Two Poems: “The Family Farm” and “Students”

Jan Luton shares poems inspired by her childhood and by her classroom.


Poet Jan Luton’s home farm.

Because I was born and raised on a family farm in northeast Iowa, there is still a strong attachment to this beginning.  Farmers do truly supper the world and yet most are humble in doing so.

— Poet Jan Luton

The Family Farm

A place of tranquility
   cradled in the country.

A nurturing nest
   that houses good beginnings.

A chameleon patch in a quilt
  with seasonal changes.

An entertainment
  with business of production.

A checkerboard of seasons
  white, brown, green and gold.

A grocery sack
   that suppers the table of man.

A place to rest.


Having taught 5-year-olds through seniors in college, I have enjoyed the variety of human beings that we have in our schools and colleges. Over forty years of teaching has given me great joy and satisfaction…and faith in our young people!

— Poet Jan Luton


Students are like jellybeans
Whose school is like the jar.
Their bodies are physically here
But their minds can travel afar.

Some are licorice, blue or gold
Pink and orange and even green.
Yellow and red and purple too
With flavors in between.

A student may not want to learn,
Just  fill a vacant space.
Another loves the work and challenge
To rightfully earn an “A”ce.

Grades are just a temporary label
That cause both heartache and joy,
No difference who has earned them
A reluctant girl or a bombastic boy.

Each personality reflects a being,
A loving person or another who’s cruel;
They laugh and learn and are themselves,
A human being in school.

Many are in the colorful mix
Which broadens one and all,
There’s joy and justice in all of them,
Just as we recall.