Poppies in the Heat of Summer
Poppy Road Review has closed for submissions (just for a brief time) but before they did they honored me three fold without even knowing it. First on July 8th, they published a little poem of mine, called Countdown.
I have a thing for “pretty” journals, whatever that means, but the color red is always an eye catcher, and to that end I wanted a few former students to try getting published in this journal as well, and sent them an email. On July 12th Donald Ishikawa, a graduate of CHS in 2012, was published with his poem, Elysian Dream. Then on July 16th Aeia Abas was published with her poem, Swing Set. She just graduated in June, and did so as the Creative Writer of the year.
Both of these students are out of school and in no way are they forced to continue to write to make Ms. Weuve happy. They choose to write for themselves, and because they took the tools offered to them in a UC Credited Alternative Senior English course which an administration has turned into an elective this year (long and sad story about how little we truly value the art and functionality of writing). Though these are the two I proudly present to you here, know that they are not the only ones. In the past two years I have seen over 60 pieces of literature published by high school students while they were in my class, and nearly 20 more once they left the class and begun adulthood.
Writing is not only a way to express one’s self, but these students prove it is a way to be heard. It is not the essay your teacher assigns, it is the art that knows no other way to make itself heard.
For that I thank you Sandy Benitez for not only taking my poem, but more importantly for taking their poems.