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The musical compositions performed at our Creatures of Heart & Hope Concert on March 19 & 20, 2022 were inspired by the following poems written by students at Ipswich High School and The Pingree School.

Creatures of the Heart & Mind
by Chris Florio

Inspired by poems from Lydia Brendel and Charlize Vermaak


Movement I



Blurred in a haze,

Slipping across my mind.

It’s eyes appearing void like a snow covered field.

But it’s tendrils continue to seek,

Searching for more.

Needing more.

This is the animal in my mind.
           - Charlize Vermaak

Movement II

There’s a fiery dragon sailing through

Our silvery atmosphere

Amber eyes see miles below

Where his shadow summons fear

But upon a crest our dragons rests

His eyes sting with tears

Fall upon a little him

A butterfly, floating on the wind

            - Lydia Brendel


Movement III

An Old Friend

Eyes which glisten like morning dew,

Draped by a sea of velvet fur.

Such beauty radiated through your body.

Tenderness leaking through your eyes.

The scent of home which tickles my nose,

How I have missed you my old friend.

            - Charlize Vermaak

Movement IV

It’s the magic in the monsters

Of the creatures that mean no harm

That makes the good in all of us

Shine a little bit brighter

Imaginary creatures

Give us the hope we need

To fly away

And the strength we need

To face another day

And the power we need

To make the choice

To stay and try again

            - Lydia Brendel


Winkle Whisp
by Thomas Palance
Inspired by poem from Charlotte Fortin


Winkle whisps,

the sparks of light that are never dimmed,

even in this dark,



The world was dark without her,

But then she,

with the twinkle in her eye,

the mirth in her smile,

the warmth in her hugs,

came into my world.

She gave one glance into my dark room,

and the light switch clicked on.

Her love is a winkle whisp.

Her comfort is a winkle whisp.

Her beauty is a winkle whisp.

And she,

She is a winkle whisp.

With her radiant smile,

brighter than the sun that shines above. Her


contagious and absolutely adorable.

Her compassion,

Extended to all.

Her perspective,

That’s as refreshing as a swim on a hot summer

day. Everything,

Every little thing about her,

Is just totally and utterly brilliant.

Like the first star in the sky,

She glitters,

Blazing through my world.

And I’m so glad,

For my winkle whisp.

            -Charlotte Fortin


The Window  
by Jerry Gates

Inspired by poem from Chloe DeFrank


While I sit by the window

And let the vivid

yet subtle ambiance of fall

wash over me

The meer view of the scene calls me

Beckons my name in an irresistible impulse

With the intensity of a scream

but the benevolence of a lullaby

I step down the stairs.

Each creak of each step was a wail.

The dull void is self-evident.

Dysphoria that fills my heart

All I see are swirls of grey.

So I sprint

Run for the door

Run away from everything

As the dingy door screeches open

I stop.

Sit to take in this sheer bliss

Then I feel it

A Feeling

The feeling is fosreign and mysterious

But I am not afraid.

I look left and right.


Then I see them.

Walking towards me

Even though their silhouette was is the form of a human

I knew it wasn’t.

As It comes close to me, I feel a profound warmth.

They are the sun.

The light

The thing I wish I had in my life but didn’t know before The candle shining

light on a new perspective

As It gets close I thought It would stop making its way towards me But this

being merely walks through me

I turned back to look

It was gone.

But that feeling of warmth


Not just stays


Euphoria fills my soul.

I am so free.

So liberated

So incredibly fulfilled

The Reds and the yellows of the trees were fires in the sky.

The crisp and enchanting view of this glorious autumn was the most radiant

sight. I truly had the purity and hope that radiated from the being.

Yet the being didn’t just affect me

It is me.

As I walk back into my home the room that was once grey and lifeless Is no

longer abandoned hope.

But a feeling of gaining it back

I walk back up the stairs.

I sit by the window.

And let the vivid

yet subtle ambiance of fall

wash over me

            -Chloe DeFrank 


by Joe Mulholland

Orchestrated and arranged by Jerry Gates

Inspired by poem from Kali Rataj

The crystal fairy named Sage

roamed the forest

searching for animals to tell about the

terrible people

trying to cut down the thoughtful trees

of their forest.

Though Sage didn’t know why

and she didn’t know how

Therefore she had to make sure

everyone new she was hopeful

that if they came together then

they could stop the human from

tearing down the trusting trees,

Once Sage spread the word

every animal decided

they had to save the forest

so they had a meeting

in the bear’s den, something had to be done.

They came up with a pristine plan

The plan was to guard the trees

once the humans came

they were so stunned that all the animals

came together they couldn’t do this to

these absolutely adorable animals

so they packed their things

and left the animals in peace.

            - Kali Rataj



Hope is a Unicorn  
by Jerry Gates

Inspired by Poem from Mia Russo

Hope is a Unicorn

Which purity can only see

Pure and Innocent the unicorn is born

Blinded to the unattainable hope to be
The picture of what you want to be

I see

I see

I see

The hope the unicorn has in store for me

I think

I think

I think

Covid-19 will stop me

From being what I want to be

Images of the past flash through my mind Looking back

Seeing how how much progress I’ve made

I see

I see

I see

What the unicorn has in store for me

An amazing, astonishing, appreciable future for me

            - Mia Russo


The Purple Dog 

By Jerry Gates

Inspired by poem from Brody Bicknell


People are different,

My dog is different,

Quite different that the rest,

My dog is the best

He’s the size of a house,

But that doesn’t matter,

Or that he’s purple,

Or that he has spots,

Or that he breathes fire,

It just matters that he cares for me lots,

He cares about about my friendship,

Although he drools,

He doesn’t care about hashtags, Twitters, or trolls,

Careless words of hurt or rapid unfollows,

He sees me for me, between the burps of fire,

He sees the world as bright, and never dire,

Even though heś different, spotted and purple,

We should all think like him,

And itś just that simple.

            - Brody Bicknell


Oscar Was a Runner  
by G. Paul Naeger

Inspired by poem from Lia Kermes


My father took the cat out, while my mum

was still getting ready

The cat was on his leash for about a minute

The leash was loose

And the cat ran, like it was being chased

by the meanest neighborhood dog

And up the telephone poll, three stories high

Up there he looked so small, although on the ground

he was quite a tall cat

My father stood there as the cat whined and

turned on the top of the poll,

Round and round like a music box

No one could come to save poor Oscar

The firemen despised rescuing cats,

and at animal rescue the person dedicated

to retrieving cats from such places

was out for the day

My father adorned his backpack,

like a kangaroo pouch

And climbed the rusted nails into the sky

Oscar turned

Round and round like a music box

The poor beast was so frightened,

that he hung by his claws to the fabric of my father’s

shirt as they ventured down the poll together

The last nail was far from the ground,

my father had to jump

The cat dislodged, ran, and was once again gone

My parents searched, along with all the neighbors

Many rats, but no Oscar

Round and round like a music box

They saw him, under an orange sun on the street

He ran, under the shed

My father once again attempted to save him

The shed came apart and the sweet,

cowardly cat was home

Wrapped in a towel, after a shower

Oscar was in my mums arms, his happy tail waving

Round and round like a music box

            - Lia Kermes


Life is (Suite)
by Chris Florio

Inspired by poetry from Emma Paquette, Quinn Falvey
and Emma Labrecque


intro 1 - Movement I



He’s a big bush

Tall and wide

Shrinks and grows

An endless pit of berries

All you can eat

When you want to eat

Call it over, anytime

Just say 8255.

He catches you when you fall

He’s like a hawk always watching

There when you need to talk

There if you need a walk

Anywhere and everywhere

            - Emma Paquette


Intro 2 - Movement II


Coarse fabric and frayed ivory.

sharp edges and warm vibrations.

Fingers cut across the plain,

The blacks and whites sink.

Fingertips massage this machine,

Caressing its cold buttons which push and strike,

A product of man,

deliverer of the heavens.

Thumbs tuck under index fingers,

Arms levitate left and right,

The sensation of creation,

The pleasure of ability.

Knuckles dance,

Veins ripen.

The bench rocks beneath you,

The creature hums against your hands;

Time loses significance.

            - Quinn Falvey


intro 3 - Movement III


Magical Fall Leaf

The leaf falls slowly dancing

around in the wild wind.

You put out a hand

for the leaf to land.

The leaf lands for

the magic to happen,

turning to dust

with a wonderful reason.

Your wishes come true and

your fall worries are gone.

            - Emma Labrecque




Creature in a Bubble  
by G. Paul Naeger

Inspired by poem from Tia Speropolous


Creature in a Bubble

Creature in a bubble

Causing no one trouble

With each new passing day

Feelings hiding deep

Waiting for the moment to creep

Out from the shell, away

Contemplating the choice

To channel an inner voice

Or to keep safe inside

A voice of hope, of courage, of light
A voice of strength, passion, might

Calling him not to hide

This voice it knows

Right from wrong

Powerful and strong

Changing the world is hard to do

But maybe not,

If he can just break through

And the battle begins within the bubble
Between the creature and itself

So many thoughts

So many plans

A string of promise unfurls

The bubble tumbles, twists, twirls

The creature pushing, hard and fast

No fortress could last


The great ball bursts

Creature in a bubble no more

Fearless at the core

A world of opportunities revealed

The voice inside was right

And with it a brave, benevolent, beast

Flies off into the night.

            - Tia Speropolous

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