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Hippos

Write a poem about a person who goes to a zoo that urgently wants to see an animal. It can be from the perspective of a human or an animal. It must end in a sound or a gesture.

Hippos

I am perched atop the head of a
creature much clunkier than I, its

oafish charm drawing the attention
of all the children. They yell and scream

when he turns about in the cool mud,
when he widens his jaw, baring colossal teeth.

A little girl in pink denim overalls
runs to the edge of the pen and tugs

at her mother’s sleeves. “The hippos! The hippos!”
The mother looks down at her child and

knows that this has been a successful trip:
“Yeah sweetie, just like in your book!”

I stretch my neck to put on a show,
I stretch my wings to make myself known.

But alas they are not looking at me,
I know they are not looking at me.

For I am not a bird atop a hippo’s head,
but a hippo with a bird atop its head.

~~~EDIT 11/20/12: Very slight changes.~~~

 
 

The Joy of Time

The Joy of Time

 

They say the joy of birth is in a moment,

the moment when lights blind you so,

the moment when warm hands make

a promise to hold you forever.

 

They say the joy of childhood is in

the days, the days spent peering

at tiny creatures, the days of feeling

honeyed breaths grace youthful lungs.

 

They say the joy of adulthood is in

the months, the months spent making

dreams become realities, the months

of watching little cries become eager voices.

 

They say the joy of age is in the years,

the years spent watching your dreams

realize dreams of their own, the years

of cultivating your love for all things.

 

They say that there is no joy in death,

but I tell you that its joy is in the moment:

the moment when the joy of life becomes

crystallized in old bones, when the eye

loses its lightness and the soul gains its own,

when a single moment becomes forevermore.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

 

Guilt

Before class today I took my usual morning pit stop at the restroom and found something out of the ordinary lying next to the sink: an iPhone. Now it wasn’t strange in the sense that its existence confounded me greatly – in fact it’s something that nowadays is almost frighteningly ordinary – but it’s not everyday that one finds a phone lying next to the sink in some public restroom, let alone the iPhone that people seem to covet and guard so desperately. Of course my first instinct is to pick it up – I mean who wouldn’t grab what looked like a brand spanking new iPhone if it was left so temptingly unattended in a public place? I looked around to make sure that the owner wasn’t still around, and when I realized that no one was in the room, the first thought that popped into my head was this: Take it, it’s yours now. In the seconds that followed, all of the amazing possibilities of getting a free iPhone were flying through my head at lightning speed. A free iPhone? I could sell it and make money. Though if I had an iPhone for myself I could do enjoy all the stuff that people with smart phones love: convenient internet, games, apps… My joy was increasing exponentially.

But it all came to an abrupt halt as I was suddenly hit by an overwhelming feeling of guilt. Were these really my first thoughts? How many times have I heard my friends complain about having lost their phones and the trouble they went through afterwards? Was I really like that stranger that took my friend’s phone all the way to Baltimore (located through a rather neat app), never to be heard from again? It was very well within my power to find the owner of this phone, yet my first instincts were to satisfy my own desires? I feel that I try my hardest to live up to the principles that I espouse, yet in a fleeting moment I came to see that I wasn’t as principled as I would have liked to imagine, and I was left feeling so terribly ashamed of myself. I got into contact with the owner’s mother and I plan on meeting up with the guy at some point today or tomorrow, but in the meantime I’m left with a little piece of guilt tumbling around inside my pocket. Is this what human nature is really like? Those moments of intense greed, as short lived as they were, are those what lies at the heart of our supposed “humanity”?

The devil really lives somewhere inside all of us, that much is certain. And in a first-world society, he rarely declares his presence, for fear that he might bring harm to his vessel. But I think that there’s a danger to that. We spend so long suppressing our inner devils out of fear of consequence that we sometimes forget that he’s there and that he will always be there. And in those moments when it becomes really easy to be bad, when the consequences have all but disappeared, what is left to reign over him and his desires, so tempered and amplified in the shadows, but our own atrophied willpower? The rules of first-world life, as good as they are in regulating our behavior in the grand scheme, make us weak. What happens when the rules aren’t there anymore, or when we enter territory where the rules aren’t certain? What happens when little stands in the way between our starved devils, now rendered voracious, and the rest of the world? I used to think that the better part of our humanity would have survived, but now I’m not so sure.

 

My Place

My Place

The trees speak for more than the wind

as I become the devouring maelstrom:

my body is a cloud, my voice is a hollow howl,

my feet are roots torn from their gravelly homes.

 

These old bones urge this young body to flee,

to take shelter in the creaks and the whispers,

in the ghosts of comforts now long gone,

in memories tethered by tenuous strings.

 

Yet the rain falls upon me and feeds a deep well,

and soon I am neither flesh nor bone but

the thunder of clouds, the bellow of wind,

the sky become death incarnate.

 

I see nothing but a fearful chorus of trees,

hear nothing but a cry echoed and reverberated.

No earthly force creates this consuming madness;

it is only my soul that sustains the chaos.

 

These eyes full of death search the empty sky and

tell of a place beyond the storm’s rage, beyond the

gray veil of sky, beyond even the light of the sun,

where stars wander across a deep and silent dark.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Poetry, Writing

 

Also

Apparently the most random picture on the internet. It’s not actually – it’s like the seventh one, at least on Google images. The first one is pretty funny too.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Funny

 

Temptation

Please write a poem that makes an apology

– You may not include the words “I’m sorry.”

– You must include the word “butter” or “dinosaur.”

– You must include the name of a state

– 3,3,3,4

 

Temptation

 

I know how you so love

the chewy deliciousness of

a fresh, oatmeal raisin cookie.

 

I know how you like the taste,

the mellow hints of butter,

the tangy burst of tiny fruits.

 

I know how these circular delights

tempt you so, how you searched for

them longingly at that famous New York bakery.

 

I know all about your deep

affections for the delectable treats.

Yet there is only one left on the

plate, and I simply cannot help myself.

 

Signs of Discomfort

Signs of discomfort

are all around me.
Feet tap, knees shake.
Fingers scratch, hands play.
Arms cross, legs twine.
Eyes widen, lids flutter.

It’s funny,
all the ways one can show
a hidden trouble
without word or sound;

how feet and knees,
and fingers and hands,
and arms and legs,
and eyes and lids,
can do all the talking
that voices can’t.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Poetry, Writing