Poems Inspired by William Carlos Williams

This Is Just To Be

I am sitting

in sands

that are on

the beach

at which

we were going to

swim in

the water

Forgive me

The water is cold

and I

won’t go in

The Stuffed Dog

So much history

from

the stuffed

dog

covered in matted

fur

tucked in purple

sheets

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56159/this-is-just-to-say

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45502/the-red-wheelbarrow

How To Live Adaptation

Create as much as you can, make cards and paintings and sketches and drawings

Work in charcoal and pastels and watercolor and acrylic. 

Express who you are, how you want to. 

Embrace the unknown. Take hold of your future. 

Allow yourself to leave those who don’t support you behind. Or prove them wrong. 

Stick with those who believe in you, and the ones who will help you. Be impulsive.

Take in media. Read books, listen to music or podcasts, watch movies and tv shows. 

Scroll through Instagram, watch youtube.

This is the new society, be a part of it and watch it grow. 

Become friends with people from Germany, accidentally have a gross conversation with an Australian guy. Experience what past generations could not.

Be ambitious. Don’t be afraid to erect change and to go against old rules and put new ones in place

create a world where everyone is welcome, even if you have to start with your own home. 

Take on new risks. Go on a random trip to another state in the middle of your life. Wake up early and watch the sunset on the beach. 

Go across the country to watch the sunset. 

Be oddly fascinated with hermit crabs for five years and understand the brutal ways slightly changing their environment could kill them.

Hold onto your values. Listen to music. Don’t drink if you don’t want to. Enjoy your family. 

‘You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind. Because they don’t dance and if they don’t dance well they’re no friends of mine’

Accidentally snitch on your cousins taking a jello shot when you are 9. 

Don’t get pressured into taking a sip of wine by your cousins at the age of 17. 

Scream Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs in an empty ballroom after a 50th birthday party

After you’ve danced like you’re the dancing queen young and sweet only 17. Life your life to the fullest and don’t let anyone take that away. 

Play the 2007 Mario Party 8 game on your wii from 2009 in the year 2020 because everything has gone downhill. Live through history, but not the kind you thought you were going to. Buy a brand new board game based on the events of your current life. Watch people get trampled over because of toilet paper. Be stuck in the house with three people for an entire year. Revamp the education system because of a virus. 

Make a pun card for each day of the year during science class. Keep a book of quotes. 

Listen to the Twisted Sister christmas album because “Who would listen to that?!” 

Play the P&F holiday favorites over and over for two days straight because Platypi are bioluminescent under black light and Dan Povenmire called it by making Perry teal and Phineas found evidence that Santa Clause is a cryptid. 

Enjoy kids cartoons. They were made for adults too. 

Be scared by the teletubbies German translation.

Spend hours on end looking through your saved photos for that one picture of that one time to get distracted and never find it.

Set up for Christmas way too early. Let halloween be two months long. 

Take pictures when no ones watching the camera at a party because that is going to get you a better smile than saying “Cheese”.

Inspired by How to Live by Charles Harper Webb, this is my poem about how to live life. https://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php%3Fdate=2006%252F11%252F03.html

“Where I’m From” Adaptation

I took up inspiration from George Ella Lyon’s poem titled “Where I’m From” and rewrote it within the parameters of my own life.

I am from…

I am from craft paper

From cricut and inkpads

I am from the backyard deck

(the hot tub that never worked

And sounds of laughter)

I am from the milkweed 

That arose during summer weather

The large oaks

Whose lighting struck limbs

Have since gone 

I am from leaving the beach with ice cream, and short women

From Chayna and Vicki 

I’m from dad jokes and science explanations

And from Sit straight! With a jab in the back.

I am from Thank you Lord for the food on the table and from quiet down at the kids table. 

And sweet caroline BUM BUM BUM 

I’m from large family meals and leaving on walks as the youngest two

I’m from Princeton Hospital and Lithuania

And cheesey biscuit dogs and grandmom sandwiches

From Dad’s knee surgery, the fixing I was too afraid to watch

I am from photo albums, stacked high upon a shelf

Put together by my mom and her mom 

Detailing the paths we have taken in our lives, the weddings and moments we remember,

The childhood and people we may forget

Raymond’s Secret

I shove a marshmallow on a stick and hover it over the fire. This is our senior class trip, camping… whose idea was that? I let the marshmallow bounce between the flames, barely avoiding being engulfed by the blaze. My eyes are captivated by the campfire in front of me, and the conversation of my friends around me becomes distant, as if they were in another room. I know what this is. This happened last time. But I will not let it happen again. I close my eyes and take a moment to myself. 

“Think about what your therapist said,” I remind myself. Then I breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breath in, then out. In and out. 

Focusing back on the conversation, I hear my classmates reminiscing about our last four years at highschool. 

“Wait wait remember when the gym teacher brought out the giant volleyball and that kid hit Mr. Justin…” 

“Oh. My. Gosh. That was hilarious, he was sooooo furious!!”

Everyone erupts into laughter. I wedge my marshmallow stick into the ground between my legs. I have a specific way of making marshmallows: I grab the graham cracker halves and line them up underneath the marshmallow; lifting up, the marshmallow is dislodged from the stick and then folded all together. 

“That’s a cool way you make s’mores, Ray” I look across the circle and see Archer watching me finish my first s’more of the night. 

“Uh, thanks I guess…” 

Next to Archer, Sarah sits cross legged on her chair, “Archeeerrr do you like remember in the beginning of junior year when you and Raymond did that sports thingy for the Pep Rally??? That was like soooo cool!”

Everyone agrees  how much fun that was, but Archer and I just look away awkwardly. He and I are the only ones that know what actually happened that day before the Pep Rally. 

“Waaait where did you go after that, Raymond?? You like disappeared until the last marking period…?” 

Sarah looks at me so intensely that I start to blurt out my worst secrets, “Well because of–”

“Ray had to help his father with family a couple states over so he got all his assignments early to do over in Michigan.” Archer cut me off before I could say something I would regret. Dammit he’s always covering for me… I should have known better than to almost tell everyone about the incident on the first night of our trip. 

“Thanks but you didn’t have to tell them, Archer…” 

“No problem dude, its what bros are for anyways” 

“Sooooo Archer. Why did you get all these tattoos…?”

“Because he wants to be cool like his parents!” I spouted out before Archer could even say a word.

Archer shoots me a look before turning back to her and saying, “Heh, maybe. But actually each one has a specific meaning to me” 

The two of them went back and forth asking and explaining about each of his tattoos. I sat back, grabbing another marshmallow, piercing it with my stick and hovering it over the fire. Again, the fire seems to call me, but I can’t. I don’t know why this keeps happening. I mean I do know why, I just don’t know why I’m like this. 

“Hey! Raymond!!” It’s Archer, what is he trying to tell me? He runs up to me and smacks the stick out of my hand. Archer grabs me by the shoulders and stares into my eyes. I have no clue what just happened. 

“Ray..” Archer shakes my shoulders “Raymond, are you okay…?” 

“What happened…?” I feel cloudy and dizzy, as if I were dreaming.

“You were making another s’more…” his brow furrows and a frown places itself on his lips, “But then your marshmallow caught fire, but we didn’t realize until you started gradually lifting it up to your face. Gabby screamed and I knocked it out of your hand.” 

After Archer had finished talking, I see Archer’s eyes slowly widen and his face go slack with shock.

“What?” 

“LOOK!”

As I turn around I see a pile of leaves ablaze and the flames licking at the edge of the forest, climbing up the body of the trees. 

“Nononono, it’s happening again, this is just like what happened in the lab, Archer! It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault.. and this time our whole grade will know!” 

“Heyheyhey, calm down, just look at me okay… It has always been you and me, best friends since kindergarten,  we can get through this just like we did last time, but first we need to get out of here.”  

I look into Archer’s eyes and see his concern, the worry written into his forehead. It was there in the lab before the pep rally too, the day I burned down the science wing. 

“Okay, let’s go.” Archer grabs my hand and  keeps a tight grip on it, and then we run. 

We make it just in time. We are the last two to board the bus, before it races for the entrance. 

That day, in the lab… I caused something horrendous. That was the first time, with the bunsen burner… Afterwards they kept me in the hospital until they thought I was no longer harmful, that was why I was away for so long. 

“Hey, Ray…” Archer is next to me on the bus as we pull away from the disaster we caused. 

“I know you think this is over for you, but this really was an accident. I just didn’t want you to hurt yourself again…” 

“Thanks man…” Behind that conversation lay years of unresolved disconnect. Still, we have a strong friendship. And maybe, with Archer’s help I can overcome this monster inside of me. That is me… maybe this is what it takes to get onto the path to safely navigating life without fear of burning down another forest. I will do what I have to, just to keep from hurting anyone else.

Based off of image taken from a New York Times prom image list attached below.

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