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...

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?

Once upon a time we fit together ...

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.

The world is crying out for help -- wailing, sobbing
Innocence dulled, eyes still open but ruined by
The smoke
The lies
The bodies
I'm a poor girl, no money to spare for donations
I'm a magnet student run ragged by my school no time to spare
But here,
Here I am.
Can you hear
This isn't my voice but hear my words, screaming.
Only lived in this wretched place for 14 years.

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...


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.


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...


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...


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...

History Class Lesson

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Jason Neulander.

My manipulative lips curled
My nodding almost obsessive
My “Ah ha’s” were flying
She was ready to tell me a story
But I wasn't ready to listen
I kept up my act
She kept up her story –
thick as tortilla soup,
as long as the Olympic Marathon Race,
as boring as shading in the o’s, p’s, and q’s on your class syllabus.
My brain slowly shut off - I let it
It did not think - I let it

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

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?

Dreamy Machinations

Apr 8, 2014

Read by Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

It sat
odd amongst the flowers of his dreamscape
in a cage of mind and bone
tormenting the only self he had with fake ideas of a wonderful future
as would a lamppost a moth
it’s not real
there’s no one, unknown objective world
only subjective
but you’re not real
and the unknown is not real
it’s just us
trapped inside ourselves


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.