Tiger P.A.W.S.Spring 2013
Tiger P.A.W.S. is a St. Philip's College student literary and art publication. This is Vol. 2, Issue 1 from Spring 2013.
Tiger P.A.W.S. Personal Academic Writing Space St. Philipâ€™s College Volume 2, Issue 1 Spring 2013 2 Tiger P.A.W.S. Personal Academic Writing Space St. Philip’s College Volume 2, Issue 1 Spring 2013 s ge’ d u J e oic Ch Cover Art: Free Food by Luke Martinez Mixed Media 3 Acknowledgments The Tiger P.A.W.S. staff wishes to thank the following people: Erick Akins— Dean, Divisional Workforce Development and Continuing Education Sean Nighbert—Chair, Communication & Learning Kevin Schantz—Coordinator, TnT Center San Juan San Miguel—Director, Writing Center Nereida Reyes– Senior Tutor, Writing Center Mitchell Miranda—Art Judge Thomas Reprographics Editorial Staff Student Staff: Faculty Staff: Justin Rodriguez C. Allison Baez Luke Martinez Lee Ann Epstein Catina Tennessee Stephanie Gresham Génesis López Pris Lopez José Centeno Jamie Miranda Don Mathis 4 Table of Contents Free Food—Luke Martinez………….. …………………………………..... Cover Journal #8 —Laura Alonso…………………….……………………………... 7 100% Vet 110% Biker —Russell T. Ivey.……………………………….... 8 Urban Dream—Mike Quigley……………………………………………... 9 Blessed—Jesus Ramirez………………..……….……………………………... 10 Garden Entrance—Mike Quigley………………………………………... 11 My Mother: Her Life’s Lessons—Veronica Tovar…….……... 12 Old Time Room—Melody Halsrud……………………………………... 14 We Danced—Jonathan Reyes…………... ……………………..…...…… 15 Grandma—Leatre Cooper……………………………....……………………. 16 Hope—Maria Alvarez……………………………………………….…...……….. 19 If Only...—Justin Rodriguez………………………….. …………………….. 20 Bear With Me—Jacob Guzman…..…………………………….…………. 21 Broken Pier—Mike Quigley…………………….…………………….……… 22 The Water—Charles Carlisle………………….…………………….……… 23 The Soldier—Isaac Carpenter………………….…………………………... 24 Our Fallen Heroes—Mike Quigley…………………………………………….… 27 To My Homeland: Argentina-Roxana Del Valle Ramirez.. 28 Para mi Patria: Argentina—Roxana Del Valle Ramirez..… 29 THURSDAY—Jonathan Reyes.………..………………………………….. 30 Trippin’—Oscar Hernandez……………….…………………………………. 31 Johnny—Laura Alonso…………...……...……………………………………... 32 Spring Time Flowers—Melody Halsrud……………………………… 33 California Winter—Katherine Wells…………………….…………... 34 Inside My Deficits—Candace Kenton……………………………….… 35 Meaning of Memories—Justin Rodriguez..………………………… 36 Moon at High Noon—Richard Cardona.……………………………. 38 Night—Joseph Sambrano………………..………………………...………….. 39 Ignored—Hannah Mahaffey……………………………...………………….. 40 What Homework?—Melody Halsrud…………………………………. 45 5 Table of Contents Surf and Shore—Coral Rosario………………………….…….…………… 46 Sunset Stormy—Mike Quigley……..………………………………….….. 47 My Dad Died—Robert Reyes………….……………………………….…… 48 Mission San Jose—Maria Alvarez……………………………………..…. 51 A Pesar—Génesis López………………………………………………….…….. 52 Love Hurts—Jacob Guzman………………………………….……………… Peaceful Setting Sun, Another Day is Done— 53 Mike Quigley…………………………………………………………………………..... 54 Good in Me—Sharon Robinson……………………………...…………… 55 I Swear—Justin Rodriguez…..………………...…………………………….. 56 Gasprilla Inn, Florida—Mike Quigley.……………………………….. 58 GOD Forgives, I Don’t—Russell T. Ivey………...……………………….. 59 Sweet Kimono Girl—Melody Halsrud.……………………………….. 60 John—Mike Quigley………………………………..……………………………… 61 My Life—Oscar Hernandez…………….…………………………………….. 62 Final Words—Justin Rodriguez…………………………...……………… 64 Texas Evening’s Best—Aaron Ball………………………………………... 65 Our Judges…………………………………………………………………………………. 66 The Tiger—Dorothy Helen Henderson……………………………..… 67 6 Journal #8 By Laura Alonso My cat Tulip really gets on my nerves most of the time. During the day, when I get an open moment and the urge to want to play with her, I’m often disappointed. As with most any “normal” cat, I move my hand to stroke her back, expecting the deep resonance of purring and a movement of her back in concurrence. However, all I get is a bite to the palm and a swipe from an ungrateful claw. Sometimes, she’ll even hug my entire forearm with hers, bite at my fingers, and kick at my arm’s underside with her hind legs. It’s as if she’s hugging tightly and trying to get away at the same time— like a self-captured victim. Then, when I give up and start to walk away, she runs after me, apparently not having had enough! She’ll jump at my leg, mid-stride, and cling on for dear life. Her tiny, infinitely sharp fish-hook nails dig into my skin and snag up my new socks as she goes along for the ride of her life. Finally, she falls off and bolts away into some inaccessible nook before I have a chance to grab her for payback. And after her nice long day of rest is at its end, and the moon begins to rise, the time for fun and play begins, apparently. Because almost as soon as I lay my tired little head down for much needed rest, she’s on her way downstairs to make some racket at the food bowl and litter box. Then after business is taken care of, she begins her rounds across the furniture, leaping from couch to couch, chair to table, table to counter, and finally crash- landing on any breakable valuables that might be around. She interrogates the blinds, for only God knows what and proceeds with a smack-down when they fail to deliver. 7 100% Vet 110% Biker By Russell T. Ivey I tend to push the limits I ride against the wind I look upon my vices Without the guilt of sin I dig the smell of leather I like the look of chrome I prefer the feel of a woman Without the silicone I am all for getting even I settle every debt I have faced many a demon Without a thought of regret I believe in God and country I know of sacrifice I honor those who've given Without regard of price I am 100% Vet I don't subscribe to hype I ask only that you see me Without the stereotype 8 Urban Dream By Mike Quigley Photograph 9 Blessed By Jesus Ramirez I wake up each morning feeling blessed. God has given me another day, another way I am alive! While I lie in bed I think about the good times and the bad the times with no clothes and the other stuff, I never had! I ask why me, and I laugh. It reminds me of my father who was a great man. A man of great moral value and that always said hard work would pay off son, But only once it had been done, of course. I would think to myself how; I have holes in my jeans and nothing of worth A tired body and I felt like a jerk. He said it would all come in time, and riches werenâ€™t measured with the same stick. Little did I know the stick was not really a stick it was plan and a reflection of a man! He had told me once a man with no plan is not a man but just a boy playing with a toy, which was their life! For many years I thought it a lie. Until one night it hit me and I began to cry; it was too late he had already died! 10 I never got to say thanks for the advice old man. I am finally becoming a man just like you said. I thought why him and not me? But then I realized when I have a son I would not let that be! I now look back at the pain and sorrow that was placed on his plate! And I will never debate what a father should be. I only hope that some day my son will say that about me. Garden Entrance By Michael Quigley Photograph 11 My Mother: Her Life’s Lessons By Veronica Tovar Cecilia Gonzales is my mother. She was born in San Antonio, Texas. She is a very loving and thoughtful mother who raised me to be a confident, respectful person. Also, she helped me become the adult I am now. When I was growing up with my other seven siblings, she always tried to teach us moral values, such as respect for our elders, selfrespect, leadership, and respect for other people’s properties. My great-grandparents raised my mom on a ranch called Rancho Ojo de Agua located next to Zaragoza, Coahuila, Mexico. Angelita Altamirano Torres was her grandmother's name, and Benito Torres was her grandfather. They instilled respect for her elders, as well as to respect and take care of the farm animals, their food source. Maybe that is why she taught my brothers, sisters, and me to respect our elders. For instance, I recall an occasion when one of my sisters disrespected her by speaking back to my mother. As a result, she punished my sister by not allowing her to go with her friends to the school dance. My mother always guided us with good examples. I remember a time when she walked with me to school and met my kindergarten teacher. My mom always answered her with a, “Yes, ma’am,” or “No, ma’am,” when the teacher would ask her a question. I realized by her having good morals that I could also imitate her and apply those good values into my life. Now, I can apply those same principles and values with my three sons. Another way she articulated self-respect and leadership is in her job experiences. My mother had numerous jobs where she gained lots of experience and leadership. She told me that when she worked at a meat company, her boss always gave her respect because she gained his favor. In addition, when her co-workers needed help, she assisted them in a number of ways. For example, when she worked at the St. Anthony Hotel approximately four years in the laundry department, her job duties were to wash and dry the linen. However, when she saw one of her co-workers fall behind in her work, she would go and help her. This is why her co-workers learned to have great appreciation for her. One more great value my mom taught me is to have selfrespect. She taught me to uphold a good reputation among my peers at all times. She always educated me to be proud of who I am and never be ashamed of my background and traditions that were inculcated to her by her grandparents. Because of this, I am proud to be the best seam- 12 stress among all my sisters. I like the fact that with this talent, I can take a piece of cloth and make it look like a store-bought dress. Finally, the last good moral I acquired is to respect property that belongs to someone else. My mother worked at Frost Bank for three years as a custodian. One evening in the month of May during the summer, she was in the basement bank vault. She and one of her co -workers were cleaning because the bank personnel left it dirty. While they were in the process of cleaning, her co-worker noticed the bank vault door open. She saw some gold bricks inside the vault on a table. She then told her to take one each. She would take one because there were so many gold bricks, and nobody would know one of two gold bricks would be missing. My mother told me she did not take any because she knew it was wrong. This morality is why she does not take other people’s property. Because of her experience with her temptation with instant riches, she was able to give me two valuable lessons during my childhood. I remember the times when she would take me to visit my aunts. She made it plain that I could not take anything without my aunts’ permission. In addition, she took me to visit my grandmother, who made the most delicious flour tortillas. As soon as I walked into her house, I went straight to the source: The aroma emanated from the kitchen. I saw the delicacies—stacks of fluffy, mouth-watering tortillas on the comal. My little hand reached out to grab one of the tasty morsels when my mother smacked it, emitting a sound I will never forget. A second childhood incident occurred when I was about four years old. I went with my mother to H.E.B. When I stepped into the store, I saw the candy stand, and as soon as my mother turned her head in another direction, I took a piece of candy and put in my pocket. My mother found out when we arrived home. As soon as I walked into the house, I went to my bedroom and hid. Before I could open the candy, unexpectedly she walked in and caught me with the candy. She asked me, “Veronica, where did you get the candy from?” I said I took it from H.E.B. My mother took me back to the store and made me return the candy to the store manager. When we went back home, she punished me by not allowing me to play with my friends for an entire week. In summary, my mother is the best in my eyes because she taught me great principles. Her God- given wisdom helped me become who I am now as an adult. Thus, my own sons will surely face temptation like money, clothes, women, etc. I plan to inculcate these life lessons so that my three sons will know between right and wrong. 13 Old Time Room By Melody Halsrud Pencil 14 We Danced By Jonathan Reyes As the glitter was falling and the disco lights shot across the room I worked up the courage to say, “My name is Johnny and I'm looking for June” With my stomach in knots and heart in my hands... I had to go out, I had to take a chance While most were looking for love and looking for their ever... I just wanted you, I just wanted a dance I took you by the hand and led you through the crowd It's just me and you while everything else seems to drown out Teach me all your moves, teach me all your steps My arms around your hips, your head against my chest Slowly swaying right, slowly swaying left Getting into a groove, sharing each other’s breath Letting the music speak as it told us what to do next You pulled me in closer, it's a moment I won't forget We gave into our butterflies that carried us away Floating above the crowd as they didn't know what to say We flew away that Thursday night And we danced and danced with no end in sight 15 Grandma By Leatre Cooper In my English class 0301, Basic English, we were asked to write an 800-1000 word first person essay. We were given several topics to choose. I chose the topic, “Describe one person in your life that has helped you or hurt you (or both) in your development from a child into an adult. Highlight one or two key moments that explain how this person has influenced your behavior and beliefs over the years.” The person, I believe, that has helped me become the person I am today was my grandmother, Elizabeth Stewart. She was called grandma by her grandchildren and Liz or Liz Liz by her friends. My grandmother was a strong and caring woman. She was born in 1914. She was a short woman. Her skin completion was a dark sugar brown. She had a round face and a round button nose. Whenever she smiled, her nose seemed to smash down on her face when she laughed, and her jaws looked like two melons. She was a soft-spoken woman. Whenever my grandmother spoke, there was a peace and calmness about her voice. She gave you a sense of peace and calm. I learned it was the power of prayer, which gave her the calm in her voice and in her heart when she spoke. Although she never fussed, I knew when she was angry or disappointed with me. My grandmother was the person who taught me what love is. She taught me the meaning of unconditional love through her faith in God. She devoted her life to helping her family and others. She taught me it is better to give than to receive. In the Bible, Acts 20:35, King James Version, says, “I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” I remember when I was eight years old. My grandma came to Los Angeles, California, because my mother was seriously ill. My grandma Liz arrived in Los Angles the day before Child Protection Services came to put my two brothers, James and Todd, my sister Norsha, and I in foster care. My grandma gave me the biggest hug and kiss that filled my heart with so much love and compassion. I could not speak. When my grandma held me that day, it was as though she gave me a piece of herself to hold on to for the rest of my life. I remember the nights my brothers, sister, and I lay in my mother’s arms; because she was “so sick,” she did not know what to do. I remember she would tell us to scream, “Somebody, help us.” I knew my grandma was that person when she arrived in Los Angeles, California. My grandma Liz did not just say she loved us. It was in everything she did. I learned years later that my grandma and grandpa had given up an opportunity to buy their first home with the money from my grandfather’s retirement from the L&M Railroad. In the fall of 1973, my mother, 16 two brothers, sister, and I went to live with grandmother and grandfather in the Calliope Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was there my grandmother continued to show me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My grandmother Liz and grandfather Henry did not have much money. Although the apartment was not fancy, it was home. It had three bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, and a kitchen. I remember my grandmother’s small kitchen in the Calliope Projects was warm and comforting. In my grandmother’s kitchen is where I had another experience that taught me to be who I am today. My grandmother cooked for my brothers, sister, and me. She cooked for my cousins, aunts, and uncles. My grandma Liz’s house at dinner time was like Jesus feeding the five thousand multitude with only five loaves of bread and two fish, as in Mathew 14:17, “And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” That experience taught me you may not have much, but you always have something to give. It amazed me how one pot of cabbage, pickle-tips, and two pans of homemade cornbread could feed all seven of my grandmother’s children and their children. 365 days out a year, her pots never seemed empty. She was always full of love and understanding. My grandma Liz had a special gift when it came to understanding me. I believe she had it with all her children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. She knew the struggles that I would face when I got older. She began to teach me at an early age. The Bible states, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worked patience.” I remember at the age of nine years old my mama Betty was suffering from PTSD after having my little sister who was ten months old. One day my mother Betty walked into my fourth grade class. I was working a math problem on the board when my mother walked in the classroom. The children begin to laugh at her. She was dressed very awkwardly. She had a belt tied around her head, and her hair was not combed. Her clothes just did not match—two different color socks. Either my mother was color blind, or she was mentally ill. I did not say anything. I asked the teacher if I could be excused. I brought my mom to the office and waited for my aunt to pick her up. My grandmother, uncles, and aunts decided that my mother needed to be admitted to the hospital. When I came home from school, my grandmother greeted me as she usually did; she gave me a humongous hug. She explained to my brothers and me that my mom was sick. My grandma Liz was the type of person who sat down with you and explained to you what was going on. My grandma told me my mom would have to go away for a while and that my mother would still love us no matter what or where she was. She also said it was going to take some time before my mother would be able to come home. I believe today that experience taught me to be patient. Romans 5: 3 says, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing 17 that tribulation worked patience.” She held my little brother Todd, my sister Norsha, and I that night, as she did whenever there was a tragedy. After my mother was admitted in to the hospital, my eldest brother James died from pneumonia; he was thirteen years old. He died in my grandmother’s arms at Charity Hospital. I believe that day stole years from my grandmother’s life. She continued to pray every day, but I believe after my brother’s death, it showed in her face and the way she walked. It was two years before my mother came home from Mandeville Hospital. My mother was great when she came home from the hospital. She was a beautiful person. She loved her children. My sister Norsha, my mother, and I started to have special daughter days. On Saturdays, my mom, sister, and I would go out to eat and go to the movie theatre. Sunday is when my brother Todd, sister Norsha, mom, and I began going to church again as a family. My mother Betty lived to be forty-three years old. Two weeks before I graduated from senior high school my mother Betty died from respiratory failure. It seems one tragedy after another. Through it all, my grandmother was there for me. I can appreciate her love because it made me the person I am today. She taught me how to pray. I remember when I was twenty-two years old, at the age of seventy years old, my grandmother had her second heart surgery. She kept her eyes on God. The doctors said it was an eighty-percent chance she would not make it through the open-heart surgery. My grandmother said, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” I was always taught to believe in God, but it was the first day I prayed openly with my grandmother for her. My grandmother came through the surgery with flying colors. Praying with my grandmother, and for her, that day taught me how to pray for my children, who are twenty-two and fifteen years old. I have taught my children what my grandmother has taught me. The Bible, King James Version, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” The person I believe that has helped me become the person I am today is my grandmother, Elizabeth Stewart. My grandmother was the person that has helped me develop from a child into an adult. She taught me patience. In the King James Bible, the scripture 30:5 says, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” She gave hope when I needed it. The person that taught me what love was my grandmother. She taught me the meaning of love through her faith in God. 18 Hope By Maria Alvarez Photograph 19 If Only... By Justin Rodriguez If you were an ocean, I’d be your boat. If you were poetry, I’d be the book. If you were a proton, I’d be an electron. If only if only you could see, I’d be the one to make you happy. I’d care for you when you’re sick, I’d bring you a blanket and hot chocolate. When it’s cold, I’ll be your warmth. I’d carry you when you’re too weak, Kiss your forehead when days come too hard. I’d listen to you talk, While we go for a walk. I’d love you a thousand ways, Until the end of days. If you were the wind, I’d fly every day. If love had a proper name, It would be yours. If only if only dreams come true, I’d be with you. 20 Bear With Me By Jacob Guzman Mixed Media 21 Broken Pier By Mike Quigley Photograph 22 The Water By Charles Carlisle I am like the water. I can be tranquil as a pond or enraged as the rapids. I can be hard and cold not letting anyone in like a glacier or open and serene like the ocean, encompassing anything that touches the surface. I can face things with equal opposition like the pool of water that is painful if approached one way and welcoming if approached another. I try to take the path of least resistance like a stream winding down a hill, deviating when obstacles arise but staying the course and never turning back. When it seems all paths are blocked I am most like water: building constant pressure, finding the weakest point, and finally breaking free. 23 The Soldier By Isaac Carpenter The last time I met him, he was sitting at a table in an Army green tent. The floor was dirt and gravel, and outside the wind blew hot and dusty. His Kevlar helmet sat on the table in front of him, and leaned against the side was his M-4 carbine. He sat in his body armor, hot, sweaty, a neck gator around his neck, not for the warmth, but to keep the sand and dust out. Sunglasses lay on the table near the Kevlar, a grim reminder of the bright, hot desert sun that awaited outside of the tent. Sweat and dust had marked his face in grimy runnels that left his face oddly streaked orange and pink. He held a cup of coffee in his hand, an odd choice for such a hot place, but there it was. He stared off into the distance, not really looking at the green walls of the tent or the orange dirt of the floor, but almost into some other plane of existence, one where the profession of arms was an unneeded one. His clothes were that of an Army soldier; ACU top and pants faded from the desert sun, black gloves ripped in some places and worn in others. Battered, coyote-colored knee pads hung around his ankles, partially covering the desert boots with the worn soles. At home he had stood an inch taller in those very boots, but the months of treading the hot, oppressive streets of a foreign country had worn them down. His body armor was worn as well. Covered with loops, and festooned with pouches of various shapes and sizes. Pouches that held things to save lives, and pouches that held things to take lives as well. In the center of it all, though, was the insignia of rank. Three chevrons, pointed up. While only black thread embroidered onto ACU- patterned cloth, and only weighing an ounce or two, the weight of responsibility rested heavily on him. At his feet lay a bag. Green in color, it weighed twenty pounds and was filled with lifesaving things: dressings, both traditional and the newer trauma dressings, tourniquets, IVs, airway adjuncts. All this and more. 24 The bag looked as worn as the soldier it sat next to, but it was ready to go. Everything in its place. As I watch, I see the man I knew in the man I now see, though the one I knew is worn, tired, huddled. The man I now see is distant, apart from this world, and not a part of the next. Blood, both visible and not, stains his hands and uniform. Some of it soaked into the knees of his pants, some in his pads, some on his boots. Lives have been held in those hands. And some have been saved, and some have been lost. I have seen him before. His uniform was green, his belt tan. He wore three days of stubble on a face that had seen far too long without a bath or shower. Coffee sat on the table in front of him, alongside a pack of Lucky Strikes and a steel pot he called a helmet. Across his lap lay an old companion, his Thompson M1928 Submachine Gun. His boots were brown, leather, cracked from salt water and rain, mud and dirt. His hands and uniform are still stained with blood, though through the dirt and grime it is hard to see. He wore a vest, then, instead of body armor, with pockets for the long magazines of his weapon. His sleeve is bare to common eye, but the practiced eye will see the spot that is a shade too dark, a shade different where he used to wear his stripes until the German snipers got too good at picking out the leaders. You canâ€™t lead if you are dead, and somebody has to bring his boys home alive, he figures. So better to lose the symbols of station and keep his troops alive. Outside the shattered building he rested in, it rained. Grey clouds blocked out the sun, leaving the world around him in a pseudo dusk. Somewhere out there his enemy waited, watched, hoped for the next opportunity to match wits and luck against him. Iâ€™ve seen him sitting outside of a white canvas tent. He wore a beard then, his face worn from the sun and wind, scarred from the spark of his weapon against his cheek. His jacket was butternut, fastened with wooden buttons. A black belt wrapped around his waist, and a cartridge pouch was 25 handy at his side. He sat outside his tent, near a fire, his boys nearby but not sharing in his quiet contemplation. He had a sword next to him, and on the other side a rifled musket. Both were clean, the sword sharp, and the musket scoured. His shoes were worn, the leather holed in some places, and his pants no longer had a defined color, more of a mottle of colors from the many patchworks done on them. A metal cup of chicory steamed on his knee. His sleeve was marked with the chevrons of his office, marking him as a sergeant. A man among the boys who fought for their country, the man who promised to stand for what he believed in. The man who would encourage them when they wanted to run, who would push and prod them into line for one more volley. And he would be the first to take up the colors and lead his men in a charge in the face of the enemy. Anything to bring his boys home alive. One time he was clean shaven, nearly bald. The metal bands of lorica segmentata surrounding and protecting him. A large shield nearby, his pilum at hand and gladius at his waist. He wore sandals that wound around his feet and ankles, with metal cleats on the soles so that he could push back against his enemy, so he wouldnâ€™t lose his footing in battle. His helmet was polished with a red spray across it. He sat outside a tent, his legs stretched out as he drank wine. He could see his troops, the men who he led in countless campaigns across Europe. The men with whom he fought the Gauls and the Celts and more barbarian tribes, they are the men who would follow him into the mouth of hell, should he ask, because he leads them well. He is a sergeant. He is a leader, a professional, dedicated to the craft of destroying his enemies and protecting his men. In times past, he was apart from the men, risen by selection, education, or birth. In all times, he knew that he set the example for the other soldiers to follow. 26 Our Fallen Heroes By Mike Quigley Photograph 27 To My Homeland: Argentina By Roxana Del Valle Ramirez To my Homeland: Argentina Part of the American continent, my dear Argentina! You grew up far away, unknown land for many… even today. Conquered by Spaniards, built by Europeans, Africans, Indians, and mestizas like me. The deep blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, and the colossal Andes hug your long line geography while the Zonda wind gently touches you with smiles and good news from all those Argentinians living thousands of miles away. People like me, a criolla woman, who loves your asados and mates, who always remembers you, and admires you. My dear Argentina, Your name was written with silver rivers and dreams of wealth, and your flag was created by the hand of God, with traces of pure sky and sun. You were, are, and will be the home of the gauchos. Gauchos on horses, with facon and boleadoras You were the awakening of caudillos, a settle of memories, power, and freedom. My beautiful country, your presence unleashes unbridled lovers, like Pamperito’s fury You wake up fiery passions like the tango’s sparkling sensuality. Lovely terra! With pampas and your mountains, With vineyards and countless plantations, Your smell belongs to fresh herbs and Your millions of multicolor landscapes! And …WOW!! And… all that castle!? Amazedly stunning!! However, I see sadness in your eyes, why do you cry Argentina? Times of destruction, uncertainty, and manipulation are gone, Smile! You are unique in this planet, exquisite and splendid, far away but always present Present in my heart, and in my soul, in my skin and in my eyes, Present every day in my life. You are the one I love, the one I own the honor to say, I am from Argentina! 28 Para mi Patria: Argentina By Roxana Del Valle Ramirez Para mi Patria: Argentina Eres parte del continente Americano, mi Argentina querida! Creciste allá lejos, tierra por muchos…aún desconocida. Conquistada por españoles, y edificada por europeos, africanos y mestizas como yo. Las profundas aguas azules del Océano Atlántico y la imponente Codillera andina abrazan tu delgada geografía. Mientras que el viento Zonda te acaricia con sonrisas de esos aventureros que un día abrieron sus alas y volaron de tu nido, uno de ellos soy yo. Una criolla amante del asado, y del mate, una argentina que siempre te recuerda, y te admira. Mi querida Argentina, Tu nombre fue escrito con ríos de plata, y con sueños de riquezas Tu bandera fue creada por la mano de Dios, con trazos de cielo puro, y sol. Has sido, eres y serás terruño de gauchos, Gauchos a caballo, con facón y boleadoras. Fuiste el despertar de los caudillos, una tierra de memorias, poder y libertad. Patria querida! Tu presencia desata amores desbocados, como el andar del Pamperito Y despiertas pasiones fogosas como la chispeante sensualidad del Tango, Tierra mía! con tus pampas y tus montañas, tus viñedos y tus innumerables plantaciones, tu aroma es de hiervas frescas, con millones de paisajes multicolores! Y …HEY! y… todo ese ganado!? Que maravilla! Sin embargo, veo tristeza en tus ojos, porque lloras Argentina? Esos tiempos de destrucción, desconcierto y manipulación se han acabado Sonríe! Tú eres única en este planeta, bella e imponente, lejana pero presente. Presente aquí en mi corazón, y en mi alma, en mi piel, y en mis ojos, Presente cada día de mi vida, eres tú a quien yo anhelo Eres tú a quien le debo este gozo y este honor de decir: “SOY ARGENTINA!!” 29 THURSDAY By Jonathan Reyes She gently kissed him as she injected the needle She said, “Give me a call... 967-EVIL” He fell in love as he fell away And as he was falling she softly said, “I only exist on Thursday” She had planted an obsession with that simple phrase The letters came alive as her poison infected his veins The T and The H fell in love with a C The U was for you because that was the only place he wanted to be The R was always his and his father’s favorite The S was the S on her chest because she saw his love and saved it The D and The A ran away from giving an M The Y was for why ask why when the answers are riddled within After the poison had run through his blood He went in search of the woman who saved his love After looking and looking with no such luck He realized it was only Sunday... Fuck. 30 Trippinâ€™ By Oscar Hernandez Pencil 31 Johnny By Laura Alonso Mixed Media 32 Spring Time Flowers By Melody Halsrud Marker 33 California Winter By Katherine Wells Photograph 34 Inside My Deficits By Candace Kenton I’m ambivalent between what I’ve always known and what I hope for. To and fro, my thoughts seem to come and go. Meticulously critiquing any given situation, but missing everything entirely, is my impatient, mental undulation. Have to keep my mind from getting bored, too broke to pay attention; losing time is something I cannot afford. cus, concentrate, and listen….. Fo- I heard what you said, but missed your point, other things momentarily popped in my head. I’m lagging behind, while foggy, dancing particles of misty words enter through my ears, but absently, miss my easily distracted mind. Fragmented images are all that remain from our conversation moments ago….. What was the last thing you said? I’ve missed it, please forgive, and have a little patience with me, this is no act; I’m not a part of ‘The Ringling’s,’ so no need for a show. “It’s common with all people,” was a psychologist’s edu- cated point of view, followed by, “but more so, with someone who’s like you.” How can I explain a condition you cannot see? When ideas explained chronologically, become jumbled, and begin making no sense to me. In my lucid night visions, I’ve flown a million miles away, only to wake to my realistic daydream called, attention deficits, each and every day. 35 Meaning of Memories By Justin Rodriguez Every day I try and try to bend reality, hoping things change and I can truly be happy. In the past I was misunderstood and just short of a tragedy. Before, I was lost and wandering the unknown. I kept to myself and hoped no one would notice. As days passed and I grew older; my eyes started to wither, my knees began to ache. The whole world began to shake. I closed my eyes and saw nothing but the darkness of the abyss that laid behind my eyelids. Until the light shined through in the morning. I struggle to get up and walk down the empty hallway to the sink. I look in the mirror and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, why must we all fall?” I wait and wait for an answer that I'll never get. Soon I'll forget and ask again tomorrow. My memory has faded over the years and years of wear and tear. I look out the window to watch the birds fly and the wind blow through the trees. The bees buzz and the seven seas. The waves crash the shore, like two lovers coming back for more. I wash the filth from my body after a day of hard work. I look at my reflection in the mirror and think I deserve more. More things to divert my time as I get older and older. I have so many, “things” but none make my life any better. I watch the sky get darker and lighter along with the weather. My phone rings and I hope everyone’s okay. I expect the worst when the best is yet to come. My friends and family change but my reflection stays the same. 36 Day after day my heart pounds harder and harder. I have become smarter over my years of learning from the consequences of my life. It has become loud yet quiet in my room. The mirror is taunting me and taunting me, it wants me back. I resist and resist until I can't no more, the door slams louder and louder. The house shakes and the windows break. My eyes tremble and close. The floor will give in soon and I'll fall with it. I watch the neighbors scramble to get their things out and into the car. They drive off fast and never look back. One after another they forget what truly matters. They forget the idea that binds us as humans. The very place they grew up in and what came to them to make up what they are today. The water is getting higher now, the streets are gone and filled to the brink. The houses, they crumble to shambles and float down the waterway. My house is next, I can feel it. The floor shakes and cracks form on the wall. I fall to my knees with the next massive shake. I stay there and wait for whatâ€™s to come. It's done. The floor gives in with me on top. I lay wet and bleeding. I stare to the sky and wonder why. I get to my feet but fall again. This time my various mirrors fall with me. They surround me in a cocoon of broken dreams. I look at my reflection and ponder the unknown. It's almost over now. The house finally crumbles and all that's left are the mirrors that hold my memory. After all, I was only a reflection in the first place. 37 Moon at High Noon By Richard Cardona Photographâ€”35mm double exposure 38 Night By Joseph Sambrano Here comes the moon with her army of stars That seems to come from galaxies afar, Lighting up the skies with her little lights Bringing forth such a beautiful night. 39 Ignored By Hannah Mahaffey This is a story of a girl who was terribly ignored. Hello, my name is Alyssa Adams. I’m sixteen and might as well be invisible. No one at school talks to me except for my best friend Catherine. And of all people, she’s head cheerleader, year book editor, and captain of our debate team. Needless to say, she’s pretty popular. Needless to say, I’m not. I don’t even know why she even talks to me. I’m so unpopular I might as well be invisible. I’m so unpopular I might as well be dead. “ Di do di dum. ‘Good morning.’ Dum di do di do.” Ahh! That stupid alarm clock. I’ve had it since I was five. I want to get rid of it, but I just can’t bring myself to throw it away. Oh well, time to get up for another glorious day at Alexander High. As I walk out my bedroom door, I smell the overwhelming scent of cigarette smoke. I cough slightly then walk down stairs. I see my mother passed out on the kitchen table, cigarette still in hand. Mom’s been binge drinking again, I see. She hasn’t always been like this. She used to be quite productive, always keeping busy. Now she barely bathes, drinks all the time, and when she’s not drunk, she’s sleeping it off. “Mother, what’s happened to you,” I think to myself. I shake my head and then run out the door where Catherine is waiting. “Hey, Cat, what’s kicking?” I say, trying to give her a hug. “Stop that, Alyssa; people will think that we’re gay,” she laughs. “When did you become the little homophobe” I joke. We continue on until we get to school. “Well, I got to book. Don’t want to be late to snore, I mean math class,” Cat says waving. “Can’t stand to be seen with me, huh, Cat,” I yell after her laughing. But, I kind of mean it. As I walk to first period, no one even looks at me. No one says hello. It’s like no one even knows that I’m alive. And, I’m not even new here. Most of these people have known me since elementary school. It’s sad when not even they will wave, nod, or at least smile at you. I wasn’t always this unpopular. I don’t know what could have happened. I just have the worst 40 luck. “A minus X divided by three is equal to… anyone?” Mr. Bell asks. He’s my algebra teacher by the way. “Twenty two,” I say, halfway raising my hand. “Twenty two; people, you know this. Hasn’t anyone been doing the homework?” I just said that. “What is 12x divided by 3?” he continues without even hearing me. “Nine,” I say. “Nine,” the guy behind me copies. “Good job, Mr. Blake. You see, jocks can be smart too,” Mr. Bell says, and the class laughs along. Everyone laughs, except me that is. I’m pissed. I’m even invisible to the teachers. I raise my hand. “Sir, may I go to the bathroom.” He ignores me. “Sir,” I say a little louder; “May I be excused?” Still no response. I raise my hand a little higher and speak a little louder. “Sir, may I please be excused to use the bathroom?” He obviously doesn’t care, so I just go. I go to the bathroom and then go to my locker. For some reason for the past couple of weeks, my locker’s been broken. It hasn’t been able to open no matter what I do. Tomorrow I’m thinking of coming to school with a crow bar. Campus police probably wouldn’t even notice. The bell for lunch rings, so I go to the feeding trough where all the cattle meet. Can’t find Catherine, nope…there she is. I wave to her, and she beckons for me to come outside with her. It’s like she doesn’t want to be seen in public with me or something. “My locker still won’t open,” I say as I come to sit by her. “Oh…hey, was algebra a snore,” she fakes a yawn. “Very funny,” I say. “But seriously, why do you want to eat outside?” “The cafeteria’s too noisy,” she replies. “Yeah right; you just don’t want to be seen with me,” I tease, but she looks 41 kind of hurt. But in a second she’s over it and talking again as usual. “Do you want to come over after school?” I ask as I try to steal a fry from her plate. She moves her plate. “Sorry, can’t; I have a doctor’s appointment, remember?” “Again? What’s wrong with you? This is the third one this week,” I say concerned. “Oh, it’s nothing. Hey, I’m going to the bathroom. I’ll be right back,” she says quickly then she gets up and walks off. Strange, very strange. As I look down I see that she’s dropped something. It’s a business card for the Hope Counseling Center. Cat’s in therapy? What could be so bad in her life that she needs therapy? “Hey, I’m back,” she says as she comes up. Then she looks at my hand. “Where did you find that?” she asks. Her face is very serious. “It fell out of your bag. When were you going to tell me about this?” I say, trying to grab her hand. She pulls away. “It’s nothing; look, I got to go. If you want to talk, meet me by the big oak tree at the park near your house tonight at seven. If you want to talk, we can talk then. I’ll see you later.” “Cat, wait,” I say, but she’s already gone. I am so upset I don’t even bother to go to class. I just go straight home. My mom’s sleeping on the couch, bottle in hand. “Mom I’m home,” I say as I turn off the TV. “Alyssa, your back,” my mom says faintly. “Yeah, school was terrible,” I say, but she had already gone back to sleep. Never mind. My brother’s home. I can hear the loud music coming from his room. Hardcore something or other. He just barely started listing to it. It’s all he listens to now. All he ever does now is stay in his room. He won’t even talk to me. We used to be so close. He’s only a year younger than me. It’s sad how families fall apart. It’s seven now, and it’s getting dark. I’m by the big oak tree, and it’s cold out. I should have brought a jacket. Here comes Catherine. “ Hey, sorry I’m late.” What else is new. 42 “So are you going to tell me what’s up or what?” I ask. “Come on, let’s take a walk,” she says. “So” I say. “So what?” she replies. “So are you going to tell me why you’re in therapy three times a week, or do I have to guess?” I finish. “Something happened about a month ago,” Catherine says softly. “Yeah, you totaled your brand new car. Hardly cause for therapy.” It was a joke, but Cat’s not laughing. “Oh God, you really loved that car didn’t you.” Catherine smiles sadly and nods. “Do you remember anything about that day?” Cat asks me, voice quivering. “Sure; I got up, had breakfast, went to school…,” I say, trying to remember. “And after school…,” she pries. “We went to a party…we drank a little…we were driving home and then…” “And then we crashed,” Cat finishes, tears in her eyes. We’ve stopped now. I look around. I do a double take and then start to freak out. “Cat…why are we at a cemetery?” She’s really crying now as she points to a stone. It’s engraved, “In loving memory of a wonderful girl Alyssa Adams Born 6-7-1993 Died 9-29-2009 She was loved by everyone.” “…what…this can’t be…I’m not dead…I can’t be…Catherine, you can see me right. I’m not dead. I’m right here. Stop crying.” I try to give her a hug. This time she doesn’t move away. I fall straight through her. Catherine’s hysterical. “It’s all my fault; it’s all MY FAULT!!! If I hadn’t been drinking, none of this would have happened. You DIED because of ME! YOU’RE GONE because of ME!!!” I can’t calm her down. I can’t calm ME down. Cat’s banging her head against my tombstone; shouldn’t I be the one upset? “Catherine, calm 43 down. Please calm down.” Now I’m crying. That’s why my mom’s always drunk and my brother’s into that music. To hide the pain. That’s why nobody notices me. I’m not unpopular; I’m just dead…. Not like that’s any better. But still, at least I’m not hated or invisible. Look at me, all Polly Anna looking on the bright side. For being dead, I’m pretty cheerful. Oh God; I think it’s just hit me. I’m dead. I’m not coming back. I’m gone forever. No more Dr. Pepper -n- gummy worms, no more boyfriends, no more school (actually I’m not too sad about the last part). No more anything. I’m gone. What am I going to do now? Well, first I have to help Catherine. “Cat snap out of it.” She stops crying and listens. “You made a mistake. You killed me, but I’m still here.” She laughs a little than sniffles. “You need to pull yourself together and move on. I know I’m going to have to. But, I can’t do that until I help you.” She hiccups. We both laugh. “Alyssa, what are you going to do now?” she asks sniffling. “I don’t know,” I reply. As I say that, I start to feel lightheaded then warm, and then I see something bright and shiny coming closer and closer. “I see a light, Cat; what should I do?” I ask her. “I think you need to go,” she replies. “But before you do, I just wanted to say I was sorry.” “For what?” I ask. “Umm…For killing you.” “Oh, right…well, all is forgiven. And I’m sorry for puking all over your brand new skirt when I had the stomach flu.” We both laugh. “All is forgiven,” she says. “Tell my mother I love her. And tell my brother not to give her a hard time,” I say. “I promise,” she says, crossing her heart. “I’ll never forget you,” she says. “You’d better not. I love you, Catherine. You’re my best friend.” “I love you too.” I feel like I’m rising. Everything starts to fade away. I feel happy. I feel at peace. I wasn’t ignored. I wasn’t invisible. I was loved. I am loved. 44 What Homework? By Melody Halsrud Marker and Pencil Color 45 s geâ€™ Jud ice o Ch Surf and Shore By Coral Rosario As darkened skies encompass overhead, the Surf collects himself into a chair and pulls his cover from the Shore in shreds revealing her to night and its chill air. As darkened waters loom above in jags, the Shore from sleeping state awakes in fear and wraps her gleaming sands with seaweed rags to hide her starkness from his sneering jeers. As darkness veils into the deepest night, the Surf in fury and with mighty roar brings down his fist and â€˜til the morning light his pompous waves do pound the moonlit Shore. but when the sun to darkest night gives chase, Surf gently wraps Shore in his cool embrace. 46 Sunset Stormy By Mike Quigley Photograph 47 s ge’ Jud ice o Ch My Dad Died By Robert Reyes I got the call January 20 at 11:37 A.M. My dad died of leukemia cancer in the blood. I knew it was coming a couple of weeks ago. I had written a few pages in my notebook about how likely I was going to feel when he died, the day they rushed him to the hospital. I re-read them when I got the call and realized very quickly that I didn’t have any Idea of what I was even talking about. I’m not sure if this happens to everyone else, but when I looked into the mirror for the first time, I almost didn’t even recognize myself. When I went to look out the window and was surprised that the world outside still appeared to be functioning as normal, I couldn’t figure out if that was a comfort, fatigue, or if I resented just it. My dad and I were certainly not close in the conventional sense. When I was a kid, we hardly ever talked. He was always wrapped up reading and doing his physics in the kitchen, and you could usually fix yourself a bowl of milk and cereal or even walk right past him and out the front door without him saying a word or even looking up. I should mention that I don’t have any anger about this. He was raised and brought up differently, so in a way he couldn’t learn how to even raise a child as much as his parents could have. He also never really talked about life that much and kept it to himself most of the time, but my mom loved him anyway, as if they were still in there thirties. 48 My father was a physicist during the time when newsbreaks took the time to write articles about the generations and the evolution of new science. It was also the time when he worked on computers that were the size of refrigerators. He was an average height of 5’7”, having between fair and pale skin with long jet black hair, sporting a beard to match. His eyes were the color of a dark Clementine fruit, and his face basically resembled the Spanish artist of Marco Solis. He was born and raised as a farm boy in Natalia, Texas. When he was little, both of his parents were dead by the time he was twelve, so it’s not like he did have much of a role model in actual parenting. He wasn’t really neglectful either; he just had a very limited number of ways to interact with people. He would generally not get involved in a conversation during meals, but if you got him going, the dinner table would turn to an academic lecture about the theory of gravitation, which basically seemed to be his attitude, in most of the ways. He would want you to talk as if you were going to get a Nobel prize afterwards. It doesn’t matter if this is the way it should’ve been or not. It was just the way it was, and that’s that. I think it’s normal, especially for a boy, to try and emulate your father in some way, so I did it in the only way I could think of, by appropriating his stuff. He had a lot of old boxes of office supplies in the basement that I remember seeing him use when I was little. As I sit here typing out this essay, I practiced this draft using his old paper binders and one of his mid- 49 ‘70s pile of mechanical pencils. I can understand completely that this may sound a little demented, but to me it’s about as logical as it gets. Anyway my dad died. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but it’s been difficult to tell anyone because I know the standard reaction is sympathy, and sympathy makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable for some reason. Even though I know people would mean well, I don’t know if I could cope with someone saying, “He’s in a better place,” or “He will always be with you.” My dad didn’t believe in heaven, and neither do I. If we were wrong and he made it there, I could only imagine the other angels would be singing along in a choir while he would be sitting doing his physics work on his cloud. I could almost hear him saying, “This cloud is so bad. They don’t have any place for a back rest, and they play all this horrid music all the time. And it’s uhh… undesirable.” There’s also something about mourning that I’m noticing. I know I’m mourning my dad, but as far as I can tell, I think I’m sort of mourning myself, too. There’s a certain side of yourself that you have in either mind or soul when your parents are alive that simply does not exist anymore when their gone. Not only am I mourning my father, but I’m mourning that I won’t be able to look at myself in quite the same way again. I feel like I should say something to end this, but I don’t think there’s anything else to say. So be it. 50 Mission San Jose By Maria Alvarez Photograph 51 A Pesar By Génesis López A pesar de esperarte, todas las noches, en mi cuarto obscuro, entre tinieblas, bajo la luz de la luna..., tú nunca llegas. Even if I wait for you, every night, in my dark room, in the dark, under the moon's light..., you never come. A pesar de estar cubierta con ropa, o con una simple sabana, y caminar alrededor de la casa buscándote entre la obscuridad..., nunca te puedo encontrar. Even if I'm dressed, or if I'm covered with a simple sheet, and walk around the house looking for you in darkness..., I can never find you. A pesar de que te tiente y te entregue las armas para seducir, eh invitarte a tocar este cuerpo tan puro y desolado, ofreciéndotelo, sin más remordimiento, para que las utilices y con ellas, puedas llegar a mi corazón y que de un jalón, me lo puedas arrancar para que ya no pueda sentir más el dolor y la pena de vivir en esta tierra. Even if I try to taint you and give you the tools of seduction, and invite you to touch my pure and desolate body, offering it, without remorse, to use them and with them, penetrating my chest and reach my heart and with just a pull, you could get it out so that I won't feel any pain and sorrow of living in this world. Te he buscado, pero no te eh encontrado. I have been looking for you, but I can't find you. Te he llamado, pero no me respondes. I have called you, but you won't answer. Te he seducido, pero no accedes. I have tried to seduce you, but you won't proceed. ¿Por qué? Cuando llegara el día, en el que tenga que cerrar los ojos, darte mi mano para que tú me guíes hasta tu obscuridad para ya nunca regresar. Why? When would the day come, where I shut my eyes, give you my hand so that you would take me to your darkness of no return? 52 Love Hurts By Jacob Guzman Mixed Media 53 s geâ€™ Jud ice o Ch Peaceful Setting Sun, Another Day is Done By Mike Quigley Photograph 54 Good in Me By Sharon Robinson Where is the good in me? As I glance at my reflection of Of what I used to be Where is the good in me? What have I done so wrong? My heart as hard as stone Where is the good I held? In heart now gone To a world of bitterness and pain Always taking but nothing to gain Stolen moments never to regain Where is the good in me? 55 I Swear By Justin Rodriguez I wish I never put that joint to my lips I swear the hunger went straight to my hips I wish you had stayed I swear I have suffered and paid enough If days ran longer I'd still be holding your hand this very moment I wish I tried harder and had gotten less jealous of the attention you got Merely because it was the attention I sought from you I can say it until my face is blue But...I haven't got the slightest clue You know in school, They used to torture me Called me fat and ugly because of the eczema on my skin Which I thought was completely ignorant but hurt just the same They would hit me for no reason and in my head I would accuse them of heavy treason It wasn't until I told my parents who had a meeting with the principal That it stopped...for a while Now I got jolted looks and my books pushed down in front of the girl I liked Once I reached high school I thought it would stop, I was right But the only thing worse than torture from another Is torture from within So I found God, I thought the life I lived must have been washed in sin that is why I was being punished I changed, 56 soon enough the church fell apart And I fell right next to it. Truth be told, I only believed in God because of my parents I still remember telling them I didn't think God exists That religion was a waste of time but they just handled it as a crime. I got low I put faith in myself Started to believe in the power of love To this day I have infinity on my wrist Even though I had barely been kissed until I was eighteen It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. You see, I met this girl born the same exact day and year as me I swear getting her number Got me so excited Thought this is the one Her skin glistened brighter than the sun on a midday run Then I got stupid and said the things no girl ever wants to hear I lay next to my bed in disbelief I got so mad and then the silent hum of my very essence went out Weeks passed She didn't even bother to look at me but for some reason One day she decided to notice the fact I was there At that moment my head and heart got ready for battle The war ended and I was in love all over again Then I got bad again, I wasted my second chance I thought smoking pot would end the pain but instead I got depressed now I have to take special pills to make me...happy I swear it's like I'm crazy or at least getting there Now I have to talk to a special doctor who listens I wish I never put that joint to my lips I swear the pain...it never stops. 57 Gasprilla Inn, Florida By Mike Quigley Photograph 58 GOD Forgives, I Don’t By Russell T. Ivey He’s a throwback, a combat vet A no frills, scoot ridin’ so and so Caveman, whose dialect Excludes anything politically correct A veteran, America’s best Wears his dog tags upon his vest Converted memoirs of another day Confirming ‘this dog’ has earned ‘his day’ His mind bares still the scars of war A burning threshold, an open door Hinges of irony, refusing to bind Awaiting his ‘brothers’ still left behind The freedom of riding affords him first hand Reasons he fought in that foreign land For country and family inherit the peace While only the ‘ride’ affords his release Allow him his solace, give’ em what's due Never shall we know what he’s going through Doubt not his resolve. Pray he gets by Old soldiers, it’s said, never shall die 59 Sweet Kimono Girl By Melody Halsrud Mixed Media 60 John By Mike Quigley Photograph 61 My Life By Oscar Hernandez 62 Pencil 63 Final Words By Justin Rodriguez Deceptive rain hits the roof Your final thought is of death And until your last breath I try to remain aloof I swear I swear this wonâ€™t be goodbye Memories cloud my mind God I swear you were so kind I sit and wonder why Why you are being taken My grip grows tighter As your mouth gets wider If only you could awaken The sky darkens Please come back I will protect you from the attack And the dangers in which they lurk The rain has stopped Along with your heart This must be the hardest part I swear Iâ€™ll love you till the end. 64 Texas Eveningâ€™s Best By Aaron Ball Photograph 65 Our Judges Prose: San Juan San Miguel is the Coordinator of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center at St. Philip’s College. He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Communications and Learning Department. He has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from UTSA and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. Mary’s University. He enjoys traveling, cooking (and eating,) cycling, reading and writing but most of all basketball! He is currently in pursuit of his lifelong ambition to be an NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach. Poetry: Nereida Reyes has been a staff member of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center for twelve years. She is a St. Philip’s graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a great grandmother, she still enjoys swimming, cooking, writing poetry, reading, and dismantling the myths embedded in America’s so-called generation gap. Art: Mitchell Miranda is an award-winning artist, photographer, and graduate of St. Philip’s College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a minor in Great Texts of the Western Tradition and a Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on World Religion from Baylor University in May 2012. His studies have taken him to Europe and Guatemala. Recently, his artwork was on exhibit at Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art and the Hill Country Arts Foundation. He was awarded a Texas Emerging Artist scholarship from James Avery and the Texas Art and Craft Fair. Mitch is currently attending graduate school at the University of London’s University College Institute of Archaeology majoring in Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology. He FaceTimes his pet gecko, Little Man. 66 The Tiger By Dorothy Helen Henderson The tiger is fierce in its approach to life circumstances Pouncing along the rough rigid mountains to devour its prey to undertake With a thunderous roar, it shakes and breaks the foundations under its grounds of meaning Seizing all of its foes to reconcilement, while still beaming and gleaming A tiger goes through the trenches of this world, to conquer all of its own desired glory, As a trailblazer through any kind of weather, while digging and seeping its claws into the soil in which it stands, and with every breath it takes; it takes to take in demand The mighty tiger is a creature that I, too, can see in thy own eye’s sight To roam the world with great ambition, while also yielding to plight The eye of the tiger is thy own eye that I seek, and while I strive to accomplish my life’s goals I know that I can achieve, The tiger is I and that Tiger is we. Dedicated to St. Philip’s Tigers 67 68