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Harbinger 2010


Volume 34 ___________________

Carmel Catholic High School One Carmel Parkway Mundelein, IL 60060 ___________________ Cover Art: “Colores” by Alison Thumel ___________________ Copyright 2010 by Harbinger, a publication of Carmel Catholic High School. After publication, all rights return to each work’s creator. The views expressed do not represent the views of Carmel Catholic High School or the Harbinger Staff.

Harbinger 2010 Poetry & Prose 4............“Letters from the Editors” -- Alison Thumel and Jackie Vresics 8............“A Moment” -- Nicolas Zuniga-Penaranda 9........... “The Old Oak Tree” -- Liz Edwards 10..........“Haikus” -- Kevin Kadowaki 11......... “Tingly Toes” -- Anonymous 12..........“Suspensions” -- Katie Geusz 13..........“The Blank Faces” -- Liz Edwards 16..........“Animatronic” -- Stacey Bear 17..........“Free Items for Sale” -- Jon Huisel 18..........“Time” -- Anthony Ramirez 19..........“The Walk” -- Lauren Stark 20..........“Pinecone Man” -- Brian Morris and Kevin Kadowaki 20..........“Haikus” -- Brian Morris 21..........“Ego” -- Nicolas Zuniga-Penaranda 22..........“The Bread Baker” -- Hillary O’Toole 23..........“London in the Rain” -- Alison Thumel 24..........“Spring Thaw” -- Jackie Vresics 25..........“Stargazing” -- Amanda Pullinger 26..........“Citrus” -- Karl Horcher 27..........“The Craving” -- Nina Silvasy 28..........“The Pot” -- Kimmy Topel 29..........“February” -- Marisa Lastres 30..........“Click, Click, Bang” -- Sierra Slade 32..........“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” -- Emily Andras 33..........“Just Don’t” -- Mariam Comber 34..........“Telling Time” -- Liz Edwards 36..........“The Unholy Quest” -- Ashley Masnik 37..........“Masquerade” -- Jackie Vresics 38..........“Sic Transit Gloria” -- Elena Gonzalez 39..........“Of Course” -- Sierra Slade 40..........“My Emancipation Proclamation” -- Brian Morris 41..........“Sun Downing” -- Chris Lunardi 44..........“Love Mark” -- Nicolas Zuniga-Penaranda


Spectrum Art & Photography 7............“Instructions for Harbinger’s Readers” -- Marisa Lastres 8............“Hammertime” -- Amanda Reitenbach 9........... “Sonoma” -- Maddie Allen 10..........“Basement Books” -- Lela Grant 11......... “Party” -- Anabel Kelly 12..........“Pyramid at the Louvre” -- Allie Gauthier 13..........“Watusi” -- Jaclyn Sirotiak 14..........“Cats on a Wall” -- Katie Speth 15..........“Solitude” -- Kevin Deasey 16..........“A Hidden Future” -- Donny Bauer 17..........“Number 8” -- Stephen Ark 18..........“A Bit Rusty” -- Lela Grant 19..........“A Winter’s Stroll” -- Katie Speth 20..........“Recycling” -- Anonymous 21..........“Pondering” -- Maddie Allen 22..........“Women of Uganda” -- Steven Fisher 23..........“View from Trafalgar Square” -- Katherine Oosterbaan 24..........“Open Door Policy” -- Stacey Bear 25..........“Afternoon Work: Artesanía de Chichen Itza” -- Steven Fisher 26..........“Strawberry Man” -- Lorna Cagann 27..........“A Healthy Alternative” -- Jamie Pitts 28..........“Tumbleweed” -- Stephen Ark 29..........“Bumblebee” -- Emily George 30..........“Taraxacum” -- Lela Grant 31..........“50 Cents” -- Joe Busscher 32..........“The Future” -- Katie Speth 33..........“Imagine” -- Alison Thumel 34..........“The Good Old Days” -- Stacey Bear 35..........“Cool Down” -- Katie Speth 36..........“Paris” -- Allie Gauthier 37..........“Cultural Center” -- Anabel Kelly 38..........“Day’s End” -- Kevin Deasey 39..........“Veteran’s Memorial” -- Emily George 40..........“Right to Life” -- Maddie Allen 41...........“Experiments” -- Jackie Vresics 42..........“Infamous” -- Jamie Pitts 43..........“Wonderland” -- Alison Thumel 44..........“Reference to Mountainscape” -- Steven Fisher 45..........“Poetry” -- Diana Jarrell


Harbinger 2010 Letters from the Editors Dear Reader, Room 106 is a magical place. During school hours it disguises itself as your typical English classroom; after the dismissal bell rings, however, it is transformed. It’s my favorite place to be. I had always laughed at the cliché “Carmel Community” statement, but I must say that I felt it in Room 106 more than anywhere else in the school. And because of this connection I have been able to put my heart and soul into the magazine. As Editor-in-Chief I’ve learned to love Harbinger more than ever. I’ve learned what it means to be truly dedicated to something. I’ve been involved in many activities at Carmel, but I never found my niche until I joined this staff. It is the people in Harbinger that have kept me here. We’ve formed a sort of kinship, a bond that can never be broken. The staff is as enthusiastic as I am, and the moderator supported that enthusiasm and embraced our creative (yet somewhat crazy) ideas. These wonderful people kept me coming to every meeting, even when I was exhausted or stressed over a project. They accompanied me at late-night layout sessions, filling my coffee cup and reminding me to be patient. Thank you to Jackie, my lovely co-dictator and partner in crime. Thank you to my dedicated layout, submissions, publicity, and copy editors; you are all great friends as well as great people to work with, and Harbinger would not be the same without you. Thank you to Mr. Uhrik for putting up with multiple crises, calming the chaos, successfully quieting a room of over-enthusiastic Harbinger members, letting us take over his room, and just being a fabulous moderator. Thank you to all who submitted this year. Your hard work and the hard work of our staff have paid off to create this year’s stunning edition: Spectrum. As you flip through these next pages, let yourself be immersed in the poetry, prose, and artwork of your talented classmates; read and enjoy! Peace, love, and Harbinger! Alison “Bonaparte” Thumel ___________________________________________________________________ Six years ago, a much younger Jackie peeled back the cover of a Harbinger that her brother brought home from school. She read each of the submissions a hundred times, and enviously regarded the “Editors’ Letters,” never imagining that she would ever get the opportunity to be an editor herself. But now, as Editor-in-Chief, I can’t imagine my life without Harbinger. It’s given me motivation, enthusiasm, and a much-needed goal to work toward. I’ll spare you the gushy sentiments, but I need to thank all of the people who have worked together to make this magazine, and the two years I’ve been on staff, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The members, who gave all their effort and zeal even when chaos erupted. The Editors, who are not only my best friends, but my family. And, of course, Mr. U, who not only shared our passion and enthusiasm, but put up with it all— panicking Editors, impromptu meetings, abrupt schedule changes, etc., etc. He found the balance between offering guidance and letting us keep what dictatorial powers we needed, and we couldn’t ask for a more supportive moderator. And, of course, endless thanks to everyone who submitted. Without you, we would be a roomful of people with nothing to do, and Harbinger would be nothing more than wistful thinking. If I had more space, I would expand on this gratitude, but for now I must allow you to give your full attention to the highly talented authors and artists that make up this year’s Harbinger: Spectrum. Jackie “The Conqueror” Vresics


Spectrum Instructions For Harbinger’s Readers Marisa Lastres


Harbinger 2010 A Moment Nicolás Zúñiga-Peñaranda A moment, splayed across my vision like fire from an explosion or rain on a windshield, pattering down—drip, drop—warping my view of the Beautiful lake and blinding me in trivial tuttuts while splattered meaninglessly in my view, joining and flowing in zig-zagged paths down a car, past a road, through a muddy brick path into that Beauty, forming that sight and blocking my view in an endless cycle that leads me to know mortality and fate and existence and God, passes.

Hammertime ~ Amanda Reitenbach


Spectrum Sonoma ~ Maddie Allen

The Old Oak Tree Liz Edwards The old oak tree stood there, defying the great gusts of wind. It had stood through hurricanes, thunderstorms, and hail. An essence of wisdom reflected all around it. It had seen wars and celebrations, laughter and tears. Children had once spent hours swinging from its branches, and several squirrels had called it home. But the land had changed all around it. Roads had been built, and people had come and left. The sounds of children playing and mothers calling were gone, and they were replaced by the drone of trucks on the highways. The fresh aroma of oak and the outdoors was masked by a tang of exhaust that made your eyes and throat burn. The rundown treehouse which once held countless tea parties and pirate adventures was deserted. And yet every day, despite the transformation that had occurred around it, the tree still stood there, watching, listening, waiting.


Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Haikus Kevin Kadowaki

“Serenity” A frog hops into the shady pond; ripples break the glassy surface. “When I Look East” A single candle wanders down the lonely road, my love lies sleeping. “Mom...” I found a body by the shed, behind a bush. Is Dad a hit man? “Self-Esteem” Remember: Even a Unique Snowflake melts at thirty-two degrees. “In the Grit” Ivory Theory-useless when faced with pure, raw-know think do choose--life. “A Tribute to Jonathan Swift” When I think about my childhood, I realize: Cannibalism.

Basement Books ~ Lela Grant

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Spectrum Spectrum Tingly Toes


Party ~ Anabel Kelly

He gazed into my eyes, and the embers of passion smoldered just like my heart. He placed a gentle hand under my chin, and lowered his face to mine, our lips meeting softly with a startling shock. We both leaned in closer, drawing on the pulsing energy that filled the scant air between us… I’d love to say that’s how my first kiss went. That’s how it should’ve gone, if there was any truth to the chickflicks I watched with my mom. The guy of my dreams, butterflies in my stomach—that’s how a first kiss should go. Unfortunately for me, when that time rolled around, I had an awkward boyfriend and an intense interest in someone else. My makeup was smeared, my hair mussed, and everyone around me smelled vaguely of sweaty-human. The girl dancing next to me was shimmying in a dress that cut off at her hips, with hardly any fabric up top to make it worth the two hundred bucks she probably spent. I averted my eyes in disgust, but most of the girls around me were dressed, and behaving, similarly. Yes, there was no mistaking the setting; I was at a school dance. The tempo of the music shifted, and Matt and I glanced at each other. He raised his eyebrows, probably thinking he looked suave, and smiled as he put his arms around my waist. Shoot, another slow song. We rocked slowly back and forth, palms sweaty, and I glanced around at the other faces on the dance floor. Matt inched closer. I craned my neck to see around him. None of the faces in the seething mass of bodies were familiar. Some faces couldn’t even be distinguished, because they were pressed so closely against their partners’. Lovely. As if he too noticed the behavior of the couples around us, Matt laid his forehead on the top of mine—effectively blocking my wandering eyes. Drat. Guess I couldn’t look for my crush over his shoulder anymore. Matt rubbed his nose against my face. I wrinkled my nose, but smiled mechanically. Taking this as his cue, Matt quickly pressed his lips against mine, and kept them there. I froze. …Um. What happens now? I stood there waiting for something. Isn’t something supposed to happen? I mean, sure, I’d never been kissed, so I wouldn’t know… but were all of those novels making it up? Was every leading lady lying when she got all gooey-eyed talking about her first kiss? Were my lips defective? Where was the mind-numbing bliss? Where were the toe-curling tingles? My feet hurt from dancing, but they sure as heck weren’t tingling! This just felt… squishy. Like pressing my face against a piece of cooked fish. Quickly banishing that thought, I smiled against his mouth so he wouldn’t feel slighted, and pulled my face away. I did my best to hide my impatience, but jeez, could this song be any longer? To his credit, Matt wasn’t a quitter. I got a two measure long reprieve before Act II. Matt dove back in again, taking no prisoners. This time with tongue. Wet, slimy, probing, and not something I wanted anywhere near my mouth. I refused to open my lips, so he ended up licking my face. Time to go. I spent the rest of the evening with my best friend, sitting in the bleachers scoping out hot guys. My favorite hot guy walked by, and waved. My toes tingled. I waved back a little too enthusiastically, but he grinned that smile that made my heart beat faster— entirely making up for my lousy first kiss.


Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Pryamid at the Louvre ~ Allie Gauthier

Suspensions Katie Geusz

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Cold star-breath smells of music-Not rock, but classical. Exotic, gothic, ironic. Dainty notes pluck-plum Tingling in the icy grapey August air. Summer’s done. No reason to savor The icy grapey notes In the exotic, gothic, ironic August air. But nightness is a cloak from cynical logic. Though I know it won’t last, Still, here suspended between two destinations, Unwatched by any but the crème-brulee moon, I roll down the windows And sip the air like elixir through my teeth.

Spectrum Spectrum The Blank Face Liz Edwards The pitcher stepped up to the mound. His heart raced and his chest rose and fell like a tidal wave. His hands shaking, he wanted to faint, wet his pants, and throw up at the same time as he looked out into the crowd of people watching him. Cameras flashed from the stands, and the scoreboard revealed the terrifying truth: it all depended on this pitch. From the dugout, his teammates held their breath and waited anxiously, depending on him. As he ran his fingers over the ball’s stitches, he vowed not to let the batter see his nerves. Taking a deep breath, he shoved his feelings deep and put on a blank face. As the attorney stood up, she quivered in her high pumps. The chances of winning the case were so low, yet there was always a possibility if her closing statement was good enough. The judge looked down from her throne, releasing a vibe of superiority, while the opposing counsel snickered at the horrible chance of the attorney succeeding. The jury rested their heads on their hands and played with their fingers, uninterested. In order to grab their attention, the attorney would have to be powerful, convincing, and strong. Inside, the taste of fear fluttered from her stomach up her throat, where the bad taste rolled around on her tongue. Gulping, she shoved her feelings deep down and put on a blank face. “We’ve lost the beat!” a nurse called as a machine beeped repeatedly. Doctors and nurses swarmed the crammed hospital room, maneuvering around machinery. The pale patient lay unconscious on the white bed with wires attached to her body. One of the machines pictured the single, straight green line that filled many doctors’ nightmares moving across its screen. A doctor shouted out instructions as a nurse attached paddles to the patient’s chest and sent an electric shock to stimulate the heart. The doctor’s own heart throbbed when he saw the girl, who at this point was bound to have brain damage, jerk as the bolts of electricity shot through her small body. There was no chance she would make it. He thought of his own daughter at home, her curly blonde wisps of hair brushing his cheek as he kissed her goodnight. Silently, he vowed not to let the patient’s family see his frightened state. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out of the room and put on a blank face.

Watusi ~ Jaclyn Sirotiak


Cats on a Wall ~ Katie Speth

Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger The teacher smiled politely as the boy’s parents walked in the room, but inside, she was flushed with anger. “Isn’t Ryan just the sweetest kid you’ve ever met?” his mother cooed. Thinking of his countless missing homework assignments, rude comments, and obnoxious attitude, the teacher didn’t know how to respond. “He really needs to focus a bit more on school work,” she offered carefully. His mother jumped out of her chair in anger, accusing the teacher of underestimating her son and giving him undeserved detentions. The teacher wanted to shout back how blind the mother was to her son’s faults. Ryan had given her the finger, swore in her face, and made jokes behind her back. She wanted to pour black ink all over the perfect picture of Ryan his mother kept of him in her head and taint his angelic deception. Instead, she took a deep breath and put on a blank face. The mom had worked long hours at the coffee shop that night, trying to raise the money to pay the rent. It had been a difficult month, but the promise of Christmas kept her going. By tomorrow, she would be driving to visit her family, where the familiar warm hugs and voices would make everything worth it. Her fingers were calloused from scrubbing tables all day, and a red burn mark jumped out on her arm from spilling the hot coffee. Dark bags hung from under her eyes, as the baby had kept her up all night by crying. Wisps of hair hung out in all directions from her sloppy bun, blowing every which way each time a customer opened the door. The manager called her to the back, and leaning on the counter, said, “We need you to work Christmas Day. If this job is important to you, you’ll do it, right?” She wanted to break down and cry, melting into the floor. She wanted to take off her worn shoes and soak her sore feet in hot water. She wanted to yell back at the manager that she had only asked for that one day off. But she needed that job. Taking a deep breath and nodding, she put on a blank face. “I just don’t feel that spark anymore,” the husband explained to his wife. She glanced at his bags, neatly lined up by the door, packed with the shirts she had ironed, the clothes she had bought him, the items she had picked up so many times. She looked down at his finger, at the faint red line wrapping around it where his wedding ring once sat. “You understand, don’t you?” he asked. Her eyes focused on the single strand of long blond hair hanging from his shirt, and then looked back at her own black hair.

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Spectrum Spectrum Inhaling the smell of lavender coming from his suit, she cursed him inside for doing this to her. She cursed herself for letting him hurt her. Feeling the ball wad up in her throat and her eyes begin to burn, she looked away. “Honey?” Vowing to not let him win, she looked him square in the eye and said, “Goodbye” after putting on a blank face. The student’s stomach jumped for joy after getting the test back. A bold red “A” was written at the top of it. She had spent hours of studying preparing for that test. Glancing around the room, she was met only with disappointed faces. In the halls after class, her friend walked up to her. “That test was so stupid, like everyone failed. It was impossible and unfair.” The girl’s face fell and she shoved her score deeper in her bag and put on a blank face. In kindergarten, a little girl was asked to draw people. She could draw anyone, a crowd of people or a single person. She began to outline their shapes, giving more detail to the bodies than many of the other kindergarteners. Her head beant over the paper, focused, as a pink crayon moved back and forth. Nodding to herself, she carried the drawing to her teacher. Looking up in confusion, the teacher said, “But it’s not finished. You forgot to draw the faces.” “It’s done,” she shrugged in return. “But sweetheart, everyone has a face,” the teacher said gently. “Nobody does,” she whispered. “They’re all blank.”

Solitude ~ Kevin Deasey

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Animatronic

Stacey Bear

The man lives in my brain. He moves the levers which control my feet, I walk. He pushes the button that opens my eyes, I see. He pulls the rope that activates my hands, I feel. He controls my every move. I step into my skin and zip up the spine, But none of this is my choice. For I’m just a robot with feelings, The worst kind there is.

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A Hidden Future ~ Donny Bauer

Spectrum Spectrum Number 8 ~ Stephen Ark

Free Items for Sale Jon Huisel Imagine an event that had autographs, used jerseys, and sports cards exhibited all day for anyone to visit. Knowing myself, this would be one of the greatest experiences in my life to see. When I was just ten, my father and I traveled swiftly down the I-294 Interstate to enter into a world of sports galore: the Sun Times Sports Collector show. The minute I entered the show, my jaw dropped. Everywhere I looked, I could only see items I had dreamed of buying. They had autographs ranging from athletes such as Michael Jordan all the way to Babe Ruth. One dealer had a signed shoe selling for over $10,000. I pinched myself to see if this had all been a dream; however, to my excitement, it was not. Wishing I had brought my life savings, I set out into the memorabilia jungle with a bag in one hand and $35 in the other. Walking through the aisles, I spotted a couple of postcards that I picked up along with a handout about celebrity athletes making appearances at the show. Looking through the list, I noticed Dolphin’s superstar, Dan Marino, was signing autographs at 4 PM. This was my dad’s all-time favorite player, and he had always wished to meet him in person. Now it was his chance. Running through the crowds like a mad man, I saw my dad and screamed, “Dad, get over here!” Suddenly, from out of nowhere, an older man screamed, “Officer, that’s the kid who stole from me!” Every person in the vicinity looked down and stared at me like I was a murderer on the loose. Being a young boy confused and scared by the situation at hand, I screamed, “I didn’t steal anything! What do you think I stole?” “You are the same kid who took two of my postcards earlier today without paying! Officer, I want this young man arrested and kicked out of this show.” “I thought they were free, I thought they were free. Here, take them back. I am so sorry. I thought they were free.” These were the only words that could come out of my mouth before my eyes began to act as waterfalls of tears dripping down my face. The officers grabbed my father and I and kicked us out of the show. My dad was overcome with anger. Not only was my day ruined, but also my dad’s hopes and dreams of meeting Dan Marino had been crushed because of my slippery hands. From that day forward, I learned nothing is ever “free” in life.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Time

Anthony Ramirez

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A Bit Rusty ~ Lela Grant

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The echo of the second hand reverberates off the walls of the room and, with each passing second, my heart leaps. I squirm and wriggle in my desk, which for reasons unknown to me seems to shrink every day, but nothing can extinguish my anticipation. I attempt to quench my nerves by scribbling on the desk, but I can’t decide whether to scribble the indents on my desk or to outline stars on my notebook. …Fifty minutes left. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. I vigorously shade in my stars, but I can’t help but feel that they’re incomplete. The ends. They’re not pointy. Too bad I drew my stars in pen. I should always carry a pencil. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Bored by the drawings, I have to resort to scanning the room. Are there any intriguing posters? Any interesting books on the bookshelf? Nothing? Nothing. I could try to pay attention to my teacher’s endless chatter, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. His gargles, which make him sound as if he were underwater, and his monotone voice make it impossible to pay attention. The clock doesn’t help. Its ticking drowns out any noise in the room. …Thirty minutes left. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. I accidently fling my pen two desks to my left. Great. Now I have to ask for it. “Hey, um, could you get me my pen? …Thanks, sorry.” I hate dropping my pen—it’s such a hassle reclaiming it. I would’ve pretended that nothing happened if I didn’t need the pen for the rest of the day. Plus, it’s a blue ballpoint pen. Blue. I should’ve left it on the ground. …Fifteen minutes left. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Days never went by this slow in elementary school. Coloring outside the lines, reciting my multiplication tables, or playing kickball in the vacant lot during recess always seemed to make the day rush by. One moment I would be molding cows out of orange clay and the next, scribbling my finger across the damp window of the yellow school bus that took me home. Sometimes, the drawings would be of stars, like the deformed doodles on my notebook, and other times they would be just random scratches across the window. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The clock is beginning to get a bit annoying. The endless tick-tocks are all cascading into one loud, rumbling roar that has quenched the little attention I had. I can’t withstand the few minutes remaining in class. The walls seem to be giggling with joy as they close in around me, teasing me as the minutes drag on and on. I’m going to begin to say my prayers. Lord, please… The bell rings and I hop out of my seat. In a few minutes, I will be sitting in my next class as the cycle repeats itself.

Spectrum Spectrum The Walk

Lauren Stark

The man travels down the street on the starless, autumn evening. His only companion is the shadow that walks beside him, and even he disappears in the darkness between streetlights. The man is exhausted, and his briefcase hangs tiredly from his arm. He is suddenly roused to reality by a clanging. He looks down the alleyway and sees a bundle of mismatched clothing shaking a tin. As the man drops two quarters into the beggar’s can, he asks, “What happened?” The vagrant replies gruffly, “I lost my job. Some crooks down at the mill nailed me for the theft, and the foreman threw me out. I told him I didn’t do it, but all of my cries were made to deaf ears. Now I’m here trying to earn some money. My little boy needs his dinner.” The man drops another quarter into the tin, and he turns out of the alley, leaving the beggar to plead for the help he knows will never come. His cries are quickly replaced by an incessant string of noise from the street corner. As the man stops under the orange glow of the streetlight, he and his shadowy comrade listen to the argument from the apartment above. “You’re just rotten!” they hear the woman scream. “I trusted you, and then…this!” Muffled sobs and bickering ensue, and then she yells again, “I’ve had enough with your excuses! I’m leaving for good!” A metal clanging is heard once more, though this time from troubled feet pounding down a stairwell. The woman stops on the corner, completely oblivious to the man and his shadow directly behind her. Her shoulders shake in time with her weeping, and her dress whips in the wind from the lake. The man appears suddenly before her, and he points down Third Street in the direction of the train station. She nods tearfully, communicating wordlessly her understanding, thanks, and hope for a brighter day. The man turns in the opposite direction, and he and his shadow make their way down the empty road. As the sobs of the woman fade into the distance, the man notices a bump against the wall. The pile suddenly shifts position and moans. As the man hurries forward, the heap transforms into a teenager, bleeding from his arm. The man’s tired briefcase springs to life and produces a roll of gauze. The man wraps the boy’s arm, and the patient begins to speak. “I thought I was safe,” he says, although the question remains if the boy is even aware of his audience. “The guys and I hadn’t seen them for at least twenty minutes, so I got out of the car and headed home. But I was wrong. When I turned the corner, they jumped me. I couldn’t defend myself, and they got me.” He closes his eyes, the memories of the past hour replaying in his mind like a movie scene stuck on repeat.With directions to wash the wound and get sleep, the man leaves the boy, bringing his silhouetted assistant along with him. At his apartment door, the man glances at the trio of girls playing hopscotch under the porch light. His shadow joins those of the children, and they all watch as the blonde in pigtails throws her stone toward the chalked network of boxes. She hops and lands on the eighth square with a triumphant smile. While the girls cheer and clap, the man enters his apartment. His shadow waves goodbye, promising to meet him under the streetlight the following night. As he closes the door, alone once more, the man glances at the view of his corner of the world: crime, pain, violence, lonesomeness, and little girls playing hopscotch.

A Winter’s Stroll ~ Katie Speth

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Haikus

Brian Morris

Pinecone Man

Brian Morris and Kevin Kadowaki

“Pinecone Man” The cock crows at nine. The pinecone man killed the cock. I am pinecone man.

“Untitled Haiku” Underneath tough skin. Love is a dying art form. He is not wanted.

“Peanuts” Peanuts crunch crunch crunch. Cashews, Almonds, Salted Nuts. Yes. All are tasty.

Recycling ~ Anonymous

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Pondering ~ Maddie Allen

Spectrum Spectrum

Ego Nicolás Zúñiga-Peñaranda Eyes so deep, deeper than this pool, eyes so heartrendingly brown; Eyes like me: usually as relaxed and cheerful as anything, Other times as sharp as a razor, And always intelligent, watching, understanding. Oh they bathe my body in shivers with every glance! How could they do any less, accentuated by those strong Masculine eyebrows ending in such a foreshadowingly bold nose. And the hair! The darkest brown shading that exquisite face with tempting mystery, Creating an immaculate visage almost radiant enough to keep my eyes From the glorious chest like a sculpted tribute to the sun; From those lean abs as hard and sharp as a crescent moon; From those arms and hands as able as Atlas’, though holding only some water to drink. Oh shoot, what was I doing in this forest again? Something about Echo? Damn I’m sexy.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger The Bread Baker

Hillary O’Toole

Women of Uganda 8 ~ Steven Fisher

Throughout the night I sit in my bakery on an old, aged wooden kitchen stool, where I laboriously handcraft croissants. My elbows rest on the wood table, which is caked with flour. For hours on end I roll and bake dough, letting the sound of the rising breads pull me away to a land full of dreams. Then, though I have a sore back and am rather exhausted, I open the store and wait for a customer. I vowed to myself, the day the bakery opened, that I would never again teach anyone else how to make my croissants. It was my caring spirit that corrupted my dreams of a successful bakery in London, when I once taught a young English boy to make breads. His name was printed all over the orange box of his product—Thomas’ English Muffins—and his breads were in the homes of millions of people. Thomas’ breads—being the most popular food in England—forced my London bakery to close. No longer did residents of London want my laboriously handcrafted croissants—except for one. Her name was Sara. Every morning she would arrive in my London bakery and buy one croissant. We would exchange a few words, she would place her coins in my quivering hand, and she would walk out the door. After her departure I would await her return to the bakery to purchase her croissant for the following morning. A few weeks passed when I finally mustered up the courage to ask her on a date to the park. She accepted, however after a handful of outings to the park Sara ended our relationship. I was devastated; though heartbroken, I knew Sara could not go without her croissant in the morning. Sure enough, the following morning she returned to my bakery, purchased her bread, and left. The door slammed shut behind her. That day we had not spoken, and it was the same case for days and weeks later. The door to the bakery may have shut behind her each day, however the door to my heart—I knew— would always remain open for her. When Sara leaves the bakery each day, so do I. Another man takes over my bakery for the day shift, and I quietly walk down the street a few paces behind her. Everyday I watch her turn left around the corner, away from my bakery and from me. I have never gone after her, and do not anticipate doing so, but rather I return to my home to rest, in preparation for the next night, so I can make my croissants for Sara.

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Spectrum Spectrum View from Trafalgar Square

~ Katherine Oosterbaan

London in the Rain Atop the golden dome—the city’s heart— Above the river, streets, and bustling town, I gaze upon a stunning work of art; A gentle rain begins to shower down.

Alison Thumel

The drops have drenched the city; colors run And blend and blur the lines: a gray-blue sky Is mixed with steeples, streets, and setting sun; The clock emits its joyful evening cry. The reds and whites and browns, the new and old, The parks and streets—the artist’s strokes: the rain, The paint, but—oh! The sun turns all things gold! It glitters in the puddles that remain. But Ben’s next chime foretells another shower, And I retreat into the golden tower.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Spring Thaw Jackie Vresics Six months of winter froze my skin. Merciless, arid, frigid air robbed every pore in my face of moisture. My lips chapped; my bared teeth chattered in protest. The world was desolate—even the sky was afraid to appear; instead, it hid its face in a quilt of gray clouds. Every morning, I opened my eyes, and the darkness pressed against my windowpanes. I stared at the white expanse of my ceiling—a cruel impersonator of the white expanse of snow outside—and loathed the moment when I had to throw back my warm covers and bare my skin to the chill. Every morning, I woke up to this cold and bitter world… Until one day, I awoke, and the world was singing. The sunlight streamed onto my bed. I dipped my fingers in the golden pool. They tingled where the yellow rays bathed them. Warmth. Breathless, I ran down the steps and threw open the back door. The sunlight greeted me with open arms, tickled me with playful fingers. Like an affectionate pet, it stroked the side of my face and curled around my neck, gently surrounding my arms until I was completely swaddled in its embrace. The air smelled sharp—the scents no longer dampened by clouds, ice, and chill. The tang of freshly cut grass, a splash of citrus— I breathed deeper, and the softer undertones wafted to my nose— dew, fresh cotton, flower buds. I fell down right then and there. My lawn caught me softly, and I spread my arms to catch all of the sun’s rays. I closed my eyes, and the sun kissed my eyelids. My body thawed; the long months of winter melted away, no match for the sun’s triumphant return. ~ Stacey Bear I was alive again.

Open Door Policy

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Spectrum Spectrum Afternoon Work: ArtesanĂ­a de Chichen Itza ~ Steven Fisher

Stargazing Amanda Pullinger The lush lawn spreads out under bare, dirty feet, grass bright green, soft loam underneath, cushioning the backs of cloud-watchers, stargazers, the knees of gardeners, stained by the sweet sap, flowing out of crushed stems, bent into a small hollow, depression, still warm from the sun, as night steals across the sky, warming your back as you gaze up at the stars.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Citrus Karl Horcher Vibrant and Bold Not too new, not yet old An oddity in such cold Oh to go where ‘tis mild By tangerine I’m beguiled Luscious and sweet No surprise songbirds tweet Warms the heart yet is chilled, My mouth yearns to be thrilled

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Strawberry Man

~ Lorna Cagann

By such a treat Citrus I shall meet.

Spectrum Spectrum A Healthy Alternative ~ Jamie Pitts

The Craving Nina Silvasy O sore, scratchy, food gullet How l long for you to be soothed. I yearn for the satisfying sensation Of the mentholated liquid of a cough drop. The sweet flavor still lingers in my memory: Cherry, lemon, honey perhaps? Who cares! I love them all. Wait, do I see one buried in my purse? Yes I do! Why it must be my birthday! I savagely slash open the wrapper And drop that heavenly present in my mouth At last, I am at peace.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger The Pot Kimmy Topel I remember my grandmother’s home better than I know my own: old, creaky, with yellowed floors and wood everything, her family room with the warm carpet and mismatched dining chairs, rocking chairs, benches, and La-Z-Boys. And the pot. At least, I think it was a pot. Brown on the outside, black on the inside, with handles on each side. It was probably made of ceramic, but I never bothered to ask. It was always the coveted seat for my cousins, my brother, and I. When we were young, we would race to the pot and sit in it with our legs hanging out the top. The adults used to laugh at us, make jokes that one day we would get stuck inside. We were all tiny when we were young, but all the cousins except me grew very tall. Back then, we always fit inside, nobody got stuck, and we loved that pot. Then, we got older, bigger. We couldn’t comfortably sit in the pot: it would cut off the circulation in our legs. We grew too big. From then on, we would just stare at it. When my grandma’s cancer came back and she had to move to the apartment, I secretly wondered where the pot would go. Would it go with her to the apartment? Or would it be stored in my basement with most of her belongings? I wanted it in my basement. I wanted to sit in the pot again and remember her the way she was before she got sick. I wanted everything to go back to the way it was before she got sick. When my Nonni Ele died, I was paralyzed. I couldn’t think about her or accept that the crazy feminist I looked up to the most was gone. I could wonder only what would happen to the little things. Who would take the coat rack? The big rocking chair? The pot? I looked for it in my basement when they moved everything in. We took everything in because we were all too sad to rifle through the boxes. I checked, but the pot wasn’t in my basement. The pot was in my Aunt’s apartment. Every time my cousins and I see it, we try to sit in it, but it’s not the same. It’s not as brown as I remember. It’s not as deep. I’m not as small. When you’re a child, the world seems so big and wonderful. ~ Stephen Ark Then you have to learn to live without.


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Spectrum Spectrum February

Marisa Lastres Seemingly empty, the castle awaits. Snow bides its time on the stones, warm and wide, Vagabond wind whips the turrets and wails, Cobblestones shiver and try to survive, Fireplace looms in the vast wooden hall, Wicker chairs gleam with the warmth of the sun, Ladybugs prey on the innocent walls, Staircases lean with a creak and a hum.

Bumblebee ~ Emily George

Me and my Stronghold impatiently cry – Wanting reunion, no more to be won. Echoing back we have yet no reply. Please bring the keys so the wait will be done.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Click, Click, Bang

Sierra Slade

Taraxacum ~ Lela Grant

“Don’t rush me.” “I’m not. Really…Breathe.” “I know. But I just…Gah. I don’t know… What should I do?” “I think you should make a decision.” “Gee… Thanks. But it’s just… Should I?... Or maybe?…ermm…,” I stammer on, emitting intelligible noises, and staring desperately at the words before me, praying that something will nudge my brain encouragingly just a miniscule bit more than everything else did. My first hope had already been dashed; no phrase off the paper had shouted my name, leaping from its two-dimensional home to sit on my lap, to grab my face in its Arial-type hands, and to excite in me the courage to decide upon it. No, I was still sitting there in the straight-backed booth, clueless. The print was still lazily lying there, lacking the kindness to even whisper me a hint. To say I felt rushed would be an understatement. I was helpless, embarrassed, frustrated, and angry with myself. I was sure that the latter two feelings were growing in the mind of my company, too, despite his smile of amusement. To be clear, the waitress was coming back for the third time. Disappointing the woman and my dinner companion again was not an option. Such scenarios are common in my life. As a result, my skills in the area of decision-making are like an inside joke that everyone is in on; I can instantly become the target of incessant teasing. Decisions are difficult because, for me, the presence of multiple paths of supposedly equal value brings on a state of paralysis, an uncomfortable, fear-inducing state. By this time, it was drizzling slightly outside. I glanced nervously to the tinted window as my mind raced to find the answer to the nearly impossible question: what should I eat for dinner? If I decided hastily and put the food into my mouth with attempted open-mindedness but then tasted something that just struck the wrong note within me—like hearing a concert B as the band tunes to B flat—the mistake would ruin my meal, worsen my mood, and taint the entire evening. This was it: would I choose the burger or the chicken Caesar wrap? At least I had narrowed my options down to two. When a situation becomes as desperate as this one had, I find my mind becoming numb to the situation all together; thus, the paralysis takes over entirely, and the decision that I had been obsessing over only moments before fades away. I am an amnesia patient with my brain subconsciously repressing all memory of a painful ordeal. My mind wanders against my will, easily distracted. That night, my mind found its distraction in the silhouette of a stranger. As I stared, discouraged, out the tall and wide window of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, I wondered about the dark figure I saw through it. Leaning against the brick wall, protected by the broad awning, he smoked. The darkened window made the man out to be merely a shape in the shadows of the night, and I watched as the fiery tip of his cigarette, fueled with oxygen, glowed brighter as he drank the damp air through the white tobacco straw. My brain turned all its energy towards this man, pleased to have a change of pace. Questions stirred lazily in my head: why is he here, where does he come from, what is he thinking about? Finally, a faint sound drew my mind from its comfortable rendezvous with the cold scenery outside to the still chilly, but lit, atmosphere inside; actually, I was not even sure if I had heard the sound or had felt it, it was so undetectable. Whatever it was, it was the product of my stomach, grumbling at my indecisiveness. I had not realized until that moment just how hungry I was. My ears opened to the tinkering of silverware against plates and the friendly

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Spectrum Spectrum 50 Cents ~ Joe Busscher

sounds of conversation everywhere. Scents of savory, greasy foods wafted over, and my lips began to feel an intense anxiousness that only increased tenfold the uncomfortable emptiness in my abdomen. The young man sitting across the table from me saw the hunger and despair in my eyes, and, with his own, asked what he had already asked before. “Okay. Fine… Let’s flip a coin,” I said with urgency. I gave in to my boyfriend’s method of decision-making, and, with a smile, he turned awkwardly in the booth to get a coin out of his back right pocket. I do not condone leaving life’s decisions entirely up to chance, but in times of need (our waitress was now tending a table quite close to our own) I will turn to luck for help. After assigning the burger to tails and the wrap to George Washington’s profile, my friend flicked the coin just two feet up into the air. The quarter went nearly straight up, turning over several times in a blur. To my disappointment, it did not make a translucent orb of flashing silver as quarters and dimes tend to when someone spins them on a flat surface. It merely came back down, clacking sharply on the hard table. I saw Washington and his ridiculous hair. My gut turned slightly, and a feeling similar to confusion spread through my mind; pangs of regret seeped through my body. I felt the suppressed disappointment that a child might feel when her friend is passing out a birthday treat to his 3rd grade class and she gets a flavor of candy that she did not want. As the girl considers trading, she hears in her mind the chant that one student had squealed moments before: you get what you get and you don’t have a fit. Guiltily, she feigns appreciation as she slips the candy into her pocket, planning to pass it on to some other friend after school. Simply put, I was not happy with the outcome. Do I just get what I get? Indecision and frustration paralyzed me once more as I struggled to deal with this new event. Finally, with counseling from my understanding partner, I thanked the coin for exposing my true feelings about the dinner options, and I ordered the burger. It was simply delicious. Months have passed since that event, and, in that time, positive reinforcement has led me to embrace Chance to ease the severity of my indecisive nature. Just today, while leaning comfortably into the arms of the boy that introduced me to the power of Luck, I chose to gamble rather than stress myself any further. Amongst the sound of the car tires, the soft conversation between his parents in the driver and passenger seats, and the soothing music playing from the radio, one could hear the metallic noises of clinking, whirring, and clicking repeatedly. Using the technology of his new iPhone, we were having a game of Russian Roulette, which is much more violently satisfying than the traditional “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” or flipping of loose change. Normally, Russian Roulette entails a group of daring, yet stupid individuals who pass around a gun loaded with a single bullet. No one knows exactly where the bullet is in the cartridge, and, one by one, each shoots the gun at his own head; consequently, the first to blast his brains out loses. If the game were to continue, the last one alive would be a clear winner. However, the two of us had just a virtual gun, and the victims were only words on a page. With a few taps from his finger, my accomplice would load the handgun on the screen with one bullet, spin the six-bullet cartridge, and pull the trigger. If that one bullet were in place for firing after the spinning, a startling sound would come from the phone; otherwise, we would hear a mild metal click. In this fashion, on the way to a Thanksgiving dinner, he aimed and shot at a list of crooked phrases on a piece of recycled computer paper resting on my lap. Out of twenty-two phrases from “people are selfish” to “water is awesome,” six were selected. One by one, a bullet killed five until we found a single winner. Tension built with every click, and after jumping from the occasional BANG, a murmur of sadness would escape from my lips, mourning the loss of a good idea. In the end, Chance knew which phrase it was loyal to, and I began to type my paper.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Emily Andras

as gods sit watching the butterfly gardens the butterflies float around on paper wings held aloft by those fishing wires and a soft breath of a breeze the sun has caught on to the paper and it burns and burns until the breath is thrust into a sigh and up goes that tiny little butterfly with its flaming paper wings sunlight and flames screaming and dancing the fishing wire melting away until it sets itself into the soft black velvet of night “twinkle, twinkle, little star,” she sings to me at night, rocking me like a barrel on the sea her skin so soft and smooth to my tiny hands fingers scraping across hair and skin and mouth reaching, recognizing, reacting

when I get older, she will touch my hair and say “your dreams are like butterflies” and so I remember that lullaby that she whispered all those eons ago “up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky” and I have to wonder if she means that my dreams are going to burn up in the light of reality - if my fishing wire support is going to melt away in the fires of the real world and so i ask her, and she laughs and kisses my forehead (a butterfly kiss) and she says, no, she means that my mind is going to be set aflame with something totally new and shining and that my dreams, my butterflies, will rise above adversity to sit in the black velvety realm of the sky and become the stars “twinkle, twinkle, little star how I wonder what you are”

The Future ~ Katie Speth

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Imagine ~ Alison Thumel

Spectrum Spectrum

Don’t speak; don’t move. Just watch as images flash before your face and sound fills this space.

Just Don’t

Mariam Comber

Don’t question; don’t understand. Just accept as lies go before your eyes and truth is in disguise. Don’t hear; don’t wish. Just believe as words penetrate your ears and silence is all you fear. Don’t touch; don’t feel. Just exist as vibrations control your hands and make you feel like sand. Don’t learn; don’t teach. Just commit as society manipulates your brain and their thoughts flood your mind like rain.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger

Telling Time

Liz Edwards

I drank a hot mug of cocoa at the breakfast table, awed at the blanket of snow that had mysteriously covered the ground overnight. I watched as a rabbit hopped its way through the snow, leaving a neat row of tracks behind. The snow glistening in the sun was a blank piece of paper, an opportunity to create anything I desired. Snowmen, snow angels, and snow forts gave me pleasure for hours. The sledding hill towered over me like a mountain, tall enough to threaten my existence Yet I saw only its beauty as I glided down it, the icy wind blowing my hair, my rosy cheeks formed in a smile, and the feeling of freedom fluttering in my stomach like a family of wild butterflies. Before I could tell time. Now, I study for finals as the first snowflake dances to the ground. Cuddled in my room with schoolbooks and a blanket, I can’t remember why I ever enjoyed the cold weather. I force myself out of my warm bed in the morning and grab a granola bar as I head out the door. The freshly fallen snow that had once mystified me triggers no joy. I curse the snowstorm, as it causes the traffic that would make me late for school. Because I can tell time. Springtime meant the smell of freshly cut grass, morning dew wet on my feet as I giggled at the park. The chilly wind and warm sun combination was a refreshing change from the cold winter days. The rain meant jumping from puddle to puddle in too-big rain boots, not caring about getting wet. Games of ring-around-the-rosie were played at the park, and no one was afraid to fall. Before I could tell time. Now, the fine droplets of morning dew sit unnoticed as I run to the car, late for school. The rain means getting wet and messing up my hair, and there is no time to mess around in puddles. The park is a bird taken flight, a memory long forgotten. Life is a race, and falling holds you back from reaching the finish line first. Because I can tell time. The sprinkler moved back and forth across the lawn, and I laughed as I danced through it.

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The Good Old Days ~ Stacey Bear

Spectrum Spectrum Even though its motion was identical each time, it never grew boring. Chasing after an ice cream truck, I licked a melting popsicle until streaks of blue dripped from my face and my whole body was sticky. Playing Ghost in the Graveyard and catching fireflies filled my nights with happiness. During the day, the grass cushioned my body better than an expensive Tempur-Pedic Mattress as I lay back, finding pictures in the clouds. During the night, I gazed up at the moon and stars, amazed at the beauty of something so far away. Before I could tell time. Now, I spend my days in air conditioning, wishing it weren’t so hot. All I care about is getting tan and staying cool, a difficult combination to achieve together. I work most days to save money, and on others, I sleep through the beautiful sunrise that once awed me. At nights, I listen to music with my friends that masks the sound of crickets I once caught, and watching TV takes place over watching stars. Because I can tell time. Fall meant collecting leaves and playing for hours in the treehouse, telling scary stories as ink-black crows landed on its branches. It meant apple picking and sitting on someone’s shoulders so I could reach the top apple. It meant carmel corn and taffy apples, and of course, more candy than one can imagine. It meant carving jack-o-lanterns with my dad, picking out a fun face to light up. It meant dressing up as whatever I wanted, and for one day, being anyone but me.

Cool Down ~ Katie Speth

Before I could tell time. Now, raking is a chore, and jumping in leaf piles is a silly pastime for little kids who have nothing important to do. Why waste the time apple picking if you can get them on sale at the grocery store? Caramel corn and taffy apples are fattening, and I’d rather be with friends than carve pumpkins with the family. Dressing up as someone else is for little kids, but in reality, I pretend to be someone I’m not every day. Because I can tell time. What caused this change? Was it knowing that a clock meant something more than the soothing ticking that once put me to sleep? Was I being silly when I was little, or am I being silly now? Is having fun wasting time, or taking advantage of it? Before, five minutes meant running around happily for a little bit more. Now, it means I must run anxiously to my next class. Before, deadlines were nonexistent, but now, they are the roadmap of my life. Now, in order to go to sleep, I must cover the clock.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger The Unholy Quest Ashley Masnik A quest beginning in the swirls of darkness Fighting hordes of goblins to find the cleansing waters of the springs Succeeding, I bask in the renewal it bestows A quest of this magnitude requires new apparel A gown tailored for me unlike any other Down to the lower kingdom I travel A feast filled with fruits from the farthest reaches of the earth My journey is only just beginning A noble steed awaits; my prize, my beauty Flowing red mane sparkling in the morning dew Toward the sunset we travel A new day nears Afflicted with exhaustion yet I must go on Green yields the way to freedom At the gates of Carmel, I arrive.

Paris ~ Allie Gauthier

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Spectrum Spectrum Cultural Center ~ Anabel Kelly


Jackie Vresics Clothed in our fancy garb of colored cloth, We spin around the ballroom in our dance. We float about on wings of dainty moth. We dream our dreams of myst’ry and romance. And yet why do we wear these feathered masks? We hide our face because it’s all an act. We’re players on the stage: it is our task To entertain the crowd and to enact A show where we take on another role. We play the part that they assign us to, And to please them is our only goal. We dance for them until they say we’re through. When we conform we join this strange ballet, And watch our own identities decay.

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger Sic Transit Gloria Elena Gonzalez

Day’s End ~ Kevin Deasey

The glittering damp grass looked deceptively solid as I slipped out of our dull beige back door. As I stepped off of our back porch, my foot sank at least an inch into the damp ground. I shivered, but the sharp icy breeze was a refreshing contrast to the cloyingly stagnant indoor air. The faint heat emitted from the light of the glowing sky was barely noticeable; it was nowhere near enough to permeate the damp chill that hung in the air from a week of steady rain. I sat down lightly on one of the little swings that our back yard contained. The wood creaked under the unfamiliar weight as I absentmindedly rocked myself back and forth. Although no longer the central source of my amusement that it had been in my youth, the swaying motion of the swing set was still familiarly comforting. Water that had collected on the seat and chain soaked through my clothes, quickly waking me up. I don’t think I have ever found my neighborhood more incredibly dull than I did at that moment. Sitting there, soaked to the skin, I looked out on row after row of matching houses, all in slightly varying shades of gray or off-white, on square little plots of land, divided at intervals by the lanes of perpendicular streets that led to more rows of identical houses. The imminent dawn glowed just behind the row of rooftops in front of me, eerily backlighting the scene. Everything looked grayer than usual, and the cookie-cutter-like regularity gave me a panicky sense of being completely trapped here. “Lovely Suburbia,” I thought dryly to myself as I closed my eyes and rocked backwards in the swing a little more. I should not have been very surprised at how deafeningly silent the morning was, but the lack of noise was unusual to my ears. A light breeze that rustled through the leaves of the meticulously manicured plants and the low electric hum that each house produced were the only things audible. Gradually, but surely, it came. At first in faint watercolor shades and then more vibrant fluorescence, the dawn flooded out from behind the houses. Painted pink clouds parted to reveal a flaming orange sun that set the horizon ablaze. Unlit windows flashed, reflecting brightly, and the feel of light drew some blood back into my freezing skin. For a few minutes, I could feel everything, and everything was right in its existence. Icy air tasted fresh and felt sharp in my lungs, made me feel acutely conscious. The silence was now overwhelming, but no longer oppressively, as if the lack of noise had been brought to a musical crescendo. All of the dull little houses and their matching little lawns were bathed in the rosecolored glory of the vibrant neon sky. For a moment, everything seemed dreamily perfect. It was strangely ethereal, yet searingly vivid and completely real. I sat there, swinging gently in the light of the fiery painted sky, until the flames began to recede, leaving the sky a mundane blue-gray with clouds that had faded white from the fluorescence they had been. I sunk into a kind of elevated melancholy. Although the memory of the dawn still burnt in my head, my cold, soaked clothes began to feel more uncomfortable. With a sigh, I went back inside, out of the damp and dreary morning, to catch a few more hours of sleep.

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Spectrum Spectrum

Of Course

Sierra Slade

Rain, of course. Cliché, of course. Soft and repetitive, Dynamic and bitter and sweet… To Cleanse, To Smear, To Give Life, To Give Sorrow, Only as the rain does! How I long to feel the bittersweet rain. It comes. I sigh… I feel The stiff salty skin of the aftermath. Red Mirrors – Windows. Green color betraying. Rain to cleanse and to smear, To Give Life, Cleanse of Sorrow! Only as the rain does… Hurtling down from the heavens, a sphere approaches, Whipped in the cool wind and tossed along its journey, Created and now destined to aid creation, it descends so gloriously inward… Impact. I cry. To overflow until there is only emptiness and memory and a smile. Rain, of course. Cliché, of course. I cry.

Veteran’s Memorial

~ Emily George

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger My Emancipation Proclamation Brian Morris

Individual dedication to worldwide ratification of our actions. Change in constant violation end of discrimination reversal of inflation; please listen to this narration my humble congregation. I see this not as confrontation but as a combination of our joint desperation. No instant gratification for your participation. No instant gratification for your association. Maybe this is an immature contemplation, or an improbable calculation, but perhaps a steady demonstration that this nation needs some stimulation. I’m not saying act like Bickle, that’s an exaggeration of my frustration. A life saving operation. A small charitable donation. Instead of this lifeless animation, this continuing suffocation, and mental deterioration. A little identification, a goodbye salutation in place of this obsession with fornication, creating a single-parent population. This doesn’t mean there’s no room for celebration or pointless conversation. Just a little appreciation for our man-made situation. Retaliation from His creation! Why? It should be conservation, not extermination. And I add to the disorientation, the cock-roached infestation. When it comes to organization of His creation, I find some deviation. “You! Me! You! Me! You! Me!” How about we? All it takes is dedication. Together our dedication turns into determination. Our determination becomes inspiration. This inspiration travels from generation to generation and down the road, our dedication brings justification.

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Right to Life ~ Maddie Allen

A little clarification, this is only my imagination, not an expectation. It’s not a regurgitation of someone else’s speculation. It’s my colorless illustration. So if we don’t change our actions what is in our future? Complete and utter desolation. Love will join in the disintegration. We are performing our own cremation. So when our love in action train stops in your station, my expectation is no hesitation.

Spectrum Spectrum

Sun Downing

Chris Lunardi Why is there a man watching me through the window? It’s scaring me. He’s just standing there, looking as frightened as I am. I hear a shout from the other room. I panic. I grab my chair and throw it through the window at my stalker. I scream. I hear more shouts and more glass breaking. There must be more of them out there. I panic. I scream. My door swings open. I panic. I scream. It’s a man in a white coat. I panic. I scream. He grabs my arm. I panic. I scream. I feel a pressure and sharp pain in my shoulder. I panic. I scream. Everything goes white, then black. My mind goes blank. When I wake up everything is back to normal. I wake up in a bed with white sheets. There is a pack of white coats discussing something outside the window to the room I am in. They keep glancing at me. One of them opens the door and walks in. I am told that it is 10:30 a.m. Great, I missed breakfast. I think about the night before. I wonder why the white coat grabbed me. I wondered why he looked angry, no, frightened. I only remember bits and pieces of the whole night. It was my second night in this place. It was my second night with the needles, the white coats, and the un-naturally sterile environment. Here at the start of my third day the beginning of it has already been stolen from me. I go through my day. I get escorted to my room. I shower. I change. I sit and stare at the wall. I wonder what has happened to me that I have to be here in this place. It’s a miserable place, really. They treat us like children. That’s no way to treat us. Most of us are adults. I have been around for far longer than they have. So much for seniority. I try to read, but so much is going through my head. I can’t focus on the words. It’s been like that for a while now. At noon, a white coat enters my room. I stare at him. “Lunch time, follow me, please.” I follow him out of my room. I look around. Everyone who lives in my hallway stand behind the white coat waiting for me. All my neighbors are here, following the man in the white coat. He takes us to a larger room. We get in a line. We grab trays and they give us food. We sit down. I sit at a table with a group of funny looking men and women. I eat my food. I try to walk back to my room but a white coat stops me. “Whoa, you’re not going anywhere. Sit down until lunch is over.” I am angry. I stand before him and look at him. He looks at me like he’s better than me. I know he’s not better than me. I want to ask him why I can’t go to my room, but I hold it in. It makes no sense. I mean, it’s my room. So much for seniority. I sit back down at the table with the funny looking people. I wait. What a waste of time. Lunch ends and the white coat lead us back to our rooms. One at a time he drops my neighbors back at their rooms. We get to my room. He walks me inside. I can do it myself, I want to tell him, but I hold back. I was raised to be polite, so I hold it in. I sit on my bed and pick up a book. I try to read. My mind is too busy. There are too many other things on my mind. I can’t read right now. It’s been like that for a while now. It’s so frustrating. I stare at the wall. I sit and I wait for whatever the white coats have planned for me. They treat me like a child. I am not a child, so much for respecting your elders; so much for seniority. This place is miserable. “Dinner time” goes the white coat as he barges in my room, invading my privacy. I sit. I want to say have you ever heard of knocking? But I hold back. I don’t want to go with him. I try to tell him to politely leave me alone but the words come out wrong. That’s how angry I am. “Okay, let’s go.” He grabs my arm. He pulls. I am not a slave, nor am I a child, so much for respecting your elders, so much for seniority. Why am I here? I feel like


~ Jackie Vresics

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Harbinger 2010 2010 Harbinger a child. I feel like a slave. I give in. I go with him. There is no winning around here. He leads us to the same old room. I stand in the same old line. I grab the same old tray and sit at the same old table with the same old funny looking people. I eat the same old food. I am still hungry. I go back to the line but a white coat stops me. “You don’t need seconds. I saw your tray. You’ve had enough.” Now they tell me when I can and can’t eat. They tell me when I’ve had enough. That just makes no sense. I’m still hungry. Shouldn’t I be the judge of when I’m hungry? So much for the older the wiser; so much for seniority. I am angry. I stand and I glare at him. I try to tell him I want more food but the words come out wrong. That’s how angry I am. He grabs my arm. What is it with these white coats and grabbing my arm? Do they think that’s okay? It’s not okay. I am older than them. I am wiser than them. I have seen more things in one day then they have in their whole lives. They are babies. So much for seniority. I hate this place. Dinner ends, and night falls. The white coat leads us back to our rooms one by one, the regular routine. He leads me to my room. I can do it by myself! I think. I hold it in. I am polite. I sit on my bed. I, again, try to read. Again, I can’t. It’s so frustrating. I stare at the wall. I’m tired of staring at the wall. I walk over to the window. Tonight, it is different than last night. Tonight, there are drapes covering the window. I want my window back. They can’t take away my window. They can’t take away my looking outside privileges. I’m angry. I tear the drapes down from the little decorative poles they hang from. They drop to my feet. The window is fixed. They must have fixed it last night. I stare out the window: darkness. I miss the outside world. I stare out the window. I see him again, the man, from the previous night. He’s just standing there, staring at me. Why is he staring at me? He looks as frightened as I am. I listen for a shout like the night before, but I hear nothing. I panic. I grab my chair and lunge it through the window at my stalker. I listen for more screams, more glass breaking, but I hear nothing. I panic. I scream. My door shoots open. I panic. I scream. It’s a white coat again. I panic. I scream. He grabs my arm. I panic. I scream. I see a needle in his hand. He pokes me in my right shoulder. I feel a sharp pain, then, nothing. Everything goes white, then black. When I wake up everything is back to normal. I wake up in my room this time. I sit up and stare at the wall. Someone barges in my room. It’s a white coat. “Get up, we’re going to breakfast. I don’t want any more problems from you.” He grabs my arm. There he goes grabbing my arm again, so much for respecting your elders; so much for seniority. At least they spared me breakfast today. He pulls me out of my room. Same routine applies. All of my neighbors are standing in a single file line behind the white coat. It’s pitiful. I get in the line. I am pitiful. He leads us to breakfast and I get in line. I grab a tray. I get my food. I walk to the eating area. Today is different. There is a small television on in the corner of the room. I dismiss it. Again I sit at the table with the funny looking people. I do not belong here. I am not funny looking. I stand up and scan the room for another table. I see a table in the corner of the room. It is right next to the small television. I sit at a table in the corner, facing the TV. I am alone. The volume is too low for me to hear. I walk up to the TV and look closely at the buttons on the front of it, under the screen. There are five buttons. They are typical buttons. From left to right they read power, channel +, channel -, volume +, and volume -. The buttons are almost too small for me to push. I manage to push the button that reads volume +. I push the button four times. The volume seems loud enough, so I sit back down. The morning news is on. The weather man is giving his forecast for the week; sunny all week. It gives me the desire to be outside. That doesn’t seem possible in this place. I give up on the idea. “Back to you, John,” goes the weatherman. The screen then centers on another man.

Infamous ~ Jamie Pitts

42 42

Spectrum Spectrum

Wonderland ~ Alison Thumel

“Thanks, Bob,” goes the man apparently named John. He begins to read the next story. “Monday morning a 66-year-old man named Mark Jacobson allegedly killed his wife and three kids. His wife, Martha, age 56, his two sons, ages 13 and 17, and his daughter, age 20. The police took him into custody, and his whereabouts are unknown by the public. He is awaiting his trial.” I sat and watched in awe. Despicable, I think to myself. Who in their right mind could kill their own family? That would leave them alone and afraid. A man of that age is not going to find another wife, unless he has money. I saw his house on the news. He doesn’t have money. I am disgusted. I mope over to the television and push the button that reads power. The news had a way of ruining my mood. I was not in a good mood, but now it is worse. Breakfast ends. We follow the white coat back to our rooms. He drops us off one by one. We get to my room. He brings me inside by the arm. “I can do it myself,” I say it this time. He makes a face and walks out of my room. They always look at me like they are better than me. They are not better than me. I know that. I sit on my bed. I stare at the wall. I sit and I wait. I hear a voice over the intercom. Time for our phone calls, Fridays mean phone calls. I hear many names called. I sit and stare at my wall. There is no fun here. I stare out the window. There is no one standing outside. I am safe. “Bob Fronski,” says the intercom. I sit and I wait. I wait to make my phone call. I miss my family. I want to call my daughter. My daughter is a beautiful girl. She will be the president one day. I promise you that. “Frank Houston,” says the intercom. My name will be called relatively soon. I sit and I wait. I want to hear my daughter’s voice. I want to ask her why they locked me up here. I want to hear my wife’s voice. I want to ask her why they locked me up here. I want to talk to my sweet children. Yes. They will tell me why I am locked up here. They will break me out. I sit and I wait. “Ron Iden,” says the intercom. My name will be called soon. I sit and I wait. Yes, my family. They will let me out of here. “Peter Jackson,” says the intercom. My name will be called soon. I wait. Yes. I wait. “Mark Jacobson,” says the intercom. That’s my name. I get up and I walk towards the door. A white coat opens the door before I even get half way there. He grabs my arm and leads me out of the room. We walk down a long hallway. He opens a seemingly heavy door with a small window with wire running through it to prevent anyone from getting inside when it’s locked. Just like a schoolhouse. He leads me inside. I see a phone in the corner. He hands me the phone. “Who do you want to call?” says the white coat. I think for a moment. I answer. “I’d like to phone my daughter, if that’s all right with you.” I say that because nothing is alright with the white coats. They seem to oppose everything I say. “You sick freak,” says the white coat.

43 43

~ Steven Fisher

Reference to Mountainscape

Harbinger 2010

Love Mark

Nicolás Zúñiga-Peñaranda

They were sitting at the booth in the corner, away from the other patrons at the brighter lit bar. Mark had insisted they sit there that night in the city of love because it would be “more romantic.” He wanted so much for everything to be perfect that he didn’t realize at first that, sitting as they were, the light illuminated only his expression; she was only a silhouette to him. Both their gazes rested on a small box Mark had just placed on the table. Two places in the booth glimmered: Mark’s eyes and the small diamond ring. She brought up her hand to her hidden face and rubbed or wiped her eyes, a motion that made Mark grin in satisfaction. Drops of water trickled down from his hair, down his nose, and cheeks until they fell from his chin to stain his shirt. Her hair was dry. A folded umbrella, with “love, Mark” signed in red sharpie lays on the floor to her right. They ate in silence, but the silence reminded Mark of a song about lovers being able to feel connected even without words and so the silence made him grin. “Mark,” she said slowly in the local accent, “je t’aime plus.” “No baby, I love you more, je t’aime le plus! Je te aime comme le terre est grande !” “Non, tu entends pas. Of course you don’t understand.” She gets up suddenly and her face registers surprise at her own motion. Her eyes turn to the cold rain outside. Her lips twitch upward once then firmly downward. She turns around, the light from the bar now illuminating her to Mark. For the first time he sees that her eyes are dry, her lips turned downward under the lipstick he bought her. “Je t’aime plus; Je ne t’aime plus; I don’t love you anymore,” Claire says and walks out, leaving behind his ring and his umbrella. The rain washes away his makeup and his favorite hairstyle, and swallows up Claire.


*Parisians do not pronounce the “ne” in casual conversation. This technically incorrect way of speaking confuses the foreign lover Mark because in writing, “je t’aime plus” means “I love you more” while “je ne t’aime plus,” what Claire meant to say, means “I don’t love you anymore.”


Poetry ~ Diana Jarrell

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Harbinger Staff 2010 Harbinger Editors-in-Chief Alison Thumel Jackie Vresics

Layout Editors

Publicity Editors

Submissions Editors

Copy Editors

Lela Grant Libby McGuire

Lorna Cagann Kimmy Topel

Charlene Gerdes Amanda Reitenbach

Marisa Lastres Kevin Sabato

Contributing Members Stacey Bear Jenna Brashear Joe Busscher Mariam Comber Emily Davenport Travis Gibbs Katie Geusz Katie Gorski Kelsey Helm

Diana Jarrell Lexy Kaminski Kevin Kadowaki Sean Korecky Jackie Kwiecinski Sonya Lara May Kate Lentino Michael Logue Ashley Masnik



Judith Mucheck, Ph. D.

Austin Martinez Nick McGuire Alise Murawski Katherine Oosterbaan Hillary O’Toole Jamie Pitts Elisabeth Rill Alexa Rollins Nikki Roy

Principal Lynne Strutzel

Maggie Scheer Aly Shendenrovsky Katy Sherwood Katie Short Samantha Solomon Lauren Stark Charlie Topel Sherry Vazhayil Nick Zuniga

Moderator John Uhrik

Spectrum (n.) - a wide range of varied yet connected ideas or objects that overlap to create a series; an array


Harbinger 2010

Harbinger 2010  

Harbinger 2010

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