Poetry Break

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August 31, 2015 by Devin

I’ve been doing some fall cleaning (that’s like cleaning you were supposed to do in spring but procrastinated until the fall) and found some old papers from college. Included in these papers were some poems from my old poetry class, and lo and behold, I actually still like some of these poems, which does not happen with everything I write by a long shot.

So because of that, I decided to share a couple of them. I hope you enjoy them!

An Epidemic of Trains

Overturned boxcars litter the landscape:
conductors struggle to find engines,
only to find that they have continued chugging
derailed. Dangling smoke clouds linger
over grassy fields, through upturned forests.
Rails are abandoned, not nearly as adept at
keeping things on track as advertised,
and the conductors wonder if
thoughts could ever actually go straight.

This photo represents the conflict between reading and exploring new worlds while being stuck on a couch... or I just wanted a stock photo to break up the page and make my post look cooler.

Elephant in a Suit

I saw an elephant today. He was walking to work,
Upright body walling off the sidewalk.

It was a wonder
That he was able to stroll the streets at all.
He must have sailed from Africa on a cargo ship,
Learned to lift his body, let his legs support his weight,
Slowly teach his back to remain taut.

But he was still an elephant;
His gigantic gray ears fluttered against street signs
And ivory-white tusks popped a child’s balloon.

Fellow pedestrians turned their bodies sideways,
Attempting to scoot around him,
Making extra care not to notice his gargantuan weight.

They did not notice his suit, either, its seams barely holding together,
Nor his dress shoes, which were just the wrong shade of black.
No one wanted to notice that there was an elephant in a business suit.

When he got to the small office door, a monkey snickered at him
(They don’t make elephant-sized doors)
The monkey strutted confidently into the office,
Knowing that he could fit in
the door.

His pants were laced with feces.

In the middle of the park, the elephant was sitting on a crushed bench.
I walked up, sat down to share a meal.
I wrapped my mouth around my turkey-mayo-cheese sandwich;
He wrapped his trunk around his peanut-butter and peanuts sandwich.
Neither of us spoke, elephants don’t say much,
So the only sound that could be heard was
Fabric ripping from strain.

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