Missing the Blue

This first line has a lot of character and is unexpected after a title like “Astronomy”, so it captures the reader's attention. – Patricia Schlutt, age 16

Light Special, insulted
by the not so youthful
young cashier, and fed
up having to return
a brand-new orange
plastic colander with
few unplugged holes,
we finally stormed out,
shortly before K-Mart
closed, to locate our car
in the lot. The night was brutal, too warm
even for august.
Mosquitoes ravished us
At the door.
“Forget going anywhere
Else,” I said. “It’s enough
if nothing worse happens!”
That’s when
The lights went out.
Overloaded city-wide,
the power failed. Dozens
Of consumers were
suddenly in the dark

I like the line break between dark and disoriented, it kind of makes the
reader feel a little disoriented, too. – Patricia Schlutt, age 16

And disoriented.
Then the sky
closed down on us
like a bank’s computer,
and as never before

An interesting simile, a bank’s computer, like the busy lives of the people in this poem, is always organized and running at high speeds. Any change to the pattern leads to disorientation. – Rachel McGuinness, age 20.

stars could be seen
by starless city dwellers.
“Wow!” came a child’s
voice, which pretty
much summed it up

I really like how this turning point in the poem is such a surprise to the reader. The first few stanzas have nothing to do with stars, and then suddenly the reader is surprised with the true focus of the poem just like the speaker is surprised when the lights go out. – Kara Madden, age 23

even for those who
couldn’t speak. More opinion followed:
“I know nothing about
stars—nothing at all—
But they seem so small!”
“Florida stars,”
someone heckled.
“They come here
for the summer.”
Every so often this happens, by chance,
or by circumstance
beyond our control:
We are astonished
by the obvious,
something astronomers

I think being “astonished by the obvious” is a vivid way of describing the feeling being expressed here. It is also indicative of how we tend to take things for granted, and fail to appreciate the worth or beauty of our natural surroundings.. – Kara Madden, age 23

couldn’t teach us
at school. “My daughter
once made a model
of the galaxy,” said
a stranger, just before
our observatory closed.
“But it was really
nothing like this,”

I find fitting wit in the lines, “Dozens / of consumers were / suddenly in the dark // and disoriented.” I think of how there are many of us who thoughtlessly consume culture and do not mindfully produce a part of it. One is not wholly centered if this is the case, therefore “disoriented” is appropriate in imparting a disconnect. Sterling’s use of “Wow” in the poem suggests that no matter how ‘advanced’ we consider ourselves and regardless of how eloquent language attempts to be there is a humble power in some of the simplest words. – Zachary Tomaszewski, age 21
The last line is wonderful because it makes us feel as if nothing can really sum up the beauty of stars, not the model or even the poem, since it leaves us to our own imagination of what the sky looked like that night, with only a feeling of eternity. – Patricia Schlutt, age 16
I love the descriptive adjectives used, they are very specific and take you through the story. i.e. “the not so youthful young cashier” “brand-new orange plastic colander with few unplugged holes” “starless city dwellers.” – Katie Malinowski
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.