Ink Eyes

Ink Eyes

She held

a Pilot ballpoint pen

above a sheet of paper,

one of

seventy sheets of blue-and-red college ruled paper

in a beat up red spiral-bound notebook

that had cost her fifty cents

at the grocery store.

Her eyes were half closed,


she was half-bored,

yes, there was homework, due tomorrow

assigned last week,

and projects not yet started,

due next week,

but although she was bored,

she couldn’t do

that tedious stuff,

those markings on a page of white innocent paper

done all without feeling

or care.

She was supposed to be writing

a poem

but hadn’t begun


At least now her pen was to the paper,

an improvement over before;

that would get her somewhere! 

Maybe she’d get

a grade high enough that

her parents could quit complaining

and lecturing

about things that she didn’t care about,


Oh, if only! Her parents

were both achieved academics.

She was a daydreamer,

an artistic type, 

and they didn’t understand why

she didn’t care as much about her grades

as they had at her age,

or as much as she cared about


Maybe this poetry thing would suit her;

some said it was like drawing with words,

and anyway, the same tools were involved.

She smiled a little,

but it faded

and she turned her heat a little,

frowned a little.

Almost in a trance she began to move

her pen in tiny strokes, careful lines

and like magic drew an eye.

It stared back at her off the page

like it was real,

like it was alive.

She smiled again, sincerely now, and began to draw.

She drew


There were

happy eyes, sad eyes,

laughing eyes, crying eyes,

amorous eyes, heartbroken eyes,

wistful eyes, delighted eyes,

and especially the kinds of eyes that looked

with the faintest smile in their sparkle.

She came to a stop

and looked

at the inky eyes over the paper,

surprised, almost startled,

like one broken from a dream.

Then she looked critically, carefully,

at the eyes,

each alone and all together.

Some met her gaze firmly,

others avoided it shyly,

and all gave the weird impression that

there were real eyes staring

at her,

just about to blink but never did.

Then she heard her name called

almost a million miles away, it seemed,

by the academic that was her mother,

and far to late she remembered

that she still had no poem.

Maybe her eyes could count as a poem;

her teacher might accept it that way,

since hadn’t she learned that

expressing an idea is all the well the same

no matter the media you chose?

So with a confident smile

that masked her fear

she stood,

lay down her pen,

pushed back her chair,

and nervously went to listen,

resignedly went to listen

to her mother’s lecture about

grades and the value of education…


so she thought.

When she found

that she was going to get 

to study drawing and take classes,

she yelled in joy,

began to cry in joy.

And in the afternoon sunlight,

on the one of seventy blue-and-white sheets

of paper

in the beat-up fifty-cent notebook,

even the saddest of  eyes

held the faintest hint

of a smile.



Brief note: For the next week or two, posts may be brought down to a poem, but hopefully I can regain time and post length before very long. And sometimes poetry says everything and leaves no need for more words…


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