Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

Poems from James Simons Elementary, Spring 2016

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Typing with Paint Poem

Washing your hair with mud and grease.

Turning a banana into a minion.

Breaking your pencil, but when you fix it,

it turns different colors.


I make a chocolate cake with someone’s head.

I made a three-headed dog with hair and skin.

I created a time machine out of all the states.

I had a heart attack without a heart.


I started a petition with two shrunken heads.

I watched South Dakota turn into North Dakota

from five states away.

Sydney Flewellen, 4th grade, Ms. Ables



“Playing Pool with Coltrane” Story

Marilyn Monroe was a freshman in college. She’d already unpacked her things–

clothes, bed sheet, furniture, and bathroom accessories.

So then she decides to take a look around campus, which was quite empty by the way.

No one was walking around. No one seemed to be in their dorms.

It was like the whole campus was empty. Marilyn really wasn’t in the mood to explain anyway. So she went to her dorm and put in an hour of jumping on her trampoline for exercise while watching “Martin.”


Then, when her hour was about up, she got off the trampoline and BAM!

She was on the floor, with her ankle in pain. There was something that made her fall

that wasn’t there before. But it turns out that nothing was there, and her ankle wasn’t even the problem. It was her whole body.

Zaire Brooks, 7th grade


Inspired by “Ego Tripping” (Bragging Lie Poem)

I’m very dumb.

Creating the world was like dying

Millions of times.

Having it look like me,

But not too

I’m the energy.

I wish I was the sun.


I’m the brightest star.

Living on earth is way too hard.

Trying to become human,

hating on one another.



I cry at those

who say they’re worse than me.

I can jump into space

and breathe.

Swimming in the ocean sea

with the nice warm breeze.


Running is like blue, green, and pink.

All my worst colors.

sad colors

Loving brother

Bad night

Zaire Brooks, 7th grade


Banana Poem

I woke up, washed my face in the bathroom.

But when I looked at myself in the mirror, I was a banana.

Ahhh! I’ve got to get to school!

I’ll just skip school for 30 days or more.


I awoke again the next day.

I walked right outside to school, walked in the door.

Oops! I had forgotten I was a banana.

A person tried to eat me.

I thought I was toast.


Several days passed.

Booh! I awoke. It was all a dream.

Then I woke up again.

I was really a mango.

I ate myself and that was it.

Sydney Flewellen, 4th grade, Ms. Ables


Chinese Menu Poem

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting.

They were chopping half and half.

Double delight teamed up with Osaka Chicken.

I saw chicken with string beans in spicy ginger sauce.


Everybody was Kung Fu fighting.

Cold noodle with hot sauce.

Egg roll and spring roll teamed up with a deadly quartet.

Osaka Hot Pot ruined Fried Rice’s day.

Campbell Lesher, 4th grade, Ms. Watkins


Banana Poem

Don’t eat me

You hate bananas right?

What about the banana who’s peel is made out of artificially yellowed rubber

Don’t forget that my seeds are bullets from the Revolutionary War

Remember that I wasn’t really grown in soil but in horse manure

I was thrown into polluted water and ended up in a megalodon’s stomach

I was eventually pooped out and washed up in a pile

I ended up going to a nuclear plant and the toxic waste soaked right in

Oh, I was thrown into the dump

Then I was scooped up and eaten by a hawk

I came out of one of her eggs

After that I dropped out and ended up in the trunk of your car

Then I laid there for 40 years

Campbell Lesher, 4th grade, Ms. Watkins


Banana Poem

Before you eat me, you should know that I was grown in the Nile River,

by a herd of chipmunks. That’s all. Wait, I was put in the car for five

million years, until a five-year-old who picks her nose put a booger on me.

Oh, and you’re touching it. Just thought you should know.

Also, there is some toothpaste; Jessica was putting me on her toothbrush.


Also, was I dropped in dog dropping and stuck in the butt of a horse. Don’t forget that.

I was eaten and barfed up by Jessica’s pet bunny. If you still want to eat me, that’s fine.

I warned you.

Tahra Brandon, 4th grade, Ms. Watkins


Typing with Paint Poem

Dancing without using your head.

Singing without a voice.

Sawing without a saw.


Washing your hair with eggnog.

Putting on your shoes with a pencil.

Playing basketball with a bar of soap.

Mopping the floor with your hair.

Running with a fish.

Writing with your middle toe.

Brushing your hair with a piece of paper.

Stinking after taking a shower.

Tahra Brandon, 4th grade, Ms. Watkins


Typing with Paint Poem

Walking with my feet in my mouth.

Singing without a head.

Naked with clothes on.

Cutting my head off with a jaguar.


Kissing a shark, then killing it in Australia.

Running with a monkey.

Walking a cheetah.

Tapping a pencil.

Bouncing a basketball.

Eating chicken nuggets.

Janiya Gowans, 4th grade


Banana Poem

A yellow banana ran so fast that it broke in half.

It said, “I’m a running banana, what are you?”

I said, “I’m a running banana.”

Then we split and ran away.

I said, “OMG!”

Sylah Frasier, 5th grade, Ms. Smalls-Brown


Chinese Menu Poem

I went far away in this crazy strange portal. I met this person who seemed dumb.

He said “How ya doin’? My name is Kung Po Shrimp.” He actually did look like a little shrimp.

“Moo Goo Gai Pan is my name,” another person said. He said my chicken was coming out.

When he said that, he meant his older friend Kung Po Chicken. He was creepy and made me throw up my fried chicken wings.

Kung Po Shrimp said, “I’m feeling tall today.” I said, “Yeah! You mean shrimpy.”

Kung Po Shrimp came out of the blue and kicked me, and I felt like Cantonese boneless chicken.

Kung Po Chicken boxed me in the ribs and said, “Boneless ribs.”

Actually, I did feel like I had boneless ribs. He smiled like he had double happiness. I got angry and killed him. Barbeque sauce splattered all over my hands when I killed him.

Cashew Nuts was a big guy, and we fought him in a tournament. He killed Kung Po Shrimp, and I killed him. But then the eggroll portal came, and I went back home.

Celina Lee, 5th grade


Chinese Menu Poem

There were two legendary armies.

The white rice army, their commander was Roast Pork. His armor was made out of pure diamond. Once he pulls a spike, wings appear.

Then the legendary Yellow Rice Army. Their commander, Roast Duck. His armor was pure diamond, with battle weapons. Pure black magic, Duck uses.

As Lucy opened the box, the flag stood. Lucy looked again, this time the rice attacked her. There stood duck with his diamond armor on. Then pork stood with white rice, then yellow rice.

“We meet again Pork. This time we fight to the death,” Duck said.

So the battle began. Duck squirted soy sauce on Pork. Pork squirted him with Duck Sauce.

“You bastard, you squirted duck sauce on me.”

As the battle raged, Pork had a weak spot, the only opening. So Duck created a magic arrow…

DaKevion Henderson, 6th grade


Typing with Paint Poem

Walking with heels on my hands

Licking ice with no tongue

Brushing my dog with my teeth

Cooking Kool-Aid with no spoon

Kissing the mirror with no reflection

Eating yogurt without a jaw

Spearing my toes without any bones

Looking at a man with my knees

Fighting someone without any body parts

Driving a car with hoofs on my hand

Cutting a desk with a safety pin

Biting a pen with bloody ink

Shania Singleton, 6th grade, Ms. Adams


Chinese Menu Poem

$12.10 is the cost

Of my order for

That price what did I get?


I got

An eggroll that

has the ability

to grow legs and

excrete shrunken cats.



Fried rice that came

From a fly causing

The kernels to move like




And sour chicken

That can move

As if they are

Still a part of the

Chicken’s body


Also with a side

Of fried noodles

That could fight

Other noodles and

Be lonely at the

End and last


A soda that is flavored with all

The sodas in the world.

Shania Singleton, 6th grade, Ms. Adams


“Playing Pool with Coltrane” Story

Katy Perry was assigned to braid people’s hair. One day this Asian woman came in and asked for long, single braids. So she got to work on braiding the woman’s hair.

Katy Perry said: “Girl your hair ‘bout to look good, yasssss.”

The woman said: “I hope it will.”

Like thirty minutes later, Katy Perry was in the middle of the woman’s head. Katy and the lady were having a good ol’ conversation about Chris Brown.

The woman said, “Girl he is fine.”

Katy said, “He is so smexy.”

Katy was finally done with the woman’s hair. Katy said, “Do you wanna see?”

The woman said yes.

Two minutes later the woman went to look in the mirror and said, “OMG, what have you done?! My head looks like a mop!”

The lady said, “Give me my one.”

Meaning she wants to fight.

Shania Singleton, 6th grade, Ms. Adams


Sui Generis

Playing in the

Gym, sweat pouring

Down my neck

To my back as

It went through

The hole into the

Ashley River


To the soil and sank

Into the plant

And the plant

Became a very special plant.


It goes ten

Miles into

The sky


It’s high in the sky and

Birds fly down

To lie on my porch.

Lania Singleton, 5th grade


Drama (Food Style) — a Chinese Menu Poem

“Wonton soup!” I yell. She runs downstairs. Four seasons was sitting on the couch, mad.

Winter was having a snow storm – he threw a snowball at Sesame Chicken.

But Sesame Chicken don’t take no crap, he called up Chicken and Cashew Nuts.

“We already on Fried Dumplins Street. Be there in a sec.”

So Orange Chicken burst up in there, smacking four seasons with double black bean delight. Honey Garlic Chicken pop in there yelling at Fantail Shrimp, saying she pregnant with eggrolls. But Chen’s Bistro Special had grabbed Shrimp by her hair and Tofu Black Bean caught it all on camera.

Ty’Lesha McKenzie, 6th grade




Confident Shadows

Confident Shadows
Vol. 5 of the literary magazine of Burke High School LILA’s Poets in the Schools

For five years, LILA’s Poets in the Schools, directed by Blue Bicycle owner Jonathan Sanchez, has worked to build a strong tradition of poetry in downtown Charleston’s only public high school. The poems and stories in Confident Shadows were written by Burke High School students with the help of eight local poets and a team of College of Charleston assistants. Since the program started, over 1,000 students have attended 250 workshops and produced about 5,000 creative works.

“[Burke Poetry] has shown me that I can succeed in life and will, and for that I am grateful.”

– Sampson Duggins (pictured on cover)

here’s a taste of vol. 5:

I am this silver ring on my hand
I am like an inmate in a jail

I am filled with butterflies
I am a close friend to knives

I am a rusty paperclip on a
blank piece of paper
I am Nikki’s biggest fan.

I am an empty spirit looking
for a confident
shadow to hide in
I am a lie

Katoria Brown


My mother is a clown
who makes jokes and smiles.
My sister is the stubborn tiger
who will eat you in a second.
My brother is the acrobat
who is always flipping around.
My father is the disappearing act.
Now you see him now you don’t.

Kaquane Platts



so-called whisper


So-Called Whisper

Vol. 4 of the literary magazine of Burke High School LILA’s Poets in the Schools

“These workshops helped change the school’s image and the community’s opinion about Burke.”
-Dasaray Fyall, Senior

“Studying poetry has made me look and things one way and then shift to a different ending.”
-Tramaine Jeffcoat, Senior

“I remember the first time I saw some of my work in the first book we did in 9th grade…I felt honored to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
-Keyona Grant, Senior

LILA’s Poets in the Schools started with two local writers leading workshops in four ninth grade classes. The program has grown to seven writers, ranging from recent college graduates to the poet laureate of South Carolina, working with nine English classes in ninth, tenth, and twelfth grades.

here’s a taste of vol. 4:

Grandmama was a triggered pistol.
Granddaddy a red tassel nestled in Psalms.

Sunday mornings a battle roared
through periwinkle hallways,
“You’re stupid!” was followed by
“Bless your heart.”

Mama was a slice of dark chocolate.
Papi was a slice of naranja.


Carter Nuñez, sophomore


I am from a love that got me here today.
I am from Zabian Lashawn Rivers and Tony Melvin Heyward.
I am from the Eastside.
I am from a kind heart.
I am from the kids fighting on Mall Park.
I am from the pole with the green that has the words Aiken and Columbus.

I am from the beautiful summer day of the 13th of
August, 1991.
I am from the intelligent person that my mama raised
me to be.
I am from being disobedient, immature, and
I am from side ponytails, khaki pants, and white shirts.

Toni Rivers




On the brand
New white rug

Looks like
Blood shots

In a
Sick person’s eye.

Demetria Doctor


The brown makes me feel like my chocolate pudding
is up to no good.
Blue is serene like the birth of a bird.
Tan is stuck between being sweet and light or dark
and angry.
Lavender is Baby Bop’s reason for being the only
dinosaur without plastic surgery.
Red is the angry warden and all other colors are on
lock down.
Purple is red’s mother and she isn’t very pleased by
his behavior.
Yellow is the playful dog that greets his master when
they enter the home.
Pink is the sneaky little boy who sets things on fire.

Ariona Moten





We are proud to carry Kissing a Biting Spider, vol. 3 of the Burke High School literary magazine, part of LILA’s Poets in the Schools. (Suggested donation: $15). This book is the result of workshops that Blue Bicycle Books owner Jonathan Sanchez led  in the fall of 08, along with local poets Keverlee Burchett and Richard Garcia at downtown Charleston’s only public high school.

Here’s a  taste of some of the many great lines:

“I remember seeing flooded streets after a Friday rainfall.”

“I remember my father’s house burning down, and thinking, ‘Do I have to pay for my textbooks that were inside?’”

“I believe in sandwiches because the layers of bread are like the stress I’m building inside.”

“I believe in mild-mannered teachers.”

“I kissed a biting spider.”

a few poems:


A Banana Poem

I am nasty, smushy, yellowy, smelly,

squishy, yucky, sucky, mucky, smucky.

You don’t want to eat me.

I am just too nasty.

I stink, I have a bad aftertaste.

I’m squishy in your mouth.

Who would want to eat something so sick?

Eat me and you will die. It’s your decision.

If I were you, I would choose life.

But on the other hand

If you want a yucky, smelly, yellowy slug in your mouth

By all means eat me but watch out for my guts

That will squish in your mouth

Like little maggots

Swimming in the world’s slimiest slime.

Makes you sick, huh?

Remember me as your mouth’s worst nightmare!

Etalii Edwards

The Dark Black Side of Me (inspired by Portrait of Madame Gautreau)

Author’s note: The story is based on a painting of a young lady in a nanny green dress holding something in her hand. The story makes you picture that you were there. You did the killing. You were the innocent people.

Her name is Olivia and it is a Sunday. A long, rainy day. She was just home cleaning up the house, listening to ‘Take You Down’ by Chris Brown. She is a very, very, very, dangerous person and she has already killed like five people in the past month. She is holding a big, long knife. Maybe she is thinking about killing somebody. As a matter of fact, she’s thinking about killing your momma, your daddy, granddaddy, grandma, and your grandpa, your whole family.

The question is, Why? Why does she want to kill such an innocent family who don’t bother anybody?

Maybe they are in a house of hers and she wants it back. She looks so evil, wearing her long nanny green dress looking so innocent. Her hair is pinned up, so when she kills people she couldn’t leave any evidence behind. But, later down the line, she went to the people’s house and acted like she was the inspector, so that she can get more information about them and plot out their death plan.

Akela Wilson

Banana and Orange Forever

Sitting in the bowl next to him

He’s so round and orange

Sweet with a side of tangy

We belong together like Mariah and Nick

Will he ever notice me?

Will we ever become one?


I’m not ready

How do I look?

That really doesn’t matter

The knife cuts me then him

Into the bowl we go together

Finally becoming one

Not a care in the world

He finally asks my name

Cindy Banana I reply

And then when things start getting good

Molly, Holly, and Polly

The Cherry Triplets

Come and ruin everything

They are so Jello!

I really hate them

They’re so…


What was that?

It’s dark in here

Where’s orange?!?!

Going down this long tunnel

Too bad…

“Banana and Orange forever!”

Isheka Dixon

[A Chinese Menu Poem]

This is a tale of a marvelous place

Where the fires burn and the chefs just pace.

I’ll tell you a tale but you must pay attention

To the Chen’s Bistro Special’s own little convention.

Well, Pepper Steak was with onion

And they were soaking in a pot.

The chicken said to corn, “Let’s go soup a little.”

Shrimp and his little brother Fin Tail

Were running around screaming,

“Pupu Platter, Pupu Platter.”

Moo Goo and Gai Pan told Young Zhou,

“Dude, we just totally roasted Duck.”

They got caught and were sentenced

To the Szechuan combination.

But they escaped from their holding spot in Mongolian Beef.

They and Egg tried o get into The Oven,

The hottest spot in the kitchen

But the Pot Stickers said no.

They asked why, and the Stickers said,

“Egg is Foo Young.”

Ryszard Young YRT

The Day Kung Pao Died

I was walking down the Snow Peas when the Steamed Broccoli jumped out with numchucks. I looked on his shirt and saw he worked for Take Out. So I drew my Chicken Wings and screamed, “Shrimp dinner!” as I charged to the little Curry Beef. Soon as I ran, Pow! He kicked out my BBQ ribs. It felt like Fried Onion Rings.

So, I gave him an Egg Drop Soup to the head. My friend, Sesame Chicken the Third came out of the bushes and said, “Hot and Spicy delightful and appetizing. We cater the spice according to your taste, No MSG used in our Kung Fu.”

The Shrimp Lo Mein whipped out a Pepper Steak and started shooting Orange Chicken everywhere. I was scared, so I started to climb the Great Wall. As soon as I got to the top, I got slapped in the face with an egg roll and fell down.

Tinesha Lance

My name is Jamilla.

I like to jam to jazz.

My head feels like some one

is juggling with it. My favorite

jellybean is jelly.

I drink Juicy Juice with 7-up.

Joe, my cousin

loves jelly in a plastic jar.

I feel real jazzy with my

cute jacket with the binging

jewelry for design.

I feel jubilant, I want to watch

Jeopardy but my jejune brother

John is acting jokey.  He is full

of joy but I’m feeling joyless.

My head is a jumble because

of the hard junk on Jeopardy.

My jackass uncle held a jackknife

at my school mother

because she jammed his finger

in the journal. She was jotting

jaundice stuff so she jabbed him

in the joint.  I started to have

jocularity because I felt joyful.

Jamilla Dickerson


Hi, my name is Letha

I love to laugh.

I am also loveable and lazy.

I love Louis Vuitton.

My favorite subject is lunch.

I have looked at lilies

in a line on a log

next to a lake leveled

on a lane.

I use logic to open my locker.

My locker is on the second floor.

I did a long jump in P.E.

I hate lumpy milk.

I hang out in a teen lounge.

My middle name is LaShea.

I placed a label on my fold.

I lost a game playing Uno.

I hate lame losers who don’t share.

Letha Bailey

Fussing Blues

Woke up this morning Aunty screamin again

Woke up this morning Aunty screamin again

But damn I don’t want to hear this I ain’t playing

Smiling on the inside, but angry on the out

Cause truthfully I don’t know what dis is all about

So instead of being yelled at I open my mouth

Sayin are you finished cause your morning breath is leaking out.

Derrick Frasier

I remember the first time I heard my little sister kicking in my mother’s stomach.

I remember the day my nephew was born.

I remember walking in my grandmother’s house Sunday after church and smelling Sunday dinner.

I remember my aunt coming to pick me up in the morning and shopping all day.

I remember my first trip to Atlanta.

I remember Christmas morning waking up with my cousins and the living room filled from front to back.

I remember Saturday nights at Stardust Skating Rink.

I remember playing double-dutch in the yard with my friends and cousins.

I remember playing Red Light, Green Light and Mother May I in the warm sunlight.

I remember telling scary stories at night in the park with my older sister.

I remember going to my aunt’s funeral and seeing every face with tears.

I remember playing with my sisters and daddy in the park, laughing and having fun.

I remember the last time I saw him.

Jessica Watson


Ode to a Burger

I have a burger for a boyfriend.

Greasy and sticky.  Yeah I’m very picky

with my burgers.

Craving for McDonalds and Burger King

Every morning I wake up and sing,

“Oh how I love my burgers.”

Some people say it’s weird, but they

can kiss my burger feet meat.

People going to hate off the love I got

For my burger, but nothing

can come between our bread and our cheese.

He’s the ketchup packet and I’m the mustard.

I know this love is real.

Shawnicqua Hanna

I brought twelve dogs into your house and they peed on everything.

I thought I could teach them poker.

Please forgive me for what I did. I gave your car to some Mexicans so they could pimp your ride. Your car is gone but look at the bright side, at least your windows are clean.

Forgive me, for I know no better. I stuffed a stress ball in your cow’s mouth and it died. It’s not my fault, you told me it had mad cow disease.

I’m sorry your girlfriend broke up with you and came to me because you have a hunchback. She told me she couldn’t stay with you because you couldn’t be straight up with her.

Justin Walton YRT


Ode to Pork ‘n Beans

You are always what you seem like

Your taste hurts me

I don’t care

You can make me wait

as long as you want. Just don’t starve

me. Dying for you is true because

you taste it like a heart. (It’s true.)

Your skin is so brown

that it waters my eyes

but somehow I would wanna

cry. Your smell makes me

pass out. You make me think

of my daddy. When something’s

wrong you give advice that solves my


When I need you, you’re there.

If I’m down you pick me up.

Your skin tone reminds me of

my dad, so light colored.

You being so soft reminds

me of his feelings. They don’t

want to be hurt.

Jarysse Hamilton

Where I Go When I Am Happy

I’m going to a place when it’s summer 24/7. I going

to a place where I’m alone. I’m going to a place

where I can do what I please at anytime. I’m

going to a place where it will never rain or get


I hear a dog barking and birds singing. I hear

lions roaring and waves moving.

Since nobody can see me, I dance.

My happiness is the color of my heart.

Jamal Baldwin

The Big Yellow

I        lumpy and yellow

ugly gross

large and hollow

green streaks long way to grow

II          looks like a musket

from the Civil War

confederate soldiers

III        It’s a person’s face that has broken out in hives

IV        It’s a piece of moldy cheese in a dumpster that an

angry chef put there.

V         It looks like an instrument from the African dance, in Africa at a celebration


VI        At the Moja Arts festival white people are dancing.

Le’tia Wright

Q. What is a Dog

A. Skin with no bones

Q. What is the leg

A. Inside of my room

Q. What are the lips

A. two pink smooth pillows

Q. What are two shoes

A. two people making love

Q. What is the computer

A. two men making sites

Q. What are clocks

A. A time out

Q. What is a window

A. Something you can see through to get out Ms. Brady’s class

Q. What is a door

A. A walkway entrance to another room

Q. What is a wall

A. A hardcore item

Quinten Williams