Page 1



The theme of this edition of the From Ashes Literary Magazine is nostalgia.

No Temple Contains My Faith Kirstie Truluck No temple contains my faith, Instead the thrum of pounding surf… Have you sailed the cold, green oceans much? Reaching, Beating, Running with the wind as an ally. Whispering wind that babbles and screeches; It switches and the sail luffs – the sailor adjusts and sighs. It pitches and the boom jibes – the sailor ducks and howls. Charted islands to windward as yet unexplored; so afraid of heeling. Gunwales washed in cold green water and white foam. Fear and wonder twined in Ecstasy. Capsize and hull breech are always possible. Do I push the tiller to head off or do I pull it in and trim the sheet?

By Allison Henderson

Brought to you by: Kelsey Talbutt, Brett Van Vort, Susa Breese, Aaron Ayala, Emma Levensohn, and Evan Coleman. By Susa Breese

Winter Snow by George Zhang

Father Christmas brings blessings and cool air Snow spreads the white carpet on my home town. Harvest autumn, red maple leaves are there Cold winter has come with snow on the ground.

By Brett Van Vort Dream Obscure Anonymous

In morning, snow will kiss my face gently At night, snow will shine under the streetlight. Snow is like a brush, painting skillfully

I had a dream, nights past Already fading, as these things seem to do I was standing behind a large window

Bright snow gives us a sweet romantic night.

Groggy sun rises after its long sleep Snow knows that the earth is no longer mine.

Out looking the grey, cloudy sky of an industrial city

Snow melts into snow water with belief

I knew things wouldn’t always be this way

Let earth be glad, even in snow's dying.

Sometime it may be sunny It’s cold and dark today

Northeast's snow just started in December Evening breeze brings many pigeons' feathers.

A shattered mirror on the ground A broken silver painting of subtle lies Shadows gloomed on the underside of each building Morbid Obelisks with ashen faces

Bleak Pale That’s all I can remember

By Brett Van Vort

Looming the hives of humanity


I am a lion

Andre Allen Amidst a crowd and halfway In this jar

through a flaming hoop the

I am a beetle

flames lick at my toes and I think to myself

Amongst beetles I step on the

“if your cage were this hot

backs of my comrades to ascend

You would bite your way out quickly”

Whilst resenting my alive


For stepping on my own back

In this cage


I am a bird

In this jar

I am a bird that cannot fly

I am a wasp

The sound of wind I’ve never heard

Among wasps and when I escape

I’ve never known my mothers home; the sky

I will translate my pain to my captors

The knowledge of my prison Comes with an upswing

if I escape

Inside, I know I still have voice and claws


And wings

In this jar I am a mouse among mice My claws cannot pierce the glass Maybe if I wait and act civil my captor will tip the jar for me ~ On this stage

By Anonymous

Cello Ruidoso

The Pendulum

Kelsey Talbutt

Brett Van Vort

If when the lights are out We could ask ourselves why,

and the people are all missing But some just accept it

It’s funny how the bigger your heart is The heavier the pain.

and the trees are frost covered statues, waiting patiently in the mist— if I tighten my bow just right

I spent most of my life thinking That the pendulum was stuck in the dark. I don’t know when,

and my rosin stains my strings if I play softly

And I don’t know how, But I managed to swing it in the light.

and then loudly, tapping my foot

I thought life would get easier, But I didn’t think of how to keep it in the there. It got heavy

and counting to myself: 1&2&3&4& my arm will tire

And like all things motion begets motion. So maybe I’m at equilibrium.

and my fingers will dance my cello will sing

I feel the warm embrace of light on my back I feel the hollow cold of dark taunt my face.

and my brow will sweat—

And the worse thing is the overwhelming silence, The willingness to let the pendulum sway. But isn’t it the natural order?

Or do we choose which way it swings.

Who will not know That I play best when I’m alone?

By Brett Van Vort

I had a Dream

Trayvon Martin, Michael brown, Oscar grant


A few dangerous unarmed black men that had to be spent Bias is engrained into our heads by mass media

I’m scared,

Everybody’s talking about race yet nobodies listening

Innocent shootings and police brutality

But then we shed a tear When white girl goes missing

And that I got a pray my brother gets an equal paid salary

The media goes crazy and is met with no defiance

In a public school he gets mediocre comprehension Kid with a brain disorder gets no special attention

But when Families go missing in the hood by gang violence,

Poor impulse control equals automatic suspension

There’s silence

He’s becoming another godamn statistic Another minority that can’t be individualistic With my white friends, cops barely scrape the side talk But black brother Keenan gets arrested for spitting on the sidewalk I’m scared; he’s a man now and could get in big trouble Or be shot by a cop for showing signs of struggle Stand your ground laws have innate illusion Post racial society? Complete delusion Where’s the justice in our country When the federal justice system

By Emma Levensohn

By Brett Van Vort

Dancing Ocean By Merrill Truluck

The never ending sea lit by the moon Dances to the songs of nurtures sweet call

The Forest

The small birds in the trees asleep by noon

By Macy Weymar

Snuggled in tight for the fear they might fall Leafy outstretched boughs extend to the sky The waves crash against the rocky shore As the sun lights up the afternoon sky

Sun filtering through leaves pattern the ground The melodic bird songs are heard close by If one stands still, there is almost no sound

Churning up many creatures from the sea floor Making wonderful creations that fly

The forest is so deep one could get lost The evergreens and pine woods grow so tall

Children laughing, playing, singing, dancing In unison they jump to the rhythm The sun goes down while night keeps advancing And the clouds make the shape of a prism

On the lush grass clings dew and morning frost These acres of green make one feel so small Wild things watch from bushes, their eyes glowing Born and raised there, for them, the woods are home They watch all that passes, as their lands grow

While the day has gone and the season end

The untamed prowl over mud, rock, and stone

The ocean still dances under the moon The forest’s secrets can never be told No outsiders can know the truth it holds

Why Do We Fall? By Aaron Ayala Why do we fall? We fall from pain, greed, anger and desire, We fall from vices we’ve let society warp into awkward bloated gods, Drawing from the well of now malnourished virtue.

I won’t writhe or relish in my suffering; no man will pity me today. I must remember that pain is inevitable, met by relief or death indisputably. I must remember that shame, self doubt, ignorance, and deep rage are not such simplistic matters, and have a habit of lingering and clinging like chains on ones soul. So let me crawl, and if I drag my jaw at first then let the taste of dirt

We fall from self-pity,

only serve me as a lesson to remember;

When the cuts on our palms reduce us to infantile helplessness, lead-

Let me regain my footing and rediscover my path,

ing to a more painful fate far sooner than we could even have dreamt of what may have been at the end of our climb. We fall from self-consciousness; So as to not feel the sting of a thousand rolling eyes and mouths we

Praying only that it’s as deeply carved now as ever. Let me move forward steadfast and determined; And if I am to fall, I shall claw deep into the ridged footsteps left behind by those who proceeded me, so I will never leave myself helpless again.

meander in the shadows of men far less capable and far more arrogant than we’d ever allow ourselves to be, Low and lonely in quiet desperation, A place where a pin’s drop could startle us into giving ourselves the so called inevitable, impending lashings we’ve let ourselves be convinced we deserve. We fall from distraction, The ungrateful idea that your life is a given that it cannot and will not be lost regardless of circumstances, Adopting the notion that your burden can be placed on your brother and he’ll feel no pain. This is why we fall, This is why I’ve fallen.

By Brett Van Vort

A View from the Oak-Willow John Romac

Of solid oak and willows roots deep Steadfast father, mother’s belief. Blessed stock I am from Fertile ground where I sprung.

A rabbits life I’ve lead long Quick! smell the rose, sing the song.

I Am From Emma Levensohn

I Am From I am from a closed box I am from a label that’s already been written for me I am from happiness that my parents pay for by the hour I am from I’m sorry is said way too often And I’m thankful for you isn’t said enough

Always sprinting to goal,

I am from picking up the pieces

Way too fast for my soul.

Preparing not preventing I am from a town where the beach sings

Now children my mirror to me

But not as loud as the people talk

Not mine, but wholly free

I am from a vocabulary of excuses

Their journey not my race

Mixed with a rainbow of papers

Their trek a personal pace.

With letters ranging from A-F I am from doors of truth slammed

But before these old roots whither and dry Before my quiet end, I must fly. following new path wondrous and long Hear the roses, Smell the song.

Soon these old roots will whither and dry Before this end, quiet path I’ll try.

In the faces of the people I love I am from a closed box.

By Brett Van Vort

The Owl Man

Gracious was I who found my niche,

Brett Van Vort

Was once an impossible task, 18 years under my belt that was too tight.

Gracious was the man who found his niche.

I dream we can loosen our judgment.

It took some time,

That is my niche, an owl in the morning sky.

Delicate in the storm. Raindrops forming on a leaf, Until its pressure finally relinquishes all.

Disappointed was the man who found his niche. Went through every corner of the maze To find they all led to the same place. What was at the end was a mirrorRaindrops fell from his eyes.

Angry was the man who found his niche, The world spun as he stayed in place Infuriated he could not be what he wanted. Denial planted her seed in his soul He watered it with his tears.

Confused was the boy who saw his niche The idea of being different was foreign.

By Brett Van Vort


Stalking grocery store aisles like a lion sneaks up on a Savannah big game hunter, And up close he realizes just how tenuous his greatest fear is, If he can just… I do not know my weight right now other than that it’s in the 160s But I’m sure if I did, it would merely be four reasons to sleep well at night. These aren’t stretch marks that crack along my legs, torso and arms,

Aaron Ayala In eighth grade, I walked a 19 minute mile, Not because that’s what 13 year old rebels are supposed to do, But because the way my lungs burned and heart pounded against my chest from walking to the cafeteria scared me enough,

Only scars I’ve earned throughout the battle for a better life;

And unlike in the lunch line, I knew there wasn’t pizza encouraging me to power through to the finish line.

Yes my skin is loose and sags in some places,

I remember on a January afternoon,

It’s just resting after a long, arduous adventure;

Asking my stepdad to take out the scale for me,

I know they have a surgery for that, thanks anyway,

His gaze pleaded for me to change my mind,

I’ve already wasted too much time experimenting with painful ways to throw away chunks of myself.

Silently telling me “You don’t want this and neither do I” But the type of puppy dog eyes and eager grin that self convince “Yes, I am a healthy boy”, Despite the way that I waddled with a two liter bottle, Made him feel too sorry to verbalize; My heart landed in the pit of my stomach like a lead shot-put as 238.5 stood out instead of four numbers more like… Four more reasons to sit in the back of classroom and not raise my hand, Four more reasons to keep quiet when someone said hello, Four more reasons to understand why I had no friends, Four more reasons I wasn’t good enough. We both knew what the numbers meant, he perhaps more than me, The problem with 13 year old him was that he was too thin; The scale can be a double aged death sentence.

By Brett Van Vort

I was paralyzed, hugging him tight, hoping that by the time I stopped sobbing and the numbers vanished, I could pretend once again that I

I felt just slightly included; But I had no smirk or joker to anticipate, Maybe one who would take the opportunity to reach out; Wishful thinking; “Aaron- I appreciate that Aaron isn’t fat” Two skinny boys reared coyote teeth, cackling hard, like their heartbreakingly genius irony wouldn’t drive me to go home and eat myself to sleep. Wait, don’t tell me; sad, I know. But rather might make me realize that they care and want me to bear my heart and put the mirror of my self image back together piece by piece, And this guerilla classroom assault was in fact the superglue I had been searching for; For such a big kid I didn’t know I could feel so small. I remember the first day of kickboxing, After a spontaneous decision at an intersection, today everything was going to change. Doubling over after mere minutes, I gasped out between breaths from the ground, with wet vomit building up in my throat “Please, just let me rest” Sensei said yes, And to get changed while I’m at it, because “In this dojo, we do not accept weakness.” And so I ran, and for the first time my demons didn’t seem like cracks developed in finely crafted china dishes, priming them for a garage sale appearance, but stubborn stains to be washed away with diligent work and faith. In October my mom got a call, finding out that after a month in high school I was already failing all classes but two, Because despite the pounds I may have shed,

As a punishment, kickboxing lessons discontinued until I could “begin caring” about school in the same way, As if by having one passion taken away, the love would just transmute to academics. These aren’t emotions; they’re stocks to be adjusted and invested according to greatest profit margin; And so broke five months of perfect attendance at weekday classes and when I could shake my stepdad hard enough early enough to wake him up, Saturdays too, The last time I went to school was two months later. In January I discovered the way that two fingers run down the throat and against the uvula can make your stomach empty entirely, And for the first few months, thought confidently that there was nothing wrong with me, Because I feel pretty enough to not need peer interaction, let alone peer approval. I say pretty because that’s the only accurate word for the way I felt, like a plastic flower or printed napkin; Like all the things that make you smile briefly despite your eagerness to throw them away. For just a moment, the self doubt and hate faded away just a little bit, Even if it howled tenfold louder ten minutes later; addiction has no time for foresight. After three months, I couldn’t remember the last meal I had held onto for more than an hour, Though I still wouldn’t dare try and run the mile, Because even if I was eager to read the number on the scale, 150.5 can still be four reasons that you’re not good enough. I don’t remember the day that I quit, But what I do remember was a process; I remember running two blocks just to spit up phlegm and vomit, then slowly walk home, I remember five minute workouts followed by twenty fine minute anxi-

© Hyde School 2015

Hyde School Literary Magazine 2015 Issue 2  

Created by the students at the Hyde School Bath, Maine campus.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you