Young Writers: The Sound of Thunder; Poetry That Rhymes

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and selects the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers and on This week, we publish responses to the prompts, Rhyming Poetry; and General writing. Read more at

About the Project

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and and the Schools Project (

Next Prompt

Scared. What really scares you? Why? Tell a story about when you confronted it. Alternate: White lie. Write about a little white lie that grows and turns into a bigger lie until you can’t keep up. Due April 19

Prompt: General Writing

It came to me yesterday

The answer to life

As I sat under a willow tree

And drank from a tall glass of lemonade.

I sat for a while, not sure what to do.

With this great secret that had been so suddenly

placed in the palm of my hand.

I cowered at its vastness,

I laughed at its simplicity.

I tossed it up into the cloudless skies

and watched as it eloped with the sound of thunder,

leaving behind the letters and tune

of everyone’s favorite song.


I took it to Mr.’s barber shop, and watched for his reaction.

He gave is a glance and dismissed it

But his fingers shook as he trimmed my hair.


I tried to carefully slip it into my briefcase,

but it protested and it cried.

I was angry now, and rightly so!

How dare my gift defy me!

I locked it up safe and tight

and danced through the pools of ink and light,

Kicking up freedom and splashes of joy,

And was always careful to avoid the puddles of guilty resentment

that dampened my new leather shoes.

I scooped up handfuls of silver Milky Way,

laughing as the glitter chilled my palms,

Smiled as the dusty planets became my stepping stones

in eternity’s murky swimming pool.


But when I hung up my jacket

And slipped off my shoes

And shook the stars from my hair,

I opened my briefcase and nothing came out,

Nothing but dust that dissolved in the air.

And just for a second my heart was eclipsed,

Something slipping out the back of my mind …


So I tossed out my suit and I threw out my case,

and burned up my new leather shoes.

And ran out to the field with the sun-dried grass,

and asked for a tall glass of lemonade.

I strung up a hammock under my willow tree

and listened to the call of the lark,

And was content, for a while,

with simply observing,

from my safe little cage in the dark. 

Prompt: Rhyming Poetry

She darted gracefully between the silent trees,

And flew above the sky on the swirling breeze.

All night she ran with the bounding deer

And as she raced along, she showed no fear.


She hid all day in the woods off the trails,

Her small bare feet were too strong to fail,

She watched as the sun sank beneath the trees,

And again she began to fly with the breeze.


She smiled as she felt so free,

And laughed as she stroked a soft honeybee.

She loved all of Mother Nature’s beasts

From the western plains to the coasts far east.


But lately she’s been fading away,

And to save her, there is but one way,

Do your best to spread the word,

And united together, our voices will be heard.


Listen to what she has to say,

Before her kingdom slips away.

We all must sing her song,

And keep her voice forever strong.

I could put it in a letter

But you’d never read the words

I could write it in the sky

But you’d only hear the birds

If I wrote it in a song

You’d only listen to the tune

If I whispered to the stars

You would gaze upon the moon

I would give to you my world

And you would turn it all away

Still, I try without luck

To find the reason you won’t stay

In the story of my life

You listen but don’t hear

And I cannot figure out

What it is that makes you fear

My paddle slices through the water,

leading me through the blue. 

It’s a calm, gray day and the water matches too. 

My blue canoe slices through the current, 

propelling me farther from land, 

and far away from the warm beach sand.

I am joined by a paddle boarder, 

gliding through the sea. 

Suddenly he stops and points at something; 

it’s not me. 

A black-blue fin surfaces from the deep, 

and starts to follow me,

as I leap. 

I go into panic mode and start to splash around, 

but the shark still follows,

without making a sound. 

The boarder reaches the shore and tries to get help, 

but the shark meets me first

and all I do is yelp. 

His black body surrounds me and the last thing I see, 

is his white-toothed grin,

staring down at me. 


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