Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Canvas

I think the story of how this one came to be is pretty awesome. It was in my 9th grade Civics class, which would put it spring of 2004. We had a free day or something like that, but what I remember is that it was bugging me that the white board was so blank. So I spent the classtime writing this, line by line, on the board. I think this is the original one, too. I don’t remember making any edits on it. It was before the time that I enjoyed editing.


My canvas is blank
Blank as the snow of the field
Blank as the expanse of the sea’s surface
Blank as the look on the students’ faces

Each is empty, as is mine,
void as any of these

But each is not blank
As you look, each starts to live

The mice, moles, flowers, deer of the field
The whales, fishes, plankton of the sea
The nerves, cells of students’ faces

So this thing starts to awake
It starts to breathe
It starts to move
It starts to live

This thing starts to have its own
Action, activity come to it
It starts to teem, it starts to walk

It starts to walk away from the arm
I helped it up and gave support with
Now it starts to run

It is teeming, it is breathing
It is moving, it is living

Now it is full
Full as the field in nature
Full as the sea in the summer
Full as the students’ face in wonder

It is running, it is moving
It is playing, it is dancing

It moves on its own now,
It needs me not

Where I began it,
It finishes itself

It finds more of its own kind and,
as I watch,
I smile and think of the time that we mingled
As two friends but as one in the same

It is mine, I am its
I am it, it is me
And then I smile

Because my canvas is full