Midnight Rhapsody, et al

Midnight Rhapsody

Midnight haven – a
Cotton rectangle of white,
Clean paper before the writer
Starts to compose a poem.
I ride it across a brainstorming sea,
Thrown about by unseen fears
And thrashing unbridled tears
Waves fluctuate in a saw-tooth pattern
As they try to dash me against the jagged
Points of jutting doubts.
In isolated REM
I can brave the qualms, uncertainties
Embracing clouded thoughts in flight
That exists only in my dreams.

My pillow is a sanctuary, a fortress
Built upon a foundation of stone whose
Age is reflected by its entwined veins
In shades of gray.
It protects me from the elements:
The howling storm and pounding pebbly rain
Reverberate as they ricochet
For they can not touch me.
Hurled hail breaks on impact and chip off
Only specks of rock that are churned up
Into atoms by water below.
Even hurricanes, titans of coiled and layered wind
Can not touch me in my nightmares.

My pillow is my vehicle for adventure.
There is not a single fiber of hesitation
When I let my worries go and luge,
Shouting as the exhilaration of speed
Slowly overtakes the fear of crashing.
My ears ring and tingle
As they meet icicle air on silent slopes.
A curtain of onyx hair
Billows behind me like a blanket.
I will come to no harm
Under the watchful eyes
Of my silent sentry.

My pillow is my universe in which
I am a star that does not orbit any track
But plows straight-ahead
In a single unfaltering direction
Past every planet, every galaxy
Until there is nothing but the unknown.
Alone, I, a lone supernova streak
Across the cackling darkness
Building up courage and confidence,
Tackling half-mutated fears and trepidation
While savoring who I was, how I have
Changed and what I am now.
When the first rays of dawn creep in,
My fantasy disintegrates but my pillow remains.

The Little Reader

Peered through library glass doors
There stood a little girl with her arms crossed, crying
Teardrops, like multi-faceted diamonds
On her flushed cheeks shining
Under a soft sunbeam.
Her feet were calling for order like gavels.
She slowly sways back and forth
To the Ice-cream truck’s
Repetitive and enticing melody.
Her narrowed eyebrows betray
The impatience on her pixie face.
Her rejected eyes see nothing but that
Perfect bar of ice-cream sprinkled with cookie crumbs.
The sound of her shouting was discordant with the truck’s
Alluring music and the soft breeze of a young autumn.

Then, she was soothed by one tender sentence.
Her mother whispered promises of a book in her ears
The little girl’s sobbing stopped and she
Permitted a sweet smile to overtake sweat and tears.
Allowing herself to be lead into the library
Her five fingers took her mother’s offered hand.
Her black eyes shone with anticipation
As if she would enter a wormhole to a wonderland.
She seemed to walk on a red carpet path
In a glass palace with marble tiles
Full with stories awaiting her that she never seen.
She looked like almost within her grasp
Was the book, a shuffled ream
The key to another
Dimension- her nightly dream.

Once in the children’s reading room
She transformed from
A little girl craving ice-cream into the
Princess of a majestic kingdom.
Crowned in a silver circlet etched with confidence
Clothed in silk with grace embroidered in her dress
She sat on her throne of wood
With dignity and decorum.
There is a crackle as the spine of the book is
Stretched for the first time.
Her eye widened at vivid pictures and miles of lines
No longer restrained by physical bounds as if she
Had slipped away to a parallel world of once-upon
Her joy was written on her face
As she submerged herself in thrills and fun.

The pages perfumed the air with adventure
Wisps of witches and warriors wafted in
The smell of castles and crowns drifted around
Tresses of plots and persecution connected through her grin
With justice and happy endings.
As the girl contentedly feasted on words
And digested their meanings.
Delicate inky treasures
The din around her
And her cascade of flowing and grand
Black hair contrasted her velvet-toned
Silence, her serene pastel face and
The perfect snow-white pages
Clasped in her twin palms.
They were all contained in her own universe
Orbiting in a realm of tranquility and calm.

Apparatus

This melting pot offers me a
World wide window
At times, I can believe
That the train is like a cold
Metal skin whose
Soul, the fiery sparks
Of sheer willpower and New Yorker attitude
Warms my heart.
That is the source of its
Multicultural vigor and energy.
Fueled and ridden by
New Yorkers, the
Train carries me
Through the tunnels of time
And darkness that I know
Will eventually open to the
Light.

Sarah Liu
Age 14, Grade 9
Hunter College High School
Gold Key

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