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THE

ELM

This publication was made possible by the generous support of the

Edmunds Middle School Parent Teacher Organization The Edmunds Literary Magazine 2013

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Snowflake White little flakes, Drops of crystal art, Gracefully spinning, whirling down They are agog, jubilant, eloquent, I see them as I pass by, And they seem to wave Swirling back and forth in front of me. Up and up I go, Higher and higher every second, But moving ever so slowly. Which is good. So much to see, to love. I look around: Pine trees trapping me in, - Kendal Pace Like a jail I never want to escape from. I look down: White, almost blinding snow, Covering everything as far as the eye can see, A blanket of winter. I breathe: The crisp, cold air, freezing my nose and smelling of ice. I look up: There is the sky, Laden with white, puffy, snow-filled clouds, Selflessly giving us drops of crystal art every second. I reach the top, Guilty of crushing the beautiful crystals, I slide onto the mountain It’s cold and frigid, Do I care? I’m surrounded by flakes of art, White little flakes, Drops of crystal art, Gracefully spinning, whirling down For the world to enjoy. - Molly Higgins

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-Sofia Baah

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Dark and Cold

The ELM Staff

The world becomes dark and cold A brisk wind nips at your nose The sun scrabbles to get over the clouds It’s rays suddenly harsh and loud

Katy Ducharme – Editor-in-Chief Avery Follett, Sam Hays, Kendal Pace, Jake Weissgold – Assistant Editors

As the world becomes dreary and pale The life around us attempts to prevail

Sofia Baah – Art Director Mr. Rich Boyers - Teacher Advisor

The windows on houses shut The earth can't provide nearly enough

Cover Art by Maddie Khamnei

Note from the Editor A single elm tree stands tall and strong. A breeze slithers through its branches like a whisper, and in the soft light of twilight you can almost see a face protruding from its cracking bark. As the darkness seeps in from a distance, the tree appears to be the shadow of a person’s body. Its leaves flutter around its trunk like scattered thoughts. The rising moon behind it is its soul greeting the stars. This year’s annual issue of the Elm centers around three categories: mind, body, and soul. The Edmunds students who wrote the literary works featured in the pages ahead gave a mind, a body, and a soul to each. Every story has been carefully thought out, formed into a body of words, and had a soul breathed into it. Treasure this book because it has a life of its own.

We keep the holiday spirit alive In an effort to make the bleakness subside People hate to celebrate alone So many come back to their homes Once there, peace flies over the land like a dove Bringing forth the winter we love - Isaac Dodson

Bare The bare trees Talked through the wind Wissp Wissp Like a children's silent whisper Their amber branches Streaked with glowing white snow Blowing in the breeze Towering brown bodies Growing timelessly - Hunter Herrera

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I Am That Girl Long ago I used to have a completely different life. I had to work everyday in the blazing heat. I did not get an education, and I used a bathroom outside of our house. I was just a little girl. I was that little girl with a dying brother. I was that little girl who was afraid of the dark, I was that little girl whose daddy left her. I was many things long ago, and I am still many things today. Today I still work everyday, today I get a wonderful education, and today I get a bathroom inside my house. I am still a little girl to my mom, but I am just a girl. Not a little girl, just a girl. I am that girl who has four live, healthy and annoying brothers. I am that girl who has a father who loves her, and I am that girl who is no longer afraid of the dark. Long ago I used to have a different life than I do now. I was a girl then, I am one now, and I will always be one. - Hawa Adan

She Runs Forever She runs away from reality She doesn’t know where she is going She says she goes wherever life takes her She is unfledged She always wants to be a new person And she doesn’t know what she is doing She doesn’t know where to go She runs away from any little problem that she has Some people think that she is weak Some people say she is stronger than life She could just be irate or sad I say that she is running away from reality Leaving her life behind her Every new road is a new beginning for her Maybe someday she will cease her little journey to nowhere - Morgan Liska

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The

ELM The Edmunds Literary Magazine

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Things I Like

Table of Contents Note from the Editor - Katy Ducharme

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Introduction - Katy Ducharme

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I like to horseback ride with my best friend. I like to watch movies. I like to eat freshly-popped-at-the movies popcorn. I like to go swimming. I like to eat strawberry flavored pop tarts. - Zena Hall

Mind Clocks Drive Me Crazy! - Will Keeton

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Hands of Time - Alexandre Silberman

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Unsettling - Maria Church

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Please Don’t Leaf Me - Claire MacQueen

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Storybrook - Sofia Baah

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Six Word Stories - Yasin Abdi, Sara Schwartz, Kanani Paluba, Zoe Moskowitz, Christopher Barker, Maria Church, Marika Massey-Bierman, Sam Hays, Matthew Boisvert, Cheten Sherpa, Malin Hilleman, Jake Weissgold

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Pangrams - Kate Sheeser, Lucas Bull, Maya Homziak, Katie Young, Will Devitt, Alexandre Silberman

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I like the wind blowing through my hair on a cool autumn night, the stars bright without clouds surrounding them.

To Listen or Not To Listen - Christopher Barker

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I like to be with my friends. With laughs and voices reassuring me that everything will be okay.

I like to read. The feeling of somebody else’s story. To be able to get away from life and be someone else for a while. I like to write. My hand gliding across the page as if magic, the words flowing from my brain, to my hand, through my pencil, and onto the fresh white paper.

I like to be with my family. Through the smiles and the tears of loss, we will be there for each other through everything.

Body Body, Soul, Universe - Cat St. John-Lockridge

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Valentine’s Day - Hibo Jafar Winter’s Chill - Noorto Mohamed

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Alone - Ella Staats Sirens - Monica Leavitt

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Spiders - Hamara Mubarak Ask - Sandrine Kuoadio

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The Legend of the Brave Ones - Ellie Zweber

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The King - Suzan Hoffman

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He Is Back - Owen Krisak I Write With Blood - Ada Case

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Cold - Eli Standard Warmth - Zhou Golden

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6

I Like

I like living. Driving in a car, painting, or even going for a walk is a simple act of living. I like to be ME. Because I am not ashamed of who I am and what I want to be. - Eleshia Babcock-Hamblin

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Spirit

Rhapsody in Blue

The Rocking Chair - Emma Chaffee Riverbed - Kat Turnbull

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Hidden Shells - Ella Causer

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Sunset - Anna Halladay Flying - Nataleigh Noble

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Transitions - Katy Ducharme If Only - Mohamed Hussein

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Long Ago - Avery Follett Invisible - Delia McConnell

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Without Birdsong - Marika Massey-Bierman Free - Sydney Francois

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Rhapsody in Blue - Ben Wood-Lewis

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Things I Like - Zena Hall I Like - Eleshia Babcock-Hamblin

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I Am That Girl - Hawa Adan She Runs Forever - Morgan Liska

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Dark and Cold - Isaac Dodson Bare - Hunter Herrera

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Snowflake - Molly Higgins

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- Ben Wood-Lewis

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The ELM

Without Birdsong

I stand alone among the black silhouettes of many trees. There are no leaves or blades of grass. The creaking and whistling of the mournful wind through the bare branches is the only sound. The sky holds no colors; it is only a pale sort of gray. Yet the eerie feeling of this place was not singing with sorrow but possibility. Suddenly everything is caged by a thick, expecting silence. All is still as if the world was holding its breath. Then warm colors of red and yellow and orange began to paint themselves across the arch of the sky. The trees that were once shadows stand before me vivid with rough detail, tiny buds barely visible on their delicate branches. From somewhere hidden, bird song starts and builds from a single chirp to a tumultuous roar. Deep inside me something powerful stirs, building until I think I might explode with the feeling. Then the white sun breaks the horizon’s edge and the beast inside me quiets. But the sunrise did not silence my thunder, only reminded me of the power I hold within. One silhouette of a tree still remains, standing black against the sun like a beacon, the Elm.

Streetlights shine upon barren paths, cold flakes fall from cloudy skies, creatures feel the winter’s wrath, there are many months ‘till sparrows fly. The golden leaves of fall have gone, glistening waters of lakes passed by, no one stops to her bird song, there are many months ‘till sparrows fly. In the midst of forests deep, the full moon shines on the grey wolves cry, stars glow bright as willows weep, there are many months ‘till sparrows fly. Mountains rise above the clouds, as bears dig deep and field mice try, to save the green, and golden sound, there are many months ‘till sparrows fly. - Marika Massey-Bierman

- Katy Ducharme

Free So there you are, running down an empty dirt road to nowhere. Just running, with no care in the world. Leaving all your problems at home. Not knowing when you’ll be back or if you’ll ever be back. Just running until you feel okay, until you feel like stopping. Nobody can tell you what to do or where to go. It’s all up to you, your fate rests in your hands. Everything you do alters that fate into a new one; it will be forever changing until you die. But that’s then; right now your are running down an empty dirt road. - Sydney Francois

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Long Ago I am sitting on a boulder, waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. I am in the year 3863 and I really have no idea where I am. I am in a field of large boulders; literally, that’s all there is. For miles around, I can't see anything other than boulders. They are all placed perfectly on the soft, spongy, muddy ground; they seem like they are placed on a grid. I can't tell what this place was made for, other than I am pretty sure this is a man-made creation. I slide off the slimy boulder that I'm sitting on, and walk. That is really all I can do here. The wet, muddy ground is odd. It seems as if it was not real. I feel like I am walking on enormous sponges that are covered with slimy grass. I stop walking because I sink down about a foot deep every step you take. I rest my scraped up back against another boulder. It stings as the green slime seeps into my long, deep cuts. I don't know what to do. If I continue to walk, I will run out of breath and fall down. If I rest against a boulder, I will die of pain because of the slime. I decide to get on top of the boulder and attempt to rest, but I fall off and land on the sponge and the slime gets to me again. I yell out loud in pain, “HELP ME!” It is useless. No one will save me here, because there is no one for miles around.

Mind

- Avery Follett

Invisible It’s almost dusk. Shades of purple and pink cover the cloudless sky. As I walk down my driveway, I realize, no one can see me. I’m not quite nonexistent, but no one knows where I am. I want to go see the sunset, lie down and absorb it. I want to stay for hours and have no one tell me to leave. I sit on a tall rock until the sun disappears completely, leaving me alone with the stars. I want to stay longer, until the sun comes back up again, but I know I have things to do, and people will worry about me. I walk home, up the hill, up my driveway, into my house, into my bed. Then I sleep, deeply and dreamlessly, knowing that for a few hours, I was invisible. - Delia McConnell

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- Christopher Barker

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Clocks Drive Me Crazy!

Transitions

I hate clocks. Clocks hate me. Whenever I’m near them, time seems to slow down, each second lasting an hour. It’s like the clocks slow down just for me, trying to drive me insane. They tease me with their annoying songs. Tick. Tock. And when I’m actually enjoying myself, the second hand starts to go faster and faster, as if it’s showing me it can easily beat me in a running race. And then, instead of a second lasting an hour, an hour lasts a minute. Clocks were built to just stress people out. You always have to set times and arrange your schedule, never having free time. When I’m trying to relax, I always glance at the clock every second to make sure I haven’t wasted too much time. You always have to set a time for something—play soccer for two hours after school, get home quickly around 6:00 so you have time to do homework. Not only do clocks drive me nuts, but they stress me out. One time I was sitting on the couch trying to read my book, and I kept on looking up, glancing at the clock. I kept on glancing up, afraid I didn’t have enough time. Then I heard a voice. “Yoo Hoo!” I spun around. Who said that? I looked around. It wasn’t the chair. It wasn’t the TV. It wasn’t the lamp. “Yoo Hoo!” Wait a minute. I looked across the room. Straight at the clock. The clock had a face. The clock had big eyes, and the minute hand seemed to stop right underneath its eyes, as if it was his nose. The eyes themselves seemed to change colors, blue, red, green, purple, then green. It was like the eyes couldn’t decide which color they wanted to be. Just looking at them gave me a headache. “Oh wow, thanks. My eyes give me headaches too. You think I like that my eyes always change color,” the clock said snidely. “Wait a minute. How did you know what I was thinking?” “Well, when everyone always tells you your eyes look weird, it’s not very hard to guess what people think. Actually, you're doing better than most. Most people faint when they see me,” the clock sighed. I stared at him (or her, or it, I’m not really sure what to call a clock.) “You know, I really don’t like it when you always criticize me. It makes me feel bad. I try really hard to keep the time right. I know sometimes it is off by a few minutes, but do you really have to make it harder?”

The day was fast fading its bright colors dripping like ink from the sky as the sun sank night’s dark blanket slowly crept up the dome of the sky Then all was blackness except for the pin-prick stars There was no moon to cast its pale glow but in the nearby town streetlights shown their lonely light The wind whistled its cold, dark song and somewhere in the vastness an owl hooted Then all was still and quiet as the blackness began to slowly melt away Now everything was just a pale gray as the sun climbed the eastern mountains soon it reached the peaks and sunlight washed over everything the street lights went out one by one A rooster cried its morning song and the sky was painted with various hues of red and orange The sky changed to blue and the sun continued to scale the sky - Katy Ducharme

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If Only If only I took the shot If only I took a chance If only I gave all I got If only I got a glance If only I have fought I could have been a lot - Mohamed Hussein

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“I’m sorry, I didn't know you work that hard,” I found myself feeling bad for the clock. “It’s all right,” the clock apologized. “I just needed to tell you that. The stove clock doesn’t really pay attention. He’s too focused with his cooking. We all have interests though. I can’t blame him. I don’t try to mess up the daylight savings. But if you ever need me to slow the seconds down a little bit, just tell me,” the clock explained. “I will,” I promised. The clock smiled. “Thanks. I’ve got to go have a talk with the iphone clock; she is my partner in the hour hand debate,” he finished. His eyes turned into eleven and twelve signs, his second hand nose continued to move, and his mouth turned back into the white surface. After that, I always looked at the clock to check the time, But I didn’t blame it on the clock. I took responsibility for my own actions. - Will Keaton

Sunset Sunset Colors Flood the sky More beautiful Than a blooming flower Colors From the palest pink To the deepest red From the color Of sun-ripened wheat To the color Of a fire On a winter night Colors flow Like rushing water As colors of gold And scarlet Intertwine With a pattern So beautiful It could only be Nature The silhouette Of the mountains Stands out Bold and clear

Hands of Time The lonesome boy sits on the big town clock Reading his good book on the hands of time Pausing to watch the passersby in the street below

The light blinks out And the sunset Is

- Sofia Baah

gone.

- Anna Halladay

Flying Soar, float, drift or glide Zip, zoom, hover, flutter, arise My dream is to fly - Nataleigh Noble

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He sees the whole world in front of him The pigeons pecking at breadcrumbs in the park Men and women hurrying off to work A shaggy stray mutt in an alleyway and two fighting kids with their parents ambling down the avenue He sees the bustle of the people below and around him And sits on his clock watching time go by He laughs at the people who are always rushing around feeling the metal hour hand below him move closer to four... The boy He jumps off and hurries off to begin his day Looking back at the hands of time. - Alexandre Silberman 11


Unsettling

Hidden Shells

Alone in the house. They aren’t back yet, and you are sitting on the couch picking at the loose thread. You wonder what is taking them so long. Not being able to stand it, you rise up and begin to pace. Back and forth. From the front window all the way to the back door. Back and forth. The silence is pounding against your ears, humming and whining. You start to sing softly to yourself, to make it go away. Then suddenly you stop pacing and head toward the front hall. You can’t stay here any longer. You pull your heavy winter boots on your feet. Shrug on the winter coat and stamp outside. The cold air stings your lungs and makes your breath crystallize in the air, mingling with the snow. You walk quickly along the sidewalk. Outside it is worse. There is no one else along the street, and there are no cars driving by. The snow falls like feathers in slow motion, landing on your eyelashes and hair. You pick up your pace, wanting to get somewhere with more people, to talk with someone and ignore this silence. Why is it bothering you so much? You usually savor it, the lack of others. the sweet moment alone where you can think. But now it itches your skin and freezes your bones. You stride down the street and to an intersection. There are no cars. You feel panic in your throat and swallow it down. Almost jogging now you look for somewhere populated. The library usually has people in it. You almost run towards the door. Closed. Taking deep breaths of the frosty air you wish you had stayed in your house. Then you see someone else walking. You head over pretending to admire the view of the lake, savoring the company of this stranger. You don’t look at him, but every nerve quivers, at the company of some other living person. Now that your panic is gone you take the time to admire the silent world around you.

I have secrets in my head, A nest of promises and dread, A spinning orb of words and thoughts, Tell a single soul I’ll not, A story’s whispered, A tale is told, Truth unravels, pure as gold. A pinky promise, An “I won’t tell,” Yet, promises can break like shells, But I won’t be the one to break, A slipped word, A clever mistake, For secrets are not to be shared, I’ll zip my lips, pretend I cared, And tell anyone? I’ve never dared, For broken shells are to be spared. - Ella Causer

- Maria Church

- Ella Staats

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The Rocking Chair

Please Don’t Leaf Me

One night I sit down in my chair, I sit down and I think; This loyal chair has always been there through lives every chink. If only I could speak to it, I wonder of its ways. That night I dream my rocking chair Does indeed come to life, It comes to life and says to me; “Up and down is my whole life” “Up and down all day” “Never solid never sure, just up and down I sway.” “Up and down, all day and night, up and down I go.” “Never solid, never sure, always rocking slow” I awake and think again That it was but a dream But this dream, though just a dream Reflects all that is me. Now each time I sit in that chair that does rock, As I walk away I always make sure to check that its solidly locked. Each day I think back on The dream I dreamed that night How I once was that rocking chair Who never got to say, a word on how it felt of Going up and down all day.

Please Please don’t leaf me. All you say is we need to branch out, we wooden be good for each other. Yew Yew with your need to be poplar, Board without sprucing up everything, Sometimes, you make me sycamore. You saw this coming. You axed for it. You say You say it’s my deciduous. That I’m the root of the problem, That all I am is shady, That I should just leaf. I wooden have expected this What did you think I was fir? Your amusement? I’m stumped. But, I will go out on a limb, to try to please you, so - Ella Staats Please, Please don’t pack your trunk, Please don’t leaf me. - Claire MacQueen

- Emma Chaffee

Riverbed So many things collected and never found. A diamond ring, lost From the proposal On the old rickety bridge nearby. A penny, vanished From the hand of a young boy, On his way home from school. And finally, a key To the desolate house Just down the road. Everything never to be found again. - Kat Turnbull 32

- Maddi Evans 13


Storybrook I ran into class, tiptoeing behind Ms. Smith’s back. Perfect— there was an open seat right there . . . If I could just get there before she turned around . . . “Becca! How nice of you to join us!” Busted. “I’m sure you had a lovely morning off— care to share?” I grimaced. “You see . . . .” I sputtered, racking my brain for the best response I could think of. “I was . . . I was . . . visiting Snow White!” I mentally smacked my forehead but played along. “Yeah . . . you see . . . I was walking in the woods behind my house to get some firewood (‘cause my mom asked me to), when I came across a woman. A woman with lips red as blood . . . hair dark as ebony . . . and skin white as snow . . . . it was Snow White in case you hadn’t guessed. At least she CLAIMED it was her. She needed some help cleaning her house because the seven dwarfs were all sick in bed. I agreed to help. We cleaned for a looonnngg time— What felt like one thousand years! Sweeping and mopping. She even started singing but I told her to stop. After a little while she told me to go into the woods and fetch some . . . some herbs! Some herbs to . . . make medicine for the dwarfs. So I was walking just minding my own business, when I heard someone say my name.” I continued toward Ms. Smith, “I spun around to find a wolf— a HUGE wolf— bigger— bigger than a . . . an armchair!” Marissa snickered in the seat behind me, “Yeah, cause that TOTALLY happened . . . .” I ignored her, “And then he said, ‘You got any pie?’ But I didn’t answer because I began running— running as fast as I could from that wolf. Then . . . BAM! I slammed into a very hard little girl. ‘Oh excuse me’ she cried, her red hood revealing lovely pink cheeks and youthful pretty eyes. ‘Sorry’ I muttered. I rubbed my bruised shoulder and helped her pick up the lilies and chrysanthemums that had been scattered everywhere. I soon noticed a wonderful aroma drifted from her basket. An equation began to form in my mind . . . . Red hood+flowers+bread for grandma= Little Red Riding Hood! I stared at her until I’m almost positive she was scared away. ‘Umm . . . I need to go now . . .’ and she scampered off. And THEN it started to get weird . . . —” “—lemme guess,” Serena said dramatically, “a MAGIC CARPET swept you out of the air and carried you to school!” 14

Spirit

- Rachel Hamlin

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Cold The small boy in the dirty, ragged, torn clothes looks up at the quickly passing crowd. He leans gently on the wooden barn that had been abandoned years ago. It was just like him, abandoned. He had been left, left on the streets with nothing but the clothes he was wearing. Left alone, cold and hungry. To the people passing by, he was nothing more than a distraction, a small boy in need of help that they wouldn’t give help to . The boys large eyes, greasy hair, and dirty face were so little, yet said so much. - Eli Standard

Warmth The darkness hugged the trees like a grandfather hugging his grandchild. The sound of the wind echoed through the branches; it sounded like a sad song. As the night thickened, the wind’s song became more sad. The darkness hugged the trees tighter around our small log cabin. I turned to look at the fireplace and took in the smell of chicken soup wafting through the air around our home. The door suddenly opened and my dad walked in. He took in the smell of the soup, gave me a hug and I felt safe, safe and warm in his arms.

“No, Serena, don’t be ridiculous,” Tyler disagreed. “It was OBVIOUSLY Thumbelina!” The room erupted into giggles. “No, NO guys,” I could see Ms. Smith was trying not to smile. “You have it all wrong! That was when I came into a clearing. But not just ANY clearing. It was filled with . . . GIANT PUMPKINS!” “CINDERELLA!” “Yes, well no, Cinderella’s faerie godmother. She exploded from the biggest pumpkin and flew around me chanting and singing crazy songs! ‘Cinderella, Cinderella,’ she said in a sing-song voice, ‘I’ve been waiting for you for a long time!’ ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘I’m not Cinderella. I’m Bec—’ ‘NO,’ she yelled, getting right up in my face. ‘You ARE Cinderella!’ “Well, let me tell you,” I scoffed. “That faerie godmother is VERY scary when she’s angry! I had no choice but to obey whatever she asked of me! Whether that was to turn around . . . or to lift up my arms . . . or to hold still while she magically transformed my clothes into a gorgeous, fluffy, blue ball gown! Astonished, I twirled around in it; it was BEAUTIFUL! But my dream was short-lived. For then— the REAL Cinderella came crashing out of the woods. The faerie godmother cussed and called me names I do not wish to repeat. That was when she banished me. And I landed on my kitchen table, disoriented and confused. I rushed upstairs, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes at random— and hid the dress under my bed,” I gestured to my inside-out shirt. “As you can see, I didn’t pay that much attention to what I put on.” Turning to Ms. Smith I put my hands on my hips and talked slowly and dramatically, “And that is why, my dear Ms. Smith, I was late to school!” - Sofia Baah

- Zhou Golden

- Sofia Baah 30

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Six Word Stories

He Is Back

Twenty seconds left, here they come. - Yasin Abdi Family unit: happily together once more. - Sara Schwartz Fire blazing, terror striking, their reality - Kanani Paluba It’s the end; make it count. - Zoe Moskowitz A tight grip, hospital, and silence. - Christopher Barker

I walk out into the white land Fallen leaves crunch under my feet The sun brings warmth to my cold body Winter is back once more Like a long lost brother He is back This time with no remorse Only cold and damp days to come The peaceful silence is broken by the faint sound of geese flying south The ground is pure white But as I look up the sky is bright blue It’s as if the clouds have left the sky And joined the ground The trees have been stripped of their beautiful leaves And now look dead Just like everything around me.

Holding home-made signs, without a home.

- Owen Krisak

- Maria Church The tree falls, with no sound. - Marika Massey-Bierman The axe fell swiftly and silently. - Sam Hays Old man dies, only one cries. - Matthew Boisvert Swimming boy. Fins ignored. Red water. - Cheten Sherpa We are not broken, just bent. - Malin Hillemann Everyone is suspicious of the other. - Jake Weissgold

I Write With Blood I plan my life in poems things to do before I die sink into the sorrow of reality pour my heart and soul into the paper I write with blood life is war we are the casualties no one knows, no one cares and I disfigure my paper with bloody regrets sad truths no one wants to hear so no one listens to the girl in the corner dripping pen in hand hair hiding her eyes rocking back and forth she sees too much - Ada Case

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The King

Pangrams

There once was a king who lived abroad His followers treated him like God Because he had so much power He was a bit callous At least that’s what people said who lived in the palace All who lived under the king knew it was undisputed That the king’s rule was definitely not suited One day a peasant went out to implore Which seemed like asking for more He asked for a new king, which was brave But the guards thought not and would not let him be saved Bam! Off with his head Now this poor brave man is lying dead The people of the town raised clenched fists The only thing the man did was ask a question, they insist The king was determined to still sit on the throne But his power, it seemed, was too overgrown The poor peasant’s father needed retribution And it soon became that the king’s head was the river’s pollution. - Suzan Hoffman

(Pangram—a sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet) He wore a fuzzy, plum vest on an exquisite black and gold jacket. - Kate Sheeser

When I quickly stop boxing madly, zebras are never joyful. - Lucas Bull

A poor xoloitzcuintli quivered at the wavy ghost’s fumbled joke. - Maya Homziak

Walk in a xyst, listen to mbaqanga, the cop jiggled through via the fat zen. - Katie Young

There are lazy yaks and quiet, fun-jumping, brown vixen sand cats.. - Will Dewitt

I saw a peculiar zebra and an extraordinary, very fast jaguar stalking my quail and me while hiking. - Alexandre Silberman

- Rachel Hamlin 28

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To Listen or Not To Listen They say it is the words The slashing vituperative words They strike like a snake bite They shock like a lightning bolt They are the devastation The catastrophe The small tap of a pebble The pebble that shatters They are the words As horrific as the blast may be The silence is what hurts The silence that echos The booming echo of the blast The scars that do not heal The time ticks The spaces between each tick The hollow, lonely, hopeless space The rips and tears of the original blast They only last for that molecular moment But the debris leaves behind a seed It is the seed The seed The seed It is that planted seed that starts to grow And whispers in your head It echoes It grows It feeds Each echo you hear in your mind It is a drop of water The water gives life and growth To that tiny seed Each echo from that seed gets bigger The drops of water too

You yourself are feeding this seed Each time you listen to it This seed is a seed no more It is a form that fills your body It is all you think about Hear about Tell yourself about This form This being It shuts you down You start to revolve around this This once upon a seed You feel it You breathe it You believe it Believing is the death The death that echoes at you This tap of a pebble This debris left behind This scrubby scanty seed This being This belief This death It echoes Now from the beginning It could have been a tap But that harsh description It was only because of what it causes And to think that it was a tap This lesson is to teach where it will lead To teach you what will echo Nurturing the seed Why not call it death Neglect the seed is the lesson And it will lead to life It will lead to the life of you And yet they say it is the words - Christopher Barker

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“What is it?” he asked, suddenly alert. “The people,” she explained with a shaky voice, “They’re here.” And Bhekizizwe knew what she meant. The People of the South had been following them, and the Khoi had no way to defend themselves. “Wake the children,” he said. Busisiwe rushed to wake their people, who were spread out along the cool night ground. The yelling voices grew closer, and soon the twins had to face a decision. They could either all run away and keep the hunt going or Bhekizizwe would stay behind and try to hold up the People of the South for as long as he could, while Busisiwe brought the rest away to safety. Busisiwe didn’t like either option, but she knew that in order to save their people, she would have to leave her brother behind. The twins said their farewells and Bhekizizwe told her to keep the others safe. Busisiwe ran away with the children and mothers, and the last time she looked back and saw her brother, he was standing tall, ready to face the others. As Busisiwe ran with her people, she thought about Bhekizizwe. “He really does deserve his name,” she thought to herself. They ran for the entire night, through the trees and across the land. Her legs tired but she barely noticed it; she was too busy guiding her people to safety. Their travel lasted all night, and in the morning she noticed a small opening in the ground by where they were resting. She went to look, and realized it was a huge cave that traveled under the ground. She brought the rest of the people into it, where they made shelter and lived for days. One evening, while they were eating a small meal of grasshoppers, for the third time she heard the strange shouts and chanting that came from the voices of the People of the South. This time though, Busisiwe was ready. She led the people to a far corner of the cave, where she softly sang to the people until the noises past. They lived in peace in the caves for years, and Busisiwe became the leader of their new tribe, even though she was a young woman. The caves became their home, and the people used rocks and paint to carve their story on the walls of the caves. When Busisiwe passed away of old age, the tribe had grown larger and strong again. Her body melted into the caves and her bright blue eyes turned to sparkling water that still lies within those caves to this day. Those twins who were born that one morning in the early sunrise of Zimbabwe ended up saving their entire culture, and their bravery and hope is what kept the Khoisan line strong all those years. - Ellie Zweber 27


the hysterical women. She began singing to them, as her brother ran to find more people. By time Bhekizizwe had rounded up all of the people he could find, Busisiwe was hiding with them behind one of the massive rock walls that was on the outskirts of the ruins that had once been their peaceful village. The mysterious People of the South had searched the village and were now resting down by Lake Kariba. The morning light was starting to creep up from behind the horizon, and the small children were sleeping peacefully on the lap of Busisiwe. Suddenly, Bhekizizwe spoke. “We need a plan.” He got up and started drawing in the dirt with a small teak tree branch. He started drawing a map, but couldn’t get past where the Kariba lake ended. Busisiwe jumped up. “The Munyati! The Munyati River! That’s where it goes, I know it does, brother.” She took the stick from him and started drawing in the ground. “We can follow it South,” she said. “It will bring us somewhere!” Bhekizizwe looked at her. “How do you know this? He asked. Busisiwe flushed. “I looked at fathers maps. I couldn’t stand being stuck inside beading necklaces all day, brother, I would have gone mad!” Bhekizizwe smiled. “You are such a troublemaker,” he teased. “Are you sure this will take us away though, sister?” She nodded. “I am certain.” And with that, they went. Day by day, they traveled farther and farther, the twins guiding their people down the river, searching everywhere for any village or place to rest. The days were long and there wasn’t much food to eat, as Bhekizizwe was the only man in the group who was old enough to hunt. Still, they trudged on, farther and farther down the Munyati, resting often to not wear the old women out too much. One night, while the children and women were all sleeping and only Bhekizizwe and Busisiwe were awake, the twins lay there speaking of their parents. “What are we going to do, brother?” whined Busisiwe. “We have nowhere to go, and our village is destroyed.” She turned away from him in tears and rested her head on the buffalo skin she had laid beneath her. Its small prickles did nothing to comfort her. Bhekizizwe looked down at her. “Sister, what can we do?” he said. “We just have to keep going and hope that we will come across a peaceful tribe on the way that will take us in.” She didn’t answer. “Busisiwe, please don’t wor-” “Brother!” Busisiwe shrieked as she quickly got to her feet. He rose with her. 26

Body

- Christopher Barker

19


Body, Soul, Universe Eyes. Eyes are weird. Taking small pieces of light and making art. Art for the brain. And these microscopic pieces of light are almost nothing compared to the universe. But they make it seem so big. And it is. Hands. Hands are weird. Taking things- taking things and changing them. Turning these things into art. But these things, they are just made out of more things. And these thingsthey have a human name. Because Adam’s mother understands this. We are just part of the universe, changing it. Changing it with our weird hands. Seeing it through our weird eyes. Noses. Noses are weird. Stealing chemicals from the air. Stealing themstealing them and creating art. Art for the noseart for the brain. but this art is only chemicals. An illusion. The universe is tricking you. And you are oblivious to its power over you. And you always will be. Always just one of those chemicals, one of those atoms. One piece of a grand illusion. Ears. Ears are weird. It’s like they are a separate being. You can’t control them. You can’t help but hear things you don’t want to. They are only stealing sound waves. Ripples invisible in the air. Ripples in your mind.

20

Immediately, everyone was up and hurrying to get the women and children inside their shelters. Bhekizizwe and Busisiwe were rushed behind one of the last tents of the village, all the way down by the lake. “Stay children,” whispered Chipo with a stern look. “We’ll be back later, just wait.” And so they did. They waited and waited as the men sharpened the wood spears and stone weapons they had and went into the darkness to face the People of the South. The night went on and the air got colder, and Bhekizizwe and Busisiwe watched silently as their village went up in flames. Finally Busisiwe couldn’t take it and she turned to her brother in anger. “Bhekizizwe, what are we thinking?! We can’t sit here and watch this happen. These are our people. Father is most likely dead, and soon the rest of us will be too.”

- Sofia Baah Bhekizizwe nodded in agreement. “Come sister.” He led her up the hills to the main village, where smoke clouds from the fire were becoming so thick the stars were becoming hard to see. The People of the South were slowly tearing apart the village, but the yelling was still far away . “Wait here,” he said. “I’ll go inside and try to find others.” Bhekizizwe ran inside the tents, pulling out young children and their mothers, who were shaken up and crying. Busisiwe took the children in her arms and tried to console 25


The Legend of the Brave Ones Long ago, in the early sunrise of Zimbabwe, twin babies were born. These babies were born to a small tribe of the Khoisan people, natives of their land. This tribe of Khoi lived peacefully by Lake Kariba hunting buffalo and growing foods for trade. They lived in harmony with their surrounding nature and people, and all was well. These babies, though, were born to save their people. The day they were born, their whole family surrounded their mother, a beautiful woman with dark glistening skin and bright blue eyes. Her name was Chipo, which meant “gift” in their language, which consisted of different tongue clicks and sounds. The father of the twins, Gamba, which meant “warrior”, was the leader of their small lakeside tribe, and highly respected by many Khoi all over Zimbabwe for his bravery and strength. The twins, both born with the same bright blue eyes as their mother, were known by many Khoi people because of their interesting looks. The boy was named Bhekizizwe, which meant “to look after the nations”. From his birth he was bound to be next in line as chief of their Khoisan tribe. The daughter of Chipo and Gamba was named Busisiwe, “the blessed one” of their people. She was beautiful but small, and as a sister of the heir was not destined to do much, except marry and keep the family line strong. What the children didn’t know, though, was that the fate of their people would end up in their hands. Thirteen years later, Bhekizizwe and Busisiwe were celebrating their birthday dinner of hyena with their whole village sitting with them around a circular mahogany table. Busisiwe was dressed in her nicest skins with wraps of beads around her neck and arms. Their tribe sang and danced with the family through the night and celebrated the aging of the twins, until Kokayi, a younger boy in the tribe noticed and pointed out a strange blazing light coming from behind some of the buffalo skin tents that made a circle around the village. The singing stopped and Chipo heard foreign sounding chants coming from the distance. “Gamba, come.” Her throat was tensed and the village was silent, so only sounds of night animals calling and the mysterious chanting could be heard. Gamba swiftly moved from the table up to where Chipo was standing, and even the smallest children of the tribe could feel the tension in the cool night air. Some of the village men had already gone to see what the light was, and were now running back to the tribe. “Quick!”, they yelled, “Get the children, hide them, now! The people from the South, they’ve come. They’re going to burn down the vilage!” 24

So even though we think we own everythingourselves, our houses, We don’t realize this. Your ears own your hearing. You have no control. Your eyes own your eyesight. You have no control. Your brain owns your hands. You have no control. You nose owns your smell. You have no control. Your body owns you. What are you? What are you? You can’t see you in the mirror. Nobody can see you. And you are just stuck in this body. A body you will not escape until it dies. Then you will find a new one. A new place to liveSo you can be a piece of the universe again and again. - Cat St. John-Lockridge

Valentine’s Day Last winter the sky was dark, the days were gray. Outside was dry; the clouds were raw and the snow was white and fluffy. Friends and family gathered by the fireplace for stories both fun and scary. Everyone sitting in a circle, cuddled up together. As the sky grew darker the air became colder; the clouds vanished into the mist. Now that part of the world was covered in snow and our lights were out, we lit our candles and spread joy knowing our winter Valentine spirits will never die. - Hibo Jafar

Winter’s Chill Let’s run away from winter’s chill Run away from dark, gray sky Evil is taking over And we must run to the sunny side Let’s run to the place we belong In case winter’s chill Has taken over - Noorto Mohamed 21


Alone

Spiders

They forgot me. They forgot me when he fell to the ground, twitching and clutching his chest and they came with their lights flashing and took him away. I close my eyes and huddle against the wall. My heart is thumping rhythmically in my chest. Ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. My ears are ringing, blocking every other noise out. The world is acting like nothing has happened, like a little girl isn’t abandoned outside a shopping mall, but something has and she is. One tear--one single tear--squeezes out the corner of my eye and rolls down my cheek, glistening and catching the warm afternoon light, and lands on the very tip of my tongue for the smallest of moments before it is absorbed back into my body. That tear, though small, represents a waterfall of emotions. Afraid, uncertain, anxious, hurt, abandoned, and so much more. I want to be at the hospital, I want to be with him but at the same time I just want to curl up and vanish and never have to see him in a white cot in a white room hooked up to machines. I can’t hide. I can’t face the world. I can’t breathe. What can I do? Anything? Nothing? Everything? I have to do something. So I slowly stand up and enter the mall, to call the hospital and ask for my father.

Big ones, little ones I wish there were none Shy spiders, bold spiders I wish there were none Green ones, blue ones I wish there were none Red ones, black ones I wish there were none Don't care what color I just wish there were none Dead ones, alive ones I wish there were none Big eyes, little eyes I wish there were none Outside, inside I wish there were none Here and there I wish there were none But for now all I can do is keep running away from them Spiders

- Ella Staats

- Sofia Baah

- Hamara Mubarak

Ask - Sofia Baah

Sirens I stand at the window, watching the red tail lights disappear. My eyes start to water, my palms begin to sweat, and my knees tremble. While the sirens still pound in my ears, I know he is not coming back. - Monica Leavitt 22

Ask me if I have true Love for you Ask me if I would dance for you And hold your hands But one thing I have to ask Will you marry me? - Sandrine Kuoadio

23

ELM 2013  

The 2013 issue of the Edmunds Literary Magazine.

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