The White Pages

As I stare at this page and this sea of white pages
Standing here on this stage talking through this in stages
As I gauge your emotions and I ponder your faces
I see stories of war and the pain that it wages
Now as you sit in your chairs and your differing stages
I sincerely have hope that your vast mind engages
In this; a dialectic conversation for the ages
About why war and famine and imagination rages
And why my mind, your eyes, and our backstages
Face the trials that they do
And are locked up in cages
You might think you will find
In my mind
A desolate shrine
Devoid of things divine
Emptied of the sublime
Where the sun lies, dying, fading, disengaging from the sky from which the stars rise
You won’t find that my mind is a shrine of desolation
You’ll find it is a place of imagination
And elation
A place of communication
And foundation
And Why?
Black pages
Spotted pages
Ink blots flowing
Cursive showing
Torn pages
Soaked pages
Letters glowing
Time slowing
Years of writing
Months of clauses
Days of words
Hours of letters
Minutes of ink
Second on paper
Time on flying, flipping, overflowing, growing, glowing, outward gushing
Blank paper
White paper
Untouched by pen
Bound tight
Shining bright
Open again
Reflecting light
I look around
Pages on the floor
Broken binding everywhere
Covering one page
Two pages
Three pages
Regretful authors
Inexperienced writers
Violent poets
Sorrowful scribes
Who could have saved their books
Their pages
Their words
Their letters
Their ink
Their pens
Look at them
Open your book
Look at your pages
Are they torn?
Are they black?
Are they spotted?
Are they neat?
Are they blotted?
Are they sweet?
Are they sour?
Are they bitter?
Where’s the power?
Are they frittered
Don’t let them be gone
Fill your own pen
Be generous with your words and gentle with your pages
Be the cure to your war
And let it be what assuages
Your pain
And as I stand on this stage
Talking through this in stages
Keep all your books
And don’t rip out any pages

-- Aris H., 9th-12th Grade