PORTLAND, OREGON-Sept. 9, 2014--Three Portland public high school students presented their poems at a Portland bus stop Tuesday morning, part of the Poetry in Motion 2014 program. The program features 10 poems to be displayed on TriMet buses, benches and shelters throughout the region. Ngoc Le, 16, of Madison High School, read her poem "This World," which is excerpted and printed on a bus bench at the corner of Southwest Salmon Street and 14th Avenue, next to Lincoln High School. (Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)
Three Portland public high school students presented their poems at a Portland bus stop Tuesday morning, part of the Poetry in Motion 2014 program.
Ana Mariah Gunter,17, of Open Meadow High School, read from here poem, "Poem #2;" Ngoc Le, 16, of Madison High School, read from her poem, "This World," and Julianna Mazziotti, 16, of Lincoln High School, read her poem, "Voila d'Amor."
After each student read her work, they whipped off a sheet blue draping to reveal an excerpt of their writing, printed on bus benches on Southwest Salmon Street at 14th Avenue, next to Lincoln High School.
The 2014 program features 10 poems to be displayed on TriMet buses, benches and shelters throughout the region. In addition to the students' work, four Oregon poets and three national poets will also have their work displayed on TriMet facilities. In all, the 10 poems will be displayed on 40 buses, 22 benches and 11 shelters around the region.
Poetry in Motion is a partnership between TriMet, the Poetry Society of America, Lamar Advertising and Portland's Literary Arts. The program was first established in New York City in 1992. Portland became the first west coast city to participate in 1997, joining New York, Chicago and Boston. The program has since been featured in 20 cities.
Andrew Proctor, executive director of Literary Arts, introduced the poets at the ceremony and later said the program gets poetry out to an audience that might not otherwise be exposed to it.
Here are the students' poems:
by Ana Mariah Gunter
Open Meadow High School
"your ribcage is empty
the doors swing open and shut
the squeak keeps me awake at night
restless and full of thoughts
i wait for your light to turn back on
the flicker of the flame illuminating
all that is good inside you
i wait to see the spark in your eyes
when melodies are filling the space
clinging to the walls and reminding you
that there is still hope and love and peace in the world
like you were told as kid
the truth is you aren't empty at all
inside there is a paper lantern glowing
inside there is an array of thread holding you all together
inside there is thunder in your heart"
Madison High School
"I believe in the minty toothpaste, the cool splash
of water that makes me wake up every morning,
yellow leaves, noisy cars, bright paper.
I believe in old shoes, school bells, and pencils. Sour
fruit, the smell of freshly washed clothes, tiny ants
that carry big pieces of cake. Dust, heavy tears,
the laughter of a child. The warmth of my mother
which makes me realize that this world
is not some 2-D image I watch on TV.
The bus that missed me, the rushing
footsteps, the feeling that the whole world
passes me, leaves me without a clue, and makes me
wonder if I should join this busy world or
stay in my own."
by Julianna Mazziotti
Lincoln High School
"Dulled gloss on my deep red body,
each of my silent six strings fastened by pegs,
I float with no articulate notes.
Yet, in your ears, a sweet silvery sound resonates:
the non-existent bow emerges from your imagination,
gliding across my vertical lines—
lively vibrations bouncing,
Your hands embrace me,
my backward "S" shapes,
for halo-like music
to dance gracefully through each parcel
of unfilled air."