09 May 2007

Forgotten: a sestina

written for the DCHS class of 2007

She tried to cool the coffee by a gently blowing as she stirred.
And I focused on her eyes because, of everyone in our class,
Her eyes were the ones that mattered most.
Of all our fellow pundits, she was the one that had the most to say.
“Do you ever think of the corners of time?”
I smiled but stayed quiet, not sure of her meaning.

“You’re probably not getting what I’m meaning,”
She said, “But I’ve been stirred
With these feelings, kind of like regret, for all the time
We’ve spent in class.
I know they teach us well, or at least that’s what they say,
But I wonder if we’ve ignored what matters most.

“Like while we’re sitting in AP Lit. and most
Of us are trying to get to the meaning
Of some poem or what some writer is trying to say,
There’s all this life going on just outside the window, this life stirred
By nature—I don’t know—a bee on a flower or something our class
Would never see. Maybe the slow eroding of a creek bank over time.”

And I looked away at about that time
Into the corner of the room, probably one that was ignored the most.
Sipping my coffee, and wrapped in philosophy, I felt so filled with class,
Like a poet in some artsy café, groping for intense but elusive meaning.
I think I understood her words, and my pride was stirred
Although I wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“When do those things happen?” she went on to say.
“We don’t see them. We look over them all the time.
But even though they aren’t the events that have us stirred
With strong emotions, they are the ones that happen the most.
Maybe they are the ones where only God provides the meaning.
They are the ones we don’t see while we’re in class.”

And as I sat there thinking of my paper for Lit. Class
I noticed in that corner an ant, but I didn’t say
Anything. I just thought about its meaning
As it crawled up the wall ignored in the crevice of the corner of time.
And suddenly I knew the memories I wanted to preserve the most,
And I knew that more than coffee had been stirred.

Stirred by dreams and scarred by hope, I move on from my class.
I am unsure of most of what I say,
But remember the forgotten corners of time, the backdrop that provides for us the meaning.

06 May 2007

Possible Answers to Prayer

by Scott Cairns

Your petitions—though they continue to bear
just the one signature—have been duly recorded.
Your anxieties—despite their constant,

relatively narrow scope and inadvertent
entertainment value—nonetheless serve
to bring your person vividly to mind.

Your repentance—all but obscured beneath
a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more
conspicuous resentment—is sufficient.

Your intermittent concern for the sick,
the suffering, the needy poor is sometimes
recognizable to me, if not to them.

Your angers, your zeal, your lipsmackingly
righteous indignation toward the many
whose habits and sympathies offend you—

these must burn away before you’ll apprehend
how near I am, with what fervor I adore
precisely these, the several who rouse your passions.

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