The kids are all right…


Uncompaghre on the left and Mt. Antero on the right

I spent part of my week helping the kids in my son’s class make these little beauties. My friend Dia (see her amazing jewelry here) and I cooked up this project as part of a fund raiser for the school. The kids wrote poems about several of Colorado’s “fourteeners” – mountains 14,000 feet or higher (there are a bunch of them, you check them out here if you are interested). They put the poems into little books that I made and then embellished a doll that I also made to go with each poem book. They are quite stunning I think. I am always so inspired by children’s art and their free-wheeling, yet creatively considered choices. Here are 2 of the books and the poems that go with them.


Mt. Antero

Mt. Antero likes open space with clean maple air.
His turquoise eyes made of glacial lakes glimmer in the sunlight.
His short miner’s candle hair blows in the wind and tangles in itself.
His cloak smells of pine trees. The tip of his cloak slowly turns white in winter.
He wears a red rock baseball cap that cracks and crumbles.
The wind and the butterflies frolic and play with him the spring.
In the summer and spring, picas and marmots annoy him, but he tries not to care.
At night the red tail hawks sing him to sleep with their beautiful call.
Antero’s mellow voice says, “Go with the flow, man,” to the climbers on his back.




My skin is green.
I sound like “whoosh” and “crunch” as the king’s crown leaves
get crushed and the wind blows.

My arms are covered in lichen growing on stone.
At night, eagles perch on my trees.

My flowers cover the side of my face.
The snow makes my slopes soft as my Douglas fir trees.
The downy woodpeckers make their home in my rocky maple.

Slim strands of shimmery white poplar hair flow down my calm, sea-smooth back.
Cedar waxwings chirp a mellow curved hymn as the sap-sweet wind caresses the rapidly flowing diamond-cut water.

Through the endless seasons of jeering, tormenting weather, I have held my solemn word to protect the opalescent rivers and lapis lazuli lakes, never stopping.

I whisper to the wild, “You are revived. You are the sage of the wild, a legend.”

The gamble oak forms Uncompaghre’s mitten.
The ragleaf forms a tattered scarf.

This is the work table as we got started. Believe me, it didn’t look this organized for long.



Hastening the drying process.


Sewing on the Uncompaghre doll.

I hope you liked this little peek into the kid’s “studio” this week. The poems are heart breakingly beautiful. It’s hard to say which part of the project I liked best. Parents get out your check books and start writing. Add lots of zeros and take home some amazing art.

2 Responses to The kids are all right…

  1. Lisa Hoffman says:

    I have a ton to say, but in the bottom photo, I’m too distracted by the lovely little girl, the little leather bracelet on her wrist and the sweet little ring on her finger. My Creative A.D.D. at it’s Best/Worst…
    WHAT???..oh. Sorry.
    Beautiful and inspiring work. Lead the little ones, oh Darling teacher….

    May the parents sell the car, downgrade the laptops and spill the wallets…

    Lisa H.

  2. Leah Kahn says:

    Incredible poetry in Uncompaghre. And these children are in what grade and go to what school!!?? Others should take care to notice the level at which these 4th grade children are working. I believe it’s called inspiration…. Thanks for passing on your love of art to our future.

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