Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In between classes at Kealing Middle School the hallways are full of students, but in the library it's quiet. That's where Gabriel Russell and Joshua Morgan are sitting at a table, talking.

A Dream

Apr 17, 2014

Read by Michael Lee

Thirty minutes left
I scavenge through my house
Grabbing my karaoke machine
All my things
I don’t want them to get wet or float away

Twenty-five minutes left
A messed up pipe
My house will become a swimming pool
Then a memorial site to my family
And a pile of dead rubble
The walls breathe in water

Twenty minutes left
I put on my jacket
The one that I wore when we bought this house
And stuff my pockets with everything
I want to remember living here
I want to bring it all

Sticks & Stones & Thunder Storms

Apr 17, 2014

Read by Laurie Viault

Your name means Night; mine is Song
Together we used to fit like a puzzle
Once upon a time we grew up happy; you the stars, I the starlight
But I don’t know what happened to make that change

Suddenly the starlight--blotted out like a cloudy moon
All that replaced it was a stormcloud
That flashed with light, yes, but not the same light
It’s now cold and angry--why?

To commemorate National Poetry Month, we've been airing poems by the students of Kealing Middle School's Blank Page writing program every day this April.

We're pretty proud of the lineup of talented Austinites we got to read those poems, including Patty Griffin, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Kathy Valentine, KUT's own John Aielli, and even Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Check out a video of our distinguished poetry readers below.

The World

Apr 15, 2014

Read by Jennifer Stayton.

Human Rights

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Shawna Butler

I am a human,
I have human rights as well,
No ignoring me,
There is nothing wrong,
With me being nothing but me,
I am special,
I have the knowledge,
Of who I was, am, and will be,
No one will hurt me,
I can do anything,
I am indestructible,
I’m a fire burning,
I make my own paths,
Push myself to the limit,
Do my best always,
Please look at me,
Notice me for who I am,
I am unique,
I am one of a kind,
For I am me, only me,
A girl with a story.


Apr 8, 2014

Read by Shawna Butler.

Time, time,
Passes by.
Trying to make this poem rhyme,
Same old empty, boring life.

Another simple, starry night:
Crying, laughing, being kind.
I am tired of faking smiles.

Time, time
Passes by.
Tapping dance shoes
In the night,
Still living the empty, boring life.

There are no details,
Nothing of the sort.
Just a girl,
That same old dork.

Time, time,
Passes by.
Trying to make this poem rhyme,
Same old empty boring life.


Apr 8, 2014

Read by Jason Neulander.

The hydrater-
Refreshing, cool or warm
Wonderful, powerful
Hear it rushing or trickling past you
splash, ripple or tap
Clear and mysterious

Repeating, again and again-
An adventurous way to live

You can swim, ski or skate
Frozen or not, Cold or not
Memories of the beach or mountain

Floats through sky, drifting or waiting
Waiting to fall- Brave and strong


Apr 8, 2014

Read by Liz Lambert.

is a Monday
is a Boringday
boring right now

your friends could force you
at the last minute
into a drawing contest
even though
you’re really not in the mood
at least
not until you win

you could have a sub in science
and you could tell her, “We’re learning about chemistry!”
even though it’s really physics
so instead of E=MC2
you get to set off a soda and baking powder rocket


Apr 8, 2014

Read by Patty Griffin.





under your bed,
in your closet,
waiting and watching.

One Day

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Patty Griffin.

One day
I got lost in a maze
of my own thoughts.
and by the time
I made my way
I realized
that sometimes
my head can be
a much better place
than the real world.

Jumpoline Park

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe.

I open the door and a rush of sweaty socks
is the only aroma I smell.
But, I don’t mind.
We’re at Jumpoline!
The exciting, bouncy and thrilling indoor park.

I rip off my shoes as fast as I can.
I am dearly hoping they will come off faster.
I run up the stairs to the trampolines but it seems
That the stairs are doubling as I go up them.

Once I reach the trampolines,
I jump as high as I can and perform a flip.
“Successful,” I think in my head.

History Class Lesson

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Jason Neulander.

Constitutional Errors

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Liz Lambert

I wonder
How the people of 1700 America
Would react
If someone went back and told them
About the future constitution

“All men are created equal,”
I would say
Then I would go on,
And explain the bad part

“But if you’re

You will have to wait
For all of the equal folks
To be hit in the head by a rock
So they can think straight.
Until then,
All of you imperfect people
Are out of luck.”

Life is a Book, Right?

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe.

If I open up my book
What will I find?
Will my life flash by –
A crawling child,
A misleading twin brother,
Bugs in cases in Paris,
Journals filled with words from here
To the moon –
As the wind blows the pages away?

Is it really my story?
Or some heartless,
Soulless obituary
Stating who I was
Or was not?

Is it a list of things I want to do?
My bucket list?
Details of Hanging Gardens in Babylon
Salt Flats in Bolivia
Ice caves dangerous and alluring.

Dreamy Machinations

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Mayor Lee Leffingwell.


Apr 2, 2014

Read by Kathy Valentine.

Yesterday I looked out my window and saw only myself
face to face with me, myself and I
I looked away, embarrassed
I couldn’t face her just yet
not after all I’ve done to her,

Shark Bait

Apr 2, 2014

Read by Burton Fitzsimmons.

I’m treading through the water,
trying to keep my head up,
trying to ignore the danger I’m in.

Pouting Lizards

Apr 2, 2014

Read by Dana Wheeler-Nicholson.

pouting lizards want to pout,
most definitely, without a doubt,
pouting lizards, want to pout.


Apr 2, 2014

Read by Burton Fitzsimmons.

I am not the president, I am not a king
I am not the v.p., I am not the queen
I am neither poor nor rich
I do not make laws and I don’t fight them
I am just one soul in this big planet


Apr 2, 2014

Read by Catherine Robb.

Possibilities - so many
Run to New York, swim the Pacific Ocean,
Invent a super time machine, travel to another world.
No wishing - try something
Have a pet elephant, set a world record.
Imagine Possible.


Apr 2, 2014

Read by John Aielli.

This is my passion,
This is my love.

The Father

Apr 2, 2014

Read by Steve Wertheimer.

I am a father.
Yet secretly inside I am a boy of a young age.
Being a provider is hard, but
Keeping her happy is even harder –
She needs clothes, food and milk which I struggle to buy

Eternal Drums

Apr 2, 2014

Read by Catherine Robb.

No one else can hear it.
The drums.
What does it mean?
It must be a sickness.
A cancer.
And it can’t be cured.
Thump, Thump, Thump.

Cursive in Danger

Apr 2, 2014

Read by Kathy Valentine.

A flashing red light,
Something is going on in the news,
What is happening?


Apr 2, 2014

Read by Dana Wheeler-Nicholson

The boys on the black top
The girls by the bars
I went to the hoops
While the rest just stayed far


Apr 2, 2014

Read by John Aielli

Grass sways,
Trees bend.
As the leaves swirl,
In the autumn wind.