Visit Gaining Ground and Enjoy Poetry on the Farm

A poet displayed on a wooden stake above a row of colorful tulips, overlooking green crops and caterpillar tunnels.

The arrival of spring signals many important events on the farm—including our annual Poetry on the Farm exhibit!

We are again installing a self-guided farm tour featuring poems authored by Gaining Ground recipients, partner organizations, and poets throughout our community. Poetry on the Farm kicks off on Saturday, April 29, and will continue through Friday, June 9.

Please pay us a visit and enjoy a selection of thought-provoking poems while you walk through the natural beauty and thrumming activity of our hunger-relief farm. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

This year we have also created a virtual version of the exhibition. Due to space limitations, we were unable to include all of the poems we received in our installation on the farm. Below you can read every poem in an accessible online installation.

This year’s Poetry Walk is made possible by the generous support of the Concord Cultural Council.

Our 2023 Poetry Collection

flying heart
Paul Green

one day immune to altitude  
I fly like a newborn swims  
no clothes or thoughts of falling  

limbs sopping naked  
arms and eyelids fluttering  
soaring through trees  
headwind and thunder  

less awkward birds  
thumbnail hearts humming  
chase the automatic insects  

but over the fields my heart  
poised like a dancer at measure's end,  
still seeks a grace more obvious  
than innocence  
Hand on the Land
Katie Silvan

With a hand on the

And an eye toward the

Breath that rises and

A heart in my chest that 

I could not tell you who is not my
Elizabeth Wright

Green as any forest, but soft and supple to touch
I pick a leaf of spinach, and wish to eat it much.

Spring is nearly over, and the afternoons now simmer
Shape of arrowhead tells me, this plant must soon be dinner.

Or else it will rise and bolt and must go to seed
And then this plant—once food—is just another weed.
Erick Rawlings

Melting snow from trees
Their drip drops sound of a clock
Counting time 'til spring
The Zen of Blueberries
Charles Phillips

Pick the biggest ones, the sweetest,
let the others sweeten more -
this is the best crop ever -
needs water, water       hate
to see the bill -

This early August morning, as
the sun climbs, quiet but
for the cicadas and bird calls -
there’s the mourning dove always -
jays screech, no you can’t have
these berries, go to the feeder -

Tiny grasshoppers everywhere -
pay attention, each bush is
different, resist the urge to
strip bunches	 	   perhaps later
pick them clean and freeze quarts -

Come winter I’ll remember this day,
that will be an even better crop
Nature and Nurture
Charles Phillips

Visited Fairhaven Bay with
the wind in our hair and sun
on our faces, giant oaks’
branches tossing, flashing rays
reflected from ripples on the bay

Kept these images in mind while I
pulled out the frosted tomatoes,
beans, and zinnias, collected them
to be discarded, returned stakes
and poles to the garage for next year,
brought hoses to the basement for storage

It was a good day.
A Birthday Meal
Carla Schwartz

For a fresh start,
steam fresh vegetables lightly—
a new beginning, hope.

To tease the taste buds, spice hot.
To convey deep ardor, roast the spices.
Simmer in a sauce of water and wine.

What better dessert than steamed mussels,
onion, black pepper, leek,
a small piece of bread to sop?
At the Meal after the Memorial
Carla Schwartz

The gluten-intolerant woman
who had brought her dog to the memorial,
sat down next to me and complained
It’s all bread.
Then she told of how once she aspired to join an army.
Waiters, like soldiers, brought bowls of extra bread to each table.
As we were readying to leave,
she said I want to take the bread home.
I was taking home what was and wasn’t said during the service—
       Now, I know how to live
       You could always count on him…
       Music he loved—
I had recorded service on video.

Would the bread, then, be for the dog?
Go ahead, I said. We were all kindness that day.
Take the bread.
In Conversation With Spring
Laura Veligor

I must have found
such comforting shelter within the snow that I now discover,
in the brisk air, another home—and readily depart the dark with you.
Belonging again to imminently lush grasses beyond—each root
defies the delicacy of newness as it parts the simmering ground
and bears a thread to your verdant robe blanketing the earth.
Further still, they stir, cracking through to reach
even the restrained and unadorned parts of me.

I emerge resilient.

You must have traveled
a great distance and passed through untold thresholds
to return from wherever you were exiled to sleep.
How endless the night must have seemed
for you to burst so urgently upon a still, quiet expanse,
ringing the bells of spirited thunder and nourishing rain,
and flaring the lantern of day so brightly
that light blooms with the ambition and regency of a kingdom.

You arrive arduously, wildly.

I must have reveled
in awe as time faltered for your ardent company,
and watched, with gratitude, the magic hour retreat.
Once more, the waking landscape plucks me like a buttercup
and lifts me to your smiling chin.
I see my canary reflection and wonder:
Am I enough? A tiny paper star gazing up at the sun.
Am I worthy? A sprig of friendship tucked behind your ear.

How kindly you carry me along.

You must have remembered
the joy in conjuring a warp and weft of color;
the lambent spark and unfolding petal;
sweetness, burgeoning marvelously through the air,
ushering all to cherish what was
and witness the mystery of all that is yet to be;
wild strawberry, daffodil, lily of the valley, magnolia,
violet, cherry blossom, lilac—and life.

Thank you for surviving.
Willa Potter

Back when we tried to build a house together,
If you remember, you said it would smell like earth
and wild rose hips. We couldn’t predict these things
Of course, we could only plunge our hands deep
Into the ground, and then twist.
See the way the black dirt shutters
And opens your skin. This is what we do before a garden
This is how you make the earth tender for plants.

We would need to gather things,
Like: hard cold water that is moving
That is the turning of old things into
Daytime, that is bent over the bathroom sink,
red eyes stare back in frustration, mostly.
“Start over” you growl, faking irony
Let me start over. There.
You drip in it in the mirror. There you are.

I want to tell someone the same story over and over
The one where I found a nest in the tunnel-blackberry bush
and the little birds flung their heads back and they
took worm after worm from my hands.
Think: sky blue egg shell crumbs crushed under your fingernails
Spring: making children of us.
Spring, making children, making mother-birds obsolete.

There is another story
About a man, who dies at Skellig Rock in Ireland
A lot of people die. It was only strange
the way they tell it, as if an afterthought
about this open-armed stranger
Full of the inexhaustible fire if living
With his arms out, trading air and foam with his
Eyes closed. Letting the sea breathe for him
Forward and back

When we tried to build a house together,
I remember, we needed to gather things. We needed
to tell the same stories over and over to ourselves
To make it real. We needed the black dirt from the greenhouse
Pressed into the clay pots on the window sill
We needed time to fill, we needed to fill it up like water.

There is another story, I'm writing
this one right now. Where the two of us are
lying alive on the summer ground.
Eyes closed. Letting the blades of the grass
breathe with us.
Sitting in trees
Vincent Dorio

As a boy
I sat in trees
 It was where I had to go
For if you’ve ever sat in trees
well then you would know
The limbs would hold me
 as I imagined
a loving parent might
 A cathedral of calm
Leads me to dreams
A Chapel of peace
In a temple of leaves
So far from it all
And so
 at the center of all the rest
Hallowed be thy Grain
Vincent Dorio

Bark stripped
branches cut
timber hewn

such beauty in life
as pure a gift
serving in death

again and again
man and tree
grow to become
what they make
of each other.
Vincent Dorio

The last of the mahogany,
like the great elephants,
they will be hunted.

Their grains and burls,
in the library
trophy room.

I will tell of holding
that tree,
the last majestic,

I will tell of when
they all stood,
as if the hairs,
on the arms of god.

We stand on today,
the air around us,
rich and deep.

We pray together.
Ursa Major
Allison Ostrowski 

the sparkling stars 
so close and bright
like the blackberries 
bursting on my tongue
the tang contrasts with 
the sweetness 
of the night air

my love lurking in the shadows
like a bear
it's form
immense and skittish
only slightly
braver in the dark

hiding just out of sight
until kin feels safe enough 
give into hunger and 
come out into the open
Spring Wonders
Max Peddar, Fenn School
Concord, 5th Grade

The birds are chirping, 
the flowers are blooming, 
the sun is shining, 
the bunnies are hopping, 
the trees are sprouting 
and the world is now green.
Ode/Tribute to Food
Steve Correa

Amidst the fields yonder lies, 
Nature’s bounty of endless splendour 
Or barren lands, sustenance unsure
That choice is ours, my friend, to cherish or plunder.

Oh food, you are a gift so rare,
A tribute to Mother Earth’s care 
Reminding us of our connection to all,
To cherish and preserve our world.

Tis food is not just sustenance,
Rather, a connection to our very existence,
A reminder of the beauty that surrounds,
And the miracle of life that abounds.

From the soil, seed, to the plate,
A wondrous journey we make,
With every step, a memory to take,
From the simplest of meals to the grandest feast.

You are a symbol of love, of joy, of peace,
You unite us at the table,
And make our hearts and souls stable.
So let us savour and honour every bite we take,

You tantalize our senses with your flavours,
Satisfying our hunger and fulfilling our cravings,
You bring comfort and joy, pleasure, and pain,
A reminder of life's bounty and precious gain.

For if we embrace the lessons you bring,
And the beauty that you so perfectly sing,
We will be left with a world that's divine,
And a feast of pleasures that forever shine.
A Stranger
Zack Assarian

I brushed a strangers teeth today
We stared at each other studying the lines and creases
I asked if he was ok
I could tell he was lying
In Concert with Keeping
Jeanine Cerundolo

I can’t remember whether the neighbor 
gave us permission to bypass his “Keep Out” sign, 
or if we ignored it. 

Either way, I can see my feet toeing the water’s edge on a still rough rock, 
covered in moss that doesn’t care to whom the property belongs.

I can feel the tickle of a fern who wants to get close, 
like the puppy who feels offended 
if you don’t acknowledge her adorability 
and say hello.

I can smell the dew drops evaporating in time, 
sighing their way out of sight, 
bowing their way into the bliss of nothingness, 
'til next time.

I can taste the scent of clouds,
the ones that are so high in the sky 
they might be held by your eyes instead of fingers, 
but they feel fluffy on your tongue just the same.

It may be your backyard, 
but it is my sanctuary. 

The way the grasses bend 
while stiffening to stay upright. 
The way the ducks waddle until they hit the horizon of the pond, 
and then their swimming gives them grace. 

The way the ripples of the rock I pelted into the waters 
wait their turn to impact each other, until they finally stop—
like a singing bowl whose sound dissipates so slowly 
you aren’t sure which moment in its song was the final one, 
it melds so well with silence.

There is a way that nature likes to be:

She is stern and surrendered.
She is quick to notice, 
but slow to speak.
She relishes beginnings, 
yet is lazy about endings
(she likes to persist).

She is haughty (as she should be),
and humble (her roots run deep).
She laughs like a hyena 
in love with unselfconscious wildness.
She cries like elephants 
who grieve their young, the same as you and I.

She melts like raindrops hitting pavement, 
dissolving while also leaving a mark.
She rises like the aura around the moon 
that winks knowingly at the rays around the sun.

She hides, when hiding is required,
(peering out with cautious curiosity),
And boasts proud displays of peacock feathers 
when it is time to celebrate!

This tree will never see how beautiful she really is,
But I will be her mirror
For as long as she will let me
The thing 
That I can not keep away from…

You cannot keep me out
From the only thing that keeps me In.
Audio recording of In Concert with Keeping by Jeanine Cerundolo
Evening Shepherds
Jeanine Cerundolo

Nighttime by the water’s edge.
Even the rocks have a subtle grace tonight. 
I sit, barely noticing my own breath,
Watching the back of their slick black heads.

These Two geese, on either side,
Flank the Two of us.
New to each other,
Still, we share some stillness 
that transcends time.

Sandwiched by their reverent silence,
We all sit quietly.
It’s not that no one moves,
It’s that there is no reason to.

Their backs to us,
Beauty unspoken but implicit.
Knowing their eyes are on the same skyline, 
we witness light & dark dancing.
We melt into how we are the same, 
-but different.

Her feathers unruffled,
His neck long yet relaxed.
We are all watching,
But not watching each other.
I’m watching them watch the waters
And the sparkle of the city across the way.

There is a quiet knowing
In how they trust us,
And let us entrust ourselves in turn.
It is the peace of the wild things
That creates still waters in my soul.
Audio recording of Evening Shepherds Jeanine Cerundolo
In the morning you leave your nose ring with me
Andie Sheridan

When little bits of me fall like glacier caps—
fall like parts interminably—fall apart

When you & I peer forward at the ugly—the horror of the outside
without knowing the crocuses from the trees—
she-spring spreads her legs
open with life, awkward & greedy with shoots,
         & I greet all this awful,
         awful love for the new

When my poems exit me like growths along my arms
painful to touch & too painful not to

When our rush becomes hasty, when you leave your nose ring
as you leave because I’ll see you tomorrow,
         the tomorrow no longer hollows me,
         but hallows as a future apocalyptic—of joy possible

When my face is sore & putridic
with season-pubescent change,
you kiss my mouth—close
& open and somehow opening
to all your risk, to all your fraught fingers
         terror-dribbling from my hungry chin

When your window narrows to one end,
to a tight pore in the sky—oh god, oh god,
does looking at the moon through you,
does looking into your stoned eyes

make all of this greenness newly natural—make this greenery—
feel like morning
Macbeth’s Cauldron Catastrophe: The Three Witches Prophecy
Allison Luo, Blanchard Middle School
Westford, 8th grade

“Round about the cauldron go;”
Circling the pot, beware all Foe,
All Hallows’ Eve is our delight ...
Be prepared for a Frightful Night.
First in, fling a yowling cat,
Followed by toenail of bat,
  “Double, double toil and trouble;
  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Around a pig’s heart entwines,
Tentacles of crimson Bittersweet vine.
Plucked as the morning light fades,
Glowing purple Deadly Nightshade.
Thirteen thousand bleached bones of Whale,
Spelling out an Evil tale.
A Sprinkling of Slithery Slippery Snails,
And a thunderous clap o’ Gale.
   “Double, double toil and trouble;
   Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Seven Stinging Salamander Sisters,
Gnawing a Gangerous Blister,
A raging rooster, along w’ bloody Gizzard,
All tossed in, with one leaping Lizard,
One hundred hungry scampering Mice,
Devouring a headful of lawless Lice,
Warty Tongue of Mute Toad,
Whilst the black raven nightly crows.
Who will reign as Scottish King and thane?
We bring death to all those who imbibe
this broiling concoction, far and wide,
Finally, our wicked Death Wish,
Makes up our heinous yet tasty dish.
    “Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
The Four Seasons of Vivaldi
Luther Conant Elementary School
Acton, 4th grade

Winter’s snowy cloak
Soon covers her barren land
Blazing hearth, fire and smoke
Warming our cold hands.

Spring’s gentle showers
Breathing their new Ode to Joy
His green fields, stippled flowers
Running girls and boys.

Summer’s ice cream trucks
Crammed with tasty frozen treats
Seagulls circling red beach huts
Harvest golden wheat.

Fall’s fiery foliage leaves
Maples, oaks: picturesque frame
A time to enjoy nature’s breeze
Until it’s winter time again...
The Farm Opera
Avia Chandonnet
Carlisle Public Schools 
Carlisle, 4th Grade

I 	Hiss

My once snowy white downy feathers
Now muddy from farm pond
Hiss! Hiss!
“Waddle away, duck!”

II 	Quack

My once proud mallard emerald head
Now aging into grey
Quack! Quack!
“You can’t have everything. Move out of the way, chicken”

III 	Cluck

My once burnished chestnut plumage
Now fluttering to farm ground
Cluck! Cluck!
“What’s the fuss over here, rooster?”

IV 	Cock-a-doodle-doo

My red crown and shiny tail
Stands on end
Cock-a-doodle-doo! Cock-a-doodle-doo!
“Food? All mine!”

V 	Hiss, Quack, Cluck, Cock-a-doodle-doo

Goose, Mallard Duck, Chicken and Rooster all sing together in
The Farm Opera Song ...
The Lake
Elia Chandonnet
Carlisle Public Schools, 
Carlisle, 6th Grade

The river waltzed gracefully across the rocks,
The lake watched enviously,
Wishing to move.
As the ocean tangoed with the waves,
From a distance,
The lake watched,
With burning jealousy,
Wishing to dance too.
But the lake did not know,
How much the river wanted to slow.
And how desperately the ocean wanted to rest,
And take a
Two Beating Wings
Lily Wu
Luther Conant Elementary School
Acton, 4th Grade

Jeweled wings shimmer against a pale sky,
Wings that flutter. Wings that fly.

Stares wistfully, unopened flowers,
Wishing for April showers.

Young green spring leaf buds gently unfurl,
Colorful hues sprout and swirl.

No more winter, as butterfly knows,
Blue sky devoid of icy snow.

Unique beating wings no longer stand out,
For soon there will be flowers all about.

Birds return. Sun will shine,
Butterfly frozen in ephemeral time.

Sun’s warm, golden glow drifts down from above,
Illuminating couplet wings so belov’d.

This beautiful sight is ours to keep,
butterfly drifts off to sleep...
Hoo Am I?
Emma Yan
Paul P. Gates Elementary School
Acton, 4th grade

Bespectacled obsidian eyes
My snowy white complexion is home
to my hooked nose
As I wear my cape of burnt treacle feathers

Swooping for plump mice
My sharp talons tightly clasp
My first moon meal
Night hunter. Never sleep.

I nestle my Wisdom in
Ancient outhouses, stables, attics, farm hay lofts
My tawny plumage blends with golden wheat
Hoo Am I?

(Hoo Am I? Answer: A Barn Owl!)
Anna Urzua
Raymond J Grey Junior High School
Acton, 7th Grade

High in the woods
Is my stick filled home
So many times

On the highest tree
My razor sharp vision
Searches the land

Streams and rivers
Carve paths through the green
Through all of the land, Endlessly
Keeping me company, Supporting me

My proud white coated head blends with the clouds
My vast wingspan, sturdy, as I glide with the wind
As I fly through the open

High in the sky,
Circling the verdant treetops
Scanning the land for any twitch of movement
To dive into

I fall like a lightning bolt
Clutching my prey with wrinkled hands
I, rise up again, again and again
And own the land
The Hawk
Lucas Shang
Raymond J. Grey Junior High School
Acton, 7th Grade

I conquer the mountain and look down,
At the bustling kingdom beneath me.
I rule it all, every inch,
Every animal and every tree.

I can see, my every quarry
Trying to flee from my mighty grasp
I slash him down, blood spills
Rushing rivers of hot lava

The sun’s obedient rays
Shine just for me.
For me to see, for me to use
To my advantage only.

My talons as sharp as razor
My body as sturdy as steel
No predator to track me down
For I am king, but I need no crown

The ignorant animals below
Thinking they rule it all.
Hiding, lurking in the darkness
Scared of my power, knowing they'll fall

My bronze, shining plume
Embers against farm’s darkness
My gashing talons shaped the world
And I rule it all. Then. Now. Always.
The Blue Jay’s Song
Natalie Qin
Oak Hill Middle School
Newton, 6th Grade

I swoop close to the ground,
My blue feathers, gliding along,
Landing in a tree,
I happily chirp my song.

Humans, I think,
Who stand big and tall,
Compared to I,
Little and small.

Then a tiny one,
Smaller than the rest,
Comes jumping forward,
Don’t know where to turn next.

I fly up, fluttering my wings,
The miniature beast runs. Let me be.
Will I now finally have peace?
I wonder, as I maze around the trees.

Miniscule human soon falls behind,
Gaining some time and thought.
Yet this minute passes like the flicker of my wing,
So I should enjoy these seconds I’ve barely bought.

I swoop close to the ground,
My blue feathers, gliding along,
Landing in a tree,
I melodiously chirp my song.
The Six Quatrain Killer
Jonathan Li
Blanchard Middle School
Westford, 7th Grade

I crunch into the first turtle's mottled shell
A crimson red blossoms into the emerald river
Pungence wafts around my nares
The taste of its juicy flesh pleases me

Every day, I lunch on lusciousness
I dine on deliciousness
I am the King of the New England Pond
I am the only one that matters.

Silent two journey killer,
gliding through fresh and salt
I hunt to kill. Not to please others
Only yours truly

I spy a pike lurking atop
Its ghostly shape rises above
In. An. Instant. Ascend. Mouth. Open. Wide. Teeth. Gleam.
Strong jaws sink into hard belly of beast

Nare nihilistic anarchy rules our natural world
I was born craving blood
born craving kills
and born craving to live this Life

My brackish top
camouflaged beneath today’s sixth and final heron victim
And soon I strike. Harshly.
We Bull Sharks have no mercy.
The Food Chain
Veronica Cao
Acton Boxborough Regional High School
9th Grade

Alpha Wolf

My pack follow me
I lead into the woods
Sneaking, sliding, creeping along
Never be heard. As silent as the night.

I see deer.
We surround the naive prey
We know this is our meal
We kill as we please

It is hard to scrape by.
Every deadly winter
Takes almost all of us wolves
We must survive.

I am the leader
The alpha
The eldest
My pack respect me

I know each and every one of them
They help me live
Only if I help them live
Some days go by without a single soul eating

But I'm leading
Nobody will die on my watch
Maybe that's why the last picked me
The last alpha. The responsibility never sleeps.

Snake Ruler

Slithering under leaves
Sneaking through the bramble
They don’t see me coming
I strike

My catch is my pride
My stealth is my aid
Nobody knows I’m there
Until I hit, swift and deadly

I rule the forest floor
I eat when I please
Mice are my prey
Hawks are my enemies

One now comes swooping down
Trying to catch me
But I am quicker
I dodge and coil

Ready to hiss out
But the hawk flies away
Crowing about its loss
It’s not a loss for me; it’s victory

Our battle has alerted animals nearby
I can’t get a good catch now
Maybe it wasn’t a victory after all
Maybe it was a distraction…

Daydreaming Fish

I daydream in the water
I swim this way and that
Looking for algae
Whenever I’m hungry

My friends are with me
Surrounding me
Protecting me
Something looms up ahead

It’s a red and white floating rock
A worm wriggles under it.
One of my companions
Swims up to nibble 

Up, up and away 
We avoid the deadly air
We swim away as fast as we can
Putting the knowledge in our collective

Warning every creature we meet
Of the deadly buoyant rock
We soon forget
But the school remembers

The wriggling worm appears again
Up, up the floating rock goes
Taking another companion with it
Making our school of fish smaller and smaller…
A Symphony of Spring Flowers: Who am I?
Emily Sim
Conant Elementary School
Acton, 5th Grade

My snowy tiny white bonnet droops.
My paradise green body stands tall
Head held high
I reveal myself every spring
Who Am I?

I have many layers of coats to keep myself warm
In fabric of coral, blush and bridal hue
“Pink Lady” is my nickname
I reveal myself every spring
Who Am I?

My velvety satin cup
I come in all different colors, shapes and sizes!
I stand tall
I’m so common, you will see me everywhere
Who Am I?

Here are the answers!
Snowdrop, Peony, Tulip
Canine Renarde
Stella Hu
Fay School
Southborough, 8th Grade

My flaming fur sets emerald farm alight
Prowling, hunting late at night
Chicken, bloody in flight
Cunning Renarde

Through thick trees, I crash
Claws, teeth bared, I slash
Lunging forth, I lash
Crafty Renarde

Standing proud,
I bark out loud
Queen of the animal crowd
Courageous Renarde

Sanctuary lair of deep, dark den
Feigning sleep when
From dark night, tawny hoots, ten
Curious Renarde

Hunting solo, not in pack
Laying low, hiding behind grain sack
Ears pricked, my satin titian back
Coppery Renarde

My flaming fur sets emerald farm alight
Prowling, hunting late at night
Chicken, bloody in flight
Canine Renarde.
Winters Secrets
Sage Burkhead
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

Wind whispers in my ear telling me what direction I should go 
Coyotes talk to one another
Squirrels scatter everywhere to collect acorns for hibernation 
Rabbits huddle up in their burrows
Foxes hold their kits close
Trees start to lose their leaves
Mosquitos begin to fade away into the dusk 
Chipmunks have gone
Bears have conceded the fight
Wolves have yet to catch some food
Waterfalls go to sleep
I suppose this is the start of winter

The Huntington Botanical Gardens
Maisie Crissman
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The Botanical gardens 
Sweet smelling and fresh 
Purple pops
And it is as if the yellow hops to the center of each flower and plant 
The sugar-coated air blows my hair around
While miniature crystals begins to fall 
From the warm sky
The zone with plants so unique
The place where nothing should be changed 
With everything so new and luscious
The gardens are where I am best
Goat Cave
Finn Dean
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The sun's rays beam down as I inch my way across the cliff
The sharp limestone stings my hands
I gaze at the mountains on the island next to us
Waves splash as we keep moving toward the cave 
We reach the entrance
I stare through the small opening of the cave and jump in 
I swim in a little pool of water inside for some time
We explore the rest of the cave and begin the hike back 
Hiking at Blue Hills
Miarose Eames
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

We walked up the rocks
As we watched the sun reflect on them
You could hear the birds chirping
And see squirrels climb up the trees
While tons of different animals roamed the forest
As we were hiking
It had only gotten hotter
And sweat soon started to drip from our arms
So we headed back
After walking in the shade for hours, we had finally reached the sun 
And that's when we realized we made it back
Growing my Garden
Ella Fireman
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

I spread soil and dirt for the new seeds to come
Tomatoes, basil, and many more 
The water I spray
 Hits the seeds
As I pray for the sun to come out 
Fall through winter
 the seeds are as still as a statue 
As spring comes along
I observe it shaping into a plant
I watch seeds grow into vegetables and fruit 
For me and my family to eat
What once was a size of a pebble
 is now a mighty plant 
Oh what a lovely thing
Pepper Stealer
Grey Fitzhenry
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

Twas a humid day.
Today we come to gaining grounds.
There was a variety of fruits and vegetables 
scattered across the land.
The first half of the work was in the pepper field,
where we picked peppers for a while. 
First it was one person,
then another,
The group started to cluster around a staff member.
I joined.
The miniscule creature looked as if it were filled with mint green gel. 
The staff member informed us about it
as we oohed and awed.
But soon enough, the puny caterpillar was put to rest,
for it was eating the peppers.
as we went back to work,
I thought about the imposing insect.
Forest Walk
Brooke Geiger
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The sun reflects off the millions of icicles
As a small stream run through the frozen waterfall
I creep closer
To find the inside flows with water 
Birds nest in the hollow cave off the fall
Their chirping echos of the ice
I look behind to see a bird swoop down 
The flowers look beautiful
They make the the ice so colorful 
I go ever closer
A crackly leaf brushes my arm 
As a cold winter breeze chills me 
I head out further.
The Hornworm
Marin Hamory
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

I gently pull green bell peppers from their stalks, 
their silky leaves brushing my skin,
as I reach into the plants.
My peers and I try to not step on the pepper plants, 
but the tent is crowded.
As I turn a stem,
I find myself staring at a large caterpillar.
The hornworm chews on the bush,
its pale complexion blending with the surrounding green.
I abruptly stumble back,
grass crunching under my feet,
as I am rather disgusted
by the fat, vile insect
that feasts on the delicate ecosystem—
the ecosystem that the farm has created. 
Christopher Higgins
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The soft green grass reveals itself
From the horrible Winter that has just passed
The tall trees cover the plants from the sun's powerful rays 
The plants create beauty every time they are placed
Food is harvested from the plants to those in need
Greenhouses give cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes
They also protect the plants from harsh winters that come yearly 
Farms are extremely important just like nature itself
A Garden Walk
Lexie Keel
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The lock on the tall wooden frame of the door unlatches, 
And a hidden world reveals itself
Berries the color of rubies shine brightly against the soft greens of the leave 
By which they are hidden
Flowers the color of the sky climb on vines up the fence,
They seemingly glow in the early sunlight.
Smooth tomatoes shine in the fluorescent glow 
A clear, elegant sky spreads out before me
I slowly start forward
taking in this bright, beautiful garden with every step.
The wood chips laid upon the ground jab at my feet as I proceed
Nearing the back wall of this oasis
I turn;
and appreciate this haven for plants of all species to grow and thrive.
Hold on Tight
Sawyer Kilbride
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The day of horse riding
Ladened with the promise of excitement
A bit scary standing next to the beast
But no lack of eagerness
A long line of horse cross over the steep ridge
The morning sun
My horse was young and powerful 
He was full of energy and strength
The sun was the focus of my eyes
My hands loosened
The horse was unsettled
He started to jump high
The guide was forced to buckle the young horse to her own 
I just sat there in the stirrups
We continued in a long line back to camp.
In the Garden 
Neda Mobed
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

When we first arrived at gaining ground
Scents of soil and vegetables filled our lungs with every breath 
We all could tell that this was a place of coming together
To help those who needed it the most
Everything there was harvested with thought, love, and care 
We watch the clouds move
While picking fresh bell peppers from the ground 
The day felt short
But we feel as though we've made a huge difference in our community. 
The Cow Barn
Archie Nickel
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

As I walk into the barn
the stench of cow manure hits my nose
I start to gag
The farmers tell us to grab shovels and rakes 
Shovels to scoop up manure
Rakes to rake hay into cow pens
I dash to grab a rake
People who grabbed shovels start to shovel manure 
I start to feel guilty about not grabbing a shovel 
Once we complete our jobs
Everyone takes a turn spraying down the floor 
When we step outside
The air swallows up my nose with the smell of the outdoors 
Our next job is to go to the garden
Aran Islands
Katherine O'Neill
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

Rock walls all unique and different
Assembled by hand
My family and I estimate how long it took to build them 
I guess a century
They all look so complex and beautiful 
The grass spreads across the land 
From dead grass to emerald green grass
The bikes we rode were perfect 
For a lovely day ride
I grasp the handles 
Push the pedals 
Down all the hills
With a speed that is faster than electricity
Wind blows in my face
My hair flicks back
I had such a joyful day at the Aran Islands.
Beautiful Red Fruit
Lily O'Toole
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

My mouth watered as I glanced around at the beautifully blossomed fruit 
My grandmother placed a freshly ripened tomato in my hand
She then returned to watering the rest of them 
And left the tomato and I alone
I bit slowly into it
My lips tingled as the crisp tomato juice took over my tastebuds 
The powerful flavor left me wanting more
I couldn't believe it had tasted so delicious 
What a beautiful red fruit it was.
A Day at Gaining Ground
Ava Robisnon
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

I look over the steep green hills
Lush bushes and ripe fruits of all colors
Cover the ground
When you look up,
You see blue skies
With white fluffy clouds
Baby piglets and little chickens 
Scratch at the doors to be let out
Yellow, purple, and red flowers
Fill the grass with color
Brown leaves crunch under my feet as I walk 
A sudden chill fills the air
And runs down my body.
A Day at the Farm
Oliver Segalini
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The farm was full of sun
As people moved throughout the land of visibility

The flowers have blossomed
Beginning to release their pleasant fragrance and color
Moving throughout the wilderness 
The air was full of life

The humming of wings
The chattering of squirrels and chipmunks 
The thumping of woodpeckers
burrowing into trees

This is a day at the farm
The View from Sleeping Beauty
Sidharth Shankar
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

I turn my head
And see many intricate shapes formed by clouds 
I slowly turn my head and
The dense forest surrounds me
With light peeking through the array of trees 
Birds and creatures
Create a beautiful sound
My friends and I stare in awe
Of what we just hiked
The Adirondack mountains surround us
But what I climbed all this way for 
Was the view of
Lake George with it's glistening water
Spectacular Smells
Lillian Singh
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The smells are spectacular 
Clean and crisp,
As the breeze and the mist blow by 
The fragrance of the flowers and trees, 
Fill the air with melodies
My hair blows in the wind
Like a bird that lingers in the sky
I get a whiff of spring from the wild breeze 
The joy in the town is carried all year round
I am happy!
Happy as can be,
With all these spectacular smells 
That comfort me.
Finally we made it
Lizzy Stone
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

My teeth chatter a s I make my way up the steep trail 
The rain hits my skin and goosebumps fill my arms 
I try not to wish I hadn't signed up to hike this trail
my councilor screams "1 more mile left!" 
I am ready to give up but I don't
Step by step, branch by branch, I avoid rocks and trees 
Soon I see sunlight
As we reach the foggy top the rain slowly quiets 
Finally we made it.
Ava Thorpe
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

I take a deep breath.
"Come on! It will be so fun!"
My sister begged my mother.
"Okay fine, I'lI buy tickets"
My mother sighed.
Almost nobody was in line to climb onto the ride.
As we handed out tickets to the kind operator, I turned my head up to see
The cloudless spring sky.
It was absolutely magnificent to look at. 
I held on tight t o the cold railing.
The balloon started to rise
And higher
To the sky.
I hear birds communicating from the vast sky,
I felt the warm California air,
I smelled the fresh grass and dirt below me, 
And I saw acres, up on acres of
Precious farmland.
As the giant balloon lowered
I thought about the time
And work
It took to make the vivacious piece of land.
A fantastic day in the garden
Rory Walter
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The warm summer air
brushed up against my skin
As I opened the gate
to the fresh smelling garden,
bees swarmed the fresh produce
The sun beamed down on the plants,
making them shine in the light 
The tomatoes were ripe
the chives were green with joy
and the cucumbers had just sprouted
What a fantastic day in the garden. 
Little fuzzy excavator
Evan Wang
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

Our family grows tomatoes and carrots every year in winter 
In our house so they can sprout in the spring
We made sure that they grow their furthest
Before we harvest
It occurred odd to me
How every week
I would find a few holes dug
And the plants missing 
That's strange.
I would be out in my backyard
And trip over a random hole randomly on the cleanly cut grass
Were my parents stealing vegetables?
In the middle of night
Probably not 
Turns out
We had little fuzzy excavator eating our plants 
A groundhog.
I Close My Eyes and Ascend
Eli Wember
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The final stretch closes in
The peak and the feat come into view 
Just one final wall of rock and I'm there
My bag's weight slowly subsides 
After one last drink of water
Then I begin my climb
The blazing sun rips the sweat out of my body
Dripping off my forehead 
And onto the rock below
It is only twenty feet
But it feels like one thousand
I close my eyes and ascend
When I open them, the rock is horizontal 
I've reached the top of Mount Chocorua

My eyes spin around 
No matter where I look
The White Mountains fill my view
The snowy tip of Mount Washington 
Gleams in the distance
I take a picture with my mind 
To capture the moment
The eights miles were worth it 
Just another eight
On the way down.
Tending for the Oxen
Jack Zavratsky
Tenacre Country Day School
Wellesley, 6th Grade

The incredibly large oxen are lead out of their stall 
Into the open field.
I start to brush out the knots in their hair
As the electric fence threatens me from inches away. 
They whip their tails in the air to brush away the flies 
As they chew their cud.
We Begin to prep them for working on the field by 
Attaching the yolk to both of the oxen,
Which they don't appreciate.
One of the farmers tightens the yolk and attaches the plow. 
My friends and I pet them and say our final goodbyes.
We watch them trot off into the distance, 
Ready for a hard day of work.
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