A Coffee House without Coffee, but Loads of Fun!

Today I attended a Coffee House with fellow UBC teacher candidates as a way to enhance our experience as future English (and literacy) teachers. The level of creativity at the Coffee House skyrocketed and I had the opportunity to perform a poem, with Rita – a friend and colleague in the Bachelor of Education program.

For those of you curious, I will post the poem below.

I’m from unsafe swing sets and water

Fights with pillows on sleepovers with no sleep

Sleep? Not sleeping on bunk beds, but jumping

Jumping on trampolines, trying to touch blue cotton candy clouds

Clouded thoughts…

Wanting to drive.

Drive the car on the family road trip to California

Cali, from Full House to Sailor Moon,

Moonlight Laser Tag

Tag in the dark

I’m from “I know you are but what am I”

“I spy with my little eyes, something that is…”

Is found in shiny gold wrappers

Unwrapping crinkling paper

Paper airplanes like UFOs travelling

Travelling the “universe and beyond” with Buzz

The buzzer goes off

“Knock it off, it’s not a playground”

Playground tree climbs, falls and fails

Never failing a water fight

Fighting in soccer fields that led to skinned knees

I’m from knees and toes dangling

Dangling on the front porch waiting

Waiting for my neighbour’s phone call

Calling about that broken window…

I am from windows broken by baseballs pretending to be ghosts

Ghost stories, Goosebumps and Are you Afraid of the Dark?

Darkness falls, Go Fish games and

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Orange.

Orange who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

I’m from Bananas in Pajamas

from breakfast in bed with Major Bedhead

until “the clown jumped over the moon”

It is a simple “I am from…” poem, where the words “I am from” or “from” are occasionally repeated before proper nouns. It’s a great writing prompt that you can try with your own students. The poem shows how repetition, rhythm and descriptions can be used to make a poem more vivid, but it does not necessarily always have to make sense.

This particular performance alternated between two people, where one would read the italicized lines and the other would read those not italicized. It’s a fun activity that shows how writing and performing can be done collaboratively.

Give it a try,

K. Heer

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