Guest Poet Rachel Zarrop


Tiny voices.
Sharp quick sounds
Like tiny pin pricks
Poking and prodding
the quiet solitude.

She sits alone.
A cold
Hard shell
Amongst the millions
Of tiny voices.

A compulsory barrier
No other choice
But to ignore.
Ignore the realities.
Ignore the truth,
Ignore the harsh embarrassment
Of being alone.

The voices continue
Can't see her pain
Won't see her pain.
Too busy
In their own tiny lives.

Voices recurring
A painful reminder
Of exclusion
Amongst a multitude
Of tiny voices.

A quiet word is uttered
Wishing for recognition
Or at least an answer.

The voices laugh
Mocking her insecurities
Her barrier down,
Raw, red flesh,
No longer hidden
No longer protected.

The sea roars
Rises up
the white wave of shame
Crashes down
Washing away dignity,
Leaves the rock
Visible to the outside world.

She again retires,
But her shell is broken,
A shattered reminder
Of her attempt,
Her attempt at life,

Inward she turns,
Rebuilds the walls,
Denies Feeling
A sombre cold grey
Shadow of a heart,
Refusing to live,
Refusing to love.

A warm hand reaches out,
Tries to touch her heart,
Tries to convert her icy coldness,
Into the warmth of love,
Inviting her to take the risk.

Her previous pain,
Forces her to ignore,
Ignore the love,
Ignore the emotion,
Ignore the chance,
Ignore the life,
She could have had.

His hand denied,
He draws within,
Becomes a cold,
Hard shell,
Amongst the millions
Of tiny voices.

October 1997

Rachel Zarrop's Questions:

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I'm a 16 yr old girl, and here's a few of my latest poems...

Should I end the poem after "her attempt at life / Failed / Destroyed" ? Or should I keep the later stanzas!?! Should it be shortened!?

Correspond with Rachel Zarrop at
with your ideas about this poem.


Darkness hides her,
The smooth cool wave
Of dark,
Washes over her,
Protects her,
From the light of day.

She sleeps silently,
Alone in her thoughts
Of innocence,
Calming her,
Relaxing her,
A sense of security.

Yet the silence echoes,
The unmistakable presence
Of evil,
His eyes on her,
Watching her,
Waits to make his move.

She is jerked awake,
By the extreme pressure
Of him,
Holding her,
Forcing her,
Against her consent.

A thin shard of light,
The cold, harsh blade
Of white,
Cuts through her,
Penetrates her,
Shattering her peace.

The bright light dances,
The whirring dance
Of pain
Enters her,
Overtakes her,
Trespasses on her soul.

She attempts to escape,
But the blinding light
Of man,
Steals her,
Takes from her,
What she did not wish to give.

October 1997

Rachel Zarrop's Questions:

I think this one is too static and doesnt flow as well as I would like.. what do u think? Is the meaning obvious enough?

Correspond with Rachel Zarrop at
with your ideas about this poem.


Darkness Overwhelming,
She lies calmly,
In deep slumber,
Alone, but not quite.

Her door slightly ajar,
A flash of light,
Glinting brightly
Reflecting the blade.

She wakes from peaceful sleep,
One eye opens,
Then squints shut again,
False sense of security.

The silver blade plunges,
A cry is heard,
But not noticed,
And nobody cares.

Television report
"A girl is murdered"
"Unknown killer"
A statistic.

Yet meanwhile back at home,
Mother stands up,
Washes the knife,
And prepares for tea.

October 1997

Rachel Zarrop's Questions:

Does the last stanza make sense? Was it obvious that it was the mother who killed the daughter??

Correspond with Rachel Zarrop at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop