Reflective Poem by Academy Monthly

after e e cummings

 

They are

 

 

Dead

         

         Men like him who shoot their kin

 

Men

 

Who sin

And Sin and Sin

 

Men

 

Men are not what they used to be

 

They shoot but only for the stars

 

                                     They know who they are

 

And don’t break their character for that fancy new car

 

         Men

 

Learn your way

 

Any other way is 

 

Defunct

Down Below by Academy Monthly

I try to stick to the coastline;

the waves push us around.

My boat is strong, like fortified wine,

but I keep glancing toward the bow.

 

A storm like none I’ve ever seen

came out of nowhere, shocked us all.

A wave of fear each time she leans

in the fight against these squalls.

 

My crew quivers in the torrential rain.

I call out my crew members’ names

to no response; it was all in vain. 

When she goes down, I’ll take all the blame.

Reset the Clock by Academy Monthly

Shriveled and cold, where’d it all go?

Bad timing? You’re hiding what you’re feeling,

Talking in circles.

Your words have no meaning.

Bad timing? That’s an easy excuse.

 

Peaks and valleys five years through,

wiping tears from my cheeks

and haven't spoken in weeks.

You reset the clock when you decide.

No reconciliation, just pretending nothing happened

 

I’m tired

Aren’t you? You’ve gotten good at ignoring.

You have the power.

You know that’s true.

Too much alike, we are bound to fight—

Right?

I threw gas on the flame, hoped you help me stomp it out

No, you didn’t show.

 

We’re good again? I shouldn’t be surprised by your sudden

chit-chat. You step 

on me like a

Door mat.

We both know I’m stronger than that.

But you made me laugh again.

17 Things by Academy Monthly

I was born with a gift 

never saw it comin’ – what’s this? 

a black boy born with baby curls 

a boy who was 1 year old when 9/11 changed the world

I want to love and fly like a dove 

unfortunately, the world wants to push and shove 

god is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? 

no man nor satan can ever make me shed a tear

he is the one who brought me through thick-n-thin 

why don’t the world see the same, it makes me cringe 

Basketball is like my seed

I watched it grow on me unlike weed

I use the game as a crutch 

because in life I never really had much luck

because luck ain’t real, only god is the real deal 

so I keep fighting to the end

one day I will overcome this until then

Are You Okay? by Academy Monthly

When people ask me,

“Are you okay?”

I usually say,

“Ya, I’m just tired.” 

They nod and agree 

and say to take a nap.

But the thing is, is that

my exhaustion 

can't just be solved by sleeping: 

I can’t close my eyes

then wake up and just be 

Okay

I need a break

from my brain,

My life,

and Myself.

Untitled by Academy Monthly

There was a house on a hill,

Accepting strangers.

Watching them come and go—

Peculiar but no danger.

 

Stranded yet calm,

A house that could not move

A house that did not move,

With wheels too worn to leave.

 

Craving and waiting

For something that may never come,

A house with scratch marks in the attic:

For the ideas without recognition 

That feed a superstition

Of a house, omniscient.

 

Chaotic

Charismatic

Cluttered

And content.

Dear Mom by Academy Monthly

Sorry C doesn’t listen. She just wants attention. 

Tell her to stop – she keeps going. 

Tell her to go – she stops right in her tracks. 

I ask her to stop wearing my clothes, and she hides them in the corner of her closet. 

I ask her to let me do my homework in peace, and she throws a ball against the door. 

Soon enough she will stop. She has to.

I am going off to college in a year and she will have no one to bother. 

That leaves you and Dad to entertain her – or to just keep her out of trouble.

 

Good Luck.

Sunday Morning by Academy Monthly

As I sit in my chair seeing what I have due, 

I lay back in my chair with a book in my view.

 

As I go for my glass and feel the morning breeze,

I acknowledge the wind going through all the trees.

 

As I glance out the window and look at the ground,

I notice how all of the ants go back to their mound.

 

As I walk to the table to go take a break,

I sense that all of this is just a mistake.

 

As I stand up from the chair, that is my cue:

It finally came to me what I have to do.

 

As I make my way down my creaky wooden stair,

Taking a peek outside … is the weather quite fair?

 

I open the door, the wind blowing in my face,

I’m ready for a walk, time to pick up the pace.

 

I stand on the sidewalk with my hands on my hips.

That all of those days, I called like poker chips. 

 

I ignored all the signs, I stood behind the doors,

And now I am free, to hear the birds sing their chords.

 

This is all a new world, thoughts sprinting through my head,

I walk through the grass, the trail leading me ahead.

 

I sit on the bench, leaning back, with legs now crossed,

Taking a deep breath, all that time inside, now tossed.

 

The past is in the past; it’s all behind me.

I look to the right, the path opening I see.

 

I look to the left, with a road back to home, 

But really, to the right is where I must roam. 

 

And I think to myself… 

 

How during all of this, I just chose to ignore.

Staying cooped up inside was really just the bore.

 

And all of that time in my chair, saying, “Life is so boring,”

My awaking had come: this is my new Sunday morning.

 

Liz by Academy Monthly

Friends come and go

like water flowing through a river,

but there was one, old friend Liz.

She intoxicated me to my liver.

 

My old friend Liz

was a demon back then.

She’d throw rocks at windows.

She stole my favorite pen.

 

I had hated Liz,

not knowing why I stuck with her.

But Liz offered me comfort,

like I was wrapped in warm fur.

 

Liz and I became friends.

I honestly don’t know why.

But she started acting nice,

so I hoped she didn’t lie

 

I fell in love with Liz,

though she was a bit off track.

We stole her father’s car,

a shining gray new Cadillac.

 

I married her,

my old friend Liz.

We eloped to Florida,

her hair showing signs of frizz.

 

Liz started being loud.

Things started to go missing.

My wallet, my phone, my pack of cigs.

Gone was also the chance of kissing.

 

Liz divorced me.

I don’t know why.

Turned out she was a demon,

an old friend was just a disguise.

 

I went back to the neighborhood.

I told them Liz was gone.

None of them were in shock.

They knew she used me as a pawn.

 

I apologized to the neighbor.

I did the same to her dad.

I returned the shining gray Cadillac, 

that still didn’t make him any less sad.

Hinkie by Academy Monthly

He took the road less traveled,

Disobeying the Do Not Enter sign

From this World. Upon traveling this road

Boosrained from all over, but

These boos were not aware of His jewel.

As He traveled the road, he valued the journey,

Not the destination. Hinkie’s injured jewel was followed

By unearthing various diamonds on the overlooked roadside.

Many other cars, the traffic-filled road,

Populated His car with stragglers for small compensation.

Before his objects deteriorated, he sent them to the other cars,

And the boos continued to fall. For many, His car doors revolved

Like those of a fancy hotel lobby, with various rocks pouring in and out.

But throughout all of the chaos, the Process was Trusted. 

Glass Roses by Academy Monthly

Cold, the cold of the bitter winter.

Nothing but the blinding cold.

A girl, shielded by the red glow of her coat

Treads through the soft white of the untouched snow.

 

No. No. Never.

Never to go beyond.

To learn of the new snow.

To leave fresh footprints in that crisp white plane.

 

The wind howls ominously

Calling

Calling to those who will listen.

 

Most don’t or just cannot.

They hear only what is know

Or thought to be.

 

The forest calls to you but only if you listen.

 

Trees don’t shiver without their leaves.

They stand still and strong.

 

They say only that hungry devilish wolves live in the forests,

Ready to take you away forever.

To kill. To kill. To kill.

Watching and waiting for their prey.

 

One may never know to be afraid of the wolves or of the people.

And all to be left is that little red coat. Glowing in the snow. 

 

Poem From My Recitation by Academy Monthly

We grow from the roots where we were planted.

When winter comes, some of us don’t thrive.

Sometimes we plant a seed in the wrong kind of soil.

Sometimes that seed doesn’t grow to become a flower.

The rain comes and goes to water us and help us grow.

But the sun always comes out again.

We bloom in different kinds of atmosphere—

And at different times.

Wherever we are planted,

We bloom. 

Adapt to the conditions and grow again. 

The Race by Academy Monthly

The cheers sent me into a joyous swoon.

I caught my breath and glanced from side to side, 

but their names I did not know. 

 

I was told it was me against the world,

that everything in my life has led to this moment:  

if I’m not first, I’m last, 

if I’d believe, I’d succeed and

failure, that would never be an option;

and something that also sounded a bit like

that saying, “practice makes perfect”. 

 

The finish line called out, 

and I answered back. I guess 

chlorine is the breakfast of champions, 

and I swallowed that toxic spoonful.

Piano by Academy Monthly

I gravitate to the front room of my house;

Sitting underneath a painting of a boathouse

On a rickety old wooden bench 

Probably made by the French.

 

The cover opens, displaying the glamour;

My heart pounds with enamor.

The stark-white keys glitter;

Now is not the time for quitters.

 

I press down until I hear a sound,

Softly, then louder I go around and around.

Suddenly, something sounds odd–

Something inside me, screams I'm a fraud.

I Speak How I Speak by Academy Monthly

No, I’m not sorry I talk a little different.

My ‘hood accent? Is that what it’s called?

I don’t care

if you think I cheated

“because my race gave me a natural athleticism”

“because my bones are denser so I’m stronger.”

If I’m being straight up,

I think you’re dumb

as shit for believing that crap.

Like who do you think you are?

Yes, I use popular slang around my friends.

I honestly enjoy it—

drawlin, for real for real, cappin, outta pocket.

I use them all, and I’m proud of it.

Who do you think you are,

saying that’s not “proper English”?

How dare you tell me

my grammar is incorrect.

I went through grade school, trust me

I know how to speak.

I know all about 

sentence fragments, where a comma goes.

I speak how I speak because that’s who I am,

and I will never apologize for being me. 

Who do you think you are, 

saying I am not speaking well?

Don’t even get me started

about my music. 

I love rap,

and I play it loud.

Meek Mill, Kendrick, Juice Wrld, N.W.A.

They show me the reality of life,

how the world can be a cruel place

but that you should keep ya head up.

Juice Wrld has some deep lyrics about love

that help me tap into my emotions and express myself.

Some people dislike the songs I listen to

but I find the deeper meaning in them,

and, honestly, if you don’t like it,

well, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. 

Who do you think are, 

saying it’s too loud or inappropriate?

With all of this, I am also black.

That doesn’t mean I make too much noise, am rude

or uneducated. To me it means, 

I am respectful, I am loud when I wanna be, I am smart, and I am fun …

but most importantly I am me.

And I love being me! 

2nd Poem by Academy Monthly

This poem is continuing off from the first one

My teacher told me to write another one

Based off not receiving feedback from the first one

So here I am writing this one

I have to write a complete poem as one

So I am filling up lines just like this one

And this one, oh wait, I meant this one

Hoping my teacher can read the other one

And soon help me improve that one

Not too harsh but a decent one

I just realized I am ending every line with “one”

And I should say it’s a strange one

Not too happy or disappointed about this one

But I can say this work will be one of my main one

No “s” at the end of the previous line of “one”

After I finish with this one

I can go to sleep as a tired one

Oh, never mind, looks like I am ending this one

And they say in a loud clear voice, no more one

Then I can be satisfied that I am done

Chains n Shackles by Academy Monthly

Cop I was just minding’ my own business

I wear my lucky socks so I dont go down sorry I get superstitious

Why? cause you always put me on the ground it’s ridiculous

What? You gone take me to jail I can tell today your ambitious

I guess it’s part of ya job it’s the same damn thing repetitious 

Jus’ cause i’m smoking a cig now you all suspicious

Pretty sure I saw you do the same thing when you got out ya car, wow VICIOUS!

Really? I’m getting 4 years now because you went into my file so malicious

Ok I left my troop to early but I been out for 6 years asking God everyday for forgiveness

I jus’ wanna be with my family this year for christmas

But naw I’m getting locked up for a nonviolent crime that is not tradition

This system yall have designed for a unarmed man like me is twisted

If I gotta stay behind these bars for another day I think I may catch some type of sickness

I am a black man unarmed, honest, innocent, and free of charge

But all the cops sees on my file is a false military honorable discharge

My Children by Academy Monthly

I wrote this poem for an assignment in my English class, AP Madmen and Geniuses. My initial idea behind this poem came from a topic I was interested in writing more about. I had planned to include it in a presentation Meaghan Toscano and I did on the atomic bomb, but it did not fit, and this poem presented the perfect opportunity. What I wanted to analyze was this idea: usually, when talking about the effects of the atomic bomb and science, we only mention the damage done to human lives, and disregard the environmental consequences. This question was inspired by Cat’s Cradle, as well as the research Meaghan and I did on the atomic bomb. The poem is focused on human selfishness and greed in relation to the Earth. Therefore, the speaker of this poem is Mother Earth. Throughout the poem, humans are referred to and presented as one of Mother Earth’s children, along other living creatures on this planet. As a result, the poem explores a unique parent-child relationship. The mother, Mother Earth is selfless, giving her all to humans, but they take advantage of that and use her to their own benefit. Humans use the Earth’s resources for science, but end up destructing it. To illustrate this idea better, I included a few allusions in the poem. The first one, “freeze my waters,” is an allusion to Cat’s Cradle, specifically ice-nine. Felix Hoenikker creates ice-nine as a scientific wonder; however, it ends up destroying the Earth at the end of the novel. His scientific creation is used as a weapon against the Earth. The second allusion, “infect my fiery deserts,” refers to the atomic bomb, as it was first tested at the Trinity Site in New Mexico. The atomic bomb, although a great discovery, was extremely detrimental to the environment. Finally, the third allusion, “luscious carmine apples,” refers to the story of Adam and Eve. Their story is another example of human greed. Through these allusions, I tried to connect my poem to greater examples of human destruction and selfishness. 

You are my children, 

Among many others.

I give you food and water.

I give you

Life.


I see you bloom. 

I see you build.

I gave you my world,

My land, my skies, my seas.

Where did I go wrong?


Freeze my waters, melt my slopes.

Watch the drips trickling down. 

Catch them in your hands,

Not letting one hit the ground.

Dry the land, quench your thirst.


Scorch my lush paddy fields, 

Warp my majestic ranges,

Slash my towering Redwoods,

Befoul my bounteous seas, and

Infect my fiery deserts.


My tears bring your harvest, your

Luscious carmine apples.

The blood of your siblings

Fills your ravenous stomach.

Their soft skin,

Ivory tusks, and

Velvety fleece 

Are your embellishments.


You used my soft grass to crawl. 

I gave you my hands to stand.

I held your hands when you walked.

I nursed you and fed you with my bare hands.


You cannot be without me.

I give you life, yet

You are killing me.

The Embrace (Inspired by Brokeback Mountain) by Academy Monthly

I wrote this for an assignment in AP English: Crazy Love with Ms. Lintgen. We read the novella Brokeback Mountain, and had the opportunity to work on creative writing. This poem is inspired by a memory that Jack, one of the main characters, recalls. His memory is of an embrace he shared with his lover, Ennis, that has stuck with him after his life with his one true love falls apart. 

There’s never enough time,

Never enough

Not for us.

What “us”? 

Has there ever actually been an “us”? 

Because all I can remember is one “us,”

And we left it on Brokeback Mountain. 


You see, all I remember is you. 

Arms, wrapped. 

Heartbeat, steady. 

Happiness, charmed. 

And time didn’t matter then. 


That’s the issue.

Time didn’t matter then, 

But now there’s not enough.

There’s no time to go back and 

Rewrite what has already been

Written into those fucking stars above 

Our fucking mountain. 

And the worst part is that it’s 

Your fault. It’s my fault. It’s our fault.


And so all I am left with is 

A single memory of one soul,

One “us”

Up on our mountain. 

Closer to the heavens than

I’ll ever get again. 

 

And no matter how hard I try

To quit you, 

We will still linger, 

And I’ll never forget. 

I’ll never unfeel your embrace. 

God, there’s nothing I can do. 

Let be. Let be. 


(39-44)

Proulx, Annie. Brokeback Mountain. New York, Scribner, 1997.