Poems

ABOUT SCHOOL

He always wanted to say things. But no one understood.

He always wanted to explain things. But no one cared.

So he drew.

Sometimes he would just draw and it wasn’t anything. He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.

He would lie out in the grass and look up in the sky and it would be only him and the sky and the things inside him that needed saying.

And it was after that, that he drew the picture. It was a beautiful picture. He kept it under the pillow and would let no one see it.

And he would look at it every night and think about it.

And when it was dark, and his eyes were closed, he could still see it.

And it was all of him. And he loved it.

When he started school he brought it with him. Not to show anyone, but just to have with him like a friend.

It was funny about school.

He sat in a square brown desk like all the other square brown desks, and he thought it should be red.

And his room was a square brown room. Like all the other rooms. And it was tight and close. And stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil and chalk, with his arm stiff and his feet flat on the floor, stiff, with the teacher watching and watching.

And then he had to write numbers. And they weren’t anything. They were worse than the letters that could be something if you put them together.

And the numbers were tight and square and he hated the whole thing.

The teacher came and spoke to him. She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys. He said he didn’t like them and she said it didn’t matter.

After that they drew. And he drew all yellow and it was the way he felt about morning. And it was beautiful.

The teacher came and smiled at him. “What’s this?” she said. “Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s drawing? Isn’t that beautiful?

It was all questions.

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew airplanes and rocket ships like everyone else. And he threw the old picture away.

And when he lay out alone looking at the sky, it was big and blue and all of everything, but HE wasn’t anymore.

He was square inside and brown, and his hands were stiff, and he was like everyone else. And the thing inside him that needed saying didn’t need saying anymore.

It had stopped pushing. It was crushed. Stiff.

Like everything else.

Source: A college student

INVICTUS – by William E. Henley

OUT of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

BASE DETAILS – by Siegfried Sassoon

IF I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,

I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,

And speed glum heroes up the line to death.

You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,

Guzzling, and gulping in the best hotel,

Reading the Roll of Honour.  ‘Poor young chap,’

I’d say – ‘I used to know his father well;

Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrap.’

And when the war is done and youth stone dead,

I’d toddle safely home and die – in bed.

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