First Monday in September

The sun can rise without a prompt.
But I, prompted by the sun, have risen
earlier than I’d intended, dutifully,
to labor on the day declared labor-free
in celebration of summer’s end.
 

I adore how he clearly says he is WORKING on a day declared to have NO WORK – Aubrey Frey age 13.

I’m collecting from blackened sand
spent cartridges and fireworks scraps
we’d failed to find the night before
--before the wind corralled storm clouds
and blew up a flashy rodeo
 
More readily than our meager display
of rockets and Roman candles we’d
bought out-of-state, illegally.

Here again is the implication that nature can out-do man on every level, and is often underestimated by people too wrapped up in their automated lives. – Kara Madden, age 23

A few were quite spectacular; they popped and fizzed white brilliances,
 
or whistled, shrieked, even parachuted
green-glowing troopers to the beach,
where now I fill a Wal-Mart sack
with duds and other bits of Silver
Streaks, Gold Dusts, and Flying Jacks.
 
The other early signs of life
are isolated cirrus sheep
unloosed in bluest pastures to the west grazing with irreverence. That is,
until the morning duly breaks:
 

Image of cirrus clouds as sheep in blue pasture of sky is gracefully depicted; which permits the following stanza to disrupt the morning calm of previous stanzas. - Zachary Tomaszewski, age 21

I’m two great leaps, two splashes
and a yip, the neighbor’s waggish
coffee-colored Labrador crashes
through the surface calm, shatters
The smooth, green-algaed foam
 

I Love the different way Sterling used to describe how far the dog was from him, that is my favorite line. – Katie Malinowski

left from the late night revelry.
Forty yards offshore—at least—a yellow
plastic moon’s afloat; and down the beach
a boy, leash in left hand, salutes
his right, then sights the fetch,
 
shouts, “Thor! Bring it back here!”
I’ve retrieved the worst of what I
think is ours—blunt nose cones, hard
cardboard hives, devil’s cakes, Black Cat
Packs—and still so much remains,
 
so many shreds and smatterings, so many
pulpy paper spores near the water’s edge—
Where Thor, well-praised, now snorts and shakes, then lopes toward me
too casually. His tongue is proud.
 
But his wet, frothy, matted coat,
thick with sand and seaweed grit, smells
faintly at fist, of gasoline,
then reeks with the fishy stench
that’s washed up onto shore.

The end of the poem leaves the reader with the sense that people are ruining our natural world not only by the obvious forms of pollution and destruction, but by simple things like fireworks displays, which no one considers harmful.. – Kara Madden, age 23
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.