abstract blue, purple, black and yellow painting

Poetry can be such a beautiful way to showcase some of the powerful social emotional learning and creativity that Upstream Arts cultivates during our residencies. Often our Teaching Artists will start with a similar prompt – in this case, “a bad day” – and then take flight, collaboratively creating a poem with the participants. Here we get to see the myriad ways that each group of individuals expresses their feelings around bad days – and the strategies they use to engage those feelings.

Slice of abstract painting

A Bad Day Shhhhhuperhero

A bad day’s when my name’s spelled wrong
Lunch is spilled, blue and red
Sad, mad and hungry–all day long
Huffing and puffing–blue zone in my head!
Sleepy grizzly–you know what I mean!
A spider insider her–phhh! I’m sooo tired.
Stuck inside–arms crossed–not my scene!
Green for dancing–not inspired.
I don’t have bad days, just bad things
A chin poke–a hungry growl–my stomach sings.
Takes my mind off! Shooting a basket ball
Breathe with a breathing ball. Cat videos. Draw.

Watch our shows. Breathing slows. BAD….DAY…GOES.

Collaboratively written by Participants and Teaching Artists at the Global Arts Plus program 
Slice of abstract painting
The Unexpected Unspoken
When I say stop talking and you keep talking
That’s a bad day.
When gramma says no games, and boundaries are walking
That’s a bad day.
A friend’s fake mad red dragon roach way
Live for a thousand dinosaur years

When your friends keep lyin–keep me outta the loop

Oreo ice cream chase away the tears
Talkin with mama makes me feel floop
Shootin hoops–like a snoop–BOOP.
A kitten cheetah flying like a haaaawk!
Collaboratively written by Participants and Teaching Artists at the RiverEast Therapeutic Day School program
Slice of abstract painting
Good Feelings, Bad Feelings, BOTH!
Good day bounces up and down
Bad day, mad day with a frown
GRRRR! I cover my face
A scared butterfly flies fast into space
A purple sad butterfly flying low
Frowning in circles, moving slow
the butterfly’s friends are feeling mad
the friends were eaten and that feels bad
I gave them space and said sorry
We’re friends again–YES!
Collaboratively written by Participants and Teaching Artists in the Hiawatha Elementary program
Slice of abstract painting
Can’t talk about my feelings
A lonely penguin on a green cloudy day
The day turned yellow foggy. A surprised shark
Kicked a balloon and turned it sunny.
The red calm dinosaur joins the party
With an orange cat swimming in the rain.
Swimming silly. Swimming proud.
Collaboratively written by Participants and Teaching Artists in the Bridge View School program