Camp Glenwood Comments and Poems

My first visit to the Camp Glenwood detention center to teach haiku poetry was on 21 March 2002 (I had a second visit on 27 September 2002). After the first visit, one of the staff members sent me the following comments and poems from the students. These are all the comments and poems I received, as typed up by the staff member, with no edits (I believe that person added the capitalization of the first line of each poem, or perhaps that was a result of the autocorrect feature in Microsoft Word; however, in most cases the poems were not originally written that way). See my “Camp Glenwood” haibun.


“A man who taught us

The joys of




Sitting by a tree

Feeling all alone

All alone


No matter

Where I am at

Food smells good


Doing time


Is still ticking


I smell the ocean breeze

Allergies are kickin’ in

So I must sneeze


Tall trees in rows

Like soldiers

Ready to fly to war


A far distance away

And a close site nearby

Shocked me to believe it was right here


Every meal

I know what we are having

Right before I step into the dining room.


People walking

Big heads

No mind


Sunny days

Hot weather

Sweating underneath my sweater


A picture

A puzzle put together

Is nothing but the broken past


The grass


So when is it enough?


With the time

I know

That I have to have friends


Sunshine and wind

Voices, birds whistling

Leaves crinkling


I send a letter

I am still waiting


Not knowing if it’s going to come back

a good letter.


People stink

They don’t know

Old fish


No matter

Where I am

Food smells good


Voices coming from a different mouth

I don’t know

What they are talking about


I feel warm from the sun

Yet the breeze cools me

Dusty table


Summer tree

Summer sun

Summer glare

More Poems

On 27 September 2002, on my second visit to Camp Glenwood to teach haiku, Kate Riviera gave me a copy of Broken Silence Poetry, a spiral-bound collection of poems written in the previous school year, during which I was a guest teacher on 21 March 2002. The book included most or all of the preceding poems, attributed to each author by first name only, but also the following additions—all haiku and two five-line poems that may be tanka. I’ve retained one typo (“shinning” should be “shining”) but have omitted author names.

This was not a good day

The yelling started right away

Her lip started to bleed

Being locked away

The Easter Day

Just another day

A guy in and orange shirt

Doing his work

I am on my feet running

Under trees

Not looking for the sun to hit me

The sun shinning bright

On the lonely blue flower

Sputter of lawn mower


Relief, happiness

The feeling of freedom

A moment

In the grass

Crisp cool ar

I look up to the sky

A cloud floats by

I see a tear fall out of it

A trail of ants

Moving on the log

They are free

Under a blue bowl


And weird shapes

The happiness from my face

Turns around in disgrace

I smell the grass in the ground

I taste the trees around me

I touch the wood; it is not that hot

Whistle birds on top of the trees

I see the sun in the sky

If time were to turn

The other way

Would it be enough?

I smell fresh air

Green grass everywhere

The taste is bitter

But it is good

For your health

Wind in her hair


Her tail wagging

Warmness and freshness

I sit in the roughness

Of a woody bench

I hear the train

Will it come

It is gone

Crackles in the leaves

Silence in the air

When I walk in the garden

It is green with red roses

I remember the smell of my girl, Joanna

It is silver




The end of your life


Back to Camp Glenwood haibun.