National Poetry Month

KUT is partnering with Kealing Middle School, Austin Bat Cave writing center, and Fulmore Middle School to celebrate National Poetry Month. This April, we’re airing poems written by Austin creative writing students.

World Gone Gray

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

When the ice starts to shiver,

When the fire starts to fade,

When all the water's in the river,

When you finally get paid.

The world gets cold and gray,

The sea no longer beautiful,

The night is in the day,

Beauty no more, the Earth is dull.

The world is cold or heartless,

It feels like hope is lost,

The smart one from the smartest,

Can’t even help our cause.

The underdog can’t save us all,

‘Cause no one seems to care,

The pretty birds no longer call,

This world I cannot bear.

Fabricated Reality

Apr 27, 2017

My dreams are different patterns hidden in thread throughout a fabric

That hides them from my fading memory.

They are no longer the bright, rich colors of a brocade fabric

They’ve become faded, torn, and threadbare;

No longer soft as silk and gentle like cotton.

Instead they fade like rough and thick denim.

Once a beautiful chiffon,

Now a coarse polyester.

My once beautiful, full dreams

Are now tattered and unwanted cloth.

Shattered Whole

Apr 27, 2017

I feel as though

The whole we once

Thought we were

Has been shattered,

Yet still tethered together with invisible tape.

Over time the shattered shards

Have been slipping

Plink, plink,

One by one into the

Shadowy darkness.

Even though our once wholesome whole

is quietly crumbling,

It resembles its shape,

Shuddering silently every time

Another shard slips.

Not everyone can sense the split second

A shard slips,

But those who can

Weep heartbreakingly beautiful tears,

If Racism Was a Natural Disaster

Apr 27, 2017

It’d be a drought,


the cracked ground we walk on,

the beating sun pushing us down.

“But it rained a couple of times,”

they tell us, while the heat


is scorching our skin


and dust is in our eyes.


“Get over it,” they tell us


from their green, watered lawns.

We sit in the sun, baking for generations,

waiting for the forever rain,


no trees to protect us.


The trees were never there to protect us. 

I Dream of Phelps

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Sara Hickman

We walk into Mother's cafe like we usually do

And hear the waiter from behind the counter that’s blue,

He says, “I’ll be right with you.”

My stomach does flips as my mother tells me,

“Hey look! It’s Michael Phelpsie!

Michael! Michael! The man of my dreams,

My secret crush along with his swim team.

He comes to our table with a bottle of wine,

Then chugs it down, as we dine!

School In and Out

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Ebony Stewart

The soft sound of hands brushing eraser shavings

Off the paper

The clicking of pens

The sound of crinkling paper

The squeaking of rubber soles

On the polished tiles

The dull green of the tennis court

Behind the crisscrossed fence

Grass blades flicker under

The wind’s mighty breath

As does my paper,

Disobeying me yet again

Back to humming lights

And disinfectant smells

Chatter I can’t distinguish

Clapping and heavy footsteps

Great Distance

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

Before I bury my head In yet another book

filled with magic and mythical monsters,

I sigh, for I have a wish

That can only come true

In a real world filled with magic and mythical monsters.

I want to be a superhero who fights magical beasts,

Makes brave decisions and performs miraculous deeds

While fighting for my beliefs!

I want magic, I want mystery!

You say it doesn’t exist

With a dismissive roll of your eyes.

But I cannot help but wish!

Hope, you say, will not deliver for you.

You will never have your silly magic wands and unicorns!

And I say to you, yes,

Hope will not deliver,

Nor will any amount of dreaming or wishing,

But the whole entire point,

You see,

Is          How             Far                 Away       It        is.

There is an uncompromising distance

Between society

And the myths and stories read by a girl,

Whose opinions don’t matter

Until she is eighteen.

Complete is my desire for sword fights and dragons,

Yet today

All childish notions have been completely snuffed out

By the growing foot of adulthood,

Which still hasn't found

A boot

That fits.

I Am a Pony

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

I am a pony

Inside of me is disgusting

Outside of me is beautiful

And I have 1 leg and

No face and

500 hearts and

1 body and

1,000,000 eyeballs and

10,000 arms and

11,000 fingers and

5,000,000 brains and

10 noses and

No bones and

No skin and

I’m lonely and

My blood is green

Earth is Perfect

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Ebony Stewart

Earth is perfect

Earth is pretty

We have a world to ourselves but you really want to share it

Feeling Mexico

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

As we drive

I see birds

high in the sky.

I close my eyes and imagine

I am a bird

flying all the way to Mexico.

I can taste the chamoy raspas.

I can hear the mariachi

and church bells.

I feel my heart jump.

Below me, I see trees

dancing in the wind.

I don't want to open my eyes

but when I do I'm back in the car

and we're still driving.

I look up and see the sign:

"Welcome to Mexico."

Home

Apr 25, 2017

Kenya


A busy, bustling place


My beautiful country


Oh, how I’ve missed you


Oh, how you’ve changed in these six years


Yet I remember the scent of heavy spices and roasted corn

The soft, crumbling ground after the rain


Everywhere you go people talking


To each other in community before my eyes


The complex beauty of languages twisted


Within each other resounding through the town


The rush of everyone with places to be


So many nights I have spent longing to be


With all of my true family

Hope and Dreams

Apr 25, 2017

Beams of light pierce the canopy of leaves

Dappling the forest floor with golden dots

A green ship arabesques through the air

Pirouetting and twirling around the spotlights

A dancer sails in and out of the light

Yawing and listing through the golden light

The birds sway and rustle

While the trees chirp and sing

Whispered secrets

I long to know

But my body betrays me

And I am content to

Sit beneath the shade of an old oak tree

With many a story of its own to tell

And hear them in my dreams.

The Long Road Home

Apr 25, 2017

Read by Sara Hickman

As I walk

I can feel the sun in my back,

Its flaming tendrils embracing me.

The road ahead is shimmering orange

And the road behind is burning bleak.

I can feel nothing but the heat

On my back; too afraid

To long for what I hope to reach.

I have traveled far,

But now I am going home

To the peace and quiet I once knew.

I see mountains and peaks in a blur.

I know this trip is longer still,

To where I once belonged and loved.

Where I'm From

Apr 25, 2017

Read by Ebony Stewart

I am from family

from Kate, Brian, Wesley, and Sam

I am from friends

who make me feel better

when I’m down

I am from hairpins and braids

And tall pecan trees

that I hug

like they’ll make everything perfect

I am from salad and dressing

from swimming pools and lemonade stands

I am from scissors and glue sticks

mistakes and triumphs

from “Go away” and “Quiet down”

I’m from overripe apples

that I used to give to my dog

until I learned they weren’t good for her

I’m from ice cream shops

that are sweet when it’s hot

I’m from soccer and kickball

running around the field from my dad

then my brother doing it too

In a room there is a drawer

full of old photographs and jewelry

that I look at as I wish

that my great-grandparents were still alive

I am from the love of my family

Who surround me.

Walking With My Eyes Open

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

I’m walking
I see a lot of beautiful people
Everywhere I go
I see pretty trees
My delightful family
My favorite books, movies, and etc.
And the love of my life  right next to me
Then  Last but not least
I….I....I’ve done something
I really shouldn’t have done
I.…I....opened my eyes
Now I see dried up trees
My family is all sick and helpless
My books and all my favorites are all burned up
The love of my life died 
trying to save me from the fire 
And all the beautiful people disappeared.

In Flight

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

My dreams soar above the clouds

Bubbles of hope

And happiness

Flying with the birds

Close to the sun.

Although I may not fly,

My dreams can.

And I think about them

Being where I cannot be

As I sit at a desk,

In a chair,

Anchored to the ground.

But soon I will be up there with my dreams

In flight,

Wheeling through the air

Next to my fantasies.

The Coated Feeling of My Mouth Is

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

The coated feeling of my mouth is

bitter and rancorous

Because I shout my first world

problems into the arms of depression where there’s nothing but being alone.

My mother’s feet are gashed

and burnt

while I count

up my dollars alongside my tears.

I’m not worth the

patronizing feeling

of harmonious conversation

painfully aware of my stutters and sputters

I’m nobody, who are you?

Journey to Freedom

Apr 18, 2017

Darkness and fear spread everywhere

Covering up the moonlight.

The crickets did not chirp their happy song,

And the frogs no longer croaked in joy.

Hope and optimism nowhere to be found.

A small boat tumbled through the powerful waves

Forcing a way to safety

Immigrants fighting for their lives

Constantly trying to reason the unimaginable

Knowing they were making the right life-risking decision

All hope of a free life seemed simply impossible

Until the bright orange torch burned through the midnight sky

Words

Apr 18, 2017

Sometimes

Life isn’t fair

It was proven to me

He didn’t deserve it

No,

None of them did

And me,

I was saved

By words

A Forgotten Home

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

We came to a stop,

the door opened

and a thick air filled the car

and creeped into my lungs.

I cough and sniffle,

dirt covers my face.

as we walk down the streets

of red, orange, blue and green houses,

mix matched tall and short, big and small 

made of twig, cement or bricks.

Fruit stands, carts selling make-up,

tacos and aguas frescas

line the block

and barefooted children run everywhere

asking for food or money.

I can feel the warmth in every step I take

to get to my grandma’s house.

I hear “bien” and “còmo estas,”

a language that almost sounds foreign now

and I realize: I’ve missed this place, my home. 

Ledges

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

I jumped off a ledge once

Into the water

It took me about half an hour to work up the courage

I realized afterwards

That it all happens very fast

But when you jump from high enough,

Your heart flies

And your stomach drops

And you can feel the wind wash you

And then you are in the water

The bottom of the lake was like a marshmallow covered in moss

I stayed under for a bit

Then shot to the top with traces of suspense in my heart

Once

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Apr 14, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

The hum of excitement,


The tense moments before the kickoff,


The game starts and you’re sitting


In the stands but you feel


The movements of every player,


All our preconceived ideas about each other

Become non-existent


As you meld with the crowd,


The singing, the jeering, the roar


When your side scores a goal—


There is no class distinction


Or racial divide when your team


Takes a shot-- a blissful silence


As the ball hits the back of the net


And the crowd erupts in a deafening boom,

But once that final buzzer sounds,


Whether you won or not,


You’ll never walk alone. 

The Seasons Change

Apr 14, 2017

Read by Sara Hickman

The seasons change,

The trees sprout new leaves,

Birds sing a beautiful medley,

The flowers bloom every day.

The sun rises later in mornings,

The wind blows, the leaves beautify,

The sky is bright blue,

The animals come from hibernation,

It is the beginning of spring.

Life

Apr 29, 2016

Like clouds in the sky,

My many thoughts float around,

Then sink into a deep fog.

A maze of feelings,

A maze where I can’t get out.

Life was quite good,

An adventure like the maze,

Those were the good days.

Were...

Betrayal

Apr 29, 2016

The saddest thing about it is that

it never comes from my enemies

and it’s always a surprise. 

I start depending on people for my happiness

and when they leave,

like they always do,

they take my happiness with them

but they don't care. 

I'm discarded like an old toy

and forgotten about. 

Poetry

Apr 29, 2016

Poetry is powerful.

Powerful as the deadly flight of a hungry falcon,

the majestic roaring of waterfalls,

the enormous roar of a free tiger.

Poetry is entertaining.

Entertaining as the hilarity of everything when you’re tired,

as your brother when he tries to show off in front of his friends,

as the ridiculously cheesy movies that still make us cry.

Poetry is magical.

Magical as the whisper of the wind on a cold winter night,

as  the sparkles that you never quite see in the corner of your eye,

The Difference

Apr 29, 2016

Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs.

Others giggle, I stare.

Mom says it's a new page being turned

But my inside chattering thinks otherwise.

“At least try,” they say,

But I retract from the thought.

I used to greet with a smile,

I used to talk with a squeak,

I used to run with pride.

Now,

Thick bricks blockade my inside laughs. 

The Seasons Change and So Do You

Apr 29, 2016

Every summer,

when the sun beats down

and you feel the heat coming off your skin,

it seems as if it will never be cold again.

And every winter,

when the skies are a pale grey

and you can't feel your fingers as they rub together,

it seems as if it will never be warm again.

When you are happy,

your lips spread in a laugh

and your eyes bright and rested,

it seems as if you will never be sad again.

And when you are sad,

the emptiness in your stomach tightening

and your face damp with tears,

Remember

Apr 29, 2016

Remember when

The raindrops splashed

Tracing down your face like tears

And you would take my hand

Promising more days, more years?

Yet now, underneath the winter ground,

Your hands lay clasped, to your chest bound.

Remember how you used to be?

Remember when

Your song would make us smile,

Your eyes all light

And full of life?

But then, one came for you

Like a great bird, it took you.

Remember how we used to be?

Remember when

You used to laugh

Counting clouds

School Observations

Apr 29, 2016

Talking

Always talking

Heard walking under the courtyard sky.

Talking walls and floors,

A jogging cart with keys ripping words from the air,

And trophies breaking through the glass display case,

Fluttering origami on the counselors’ door,

Next to the sculpture of nearly silent clocks.

The rustle of posters and paintings, scratching of writing utensils -

My observations of a magically magical place.

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