ON THE COVER
Kitty Dough: Blue Footed Booby Bowl
Natalia Titenkova: Nowhere
Naomi Michelle: Texture
Estuaries Editorial Board Managing Editor Andrew Walser Christina Weisner
Literature Blair Harris Cindy Hayes Andrew Walser
Visual Art Nora Hartlaub Kathryn Osgood Christina Weisner
Design & Layout Patrick Detwiler
This magazine is the fourth annual edition of Estuaries. It features creative contributions from students, faculty and staff. It was produced and printed at College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City, NC, in 2018.
Carson Davis: Untitled
Vickie Kittrell: Floating
9 11 12 19 23 25 26 30
Brande McCleese: The Ties That Bind Aaron Bass: The Invasion Maria Sutton: Numb Michael Temple: Untitled Autumn Demartino: Walking the Twisted Black Forest Veronica Downing: Black Phoenix Michael Temple: Untitled 2 Brande McCleese: Wordsmith
5 14 21 28 32
Cindy Hayes: Our Secret Across the River Lauren Bolton: Nica Time Sudeepa Pathak: Karma Bobbi Sison: The Mercy of Wood Noah Carroll: In Defense of Pirates
Cover Opposite 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 17 18 20 22 23 24 27 28 29 31 33 34 35 Cover
Kitty Dough: Blue Footed Booby Bowl Natalia Titenkova: Nowhere Naomi Michelle: Texture Carson Davis: Untitled Vickie Kittrell: Floating Sara Elliott: Pop Soup Abigail McGaha: Slab Sara Elliott: Battered Feeling Lauren Bolton: Diatom Kitty Dough: Seven Deadly Sins Sofia Fonseca: Molecular Cell Hanna Lebedynska: Hidden Katelyn Joseph: Endless LainE Lionheart: Merci Monet Hanna Lebedynska: Resolute Bettie Lowe: Along the River Bank Lisa LeMair: Walking Necklace 1 Anna Doll: Positano Beach Tiles Naomi Michelle: 180 LainE Lionheart: Les Demoiselles dâ€™Soleil Natalia Titenkova: Orbit Natalia Titenkova: Mystery of a Black Hole Amber Baggette: Fragile George Hackett: Held Back Anna Keaton: Untitled Amber Baggette: Untitled Elif Kan: Bird Ljupka Vuchevska: Inlay Olha Fidyk: Coffee Cup Amber Baggette: Handymanâ€™s Tools Lisa LeMair: Glacier (Twilight) Hanna Lebedynska: Untitled Yiyi Han: Invaded Substrate Olha Fidyk: Untitled
Our Secret Across the River Cindy Hayes
As my boyfriend Danny and I walked along the path, we could see the reflection of their fire shimmering on the river through the brush. We could hear almost every word the family said, and we knew their names as their voices echoed across the steep banks into our expecting ears. However, it was the sound of the kids playing and laughing at night that enticed us to want to catch a glimpse of them.
“I will put this in the kiln later,” he said, and his voice echoed across the river. “He must be an artist. That bowl is gorgeous!” I said. Simon smiled as he cleaned up the wheel and his tools. When he had put everything away, he went out into the yard to join his family. He walked over and picked up his baby, Ambrielle, and jostled her above his head.
Danny whispered, as we pushed the grasses and the thick brush back, “Look, they’re Little People.”
“Ohhhh, Ambrielle is flying,” he said.
“Wow! The children are so cute playing chase together,” I said quietly. “It is so strange to see them after only listening to them after all these months.”
She giggled, squirmed, and wanted more. He lifted her again, and her fat baby arms moved up and down like she was trying to fly.
“The tallest boy looks like he might be Leander; the girl with the long red hair is probably Lorianna, and I’m sure the baby is Ambrielle,” said Danny. “What’s the other boy’s name?”
Simon laughed. “You love this, don’t you, Little One?”
“Giuseppe. Simon looks younger than I thought he would, and Chloe is so beautiful with her long blonde hair. Their skin is so white – they almost look like ghosts.”
“Aw, isn’t she adorable and so tiny,” Danny said. For a while Simon watched Leander and Lorianna playing checkers. (Lorianna was winning for once.) Then he decided to help Giuseppe catch fireflies. After a few bugs were glowing in the jar, Simon went over to see his wife, Chloe. He said “Hi beautiful” as he kissed her.
From the other side of the river we heard a sound. “Ha ha ha,” said Leander. “You can’t catch me.”
She showed Simon the candles she had been making. Then he took her hand, and they went for a walk along the riverbank, as they did every evening.
“You just watch me,” Lorianna said, with her red ponytail bouncing as she ran on her short but sturdy legs. “Ha! Now you’re it!”
“How are you today, sweetheart?” Simon asked as he put his arm around his wife’s shoulders.
Leander said, “Hey, why don’t we play another game? I am tired of chase.”
“I’m just fine, now,” Chloe said as she snuggled up closer to Simon.
“Sure. Let’s play checkers …”
“What a nice family,” Danny said. “And look at their cute little house!”
Using the outside light and the bright firelight, we watched as Simon took a handful of red clay and plopped it on the potter’s wheel held in between his knees. He pressed the foot petal and began shaping a large bowl with his hands, carefully adding a little bit of yellow and blue clay and then shaping and smoothing until he had made a very impressive and unique bowl.
Sara Elliott: Pop Soup
“I wonder what it looks like inside … Ouch! You’re stepping on my foot!” “Shush! They can hear us just like we can hear them.” “They are making too much noise to hear us,” I said.
Our Secret Across “Probably,” Danny agreed. “Well, I’m ready to walk some more. How about you?” “Yeah, let’s go,” I said, pushing back the thick grass. Danny took my hand and led me out onto the path. “Let’s keep this our secret. I don’t want anyone to bother them,” I said as we continued our stroll around the river. “Yeah,” Danny said, “it’ll be hush-hush and just between us.” And we both laughed. Danny and I had just graduated from high school, and we lived in the same neighborhood. I lived with my grandmother, who worked as a nurse on the three-toeleven shift at the hospital. I stayed with Danny’s family every evening until my grandmother came home from work. It became our habit to take long walks along the meandering river trail every evening. One night we heard a strange voice coming across the river. As we listened closely, we found out it was Simon’s brother, Thaddeus. He had come to take Simon’s pottery and Chloe’s candles to the shops and flea markets in town, because their skin was so sensitive to the bright sunlight neither of them drove a car. He would bring the family groceries and other things that they needed, as well as their profits from the art they sold. Funny though, Thaddeus was not a Little Person or an albino; in fact, he was about six feet tall, towering over Simon by at least three feet. We also found out that Chloe home-schooled the children. Simon made his pottery in their shed during the day, so that he could spend time with his family in the evening.
Abigail McGaha: Slab
For months, we listened as the happy family worked and played in the firelight, until one horrible night. The neighbor on the other side of Simon and Chloe, Mr. Jack Duvall, started letting his three big dogs, two German shepherds and a large shaggy mixed breed, run at night. The dogs became a pack, and they would attack and kill any other animal they came upon. Other cats, dogs, and wild animals were found shredded all over the neighborhood. There had been complaints, but when the sheriff came out the dogs were already conveniently put back in their pens. Soon the dogs began to come into Simon and Chloe’s yard, too. Danny and I heard them barking wildly one night. We watched as Simon grabbed a stick and defended his family against the snapping, slobbering trio. He may have been short, but his arms were strong from working his clay. He blocked and jabbed like a martial artist using a bow staff, until the dogs ran away. The dogs, however, were relentless and returned several other nights to harass the family. After there had been a torrential downpour for several days in a row, the sky finally cleared and gave way to a pleasant moonlit night with a slight breeze. The family was so happy to be outside: we could hear the children playing hide and seek. Lorianna was “it.” “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ready or not, here I come,” she shouted. “Leander, I see you behind that trash can.” “Aw, you found me too fast,” Leander said. Lorianna searched and searched, but she couldn’t find Giuseppe. He was hidden too well.
Sara Elliott: Battered Feeling
Lauren Bolton: Diatom
the River “Olly, olly, in come free,” Lorianna called.
After a while, Simon and Chloe began their normal walk along the riverbank. When Danny and I heard the dogs’ ferocious barks and growls, we wanted to know what was happening. As we started through the grass, we heard Simon scream, “Leander, hurry, get the kids inside, hurry!” Leander quickly picked up Ambrielle, and Lorianna grabbed up Giuseppe. They ran as fast as they could. With all of them inside, Leander shut the door just in time. The dogs, which were right behind them, hit the door with a loud THUD. The vicious canines came after Simon and Chloe next. Simon fought them off using his long stick, but one of them eventually got around him and started toward Chloe. She was so frightened that she didn’t watch where she was going and slipped and fell over the edge of the embankment. Her piercing scream scared the dogs away. As she was hanging on the side, Simon tried to grab her and pull her up, but her hands were so muddy that he couldn’t hold onto her. She slipped down the cliff and fell into the roaring storm surge below. Chloe screamed “Simon!” as the water carried her small body downstream like a misplaced plastic doll caught in the rapidly moving water. Simon was screaming “Chloe! Chloe!” as he ran toward the bridge. On the other side of the river, Danny and I ran to help, too. As we passed our neighbors, we screamed, “Call the police, a lady fell into the river.” Law enforcement and volunteers searched for days, but they never found her body. Although we met Simon for the first time that night, we felt his pain and devastation immensely, and we wanted to do something to help. We went to visit Simon and the children several times in the next week. They seemed so lost; Chloe was the glue that held the family together. Ambrielle cried all the time now. Giuseppe whined and complained about everything. Lorianna and Leander couldn’t concentrate on their school work. Simon had not even created one piece of pottery since the accident. The next week, Simon asked us if we could lend a hand with the children while he worked, and since we were out of school we agreed.
Kitty Dough: Seven Deadly Sins
Our Secret Across the River After we had watched them about two weeks, Simon came over with the children all wrapped up to protect them from the sun. He asked if we could watch them overnight. Danny’s mom cooked dinner, and we all played games. Lorianna fed Ambrielle her bottle. Leander bathed Giuseppe and himself. Danny and I read Pokey Little Puppy to Giuseppe and Ambrielle. After the children had their baths and were tucked into bed, Danny and I went out for our nightly stroll. As we passed their home, we heard Simon talking to someone and decided to look and see who it was. We pushed back the tall grass, and our hearts almost stopped because Simon was standing by a table with a statue of Chloe on it. She was perfect! Simon was reading from a book and throwing things into the fire that made it shimmer and give off sparks. Danny said, “He just wanted to say goodbye.”
over the next morning to get the children, and there were plenty of happy tears and laughter. When Simon introduced us to Chloe, strangely, we felt as if we already knew her. A couple of days later, we read in the paper that Chloe had been found in a nearby hospital with amnesia. Of course, that isn’t what really happened. Mr. Duvall received a warning about his dogs, and we never saw or heard them running loose again. At the end of the summer, both Danny and I went off to college. Although we remain friends to this day, we never saw Simon, Chloe, and their children again. We have kept our secret about that strange transformation by the river. Now that you know the truth, you won’t tell anyone, will you?
“It is so sad. He didn’t even have her body to bury.” Then Simon went into the house and came out with Chloe’s dress, jewelry, and hair brushes. He dressed the clay Chloe and put jewelry on her. Next, he took the hair from her brushes and put it on the head of the sculpture. Once again, he read from the book. “Come forth, Chloe, just like Lazarus,” he said, as he threw some more things into the fire. Then he tenderly put lipstick on the figure’s lips. As I watched, I began to cry, and I could hear Danny sniffing too. With his own tears shining in the light, Simon bent down and kissed the statue of his wife. He looked down at her likeness and began to wail loudly. His tears were falling all over her face. He kissed her again gently and slowly as if he was doing so for the last time. All of a sudden, he jerked back as if he had been struck by lightning and looked at her. He touched her lips, which were becoming soft, warm, and pink instead of stone cold. He put his arms around her hard body, picked it up slightly, and kissed her long and deeply like when they first met. She slowly came alive in his arms! They held each other closely in the glowing firelight next to the river that they loved. Astounded by what we had seen, Danny and I went back to his house without saying a word to each other. We just held hands, so tightly. Simon and Chloe came
Sofia Fonseca: Molecular Cell
Hanna Lebedynska: Hidden
The Ties That Bind Brande McCleese
You want to put a spell on me Like your name is Nina or you Can conjure the blues greats But I’m immune. My people talk the fire out of burns read dreams, gulp fire water and see dead people. There is no magic you can weave strong enough to break generations of bonds Or to rip the ties that bind Sarah and Lymon’s blood coursing through these veins. My people wove dreams from land ripe with cotton, scuppernong vines and sweet potatoes. They poured sweat into the future and brought forth their own brand of magic.
The Invasion Aaron Bass
The enemy is coming, snow. Preemptively governors declare a total state of emergency in Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey. Washington D.C., the heart of our nation, is shut down. Across eastern seaboard and westward, over Appalachian and Ozark, owners alike of business, school, and household salt sidewalk and threshold in ritual. Soon slight white soldiers parachute down invading all. First cars halt. Then trains halt. Postmen renege vows and supply lines sever. Office workers turn refugee in swiftly overthrown cities. On wall-mounted TVs top meteorologists update predictive models of invasion force strength and front lines float across green screen maps while weathermen make worn out jokes. Jack Frost’s forces will fall by the millions – no billions – stacking bodies by the foot as they march overland.
Katelyn Joseph: Endless
Through cover of night temperatures drop dramatically winds warble with air raid siren sincerity boughs break (but cradles don’t fall) and houses – in their roles as storage hubs as entertainment centers as sleeping quarters – grow wizened ice-beards and imperceptibly become homes again, bulwarks against winds, ancient fortresses against elements. Soundlessly the snow stops and high above D.C. from a view few see tenement buildings and high rises encased in white marble silent as sepulchers in God’s cathedral venerate the Great Creator better than the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception ever could. A shrine of itself to itself. Pure. By morning plow trucks push back against icy occupation and supplies are soon stocked back on store shelves bereft of precious milk and bread. Winter’s manna won’t feed anything but the gutters which run thick with holy ordnance while little children make effigies from heaps of heaven’s infantry.
Numb Maria Sutton
You’ve felt this way for far too long The pain inside so real, so raw You don’t know how to feel better And your friends, they try to help you Just have a little faith, they tell you But they don’t know There’s hope in every situation Even if you’re holding on by a thread There’s always hope This feeling won’t last forever I know things could be better But you’re gonna make it You’re gonna make it through And I know you’re feelin’ numb Like you’re crumblin’, comin’ undone ‘Cause life is tough Life is tough, but so are you Determined not to down a bottle ‘Cause as it’s said in a teenage romance novel “Pain demands to be felt” Although I may not know what you’re going through I am still here for you We don’t even have to speak This feeling won’t last forever I know things could be better But you’re gonna make it You’re gonna make it through And I know you’re feelin’ numb Like you’re crumblin’, comin’ undone ‘Cause life is tough Life is tough, but so are you
Please, listen to me It’s so easy To push away the people that love you And I know, it’s not easy To push away the darkness, find your way back to the light There’s not a clear path to follow but somehow Somehow you’ll make it home Just hang in there ‘til the clouds disappear ‘Til the storm simply goes away This feeling won’t last forever I know things could be better But you’re gonna make it You’re gonna make it through And I know you’re feelin’ numb Like you’re crumblin’, comin’ undone ‘Cause life is tough Life is tough, but so are you There’s hope in every situation Even if you’re holding on by a thread There’s always hope
LainE Lionheart: Merci Monet
Nica Time Lauren Bolton
Last fall, while rushing to anatomy class, I caught a glimpse of a poster on a bulletin board in a stairwell. It was a flier for the study abroad program at College of The Albemarle, with a picturesque image in the background. I thought to myself, â€œOh wow, Nicaragua . . . that sounds nice!â€? and kept on up the stairs, not giving it a second thought. I automatically assumed that, as a half-time student and full-time waitress, I could neither find time for such an extravagant excursion nor afford it monetarily. Little did I know that, in just a few short months, I would in fact be in Nicaragua on the trip of a lifetime, one that would challenge my perspective and create a new appreciation for the blessings I have.
Hanna Lebedynska: Resolute
The dates were set for December 28th through January 5th, and I couldnâ€™t have been happier to escape yet another brutal winter on the Outer Banks. What I was most excited about, however, was that this was a service trip. This experience seemed like the perfect bridge to explore our world and myself. I had always wanted to participate in a program like this due to the core nature of it; now I was being presented with the chance to do so. Apart from the colonial city of Granada with its many tourist attractions, colorful architecture, and lively nightlife, most of the areas we visited were rural and poverty-stricken. In our first outing into the communities,
Bettie Lowe: Along the River Bank
we visited Los Fierros in the Managua Department. We traveled through the urban areas near where we were staying until the tin and concrete makeshift homes became miles apart. We finally made it to our turn off the highway, where we began the tumultuous ride down a one-lane dirt road with nothing between us and the very long drop to the mountain floor. Almost at our destination, I began to notice curious heads and eyes peering out windows and open doors. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the community leader and at least ten or so people. We toured one womanâ€™s home which was no bigger than your standard bedroom and was one of the few homes in the community to have a compliant bathroom. She was very grateful and proud to show off her humble home, and I could tell there was a lot to learn and do. We walked further up the mountain to where their reservoir sat and learned about the clean water disparity that plagues most of these rural communities in Nicaragua. Despite having water in the reservoir, the walls were showing signs of corrosion, thus contaminating what little water they did have. A cistern system is in the works, and, with the help of Panorama, the service expedition company we traveled with, and the labor of the community members, eight hundred people will eventually have access to clean drinking water. Later in our trip, we returned to Los Fierros one last time to harvest coffee and aerate smaller coffee plants to ensure a bountiful harvest. Working closely with this community, side by side, we got to hear many stories, and we had many more laughs and even some tears. One little girl in particular, Stephania, was a young lady with lots of spunk. She was so excited we were there. Despite our having serious economic conversations about how much poverty she lived in and how badly they needed clean water, all she could do was play and laugh. Her curiosity was remarkable in that, even with our language barrier, we still found ways to communicate in lots of broken phrases, giggles, and clapping games with Nica nursery rhymes I mumbled the words to. Her fiery eyes and spirit in the face of adversity gave me hope for a brighter future for her and children like her.
Lisa LeMair: Walking Necklace 1
Anna Doll: Positano Beach Tiles
The Nicaraguan people were my favorite part of this journey. Not a place or an activity – the people. They are so deeply rooted into their community, family, and faith that, despite having next to nothing, they have everything they need to be content. They were so welcoming, gracious, and generous, that I felt at home any place I went. Everywhere I traveled, I was greeted with a warm smile and a curiosity I’m not used to in the States. Back home, we are all trapped in our bubbles: our houses, our cars, our phones, communicating with family, neighbors, and strangers minimally. There are no comfort zones in Nicaragua; merchants approach you at every turn, tightly-crammed chicken buses bustle through on their commute, and the many feral beggar dogs meander around the masses looking for food, all coming together amidst the chaos to create a vibrant collective landscape of community and kinship. It seems people spend real time with one another there, a lot of the time out of necessity, but mostly because they want to. All over I saw gatherings of people and tables lining the streets and sidewalks for blocks at a time to share food and conversation. Community was a big theme that kept flashing in my mind, and I think we could all learn and benefit a lot from this custom of joining together more often.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This adage, while clichéd, is a pensive statement regarding the overall feeling I got while abroad. Despite the garbagepeppered streets and landscapes, I saw paradise; despite the overwhelmingly destitute population, I saw happiness. Despite all the undesirable manifestations, I saw the opportunity to make a difference. There was beauty in all of these unexpected places. Seeing Third World conditions for the first time was a powerful, humbling experience. You know these situations and people exist from reading about them or seeing it on TV or National Geographic, but to hear their stories, see their smiles, and feel their embrace, you realize that these people are just like you. Had they have been born in the same zip code, they’d be your neighbors, family, and friends. This experience has really opened my eyes to different possibilities for my future and strengthened my resolve. I’ve always wanted to help people, but lacked the skills and resources to do so. As I continue my education as a prospective RN, I hope to graduate soon with the intentions of traveling to developing countries and using my medical skills to aid those without access to basic medical care. Offering our time is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give, and I don’t plan to waste any of it.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are many other facets to appreciate. The weather, the weather, lots of plants, and the weather. This climate is ideal, for me anyway. I’m not too enthusiastic about seasonal changes. Hot all the time is perfect, and that’s exactly what Nicaragua is. Hot. Although, due to the high altitude in places like Monte Tabor where we spent most of our time, it got quite chilly in the late nights and early mornings. The mountainous terrain was breathtaking; with all the diverse, lush greenery and rolling hills, I couldn’t believe it was real sometimes. While the Outer Banks does have a palm tree or two, it cannot compare to the tropical beauty Nicaragua radiates.
Naomi Michelle: 180
Untitled Michael Temple People in hell want ice water People submerged in ice water long for dry land People on dry land long for the sea But as for me See I long for you I long for your smile I long for the sun to set on the backs of both our eyelids and for it to rise with each “good morning” I long for two slivers called crescents to become intertwined I want to be as full as the moon I want to leave the whole galaxy howling Because I see the moon and the moon Sees me I long for you I long for your touch Like a vinyl record praying for the needlepoint to drop The grooves will still be the same Carved rigid Collecting dust waiting, for that fine, minute pinprick to set the sound in motion. to caress every contour, creating a secret symphony similar but linear to the one you’d thought you had forgotten, the same one that you knew you never could. My finest orchestration. You see, the taste never leaves your tongue although the flavor is blotted from your memory. Like your favorite dish. I was best served cold. People in heaven long for postcards. People on earth long for an ultimatum. Here I am in the intermittent zone Longing for a release If the devil is in the details then God is in fine print.
LainE Lionheart: Les Demoiselles d’Soleil
Natalia Titenkova: Orbit
The feelings this exchange generated lowered my energy, and the world felt really shallow to me, as if no one genuinely cared for anyone else. Eventually I managed to deep-breathe myself to calmness. (Going to yoga and meditation class has its benefits.) It seemed like the right moment to let Pastor Johnson’s words ring loud and clear: “Those who give with all their heart also receive likewise …” That is the law of Karma, the ultimate balancing equation of life.
Karma Sudeepa Pathak
It was a cold dark December night matching in every way with my mood. In fact, I almost felt depressed. It seemed as if the people present in my life were the reason I loved my laptop more than I loved the human race. Around 8 p.m., I was surprised to see my mobile ring and Mom’s name flashing. “Hi Mom. Everything good?” “Yes Mark, I am fine. It just dawned on me to remind you to keep at least 500 dollars separate for your sister’s birthday gift this year. Don’t forget the expensive North Face jacket and shoes which she gifted you on your birthday last year.” The blood in my veins throbbed, and the angry banter that my heart screamed was thankfully not audible. Really Mom, do you realize your son is 34 years old and manages to teach mathematics to at least eight college classes each year? Really Mom, since when has a birthday become a trade exchange between rivals so that one must keep tabs on the cost value of gifts? Really Mom, why do we even have relations any more when the joy and togetherness of family and friends do not even exist? But these thoughts did not mean I was going to hurt my one and only mother. “Yes Mom,” I replied. “I will take care of it.”
By 9 p.m. I was back on my favorite laptop. There were eleven unread emails, and I reluctantly started to glance through them. The last one was from my insurance agent Dustin at Farm Bureau – I seemed to get an email from him every month. This one was repeating his last conversation requesting me to consider changing my short-term life insurance to long-term life. He reiterated that short-term would expire at 68 years of age, but long-term can be held on to till death. The perks, he said, were half a million dollars to next of kin and a constant unchanging payment of 300 dollars a month, regardless of my health or age. Half a million dollars sounded like a lot, the value of my life … half a million! But a question popped up: Who was I planning on leaving it for? My future wife … my future children … my future for which I must dish out 300 dollars each month from my meager instructor’s salary. All this effort so that someone else will enjoy half a million. It made me nervous, and I once again had to resort to deep breathing. (Thanks yoga, you are coming in handy today, I thought.) With a certain amusement, I remembered Pastor Johnson’s words: “Those who care for others are cared for likewise …” That is the law of Karma, the ultimate balancing equation of life. Now the clock showed 10 o’clock. Sleep was far away from my horizon, and so television was a breath of fresh air. I surfed like crazy and finally settled down for a local channel which showed a family drama that was so unbelievable I soon felt I was losing my sanity. Then an advertisement came on for Matrimony.com, and it sure caught the attention of this lonely single man. The marketing woman for Matrimony.com was advising all the unmarried lot about the perks of preparing oneself for a good match – or maybe she meant a good catch. A stable job, well-maintained health, a home and a neat car might not be absolutely necessary, but they were assets to mention while filing forms for a future spouse.
Really? Since when have marriage proposals become high-class business partnerships where the stability and financial status of partners are good for the growth of the company? The thought of what might happen if two years into marriage I lost my job or god forbid got a bulging pot belly was disturbing. The thought of my wife racing out of our home made my heart beat even faster, and I had to deep-breathe and deep-breathe to calm my nerves. The words of Pastor Johnson mocked me once more: “We must invest ourselves in our relations so that our life runs smoothly.” That is the law of Karma, the ultimate balancing equation of life … though I am sure Pastor Johnson did not mean it so materialistically. I was seriously losing my ability to acquire any kind of joy on this morbid day and was calling for an end of activities when I thought of checking the mail on the table. Something caught my eye – one of those stray letters from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The letter talked about the immensely important work they do at no expense to parents and requested donations from all those who care … This made me seriously stop, and in a second’s decision I wrote a check for a thousand dollars to post the next day for this charity. I had forgotten all about the incident when, a week later, I received a hand-written letter from the director of St. Jude. A smile played on my face when I saw what the last line of the letter said: “Thank you, Mr. Mark Joyner, for this wonderful gift of love for the children of St. Jude. I am sure that wherever you are you will receive love back in abundance. After all, this is the law of Karma, the ultimate balancing equation of life.”
Karma Natalia Titenkova: Mystery of a Black Hole
Amber Baggette: Fragile
Walking the Twisted Black Forest Autumn Demartino
One day, I woke up and found myself In the middle of a dark forest. I could see nothing in the shadows of The dense black trees, and all was Blurred by a thick cold fog. I could not find even the tiniest Star of light in this night-black forest. So dark, so quiet, so isolated … I wanted nothing more than to Be out of it, of course. I stumbled onwards through twisted roots, But the forest never changed … Until I found myself in its very center. Maybe I was so tired I never saw it, Maybe it was purposely lurking Among the darkest shadows … But suddenly my balance was stolen, My feet sliding in crumbling dirt, And I fell …
Fell into a deep dark hole In the heart of the deep dark forest. Oh, did I ever try to climb out! But the muddy walls were unrelenting, And I just slid back down again … There is no logic to this dark, cruel place. One day I found myself slowly, cautiously Climbing out of the hole. I expected it to snatch me back so many times, It the hunter and I the prey. But there I was again in the outskirts Of the black forest. I know not when or how I will get lost there again, Only that it is possible because This forest and hole are a part of me. No one wants to find themselves here But know for those of us who have, We didn’t have a choice in the matter.
Black Phoenix Veronica Downing
Darker than theory Created to contradict Trivial, within reason Among the masses, ousted Yet, a revival, a birth, a beginning Unearthed diamonds, polished and refined We shine like gold, the very wealth this nation has exploited. America must have been blind, the day it decided that it needed to add a few more colours to the traditional red, white and blue, for it to be beautiful Because now it has realized its mistake, and it quakes at the chance to “erase that stain.” So, what have we to gain? Plowed down from this earth, as a farmer would a withered crop As a potter would a broken vessel As a physician would a stillborn child Yet, as our Heavenly Father spoke life into this earth, I say … Arise! From the ashes, arise Glorious bird of rage! The sun cannot match your fury 1000 years of torment is extinguished With one clap of your wings Burning with the desire to set the captives free Ascend to the Heavens, until your passion is clearer than the stars at night Black in various shades, reflect us coming out into the light recognize, respect us we will be silent no more! No chain or cage can hold us back any longer, We are blind to your truths, we are deaf to your lies. Fear not, for you are not opponents us but life lessons … meant to bridge the gap between our tarnished past and enlightened future. The power to grow fragrant roses from concrete lies within us all Only one need make the decision To RISE.
George Hackett: Held Back
I want to scream I love you down the well of your throat To hear the words resound and rarefract Off the walls of your esophagus In your own tone and timber So that they may resonate with me For the rest of my unnatural life I want to chain you To the radiator in my ribcage So that you never get too far from me I want to make you happy Call me a hedonistic heathen I want you to give me an ultimatum Judge, jury, executioner It’s all about time and the faith that you lose The way you tread The distance in your gait The way your hips would sway like an hourglass Trickling Trickling Trickling out of time My ball and chain Hold me down Anchor me and halt my pacing Pacing legs My northern wind Take me south for the winter And warm my splintered, Frigid bones Words on parchment mark our days here Time The inevitable growth And decay Of all things under the sun Hand movements track our decomposition As flora and fauna sprout from the earth Beneath my feet Twirling Twirling Into the churning abyss
Anna Keaton: Untitled
The Mercy of Wood
I buried that girl from Michigan in a place like this. Never-ending silva that seem to reach the heavens only affording slivers of sunlight to pierce the forest floor like warm pockets you happenstance on while swimming in a lake during the height of summer. She was a young girl who once thought all the power of the universe was inside her. Emerald eyes, hands that were ice cold, and she could breathe fire that girl. She climbed every tree in her family and extended Clan’s woodland. Until she didn’t. It is a rarity to have a few hours of down time with my teenage daughter. Time for just her and I with no phones, activities, appointments, homework, or chores. So, when Genevieve asked me to go for a walk on the trail behind College of The Albemarle one October afternoon, I happily and eagerly agreed. We meandered along for some time, then my daughter passed me and
confidently took the lead. She casually turned back and tossed me a sweet, sly smile. I couldn’t help but compare all that was around me with all that I once was, all that I presently have, and all that I am. The cold darkening veil of the bosk, the sweet decay, sprinkled with light from the late-day sun. I’m eyeing the path and notice a massive tree stump. It’s the perfect place for me to take a little rest. As my fingertips hover over the rings of the tree trunk I’m sitting on, I can’t seem to take my eyes off a new tree in the making, so small yet demanding. The origin of us all – akin to a seedling. A microscopic essence sheltered in the palm of wonderment until the winds of time whisper in a being’s heart. With any luck, the tree will flourish in the spring of its life. Bending and contorting during the temperamental highs and lows of its youngest days, yet ever growing. Upward. Amber Baggette: Untitled
In what seems like the never-ending summer of life, it will flourish endlessly – every new leaf, twig, and ring in the tree’s trunk affords the universe power. Some trees live and die in groups – massive forests, or small clusters of three or four. Others will forever stand alone. Some slowly kill anything that comes near them. Some trees are transplanted, some know yearly flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts. Some trees are nothing but knots, and others rot from the inside out or the root upward. It is used and abused by every being with four or two legs for almost everything. It is in money, doors, walls, floors, stairs, furniture, paintings, and musical instruments. We burn it and keep others out with it; we frame our smiling faces with it, eat on it, sit on it, sleep on it, read on it, write on it, wipe ourselves with it, make love on it, pray on it, weep on it, kneel on it, murder each other with it, and some of us will be buried in it. As the days grow shorter, fall is fleeting. The tree is dropping dead weight, reserving energy for the bitterly cold months during the winter of its existence.
Elif Kan: Bird
My breath catches in my chest and I casually wipe away a tear. I stand and stretch, ready to resume my lazy heartwarming hike with my daughter. I reach out to that space between my shadow and my soul. That place where my four children found me crouching in the corner imbued in the umbra. Genevieve smiles as she extends her always warm hand to mine and pulls me forward. Upward. They raped that little girl from Michigan, so I laid her down on the forest floor and ripped her soul into confetti then tossed her into the wind like seeds, so she would take root and become the woman I am. No matter what is destroyed – it starts anew. We are all seedlings from the trees of Life. We are all the everlasting Mercy of Wood.
Ljupka Vuchevska: Inlay
Wordsmith Brande McCleese Some people say they’re just words Like words aren’t perfectly formed arrows Shot from lips, pens and fingertips As if only sticks, stones and bullets are capable of inflicting pain. They think words don’t bruise souls or tear down self-esteem. They probably don’t even read since they can only see “just words.” Words form sentences, breathe life into characters, and create worlds Words lay the cornerstone of communication Tell your story, pour out your feelings all over this world cause The world needs more storytellers. More imagination. More words. Some people don’t respect the power of words until they are directed towards them.
Olha Fidyk: Coffee Cup
In Defense of Pirates Noah Carroll
The West Indies Pirates of the early 1700s were not the ruffian vagabonds that the British Empire made them out to be. These allegations have been used to create the fictional stereotype of barbaric and drunken sailors with little to no intelligence. Instead, the life of piracy is one that is rich in history. It is a tale that parallels the beginnings of our country as a free nation with its bylaws, and a fight for freedom from the tyrannical British Empire. These seafaring men and women attempted to colonize and establish free nations, devised strict codes of conduct, and believed that all races were entitled to their God-given rights. These roving sea dogs were not just plunderers. They actually believed in freedom, selfrule, and equality. The historical account of the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1730) can be better understood when one can differentiate between the various types of sea marauders. Peter Leeson’s book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates gives a good explanation of these terms: pirates, privateers, corsairs, and buccaneers. Pirates are described as completely lawless crews that would randomly loot merchant vessels for their own gain. Privateers could be called “legal” pirates, in that they were hired by one country to prey upon a rival in time of war. They were required to give a good portion of the plunder to the hiring country and owner of the ship, while keeping a smaller portion for themselves. Corsairs would victimize ships based upon religious affiliation. (The Barbary corsairs are a good example of this.) While privateers and corsairs were not typically thought of as outlaws, buccaneers did have that distinction. Although they were not licensed by Britain, they were invited to help guard Jamaica against Spain in the event of a retake. The first buccaneers were French wild-game hunters who settled on Hispaniola and would commit piracy if the booty was financially appealing. These buccaneers moved to Spanishpossessed Tortuga, but they were not welcomed. Spain attempted to drive them off the island by killing off the animals that they thrived on. The stubborn buccaneers dug in their heels and turned to hunting Spanish shipping instead.
Most true pirates had seafaring experience with a majority having sailed on merchant ships, and grudgingly having served as privateers for the British Empire. It is known that it could be the Devil to work as a merchant or navy sailor at the time. The long hours of work on a small ship with little to eat and a tyrannical captain were no easy journey. In addition, they were often never fully paid for their service. In contrast, pirates worked better hours and were well fed by the captain whom they elected. The pay was better in that some men were able to retire from piracy after just one catch (Leeson 6-8). These differences and a zeal for life at sea were enough to persuade many sailors to become pirates. That and the fact that some pirates were known Jacobites who supported the Stuart Royal family instead of the Hanover Royal family. For all their wandering ways and proclaiming they came from the sea, pirates did attempt to colonize and establish free nations, albeit floating ones. St. Mary’s Island on the continent of India, Tortuga Island in the Caribbean, and Nassau, Bahamas were wellknown pirate strongholds. In the 18th Century, absolute monarchy was the government of choice for most of the world. Pirates, being rebels, exercised a more independent constitution. As Leeson notes, pirate ships were operated much like a constitutional republic. Pirate crews would elect their captain by popular vote. They also used a system of checks and balances much like the United States Constitution. If a captain abused his power, he would be swiftly impeached and a new one would be elected (29-32). Marcus Rediker’s book Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age tells of how “Calico” Jack Rackham was promoted from quartermaster to captain when Charles Vane ran from a French man-o-war. Vane’s crew charged him with cowardice. Being merciful, the crew impeached Vane and set him and sixteen of his supporters out to sea on a sloop (115). Hence, we see a prime example of a constitutional republic’s inner workings.
Amber Baggette: Handyman’s Tools
Even though the Golden Age pirates lived under the Jolly Roger, and obeyed no country’s rules, they were not entirely lawless. It is hard to imagine a roundtable discussion betwixt a pirate captain and his crew regarding the strict criteria of discipline and self-control. However, each pirate crew would frame and roger up to a stringent set of laws. These by-laws controlled pirate vices such as, gambling, tobacco and liquor use, fighting, and even banned bringing female company aboard for entertainment. In Captain Charles Johnson’s 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, the articles that governed the ship of Captain Bartholomew Roberts are listed. A few of the most astounding ones, Old English style, are listed here: • “No person is to game at Cards or Dice for Money.” • “The Lights and Candle to be put out at eight a-Clock at Night: If any of the Crew, after that Hour, still remained enclined for Drinking, they were to do it on the open Deck.” • “No striking one another on board, but every Man’s Quarrels to be ended on Shore, at Sword and Pistol.” • “The Musicians to have Rest on the Sabbath Day, but the other six Days and Nights, none without special Favour.”
In addition, pirates had a system of disability insurance for injured sailors. Roberts’s ninth article states that “If . . . any Man should lose a Limb, or become a Cripple in their Service, he was to have 800 Dollars, out of the publick stock, and for lesser Hurts, proportionately.” A loss of limb, depending on whether it was a leg or arm, paid various amounts of compensation. For the loss of an arm, a sea dog was paid five Pieces of Eight, and for the loss of a leg, ten Pieces of Eight. There was at least one unnamed crew that these disability payments continued as long as the pirate stayed with the ship. It states that, “He that shall have the Misfortune to lose a Limb, in Time of Engagement, shall have the Sum of one hundred and fifty Pounds Sterling, and remain with the Company as long as he shall think fit” (Leeson 62-63). Interestingly enough, all the pirates onboard would swear to these articles on a Bible, if there happened to be one handy. If not, a sword or hatchet would do. Taking all of these laws into effect, these wild and ruthless bandits lived a fairly unified and organized life. Most pirate crews also tended to view other races as their equals. This view was unheard of in the 17th and 18th centuries. In The Invisible Hook, Leeson states that some pirate captains extended the same rights and privileges
Lisa LeMair: Glacier (Twilight)
to their black members that their white counterparts enjoyed. All crew members earned the same amount of coin, no matter their race. He tells of a “Blackbeard” captive, Henry Bostock, who witnessed the treatment of black pirates aboard Edward Teach’s ship. Bostock said: “Rewards and incentives therefore appear to have been based on an individual’s ability to function effectively within the pirate crew rather than on skin color” (Leeson 164). In addition, if a runaway slave happened to cross paths with pirates, he was usually offered membership. Women were also granted a sort of suffrage in the pirate constitutions. There were four known female Anglo-American pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy. Two of these women – Anne Anne Bonny and Mary Read – dressed as men to disguise themselves. They both sailed on “Calico” Jack Rackham’s crew. Anne Bonny also happened to be Rackham’s lover; she had met him down in the Bahamas and wound up joining his crew. Mary Read, at the time, sailed on a merchant ship that was captured by Rackham, and she opted to join “Calico” Jack on his escapades. Eyewitness prisoners aboard the Revenge said that both women were vital parts of the crew and willing to do anything the men did. Once Rackham’s ship came under attack by a privateer sloop, and the women fought off the invaders who had boarded. Meanwhile, Jack and most of his crew were somewhere below deck, drunken and hiding (Cordingly 59). These accounts prove that even though pirates could be rowdy ruffians, they had empathy for people who were not considered equals in most cultures.
In Defense of Pirates While it is true that pirates were a roguish bunch that looted, murdered, drank profusely, and lived an allaround illegal lifestyle, they did have an ethical code of governance. This floating republic attempted to establish free nations, framed codes of conduct, and offered equality to people who faced prejudices. All of this took place at a time when monarchies ruled the world, and well before Thomas Jefferson penned the United States Declaration of Independence and America adopted the Bill of Rights. Although pirates were called the “Villains of All Nations,” there were many accounts of pirates being saved from execution by supportive crowds. These rescuers seemed to view the pirates as rebellious heroes, people who would fight for a society free from imperial rule. Such ambiguities make the pirate republic a treasure chest of rich history – one well worth exploring.
Works Cited Cordingly, David. Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates. New York, Random House, 1995. Leeson, Peter. The Invisible Hook: The Hidde Economics of Pirates. New Jersey, Princeton UP, 2009. Rediker, Marcus. Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age. Massachusetts, Beacon Press, 2004. Roberts, Bartholomew. Pirate code, Articles III, IV, IX, XI. Royal Rover, West Indies, 1719.
Hanna Lebedynska: Untitled
Biographies Amber Baggette Amber Baggette is a visual artist in Elizabeth City, NC. She is fascinated with the human mind and body; most of her work represents a certain aspect of this fascination. She is pursuing her associates degree in Fine Arts at College of the Albemarle. Aaron Bass Aaron helps students with essays and resumes as the Writing Center Coordinator of College of The Albemarle’s Elizabeth City campus. Lauren Bolton Lauren Bolton attended Northern Virginia Community College and National Massage Therapy Institute in Falls Church, VA earning a degree as a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Sports Medicine. Lauren moved to the Outer Banks in 2013 and is currently enrolled in College of the Albemarle’s Associate Degree Nursing program. Noah Carroll Noah is a student at College of The Albemarle. He is pursuing an Associate in Fine Arts degree in hopes of pursuing a Bachelor in Graphic Arts. In his free time, he likes to draw, listen to the Cranberries, collect old comic books, study history and play his trombone. Carson Davis Carson Davis is a student in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program at College of The Albemarle. Her artistic interests are varied, including jewelry, art, poetry, music and dance. Autumn Demartino Autumn will graduate this spring with an Associate in Arts degree. From here, she will transfer to a four-year university to pursue some writing-oriented degree that will let her do some good in this world. The current idea is investigative journalism, but as Percy Shelley said, “Nought may endure but Mutability”. Anna Doll Anna Doll is graduate of the Professional Crafts Jewelry Program at COA and a resident of the Outer Banks. Her work is inspired by her travels and the natural environment. Kitty Dough Kitty Dough attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. She belongs to the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the Colored Pencil Society of America. Kitty is an artist for the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Veronica Downing Veronica is a student at College of The Albemarle.
Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is an artist in Currituck, NC who has a keen interest in exploration of her internal self. She got started with inspiration from both her mother, a creative mind, and her grandmother, a creative hand. From a young age, she was interested in the creation of art and how it could demonstrate an internal conversation so easily to the people around her. She has studied and continues to study fine art at College of The Albemarle, with the intent to graduate and become a working artist. Sofia Espinosa Sofia Espinosa Fonseca is pursuing her associates degree in Fine Arts at The Collage of the Albemarle, and hopes to become an art teacher for the Dare County Schools – she has a deep passion and love for both children and art. With her bilingual ability, she wishes to teach children to communicate better with one another through language and art. Sofia began working for Dare County Schools in 2011, as a custodian and lunch lady, and has since become a bus driver. Olha Fidyk Olha Fidyk, an international student from Ukraine, is getting her Associate in Fine Arts degree in College of the Albemarle. She was studying Computer Aided Design in her home-country. She likes both drawing and painting. Most of her art describes her feelings, expectations and dreams. Also, she tries to reflect the things and people she loves and cares about. George Hackett George Hackett, aka Gerg, is an art student currently pursuing an Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts degree at College of the Albemarle. Gerg’s works are typically two-dimensional. He hopes to study animation and filmmaking at a four-year university. Yiyi Han Yiyi Han uses both two-dimensional and threedimensional approaches to create visual communication with viewers. Having the experience of living in Eastern and Western cultures has influenced her art works. Knowing a material’s capabilities and limitations allows her to have a unique understanding and interpretation. Cindy Hayes Cindy is a writer and artist who enjoys traveling and learning new skills. She believes learning should be a lifelong endeavor. Her current goal is to visit all fifty states and see as many National Parks as possible while writing poetry and painting as she travels. Katelyn Joseph In May of 2018, Katelyn Joseph will graduate with a high school diploma and an Associate of Fine Arts. She enjoys learning about art techniques and discussing art. Her aspiration is to have her own art studio where she can conduct private art lessons.
Elif Kan Elif Kan is a wearable art and jewelry artist base on the Outer Banks. Her work is inspired by Sufism and the beauty of simplicity. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Marmara University in Turkey and is pursuing a diploma in jewelry from College of the Albemarle. Vickie Kittrell Vickie Kittrell is a student at COA and is pursuing a diploma in the Professional Crafts Jewelry program. She creates jewelry using metals, gemstones and pure seaglass. Lisa LeMair Lisa LeMair is a wearable art and jewelry artist in Southern Shores, NC. Her work is inspired by a love of texture and the tension found at the edge. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and is pursuing a diploma in Professional Crafts Jewelry from College of The Albemarle. Hanna Lebedynska Hanna Lebedynska is an international student from Ukraine. This spring she will graduate from COA with an Associate in Fine Arts degree. She is interested in painting, drawing and sculpture. Hanna likes drawing from observation. Visually, she processes a combination of both the monumental and the overlooked that surround her and transfers them onto a piece of paper: people, buildings, simple everyday objects, landscapes, nature. Through utilizing details and exercising patience, she finds each drawing is a memory and a lesson that takes her one step further as an artist. LainE Lionheart LainE Lionheart is a COA student pursuing a degree in Professional Crafts Jewelry and an Associate in Arts. She is a jane of all trades: goldsmith, painter, textile weaver, and draws inspiration from life beside the Atlantic Ocean and from a deep appreciation for the cyclical nature of trends in art and fashion. Bettie Lowe Bettie Lowe is a beginning her second career as a jeweler and artist. She is a student in the COA Professional Crafts Jewelry program. Brande N. McCleese Brande is a poet, blogger and adjunct English instructor. When she’s not traveling, writing, watching sports or crime dramas, she also loves to read, cook, bake and drink tea. Abigael McGaha Abigael McGaha is a full time art enthusiast with her Associate in Arts from College of the Albemarle. Themes in the surrealistic whimsy can be used to describe her ceramic work bringing organic form to otherwise structural pieces. She currently works in a gallery where she hopes she can further her studies in the arts.
Naomi Michelle Naomi Michelle was born in Westerly, RI in 1974. She currently is completing double majors in Fine Arts and Business Administration. At an early age, she discovered photography while traveling cross country with her family. It was not until 2010 that she explored painting. Since then she has continued to experiment with multiple mediums. Sudeepa Pathak Sudeepa teaches mathematics at College of The Albemarle. Her work “Far Away in Alisha’s Cupboard” appeared in last year’s Estuaries. Bobbi Sison Bobbi is a divorced, single mother of two children and a student at College of The Albemarle. Bobbi presently works in the medical field and would like to become a Registered Nurse by way of the Associate Degree Nursing program at COA. Maria Sutton Extremely close to completing an Associate in Arts at COA, Maria hopes to become a high school English teacher. Her favorite things include belting out harmonies to songs, allowing emotions to transform into words, and settling down in cozy chairs with a good book on rainy days. Michael Temple Michael Temple is a 20-year-old anthropology student attending COA for his Associate in Arts degree. A natural born outsider, he enjoys writing, making music, running (both cardiovascular and from his problems), and is currently employed at Food Lion and Andy’s Pancake and Steakhouse. His themes often draw off of the grit and macabre present in everyday life. Natalia Titenkova Natalia Titenkova was born in Gomel, Belarus. She currently lives in the United States and is a graduate of the Professional Crafts Jewelry program at COA. Natalia predominantly works with metals, mostly silver and copper, using various techniques to create jewelry pieces of minimalistic design with industrial style notes. Ljupka Vuchevska Ljupka Vuchevska is a jeweler and artist and is a graduate of the College of The Albemarle Professional Crafts Jewelry program.
Images on the inside cover and pages 2, 7, 15, 20, 22, 29 (bottom) and 34 by Keri Pampuch Photography.
Yiyi Han: Invaded Substrate Olha Fidyk: Untitled
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