April Poetry Fundraiser

April Poetry Fundraiser!

Please support The PolyGraphs fundraiser by sponsoring one or more students just $.50-$1 a day as they write and publish a poem-a-day for the entire (poetry) month of April! Read their poems here everyday, and see Mrs. Serpick in room 223 or any PolyGraph club member for more details on sponsorship!

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April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 29

Daniel at the Bat
by S.A. Bowden

Inspired by “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

To my little brother Daniel, and to Emily

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the RPBL Barons
But it wasn’t gloomy either.  Nobody was really carin’
Who would win among the primary schoolers clad in green and gray;
On this overcast and windy morn, I came to watch them play.

I hadn’t seen a single game that Daniel played this season
Bogged down with school and college work, I had my flimsy reasons;
But I was his big sister, and support him I would do;
On a field wet and muddy with a puddle at base two.

The bases loaded early on, I clapped for every hit;
But my attention span could only hold out for a bit;
And the thoughts swarming through my head of college, writing, school
Pulled me away from the game and into my mental pool.

Then from four or five throats there rose a “Woo, Daniel!” cheer
For #10’s turn had come, the reason I was here;
Two dozen eyes or so were on him in his bright white pants;
And I smiled to myself to see him take a leftie’s stance.

The pitcher threw the ball, and Daniel hit it his first try;
The kidlets started running, taking bases on the fly;
One home run, and then two, we cheered, but nobody kept count;
It wasn’t about winning we knew, having fun’s what it’s about.

The last pitcher came and hit, the players made it home;
I thought, Perhaps I’ll make this the topic of today’s poem;
Then Declan’s grandma called me out for not paying attention
And Mom explained I’m thinking about a future institution.

She gave me some advice, nothing I hadn’t heard before;
And I found my thoughts and fears drifting to college even more;
I was trying to escape it and enjoy a day at the park;
But I couldn’t escape the difficult choice before the May 1 mark.

Top of the next inning, balls were flying from coaches or the tee;
I squirmed in my seat from discomfort and anxiety;
For Daniel’s sake I tried to watch but just couldn’t do that;
And so I almost missed seeing Daniel return to bat.

Different hair but same brown eyes, left handed just like me;
He held his bat correctly, no need for any tee;
Once more the dun sphere flew, they say, but far right from the bat;
It didn’t hit its target, it struck Daniel in the back.

A few cries rose, Dad came running, my brother squatted there;
Covered his face.  I saw him crying from my fold-up chair;
But still he stood, and still he hit, and still he ran the bases;
But afterward he ran to us spectators in our places.

Mom gave him hugs and kisses as Daniel let himself cry;
The grown-ups rallied round him with hugs and kind words, and I—
I wasn’t sure just what to do but couldn’t leave him there;
So I got up, gave him a hug, and kissed his sweaty hair.

As Daniel ran back to his team, Declan’s mom smiled at me;
“The magical sister kiss,” she said, as if it was all me;
“I don’t think he sees my kisses as magical,” I said;
“I bet he does,” she answered, but I had doubts in my head.

I didn’t meet her eyes, my eyes were seeing other things;
Nostalgia and bad memories that flippant comment brings;
My private truths re-hitting home like baseball, loud and clear;
Now Daniel’s on the field, my eyes again are filled with tears.

God assigned me Big Sister, and I had a job to do;
Protect my little siblings and stay by them through and through;
But I did not protect them, for a cruel world prevailed;
And left me with the feeling that as a sister I have failed.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in me— I, never mighty, have struck out.

 

****

 

Candy
by Sam Yoseph

You remind me of chocolate.

Soft brown hair
In wild, crazy curls.
It\s nature
Is pure instinctual.

Big ivory eyes
Filled with curious affection.
It\s motive
Is to show the beauty of dance.

Smooth caramel skin
With hands that touch art.
It\s purpose
To capture all eyes.

Jingling tiny laughs
That make me smile when I hear.
It\s idea
To spread happiness.

Comforting unique smell
Of home and safety.
It\s reason
To attract those that are kind.

You remind me of chocolate.
Bitter but pleasant,
And sometimes an acquired taste.
But always, you can count on to be sweet.

April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 28

Fingernail
by S.A. Bowden

We watched The Silence of the Lambs in forensics
I am a big girl now
I’m not afraid of scary stories like I used to be

But when the guard got his skull smashed in
Blood all over the floor
I covered my ears, instinctively
And that voice in my head I knew well
It’s just pretend it’s just pretend it’s just pretend

The scariest part
Was the fingernail on the wall
With the blood left in stripes
Like a prisoner’s hopeless tallies
From women trying to claw their way out
That’s such a scary phrase
Claw their way out
And Catherine crying and screaming
All alone
No way out

The image haunts me
And makes me reach for my Elmo

****

 

More Than a Trilogy
by Sam Yoseph

Book One
Speaks of a traveller
Who carries stories
Filled with adventure.

Book Two
Speaks of a sister
Who purchases tales
Sprinkled with romance.

Book Three
Speaks of a child
Who creates paint
Matched with blooms.

Book Four
Speaks of a merchant
Who sells pictures
Scented with rain.

Book Five
Speaks of a taker
Who takes time
Wasted with others.

Book Six
Speaks of a giver
Who gives life
Granted with love.

April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 27

Pre-Spirit Fair Haiku
by S.A. Bowden

Marshmallow brownies
For a dollar they can give
Temporary peace

****

Small Jellyfish 
by Sam Yoseph

Small jellyfish,
It’s a big world out there.
It’s filled with humans
And dogs and cats that have hair.

Small jellyfish,
It’s a small world in here.
It’s filled with octopus
And eels and turtles that hold dear.

Small jellyfish,
It’s a dangerous world out there.
It’s filled with snakes
And tigers and eagles, so beware.

Small jellyfish,
Its a safe world in here.
It’s filled with starfish
And crabs and stingrays quite near.

Small jellyfish,
You were meant for something big.
So don’t stay in the ocean
And explore the floor and dig.

Small jellyfish,
You were meant for something large.
So don’t put your life on hold
And begin to take charge.

Small jellyfish,
You are meant for something more.
So spread your wings to fly
And look deep with your soul.

April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 26

The Table
by S.A. Bowden

To my fellow seniors

“I don’t see what Trinity brings to the table.”
Mom and Dad both said this to me
Sitting on either side of me on the sofa
The cluttered coffee table in front of us
As we finally got around to discussing colleges

I didn’t know what to say
They were kind of right maybe
I couldn’t say Trinity has
Hopkins’s big name
Or Washington’s writing house
Or Georgetown’s Catholic presence

I didn’t tell them the only answer I had
It brings itself to the table.
That’s a lot.

I wish I could bring myself to the table like that
Emulate some confidence in myself without any safety nets or
Any need for justification for myself

April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 25

The Ring
by S.A. Bowden

To Mr. Watson

“CHRISTINE re-enters. . . takes off her ring and gives it to the PHANTOM.”
— stage directions from The Phantom of the Opera

Sir,
I thought the incident today with your ring
Was kind of like that part from the end of The Phantom of the Opera
(The musical)
With Christine and the Phantom’s ring
Only it wasn’t in the cellars of the Paris Opera house
It was in the lobby of the school auditorium
And the ring was not a plain gold wedding band
It was some gray metal
With the Ankh symbol
Not on my finger as a proposal
It was on the floor in front of me
I saw it while we were playing “Jukebox”
I picked it up.  I could have called you over
But— I’ll admit it— I wanted to act it out to the fullest similarity
I was already thinking of Christine
Holding out the ring like an offering in the movie
Only Christine (me) was not wearing the infamous wedding dress
Instead, a band t-shirt and gym shorts, sweating
With cumbersome white quints strapped on
And I did not slowly approach the Phantom (you) with infinite sadness
I walked right up to you, nervously
Only you were not half-disfigured with makeup and prosthetics
And you were dreadlocked instead of near bald
And I wasn’t silent or crying, I said,
“You dropped your ring, sir.”
I held out the ring like an offering
Like she did
Only you did not deliver the heart-wrenching last line
You just nodded in that way of yours I know well
Took it, and put it back in your pocket
And instead of strings playing a ballad
We went back to beating our drums in show cadences

Our case was not nearly as theatrical as the original
(Which is fine)
But still, if you consider it, I think there are some similarities between
the two

****

Late Night Thoughts
by Mya Smith

First off, what are words?
Why do they exist?
How do they exist?
26 letters and infinite words?
What is space?
A blanket of darkness?
What’s out there?
Do parallel universes exist?
How do inventions come to be?
Who has time to think of fascinating like
Colored television, computers, and smartphones?
Even things like a backpack?
What is in the ocean? Like at the bottom?
Why are we here?
What is attractiveness?
We all just have two eyes, a nose, and a mouth?
Why do girls have periods?
Carrying another living thing inside them for nine months?
Do aliens really exist?
Are we the aliens?
What is technology?
Why does the world have languages?
What are taste buds??
What is math? The number pie maybe?
Who came up with numbers?
Why are they forever?
Why am I asking these questions?

****

Ashes
by Sam Yoseph

You grab a flower from the broken ground,
Fingers clasping it with gentle touches.
The wave of the tree are the only sound
Dancing on your ear as your hand clutches.

Give it to your mother, who stays silent.
Nudge it towards your father, who does not move.
Their eyes, blue and brown color, once vibrant
Now stills a dull grey the crowd disapproves.

A used-to-be uniqueness disappears.
The people around you now shine boring.
As they focus on their problems for years,
They forget to love the people soaring.

As you see the color drain from their eyes,
You feel yourself falling from the blue skies.

April Poetry Fundraiser

Day 24

Counselor #3

by S.A. Bowden

To Counselors #1, #2, and #3

Let’s talk about conflict analysis
Give me an example of a conflict 
Could be your family, your friends, real, imaginary, whatever
I sat hands in my lap
Trying to make something up
But the real conflict pushed to the front and refused to back down
(Fine, I’ll use you)
I gave her a vague, slightly altered version, awkward
What caused the conflict?  
(How should I know?)
A lack of communication?
(We’ll say that.  Simplicity.)
When did this happen?  
Several times.  Twice.  A note of bitterness that tasted somehow sweet.
Time, talk, topic
Let’s act it out.  I’m you, you’re your mother.  I’m very upset that you kept this from me.  
I sat there trying to think like my mother
Who said We keep you informed
(Never mind the fact that they didn’t tell me for a long time
And even then they watered it down and kept some things to themselves)
Who never told me why except for privacy
Who I sometimes worry will be upset that I’m telling counselors about our “something private”
I came up empty as my hands, except some tears welling up (again)
I mumbled, I don’t know
She tried to dig out some idea
To no avail
She told me (like counselor #1 and #2) to talk to them
And gave me a question sheet
Last question: How could this conflict be prevented?  
I remembered suddenly the acronym I saw in AP calculus BC
IDFK.

****

School Blossoms
by Rachel Pontious

You wouldn't think such beautiful things could exist
Within a school that lacks soap in certain bathrooms.
And yet, there they are in the quad,
Two blossoming cherry trees.

Their boughs are teeming with rosy pink petals
As if they were clutching fistfuls of cotton candy.
Individual petals flutter to the ground
Whenever a gust of wind makes the trees shudder.

Until a carpet of vibrant velvet
Coats the ground entirely, a dazzling scene
Proven to garner a significant amount
Of Instagram likes.

Every April, at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, the trees perform
This brief wonder,
Beckoning us to stand on the carpet, 
Take some photographs,
And savor this time between classes
Before the bell scrapes its gravely noise
And the petals turn inevitably to decaying brown



****


?????
by Mya Smith

Inspiration is a strong thing.
I don’t feel that right now.
I don’t know why.
I’m surrounded by inspiring
Entities every day.
I try to find beauty…
In people, in nature, in me.
It doesn’t work.
It never works.
Trying to find something
That doesn’t want to be found…
It’s pointless and disappointing.

****

Myths
by Sam Yoseph

Aliens are obviously real.
It can’t be possible
That we’re the only
Intelligent life forms.

 

Atlantis exists.
There are still living beings
That wallow in the land,
And lost sailors are just new villagers.

And mermaids are also real.
More than 95% of the ocean
Has been unexplored, so

How are there not human-fish hybrids?

Dragons are- were real.
They definitely existed
Back before the medieval times
and when dinosaurs roamed.

 

Parallel universes depends.
The choices we make influences
Every path we take towards
A whole new realm of possibilities.

The Kraken is totally real.
It still roams the seas today,
And works with the Bermuda Triangle
To seek revenge on its credibility.

Time travel is possible.
But no one can truly go to
the future or the past because
you are taken from the present.

Mothman is pretty cool.
And he may or may not be real.
But at least he tells us
When danger might be near.

Bigfoot is debatable.
Cause who says it’s can’t just be
Another guy in a furry suit?
But he could be a past human.
People with powers live with us.
They coincide with everyone,
Being taught from a young age
How to lie and blend in.

The Phoenix lives forever
In the skies above to protect itself.
It doesn’t wish to be shot down
Or used as an experiment for data.