The View Aloft


This title is unique and captures the reader's attention at the very beginning. –Patty Schlutt, age 15

There’s a dusting of snow, a white edge
along each side of that doubling-back
string that may be a road through the mountains.

This is beautiful and fresh, and leaves the reader hanging onto the line. –Patty Schlutt, age 15

I know mountains, I recognize them
from 33,000 feet, I know tree cover, but I can’t tell
deciduous or conifer. Too high for that kind

From a foreign perspective, we look to what we know. Interesting how things of so much detail like a town and forest can be melded together with all their elements, but we can only recognize “town” and “trees.” --Rachel Talen, age 22

of resolution. I know town: pieces scattered
like bits of stone. There’s an eel that may be
a river, one leg splaying out from his body.
He’s gone, passed below us.
There’s a lake on the side of a mountain.
It’s that flat jade stone laid up against
the straight line of the dam.

Great way to describe a lake resting against the dam. –Andrew De Haan, age 23

Look what we’ve made,
What we’ve done with our material.
We could do better—I intend to—
But still there’s something good
About how we’ve dug into the crust

These two lines capture the raw and natural feel of this poem. –Patty Schlutt, age 15

As if we wanted to stay. It’s home;
We connect our cities like rooms.
We circle what we can’t do without:
The fluer de lis bodies of water.
We draw our matrixes: this street,
this crooked road crossing this other.
This road follows a river as far as it can.
There’s a port fanning its piers, its fingers,
into the water. I can’t see what we’ve done
at the edges. It fogs out; it’s too far to see.

This stanza really speaks to the compartmentalization of humanity; how we’ve separated and labeled and organized our civilization. –Andrew De Haan, age 23

The view nobody has is my face at this window,
this window one eye in the eyes that line
the side of the ship. My eye, me.
Liking the variegated view, liking the light
and the height and the distance,
liking the fact that I don’t yet know
the planet inside, slowly rolling,
don’t yet know what’s turning in me.
Resolving, about to come into view.

I love this ending, the way it leaves so much to the imagination and the way everything is united at the end. –Patty Schlutt, age 15
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.