she came in, she said to the guy, “Hi, baby. Wuz up?” And he said, “What’s good, Shorty?” She gave him a kiss on the mouth saying, “Hello.” Like you could tell she was a bird.
16 — Streams 16

Natasha Yvelise Victoria

I said to myself I know he didn’t just kiss that chicken head. While they were talking I went to sit right in front of them. She was all up on him, touching him, and he liked it, thinking that was cute. So I kept trying to hear the conversation going on. The girl said, “So, CJ, when you and me gonna have our little party, huh?” He said, “Yo, I don’t know. Holla at me later or somethin’ whatever.” When 103rd St. came, she got up and said, “Bye, CJ. I’ma call you, boo.” He was like, “Yeah, ma”. Then when the train was moving he got up and sat next to me; and he said right in my ear with this soft slow voice, his breath just taking me away, saying, “Ma, you so fine. I make you mine.” I was in a trance to hear his voice in my ear. I turned to him and said, “Yo, papi.” And he said, “What?” I gave him a kiss and took a deep breath. “Damn, you sweet, papi.” And, then, he said, “All trains are now stopping on 125 St. till further notice.” And, I said, “What the hell you talking about?” And, then, I woke up to find out my azz was sleeping on the train when the train stopped on 125 St. like 10 minutes ago. And to see the guy had left.

17 — Streams 16

Journey to the Past
I saw water. It was wavy. Moss on planks bordering the land from the water, birds of different colors flew overhead dropping in and out of formation like cops chasing a criminal but always following the ferry. The water with its aquatic blue color gave the birds a place to rest and feed. Their call was so unique, calling others to their feeding ground. The sun, in its mid-afternoon glory, peeked through the blanketed sky ready to deliver its warmth upon the water.

Jason Samuel

Markers on the water, the Statue of Liberty in her glorious splendor with her ever burning flame, the color of the various objects occupying the water, the different boats ranging from sail to speedboat, to passenger, to freight carrier, the cranes on the horizon did their best to rebuild a landmark of history, the outline of the buildings, the papers on the water, the navy shipyard with its cluster of boats, the bridges blustering with their cargo, all reflected the beauty of man’s hands at work in Nature.

The people around us were curious about our activity. Cellular phones rang.
18 — Streams 16

People caught a nap before their daily routine. Young and old walk hand-in-hand. All traveled on the ferry. The hustle, as everyone got ready to exit the ferry, the crowded platform waiting to get on, a man tried to make a dime before the ferry docked, offered to shine one’s shoe. Standing, sitting, walking around, that’s what my classmates did. Everyone concentrated on the task at hand. We all dressed differently but we were there for one purpose. Everyone had a different agenda but focused on only one thing — to reenact a poet’s voyage over a century ago.*

To my generation of fellow travelers, you will see the natural things; although Mother Nature will alter her child, you will see what I saw. This vessel I stand on will never be the same in the generations to come, in a hundred years.

*Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
19 — Streams 16

Angel France
Manhattan, see you later. I can’t swim. I’m surrounded by danger. It feels like I’m flying in water. Birds fly in air. The water seems fair. I can see the sun is running. I can see the clouds are coming. I’m in a danger zone. The Atlantic is too deep to jump in. I can’t tell if I’m coming or going. Everything is getting closer to me. I can see Lady Liberty looking at me. People take pictures. Birds chirp. People talk. This is what I see.


We are writing. My hand is getting tired. We are complaining. “The food costs too much. I don’t have enough.” We are walking around the boat, observing. We are having fun. We are cold. We are tired of writing. We are uninterested. The people are sleeping and some are reading. Those listen to us speak. They wait on line.

The great outdoors — boat rides can be relaxing in times of stress.
20 — Streams 16

Riding the Staten Island Ferry
The waves the water all in Nature’s bliss, seagulls swoop to get a meal. The trees going from green to brown, the clouds building an atmosphere of melancholy, a dreary mood, Nature interacts as it feels and does as it pleases.

Curtis Trim

The boat in awesome splendor going to and fro, buildings and skyscrapers that greatly amaze you and send you into a state of awe. Boats in their own magnificent accord as they go along, each going about their own business. Lady Liberty standing in elegance, proud forever lighting the way with piers waiting to be docked. Bedazzlement, amazement, awe, the only things that come to you at such a majestic sight. A collage of colors and races go by to work, their costumes strange yet vaguely familiar, races of white, African, Asian and Hispanic, all gathered together in one — not in unity but on the same boat. Some people going to work, some people working, or people who just felt like taking a tour, touring to expand their horizons. People with abilities and people with disabilities, all in a hurry to get where they’re supposed to be.
21 — Streams 16

Boys and girls all gathered together, working to help benefit their group, their clothes in existence with mine. Laughter and fun ensues, as we all have a good time, ‘cause we’re having fun. Some in order, some in disorder, all of us going through a life experience. All amazed, aware, and feeling cold. Yet with the enjoyment at the present time. I’m sure they all had fun. Despite the fact these are changing times, to you it would appear to be similar, though it’s practically the same. The scenery and nature ever changing, what I see today you won’t see tomorrow; and what you see I can only dream of, hoping that it remains as serene as it is today. Though things may appear strange to you, be amazed, excited and aware because what you would be seeing are relics from the past life of a great civilization.

22 — Streams 16

Crossing the Staten Island Ferry
This is cloudy October 23 of the year 2001 When the first time I board a boat I can feel the sensation of fear The sensation of oscillation of the boat over the sea As I look up at the sky, I realize the Creator is there As the boat moves I contemplate the nature of the city Yellow leaves, fallen leaves are viewed The birds express themselves with their gray white colors The sky is cloudy and moody The wind blows on my hairy arms I have enjoyed the trip For me, I consider it as a gift I’m barely observing the blowing waves by the boat Life is precious and enjoyable I turn my head to the left I cannot believe the American symbol disappeared Since then, life has been a privilege. I stay calm for a moment and I feel a way That I never felt before. I’m in the middle of the sea Observing gigantic ships, nano boats Coast Guard ships, tiny islands, metal islands Lady of Liberty, the Washington Bridge, The skyscrapers I think I’m alone But of course I’m not I turn around; I see the world

Fritzner Regis, Jr.

23 — Streams 16

All ethnics, all personalities, all occupations Whites, blacks, tall, short, men, women, photographers, Riders, workers, mothers, fathers, security guards, Firefighters, students, writers, observers, teachers, All are embraced by the orange boat

Dispersed are we Most of us grab the top level for a better view Few choose to stay inside to be dramatic. Persis and I have the first and the craziest conversation ever You’ll find us in every spot in the boat Persis is a good looking young girl, friendly and lovable Ricardo prefers to stay inside the orange duck Joanne is out of my sight Some people and I are haunted by the realistic view Offered at the left side I’m planning a trip myself again As the 21st century is moving at once. Next time I expect to be crossing to Staten Island In an unimaginable space craft.

24 — Streams 16

Kelley S. Jones
I see the Statue of Liberty holding her torch up high as ever; below her sits the American flag that still waves to remind us we are still free. I was looking for the Twin Towers that do not exist anymore. I’ve also seen buildings I’ve never seen before. I see the boats sailing, all kinds; one was going faster, so fast that I could not keep track of it. I see the waves moving in slow motion to the same rhythm flowing back and forth; the wind is also blowing through our hair and the trees are moving in the opposite direction. The people I’ve seen on the boat were mixed with all kinds. Some dressed up like they were going to work, others dressed like me in jeans, a shirt and some Timbs. Some were quiet, others were loud, talking about events that passed back in the day. The people from my class were different in many ways. Some went outside to catch a good view, others stayed inside; some of us were in groups, others were by themselves, as my teacher came back and forth to check up on us to make sure we were doing our work. To my future generations, my advice to you is not to eat before you go on this ride, and if you can’t take the sea stay inside. You can still see the view completely well. Who knows? This ferry may not exist anymore, but by you reading this you will still be able to visualize what I’ve seen.
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On The Ferry

On the ferry this day, which to you seems so far away The clouds hang low as the water the ferry is enveloped in sways. The sun hides itself from me and I can’t see the green of far away trees. The wind blows, chill and slow, until the ferry begins to speed. Birds fly overhead as if they wish to take the ride. I can see their colors clearly: black, gray and white. In the background there are more buildings than I can count — Big, small, short, tall — what a vast amount. There are historic points strewn about — all flew the flag. The Statue of Liberty stood with such posture. She’s been there for years. What a back she has. Ships, boats, cranes and things are spread about the ocean. A man talks about swimming this thing. I laugh at such a notion.

Forever on the Ferry

Erikka Bolding

The people stand along the railings relaxed by Nature’s vision. They use the last of all their film to take so many pictures. The clothes of all the spectators unsurprisingly varies. The ones who dressed warm on this day are considered very lucky.
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Some people are distant and look at others with distaste While others are social, spark conversation as friendship falls into place.

I sit by a classmate and we talk about our poems, How they are so different yet so similar. I see my other classmates overwhelmed by the sights, Being undecided on exactly what to write. They talk to one another exchanging their ideas. But, some are not as focused and talk about what they should wear. The many people on this boat ride make the ride colorful — The different personas, different appearances — it’s a moment not dull.

To those who will ride the ferry in many years to come, You may see different faces, buildings; the sun may even shine, But your trip will be quite similar, similar to mine.

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Kimberly David
One Night Stand
Part 1

We were cool until this happened. Now it seems like the audiences just stopped clapping. What could I have done to make him stay? Was it not good, as good and sweet as that chick he slept with last week? After all, I don’t know what it could be. I was quite sure he’d be calling, looking for me. He should have told me it was all about sex. I would have been prepared for what happened next. Was it my fault? He stopped calling, or I’d call and he wouldn’t call back. I can’t stand him. Why is he acting like that? I thought he was different, but he’s the same. He’s just like those other guys, nothing but lames. I don’t know what it was. We talked a lot. I was quite sure he’d be calling for more. That one time was good, don’t get me wrong. I can’t believe this, but I want some more. The sex was great. It was good to me, ‘cause after we finished I fell fast asleep. Every time I see him I have flashbacks. I remember my arms holding on to the towel rack. He’ll call me again, maybe not today or tomorrow. But, one day this week he’ll call me to try and get another sneak peek.
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Kimberly David
One Night Stand
Part 2

(Guy Version) There’s this chick I slept with one time. She won’t leave me alone, and she always seems to notice whenever I’m home. Calling me, paging me, leaving messages on my phone, why won’t this damn girl just leave me alone? I used to talk to her every night before she went to sleep. I think she fell in love. She fell too deep. It wasn’t that serious. I got what I wanted. Now she got me wishing I would have fronted. Yeah, she’s cool. What can I say? She’s not the type of girl I’d wake up to everyday. But, besides that she’s ok. I’m saying that one time was pretty good. But, Shorty ain’t all that. But, if I had to do it again I wouldn’t take it back. I’m lying. Shorty is fine. She’s more than a nickel. She’s a dime. I did feel kind of bad after all that. That made me seem real low. And, Shorty probably thinks I thought she was a ho’. I’ll call her. Not today or tomorrow, maybe one day this week I’ll answer her calls and talk again. But, I already hit it. Don’t you know it, my friend?
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Jason Irizarry


At night having nothing to do, I stare at the stars above wishing I could’ve met you, mom. I feel you so deep in my heart. and to know I’m correct Not knowing who you really were,

I feel you so close I know you are not far. I start to wonder why we are apart. I start to picture how you may look, I pick up my picture book.

30 — Streams 16

My waves stay spinning ‘cause I brush them over a hundred times. I never miss a spot ‘cause they stay spinning all of the time. To get your waves spinning like mine you gotta brush them about a hundred times. Brush each side equally so that when you get finished they could be spinning 360. 360 — going all around. My waves spin so much that I stay tripping, falling, even stumbling. I gotta keep my balance, ‘cause I don’t wanna hurt myself. That’s why I wear a du-rag, to keep my waves under control, ‘cause if I don’t wear one someone might get hurt, you know. And the most important thing is that you should have the perfect brush. The bristles shouldn’t be too soft and not too hard, but in the middle. The hair grease you use should be able to be washed out easily. But if I keep going you might get dizzy, ‘cause my waves stay spinning.
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My Waves Stay Spinning

Kareem Edwards

Edilma Ponce
Niemann the demon, is a homework freak. He worked us off on the Greeks. Essay day comes. Everyone moans. He says come on, and do your work.


To learn the vocabulary words and write essays make it for him in so many ways. To fall asleep can be the worst. He taps on the desk and says, “Get up Shawn!” For you to fail his class can be a drama. He blabs it all out to your momma. Read, read is the way to be. To take AP brings him pride to teach. For us to read is his treat, and for him to hear you say, “I read,” makes him proud to be. This is the Niemann we will always see!

“The gum chewing is bad.” He says, “Mmm! throw it out.” But, the students don’t listen and just go about.

David G.

5:30 wake up,

take a shower, and get dressed, and then go to school.
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I’m afraid to go outside

Tell Me Why
Please God, tell me why friends have to die? It’s not fair and it’s not right. Oh God why that night? She was so young, but her years didn’t last. I didn’t think life could end so fast. Please God, tell me why?


Even if her soul is flying free, now her dreams can never be. Teens aren’t supposed to die. I need an answer. God, please tell me why?

Maybe life isn’t what it seems. To you Aaliyah, Rest In Peace One love to Aaliyah

And not all teens get their dreams.

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Love’s What Made Me Strong
My broken heart will never heal. Love’s forever left my soul. My smiles are lies, my laughter’s fake. There’s nothing left for love to take.

Kadeema Greene

There was bad news when I got home. The news was that my grandmother had died. Three hours earlier I was at home and then I went outside with my friends to ride my bike. While I was outside, my grandmother must have passed away in her sleep. When I came home she was stretched out on the couch like she was asleep. Meanwhile I went into the kitchen to get a soda out of the refrigerator and then I went into the living room. I tried to wake her up because I thought she was asleep, so I pushed her like eight or nine times to wake her up and tell her that I was home, but she would not get up. So I ran out of the house.
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Bad News

Ray M.

There’s a Three-Month-Old Baby
There’s a three-month-old baby crying in the middle of the night, as he lies there waiting, his cries get louder. waiting in the crib for his mother to come He sees that his mother hasn’t come yet. He just cries himself back to sleep, and changed, but his mother The poor little baby boy just needed his diaper Then 2 hours later he begins to cry again and his mother finally comes, because she was in a very deep sleep. was in a very deep sleep. all he needed was to have his diaper changed.

Lauren Natalie Robinson

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Dad's Foot
I had a sick relative and his name was Joey R. That's my father for a checkup and one day he went to the hospital and the doctor told him he had cancer in his bones.

Paul N.

So a couple of months went by So one cold, freezing night I went to bed real late He said it too.

and my father got sicker and even sicker. and I said good night and I love you. So the next morning he died right next to me RIP. with his foot on my head.

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Leah Ariel Peterkin
You stay try-na play me! Do I look like a game to you? We should be together having four season brunch somewhere locking the malls down like an umbrella facing bad weather. But, you stay try-na run things. It was just me and you. I thought you loved my point of view, ‘cause I held no punches. It seems as if you left for months and still haven’t checked in yet. Like you are in the city somewhere holding a bunch of whores down! It seems as if you want to get close now, but your pride won’t let you show it. I know you see it coming down my eyes. So won’t you stop my tears now? You are so used to hooking girls up with your buddies that now they say they hate me! Used to tell me you love me then they came along again and they don’t remember that and you don’t remember me! I know you see them coming down my eyes. The word when you left was that I had a special friend. I was giving away without getting at you. That’s not my fault. How many times have I forgiven you? I know you are my man.
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You Stay

I shouldn’t be doing things like that. I won’t throw away what we have just like that. You were just messing with the girls. — You were going to get right back. They say the moral of the story is this: — Once a good boy’s gone bad, he’s gone forever more. Forever, man. You gotta live with the fact you did me wrong forever. I know you see them coming down my eyes, so I gotta make these words cry!

Jennifer DelaCruz
You’re super super neat. You’re super super cool. cruel. But, most of all, I think you’re super super

39 — Streams 16

Tariell Hilliard
I’m Afraid
I’m afraid to have friends ‘cause my feelings are so deep. Every time I get hurt I turn mad and hold heat. I’m afraid to go outside. I might get blown with wind, never returning home, and have my mother crying again. I’m afraid to talk ‘cause my words are so powerful. The way I speak the truth you would say I’m lying. But, I keep moving. I’m afraid to get mad. Dudes violate me. Now I’m afraid to get back. So this is how it goes. I have no friends, don’t even go outside. I have no wins, just a lost boy; trapped in a world of sins.

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Natasha Yvelise Victoria
Have you ever wondered which hurts the most, saying something and wishing you had not or saying nothing and wishing you had? I guess the most important things are the hardest things to say. Your heart decides whom it likes and whom it doesn’t. You can’t tell your heart what to do. It does it on its own. Too many of us stay walled in because we are too afraid to care too much for fear that the other person does not care as much or at all. Have you ever denied your feelings for someone ‘cause your fear of rejection was too hard to handle? We tell lies when we are afraid...afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie the thing we fear grows stronger. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had. No one waits forever... What would you do...? What would you do if every time you fell in love you had to say good-bye? What would you do if every time you wanted someone they would be there? What would you do if your best friend died tomorrow?

What would you do if you never got the chance to say I am friends with all of my family and they know I love them? Some people love and some people die. But I want to tell you that you are a friend. If something happened to me tomorrow you would be in my heart. Would I be in yours? If you care about the person who wrote this, consider her a friend.

Don’t Cry for Someone Who Makes You Cry
Don’t have to stay with someone who makes you cry. You will hurt yourself because he makes you cry. Life goes on, you will find someone else. He is not the only one in the world. to get better. I know it is going to take a lot of time for you One day you will find somebody who is not going And life will go on. Just be strong. to make you cry.

Felicia Ursule Ngassam

42 — Streams 16

Perihelion Freedom
It’s hard losing your physical feelings: the loss of the fragrance of the city’s fresh air; the loss of the drip drops of rain water hitting the top of your air conditioner. through an 8 by 4 white cell. It is hard to see an image of the world’s true beauty It is very hard to smell through the Plexiglas windows, to smell the morning’s updraft. It is hard to see yourself in a suit that doesn’t pertain to business or fashion. and the people who don’t care about you. It is hard. . . It is very hard

Luis Torres

It’s hard being with people who you don’t know, It is hard to eat what you’ll hate to eat, but have to.

43 — Streams 16

Ernesto Mateo
Day by Day
Day by day I wait for that day to come. The day I can get released from this hell house. I have no tears left in me. I have suffered more than a plant without water. I am innocent. Why won’t anyone believe me? Only God knows that. Everyday I pray to have faith so I can get out. But, why do the innocent suffer more than the guilty? Every day I sit by the window asking the Lord, “Why? Why me? I did no crime. Why me?” When I get visits it makes me want to kill myself. It hurts when I see my family coming to see me then say, “Bye,” and wait a week to see them. I am so stressed that my hair is starting to fall out. I’ve been trapped for weeks. I am held responsible for a crime I didn’t commit. My life is ruined because of a girl. Every day I wake up hoping to hear my name — to get out — released from such a place. Jail is like a tub with no water, summer without sun, in other words no hope. I am sick of walking up and down the steps to eat. I want to get out of here,

but they won’t allow it. Why won’t anyone believe me? Why me? Life in jail is not for me. Day in, day out, all I do is pray and think about my case. I hope someone confesses, because — I swear to God — I am innocent. When I sleep and have dreams about me and my house I wake up, look around, and cry and say, “This is not home. This is jail.” I wait for that day to come. I am already losing weight because of the food they provide. Lord help me.

David G.
I squeeze my eyes shut, And, it is over.

knowing it is going to come.

45 — Streams 16

Lewis Williams
The New Place
I don’t fit in.

My inside is missing;

everything I once knew; much like the flu.

my hood where I once grew. But, this is my home

This place got me home sick, now, so lonely and blue.

Just breathe the Brownsville air, all I need to get me through. The people are different. The place is new. But, after a year I might miss here too.

46 — Streams 16

Innocently I walk down the depressed block. Crack infested, li’l boys tryin’ to be gangsta, drinking forties. Black car rolls up shiny metal piece rolls out the window. I hear gunshots. I hit the floor. The gunshots stop. The black car disappears. I feel a stinging pain at my side. I blink slowly, so slowly. I see the li’l boys standing over me. “YO, SHE HURT,” they scream. I hold my side. My hand is wet, hard to pick up. I feel numb. I blink again. I’m breathing hard. I try to scream, “Daddy, mommy.” I hear sirens. An ambulance, two people, one woman, one man. Slowly, I blink again.
47 — Streams 16

Wasted (Part 1)

I’Nish King

I’m being lifted. Let my eyes close. I see nothing. I see darkness. I hear nothing but a woman in a low voice, “We’re losing her.” My life flashes before me. Mommy dressing me. Daddy taking me to school for the first time. Riding a two-wheeler. My first graduation. My junior high graduation. My high school graduation. It took place just today. I remember. Remember getting up to accept my valedictorian award, accepting my Harvard scholarship. Innocent children, mothers running helplessly down the block, dropping to the floor, holding their child’s lifeless body close to their bosom, holding onto what was once theirs. The gates open once more. A new member to my family. Another mother screams. Another father sheds a tear. When will it stop? No mother wants to give up a child.
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No father wants to let go. Another gunshot. Do you hear it? The gate opens and another seed lost. Another black car. Another shot. Another tear. Another child Wasted

I left my brother that morning at his basketball tryouts gave him a hug and told him that I loved him till the day I died then went to work. I stood on the corner in front of the bodega.

Wasted (Part 2)

Crisp Vasquez boots, a nicely ironed Girbaud shirt with matching pants, I chew on my gum with perfect timing. Every second comes in with a new chew tick tock tick tock squish squish squish. 49 — Streams 16

I’m waiting for my crew to roll up. Yup dat black car coming down the block real fast. “Get in,” my homeboy tells me. I jump in the car no hesitation. He hands me the piece. We ride down three blocks. I get prepared. Li’l niggaz drinking forties think it’s cool to mess with my niggaz. Yet they don’t know what a day be like. I start rolling down. I see a girl with a white cap and gown in my way. Feel bad for her, but you gotta do what you gotta do. He slows the car up. I start shooting. Niggaz fall to the floor. So does that innocent girl. She fell slowly like a strong wall taking a fall after a harsh cold bloody war. I start chewing my gum again but slower this time squish . . . squish squish . . . squish. The car speeds up. I roll up my window,
50 — Streams 16

close my eyes. I ask myself, “Why?” I just took a young girl out. Purity written all over her face, a white gown polluted with a mess I made. I messed up this time. I drop the piece and start to cry a river of hot tears mixed with sweat, sweat of a guilty mind after that day I promised myself I would change my life. POP! A clear shot to the head. I fall against the glove compartment. Darkness is all I see. I can’t move. I hear my echo nothing more. Then there’s a light. I walk towards it. A woman a man carry me in the direction of the Lord. The Lord holds my shoulder and touches a cloud. He lets me see my little brother crying, crying over my stiff cold body my cold face no expression at all. I lived horribly. Died horribly. Then my Lord
51 — Streams 16

shows me the future. I see my brother in my mother’s room holding the piece the same piece I took my first nigga out with. He holds it to his head. I try to stop him. He hesitates then lies down and says, “You said you loved me till the day you died.” Puts the pillow over his head and takes his life away. I stay speechless. Once more purity pollutes by my hands I look at the Lord tears in my eyes. He stares down at me and shakes his head. I look at my brother’s lifeless body. I now notice from the day I placed a piece in my hand it was too late for change. I did what I did. Can’t undo it. My niggaz life. Her life. My baby brother’s life. My life. All wasted.
52 — Streams 16

Today is a bad day. Wish I could say I’ve never had one before, but bad days consume my life. I have no escape from them. Today is a bad day when I wonder . . . where is the support for us, sisters in the struggle? When a man asks a woman to wait for him while he’s in prison, does he realize what an incredible emotional sacrifice that is? Does he realize, yes we are in the struggle, too? When I made this choice to do this bid with my man I didn’t know what it would mean to continuously hand over the control and happiness of my life . . . not to my mate but to an institution. From the very beginning, my mate told me I had the power. Do I? I buy my clothes according to what is acceptable for a visit. At anytime I can go anywhere my heart desires, but my heart desires to be trapped within the prison compound. So where am I going? I stalk the mailman and won’t leave the house until he comes: waiting for a white envelope
53 — Streams 16

A Sister in a Struggle

Erica Crews

with that familiar hand writing that has taken the place of hugs and kisses. I check the phone several times a day to make sure it’s working; waiting to hear it ring and see “unavailable” appear on the caller ID, a sight that has taken the place of my door count. No I don’t have the power. The prison guards have all the power. The mailman has the power. Father Time has the power. I feel helpless and out of control. Today is surely a bad day and yes I’m in the struggle, too.

Jennifer Jordan

I see a girl on Franklin. Tears were falling. I see myself. Tears were falling. I see a baby at the hospital. Tears were falling, falling, falling, falling, Tears were falling for you and me, but what are the tears for?

Raquel Marshall
Rainy days bring back memories of you. How can I move on when my life is so confused? Promises you made never came true. Promises you’ve broken made me blue. I finally realized that your love for me was fake. Is love supposed to hurt like this? Is my heart supposed to ache? Never thought I would ever have to go through this. I can’t believe it hurts like this. Mother always said, “Love is pain.” That’s why every time it rains I think of your name.

Rainy Days

I gave you my all. You gave me trials. I gave you my love. You gave me a child. You left me alone, hurt, and depressed. Now you’re off with your girlfriend on another quest. You are the only boy I know. For you to leave me now, it can’t be so. I’m sixteen with a child on the way and for a boy my age that means stay away. It’s hard for me now to just let things be, because the one who gets hurts after all this will be me. I know it’s my fault for not taking caution, I couldn’t see myself getting an abortion. I can’t turn back the hands of time. Even if I could he’s too damn fine. Everybody says he’ll change once the baby is born, but the damage has been done. My heart’s already torn.
55 — Streams 16

Why Do You Do What You Do?
As I stared down the barrel I asked the gun, And it replied “Why do you want me dead?” “It is not I who wants you dead But the one who bought me And again I asked It is not I who is going to kill you “Why do you do what you do?” Then the gun asked me But the one who pulls my trigger.” And the gun replies with great sorrow “Why do humans use me to

Ruth Milius

“I can only do what I was meant to do.” rid themselves of their enemies, And to that I had no reply.

are there no other alternatives?”

56 — Streams 16

When I was a child no one felt my pain. I grew up no one felt my pain. Why didn’t anyone feel my pain?

No You Can’t Feel My Pain


Maybe no one cared. Maybe no one noticed me. I guess I didn’t show or express myself clearly. No, you can’t feel my pain. I was 14 when I started getting locked up. I was 14 going on 15 when I was in jail. A month later I finally got out. I guess no one felt my pain. I was 13 when I started smoking. I was 13 when I lost my virginity. No, you can’t feel my pain.

I lived on my own since I was 13 going on 14. I was raising me, myself and I alone. Why couldn’t anyone see my pain? People say they understand. They say they been through it. How come if they did Why didn’t they see my pain? I was 14 when I was selling my body. I continued till this very day; Until I learned my lesson.
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I was 15 and spent my “Sweet 16” in jail. No one feels my pain!

I lost my family when I was young. I been on my own since I was very young. I regret everything I have ever done. No, you can’t feel my pain.

Look Through the Window
My window is small. My window is faint. My window is gone. I’m fallin’ fast. I need help to Help, help, help me! step back in the class. and see how I feel.

McCartha Thomas

Look through my window

58 — Streams 16

Salleen Michel
Of all the tragedies I’ve ever seen One plane flies through the sky

War On America

this is the one that was truly mean. with a horrid, evil and vengeful eye. With no concern for whom they would hurt. Tower 2 was told, “It’s ok. You can stay.

Boom! Into Tower 1 like a child kicked a pile of dirt. Tower 1 will be safe for the rest of the day.” Boom! Tower 2 was hit shortly thereafter. War on America! Is what this is, But we must all work together, Now this is a truly horrible New York disaster. Stay strong and protect the kids.

Many people hurt, many people gone. Like me! I’ve lost a sister, a friend, and an uncle yet to be found. But, I know it’s not the end.

Yet the spirit of America will stay strong.

I have family who love me, friends who care, and even enemies won’t sneer. America shall stand strong through all stormy weather. In an odd way this evil has brought us together.
59 — Streams 16

Seleana Scala
September 11th, 2001,

a day of sorrow and grief,

an explosion so high up in the sky that affected me so deep. had turned so very cold A day that started off so sunny from all the death left in the streets and all the floating souls. September 11th, 2001, a day I’ll never forget, and I’m around to see. the beginning of WW III, a brand new chapter of life,

60 — Streams 16

extend our thread of wonder

Roxanne Williams
I am a little girl named Marie. My parents are brave warriors. My mother has brown hair and blue eyes. My father has black hair brown eyes and sweet lips. I hear the joy of happiness. It smells wonderful. It is also beautiful to look at, like being able to hug my sister and dance around with joy. I’m afraid of going back the way it used to be, being afraid of not going out, being locked up, hiding for so long. The day when the war began, people being shot, bodies everywhere, the streets were covered with
62 — Streams 16


people’s blood. The war is over. Right now my body feels like a bird being able to fly free.

A Night Without Armor
Tonight I walk the garden of my soul Bare, pure, naked Free of any and all boundaries, inhibitions Free of the fear and the hate Free of my anger, my sorrow Tonight I walk Tonight I dance Tonight I dance in the garden of my soul I taste the sweet breezes of victory and love I bathe in the cool waters of what I do not know I explore the dark valleys of where I have not been And I smile cause I’m not afraid anymore Tonight I can get lost in myself Tonight I can step out of myself Tonight I can see myself Without armor Vulnerable soul Exalted spirit Tonight I walk the garden of my soul Without armor
63 — Streams 16

Malikah Kelly

Mute beings, who are unable to let the flow of words roll

For the Humans of Silence

Niesha Brown

off their tongues and out of They use different paint

their mouths, are often wise beyond expression. brushes and colors to paint

the same beautiful portraits

as we do. They sculpt with the same hands. Their voices blow with the wind, yet their ideas leave a mark on our minds and extend Singing the song of silence,

our thread of wonder and astonishment. their invisible voices resound in ink, paint, clay, and music. The magic of silence travels far and wide. Where will they go? Who and what will they change? What stunning beauty will they reveal? How far will

they stretch the rubber band of fascination?
64 — Streams 16

Sandra Carillo
There are times when I speak to you and don’t know what to say. There’s such an eloquent silence. you might as well ask ‘cuz my mind is as open to the world as it is to world and I give it to you. I give you my Do you know me just by how we talk? Do I do to you? Are we become when silence? we friends or are you listen to me like we what? What will we’re together? Or will we still have an eloquent
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Whatever you wanna know

your heart. You ask me for the trust. Do you trust me?

Yasoda Brathwaite
I gazed anxiously at some travel brochures trying very hard to select the very best vacation spot. Should it be a quiet and peaceful vacation, or a thrilling and exciting one? Finally, I found the perfect place in the Caribbean while browsing through some magazines I had bought while shopping for groceries. I immediately made reservations with an agent and got everything ready for the following weekend. I reached my destination after a tiring four-hour flight. As I departed from the aircraft, I looked around and was overwhelmed by the beauty that I saw. There was beauty everywhere, and lots of smiling faces that greeted me saying, “Welcome to Barbados.” I took a cab to a nearby hotel and got a glimpse of parts of the exquisite land. I had such a fabulous time shopping and trying the different tasty Caribbean dishes. The tourist attractions were amazing. There were magnificent caves that glittered as though they were painted with diamonds. The flower gardens were filled with all types of exotic plants and animals; it was absolutely fantastic. The beaches were the most breath-taking part of the entire trip. The waters were crystal blue and the sands golden brown with shells of all kinds. I kept a few of them as souvenirs. I took long soaks in the sea as I watched the children playing with the tiny puddles of water on the rocks. As I relaxed on the shore, I was hypnotized by the different shades of fluorescent pink and orange that painted the sunset on the evening skies. Before I knew it, my ten days were up and I hated the thought of leaving this beautiful island to return to the awful polluted city. I watched helplessly through my little window as the island got smaller and smaller and disappeared into the Caribbean mist, and it was nothing more than a memory.
66 — Streams 16

Taking a Vacation

I went to a school conference, Learn and Serve America, with my teacher and three of my classmates. This took place at Hudson Valley, New York. We left Brooklyn around 10 o’clock. We arrived at Manhattan around 12 o’clock. There we met with students from other schools. It took us three hours to reach our destination. On the bus we watched a movie while others took a nap. The bus made a stop. We all got out of the bus. Some went to the bathroom or got something to eat. When we arrived at the hotel we checked in and got our nametags. We went upstairs to put our bags in the room. Then we went back downstairs to set up. While we were waiting for Ms. Moli to come back, Nadine and I took a walk to see what kinds of displays other schools had. Our teacher came down and we all put our best work into setting up. Our table looked great. We got a lot of compliments. We also conducted a workshop. The workshop was “Bias and Conflict Resolution.” It was presented by Ms. Moli Ntuli, Kareem, Ansel, Nadine and myself. Although we were in charge of the workshop, I learned a lot about bias because I did not know what bias was about. In the night time I changed my clothes and headed straight to the gym. I worked out a lot. Then I went to the spa. The night before I went to the pool with Nadine, Ansel, Kareem and Ms. Moli (but she did not get in the pool). I also made a lot of friends, and met some real nice teachers.
67 — Streams 16

A Learn and Serve Conference

Reann Charles

Learn and Serve was a great experience for me. It was just great to see people of all nationalities. We saw teachers and students share their personalities. We had always conceived teachers as authoritarian figures. Also the variety of the workshops were spectacular. I don’t know how other students were able to choose workshops to go to, because it was hard for me to choose. All workshops were great. This was a learning experience. Thanks to Barbara and Richard for sending us.

The Learn and Serve America Conference was a new experience for me, because I’ve never been to a conference where other schools and students were involved. When we reached the hotel, the first thing we did was get our nametags, check in, and then go to our room. The room was spectacular. It was big with two double beds, a television, and many more things that were real nice. We then went to the 2nd floor Share Fair room, to set up our table. This was the room that was used for the schools to share information about their work. At our table we had the VTC tee-shirts which we designed ourselves. We also had other things, such as pictures, VTC brochure and more information concerning VTC. Our table was really attractive. A lot of people liked it. I had an opportunity to run a workshop on conflict resolution. Our workshop was creating writing and performing conflict dialogues. The objective of this

Learn and Serve America

Kareem Phipps

workshop was for people to look at their own bias, to understand how bias impacts human lives, and to develop strategies on how to solve conflict non violently. We also had a great icebreaker, which was a good introduction to the workshop. It was a prediction game. This was to help get to know each other. The main purpose of this icebreaker was to show how people judge each other without even knowing the other person. We had students and teachers make predictions about each other. This activity was to show that, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” By just looking at someone you couldn’t tell what his or her background was. The activity included role-play about conflict resolution. Students and teachers had to write a conflict dialogue based on bias and role-play it. The outcome of the roleplay was to see why bias could cause conflict. In conclusion, this conference was to introduce Service Learning as an instructional tool to all who attended, both students and teachers. I also felt that it enhanced what we already know. Students and teachers shared what other schools did. The conference for me was a big success. Everything ran very well and everyone from the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehab Center had a very good time and wish to go back.

69 — Streams 16

The Way I Feel
The way I feel can’t be explained. I’m experiencing a lot of anger and pain. Maybe never again will I see your face. I’m really feeling quite confused. I fear that again I’ll be abused. Maybe never to see New York again. If I feel lonely while we’re apart, I’ll remember I’m blessed and really quite smart.

Jamaria W.

I’m going away from this comfortable place.

Maybe never again to make a friend.

I’ll keep a good focus on love that is true, and I promise that I’ll look for some more folks like you. I can chase away pain. I’ve learned them quite well. For none of your lessons were taught in vain.

70 — Streams 16

Catherine Marie Ayala
I Refuse
I refuse to be another pregnant teen. I refuse to be naïve. I guess that ‘s why I’m mean. I’d rather be considered utterly cruel, People may think I’m crazy or ballistic, but I refuse to be another statistic.

than to play the role of anybody’s fool. This is simply the life I choose to lead. I refuse to be weak and on drugs. Because my life has just begun,

Love is something I want, not something I need. Though I may hangout with so called “thugs,” I refuse to be another victim shown on TV.

So, if you look into my eyes I want you to see me.

I also want you to say, “This girl doesn’t get abused.”

And I will say, “It’s because a long time ago I refused.”

71 — Streams 16

Tameeka Gibson
Don’t Rush, Wait
Don’t rush, wait. fall in its place. And, our love

Soon everything will Don’t rush, wait. will be stronger than it is today. We have to wait, will just be lust. ‘cause unless we trust

the feeling, what we have

72 — Streams 16

Being Eleven Is Like . . .
Being eleven feels pure, like the world is waiting on me. Being eleven tastes like yellow platanos, because I was sweet with a hint of brown. the lyrics kick in. Being eleven sounds like innocent classical music before Being eleven looks like old Harlem, when my grandpa in front of my grandma’s building with my friends. the summertime.

Raecia Catchings

walked me to school every day and I played double dutch Being eleven smells like fresh fall air and pool water in This is what being eleven feels like.

73 — Streams 16

One of the Greatest Moments of My Life
school was in the auditorium. People did plays, sang, My graduation picture — I remember the whole

Bishaunti P.

rapped; my whole class was on stage. I had the mic in my hand with my cap and gown on. The girls and the rest of rapping for my class and my best friend was on my left was there. We took the picture outside in front of the school, the class had caps and gowns on, too. I had just finished side. His name was Evan. I was so happy my whole family P.S. 116. I was posed with my head up high and most of the rest of the class did the same. My girl had just and her. I saw my mother on the far right and my were the good days. shown up. I didn’t know she was there. She told me that she loved me and then we took another picture, just me brother on the far left and all of my old teachers. Those

74 — Streams 16

Ismael Gomez
The Perfect Drug
I boarded the bus. I didn’t pay attention to all the people because they all looked the same, with smiles on their faces as if they had some malevolent plan to kill me. (Or maybe it was just my paranoia.) It was like the perfect drug. I saw her sitting on the floor I looked outside and my heart got a shot of adrenaline: where everyone spits and vomits when they’re drunk. I got the chance to look at her closely. She was the total opposite of everyone around. Her clothes were ripped and old. But, when I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. The bus started to move and I saw how she disappeared inch by inch. her beautiful eyes looking at me. I looked at her face I felt salvation, a feeling more real than if you’d spent your whole childhood in a church. My mouth was zippered with barbed wire while my eyes admired. It was too late. Now all I have left are memories of Am I a fool? Or was that feeling true?
75 — Streams 16

I think sometimes as I lay sleeping in my crib, someone must have leaned over and whispered, “Don’t dream.” I think when I open my eyes wide enough to see the stars in heaven, someone whispered, “Don’t dream.” When I open my arms to embrace the world, to taste all that should have been promised to me, someone whispered, “Don’t dream.” When I began asking questions, my mind hungry for the beauty of learning, the adventure of education and reading, someone passed me a note that said, “Black child of the ghetto, don’t dream.” My heart opened, my heart flowered, I became over powered with the thirst that remained unquenchable even for an ocean. I thirst for love, security and a way to be me. The hunger grew, yet someone gave me a bowl of alphabet soup which said,
76 — Streams 16

Black Child of the Ghetto

Seleana Scala

“Don’t dream.”

When I found my voice and the courage to speak, I needed to know why this should be so. Was I not the same as my neighbor, and she was encouraged to dream. Was I not as pretty, or as good as she? Yet she did it all the time. I don’t think she was ever told not to dream. “So, why,” I ask, “is it wise for me not to do it; wise that I not dream?” “You’re a child of the ghetto, of questionable birth and brought up on welfare, wearing hand me downs from family and friends and strangers your parents cleaned for. To top it all off, my child, you are black,” was my ever given answer. “For a better life you have no right. Settle for what you have and expect no more, and most of all, Black child of the ghetto, don’t dream.” So in case somewhere in this overcrowded universe there is another black child of the ghetto, this is for you. This is for any child, anywhere, who has a conscious thought capable of dream — Do not listen to those who say, “Don’t dream.”
77 — Streams 16

Do dream! Do hope! Do believe! Sometimes these are all you have to give. Your strength and courage to try and achieve what you want to be in this life. Tempered with a dose of reality, a dream is a place of beginning. So turn a deaf ear to those who say, “Black child of the ghetto, don’t dream.”

When Do Dreams Come True?
When do dreams come true? As life dies do they ever? Do you know when they do? or does life wither away just like the dreams?

Sandra Carillo

Can you tell them apart from the rest? Does life go on without them

Do your dreams just float away?

Do you dream or are you a dream?
78 — Streams 16

For my people who stand in front of the bodega by day but in their college classes by night. For my people who sit on the steps in front of my building rhyming about their life. Yeah, my people who kill people— not with guns, but with their educated words.

For the Educated Thugs.

I’Nish King

My thugs who come from the piss-smelling projects, who become CEOs of top companies. My thugs like different colored roses growing beautifully through the cracks in the concrete. There goes another one of my thugs just made himself the first black president. Yes, he became another rose. This is for my thugs, my educated thugs.

79 — Streams 16

Niesha Brown
“Attention! Purchase your tickets to see the amazing actress perform her most challenging role.”


Ever since I was born, I hid myself from the world. I wanted to die in my mother’s womb, to avoid the world.

Acting was my only way of hiding in the shadows of my own image. The world hates me. They love Alexandria, the furious dame. Or Celeste, the passionate lover. But not me. I hide from my family, the flashing cameras and all the latest fashions. I don’t bother to look in my magic glass. Every day I see someone different. Strangers sleep in my bed every night.

My shadows get all the attention from everybody, while I stay secluded in my little lake of loneliness. The lake speaks to me. She cries every time I want to leave. She shows me the world.

My creator, my mother, my life, and my soul. If I need a place to hide, she embraces me with her arms.
80 — Streams 16

I woke up and thought

There was no one in sight, but you felt like you were in the middle of a war.

The Break of Dawn

Dezroy Bobb

The wind blew in rage and sung the songs of death. The animals cried out for mercy,

when the great fireball got thrown out of the heavens. Are the gods at war with each other

or is the world going to end? A bright yellow light came over the Earth. “We are going to die,” a voice said, “I’m gone.” I turned around and he said it was only dawn.

Edward S.
For seven seconds

I was dreaming of nothing. I woke up and thought.
82 — Streams 16

Meggan Lugo
The train is coming. It’ll be all right. Bam.

Your paper falls on the floor.

Oh, $#&! Quick, calm down, just pick it up. Someone pushed me. My paper fell again. Paper fell again. Picked it up, on the train safely. Damn, I missed my stop. People are coming, pushing me. Time slip slip slipping away. No mistakes, no no no BAM. Drifting off in a world with no confusion. Back to where I left off.

83 — Streams 16

Salleen Michel
Everything I want I don’t have. Everything I have I don’t want. I want love, I get hate. I want trust, I get lies. Life is not given to you how you want it! The hate I have I get rid of. The love I don’t have I take. I’m confused....

So I go for what I want and I don’t back down. Never realizing I hurt others

and cause more pain to get what I want.

Raymond Dickerson
Confusion is an institution of your illusions. If your capability is to unravel, If you are able to solve things, why make it a hard thing?
84 — Streams 16

why have your thoughts in a scramble?

Edilma Ponce
That cold blowing wind

running through my bones

that makes me stone my inner self

into this one stored place in your heart.

Why? Why? This reaction that we have The lies that we both can’t confront, and that there is more to go. Empty when you can fill it

toward each other can deceive us both with lies. that maybe we are not the ones for each other, Don’t undergo and leave that empty space. with something you cherish and have time for. My strength can’t go any further. I have plenty but it seems that Trying to keep up with you and me is not happening. I have already given you enough of that. My confusion keeps on. Please clear it up! So, make sure to “get right back.” Because this seems not to be working for me right now!
85 — Streams 16

The precious time to have, the precious time to give,

Tameeka Gibson
I have a boyfriend, I’m confused,

but I’m feeling you. and don’t know what to do. I want to get to know you, and maybe just talk. But I’m afraid — afraid of these feelings.

I want to be able to trust you. So I will hide it from all, and tell no one, that it’s you I adore.

86 — Streams 16

Tema Ryals
Why do we lie?

Do we know that we are lying? when we are caught? and little lie?

Do we lie to protect the person we are lying to? Or do we lie cause we have nothing else to say What is a lie? IS there a difference between a BIG lie How far would you take your lie? Do you lie every day? Do you lie to the people you love? Why lie? Will your lies help you when you are in trouble? Will your lies just make it worse? When will you tell the truth? Lies. Lies. Lies. Lies. Will they ever end?

87 — Streams 16

Jessica Marrero
I look in my mirror at my reflection, and feel nothing inside but pure ugliness, to know that a girl, like me, will never amount to anything; and yet still wish to be like everyone else I see. How can I find the confidence to let the true me be free, to show the world that it’s not what is similar, but what is different that makes everyone unique?


Geraldine S.
I feel sad for myself and it feels so strong. Still I have been hurting for far too long. If forgiveness is the key to heal myself, I would gladly forgive someone else to think of someone other than me and let go of insanity. To forgive myself from the awful past I would forgive others first and forgive me last.
88 — Streams 16


Amiris Ramirez
I am from the cold and fresh winds in the river, from the sweet smell of pink roses, from the scent of the trees in the morning. I am from Quisquella la bella, from merengue y bachata to perico ripiao, from church bells that sound on Sundays,

Where I Am From

from the words Dios, Patria y Libertad which make me proud of who I am. I am from the feeling of sadness, the feeling of not putting my head down and giving up on myself. I am from the promise of friendship and love, from “always be yourself,” from “believe in who you are.”

I am Latina and I have to represent my country. I am also from rice and beans, roast chicken and pernil, and from platanos, too. I am from the mangoes, bananas, coconuts and sweet corn. I came from beautiful green grass gardens with palm trees on the sides. I am from mountains and the precious blue sky. I am Dominican, and I am proud of who I am!
89 — Streams 16

Nicole England
My favorite hiding place is in my mind. I just start thinking about something and drift off into my own world. around me when I do this. The bad thing, though is, Whenever I don’t want anyone to bother me I block out all the sounds and distractions when someone tries to talk to me. It takes them a couple of times saying my name to get my attention.

Shayna Williams
Rainy Day Thought
I’ve slept most of the day. besides it’s a rainy day. It’s nothing new.

I am tired. It’s boring today.

We don’t have any school today, I’m dreary and tired on rainy days— I really just want to be alone.
90 — Streams 16

concealed in a world full of jagged question marks


Ronald Blackman’s picture books
Forced to Live in Jail

When am I returning home? When am I leaving this place? When will I be free? When will I be able to be with my mother, my father, my four brothers, my girl? When will be a new change in my life? When will I be able to relax again? Have no worries again? When will the judge see that I am innocent? When?

92 — Streams 16

You know when you lie and lie and lie about little petty things. Then when you tell the truth, that's when no one believes you! It's true,

A hole that I can't get out of. Home is so far away like a blur in my eye. The law is suffocating my life for a crime, a crime I did not commit. Time and time, day by day, I wake up and see the same terrible place. Why can't I go home? That's all I want.


93 — Streams 16

At times I think about what I'm going through. At times I try not to think about it at all. At times I just bend my knees and beg the Lord. At times I feel like there is nothing I can do. At times I try to erase the fact that I'm in here. At times I wish I never came here. At times I want to beg the judge to show me at least a little bit of love. At times all I want are hugs and kisses from my mother.
94 — Streams 16

At Times

Time after time, again and again, I wake up everyday in the same place, a place where you only see one or two faces. My uncle died while I was in here. It's taken a lot of time and money to get me out of here. Life doesn't seem right to me.

Every day and night I think of my life. Why am I being treated like this for something I did not do? How much longer do I have to go through this torture? It's like I'm in deep mud for nothing. The mud monster is trying to drown me for no reason. Why!?
95 — Streams 16

Why is it

Why Is That?

when you do right Why is that? Why is it

you're blamed for wrong? when you have everything over all your blocks?

together - you've stacked the last block, then someone comes and pushes that you don't know when Me? I can only I have to pile back And, you've stacked so many blocks the falling of the blocks is going to stop. but wonder

how many blocks to the top.

96 — Streams 16

The Street Has No Time
The after-school programs close at a certain time. The recreation centers close at a certain time. The libraries close at a certain time. But, the street never closes. open all day and all night. There is no time limit on the street. The street stays open 24/7, 365 — To some people the street is their home; just might be a dead end.

Kareem Edwards

a place to walk around but there’s no place to roam. Walking down the block and around that corner how you look, dress, walk, or talk. Not knowing that your life might end because of The street is a broken clock. It has no time.
This poem was made on March, 11, 2002 because it was a collaboration of lines.

by Kareem Edwards, Irvin Gill, and Jeffrey Gilbert And, I started it all by saying, “the street has no time.” To find out the whole story you would have had to have been there to understand it.
97 — Streams 16

Irvin said the first line. Jeffrey said the second line.

Fabian Greene
Time is what you make it.

Time does not wait for anybody. Time has no weight or height. Time is like a bad tan. It’s just there, no telling what may happen next. Time is something I have not on my hands. Time moves with the moment, but it seems like nothing ever moves.

When time runs out I won’t be standing still.

She Lost Him
She found him in school, but the girl lost him in a dark hallway called life
98 — Streams 16


Osvaldo O. Mercado
My life has just left my flesh. Now I'm lifeless. To me life is priceless. The way you put a price on this and that is whack; especially the way my brothers and sisters act like they don't love each other when deep down inside they just want to hug each other. To all my Latin Kings, Bloods, Crips, Folks and Ñetas buñetas — Let's stop fighting and let's come together so that we can one day control the weather. Each gang I spoke of somebody in my family is down with or died because. Race is irrelevant. Or, should I say color, because, that is what you racist mfs look at. Besides that, you parents need to stop, look, and listen. See what you have been missing in your kid's life and stop being trife. At any given moment God could strike and take a life and it could be your seed lying there in need of pappy. But, you are nowhere to be found. Then you will be wishing and praying you had been around.
99 — Streams 16

Spoken Thoughts

Anthony Andrew Zullo
The River of Ice
The river of ice...

As I walked through I started to run... But...

A walkway that shone like crystal... The ice slowly started to melt... But it was too late... The ice melted into water... I was still walking...

The winters of ice have melted with life... The life that grew with us all... Became alive again... But... Until the cold days of death came once more... As I walked... As I waited...

As I searched... As I wondered... When would she come...

When would my love come..?

100 — Streams 16

One giant sphere of water and rocks— that’s the world. It is a wonderful masterpiece of beautiful creations. When will all this stop? When will all this wonder fade away? by our own goals and aspirations. I hope all this beauty won’t be destroyed Most of the time people don’t stop and watch the enchantment of the world’s own art in an instant because sometimes people are too busy with their lives and worrying about things that just pass you by and then many times they are forgotten forever.

This Is the World

Aris Lopez

It is a majestic huge portrait of many shades and colors.

Jennifer DelaCruz

If I could be anything live in your cheeks,

I would want to be your tears and die on your lips.

because I’d be born in your eyes,

101 — Streams 16

I saw as a corpse in the ground yet I felt the wind whispering in my deaf left ear. Trees called, “It’s time!” The jungle opened as wide as a shark eating its prey. Many lost souls went at the whisper of the wind. Yet, that one corpse stayed.

For many years I wandered lonely as a cloud.*

Souls Die Without the Feeling of Nature

Romy Henriquez

Why? The waves beside them danced as broken records.

“Rainbow,” they called, “Rainbow.” But that one corpse found the meaning of nature. Yet the others didn’t. Nature was a target but wanted, needed and even envied by so many lost souls.

But the one soul seemed to stay the same level of nature.

*William Wordsworth

A poem describes how I think I am. It explains a part of me. Demonstrates who I see in me. Nature is incredible and I really enjoy viewing and studying how it can destroy yet maintain so stunningly. Nature is unique in many ways 102 — Streams 16

Elvis Perez
I am a car.

I Am a Car

Here is my brain like a motor; I am the gas peddle

fierce to crunch power to my demand. screaming through high revs, bursting through burn outs. I am the interior.

I yet stand still and frozen. I’m the seat of the car. While emotions get high with a companion, I’ll still be the seat in the car. But, the crest of a female’s @$# yet to lean on me gives me torque I am a roof I am a car

yet to reflect sex and compassion. that’s not calm;

I get fast and furious.

I have demands try and stop me.

103 — Streams 16

Odell H. Pearson, Jr.
Floating on a stepladder in the concrete sky concealed in a world full of jagged question marks is nowhere to be found. where the paint of understanding I see a citizen standing upside down with his body inside out, from the bite that was like the kid flowing hard hanging off a boat or falling on a bridge. Take a bite out of crime already taken out. “Comma,” it was written, “the end.”

104 — Streams 16

Finding My Missing Part
I saw a piece of black paper in the bus. All that came to my mind was evil. I just remembered all the global classes and isolated. I stared, stared and stared at the piece of black paper that seemed like a disease, maybe the plague or whatever it might be. there all along. It just felt like it was a part of my remembered all the disasters. I felt cold and

Jayra Marmolejos

life. And, I just discovered that it was

105 — Streams 16

Brian Colon
The Problem
She breaks my heart

and I can not understand it. I wish I would be able to solve all her problems. Yet, she is so difficult and complex that she breaks my head. Her name is MATH. This is why I cannot understand her.

106 — Streams 16

Ebony Brokette
Ode to O’s
The letter O O is for the ocean waves which move like the wind O is for orange like the fruit like the shirt O is in my name right in the middle O is for the October we’re in O is for Oreos

which are tasty chocolate candies O is the shape of my eyes as bright as my smile person that I am O is for the outstanding
107 — Streams 16

O is for overlooking a shooting Star

the sun which shines brighter than O is the shape of the earth which floats in the air O is like the tear drops

which rain like cats and dogs O for the obvious feelings in my heart.

108 — Streams 16

writing is my skill

Fatima Choudhury
Streams Poems
When you read poems like these, you know

for a fact that this is coming from the heart, someone expressing great feelings in writing. It’s not like other poems that are simply made for the satisfaction

and coming from experience. I like reading poems

like this because you know that what you’re reading is

of writing a poem and having every word at the end of that line rhyme. A poem like this can apply to many people in the world, and can have a great effect on many children that feel the same way.

110 — Streams 16

Cristina Santiago
My personal treasure is my diary, Sometimes when I am sad,

because it helps express my anxiety. I sit down and write about the past. Regrets start coming to me and I pray to God that He could help. So, I sit and write about secrets that will be mute for life (just like a confession that will remain unspoken). To the treasure of my life I write about my unhappiness and insecurities, also about life’s opportunities. I write about hate. I write about love. I write when I am sad.

I write when I am mad. I write about violence.

I write about my goals, dreams, and in what I want to succeed. I write about nonsense.

I write in my diary to express my reality.

111 — Streams 16

Andre Nugent
What Is Poetry?
Poetry is my salvation;

it gives me a sense of relief when I’m stressed. Poetry is my way out from the sadness and despair, this miserable torment that I call my life. the loss of a loved one; life is so unfair. I see the faces of past loved ones that I have no fear. Poetry is my solution to most of my problems— Poetry to me is my window to another world. that I keep so dear, so close to my heart

112 — Streams 16

I Just Can’t Put the Words Right
I want to tell you my deepest thoughts but I can’t put the words right. In my head they’re all right,

Carla J.

but from my mouth? What a fright! I just can’t put the words right! In my head my feelings are strong, but on paper it sounds all wrong! I just can’t put the words right! Why can’t I put the words right? Maybe when I come home; one night!

113 — Streams 16

Thomas Nash
I don’t think that criticism is all that bad as long as it comes from someone are allowed because who is qualified to give it.

Adults and people who I respect they have either experience or wisdom to give it. It helps you to get out of bad habits or reminds you of wrongs you should make right.

114 — Streams 16

Lidiana Rodriguez
I think criticism can be a good thing, but it all depends On how you word it, and also how sensitive

the person you are criticizing is.

Productive criticism is a kind of criticism that helps someone improve one’s self. Negative criticism is a type that puts There are people that don’t take someone down and hurts one’s feelings. productive criticism the right way at times.

115 — Streams 16

Kadeema Greene
Being judged wherever you go

is a hurt and pain people will never know. They judge you when you hurt the most until it comes time you just can’t cope.

You hurt so bad, you could take your own life. And, those that judge just ask, “Why?” The answer lies within their own eyes. And, when they are judged, they’ll know why.

116 — Streams 16

Ismael Gomez
In a long afternoon where boredom ruled, I decided to open my doors of perception and read a book. This book had such a powerful smell, it was like a magic spell. I instantly fell into a trance and through my mind passed flashbacks.

The Book

Though they were quick, I recognized them: I saw the time when they took me to the principal for not praying to their God to which they devoted their lips. But the one memory that stood out the most was when I refused to say, “I’m Christian.” Being that it was a Christian school, I was exiled. I was put to the side like an old video game that after a week nobody wants to play.

Someone was calling my name — a sweet, soothing voice, a familiar voice. Hearing my name again and again, I woke up from my reverie, my heart rushing as though I’d just got off a roller coaster. As I opened my eyes, I saw the face of a woman. It was a face that made me feel safe from the vampires that society really is. It was the face of my mom.
117 — Streams 16

Fatima Choudhury
Please don’t judge me by my face, by my religion, or my race. Please don’t laugh at what I say, or how I look. Behind my clothes the secrets lie. Behind my smile, I softly cry. Please listen carefully to her. Please look a little deeper, way down deep inside of me; and although you may not see it, I have a lot to hide.

Please look a little deeper, and maybe you will see the lonely little kid that lives inside of me. She’ll show that she is insecure.

Please try to be a friend to her; show her that you care. Please just get to know her; and maybe you will see that if you just look deep enough, you’ll find the real me.

Bishaunti P.

Even my old friend

doesn’t really know me who knew him my whole life.
118 — Streams 16

Lauren Walton
Writing is my skill.

My hands know the deal— It’s an unstoppable wheel To be written on paper.

That when my hand starts moving Rolling on and on with ideas But, I don’t write stories, not even I write because I know words— Those adjectives and verbs For prying eyes to see; For me That make sense when written down That words are not only an outlet It’s how I keep a record of what’s to Come and to be. Ones with heroic capers.

119 — Streams 16

Kenya Capers
My favorite thing to do alone is read. play before my mind’s eye and feel every emotion. when everyone is asleep. Reading to me is better than watching a movie. If it’s a good book I can see the whole book I get my best reading in late at night

120 — Streams 16

I did it! I did it! Come and look at what I’ve done. For me to read how did I know? I slept with this book in bed. I read a book from someone long ago. That was the book I took from the shelf; This the first book I’ve ever read. I really read it just like that — word by word.

David G.
Standing in the crowd — So, I had to sit.

but it was too packed to stand.

121 — Streams 16

If someone were to rip off my poetry I would be furious. The reason why I would be furious is because it is my work. I am expressing my feelings in my poetry and it wouldn’t be right for someone to claim my poetry. It would be like someone is trying to take my feelings from me. I took my time to express myself. It just wouldn’t be right.

Roberto A. Lima, Jr.

In this world today, people rip off other people’s work. If someone tried to rip off my poetry I would be very upset. Not just me, but anyone else would be, too. People would be upset to see someone taking credit for someone else’s work. I mean you can use the idea and make something else that’s your own. That’s what poems are made for — to encourage people to write new and better things.

Jeffrey Gilbert

122 — Streams 16

If some one ripped off my work I’d feel violated and hurt because that is something that came out of my heart, soul, and mind. I’d feel heart broken because my poetry is a piece of my heart that I am willing to share with others. My poetry is like part of my journal in which I write my feelings and everyday experiences. It would be a violation to pass someone else’s work as your own. I write to express my thoughts and feeling. Some people have a hard time talking about their thoughts or feelings. Because of this they write. One who is silent through words may be loud with the pen. And with that knowledge we must remember the pen is mightier then the sword. My use of the pen is to state words from my heart. Instead of speaking directly to the person and revealing my heart, what I do is cover it up to protect it. If a person drops it, it will not be broken.

Christopher Colon

123 — Streams 16

If someone tried to rip off my poetry, I would feel disappointed, hurt, and upset. It’s not right for anyone to plagiarize anybody’s work. Everyone should come up with one’s own poetry and not copy other people. My work is automatically protected by the copyright laws. So writers, like me, won’t be a victim of plagiarism. Thanks to you, Barbara, I know my rights as a writer. I hope you keep on writing back! I like to write poetry because I like to express my feelings and tell the world about different things without giving a boring lecture. If people are bored, then they won’t care about what I am trying to say. Even though I don’t write to get people’s interest, but it is still important as a writer. To me, poetry is very beautiful. The words of a poet have the power to change the mind, heart, and the spirit. In my poetry, I try to make people see the unseen. People have to realize that there is more to life than money, power, or material things. Many people don’t see what is inside the mind, heart, or the soul. Those things are the most important things about life. I write to show people the truth and I try to guide them. There is no point in being wise if the wise don’t try to give others wisdom. A lot of people are so busy with their own issues that they don’t see the important things. I don’t know everything. Nothing or no one does. But, I do know about what is important and my goal is to write to make myself happy, as well as to give people whatever wisdom I know.
124 — Streams 16

Anthony Andrew Zullo

The Waterways Project of Ten Penny Players, Inc., an Arts-inEducation program working collaboratively with New York City schools since 1980, hosts Streams On Line ( an Internet based poetry workshop.



The theme for the 2002-3 school year workshop will be Maps of Our Difficult World — What maps do you find fascinating? How do maps affect your life? Could you write a poem about a road map, a bus map, or a subway map? Could you create a poem describing a route on a map? Could you map your life? Would you write a poem about making a map? Or about people who made maps? Would you write about a topographical map? Would you write about a map of the world, or an area of the world that fascinates you. Perhaps you could write a poem about longitude and latitude, time zones, or the International Date Line. Are maps truly able to represent the world? Perhaps you could write about the difference between a map and the territory. Why do maps grow old and need to be revised? Write what you really think. Write a poem about getting lost and using a map to find your way. Write about how maps can be confusing and impossible to follow. Write a description of your favorite map. Have you ever seen a map of the stars? Write a poem describing a map of your favorite street, and the sites you would see there.

*The title is derived from Adrienne Rich’s book of poetry, “An Atlas of the Difficult World.”

SOL* is an easy to use Internet based program where in addition to writing their own poetry, students comment on the work of their peers, while they in turn receive comments on their work by peers, teachers and artists.

This will be a closed workshop open only to registered participants who will receive a user id and password. Students register by emailing Participants will join age appropriate collaborations. Students who write 21 poems will be published in individual poetry chapbooks. Authors will receive 10 copies of their limited edition poetry chapbook (24 pages, saddle-stitched, 4.25x5.5 inches).

Poets who are New York State licensed teachers will supervise all work on the Internet.

There is limited enrollment (first come, first served) for the 2002-3 school year. When a teacher enrolls his or her entire class, the teacher shares online supervision with Waterways staff. Waterways will do professional development for teachers, students and parents. For more information visit Ten Penny Players website at

*SOL was designed for The Waterways Project by

AUTHOR INDEX Marie Ayala Kyle B. Ronald Blackman Dezroy Bobb Erikka Bolding Niesha Brown Kenya Capers Carolyn Sandra Carillo Reann Charles Brian Colon Raecia Catchings Fatima Choudhury Christopher Colon Erica Crews Timothy D. Yasoda Brathwaite Ebony Brokette 71 92-96 26-27 107-108 64, 80 82 66 15

120 65, 78 73


110, 118 53-54 28-29 7 123 106


Kimberly David

Jennifer DelaCruz

Raymond Dickerson

39, 101


Kareem Edwards Chinalese Ellis Angel France David G. Tameeka Gibson Jeffrey Gilbert Ismael Gomez Fabian Greene Javier Gonzalez Kadeema Greene Romy Henriquez Tariell Hilliard Jason Irizarry Carla J. Jacobs Victoria Johnson Kelley S. Jones Jemel Jordan Jennifer Jordan Nicole England

31, 97

90 20 14, 32, 45, 121 72, 86


75, 117 35, 116

122 98 3

102 30


113 13-14 25

98 2


Jessica Malikah Kelly I’Nish King Aris Lopez

57-58 47-52, 79 122 83 35 101 63

Roberto A. Lima Meggan Lugo Ray M.

Jayra Marmolejos Jessica Marrero Raquel Marshall Ernesto Mateo Salleen Michel Ruth Milius Paul N.

105 88 44-45 59, 84 56 37 42 55 99

Osvaldo O. Mercado

Thomas Nash

Felicia Ursule Ngassam Rashaun Nicholson Andre Nugent Bishaunti P.

114 5, 112 74, 116


Odell H. Pearson, Jr.


Elvis Perez

Leah Ariel Peterkin Kareem Phipps Edilma Ponce

38-39 32, 85 23-24 89 36 68-69


Amiris Ramirez

Fritzner Regis, Jr. Lidiana Rodriguez Tema Ryals Edward S.

Lauren Natalie Robinson

115 87 82

Geraldine S.

Jason Samuel

Cristina Santiago Seleana Scala Taisha

18-19 60, 76-78 121 43



Robert Taveras Luis Torres Curtis Trim

McCartha Thomas



21-22 16-17, 41-42 70

Natasha Yvelise Victoria Jamaria W.

Lauren Walton Lewis Williams Roxanne Williams Shayna Williams Riann B. Winchester Anthony Andrew Zullo

8, 119

62-63 90 12


100, 124

TITLE INDEX 9/11/01 Ask Momma Bad News Books Being Eleven Is Like . . . The Book Confused 60 2 35 76-78 121 117 82 73

Black Child of the Ghetto The Break of Dawn Confusion Cruel

Crossing the Staten Island Ferry The Cutest Ones Dad’s Foot Diary

83, 84, 85

84, 86 23-24


Are the Dirtiest Ones

16-17 44-45 111 37

Day by Day Don’t Cry for Someone Who Makes You Cry


Don’t Rush, Wait Finding My Missing Part Forced to Live in Jail Forever on the Ferry Forgiveness Free Haiku I Am a Car I Refuse I’m Afraid If I Were Inside My Head Journey to the Past Judged A Learn and Serve Lies Conference Lines For the Educated Thugs

72 105 79

For the Humans of Silence


92-96 62-63 88


32, 45, 82, 118, 121 103 40 113

I Just Can’t Put the Words Right

71 5 4

18-19 116

67-68, 68-69



Look Through the Window Looking for Me Me Love’s What Made Me Strong Music

58 35 118 13-14 6 15

My Job Site

My Waves Stay Spinning The New Place Niemann A Night Without Armor No You Can’t Feel My Pain Ode to O’s


46 63

32 3

Noise at Night Is What I Hear On the Ferry


107-108 28-29 74 43 75 25

One Night Stand of My Life.

One of the Greatest Moments The Perfect Drug The Problem

Perihelion Freedom Rainy Day Thoughts



Rainy Days Reflection The River of Ice Shadows She Lost Him Sightseeing A Sister in a Struggle Spoken Thoughts Streams Poems The Street Has No Name Taking a Vacation Tears Think Time Tell Me Why of Nature Souls Die Without the Feeling

Riding the Staten Island Ferry 21-22 100 80 98 20



53-54 102 110 66 34 36 98 99 97

54, 101 41-42 101 65

There’s a Three-Month-Old Baby This Is the World Times A Troublesome Teen Unknown

10-11 30

War on America Wasted The Way I Feel

47-52 70 78 112


What Happens To A Song Not Sung 7 What Is Poetry? When Do Dreams Come True? Where I Am From Word Why Do You Do What You Do Yesterday You Stay 89


56 14


A Ten Penny Players Waterways Project Publication
isbn 0-934830-69-X

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