Early Evening on the Eastern Shore

                 Breathe in thank-you; breathe out good-bye.
                                            Li-young Lee
Here, on the cusp between

Cusp is a word that isn't often used but it fits here and sets an almost dreamy kind of mood for the poem. - Patty Schlutt, age 15.

gratitude and good-bye,

I love the use of short lines and two-line stanzas in this poem. No wasted words here and none get lost in the mix. The poem invites the reader to chew every word over carefully. -Kyle Austin, age 21

I note the waning

The words waning and waves make alliteration. -Patty Schlutt, age 15

waves seem louder than

I like the alliteration of the “waning waves” -Hannah Flemming, age 14

before. Down the shore
a kingfisher pierces

The word pierces draws the reader into the continued image of a kingfisher. -Patty Schlutt, age 15

the water. A minor feat,
repeated hundreds of times
a day, hundreds of days.

The poet describes this “minor feat” as something worth watching, suggesting that there is a certain beauty and truth in routine and pattern. -Kyle Austin, age 21

On his low-lying rock
he hops back and forth
facing east, then west.
To far to tell what
he found, maybe a clam,
the way it separates
his beak like pincers.
East, then west. West,
then east. How is it
memoriam in-

The word infuses is haunting, and the way the poet says every sky makes this stanza, and what it's describing, seem eternal. -Patty Schlutt, age 15

fuses every sky?

A great shift here. I love the way the poet jumps out of the simple image of the kingfisher on the rock into a larger question. -Kyle Austin, age 21

This morning, as I stepped
from the forest onto a beach,
hundreds of cormorants,
an entire nesting colony,
flew up, all at once,
and it seemed to me a sign--

Again, the poet finds sustenance in the natural behavior of the birds, in the patterns of their movement they become something larger than themselves, and comfort the poet as she observes. -Kyle Austin, age 21

a gigantic fabric flapping
sorrow       loosened

The space between sorrow and loosened makes the stanza seem lonely. -Patty Schlutt, age 15

at last   her voice rippling
like light on the water

Every sound casts an image in the minds eye. The poem lacks apparent musicality, but the reader is invited to imagine it, to use their mind and translate the images into corresponding sounds. -Zachary Tomaszewski, age 21

as lake breezes lift
the locust's delicate leaves.

The poem finishes with a multitude of stunning images, each more beautiful and believable than the last. -Patty Schlutt, age 15
The alliteration of “lake, lift, locust, and leaves” is beautiful. It is also interesting and true to use the word “delicate” to describe leaves. -Hannah Flemming, age 14
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.