The love poem was an imposed quickwrite exercise, BUT the 12-year-old-author’s accompanying artwork spun around the oft-repeated words is her own visual poetry. Her symbolic visual elements betray the seemingly simple (cliche, even) way by which love was portrayed in words.
A color-prompt workshop quickwrite; exploring stream-of-consciousness.
A blinding white light flashes, washing out my face. Where am I? All I can remember is a group of people dressed in lab coats dragging me around in a stretcher. As I look at my arm, blood was gushing out of it. But I can’t feel pain. I turn to my side and see more blood. What the ?! is happening? As I stood up, deciding to explore the building, I discover tons of medical equipment – tubes and wires pouring out from bleeping machines. The place was so bright, white, clean, and busy. Yet inside me, I felt so blue. Everything about the place made me feel cold and gloomy. Everything, from the pale tired nurses to the lifeless scenery, seemed to scream depression. All I can see from left to right felt sad. What made me feel worse was the smell of death in the air. Why does this place even exist? To make people depressed and crazy out of their minds? ‘Cause that’s what this place looks like to me. I know I’m in a hospital, but doesn’t that mean doctors and nurses should tend to me since I’m obviously a patient here? I decided to go back where I came from. The next thing that happened shock the life out of me, literally. What I saw was a mangled body of a girl who looked like me, except for the enormous bullet hole on her arm. I felt sickness starting to grow from the pit of my stomach. But that was impossible, dead people don’t feel sick. And I am.
– L, 13
A 15-year old puts together images in this draft vignette, which initially started as a quick workshop activity on the color blue.
It’s cloudy, and the light breeze of winter is sweeping through the town. The chimes clink softly in the air and an aromatic scent of coffee greets her as she pushes the door open. She removes her ear muffs as she sits by the hazy glass window. Lately she felt unhappy after her moronic lover broke up with her in a 27 second phone call. Brewed Blues. That coffee shop had five people this morning. Two tables away from her sat an old man reading a newspaper with a cup of coffee in his hand.
Everything felt uncomfortable. Losing someone you were attached to for a long time is just so sad. Wow, perfect timing. Ideal weather, ideal place and ideal strangers to have around. In Brewed Blues, she found she fit with everyone, feeling down. Feeling gloomy, rejected, unhappy. She felt really awful; she was feeling blue. Another one’s crying by himself by the corner with his hands covering his whole red face. A conclusion came to her mind that the people around her might have something terrible going on with their lives. She thought she was one of them.
The place, Brewed Blues, played woeful music from the radio by the counter. She looked out the hazy window, saw a busy street, looked up and saw dull cloudy sky. “Someday, someone out there will take away the loneliness I’m feeling, and gladly put back the beam on my face.” She said smiling to herself as she watched the busy street. She sipped from her tea, got out of her chair and wore her ear muffs back.
– Alexa, 15
Sharing raw creativity from very young story-tellers of the ACSS Summer 2013 Creative Writing Workshop.
–> One created a story about a pig who didn’t want to sleep because he always had nightmares of being eaten. He was always tired and sleepy; he couldn’t do anything. He daydreams of being in the mud all day.
–> One wrote about the adventures and mis-adventures of a lion who did not want to live in the “forest” anymore because people are polluting and destroying it. He meets several characters along the way. Would he end up in a farm? Would he end up in a zoo?
–> One created a story of a monkey and her two friends looking for the carnival because they heard it was fun there; it took them days and nights to reach it, but not to worry — they traveled via tent-on-camel, whose humps turn into seats and tables by day, and beds by night.
–> One drew and told a story about a happy rabbit who had friends and no problem, except for one: her long ears are itchy and her short arms couldn’t reach it. Hmmm, what could she possibly do?
–> One cleverly weaved stories of a turtle who was afraid of the dark and who interestingly had the same name as a clown fish who tended to be a bully, and a gentle angler fish who did not have any friends because he had sharp teeth.
The class was lifeless. My classmates’ heads were looking down like people praying. The teacher was talking but I barely hear it. I’m sitting at 4A, which is by the window at the last row. All day I sat there, holding sleepiness, listening to six boring subjects.
One day, during math class, well nearly the end of math class, I was so sleepy. I looked at the window and WOW, I saw a world. A place where animals and plants are unknown.
The ground was pistachio ice cream. The ground was green. The rocks were like pistachio nuts. Rivers run like kids chasing each other. The sea was shining when the morning rays hit. Mountains were like chocolate kisses. It’s a land I want to set foot on.
I stood up to take a closer look.
Just then I realized that the whole class paused. I leaned to touch the window. But there was no window.
I thought I was going to die, but instead, I grew two large golden wings and flew to the nearest mountain I saw.
When I reached the planet’s atmosphere, I lost control of my wings. I was hit by something. Something that’s hard and hot. I looked at my burned wing. Blood was spilling.
I crash landed.
When I woke up, the first thing I saw was the ceiling. I looked around and saw rusted bars surrounding me. Mosses were growing on the floor.
“Oh, no!” I said to myself “What have I done?”
Two creatures suddenly came in and pushed me out. The first thing I saw was a bright light and horns blaring. When the light was clear, I saw millions of little fuzzy creatures with a wheel as their feet and a fuzzy antenna. The biggest one (who I think is the leader) spoke in a different language. They gave me food and clothes. Not just that, they gave me a home and a personal guard.
The next day, the guard led me to a building that is two stories high. Many young Florks were there. So I knew it was a school. In just a few weeks I learned their language. Then their culture, beliefs, and food.
I lived there for many years.
One day, to my surprise, Globork the leader suddenly told me –
“It’s time to go home.”
“Nooo!” I shouted. “I don’t want to leave because I love it here. Your history is more interesting and the classes are more exciting…”
Then I heard a bell.
Then I realized they were saving me. I had no choice but to follow them. They were leading me to a dark, damp and clammy place. It was getting darker and darker.
In a snap, I woke up.
Everybody was at their seat, working. On the blackboard, I read “WRITE A STORY, ANY TOPIC”.
Now I know what I’m going to write.
– Farid, 12
From a young athlete who previously “hated’ writing —
The loud noises in this place
Are cheers for us to get our pace
It is a race for swimmers
Pro, Amateur, even Beginners
A relaxed me is something you won’t find
Because only winning is on my mind
Even though the beat of my heart is trembling
Maybe because I’ll swim with a king
The reflection of light hits the floor
It is like lightning
That summons the king, Thor
What Am I Thinking?
Bubbles differ in size
To the surface they arise
SPLASH SPLISH SPLASH SPLISH
The noise swimmers hear when my speed I unleash
I sometimes hate swim time
‘Cause I look like an underwater mime
But sometimes I wonder
Maybe there are gold bars under
The place where we are swimming
Maybe tomorrow I will start digging
The feeling of being a champion
Will not be just imagination
I can always break the record
With a big hand from the Lord