TJHS students read verses during poetry jam
Junior High School got a head start on Teen Reading Week.
On Friday morning, some of the ninth-graders specifically dressed in poetry garb -- beatnik-style clothing -- for the junior high's open microphone poetry reading.
Twins Rachel and Becca Bogard donned mini skirts, black hose, beads and berets for their outfits.
And they read verses by their favorite poets.
Both girls like to write, but they don't write poetry.
In fact, two years ago, when Jessica was in the sixth grade, she wrote a storybook that was considered for publication in a Scholastic book program.
While students read their poems aloud in the junior high library, their classmates gathered around, sitting on the floor, some on pillows brought from home for the event.
Following instructions by librarian Barbara Bahm and their teacher Shannon Nickell, the students showed their appreciation after each reading.
But it wasn't the traditional way.
"Remember when we applaud we don't clap," Bahm reminded the students. "We snap our fingers."
While some poems selected for reading were by famous poets, including Langston Hughes and Shel Silverstein, a few students read poems they had written themselves. Tyler Miles read three of his own poems. And another student, Kelly Yunghans, read a poem written by her great-grandmother.
These two poems were read by Tonganoxie Junior High School students at last week's poetry reading at the school.
By Tyler Miles
As the roll of the crashing waves overcomes your senses you see it, feel it, hear it.
The mammoth tidal wave appears as if it were a ghost, out of nowhere.
Taller than a skyscraper, longer than the Grand Canyon, it appears.
Winds swirl like cyclones on the rampage.
Rain hammers the earth with tremendous force.
Then it hits.
Waves crash the surface like stampeding buffalo.
Everything in the path is there one second. ... And gone the next.
As soon as it had begun, it ended.
Everything is in chaos.
People wander aimlessly and try to pick up the splinters of their lives.
One man picks up a twisted piece of metal that was once his car and said, "Nothing left."
Lessons from Dad
By Elsie Darrow, read by her great-granddaughter and TJHS student Kelly Yunghans
When I was just a little tot
My Dad -- he used to say
If you can't say something good
Of your companions today
Then don't say anything at all
For it will grow and grow
And cause such heartache and distress
As through the days they go.
But if something good and kind
Can truly be said
Then tell the world about it
Or see that it is read.
For a kind word and happy smile
Will go a long, long way
To brighten up their pathway
And change their night to day.
I'd like to pass along this though
Just take it for what its worth.
If you only repeat the good you hear
You will soon find this old earth
Is a wonderful place in which to live.
And just as one smile soon makes two
You will go along singing a song
For the best will come back to you.