Arts & Culture

Poetic License; Happy National Poetry Month!

By Rebecca Dow


Illustration by Vanessa Porier

In celebration, let’s allow ourselves a moment to recognize famous (or not-so-famous) writers from the past. Throughout this month, Kevin Sweeney is hosting weekly poetry readings in the All Faiths Chapel on the SMCC campus — every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. Bring your favorite poem to share at the pulpit, and keep a work of your own in mind for the last Thursday of the month, as there will be an Open Mic on this date at the same time as the readings. Today, I’ve two poems featured! My hope is that these inspire all of you writers to become involved this month with the spirit of art through literature. I’d like the Poetic Licence to be filled with as many poems as possible next issue — so please, send your poetry to

Wandering Bird
By Rebecca Dow

Wandering bird, flying and
Plucking feathers like bread
Crumbs, not to eat.
Watch them settle in familiar grass
As your skin grows colder.
Playful pipes,
To the sun –
The moon;
Each honey-wrapped hope
Is kept as a whisper –
Locked within your trembling
You beg to be chased,
Not erased in bloody toil
But rather engulfed
By the warmth of another’s
Downy affection.
Why then, do you wander?

I Survived You
By Cali Atwood

The impression of your touch is just beneath the surface
Haunting me
Fear and panic etched deep in my bone
The helplessness of a lost soul
My blood carries the poison left by you
To my heart
Sleep is like a time machine
To a year plagued with casualties
War between a guy and a girl
The death toll? Me. My innocence. My sanity.
My nights are spent remembering how to breath
Crushed under the weight of your memory
Desperate to feel a new life in my lungs
One you can’t reach
You took a part of me with you
Or rather I left it when I fled
Trying to avoid the bullets
Firing from the guns you call fingers
You left scars on my soul
Carved by your lips
And in my heart
Holes burned in the shape of I Love You
You may think you made me a victim
And in a way I was
In every moment you touched me
You were predator, I was prey
But I’ve since ripped off the label
Stitched to my forehead
With every moment we shared
“I am a victim”
But I survived you

Poets’ Statements

“This poem is about longing, rejection, and simple desire for acknowledgement. The bird keeps plucking her feathers, leaving it bald; this is a metaphor for one giving time and energy to others, but denying oneself the same. The bird wanders without direction, pleading with the sun and moon but to no avail; in the woe of rejection it hides its true emotions within, despite desperately longing for recognition. In conclusion, the bird simply ponders the contradictory nature of its actions.” ~ Becca D.


“I wrote this poem about working through a relationship that was sexually abusive. For a long time I struggled with the way that made me feel, the guilt and the shame. It took me a while to reach this feeling of acceptance, of understanding what this meant for me and my life. This poem was written one night when I was struggling with forgiving myself for being a “victim”, for allowing this trauma to define who I was. This poem is my way of reminding myself my self-worth is not defined by this trauma. No one’s is.” ~ Cali A.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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