Youth Voices: Poetry

Photography is the central artistic medium used during Parks in Focus programming to connect youth to nature, but it’s not the only artistic medium taught, encouraged, or practiced. Parks in Focus participants also spend time writing, drawing, experimenting with water color, and expressing themselves in all sorts of creative ways.

Today we will highlight a couple of written pieces created by PIF youth. Sometimes the pieces are specifically poems, sometimes they’re stream-of-consciousness writing about what is being experienced that sounds like poetry. Either way, we’re calling this post “poetry.”


by A’keilah, age 13

The interesting day.  Visiting parks.  Finding out the true meaning of nature.  Four wheels, loud noisy bus riding fast down the road.  Stops to see the pretty trees and what they come from. Comes down to the white sand beach. People happy. Enjoying their time. Us. The group people, snapping pictures of exciting thngs. Almost night.  Laughing, yelling, being occupied and having fun. Making tents, eating dinner, sitting by a campfire being silly. Always having fun.

taken by A'keilah

by Lillie, age 12

Lilly with her journal and camera at Grand Canyon NP

I walked down a trail

and saw a squirrel with a furry tail

There was a fire that raised higher and higher

I shivered when I swam thru the river

by Hannah, age 13

Armed with a camera and a yellow school bus,

I explored parks around the Bay.

taken by Hannah

I met new friends who had never hiked

Never felt the ocean, never slept under the stars.

We started at Mt. Tam, and its manmade rock theater

As I tried out my new camera, nothing I had seen before.

Then Muir Beach, where the waves crash onto the rocks.

I took pictures of the sand and felt it squeak between my toes.

Then to Muir Woods, where the redwood trees dwarfed ferns.

And I looked up at the towers through the afternoon sun rays.

At the SS Red Oak Victory, Navy history screamed out.

As I explored its insides, and found the radio officer’s quarters.

Then we headed to Anthony Chabot, and set up camp.

And I fell asleep suspended under and old oak tree.

Then we dragon boated on the water outside JLAC. 

Then we plopped down, dead tired, into our proper beds.

by Maia, age 13

by Maia

The course of a weekend, stretched to eternity and then condensed into a single second

Countless names and faces, minute details of the world spreading around me

Thousands of memories created each second

the nighttime sky

by Olivia, age 11

Collaborative project: taken by Olivia’s friend, Rylie during PIF: MT


Slimy, small

Hopping, hiding, lurking


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