When Caesar Was Thirty He Knelt Down and Cried

A Carpe Diem poem by John
When Cæsar was thirty he knelt down and cried
Before the statue of Alexander.
For when the great general had reached such an age
The world he already had.
This I, too, felt when yesteryear
I looked upon the work of Frankenstein
Which, when its author was only twenty and one,
Was unleashed upon the world.
For what do I wait, I ask myself,
When time as they say is a-wastin’.
When I could be working to have it bound,
Why must I stay and tarry?
Let me instead spring forth to write
And, with my sights set onto it,
Send my work when done to find
A home on many readers’ shelves.
-Written November 12th, 2012

Who Is Will, and Why Should I Free Him?

An English essay. Because everyone loves to read those in their spare time, amirite?
-Written October 2012
            I know that my as-yet-nonexistent daughter will one day get her driver’s license. I know that she will blow out candles on a cake at her birthday party. I know that she will have hair on her head and calcium inside her bones. Have I just removed all free will from her life? Have I doomed my future child to be pushed about by determinism? Or is it that perhaps free will is not the opposite of determinism? There rages on a great philosophical debate about free will vs. determinism, with some arguments stretching back to Lucretius1 and earlier, and with some arguments being as recent as those put forth by the behaviorist B.F. Skinner. The idea that the two concepts cannot exist at the same time is called “Incompatibilism,” but this artificial dichotomy can be demonstrated to be fallacious. We shall see that free will and determinism are not actually at odds with one another.

A Selection of Sonnets

Summer Nights
The fireflies blink in the summer night
while crickets chirp by the riverside.
None has on his face the pallor of fright,
for the only sound is the trickling tide.
I relish these ev’nings; I always have.
I sit here with my loved ones next to me.
The soil is cool, the earth a dark enclave.
Our respite: to huddle with family.
I love the summer nights, the trees in bloom.
Golden wheat waves in the breeze slowly.
Death of fall has yet to rise from his tomb.
Leaves which Spring gave to trees drift mellowly.
I love these nights and the sweet things they share.
If they never ended, I’d have no care.
-Written April 2010
Just as Summer dies and gives way to cold,
we must surrender our youth to the young.
For some it is disease, some are just old,
but all give way and to our kin are sung.
Forever to live is not granted us.
For our progenitors lost it for all.
They ate the fruit; of God they were jealous.
Now we must toil until sleep in the pall.
And toil we do. From birth until our death
and watch those who came before go
to far lands and take with them their last breath.
Are we lucky? We will venture also.
Each comes here and at his time each departs.
They are gone but they live on in our hearts.
-Written April 2010

“Rena, or How Does the Other Half Live?”

This was the first story I wrote in “Intro to Creative Writing” during my sophomore year at Virginia Tech. Warning: Melodrama follows. Written February 10th, 2010

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“How Does the Other Half Live?”
John Everett
_ | _

A harsh skidding sound accompanied the skip of a heartbeat. David had slipped on the ice that thinly coated the sidewalk. A nearby municipal worker saw this. “Be careful, sir,” he warned. “I haven‟t scraped this sidewalk yet.” Perfect. Well, this is a wonderful way to start the day, David thought. He had already overslept and was going to be late for work. Slipping and taking sidewalk detours were not what he needed. Otherwise, however, it was a pretty nice day. The constant snowfall had let up—at least temporarily—from the night before and the air was crisp. Purified, as if by a reverse crucible. A gentle late-January sun reflected off the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Despite being in a hurry, David was trying to appreciate the morning. He was a block away from work when his heart skipped again.

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