Nelson Avenue Family Residence


Nelson Avenue Family Residence
By the Young Poets of Nelson Ave Family Residence
"Layers of The Path"
Published by the Bronx Writers Center, a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts.
Bronx Writers Center
1738 Hone Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
718-931-9500, [email protected]
With special thanks to:
The staffs of the Willow Avenue Family Residence and the Bronx Council on the Arts
Deirdre Scott, Executive Director, BCA
Maria Romano, Director, Bronx Writers Center
Sharon Knight, Director, Bronx WritersCorp
Lorraine Pizarro, Business Manager
Intikana, Teaching Artist
And thanks to the children from Nelson Avenue, who wrote the beautiful pieces in this
This program is made possible by:
NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Robert A. Bowne Foundation
NYS Council on the Arts’ Literature Program
NYC Council Member James Vacca
New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
NYC Department of Small Business Services/Avenue NYC
FORWARD by Intikana
It has truly been an honor to build, laugh, share, create, and learn with the youth at Willow
and Nelson. Thank you all for teaching me so many priceless lessons. For challenging and
pushing me to challenge and push you. I am so proud of the poems that these young artists,
philosophers and storytellers have composed. They are a testament to how powerful young
people can be if given respect, truth, love, and guidance. Over the course of six months, we
built a strong community through listening to each other’s stories and perspectives. We read
through poetry books, dictionaries, thesauruses, and played games. We explored the
elements of Hip Hop (Knowledge, Rap, Graffiti, DJ, B-boying/B-girling) and Spoken Word/
We discussed issues concerning identity, history, and community. We learned how to apply
literary devices such as alliteration, personification, metaphor, and similes as well as the
structuring of stanzas, the art of rhyming, the art of non-rhyming, rhythm, tempo, cadence,
delivery and performance techniques. Each author in this book contributed her/his own style
and flavor making this compilation beautifully profound, thought-provoking, fun, unique and
very special to me.
I want to thank Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja and Divine RBG for taking the time to enter
these sacred spaces and facilitate workshops with our youth. Both of you left a long lasting
impression on them. Thank you. And thank you Cari for helping with the manuscript. For
taking the time to help me do my best in transcribing these poems as accurately as possible.
Thank you, Sharon and Maria at BCA for granting me this wonderful and unforgettable
opportunity. Also, thank you to the staff at both Willow (shout outs to Jhokasta, Amanda,
and Mr. G) and Nelson (shout outs to Shirley & Ms. Tessa!). Infinite love, appreciation, and
growth in all directions.
“El Tiempo” por Lizbeth
En el pasado
Mi vida no era nada buena
Porque mi familia me recordaban el tiempo
Y el tiempo no me agrada
Y luego, yo me enojaba
Pero yo me hacia la fuerte
Y la valiente que cuando me decian
El tiempo
Yo me reí pero a la misma vez
Me arrepentia de el tiempo que siempre corria
“Dear World” by Tiarra
I live in a place where
There are many things
Most of all
There are pretty lights
And we are all welcome to be here
There is no time to lose
We need to be thankful
For what we got
Be happy!
It’s a place for us to live
Not to like
We should take care of our world
And love it
Like your mom and dad
“I am a Table” by Ashley
I am a table
You put your pen
And food on me
You make me ache
You make me cry
When you sit on me
I say
Get off!
If I were you
I wonder
Would I do the same?
“Yo Soy Un Muchacho (I Am A Boy)” by Francis
Yo soy un muchacho que tiene muchos amigos
Yo soy un muchacho que le gusta jugar beisbol
Yo soy un muchacho que no le gustan los vegetables
como zanahoria y verdura
Yo soy un muchacho que tiene dos hermanas y hermanos
Dos estan en Santo Domingo y dos estan aqui?
Yo soy un muchacho que no le gusta la comida de la escuela de donde yo voy
Yo soy un muchacho que le gusta la musica
“Remembering When…” by Tiara
The Bronx was where I was at
In a garden
Planting a tree
When I returned,
the tree was dead
I felt sad
I should have watered it
“To The Beat” by Tashery
When I walk on by
I stomp my feet
I like to rhyme
To the beat
I walk down the street
So fast I can’t see my feet
This is how I come on the mic
It’s time to go and write
It’s elmo with the big orange nose
Kids look at me
And they like my crayons
The way I color
“Plants” by Tashery
It starts as a seed
Then the seed grows
But in order for it to grow
It needs sun and water
Plants need environment
They have different colors
They turn into beautiful plants
If you show them love
“I am Beautiful” by Dariell
I am beautiful
Because I am cool
I have things
But more than things
I have dreams
I am nice to people
When they are nice to me
I am beautiful
You should know you are too
“Courage” by Zahara
I am courageous
And brave
I am a young lady
That will never be afraid
Afraid of nothing
Except heights
I’m all about life
I shine so bright
I am light
“Growing Up” by Zahara
Growing up is not easy for me
But I have my family
And they make me stronger
Sometimes, I feel alone inside
As if my heart is damaged and I’m about to cry
Some things cannot be healed
That’s how I imagine many people in the world feel
However, I think of myself first
My school principle says my maturity needs some work
What he doesn’t understand is
That there is a girl in my classroom
She just don’t get it
She wants to beef with me
But I rather dead it
I can feel myself growing
Not old
Just different
Growing up is not easy for me
But at least I have you to listen
“From The Core of Me” by Zahara
In my heart
I feel my life is being torn apart
Living in the Bronx is not where I’m from
But it seems this borough is what I’ve become
Everywhere I turn
It seems like I’m going round and round
Like a bird that has crashed and landed on the ground
It tries to get up and find its people
But when it asks for the way
All people say is, “Go away!”
So that’s exactly what I do
And I go far
I must admit
Sometimes, it’s hard
I’m always trying to stay focused
Like a magician saying hocus pocus
When I prepared my wings
I prepared for the worst of weather
I was once torn apart
Now, I’m finally putting myself back together
“The Cool” by Zahara
I’m so cool
I make my peers drool
I move so smooth
I make b-boys stop, pop, lock, and groove
I’m so real
I speak from the heart
I’m going through pain
But nothing can break me
I make jokes, laugh, and play
All to say
If you want to learn how to survive life and still be cool
Come my way
“How I Love You” by Ashley
I see myself in your face
When you take me places
I feel close to you
I think you are an older version of me
And I am a younger version of you
I feel calm when you are near
I love you
And you love me too
You are me
“To My Brother” by Tashery
I love my brother Romeo
He takes care of me
He takes me on the bus with him
And stands up for me
He tucks me in at night
Before I go to bed
We say goodnight to each other
In the morning, he wakes me up
And makes me cereal
Sometimes, when we are running late for the bus
He calls the bus lady to let her know that we are late
And she comes back to get us
I am happy because my brother is there for me
Sometimes, when we have problems
He apologizes and says,
I’m sorry, can we work this out?”
And that’s exactly what we do
We work it out
And everything he does for me
I do it right back
With love
“A Young King in School” by Romeo
I’m a young genius in school
A young king, a ruler
Born in 2003
I make rules without a ruler
When it’s hot
The sun is shining
When the beats are hot
I’m always rhyming
I don’t got a gun
But I got knowledge
I’m trying to go to college
I’m intelligent
I write articles on elephants
“The End of The Beginning” by Lizbeth
I can tell by the time
I’m about to shine
People want to live how I’m living
But they’re not giving
I stand out on my own
It feels so good to be home
I’m heading straight to the top
I won’t stop until I get there
I am trying to succeed
Getting what I need
Never a life of greed
“No Game” by Zahara
I’m so fly
Nobody can stop me
I’m the big deal
When I come through
They know it’s real
I rock to the beat
When they look in my eyes
They know it’s not a game
“The Teen Rap” by Ashley
I am a teen and I rap everyday
I am a teen
I love to rap everyday
I rap about my dog, my family, and my friends
But can you rap?
“I Am” by Tiarra
I am a girl
I live in a very crazy world
It’s crazy to not be afraid
But maybe
Just get off and step away
I am a girl
I can’t help it
It’s time to be brave and also behave
Just let me be me
The way I am
“Beautiful” by Tiarra
I am beautiful
I have style and uniqueness
I don’t care what other people think about me
I love my eyes
Because they allow me to see
I am beautiful
Because I have faith in myself
I am lucky
Because I have my family
I am cute
I am pretty
I am beautiful
“Speed” by Joshua
Speed is so fast
It is so fast
It is fast like lightning
Like a race car
It is fast
It is my favorite word
Sometimes, when I’m racing through life
I take a pause
Because it can all be gone in a flash
“Saying Goodbye” by Joshua
I can remember when my dog died
In my mind, I heard
“Joshua, I’m going to heaven”
I never believe what he says
Then I heard a shot
I fell to the floor
I prayed to protect him
I was so mad and so sad
I banged on the wall
“Jokes” by Joshua
I ain’t no joke
I climbed up the rope
I am not broke
I look like the hulk
I got gold, gold, gold
I don’t smoke, smoke, smoke
No, no no
I don’t got no coke, coke, coke,
All I got are jokes, jokes, jokes
“Fresh” by Jovon
I like to ball out
And dribble between
My legs on the way
To the basket for
Yeah, I said and-ones
I can’t be stopped in the paint
“Finding” by Jhaylin
I am free
I like to eat
I don’t like to be mean
I don’t like to scream
I am smart
I have a big heart
I like to see the sea
One day, I will find the key
“My Cousin” by Jhaylin
I love my cousin
Because he cares for me
I am so grateful
He plays with me
And also cooks for me
“Power” by Lakeem
I am powerful
Because I know the importance of sharing
I help people when they need help
I help people clean up
When it is time to clean up
I help cook with my mother
I do art with my friends
“How My Life Is” by Alberlin
When I feel alone
I feel that nobody is on my side
‘Cause when I get bullied
I have to stand up for my life
People don’t understand me
Because they don’t see
How I do things and how
I’m always so kind
When my mind is blind
When I sometimes draw
It feels like the paper is a doll
I don’t care what anybody says
‘Cuz I get in my head
When I sing
I feel like
I’m the King or Queen
“All About Me” by Angeles
I’m from Pennsylvania
And I was born in my mom’s stomach
I’m evil, smart, funny
All about me
I’m adorable
I give people ideas
I help people
With their homework
I listen in class
And I work all day
I teach people
Math, Writing, Reading, and Science
I am kind and pretty
“Gross” by Ashley
You are gross
When you
Stuff things in your mouth
Gross, gross, gross
Do you have to go to the bathroom?
My mom says
With food in her mouth
Gross, get away from me!
So I run to the bathroom
To use the bathroom
I look in the toilet
And there is number
Two in there
“Yo Soy De Un Lugar…” por Lizbeth
Yo soy de un lugar
Que cuando estoy caminando
Me pongo a mirar a las personas
Que cuando quiero hablar
Ellos me dan un lugar
Y yo me puedo espresar
Yo soy de un lugar que cuando
Me caigo me puedo a levantar
Yo soy de un lugar que cuando
Necesito algo me pueden ayudar
“Mi Poema Con Palabras Taino” por Lizbeth
Daka Lizbeth (I am Lizbeth)
Yo estoy mirando para el turey (sky)
Y despues me voy para mi casa a acostarme sola con una ana (flower)
Y despues fui para donde mi tia viva con mi prima
Y le dije Taino Ti (I am Taino)
Nos fuimos caminando
Buscar La Familia” por Lizbeth
Todas las mananas
Sueno al despertar que mi familia todas juntas
Me vienen ha buscar pero al abrir los ojos
Veo ese lugar donde estar toda reunida y no pude hablar
Tu fuiste mi dicha
Mi gia para encontrar a mi familia
Que me alejo del mal todas las mananas
“My Brother” por Francis
I love my brother
He used to play with me when I was in Santo Domingo
We used to play video games
We used to play baseball
We played all kinds of games
However, no matter what games we played
We played them together
“Mi Perro” por Francis
En mi casa, habia un perro que mi madre me compro
y cuando fui a donde vive mi tío
Un muchacho me llevó
Pero cuando cuando volví donde vive mi tío
Yo fui para su casa y cuando yo fui el muchacho no estaba alli
Y cuando yo pasé por el frente de la casa, el perro salio corriendo
Para donde fui yo
“Mata De Rosas” por Francis Medina
Al frente de mi casa
hay una mata de rosas
para cuando mi familia pase
coja lamas hermosa.
“Los Karacoles Caminan” por Francis
Yo estoy estudiando de los guamos (conch shells)
Porque cuando yo estaba en Santo Domingo
Yo tenia como siete pero los karacoles caminaban porque
Tenian una babosa adentro del karacol.
“My Mom Is My World” by Steven
My mom is my world
She is the reason I eat
She cooks for me
For daddy
For my babysister
And well
For herself
She is the reason I’m strong
“Getting Bullied” by Steven
I am Steven
I am a boy
Who gets bullied in school
By other students in my class
They make fun of me
They call me mean things
And they hurt my feelings
They want me to be a follower
But I am not a follower
I am a leader
My feelings matter
Students call me the “g” word
They say I’m gay
They call me a geek
They slam doors in my face
They say I’m stupid
But I’m none of these things
I’m just me
My classmates fight with me everyday
They hate me
I always tell the teacher
The lunch ladies
But no one does anything
So I fight back
Not because I want to
But because I have to
I must protect myself
What bothers me most
Is that even though
They start with me
Somehow, I’m the one
Who gets in trouble
No matter what I do
What can I do?
They are bigger than me
What can I do?
The teachers won’t listen
What can I do?
I told my mom and
Still bother me
My name is Steven
I am a boy
Who gets bullied in school
Can you hear me?
“Everything About Me” by Steven
I am tall
I am cool
I am smart
I like school
I like math
I like to read
I like poetry
I have a happy family
I like games
I like to play
I write poems
I like to say
I have a watch
And watch tv
I talk a lot
And write what I see
I like to eat food
I like to color
My birthday is February 5th
Thanks to my mother
I love my family
I love poetry
I love my babysister
Dad and mommy
I like to eat food
I have nice clothes
My name is Steven

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