Searching, searching, searching.
Trying to find the words to
describe how I feel.
The words I find flow through your brain.
Not stopping to be understood but rather
searching for a new destination.
Will things ever be the same or
will we always be searching to
find the right things to say?
Or will we finally begin to understand
and no longer be strangers
but happy hand in hand?
I hope it be the latter
for my hand fits to thine
Sleep comes normally.
You dream, that’s different
Colors sing in light
Bask in bright white
Emotion lets wild,
Nothing is vile
Creamy white envelopes
Dream of other worlds
They want to be with you
The feeling immense
Joy has mass and dense
You can feel it…
Chaos reigns, destroys, raze
Confused and dazed
Why must a place you love
Become a wasteland of thoughts
But as all things go
The next time you sleep
They’ll all be waiting for you.
If Grandmother Tree could talk
She would only tell love stories,
Because there is enough tragedy in life
For fleeting flowers to sing of
And enough cruelty in love
For everlasting trees to notice.
She has stood through decades
Foliage waxing and waning
As affection is want to do.
She rocks and quakes with whispers
It’s true that Grandmother Tree
Is a hopeless romantic
And not every tree would write a romance
If trees were want to write.
But what better subject matter for one
Seen and lived through everything,
Than what is at the heart of everyone
The story of an hour
Starts with two performers:
She poured her love into lines
And into the final bow.
What under the spotlight loomed and sweltered
Vanished with the day of curtain.
Actors are a blank canvas
And she wanted to paint him with affection.
He, on the contrary,
Distinguished between character and artist
And did not return the sentiments.
He didn’t simply react with indifference,
But burnt the stalks of love at the root.
Her heart hurt with his loathing,
Which was the tale Grandmother Tree told
As her leaves dropped off for the winter.
From then on, the girl could only love in summer.
In the sunshine she could kiss and laugh,
Her wound healed in the heat.
But winters she froze her desire,
It felt wrong to love another.
She waited like a seed under frost, hoping to be thawed.
The cold numbed her to the desire of a third,
Who pined for her guarded mind.
Like an evergreen he loved in needles
Sharp and surviving
Through flurry and blizzard,
But unable to catch bloom or retreat from green.
All this the Grandmother Tree could see
And would share if words were leaves.
How love settles in a way
That entirely befits the magic and
Cruelty of nature.
The calm before the storm,
The players come together like penguins in a snowstorm,
The play is sent in and the players think of their moves, there is no more rehearsal.
They line up in their positions set to perform,
The main character lines up and checks to be sure everyone is in their positions and calls for the ball
Just as he is given the ball the music begins,
The brutes begin their moves in perfect rhythm
The main character tosses the ball to another and it is caught,
The defense screaming a war cry of, “Toss! Toss!”
The man with the ball running for his life trying to find an opening
But just before he is caught something amazing happens.
It’s a trick!
The man with the ball stops and looks to throw downfield,
A receiver breaks loose running downfield,
The ball is thrown and all goes silent.
The ball is caught and the audience goes wild,
The receiver crosses the goal line and the music is stopped by the zebra’s loud cry,
The audience gives a standing ovation, for the perfect play,
For the act is over but the ballet continues.
The clock strikes 12:02,
The day’s tiredness overcomes me.
My baggy, comforting sweatpants
Cradle my legs in warmth
As I climb under the orange, fuzzy covers of my bed,
eyes drifting closed as my head hits
the white cotton pillow,
my limbs starfishing across my bed
losing myself in a sea
of comforting sheets.
But out of the peaceful serene,
The silence is broken.
A pelting sound echoes through the room,
Splashes of water explode against the window
Next to my bed.
My eyes open in surprise,
To see the droplets of water rushing
Down the windowpane.
The clouds turn in shade from pure white,
To a now intense black-grey.
I wonder if the clouds have been overcome with anger,
Too powerful to keep it inside
Its light, fluffy body,
it must plague it,
forcing it to explode out in tears of frustration,
pelting against my window.
A crack of thunder echoing its raging emotions.
Amidst this chaos,
I am enclosed inside the comfort and oblivion
Of my blanket.
Feeling at peace with the world,
Safe from the emotions of nature.
My window now a barrier between the chaos of outside,
And the comfort of inside.
And in the midst of the chaos,
I close my eyes once again,
as the threatening thunder and pelting rain,
Now soothe me to sleep.
It is in the field of golden clusters, rippling in the wind,
that I see one smart purple weed smirking at me,
like the blood on Queen Anne’s lace,
but bleeding out and over the whole world’s grace.
At the end of the goldenrod sit the walnut trees,
drooping with their load of rough fruit,
which also rolls by their knees,
among the always three leafed clover.
A ladder used to stretch into the canopy,
far above my short young head,
held by my grandfather’s old hands,
as he shook the world above.
I’ve been running lost,
through thick bunches of cattails,
their ornery brown tops scraping my skin,
through bunches of black eyed Susan,
whose prickly dark gaze would chastise me for my ambition.
And now that I’m back to the flowers I know,
their image has been distorted,
and the weeds are beginning to overgrow my memories.
The sun’s now gone, the golden fields turned black,
so I go back to running unfamiliar paths,
where thorns and barren branches cut me raw.
A dark figure cast on the floor,
The sun almost at its highest point,
Beams through the translucent wall.
He crouches full of life, eyes locked on the figure,
Head close to the ground,
His tail in the air, waving like a flag.
Over and over he chases the figure,
Until it disappears into the darkness.
Never able to catch it, and
Never realizing that
He is the figure cast on the ground.
The swing creaks under two generations
A deep sigh punctuates the air
As beer comes to the old father’s lips,
Crickets reminding him how many years
He’s spent with his son on this porch.
And night owls ask him when they will end.
“you know, I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout your girl”
“She’s smart, all right…”
The son took his cue to sigh
Passing his gaze through the cold heavy air
Watching the tall grass blow in the breeze,
And moths float toward the porch light,
After a false moon.
“Could you picture her here?
She ain’t really a country girl.
I rocked you on this porch swing,
You chased fireflies in this field.
Tumbling down, stained by this very grass
Did she ever get stained by grass as nice as ours?”
The son looked at his dad’s deep blue eyes
Deep not just in color—
The same as the rustic sky—
But in memories.
Memories of fishing in the backyard
Rides on the tractor
And loving among the thistles, owls, moths,
Cattails, bass, dear, chickens, and old Sal the hound.
His face was wrinkled by the son’s warm embrace,
He saw all of this as he stayed silent.
“Boy, I sure do love her…
Especially since you love her,
But I ain’t never known a woman
With a law degree
And boots with them heels
Who was happy out here.
She smells like smoke and city and speed
And I thought I raised you in the country air”
“Papa, you taught me to love nature”
“That’s what I’m doing”
The hound barked from the porch, and came over
To join in the conversation.
Adding the thump of his tail against
Worn grey wood
To the song of the farm.
“Pops when I see her hair blowing
In the car when she drives way too fast
Or when I get a message about her day
Of long classes
I see nature”
“She’s a storm, unpredictable but
So lovely in its madness.
I can’t keep up but I love tryin’
Like running in the rain.
We live out here in one type of world
And she comes from bustle and city,
But there’s nothing unnatural about how
Her eyes glow and shine after a long day’s work.
As pretty as the constellations in fall,
I swear to you”
The dad’s smile creeped up
And the owl no longer seemed critical
But like he was harking for details
“Go on boy…”
“Dad you taught me that even weather
Lightning, fire, storms
She isn’t our quiet field, or serene pond
But she could be the wind and rain that ripples it”
Just then, a trout jumped
And the moths kept searching for Diana
And the old man heard the voice of his
Long gone wife in his head.
And felt how long it’d been since they had
Seen any rain.
I look off into the darkness
I see the moon’s reflection upon the water
It illuminates my soul
I see the ripples of a boat’s wake
Off in the distance I hear a scream
It may be a werewolf or a small child
Bells start ringing their eerie tune
Then all of a sudden — silence —
I look around but see nothing
I listen for a small noise but hear nothing
Out of nowhere I’m in the water
Being pulled down helplessly
Thrashing around and screaming for help
Then all is quiet and calm again
A static willow sprung into life —
Expanding and contracting as one
Inhaling and exhaling —
With every gust
Vapor collects overhead
The Darkness lingers
Shadows extend in all directions —
The World is consumed
Dense clouds erupt —
Power surges with every strike
Life contracts —
Enduring its greatest foe
Silence sets in
Stationary, it patiently waits —
Breathing in, breathing out
Time has no end
Shady Side Academy's literary magazine, established 1928