Category : Uncategorized
Category : Uncategorized
Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught
they’re awake in there
dark in the dark
but they won’t come out
not for love for time for fire
even when the dark has worn away
they’ll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
be none the wiser
what script can it be
that they won’t unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it
to make out the real names
maybe there aren’t
it could be that there’s only one word
and it’s all we need
it’s here in this pencil
every pencil in the world is like this
Miss Murphy in first grade
wrote its name in chalk
across the board and told us
it was roaring down the stormtracks
of the Milky Way at frightful speed
and if it wandered off its course
and smashed into the earth
there’d be no school tomorrow.
A red-bearded preacher from the hills
with a wild look in his eyes
stood in the public square
at the playground’s edge
proclaiming he was sent by God
to save every one of us,
even the little children.
“Repent, ye sinners!” he shouted,
waving his hand-lettered sign.
At supper I felt sad to think
that it was probably
the last meal I’d share
with my mother and my sisters;
but I felt excited too
and scarcely touched my plate.
So mother scolded me
and sent me early to my room.
The whole family’s asleep
except for me. They never heard me steal
into the stairwell hall and climb
the ladder to the fresh night air.
Look for me, Father, on the roof
of the red brick building
at the foot of Green Street—
that’s where we live, you know, on the top floor.
I’m the boy in the white flannel gown
sprawled on this coarse gravel bed
searching the starry sky,
waiting for the world to end.
by Stanley Kunitz
I remember shark’s teeth
only remains of prehistoric predators
glossy black points still sharp
serrated, hooked, or
smooth and lethal as stilettos.
We vied to see who found
the most, the biggest, best. I
still keep five in a small glass jar
in Oregon dry and far from their wet
grave on a sandy Chesapeake Bay beach.
I remember Girl Scout camp where
gray jelly fish stung us in the warm
brown water despite the nets. Stranded
on the sand the soft blobs
looked almost innocent. We poked
them with brave toes, knowing
the tentacles still held poison,
though not as much as the prettier
and far more deadly Portuguese
Men of War iridescent blue and purple
ruffled sails aloft and ten foot
tentacles that raised red welts
the camp nurse worked to soothe.
I remember overnight canoe trips down
the bay paddling endlessly into
the salty wind, wooden paddles clunking
dented dull aluminum sides, knees
and shoulders aching as the counselors
urged us on. We slept in a meadow,
visited at night by three silent
black dogs, woke to find
ourselves polka-dotted with flea bites
red spots everywhere, the itch intense
on sunburned backs and arms.
I remember the itch of poison
ivy, too, and the girl whose rash raised
blisters big as soft balls on her
arm, I feared would pop.
My own more modest case
was painted pink with Calamine
which washed off in the wooden shower
stalls, dark moldy cubicles where tubes
of green Prell foamed in our hair.
I remember mail call, all
the letters sent by Mom and Dad
made the other campers jealous. I
hid them in my bed, read by flashlight,
listened to the night, scary owls,
mosquitos on the prowl, relentless
despite slatherings of smelly repellent
“6-12″ or Off.
I remember how I felt alone, those
rural Maryland woods an hour’s
drive away home, alone except for
Elsie from my same city school, Elsie,
who rarely spoke even before
she had been set upon
by an older boy in the bushes
of the playground one early June afternoon
as I rode my bike in silent fear around
the swings and wondered what to
do. She never told. In those days no one did.
Camp was supposed to be a haven. I guess
for her it was.
Write a memory of camp, or of any special summer activity you can recall from your childhood.
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.