"We Forgot the Orange Beach" painting by Upstream Arts Participants

We Forgot the Orange Beach

Pool party, going to camp.
Swimming in an inside pool.
BBQs with mom, working at Phoenix Alternatives.
I like all this about summer.
Except rain. Except Storms. And tornadoes.
I don’t like Amanda’s room because
There’s no air conditioning, and I sweat.
Summer is red and black: red like Kool-Aid juice.
Red, red. Valley Fair water park.
I go slow and up right away on roller coasters.
A nervous red. Silly black.
Summer sounds like splashing and swimming.
Summer makes me think of sun.
Fishing in Leech Lake.
At the end of summer, leaves change.
End of camp. Fall happens.

Phoenix Alternatives

In Upstream Arts programs, participants write poetry collectively. Prompted by a color or emotion, the participants contribute ideas to create the poem. In a later class, participants sometimes create a collaborative painting to accompany the poem. Using color, line and shape, the participants take turns painting the sentiments expressed in their poem.