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Showing posts from May, 2010

GK Chesterton: 'Though I Grow Old and Die'

A Second Childhood

When all my days are ending
And I have no song to sing,
I think I shall not be too old
To stare at everything;
As I stared once at a nursery door
Or a tall tree and a swing.

Wherein God's ponderous mercy hangs
On all my sins and me,
Because He does not take away
The terror from the tree
And stones still shine along the road
That are, and cannot be.

Men grow too old for love, my love,
Men grow too old for wine,
But I shall not grow too old to see
Unearthly daylight shine,
Changing my chamber's dust to snow
Till I doubt if it be mine.

Behold, the crowning mercies melt,
The first surprises stay;
And in my dross is dropped a gift
For which I dare not pray:
That a man grow used to grief and joy
But not to night and day.

Men grow too old for love, my love,
Men grow too old for lies;
But I shall not grow too old to see
Enormous night arise,
A cloud that is larger than the world
And a monster made of eyes.

Nor am I worthy to unloose
The latchet of my shoe;
Or shake …

PJ Makes the Tackle

PJ Makes the Tackle
By Courtney Rupp (Grade 6)

Grudgingly, I slurped my dinner: canned soup left for me on the stove.

As usual, my mom and dad weren't home. They never were. They are always at work, putting out some chunky soup for my dinner and leaving me alone. See, the thing is that my parents really don't care about me, or about Titan, our dog. Their single concern is work.

I trudged up to my room, Titan following at my heels. Once in my room, I heard a faint scraping sound coming from downstairs. I peeked out my bedroom door, seeing nothing. Maybe we had mice! No, we couldn’t have mice or else Titan would be barking and whining instead of resting his head lazily on my lap. I decided to ignore the noise and listen to some music. I turned on my favorite band and tried to relax but, couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I heard a crash downstairs and instinctively leaped to my feet. Titan started barking. What was happening? Nervous sweat was breaking out on…

Transportation by Books: An Essay

Transportation by Books
Dior Hartje (Grade 8)

Have you ever opened a book and been transported so far away that when you close the book you’re surprised to find yourself sitting at home? In this essay I’ll explore that feeling of jumping through a bookish portal by means of the imagination.

A good piece of literature produces images of the author’s experiences in real life or in the mind. Reading good literature is a way to be transported elsewhere through a magical door, or being sucked into a bookish vortex. When you read a wonderful book it becomes like a colorful blossom in your mind, bringing joy, broader experience and sometimes, clarity.

It is possible for a book to take you to the Middle East or to an underwater city. Is it foolish to conceive of a book as your passport to another planet, dimension, or time? Do you think of a book as a loyal friend?

Once you’ve accepted the passport and traveled by the imagination you may find a friend for life, or you may become hooked on an…

The American Flag: An Essay

The American Flag: A Thing of Beauty
Jordan Romain (Grade 8)

Have you walked down the streets while the stores and businesses were closing and turned to see something majestic? This something can be seen in any town on almost every street: the American flag.

In this essay I will explore the beauty and wonder of our flag. The things it has seen! The stories it could tell!

Have you noticed how the flag flaps aimlessly in the wind and then suddenly snaps in place like a soldier? It is able to command our attention.

Have you noticed how the colors never bleed together? The white, the red, the blue? Red symbolizes the wonderful soldier’s courage and their shed blood. White represents the selflessness of our soldiers, and blue stands for the vigilance of those who guard and defend our country.

Have you noticed how people salute the flag or tip their hats to show respect? They understand.

Maybe you’ve noticed that a few spit on the ground and wish to burn the flag. They don’t know what this…

Winched: A Short Short Story

By Savannah Baker (Grade 8)

Why was I was being escorted into the police interrogation room, again?

Sitting in this small windowless room again, I kept telling myself I didn’t do it! Not this time. I’m totally innocent.

I know this place well. I have made my way down these halls more than once for different reasons. But the difference between then and now is that I was guilty then, but I’m innocent now.

This time I was escorted by two officers who left me sitting me in a cold, metal chair on one side of a long, metal table. Paul - his name tag told me - left while the other one – Sam, I think - went to stand in the far corner of the room, where he watched me intently. I thought his stare would burn a hole straight through me.

I sat like this for a while. No one came or entered the room. The air was stuffy. And it annoyed me to be here for two reasons: I didn’t know why I was here and these people were wasting my time when I had things to do.

“Mr. Dylan Haves.”

I turned towar…

Nieto: A Short Story in Spanish

Nieto en el campo
By Ana Padgett (Grade 12)

Nieto suspiró. Estaba agitado mientras sus padres manejaron lejos de la granja de los abuelos.

“¡Nos gusta que estés aquí!” dijo Abuela.

“Sí. Estás aquí a tiempo para ayudarme,” añadió Abuelo.

Nieto no supo lo que Abuelo estaba pensando, pero no estaba emocionado de estar aqui con las ovejas durante diez días. Miró al camino sucio una vez mas. No pudo ver el coche de su familia.

Con desgana, él seguió sus abuelos y entró en la casa pequeña. En la distancia, el vio las ovejas blancas y lanudas.

Esa noche, Abuelo y Abuela iban a dormir temprano.

“Debes dormir también, Nieto,” Abuela aconejó.

“Trabajamos temprano en la mañana,” dijo Abuelo.

¿Trabajo temprano? Nieto quería dormir tarde, pero se acostó sin quejas. Unos minutes pasaron, y el oyó el gallo canta en voz alta. ¿Ya es la mañana? El vio el reloj y sólo era las 2:45 en la mañana. ¡Que gallo loco! Nieto cerró los ojos otra vez.

A las cinco y media, él se despertó de nuevo.

“!Nieto, te …

Poem: Tewa Snowfall Prayer

Tewa Feast Day
Ezekiel 34:11-16

Windless dawn settles white smoke
Over hillsides, spread smooth, untracked
New woven coverings, a Tewa snowfall prayer.
The People stand, wrapped in warm striped Pueblo blankets,
Quiet as wool breath, as sheep which steam
Cloud the waiting chill daybreak sky.

Row of drummers remain silent;
Line of chanters stand still, face East
Until morning light speaks color, until sun comes
As signal fire & only then begins the drum beat, begins
Sacred chant, begins an invocation welcoming
This Feast.

Grey break, sun hovers,
Anticipates some hush-found answer,
Bright response to persistent prayer beat,
Expectant bird song summons morning rhythms,
Calls all to join the People, celebrating this
Day which honors home.

One by one, crested antlers come,
Curve over twin adobe hilltops, mighty elk,
Playful antelope, valiant deer, big horned sheep, shaggy buffalo
All come to feast, dance slowly, sing down
Snowy hillsides, all come to bless
& be blessed.

Matushka E…

A Lament

The lament developed along with heroic poetry and is found in every culture. Examples include Deor's Lament, an early Anglo-Saxon poem in which a minstrel regrets his change of status in relation to his patron, and the ancient Sumerian Lament for the Destruction of Ur, which complains of the abandonment of the Sumerian cities and temples by the deities.

A lament is a poetic expression of sorrow, discouragement or anger after experiencing a loss. The next poem is a lament in the tradition of the Psalms, that is, it is addressed to God from a heart of faith.


I walk in the valley overshadowed

By death

And I am scared.

I call out to you

But I don’t feel your Presence.

I need a hug, God.

Where are you?

I ask for forgiveness

But it seems distant,

Like you, Lord.

Grant a sign to show you love me!

After 1000 falls

Lift me up!

Why do you not hear me, Lord?

--Jordan Romain (Grade 8)

Poem: Texas Hill Country

Hill Country Highway

Recorded time:
set in stark sediment; framed
in limestone ribbons; bold colored layers
which track highway carved asphalt
of I-10 Hill Country interstate.
Primal questions sit
silent, lost

in harsh Texas sun
seen day by day eroding
in cedar topped & fragile soil lines
crumbling into our own
hot dust; rain bursts;
sun burnt minds
giving us

even fewer answers;
all reasonable speculations long licked
salt dry. Ocean beds, ancient shell
curves spiral into gold & ochre
stripes which wax & wane
over now silent

rough cliffs & cañon sides
stare where dark turkey vultures
glide, prowl for hopeful outcomes.
Still, we drive on. Not overawed nor perturbed
by this audacious witness, our faces now
gaze homeward towards some
south border destiny.

June 19, 2009 ~ Friday Early Afternoon
I 10 East, between Kerrville and San Antonio

This poem was written on the last day of a summer road trip and pilgrimage taken by my three daughters and I. Si…

A Spring "Haikuplex"

A conversation about haiku and writers block under a roof resounding with hard rain led to this set of four interconnected haiku, thus titled as a haikuplex.

Spring Haikuplex
The rain coming down, pounding on the roof above: the poet’s pen runs dry.
The poet’s pen runs dry; always in his heart are dreams: words refuse to flow.
Words refuse to flow, pictures still buried so deep: buried and yet unsaid.
Buried and yet unsaid are the pictures never drawn: of rain coming down.
ed pacht