Campus in Full Bloom and Other Poems

Image Description: A black and white photo of the UCLA encampment shows a crowd of masked protestors.

Photography by Damjan Nastic. View the full collection titled, “Resistance”, here.

The following is a submission to our open call for art related to the UCLA encampment and the Palestinian crisis.

Anna Richardson is a third-year English major from Ventura, California. She’s taken two writing workshops at UCLA, and has been using writing as a way to process recent events on campus—namely, the university’s brutal treatment of protestors and complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza. 


a clash a clash!
of metal pipes against skulls
bashing in baby skin with batons
a clash, of my recycled armor outfit
with pocket bruises in the seams.
a clash a clash
I contribute to the hell-raising of razing hell,
violence to the idea of violence
clash until the martyr grass of Royce is run red with blood,
clash until ash.


we skirmish like kettled dogs,
armed to the k9 teeth with plywood,
soft hands and bodies. smiling at guns.
A skirmish, we shake off flecks of fireworks,
crackling bombs spitting gas and batons.
They fold to the parasol; it’s really not fair.
A skirmish, while we cower behind duct-taped walls
and pray to negligent fathers in ivory towers.
We’re devilish children, intellectuals
who haven’t been taught evil, how to survive fighting evil.
A skirmish, a siege
of ideas shot out of heads and blood sweat wrung out of bones,
sweetening dollar dollar lawns, tainted grass. Rows of
ribs shattered like glass windows. Shattered like piggy banks.
A skirmish: stain on a school abstained from care;
a paycheck for another cop night of clocking in and out.

“Campus in Full Bloom”

April showers bring tender crops and tents
sprouting from below like daisies—in accordance with the seasonal cycles,
On behalf of a revolution invasive to the blood-money soil,
native to what came before and will come again.
We stake our claim in the 70-degree heat,
sunflower petals unfurling to soak in the warmth, and grow taller, tall
enough to force the eyes of a neglectful nation;
of the dark vulture circling overhead, looking to find bodies.

None will be found here; campus is in full bloom.

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