Concord International Elementary: Poetry and Song 2022

Drawings from Concord 2nd graders: a kat and a dinosaur, a dog with hearts, a baseball and bat, and a green dragonIn the 2021-2022 school year, 2nd graders at Concord International Elementary School worked with Jack Straw teaching artist Vicky Edmonds to write original poems about their feelings, emotions, and what they’re like deep inside. Jack Straw musicians Tomo Nakayama and Abel Rocha wrote songs inspired by the students’ poems – Tomo working with Ms. Dillon’s class, and Abel working with Ms. Zambrano and Ms. Martinez’s classes. Abel and Tomo recorded their songs, and joined the classes virtually to teach them to the students.

Vicky Edmonds also worked with Concord 4th graders in Ms. Groszhans and Ms. Bargo’s classes. She helped them write poems on many topics, including family, personal feelings and emotions, and nature. Vocal coaches Sunam Ellis and Brenda Arellano helped each of them practice reading their work aloud.

Listen, look, and read on below for Tomo and Abel’s songs, and drawings and poems from the Concord 2nd and 4th grade students!

Some of the 2nd graders’ Earnest Apology, Appreciation, Hurt Feelings, and Deep Inside poems, along with drawings by the students:

Invisible Beauties… social emotional learning through poetry
© 2000 All Rights Reserved. Templates may not be used or shared without written permission from Vicky Edmonds. For more information on please call Vicky Edmonds: (206) 937-0700.

Concord Poetry and Song 2022 was produced with the generous support of the Washington State Arts Commission, Jubilation Foundation Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation, and individual donors. Special thanks to Seattle Public Schools International Education Administrator Thad Williams.

Click ‘Read More’ for the Concord 4th Graders’ poems.

Ms. Bargo’s Class:


Deep inside
I am like a flower,
bright and shiny,
helping kids be the same
and blooming with kindness.


If people were food,
you would be pizza
and I would be coke,
but we could both be a meal
to make people happy.


When you excluded me,
it felt like being locked in a dark room.
Would you please open up the door
and let me into the light?
Thank you.


If people were plants,
you would be the kale and tomatoes
and I would be the peas,
but we could both create a garden
for the hungry
filling them with gratitude.


Dear Eyobe,
I’m sorry for being such a rude person.
I was like a fire burning you down,
but I want to be more like
a hand helping you up.
Will you please forgive me?


When you hit me,
it felt like I was paper and you were scissors
and you cut me up.
Would you please glue me back together
so I can feel better again,
or tape me again,
or make me a new paper?
Thank you.


When you called me names
it felt like chains were holding me down
in a dark room.
Would you please be the true friend
I always thought you were?
Would you please lift me up,
and don’t put me down
in the darkness?
Thank you.


If people were cupcakes,
you would be the cake
and I would be the frosting,
but we could both be a treat
and make the world sweeter!


If people were weather,
you would be partly cloudy
and I would be rainy,
but we could both
make people surprised!


Deep inside
I am like origami,
helping people fold kindness
into their heart.


When you yelled at me
it felt like I was walking into a thorn bush.
Would you please be like a flower
blooming with love instead?
Thank you.


If people were parts of a car,
you would be the engine
and I would be the wheel,
but we could both
rush people to safety.


Deep inside,
I am like a stuffed animal
that comforts people.
I can be fun to play with
and I could be your friend!
I am very peaceful
and I could read with you
and help you calm down.


Deep inside
I am like a butterfly
that lightens your world up
into love and kindness.


Deep inside
I am like a field of flowers,
bringing happiness
when people run through me,
bringing more kindness to the world.


Dear Grandma,
I’m sorry for yelling at you.
I was like a tsunami,
my yells were like the waves
crashing down on you.
But I want to be more like a calm ocean
calming you down
when you need it.
Will you please forgive me?


When you were being rude to me
it felt like I was getting pushed into space.
Would you please be nice
and bring me back down to earth,
and treat me the way you want to be treated?
Thank you.


Deep inside
I am like a nice shower,
my warmth is soothing.
Deep inside
I am like the ocean,
my waves are calm and nice.

Ms. Groszhans’ Class:


Dear Mateo Ali,
I’m sorry for raining on your parade.
I was like buckets just pouring down
on your sweet, sensitive feelings,
making it so you couldn’t play.
But I want to be more like a sweet, quiet rainbow
making you so happy . . .
Will you please forgive me?


My kindness is like a red boat
saving people when they are lost.


Dear Sister,
I’m sorry for being a bad big brother.
I was like darkness scaring you,
but I want to be more like light and love
making you feel safe.
Will you please forgive me?


Deep inside,
I am like a flower blooming.
My friends are like the sun and water
helping me blossom.
I’m trying to bloom so I can burst out
and help the world.


Deep inside,
I am like the moon making waves,
trying to wash away the rubble of hate and lies.
Deep inside I sometimes feel trapped,
chained down by the lies and hate.
I feel it stab me, sharp and deadly.
When I get hit, I feel myself sink quicker into the hate,
but when I feel like I have been struck down,
I finally touch the light.
I have found the love, it grabs my hand
and pulls me out of my now lifting dread.
I have gained my freedom again,
all thanks to the light, the love.

David C.

Dear Duncan,
I’m sorry for making you mad yesterday.
I was like a thorn bush
making you fall into it,
but I want to be more like a tree
giving you oxygen.
Will you please forgive me?

David O.

When you yelled at me,
it felt like rocks being thrown at me.
Would you please be gentle like the wind
and not yell at me?
Thank you.


When you took something from me,
it felt like I had true meaning in life
but you took it away from me.
Would you please be like Christmas
so you can give it back to me?
Thank you . . .


My truth.
My truth is like water,
as it flows through the oceans and rivers
it brings kindness and peace to myself and the world.
So even if that truth in the water
gets foggy and invisible to see,
I’ll know it’s there.
And I WILL know
that the truth inside is my spirit,
that the truth inside is my beauty,
that the truth inside is ME.


You have damaged me now,
leaving me with holes in my body,
letting my insecurities shine through.
I try to cover up the holes so no one will see,
but now this is me with no apologies.
I uncover the holes letting them shine through,
and you say, “I like the new you.”
Sometimes you got to let
what you think is the worst part of you
shine through.


My trustworthiness
is like a yellow cloud
raining down calmness
that comforts people
when they are going through
hard times.


Dear Ms. Carly,
I’m sorry for not listening to you.
I was like a guinea pig
that squeaks all day,
but I want to be more like a tree
that’s silent
when it’s time to listen.


My dreams are like rainbows,
like tea making me calm
and happy and open
as I fall into the world.


Dear Mom,
I am sorry for lying to you.
I was like a poison rain drop
killing your love.
But I want to be more like your heart
helping you breathe and loving you
because of how much you love me
and take care of me.
Thank you,
and will you forgive me?


Dear Sister,
I’m sorry for annoying you.
I was like a loud noise
disturbing your peace and silence.
But I want to be more like a soothing sound
calming you and restoring you.
Will you please forgive me?


Deep inside,
I am like a mountain
helping people breathe
and feel calm.


Deep inside,
I am like a dragon
scaring away misinformation
and all negative feelings,
and bringing back positive feelings
with my echoing roars!


Dear Myself,
I’m sorry for being insecure.
I was like scissors
cutting my own hair when I was young,
but I want to be more like water
washing away the pain
and bad memories.
Will you please forgive me . . . ?

Mia & Princessa

Our friendship is like a sunset
with pink clouds in the sky at the beach.
Watching the sunset go down,
looking at it with our friends,
covers us all
in pink light.


My hope is like joy and water
mixing together to make a rainbow,
and then my joy goes up
and makes my love
spread through the world!


Deep inside,
I am like an animal who is protective.
I’m protective so no one gets hurt
and everyone I love is safe.


My creativity is like a painting palette
with new unique colors and shades every day.
It helps me try new things
and it comforts me when I’m down and sad.
Every time I am joyful with others,
we all have our own story with different colors.
Every time someone is kind,
their feelings are a different color.
I get inspired by them
and I create more new colors!


Dear Cousin,
I’m sorry for not playing with you.
I was like scissors
cutting your sensitive bones,
but I want to be more like
a soft and cozy bed and blanket
that keeps you warm always.
Will you please forgive me?


Deep inside
I am like an Irish dancer
dancing to the beat of the violins,
leaping with the soft waves,
skipping with the love in my heart.
I am waiting for the day I can see Ireland.
I watch the view of the mountains
as the sun sets and the wind blows.
I get to my dancing feet
skip, skip, skipping,
leap, leap, leaping,
and listen to the beat of my heart
as the sun pops up and warms the land
I call home.


Dear Illy,
I’m sorry for acting up.
I was like a wall
blocking you from what you need most,
but I want to be more like a ladder
helping you rise to the top.
Will you please forgive me?


My wisdom is like green vines
spreading their positivity and power
across the world
and blooming flowers of confidence
that help empower people
to feel stronger.


Deep inside I am like a tree
in a large and peaceful forest,
I am strong and gentle.
I am like a paintbrush,
I always create new things!
I am like a book,
I have new stories and messages every day!
I am like an alarm clock,
I wake up early every morning
to shine on everyone
as bright as the sun!

Read more


Portrait of Vicky Edmonds, by Katie Jennings

Vicky Edmonds

Vicky Edmonds is a poet and a teacher who uses the written and spoken word to bring the deepest and most authentic parts of ourselves to the page into the…

Portrait of Tomo Nakayama

Tomo Nakayama

Born in Japan and raised in Seattle, Washington, Tomo Nakayama is an artist whose melodic, complex, and emotionally compelling music has been praised by NPR, New York Times, and The…

Abel Rocha

Abel Rocha

Abel Rocha is a Mexico City-born folklorist, singer and multi-instrumentalist who performs music of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile and Argentina. He is a foundational member of groups including…

Portrait of Brenda Arellano

Brenda Arellano

Brenda Arellano is a performer and devisor based in Oakland after almost a decade in Chicago. She was a company member with the Chicago Neo-Futurists and she recently performed…

Portrait of Sunam Ellis

Sunam Ellis

Sunam Ellis is an actor, director, and teaching artist based out of Seattle. Her training began with her studies at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and after receiving her…