It’s magic to watch our poets-in-residence work a classroom, and magic to see what comes from their efforts. Here are some poems from fifth- and sixth-graders, inspired by resident poets, that get deep into the business of trees.


To The Mysterious Tree That Resides In My Front Yard

Your mottled limbs,




stretching up in impossible motions.



channeling the whistling wind.

Your thick bark,


with tiny canyons and crevasses,

offers footholds for tree-climbing

on the warm days during the summer months,

when you can feel the life in you

just by touching your surface.

Your green leaves

flap with the breeze in spring,

glow with the sun in summer,

flutter onto the sidewalk below during autumn,

and in winter,


Your sturdy trunk curves gracefully,

ever reaching towards the clouds,

merging with both sun and rain,

standing tall

in spite of heat

and snow.

You hold your leafy head high,

defying all the elements that fight to uproot you,

until the day the pieces of green and yellow,

red and brown,

will sink down to the ground,

to be reborn in spring

when the cycle begins again .

– Adrianna G. (6th grade)


from your moss gilded trunk

three writhing limbs surge upwards

long scaly protrusions jut outward

from your diamond patterned limbs

ferns march slowly up the lacerated backside

of your limbs

towards the clouded sky

your thick bark keeps out the cold and wind

North Face can’t make such a jacket

if Polartec had a chance they’d skin you for your bark

it would take a thousand strands of lights

to truly do you justice

and a million ornaments to decorate your limbs

– Calder W. (6th grade)


King of Trees

You are the master of the stars

the bringer of the sun,

you are the mighty oak.

You have seen a million years

of happiness,

and one billion years

of sorrow.

Your trunk

reaches above the clouds,

and is engraved with the markings

of old age,

yet your heart

has the memories of better times.

You lost your leaves centuries ago

and you only have a few branches,

but why do the other trees look up to you?

Only nature knows.

As you stand watching over the world.

– Will M. (5th grade)