Pongo Bookstore

The teen poetry collections below are currently in print and available for sale. A complete list of books published by Pongo and more sample poems from these collections  can be found in the Teen Poetry section of our site.

There Had to Have Been
by Chantal (age 14)

There’s no important person in my life.
There just isn’t.
Hasn’t always been this way. 

At some point there had to have been a person
That made me feel
Happy,
As happy as my splat pink hair. 

At some point there had to have been a person
That made me feel
Loved,
As loved as a small baby bluebird
In Mama Bluebird’s nest. 

At some point there had to have been a person
That made me feel
Important,
As important as The President
At her inauguration. 

Right now
There’s no important person in my life,
But at some point
There had to have been.

thumbnail There Had to Have Been Someone

Writing by teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches 
92 pages. © August 2011

Read a Sample Poem $15.00 ADD TO CART

Lost
by Payton (age 15)

I am 15 and I am lost don’t know
what to do.  lost because I get no love.
lost because I messed up my life.
lost because my dad left for some
women.  lost because I got caught
up in gangs.  lost because I lost
real friends my family.  lost
because I screwed my life
up.  lost because I lost
respect and trust.  lost
because I am a kleptomaniac.
lost because I don’t show enough
love or respect to peers or elders.
lost because I am always in detention.
lost because I got nowhere to hide.
lost because I got no guardians.

thumbnail Love is Like All the Colors of the Doors in Juvie

Writing by teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
56 pages. © August 2007

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT

What I Want
by Larissa (age 16)

I want to see you
But I need you to hold me
I want our friendship
But I need to trust
I want your love
But I need to learn to love
I want to believe
But I need to understand
I want to smile
But I need to cry first
I want closure
But I need a new beginning

thumbnail My Passion Leaps Out Toward the World

Writing by teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
56 pages. © August 2005

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT

How Tucked in the Corner
by Chuck (age 13)

You see that I’m alone
You see that I steal
But you don’t know me.

You would know me if
You knew how hard it was to live alone
You knew how love has hurt me
You knew your mom didn’t love you.

You see that I smoke
You see that I fight
But you don’t know me.

You would know me if
You knew how I turn emotions to haze
You knew how I don’t fear death
You knew how tucked in the corner was sadness.

Dedicated to my mom

thumbnail How Tucked in the Corner Was Sadness

Writing by teens in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches 
64 pages. © April 2005

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT

untitled
by ajp

you say i'm cute
you're up on me
     till you know
you tell me i'm not a guy
     when you find out i'm not bio
what's wrong with not being bio
why can't i just be a boi

thumbnail See What Goes On Behind My Masks

Writing by Young People at Lambert House, a Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth and Their Allies

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
64 pages. © March 2003

Read a Sample Poem $10.00 ADD TO CART

If God Were Looking at My Life
by Cedric (age 16)

He'd wonder why I sin so much.
He'd understand that I'm a whole man,
     That I can take care of myself.
He'd know the way things had gone. Bad.
     My parents don't care about me.
He'd remember when I was very little. I was
     Confused because I wasn't with my real
     People.
He'd know that I'm trying to change.
He'd know that it is hard to change. The people
     I deal with are the people that raised me,
     My friends. They've got me confused.
He'd want me to understand that life is better
     Than I'm making it.
If God opened a new door for me,
     It would lead me to my childhood again.
Then I could start all over with my life.
     Be treated like a human. Not treated
     As a thug.

thumbnail Because I Didn't Know the True Meaning of Love

Writing by Teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
64 pages. © April 2004

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT

I Feel Like a Lion
by Ann (age 17)

Dear Dad,

My life right now is f__ked up. I'm in jail, and I know you've been there too. It feels like I'm following the whole entire footsteps of your life.

You may think I was young, but then I still knew what you was doing when you treated mom bad. You'd take her money and spend it on beer and drugs and sometimes your other females.

I remember the time you brang a b____ home, and I kicked her and closed the door. You didn't care about none of us, but you are my dad. And I do still have love for you, even if you are dead.

It's hard loving someone who treated me this way. Sometimes I wish you were alive so I could tell you how I felt and how it affected me, the way you treated my family.

thumbnail I Lost My Sense of Protection

Writing on Grief and Life by Teenagers in Juvenile Rehabilitation at Echo Glen Children's Center

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
42 pages. © July 2001

Read a Sample Poem $10.00 ADD TO CART

You Wish I Was The Girl I Was
      by Sherita (age 17)

Dressed in all white
Wearing my blue slip-on shoes
Hair pressed out to my shoulders
With my blue and white purse
Rushing to get to Sunday School
With you, Grandma,
And my sisters

I was respectful
Your favorite granddaughter
Not doing any drugs
Going to school
Dreaming that I can be an artist
Drawing hearts with birds
Whose beautiful voices were
Telling you, Grandma,
Have faith in Sherita
She'll become the girl she was
Real soon

Dedicated to Grandma

thumbnail What Every Guy Tells Me

Writing by Teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches 
64 pages. © August 2000

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT

Why You Leave Me?
by Francisco (age 17?)


mom why you leave me
you do it cause you hated me
you do it to cause pain
nine years of hatred
simmering in my brain
caused me to go insane
now on a corner is where I hang
slanging cocaine

Dedicated to mom

thumbnail Trapped in The Ghetto

Writing by Teenagers in King County Juvenile Detention

soft cover 5.5 x 8.5 inches
64 pages. © August 1999

Read a Sample Poem $0 - SOLD OUT
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