Arts & Culture, Open Mic

Open Mic: A Pretty Bit of Poetry by Claire McDaniel

The Candle

The candle stands at peace, so still
Burning on with flaming will
Alone amidst a dense-sea dark
Giving its glow – a fiery mark.

Wax in cascading drops rushes
Tears in torrents, flowing gushes
Molding into statues thick
As the flame dances on the wick

It flickers, withers with a beat
Like clapping hands or stomping feet.

The sharp light pierces through the gloom
Hung in curtains through the room.
Hear the clock tower chime, boom, boom!
Through a smoky, dank perfume.

It flickers, withers with a beat
Like clapping hands or stomping feet.

It flickers on, so clear, so bright
Casting its glow with constant might.
Without the day, there is no night
Without the dark, there is no light

Through the fog it brings us sight
To save us from a gloomy plight
Exemplifying what is right
And power us throughout the fight.

The candle’s flame, it burns on still
With a firm, undying will
Amid a world of dense-sea dark
It burns in us its fiery mark.


Twilight Calls

As twilight calls, the sun it falls
Like a dying ember.
The world was draped in Winter’s shawl
Now I do remember.

The garden sat, all empty now
A lonely, peaceful place
The shriveled, little cabbages
Were edged with soggy lace.

The firs, they shivered as they stirred
With yellowing, green hue
Waiting, watching, so anxiously
‘til red skies turn deep blue.

A faint breeze warned them in crisp sighs
That their time was but done
Once a branch held such needles
And now it holds but one.

Above their heads, a ribbon soars
Cutting the sky in half
Shooting for some far, distant land
Where summertime does laugh.

Hums of highway gently buzz
Like some little beetle
As geese competing for the noise
Belt a lonely tweedle

The stars above, they stretch and yawn
Their reign newly begun
To pick up where the play has paused
That started with the sun.


The World Below Me

The ocean sits like misted glass
Hoping for a friend to pass
I pause and take a step or two
Towards silk waters, rich and blue.
It laps and ebbs and flows and stings
Diving to depths on water wings
The foam it leaps into my nose
Freezing me in a hunched pose
The pearly shells beckon me in
To drift with them among the fins
Of minnows moving in a blur
Like feathers dancing, swift and sure.
My nose it touches to the glass
I watch the world below me pass.


One Winter Night

*This piece alludes to some of the tragic deaths of children who left England for safety during WWII. In boats on their way to America, some vessels were struck by German U-boats.

Encased in panes of misty glass
The lamp’s light flickers on
It’s warm glow swimming through the air
Before the morning dawn.

Its waves ripple down to the ground
To snow of white chiffon
And spread like warm milk softly poured
Spreading until it’s gone
And the lamp’s light flickers on.

A little stranger softly comes
A-hopping through the gloom
To pay respect to some sad soul
Below a sober moon.

A graceful birch, she stretches out
Towards a house next door.
Poor thing, she longs for children’s hands
That shall touch her no more.

A misty pane with misty tears
And misty, watery eyes.
They miss the children claimed at sea
And so, their mother cries.

But Tom and Jane have lit a fuse
That shall carry on and on
Brave men shall fight, restore the light
While singing freedom’s song
And the lamp’s light flickers on.


Shadow Play

Sunlight streaks
Stings my eyes
The shadows call out to play
Graceful firs stretchtosky
With canopy arms
A-hamocking away
Rustling whispers
Whirr around
The light beckons me in
Smell of pine onmyhair
Floating like a fairy
It casts a spell


Friendship’s Song

Descending down upon the land
Fear creeps and stirs its wings
Prepared to chill the bones of young
And old with dreadful things.

He croons a ballad of discord
A world without a plan
Devoid of hope, of love, of peace
Man versus fellow man.

Those who have heeded his outcry
Their hearts, they turn inward.
What of this child, or that friend?
They cannot hear a word.

But only of his own safety
To get on in this life
Friendships do not matter now
Amid this fearful strife.

But soft, now comes gently to earth
The creature that is love
Singing a sweet song of friendship
Just like the turtle dove.

The sweet refrain, it melts the hearts
Like snow in spring weather
They see now much more can be done
That is done together

Fear now is forced to migrate on
His song now has no hold.
Among those helping their neighbors
His ballad sounds but cold.

But of a plan? Why, that was writ
By someone outside space
He holds us close forevermore
Amid his deep embrace.


Meet the Author

How old are you?

Where do you live?
I live in Illinois, the wonderful world of corn and soybeans.

What classes are you taking with TPS?
This year I’m taking Spanish 3 with the amazing Señor Poortenga…a trabajar!

What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Something I love about writing is getting to play around with the words on the page and discovering new ways to say something that brings my work to life in a whole new way.

Some fun facts:
I’m obsessed with everything Star Wars, especially porgs and ewoks.
Some of my favorite things to do are reading (a few of my favorite books are Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, Wonder, and Mere Christianity), playing the piano, and doing musical theater/Shakespeare productions.
I can do a weird Moaning Myrtle impersonation from Harry Potter. 😉


  1. Wooow these are marvellous poems!!! Really love them!!

  2. Hi Claire!! 😀
    This poetry is really good! I got a lot of Deja Vu reading this, because it sounds like something my brother would write.

  3. Whoa these are incredible poems! I wish I had your capacity for similes and rhyme!

    • Claire McDaniel

      Thank you Emma, that is so kind of you! Best of luck on your own writing journey 🙂

  4. Great Job Claire, these are so good! A trabjar!!! 😜

  5. Jasmine Mailand

    Wow, these poems are so good! You have lots of talent! You write in such a way that it paints a beautiful picture of the scene, only in words, these poems are amazing!(I don’t know if that makes any sense), But, Great job Claire!

    • Claire McDaniel

      Aw, thank you very much Jasmine! That is so kind of you to say! That totally makes sense, I’m glad you enjoyed them 🙂

  6. Yes, Señor is the best teacher ever!

  7. Seychelle Carter

    Great job!!!

  8. Excellent collection! You are a true word wizard. Keep writing… <3 MsG

    • Claire McDaniel

      Thank you so much Ms Gaines! I owe so much to the amazing things I learned during E3 with you 🙂 I definitely will!

  9. Beautiful! Btw I LOOOVEE your hair😊

  10. I love these poems, so good! great job!

  11. These are amazing! 😀

  12. These are LOVELY, Claire … and I believe a read a little Emily Dickinson hovering between some of those lines …! Bravo!!

    • Thank you so much Mrs. Yagel! I am beyond thankful for all the amazing things I learned in class with you 🙂