“Collected Poems” – Braden Crow ’22


it settles into everything
revealing itself only in a pacifying light.
shapes unintelligible,
negatives and positives
the randomness of its arrangement seems
to mean something.
touch it, wipe it off,
unsettle it and thus yourself,
knowing no matter what you do,
it will be back eventually.


a key to pause
and take a breath.
or one to save you,
close to death.
to leave the life you know behind
and start anew;
a ‘nevermind’,
a ‘backing out’,
or ‘cancel’ when it’s what you need.
“escape” to me
will let you live
all of the lives
you think to lead.

"ode to the senior year romance"

the joy of beginning anew
(beginning’s sometimes what you need)
torturously temporary
but what isn’t? some things just aren’t
meant to last, but only for
a year that’s yet to be remembered
made not of stone but etchéd glass
reflects on you (in plural) showing
two lives joined in destined divergence
here for a good time, until so long;
knowledge of this nature makes it
passionately in denial.
every kiss is lingering when
every single thing is fleeting;
and though the end may be in sight
you’re more content
to stay


i enjoy the crunching of the leaves
underneath my shoes
and who could blame me?
seeking auditory pleasure, 
simple, undomesticated
something deep inside me takes a primal interest in the noise.

"a note on the notes app poet"

it’s basic, sure
but would you prefer
that anyone who ever dreamed
abstained, unless they had the means
to do it in a way that’s deemed
the righteous way
to write?


why 44? 
i don’t know;
why anything?
it seemed fine enough
to me


electric colors,
blues and greens and yellows,
swirl around in my head,
forming bowties and daffodils.
exploding into nothingness,
my head is filled with Somethingness.
where do they go?
or is there a destination
not quite as important as their journey.
a neon symphony
harmony, disharmony.
playing all notes at once, there are patterns in the noise.
if only I could know what they mean.
perhaps it’s not my place.

"digital romance"

held so distantly
glass and miles physically
no such things in hearts

"untitled haiku"

troubled as we are
when she sings to me i cant 
help loving again

"sleep until the 26th"

there’s so many poems about
christmas eve, christmas day
christmas dinner, or the new year.
what about
the christmas night? the silence of
a world at rest, 
the gifts unwrapped, the carols sung
the stomachs full, the fires dark,
though a few may still be orange.
what about that special feeling,
breathing deep, and breathing out
a sigh of pure contentedness,
the shopping and the packing and
the cooking and the cleaning and
the merry and the holly and the
year is almost done at last?
i think there is a special kind of beauty,
when it feels like every
moment you’ve been building up to,
finally, has come to pass.
only just a few short sleeps
until you change the calendar,
and then begins the days again,
until another christmas night. 


bluebird on a golden morning in may
your song wakes me to the world
and i cannot help but bask in its glow;
inviting, you tell me to draw my curtains
and in the warmth through my window i am enveloped with happiness.
chirp and be heard; with superb and glorious melody share your triumphs and your joy with me,
and though i know that you cannot, i wish that you could take me with you when you rise from your perch on a branch in the tree outside my room, 
and soar, effortless, into the endless beauty of the sky.

"11 pm, thursday"

the noise of the cicadas is my simple proof that i am not alone;
they tell me about themselves,
and though i am but a spectator,
i know a part of their world is within me.
i long to cry out,
more than anything,
to join in their syncopated chorus.
lacking rhythm, they are structured
in their tune, sans melody. 
though they are loud, they do not disturb my sleep: they comfort me, friends who never cease to call.
somehow everything at once, they sing in chaotic order.


light dances on the overhang, opposite my starched bed
subdivided, passed through window, curtains opened
panes of glass reveal to me a world both new and mystical
cars that pass with headlights on shine through, a part of my life but for a moment
and we will never meet.
i noticed them while they cannot know that i exist. is there inequality,
or is it how we’re meant to be?
less than strangers,
joined together in a moment at the speed of light,
their path and mine destined to cross only in a way as brief yet as significant
as all existence is to the divine.