Darkroom poetry


Ashley Smarker

"In the Garden"

Art talks to people.

An image can evoke memories or inspire new visions. It can motivate a writer to write. And those written words can lead right back to images for people who think visually.

The poems and photographs presented here are products of an artistic collaboration between Lawrence High School student writers and photographers.

Students in Angelia Perkins' advanced photography class took shots that they anonymously submitted to Joy Clumsky's creative writing class. The writers selected an image and interpreted it by composing a poem based on the ideas and emotions it stirred in them.

The writers then submitted poetry to the photographers, who were asked to visually transform the words into photographs.

Anticipation, fear, life cycles, celestial bodies and lost innocence occupy the space of these verses. Darkness, light, line and form pull the words off the page and into a visual composition.

Look closely. Read intently. Maybe the art will talk to you.

in the garden

I had known you in that garden as a girl;

We had shared secrets in the shade,

By that vine-covered fence.

I had seen you through eyes untrammeled,

Ignorant of the world's ignorance,

Sharing secrets in the shade.

As women, we met again,

In that same garden,

Next to the vine-covered fence,

Our eyes tainted,

Pricked by a thorn venomous,

Poisoned by the world's hatred.

We stood staring, you and I,

As strangers, silent, unknowing,

Ignorant of what had been lost.

-- Valerie Thomas


Her eyes were soft and innocent,


Jessica Shanks


And an accidental clothing creation

Draped her young body.

Her hands were coated sticky

From popsicles melting and chocolate pudding

That barely managed to enter her eager mouth.

Her unhesitant laugh remained loud,

Not caring who heard.

Her untainted mind created dreams and thoughts

With limits unknown.

Days were spent asking, "Why?"

And, "What's that?"

As she was readily wanting to discover more.

She had no enemies,

For her mind knew no hate.

Today, she played,

And tomorrow she will grow.

-- Mary Moddrell

wonders of space


Lauren Hi

"Wonders of Space"

Moving through a black, clear sky,

Swirling, twirling, round and round,

The tiny dots of light

Shine down on everything they see.

Making shapes, many,

Constellations all given names

From the old Roman Gods.

Mighty and powerful, they shine brightly.

Shine so brightly, they will live on forever.

-- Derek Frink


Rhythmic memories


Natalia Heilke


And time revolve

In concentric circles.

Mountainous wavelengths,

Forming back upon themselves,

Beguile sharp senses.

Extrinsic perceptions

Cloak the truth.

Swimming through the past,

One wades through the future.

An arcadia's re-created,

Serendipity found.

Time is a paragon

Of Heaven's creations,

Never ceasing,

Continuing in its propitious rebirth.

-- Kelly Jacob


Form flickers.


Jaimie Oller


Existence is unstable,

Nothing certain.

Light stains the sight

Of eyes clenched shut,

Blooming chaos in your blind gaze.

Drifting life and fleeting breath

Are born within your breast.

Eyes lower, unfocus;

Senses fade.

Close the door as life exhales.

-- Niki Smith


Ellie Madl



At night she sits upon the sullen bench,

Gleaming white, true as a pearl.

Slated ravens sit perched on fatigued and frail trees above,

Ogling with malicious vigilance.

Uneasily, she rises from her fixed position;

She treads through the intimidating catacomb-like streets,

Followed by the uninvited, unwanted ravens.

The murky birds do not near, out of fear,

Fear of temptations and fear of lust.

-- Mick Cottin


A widow is made where there once was a wife,

And a child is turned to orphan,

And the lumbermen wait for the forest to drain


Jaimie Oller


From the rain of the day just before.

Pacing and practicing, life is a game,

Just like anything that occupies time.

Anything that amuses your moments,

Like waiting and watching for change or for trade,

Is like watching life pass you by.

Adjusting to amend, you still force us to attend

All the schedules you never could coordinate.

Withered is the lily, fading with time,

As the people, like flowers, all rot and decay.

It's okay.

-- Jordan Schlife


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