What a World

July 19, 2010
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Pebbles popped as big black tires stumbled over them.
The engine purred once, retiring with a wheeze.
The car door inched open, hesitantly.
A foot dangled out and fell flat,
Where the still-warm sand embraced it.

She began to shift her weight unto the waiting foot,
When the car warned her—bing!
She jumped but yanked out the keys,
Sliding off the seat,
Pressing the rusted door shut with a lock—Click!

Her blue-grey eyes were cast downward,
Avoiding the few silhouettes clustered around the beach,
Huddled around campfires, cloaked in darkness,
Sharing the warmth.
Embracing life.
Utterly naïve.

Her blue-grey eyes had seen the best
And worst
Of humankind.
Things to be proud of and things
Less heartwarming.

She slunk against the shoreline,
Walking on.
Walking on until there were no choruses of laughter,
No flickering fires, no traces of humanity.

Her head tilted back as she sat cross-legged upon a dune,
Her eyes yearning for the sky, for the stars.
And finally, finally, those blue-grey eyes were looking up.
She drew in a breath of the crisp night air,
Letting it whistle through her teeth on its way out.

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are…

The children’s nursery rhyme was murmured through her tight lips,
Her face softening from its tense mask, its defense to reality,
To the “real world” society.

Her eyes panned out across the sky,
Mesmerized by the clusters of stars.

Here a bunch clumped together.
There sprinkled a few, falling behind,
Fallen behind.
The fallen.

There were of course the few who stood out right away.
The colored stars.
Brick house red ones, electric blue ones…
The ones that refused to conform,
To share the common white-hot color of their star brothers.

She sighed.
The ones with personality, spunk.
The North Star.
Now that one was different from its brothers, too.
It was much, much brighter.

She liked to think of it as the leader.
The “wise old man” of the stars.
It in fact was the sole star humans themselves relied on,
Constantly leading them forward in the right direction,
Like the magi to Jerusalem.

She turned her head from the north and looked east.
A blob was missing from the sky.
A patch of stars, just gone.

As she squinted, an outline began to form—
The missing piece of sky was only shadowed by a cloud.
Shadowed, powerless, and unseen, these stars were forgotten.

She bowed her head, and headed back up the beach.
Back to the feisty fires, the innocent laughter.
Back into reality.

“However far we reach into the cosmos,
Our destiny lies not in the stars but on Earth itself,
In our own hands, in our own hearts.”
Nixon’s words were barely audible,
Drifting delicatly on the breeze,
Whispered gently from her surpressed lips.

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This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

rainonroses said...
Sept. 12, 2010 at 11:58 am
Hey, just wanted to say THANK YOU for your comments and ratings on Better Days and Forgiveness. They really did make my day, I love it when people say they were moved to tears by my writing. :) Also, your writing is amazing! I love the description and the beautiful hidden meanings in this peice. "Our destiny lies not in the stars but on Earth itself, in our own hands, in our own hearts" practically gave me chills! Keep writing!
Caramel_Apple said...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm
Hey! You wrote a comment on my page, Tree of Life. I hope you will look at the rest of my writing; I have another story that I think you would enjoy reading! You seem very busy already, but hopefully you'll find some time!
MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm
Haha I already have :D I loved all the ones I looked at and rated them. I can go back and comment if you'd like.
Caramel_Apple replied...
Sept. 9, 2010 at 8:14 am
Yes it would be great if you could look at them! And comment...I'm so glad that you like them, considering that you're in the college guide section and I'm assuming you're in college!
MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Haha I'm not in college--one more year :p that was a possible college essay of mine, I was looking for feedback. But yeah I'll post some comments for ya.
Caramel_Apple replied...
Sept. 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm
Hey thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate you taking the time to look at my stuff. Thanks for inspiring me to keep writing...I know sometimes I'm so analytical about my writing, and I'm so glad that you have the power to release the analytical side and just have fun!
MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

No problemo haha. I got sort of carried away on Heart to Heart :p

It's fun for me :)

Caramel_Apple replied...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 7:28 am
It's fine! No, I do appreciate it when people write comments...usually my writing isn't getting comments so I'm glad that I have some positive ones now!
SAdL said...
Sept. 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

Excellent! Your descriptive writing made me feel like I was the one oin the poem. Maybe I'll read it again under the stars one of these nights.                 


















more »)
MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm
Thanks so much :)
Deb R. said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 9:14 am
Beautifully written. It left me feeling a metaphor between the stars and humans. Some stars stand out more, making themselves known, while others stay in the background, hidden ,just waiting for their time to be noticed. That's what this poem said to me..I loved it.
Handsome Nick said...
Aug. 26, 2010 at 10:31 pm
I really like this poem for the sole reason it told a story. Every once in a while I feel it is fitting to get away and take in what is all around us... Walking alone down a beach and gazing up at the stars is something everyone has done at one time or another and this brings back fond memories of myself doing this very same thing as a lad.
Dotty said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm
What an amazing poem.  It has so many levels.....Impressive work!
a literary fan :) said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm


Maddie this is beautiful.

I hope you continue to write; you have a gift. 

Are you familiar with Mary Oliver?  I love her poem "Wild Geese".  :)

MaddieGr This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm
No, I haven't heard of her. I'll look for her work when I get a little more free time :)
Alyson said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Loved this poem Maddie!  It's so vivid, yet really makes you think.
Erin said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm
Wow...what a nice job. Very descriptive!!
Hank said...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:42 am
This poem sounds like Maddie.  I can see her walking that beach and gazing at the stars.  :)
Diane said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm
Love the descriptions on this.  Meant to give it 5 stars, but accidentally gave it one.  Didn't know ....
Aunt Kathy said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Hey Madison. Great poem. I'm impressed!
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