Successful Student Poems: Third through Fifth Grade

Poems featured on this page also appear in the 2018 volume of Cascadia, OPA’s student poetry journal.


A Winter Poem


A rough piece of wood is sprinkled with sugar.

Green grass with droplets of water whistle a soft lullaby to a child.

The whistling makes birds’ lonely cries sound like screams to me.

Trees are playing a still game of statues.


Jocelyn Burdick

Oregon Trail Academy, Boring: Fourth Grade

Tara Fagan, Teacher


Bonded Birches


In the dark moonlight, shining on

Going farther and farther away

Always cracked, torn, and fine with their life

What a purpley-blue night it was


But the one shining color was the moon

High up in the sky

So yellow and bright

With the green grass

As if there were white snow with a dusting of dirt


How a crescent moon can light up the whole wood

To guide the way of younglings

The trees a rest stop for children

To lean their backs against

To lie there in the shade

And to sleep on the grass below

What a purpley-blue night it was


Naomi Donaldson

Portland Jewish Academy, Portland: Fifth Grade

Harriet Wingard, Teacher


The Way of Swaying





in the cool

light wood.

The winged rest

upon me.

I am birch.

White trunk

with slashes of brown

like blood.



here, there,


I kiss the

sky with my

limbs. Then I feel

it, the dew-wet

blade of an axe

slices into me. The pain

is unbearable. Going down

now death. The wood gone like ripped paper, over, like that.


Saul Drucker

Portland Jewish Academy, Portland: Fifth Grade

Harriet Wingard, Teacher


The Outside


Dense green trees swaying in the wind

Turquoise sky shining in the sun

branchy bark chips feel good in my hand

Roaring wind freezes me up

A dull grey car is a statue

The great sound of a slamming door

Bark chips look like ice

Hard pencils tapping

Metallic fence freezes my tongue

Cold air feels good

Beautiful farm in distance

The striped bark chips

A bird flying low makes us look up


Zac Pietzold

Oregon Trail Academy, Boring: Fourth Grade

Tara Fagan, Teacher




“Coming in,” said Waiter Flynn

On a sunny afternoon

But Flynn was a flower wilting

That sadly could not bloom


He walked thinking, people winking

But no one glanced at him

Carrying trays and ice cream plates

In his world of dark and dim


Dreams deferred, hopes out of sight

It all changed one night

Now Waiter Flynn waits

Serving people and not his fate


Waiter in, waiter out

Waiter right, waiter left

Each path not taken

Each word not said


Kaselyn Pothoff

Ewing Young Elementary School, Newberg: Fourth Grade

Dawn Reed, Teacher


Things that Blow Me Away


Looking at the stars and the moon on a cool night.

Staring at flowers blowing in the wind, seeing all the details that you never notice.

On top of a mountain, looking, believing, that what you live on is all below you.

Hearing the wind and the waves together, crashing, shrieking, at night.

Being under a canopy of trees looking at all the shades of green above you.

Closing your eyes and listening, just listening.

Walking by yourself at night being lightly touched by the night breeze.

Holding someone’s hand and having a wind come through your mind blowing all your thoughts

into a cage and locking them up.

Things that blow me away.


Morgan Powell

Portland Jewish Academy, Portland: Fourth Grade

Megan Hughes, Teacher



the birds fly no more

wind rustles weeping willows

winter has arrived


Sunny Press

Portland Jewish Academy, Portland: Fourth Grade

James Juntunen, Teacher


A Wise Birch Tree


On a cold March morning, too much like December

A wise birch tree surveyed the moon, never looking away

Not because he was scared

But because he wanted to remember


The birch tree stood still

And let the wind tickle his branches

It felt comforting,

And he felt less alone in this world


All of his friends were long gone

Taken by lumberjacks

With their big boots and careless steps

Stomping on everything Mother Nature has created


Then a girl came and smiled at the wise birch tree

Understanding the need for a friend

With her small hands, she dug into the soft soil

And planted a sacred seed of life


“Now more will grow,” thought the wise birch tree

When I am gone, I will not be the last

This comforted the wise birch tree


He took one last glimpse at his surroundings

And knew it was his time

He smiled at the seedling,

And closed his eyes forever


Bella Robinson

Portland Jewish Academy, Portland: Fifth Grade

Harriet Wingard, Teacher


When the years of my childhood I think of is over


The painful pictures of memories attack me when I think of her

Like glass from a broken window stab my eyes

Anna’s face perfectly shone by light


I have many thoughts of childhood

But I only think of her as a summary

My best friend

I will never see again

Til I too lose my life


Moira Rusaw

Ewing Young Elementary, Newberg: Fifth Grade

Rachel Keyser, Teacher