Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Flower, the Ring, and the Wheel: New Visions of a Heartwarming Photo, By Three Young Poets

I found this photo on someone's Facebook page, uncredited, so if anyone knows its origin, please let me know so that I can post it here. That said, isn't this a moving photo representing a community of children? It's a moving writing prompt, as well, as you're about to see from the three metaphorical poems inspired by this picture, by two 12-year-old girls and one 11-year-old boy….

Wheel of Community
by P.M., age 12

The spokes all work together,
to keep the wheel moving
they use their heads,
to hold up their community.

Their feet nailed to the center
without any gaps,
the spokes are all important.
With gaps and spaces,
the community won't
turn, move, or progress properly
on the grassy road of life.

*          *          *          *

A Ring Forever
by A.C., age 12

Heads of honeycomb stud the ring
Curving around elegant forms in warm hues of brown
That come together like rays of the sun.
In the middle of a leafy, green forest
Lies the ring,
A ring crafted not of cold diamond and gaudy gold,
But of life, of beating hearts, and hands and feet 
   wreathed together;
Of peace, unity, happiness, and freedom
On the longest day, and longest night,
When shadows stretch, and the sun and moon
   are at their fullest.
It is then, that the forgotten people
Of a faraway place gather in an unknown 
   corner of a nameless jungle,
As these people, so long ago discarded by others
Come together, time stops.
And there is only music,
The soft whistling of the wind and hum of the crickets,
   of voices, young and deep, and 
   old and cracked, strung together by the rhythm 
   of the ground.
It is not perfect, but it is together.
It is a ring forever,
A promise to the earth.

     *     *     *     *     *     *

by D.S., age 11

An open flower
With welcoming arms
For bees to come
and bring it pollen
And to take its nectar
To share with 
the world.
Most of us
See only
Bees coming in
And giving
And flowers
Simply receiving
It gives 
Things we 
Would never imagine
So when we go to 
Pollinate the flowers
With seeds of knowledge
We return with sweet nectar knowledge and memories
Of their cultures
Of their Ubuntu*
Of the things that they
Offer to us.
Accept their gifts 
With open arms
For though it seems that
We may not,
We need each other,
We do.
For we need
To share
Our ingenuity
Our culture
Our own special talents.
In Africa,
A flower waits with open arms
for you.
Go to it.

*"Ubuntu" is a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to "human kindness." It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally "human-ness." We discussed this briefly in class as we looked at the picture.