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STAY GOLD: THE OTTAWA UNIVERSITY LITERARY JOURNAL: Poetry

This is the official website of the Ottawa University Literary Journal.

Poet Biography Gloria Creed-Dikeogu

Hi! My name is Gloria Creed-Dikeogu and I've been the library director at Ottawa University for the past 18 years. I am a writer, and have enjoyed advising the Stay Gold Editorial Committee this past Spring and Summer, who have done an excellent job working with writers to revise their submissions prior to uploading them to these pages.

I have published a poetry book Cape Town Station: a poetic journey from Cape Town to Kansas and two children picture books Dancing in the Rain and  Bread!Bread!Bread!  I am currently starting my second year in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Cedar Crest University, PA--writing a mystery novel as a Creative Thesis. The poem included on this page, is from an unpublished bundle of poems entitled Bleeding to heal.

Illumination By Gloria Creed-Dikeogu

Dedicated to the 1200 who died in the Philippines Typhoon

So fleeting

                      We are

Never knowing what tomorrow brings or

                                                               If we are

                  To be here

                  To be there

                                                  Floating way above the ceaseless cathedral of

clouds

Above all human perception

                                                  Feeling

                                                                   BEING

                                                                                   Weightless

Seeing in another sight--

In another way

                                     The purpose of life

                                                                         Illuminated.

Personal War By Gloria Creed-Dikeogu

Your silence speaks volumes

As you sit across from me at the table

Your face set

                                Posture closed

                                                Shutting out the unwanted.

                How often

                                Have I heard you

                                                Laugh--

                                                                Jest

Curse

                                                                so fluently into that mouthpiece at your chin,

Your fingers carousing gracefully across a stubborn keyboard

                                Your feet below the desk crashing mindlessly into the carpet

making jumping and running sounds 

to keep up the breakneck pace--

                          fitting into the nuances of the game

as if participating in an infernal race

all the way across the room

crashing into the wall on the way to the bed—

a casuality of our personal war.

Then you come back to the kitchen following my ceaseless calls,

                                                Your gangly frame

                                                                                Puffed up with anger

                                                Like a wired cat

                                                                                Waiting to jump that elusive mouse

And devour it--

                I call out again,

                                repeating 

again and again

my garbled mantra===

so daringly disrupting your unrestrained revelry: 

my mouth overflowing with colorful expletives;

               Every One---

                                  Hitting home

                                     with practiced grace.

Extrication By Gloria Creed-Dikeogu

So here we go again

With those struggles

Those ebbs and flows

                                         Those endless cycles 

                                         Of win and lose

                                         Capture-forfeit

                                         Begin and End---

The Mind’s Eye

Over-Busy

contemplating extrication

That never comes.

Poet Biography Jacob Baker

Hello my name is Jacob Baker and I am a music major at Ottawa university. Most of my writings are based on real-life experiences of mine, using them to help me process my life.

As The Clock Ticks By Jacob Baker

How many hours have passed?

Or was it days?

Weeks?

Months, years, it feels.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

What do I do?

What can I do?

Nothing, it feels.

Just to sit and watch the time waste away.

Again, I think, "How long has passed?"

How long since that long, wooden box was lowered into the ground?

The box that would hold you there forever.

In the earth.

Alone.

Cold.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

The ceremony was somber.

Not a word spoken.

I sat between my grandmother and my sister.

We all placed a rose down as we passed the casket to our seats.

A chain of people passed us as they went to theirs.

Hugs.

Handshakes.

Kind words.

Fake.

All fake.

Not real.

None of it.

They didn't know you at all.

Didn't know your life.

Your goals.

Dreams.

Wants.

What made you happy.

They didn't know you.

Didn't know me.

They all moved along, not even batting an eye.

Afterward, they just acted like nothing happened.

Like you never existed.

Like I'm upset over nothing.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

They act like they know me.

Like they own me.

Like I'm nothing.

Maybe I'm not.

Maybe I should just forget it all.

Your smile.

Your kind words.

The way you motivated me to go out and make the world better.

Maybe I'd be better off.

They act like you meant nothing to anyone.

Like cancer strikes on purpose.

Takes people who need to be taken.

But you didn't do anything.

You didn't ask for this.

You cried as much as I did when we found out.

I'd never seen you cry.

Not even when you broke your ankle that time you slipped on wet leaves when you were getting the mail.

Mail.

I didn't get any.

No one bothered to even write a card.

Everything they needed to say was said.

At the funeral.

That only half of them even went to.

Probably just to get out of school.

That damned school system that doesn't wait for anyone.

Doesn't care for anyone.

Just following the government's orders.

...

I'm sorry.

I never cursed before you left.

You did just leave, right?

Is there even an afterlife?

Maybe it's just darkness.

Infinite darkness.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Some people cared, though.

My friends.

Who've almost all moved by now.

I cherish the ones still here.

I try to, anyway.

But I feel like they grow more distant each day.

Like I'm just there.

Sitting.

Empty.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

I'm still waiting.

For someone to see me as I want to be seen.

As someone who just wants to be loved.

Not just that smart guy in class who'll just give you the answers.

A pushover.

Invisible.

Who no one would miss.

I thought about joining you.

In the ground.

On my birthday, of all days.

Just because I missed you.

I wanted to see you again.

Nothing actually happened to me.

Or, maybe it did?

I don't remember.

After you died, it felt like both everything and nothing happened at the same time.

I thought about filling my throat with that cheap, dry Walmart cake.

Until I stopped.

Breathing.

Choking.

Living.

Everyone would expect it.

The fat kid to die by eating.

I'd become another statistic.

Another check on a page.

For someone who pretends that this happened to them to present at a high school like mine, somewhere, maybe a thousand miles away.

The only thing that stopped me was a call.

From grandma.

Just to tell me she loved me.

After she hung up, I cried.

Half an hour passed.

An hour.

I kept crying.

Mom was at work.

No distractions.

No one to tell me it's alright when they know it's not.

No fake sympathy.

Empathy.

Whatever people try to give.

I kept crying.

Someone actually cared.

I let all my feelings out.

Until I fell asleep.

I don't feel like that anymore.

Just cold.

Numb.

Empty.

Emotionless.

It's a miracle if I can truly laugh anymore.

I watch the clock tick by.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Finally.

3.

The bell rings.

Someone mentions you to me on the way out.

And I think.

And I realize.

And I say under my breath something I haven't said in months.

Years, even.

Something that I can finally say without breaking down again.

Something that, as I say it, I feel the tiniest spark of warmth inside me again.

And it's nice.

Four words.

Four little words.

"I miss you.

Dad."