In the Forest within the City Park

there is a beauty that can not be muffled

by the city’s lights and sounds

it flies free with the clouds

and pushes the leaves in the air

onto the ground

to flutter like butterflies  

it holds the reins of the seasons

it dresses the earth in wailing white and grassy green

it gives us life  

but we take away from its own

the sky is filled with fire

the ground bathed in garbage

after all that it has done to us

we must save it from ourselves  

we must protect our world, our home

our beginning


By Jaslene Kwack, age 11, Illinois.

Jaslene writes: “I like writing, art and music. I play the piano, clarinet and I started bassoon a while ago. In my free time, I like to write stories and poems. I try to be creative using metaphors and verbs that aren’t cliche. I enjoy drawing realistic and abstract pieces of art. When I grow up, I want to be a person who combines art and writing in a creative way to entertain or help people.

     “I wrote [this] poem about nature and how we are polluting and killing our environment. I want to recognize the beauty of nature and how it formed us in the first place. Sometimes, people don’t give nature as much credit as it should deserve. Without it, our world would be empty and barren. In my poem, I also talk about parts of nature all around us everyday. The wind blowing, the leaves falling from trees. Technology which is represented in my poem as “the city’s lights and sounds” is taking over our world slowly by every hour. I think because of all these new inventions and ways of life we are making for ourselves, a lot of us forget about how important nature is and how it is humanity’s origin. We should recognize nature and be grateful for this world around us. I think we should all strive to be better and protect the earth so that we can keep our world clean and healthy.”

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