Category Archives: Poetry

Call to OU students

Athens, Ohio.
What do you make of this place?
Here are some haikus:

What brings people here?
Depends on who you are and
Who you want to be

Was it the beauty?
The rolling hills and brick roads?
The trees and hiking?

Was it the renown
Of Halloween, Palmerfest
Mill, High and Oakfests?

Was it your boyfriend?
High school sweets never apart
(good luck with that one)

Could it be the school?
academics, library
“Harvard on the Hock?”

Think of your hometown.
Think of the landmarks, the streets
The grocery store

Think of your neighbors
Some are old, some have children,
Some are rich, some poor

Some drive, some might walk
Some own, some rent, some couch-surf;
All call that place home.

Athens is home, too
For a few thousand of us
Who live here year-round

We’ve been here for years;
Many for generations
Planted here by blood.

I’m not one of those
I’m a transplant to this place
And I am learning.

At first, the locals
Were invisible to me
In “my college town.”

It was easier
to say that Athens is poor
without knowing it.

Athens has struggles
Not unlike many places
But also unlike.

As I ventured out,
I began to know people
Not census numbers.

As I ventured out,
I began to know troubles
And the ties that bind.

I began to know
Homeless people and addicts
Widows and orphans.

I met the best of myself
And also the worst.

It’s hard to reach out
Into the lives of people
Who have oft been hurt

It’s much easier
To swoop in once, and then go
And not open up.

Please don’t stunt your reach
And therefore limit yourself
Reach into this place.

After all, Athens
May not quite be your hometown
But it is a town.

It is a hometown
It is a place of beauty
A place of culture

A place of people
A place of rich heritage
If not deep pockets.

You are here for now
And will have ties here for years…
Why not go make more?

Please come visit me
And get to know your neighbors
as well as yourself.

— Amanda Carlyle


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Filed under Food for thought, Poetry

“A child, sitting, eating a bowl of cereal”

One, two, three
A, B, C

The child asks “why do I need this one?”
“I don’t know, that’s what the doctor said, babe”
Back to bed, another missed school day

A daily routine learned at the age of 8
For pains and aches, to sleep and be kept “safe”
Is this a childhood to remember?

One, two, three
A, B, C

With reading, writing, and arithmetic
A new lesson is learned
Say something hurts

And a new pill will be earned
Attention is what we seek in all forms
When the people around us are tiny thunderstorms

One, two, three
Learned just like our A, B, C’s

–Emily Axe

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Filed under Food for thought, Poetry

Invisible Children (of God)


“In memory of Raymond, our friend”


Man down—
In the alley—
Not moving—
Not well—
In the alley—
Out back—

        A man-shaped hole sits in our midst uptown—
        No longer occupied by a grizzled beard
        Stained by spaghetti or some cheap noodle,
        Not inhabited by caustic odors
        From the dusty jeans or the rust-blue cap
        Of an invisible oft-seen stranger.
        Our town no longer houses this burden:
        Shifting around, to pass, his lean-up cane;
        Fumbling about, to slip, his blue-eyed gaze;
        Yelling a curse, to blame, his drunk-up life.

        A man-shaped hole sits in our midst uptown—
        No longer occupied by his aged face
        Stained by depression or some life trauma
        Not inhabited by the handshook welcome
        From the toothless mouth or the blood-warm heart
        Of an inscrutable oft-smiled neighbor.
        Our shrugsmugged hearts still mar his burden:
        Pausing abrupt, to see, his lonely life;
        Being amidst, to know, his silent name;
        Coming along, to share, his suffered self.

Man died.
He fell.
In the alley.
Not having.
Not known.
In the alley.
No family.
 No blood.



Filed under Poetry