Thirteen Ways To Look at the SKY

One of our favorite things to do at Chrysalis is to brag about our students. Every once in a while, we get a student that will lets us showcase their work on our blog. This poem is written by a 5th grader.

Elli’s assignment was taken from a high school poetry writing assignment.  It’s based on the poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens. Elli  did a shared reading with her teacher of Steven’s poem and discussed it.  She was then asked to write her own poem of seeing something thirteen different ways.  The only requirement was that the item she chose needed to have growth or movement, it could not, for example be a cup or book.
The following week, Elli had Thirteen Ways  to Look at the SKY.  Elli shared that she really wanted to know how interconnected we all are through the sky; the sky we see here is the same one seen in Australia.

Get ready to be astonished!

Thirteen Ways to Look at the SKY
By Elli, 5th grade.

Lives wind like a million threads
And fates meander like a million roads
And destiny overlords like the great sky

The sky was as dark as a chalkboard
While lightening scrawled across it
And thunder clapped like erasers at the end of a school day

Oh, for a fair day
When the sun travels its path
So lightly, so happily
When the night waits until the last second
To push the sun aside
When the clouds burst like dandelions
As the wind touches them
So the sky can blow and wish
For another fair day

She closed her eyes
And made a wish
And let it fall into her hands
She blew it and let it float
Like a maple seed
Out the window
And into the sky

The sky carries voices on the air
And love on the wind
And dreams on snowflakes
And hope in the sun
And when the rain comes
It brings them back to earth

Between land and island
There is sea
Between city and country
There is ground
Between earth and infinity
There is sky

Earth is a marble
Adrift in a paper boat of air
In black ink
Its path lighted by a lone lamp
If not for the blanket
Of sky

When the sky has a mind to
It twists itself into
A feared shape
That sends millions turning
Gazing with terrified eyes
Not daring to look back as they run
But compelled by the power
Of the sky

Startling Sky

Fed by a desire
To keep flying
To finish what it started
To live through the storm
The lone tern makes its route
Forages ahead through the opposing wind
I’ll show you,

Wolves to sing to
Fireflies dance through
Birds journey on
People gaze at
Fish dream about
Raccoons hide in
Bats need
Owls want
The deep shroud
Of night

By touching all, the birds bind us
In an unending dance
Where animals circle around humans
Strangers bump into each other
While friends try to get closer
Life forms a ring
That twists and spins
So that nothing can remember
Who was next to it the last second
Or why they need them
When they’ve never even met them
It’s hard to understand the words
Everybody and
Each other
Unless you understand the sky

We dream
That we can fly
Because the sky represents
The unreachable
That we know we can get to
If only only understand
The secret
Of how a human
Loves the dark
Of a flitting mystery
To tantalize
When they want more than anything
To smash it wide open
And toss its remains in a fire
So that they never see it again
And then they turn back
And listen to the smoke whisper
As it floats away
It’s the sky
The sky
That keeps us
And then they ponder
And wish for a miracle
A blackbird appearing
A message
An answer
So we toss and turn as we sleep
And wonder
And we dream
About the sky.