Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
















It was mid April around 1995. I was at my Grandmothers house in Canton when I looked to the right of me and saw a box on the dinning room table. It wasn’t the box that attracted my attention it was the newspaper that was standing vertically up out of the box. It was the globe, an old edition that was opened up at some random page. The edges were crumbling and the paper was stained a light yellow.

In the paper was a picture of a man that looked familiar but a lot younger, it was my Grandfather I got up out of the rocking chair and walked towards the paper picked it up and started to read the article about my grandfather. The print was slightly faded but I could still make out the words, and this is what it read. It was June in Paris, France, where a husband and father took his family and wife on a vacation in the middle of June for the summer, a trip that lasted two weeks. It was a hot day, the sun beat down on the city bringing sweat to all its population and the urge to swim was forced on this family. So they went by the public pool, saw that it was open, and walked in. Getting into their swim clothes they looked around observing who was present. The children were splashing water at each other, women sun bathing, and parents enjoying the crisp clear water. Among these people was a middle-aged man about 40 years of age with a beer belly and a red Speedo. Just a normal man…. so they thought.

Sister Teresa, sister Helen, and sister Beth approached the diving board and attempted their first dives. After they were done successfully they repeated this rotation throughout the afternoon playing with the other seven members of the family. Hours passed… and something did not seem right, something somewhat incomplete but it doesn’t catch on. Still playing in the pool, Beth and Helen decided to jump of the diving board again. Beth was the first, she leaped and bounced of the board and splashed in the water, she seemed to have thought she saw something in the corner of her eye but doesn’t know what. Helen imitates the same thing; she hits the water and also thought she saw something. After a few jumps they know that there is something at the bottom of the pool lifeless.

Both children realize that someone should be notified, they run to their father Al Thomas and tell what they have experienced. Puzzled Al looks in the pool and sees a red glare with a bodily feature to it. Realizing it is a man in the process of drowning he runs to the lifeguard and tells him what the problem is, he shouts, “SIR, SIR, THERE IS A MAN DROWNING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL! QUICK, DO SOMETHING!”

However, Al cannot speak French and the lifeguard can’t speak English, the man looks at all with a confused look time is wasted. Realizing he was getting nowhere Al jumps in the pool dives to the bottom grabs the man by the hair and pulls him to the surface. Only then does the lifeguard realize what was going on. He takes the helpless man from Al and lays him on the ground.

The lifeguard went of for aid as Al began CPR to this man. After a few repetitions, with one giant gasp the man coughs up all the water from his lungs, and can breath on his own. He now has a second chance at life because of this man. He later received a pool table from UPS, which was paid for by the French man in France and delivered to his house thanking him for his grace.

That pool table is still around to this day. I read this article, looked up in awe, saying to myself he is more than a grandfather, he is a lifesaver that comes in all flavors even the ones that do not come in the package. Do you know why? Because he is one out of a million he is cherished. I wish I knew this about him sooner because I would have loved to hear it from him not from an article.













Pond, such a nice name for an area filled with water were all kinds of living things come together to drink, sit, and wait, or are they waiting? Maybe they just look, look at the reflection of the water, or just listen to the sounds in the area, just to be free and get away from everything. What do they call a pond with no water? In the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet” Juliet says, “will a rose still smell as sweet if it was a different name?” The same concept is involved when you ask what they call a pond that is dried up. It is still a pond; it’s the same trees, same plant life, and the same place, why should it be any different? However, not many acknowledge the pond when it is dried up, in yet there is more to it when the water is vanished, sometimes the emptiness brings out the hiding.
It was the day before thanksgiving, cold, cloudy, and not much going on throughout the day. Gradually I pondered with myself on making a rondez-vous with the “dried up Pond.” Talking myself into it I went on the short journey threw the woods, down the rugged hill, and walked out on the log, then sat. After about a few brief moments I said to my self, “ If I took this path that runs along side of this area and put a road in replace of it, how many people would notice this dried up area, or how many would commonly mistake it for a few square yards of junk and old dirt that is unfertile. However, if this area of American soil was full of water so you couldn’t see the junk on the bottom of the pond, had birds, green trees along with some flowers, and a bench to seat people, so they could look and rest at this place, people would take the time to watch. This proves that humans judge things on appearance and not what it is truly made up of, by having all those appetizing features forces people to wonder about the area, what they don’t realize is that they are going to receive the same experience in that spot no matter what it looks like.
I come to the spot for my last recorded visit. Today, however, I am not sitting on the log but walking along the border that surrounds the pond. There are more birds then last time. I wondered if it would look the same next year at this very moment, the only way to ever find out would be to go back on this same day 365 days from now. The recording for today will be cherished until next year, where I will return to observe and record any changes. Nevertheless it doesn’t matter if it has changed because it will always be there and no matter what tree falls, or how many weeds grow, even if the birds do come to rest without the water it will still be the same American place that holds a pond.
This spot of soil is not only dirt and junk. It is nature and a place in America where life is formed threw water. Small pools of water like this started our biology and human makeup. Our Earth was created from Eco systems, which then formed oceans, then lands, followed by countries, such as America. It gave us the land to put our homes and lives on, it is a special place an American place that started small and evolved into life, as we know it.
Next time when walking, driving, or doing what is involved in your daily life, stop and look around because it is the little things in life that matter. They are the hardest to see, and sometimes the hardest to pay attention to. Everything is put here for a reason and can be destroyed as fast as it was created, enjoy what you have and take time to find the hiding in the emptiness and experience life with different emotions, looking at everything a different way.





His name was Joseph. He lived a life where business and making money was the way he spent his days. However, on a business trip home things just do not plan out the way he thought things would. Today Joe anticipates the fact that he is going home to see his old mother whom which he lives with eventhough Joe is a striking forty-six years old.
      As he steps of the terminal into the planes main entrance Joe clumsily trips on his shoe laces that where untied, and slams his head on the planes floor. After regaining awareness Joe is helped up by the flight attendants and seated at his assigned seat. Kindly the flight attendant asks Joe, " would you like some ice for the lump on your forehead?", Joe replies, " No thank you I just want a pillow to sleep on." After having his wish granted Joe mistakenly falls asleep unaware that he has suffered a severe concussion and has bursted a blood vessel. After about a half hour Joes life threatening condition worsens and Joe is put in a Coma and ten minutes later pronounced dead. However, everyone else blatenly thinks that he is sleeping and waiting for the plane to land in Atlanta.
       After about one hour in the air the captain gets on the intercom and states: "We are going to be running into some air disturbances so place apply your safety belt." Like Lemmings everyone does as they are told except for Joe who doesn't even realize he is dead because he was sleeping, poor guy.... The final warning is given and the pplane enters the air pocket and violently shakes the plane and causes Joe to be ejected from his seat and slamming his head on the cieling splitting his head open, then comes to a crashing halt on top of an old Nun with a cat in her hand. The Nun screams in surprise and shock over the dead man on her lap that is not only bleeding on the black blouse she is wearing but that the same time crushing old baxter(her cat). In defense the cat scratches up poor dead Joes face and shreads his old suit up. In disgust the nun kicks the dead guy off her lap and dead Joe ow lies lifeles on the floor. Again another air turbulance takes place causing Joe to fly acroos the Coach section and slams against the wall with his head between his legs., snappnig his spin. Finally the crew finds out about the flying dead man that is badly brused and bloody, and puts him in a sheet until they land.
     When the plane finally landed in Atlanta Dead Joe was the last to be brought out it took two men to do so. While going down the stairs the first man slips and causes the dead man to come rolling down the stairs and smashing into the hot pavement on the airport. After the body arrived to the funeral home Joe was cleaned up and untwisted and put in a coffin and cremated. The undertaker took his ashes to the cemetary lot across the street but gets hit by a chinese guy in a small red Honda Prelude. The man dies and Joes container that holds his ashes broke on the road and his ashes were swept up by the wind and carried out to sea.

















After reading and analyzing large amounts of different types and lengths of poems, has revealed an attitude that has expressed great interest in reading and observing the broad attitudes and styles of various authors. Rhyme and Beat are not the only elements that make up good poetry. Instead, it’s the way that the individual author writes in a unique fashion explaining and describing the events that are current at that time. Including weather or not the poet has a subject that’s either feared or has been thought as uncomfortable to explain your ideas about, while interacted with other people. Maybe as plain as discussing it in the individual’s very own thought process in his or her head. Emily Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” best fits this theory of a “good poem.” Here, detailed comparisons, along with great description, make this work of art one of her best.

Dickinson’s style reveals a unique outlook on death. Each line consists of identical beat and word syllables; she puts the words and phrases together like a song disregarding the fact that there is very little rhyme. The first stanza describes her best description of how she portrays death to feel like. Explaining the actual episode of death as it hits in that very instant makes it even more unique, this is something that is difficult to create because when one passes on, he cannot live to tell his tale. However Dickinson satisfactorily overcomes this dilemma. Her first few lines show unique thought description and high writing capacity; “ The stillness in the room was like the stillness in the air/Between the heaves of storm.” This line from her poem relates the moment of death with an experience we have had and that we can understand, giving evidence of how much time she takes into getting into the reader’s mind, and giving them the easiest example to follow.

Dickinson still manages to tell us the effects of death, when it approaches her, and everyone’s reaction to the process, in a way that seems as peaceful as possible to explain as an experience. The facts on death are scary and even difficult to discuss among large amounts of people or even on your own. This entire event takes less than forty-five seconds to occur, and she describes the event in eight lines. Dickinson’s main focus in this stage is the reactions on everyone’s faces as death grabs her soul away; “ The eyes around/had wrung them dry, and breaths were gathering firm.” These two lines give precise detail of what the bystanders reactions were and what they felt, doing so by explaining the eyes of each individual expression. The preceding stanza explains her acceptance to the fact that she is dying by saying, “ I willed my keepsakes/Signed away what was assignable/And there interposed a fly/.” Finally revealing that she sees a fly, it was her final “see” and her final “fly.” Death was the end for her, and the final thought was a fly, to be stored in her head as the last thing she remembered.

Many emotions are revealed throughout the middle of the poem; however, the final stanza explains the actual death seizing the body for eternity. It seems that death grabs her with a paw; such like that of a grizzly and swipes her out the window with the door swung open. Finishing it with the final phrase, “ And then/I could not see to see.” Broken down, she states that as much as she wanted to see and live on, she had no defense to overpower deaths toll. This event lasts two seconds, yet she writes it in four lines, applying it with terms that we can relate to and understand.

Emily Dickinson shows superb writing styles in her poem and in all of her works of art. However, this in particular captures our attention because of its unique writing style, details that she uses, and the subject matter that is present. Despite the fact that these are good traits to have in a poem the most important aspect of this poem is the way she relates events to everyday experiences for a full effect. Reading this poem gives us an  insight into what all our fates truly hold.