Aeolus Magazine

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Daytona State College Literary Magazine

Aeolus 2021

Table of Contents Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .i Outstretched Wings The Wasteland Within, Jessica Boatman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Anxiety, Jaris Camacho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Cycle of Hate, Elizabeth DesRuisseau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Into the Storm, Lisa Santos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Dream of House Fires, Kaekanna Gintoli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Beach, Kendall Jutras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Last Days, Jill Doeing Composition in Blue, Lena Williams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Clandestine, Kathryn Wieda Take Cover, Laurel Ezell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Dormant Alien Relic, Sarah Holcomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Goblet of Offering, Sarah Holcomb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 A Flower, Ethan Artis-Roberts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Red Flowers, Matthew Kwiatkowski. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Poem V, Logan Anthony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Death Party, Leila Farhat Taking Flight Nails, Kaekanna Gintoli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Bidding, Kasey Leftwich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 She, Ayusha Dzhabrailova . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Inner Embrace, Stephanie Sy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Untitled, from a letter, Kaekanna Gintoli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Look Into My Eyes, Olivia Rechis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Pretty Boy, Logan Anthony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Crash: a day in the life of me, Nicole Campon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Boardwalk, Suzanne McCarthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Parallel Dimensions, Natalie Gonzalez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Untitled, Natalie Gonzalez The Villainess’s Villanelle, Alastair Nelson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Windswept, Suzanne McCarthy

Soaring High Perchance to Dream, Alastair Nelson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Bruce’s Passover, Michael Pari. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Play the Cards You’re Dealt, Kayla Hamilton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 The River Between, Hadassah Shores. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Do I Check Your Boxes?, Brea Kamm Doll, Ashley Winchester. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Heaven’s Ours Come Morn, Robert Lucas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Spread A Little Joy, Margaret Robinson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Smoky Blue, Laura Ogrodnik Shattered Dream, Rumana Akther. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 From Ashes We Rise, Jessica Boatman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Black Men Rising, Chequita Shines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Portrait, Kiersten Hawkins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 A Light in the Darkness, Lisa Santos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Queer Enigma, Joana Aebi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Connected, Jaris Camacho. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Home, Heaven Keller. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Website Excerpts, Ethan Artis-Roberts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Information about Aeolus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Meet the Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

We at Aeolus care about the wellbeing of our readers. Please be aware that the following pages contain potentially sensitive content and read onward at your own discretion. 1-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .depression, self-harm 21-24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .sexual themes 25-26, 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . drugs, addiction 39-42 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arranged marriage, death

Aeolus Long ago, in ancient times, Aeolus (pronounced Ee-ohLuss) was known as Keeper of the Winds and sometimes mentioned as a Son of Poseidon, lord of the oceans. In Greek mythology, Aeolus ruled the birds of the air. We at Daytona State College are Falcons and the Aeolus Literary Magazine displays our stories. We are so grateful to every student who freely shared their experiences and talents with Aeolus. We hope our selection is a worthy representation of their contributions and that each page will be enjoyed as a wonderful discovery. This year’s edition of Aeolus emphasizes rising above the obstacles in life. The Falcons use Daytona State College as the proverbial wind beneath our wings so we may rise above the challenges we face and ascend beyond. We have split up the magazine into three sections, each of which designates a stage of this journey. Please join the Falcons as we spread our wings, take flight, and soar high.

Aeolus is made by and for Daytona State College students. Any opinions expressed in these pages are those of the artists and writers and not necessarily those of the college.


Outstretched Wings We open ourselves to the bitter wind of hardship, weighed down by our pain and sorrow.


The Wasteland Within Jessica Boatman

I trudge through the sludge in the depths of hell, A well that has accumulated stagnant energy over time. An overflowing retention pond inside my mind Spills disease-ridden waste that is left to saturate Through the grey and white matter which structure my cognitive functions. Malfunctions in the membranes drain my desire; Why am I still alive? Why do I strive to survive the battle constantly waging within? Why haven’t I just given in? After all, My brain is but a cesspool Fueling my life with toxicity.


It is clever, however, To think that trash could be treasure. But the reality is, Element A is not element B And I cannot see How it is possible to perform neurological alchemy, Creating something precious From matter that is anything but.


Jaris Camacho


Cycle of Hate

Elizabeth DesRuisseau I let existence be my bane. Lay me to rest and torch my crest: My legacy, if not the best, be none. The sound of crackling linen Is a hymn to the bedridden. Myself I’ve lost, cannot be found, I’m gone... Burn this husk then to the ground. I can’t attain, myself I blame, I feed the flame and blaze in shame. Deed done. Tongues of fire become waves of pain. My chest crushed from the water weight, My throat choked by tears I create— I inhale, but it’s airless. I can’t swim to the surface. I don’t flounder in the deep, I wait. Will breath return? It feels too late. As I sink from the sparkling rays of egress, I watch dying sunlight fall into the abyss. Don’t let me suffocate.


I sit cocooned from reality in my despair. Does it miss me? I hope it cares. My skin smoldering, My lungs gasping, I ask “Why?” then grow tired of asking… The web draws tighter, I cannot resist— I’m not a fighter. I don’t live, I subsist. My hair mats and greases, My skin pales and sags, My thoughts fall to pieces, My clothes become rags. I’m charred, waterlogged, in abominable state; I berate myself and disintegrate. Onward continues the cycle of hate.

Into the Storm Lisa Santos

Dream of House Fires Kaekanna Gintoli

and when you dream of us we hope you dream of house fires for we confess we have been obsessed with them lately in that they mimic the feeling of one part being trapped while the other takes over bursts out through the windows up the stairs and over the balcony envelops the furniture eats itself whole until nothing remains the other houses look on in horror but sit and do nothing as all is consumed and the whole time the house lies totally silent not moving or resisting or even protesting not speaking or sobbing letting itself burn



Kendall Jutras

Last Days

Jill Doeing

I sit and wait. Who will take me out? My age has grown old; I want to see the world. I know the days are not many. One more ride could be all I see.


Composition in Blue Lena Williams


Kathryn Wieda

Change and sway the ways, Cutting like string through the days. My drying eyes threaten my gaze Then tears well, I see through the haze:


Inside me still, another me stays Escaping the trials of life’s true craze. Now in the midst of this awful maze, I am safe down here, alone in my own cage.

Take Cover Laurel Ezell


Dormant Alien Relic Sarah Holcomb


Goblet of Offering Sarah Holcomb


A Flower

Ethan Artis-Roberts A Simple Flower: I was a simple flower and you were my cloud. You gave me all I could’ve ever needed— But then, you disappeared. The rocks and birds told me it’s not the end of the world, But they didn’t understand what that cloud did for me. How did they expect me to just move on When everything was only possible because of that cloud? So as the birds chirp and the wind roars, I sit rooted to the ground Waiting for the cloud that will never return. A Dying Flower: I was a dying flower and you were the sun. You looked at me with a concerned grin, saying, “I’d give all the sunlight I have to keep you alive.” With wilted petals falling one by one, I looked at you. “Why do you try to save what cannot be saved… won’t this be all for naught?” I asked. With an empty smile you looked away. I sat as the beams of sunlight lost their warmth. The light started to fade as I started to rest. You looked at me, wanting to cry. I saw you talk but I couldn’t understand what you said. Was this the answer I was waiting for? I wonder what the answer was… “It’s not your fault your seed was planted here, you deserved so much more…”


Red Flowers

Matthew Kwiatkowski


Poem V

Logan Anthony In times when walls were bare, I dared to think of affectations there. Paintings by the masters In reds, and blues, and blackers. But then one summer’s day, When I was gone and very far away, He thought to put up pictures, Histories like fancy liqueurs, Glinting high like noble vicars In their glimmer and their pomp. But all I see are memories Reminding me of empty scenes. All I can see are times of glee For everybody else, But me.


Death Party Leila Farhat

Taking Flight We face our fear headfirst and thrust ourselves into the sky of trials and tribulations.



Kaekanna Gintoli We are tired and our body is hurting, but we have to keep feeding it because it must always be chewing on something or it will begin to eat itself. We ache constantly. We have this body for a reason and it contains multitudes but they are contained in only the weakest sense of the word. They are beginning to slip out of our control. Someone once relayed to us, bodies were meant to hold other bodies but not in the way we think and we understand what they meant now. A couple of our fingernails chipped while we were moving bricks the other day; and it wasn’t painful, because they broke off in what someone else said was just the right place but we did wonder what it would feel like if they had broken a little higher and if it would be anything like this. We hate having our nails dull and rounded like the way that they broke. The tips of our fingers are weak and bare and sticky not with blood, but with the feeling of exposure and we do not like it, but we must keep feeding it or it will eat itself and us as well. 15.


Kasey Leftwich



Ayusha Dzhabrailova She’s my 3am thoughts And so what If she leaves me No time to dream? She’s etched her name Into my skull So that I can Never forget her Yet she’s dancing away Like a fleeting memory That I try chasing To remember So that she’s never Lost to me In this whirling, Tangled mess She’s the one that Makes me dazed, Spinning in my head Constantly 17.

And she’s throwing Her wrench in my works, Making my circuits Whir and combust But she’s the one Who builds me back up, Stitching me together Piece by piece She’s the one Who repairs my Cracks and bruises With her perfect touch And she’s the one That’s carved It all Into my chest She’s never going to be Just another somebody, And she’s never going to be Someone I want to forget

Inner Embrace Stephanie Sy

Untitled, from a letter Kaekanna Gintoli

Our body is unrested. Our head is swimming in dark water and our eyes are tricked by the light with shapes in the likenesses of dogs. We have been checking the clocks too often. We stumble blindly around our house looking, but we are rarely satisfied. Time is outside of us. We are viscerally outside of the people we meet. We wish we had more to say. We want to draw out what little catharsis is available to us in this space. People respect our physical boundaries more often. We cannot describe how we are feeling. Is this text disjointed enough to show it? We are eager for their company. We already miss them dearly. This body aches all over. We are eager for its company. We have no compulsion. We have no places to go to. Our home has become a liminal space within us, rather than around us. We want to go visit someplace cold. The days melt into each other and we are still full of rage and shapes like dogs still appear in the corners of our vision. We cannot tell anyone either. Things will not change soon, and we will be pulled further away from tangibility. We do not care about escaping isolation so much as we want to be isolated in a body that is safe, with a home around it rather than inside it. We are certain that we do not belong in this place at this time. Our hands still smell of frass and blood from a piece we’re working on. We wish we could leave you on a gentler note, but there is little gentleness inside of us right now. 19.

“We have no places to go to. Our home has become a liminal space within us, rather than around us.” from “Untitled, from a letter”

Look Into My Eyes Olivia Rechis

Pretty Boy

Logan Anthony

Sitting at home, Waiting alone Unmoving, unyielding, A figure of stone. Watching the time Tick off the wall, Wondering when He’ll be here. Electronic drones Pervasively moan. Through the statical view, My existence’s clone Will matter the shadows And mind the flowers, Ensuring all is just right. As dusk turns to night With waning light, I take a deep breath To clear my sight; And as I exhale, I release my grip With a moan of the leather armchair.


Blood is pumping, Mind is thumping, Genitals aching for hours of humping— When, jolting to life My granite construction, The doorbell rings With thunderous eruption, Sonically detailing our guest’s introduction: My pretty boy is here. Up on my feet, I wake from my sleep, Thinking, What does he like, What does he eat? Making myself Into who I must be As I silently reach for the door. I remove the latch, Strike a match, Light a good candle. Just breathe and relax. I open the door And there, in the light, There stands my pretty boy.

No words come to say, “How are you?” Or “Hey,” Like having been muted, Controlled from away. So then with a blink, He steps to the left And quietly enters the home.

We must have been Some five feet apart. I nervously waited, Knowing not where to start. Then he dropped his bag And took off his shirt And stood like a pretty boy should.

Covered in dark Save the candle’s spark, I lose his figure, Silhouetted stark. When he turns around, I see in his eyes A light that draws me from the door.

The room filled with silence Polluting the air; Two humans, a candle, The leather armchair; And nothing on Earth could ever compare To what was said just then.

I move a bit closer To get a better look At those starlight eyes From a page in a book; But his shift in stance And downcast glance Stopped me in my tracks.

I looked at this person, A trademark pretty boy— The image of Adonis, A Hector of Troy—

And in my mind Came a single phrase: “What has been done to you?”



He held himself well, But his brow did tell Of wisdoms he learned At the gates of hell. He knew much of loss, Well-versed in defeat And humiliation, when he Couldn’t get up on his feet.

His legs were well muscled, To run from attack While the weight of the world Was held on his back. His shoulders were shrugged, Yet implacably built, Like seeing a redwood Beginning to wilt.

His eyes were darkened In a sunken gloom From squinting for light In cavernous tombs, Which explained why his hands Were calloused and torn From clinging to walls Since the day he was born.

Of his feet and his knees There’s not much to say, Never having had a home Or a place to stay. But upon his chest, There was a smear That hid in the flicker Of the candlelight near.

They told stories of battles With demons and horrors, The likes of which silence The strongest of warriors. His neck bore a scar Signed by a lion’s nail As it lashed at his throat And whipped with its tail.

A mark of dirt, Or perhaps war paint. In defense of the thing He showed it with restraint. Upon seeing that, I knew quite well Of the life of my pretty boy, Of the tales he could tell.

His stomach was stitched For reasons I dread. Intestines and lungs Held together by thread From times when ribbons Were made of his sides; The scars were so plain— Couldn’t hide if he tried.

Of the battles he’s lost, Of the hope that is gone, Of the merciless beatings When he’d done nothing wrong. How he scraped to survive When drowned in the flames— He was forced to die, Then live by new names.

But without hope, Without truth, Without a happy memory From his youth, Without love, Without trust, Only knowing himself As an object of lust,

His heart still pulsed, Like a snow white mare Perpetually trapped In the grey wolf ’s lair. Through it all he endured ‘Till he found his way here, To the glow of my candle, Not shedding a tear.

Without kindness, Without peace, With only atrocities Which never would cease— With all this comprising His knowledge of man, He stood there before me, Just able to stand.

And so I was stuck In the silent dark gold; Having not said a word, Lacking strength to be bold. Trying to understand, Trying to see The composition of the pretty boy Stood in front of me.

His heart but a rock Indelibly written To continue to beat, No matter how hidden. The heart of the pretty boy, Drowned beneath peat, Still kept pumping, Kept him on his feet.

I remembered to breathe, I remembered to blink. I opened my mouth, Then stopped to think:

To walk from this day And on to the new, While knowing his chances Of joy were few, He chose to go on: Unwilling to bow, Unwilling to martyr— He didn’t know how.

Throughout his whole life, In sound or in ink, Has he ever been told he is pretty?


Crash: a day in the life of me Nicole Campon

The next thing I remember is being in a hospital bed, ashamed, scared, and in need of a bed pan because I keep throwing up. I was not aware that I was given fentanyl instead of heroin. I knew it looked different, but I hadn’t checked. Most people in their right mind would not be shooting unknown powder in their arms on the way to work—but that is a whole other story. So, I sit in shame, hoping the doctors and nurses do not judge me the way I am already judging myself. A police officer walks in. He is genuinely nice, and I lie and lie and lie. I think I might get away with it, until he gets a phone call. His captain found the 10 bags of fentanyl I just purchased prior to the crash, as well as needles and other pills. I’m fucked. The nice police officer asks if I would “Miss, can you hear me? What did consent to a urine test, which I agree to, you take?” I am being dragged out of my so he walks me downstairs. Of course I see car seat. The clock reads 8:50 am. I am in someone I know, someone who thinks I am Ormond Beach, Florida, on my way to my there to visit or do some sort of volunteer job at a modeling agency. I am dressed in service. I try to force out a smile as the a new, super-cute blazer and leather Cole tears roll down my face. Of course I run into Haan loafers. I do not remember hearing someone in Recovery, someone who will no the sound of the glass breaking or the doubt get the rumor mills going. crash, yet my car has been wrecked. “No Afterwards, the nice police officer narcan!” and “I didn’t take anything!” both takes me to the back of the hospital to cuff spill out of my mouth in a jumbled frenzy. The paramedic is trying to have a heart to me. He says a car will be coming for me. He is nice enough to let me make a call to my heart, mostly by reminding me that there mother, a call which is heartbreaking as are needles and a spoon on the passenger much as it is horrific. My poor mother has seat next to me. The marks all over my had a lifetime of bad calls from me. I know hands are not helping my case either. “Miss, you overdosed while driving and we she is at work and I will leave her with a are sending you to the hospital. I hope you day of crying and agony, powerless to help her only child—her only family. can get the help there that you need.”

There is nothing more uncomfortable than wearing handcuffs in the back of a police car. It is designed to give you pain. They left me in the back of the car for hours and then led me into a cell that would become my new residence for the next couple of hours. I am all but three blocks from my nice office. I never ever noticed the police station here before. By the end of the day, I am taken to the Volusia County Jail where I am fingerprinted and my mug shot is taken. As one of the many other steps are being taken, a guard notices tears running down my face. He says, “Don’t worry, honey, it’s not like television.” I had to laugh, because I was not crying because I was scared. I was crying because I do not, for the life of me, know how I ended up here, again. How was it that just a few hours ago I was on my way to my impressive job, with my new car and my nice clothes, and now I am here, in jail? Again! How do I continue to make such bad choices? How and why would I choose to pick up drugs again when I had so many good things going for me? How the hell am I going to get out of this one?

“He is genuinely nice, and I lie and lie and lie.”

Drugs take away everything; sometimes slowly, sometimes within a minute.



Suzanne McCarthy


Parallel Dimensions

Natalie Gonzalez


Natalie Gonzalez

The Villainess’s Villanelle Alastair Nelson

Beware her beauty, the lovely Temptress. Her seductive stare seeps forth to ensnare: Promising primal poetry, delivering only distress. Vampiric Vixen, sly curves and finesse, in a little black dress. Hypnotic hips and poison lips, strategically styled hair. Beware her beauty, the lovely Temptress. Her siren’s song sings sweet death, nothing less. The fairer sex, you say? Sexy, she won’t play fair: Promising primal poetry, delivering only distress. She’ll bat a lash and swipe your cash—yet still, you’ll acquiesce. Through and through a femme fatale, this fiend without a care. Beware her beauty, the lovely Temptress. She weaves a spell, the sorceress. Lonely fools, they coalesce. Some will die as she bleeds them dry then drowns them in despair. Promising primal poetry, delivering only distress. Sweet music to our enchantress when you utter, “yes.” So, as she manifests, only partially dressed, engage you do not dare! Beware her beauty, the lovely Temptress. Promising primal poetry, delivering only distress.


Suzanne McCarthy

Soaring High We emerge above the clouds victorious, having endured and overcome our struggles.


Perchance to Dream Alastair Nelson

To be, or not to be? I remember asking myself that very question. Every day, in fact. To be, or not to be? And every day, for years, I stuck the needle in my arm and chose: not to be. What a shame. What a waste. Years! Existing, sure… but certainly not being. Possibly, “not being” isn’t the proper way to put it. Put properly, perhaps a “not-being’’ is what I was? A phantom. A wraith. For, is it really “to be” at all, if what you’re busy being is but a busy ghost? Busy is what I was, wasn’t it? Boy, was I busy. Staying high is a full-time job and hard work, when you’re hardly working. Ah, an addict’s work is never done—and ghosts make the best addicts. I was quite the addict, so it stands to reason I must’ve been quite the ghost. Surely, only a ghost would haunt the loved ones he left behind, unable to feel remorse. Only a ghost would brave the blocks between 6th and 3rd without any thoughts of self-preservation. Only a ghost would, despite the heat of summer, don long sleeves in hopes of being seen by the living. After all, what is August in Florida to someone who resides in Hell? Hell. I remember the dragons, promising a return to the land of the living at every turn if I could but catch one. Dragons: vicious, merciless beasts, one and all, but I chased them relentlessly. I battled them tirelessly, to no avail. Turns out, they’re impossible to catch. There’s the rub. So, I started climbing. I’m climbing still. Though my fingers bleed and my muscles burn, I can see the sunrise on the horizon, and I smile. Because to climb, is to be. Having been to the other side, I’ll welcome the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; because I know that to bear the brunt of the sling or the arrow and its sting is to feel something. This flesh, my flesh, is only heir to heartache because I have, by comparison, felt love. So I’ll worry not over what dreams may come to me. They’ll come to the courageous and cowardly alike, eventually. No, I’ll remain courageous, shield my eyes as I look to the future, and query instead: “What dreams may come true?” …‘Tis a consummation to be devoutly wished for.


“This flesh, my flesh, is only heir to heartache because I have, by comparison, felt love.” from “Perchance to Dream”

Bruce’s Passover Michael Pari

Play the Cards You’re Dealt Kayla Hamilton


“This piece of artwork addresses environmental racism, which are the corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities. Examples of this include predominantly black neighborhoods having gas stations connected to liquor stores, pawn shops located every couple miles, and more fast-food chains than grocery stores. In contrast, when you investigate a well- off predominantly white neighborhood, their gas stations have convenience stores connected to them, they have schools every few miles, and more grocery stores than fast-food chains. The point of my artwork is to highlight the issues with “playing the cards you are dealt.” I aim to portray how the black community is often only handed the bad cards. Within my art piece, I use similarity to demonstrate this concept. All the cards within my piece are odd; when you take a deeper look, the cards that are good (like all the Ace cards) are actually disguised as something that is harmful or detrimental to a person’s wellbeing or development.” Kayla Hamilton, Artist Statement


The River Between Hadassah Shores

Do I Check Your Boxes? Brea Kamm Award, 2nd Place Poetry

Do I check your boxes? The ones that tell me how to be? Your list of needs is quite obnoxious, Yet the only way you’d love me. Am I too happy, too sad, too clingy, too distant? Too tall, too short, too quiet, too loud? You wonder why to this list I am resistant. Is this the only way to keep you around?


Is this what you did to all the others? Belittle them at every chance? Make them meet requirements to be your lovers? I think it’s time we take a stance. Forget your stupid boxes and stupid lists. Goodbye to you, you won’t be missed.


Ashley Winchester

Heaven’s Ours Come Morn Robert Lucas Award, 3rd Place Poetry

Society fed lies Is shaped and conformed. Systematically designed: Another number born Is cancer to their plan, So they cast a veil. The world accepts as way of life: Only strong prevail. Capitalism, socialism— None of these to blame. The caste you were given? All part of the game. New World not in hiding, Monument of their plan: Georgia Guide Stone Mystery, Depopulizing man. George Orwell, 1984. Raped of our liberties, While most choose to ignore. Erasing all of history For the good of the mission— Knowing history repeats, Yet we choose not to listen. Exodus and Revelations, More literal than presumed. Conditioning of the faithless Successfully consumed. They speak of global reset. I sit and listen for the horn, For I know the King is coming: Heaven’s ours come morn.


Spread A Little Joy Margaret Robinson

Smoky Blue

Laura Ogrodnik


Shattered Dream Rumana Akther

The sun was setting and the sky was all shades of red, yellow, and orange when my phone rang. I answered it and became paralyzed with shock. For a moment, the sky fell on me. It was like someone had just cut my heart into pieces. I was unable to take in what I heard; I could not believe that my dad was no longer with us. Without any treatment, he left us forever. I wished that I had been a doctor or a nurse, for I might have saved his life. I wished I could have fulfilled my dream. I wished my dream did not get shattered. During my childhood, my dad called me “Angel.” He was my best friend and my superhero. As soon as I came home from school, I was busy with him playing tag, hide and seek, wrestling, racing, football, and more. He filled my life with lots of excitement and joy. As a child, I had plenty of dreams about my future. When I saw so many poor people who could not get medically treated, I fixed my mind on becoming a doctor and helping those people who are less fortunate. From then on, I did my best every single day, week, and year to achieve my goal. I was not very bright or a top student, but I kept trying my best. Every night, I worked on my dream to become a doctor and studied until midnight. Finally, a day came where I got the top score in my 10th grade class. I felt like I had sprouted two wings and I was flying into my dream. I was the happiest kid in the world because I felt close to my dream of helping the poor and enjoying their peaceful smiles. One morning, my dream got shattered like pieces of glass. I was told I would get married off in just a few days. I cried and yelled at my dad, “I want to continue my education! I don’t want to get married; how could you do that to your angel?” My dad explained to me our culture and why he must arrange this marriage. But he made me a promise: I could continue my education after becoming married. I had to get married at the end of 10th grade. A 15-year-old girl with a large dream became a housewife. But I did not stop, and my dad kept his promise. He made an agreement with my in-laws to let me continue my education. My dad bore all the expenses of my education to support my dream.


“A 15-year-old girl with a large dream became a housewife.”

In my country, Bangladesh, families live together: sons bring in their wives, and the wives take care of their in-laws. It was extremely hard to continue my education living with my large house of in-laws and with all of my new responsibilities. I had to take care of the household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and tending to the elders. Even with so many responsibilities, my dream was possible: I completed high school. I believe nothing is impossible if you want it in your heart. I was excited to go to college. But then, I had my son. My in-laws said I could not continue anymore because I must take care of the baby and family. This made me terribly upset. I became so busy with my baby. To me, being a mom is the most precious gift from God. My days were spent always enjoying my son. How he moved, how he tried to talk, how he ate—everything. I never got tired of taking care of him and my family. But some nights, when I could not sleep, I despaired and felt my dream would never come true. When my son was two years old, I finally was able to begin college. I was so excited—but just a few days later, my mother-in-law got extremely sick and became paralyzed. I had to quit school to take care of her for a few years. She was so grateful I could be there for her. Even though I could not be a doctor or a nurse to help the poor, at least I was able to make one person happy. I was not as sad anymore about my dream. In 2011, I moved to the United States, my dream country. Now, I could change my world and no one could stop me from my dream. I did not want to waste even one day. Each morning, I woke up with excitement about starting my college education. I felt close to my dream. I was a little afraid because I could not speak or communicate in English, so how could I go to college? But in my mind, I knew I could do it. Finally, that day came. I went to college and registered in English for Speakers of Other Languages. I cannot explain how happy I was.


Sometimes we want something, but our destiny decides something else. I had a huge accident where I burned a third of my body. I wanted to be admitted to college, but my destiny admitted me to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a long time. I had four surgeries across three years. I was not able to walk or do anything. One of my arms did not work at all and the doctors weren’t sure if I would ever be able to use my arm again. I had to quit on my dream again. I realized college was not for me. It used to be, but I kept having to quit pursuing my dream because of others. This was the first time I quit for myself alone. I accepted my destiny in my heart. I lost all hope. I surrendered and gave up. I wanted to give up on life at one point. But then, I realized that life is not always for yourself. Life is sometimes for others. Even with all my pain, I wanted to live my life for both of my kids—and so I did. After my recovery, I accepted a bright path that just did not have my original dream, but even more. I did ESOL and learned English, then I got a job and began to live a happy life. On June 15th, 2020, I called my dad in the morning as usual. He was sick with a fever. My brother took him to the doctor, who told them he needed to do a COVID-19 test and admit him to the hospital if his fever increased. Because of the pandemic, a lot of hospitals made rules for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and there were limited hospitals open for those patients. My dad was not able to be admitted into the hospital because there was just no room. After my dad came home, his fever increased. He faced some breathing problems too. I facetimed my dad over the phone. His face was very calm, and he tried to smile at me but could not. He looked afraid; his eyes were noticeably big and they had in them the urge to stay alive. His breathing problems increased as the night went on. My brother was very worried. He did not know what to do. During this time, there were no doctors available. With tears, my brother asked me what to do. I had never felt so helpless. My superhero, my dad, was dying and I could not help. He was suffering and I could not make him better. I cannot explain what I felt like in that moment. We did not know what to do as my dad’s oxygen level went down and down until he reached his last breath. I felt as if someone cut my heart into pieces and I did not have any land under my feet. Then, I felt numb. I could not believe the truth that he was no more. If I had been a doctor or a nurse, I could have helped my brother and saved my father. He could have survived if we knew what to do or if the hospital could have taken him.


From Ashes We Rise Jessica Boatman

I cannot forget the millions of memories of my dad with my children and I. After he died, for so many days I was not able to eat, sleep, or barely talk. Every second, every moment, his memories made me cry. I was so deeply troubled because I had been unable to do anything for him. I have to go back to my dream. I cannot bring him back, but I can help others just like him. My dream was put aside for years, but no more. I am twice as determined now, and I am willing to accept any challenges life throws at me. I will take on every difficulty and I will reach my goal to become a doctor.


Black Men Rising Chequita Shines

“Black Men Rising is an Artistic representation of the Intelligence, Elegance and Beauty of the Black Man. As its creator, the flow of my brush came naturally when expressing the depth of my love for Him. In its silence, I hope this piece reawakens its sleeping Audience.” Chequita Shines, Artist Statement 43.


Kiersten Hawkins


A Light in the Darkness Lisa Santos


“I thought I knew who I was. As I suddenly started meeting people that were allies to or part of the Alphabet Mafia (LGBTQIA+ community), I was able to finally pick up the mirror, stare through the champagne glasses on my nose and the ocean eyes behind them into my soul, and for the first time allow myself to see. Allow myself to get to know the Oscar Wildes, Freddie Mercurys, Stormé DeLarveries, and Marsha P. Johnsons. Allow myself to explore.” Joana Aebi, Artist’s Statement

Queer Enigma Joana Aebi


Jaris Camacho



Heaven Keller


Aeolus was blessed this year with many amazing submissions; unfortunately, not all of them could be included within these pages. We have posted some to our website, those which we either did not have space for or which did not fit with our theme. Below are excerpts from two poems by Ethan Artis-Roberts; you can view these poems in full, as well as other art and literature pieces, by visiting our website. We hope you will continue exploring the contributions that the students of Daytona State College have made to Aeolus.

Missing a Ghost

Ethan Artis-Roberts I started running with broken shins and a broken spine That held the world once, no help from the divine. Never once have you heard me complain, But I’ve been in so much pain Then the people I loved began to run ahead; They never once tried to comprehend That I was wounded and couldn’t go on. They just kept running so they would win And I was left behind.

No One Listens

Ethan Artis-Roberts

A ghost haunts me every night Filling my head up with lies. He keeps me awake to cause my demise; I cannot put up a fight. Only I can see him jeopardize, No one knows he hurts me— So I’ve tried to talk, But my mouth has a lock And only he has the key.


Information about Aeolus Visit our website and Instagram page! On our website, you can find a directory of our student work displayed in this magazine, along with a few bonus art and literature pieces that we were unable to fit within these pages. You can also learn more about our contributors and the current staff. Please check us out at! You can also follow us on Instagram @dsclitmag where we will be posting updates and showcasing submissions from students. Become part of Aeolus! Please feel welcome to contact us if you are interested in submitting your creative work to the next edition or even becoming a member of our staff. You must be currently enrolled at Daytona State College to contribute to Aeolus. We accept poetry, literary narratives, artistic works, and photography. Email us at and we would be glad to provide you with additional information. Thank you so much for your interest! Instagram:



Meet the Staff

Jessica “Kirby” Boatman

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Boatman has been at Daytona State College since Fall 2020. She is majoring in Interactive Digital Media Production. Jessica is inspired by life in general and the beautiful synchronicities, angles, shapes, and shadows of even the simplest forms.

Jaris “Jade” Camacho

Social Media Manager Jade Camacho is a first semester student at Daytona State College, where she is majoring in Photographic Technology. She is currently a photographer for her business and a full time student. Jade, a lover of all things creative; dreams to create timeless pieces that resonate with all audiences.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” DesRuisseau

Production Manager Lizzie grew up homeschooled; her life goal is to found a school that emphasizes self-studying. She graduated from the Quanta Honors College last year with a research paper advocating for individualized education. She hopes to expand on this research and experiment with creative writing soon.


Guy Heidemann

Webmaster Guy Heidemann is in his third year at Daytona State College, studying Computer Programming. When he’s not writing thousands of lines of code, he’s rocking out on the guitar, playing video games, and being #1 Dad to the best kid on the planet.

Dr. Harun Thomas

Faculty Advisor Dr. Thomas began teaching at Daytona State College in 2008. He teaches composition, research, and literature and advises for both Aeolus and In Motion, DSC’s student newspaper.

Lena Williams

Magazine Editor Lena Williams is a Summer 2021 graduate of Daytona State College where she earned her Associates in Arts. She is currently a graphic design intern. Lena has been a lifetime art lover and hopes to pursue a career in the creative industry after completing school. 52.

Cover artwork by Lena Williams