Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day and Read the ACE Poetry Contest Mascot’s Poems
By Riley, ACE Poetry Contest Mascot and Alpha Public Schools Mascot; and ACE Poetry Contest Mascots Max from San Francisco International High School, and Bodie from Oakland International High School. Assisted by Martha who is typing fast to keep up with this rowdy team
Arf, arf. Meow, meow. Bark, bark.
Riley here. It’s Poem in Your Pocket Day and we ACE Poetry Contest Mascots want to share our poems that we have in our pockets. Well, we really don’t have pockets, but we depend on our human friends to help us share our poems. Plus, we get treats too. And we love treats.
Oh boy do we love treats. Max here, and even though I’m a legend at San Francisco International High School and have to have a regal way about me, a treat can make me jump for joy. Oh, poems too, but treats… Yum.
Yes, treats are lovely, although I, Bodie, enjoy mine on a nice plate. No hand given treats for me. Have those hands been washed frequently? What else have they touched? Okay, you two. Quit staring at me. It’s a cat thing. My friends at Oakland International High School totally understand.
As head mascot, Riley, I thought I’d help with some general rules about this Poem in Your Pocket Day. Mostly, do it from a safe distance. Share it on social media and use the #PocketPoem. Record a video of yourself reading a poem and share it on your favorite social media platform. Recite it on Zoom or in your classroom or with a video chat with your family and friends.
Can I butt in? ‘Ol Max here has a great idea. Read your poem out loud from your porch, window, back or front yard, or any outdoor space that lets you be a safe distance from others.
Oh, Bodie cat likes that idea. Better than you two howling with each other. Not that howling is bad, just too much of it can get on a cat’s nerves.
Okay. As head mascot Riley, I think we need to get to our poems that are in our “pockets.” Max, you first since you are the legend.
Max’s Poem in his Pocket:
Oh, I’m so excited to share this poem. It’s about friends. What friends really mean. And we need friends more than ever today.
Word of Honor
By Robert Sexton
Like flowers rising to meet the sky, we unfold
in the presence of a friend. Nothing is withheld, for the
trust we exchange allows us both to be all that we are.
There is no greater freedom and no more natural joy.
Bodie’s Poem in his Pocket:
I’m going with our amazing Poet Laureate of the US. She doesn’t write much about cats, but she writes about spirts, so, as a cat, I understand.
Don’t Bother the Earth Spirit
By Jo Harjo
Don’t bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she will invite you in for coffee, give you warm bread, and you will be obligated to stay and listen. But this is no ordinary story. You will have to endure earthquakes, lightning, the deaths of all those you love, the most blinding beauty. It’s a story so compelling you may never want to leave; this is how she traps you. See that stone finger over there? That is the only one who ever escaped.
Riley’s Poem in his Pocket
My choice is a classic poem, but the last is the best part because we all have to keep striving and not yield. (Actually, it’s a long poem and Martha wouldn’t type the whole thing, so I chose this section.)
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
Come my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . .
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are –
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Great poems team, thank you. Riley, Bodie and Max here, hoping everyone has a great Poem in Your Pocket Day.
Arf, arf. Meow, meow. Bark, bark.