other bits of blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a little melancholy christmas poem

The Shattered Ornament
Days are dark
Snow
Piled up to my shoulders
And higher
Pine needles
Littering floors
Happy faces
Shining lights
Flickering candles
Lit up behind frosted windows
And I think I'm trying to hide
From those trees
And the lights
And the ornaments
It must be true
Because I can't face the frosted windows
The shimmering candles
There is fire
In shining blue eyes
And ice in soft brown irises
Somehow I don't what to think
As winter comes
Songs and friends and family and love
Love
Love
And now my heart is broken and crushed
Hurting just like the ice
That coats my fingertips
I should be happy
With the simple pleasures that are mine
But nothing is left
I thought that I was smart
I thought that I knew
And Mother said I would cry
But here I am
And the tears are frozen within my heart
Within my shattered heart
I am the ornament that plummets to the ground
I am showered with pine needles
And whatever else I need
But none of them know
No one can know
But me
And yet so many people
Know just the same thing
So many are frozen and broken
So many shatter
I will not cry
Although I'm better as I do
But I refuse to shatter
For I am strong
Strong enough to live with this
So I will
And for now
Maybe just for now
I could try to be content with dreaming
And I will try
I am him
He is me
And I know nothing
I step in uncharted territory
But it is all wishes and dreams and fantasies
I am me
And only me
So I will take the truth in stride
And stay the girl that I am today
Today
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

the reality of cavemen

UPDATE: [The actual post is below.] Sorry...I guess I can't make any promises about posting regularly. I think I got into the habit of not doing a lot of posting over the summer, and now I don't do a lot of posting, even though it's basically winter. Well, again, sorry, because this blog is definitely getting kind of boring without any new posts, so...I think we need a new one!
What do you know about "cavemen"? Well, I can tell you that they don't exist. Seriously, cavemen are figments of humanoid imagination. But at least they are based on something: Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergenisis, Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, us, Homo sapiens, and many more (although Homo sapiens is currently the only human species). You're probably thinking, why is she talking about early humans? The answer is that, in my school, we studied them. But when I studied Homo habilis for a school project, I took the studying a couple of steps further...But first, you need to learn a little bit about the life of Homo habilis, and how they set the stage for our lives today. and then I can show you my couple of steps furthers.

Homo habilis was the first to invent tools, so they used primitive technology (see next paragraph for more). They did not hunt, but scavenged abandoned carcasses for meat, and gethered wild plants. This meant that Homo habilis was not at the top of the food chain. In fact, they were a staple in the diet of some animals. Homo habilis didn't have good shelter either, and rain or wind could blow their unstable "huts" down. But Homo habilis did not need to solve the problems we face today. They could look up into a perfectly clear sky and think, I am not worried, but utterly happy every night--as long as they had enough food. This would be what the reality, the life, of Homo habilis was like.
Homo habilis needed tools to cut roots, plants, and grasses, to scavenge for meat, and more. So they invented primitive stone tools made by pounding two stones together and breaking off bits of sharp flint. This flint, as well was the sharpened stone, was used for tools. The method of creating tools was called flint knapping, and today those primitive stone tools are called Oldowan tools. Homo habilis also made the first buildings, small, unstable huts made of branches that were kept in place by stones. These two giants steps forward set the stage of where our lives are today, and led us on the path to civilization. All we needed was a little bit of technology. We still use technology and we still live in buildings, all because of Homo habilis, handy human.
Now that you know about Homo habilis, you're ready for the further steps...
Step #1: The story of Melune. Melune is a story about a girl who was supposed to be a Homo heidelbergenisis, but is a little too advanced for that, so I like to think of her as a Cro-Magnon who lives in a Homo heidelbergenisis village. It was originally a school assignment, to write a short story, but I think, as mine is four pages, I took at least a few steps forward there.


Melune:
The Story of a Girl, a Hunt, and a People



I pace the dirt floor of the small hut. It is hot and the air smells sweet and damp, because it is summer, and I should be happy. But today is the day Manit goes on his hunt. His first hunt. Alone. And I can’t feel happy. My mouth is turned down and my eyes are sad as questions keep tumbling around in my mind. What if he can’t even kill a deer? What if he is killed himself? Will he earn his right to be a man?
Manit, my older brother, is going on his first hunt today. This will not truly be his first hunt, but this time he goes alone, and he must kill a full-grown deer, at least. If he fails to do this he will never be a man. If he fails to do this, he and my family, and me, will live in shame. And I am so afraid for Manit. How can he survive this? That is a question I do not wish to think about.

But I do not have to think about it, as I must keep busy. No woman, not even on her brother’s first hunt, is allowed to sit idle. All work here, all the time. Sometimes, I am so frustrated with it, that I want to run away and hunt my own deer and make my own fire. But I cannot. This is my life, and all we do is work, work, work.

So, I work. First, I pick up my crudely woven basket by the door of the hut that I share with my and five other families, and then I walk out the door. Today, I will gather herbs and fruits and nuts. I might even find quail eggs, but I will leave the fishing to the other women. I hate the texture of the dead, scaly thing. Still, we will feast tonight. If Manit makes it out alive, I think. But I can’t wonder about that now.

Stepping out of the damp hut into the sunshine, I have to blink a moment. My home is much darker than the world outside. I catch my bearings and start walking in the direction of the river, which not very far. Along the way, I bend and pick flowers and dandelion leaves. When I reach the edge of the river, I head to a small bush that I know to be full of red, sweet berries. All this I place in different corners of my basket, so as not to mix them. As I leave the thicket, I realize that my dark, somewhat hairy hands are stained red from the juice. But what does that matter? Still, I run to the river and wash them.
The day is gorgeous, with some clouds in the blue sky, so it is not too hot, and the lush green grass teeming with life and food. It is my favorite season: summer.
I dangle my bare feet in the cool water and lean back on the soft moss, basking in the sunlight. Puffy white clouds sit in the light blue sky above me. I make out the shape of a buffalo, and my heart wrenches. I think again and again of Manit and the hunt.
That brings me into a sitting position and I remember that I should be honoring Manit, and helping prepare the celebration. I slowly and sullenly pull my feet out of the water. I do not understand why I am so sad. I should be happy for Manit. He will be a man. And I will not, that rebellious part of my brain thinks. Of course I do not want to be male, but I do want to prove that women can be as much of a part of the tribe as men can. But I cannot. The responsibility of hunting and running the tribe falls to the men. I must be content with being the backbone of my people, and caring for them. I am not, though. I am not.

This thought creeps into my mind along with my fears for Manit as I search for quail eggs, almonds, figs, and more herbs. Finally, I am finished, and I walk back to my current living spot, here, in Terra Amata. The thought keeps nagging at me, and I become even more grumpy and resentful.
I do have one moment of happiness when I present my day’s work to the women who are cooking our meal. They already have mashed wheat and water together in a hollowed out stone bowl to make the beginnings of a rice-like, thick stew. Fish that have been cut are sizzling in the fire in the middle of the hut in which these women work. More women cut oysters and shellfish with sharp stones, and I give them my eggs. I turn to the women making stew and give them herbs and nuts. I then walk over to the other end of the tent and I give the women there the berries and figs that I gathered. Finally, I bestow the women who cut the meat with my prize find: a turtle that I found by the river and killed with a thorny stick from the berry bush. They smile and give me approving glances.
“Yes,” the three women say together. Although we can form long, descriptive sentences in our heads, we have a primitive spoken language, and no written one. Basically, our talk consists of ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘man’, ‘food’, ‘fire’, and our names. Thinking of speech and the fact that we have no word for woman, my face darkens. I give a non-convincing smile and leave the hut.
I run into our own hut and bury my face into my buffalo skin pelt. When I bring it away and touch my cheek, I am surprised to find that I am crying. That makes me feel worse, as I never cry, and, despite the warmth, I curl up in the fur by the fire and sleep. My dreams are full of wolves and burning huts and dead buffalos.

****
When I wake, I can see the sun setting through my doorframe. The light is diminishing, and it is evening. Manit will be back soon. For him, I smile. And for him, I leave my bed and walk into the center of the huts, where my people are gathered around a fire and the feast.
I can see Ittik, one of the men, gesturing toward the fire, and explaining in hand motions how it came to be. But he needn’t tell the story—we all know that some man found out that if you put two sticks together and rub them, there you go, fire. But since it is my last night here (we move from place to place, and since summer will end soon, we will follow the game south), I sit down at the fire and wait. And wait. And wait.
The flames keep flickering on and on as I stare into them, the light reflected in the dull black eyes of the people around me. Now the fire is the only source of light we have, and with a cool night wind blowing on our faces, we all huddle closer to fire and sit in silence. Still Manit doesn’t come.
Finally, my mother, Rella, walks over to me and puts a hand on my shoulder. She knows how close I am with my brother. “Melune,” she whispers, “no.” And even with those two words I understand her meaning: go to bed, sleep, and do not worry about Manit. He will come before we leave. He will come, and he will be alive. Obediently, like a drained dungo, I walk into our hut and sit on my pelt. But I do not sleep. Instead, I go inside myself, and form a plan.
I wait until almost all of us are asleep, and then I tiptoe from my pelt to my father’s, and silently pick up his sharp stone spear. Going back to my pelt, I pick it up, and wrap it around me for warmth. Then I step out the doorway and stay in the shadows so I am not seen. Luck is with me, and no one even turns my way as I slowly start running into the fields to find my brother.

Using the pale light of the moon, I search the fields, desperate to find Manit, and desperate to get back. We follow the buffalo in the morning, and no one will care if they leave Manit and I behind. I think my parents will care about Manit, but only a little. Community does not matter to most of us.
Tall grasses block some of my view, and I don’t know where to turn to next. I have to find him. Have to. I decide to just keep going forward into the dark.

As I step, there is a squish beneath my feet. I look down to see the entrails of a huge male buffalo, and beyond it, the carcass. I suddenly think of dragging the carcass back to Terra Amata and becoming a “man” myself, or at least with all the honor of a man. Manit can find his own way home, I think cruelly. But when I have reached the buffalo, I get an even bigger surprise—Manit’s body sleeping next to it!
I almost scream with glee. Here he is, and he has killed a buffalo! We will get it back by morning if we work together. Oh, how happy I feel, to have Manit again. And to know that he is safe. I wake him up and shake him by the shoulders. Manit grunts slightly, then opens his eyes. He sees me and smiles, and then stands up. I hold the carcass and he understands my meaning. Immediately we both get to work hauling.
Then, when we are almost all the way back, I see a deer sleeping in the grass. Smiling and motioning for Manit to stop, I creep up on the sleeping animal, and kill it with one, swift stab. Now both my dreams will come true, I will be a man, and have Manit back. I can’t stop smiling.
We reach the center of the huts, where the fire burns, and find our father waiting. He first frowns at me, then hugs Manit, then me when I show him my kill. He brings us both to where Ittik sleeps, and Ittik acknowledges us, then gets up and motions for my brother and I to wake the rest of the people. The snow falls, the buffalo leave, and we follow them.

There is nothing much to pack, but we haul food and baskets along, babies on the mothers’ hips. My brother and me, arm in arm, walk nest to each other, fellow men now. Before the noonday sun is in our eyes, we have caught up with the buffalo, and are on our way to a new life.

Step #2: Music. My piano teacher and I were caught up in my studying of Homo habilis, and we decided to perform and improvisation about the life of Homo habilis, so we did, and here is is.
That is me taking a couple steps further, and a couple steps out of the realms of school...
And here is me again, saying goodbye and hoping that you all had a great Thanksgiving...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

stories

What is this blog? Something that just sits there halfheartedly, lonely and post-free? Well, no more. I'm back, and I'm back to stay...I hope. :)
On to and earlier subject, what is this blog? A blog for my writing and photography. There's been lots of poetry and pictures lately, yes, but we need a story. And we need it fast. But first, read this. Then this. Then this.


Words


When he woke, the sun was in Jade’s eyes. The skin over the door of the hut was flipped up, letting in all the light of the morning. His parents were outside, and so were the rest of the travelers. Apparently Jade had slept in until nine or so. When he realized that, and where he was, Jade leaped out of bed as fast as he could. He checked all over his body for bugs and bites, and, happily, found none. Jade rubbed his eyes groggily and walked out of the dwelling and into the daylight. The village was so tiny. Jade barely even remembered it from last night, so it was like he was experiencing it again, for the first time. There were about nine of the little huts, all clustered together around the center of the village, where Jade’s parents and the others were. It reminded Jade of the little villages in movies about jungles. It’s like I went into a book, he thought. Jade ambled over to the center and his parents. Along the way all the villagers turned their heads and stared at him. It made Jade feel like he was in some sort of spotlight. In other words, he thought, I’m embarrassed. “Jade, there you are!” Jade’s mother smiled and waved him over. “We’ve just been talking to Janou, our guide. He’ll take us to the river after you eat some breakfast. Then we can set up our new home!” She said this so enthusiastically that Jade was almost nauseated. He didn’t want to go live in the middle of the jungle. He just wanted to be back in his kitchen in California, reading the comics and eating pancakes. But he was here, in the little village and was going to be there, in the jungle. At that moment, Jade wished that something, anything would happen to take him away from the little hut-filled, dirty village. And that he would never have to even think about jungles again. His parents owed him. After they had eaten a bowl of little tart, dark purple berries that Janou called, ‘acai’, Jade and his parents gathered their things and followed their guide. As Jade turned to look back at the villagers, he saw that they were waving, even the little naked children had gathered around to say goodbye. Tentatively, Jade turned back and waved a little himself. Then he picked up his bags, and walked quickly away, following Janou and his parents to a little canoe, feeling worse and worse with every step.
3

Twigs snapped and bent as the dark girl and her sister ran. The older one, who was named an indigo-colored flower that she could not name with words, but could picture in her mind, ran faster than her younger sister. The younger girl looked almost exactly like her sister, like a miniature version of her: dark skin and eyes, long, black hair, skinny, and tall.
As they ran, the older girl thought of the picture her sister had just sent her. It had consisted of what she knew to be their village—even though she could not call it that. The focus in the message had been on one hut, especially on the dwellers, both of who were lying in their bed, coughing up mucus and shivering. The girl knew just what was wrong, and how to treat it. That was why her sister had been sent for her, because she was a healer. Finally, after almost ten minutes of hard running, the two girls reached the edge of their village, breathless and sweating.



I still think we need more story. So here is more story. More new story.


The Phoenix Feather
A Companion to Silk and Sins

One
The Letter on the Doorstep



The envelope was crisp, white, and firm. There was obviously a long letter inside it, and that was strange. People didn’t usually send long letters. It wasn’t an ordinary envelope, either, but was held together with a red wax seal, on which was printed what seemed to be a company or school. On the back of the envelope, in a loopy script, was written a name and address. The envelope did look quite odd, but the strangest thing about it was the fact that it was carried in the beak of an owl. The large, white bird flapped her wings, and soared toward the large houses on Victoria Crescent, finally landing on the roof of 112. She hooted, dropped the letter in front of the door, and took off into the dawn. The house and the street stayed still, dark, and quiet for another hour, but the sun slowly rose higher and higher, until the residents of Victoria Crescent had to wake up and start their day.
This particular late August weekend was quiet. There wasn’t anything happening in the city, and many people were off work on a weekend or summer holiday. Therefore, many people were vacationing and had left their houses. So when two girls burst out of the door of 112, the only ones disturbed were the birds in their garden.

“El! You said you’d let me get the mail today!” screamed a young but insistent voice at the door.

“It doesn’t matter. You can get it tomorrow. I’m already out here, Tess, so why waste time?” This voice was older and more mature. It belonged to a tall, skinny girl of eleven with bright green eyes and light coppery brown hair. She had sharp features and a sprinkling of freckles across her nose. The girl was arguing with her younger sister as she fetched the Saturday post and mail in her pajamas.

“But tomorrow’s Sunday, Ellie. There’s no mail!” yelled Tessa, the younger girl. She looked very different from her older sister, with very dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and no freckles.

“Well, then you can get the paper. I really don’t care,” Ellie said sarcastically. “Look, there’s a letter for me!” She pulled the letter out from under the newspaper and the other mail: two magazines, a bill, and a letter for her mother.

“What is it?” asked Tessa curiously.

“I don’t know,” answered Ellie.

Well, open it!”

“No.” Ellie walked into the house with Tessa pouting behind her, but she was excited; she didn’t get letters often. She slipped through the door, into the hall-way, and stepped into the kitchen with a grin on her face. Ellie’s mother was sitting at the table, drinking coffee from a painted mug. Her father was at the stove, cooking omelets for their breakfast. Ellie turned him and opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, Tessa shouted out her news.

“Ellie’s got a letter! Ellie’s got a letter!”

Ellie scowled. Sometimes seven-year-olds could be so annoying. But rather than dwell on the ruin of a surprise, Ellie turned to her parents, smiling.

“Well, let’s see,” said her father. Ellie handed him the letter. He looked it over, quizzical and smiling, then handed it back to Ellie. “Ellie, open it. I want to see what it says.”

“Okay,” she answered, then turned down to the letter. There was a red wax seal, with the words, ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ printed on it. On the back of the envelope was her name, Eleanor Olivia Harris, and her address, 112 Queen’s Hill Crescent, Newport, England. The handwriting was unfamiliar. And what was with Harry Potter’s school, Hogwarts?

“Dad, this is Harry Potter’s school. You know, the books by J.K. Rowling.” Frowning, Ellie flipped it over and broke the seal. She pulled out a letter as white and foreign looking as the envelope and read it aloud.

“’Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Headmaster: Minerva McGonagall. Dear Miss Harris, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins September 1st. Yours sincerely, Corren Daire, Deputy Headmaster.’ Hogwarts? Minerva McGonagall? This is all real?” Ellie asked. “It can’t be! That’s a fantasy book.”

“Most likely this is a prank of your friends’ work, honey,” Ellie’s mother answered.
“But that would be so cool!” Tessa mused. “I mean, imagine broomsticks and moving pictures and robes and wands! Real wands!”
Ellie was shocked. Her friends knew how much she loved magic and how much she wished she could be in Harry Potter’s world. They knew that she had to get her hands on any book to do with magic. None of them would be his rude. It made no sense. But Ellie had this growing sense that it was real. And maybe J.K. Rowling was a witch herself, who wanted to live in the Muggle world and tell the story of the boy who defeated Voldemort. Ellie wasn’t sure of anything, now.

“Mom, can we go to London?” she asked suddenly.

“Why?”
“I want to go.”

“El, Harry Potter doesn’t exist. You know that.”

“Mom, I just want to go to London. I want to look,” Ellie said pleadingly. “Please?” she added for effect.
“Well—“
But Ellie’s father cut her mother off. “Let her go to London, Grace. You can go with her, and I’ll take Tess for the day,” he said turning to Ellie. “What do you say, and girl’s day out? Tomorrow?”

Ellie nodded vigorously. She would get to find out for herself if it existed. As her father and sister talked about what they would do the next day, Ellie’s thoughts turned to magic. And to the wizarding world. She knew, knew deep down her bones, that it was real.

Sunlight crept slowly into the room of the sleeping girl. It shone on her red hair and made her green eyes sparkle. Her left hand was clutched around a crumpled envelope, and the letter that obviously used to be in it was lying, a creamy white sheet, on her bedside table.
Ellie stirred and slowly woke up into a bright Sunday morning. Remembering the events of yesterday’s morning, Ellie was sure it had been a dream. But then she saw the squashed envelope with its curly green script in her hand, and she smiled. “Harry, I just want to tell you…” she whispered faintly, “you’re my hero.”
Ever since she had opened the first book, Ellie was sure that somehow, somewhere, there was magic. And now, well, she was right.
Suddenly wide awake and bursting with joy, Ellie jumped out of bed and bounded into her parents’ room. “Mom! Mom! Get uuuup! We’re going to London today, remember?” Her father groaned and turned over, and her mother slightly opened her eyes, only to close them again and drift back to sleep. Ellie wanted to avoid anything bad, so she tiptoed out of the room, but not before reminding her mother one final time about their trip, by whispering it in her ear.

Ahh. That's better. Now we have had stories. All is well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

okay, okay, i'm back

It's me...after too long. Again, there's just so much to do when you have nothing to do. You know what I mean?
Any moose, I have some pretty crazy stuff going on...I'm going to the Harry Potter midnight premier with some friends...I'm reading the Hunger Games series (LOVE THEM!!!!)...um, I went to a Taylor Mali workshop...started school...and lots of crazy otherness.
I don't know what to write. But there's a solution for that: whenever I can't write...I write.
Poems.

Happy Ending
Once upon a time
We were friends
You and I
Once upon a time
There was love
Laughter
Light
And you
And me
Once upon a time
There was you and I
And then the story ended
Just ended
And there was nothing
The myth of a happy ending was gone
Is gone
And will never come back
It was a once upon a time
A you and I
Then a you
And an I
We are alone now
At least, we were
But today, I think
Today
There will be a pen lying in wait for me
And under it a piece of paper
So I will write
And let go
Let go of the myth of happy endings:
Everything will end right
But it won’t
Not at all
It will only end right if you make that choice
And I choose to say
We didn’t

The Word Perfect
A word is a word.
It is said,
And unsaid.
Sworn,
And promised.
Uttered quietly under our breath.
But really,
We use words too much.
A bit of silence is all we need.
Just a little time to be who we are,
The part of us
That’s in silence.
And there is one word,
One, single word,
That should not be spoken.
And yet, it should.
It is not a curse,
Not a blessing,
But, in a way, it is both.
The word
Perfect.
No fancy of looks,
Or sound,
Sight,
Sense.
The word is just untrue.
Untrue and true.
There is a fact,
A fact that we all know,
Deep down:
Everyone has a little of both sides,
A little light and dark.
Everything does.
And perfect,
Well, perfect.
Perfect is just that.
I'd say this post was a perfect welcome back...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

check

I haven't written in forever. And I feel like I should be writing now...but I'm not. I just--I don't know, maybe I'm not in the mood. But for me that's so weird: I always want to write. Who knows?

Anyway, since I can't write for you, I'll show you in pictures. No captions, just pictures.




















Sunday, July 18, 2010

summer and what comes with it

Well, hello there! It's been so long, I feel like I don't know what a blog is anymore. But hey, that's summer, isn't it? When somehow you're busier than you are during the rest of the year, even though you seemingly have less going on. When there's always something to do, somewhere to go, and you have no time to think about what you usually do. Your routine is wrenched apart, and when that happens, you know summer has begun.
Summer. Summer. Summer...Summer.
Summer.
Summer.
Summer
Gardens burst
Berries ripen
Birds sing
Flowers bloom
The light filters through the leaves on the trees
Like moonlight on water
Soft breezes caress your cheek
Velvet
This is all summer
But so is the icy water in the burning sun
Doing nothing
And not knowing whether you are bored
Or just happy
Being where you are
Normal life is broken
Shattered
But is that really so bad?
Is that too much to pay for summer?
I think not
So therefore I go on with summer
With no schedule
And nothing in my way
I survive
And thrive
In the summer wind

Well, that's my little 'hello' to you. I'll post when I can, but like I said, there seems to be nothing to do...when there always is. Or something like that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

waves

On June 29th, I went sailing.
In my area, there is this beautiful watershed, called Lake Garfield. There's a little beach full of soft, white sand and then the lake: two docks, and a square of blue and white buoys roping in the area that younger kids can swim unsupervised. I had never actually been around the whole lake, not until I went sailing.
This was, technically, my first time. The real first time I went sailing, the wind level was force zero. Zip. There was enough wind to get us out to the middle of the lake, and we had to row back. Yeah, row back on a sailboat. Pathetic!
Anyway, this time, when my mom, dad, and our close friend (who owned the boat) went out to sail, there was real wind blowing us along. We got on the lake at around 7:00, and stayed out for the sunset, and way after. By 9:15, we had left the lake after
zig-zagging around the perimeter, the wind sometimes almost tipping the whole boat over!
But I still had something left to do. Before we jumped into the boat, I was running around in the water, my pants rolled up to my thighs, because it was so warm. The water was almost hot. Yes, hot. The air was cool, especially with so much wind blowing, and that made the water all the warmer.
So, it was 9:15, and I was going for a moonlit swim. It was freezing as I plunged in, but after the initial shock, the water was warm again. Lovely. I swam for as long as I could, and as my parents started going back into the car, I jumped out and grabbed the towel, running to join them.
And that was only a brief overview of my night. But to be more detailed I'm going to tell you in, guess what? A poem! Actually, two...Okay, okay, I always use a poem to describe an event. Deal with it. I like poetry. And, I think I'm pretty good at it...(that means: comment!)


Pulled Taut
On the edge of the dock
A little boat sits in the water
Swaying in the wind
I step into it
And it rocks and tips
But I stay steady
Ready for anything
The fierce winds
The responsibility
This is an adventure


The two flapping sails
Are pulled taut against the wind
And my smile
Pulled taut across my face
Full of joy


We float
The boat carrying us
To the center of the lake
To the edges and the shadows
Traveling the world
With me
The director
Holding the tiller
Telling the boat where to go
How to fly into the sunset


The two flapping sails
Are pulled taut against the wind
And my smile
Pulled taut across my face
Full of joy


Again the boat tips
All of us sitting on one side
To keep the little vessel from
Falling
Into the waves
And still I tell myself to stay steady
My father’s hand helping me guide the boat
The strong wind obeys us
Laughing
We sail on


The two flapping sails
Are pulled taut against the wind
And my smile
Pulled taut across my face
Full of joy


Finally
We pull up to the little dock again
Tying the boat
Splashing in the warm water
And I know
It's not quite over
The two sails may lie still now
But my smile is still pulled taut across my face
Full of joy
This adventure will never end
The Ripple
I had to swim
Had to feel the warmth slide over my body
But the problem tugged at me
I ignored it
And swam
The moon was up
Shining over the surface of the water
As it swirled and swished
Freezing
I dove in
Instantly feeling warm
Warmer than I was in the cool night air
And by the light of the moon
An adventure began
My white
Shining body
Twirled and danced
Beneath the surface of the waves
The water curling over me
The moon lighting my face as I dashed out
Happy
I was so happy
Like the rippling water
I danced as the water did
I was the water
The splash
The ripple
Footnote: I was quite mad that I had left my camera at home--but then again I probably would have dropped it in the water as we flew over the lake, so...I didn't take it. But the above photo is of Lake Garfield, frozen over: just a little fact.

Monday, June 21, 2010

bluez-ified

**WARNING** I'm having writer's block at the moment, so this post won't be great...but at least watch the video and read the poem. Thanks. Now to the post!
I like the color blue. It's not my favorite, but I like the color. Today, I'm wearing blue. I'm feeling blue. And my music is blue. Literally. I play the blues, or as I like to call it, the bluez.
I improvise, and when I play the bluez, something happens. I guess I just really like it. I feel like I'm breaking rules. But at the same time I'm "little-goody-two-shoes", and perfect. The bluez gives me something. I feel powerful and creative and proud. I guess I can't really explain it. Or maybe I can tell you in a poem...
My Blue
Laying my fingers over the white keys
I slither to the black notes
And let gravity take over
Pulling my fingers down
To punch out music
Weaving pattern of blue silk into the air
I play
And let myself go
Getting a sense of flying
Yes, flying
My fingers tingle and I have wings
Lifting me into the air
Dancing in the blue sky
Pulsing through clouds and swerving past birds
My other self
Sitting at the piano
Grows still
Except for my fingers
My flying fingers
And as my wings carry me to the ground
These fingers grow still
The last note played
They finally come to a stop
And my wings disappear
It’s over
But it can’t be
Not yet
So I close my eyes and remember the blue sky
Remember the rush of air
And I smile
A wide open smile
Thinking of only the blue
My blue
And this is my blue, in action.

Bluez-ified!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

yours

Today, I have a challenge for you. This one isn't from the book. It's just a little...me.
I wrote this poem.
Bidding Farewell
Follow the sun
Stop the coming of the night
And as the moon fights for a place on stage
Your world falls silent
The moon soothes them
Lulls them to sleep like a mother
Rocking her child
But my friend is the sun
The rising, bright, sweet sun
That tells the world that day has come again
There is no need to sleep anymore
But I don’t, anyway
I stay awake
Alert for the trace when I can embrace her once more
And old friend
So I sit at my window
Waiting
Waiting
Lost and lonely
The moon is a lovely thing
But sometimes all I want
Is for the sun to rise up over the hills
To greet my cheerful, smiling face
I jump up and leap outside
Bidding farewell to the moon
And saying, “Hello,” to the sun
And my challenge for you is to write a poem about the night. Not just, 'the night', but how you feel as you drift off to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, if you sleep as your head hits the pillow, if you wander outside in the warm summer air with the stars above you. What do you do? How do you feel? Pay attention tonight. If you want to, maybe even take pictures of the sunset, or the stars.
Then write a poem.

No, you don't have to be a writer to write a poem. Just type, scribble, six or seven lines. It's a poem. And they don't have to make sense, poetry is something that doesn't. It's a metaphor, and that's what's beautiful about it.
I only have a couple...regulations...for you. The poem must:
• be about night.
• be at least seven lines long.
• include the words silent, mother, window, and cheerful.
Otherwise, make this yours!

As you can see, this isn't one of my long posts, but I'm counting on you to make it longer. Seriously...this post isn't just me, it's you. Email me at
aia
maysv@gmail.com
with your poems. I want this to really work, so please email me within a week. When I get a poem, I'll post it up here, and the world can read your work!
Come on, do it. Don't be afraid.
Untitled
The shining full moon
above my window
bids me good night
a mother
to the stars
glistening in the pitch-colored sky
above my window

My silent bedroom
lets me think
of cheerful things
of sad things
of the day gone by
as
slowly
slowly
I drift off to sleep.

-Claire

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

bloom

Lately, there have been funny times and sad times. Times to run through the sprinkler and scream, and times to lie down in bed and go over thoughts. Every day has been a choice and a resolution. A problem with an ending. But it is all getting mixed up into something else. And I feel like I'm playing some kind of stream-of-consciousness game. I say random words that mean nothing.
And lately, people have come up to me and said, "Hey, are you fifteen?" I'm not. Lately people have been thinking that I'm so much older and more mature than I was. I'm more mature than I used to be, but I'm still me, still a kid. And there, I'm burdening you with my troubles. But since I started, I might as well finish.
So on Sunday, Sadie and Rosie were here. And somehow, a little farmer girl found her way to the house,
along with her granny.
And somehow, a princess got into all the mess.
Then on Monday, I went to a friend's for Memorial Day. And we screamed and laughed and danced and teased. There were boys and dances and growing up. But there was dancing, and laughing, and hosing each other. There was cartwheels and spins and singing and swinging. So we grew up, but we stayed young. And that was the part I liked.
I guess my point here is that...maybe I'm not ready to grow up. I may feel twelve and say I'm twelve, but really, I'm only eleven. And I'll be twelve on Thursday. I think that's what's bringing this around. But whether I turn 20, or 12, or 82, I don't think I'm ready. Not for that responsibility.
So will you help me through this? Will you give me feedback on my stories and poems? Will you tell others about me? Will you just...help me? That's all I need.

And today is a pause. But I have to give you a poem and photos, because they are just so beautiful, that they take my mind off everything.
The flowers blow me away.
Bloom
I feel as if I’m falling
Abyss below me
Sky above me
Nothing to grab, to see
Just the endless blue
But maybe that is enough
For like a flower
It blooms
Blossoms
Blows
The sky twists and reflects
And so do I
I may be falling
But I am growing
Finding a ledge
And I think that I’m slipping
The rock is crumbling beneath my feet
So I save myself
I think of the times I will have
Older
Wiser
Stronger
But then I fall again
And remember the young
The constant laughs
Budding blossoms
As we were
But as we will never be again
So I turn to the flowers
With an endless cycle
They are never young
Nor old
And yet they are always in my heart
They will always be that ledge that I climb on as I fall
And they will always, always bloom
And grow
And change
While staying innocent and young
As I will
Help me with this. And bloom.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

too tired to talk

Right now, I'm really tired. I just loaded on 200 photos to my computer and deleted 130 of them. Then I finished all my homework, practiced a very hard song with an out of tune piano, and now I'm here, writing.
Earlier today I went to a little party to celebrate my sister.
I practically followed Sadie and Rosie around, everywhere, clicking away on my camera. I ended up with 334 photos. Not kidding. I spent about 45 minutes deleting 100 of them, then an hour deleting more.
And on Friday I had a dance recital, and I'm still tired from that. Really tired.
So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I don't really want to talk right now. I'll post a couple pictures, and, of course, words. No, Words. Capital 'w'. As I said before, I don't want to talk, so, here goes...

Words


The plane did land on that tiny strip of something that Jade couldn’t exactly call a runway, or even a road, for that matter. It was more like a dirt road. One of those back ‘roads’ that you see all the time in the country, Jade thought.
The runway-thing was somewhat, well, soggy. That was the best word Jade had for it. The somewhat paved (more dirt than anything else) road was wet with rain and—soggy. Jade could feel the small puddle-jumper that he was in sink into the ground as it landed on the packed, gravelly road.
Rain much around here? Jade thought. But the announcer was telling them all to gather their carry-on luggage and get ready to unboard the plane, and he didn’t answer his sarcastic question. Instead, Jade looked at his dad skeptically. ‘Unboard’ was not a word.
Ignoring the captain’s bad grammar, the passengers of the small plane collected all their belongings and tensed in their seats, ready to stand up and leave the tiny, claustrophobic space.
Jade got up slowly. He wasn’t eager to get of the small plane. He wanted to stay there. If he got off that meant he would have to live in the Amazon. It would mean it was really true.
So he decided to wait for a while, and let his mind go blank, for once. All he wanted to do was sit there, and never to get off the plane.
But his dad got up and tapped Jade’s shoulder. Jade suddenly felt a rope in his stomach that was tying itself into giant knots that would never be untangled, never. And his Adam’s apple was suddenly the size of a baseball in his throat. He choked on it, and felt his eyes go hot.
He tried to push away the tears, but it didn’t work. Little drops of liquid fire burned down his cheeks. Jade felt like the whole plane was watching him cry, and his face turned pink.
“Honey, are you okay?”
That was his dad. Jade couldn’t say anything, but he nodded, even though it wasn’t true.
Jade didn’t know exactly why he was crying. He knew that he missed his home and his friends and his pets terribly. He knew that he wouldn’t go back there for a long time. He knew that he would be living in the Amazon for that long time.
But most of all, Jade was disappointed at his parents for letting this happen. He had at least thought that when they were confronted with something like this, they would consider his opinion, but they didn’t even do that. He was angry with them, that was it. And he didn’t want to live in the Amazon Jungle, but now he had no choice.
Trying to stop the stinging flow, Jade lifted his arm with effort and wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his sweatshirt and stared ahead. He bent down and took hold of his backpack. Then, straightening his shoulders, Jade turned briskly and walked out of the plane onto the mud. His feet squelched and sunk in it, and he fought to stop more tears.
He looked out at his surroundings. Wet. More wet. And still more wet. It was all humid and hot and wet. There was a forest about six or seven miles away—visible only in the distance, if he squinted—and even that was insanely wet.
Focusing on the forest, Jade realized that it was his nightmare: the Amazon, with a thick branch of the Amazon River running through it, and through the mud and a small village close to the runway.
Jade sighed and mumbled, quietly reassuring himself that it would all be okay. But he knew it wouldn’t be.

2


He was jostled as the small amount of people bumped into him, trying to get onto the ground. They acted like they wanted to want to bruise and batter him, just to tell him that he would never leave. Maybe all they wanted to do was give him a welcome present—the best thing he would get on this journey.
“Come on, Jaybird, this’ll be fun!” his dad said, trying to convince Jade of something that, in Jade’s mind, couldn’t be changed. Jade only scowled at the use of his babyish nick-name, and said nothing.
They walked for what seemed hours through the vines on a small dirt path, but it was probably only Jade who thought it took that long. The walkway leading to the village was long and skinny, but the twelve or thirteen of the passengers endured. Jade looked down at his sluggish feet and sighed.
“Where are we?” he asked.
“Um…somewhere near Manaus, going toward a village called, hmm, I’m not very sure…” his mom answered.
“Mom! You don’t even know where we are?” Jade yelled.
“We’re in the Amazon Basin, okay?” Jade’s dad inerrupted, cutting off the fight. “Look, Jade, remember when we landed in a city to switch planes and stretch?”
Jade nodded. “Was that Man-ows?” he asked, mispronouncing the name.
“Yes, Jade, and right now we are going to a little village, Mura,” he said, looking at Jade’s mother, “near there.”
“Then we’ll find a guide and go into the rainforest via the river. He’ll help us set up a jungle home!” his mom said excitedly. “Oh, what an adventure it will be!”
Jade wholeheartedly disagreed.
About half an hour later, the party came to a village, Mura. It was very small, only seven tiny huts clustered together. Grubby children played with sticks in the dirt, while dark-skinned women were making some kind of meal. It looked more like gruel than anything else to Jade.
They all moved closer to the village, looking around as it started to get tropically hot. Jade was sweating profusely and had to take off his sweatshirt. As they walked, the villagers stopped what they were doing and turned toward their visitors.
In some Portuguese dialect, a tall man with feathers in his hair and only a loincloth covering him said something like ‘hello’. Jade thought it sounded a lot like the gibberish games he had played in his acting classes back home.
But his father, not even looking over the half-naked man, said, “Hello,” except it was in Portuguese or something, so that the man who seemed to be the head of this Mura place might under-stand him. Then Aden and the chief had a fast-moving conversation consisting mainly of words Jade didn’t know. Once they stopped, the headman smiled and welcomed the visitors with a wave of his hand.
The tall man motioned them to a hut made of bamboo reeds lashed with vines from the jungle. The roof was made of giant leaves that seemed to be somehow sewn together. There was a small opening in the front of the dwelling, which was covered with a skin of some sort. Jade wondered if it was jaguar skin.
Jade’s father, obviously the only one who knew Portu-guese, asked if they should sleep inside. The tall man nodded and motioned to the sun. Jade could see that it was getting dark. But he was apprehensive about sleeping in some weird hut in the middle of a weird gibberish-speaking village in the middle of the Amazon Jungle.
“Mom,” Jade whispered at his mother, “how are we going to eat?” He was looking over at the children and women and other men, who were eating the gruel-like mixture rudely with their hands.
“When in Rome, do what the Romans do, honey,” his mom whispered back. She motioned to the leader of the village and made eating signs with her hands, pointing to the other members of the village.
Something was exchanged between them, and then suddenly the whole group was shuffling toward the bowl. Jade took one look and decided to be hungry for the night. He told his father he was tired and not feeling wonderful. He wanted to go to sleep. Jade’s father nodded and told him to go lie down, the humidity was probably getting to him.
Jade slowly and carefully wandered over to the hut. He really didn’t want to be bit by something poisonous tonight, but if he did, it would all be his parents’ fault.
The hut was dark and small, but there were skins on the floor of it, and they were soft. Jade quietly took off his boots, then put them back on again. What if the bug found him through his socks?
He lay down on the makeshift bed and tried to go to sleep. Darkness comes early here, Jade thought. It must be the trees. Then he mentally kicked himself for thinking about such stupid things. He was going to sleep in some dirty hut in the Amazon Jungle, and he would be leaving on the Amazon River tomorrow, and he had no idea what would happen next.
Again Jade went over in his mind why he was even there. His parents hadn’t told him yet, and he was pretty sure they wouldn’t for a long time. Well, I guess there’s no use in thinking about it, because I have no idea, and I’ve wondered about it too much, Jade thought.
Finally, with pictures of spiders and bugs that would kill him overnight, Jade fell into a restless, dreamless slumber.


And that's all. Good night. Oh, and I hope that poisonous bugs don't kill you overnight, because they might to Jade......

Monday, May 10, 2010

inside me

Sorry I haven't posted in so long...busy week. Too much to do and to much to think about.
But I'm here today. For once I have no homework and nothing to do, except listen to 'In the Heights', my new obsession. So I took some pictures of lilacs.
They're so...lilac-y.
And now I'm writing. And I have no idea what to write. No idea at all.
Are there ever times when you feel like your brain is fighting a battle over what you know and what you should be doing? That's me right now. This reminds me of a tiime when I was in fourth grade, I think. Anyway, we were supposed to write in our notebooks, and I didn't know what to write--like now! But I wrote a story about the battle in my brain. It was pretty cool.
This moment also reminds me of a poem I wrote.

Filled with Something
Empty
It is empty
Hollow
Filled with nothing
No inspiration
Blank
A white, crisp sheet of paper
Waiting to be written on
But my pencil is dull
My pen out of ink
I have nothing to write with
Nothing to say
I am empty
Yet perfectly full of something
Something immense
Immeasurable
And I don’t know what it is
Somehow
I am empty
And full
Nothing
And something
And I must have inspiration
Since I am writing this now
So I must be filled with something
Something that I will imagine
And create in my hand
Like a chick
Hatching from its egg
My ideas will punch their way through this empty barrier
I am the director
The author
The actor
The characters
I am all
And every little bit
Of every thing I write
Must be filled
With everything I do
It must be filled
With something

So right now, I must be filled with something. Some kind of...something. I'm not empty, I know that, and I'm happy about it.
Of what I'm filled with, though, I have no idea...