All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Tom in New York
You scroll through the digitally preserved pages
Of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
And from the yellowed, ragged novel
(Which has long since become dust drifting aimlessly
Across this barren planet)
Rises boy brimming with the vigor of youth
The eternal revelry of games and pranks.
You step onto the streets
Of your sprawling metropolis
Squeeze through dim avenues
Shadowed by towering skyscrapers
And finally arrive at
In the toxic waters there sit giants
Festering within rolls of
Massive cargo ships
Their hulls straining under the heaps of plastic
That choke the decks.
There is no raft
To cleave surging waves of
There is no island bristling with
Sinister trees and lurking secrets
There are no fish to catch for a aspiring, dauntless pirate
In these murky depths tainted with
The poison of Death
You stick a trembling hand
Into the cloudy waters
And grime latches on
Blotting the purity of your skin.
You hurriedly shrink away from the ghastly waterway.
You are but a bony expanse
Of skeletal white
Forced upon you by the shadows which haunt the halls
Of skyscraper stomachs.
Your being is a plant
Seeking the warm rays
Of the great fiery orb which nestles in midnight folds
But the Sun has been evicted
From these Earthly premises
And so you resort to the cold, hard pills
Forced down your throat by the cackling doctors of society
Each artificial ball of perfectly distributed red and white reminiscent of
Blood and corpse-filled body bags.
Once more you seek to learn from
Tom Sawyer’s carefree ways,
Searching for a fence,
A plain wooden fence,
Amid the throngs of indifferent humans.
The department store down the block
Has a diverse array of synthetic wood
But trees and natural wooden fences have vanished
Into the pages of history books,
These behemoths that outlived all life on Earth,
But could not outlive the crude metal chainsaws
That toppled them.
You wander, despondent, through the streets
And finally arrive at a chain link fence,
Rattling emptily in the wind in a dismal refrain
Of the proud silence and sturdiness of Tom’s whitewashed wood.
The swaying metal latticework demarcates where the barren soil of this city ends
And where the desert of its neighbor begins.
The rusty steel wire chafing against your frail skin
You reach out a hand
To the world beyond, the liberty, the unknown
But all you feel is the harsh brick of the apartment on the other side,
Lackeys of the shimmering, glass-paned edifices in the distance,
A human-crafted skyline to mirror your own.
You stoop down to the noxious gray soil
Beneath your feet and scoop up a handful
Watching the discolored remnants of plastics
Slowly slip through your fingers,
Leaving behind trails of the sludge spurting out of
The slime trails of so many artificial
You dig deeper,
The debris buried within the ground cutting
Your palms, your eyes shining with hope
With the possibility of uncovering an ancient trove
of buried gold to rival
the might heroes of lore.
As the sun settles behind the looming spires
You finally sit back, resigned,
Your cracked fingernails smarting in pain,
For you have found beneath the ground
Naught but dirty plastic.