POTS' latest project, "The Poetry Bus" was inspired by a desire to empower young writers by sharing their words with the greater community, bring poetry into our every public spaces, and connect transit + poetry. Created by POTS' founder, Melanie Faranello, with students from Charter Oak Cultural Center Youth Arts Institute.

CT Transit bus #1732 displays excerpts of poetry about freedom, equality, peace written by my creative writing students from COCC's Youth Arts Institute in "Hartford Young Writers" and "Word Up for Teens". The bus will travel 28 towns, changing routes daily, spreading their words for others to hear.

Busses and poetry are both vehicles to connect and transport. How many stories does transit carry every day from its riders; how many poems do we pass every day on the street? POTS believes everyone has a story; everyone has a poem inside.

Scroll down to read full poems below

Students' Full Poems 

from The Poetry Bus

Inspired by Frederick Douglass and 

Robert Hayden's tribute poem, "Frederick Douglass"

Our dreams can be visions
Dreams can be goals
Our dream, as pristine as a stream
Replenishable unlike coal
Growing bigger like a newborn foal
While our freedom is our right
To take that is impossible
because of the laws they stop this horrible plight
Equality is necessary
Not rare like a fairy
For everyone to enjoy and to make sure no argument gets hairy
This dream has been set to motion
To stop this you would need a magic spell or a potion
This the future and it won't be changed
Because of those who fought with a notion.
And put our dream in motion
-NIRAJ, age 12

Our dream of the future is to continue to fight for what it is we deserve
To see each other eye to eye,
And combat the evil that has plagued our land for far too long
They say that dreams can come true, but they never come free
For if equality is what we are fighting for
We must start from the ground up.
-Matias, age 17

Our dream of a future with these beautiful necessities
Of equality where you can be you
Of happiness where you can laugh and smile
Of righteousness where the truth is served every time
Of awareness where you learn and teach
Of honesty where you don’t resent the cold truth
Of education where you can expect greatness every time
Of non bias where you don't look at someone and play a guessing game with their life
Of freedom where we can walk with our heads held high
By- Vida Ntem-Mensah, age 13

Our dream of this beautiful thing called equality where everyone Isn't restricted because of how they look or their gender, or how bad or good their background is. Where everyone can do what they want, but couldn't because of their restrictions. A world with equality.
By:Elijah, age 14

Our dream of the future is beautiful, a peaceful thing
Of happiness where you laugh, without stares
Of equality where you can be your unique self
Of knowledge where you become great from just from having it
Of honesty where you can be aware
Of fairness where the you can have truth
- Olivia John, age 13

Freedom is a type of peace.
We think Freedom is when we are left alone and can do anything we want, but no. You’re wrong. It’s joy and happiness. It’s also where there is 0% drama in your life or the whole entire world.
It’s like seeing the happy type of colors and emotions.
It’s also when everybody loves one another and there are no enemies.
By:Dakshita Vobbineni, age 13   

Freedom is the ability to think, act, dress, however you want, believe in who you want, and to advocate for yourself like it's nobody's business.

Equality is to be free in your skin, to not be judged for being brown, light, dark, or white.

Justice is for when things go wrong, and the right punishment has yet to be given.

We dream of a future where Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian people get along. No matter the skin you're in, you're accepted into every community
By Kelly, age 17

Our dream is...for everything to be alright.
Freedom is… the ability to do whatever the heck you want in the safety of your own home as long as it does not hurt anyone.
Equality is … a way that there is no problem between specific people.
-Howard, age 15

Confidence is like blue as bold as a marker
Withdrawn is gray just like a rainy day giving a hue that will shoo any group away
Confidence is like a firecracker
While being withdrawn is the same sound as a car going away
Confidence smells as sweet as a honey-faced bee
While withdrawn gives the strong scent of homemade ghee
Confidence has the taste of spicy Podi
While being withdrawn is like cardboard wet and soggy
Confidence is the power to make decisions
Being withdrawn is the power to break away from a group 
Where you feel like you're trapped in a prison

-Niraj, age 12

 Class Poem By Hartford Young Writers, age 8-11: (Bavisha, Zyon, Sarah, Ciera, Amasi, Hriya, Serenity, David, Chaarvi, Manasvi)

Freedom is like a dove flying in the air.
Freedom is getting rid of all bad things in your life.
Freedom is like a clear sunny day without a cloud in the sky and a light breeze
Freedom is standing up for what's right
Freedom is like being released from chains holding you back
Freedom is a peaceful moment to yourself
Freedom is a flower blooming 
Freedom is having fun with your friends
Freedom is religion you come from 
Freedom is like laying on a cotton candy cloud with a unicorn
Freedom is a bird free from its cage flying in the sky
Freedom is a fresh fruit picked from a tree 
Freedom is the life outside your door 
Freedom is the world we see beyond us  
Freedom is being free and not being used as a maid or not getting paid.
Freedom is not being judged and being FREE FOREVER .
Freedom is love and peace for all.
Freedom is like a Hallie's comet.
Freedom is the flag of America and a new flag named Freedom Is.
Freedom is when you’re free it has it in the word! FREEDOM!
Freedom is when you are breaking the chains on your hands! FREEDOM! 
Freedom is Belief! FREEDOM!
Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think! FREEDOM!
Freedom is like putting your hands in the air like u just don’t care 
Freedom is like flying
Freedom is getting to see your friends.
Freedom is hope
Freedom is forgiveness 
Freedom is love
Freedom is like sitting on a cloud
Freedom is important. If not, I and all the black people would still be slaves. All the famous black people, like Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks. They fought for equality. Freedom is important so all the black people are free. Thank you African Americans for Freedom.

A Class Poem, By HYW:

Peace tastes like pepperoni pizza and mozzarella cheese

Tastes like yummy smelling chocolate chip cookies
Like happiness and my favorite foods

Peace sounds like birds chirping on a silent morning
Like my favorite pop songs
Everything being silent
Like a barking dog on an early morning
A rooster cacadoodledoing at sunrise

Peace smells like fragrant fresh flowers and
Beautiful lavender
Like sweet cake and fresh bread just out of the oven 
Smells like a cinnamon candle being lit
Like lollipops from candy land 

Peace looks like the world having no war
No slavery
No selfishness
A donation center
Giving the homeless a home
Everyone back on the streets walking and talking together freely again
No Covid-19
Like a dove flying high
Peace looks like justice for everyone

Peace feels like the soft fur of puppies
A warm hug
cute kittens
The love of your family
Going to bed after a long day
And jumping on clouds.

BY: Bavisha, Zyon, Sarah, Ciera, Amasi, Hriya, Serenity, David, Chaarvi, Manasvi (age 8-11)

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