She is my Poet, He is my Writer.

Complain as I may about over-reliance on testing and “no child left behind” and Common Core and what have you, my children have been blessed – blessed I tell you – with phenomenal teachers and headmistress/principal that  put heavy emphasis on the act of writing. At a very young age both my children were encouraged to write, write, write, punctuation and spelling be damned, the focus should be with getting them comfortable with getting the words on paper (as punctuation, grammar and spelling will come in time.)

I have always loved to write, but it was never a skill I was pushed to develop in the manner they have. The encouragement they have received from their teachers has been priceless, and I could only wish to have been writing as well as they do at their age.


My 8-year-old mathematician and science nut confessed to me during her school’s recent Success Night that what she REALLY loves to write is poetry. I was blown away by her poem, and asked if I could showcase some of her poems here, with you.


Imagine a Night

by M. R. Belden


Imagine a night

when the moonlight glows

so bright it wakes you.


Imagine a night

when the bright moon

is your hot sun.


Imagine a night

when the lonely stars

greet one another gracefully

with a beautiful dance

in the sky for me and you.


Imagine a night

when you feel

like soaring through the air,

when whispers grow

like tall flowers.


Imagine a night

when a universe of all stars

rises high in the night sky.


Imagine a night

when velvet darkness

takes over the world.


Imagine a night

when the moonlight glows

on a city of sleeping people.


Imagine tonight.


If you love this as much as I do, please leave her a comment below (instead of on Facebook) so that I can share with her.

She woke up this morning to find a brand new composition notebook outside her door so that she can continue to write over the course of the summer.

My son, at 10, has developed a strong voice that is clearly his own and he writes a wicked sense of humor, and his teacher is pushing us both to keep him writing over the summer. (He has a stash of composition notebooks to write in yet.)  If you’ll indulge me, I’ll probably share more of his writing as well from time to time, and we’ll do some joint posts shortly. I’m toying with starting a tandem story writing project with him for the summer…he writes a paragraph during the day, and I’ll add a paragraph at night, just to keep both our creative juices flowing and have some fun together, but if any of my writer-friends can offer other suggestions to keep both kids writing over the summer, I’m all ears!

That same evening after Success night, Boo and I were having our usual end-of-day chat/recap.  It filled me with pride (and a bit of jealousy, to be honest) to hear him say “Hey, I’m a writer”.

It only took me 45 years to get to that point. I’m so glad that my kids can embrace their love and skills at such an early age, and I pray they keep at it for many years to come.



  • Janet Ameday

    Oh. Jenn, she would have won the poetry contest hand down that you won in Ottawa a few years ago. Definitely gifted.

  • Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver

    This terrific! My kids are grown but I love hearing about them. I was thinking maybe they could tell other parents the reasons they like what they are doing or how to teach other kids to be interested in it from their prospective. Maybe each have a blogpost about it. They may graduate to their own blog with your supervision for maybe a summer reading project. It may even get them extra credit in school.

  • Kay Diblik

    How fortunate your children have a mother who places such value on creative thinking! Your daughter’s poem had me imagining the bright moon and dancing stars in the velvet night–it was just beautifully yet simply written. She’s already a “star!”

  • Mimi

    Miss Maddies your poem just made my day reading it. It was as beautiful as your are. Your will be getting you your own blog just to share your thoughts and dreams. Love you little girl. Mimi

  • Reed Browning

    Dear M. R. Belden,

    “Imagine a Night” is a lovely, moving, uplifting poem. You are a poet with the gifts of imagination, imagery, and concision. I look forward to seeing more of your works. Congratulations on this superb initial venture.

    Reed Browning

    • Gmom Phyl

      I would have to agree with Reed, and not just because I am Maddie’s Gmom Phyl. Each stanza paints a picture. My favorites are: “Imagine a night when the lonely stars greet one another gracefully, with the beautiful dance in the sky, for me and you.” And “Imagine a night when velvet darkness takes over the world” I am transported. Another phrase “when whispers grow like tall flowers.” Gifts of “imagination, imagery” and wonderful word choices. Maddie is not JUST a scientist and mathematician. Maya Angelou, here she comes.

  • Shannon

    Oh my, Jenn. That poem is extraordinary. I hope your sweet daughter will continue to share her gift with us and, more importantly, continue to nurture it for herself.
    I think, if they are game, doing a writing “program” (pardon the confining word, but I couldn’t think of another one) with your kids this summer is a brilliant idea.
    To Jenn’s Daughter: You are a rock star. Keep it up.

  • Susan - ofeverymoment

    Please, please do share more of your children’s work! Your daughters poem is so beautiful. She writes with such maturity!
    I, too, believe that learning to write well is an invaluable skill! My daughter is an English major, and her interest began at about your daughters age. I just asked her yesterday if she would guest post on my blog sometime!
    Kudos to your kid’s teachers – and to you for inspiring your children!

    • Jenn

      Thank you so much!
      I was honestly surprised with the maturity of the writing as well. She told me that she has a full notebook at school, and that she wants to keep writing over the summer.

      • Joyce Weakman

        Jenn, your daughter is a really talented little girl. Definitely keep encouraging her she has a bright future ahead. We look forward to more of your childrens writings. Oh, you probably don’t know me but I lived with your Mom in Chicago while we went to Pat Stevens. I can’t believe Chicago survived us that year!!! Thank you for sharing.

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