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No Parenthesis Staff Page 2020 ​

No Parenthesis​ Club Adviser

Karen Brackman

Senior Editors

Joseph Aeschliman Elizabeth Gill Daniel Xu

Assistant Editors

Julia Middleton Hana Lee

Cover by: Hibah Ali


Special Thanks Special thanks to the English and Art departments, as well as the talented writers of Westwood High School, for their contributions to the 2020 ​No Parenthesis Magazine​. We are also sending a big thank you to Mrs. Brackman for all of her guidance and support during the virtual editing process this year.

Dedication This year’s magazine is dedicated to Principal Sean Bevan. We thank you, Mr. Bevan, for fostering an environment of compassion and dedication at Westwood High over the last eleven years. Your committed leadership while school met “in person” and during the distance learning experience is greatly appreciated! We wish you well in your new endeavors and thank you for your excellent leadership. We will miss you!


Blackberry Winter By Lillie Doherty

New life is born upon the grass A bloom is all it takes A pretty shine, a blessed sign The curse of winter breaks

The sky erupts a lovely hue The northern lights appear At equinox, the roses talk A morning light so dear

The morning sun a rosy pink The air like morning dew A butterfly, the sapphire sky All just to be with you

This blackberry winter is the key To the season’s delight But wait alas, this time will pass And change the starry night

The sun, the moon, the wind and sky This nature could compare A Godgiven gift, my heart does lift A season like this is rare.


Recalling Summer By Maddy Hack

Goodbye to stress, to work and tests Goodbye to early days Goodbye to cold and snow and ice Goodbye to school hallways

Hello to camp, to going outside Hello to sleeping in Hello beach plans for sun and sand Hello to tans on skin

Now that we are in winter cold All I do is recall Of summer nights, and twinkling lights And leaves just bound to fall

The seasons change, again and again They go any speed but slow Just like a carousel goes round The seasons come​ ​and go And as the sun sets on my summer And fall begins again I close my eyes, I memorize And wait for summer zen


The Freedom of the Game By Joe McEachern

As soon as I step on the ice I’m free The crisp and cold air wafts into my nose As I glide on, the ice vast like a sea I grab the puck and feel just like the pros

And during the game of grit and team play I focus in on winning with my team This focus blocks the troubles of my day The ever nagging troubles as it seems

The troubles that don’t seem to ever cease Leave from my mind when hockey’s being played Yes hockey lays my demons down to peace It’s the one thing that keeps my mind at bay

Yes hockey is my way to keep me sane So how can you find ways to do the same?


Life is Good at the Beach By Alexa Kelly

Life is Good at the Beach I really love going to my Nana’s, house on Cape Cod with family and friends. I like to play with my friend Savannah,

at Pleasant Beach where she always attends. We love to build giant castles in sand, and act like fishes swimming in the sea. I go paddle boarding away from the land,

the cooling calming ocean splashes me. I love to eat cool refreshing snow cones, while I sit soaking up the hot sun. My family and I throw many stones,

In the clear water which is very fun! But what I love is the memories made. Many years go by but they will never fade.


Hope By Mia Warrington

Full of life, standing tall. Leaves of vibrant, green, bling. Perched up high, above them all. Was my flower in the spring.

Wisdom, purpose, understanding and peace. Long, stretched, limbs and golden wonder. Endless bliss, past deceased. Was my flower in the summer.

Change, unrest and tainted pain. Lost purpose, ever so small. Constant fear of an endless strain. Was my flower in the fall.

Frozen soul, truth caved. A fear that has sustained. Then dead beneath the icy grave. W​ill summer come again?


Happily Ever After Hana Lee


They Sing Because They Sing By Ruby Fyffe

The only noise is a loon’s call far off in the distance but resounding. A breeze offers relief to the stifling sun and wicks away the water droplets patterned on your skin.

Pollen dusts the lawn and lightly floats atop the water. Your only worry is if the pollen will drift under your nose and fill it.

The trees shake out their arms and dribble morning dew atop your head in a ​hello.​ The small cottage behind you creeks its old wooden bones as if to stretch to the sunrise. Sunlight dances across the water to the symphony of silence that echoes in your ears.

A cocoon of nature and peace wraps you. You feel safe. The cocoon allows you to change, to grow, to shelter, and to live. It allows you to transform with colorful wings.

Sun kissed skin warms you when the air brushes your hair.

The sun has risen. The birds now replace Silence’s symphony with a chorus of wonderfilled tunes. They sing because they sing.


A smile washes the face that was once covered in the plain expression of a tired commuter. The hands on the clock no longer matter. Your phone's connection to the world will never arrive. It’s a seclusion, a haven, a home.

Electricity is your hotline to the world beyond the trees. It’s how you know that you weren’t just transported into a time unknown. A man, who you would think as strange back home, paddles by your docks with a line carving through the mirrored water.

“Hello.” “‘Ello.” “Catch anything?” “Not-in’ yet.” “Good luck.” “Good-ay.”

Simple. No discussion that ripples anxiety through your stomach. No word that catches you off guard. It’s simple. It’s good. Yes-It ​is… good.


I Sing Also By Cate Herndon

I sing also. The TV sings in the afternoon, The dogs sing into the late hours, The radios sing among the cars, The keyboards sing tapping along, The alarms sing to wake the house, The phones sing in hope to be answered, The rain sings at the top of the house, The headphones sing in ears of everyone, The homework sings at the bottom of the bag.


Dreaming of Dusk till Dawn

The earth surrounded by the sky

By Jordan Bellevue

Until the moon goes down, to the night’s end. The sun will mend

To end the day, the sun will fall. Casting golden a stray; colors blending, never-ending. The night will come to stay.

Until the stars come out to play, to light up the night sky. The moon comes up, to interrupt It’s time to tell the day goodbye.

It has finally turned to night The stars are like glitter A shooting star, something so far

The nocturnal wild chitter

If you look up to the night sky all you see is darkness put trust in me, then you will see The beauty sky that is star kissed

The constellations you will see now watch the stars aline. As the light blinds, you will not find the atmosphere without moonshine.

taking the darkness from the town.


Bright, Brighter Lights By John Treon I wake up, a tear in my eye, a thump in my chest. With every beat, a new step, and with every step, time passes. It’s a new day, bearing new places to go, new things to see, and a way home. I may be leaving something behind, but it will all stay with me. A big bird comes and takes me away, seemingly bringing me home. It roars as we soar through the sky for what seemed like an eternity. I can see from the skies - bright lights down below, brighter than I’d ever seen. It was a beautiful sight, something new that I could call home. Something that amazed me to such an extent, that I didn’t feel scared anymore. No more worrying and fear, no more clutching to where I once was. I’ve found a new home, a place where I can belong These bright, brighter lights, brighter than anything I have ever seen Something to follow and something to guide me down the path Following diligently while taking a moment to break off on my own direction And on that path I took, I’ve found it Within all this noise and commotion, all these people and cars. I’m home.


The Heart of a Musician By Brandon Han

The grand music that the musician writes Is harmonious and full of passion. It resonates throughout day and night, And the notes are played in a casual fashion.

He opens his eyes and his hands tremble, Playing the music on the piano. He stops, and his heart speeds up the tempo He is nervous and his breath is shallow,

The musician closes his eyes and breathes, All the hard practice goes to waste, but wait! His mind clears up, and he plays with ease, Tunes out the audience to concentrate.

Music is played from the heart, soul, and brain 'Tis a musician's goal to entertain.


Serpent’s Independence By Olivia Holbrook


A New Perspective By Sophia Levering

The crack of the ice on a cold winter’s day I left my house only to play

The sound of sticks smacking together All in the frigid weather

Snow falls from the sky I felt like I could fly

But my time there is done Now I see kids having fun

Working for a living A new life of giving

I watch my daughter play I used to skate the same way


My Hall of Fame By Yvette Easton

I am a girl who enjoys volleyball. I wonder if I will play for USA. I hear the pounding of the ball, my dreams in awe I see myself win everyday. I embrace the sprints and the sweat. I cheer my teammates on. I feel the smooth grip of the ball; my voice scratchy from screaming so long. My love for the game is unbreakable. My fingers are numb every morning. My body is sore from all the work. But it’s time to keep playing, no warning. Losing is my worst enemy, but practice is the only way to redeem myself as capable of the godly way I play. They say I was born passing a volleyball. You may think it’s lame. I say I can do anything, and I’ll live on in My Hall of Fame.


Secrets of the Dark By Adam Lee So there it was A dark, black pit That echoed fear and awe

It shook the ground But made no sound In the depths of an unknown draw

I keep creeping closer To see the exposure Of an endless abyss of gloom

The shadows call out No words, no shouts That echoed my impending doom

I tried to run But the darkness won Pulling me into the pit

I closed my eyes And said a prayer to the sky As my life is torn bit by bit


The Poet’s Disease By John Santosuosso

My task, write a poem But what should it be about? I bang letters on my pad But writer’s block makes me shout

This universal feeling A blockage of the pen They say “the words will come” I can’t help and say “but when?”

Writer’s block, the poet’s disease I’ve got a chronic case I can talk and talk with apparent ease But the written word, I chase


Embark By Ali Tariq Walking transports you around Moving helps you live You listen to the sound As you feel alive Sitting does nothing Back bent, hunched over Time, wasted, wasting The fire for adventure grows colder Travel on a plane Embark on a voyage Journey through the world Find undiscovered knowledge Walking gets you from place to place But it does not start there Beginning in the mind You can go anywhere


Yoga at Sunset By Elizabeth Gill


Skylines By Isabella Allen

From way up here the people look small Minuscule dots on the street Insignificant compared to the buildings encompassing the humming city

Although the sky scrapers climb high into the clouds, The explosion of movement is centered on the ground A puzzle of streets fill with cars, morning to night They honk, rattle and zoom to their destinations

Far away from the massive construction of the sky Trains are heard from the platforms An endless cycle of people fill the cramped area Waiting to travel the spans of the city

Yet the colossal towers always thunders above Their shadow casts like a storm cloud But, when the sun sets, The giants’ lights become the glistening sun


Head Above Water By Catie McGowan Wide open doors Many new faces No safety anymore Lots of brand new places Rushed into the pack Swallowed up by fear Unable to look back No friends to be near Looking for a safe space Feeling small In need of a saving grace No one to call Such a small fish All alone Sanctuary is my one wish What’s ahead is unknown Trying to keep my head up Above water There is no backup The challenges are getting harder Soon I will be okay I know I will Today was not my day But someday I will master that skill


Whenever I Read

They’ll be cool, smart, nice, and funny.

By ​Xinan Liang

I’ll be friends with heroes and villains

Today

And we’ll go on adventures.

I learned

There will be swords and dragons

My ABC’s

With magic and mages.

A is for apple

We’ll visit haunted places

And B is for bees.

And solve crazy mysteries

Soon enough

When I learn to read.

I will learn how to read.

Stories will teach me about

I will imagine that A’s

The good and the bad

Are for astronauts

And I’ll learn more about

Who fly in ships to the moon.

Who I really want to be.

I will imagine that I can fly too.

Am I going to be the protagonist?

I will learn B’s

Do I want to live a life of fun and games?

Are for braaaaains.

When will I get to go on crazy adventures?

And zombies will chase me at night

I can achieve and do everything

For a tasty delight.

Whenever I read.

In time I will find friends


Beaver Lake, NH By Paul Marino What makes a place so fulfilling?

Which is fed by marshmallows and graham

Is it where you play the most videogames?

crackers,

Or the place where the picture you took got

“Does it get any better than this?”

1,000 likes?

No, not at all.

No, not at all. Morning comes, chilly waves bury my head, Every little wave crashing against the sand,

The fulfilling feeling, as if I’m flying,

The fulfilling sound, one after the other,

My tube flies out from under me as it’s

Rays bounce off the water, enlightening its

replaced by cheerful peers,

surroundings,

Siblings corner me as I reach the surface,

The orange, red, yellow aurora fills the

laughing in my face,

once-blue sky,

“Does it get more fun than this?”

Full belly, empty mind,

No, not at all.

“Does it get more beautiful than this?” No, not at all.

So what makes a place so fulfilling? It's the family and friends where laugh never

As the fiery aurora escapes, a crackling fire

ends,

awakens in return,

It’s the dinners and snacks which always

The fulfilling warmth, soothening its creators,

relax,

Stars seep into my eyes, illuminating the

It’s the moments and memories that act as

atmosphere,

your remedies,

Our laughing collides with the crackling fire

That’s what makes it fulfilling.


Goats By Ashley Braren

Seagulls By Ashley Braren


Excerpt of “Descent” By Sydney Jud

“I’m ​just​ saying,” Nathan turns around and begins walking backwards down the hall. “Why stop at capitalism‽ Destroy everything.” Maggie rolls her eyes and grins at him. “You’re so dumb. So can I assume you just failed the econ midterm?” “Ha ha,” Nathan continues sarcastically, “I only need like a six percent to pass, so joke’s on you.” Elias chimes in, “Not that you’d care if you passed a class in the first place.” “You’ve never gotten above a C+ in your life,” Kaya nudges in between Maggie and Elias as they walk. Nathan shrugs “Guilty,” He turns back around and continues down the hall, his nescience evident in his demeanor. He stops suddenly. “What did you just call me?” Maggie walks into him, and Kaya has to keep her from falling over. Nathan really can be an idiot sometimes. “What‽ No I’m not!” Nathan doesn’t hear the subsequent stunned silence. “What did you say?” Kaya tentatively breaks the tension, confused. “I’m not an idiot!” Nathan shakes the thought out of his head and moves on.


“No I’m- what are you talking about‽” I ​said​ Nathan shakes the thought out of his head and moves on. “Nathan are you okay?” Maggie seems afraid that he’s going insane. “Yeah, who are you talking to?” Elias’s growing worry is now apparent as traffic parts around them in the crowded hallway. “What do you mean? You can’t hear the guy ​butchering​ our story? I mean, seriously, I am not that much of an idiot.” The thought perplexed the half-witted boy. “That’s just insulting!” Nathan raves. “Nathan there’s no one talking to you.” Maggie took a step back. “Are you feeling okay?” Kaya puts her hand to Nathan’s forehead in an attempt to gauge his temperature. He recoils. “Are you guys seriously telling me you don’t hear ​anything‽​ ” They shake their heads, petrified. He groans in frustration. “Stop doing that! I can’t even think! Just shut up!” He shouts his pathetic pleas into the air. “I said STOP! And why do you keep bashing ​me​‽ Elias does stupid stuff too! And Maggie’s freaking out! Make fun of them!” Elias gives a half-hearted chuckle. “Well he’s not wrong.” At this point the hallway has paused around the kid having a full psychotic break. Whispers are passed around about how he had finally lost it and was going bat-shit crazy.


Little Earth Town Diorama By Andrew Cutler


Why We Are Together By ​Victoria Barberi Why Why when you look at me do you see a dark place where newcomers go to feel the last dregs of their sanity drip from emptying stores? Why when you think of me do you think of a failure that brings destruction and pain to all those it tries to help? Why when you talk to me do you tell me I am a selfish beast who devours the world and spreads their parasite to all the crevices of remaining peace? Why do you know me as a disease that creeps and crawls into the minds of protectors seeks to destroy and spread its pain far and wide? Why? you ask why I see you as this demon you describe? I don’t see you this way and I don’t think of you this way you feel these things because that is how you see yourself you look, and you hate, and you suffer, slowly eating yourself up from the inside out with pain that you don’t want to admit you feel Why would I tell myself what I know cuts into me like knives Why would you know any different if even I know it’s true you tell yourself because it’s what you want to hear, what you need to hear in order to block out the light if you want to hear what I really see when I look at you

if you’re wanting the truth I’ll ask you my questions but I know it’s not what you want to hear Why Why do you push yourself into the corner trying to apologize for who you are? Why do you tell yourself all others hate you and won’t believe it when someone says they love you? Why won’t you let yourself open and love back? Why don’t you see that if you learned to be okay with who you are then maybe you wouldn’t try so hard to inflict your pain onto those you surround yourself with? I don’t want to hear this I don’t want to answer your inquiries I am good with myself but don’t want to share it with others those that approach are devoured by my prowling demon I have no control and I never will I say this in vain you carry such hatred such corrupting condemnation towards yourself but you don’t deserve this hate so when you’re ready, I am here to love you when your ready I am here to hug you I am here to wrap my arms around you and spread warmth through every inch of your body I am here for you to cry on my shoulder and understand that you are okay we can support each other how do I listen, how do let myself open when all I want to do is hide away what does that take, how much does it hurt? Why would you help me, knowing so much Why come back for me? It hurts not a bit, it is a drop into bliss and cool protection from the dark


I’ll tell you I see that you want love I see that you want to get rid of the loneliness that eats your insides But I see you won’t give yourself love and you will take comfort in your loneliness till you too become part of the black hole you feel in your chest you say you see lost girl fighting against herself deciding whether or not she will venture from the home she makes that protects her from the dark Why would she ever leave if no one can hurt her protected in its safety tell me the truth since you are so perceptive ask me what you are curious to know

I want to help you rid the world of the darkness, the parasite, the disease that slips and slides through your universe Why? you ask Why I want to do these things for you? It's Why we are together and it's Why you're not alone I do this Because I love you.


Untitled By Haley Morrison


Meet You at the Big Tree By Emma Serrecchia “Mom… Is it okay if I go see Morgan at the big tree tonight just for a little while? I can be back before sunset this time! Pretty please with a cherry on top?!” I had to have asked my mom this question at least a billion times a week. In my seven-year-old mind, I thought that maybe after hearing the most reasonable, well argued, pleads over and over again about how I ​needed​ to make time to play with my friends at night, because it's unhealthy for my brain to do a whole ​twenty​ minutes of homework without time in between to play, then maybe she would finally give in. My mom sighed. “Honey, I’m only giving you thirty minutes tonight. I’m about to start dinner for you, daddy, and your sister” My mom glanced at her watch. “Your time starts… now.” “Thanks Mom! I promise won’t be late!” I replied, practically already running out the door. I ebulliently sprinted over to the playground next door. Morgan, my best friend, lived just across the street from me, so we would always plan to meet up at the playground as many nights as our moms allowed us to. Once I got there, I found her waiting at our meeting spot: the big tree. The big tree is where my imagination flourished: Morgan and I loved making intricate homes for the fairies that we believed would pay us visits overnight. Improvising, we made these houses out of leaves, pinecones, sticks, and whatever else we could find.


No matter if our moms had given us thirty minutes or three hours and thirty minutes, it never felt like enough time; the two of us could have stayed at that playground from dusk until dawn and we wouldn’t have even known what hit us. Just as we put the finishing touches on the bedroom for the fairies, I figured that it was probably time for me to get home. “Well, my mom said I gotta make sure I’m back for dinner. I’ll see you tomorrow, Mo! Meet you back here at the big tree?” “Meet you right back at the big tree.”

Weeks, and even months passed of Morgan and I checking in on our imaginary friends’ home at the big tree every evening that we could.

It wasn’t until many, many, years later that I found myself in my mom’s position… “Oh mom, ​please!​ I swear I’ll get my homework done after! I just wanna go play with Kristina at the big tree for a little while!” “I am giving you thirty minutes, dear. You have to be home by dinner time.” I zipped up my daughter’s jacket, and she was off.


Reclaim Tomorrow By ​Ryan Polansky I walked up to the observation window, and stared out into space. It was just the way I had left it: a vast, cold, complete darkness. Not even the light of other galaxies, emitted trillions of years ago, could reach here in any recognizable form. I had once heard if the stars, which, on Earth, had been perceived as tiny pinpricks of light in the emptiness of space. That was not today. Earth was gone, all the stars had burnt out, and nearly all the matter in the universe was locked away in a black hole, untouchable and unobservable within a singularity locked behind the Event Horizon. This station had been built before then, and its architects had thought that the age of starlight would never end. They’d constructed numerous windows, so that the station’s residents could find beauty in the light of all the stars of the universe. Now, all the beauty to be found was in the infinite nothingness that was the universe. How had humanity survived past the end of all life, of everything? We surrendered ourselves to one of the monsters that had eaten all the matter in the universe, to a black hole. We lived in a station orbiting a spinning black hole, tamed by a massive mirror that fully encased the ergosphere. We lived off the power the monster with that mirror, stealing its rotational energy with light. Through this process, we had managed to persist past the death of the last true star, the last white dwarf, and even after the last black dwarf was devoured by the very same monster we built our last home around. The problem with this, of course, was that the rotational energy would eventually run out. At that point, no matter how persistent humanity was, we would end. We wouldn’t even be able


to find any more black holes to cling to, as there was literally no more light left in existance with which to find another. This really is the end of history, isn’t it?​ I thought. ​No, history ended a long time ago. Nothing has happened for the past trillion years, and nothing will happen for countless more. But that wasn’t what humanity was supposed to be like, that wasn’t how humanity was supposed to ​live.​ Our history, from when Earth still existed, was marked by struggles. To be who you are, to have control over your life, to simply exist for one more day. Even though our struggles sometimes threatened to consume us all, we still managed to reach a better future, a brighter tomorrow. Those days are long behind us. Humanity has stopped struggling. When gazing into the void, I realized something had to be done. Something needed to change, something needed to break. If nobody else was going to change things, then it was in my hands, and my hands alone, even though I had no idea where to start. Even so, I will find an answer.​ I vowed. ​There has to be a way to reignite the universe, and I will discover it. I swear that I will embody the lost soul of humanity. I swear that I will struggle so that life may flourish again. I will see the stars light up the night sky once more, and see a new Earth be born. I’ll get it back, the future. So that everyone can have it, I ​will​ reclaim tomorrow. I turned away from the vast emptiness and walked towards the starlit sky.


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