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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972

About School

About School

He always wanted to explain things, hut no-one cared.

So he drew.

Sometimes he would just draw and it wasn't anything.

He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.

He would lie out on the grass and look up in the sky and it would only be the sky and the things inside him that needed saying.

And it was after that that he drew the picture.

It was a beautiful picture. He kept it under his pillow and would let no-one see it.

And he would look at it every night and think about it.

And when it was dark and his eyes were closed he could see it still.

And it was all of him and he loved it.

When he started school he brought it with him.

Not to show anyone, but just to have it with him like a friend.

It was funny about school.

He sat in a square brown desk like all the other square brown desks and he though it would be red.

And his room was a square brown room like all the other rooms.

And it was tight and close. And stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil and chalk, with his arm stiff and his feet flat on the floor, stiff, with the teacher watching and watching.

The teacher came and spoke to him.

She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys.

He said he didn't like them and she said it didn't matter.

After that they drew. And he drew all yellow and it was the way he felt about morning. And it was beautiful.

The teacher came and smiled at him. What's this? she said.

"Why don't you draw something like Ken's drawing?

Isn't it beautiful?"

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew airplanes and rocket ships like everyone else.

And he threw the old picture away.

And when he lay out alone looking at the sky, it was big and blue; and all of everything, but he wasn't anymore.

He was square and brown inside and his hands were stiff.

And he was like everyone else. All the things inside him that needed saying, didn't need it anymore.

It had stopped pushing. It was crushed.


Like everything else.

Note: This poem was handed to an English teacher shortly before its 14 year old author committed suicide.