Jun 09
hawa's picture

Balance Beam

Gym class 2009
A young girl steps in to face her biggest fear yet
She thinks to herself
Nothing can hold her back from this kind of success
Can tell her she can’t do it
Can scare her away
Nothing, but the balance beam 
She hops on to it hoping that it would be just as easy for her
as it was for the other kids
She wishes for one single chance to prove to the rest that she could maintain balance
Audio download:
Balance Beam.mp3
Jun 09
Kiran's picture



By: Kiran Waqar

What makes us any different than a mountain lion?
A bumble bee?
A bat? A monster?
Is it our opposable thumbs?
The ability to understand the world around us?
The corny dad jokes?
The motherly affection?
What makes us human? What changes us from beast to person?
It is our voices
Our opinions that invoke change
That are heard from the tops of mountains
Jun 09
abdikadb's picture



By: Balkisa Abdikadir

The globe next to my bed
one single spin my eyes land on somali.
The home i’ve never been to only born into.
And still
my heart yearns for the land that raised the Father who brought me far away from it.
The land that built a nation of poets
Poets that talk about the culture and land ruined by war
They speak the same words that run through my veins.
Our hearts will never become sore
Jun 09
Lena's picture


Editor's note: Lena Ginawi is a member of Muslim Girls Making Change, the slam team that YWP selected to represent YWP and Vermont at the Brave New Voices Festival in July, 2016. She has presented this poem in public prior to BNV and this recording comes from her appearance at The Turrell Fund Day -- a Celebration of Children and the many people and organizations who work to make children's lives better.
Jun 09
hawa's picture

You're White

You’re White

By: Hawa Adam and Balkisa Abdikadir

H: Hey Black girl, it’s almost like you’re white
What does that even mean?
K: That my voice is a little too high for my identity
K: That I carry binders around instead of a bottle of hennessy
H: That my tongue articulates without an accent
K: That I can’t use slang, “you got me bent”
H: Tell me, is white a remedy to the poison of blackness
Jun 09
Kiran's picture



By: Kiran Waqar and Hawa Adam

K: We are color changing machines
H: Our survival is camouflage
We have to adapt
K: I don’t mean to brag but if there was an award for best-assimilator, I think I would win
Actually, no, we would win
H: We are the queens of chameleons, the rulers of all
Jun 09
Lena's picture



By: Hawa Adam and Lena Ginawi

H: We were planning to have a good introduction to this poem
But we didn’t get around to it
Because we are the procrastinators 
We put the PRO in procrastination

L: And today we are going to offer you a few tips to develop your skills in putting things off

L: 1) Remember hard work pays off later. Laziness pays off now so be one who lives in the moment
Jun 09
Kiran's picture

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

By: Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, Balkisa Abdikadir, and Lena Ginawi

Welcome, Welcome X 3 (softer and descending)
Lady Liberty: Welcome, Welcome X 2 more (louder and ascending)
Child your mother is calling you
Come mix into this melting pot
We invite the flavor, the culture, the warmth
Come to the land of the free
To the home of the brave

Whose land is this?
Jun 09
Lena's picture



By: Hawa Adam, Kiran Waqar, Balkisa Abdikadir, and Lena Ginawi
Singer: Lena Ginawi

♫...These green hills, and silvers waters…♫

The year is over and summer is being readily invited  
I wave goodbye to the shrill school bell and the short cold winter days
I say goodbye to my busy schedules and embrace the unplanned
The adventures
The freedom
Jun 09
hawa's picture

Good vs. Evil

Good Vs. Evil

By: Kiran Waqar, Hawa Adam, and Balkisa Abdikadir

It’s a Wednesday
Not a special Wednesday or anything
Just a Wednesday
But I can’t seem to figure out what to wear
Well, let’s see I have gym so nothing too fancy
But I do have that presentation
So something a little sophisticated
Maybe even throw on some glasses to look smart
Nah- but it depends on how much time I have