Student Poems

Intimate Sufferings

By Sylvie Lahaie 

untouched surfaces

birth temptation, long for companionship

you crave the blossoming warmth

through the embrace of another

like an invitation to liberation

confidential exposure

birth vulnerability, awakening

velvety fingertips uncurl young hairs

it is a merging of energies, exploring

deep crevices that can’t be ventured alone

feathery touches of a stranger

birth violent collisions of shame

doughy fingertips surfaced unforgiving thorns

from uncompassionate hands, her body left hostage

slaughtering of her spirit

grooves of scar tissue leave profound numbness

birth horror, senselessness

hands other then her own grip misconduct

ache runs through her veins and every exhalation,

escapes with unease.

markings from another fabricate a dungeon of her own flesh

birth desperation, detachment

to overlay someone else’s demon on her canvas

to create a masterpiece from his monster

to rise from this prison

the birth of freedom


By Valentina Topolskaia  

We dip our toes in starlit ponds as the breeze rustles tall reeds and makes a melody. A glowing cloud of fireflies hovers and seems to emerge from the water. I forget everything as I watch their bright bodies dance the night. Each one leaves a magic trace. I always keep my glass jar around — you never know when you’ll find something lovely. I stand, I break the spell, and bottle one. Tonight it lies next to my pillow and fireflies ignite my dreams. When I wake in my wooden house, the light has been put out.

Am I Still Alive?

By Nemo Javed 

A major chord.

Mystifying triads with scaling melodies.

Intertwining songs within songs.

Soulful hammers striking strings

Turning into

Icy minor chords.

Lazily played droopy accompaniment.

Long and slow dying octaves.

All to what end?

Love worth showing?

In solitude I play on the

Verge of going insane

Even though there is only one question on my mind:



By Justin Lam

Vacancy is the space

separation and anxiety

Vacancy is solitude
safety from the cold
in the warm embrace of summer sun
where birds flock
in the space of absent clouds
arrant winds
from forgotten empires
fill the space of silence

Vacancy is the long stretch
between home and vargrancy
under starless skies
over paved streets
with no notions of grandeur
or civility

Streetlights lead the path
as we rolled past
wander under moons
moaning with each roam
splinters in the spotty city
leaves trails of blood
under our feet.

Extinguished cigarette butts
on a linoleum floor
where the air reeks of
fragrant lilacs
and spoiled gun
the soft whir of
driftless fans
dance with shadows
of passing cabs
If I can’t hold
vacancy will take my place

Vacancy is the sensation
of fingers trailing down your back
chilling to the spine
and warming to the hard
both a familiar and foreign
welcomed in silence
and forgotten
in crowds.

Vacancy is
warmth, comfort
sadness and regret
but more importantly
vacancy is an act
in which I close my eyes
and for a moment
wishful nothing.

The Beat

By Ariel Hnatiw




you pull me from sleep

dreams and lullabies

you won’t let me think

drink or speak




you follow me day


it doesn’t matter

you’re always





I can’t escape you

no matter how I try

you’re like the beat to my tired

and broken down





won’t you please disappear

won’t you please let me go




I can’t stand you

I can’t live with you

I can’t handle you




even when you’re not


I can hear you

you’re there




you’re a jackhammer at

my head




never ending




ing away at my head

my heart

my life


won’t you





and leave me to appreciate you once you’re


Summer Rain

Geoffrey Bates

The rain is coming, and with it, everything bad.
A vaporous sheet descends from the horizon
sweeping its wet dust over apartment blocks.
The air is grey, and hot.

Rain is falling on the river
and the reflection can’t hold so much,
breaking every passerby on the bridge
into a succession of birds.

The trees dance so hard they disappear.

What’s there to do in this rain? Stay
put under an awning or huddled in a blanket?

Or dance?

The Cycle of Suns

By Kirsten Bussiere

I face the sunrise,

Whose light

Casts shadows long

Behind me

Digging deep into the past.

Here, I come to tell you

That I have burned your apologies,

And the ashes have flown in the wind

And fallen to the ground like snow

Backwards to where the shadow of a girl

Who shares my name

But not my face

For I can see no bruises,

Lies down to make an angel.

You say that she will not fly,

But I know that she will,

Because she is the ghost of a girl that is still alive.

The ghost of a girl,

Who now stands beneath the midday sun

Which beats down on her crown,

And she shares my name

And my face

Especially my bruises

And though she does not fly,

She could be an angel.

And when the sunset falls behind me

Forcing my shadow forward,

Pushing forth into the future.

There I see a woman,

Who shares my name,

But not my face

And she shares none of my bruises,

Here I am not afraid,

Because she flies,

Without you

And she is an angel.


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Carleton University's Creative Writing Concentration

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