Monday, January 26, 2004

Living Poem

I posted this poem on
on February 7th and won the Exceptional Writing Award for it. The prompt was called 

Looking Up - Offer, in your writing, a creative hint about why you are looking up at this building.

Although I wrote this years ago, I feel strongly about it especially with the current situation we are facing in America today. It fit the prompt, so I decided to share.

This is my Living Poem:

Now she sits on the curb
her face just as pale and gray as the city 
that surrounds her

she glances up towards the neon ads
through the snow white petals
which fall on her hair
staring blankly through the yellow flashes
which quickly pass her by

and the dimly decorated people
without a glance to her slouched body
which sat on the dirty pavement
and stared
and reminded herself

this is not how i planned myself
so many years ago
she lost everything she ever had
even her mind and her dreams were taken

now she sits alone, 
staring past the pale red awning 
of the cart selling pretzels
then something catches her eye through the rushing cars

an orange peel 
which had been blown to the gutter 
opposite her
and it rocked in the gentle wind
waving at her
teasing her under the windows of the dimming buildings

a discarded orange peel
just as useless and insignificant as she
abandoned and trapped in the womb of this dark city
she felt a silent sense of harmony 
with the object

and then the wind changed
and the orange peel turned
it rushed through the traffic to greet her worn shoe
where it sat 
and rocked, 
patting her comfortingly

and after she smiled down at it
she looked past the colorful city 
to the sky
as she wondered to herself
since when did poetry 
have to rhyme?

Cynthia Smallwood
April 2004


This one was written about the same time I met Colette who told me I had a spirit guide and all that jazz. If you'd like more on that story, read the note (posted a long time ago) called "This is where I go". This poem is kind of like it.

Looks like the rain
decided on a vacation cause
it looks like a beautiful day
outside on the day that barely was

I pulled out my big dark boots
as I pretend you are beside me
and I venture through the bamboo shoots
through the jungle to the valley

There I decide to take a rest
and look up at that neverending sky
and count the clouds as they go past
as I'm looking up from the Meadow Rye

I'm catching sunbeams in this giant place
staring into blues, browns, and greens
this land and time I made my space
this transcendescant scene

The world is so big around me
and time is so long in the distance
It's here I feel my true innerpeace
basking in my insignificance

Cynthia Smallwood
April, 2004