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Spring 2012

Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World SPEAK YOUR MIND & SHAPE YOUR WORLD

Spring 2012

Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World Issue Eight Spring 2012

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A Word about the Covers by the Art Editors

“Cityscape” (Journal) We choose this artwork because it is a representation of Buffalo and the entire purpose of Speak Your Mind is to represent this city; to show that despite our city’s often negative reputation we have something to offer. All you have to do is look beyond the horizon to witness the artistic integrity and creativity that Buffalo high school students have to offer.

“Skull Study” (CD) We choose this design because the skulls with their opened mouths depict the action of speaking. To share the thoughts and ideas of Buffalo high school students is the main purpose of the magazine and spoken word CD. The lively colors and details made this piece of artwork an instant favorite among the editors.

Artists Statements The assignment for my Drawing and Painting class was to use the grid technique to enlarge and redraw an architecturally inspired picture in proper proportion and scale. I chose the New York City skyline with the sun setting in the background because it showed the calmer perspective of a very busy city. The blends and transitions in the sunset posed as a challenge and encouraged creative problem solving in capturing the scene with watercolor paints.

–Rachel Swenson, “Cityscape”

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2011-2012 Masthead

Thamil Warmley Bennett High School

Student Editorial Board

Staff and Supporting Members

Caitlin Blue Leonardo da Vinci High School

Elizabeth Borngraber Project Coordinator

Jonathan Boone East High School

Kerri Spuller Student Editorial Board Assistant

Chelsey Brown McKinley High School

Andrew Banchich Webmaster and Technical Advisor

Brittany Cofferen Riverside High School

Dr. Mary Ellen Mulvey Project Supervisor

Jasmine Davis Middle Early College High School

Leona Soule Administrative Assistant

Kyra King McKinley High School

Steve Ansell Layout and Graphic Design Consultant

Deanna Kreinheder Hutchinson Technical High School

Professor Courtney Grimm Arts Consultant, Visual Arts Committee

Andrea Pause City Honors High School

Professor Mark Lavatelli Visual Arts Committee

Nicole Rhynes Bennett High School

Professor Ted Pelton Literary Arts Committee

Natalya Spike Riverside High School Hector Tirado McKinley High School

Cover Artwork: Front: “Cityscape,” by Rachel Swenson

Grade 11, Tapestry Charter High School Teacher: Edreys Wajed

CD: “Skull Study,” by Larry Italia

Grade 10, South Park High School Teacher: Veronica Krueger Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 3

Acknowledgements The following teachers and individuals submitted to and supported Speak Your Mind in various capacities throughout this year. Many thanks to all of you! Carol Cureo, Bennett High School Melissa Meola Shannahan, Lafayette High School Kathie Eisinger, Bennett High School Barbara Russo, Leonardo Da Vinci High School Jill Froebel, Burgard High School Michael Higgins, Leonardo Da Vinci High School Ashley DiChristopher-Mehltretter, Burgard High School Jo Ellen Harvey, McKinley High School Nate Zappala, Burgard High School Bill Reed, Middle Early College High School Seana Root, City Honors High School Crystal Swader, Middle Early College High School Cheryl St. George, City Honors High School Debbie Latchford, Middle Early College High School Maureen Sercu, East High School Erin Kaminski, Riverside High School Karen Williams, East High School Joanne Cannan, Riverside High School Ellen Klock, Frederick Law Olmstead School Jan Abbarno, Riverside High School Ashleigh MacLachlan, GLYSWNY Rosemary Lyons, Riverside High School Ruth Robson, Hutchinson Technical High School Brittany Mecca, Riverside High School Andrea Ward, Hutchinson Technical High School Veronica Kruger, South Park High School Craig Puffer, International Preparatory School Laura Jackson, Tapestry Charter School Jane Van Deusen, Lafayette High School Edreys Wajed, Tapestry Charter School Catherine Lipsitz, Lafayette High School Jesse Mank, Tapestry Charter School Thanks to the following Buffalo Public School administrators for their continued support: Michele Agosto, Supervisor of Curriculum in Art Education Julie Romain, Supervisor of English Language Arts Michael Cambria, Supervisor of Libraries Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 4

2012 Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World Major Sponsors Medaille College Buffalo Public Schools

Buffalo Public Schools Foundation WNY AmeriCorps ABLE

Additional Partners & Supporting Organizations Architecture and Design Academy at PS 198 Livio Farallo & Slipstream Magazine Asker’s Juice Bar and Café Medaille College Bookstore Buffalo Arts Studio Medaille College Office of Admissions The Buffalo Sabres Mercuria Cumbo Dipson Theater Petit Printing Tony Cafarro & Deep Thinka Records/ DTR Studios PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara FC Buffalo Poets & Writers Gay & Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York (GLYS) Quadrangle Magazine (Canisius College) Gary Earl Ross The International Preparatory School Grant Street Neighborhood Center Tops Friendly Markets Jackie Alberella West Side Stories Jan Abbarno

Introduction Upon receiving the position of Speak Your Mind Project Coordinator (and squealing in delight at the prospect of having my own office), I was extremely excited to be working on such a well deserving project. I had worked on my college’s literary magazine in the past, but never have I gotten the opportunity to work so intimately with the selection, editing, and layout processes before. And working on a magazine that tailors to a high school clientele and audience was also a new and interesting experience. After I had selected the 2012 Student Editorial Board, I never could have guessed at how wonderful the editors would be. Of course, their interviews and essays gave me small clues, but the friendship, teamwork, and general camaraderie among them was so unexpected. Their great chemistry led to many heated arguments over which pieces to publish, loud, boisterous games of Mafia, and long conversations about life in general. I feel lucky to have worked with such talented and promising youth this year and eagerly look forward to what next year will bring. Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 5

When you read through your copy of the 2012 Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World journal, you won’t find any traces of those heated, passionate arguments or late nights reading poetry and discussing art, but the editors and I know they’re there. Amid the words and pencil strokes of over 70 Buffalo students lay the hard work and dedication of the board. This journal is a testament to the tremendous literary and artistic talent that exists within our schools and our city. When asked the purpose of Speak Your Mind, the number one answer among the editors was to shatter stereotypes and prove that the students of Buffalo are capable of anything. I believe that we have succeeded in that mission, and I hope after reading through this journal, you will agree. Sincerely, Elizabeth Borngraber Project Coordinator

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a home-sickness, a lovesickness.” Robert Frost

“This is your world, shape it or someone else will.” Gary Lew

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Contents Zach Akins Ashlee Albrecht Asli Ali Kaday Tun Aung Paige Beal Caitlin Blue Jonathan Boone Chelsey Borkowski Demetria Bottoms Dejon Brice Ezera Brooks Aniyah Brown Chelsey Brown Zoe Burk Damario Burks Iviangelisse Carino Brittany Cofferen Dominic Coia Tawon Crosby Alexander Cruz Sebraun Daniels Lee Dauria Emilio Dejesus Anabel Dieguez-Ortega DeQuana Godson Leanna Grandolph Xzavier Gray Willow Madison Greene Denzel Guest Joshua Hampton

Self-Portrait ………………………………………………… 67 Perspective …………………………………………………. 74 Dreams are Worth the Fight …………………………….. 24 The Albatross ……………………………………………… 55 Untitled …………………………………………………….. 57 In Hopes Of – ……………………………………………. 18 Life’s Course ………………………………………………. 20 Keep Pushing …………………………………………… 82 Future …………………………………………………….. 52 Synthetic Happiness ………………………………………. 15 Voice ……………………………………………………. 76 Expect a Short Goodbye ………………………………..103 Brilliant…But However Black …………………………… 72 Untitled ……………………………………..…..…………… 88 Untitled (Mixed Media) ……………………………….. 56 Untitled (Figures) ……………………………………..…… 81 Sneakers ……………………………………..………..…… 61 Comic Strip Grid Enlargement ………………………..… 64 Glitch in My Past …………………………………….. 39 Mi Hermano y Yo ……………………………………….. 95 Broken ……………………………………………………… 41 Squid ……………………………………………..………… 65 Disgrace ……………………………………………………… 26 Text ……………………………………………..………… 40 Untitled …………………………………..……………… 87 Prototype ……………………………………………………. 19 Clock Maiden ……………………………………….……… 59 Man Who Found the Little Ball ……………………………….. 45 Squid Deep …………………………………….…………… 63 Outside Looking In …………………………..………… 39 Peace …………………………………….……..………… 53 Wisdom Tooth …………………………………………… 83 Behind the Smile ………………………………..………… 96 Twiggy ……………………………………………….…… 31 Left in the Dark ………………………………………… 44 Spiral ……………………………………………………… 47 Udjet Eye Amulet ………………………………….… 60 Urban Jungle ………………………………………….…. 13 Boy ………………………………………………..……… 42 Insomnia ………………………………………………… 85 Graduation ………………………………………………… 105 Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 7

Alexander Harold Brandon Holmes Brandon Hunt Taylor Ingram Larry Italia Timothy Ivey Jr. Antiqua Jackson Breana Jones Courtney Jones Thomas Klukowski Laurel Knight Deanna Kreinheder Kaleigh Kubiak Mariah Kuhn Duy Lee Kaitlyn Lehsten Lynx Elibeth Maldonado Fergus McCarthy Steven McDaniel Eamon McDonough Zach McMahon Raymond Meir Jr. Doh Moo Vianca Morales Anthony Morgan Ameerah Mootry Laira Mozee Dominique Murray Sumaiya Muzahid Alphonse Niyigaba Melinda Ortiz Safiya Osman Eh Ka Paw Kimberly Pena Gabrielle Petty

Circle of Artist ………………………………………. 24 Blissful Rain …………………………………………… 52 Prosper ………………………………………………….. 79 Self …………………………………………………….. 43 Hulk ……………………………………………….. 87 Male ………………………………………………….. 89 Expression ……………………………..……………….. 37 Skull Study (CD Cover) ……………………………… 58 Creative Destruction ………………………………….. 22 Mysterious Figure ……………………………………… 23 Shadow of the Past ………………………………………. 93 Ode to the Children of Darfur ………………………………93 Moving On ………………………………………………… 75 Untitled (Bird) ……………………………………………… 61 Beauty is Short-lived ……………………………………… 70 Guitar ……………….……………………………………… 63 Silence is My Mistress ……………………………… 78 Untitled (Heart & Skull) ………………………………. 37 911 Memorial ……………………………………… 60 Still Life …………………………………………….. 91 Skeleton Study …………………………………….. 64 You and Me …………………………………… 81 Happy ………………………………………………. 56 Untitled (Free Form Doodle) ………………………… 57 Stresses …………………………………………….…….. 34 Tank …………………………………………………….. 96 Lance Diamond Portrait ………………………………… 100 Abused ………………………………………………….. 28 The Women …………………………………………… 32 A Soldier’s Tribute …………………………………… 19 The Waterfall ………………………………………….. 53 Music and Coffee ……………………………………… 30 Depiction of Myself ……………………………………. 99 Abstract …………………………………………….……… 58 Love Kills ……………………………………………….. 29 In All Shapes and Colors ……………………..………….. 56 Indestructible ………………………………………………. 28 Untitled (Owl) …………………………………………… 84 African Sunset ……………………………………………. 54 Secrets ……………………………………………………… 38 Pain of Love ………………………………………………… 36 Anniah ……………………………………………………… 92 Self-Portrait ………………………………………………….. 33 Poem ……………………………………………………. 90 Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 8

Destiny Plaza Mercedes Pompey Hsa Mu Pwe Nicole Rhynes Serina Robinson Raina Rodriguez Brittany Rollins Brenda Sams Lauren Samar Zachary Sanford Eddie Santiago Marissa Scott Natalya Spike Desiree Sumpter Brittany Taggert Bereket Tesfay Jordan Tick Hector Tirado Emma Walsh Thamil Warmley Alicia Whipple-Osborn Carlos Williams Stephanie Wittney

Pain, I Do Feel ………………………………………….. 97 Respect …………………………………………………….. 98 Thai Sunset ……………………………………………… 54 Kyle ……………………………………………………….. 68 Still Life …………………………………………………… 91 Slipping Away …………………………………………….. 36 Looking in the Mirror …………………………… 86 Self ………………………………………………………. 27 Guardian Angel ……………………………………. 101 Purr-fection ………………………………………………… 55 Spiral ……………………………………………………… 58 Hide and Go Seek …………………………………………….21 The Last Fishing Trip …………………………………….. 25 How Does it Feel ……………………………………69 rd Eddie the 3 ………………………………………………. 14 My Sister’s Keeper ………���………………………….. 94 No Regrets ……………………………………………… 59 Dramatic Fruit ……………………………………………. 73 Regret ………………………………………………………. 15 Quiet in Love …………………………………………… 80 Untitled (Portrait) …………………………………………. 17 The Chalice ……………………………………………….. 62 John Lennon …………………………………………….. 77 Dear Life ………………………………………………… 16 Untitled (What Do You Do) ………………………………… 46 Untitled (Like Over Love) ……………………………… 66 Giving Up ……………………………………………… 89 Untitled ………………………………………………… 71 Chaos ………………………………………………………. 104 TBA………………………………………………………. 102 She ………………………………………………………….. 21 Words of a Son of Slavery …………………………….. 12 A Sad Colored Nation …………………………………. 14 Homeroom ………………………………………………….. 61 Tiger Watching ………………………………………………. 63

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Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World Issue Eight Spring 2012

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All Rights Reserved Copyright Š 2012 Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World Petit Printing, Buffalo, NY ISSN: 2159-9599

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Words of a Son of Slavery Carlos Williams

As a black man I am tired of the way my people act Maybe this poem can tell them the fact that obviously lack We’re just as stupid as our forefathers before us Cause we run from the given wisdom, to chase our self-destructive lust Why do we spit on life changing opportunity And in later year wonder why you’re in these kinds of communities We’re just as stiffed necked as our forefather, God told us not to be When he spoke to us in the book of Deuteronomy Yes you are the chosen people, is it too much to comprehend? Cause you don’t know what really happened way back when. They didn’t take you, you were sold By the people they say you are? That’s what’s told? You were slaves before “the evil white man” even came But don’t start pointing the finger, cause you are to blame Your forefathers are the one who wanted a king But God saw the things in our past, we still haven’t seen We had God as a kind! But nothing is good enough But I guess as a people, we can’t help but to like it rough We were 12 tribes, but 9 were lost to strangers But you can’t look to God, with eyes of anger Then the last of us stayed, until 700 A.D. When Titus of Rome came, and out the survivors in slavery The 9 that was lost went to slavery under Hamates And the gentiles tool the last of us Israelites But still to this day, nothing has changed from under the sun We killed each other before, and now we do it with guns We ran for other gods, and yet still nothing has changed Like continuing to lose the same way, in the exact same game! Maybe I’m missing something, do you like being dumb? Everyone else is running the race, but we didn’t hear the starting gun We walk around like big shots, but we don’t look around Our peers are on high horses, to us they look down Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 12

We were supposed to be at the top, we could’ve been better But you can’t see it, like your forefathers, your faith is as strong as a feather But it was all said, it is written in prophesy The sad future in our faces all along, and we still don’t see it coming As in sit in my room and write, I can’t help but to laugh at the irony Of me and my Israelite brothers still prisoners of slavery Yes we’re still in slavery; it’s just a little lighter Then they told history and made it a whole lot whiter I pray this is published, and break my people out of insanity And maybe they will play the game right and open their eyes to reality. Grade 12 Burgard High School

Urban Jungle Joshua Hampton

A once great place, Now lies in ruins Houses abandoned Druggies run through them A place once so beautiful Now barren and bleak Children’s dreams become limited to what they see People sellin’ dope Livin’ a life without hope The whores on the corner Struggling to make a quarter In the eyes of a grown man Those eyes of the same children He now realizes Trapped in an endless maze is he So begins the rat race

A struggle for the paper cheese The journey of a life on four corners A one way ticket, To jail or the coroner. In a life without education, Ignorance roams free While the bills pile up, With ridiculous interest fees This is what happens don’t you see When you drop out and don’t have a degree It all started when the neighbor left the neighborhood So instead of complaining Do something good Take the time to make a change Fix the small things The world can rearrange

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Put the pieces in the right place So you won’t have to struggle, Just to see Mr. Washington’s face. Grade 12 East High School

A Sad Colored Nation Carlos Williams

Confused, sad, but enraged over all Because my people are pathetic And bouncing off the walls My people so stupid, they can’t even see Their ignorant, their attitude Is pure self-fatality My brothers of color can’t show their inner heads Pants sagging below their cheeks To show their butts off instead My sisters of shade refuse to compromise Disagreeing to agree With hate in their eyes Education my people, why do you disrespect No knowledge, yet no worry And still no progress My people who kill, and die in the streets Only killing ourselves As our destructive past repeats My people so sad, throwing yourself away So God have mercy On the people led astray Grade 12 Burgard High School

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Eddie the 3rd Eddie Santiago Grade 12 McKinley High School

Synthetic Happiness Demetria Bottoms

That smile you wear, it wasn’t there before Like when I told a joke or your favorite show came on No, it just appeared like a daisy in the coldest snow I know why. I’m sad that in know why It is not pure happiness It’s not even forced It’s synthetic Crafted from the chemicals streaming in your veins Bringing your mood up but tearing down the world around you Until you’re sober you don’t see what’s happening You can imagine the hurt that’s still continuing as you move on merrily You know this isn’t good for you But you ignore the downsides Expecting them to go away Expecting to forget them with a little help True happiness is hard to by And until you have it you’ll settle for imitation Smiling as you’re filled with its generic comfort Grade 11 Tapestry Charter High School

Regret Desiree Sumpter Grade 11 Middle Early College High School

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Dear Life Hector Tirado

Who chose to put Me on earth? Sometimes I ask that question. Who predicts or subjects our life, I guess those are questions that will never be answered. I ask every moment why did I get this family, but I suppose I can’t even call it that because we aren’t a family. We’re a collection of pests to each other. Some say that’s what family’s do, but it’s not the case with mine. I suppose what I’m really saying is I have no one, no it’s not a feeling it’s a fact. I’ve never had a father or a grandmother or any aunts and uncles. They’re not dead it’s that no one talks to each other. Everyone’s all about themselves and f*** all the rest. The only real one I’ve ever had was a mother, but that’s not going to last long she’s barely alive. I have no family, all I have is Hector. I just want everyone to know there are no excuses for anything; everything is possible it just takes a strong one to make it all happen. You never know what’s going on in someone else’s shoes, just stay mindful of that. No one will ever know the way I feel or felt. No one has a clue what I go through every day. McKinley Grade 11

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Untitled Brittany Taggert Grade 10 City Honors High School

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In Hopes of – Caitlin Blue

Devastated, dangerous, and daring It’s caught in your throat and on the tip of your tongueThe hesitation is evident in your body movement that isn’t so fluid like the water that you drink, that isn’t so graceful like the ballerina you pretend to be Say it, the euphonious and delicious voice whispers, say it Your hands are clammy and your heart screams as it beats faster You are sweating bullets and it is right on the tip of your tongueThat lump in your throat is going away, it is diminishing, vanishing, fleeting You sat itYou say it out loud I love you, in hopes of everything going back to where it should be In hopes of so many things In hopes of them seeing you in the colors that you see them in In hopes of – Grade 11 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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A Soldier’s Tribute Raymond Meir Jr.

War is not a time for fun and play, It’s a time where our friends are shipped away. They are taken to lands a yonder, To fight for freedom, pride, and honor. The soldiers are gone and families worry, Hoping the war will end in a hurry. Days will pass and nights will fall, And soon loved ones will get the call. The call that says their soldier has passed, And that on a Sunday, there shall be mass. The friends cry and the family bellows, Sadness to see their soldier stiff and mellow. So every time the flag flies high, Remember there’s a soldier that fights and dies. And to this I give my salute To finish this, small soldier’s tribute. 11/28/11 Grade 11 Riverside High School

Prototype Alexander Cruz Grade 9 McKinley High School

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Life’s Course Jonathan Boone

Sometimes I feel like I’m going in circles in life Like I’m walking in a forest at night without a flashlight Mystery presence is heavy like dead weight So I prepare my mind for the burdens I’m about to take You see, there are no precautions for this adventure The feelings you experience here are real but not always tangible But screw emotions I need a reliable source So I look for guidance, similar to what Harriet Tubman did when she sought the North Star Life’s course is not simple, you cannot map it out Sometimes we’ll go in the same route until we get through Life’s cycle Grade 12 East High School

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Hide and Go Seek Zachary Sanford

Brisk movements in the dark, Seen but not heard The wet grass glistening from the moonlight, Listening ever so intently, The slightest sound makes my heart race I’ve been running for days and can’t seem to get away, To get away is all I want, To be free from my darkness, To be free from my own pain, But, I can’t seem to shake myself, I guess this is just a game that I constantly play. Grade 10 Mckinley High School

She Alicia Whipple-Osborn

She looks down upon my porcelain face, wiping the tear that rolled from my eye. The words she spoke sank slowly away into the black hole that was my heart. Her hand slipped into mine; the warmth of my palm mixing with the coldness of hers. A coldness I knew well. It ran through her veins and seeped from her pores infecting everything she said. Everything a lie. Words spun into something they weren’t. I look up at the woman who gave me life; all I see is emptiness. The love she spoke of vanished. She was gone and in her place the smooth beauty of a barrel. Grade 11 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Creative Destruction Timothy Ivey Jr.

Destruction is the tool of creation Which is a property of the war For destruction is a correlation So it is a concept, which I adore The art of war I cherish your wisdoms For though your effect of creation exists By your cause you create many kingdoms Do you know of destruction, dark mists? Not like I, the understander of fate The universe was created by thee, From your manifest something to create Oh I praise destruction for making me For time is the beauty of divine light Watching is greater than time’s awesome might Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Mysterious Figure Antiqua Jackson Grade 12 City Honors High School

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Dreams Are Worth the Fight Asli Ali

Sometimes life can be so suffocating Feels like my life is a story someone else is narrating So I take in the criticism like osmosis The stress gets to me and I take two more doses With a smile on my face and my heart in pieces While everyone is trying to move me as if the as if they had telekinesis Feel like giving up, so I remind myself of the goal I almost break down and wonder why life is so cruel Wishing I could just get away from all this bull Things only get harder and reality seems animated The obstacles get bigger and reality seems animated People smiling to my face, their words probably fake Their lies seem honeyed, almost too sweet to take But my skies are clearing, turning azure And maybe, just maybe this is the end of my torture With a pure heart and an open mind, I never lose hope One way or another, I’ll get to the top and keep climbing the slope Maybe I’ll get fortuitous and hopefully my luck won’t expire I’ll keep doing my best and build my own empire Grade 9 Riverside High School

Circle of Artist Alexander Harold Grade 12 Bennett High School

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The Last Fishing Trip Zachary Sanford

I remember Waking up with fishing caps on, Holding a rough but, firm hand, The small of salty fish, The sound of the reel clicking as the line reeled in, The bright sun overhead reflecting off the lake The chilly fall mornings, Every orange, green and yellow leaf that fell in front of me, The fish I lost and the line going limp, Watching the sunset across the lake, The sky, so pink and orange, Losing my dad. I remember, Everything‌ Grade 10 Mckinley High School

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Disgrace Dominic Coia

Tempted by sleep Driven by desire With pain they weep Make it spread, wild fire Day in, day out Several years passed Our flag, we mount Never comes in last Victorious, as we always have been Fighting for freedom, that;s not really free Some wounds unable to mend One life, too great a fee Glorious return To a home no longer It has burned By a flame, stronger Homeless, poor, medically ill Saviors of life and freedom Yet the country remains, disappointingly still As our heroes suffer Disgrace. Grade 10 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Self Raina Rodriguez Grade 11 Middle Early College High School

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Abused Zach McMahon

Victim of abuse Distraught Head kept high Through this constant screaming . . . Becoming violent I sneak around Adding to the fire Reaching out for a helping hand But no one pulls me from the flames As I take my last breath, eyes close and darkness f a l l s Grade 12 Burgard High School

Indestructible Dominique Murray Grade 11 McKinley High School

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Love Kills! Ameerah Mootry

I love you, but you love me not It hurts but my love for you just won’t stop! The way you make me feel, is nothing how I make you feel Is it my looks? My style? The way I walk? The way I talk? I thought this love would eventually go away Instead it stayed and you went away If you can’t love me, like I love you I will make sure NO ONE else loves you! Grade East High School

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Music and Coffee Vianca Morales

Music and coffee seem to be my only escape. Sitting alone at a round wood table. Freshly brewed coffee with hazelnut creamer. Just how my mom always makes it for me. Songs, which become background music. Lyrics seep through and whisper understandings so gently, As my thoughts take over all my attention. I’ve got to find other ways. To break myself out of this cage. Cause I’ve tried everything From shiny metallic blades Scarlet stained. To crumpled, torn, scribbled on pages. Barriers, Invisible to all but me. Like an electric fence, Shocking me, Every time I get to almost leave, The hells of my own creation. Two sides of my brain are at war. Gilded helmets, with sharp weapons. One side swears it’s winning. All they want is complete control. The other side is just defending, Fighting for the right decision. Dust flying, fast fighting, mud sliding. Mind cluttering, like an old overstocked library. Creating in mind all this gore.

A wise man once told me an old folktale Of a girl who broke free from a poor home. Oh, how I’d sure love to be her. Carefree perfection, wild perception. These obstacles are all in my head. I’ve got to defeat them before I end up dead. ‘Cause this concrete wall isn’t shattering, And my knuckles are broken and bleeding. I can’t feel myself, I’m losing myself. I’m not ready to crumble, over an unnecessary hardship. I just want to feel alive again. Another gulf of coffee in my system, another note blasts through my speakers. I realize, I indeed, am my own worst enemy. The only thing standing in the way of myself is me. With every word I write down, I see how contradicting I am. So, I pour myself another cup as a consolation. Give myself a confirmation, I’m not gonna worry anymore. Grade 9 Riverside High School

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Twiggy Leanna Grandolph Grade 10 City Honors High School

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The Women Zach McMachon

Those clear hues The perfect color framed by the whites of his eyes See past the sins of her The man secretly admiring the woman of which he writes of ‌ her heart stolen away The crevice of her chest is filled with darkness And in this darkness grows a condemned demon of hate Her heart is filled with sadness and pain as the darkness in the woman grows the man writes of what he knows It will only grow in the heart of those who are too weak to resist But, in this way the demon cannot be blamed for the weakness of its host he is weakened by the sadness and pain he sees inside as a new demon grows One of Great Power Grade 12 Burgard High School

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Self Portrait Kimberly Pena Grade 10 Middle Early College High School

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Stresses Steven McDaniel Grade 11 McKinley High School

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Pain of Love Safiya Osman

Don’t stop my eyes from doing what they do best let them drop the tear the tears of pain let them share what my heart can’t say the true pain that’s slithering through the veins let my heart cry for the pain it felt let my tears storm down the ocean I never asked for this but again and again it happens the sweetness of love easily turned to sorrow instead of a heartbreak my love can’t continue screaming like this it can’t be roaring louder than a lion this is all unhealthy the mind is shooting down and the heart is becoming dark like a room with a closed door your heart was my home this love was my life our hearts used to dance together in the breeze now I am standing here dancing alone crying for you calling you yet every moment I look up, you are a no-show I guess my search for your heart wasn’t successful my search for a long lasing love seems to have ended shorter than expected I longed for your love then I long for it now I longed for you a day and more but one day I will stop waiting stop looking back then at that time it will be too late for my hear to be found.

Grade 11 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Slipping Away Nicole Rhynes

You have no time left Your time is up Feeling lost with no one is sight You have but yourself time, time, time That is all you can say about it time passing by Calling and calling but no one answers you Yelling and screaming for help but no one answers you You ask yourself why, why doesn’t anyone help me You cry, you weep, you sob, but still no one comes to your aid The story you tell will never be believed by other as so “the boy who cried wolf” The deed is done the sun has gone down and still you’re lost someone there to save you The moments you once cherished have now left you Your soul and body gives out The hands which used to be warm are now cold The ring which your lover has given you is now ripped from your finger Just like the virginity lost of which a child has gotten raped The loving family which you were

born in has now walked away from you Time has changed and the future is now taken by hell Time has finally let go of you The way you loved a person has now let go The hands of which used to hold you at night has let go The sir gets cold the light is now dark the happiness is now grim The time of happiness is now filled with sorrow Will you ever get back time Will you ever experience love Will you ever cry the tears of deep pain and sorrow Time will only tell Live your life to the fullest never look back Take what you have and shake it for all it’s got Make every day count . . . Because someone will and can take that away from you You’re slowly and desperately Slipping away . . . Grade 12 Bennett High School

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Expression Taylor Ingram

Destined to reach greatness, ambition and drive strong and willing, but has the heart to shine loving and caring, but weak on the inside confidence strong, but self-consciousness tears up her insides. She smiles as if nothing is wrong. She carries herself in such a way; no one knows when something is wrong constant thoughts, dark nights, she cried a few tears wishing these tears would disappear, so she could see the world full of fears. Her only hope is that she will be an inspiration to those who can’t open up to new things she wants everyone to seek new worlds and explore new things. She waits until her dreams come true only in fairytales, will her dreams turn reality, a dream come true. Grade 12 Hutchinson Technical High School

Untitled Mariah Kuhn Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Secrets Melinda Ortiz

Before I cease living, I’ll tell you my secrets Ones that will scream piercingly until you’re forced to hear Secrets that seize the sharpness that surround your soul When I tell you, you will feel as if you were Overwhelmed with the sea of secrets that will drown Remember me for what I was and not for what I hid. Remember me as the smiling, smart one A fish, swimming through that sea. Not as the drowning polar bear. Before I cease living, I’ll tell you my forbidden puzzles Ones that will take hours and hours to put together Yet still have the most important piece missing Puzzles come with answers And I will reveal that most important piece Before I cease living But my life is not ceasing Yet. Grade 11 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Glitch in My Past Damario Burks

I remember when it took a day To get up and shake the pain Walking though the bleached snow Now you’re just somebody that I used to know Like dominoes it all fell down An assassin, it didn’t even make a sound And once it’s gone you’re on your own I thought that I could let it go But the truth id I can still feel you in my bones And it’s messing with my brain I feel the lightening shooting up my veins Your personality as cold as ice And now I pay the price I remember looking into your eyes, Gazing, they were pure as snow Now you’re just somebody that I used to know. Grade 9 Riverside High School

Outside Looking In Emilio Dejesus Grade 11 Riverside High School

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Text Dominic Coia

Engine starts, and the motor revs Breaks released and I speed ahead 0-60 in less than ten Who knows where I’m going, and who knows when I’m going to stop I could go for miles Without a care in the world I look away for a second And my car gets hurled Off the road And into a tree All because my friend wanted to see If he could copy my homework, so he could rest Now I’m in the hospital, because of a text. [Moral is don’t text and drive I guess Cuz right now, I could care less If he takes my homework, I might not survive That’ll teach me, to text and drive] Grade 10 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Broken Brittany Cofferen

Broken promises broken dreams. Sometimes love isn’t what it seems. I waited for you. But you were untrue. But somehow I still love you. Even though it makes me blue. I cry right in from of you but you don’t see. You don’t understand how hard it can be. You say I’m sorry so many times to me. It’s so hard to believe. I try so hard to stay strong. But in your heart I don’t belong. I have filled someone else’s spot. But I still love you a lot. I know that you don’t love me. But I will refuse to see. All this pain is because of me. But how can this be. I am in love with you. How can this be untrue. I don’t know what to say. I wish it would all go away. Broken promises broken dreams. Sometimes love isn’t what it seems Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Boy Joshua Hampton

Your pants are too baggy. This is how you dress yourself. Never call a woman out of her name. Always hold the door open for them. Be sure to compliment them on everything. Your voice is too high; you need to make it deeper. This is the wrist your watch goes on. Always carry gum. This is how you wear cologne. You have too much hair; it’s time for a cut. Always take responsibility for your actions. It you borrow money be sure to return it on time. Never be out of a job for too long. Brush your hair this way. Don’t cook with long sleeves. Always shake with the right, not the left. Make sure it’s firm enough. Introduce yourself first. Don’t do for beggars what they won’t do themselves. Be modest, but don’t give credit to those who don’t deserve it. But your own person and not the shadow of someone else. You can dream while you’re young, but you’re older aspire to make them into reality. This is how you paint a wall. This is how you shave. This is how you drive. This is how you speak for a job. This is how you mow the lawn. Take these instructions and follow them wisely. This is how you grow from a boy into a man. Grade 12 East High School

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Self Brandon Hunt Grade 11 Middle Early College High School

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Left in the Dark Xzavier Gray

You wrap your arms around her; she wraps her arms around you. She presses her head to your chest, your hands fall to her waist. One rests upon her head, lightly messaging her scalp. You can feel her quiet and slow breathes as she nuzzles further into your grasp. You can tell she doesn’t want to leave, but remain with you for an eternity to come. Her head lifts slightly, her eyes locking onto yours, her lips part to form a smile. You can feel her heartbeat beating rhythmically with yours as she leans forward. On instinct you lean downward, anxiously pressing your lips to hers. Just as they touch you feel her pulse leap, become rapid, as if she were entranced. Time seemed to have stood still, minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days. Her eyes begin to close, as did yours, as if you were in flawless sync. But a small feeling begins to control you, a feeling of dread Her skin becomes icy to the touch, your eyes launching open to see no change in figure. Her eyes locked upon yours with a tear leaking down her cheeks. Almost as if she were nothing more than a whisper in the wind, she’s gone. Leaving nothing more than a tombstone in her place. You suddenly remember everything when you were told the powerful feeling of rage. You had a pulse but she seemed to have been buried with it. Leaving you nothing more than a shell, searching for its missing pieces, desperate for a second chance. Grade 11 Burgard High School

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Man Who Found the Little Ball Lee Dauria Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Untitled Hector Tirado

What do you do when something You’ve given you all to, always seems To want you because it knows you’ll Always be there. At what point Do you choose self-worth over acceptance. Why is it that we refuse to see What’s best for us or to have the courage to say now. At some point you have to choose whether to Triumph or be trampled. You deserve The best and don’t you ever settle. Grade 11 Mckinley High School

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Spiral Willow Madison Greene Grade 10 City Honors High School

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Speak Your Mind & Shape Your World 48

Carlos Becerril Grade 9 Temple Structure for a Movie Set

Jose Rodriguez Grade 9 Domed Church

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K Maw Grade 12 Boxing Arena, in the Shape of a Man’s Head and Shoulders.

Nathaniel Voss Grade 10 Design for a New House in Buffalo

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Nwey Wah Grade 10 Design for a New House in Buffalo

Shontel Baker Grade 10 Design for a New House in Buffalo

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Future Chelsey Borkowski Grade 11 South Park High School

Blissful Rain Alexander Harold Grade Bennett High School

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Peace Anabel Dieguez-Ortega Grade 10 Riverside High School

The Waterfall Doh Moo Grade 11 Burgard High School

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African Sunset Alphonse Niyigaba Grade 12 Lafayette High School

Thai Sunset Hsa Mu Pwe Grade 12 Lafayette High School

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Purr-fection Brenda Sams Grade 11 South Park High School

The Albatross Kaday Tun Aung Grade 9 Riverside High School

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Untitled Aniyah Brown Grade 10 City Honors High School

Happy Elibeth Maldonado Grade 11 Lafayette High School

In All Shapes and Colors Laira Mozee Grade 12 Burgard High School

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Untitled Fergus McCarthy Grade 11 Tapestry Charter High School

Untitled Paige Beal Grade 11 City Honors High School

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Abstract Anthony Morgan Grade Tapestry Charter High School

Spiral Lauren Samar Grade 12 City Honors High School

Skull Study Larry Italia Grade 10 South Park High School

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No Regrets Natalya Spikes Grade 12 Riverside High School

Clock Maiden Sebraun Daniels Grade 12 Riverside High School

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911 Memorial Mariah Kuhn Grade 12 Riverside High School

Udjet Eye Amulet Denzel Guest Grade 9 Riverside High School

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Sneakers Chelsey Brown Grade 12 McKinley High School

Homeroom Carlos Williams Grade 12 Burgard High School

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Untitled Thomas Klukowski Grade 12 McKinley High School

The Chalice Bereket Tesfay Grade 11 Riverside High School

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Tiger Watching Stephanie Wittney Grade 12 McKinley High School

Guitar Deanna Kreinheder Grade 12 Hutchinson Technical High School

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Comic Strip Grid Enlargement Zoe Burk Grade 9 Tapestry Charter High Skeleton Study Kaitlyn Lehsten Grade 12 South Park High School

Squid Deep Lee Dauria Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Squid Brittany Cofferen

Squish and full of ink Now give me a moment to think. A squid is like a pen to write. Defend myself with ink for what’s right. Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Untitled Hector Tirado

Why did I choose a like over love Did I let curiosity take over Or my imagination to kick it At the time what was I thinking To choose you A like over love Was I in my state of mind But I have to say when I gave you my all You acted as if I were an illusion Something irreplaceable But eventually you realized That I was worth more More than you ever deserved. Grade 11 McKinley High School

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Self Portrait Zach Akins Grade 12 South Park

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Kyle Hsa Mu Pwe Grade 12 Lafayette High School

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How Does it Feel Zachary Sanford

How does it feel, to be the one excluded, to be the one crying, to be the one mistreated, to be the one misunderstood, to be the one forgotten, to be the one left behind, to be the one misled, to be your only friend. How does it feel, to be the only outcast. Grade 10 Burgard High School

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Beauty is Short Lived Laurel Knight

Every caterpillar that survives Will become a butterfly Every bud that lives long Will someday blossom But beauty is short lived One day, that butterfly will die Soon… the flower’s petals They will fall and blow away Never return again Beauty is short lived Yet, beauty is in the eye of the beholder Beauty… it may be short lived But within Beauty can someday, like the phoenix Rise again More powerful More beautiful Than ever before Beauty is short lived Yet in the memory of others Your beauty Shall live on In their hearts Forever Grade 12 Hutchinson Technical High School

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Untitled Emma Walsh Grade 12 City Honors High School

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Brilliant…But However Black Dejon Brice

Why is it that every time I suggest an idea they know is brilliant they suddenly have to regroup Why is it that they would rather trust the little white boy who gets me coffee with their millions of billions (that I got them) than me myself I’m always early, on time and yet they scowl with their eyes as if I’m late With my numerous degrees and accolades yet continuously I hesitate to speak When I do they look at me as if the Negro woman has since become educated I sit alone with myself, my back facing the window as if I am not worthy to face the sun However whenever they need someone to persuaded an old rich white client who was possibly a former slave owner I am their first choice They send me to him; with my hair long to the bottom of my back My heels high, legs for miles My breasts at attention, lips red as the roses outside Hips mesmerizing and distracting That’s how they send me when an old rich white client who was possibly a former slave owner refuses to sell I have made and continue to make records for this company I have single handedly increased profit and connections For two of the four years I’ve been here I have taken this company to new heights And yet I am at the bottom of the barrel Never a thank you or nice job just the same looks as if they are surprised I closed the deal Hell astonished, astounded, amazed I can read and write God forbid I decide to say something God forbid I say no or demand to receive acknowledgments Yet I stay for some reason Yet I stay hesitating as if my numerous degrees and accolades and past and records mean absolutely nothing Why do I stay I could take over this company at the wink of my eye Yet I choose to stay here Brilliant but however black

Grade 12 Lafayette High School

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Dramatic Fruit Natalya Spikes Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Perspective Ashlee Albrecht Grade 10 South Park High School

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Moving On Courtney Jones

Think of me As you go about your life Remember it all The hugs, smiles, laughs Nothing is ever the same Time is ever changing Keep in mind our memories And hold them so dear Freshman, sophomore Junior, senior The years pass, a summer breeze These are our best Embedded, not only skin deep But lost within ourselves The friendships we’ve made Will remain a lifetime Going separate ways College, work, family Different directions Same faces still fill my mind You’ll live on forever In the minds of those who matter Never forgotten Yet we’re moving on Grade 12 Riverside High School

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Voice Demetria Bottoms

I try my best to express my emotions out loud But that never works I feel like my voice box has been ripped out and help before me No matter how hard I try to scream I can’t Like every movement of my lips creates a silent murmur That floats from my mouth to nobody’s ears Lifeless letters fall off my tongue into misspelled words and meaningless sentences But when I write . . . it’s like the whole world can hear me Understand what I’m saying, and feel what I feel No one will judge me when I let the ink flow I don’t even care if I make sense when I set my thoughts free Because this is my chance to open my heart And give my words wings My chance to speak, to be heard I will be heard. And I won’t have to utter a single thing This is my voice. Grade 11 Tapestry Charter High School

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John Lennon Jordan Tick Grade 10 City Honors High School

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Silence is My Mistress Kaleigh Kubiak

My tears belong to her My whimpers are what make that siren shudder. There is great reason to fear her beauty For which, I am sworn to never unveil. Notwithstanding, it is she into whom I am Driven Solace is what I find Escape is what I achieve Timeless is that unnoticed interruption Gentile yet dominating, kind yet cold She encompasses all knowledge In her depths, is the profound is Discovered silence is the mother of revelation None rule over her, except the world the Question and the Answer Grade 9 Burgard High School

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Prosper Brandon Holmes

Maybe if I scream loud enough, Maybe people will listen. Maybe if I get fat, people wouldn’t be so distant. Maybe one day we can live without hate, Or start my life over on a clean slate. Maybe one day we can live without crime, Maybe one day the sun will always shine. Maybe the world won’t always be dark, Lord let there be light. Give us all wings so we can all prosper, And fly like a kite. Grade Tapestry Charter High School

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Quiet in Love Desiree Sumpter

To say love is one thing, To love is another. Quiet in love, no peeps or mutters. Not having a good reason to stay. Frozen with emotion, you tried to let go of yesterday. You don’t feel the same way you as you did yesterday, But you don’t say anything, not a peep. They seem so happy, and you get weak. You start to get distant and they start to wonder, Mixed emotions, so all you hear is thunder. But it’s not fair to let them suffer too But if you leave you’ll break their hearts. But if you stay you’ll break your too. Someone has to go, Neither can stay, There are so many thing that you can’t say. Being quiet in love isn’t what is best. So be loud in love, And give the silence a rest. Grade 11 Middle Early College High School

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You and Me Lynx

You say you don’t know the problem We’ll I’ll give you one What’s you – me = _______________ The answer is nothing I was your epitome I was your new start At a new life You’re making me want to subtract you From my equation You’re nothing but a dilemma Something that can easily be earned It may be hard But it’s also easy Easy to do anything I put my mind to You just watch Someday It will be Me – you GLYS

Untitled Aniyah Brown Grade 10 City Honors High School

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Keep Pushing Jonathan Boone

Without rain there’s no growth You don’t see the rainbow until the rain goes ghost Otherwise you wouldn’t admire its beauty for what it’s really worth before the problematic situation occurred So I’m going hard to reach my goal That’s why I want to channel my energy into a positive flow So when you look at me you’ll see the star in me glow For me, I don’t put my value in gold but, in good hearts and good souls So the neurons in your brain can actually grow Laziness is diligence number one enemy And I understand that I will go to sleep unintended in a comfortable bed So I rest upon rugged rocks to keep me awake in a world full of slumber So I can keep on pushing Grade 12 East High School

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Wisdom Tooth Anabel Dieguez-Ortega Grade 10 Riverside High School

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Untitled Sumaiya Muzahid Grade 11 McKinley High School

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Insomnia Joshua Hampton

I lay awake at night, unable to sleep. Mother says sweet dreams, but here I stay trapped in reality. As time becomes evanescent, sleep becomes as precious as gold itself. The long, slow seconds, meander into minutes. Tick tock, tick tock. Eventually all of the hours have faded away, so begins late nights and early days. 50 million thoughts running through my mind, as I try to stay on a one-way path to success. I’m so tired, I wish I could rest, yet my eyes are forever open, looking at the prize ahead.

As I lay awake in the middle of the night, I ponder who will win the fight. Will it be my baggy eyes, or my stubborn attitude? Only time will tell, as the struggle continues. Endless days, restless nights. Sleep lost and tired is found. The root of my problems, the stress on my brain. Welcome to my world, where insomniacs reign! Grade 12 East High School

It’s work all day, work all night. No 9 to 5, just daily overtime.

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Looking in the Mirror Serina Robinson

With pride, pleasure, and much gratitude, you’re grabbing at me when I start to laugh at you. So when things get bad, I always go back to you. But you’re running away from your own actions too. The latitude that comes and goes with this so called “love?” The attitude you get when my affection gets rough . . . What do I have to prove to get you to see that you’re the one who makes this life enough? My magnificent cultivated complicated dreams. My future lover, my past problem, but presently you’re my queen. Looking in this reflection that it took so long to adore. I’m turning the mirror over so that I can see a bit more. It doesn’t really matter what they sat or what they meant, it time they bring the will. They mean as much as the government does, acknowledge my existence and tell me who to love, but who’s paying the bills? I finally can look at you and not feel paranoid about the girls in school or the boys employed. Anywhere anytime I have no problems being me! With rainbow colors so bright across my wrist that I’m certain the Lord can see. They say I should care because you brought the message from the Bible directly. But I don’t because looking at you and vice versa . . . I LOVE ME. Grade 11 Tapestry Charter High School

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Untitled Tawon Crosby

I once heard this quote “Why am I dying to live, when I’m just living to die?” Well I’m dying to live, Cause there’s so much I can give If I die in my sleep tonight I want people to say, “He was so helpful And he showed so much love To help people He went beyond and above.” So much potential And I think in found the thing I’m best at And that I will love doing willingly I can’t tell you what it is but if you are close to me you probably know Just know if I don’t do it Everyday it’s going to be killing me. Grade Middle Early College High School

Hulk Brandon Hunt Grade 11 Middle Early College High Schoolt

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Untitled Ezera Brooks

Across this great nation we are chasing dreams that are full of passion and great responsibility. The people who chase after them are the go-getters, and the ones who sit around are the ones who seek the motivation to get up and make change. It’s up to us to supply them with it so they can climb the mountain to get to the top. Grade 9 Maritime Charter High School

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Giving Up Hector Tirado

They say life is a gift But what gift does life give Sometimes is the time Where we all come down It’s called breaking down Into pieces for Every reason Unimaginable, Unusual, Unconditional, To the reasonably strong People “me” Grade 11 McKinley High School

Male Brandon Hunt Grade 11 Middle Early College High School

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Poem Gabrielle Petty

The simple sayings seem stuck inside like a bird in a cage I need a moment to retrieve them but time never stops for me he keeps running and I never catch him please, wait! You know I am not a cheetah I am a deer beautiful, graceful, lost I see the road beyond the lights but I cannot get there someone help me, teach me I am more than my frozen eyes. Grade 11 Leonardo Da Vinci High School

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Still Life Duy Lee Grade 11 Riverside High School

Still Life Hsa Mu Pwe Grade 12 Lafayette High School

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Anniah Eh Ka Paw Grade 10 Lafayette High School

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Ode to the Children of Darfur Breana Jones

Why did you make me an outcast? Why do you allow the world to turn its back on us while my people are being slaughtered we die while you live we starve while you feast we live in darkness while you dance in the light of God please help the outcast hungry from birth show them mercy they don’t find on earth please help my people we look to you still I thought we were all children of God. Grade Tapestry Charter High School

Shadow of the Past Breana Jones

You are the dream giver. You are the nightmare. With your cold black heart and your cold black stare. Grade Tapestry Charter High School

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My Sister’s Keeper Marissa Scott

You’re a baby now but as you get older, people get wiser. Thoughts are tempted. Love is damaged. Walking around the deadly streets of dissatisfaction, the mind realizes the heart attack and pain that runs through your soul, giving into evil. As I take your hand and walk you through life you see mind takers, heartbreakers, soul breakers. The streets are full of body sweepers and God forsaken seekers. Just know I am my sister’s keeper. Grade Tapestry Charter High School

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Mi Hermano y Yo Iviangelisse Carino Grade 11 Burgard High School

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Behind the Smile DeQuana Godson

Clear as night, Dark as day, Still wanting answers, Yet here I lay. Wanting to break free From this place I’m in, Hiding the feelings I have within. No one understands ‘Cause nobody cares, Sick of hiding behind The smile I wear. Dark as day, Clear as night, Everything’s wrong ‘Cause nothing’s right Grade 9 Frederick Law Olmstead School

Tank Steven McDaniel Grade 11 McKinley High School

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Pain, I Do Feel Destiny Plaza

I feel as if I were a leaf, Just hanging on a branch with no warmth, With no purpose As they yank me off the branch not knowing I feel pain, As I fall and nobody is there to catch me, As I hit the ground and nobody hears my cries, As they step all over me breaki9ng me, Crumbling me to pieces, Nobody knows that I am still alive, That I still feel pain, As I become invisible to the human eye And I drift away in the wind Disintegrating in the ground . . . Grade 11 Hutchinson Technical High School

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Respect Mercedes Pompey

Can somebody please tell me what’s going on? It’s just the fact, I’m so confused. Why when I walk through the hallways at school I’m ashamed of what I see? This girl hates that girl, because this boy smashed that. Men talkin’ about gangs, excuse me, BOYS repping their set. I walk the halls, shooing young girls to class. But they’re still love struck over boys stuck in their past. Am I the only one who still sees a bright future ahead? Only thing running through minds is who to lie with in bed. Everyone shows nothing but disrespect. They say you gotta give respect to get it, Why not earn it or win it? If I’m giving it to you, why aren’t you giving it to me? Give and you get. I give and don’t get. You don’t give so I don’t get. Why give it to you if I don’t get what I give? It’s all self-respect in the life that we live So should I walk around disrespecting you? Or respect you and still get disrespect from you? What’s going on here? I’m just so confused. You want respect from me, And when it’s given I expect the same. But instead what I give to you is all used in vain. Grade 11 Burgard High School

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Depiction of Myself Mercedes Pompey Grade 11 Burgard High School

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Lance Diamond Portrait Eamon McDonough Grade 11 Tapestry Charter High School

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Guardian Angel Brittany Rollins

One tear drop, plus two And they’re all for you. After being gone for so long, I wonder how it would be If you were here with me. So much guidance I can use from you Plus all the time we could spend too. I know that there would be laughter Because with our love we would engage in joy. But I know you’re in a better place now, Grandma. And now you’re watching over peacefully As my guardian angel. Grade 12 Hutchinson Technical High School

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The Lady Fly Thamil Warmley Grade 12 Bennett High School

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Expect a short goodbye Demetria Bottoms

How can I help you when I can’t even help myself? I sit in the shadows and watch as you slip away into nothing Deteriorating from the inside out Your self-subscribed relief for yourself- inflicted pain I cry as much as I breathe Wishing I could be that medicine Flowing in your veins racing to your heart Warming your soul I want to make you forget all the sadness I want you to be happy I want to see you get better like you promise you will I want I want too much How can I help you when I’m so absorbed in myself? Worrying about my own selfish needs Worried that you’ll eventually be the same And forget that I was once the cause of your real I haven’t seen it in a while… Sometimes I think I should just go And let you save yourself, because I can’t no matter how hard I try Never again will you have to resort to such lowness Never again will you have to relieve your pain with synthetic happiness Because there will be none when I’m gone Grade Tapestry Charter High School

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Chaos Emma Walsh Grade 12 City Honors High School

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Graduation Joshua Hampton

Caps and gowns were once a dream Now I’m only a few steps from reality On the last day of school, when the bell rings Only a matter of time until I walk across the stage. After June 22nd I’m four years away from a degree My family and friends will be so proud of me, to see how far I’ve come. From East High to a university. A new path begins for me The last time I wore a cap and gown, I was as tall as the car of a clown now I can finally reflect on my success. Just because I’ve graduated, to college I’ve matriculated. From ignorant to sophisticated… This doesn’t mean I’ll forget where I came from Because all the pain, sadness, and struggle, has made this moment even better. Grade 12 East High School

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2012 Speak Your Mind