Guidelines

Guidelines: (1) Include your name, the title of your original poem, and a brief comment about yourself; (2) Poems may be in any language (please include an English translation); (3) Poems may not violate Nicolet's Social Media Guidelines; (4) Original poems may be submitted anonymously; (5) Submit poems to Ocie Kilgus (okilgus@nicoletcollege.edu). Students and community members who submit original poems are invited to enter their work in the Best Original Poem Contest. The winners of the contest will be recognized at Nicolet College's Award Ceremonies on May 6. Upon the closing of the Poetry Project, a committee of students and faculty will select the Best Original Poem submitted by a Nicolet student.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30, 2014

Untitled
By Kacy Piontek
 
Marked by passion
For the general good
With an air of mystery
She dons her hood
With a purpose of soul
She chooses the wise
Her knowledge must be whole
Or she'll plunge to demise
Self-control is her power
The key to her good
The power is hers
To use as she should
In school, I am Raven


“I am a Radiography student at Nicolet. Raven is a famous superhero who needed knowledge to maintain self-discipline and success. Otherwise, as a daughter of a demon, her bad side would come out. I hope Nicolet will continue to cultivate the knowledge I need for success and positivity.”
* * * * * * * * * *

“Rune Stone"
By Christine M. Caz

I am forged and created by the
strong women who are my friends.
Pieces of the universe at its best.
All four winds and seasons,
and certainly the true blood of shield maidens.
 
They take the husk of my insecurities
and push it to the North wind
where it disperses instantly into
wisps of just cold April rain.
 
They are constant.
They are beautiful.
They do not waiver.
They are rock that water cannot split.

I am addicted to them.
Their laugh,
Their imperfections,
Their stories,
The color of their eyes.
Their constantly unchangeable change
Spirits that are lyric.

The spirit. The purest. The humanist.
The mischievous one. The lost soul.

You are all portraits by Da Vinci.
You are the divine feminine.

Raven gave the world sun.
When you see one, wave.
I will be riding his wing
Saving you a seat.

[Christine M. Caz is a community member who resides in Eagle River.]

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014

“A Grieving World”
By Nicole Babich
 
On Beowulf
“Suche fantasies ben in myn hede
So I noot what is best to do.”


A man with a gun shoots children at an elementary school
Men with a bomb attack a marathon too.
The head of the IRS is being investigated
The Benganzi attacks may have been premeditated
All of these issues haunt my brain
I see in the world so much pain
My dog has been put down
Because of the world I feel guilty for having my own frown
Sometimes I feel like I just can’t go on
The stress and the anxiety on me fall upon
How can I have my own worries
When the world is going all topsy turvy
I haven’t been shot at, been bombed, been attacked
But I feel the pressure breaking my back
I can’t fix it all but I always try
I pray and I pray but the people still cry
I send condolences to my friend whose baby is dead
But then a tornado roars straight ahead
I cannot accept the pain and the unfairness
What happened to all the love and the sweetness?
These are the thoughts that keep me awake
They make me shiver; they make me shake
How can I live in a world with no light?
I ponder these things each day and night
Strange fantasies have been in my head
Would it be better if I gave up instead?
Could I stop trying and hoping for the world to be a better place?
Defeat is a measure I don’t want to face
Like this author I ponder and pine
For a time when I stop worrying about grief, the world’s and mine

[See April 5’s posting for a brief statement about Nicole Babich.]

* * * * * * * * * *

“Carrion On”
By David Rogers
 
Vulture infidels        Eight
In sun-burned waste of palmetto and live oak;
I pause to watch a dark ceremony
Under pillars of latent thunder.
 
A Brahman calf
Torn fresh        That chest
Still weighing the first breaths of life, 
Now a font for visceral stew.
 
Beaks of seven scythes perched on
Raw necks glisten in gorging,
When        one broad cowl rises,
A bald eagle at Cocytus.
 
Bloodied crown and white collar
Amid the dancing jackals,
I hold a long frozen breath
And drop a traitor            Single shot.
 
[David Rogers is an adjunct instructor of English.]

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

"Dreams Don't Rule Us"
By Nicole Babich


On Hamlet
"A dream itself is but a shadow" (Shakespeare, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 245).


I've had a dream that has made me shake
I made a terrible mistake
However I woke up and didn't need to ponder
But then the dream kept following me from down yonder
Is it real or is it not
Will it happen later? Well that's a terrible thought
It was only a nightmare though
Soon away it will go
I'm blessed I can tell reality from a dream
I know I don't have to worry about how things seem
In dreams I don't believe for more than a minute
With his however Hamlet became intimate
Hamlet was troubled, his madness revealed
Whereas in the back of my head my thoughts are concealed
Some dreams happen and some disappear
I can tell the difference between a dream and a day
Sanity is not a price I have to pay
My dreams are no more than shadows; I'm certainly blessed
I worry for a moment and then forget like the rest.


[See April 5's posting for a brief statement about Nicole Babich.]

* * * * * * * * * *

“Red Rupp”
By Victor Kiedrowski
 
Red Rupp,
riding in the snow.
I’ll take you wherever I go.
Red Rupp,
oh so cool.
Vintage ’72 is real old school.
Vintage sleds are oh so nice,
I’ll take you on the lake, on snow, and ice.
Ah Red Rupp.
Red Rupp vintage,
Red Rupp old.
You are meant for the snow and cold.
Red Rupp all around the neighborhood.
While other people say, “you’re looking good”.
The Rupp at a bar,
the Rupp on the trails,
the Rupp at the mailbox
picking up the mail.
One thing is true: I like Rupps.
Red Rupp,
riding in December.
You are a thing I’ll always remember.
Guess what? 
Everywhere I haul
a red chunk of metal that I love overall.
I wish there wasn’t spring. 
I wish there wasn’t summer. 
‘Cause not riding my Rupp is a real big bummer. 
Everything I say is meant to be about the Rupp. 
It’s the only thing I focus on, now that I’m grown up. 
Red Rupp in the morning,
Red Rupp in the night. 
If you write an answer for my favorite thing
Red Rupp is always right. 
Red Rupp with my buddies,
Red Rupp all alone.
The only part I don’t like is when I come home. 
I wish that I could snowmobile all through July.
But I think because I can’t I’m going to have to cry. 
The Red Rupp is my buddy.
The Red Rupp is my friend. 
I’ll ride the Red Rupp snowmobile
‘til life is at its end. 
 
Per Victor’s mother: “Victor is in the second grade at Mercer Elementary School. He really enjoys writing. He is often found at the desk in his room, outside, at the kitchen table, and/or downstairs on the computer writing poems, small illustrated books, short plays for himself and his two younger sisters to act out, etc. -– just about anything!”

 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 27, 2014

"18 Doesn't Make You a Man"
By Nicole Babich


On Wilde
"It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth."


My boyfriend is in trouble
Because his tales turn double
He speaks lies
Then claims I knew the truth to my very eyes
Men like to lie to pretty girls
That makes anger stem from my curls
What is more terrible living a lie
Or telling the same lies time after time
He does not get to feel sad
He has done all things bad
I tell him once to stop
His bad habits he does not drop
Chew. Chew. Spit.
Well that dog has now been bit
He certainly doesn't the know the importance of being learnest
I've heard it even from tourists
The importance here is being honest
Especially when men make promises
Jack and Algernon met their makers
But my sense of humor is as bitter as a salt shaker
The story has been Wilde
But in the end men realize they have only been acting like a child


[See April 5's posting for a brief statement about Nicole Babich.]


* * * * * * * * * *


"no destination at all"
By Carolee Salat


Remember those days of warm freedom
When the last evening's light lit your lips
And the pull of nowhere-to-be's
And the nothing-to-do's
Stopped you in your tracks out of breath?


When you could sit for hours
And listen to the Oo-wah-hooo, hoo-hoo
Of the mourning dove
Or the "Fee-bee, Fee-bee" of the black-capped chickadees
Feasting at your feeder
And you'd watch the leaves turn from
Brown, to yellow, to green, to red, to brown?


Do you remember
When the years passed so slowly
That you could hear them squeak along
Waiting, waiting, waiting
For the sun to rise and the moon to fall?


Do you remember being twelve
And eighteen, or twenty-three?
Do you remember thinking that
Anyone over the age of forty
Was "over the hill"
And didn't know what they were talking about,
And that they just didn't understand you?


I remember it all and more.
I keep it packed away
For that trip I'm going to take someday.
The one I've been planning
For days, and weeks, and year.


And when I get there
I'm going to lay it all out --
Take off my watch --
And slip in to each and every moment and memory
And head out on a long, long trip
With no destination at all
And with all the time


In the world.


[See April 25's posting for a brief statement about Carolee Salat.]

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 26, 2014

"Friends or Frenemies"
By Nicole Babich


On Chopin
"So the storm passed and every one was happy."


Things are not what they appear
People treat themselves so dear
They look away and fake a smile
One can only live half a life for such a while
Everyone has a secret
But not all know how to keep it
Ignorance in these cases is bliss
To never know what you've missed
My class acts like a family
Except they exempt people like me
My speech for graduation is so bad
How can I write dear things when they make me so mad
They talk behind me and hide it as poorly as an affair
You can see their judgment in the air
I can hardly see what I've done wrong
So I sing this pity song
The storm won't pass and all is not well
A happy family is a stupid fairy tale
Secrets only last in books
Real people can't hide their looks
This isn't a storm of weather
It's a storm of hateful measures
They think I do not know and that I'm blind
But about them I think not so kind
I speak ironically to show them up
Like Chopin said passion cannot let up


[See April 5's posting for a brief statement about Nicole Babich.]


* * * * * * * * * *


"Becoming"
By Carolee Salat


I am woman of this world
Of this earth and water
Of these woods and valleys
It is who I am --


And I rest in the knowing
That when the thorns and brambles of life
Stick me and bruise me and sometimes
Pummel the breath out of me
The sharpness is softened --


And I can rise beyond
And embrace the bone and skin and heat of my being
And go into this world and through those fears
To become a verse in this song.


[See April 25's posting for a brief statement about Carolee Salat.]

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

"Two Betrothed"
By Rachel Yeomans


 1 I'm bliss here. Why so?
   It is us two
   Just me and you
   A chance together that we've
        never had before

 2 Leave this place? Why never!
   Why should I ever
   If this is better
   Than anything I've known in
        years before

 3 Break from your grasp? I'll die
   Before would I
   Depart from thy
   Luminous beauty which is shining
        brighter than before

 4 Lady, my love, my dear?
   Could you but hear
   What I feel near
   This moment coming stronger
        than ever before

 5 Will you marry me? Oh joy!
   I shall deploy
   All of my love
   Sharing life closer with you
        than ever before

 6 Shall we regret this? Nonsense!
   From this day hence
   Our hearts cement
   As we pass each day fuller
        than before

 7 I am complete. Are you?
   We love so true
   What we shall do
   Is pledge commitment more
        than e're before

 8 Will times grow tough? They will
   But darling still
   We'll work it through
   And finish more united
        than before

 9 We're not alone, alright?
   There's help and might
   In other's plight
   That have been couples made
        in years before

10 This night has waned. How true!
   I always will love you.
   Our moment is now due
   The curtain closes on a scene as
        precious as before

"This was supposed to be a story about a couple getting engaged beneath an old tree carved with other lovers' initials. The man is talking throughout the whole thing, asking questions to his fiancé. At the end (10th verse) they are old and visit that tree again before they die."

* * * * * * * * * *

"Softness of a Silent Soul"
By Carolee Salat

Heron
Blue-grayness sweeps to waters edge
The silent shape of S in flight
My soul wrapped

In one moment
No breath
No air
Nothing

Those prehistoric wings
beat
and he is
gone

"I am a resident of Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin. As a mother, outdoorswoman, amateur photographer, poet, and artist, I am constantly searching for my sense of place and identity through my art. My work is spurred on by my husband, 12-year-old son, and two humongous dogs. Plus living surrounded by beauty, doesn't hurt either."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014

"Someone to Believe in . . ."
By Cherie Setzer


a wonderful person to spend my life with
my dreams, my hopes, my fears
a person to share the good times
who will wipe away my tears


Someone to believe in . . .


he was my shining star,
we fell in love so fast
making a life together
a life that forever would last


it all changed so quickly
my star was suddenly dark
the man I promised to love
would leave his permanent mark


his comments how they cut me
my self-esteem was lost
this man that I believed in
but look at what the cost


I am a smart woman
but he took my dignity
I had my eternal life
but he took my soul from me


getting out was hard
I knew no other home
I knew I had to leave
but I felt so all alone


a wonderful thing did happen
as painful as it seemed
I closed the door to all the hurt
and opened it to dreams


I finally regained
all that once was mine
I did it on my own
it just took a little time


from that point on,
my own two feet I stand
I will find my shining star
someone who thinks I am


Someone to believe in . . .


"It doesn't matter what you have done in your past or what you will do in your future. You do count: your life is important. There isn't anybody out there that should be allowed to tell you any different."


* * * * * * * * * *


"The Wooden Porch - Watching Seasons Pass"
By Hannah Bailey


Summer
The sun is beating down relentlessly on my damp skin
I soak it in willingly; I'm a reptile in need of its sustenance.
My fingers brush the pale wood upon which I lay
and a splinter pricks my finger
blindly I search for the source of pain.
The sun is bright, everything is white and fuzzy.
I look around and find myself alone on the porch
the dogs are running wild through the woods,
chasing whatever critter they can find.
I can hear June shuffle over the dead leaves and brush
and Toots sprints madly after something.
I can smell my mother's garden, full of vegetables
of every shape and size.
The tomatoes are ripe and juicy, my favorite
I pick an engorged red gem and pop it into my dry mouth.
The tangy tomato envelopes my mouth giving me the relief I crave.
I walk down the steps to the grass to investigate the outer limits of our yard.
The smell of freshly mowed greens overwhelms my senses,
and the clippings tickle my bare toes.
Flowers surround the porch,
bright periwinkles, scarlet, and golden yellows brighten
the once bare landscape.
The dogs appear out of nowhere from the forest
barking madly, and covered in dirt.
They lick my legs with eager tongues,
loving the salty mess that I am.
I pick them up, it's time for baths
***
Winter
The darkness is suffocating here
along with father winter the woods are silent and bitter cold.
Smoking my cigarette it is hard not to hear the prowling wolves
snap, snap, snap; the dead tress can't withstand their weight.
My heart pounds in my ears, rapid and strong.
I can hear them getting closer,
I cannot seem them,
But I can hear them getting closer, curious of what I am doing out so late.
It's so cold but I am too terrified to move.
My fingers are blue, my face is red, dripping nose
I can hear them, but I cannot see them.
Then the howling starts
loud and strong are their cries to the moon.
I look up, and notice how clear it is out here.
The stars like gems strewn about the sky
It would be so peaceful,
If not for the wolves.
***
Fall
The air has become crisper
much less heavy without the humidity of August.
Sitting on the steps I notice the proud pines
standing tall, immune to the changing seasons.
The oaks have bedecked a new shade of blazing gold
every once in a while one falls onto the precious lawn,
the only green left,
it hangs on for its life, the grass is a survivor in the land of the dying.
Smoke curls from my lips, grey and thick.
It's not quite cold enough for a jacket, but the wind is trying to change that.
It blows through my sweater,
sending chills up my spine, and dotting my skin with goose bumps.
Grey skies are overhead, with threats of snow.
The once buzzing forest grows quieter with each passing day.
I can smell the garden, once so plentiful
now full of death and decay
until next year when it can flourish again.
The brown vines tangle together,
hanging onto what is left of their life
not knowing that
winter is coming.
The caged area where it resides adorned with wind chimes
they sing along with the wind
a phantom tune of endings, and new beginnings.


[Per Hannah's mother, Hannah used to sit on the porch swing for long stretches of time. Those periods of quiet contemplation and observations of nature served as inspiration for her poem.]