10/31/2007 03:15 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

A Spooky Halloween Poem (By an Eighth Grader!)

You take one step, and it's dark and sticky hot,
Quiet.... Yet maybe not
Your ears may hear mute, but the sound lies all around you
It whispers to your thoughts, till darkness surrounds you

Through the hotness comes a mist
To your soul, it's bloodshot cold as it circles round your fist
It shoots up your arm as you cry a silent...

Your breathing becomes rapid but you don't dare move
It rests on your shoulder no longer than a sec
You close your eyes in prayer,
Then it locks around your neck!

You gasp for air as it barricades your breath
You drop to close your eyes in sorrow till you're sure the pain has left
With shaking body, soul to spirit, you sigh in relief
You take another step and the darkness

You scream to shake and pull at your roots
Please come to an end
And the silence whispers loud once again
Here's the message that it sends:

"To make it stop you don't need very much. All we ask is that you all start to listen. Listen to what you don't see or believe but was always there. Listen to our calls of sorrow and mercy and with that we might both be set free."

But with your selfish ways you black out these silent sounds...
And the scene replays and endless tune...
Until you hear the sounds surround you again...

Shhhhhh... Do you hear it??

Kristina Pineda, 8th grade student
Isaac Newton Middle School
East Harlem
New York City

Public service announcement from Dan Brown -- Kristina's teacher:
Support arts education in public schools! Many kids today don't get sufficient opportunities to explore their amazing talents because of the curriculum narrowing resulting from ratcheted-up emphasis on standardized testing. We should celebrate and nurture kids' creativity. Kristina and her peers deserve the chance to shine!