Cooper Hall, USF, Florida

Monotone sound waves

Bombard the inner drum;

Idle chatter is birdsong

That lightens the mood.

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To the Untitled Works…of Mr. Pollock?

Waiting for the mood and blank canvas
To lead the hand and body

As globs of paint of red, teal, black, gold and others
Are spread across the plain surface.

It is mere chance as to
What shapes emerge.
————————

Splatters guided by gravity
And the flick of the wrist.

Some sand to add the texture
Of a roughened beard.

Several nails, old house paint;
All to give some character

To the taped down canvas
Spread upon the bare garage floor

The Foreign Math Language

A foreign language of numbers and symbols
Glare mockingly as I try to cope. Examples
Complicate the code presented on the board.

Mental gears desperately in need of oil
Grind slowly in an attempt to soak in
All the drawn out explanations. Basic

Problems are assigned to further register
The abstract ideas addressed, but the internal
Cogs and wheels refuse to spin.

“Why can’t I get this? Why is the answer
One half and not simply five tenths?” Despair
Floods my mind as I move to the next problem.

Eyes moving from the board to the book,
Thoughts tumbling and twisting—
Acceptance is the only answer:

These concepts known as fractions
Confound my slow brain. I only hope
The teacher sees these feeble attempts

Are my best efforts, since upstairs
Half the lights refuse to shine, refuse
To make room for this new information.

I meant for this to be my closing poem to the month of May, but unfortunately I didn’t finish it in time. Even though it is no longer May, I want to say this: this poem is supposed to reflect another aspect of a kid having a stroke. Things like math turn into gibberish or an impossible foreign language. This is true also true for some adults, but of course for a kid who must learn the information or fail the class, the pressure is higher. Anyway, before I really start rambling on and on and go on random tangents, if you would like to know where you can find information on childhood stroke, here are some websites you can go to: national stroke association or stroke in children. Or you could go to my post on the statistics of pediatric stroke which I posted on May 6th.

One Stroke Poem (Fists Like Buried Chests)

The fisted hands balled up tight
Presses against the pink cotton shirt

Knuckles white as pearls
Shine in a dimmed light.

Soft mother eyes watch
The sleeping child.

“When will your little fists
Unfurl to grasp my hands?”

A soft caress down one arm
Toward a tightly wrapped hand.

“I await the day you’ll find the key
To this perfect little chest.

Then we can walk hand and hand,
But for now I will treasure

The you I see today.”

Vengeful Gray Sky

Smothered by a steel gray blanket
Encasing machine and life in its embrace;
Winter without the whipping cold.

Heavy drops splatter across the view
Angry red lights, screeching tires.
Waves splash outward, hydroplaning cars.

Crawling after recovery, panic rising
Who will squeeze and nose through?
Who will react and slam bumpers?

Danger escalating with each passing minute
A ray of light, a reprieve from the vengeful sky
Relieves the pressure. All relax into the drive.