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Catch a Tree inside a Verse

Our middle school Mountaineers are in full swing and enjoying spending time outside in our changing seasons. This week we took our urban hike to the Central Washington University's Japanese Garden. We explored the tranquil peace of the garden, listened to the babbling brook and the dull hum of campus activity outside the garden's walls.

We took time to listen to the trees, observe their details, and record their stories. Each Mountaineer was tasked with writing two poems in two different poetic forms about their selected tree. They were asked to explore their senses, tap into their emotions, and explore the English language. They all spent time in quiet contemplation by their tree and their poetic creations were all very well thought out. I was so impressed by these kids! Here are some of their poems:

trees towering

branches and hard bark

nettles and very green

trees towering


I dreamed

I was an evergreen

in a Japanese garden

staying still without movement



I am sitting next to a tree that's tall

I am breathing next to a tree that is really tall

I am living next to a tree that is very tall


tree grows next to rocks

human walks while wearing crocs

its roots get stepped on



rooting deep


embracing the sky


tree that is tall and sturdy, but not fully grown yet. yes.

still has fall and winter to go. yes.

still supported by two poles. yes.

still got a lot to live. yes.

and why is this my favorite tree? yes.

because it has lived as long as me. yes.


I dreamed

I was sitting under a tree

Gazing at the sky

Watching the clouds roll by



I thought

I was a pine tree

in a Japanese garden

standing there

all sticky

...then I remembered I was a human.


a bush can be many things

a bush can live

a bush can fall

a bush loves all


Mountaineers is a year-long adventure “club” for local teens ages 11-16. Mountaineers meet weekly at Morgan Middle School with their instructors, local guests specializing in a STEM or outdoor field, and engage in exciting activities to build confidence, leadership, and communication. Up to 26 trips are being scheduled for the 2022-2023 school year (September-June) and will be a mix of backpacking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, trail maintenance, boating, and exploring our natural world. You can learn more at KEEN's Mountaineers Or enroll today HERE!


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