Poetry and Imagination with Laurie Filipelli 2021

This year’s Poetry & Imagination group began as eight separate Zoom squares but quickly merged into one creative force: the Anonymous Animals. Together these poets took collaboration and chance poetry to new heights. We studied surrealism, and wrote about dreams. We put fears and struggles into words, transforming them into hope and power. While our magic was that of a strong group dynamic, each voice truly stood out. Please enjoy these one-of-a-kind creations!


People Don’t Frighten Me (after Maya Angelou) [1]

By Anonymous Animals

“You try too hard”

“You’re not supposed to be this way”

“Do you even try?”

“Can’t you take a joke?”

They tell me this but I will

Not be defined.

Not give into your words.

Not stay silent.

People don’t frighten me

I will not run away.


Being ignored is watching the world through a glass cage

But being judged leaves you suffocating, strangled, torn apart

Even if its constructive, criticism can make me feel like nothing

Like maggots writhing in my stomach

But still I try

Though they try to drown me in their words

“Change the way you act”

“You’re doing this wrong”

“You’re not good enough”

I swim back up

And still

I believe

I smile

I fight

I will not

Lose hope,

Be used,

Stop trying.

Crumple into a paper ball.

People don’t frighten me

I hold on to

My music, hold on to

Those happy times

Memories, emotions of my past, pushing me

To my future

Most importantly

I may disappoint others,

But I will not disappoint myself.

I will not accept what they say is wrong.

I will not create my own heartbreaks

Through the expectations we think others have

I will always fight for the stars

And I will never stop trying

And I will always accept myself

Not perfect, but beautiful.


People will never frighten me.

Last Night I Dreamt...

by The Anonymous Animals

It was about an ominous silver slice

Of scintillating cheese running, running.

I was in Idaho. . .

I think.

Maybe not.

And in the sky,

An insipid serpent floated above and

Held a bumpy indigo quill.

His quill wrote about chasing stinky, fluffy monsters and

Watching golden butterflies eat the sunset

They were wearing shoes that were running, running to

My house in Idaho…

I think.

Maybe not.

Bright dragons of neon colors breathed fire and wore

Sparkling bronze earrings

Exuberant work! The dragons exclaimed

As they shook the tiny hands of the butterflies

I woke up, realizing what a strange dream that was.

And trudging through the

normal instances of my life.

In Idaho.

I think.

Maybe not

Eesha Hariharan

The Mountain of Success

The rocky mountain awaits me

The fog is clouding the air

Where can I go?

If I fall,

Rejection and failure await me

So I keep climbing

The mountain of success

Location in the center of hard work

Is the result of


Hard work

And passion



What is a view without a climb?



As dark as the night sky

When the full moon passes by

Cold, secretive

But once you arrive

It is anything but

Bubbling volcanoes

Rich canyons

Colossal mountains

Every nook and cranny represents something

Canyons—the downs of life

Volcanoes—the anger you can never control

Mountains—the climb


I hear the shouting

People asking

For help

They’re scrambling


They don’t know I have it

What they’re looking for

They have no ideas that I control their voice

They talk

Because I want them to

They’re not saying anything

But their tiny mouths are moving

And that’s enough

I am the only one who can speak

In a sea of fish

I am the shark

I everyone is red, then I’m green

I’m the only one to be heard right

Now it’s my time to shine

And no one can stop me.

No one can steal my thunder

People are my audience

Enough is enough

I let them speak

I hear shouting

Of outrage

Of distress

Of happiness

But then I’ve had enough

No one can talk

I silence them again

And continue my dance.

Leah Panga

In this world there is no gravity

Everything floats up and away

The oceans once filled with



And Manatees

Have all drifted away

Not all gravity is lost

Thanks to the sun that is

But all the engaging life has simply just


Houses were still there

Since there was gravity then

But the inside however

Will always be a mess

So keep this in mind

Don’t eat stuff out of the blue

No one knows who or what took gravity

But they do know when

(Except the mouse knows all)

I take it wherever I go

From here to there

It likes it that way

It has no legs anyway

Only a face that’s black when it needs to recharge

But multiply faces when it’s awake

Which all depend on Mood

It loves it’s face outlined with a rose gold paint

And it’s arms

A pastel pink

With a button and holes to serve its purpose

When it was first born it had many siblings

All alike in style but different in color

But then they had to separate

They placed them in a crate

Filled with eight

They were very delicate

Like newborns

Then they were sold

Or adopted

As I like to say


Everyone’s fear is different

Some admit it

Because their brave

They don’t have the fear of being haunted

While the rest of us do

We have that shadow lurking behind us

Ready to attack when the time is right

The time when we break into tears

Knowing, believing that it will attack

Our tears taste sweet but in a painful way

In a way that we never experienced

Our skin feels itchy

But when you itch it

It burns

The difference between those

Who admit their fears and

Those who don’t

Is that they don’t care

About the shadow

They’ll fight off the shadow

Even though they’re scared

So fight for everything you believe in

And fight off that shadow

Zoya Sharma


Waves that flow like paint

Mingling in moonlight

To make me

Color on the canvas

Indescribable, crazy

Something I am

My emotions

Longing for something new


Only the colors know


Silent, gliding

Twisting, turning

Practically flying

I know it sounds fun

But the breath on the glass

Spreads like cobwebs and cracks

And the kids scream if I get too close

While the moms try to take perfect photos

But I sleep happily

Knowing one day my

Friends and I will escape

This terrible place,