Poets & Coffee


Beck Tate, Journalist

There are many clubs offered at DHS, one among them being a spoken poetry club named Word Warriors. They host events such as Word Fest, which will be thrown later this year, and Poets & Coffee, with the goal of giving students who are interested in poetry a chance to present their work in a comfortable, safe environment that encourages confidence and even mistakes.

This year’s Poets & Coffee was hosted on December 14th after school from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Hatter’s Cafe. Treats like cookies and pie were given out, and, as promised, coffee and hot chocolate too. From the minute I stepped into the Hatter’s Cafe, where students indulged in yummy pastries and drinks before presenting their work, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of safety. From the start, I could tell no one was there to judge but rather to listen and learn. It was an easy environment to make new friends or even collaborate with other students in.

Many students attended, with a turn out of roughly 25-30 people, a good chunk of whom shared their work with the rest of the group. A range of different meanings were woven into the poetry of these DHS students. Concepts such as time, love, loss, betrayal, the meaning of oneself, and more were spoken about. Some of the poems could be sort of open ended, leaving the little nagging confusion of that “what comes next?” question in your brain. Others were more straightforward, leaving no questions as to how you were to interpret or supposed to feel about the poem because there was only one way you could.

All the poems were somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster. One would evoke feelings of joy while the other made a deep contempt settle on your heart, and some held the power to do both at one time. Each word spoken was authentic, you could tell that people really put time and effort into the poems they wrote, and it was kind of awesome to see the pride and conviction they had while presenting to the audience. 

One poem in particular that has stuck with me after all these weeks is one written by Jules Dahlstrom. He was the first to present his poem to the audience in the Hatters’ Cafe on the 14th; It’s called “Space Cadet”, and he told Hatters’ Herald that it was written about his dad. “He’s always been very interested in space and space travel, which inspired the theme,” he said. “I depend on him a lot and he’s the most important man in my life, so I just can’t imagine losing him…I haven’t lost many people, so death doesn’t always register as a real or irreversible thing, but he’s one of those people that makes me realize how scary it is.” The poem reads as follows:

“I was never going to be ready for take-off. I spent

endless days watching landings with you in the basement

chasing the bottlecap and model rockets

trying to catch them before they fell into the forever wet grass of the schoolyard

and still as I sat in mission control I watched the math climb high high higher

I realized I had never grown up at all. everything everything

around me condensed into a purple pit in my stomach and there was nothing I could do

to change the fate of my superhero

my space cadet. what am I going to do when

I can only reach you through the satellites and blurry

photos of your hand waving

light years away

the most beautiful, barely-there star

twinkling erratically like it is fighting every single thing it’s supposed to be

or not be


the gravity of it all makes me want to dig down into the

core of the earth and die a hot death

can’t a boy be fragile for once in his life, or must I follow in your

lunar footsteps

trudging my way into entropy—


but you haven’t lost your way at all. I have not lost sight

of your little blue flag on the great beast of Jupiter. you are always

my space cadet

I am not afraid to make you mad

I am only afraid you will die that way, enclosed in the useless unknown

of free-falling outer space, clueless to how I am right here

breaking my shoulders to usher you back down to earth

birthing my faith for a chance to talk to you

see your face between the crashing soundwaves of golden record cymbals

touch you underneath your helmet visor, gleaming, terrifyingly beautiful like a black hole

and tell you 

that you are my

space cadet. everybody

needs something to orbit. what am I going to do

without you?”


Jules said that poetry started as a hobby and coping mechanism, but as of recently it has “become a lifeline.” “I see the world, connect with others, process emotions, and rebel against social norms all through poetry. The art we make is inseparable from history and context, so this is my way of “making my mark” and proving that I existed at this point in time—that I had something to say,” he shared.

As a new student to DHS, Poets & Coffee is a great way to get connected with the school community and not feel so alienated from everyone else and/or out of the loop. DHS offers an array of clubs, and many of these clubs host events or drives such as Poets & Coffee. So, if poetry isn’t for you, I’m sure you could find something that does interest you from our selection of over 40.