Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mentors, Muses & Monsters Winner: Rachel Stewart

Her blue eyes looked this way, that—
saw nothing.
She smiled, a smile she learned when she was young,
and never quite forgot.
She stayed near her podium, usually,
in the middle front of the room,
where she would not lose her way
in the cavern between the desks.
She might walk a bit,
talk a bit,
and you’d see her hand reach behind her
for the podium
because if she could find the podium
she’d know where she was.

Once she’d done talking
and once we’d begun writing
she’d go back to her desk.
Two steps to the stand, turn right and left and shuffle,
because gold labs
don’t like crushed paws
and she wouldn’t step on
the man in her life, the one—
the corporeal one—
who stops her before
she falls into a hole in the sidewalk,
who steps with her
carefully down the stairs,
who sleeps on the floor during class
and plants himself always by her side.

She illustrated a poem for us once
on the whiteboard.
She drew a squiggly fleet of ships,
stick-figure demons and restroom-sign women.
We laughed to see them,
and to see her laugh, too;
she knew how strange it was.
She told us about limericks and diamantes and ballads
and blind school and guide dogs and faux pas.
We laughed, and learned, and heard new things,
and saw
she saw.

by _*Rachel*_


Phoenix said...

Oh, Rachel, that's really, really lovely!

Such talent in one so young -- you're going places, girl ;o)


Merry Monteleone said...

Wow, beautifully, beautifully written... lovely imagery and every word is lyrical.

Very nice job, Rachel.

Jessica Marcantel said...

That was beautiful! I particularly like the use of the gold lab. :D

Matilda McCloud said...

So lovely! Congrats, Rachel!

I loved reading the finalists, too. Thanks, Moonrat, for this cool contest!

Rachel said...

i love it.

Caroline Starr Rose said...


writtenwyrdd said...

Wow! That was very moving, and an excellent poem to boot.

moonrat said...

so now that you've seen 6 of the entries, does everybody see why it was so frickin' hard to judge? you guys really put me through the ringer! ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, very good. can't touch that!

Gemma Noon said...

Rachel that was lovely, really moving! Well done on your much deserved win!!! :-)

Chris Eldin said...

Wow. I mean, WOW! So beautiful!! Such a pleasure and joy to read! Very, very nice.

Jaleh D said...

I can see why that was such an inspirational and memorable experience. And what a way to relate it. Wonderful.

_*Rachel*_ said...

I do indeed see why it was so hard to judge, Moonrat.

moonrat said...

well, gracious Rachel, i hope the quality of the competitors sweetens the victory!

guidedogjourney said...

So, I am the blind teacher Rachel wrote about, and I couldn't receive a single thing that would make me more happy than this post and Rachel's commendation! Rachel, I credit myself only with giving you a chance to practice the gifts God gave you. Not sure I taught you much beyond that in the writing arena, but I am glad and humbled that I made impressions otherwise. And, you are right! If the podium is behind me, then all is right with the world!!! Off to tend to the guide dog who needs to go out and make all right with his world!! Blessings and joy to all of you. Congratulations, Rachel!

Peter Cooper said...

Wonderful, Rachel! A worthy winner indeed. Thankyou for sharing this with us all.

Maree Anderson said...

I thought all the finalists were fantastic -- awe-inspiring, in fact. But having read this piece, I know why Rachel won. Beautiful. Thank you for being courageous enough to share this with us.

David Alton Dodd said...

It isn't difficult at all to see why this won, it is a beautifully written and very moving piece. I enjoyed it very much, and congrats, Rachel, you are a remarkable writer.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Congrats Rachael. Beautiful!

Bernita said...

Lovely, lovely!

Anita said...

Love it! Congrats, Rachel!

Pamala Knight said...

Oh that was BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations on the win.

Deep River said...

This rocks. I can see it in my mind as if the memory were my own.