California Poets in the Schools poet-teacher Maureen Hurley has been writing Letters to Obama with several classes at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, California. Below are selections from her work with Ms. Smith's and Ms. Loeser's classes.
Poem for President Obama
I remember the music,
the nectar of a sweet flower
in the field of peace
All the bees lured to you
Like all the people of joyfulness
About your sweet, powerful speech.
Your happiness is like the wind,
We are the USA
You listen to us with honesty and hope.
You are the first of a color
President, but I don't care
I care about a good president
Who is easy with people
But help like it is hard
You are the missing puzzle piece
To the American puzzle
We hoped for joy and we got it
For you were the joy.
—Maria, Ms. Smith's 3rd grade
I remember your speech
It made everyone cry
You made good speeches to the world
I remember the songs
it was in my heart
I could never let it go
I have a dream for you
To be elected President.
I know that Martin Luther King
Changed some laws
for the Black people
To get to sit in front of the bus
I dream that you'll come to
Cleveland School, in Oakland, CA
So I could meet you.
—Sandi, Ms. Smith's 3rd grade
Dear President Obama,
Remember the homeless that are hungry
Like ducks in a pond in the park of fun
That lets children flow like the wind
In the grace of the sky
That has the justice of the clouds
Love can beat the hatred hearts
Of the people that do not have love and hopes.
We need the world to change
Like the hearts of the people.
Remember the sacrifices of the people
That floated into the heaven of the gods
That are controlling happiness and sadness
The water of dreams is collecting the dreams
Of the people that are sad.
The dreams of the people are floating away
As soft as a feather
A drop of tears flies away
From the people of sadness
And into the tears of love.
We, the people, are here to change the world
With grace and hope.
—Jessica, Ms. Smith's 3rd grade
Poem for President Obama
Did you know that I also like to play basketball?
Remember, when you're in defense
You switch your mode to offense
Like you could back your opponent's shot
Like when you're in back of him.
Can I ask you a question?
When it's nighttime
Do you sleep or do you keep writing a speech?
Did Bush give you the keys to the White House?
Remember to live long and be healthier
I have a dream that the earth
Would live peacefully.
Keep earth alive
We want peace.
—Andy, Ms. Smith's 3rd grade
Advice to President Obama
Please speak the truth to America
Please help animals of the planet
Help get people involved in community work
Help stop global warming
Why don't we have a Secretary of the Arts
In the United States?
Please respond to this.
P.S. I'm glad you're our president.
—Crystal, Ms. Loeser's 5th grade