Student Guest Columnists Submit Poetry for National Poetry Month
April was National Poetry Month and we wanted to feature talented students who submitted their poems!
May 3, 2022
every little thing is getting a good soak tonight
even though it’s december, it still smells like spring
i wish i wasn’t lonely right next to you,
i wish i could’ve come through sooner,
i hold my wishes here –
i can’t barely see the lines-
you stayed away
unlike before, what we had
but i cant seem to fix this
i’m sorry i wasn’t so much better,
i’m sorry i put you down,
im sorry this was all so soon,
i don’t know how to fix this,
hang up the line.
i will try harder for you too.
The warm glow of the Victorian lamp post adjacent to my cold, wooden bench was the only light source in the immediate vicinity, being that the final irradiant licks of daylight had vanished into the earth quite some time ago. As I gazed into the abyss of night, swarms of droplets drenched my being. My hair, my face, my clothing… I found it odd how nurturing the rain was, despite my shivering, which I chose to ignore. It was almost as if the atmosphere placed time at a stand-still as it offered its condolences in the form of an ever-amplifying, clammy show of affection, from which I became numb to the point that my nerve endings delusionally tried to convey to me that I was warm. And eventually, I had nothing more to ignore than the precipitous pitter-patter of the night’s rain washing over the curb two feet below me, trickling downhill on the rustic brick and mortar path of Hazing Avenue. My avenue.
The rush-hour metro station that normally was my mind had, without my immediate notice, vanished with the sun, becoming more akin to a train whose conductor had gone on holiday. And I welcomed it. Oh god, did I welcome it. All that was left was the experience, for a change. To stare, dumbfounded with wonder at the world, without my usual thirst for analysis that, while fascinating, dulled my surroundings over time.
As I lay here, looking up at clouds invisible to me, soaking in their raw drops of being, I realize the voices have gone quiet. Not the cerebral intrusions of a schizophrenic, but the seventy-odd opinions, curiosities, abstract schematics and worries haphazardly dancing around in my head to the beats of their own drums, reveling in each other’s company, usually to my discomfort. The company has exited the penthouse, leaving the estate owner in peace, for a time.
So I lay here still, in my waterlogged suit and tie, sensing the faint vibrations across the scene, Tasting the cool air as it hit my lungs, and admiring it all. Finally… No separation. No categories or divisions to blur the state of reality for the sake of simplistic understanding. I couldn’t begin to explain it, but I had grasped it. I had grasped it in one moment.
– Ethan Heron
“The Difference Between You and I”
You are sour cigarette smoke
still lingering in the stale air.
You are dust gathering on an old
drum set, and dresser drawers hanging, still-open.
You are a half-open window, the
wind whispering tales of where you went.
You are scuffed beige Supra skate shoes
beating down on cracked asphalt.
You are flickering streetlights and mufflers
roaring, brakes screeching down the
You are shady diners with
men in long, dark trench coats in dim
corners, and sweat-damp cash handed over
at the motel just outside of town.
You are quick shuffling steps and
worn blue jeans, with that same old bleach-
stained Nirvana tee.
You are the wind that whips through my
hair, and sends chills down to the bone.
You are a scribbled goodbye on the
post-it note stuck to my windowsill,
and you are the empty seat in the back
of every classroom.
But don’t you worry-
I am the author, my name on the spine
of that leather-bound book, where your initials
lie neatly printed in the dedication.
I am the paintbrush, making
careful strokes on a canvas,
filling in the bronze of your eyes,
threading golden streaks into strands
of dirty blond hair,
and trying to capture your crooked
half-smirk- the only smile you’d let slip.
I am the cassette tape, forgotten on your
bedroom floor of your parents’ home; still blasting
Eminem through dollar-store earbuds, and
stuck glitching over 2:47 of the third track.
You are the estate sale, and foreclosure
sign underneath the same pine trees in your front yard,
where you laced your fingers in mine
and we laid down amongst the needles and pine cones.
I am the picture frame,
still proudly displaying a portrait
from our graduation- the last
day you spent in town.
– Sara Bagley
Today I checked my email for the first time in a bit,
Oh, an email from the Occidentalist staff – lit!
Contemplating testing my wit,
I don’t know if poetry and I are a good fit.
This contest got me feeling like I’m on the spot,
So I open the link and jot.
Lines tying together like a knot,
Eight lines already, that’s a lot.
Well I guess time flies when you’re having fun,
About to finish when I hardly begun.
Well I guess I’m just about done,
If there’s a winner to this contest – I better have won.
– Leo Whinnery
“Enter the Door to Our Dreams”
Days into moments pass by as we two lay
Entranced by each other
Embers whisper around us
Zealous they dance in celebration
Never will what we have break
Umbilical is the bond between hearts
The door to our dreams awaits
Standing under a fire lit sky
– Helena Thomason
“I Hate Kranch So Much”
Ketchup and ranch
Who likes kranch?
No one speaks up
I raise my hand
To speak my mind.
“Kranch” I say, being not so kind
“Kranch is the sound of middle-schoolers in a made up band.”
Kranch is as bad as this poem
The bell rings.
I go to lunch with speed,
To get food, which I need.
I get in line, only to find
Kids with Kranch.
I walk out in disgust
With speed and hate in my blood.
My mind is fueled with rage
Kranch and I
I am tired of this kranch cage.
I sit down in anguish
I relax, with no kranch in sight,
I see my friend take out a dish
Tater tots with kranch, to my fright.
I walk away, trying to escape
Kranch-ridden walls in every which way.
Kranch here, kranch there.
I see pizza, fries, and mac too,
All covered in kranch,
Like a diseased stew.
There is no escape,
Kranch is always there,
There is no peace
The fight against kranch,
Is one to be fought.
There are no casualties,
Who joined distraught.
The fight is brutal,
The fight is hard.
And here we are,
In the school yard.
No one speaks,
Yet words were spoken.
Friendships gone and bonds were broken,
The only sounds were the frogs croaking.
There were arguments,
There was pain.
And yet, an agreement was made.
“Kranch is gone, Kranch is no more!” one shouted.
“Without Kranch, the food will make me snore!”
“Kranch makes food nothing like before.”
I heard it all,
It made me snicker.
We just bicker, bicker, bicker.
I spoke out.
The tray with Kranch I went to grasp.
I threw it out,
And got a new.
I set it down
And everyone frowned.
I just left, leaving the crown.
Was it a loss?
Was it a win?
I simply do not know.
I hate kranch.
It is as simple as that.
You may argue,
You may fight.
I simply do not care, which is alright.
– Logan Newcomb