Riley O’Connell – Poems

The Beach

Waves crashing against the beach

The salt water smell in the air

A thousand voices screaming and yelling

Everyone having a good time

People surfing, boogie boarding

Looking at the fish in the coral reef

But wait, there’s one problem

The plastic bottles being carried into the sea

Training Wheels

Riding down the sidewalk

Still learning how to write

Dad holding my seat as I ride my bike

Down the hill, ready for the first

“Keep looking up,” he says

But I can’t

I feel his hand let go of my seat

And I fly down the hill

Swerving left and right

Until I finally look up

And ride


Driving down the highway

Hands stiff on the wheel

Hoping to not crash

Taking the exit

Almost home

Nearly there

No more of this

Until the car in front stops suddenly

I slam on the brakes

Praying it doesn’t happen

Children’s Chores

I mow the lawn

I do the dishes

I take out the trash

I feed the dog

I brush the cat

I do the laundry

I clean my room

I do these things

To my dismay

“Do this, do that”

They yell at me

But I do it for my own reason

That they don’t understand

Bark at me dog

Scratch me cat

Rain on me nature

You won’t stop me

There’s one reason I do this

One reason alone

And that reason is

I get paid to do this

Retail Workers

I stock the shelves

I help the customers

I work at checkout

I restock the food

And fill the toys section

Yell at me customer

Fire me boss

Annoy me children

I just work here

All I need is a job

So I can keep my house

And support myself

And make it into college

My Story

When I was young, I created a story

Inside of my mind

Outside in my front lawn

I had every character memorized, measured to perfection

I hoped it could be written it

And did so in a flash

A daring story

A land of purple people

With a flat, circular planet

I remembered the story just recently

In the season of winter

And wondered if I could publish it

I danced and celebrated at its success

And wanted to write even more


Oh, Alaska

With your lucious white mountains, filled with snow

Your rolling green hills, with flowers abloom

Your beautiful wildlife, with amazing animals

That bring beauty to your great land

Your cities full of bright light

And the people that live there

However, over the years

We have begun to disgrace your land

Pollution and waste

Trash that the animals can eat

And in the water, oil

Accompanied by plastic

That hurt the animals

And destroy their ecosystem

But still, there are those

That keep the environment clean

That help the animals

And clean the waters

Making national parks reserves

To protect everything you are.

Great Grandfather

I wish I knew you

Before you were gone

You drifted away

Just a moment to soon

I wish I knew you

Seen you smile

But now I can’t

You were gone

Just like that

Never to be seen again

I’ve heard stories

Seen your photos

But I wish I knew you

The REAL you

Not just hear the stories

And see the photos

But to see the real you

And hear your real voice

To be able to sit with you

And listen

I never go to know you

And I wish I did

To learn things from you

And listen to your stories

But now I know

That your in a better place

That your happy where you are

And that your watching over me

And I know that I can be happy

That you will always be with me

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