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Matthew Ulmer

Matthew's Whirlwind Adventures

When I was in school I wrote a number of poems, four of which foreshadowed some of the themes I would touch on in my books. Those four are posted here the same as they were the day I wrote them, which was as long as eight years ago.

My Anchor - Age 18

Moving. Moving. I am always moving. Then suddenly, and unexpectedly, I stop.

Peaceful riverbed. STEADY stream. You babbling brook, you soothe my anger. You are what keeps me afloat. My golden anchor.

Floating. Floating. I am happily floating. Then suddenly, and unexpectedly, I move.

Crashing waves. NAGGING undertow. You pulsing whirlpool, you twist around my anger. You are what keeps me afloat. My bronze anchor.

You, my anchor, held me down.

You held me down so I'd feel safe, and sound. You held me down so I'd feel sane, and found. You held me down so you could keep me bound.

You hold me down so you can make me drown.

Violent currents. RAGING rapids. You explosive waterfall, you pound into the rocks with my anger. You cannot keep me afloat. My rusty anchor.

Floating. Floating. I am unconsciously floating. Then suddenly, and unexpectedly, I move.

Lift. Lift. Hoist. CLANK!

Moving. Moving. I am always moving. Then eventually, and consciously, I will move on.

The Champion of His Event - Age 17

Wicked; Inhuman, he stalks the helpless beast.

He draws closer, never taking his hungry eyes off of his unsuspecting adversary.

He glides through the brush; tall grass whipping at his knees.

He seems untouched by the thicket as he continues on, his movements mimicking that of an angel coming down from the heavens to help a damned soul.

He licks his lips as he navigates close enough to smell the foul creature with which he is engaged in battle.

He moves forward as quietly as a fish penetrating through the waters two hundred feet beneath the ground where he currently stands.

He winces as a gust of wind blankets his face, plastering his golden brown hair to his head and rustling his thick beard.

He reeks of hunger; of hatred like his forefathers did centuries before him, remembered only by fossils dug up from the aged soil.

He draws closer.

He draws closer still.

He is the Champion of his savage event, surpassed by no one in his crowded field.

Wicked; inhuman, the lion leaps, snags, and devours his supper in a fashion, in a class, and in a grace that only the king of the jungle is capable of.

The Thing That Should Not Be - Age 16

Our love is like a stream; forever flowing in peaceful beauty.

Our thoughts are like that of two twins'; of a single consciousness, one in the same.

Our eyes are like an indestructible lock, focused eternally on each other.

Our words are like the sounds of a bird call; beautiful, majestic, free.

Our hands are like that of a zipper; clasped together, never wanting to be parted.

Our dreams are of a man's and in them we are lovers as it should be.

But alas, we are two rocks; incapable of emotion, stationed next to each other; forever facing the agony of knowing we are a Romeo to his Juliet, A Thoreau to his pen, a Michelangelo to his chapel, and a rose to its bed of spikes.

We are what is meant to be but never will.

Hockey At Its Finest - Age 15

I shift to the right and then back to the left, dazing the defender as I blow past him.

While he is left standing there, baffled, I am all alone, no one but the goalie and me.

As I realize that I have reached the pinnacle of the game I love, and that one masked man wearing tank-like equipment is the only thing between me and ultimate victory and success

I know that I have entered THE ZONE.

A surge of adrenaline pushes me onward as if an almighty hand was urging me from behind.

The intensified rush of the crowd's exhilaration from this dazzling spectacle is muffled, then deafened by the beat of my heart as I soar toward destiny.

I make eye contact with my sworn enemy, but just for a moment, as he fixes his gaze on the chunk of rubber that moves at my command.

Never losing sight of this swift'moving puck as I dance it around my stick,

I weave to and fro and he does the same.

The world has gone black, at least in my eyes, except for a bright beam of light focused on the goalie.

Then that same light directs its attention to an area where I not only see the man between the pipes, but twine of the net.

The enemy's weak spot is revealed, this is the moment of truth.

Through tricky cuts and fancy stick work I draw the beast near, then hold my breath and blast a shot toward the unguarded opening.

My menacing opponent whips his arm into the air, but is half a second late as the puck finds its mark and the red lamp is lit.

The building's lights flicker back on and the earth-shattering noise of the fans pounds into my eardrums.

As leather and wood fill the air, tossed in my teammates' exaltation, I glance at the clock.

Only four seconds had passed, but I had lived a lifetime.

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