Monday, March 2, 2015

Poems from Professor Hollis Mallory’s English 102 course

Spring 1 2015
Wall of Fame
“Southern Grown”

Growing up on the country side of the lowcountry, where houses were spaced out on open land, and cattle moseyed down the road with the cars, the aroma near the local mini mart had the smell of old tar and bubble gum, and the music that played went “ding ding ding”.

Growing up on the country side of the lowcountry, the favorite pastimes included dirt bikes and four-wheelers on paths where snakes and snails, plus rats and raccoons, went hurrying along. Hydrants blessed hot bodies with refreshing drops, kids played in the mud and took outdoor showers, just to go back and do it all over again. 

We spent long summer days and short summer months chasing dragonflies to picture what their butts looked like, or trying to figure out if it was a monster chasing me or one toad mating with another. The closed-in air and the smacking of skin, growing up in the country side of the lowcountry was a time.

Could you image it in July? This childhood was fun, filled with laughter and smiles, but there were also tears and frowns. Could it have been because summer was coming to an end? Or was it because the days were nights and shorter became longer?

I have often asked myself, “What would have happened if I had stayed and pretended to be that kid again? Why must my childhood dreams turn into adult realities? Am I able to climb up to that tall mountain that has worms and rolly pollies in it?... or do I have to sit at a desk?”

Growing up country in the lowcountry brought the best out of me. Sometimes I even forgot who I was; praying and hoping and hoping and praying that it was just an unending, hard dream; but then I snap back to reality and it’s all there for me to see.

My dreams and hopes of going back to the country side of the lowcountry are no longer feasible, but when I have children of my own, they will know what its like and be able to say “My mom and dad did it right.”

While I saw that house get smaller and smaller till it was there no longer, I spoke the same words over and over, “this was the best of the best summers!” We grew older but our hearts remain in a place that will forever define us. Every thing that could've possibly been was the only thing I knew.

We were southern kids.

-Jes Evans

“How Does it Feel to Taste the Dripping Red?”

How does it feel to taste the dripping red?
Does your adrenaline pump twice as hard?
Do the bullets weigh more inside your head?

 If gun-play is your daily bread, what cards
are dealt other than death. You could have worn
a crown of gold, but a king holds regard

for tears, for cost, for souls that we must mourn.

-Chanel Branch


Earmuffs over sister’s ears used by hands.
Shrieking sounds across the room are heard.
“Stop, please no, get out,” is all she demands.

Crash, boom, scuffle is all I hear occurred.
Keep them safe and un-haunted is my aim.
To embody all the pain ears forever burned
Happy sisters; big sis won’t be the same.

 -Gina Grammer
“For Sir”
“Beep, Beep, Beep,” the warning cries in the dust.
Chaos in the air, blades sling in Afghan.
The collective held high, a definite must.
Hypoxia and confusion, I imagine
comms lost, a bird goes down in the valley.
A Blackhawk lies still in Afghanistan.

I write this for Sir, we lost him sadly.

(R.I.P. CW2 Bryan Henderson 11 March 2013)

-Kevin Stone
“The Quiet Man”

The quiet man sits awaiting approach of deer.
Trees all still; even the birds don’t want to fly.
No sound to hear, the thought of life disappears.

His bang rings out, the birds are in the sky.
A life once pure and innocent now gone,
As smell of iron rises, black kites fly

in circles, waiting as last breath is drawn.

-Kim Hawley
“L’appel du Vide”

This ledge I approach, why the curious to
take flight? These arms do not suffice as wings.

Yet, this edge, a sensation to defy logic and
jump to my plight. Such grim pleasantries. To call
upon the void would prove fruitless.

-Deven Royce
 “Dirt and Gold”

A warm, clear summer night, sipping beer;
a night that country boys lived for.
Crazy how that tailgate made it all clear.
Life is crazy, maybe to some a war...

Load the dog up in the truck bed.
Ride around with a beer in the console.
Roll to the river on that muddy tread.
Throw a line at the honey hole.

‘Round here, we love from the inside;
so what to do when all is lost?
Kindle the flame? Hop in my ride?
Stay with her, no matter the cost?

Lost in dirt and a field of gold,
she left. How much worse could it get?
Who’d be out in this freezing cold?
Ever think you’re the reason for it?
-Jonathon Cleary
"The She to Be”

What did she do with the little pink dress
her Mom made for her before she was born,
and waited patiently to see it worn?
Of all colors why does she like it less
than the tan of sand or the brown of dirt,
or ugly decoupage of little boys,
like silly camouflage on army toys?
Why must she shun pretty pink shirts and skirts?

In school, why do kids wear a uniform;
khaki trousers and shirts of red or blue?
Why must all children look the same at play?
We know we cannot force them to conform,
or birth the want to be like me or you.
My girl hates pink and I love her that way.

-Homer Tipton
We scurried to the van after the call,
My wife’s tear-drenched eyes obscuring her view,
as we raced to a place with whitewashed halls.

A truck had stolen away our nephew,
But left the broken shell of his brother
in fresh torn soil off northbound fifty-two.

All night we drove to cry with his mother.

-Homer Tipton
“Winter is Coming”
The son drug his body out of the car,
his screams mute behind the window. I stand
somewhere, old men watching games at a bar.

 A neighbor danced to her favorite band
as his wife came home to a life now lost.
Families start vacations long since planned.
The news tells of cold and upcoming frost.

 -Ryan Perez
Why command me by such ways?
I am free. I am free.
Free will is a gift that I accept.
I know perfection is impossible.
I am only here for a certain amount of time.
There could be many tomorrows, there could be none.
Until that day comes, I will be me.

Happiness is whatever you decide it is;
Just don’t forget where you come from
While you do what it is that makes you happy.
With all glory to him in the end...
All your possessions stay here
As you go to wherever He says.
-Jonathon Cleary
“Satan’s Office”

 The metal ball of paper Chevrolet
lay not close but far away, and four girls
look like broken ketchup packets on display.

Scalps like banana peels absent their curls,
Four cans of beer lay near a bigger can
Meant to hold all the trash the devil hurls.

Behold, Satan’s roadside office of man.

 -David Sports

“A Passion”

Standing in the cold white walled room
Watching through the crisp glass;
Seeing the people in navy blue
Do what they do.
One day I wish to be in navy too,
I want to be the one awed over.

Years of schooling it took them,
Few more years after that of practice.
The intricate way of moving their hands and fingers
It is as if they are whimsical creatures.
One day I wish to be whimsical too.
I want to be the one awed over.

The feel of the cold metal scalpel in my hand
Ignites my insides like a fire.
Excitement it is to touch living organs,
The unbelievable warmth of running blood.
One day I wish to be a cardiac surgeon too.
I want to be the one awed over.

 -Tabitha White

“Garden of Youth”

The wood creaked underneath the back and forth

Of the rocking chair.

Last September, the days consisted of brown hands,

And the nights of desperate candlelit prayer.

But the barren land refused to give birth to any crop.

The girl wore the same cotton nightgown every day this week.

The fringed edges reached just past her pale knees.

But summer Heat was no match for her affection,

For the ragged clothes that she adored.

She walks barefoot to the garden,

Feeling the pulse of earth in between her toes,

Damped hands clenched around the magic seeds.

At night she will fill her stomach

With dreams of silk petal cocoons,

And even the stars can see

The little girl that smiles in her sleep.

 -Chanel Branch

 “Hold the Line”

The battle rages on,

Up north along the crown.

Weary soldiers falter,

And yield their hallowed ground.

Across the southern plain,

Unseen foes advance.

Digging shallow trenches,

With their blunted lance.

Hold the line, guards in grey!

And bolster thinning ranks,

Defend with silver shields,

The weakened rear and flanks.

Hold the line, shiny chaps!

Lest field of brother slain,

Be reaped by brush and comb,

And tossed into the drain.

-Homer Tipton
 "The feeling.”

It is because of this blistering coldness,

that I cannot feel the warmth of him.

It is because of this raging wind,

I cannot hear his soothing, calming voice.

Even though I seem to feel nothing,

I can still feel that I have forgotten him.

-Logan Young

 “Consume Me Through the Night”/ “Dancing the Dance”

I spot myself in glass
And pirouette around;
My solo ballet class
On polished, wooden ground

Position one and two;
So confident I stand.
Erect, I follow through;
So competent I land.

Over and over now,
I dance until I bend.
Without breaking I bow.
Time to go. Time to end.

Dreams of dancing the dance
Consume me through the night,
And taking up my stance
At center stage, first light.

-David Sports
“Weird, Random Poem”

I hate writing poems so
Much that when I think about
Them my mind is like dough.
Words never seem to come out.

Trying to think of things
That rhyme just takes up too
Much time. I need a king
To tell me what to do.

Maybe I’ll write about this
Lady in a shoe. Her house
Was covered in weird swiss.
She could not stop the mouse.

 -Anne Cush
 “A Father I am Soon to Be”

 A father I am soon to be:
Teen no more; an adult forever.
I’m also married, never free;
Choices I make must be clever

But I see light in this tunnel.
Teenage angst will always be there.
Our lives mixed in a big funnel.
This new life can be somewhat fair;

I hang with the guys on weekends.
At the heart is the drinks we pour.
The time we share will never end.
The next day our heads are very sore.

I come home soaked in light beer;
Heart of a teen is hard to change.
My wife’s look is all I fear;
Priorities must rearrange.

 -Hunter Venesky

 “Pater Familia”

 When I was young Dad seemed so tall;
Ten feet or more of manly brawn.
No mere mortal; no, not at all:
Apollo rising with the dawn.

His manner strict, his word was law
And always had he final say.
Lines in the sand were his to draw.
King on the throne, he got his way.

But then when I became a man,
The veil was lifted from my eyes.
To think that in so brief a span
Ten feet could shrink to half that size.

 While he’s still want to make demands
From his perch above the family.
No longer do I heed commands,
Before the throne on bended knee.

-Homer Tipton

“Her Wedding Day”

 She danced across the room
With wealthy, handsome groom;
yet her white bridal gown
could not disguise her frown.
She abandoned true love;
her soul-mate from above.
He watched her dance away,
on her wedding day.

-David Sports

“Here in Class I Sit Still”

Here in class I sit still,
no words come out to fill
this page of supposed thought.
Find poetry I cannot.
Thinking of rhyming words,
my brain ten stabbing swords.
Hope these thoughts make the grade;
Silly poetry made.

-Gina Grammar

“The Pipe Still Reeks of Smoke”

 The pipe still reeks of smoke,
its brim charred black with coke.
No match was struck today
to keep ill nerves at bay.
But the sweet smell reminds
of days left far behind,
when time filled with pleasure
Was life’s true measure.

 -Homer Tipton

“They Leave to Come Back”

 They leave to come back; always coming back.
Never happy and yet still they return.
It never fails: blood, sweat, tears; not enough.
Cooking all we can to satisfy
a being who will never be. It is
an endless job, but a job nonetheless.

-Logan Young 

“No Sound Beats the Morning Light”

 No sound beats the morning light in the room;
just the car next door, the slam, the boom. They
Need coffee and donuts and time to speed
as he watches others exist and be
from beneath the sheets; the only place that’s
home. Two months since the sight of morning dew.

 -Chanel Branch
“I Set My Line”

 I set my line and wait for the big catch,
hopeful that today will be the big day
I catch the big flounder I have been waiting
for. The sun beats down on my sweaty
head and I hesitate when the line pulls.
It slips away and I sigh and try again.

-Chance Fox

 “The Start of the Day”

 The start of the day; madness ensues. Echoes
of little voices, demanding to be heard,
pull me this way, pull me that way. The rag
doll feeling at such an early hour only
makes me worry for the day to come.
To school they go. Hugs and kisses. Love. Breathe.

-Gina Grammar
“All at Once it became Quite Clear”

 All at once it became quite clear, sitting
alone in my room with not a soul near. High
School was over. My best friend moved away.
No house to show up to unannounced. No
Back doors left open. No 2am calls:
“Hey girl, How’ve you been? Can I call you back?”

-Kelsey Roof




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