Monday, November 17, 2008

Waiting - Kaela McWherter


With each passing second the world changes
Along with those in it. All these changes
Bring about decisions we all must make.
People can choose to spend their time doing
A variety of things, only some
Are worthy of capturing the precious
Seconds we are given in our short lives.
Many choose to waste this limited time
Choosing to wait for things to come to them,
Instead of them making a difference.
Much change could be made if all chose action
Instead of waiting for acts to happen.
All want change, but seem content while they wait
For others to act while they just complain.

Sound and Sense

Using whatever prosodic resources that you need -- line breaks, rhyme, alliteration, rhythm, spacing, stanzas, line-length, internal or end rhyme, repetition -- write a poem in free verse whose prosody, as defined above, conspicuously governs the reading of that poem. In other words, the poem's "sound" should conspicuously echo its sense, somehow; so that if asked you could convincingly demonstrate the poems prosody functions. The effects which you achieve must, ideally, be reasonably subtle yet not so subtle that you alone can perceive them.

Porch Perception - Hayley Darpel

Porch Perception

I tried something new early this morning.
Sitting on my front porch, or lack thereof,
with my Pike’s Place coffee and enjoying
the wind rustling leaves about in the air.
Everyone is on a morning mission.
On my small concrete porch, I was alone
with my mug of coffee, just as people
were in a bubble of peace on their walks.
The only difference was I was viewing
them on their journeys and they had no clue.
However, they weren’t my only interest.
I saw the colors blowing from the branches.

As each piece drifted apart one by one,
these people’s eyes were distant like the sun.

Call of the Sea - Kara Engelken

Call of the Sea

I’m closing the chapter in my book,
Life, I say good-bye to and step away.
Leaves change and so does my heart.
There is nothing left for me to stay.
A new dawn breaks within my soul,
An estranged awakening that I see.
Beams clear thoughts and fade the dark,
Longing for something I have never seen.
The yearning has been too long ignored,
No longer will I pretend not to see.
As sailors long for the ocean’s waves;
So away, too, my new world beacons me.
Embracing the adventure of my dream.
Away from the prairie; away to the sea.

The Sonnet - Ben Hedges

The Sonnet

The words on this paper form a sonnet,
an intricate, yet structured display of
one’s thoughts, understanding and emotions.
The words won’t tell you outright, their meaning.
But there is depth to them, you must agree.
For language speaks more than what is spoken.
Beauty is hidden from the surface so,
you must dig, discover what has been said.
In just fourteen lines, an epic is told,
something so large encased into something
so small, and precise. The sonnet is a
quarter that gives you only a brief ride
into the author’s soul. This is where the
sonnet will end. Have you learned anything?

My Street - Michael Hemmer

My Street

As I walk down this dark road, I look
Back to the lights behind me and prepare
For the cold, silent mystery ahead.
As the warmth from the light behind me fades,
I know all I can do is continue
Walking or stare back into the past,
But the past has its wounds so I must walk.
The dark unknown before me is daunting,
But I must not fear what I cannot see
And do all that I can to reach the next
Light that is hidden up in the distance.
Just as the warmth fades from behind me,
I know that the warmth will soon be here to help
But that makes the cold bite so harsh in the dark.

Flawless - Mike Hodge


Her eyes, as bright as the stars in the sky
catching my emotions I touch and feel
her soft smooth skin against mines. We embrace
this connection of love for each other
even through tough times she lets me know that
one woman is my world of all women.
Her sweet words of comfort, so kind, so soft
Touches me in depth like no one else could.
I have been blessed with a queen who love me
for me, not for what I have, or appear.
As my lips meet her cool forehead it sends
sensation through her body, and comfort
in her soul to let her know, she is loved.
A stroke of perfection considered mines.

The Cabin - Claire Jackson

The Cabin

A cabin sits quietly in the snow,
as the sun sets on a cold winter day.
The cabin, once new, now sits aged but still
remains sound. The glowing windows like eyes
show it’s warm, weathered soul against harsh winds.
Waning wood tells a story about life.
The walls have served as a sanctuary
from storms and the tough world outside the door.
While white slowly falls and rests on the roof,
the fire inside burns steady and strong.

Dance of the Midwest Tornado - Cassandra Kaul

Dance of the Midwest Tornado

In a circle of women one stands out.
Her eyes flash in danger as she begins.
It is an ancient dance that consumes all.
The gold adorning her body begins to sway
As hips whip out in a rhythm unknown.
Her movements seem like a controlled chaos,
But it has become a buildup none can stop.
Beats start building with every twist and shake,
Coins clash together as breaths grow faster,
And drums roar and pound out the beat of her soul.
As sweat pours down the plains of her body,
Her body rips through the air perfectly
in sync, and she’ll twist and turn endlessly.
She stops. Coins settle and breaths slow, until next time.

Window Sonnet - Ruth Patrick

Window Sonnet

What you want to give me is a window
through which to view your world beyond my own
where the morning sun shines in to warm me
with light to show the way to love and truth;

opening to welcome warm spring breezes
and laughing neighbor children as they play;
to shut against the cold of winter nights,
safe-shelter me away from falling rain.

Oh what a gift of life and joy and warmth
this seems to be, when looked at from the inside.

But I am just a sparrow flying free
you give me just reflections of the sky
I in love and trust receive them gladly;
enter your deception, die against glass.

At the Canyon - Alyssa Reeves

At the Canyon

After the fight in June, she left for good.
Her journey carried her west to the hills:
She sought her solace in the arms of God
And rested each night underneath His sky.
Out here the world holds lyrics in the leaves
And sunlight breaks through passes in the clouds.
The highways cross just past the mountain’s ridge
Where vultures hang on branches by the stream.
The weary traveler dries up in the sun;
The birds swoop down to make of him their lunch.
She turns to write a letter to send home
To tell them all the view here steals her breath.
These words are all she has and they are lies,
Half-truths that are no comfort to her heart.

I Miss the Fight - Peter Seiler

I Miss the Fight

I miss the fight that we used to play,
Being so grey I miss the color Jess,
I will let you get any dishes that you like,
You should know that I would be what you like,
I wrote a sad song that lasted every day,
The same strum the way that I always play,
It is not the words in which I sing,
It’s the feeling that means everything,
I would trade away my voice for one touch,
The voice that I have is far, far too weak,
As the touch that will never be from you,
As the snow that will melt and seep down deep,
As the heart that will utter your name Jess,
I will always no matter love and wait.

The Conversion of Faith Craven

The Conversion of Faith Craven

For her it was a game with no defeat.
She valued noting, felt no sense of shame.
And dying being that which she would seek,
It was no loss, no win, but just a game.
Her husband told her, “Dear! Our children weep
To see their mother drunken in the street.”
The sky-blue cotton curtains filled with dust;
And ever-present sadness stained the walls,
With black, and hungry anger, greed and lust
Like sin’s dark ink was seeping down her halls.
But suddenly a light with mighty speed
Tore through her lying in a dirty stall.
And Jesus softly whispered to her need
“I’ve come for you my dear; I heard your call.”

Monday, November 3, 2008

Debra Baker - Hayley Darpel

Debra Baker

I came to know him well,
my close friend, Bill W.
There are times,
when I wish Gary
would have tried to know Bill
sooner than he did.

I fought through the ugly times
and cautiously enjoyed the seldom happy ones.
Oh how those times seem so artificial now.
When my heart ached with despair,
I just looked down
and smiled selflessly
at the three faces
that were the reason
I held on.


Write a poem which satisfies the following criteria:

1. The poem is exactly fourteen lines in length.
2. Each line contains exactly ten syllables.
3. Although each line has ten syllables,
- a. the poem does not sound stilted; it should read naturally;
- b. there should be no obvious extra padding to stretch a given line out to the required length.
- c. Except where you try for special effects, the line breaks should be at appropriate places, where natural pauses would fall.
4. The poem should be rhythmically homogeneous, without sounding mechanical or sing-songy.
5. The poem must develop one extended metaphor. For example, "The Silken Tent" compares a woman to a tent.
6. The comparison must:
- a. not be picked up briefly and dropped; it must be sustained and explored at length. It must for the basis of the poem.
- b. It must be fresh and surprising, not trite and obvious
- c. The comparison must, like the one that forms the basis of "The Silken Tent," have a point to it -- a point that is subtle enough to require an extended metaphor.

There's No Place Like Home - Cynthia Gomez

There’s No Place Like Home

She turns the music up to sway her Cuban hips
And looks at me in a way that says, “They don’t have this where you’re going!”
We all know tomorrow I’ll exchange my sunshine for sunflowers.
And everyone laughs, including me.
The humid breeze blows on those palm trees
(The ones that have been there since I was 10)
And they wave goodbye to me.
The cool on my feet, the hot against my back, and the familiar in my heart.
Thank you, God, for Sundays in Miami.
I study the texture of Papi’s blue eyes to be sure
I will always have them with me.
And I go over it all until I know I won’t forget.

Taking the Plunge - Ben Hedges

Taking the Plunge

I’ve got ten seconds,
at the most.

If those yellow shirts get their hands on me,
a good night’s gonna go bad in the worst way.

I can’t fathom how I got up here,
it’s hard to fathom how I’m going to get back down.

The air is filled with noise,
thumps, crashes, screeches, screams.
Long haired demons thrash and wail behind me,
Feeding off of the energy,
of a sight I can now see for myself.
The pulsating sea of bodies is an amazing vision.
I’ve never wanted to be a musician,
but I sure as hell want to
for what time I’ve got left up here.

Speaking of which,
the fuzz is just within reach.

I raise my arms,
my onlookers do the same.

I jump, they catch.
I’m a raft on the river of hands.

My Pain - Michael Hemmer

My Pain

Burned, scarred and etched into my brain,
Your name still hurts me.
Any attempts to heal the festering
Only results in more pain

I will not let it rest.
Like a nail through dry wood,
I pound my sorrow down
Deep into the festering wound,
In a feeble attempt to make the pain stop.

But like a child that can’t leave a scab alone,
I pick and pick, pestering it,
Through the pain, reopening the horrible gouge.
As though I cannot get enough of it.

My thoughts still dwell on the past,
This pain, and the future.
I know no reason why I carry such a scar

Limited Pressure - Mike Hodge

Limited Pressure

With 21.3 seconds left
I feel as though this
Is my last chance
Rivalries united
Memories reoccur
It all revolves around me
The star, the best, the leader
My heart thumps as I
Only hear myself while
Fans cheer and
Jealous ones boo
Breathing heavily my body
Sweats profusely
Was it worth it?

From Little White Dove - Claire Jackson

From Little White Dove

The Great Spirit, whose voice echoes
in the wind around me, shows me
the lessons of my people
written in the leaves and rocks.
I remember tired warriors crossing over
the hill with grim victory:
the battle won, but the war being lost.
The grass was stained red for two moons.
They say men with pale faces are coming
to take Mother Earth from us
and destroy our people.
But our arrows are steadfast and strong.
This earth will forever be ours.

Asylum - Cassandra Kaul


The vaulted glass atrium
and daisies greeted me.
With the sun shining
in my eyes,
I checked in.

Rich green walls were broken
up by soft, cotton blue
pants and worn white slippers
brushed along the wooden floors.

I didn’t see
their faces. I was too afraid
to look up and see
smiling faces as I sat down.

She sat down and I
looked up for a moment too long. Her young face
was all smiles. She seemed so happy.
A far cry from the broken woman she was.

Years of fighting and drugs had torn
us apart, and three months
at the asylum had made
her whole again.

The nurse came by and handed
her the cup,
with her little pills
to match her pants,
and my eyes.

An Indoor Campout - Kaela McWherter

An Indoor Campout

I was ready for a girls’ night in:
A night full of fun and randomness
Including the tent to be pitched
In the basement. That action in itself
Caused the problem in that getting the tent
Out of the attic caused
My literal downfall.

As I went for the tent in the dark, cramped attic
(Unable to see where I was stepping)
My friends heard my utter shock as the floor gave out
And I dangled helplessly above the garage.
As my friends rushed to help cushion my fall
I fell to the ground surrounded by insulation and shattered ceiling pieces
Staring blankly at the new lighting I had provided.

After a few stunned moments
My friends could not believe I was fine
(With the exception of my soon-to-be lovely bruised battle scars
That I would carry with me for several weeks)
And we laughed it off and continued
With our fun, and pitching off
The tent I worked so hard to get.
Allowing my newly discovered strength (both internal and external)
To carry me through and
Give me one night never to forget.

Elegy for America - Ruth Patrick

Elegy for America

Under God’s own perfect sky
on this mower once fueled with pride, roaring,
raising the smell of spring
I ride three acres of perfect lawn which once
made me king
of this high hill in suburbia
American dreams
of more than we need more than we want
enough to flaunt and more.
Now it is gone.

I am banished.
Factories and franchises fallen to ruin and my
job downsized;
six-figure income --- gone.

My pension won’t go far
in this shattered empire
where energy is a rare and priceless
for lack of which
my world has died.

But the grass keeps growing;
keeps me mowing.
Maybe I should trade this mower for
a cow
and a plow
and plant tomatoes
sweet corn
and strawberries.

The Post-it Note - Alyssa Reeves

The Post-it Note

Julia – I know you’re
probably still mad about
the cupcake incident, but I
swear it wasn’t my fault.
I just want you to know

that I love you.
And I’ll bring home those
chocolate cookies you like
because this week
they’re half price.
Love, Mitch

To the girl that I love (who dates somebody elses) - Peter Seiler

To the girl that I love (who dates somebody else)

You were in my dream,
For a brief time.
We were on a ski lift
And you were laughing.

Naturally, I tried to kiss you,
But you avoided me.
You grew so angry,
And I was disappointed.

The scene disappeared,
I went on to other things.
You were gone.
Gone from me.

The Ice Storm that Came Through When I Was Young - Robert Tippin

The Ice Storm that Came Through When I Was Young

I never saw the morning
The day the icy storm fell.
I missed the rose-red sunrise,
And the birds that weren’t there.
Only whiteness
Only bleak.
There was a cat, but he could barely move.
I could hear all the trees give up their branches with a crack!
I couldn’t go outside,
For my mother’s fear of the cold.
Families lost power, money was lost, trees were ruined,
But I loved it.