Planted

By Kelsey Block

Darting through
The crooked rows,
Coarse leaves slapping
My face and arms.

Mid-July
The ground is crusty, uneven,
Pulled up by wiry roots
Clawing deeper into the earth.

I am laughing
But the sound evaporates
Quicker than water,
Soaked up by green.

Daddy’s warning:
Don’t play in corn fields!
But I won’t lose myself –
I am only a few rows in

Staring out
Tucked behind spindly stalks,
Almost invisible,
But I am there.

Author’s note: I wrote this poem for my book arts class taught by Professor Anita Skeen. The assignment was to create a tunnel book, a task I happily admit I am not competent at. So, proud of at least one part of the project, I decided to post another poem on Cows2College. If poetry’s not your thing, no worries, this is not about to become a poetry blog. I just happen to be doing a lot of poetry-related things lately. Hope you like it.

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What I’ve been up to…

Hey everyone! Just thought I’d re-blog a few of the things I’ve been up to in this month (see below – unless you got an email about them already, in which case I’m sorry to clog up your inbox; I’m honestly not entirely sure how the whole “follow this blog” thing works…)

Anyway, I’ve been privileged enough to have the chance to sit down with some really amazing writers from all over the country as part of my internship at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities Center for Poetry. The articles below are the results of those conversations. Enjoy! 

P.S. For more information about the RCAH Center for poetry, head on over to our blog (*cough cough* which I manage *cough cough*) or check out our website.

Home

When I was in high school, I always said that once I was in college, I’d never go home. I had convinced myself that the Thumb of Michigan was a terrible place, and that there was nothing there for me. However, I will openly admit that I was wrong – very wrong. My family is what is there for me, and they are the most important thing in my life.

Growing up, I spent practically all of my time with my family. We lived together, ate together, and worked together. Most of the other kids never had that – their parents go away to work somewhere, all day, every day (however I will admit that trying to find somebody in a maze of barns when I needed them was indeed a challenge at times). Before I came to college, I never really stopped to think about how important having them so near was to me. In fact, sometimes I found it to be a downright annoyance. But now, my view has definitely changed. I value family time much more, because I don’t get it as often. When I come home, I simply want to just be at home. Over spring break, I would have been perfectly content to stay at home every single day and not leave (I didn’t, of course – grocery shopping, dinners with friends, and other obligations took up some family time, but that’s okay because I knew I was going home every night).

I guess I’m saying that it’s true that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. So much has changed in my life in the last year that I find myself clinging onto the things I have left, my family being the most important one. I don’t mind change, but sometimes it’s nice when things simply stay the same. 🙂

Listen

On Tuesday, in my RCAH 202 class called “The Presence of the Past”, we analyzed the song “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. Unbeknownst to me, the song is actually about empires (and therefore entirely relevant to the class. We are in fact studying empires). Lo and behold, when I looked up the album after class, I found that there is a famous painting of the French Revolution on the cover.

The idea that I had listened to this song so many times and never really heard the words is disturbing to me. If someone had come up to me and asked, “Have you ever heard the song Viva la Vida by Coldplay?” I would probably have replied in the affirmative. However, if they had asked, “What is it about?” I would, until recently, have been at a loss to tell them.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but it got me thinking. How many other things – songs, radio advertisements, or actual conversations – have I heard and failed to realize the significance of? Sure, a song or an advertisement may not contain earth-shattering news, but a conversation may very well contain information that is important, serious, or even life-changing.

After looking up the album, I listened to the song once more. It’s been stuck in my head ever since – perhaps as a kind of revenge for never listening properly in the first place.

At the risk of my blog turning into a lecture series, I’ll finish up this post with a simple plea: take the time to stop and really listen to the world around you. You never know – you might be missing something big.

Bizarre

I can officially say the last two weeks of my life have been the most bizarre time of my life. Difficult classes, friend issues, roommate drama, plus random conversations with other college students up at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday (albeit, for a very different reason than I had myself) all add up to a whirlwind of an experience.

In my RCAH (for those of you who don’t know, RCAH stands for Residential College in the Arts and Humanities) classes, culture is a big theme. We’re constantly discussing culture – what is it, where is it, how is it important, how does it affect our lives? Now, I don’t claim to have an answer to these questions, but I do certainly agree with the idea that there are a myriad of cultures – and I’m almost positive I’ve been exposed to many more than I ever thought existed since I’ve been at college.

Growing up in a town so small that most people wouldn’t even consider it a town, I have been used to people thinking, acting, and talking like I do – people who share the same culture. However, at a university of tens of thousands of students, that is most certainly not the case. I go to sleep early while some kids seem to hardly sleep at all; I speak English while some students speak Chinese or French; I grew up on a farm while some people don’t know where the food that stocks grocery stores shelves comes from.

These last two weeks have been a challenge for me, and have further emphasized the differences between myself and other students that I felt the first week. However, despite our incredibly differing home cultures, we all share a kind of college culture. We all talk about professors and classes and cafeteria food. We all are having new experiences and meeting new people.

Somehow, we all fit under the titles of Spartan, student, and human. Bizarre.