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A few days ago, I returned from a weeklong trip to Wyoming where I spent time with the wonderful staff and students of the C5LA program. Part of my purpose in going was to teach my first ever writing class and help introduce the basics of creative writing to the thirty six young men and women who are working so hard to get into colleges and become leaders.

Along with activities such as rocks (climbing/repelling), white-water rafting, and the eco-challenge (overnight camping trip into the Wyoming backcountry), I participated in a ‘Poetic Justice’ poetry writing workshop. While not a poet by any means, I nevertheless wrote a few verses that I thought might be fun to share.

Below is the first poem, entitled “What Made Me” – a topic chosen by the class. A few days from now, I will post the second one, “The Valley,” which was of my own choosing. The last poem, “What Makes Me A Leader,” will likely be posted early next week. Again, this topic was chosen by the class and should give you a  sense of what the students focused and worked on daily at Camp Paintrock.

I hope you enjoy all three poems. As mentioned before, I normally don’t write poetry but thought this might make for a fun change of pace. I offer all three poems unedited and in their original format following the class’s ten minute writing session. I realize they could all be made (much) better with editing, but part of the beauty of this particular poetry session was the spontaneity with which the verses sprang to mind. Thus, since I have no intention of ever publishing them anywhere aside from this website, I’ve elected not to alter their original inspired structure.

What Made Me

People who set an example
Positive experiences when I needed them most
The drive to be better than who I was
The ambition to be  better than who I am
Age begets wisdom
Pain – learning from my mistakes
Family – my source for unconditional love
Friends – the family I choose
What made me? Everything around me
Everything I was born with
Everything I was born without but wanted to possess
What made me?
My life made me
And I made my life