Journeys 2017 Literary Arts Magazine Volume XXXl
Enter Crescenta Valley High School 2900 Community Avenue La Crescenta, Ca 91214
Dear Readers, We welcome you to an eclectic collection of voices from the students of Crescenta Valley High School! Journeys Magazine is a platform for the talented young artists and writers on campus to showcase their distinct and diverse works. Our board of editors have engaged in discussion and analysis of submitted works throughout the school year to create this magazine, a cohesive compilation of outstanding pieces by the student body. This year’s theme, “Enter [Imagination],” is a broad and inclusive theme that allows Crescenta Valley’s artists to flourish and explore their creative visions, while simultaneously giving you, the reader, the opportunity to interpret the featured works according to your own Imagination. Each of the authors and artists presented in this magazine have their own perspectives, as the powerful force of Imagination means something different to each of them. In sharing their unique works, our talented students have given us a piece of themselves, and have allowed us insight into their own Imaginations. After reading our magazine, we hope that your Imagination will expand to see the world through a more colorful lens. We would like to thank the authors, poets, artists, and photographers of Crescenta Valley High School for sharing their perspective with us. We would also like to thank our staff editors for their commitment to presenting the multitude of voices of the student body. Lastly, we thank you for taking the time to read our magazine, and we hope you enjoy a glimpse into the artistic world of young visionaries. Co-EICs, Titash Biswas Jackie Dall Raya Derbedrossian
our editorial board
Head Graphic Arts Editor
Head Art Submission Editor
Head Literary Submission Editor
Poetry 2 5 6 6 7 9-10 10 14 16 16 18 18 19 20 21 22 31 32 33 33 34 37 39 41 41 42 44 49 50 51-52 53 54 54 55 56 57 58 60 63 64
A Girl’s Awareness, Alexis Karakas Coral Reef, Elaina Marriott Untitled, Hannah Hunter Untitled, Elizabeth Brookey Arizona Girl, Ellie Song Work of Art, Aditi Purandare Skewed Perception, Aditi Purandare Quiet Voice, Ashley You War, Jazmine Golden Butterflies, Annika Park It Wasn’t Me, Michelle Park Windows, Anjana Saravanan I Am Proud, Justin Kim Message To A Human, Anjana Saravanan Decayed Memories, Patille Labejian Memories, Melissa Iyoya Watercolor, Anjana Saravanan Let the Heart Be Broken, Sevana Shahbazi The Love of a Mother, Jessi Edwards The Brilliance of Chaos, Annabelle Mayer Lonesome Anecdote, Anonymous Mark 12:31, Julian Porcelli Stop, Josephine Kim The Last Child In the Woods, Kristen Cassel Under the Stars, Hannah Joo That Night, Anjana Saravanan Take Me Home, Ellie Song The Glass Box, Abbey Markham If I Had The Chance, Dominique Hernandez I Am Not Racist, Kevin Park Shelter, Ariana Keshishian Beautiul Days, Sophia Atin Girl With A Pearl Earring Shanta Kumarasuriar, Ha Lin Kim Rootbeers and Black Coffee, Ellie Song Dawn ‘Til Dusk, Maddie Bunting An Understanding Of Opposites, Nathalie Lai Tears of Life, Rebecca Park The Christmas Truce of 1914, Kiran Hamkins Polaroid, Grant Bolstad Persimmon and Fig, Katherine Castellana WINNER
Prose 1 3 3-4 8 11-14 15 23-31 35 36 40 43 45-48 59 61
OCD, Jennifer Gorman The Great Wall, Ellie Song The Interview, Annika Park A Song, Angela Cha The Hardest Color, Noel Hwang My House or My Home, Anonymous Shattered Rainbows, Justin Galvan My Wonders, Angela Cha Gerald the Fly, Athena Bamrick Psychosis, Joshua Choi WINNER The Picture Frame, Alexis Karakas The Interview, Adam Aronovsky Action, Sue Bin Lee War of Butterflies, Alexis Karakas
Art 1 4 5 6 6 10 14 15 16 17 19 20 31 33 35 38 39 50 55 56 58 58 65 66 66
Conehead, Jennifer Bae Untitled, Shanta Kumarasuriar Li Shang, Jocelyn Gould Untitled, HaLin Kim Deep Breath, Jennifer Bae Untitled, Shanta Kumarasuriar Untitled, Shanta Kumarasuriar Untitled, Shanta Kumarasuriar Only Death, Bree Phimphachanh Pieces, Jennifer Bae Pandora, Bree Phimphachanh Jesse, Jennifer Bae Like Colored Water, Jennifer Bae WINNER Mama, Jennifer Bae Walden, Saya Linney Crumbling, Bree Phimphachanh Scorched Sky, Nathalie Lai Beautiful Acceptance, Bree Phimphachanh Untitled, Shanta Kumarasuriar See Through, Jennifer Bae The Beauty of Opposites, Bree Phimphachanh Two sided, Bree Phimphachanh Walking Away, Emma Benitez Untitled, Hannah Hunter Untitled, Noel Hwang
Photography 2 3 7 8 9 12 16 18 20 22 32 34 34 35 39 41 42 43 44 44 49 52 53 53 54 59 59 62 63
Which Way, Isabella Magdaleno The Heart, Joanna Kim Future Warrior, Julietta Corral Reflection, Saya Linney Behind Any Masterpiece, Nathalie Lai When the Clouds Part, Bayla Bash The Sideview, Joanna Kim Lucy Shoes, Joshua Baum America The Beautiful, Joshua Baum Too Many Strings Attached, Julieta Corral And Everybodyâ€™s Watching Her, Julieta Corral Lookout Spot, Joshua Baum Man Of Colors, Taylor Lopez Me, Joshua Baum Haiti, April Cho Warmth, Angel Ramos Emancipation, Joshua Baum Send My Love, Julieta Corral Stagnant Time, Joshua Baum Everlasting, Taylor Lopez You Know Who, Isabella Magdaleno WINNER Rocket Man, Kevin Park Doney Days, Edan Bash Hummingbird, Joshua Baum Thicket, Isabella Magdaleno Frankenstein, Ju Won Kim Consciousness, Joshua Baum New Beginnings, Tara Troschak Honey, Joshua Baum
OCD Jennifer Gorman I awaken at 7:00 AM but wait patiently for the clock on my night-stand to register 7:05. The numbers 2 and 4 are especially worrisome – it is something about even numbers. The fact that they can be divided into other numbers makes them unpredictable. The glowing “5” signals to me that it is safe to get out of bed and start my day. A sense of relief washes over me. I reach for the light switch and turn the light on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off. I must do this exactly five times. Less than that risks an electrical fire. I get distracted and lose my count, so I must start again until I am certain about the number - on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off. I walk to my bedroom door and turn the knob jiggling the knob back-and-forth, back-and-forth, backand-forth, back-and-forth, and back-and-forth. I count the numbers out in my head- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I skip quickly past 2 and 4 and linger happily on 5. I feel like the number 5 is enveloping me in its warm embrace. I get dressed making sure that I wear the dress hanging on the 5th hanger and then I continue on with my morning routine. I make my usual breakfast of tea and toast sliced into 5 even pieces. I check to make sure the toaster is turned off – on/off, on/off, on/ off, on/off, and on/off. I check the four knobs on the stove in exactly the same way, diligently counting 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. With the stove I never feel completely at ease, I suspect that it is the number of knobs – FOUR – that rattles me. To be safe I unplug the stove and then the toaster oven as an extra precaution. All the while I tell myself that I can never be too safe. I check the plugs to make sure that they are not frayed… all my possession in the apartment would be destroyed in an electric fire. The light switch in the hall must be checked too. I follow the same ritual -- on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off, on/off. I jiggle the lock on the front door – jiggle/jiggle, jiggle/jiggle, jiggle/ jiggle, jiggle/jiggle, and jiggle/jiggle. I carefully follow my routine but I am mindful of the time. The clock registers 8:05 and a huge sense of relief washes over me. I can now safely leave my apartment for the day. I have made certain that nothing bad will happen today.
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Which Way Isabella Magdaleno
A GirL’s awareness Alexis Karakas The girl knew that childhood was knowing no world outside the little one she had created in her mind. She knew it was being content with being unable to comprehend that there was a whole, large world out there besides her home. After all, one’s life begins at birth but one’s life in the world begins with his or her first deep thought.
surfaced, the air slapped her in the face with a colder, harsher dose of reality and plagued her with goosebumps. Thus, she dove back in; repeat. The girl was even younger when she used to do the same pulling the covers over her head. She was in her own world under those layers of sheets and blankets that hugged and shielded her. They would later serve her by absorbing her salty, ocean of tears. The colorful, quilted pattern filtered teal and maroon light like a stained glass window into a church. When she pulled off the covers, the oxygen rushed its way into her lungs with reality.
But when these deep thoughts flooded the girl’s brain she thought she would go for a swim to submerge herself even more in water. The girl let all the reality emanate out of her pores and ooze out into the pool. The negativity radiated away from her body like blinding, white- The white-yellow light yellow sunlight. blinded her with painful, powerful enlightenment. As the girl
The Great Wall Ellie Song We put up walls That are so easy to build In the moment Built by anger and pain Shutting me in From the outside Closing out the stars And the rumbling of the Earth Then there’s a throbbing A beating, a pulsing Amidst all this pain Through the numbing of the chilling ice Inside of me It cries For the people on the outside The touch, the hugs, a kiss Yearning for love A churning and rolling deep within My soul and heart crying out But it’s gotten so long I don’t know where the key and lock is I stand with a throbbing And the wall, Not moving
The Heart Joanna Kim
The Interview Annika Park
Twenty-year old Carol Militant looked at the gargantuan building in front of her. Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the crystal-clear glass doors and walked inside. Within the intimidating building was a porcelain palace; the walls a pristine white and the chandeliers glowing with delight. Carol’s eyes wandered around the lobby, feeling a sense of déjà vu. Quickly shaking the feeling off, she took a little piece of paper out from her pocket. “Interview with Mr. Callaway in Room 205” was all the little post-it said. Not able to make head or tail of the directory, Carol walked up to the desk. “Hello how may I help —“, the receptionist began. As soon as she saw Carol, her face turned a pale white. “I need help getting to room 205,” Carol said politely. “J-just go straight down that way and take a right at the end of the hallway,” the employee stuttered out. Carol said a quick thank you and left. What a jumpy receptionist, she thought. But things just got stranger. As she walked, everyone who saw her turned a ghostly shade of white, almost scared
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to be seeing her. Carol pretended not to see their terrified stares, sweetly smiling at them instead. She soon turned the corner, and counted the room numbers… 199, 201, 203, ah! 205! Hesitating, she wondered if she should go in. It was only a job interview, but she couldn’t bring herself to walk inside. Every interview she had ever attended since last week had gone horribly wrong; either she was too scrawny, too pretty, too cute, or too nice. None of the reasons ever made sense, and Carol didn’t think she could bear to be shot down again. Before she could bring herself to knock on the door, it flung open, revealing a middle-aged man in a crisp black suit. “Carol Militant?” “Y-yes sir.” “Take a seat.” Carol sat down, already intimidated by this man. Mr. Callaway leaned forward, staring into her eyes, as if digging up the secrets she had spent so long to lock away. He finally leaned back, and began to talk. “So, Miss Militant, I am going to be very blunt and tell you this is not a job interview. There will be a time for you to talk later, but for now, I will be the only one talking. Understood?” Carol feebly shook her head, not wanting to do anything that would anger the giant. “Have people been… staring at you strangely?” “Why yes! How’d you —“ Callaway held up a hand to stop her, and Carol obediently quieted down. “This here is why. Take a look at it and tell me what you think.” Callaway handed Carol a newspaper article from last week, and on the cover the headline read: “MURDER IN MILITANT HOUSE”. Surprised, she skimmed the page. All of a sudden, she dropped her cup of coffee, spilling it all over the paper. As she struggled to clean the mess up, one sentence flashed in her mind: “Murder victim: Carol Militant”.
untitled Shanta Kumarasuriar
Li Shang Coral reef Elaina Marriott Sheltered in the coral- a muted pink limits the deep greens and blues The reef is alive with familiars all swishing, scrambling moving masses widening and narrowing One guppy moves itâ€™s flimsy fins a tiny bit faster and a following forms every fish floundering to keep up until they all zoom past at a speed none can really swim There is an end in mind, a limit to the madness An unknown, a drop off, the end of the reef Or an expanse An expanse of opportunity to look forward to With new waters, territory and opportunity If one can only accept that hardship is continual Acceptance A consent to reality Not only a letter from a far away school. Swim with your head up, and look ahead past the near future.
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untitled Hannah Hunter
Untitled HaLin Kim
She’s radiant and pure, Skin as smooth as glass Forged of pressure for the purpose of clarity of reflections untainted. Alas, in clarity she’s all but transparent. Upon my skin cracks have tunneled deep Splintered and fractured, For my pieces, they reflect a new light. A new light bordered with shards of white filigree. I too am forged of pressure, I too was clear, Then time battered mercilessly. Now look upon the scars that scrape my skin. While the glass untouched Reflect a picture as just, Broken glass form the most extravagant mistakes.
Untitled Elizabeth Brookey There is a man trapped in my heart, But externally we are far apart. I am but a widow of a living man, Grieving a loss others don’t understand. When I think of him, my heart starts to race, Palpitating and pumping at a passionate pace. All along, i should’ve known he’d leave, As swift as a magician pulls something out of his sleeve, But alas i was a fool, as blind as a bat. I saw his good qualities and that was that. And so although he’s gone to the point of no return, He remains in my heart as a lesson for me to learn.
Deep breath Jennifer Bae
Arizona Girls Ellie Song Arizona sun cracked the ground Pink and brown painted up In the strokes of their brush Wide, open, and unbroken Sisters that stomp their boots And ride half broke horses They sing and laugh The sun caught in their eyes Arizona girl, wonâ€™t you take me home Golden sun climbs up the cliffs Shadows dance in the daylight Cliffs that rise to meet the sky Piercing the wide sky Arizona girl, where is your home
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Free and wild For you to paint the way The cradle of the phoenix Burning ever bright Wild, wide eyed, and mystified Arizona girl, come show me your heart When night comes, The sky swollen with stars Crossing and running through the dark Just like the Arizona girls at heart
Future Warrior Julieta Corral
Reflection Saya Linney
A Song Angela Cha The melodious tune ringing in ears. Bouncing into our ear following the rhythms and beats. Rocking our heads with the rock and the words starting to flow out from the tip of our mouth. There is some sort of magic conducted by melodies. A spell of ease, rest, and tranquility. Our frustration, anger, and ferocious emotions drown down with the stillness of the tune. Lovely things seem lovelier. The glory of music endures within the depth of our human spirit.
Behind Any Masterpiece Nathalie Lai
work of art Aditi Purandare splattered paint â€“ blue, black, purple, green and every shade in between streaks the canvas that was once empty with every new journey, with every new conversation, with every new experience, with every new story, a blob, a smear was added to the canvas some colors are dark, they are painful memories that left a mark things we hold on to that we ought to let go, a failed attempt, a lost love, an incomplete story with no ending, tears engraved upon cheeks,
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the canvas is shrouded by things that pierce your heart then there are colors of times that you treasure, of happiness, beauty, thrill, and pleasure, a flight, a waterfall, a radiant vast expanse, the sun in winter, a hope, an idea that creates dazzling colors that detract attention from your pain and sorrow many decisions, misfortunes, and successes later, the canvas is a mĂŠlange of events, it is art, it is art that reminds you- it is the low valleys that make the mountains seem grander it is art that makes sure you donâ€™t forget that you are a courageous mountaineer, a mountaineer who has climbed up from the darkest valley the canvas remembers to the top of the brightest mountain it is art that deserves to be hung in your living room, showing the world your valor showing the world your very own unique canvas with a unique blend of colors telling a unique story
untitled Shanta Kumarasuriar
Skewed Perception Aditi Purandare she said she enjoyed the water for she had never been on land before she said she liked the darkness for she had never seen a ray of light she said she was content with her life for she had never thought about it being any different
The Hardest Color Noel Hwang Sometimes in life, little gusts of air whizz past without a second thought. However, sometimes these gusts of air are caught and appreciated amidst the sweltering rays of the sun that never seem to set. The air that briefly chases away all the beads of sweat and agitated feelings and leaves only the silence of complete serenity. A breeze that feels crucial all of the sudden, like it is something you never knew you needed. This breeze is called a moment, a moment where everything else falls away, and all that is left are the few pillars of important factors that hold you together. In that moment nothing else matters. My heels clicked together, and my knees rubbed against the soft linen sheets hugging my bed. The moon outshined all the lights below it, illuminating the otherwise navy blue night. The usual chatter of the evening absorbed the house, and there was a content, familiar hum of noise as my fingers leisurely tapped the screen of my phone. I scrolled through my emails as an icy wind waltzed in without a care. Chills rained through my body like the breeze had bad intentions. Bundling myself furiously in my plush coffee comforter, my eyes darted through an endless series of pointless emails. Then it made itself known. Something I had almost glanced over carelessly, but in a split second decision saw. An email that read “Dear Church: Tuesday November 18 2014”. Innocently pressing the screen that was too bright for my eyes, I pulled the edges of my blanket closer to me. The words “very sorry.. our beloved Mrs. Min.. went to Lord… yesterday” were the only ones I could process. My eyelids squeezed shut and the surreal rush of emotions were something like the wind, something I could never begin to explain. This woman was my close friend of many year’s mother who could only be described as the comforting sun that hits you on a Sunday morning. Constantly beaming at me, she never let go of a moment to tell me how much more beautiful I looked every time. This lovely being was plagued with lung cancer and with a single exhale, was gone like rain suddenly starting crashing down on that Sunday morning. I sat up on my bed, feet icy, toes curling deep into the ashen carpet, but otherwise immobile for an unbearable amount of time. “Oh God” I thought. “Lucy” The girl who had lost her mother like her heart had just been wrenched out. My heart filled with dry ice until I was short of breath, and the feeling of defeat coursed through every vein. “I can’t begin to imagine how she is” . The twinkling lights of the neighborhood outside dimmed like they were scolded, and the sunny hum of the evening seemed to crawl under my skin, every sound of laughter making me flinch. “Funeral service for Mrs. Min 6:00 this Friday” sat next to me. My volcano of a throat flooded to the top with panic. “How was I ever gonna be able to face Lucy? What do I even say when I see her face?” The days moved by agonizingly slow as Friday approached and I dreaded every minute of it. As hours then minutes ticked by, my unfaltering urge to run did as well. Friday night came like a trespasser and there I was, fidgeting in front of the smudged mirror, my reflection glaring back at me. The isolated sound of melodious crickets echoed in my empty house as I got ready for the funeral like a machine would execute instructions. My closet gazed at me and I inhaled gravely. “What do I even wear to a funeral?” Being my first time to one, I already began to question my ability to go through with this if the meaning of black suddenly made me dig my nails in my palms. I picked a modest black dress and a black sweater to battle the windy night. My restless fingers twisted and played with the ribbons on the
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sweater for what seemed like forever. I sat on the chair in front of my vanity, all at once feeling like it was too colossal, feeling like I was too insignificant, and regretting going already. Silence tip toed by as I waited for the ride that never seemed to arrive. My ride texted that he was here and I stared at the mirror once more, telling myself I could do this. “I’m strong enough.” I mumbled aloud. With that, I dragged feet that seemed to weigh too much, and opened the door to be welcomed by the steamy breaths that you could see in the clear night. My numb hands ran back and forth across the pleather seats of the passenger of the car that took me straight to my dread, wishing to have a purpose. All the windows were fogged up with only the faint flicker of street lights, blocking all the outside world and making me feel even more alone that I did before. My throat was constricted like an emerald snake thirsty for prey, but that didn’t seem to be an issue because the shivering engine was the only sound between me and my friend. As if I was stepping into a creaky house, I ventured, “This is my first funeral and to be completely honest, I’m so scared.” I didn’t even know if I could handle the thought of a person simply not existing. “It’s not that strange actually, you just go and listen, pay your respects, and leave just like that,” my friend simply stated. “You make it sound so easy, like a walk in the park,” I sighed. “It’s never easy, but you’ll get through it, I promise.” His reassuring tone swaddled me and I gained enough courage not to bolt out the car door. The crimson lights flashed like they didn’t want me to leave it either, but the towering city buildings shined with activity, distracting my crowded thoughts. After only a short breath, we pulled into the desolate parking lot of the memorial service. The angelic moon seemed foreign in contrast to the stark black night, and even the careless cars of the city quieted down in respect. My fingers tentatively gripped the frigid handle of the door, immediately pulling my sweater around me, but it protected me from nothing. My friend and I made our way into the entrance and to the front desk. The inside was radiant with a glowing yellow aura, every surface smooth and white marble, and pink flowers adorning every corner. The sheer perfect atmosphere made my stomach revolt as my frostbitten hands shakily scribbled my name at the sign in desk. Quietly shuffling towards the enormous Bayla Bash room where the service was held, and I instantly regretted my choice of shoes as the heels made a deafening click down the soundless hallway. My head poked into the marble room and gawked at the never ending room filled to the very back with people. Countless pews of some people that I had never seen before and some that I had, but people that we’re all here for the same one woman. I blunderingly stumbled past people, knocking their knees and found a seat. I gripped the edges until my knuckles were transparent and the feeling had abandoned my fingers. A few speakers switched in and out, but I heard only noise as my mind was elsewhere. Then she came out. Lucy walked to the podium and the room, if possible, overflowed to the top with an even heavier silence than before. My eyes never left her as she began to speak. “My
when the clouds part
mom…” she began and was instantly crushed by tears. Every single person had their hands pressed to their mouths, tissues clutched in their pale fingers and every single word clung on me but I didn’t mind. She described how wonderful her mother’s existence was, and her joy that she didn’t have to see her in pain any longer. Sniffles filled the silence and there wasn’t a single dry eye as everyone’s hearts went out to that one girl at the podium, the one girl who’s sadness we all shared. I listened to her speak, tears dancing across my face. “Could I keep it together any longer?” I bit my lip so hard I tasted blood, in fear of bursting out in tears and every emotion. Her drained face uttered a thank you and walked back to her seat, looking like that one ten minute speech took everything out of her. My hands met my face and clasped my mouth as I couldn’t do anything but sob, but no one seemed to care because they were all doing the same. I looked down at my feet. “You’ll be okay.”I thought only this. “What’s happening?” My head whisked around in confusion. Everyone started to get up and shuffle around. “It’s time to go pay our respects,” my friend said with the smallest voice. The sound of feet shuffling was the only thing I could focus on and we all made our way to the middle of the pews like befuddled kindergarteners on the first day of school. We waited in line and time seemed to stop completely. Only gaining inches like a line to a crowded amusement park ride, anxiety crept into every crevice of my body. “I can’t do it. I can’t. I will break down at the sight of the both of them.” Panic forced my hands to shake next to my sides. Sweat strangled me even though the room was a frigid temperature. We were way too close to reaching the front, and although the marble room was spacious, the walls seemed to close, and too many people took too much oxygen. At the front stood the family, looking defeated and drained, greeting guests with fake smiles, and robotic thank you’s. My friend’s mother in front of me saw the mother laying in her casket and instantly fell back and shook uncontrollably with resounding sobs. I started to panic again and I couldn’t bear to walk another step. My foot inched forward with every muscle in my body fighting back and I saw her. Lying peacefully like a sleeping swan in her casket, I clapped my hand to my mouth and wept. Tears flowed out as I payed my respects and silently said the things I never had the chance to say. Now, walking over to the family, was the moment I feared the most, the moment I wished I could run by in fear of not being able to face it. “What am I doing? I can’t be here for her when I’m not strong enough either.” Countless thoughts identical to these swarmed my mind and every part of my body was paralyzed. I shook her father’s hand, deeply bowing my head, clung to her brother, muttering words of encouragement and love, and smiled weakly at a few more faces. Then a cool wind brushed past and I met eyes with her. I threw my arms over her, and every emotion detonated within. All I could do was sob and tell her that I loved her over and over again. I squeezed so tight I couldn’t breathe, but I felt so relieved to finally give her all the support I could. Emotion rushed in my heart and my face stayed buried in her neck for what seemed like ages. I finally let go, my vision blurred with tears and took her
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face in my hands. “You’ll be okay”, I whispered. Her eyes flickered with tears and gratitude, and I walked away, drained of all the fight left in me, but peaceful because I had gotten through it. Following the others out, I stepped into the cheek biting cold. All at once, the mood had dimmed even more, the air seemed so much colder, and a little color was drawn out of the world, but I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of frigid air into my lungs, and a bittersweet smile won. A small dinner followed, with a respectful energy and attempts to lift up spirits, and afterwards one by one, people went back to their usual routine of life. And as did I. I sat on my bed, right where I first began. Through my fear and anxiety of facing something as earth shattering as seeing someone lose a loved one, I found that life is but a fleeting moment. It is something that can be taken away so quick, and there is no time to do anything but live like every moment is your last. It is moments like these where the crucial things in your life are prevalent and you realize a little bit more about who you are and what your identity is. At any moment, the whole world could come crashing down, but all anyone can do is to appreciate all they have in the moment and never forget the most important things in life. Facing death, or any other difficult obstacle may be the hardest factors we have to come to and handle, but it is a moment where we grow and learn everything we didn’t know before. I know now to savor every last bit, every last moment, because it is only a breeze that passes by once. And once something is gone, it can never be the same. Just like how I can never see that plain black sweater the same.
quiet voice Ashley You Ever so quietly did she raise her hand And ever so rarely did she speak, Trying so hard to understand Why her voice was so bleak. They too wondered where her voice had gone, ‘Why can’t she just conform?’ As if she were a simple light switch turning on. But she doesn’t need to transform.
untitled Shanta Kumarasuriar
They asked her boldly, “What are you?” To which she replied quietly, “An introvert.” American society saw her as a taboo, For only extroverts with a loud mind were overt. Quietly, she pined, ‘Give me a chance. I can contribute as much as an extrovert too.’ If only they took a second glance, Then they would hear her voice go through.
My House or My Home Anonymous I used to think that I lived in a perfect home. Outside, a lush green garden hugged the creamy tan structure. Tall almond trees stood paved with shaky footsteps of my first climb, trying to ignore my father, screaming below me. The living room, where I would play circus and dance to the beat of the bright yellow walls. But the dark yells through them brought me back to reality. My dolls and their pretend families could never fix my broken one. It may have been a perfect house, but it was not a perfect home. So my Mom and I packed up our few belongings and moved to a new house. It had cracked concrete stairs that crawled up to the front door. A garage sat below that we weren’t allowed to use, a constant reminder of the little money we had. Behind was an eerie backyard with all dirt and no grass. I used to walk around, tracing circles in the earth, wishing I could go back to my playful oblivion, my fake families and bright walls. But I knew deep down that they were just tainted memories. The rooms insides smelled cold and uncomfortable, and I remember sitting in my tiny room at night, hiding from the spiders and ants, and wishing that my perfect house had been a perfect home. This house felt like a bad substitute. The next year my Mom and I packed up and moved our few more belongings to another house. This was rented as well, but inside, the rooms didn’t smell as cold and uncomfortable, and there were no ants in sight. The backyard, although muddy, seemed greener and more vibrant than my father’s would ever be. The air passing by tasted like a fresh start and the house, just gave off a feeling of “home”. It may be tiny and we have to worry about moving the furniture so we don’t scratch the floor and we need to call the landlord every time the door doesn’t shut. And maybe the floors creak as you walk, but the warm green walls welcome you and the brown bookcases smile at you. So slowly, my unconventional house is turning into my unconventional home.
untitled Shanta Kumarasuriar
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war Jazmine Golden
Only Death Bree Phimphachanh
Guns shots ringing through the air Fear has sunken in The hollow shells of once young boys Fallen bullets littering the ground The blood of the loved Lies deep in the mud Hope long gone Devastation frozen in place Falling tears Accompanying dreadful nights Awaiting to see who gets the side of luck And the other filled with grief Desperate for a sign Desperate for a reason Desperate for a purpose
Annika Park They’ve taken everything from us, I have nothing left. My life is almost gone, Fading like the rest. Living here is torture. It’s like a living hell. But there’s nowhere else to go, Only in this cell. These butterflies are hope, Saving us from death. We draw them all over the walls, Just to breathe a single breath. Painted over skies of gray, They will dance forevermore. Even though us crumbling children Are tired and sore. They’ve taken everything from us, I have nothing left. My life is almost gone, Fading like the rest. Don’t take freedom for granted, Something I do regret. But instead thank those around you, Before you soon forget.
The Sideview Joanna Kim
pieces Jennifer Bae
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Windows Anjana Saravanan Uncertainty. I pretend to be interested in the sky or my shoes: these are stable, not likely to change. Does ephemerality scare you, too? Because it terrifies me. It shouldn’t; the very word suggests something fleeting, passing quickly and shallowly through a life I realize, however, that length is not of consequence. Perhaps I am afraid not of what may happen, but of what goes undone. Or perhaps I am frightened to hope for something more. I look up at you. Our souls wave merrily to each other behind tinted windows. My breath hitches. My feet falter. My mouth goes dry. And our shoulders brush as you walk past.
lucy shoes Joshua Baum
it wasn’t me Michelle Park Midnight-rain-confusion They dragged me out. They beat me down. I heard my mama scream and shout. Daybreak-wind-misery They tortured me with questions I couldn’t answer. They threatened me with eyes of fire. Everything, a blurry disaster. Twilight-gloom-defeated 24 eyes without a single sign of sympathy. I protest, “It wasn’t me.” The final verdict: guilty. Sunrise-light-hope 24 years lost; 24 years of resilience. They say they’re sorry, that it was a mistake. Why didn’t you believe when I said it wasn’t me?
I am proud Justin Kim My friend once asked me, “What kind of Asian are you?” And I looked at him and said “It depends who do you WANT me to be?” I can be an awkward math genius A cool,calm, kung fu master A horrible driver who either leaves his blinker on for ages Or your real estate agent I can tell you who I am without the accent or the slant I can be the man who fights and clowns like Jackie Chan I can be any Asian celebrity because they are related to me These stereotypes aren’t even the brunt of it We get put to the side like a side dish And don’t even get me started on derogatory terms And the origin of words like chink and gook Let me tell you the struggles of having a parent who barely knows the language Let me tell you about honor and dignity Let me tell you about a society that puts me behind the shadow of a white lead Actually let me tell you about things you don’t want to know Like how chink originated from the clanking and banging on the railroads As workers slaved over the heat to have this country connected Like how zipperhead originated from the marks jeeps left after Asians were ran over Like how you group all Asians under one culture and how You expect us to act the same and assimilate into your white culture Making it easier to brand us as one Asian culture you strip my Uniqueness and my individuality I am ashamed of being Asian I am jealous blue eyes dominating movie screens I envy white faces covering magazines And I am sick and tired of colored people being the shadows of pale figurines But you know what? After all that I am proud I am Korean
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America the Beautiful Joshua Baum
Message to a Human Anjana Saravanan Fool. Coward. Insignificant speck. Why sit idly and procrastinate when you could change the world? You boast and show off your big dreams but what have you done to achieve those dreams? Why succumb to empty perceptions and chase shadows on the wall without passion? Die knowing you have done all you can rather than live a life without meaning.
pandora Bree Phimphachanh
Decayed Memories Patille Labejian He was a man of all work. Unhappy and intimidated, with poor dreamy eyes. Strange questions he asked, Why did I breathe? Why did I live? Tears like drops of wax from terror stricken eyes. vDeep in thought he wept. Hell, death, and madness was taking possession of him. A little life died here. He was unhappy in a weak point. He had forgotten the bitter taste of tears. Living in a tortured day He struggled between life and death. God and faith would save the darkness in him. Frightened and weak, he had memories of the little life. He didnâ€™t want to see his only son die, but he did. Condemned man haunted and dreamed of a better world. Weeping in silence and crushed with work and wanting to escape this death. Lips trembling, murmured, and groaned. It was a familiar fear, the end was here. Madness had taken possession of him. He wept, it killed him that he saw the death of his only son. The familiar fear, the strength he had left him. So many cries with petrified eyes. He felt guilty and was losing faith. His corpse gazed, looking in his eyes, weak and timid. Unable to breathe, cries rose up. But his son never left him
jesse Jennifer Bae
CVHS Literary Magazine
memories Melissa Iyoya
Too many strings attached Julieta Corral
Her hands gripped her head, nails embedded in her scalp. Every sight. Every scent. Every feeling, reverberating within her skull. Memories. His touches were the prods of glowing white metal against the flesh of a newborn beast. He whispered the words worth a century of crime, his stubble scraping the innocent shell of her ear. His hands pressed her down, with the power of the ocean. Unrelenting. Endless. She was screaming, like the troubles of one million souls. Nobody came. His body was on hers, his skin on hers, everything of his above hers, she felt everything and then nothing. She was hollow. But it seemed perfectly fitting, as to be hollow is to be human. No longer did she belong to herself. No longer could she glance down at the polished surface of her shoes, for what she saw is a reflection. She grips her head, nails embedded in her scalp. Memories. Journeys
Shattered Rainbows Justin Galvan Scene 1: School Oliver is busy at his locker when he is approached by his sister SAMANTHA Hey Ollie, remember mom’s picking us up from school at 3:30 today. You know how she gets when we’re late. OLIVER Pssh don’t worry sis, I’ll make, I always do don’t I? SAMANTHA Yeah, sure you do. Remember 3:30, I don’t want to have to pry you off of Percy...again. Oliver gets very embarrassed at what his sister has said Samantha starts to exit. OLIVER That was one time! And I won’t be late. Bell rings signaling the start of class, as Oliver leaves lights fade out. Light’s start to fade on and there’s another bell that goes off signaling the end of class. After the bell students start to pour out and make their way throughout the hallway. Among those in the hallway is Oliver, who is making his way to his locker. After the brief struggle every student faces, he finally manages to get it open. As he’s moving supplies between his locker and backpack a guy comes up behind Oliver and hugs him lovingly. PERCY Hey babe. How’s your day been. OLIVER It’s been good, and it’d be even better if you’d stop it with the PDA. PERCY Awe? Common it’s no big deal, your sister already knows and she’s totally fine with us. OLIVER Yeah, I know, and we’ve had this conversation before. It’s my parents, you know how religious they are and if they found out... I don’t want to even think of how badly they’d take it. PERCY Come on Ollie, you never know how your mom and dad would react. It couldn’t be that bad, they do love you like a son after all.
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OLIVER Wow, that was bad even for you. But if it’ll really make you happy then I’ll think about it. Okay, happy now? Percy, jokingly, puts his hands up in defense PERCY That’s all I was asking. So, how are you getting home today? Do you want me to walk with you? OLIVER Crap! What time is it! My mom said she’d be picking my sister and I up at 3:30 sharp. PERCY It’s just 3:30 right now. OLIVER I’m already late then! I need to get going now. I love you and we can talk tomorrow. Oliver runs off before Percy can respond or say goodbye, and lights fade out. Scene 2:Davis Household Lights fade on and the setting is that of a nice house with some religious items here and there not too much but enough to be noticed. The family is not rich however they are fairly well off. There’s the sound of a car being locked along with the jingle of car keys. Oliver, Samantha and their mother, Mrs. Davis enter the house. MRS. DAVIS What have I told you about being on time Oliver. It’s not polite to make others wait for you. OLIVER Sorry mom, I got a little caught up in the hallway. Samantha smirks at him as he tries to explain himself MRS. DAVIS Mmhm, what was her name? I was a teenager too Oliver, I know what it means to get “caught up” in the hallway Samantha has gone from a smirk to quietly giggling to herself, where as Oliver is flabbergasted at his mother’s assumption and trying to not to blush. OLIVER What? No mom, I wasn’t with any girl. How many times do I have to tell you mom that there aren’t any girls that I like right now. Mrs. Davis gives him a look as to say, ‘oh really’ MRS. DAVIS
Fine, don’t tell me right now.
Samantha and Oliver make themselves comfortable in the living room. Not today you two, go upstairs and get your homework done, tonight’s family dinner, which is at 6:30. Am I clear Oliver? SAMANTHA AND OLIVER Ugh fine mom. Mrs. Davis exits the stage SAMANTHA Well I guess that’s one way of letting her know that you’re gay. OLIVER Ssssh, shut it will you? There’s no reason we need to let mom or dad know about that right now. Samantha for a moment gets serious SAMANTHA You do know you’re gonna have to tell them eventually? OLIVER Yes, yes, I know, but they’re not going to take it well. SAMANTHA Who knows, they might surprise you? Scene 3: Davis Family Dining Room Scene starts off where Mr. Davis, Mrs. Davis, Oliver, and Samantha are all seated at their dining table table holding hands. The table is set with a delicious meal but before they can eat it they have to pray. MR. DAVIS Heavenly Father, bless this food to our use and us to thy service, and keep us ever mindful of the needs of others, in Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen. ALL Amen. The Davis Family starts to eat their dinner. MR. DAVIS So how was all of your days today? Anything new? MRS. DAVIS
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Your son made me wait after school today because of some girl.
MR. DAVIS Oh so you got yourself a girlfriend now? OLIVER What? No, I don’t have a girlfriend Samantha looks like she’s trying not to laugh at her brother.
Uh, mom and dad, how do I say this… I’m gay.
Both of Oliver parents are clearly shocked by their son’s new announcement. Oliver’s father remains stoic at this announcement where his mother starts to freak and is much more frantic. MRS. DAVIS What!?! No, there’s no way you’re gay. We’ve brought you up better than this. We took you and your sister to church every Sunday, we watched as you got baptised. As a good Christian, you can’t commit a sin like that! The bible clearly states that Sodomy is a sin! And you know what happened to them. We’re not going to let you throw your life away like that. Frank say something to him. Oliver looked at his father, who refused to meet his eyes. Mr. Davis is not full of rage just disappointment. Mr. Davis gets up to leave. MR.DAVIS Excuse me. Mr. Davis exits. There’s a moment of silence full of shock. Mrs. Davis slams her hand down on the table and stands up. MRS. DAVIS Look what you’ve done. You’re not gay, you can’t be. Go up to your room and think about what you did. Light’s fade, end of scene 3. Scene 4: Samantha’s Room The story has skipped Saturday and it’s now Sunday morning. It’s Samantha and Oliver alone in Samantha’s room. Oliver’s staring off into space. SAMANTHA Hey, Ollie are you okay? You’ve been staring off for awhile now. OLIVER Huh? Oh… yeah, I’ve just been thinking about Friday.
SAMANTHA Hey, look at me. It’ll be alright, they can’t stay mad at you forever. OLIVER Yeah. SAMANTHA We better start getting ready. Oliver starts to exit.
After all, you wouldn’t want to miss church now would you?
OLIVER Ha ha ha, very funny. Oliver exits.
Scene 5: Church Lights fade up, and it’s a church. The pastor has already started his sermon and the entire Davis family is there sitting together in a pew. The entire family looks very uncomfortable. Especially Oliver given recent circumstances. PASTOR ...love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than… Lights fade out. Setting has changed where it’s after church now and Oliver is standing with his parents. OLIVER You did what? MRS. DAVIS We got you a date tonight! With Molly, Pastor Melvin’s daughter. OLIVER What? But I told you on Friday I’m ga….. MR. DAVIS No, you’re not. And that’s why we set up this date for you. Don’t disappoint us again. Oliver’s mood changes at the mention of disappointing his parents again. He looks down and nods, not wanting to upset his parents and worsen their relationship. Scene 6: School The Next Day Oliver is standing at his locker shuffling supplies between his backpack and locker. He is clearly full of rage and is unable to clearly focus on what he’s doing. To represent this he can be moving
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the same binder or book to and from his backpack. As he’s doing this Percy approaches him in a similar manner as he did in scene 1. PERCY Hey Ollie, what’s up? Are you okay? Oliver stops what he’s doing and sighs before he acknowledges Percy. OLIVER I came out to my parent this weekend… PERCY Are you alright? They didn’t kick you out or disown you did they? OLIVER No, no. They didn’t take the news well, but they didn’t kick me out or disown me. PERCY That’s not too bad then. OLIVER They did make me go on a date with some girl last night… Percy is not mad at hearing this news but he is very upset at Oliver’s parents. Oliver doesn’t take note of Percy’s interruption and continues to talk over him. PERCY Wait, what was either
… and I had no idea who the girl
OLIVER They made me take her out to a dinner and movie. It was literally the most awkward date ever. Especially after I told her that I have a boyfriend. PERCY So she does know you’re gay? OLIVER Yes I told her. Percy starts to get slightly affectionate with Oliver. Not disgustingly so, just like holding him and pecking his cheek. Percy’s character is fairly possessive and obviously doesn’t want to share his boyfriend with anyone. PERCY Good. For a second I thought you had replaced me... and with a girl. OLIVER Oh my god Percy. There are two big problems with that; one, I’m gay and two I already have a boyfriend (whispers aside) although he’s not the brightest.
PERCY (Playfully) Hey I heard that jerk. OLIVER Yeah, yeah, yeah you know you love me. Percy and Oliver go in to kiss and the lights start to fade. There’s a complete blackout before you can see them kiss. Scene 7: Davis Household It’s back at the Davis household. It’s now Friday after school and Samantha and Oliver have just walked in through the front door. Both are joking around together having fun and laughing. MRS. DAVIS Ah, Oliver. Your father and I need to talk to you. Mr. and Mrs. Davis wait until Samantha has left the room. We found another nice Christian girl for you to go on a date with tonight. Sure things didn’t go well with Pastor Melvin’s daughter but I’m sure you and this one will really hit it off. OLIVER What? No! Mom and Dad, I’m really sorry that I didn’t turn out to be this perfect Christian son that you wanted me to be, but I’m gay. MRS. DAVIS Honey, you’re too young and naive to really know what you want. Your father and I are simply just doing what’s best for you. And there’s no way you can really know for sure that you’re….what you claim to be. OLIVER Yes I can mom, I’ve been seeing this really nice guy named Percy now for around 9 months and I really like him. MR. DAVIS You’ve been what? MRS. DAVIS He’s not important anymore, I’m sure when you meet Rebecca, you’ll forget all about that boy. Oliver infuriated at what his parents has just said starts to storm out and before he opens the door to leave he looks back OLIVER I’m not going on a date with any girl. Not tonight, not tomorrow night, not ever. Oliver turns back around, storms out, and slams the door.
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MRS. DAVIS What now? Scene 8: Church pt. 2 The scene starts with the Davis family just walking in, the church service is just beginning to start PASTOR Hello, brothers and sisters. If I could please have your attention, we’re about to start. As some of you recall, last week I talked about loving your neighbors, but it’s not just our enemies that our God has called upon us to show love to. We are also called to show love to sinners and or enemies. While it’s not always easiest it is what we’re called to do. How can we claim to be good devoted Christ-like-Christians if we’re not showing people the same love our Saviour showed us? After all it’s not like any one of us is blameless. Romans 3:23 says,”For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” That even includes myself! While I try to do my best even I sin every now and then. So who am I look down with disdain upon the atheists, or muslims, or criminals, or even Homosexuals… Mr. and Mrs. Davis meet each other eyes with a matched sorrow. … The bible says, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are still looking at each other and the lights along with the Pastors voice fade out. Scene 9: The Davis Household The family enters and there’s a mood of somberness that’s fallen upon all of the Davis’. Samantha goes on straight to her room leaving Oliver with their parents. MR. DAVIS Oliver, your mother and I need to have a conversation with you. We’ll be waiting for you over in the living room. Oliver takes a moment to center himself before heading on into the living room. MRS. DAVIS Sit down please honey. MR. DAVIS Look son, how we reacted last week wasn’t right and we wanted to apologize to you for these past couple of days… MRS. DAVIS And we wanted wanted to say that while we may not always see eye to eye with you on the decisions that you make, you are our son and we love you. No matter what you do or where you go we will always love you. And from now on we are going to do our best to accept you. The three of them share a hug. Mr. Davis is the first to pull away.
MR. DAVIS That being said, your mom and I are going to need to meet this boyfriend of yours….. Mr. Davis cannot remember Percy’s name. OLIVER Percy. MR. DAVIS Yes, we are going to need to meet Percy, we may love and accept you but we need to check this kid out and make sure he’s good enough for our son Samantha pops her head in having heard everything SAMANTHA They make a really cute couple by the way. Lights fade out THE END
Watercolor Anjana Saravanan What color is your soul? Deep, magnificent purple, mystery swirling in its hidden eddies shimmering silver, showing all but no substance or perhaps something in between What is a face? It is nothing. Inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things. It is merely a facade, one we must don as humans. Perhaps it would be better if we were all only colors, sounds, feelings floating in life’s pristine waters staining the water into a beautiful, muddled mixture
Like Colored Water Jennifer Bae
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And Everybody’s Watching Her Julieta Corral
Let the Heart be Broken Sevana Shahbazi You can hear her voice break and her heart fall, “Darling, I trust you, please I didn’t mean the words I said, I want to give you my all.” You can hear the anger in his voice when he’s been betrayed, “YOU THINK YOU CAN? LOOK AT YOU, YOU’RE AFRAID!” Suddenly her voice is filled with anger and regret, “I, Gave you something to hang onto, Now don’t you forget!” He stops to think and takes a deep breath yells at her, “YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO HANG ONTO, BUT THAT’S WHERE WE WERE.” And suddenly his voice calms, and he sees he’s her heart ache, “Baby, I don’t want to fight with you, it makes my heart break.” She looks up with tears streaming down her face, “And what about the storms you and I chase?” He goes over to her and lifts up her chin, eyes glossed over with tears, “I don’t care about the storms, but losing you is one of my biggest fears.” She hugs him tightly as if she doesn’t want to let go, “I am so grateful for you and I hope you know.” Her arms around his neck there’s nothing she’d want more, “I hope you never walk out of my metaphorical door.” He gleams at her, with his million dollar smile, “Baby, you better get used to it, I’m gonna be here for a while.”
The Love of a Mother Jessi Edwards The day you came into my life I knew One day you would leave me But I did not know The day would come so soon I dreamed of laughs and adventures Forming into memories I never knew I would fail you so early We had so little time Until our bonds were broken I can still hear the knock Of the woman who took you away Visions of her car pulling away WIth you in the rear Haunt me daily I never meant to hurt you I could have done better But I did not Instead I left you Time and time again I just wish they care for you Like I was never able to I hope they love you Like I always will I need them to believe in you As I hoped I would
MAma Jennifer Bae
The Brilliance of Chaos Annabelle Mayer
A mountain of city lights reach above me, the lights burning my eyes in the endless dark Though here I can see the stars, twinkling around me as the fog grows heavier in the artificial light As I run from the hills of houses, hills of people, and their colliding minds My skin unravels, from my fingertips to my chest, slowly falling off as the galaxy watches I scream just for the purpose of hearing my own voice, and the universe splits in two as I become more than just flesh and bone, as I become something much greater The yellows and whites mix until all I am is a radiant light And then the only thing left are the hills of houses, hills of people And the memory of a mountain of city lights, burning in their minds
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Lookout Spot Joshua Baum
Lonesome Anecdote Anonymous Every minute on this earth I spend, I feel as though all life will end. My fear of love grows tall and wide. My heart’s fix to feelings that have died. Waiting upon a falling star, To wish away my unseen scars. Hoping for a new flower to bloom, With warmth and love like a mother’s Womb. Love: life’s most peculiar puzzle, But assembles like rain in clouds; so subtle A heart hanging from a dangling vine To be saved from the fall, Like water to wine.
man of colors Taylor Lopez
Me Joshua Baum
My Wonders Angela Cha It has always come to my curiosity about the wonders of the world. Starting from the beginning of life to where things are now. I always wonder, is the mountain tired of being always being alone up at the sky? Are flowers weary of being planted down in the soil, blooming and withering in a constant cycle? I wonder if the world itself is tired from all the massacres, wars, and murders. Or if the ocean water is tired of hitting the hard sandy rock and getting tangled with the kale. Are deserts exhausted from the constant hot weather and boredom? But it all truly comes down to one question, does reality get tired of trying to remain the same?
Walden Saya Linney
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gerald the fly Athena Bamrick Yesterday I saw a fly. But not just any fly, a fly in a clear state of distress. You see, not to any offense to the fly here or anything, but, flies have very small brains. They do, it’s science. I mean really, how would it even fit a huge brain in its tiny body in the first place? Anyway, back to the small-brained, distressed fly. I think we’ll call him Gerald. Well you see, Gerald, the intruder he is, broke into my house without my consent the other day, and realizing his mistake, either because of the guilt he felt on his little fly conscience or because he was suffering from the humidity like I was, Gerald planned to leave, more like escape actually, the house he so rudely let himself into. And so, he bolted towards an opening promising outside, promising air, less humidity for goodness sakes, and crashed right into that glass window. How terrible the wretched things are, really. They almost taunt you with the outdoors, begging you to look at them, but once you try to go towards them, BAM! you get a swelling bump on your head from making contact with a substance that instead of getting you to the outside, shows you a photo of it, then prevents you from doing what it makes you want to do. And while I may only get a swelling bump on my head, poor Gerald here is not only physically impacted from this deceit, but is also immersed in a state of pitiful confusion and frenzy. So to let him out, because to be quite honest I didn’t enjoy his presence just as much as he didn’t enjoy mine, I opened the door. But you see, this poor Gerald was so immersed in his need to get out through the window, into the world he saw from that window, he didn’t notice the door open widely behind him. So Gerald died, confused and struggling to exit through an exit that isn’t actually an exit. Now, this may seem like a very insignificant story to the young, old, or middle-aged human being reading this paragraph (if there are any), and it very well may be one. But there is actually an important lesson to be learned from Gerald, the unfortunate protagonist in this tale, for though it may not seem like it, us humans with brains about 640,000 times the size of his, happen to get stuck in the same exact predicament he is in, many a times throughout our life as well. How? our dear reader may be asking, unless of course you happen to have also been stuck bumping yourself at a window as means of escape, unaware of a door behind you before, in which case I think you should really be reading other articles. But that’s beside the point. See just like Gerald, some of us seem to feel that there is only one way to go in life. Maybe your parents think that you cannot be anything but a doctor. Maybe you think you must be a librarian to fill some weird empty space in you that must be a librarian, but when you find out that path is a not a through street, you get stuck, you think that this must be the end. You think well, my life is ruined, and you fail to realize that there are many paths, and much dirt. And with this dirt that at the moment is unmarked by any paths, you may make your own. Your very own path. Great don’t ya think? Or, if trailblazing is not a particular hobby of yours, you can take one that has already been semi-made and improvise and change a few things on the way, which of course is a good thing, because you are a different person than the original person who made that path. But what I’m trying to say here is, yes. There are dead ends in life, and yes, you may feel like there is only one way to go, but no. There isn’t. There are two hundred. There are three hundred. There are five hundred, six hundred, a thousand. There are an infinite number of paths you can take, and an infinite number of paths you can make, and all of them are open for your walking and pleasure. So in the name of poor small-brained, distressed, dead Gerald, do not let this immense power of yours go to waste.
Mark 12:31 Julian Porcelli One day A drunk man came Said we didn’t belong Said we weren’t the same Said we’re damn illegals Said get-the-hell-out And shook our gate Made my sister cry I said it’s okay sweetie-pie He won’t come close He’s all talk That’s when he unhinged the lock Came staggering towards us What could I do? I was only eight And my sister was two We scrambled inside And hid by the sofa I heard him by the window So I had to look over He was looking in With those familiar eyes That were bloated with hatred They worshiped lies He started barking again Slurring those words That make me hate My name being a Spanish word Ten minutes past Then he got sad And mumbled about the beers he had Said he’ll be back With some of his friends And hang us Mexicans At the tree where the street ends Said they’ll teach us a lesson About crossing the border They said they’ll bring back Justice and Order Then he staggered away His hands leaving a print on our window Of the United States I’m not even kidding you Later that night
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When I was tucked into bed I laid awake Repeated the words he said We don’t belong Get out of here Take your damn dog with ya No brownies come near Now looking back I love this man For he showed me What I must do for this land Love one another and teach the new And in time That’s what all will do But let us not be color blind We should celebrate differences Be it praying to different gods Or having different Christmases We all have identities We all have beliefs But why should we give one another such grief? Remember we’re people We want the same things We should soldier on together Face what the world brings We’re in this together So let’s move forward Let’s tear down walls Because love has no borders
Crumbling Bree Phimphachanh
Scorched sky Nathalie Lai
Stop Josephine Kim I see a gray sky The result of cutting and burning and destroying I see the traces of life Driven out of the world by humansâ€™ greed I see the white coral The dead home of thousands of species I touch the sand on the beach Coated with gallons of spilled black oil I touch the soil on the ground Baked hard by the sun and the drought I touch the dry river bottom Depleted with waste and overuse
Haiti April Cho
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I hear loud echo A warning already given long ago I hear a cry for help The Earth is begging us to stop And look at the mess weâ€™ve created
Psychosis Joshua Choi
I crumble and I fall. The walls swirl blue then black, and I am alone. And it is in this aloneness where I am not alone. I ask, “are they gone” and the shrieking begins. My hands cover my ears to block the sounds and I cower and huddle with my head between my knees. Time has stopped, and yet it continues. The people do not move, yet I hear. I hear things that go beyond rhyme or reason. They are my devils. They scream, hurl words that slap, sting and burn to hear. My angels are there too. Singing, trying to negate the devils. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. The demons, they squeal and howl louder. Harder. Meaner. There is a war in me and the devils are winning. I sing with the angels to help. It’s a losing battle. My voice trembles and cracks, but I persevere until the battle is over. “You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You’ll never know, Dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away” I remember the song from when I was little. Before they came. Before they began. From when Mom and Dad loved me. Took care of me. But that changed when they came. Mom and Dad changed. Mom and Dad loved me. Took care of me. Mom and Dad changed. Mom and Dad say this is for my own safety. 20 hours a day. That’s the norm. I pull but my wrists are bound. I jerk but my legs are tied. I lean forward, but there is a net cast over my chest. I can not breathe. And its in this weakness when they come back. The voices are back. Casting shades of a turgid muddy black-red all over the once torpid beige walls. They yell insults. They call me crazy and insane. I am not. I know I am not. I have never tried to hurt anyone. I have never threatened anyone. I went to school and had friends. I am normal yet they say: Crazy. Insane. Mad. My angels are back, but there are fewer now. We sing and we laugh. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Ha. You make me happy, when skies are gray. Ha.” These restraints. They bind me. The cool leather, hides my hot embarrassment. They bind me to their associated ideas. A raving lunatic. Psychotic. Maniac. 20 hours a day. I have never tried to hurt anyone. I have never threatened anyone. I went to school and had friends. I am normal. Time passes in this room, yet it does not.Time is time and this room is this room. 4 walls. Beige. The only reminders of the progression of time are the ticking of the clocks and the visitations of those who scream. The doctors come and speak with me, but they never let me loose. The doctors say I can go now. That the pills will help. Three small ones and two big ones. The doctors say that they will take my demons away. I cower and huddle with my head between my knees. I cover my ears and block out the screams. I gasp, gasp for air, for breath, for salvation and for hope. I sing. I sing for my angels to come. There is no response. They lied. They tried to take away my devils, but only my angels have left. Gone. The demons yell, then they howl, then they shriek. Then there is silence. But I am not alone. A voice is still here. Not an angel, not a devil. It belongs to a young girl, barely audible. She whispers, She advises, She suggests. Yes. A suggestion. Help. The salvation I had gasped for, so desperately lunged for, begged and cried for. A suggestion. I take it and then there is true silence. I join my angels. I no longer cower and hide. I stand tall and I reach for the single ray of light that cuts across the melancholy sky.
To the last child in the woods Kristen Cassel Prancing in the Daffodils Leaping across the lavish hills Nature was where we laughed and sang Nature was where our joyous memories sprang The green meadows rolled bliss into the hearts of everyone Until day by day we began to find new, modern ways of fun Day by day we began to stay Inside where our technological consumptions lay No longer did our joyous hearts spring Instead, they let out a monotonous “ding” Monsters of dissipation Nature began to see its eradication The memories of green meadows are fading Just as the technological monarchies are staying Will we surrender to the new, brightly flashing future? Will we allow our hearts to be swept by a mere computer? Generations to come will prance along technological falsehoods Until we’re down to the last child in the woods
under the stars Hannah Joo and there she lies silent under the stars ceiling of lights and bed of flowers curls of gold illuminated by the galaxy above yet her lips as blue as her lifeless eyes and there she lies in a halo of red and a knife in her hand…
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Emancipation Joshua Baum
That night Anjana Saravanan One night we climbed up to the roof together and you told me you loved me. It seems stupid now, but as we sat side by side, our feet dangling, I felt something. It was vague: a stirring of my chest, something deep within that I quickly stifled. You can blame society for that. Love is scorned, ridiculed, mocked by the masses. And I did not want to be another teenage lover
because it was ingrained in me that what I felt was a combination of hormones and lust, nothing concrete. But now, seven years later, I cannot deny that Iâ€™ve never felt anything more real towards another person than I did that night. As I sit at the window watching the clouds cry fat drops I can only remember the fiery sunset, the touch of your hand on mine, and the sweeping, soaring, terrible feeling called love.
send my love The picture frame
Alexis Karakas Dewiness sprays your face alert. You crack open your eyes and let them adjust to the light for fifteen seconds. It is not sunny. The light is grey and the dawn is damp. Gravid rain clouds loom overhead. Rapidly, the drizzle accelerates to a pattering of heavy droplets that find their way into your room through your open window. The lonely, tired rose that you planted when you were twelve bows its neck. It cries single drops of rain from its petals. The picture frame catches your attention. The picture is of you and your family when you were a child. Glass shatters onto the floor. The piercing urgency of the collision startles you. Sharp, shards of the glass are strewn around the picture frame like a crown of thorns. You pick up the tiny slices of glass that surround you. You pick them up off the floor with your naked fingers. One-by-one, you count fifteen. Drops of blood fall on the picture marking every year of your life so far. You go back to bed. You cover your head with your red duvet cover that has faded to a salmon. You lay down as the soil is shoveled upon you. Shovel after shovel of life and reality is thrown upon you.
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Stagnant Time Joshua Baum
Take Me home Ellie Song The mahogany dining table stood near the hearth The center of the house Where we all came to remember Spices somersaulting in the air The aroma of warm chestnut and sausage Apple pies, baked gleaming in the autumn light The old house was bordered by rosesv Roses with full fat blooms Finishing the spell that kept the house from time Maple and walnut trees dancing in the rain Stars caught in the branches The old apple tree leaning on the house Weary from the years of us Extending its branches to playv Bending with our imagination Listening to our woes Here is the home where i grew Always filled with the smell of apples and chestnut The warm fire dancing up the chimney Taking our memories in the heart of the fire Up they go, our home, Weaving with the stars And playing in the music of the sky Forever where we can see Where home will always be
everlasting Taylor Lopez
The Interview Adam Aronovsky The woman woke up. Her eyes rolled toward the shrieking clock beside the bed with bleary exasperation. “6:15” blinked meekly in response. In one fluid motion, she silenced the alarm, stood up, and yawned a greeting to the new day. She briskly rubbed the exasperation from her eyes and marched to the bathroom, where she proceeded to wash the exasperation off her skin, hair, and mouth. The sound of cartoons blared over a muffled barrage of traffic, birds, and distant sirens outside. Her leg itched. Refreshed, the woman emerged to find her son mesmerized in front of the TV. The simply adorned room was cloaked in a soft pink hue, the air itself a cloud of swirling rose colored crystals refracting the light streaming in pulsing ribbons from outside. She stared at him awhile, studying the gentle curve of his back as he strained for a closer look at his cartoons, enjoying the glowing warmth he caused to spread through her body. She glided across the room, cooing a morning greeting and lovingly kissing the top of his head. He grunted in acknowledgment. Reluctantly drawing herself away from the boy, the woman pivoted to her right to face her parents in the kitchen. The thick steam and smell of pancakes wafting from the stovetop filled the small room, giving its surfaces a shimmering veneer. Behind this honey colored curtain, the woman’s mother was furiously beating at a bowl of batter. Her skin was pinned back in the shape of a smile. “Morning, sweetheart!” she called out in a voice as taut as her forced expression. “Morning Mom.” “Sleep well?” “I guess.” “Good. I can fix you a plate of pancakes, if you like. What time do you have to head out?” “My interview’s at eight, but it’s all the way ‘cross town. So probably around seven.” “Well, eat up while you can. Never a good idea to start the day on an empty stomach.” With that, the woman took the seat opposite her father and watched the vaporous trail mark the path of her breakfast as it was brought out of the steaming kitchen. As the plate came to rest in front of her, the same trail drifted lazily up towards the low ceiling, only to be beaten back by the harsh orange light overhead. The kitchen table resembled an interrogation room. It was situated in a dark enclave, cut off from the rose and honey of the other rooms. The table itself was a small square, with rounded corners and the same aesthetic and texture as linoleum. The light fixture both looked and acted as a heat
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lamp, its blazing bulb like a lit coal showering the unfortunate subject below with relentless waves of billowing embers until they were left sweat-drenched and panting with exhaustion. The woman mused that the flickering trail in front of her was not from pancakes, but a cigarette consuming itself at the bottom of an ashtray, and that her father sitting across from her was actually a troubled, chain smoking detective pouring over his case files, instead of the morning paper. She scratched her leg. Noticing the movement, her father’s eyes flicked over the top of his newspaper. “So, what job is this for?” he asked her in a shuddering growl. “It’s just an office job at some law firm. I’ll be making phone calls, running errands, that kind of thing.” “Sounds like an intern.” “Yeah. basically.” “And you’re sure you’ll be payed for this job?” he asked, taking his reading glasses off and folding his arms in suspicion. “I don’t want you working some place for free. I mean, we need this money.” “Yes,” the woman reassured him, “I’ll be making minimum wage.” “Good,” he said apprehensively. “‘Cause a couple of these guys seemed like real shady characters.” “I don’t think you have to worry, Dad. Cassie put me in touch with these people and she vouched for them. Apparently she’s got friends who’ve been working there for years.” “Alright, just make sure you’re not getting duped by these people,” he grumbled while sliding his glasses back into place. He squinted at his watch, then squinted up at his daughter and asked “ Did you say you were leaving at seven?” “Yeah…” was her wary response. “Well, it’s 6:55 now, so you better get a move on.” “I guess you’re right,” the women acknowledged while sliding back from her untouched pancakes. She grabbed her bag and checked a mirror to make sure the syrup she hadn’t eaten hadn’t fallen on her blouse. Turning around at the front door to the apartment, she announced, “Alright, I’m taking off.” Starting at the news, her mother ran out of the kitchen. As the pancakes burned, the room began to assume the same color as the heat lamp over the table. She hurriedly undid her apron and fastened her face back into a believable
smile, but as she turned the corner exiting the kitchen, all she saw was a flash of her daughters’ heels as the door slammed shut behind her. It was a long trip from the apartment to where the woman would be interviewed. She started off, walking down the steps of the old tenement building and half a block to the right to wait for a bus. She took a bus six blocks North, then a train an additional eighteen blocks North and three blocks East, and arrived two blocks from her destination. The trip took approximately an hour and fifteen minutes, and she earnestly hoped that she would be taking it every day thereafter. As she emerged from the underground station, the woman had to brace herself as a cold gust of wind shot down the street. The high buildings running along either side of the street formed a concrete ravine, and the lines of cars and people crowding along its path looked like a great migration of wildebeests funneling through an African gorge in the hope of greener pastures. The sun was a yellow smear in the grey autumn sky. The woman stared straight ahead. She felt a tentative sense of optimism going into this, her third interview of the month. As she walked, the woman felt as if the sidewalk was unfurling in a carpet little rubber squares just for her. She was alert and rejuvenated in the crisp morning air. Out of her periphery she saw a building with “CSG Law Partners” emblazoned in block lettering on its front. She entered the lobby and was directed to the 22nd floor, where she was directed from another lobby to a small conference room overlooking the gorge below. The occupant of the room was young woman in her late twenties. Her face was perpetually pinned back in a wide, toothy smile to compliment her ruddy cheeks, fake eyelashes and curly blonde hair. She spoke with a slight Southern accent. “Hi, there! Olivia, is it?” the curly haired woman said, hopping up to greet her guest at the doorway. “Yes, that’s me,” responded the woman, slightly shocked by the bubbly mass of curls which had just sprung at her from across the room. “Sorry I’m a few minutes late. The bus got held up in traffic.” “Oh don’t worry about it, I know how ridiculous it gets ‘round this time of day. My name is Cynthia, by the way. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please, sit!” the curly haired woman said as she scampered back to her seat at the head of the table. Still hesitant, the woman took a seat at the opposite end of the table, nervously folding her hands in her lap. “Nice to meet you, too. Here’s my resume and application,” she said, flashing a quick grin as she slid a slim packet across the table. “Oh thank you!” Cynthia exclaimed with unwarranted enthusiasm as she rummaged in her bag for
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a pen. Upon looking up, her expression slipped briefly into one of genuine confusion at seeing her guest at the extreme opposite end of the room. Reassuming her default smile, she struck a more empathetic tone. “Sorry, I know I can come across as intimidating sometimes, but I promise I don’t bite. Why don’t you come sit here,” she said gesturing to the seat next to her, “‘cause right now I feel like I have to practically shout just for you to hear me!” ending her appeal within a thin laugh at her own joke. Emboldened by Cynthia’s compassion, the woman picked up her bag and moved to the other end of the table. “Thanks,” she said with a quick nod in her interviewer’s direction. “Don’t mention it,” Cynthia responded while skimming over the first page of the packet. The woman’s leg began to itch. “I just got to make sure all your paperwork’s in order here, and you should be good to go. I know you spoke a couple times on the phone with Jimmy, my colleague, and you’ve been recommended by multiple people working here at the firm, so this interview should be nothing but a formality,” Cynthia said as she flipped the page. The women discreetly scratched her leg and responded “That’s good news, I guess.” “Yeah, you already know a bunch of the girls here, and you’ve got plenty of experience, so…” Cynthia’s voice dropped until it was barely audible. Her smile melted into a look of fear and betrayal, her plump cheeks draining to a pallid, plaster consistency. Her large eyes were fixated on a single point in the slim packet. The woman’s stomach clenched at Cynthia’s abrupt pause. She watched as the shock of whatever her bubbly interviewer had seen slowly transformed into resolve. She sat up in her seat, avoiding eye contact with the woman, set her jaw, and refolded the slim packet. She then coolly turned to her, extending the packet, and flatly said “We’ll be in touch.” The phrase hit the woman like a ton of bricks. She knew what Cynthia had seen, what all her interviewers had seen, and hated herself for thinking that this time would be different. Her ankle burned her with the brand of a criminal. Instantly, she became aware of the reeking stench of guilt pouring off of everything she touched. The tears welling up in her eyes and the mucus in her throat burned with shame. She hated herself. And she understood why Cynthia hated her too. Walking away from the building exhausted the woman. The distance to the train station seemed endless, and the entire way she was bogged down by the seemingly massive weight strapped to her ankle. The sidewalk now seemed like quicksand, dragging the woman and her burden down into its dark grey depths. The train was also endless. So too was the bus ride, and the walk to the tenement building, and the stairs up to the apartment. The woman opened the door to a dead room. The walls resonated with deafening silence, and the air had been suspended in a suffocating palette of grey. The only color came from the small flashing light on the woman’s left ankle. As she moved through the moonscape, the woman brushed aside the gesticulating figures of her mother and son for the solace of her bedroom. She collapsed onto the sheets and felt the magnetic gravity pulling the weight down through her mattress. Quietly, she allowed herself to sink into the depths of the quicksand.
The glass box Abbey Markham I can’t connect. Why can’t I touch them? I feel like I’m running around, tripping over myself, trying desperately to reach them. And when I do, all I touch is a glass box. I can see the human inside. The human with their own stories to tell, their own heartache, their own happiness, their own special gift that only they can share with the world. I bang on the glass, frustrated that I can’t connect with the human inside. All I want is for them to let me in. I rest my forehead on the glass in defeat and then I take a reluctant step back. I glance one last time at the reflective glass of their box... and see something that I hadn’t before. I see my tear stained face, red and puffy from the pain reeking havoc in my heart, but this is nothing new. What blindsides me, is that on the surface of their glass box, I see the reflection of the edges of another box. The glass box I am trapped in. The glass box that I had been banging on all along.
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you know who Isabella Magdaleno
Beautiful Acceptance Bree Phimphachanh
If I Had The Chance Dominique Hernandez If I had the chance to do it over I’d cover myself up more Maybe that would bring me some type of closure rethinking about the things I wore Maybe I wouldn’t have put my drink down or maybe I wouldn’t have been walking alone As I remember my lifeless body lying on the ground with every inch of me shaken down to my bones “It’s my fault”, they said no one was on my side I could feel myself holding on by a thread each and every night that I cried “I should know how to protect myself” “I was being too friendly” What would you think to yourself if you were the one who was trembling If I had the chance to do it over, I’d cover up, I’d be less friendly, I would expect it to happen Because I was asking to be raped with my clothes, words and actions Just for his own satisfaction.
I am not racist Kevin Park I never participated In the lynchings with the others I never hit The people who call each other “brothas” I am not racist When I walk through the street And I see the blacks Lying on the ground Lying on their backs With my friends kicking and punching them With no remorse I don’t participate I run like a horse I am not racist Even when I see the blacks sitting in my seat at the bus I don’t make a scene or fight The only thing I do is ask him to move, because I do what is right And if he makes a fuss, I simply ask him to shush I am not racist All I do is obey the rules I am not racist because I do not hurt the black fools I don’t curse, spit, or take my anger out on them Instead, I keep my thought in my mind, avoid all the mayhem But something happened yesterday, that made me think I was with my son in the nearby park I went to drink some water, and told him to go wash his hands at the sink However, there was already a man there whose skin was dark I expected my son to be like his non racist father Simply ask the dark man, to move and do not bother But my son did something else, and he waited for the man Disregarding the rules, regulations and bans I am not racist, this is a fact I do not fight, lynch, or curse at the blacks My son, however, is something different He does not care, about the skin or the pigment I was always told that racists were men who abused blacks, and therefore were evil Is it possible, this definition is medieval? I still believe that I am not a racist But still every single day, I judge off the color of people’s faces
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Seeing my son not give a damn about race It honestly made me feel like a shame: a disgrace Nevertheless, when I walk across my people beating the blacks Trying to hurt, abuse and attack I am still too scared to do anything about it But I am not a racist The times are changing Words are rearranging What I think the word racist means May not be the same, as in the future of 2016 The world today, is not good in any means I am not a racist, but that is only what I believe But that is how I was raised, how can I change? So even though I feel my son is a bit strange And even though I say I am not racist Our society is wrong, and I believe that my son can fix it
Rocket Man Joshua Baum
Shelter Ariana Keshishian A dimly-lit hall, clamorous, lined with enclosures and the startling echoes of sharp baying Dozens of creatures with coats of taupe, of chestnut, with damp noses and swaying tails Hundreds of eyes watch with hopeful intention, a want for warmth, for family, for belonging Fur and skin meet with a gentle embrace, a whisper of optimism rippling the noise
donkey days Edan Bash
And suddenly one is carried away from the rest, just one spared from an eternity of solitude A day passes, and another goes, another heart won over, another pair of souls saved And day by day, the cages empty, the sound gradually lessens, promise is restored A dimly-lit hall, desolate, lined with enclosures and the still presence of uninterrupted silence
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humingbird Joshua Baum
A Beautiful Day Sophia Atin The sun hangs, a ripe orange in the boughs of the sky, citrus drops of sunshine splash, splash, splashing on my face. The warmth cloaks mea thousand feathers tickling my skin. Bubblegum pink flowers sway in the wind, dancing a ballet of twirling petals and leaves. The birds sing songs so honey sweet, golden notes a silk ribbon tracing through the air. Little kids with flushed cheeks - red as appleschase each other like hares, darting this way and that. Diamond kites soar like birds in the sky, long ribboned tails trailing, spelling swirling loops in the sapphire sky. Beautiful- It is a beautiful day.
Girl with a Pearl Earring Ha Lin Kim Bust-length portrait of a woman in rather indeterminate background Gazes that seem enigmatic and that oversized pearl earring There’s something momentary Something very alluring What is she thinking? Who is she? What is out relationship to her? The most famous masterpiece that we know so little about Reflectivity of the pearl casts against the darkness of her neck The subtlety of light is still stunning The softness of her features The harmonies of those blues and golds reflecting a dream of an artist who left only couple paintings a year Not addressing herself directly she’s about to engage us And so we are complicit in this moment And, perhaps this is why she’s so beloved
thicket Isabella Magdaleno
Rootbeers and Black Coffee Ellie Song The words bubble inside of me Wandering in my head With blasts and trills They know what to say When the hot bubbles And the bitter steam rises The words canâ€™t be quelled They swell and climb Run deeper than pride Until they rise to the tip Of my lips Where they blow away Puffs of anger and Words unspoken Guarding their pain And quiet is all I can say
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untitled Shanta Kumarasuriar
Dawn â€˜til Dusk
See Through Jennifer Bae
Maddie Bunting A young boy wakes up before dawn He walks one mile to a fast food restaurant After cleaning for exactly one hour He picks up his check and hides it in his sock. He rushes to get to school before the bell rings Even though his teacher marks him tardy everyday not understanding why heâ€™s late While taking a test with information he never remembered learning He wonders if his siblings made it to school. After school, the teenager races back home to see his siblings As he helps them finish their homework, he grabs his apron Unlocks his bike and rides swiftly to a different restaurant ten miles away He is the youngest worker and washes dishes until the moon rises. He opens an unlocked, broken door to a mother passed out on the couch He cleans up the empty bottles and heads to the bedroom he shares with his siblings Hidden, is an empty jar filled with the money he earns, usually spent on food As a new day begins, he sits by a cracked window starting his homework.
An Understanding of Opposites Nathalie Lai “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Then, For every step forward, a step back? For every creation, destruction? For every rise, always an inevitable fall? Then, One day, we must all lie motionless. Because, For birth, dust? For vitality, decay? For existence, oblivion? But, in these instances, It seems that the opposite reaction has a greater magnitude. (But, that’s not scientifically correct!) Why does it seem that there is more force in destruction than creation? Darkness than light? Fear than hope? We are all bound to the same destiny. How we choose to reach it makes us unique. We can self-destruct, if we are each a mere time bomb. But we aren’t. We can radiate hope We can pulse light We can facilitate growth We are a powerful species with so much untapped potential. If we don’t impact the earth with our power, Then the reaction is surely stronger. So, yes, the constant in this equation is death. What we decide to make of our lives is utterly dependent on us. How we approach death, our infinity, Is the variable. Maybe actions are ephemeral, reactions perpetual? Only for humanity. (But it is really a choice.)
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Tears of Life Rebecca Park Tears of hope form on the face Looking at the dull and lifeless grave Searching for a miniscule spark Holding onto that little faith trying to be brave Eyes roaming through through the dark Tears of sadness drip from the face Losing hope in ever seeing The soul which was entwined with mine The soul that keeps on fleeing The soul that doesnâ€™t want to cross the line Tears of fear flow from the face Giving up and wanting to say goodbye Wanting to let go no longer being able to endure Just waiting for the fate in the ground to lie No longer wanting to wait for the imaginary cure Tears of peace stains on the face Prying open the eyes one last time Seeing and hearing the chimes of life one last
Two Sided Bree Phimphachanh
The Beauty of Opposites Bree Phimphachanh
frankenstein Ju Won Kim
action Sue Bin Lee A flower of rich emotions blooms from the dry soil of the Earth. Something about films are very special. Distortion of reality attracts me to them. The impossible becomes possible. The dead can be alive again, people can fly, and teeth can be so white that they wink at you. Films are a source of satisfaction when I crave something greater from life. To feel a greater feeling. In two hours and thirty minutes of a movie, I have experienced more than I ever will in one whole day of my life. A film is a passage to escape reality. I can relive my life as someone else. Movies take me to places Iâ€™ve never been and inside the skin of people different from me. They offer me a window onto the wider world, broadening my perspective and opening my eyes to intangible wonder. A framed window hints at a vast reality just outside of view. A part of something prolonged indefinitely to the universe. Films are intoxicating with feels, smells and other sensible things. It is part of the human nature to see the world from a single point of view, but we strive to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, and to feel with other hearts. Then suddenly, the screen goes black and the lights turn on and the flower wilts.
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The Christmas Truce of 1914 Kiran Hamkins The ringing in his ears never ceases the boom of a cannon the crack of a rifle the thump of another soldier hitting the ground it all turns to white noise As the snow falls around him he prepares for another clash thinking of his family thinking of his friends thinking of his homeland thinking of everything he was fighting to protect Driving from his mind the images of the scarlet battlefield of the rotting corpses of the disease-riddled men wasting away of all that had changed him A new sound abruptly cuts through the night not the harsh bang of guns but the lilting melody of voices a familiar tune from his past floats overhead the realization comes rushing in all at once Christmastime has come
raising his hands in truce Two armies meet in the barren wasteland shaking hands playing football exchanging pictures exchanging mementos exchanging warmth and friendship and laughter The sun rises the soldier retreats back into the trenches back into the darkness back into the barbarity back into reality He readies his rifle he prepares for another clash thinking of football thinking of friendship the sound of laughter ringing in his ears
Overwhelming thoughts of home force tears to his eyes the sight of friends reuniting the feeling of warmth the smell of roasting ham the sound of laughter pealing through the halls The cry of an officer interrupts his reverie gazing out across the barren wasteland the sight of a dark figure emerging from the trenches raising not a gun raising not a knife raising his hands in truce The soldier stands raising his rifle steeling himself to take another life the sweet sound of music still ringing in his ears he stops and emerges from the trenches
War of Butterflies Alexis Karakas Five years of war is not just five years of war. War is not just a time period of quarrel and dispute. War is the inevitable and everlasting torment of the mind and body of a disagreeing humanity. People are often compared to their less evolved counterparts. They are likened to apes and the evil to snakes. Yet, I believe we are like butterflies. Butterflies are fragile. Their hearts a constant flutter are harmonious with their delicate wings. They are born from an egg, become a caterpillar, and strive to grow. Day after day of preparation, they finally enter their chrysalis. When they finally emerge from their cocoon, they are stripped of any shield. They immediately delve into the wild. However, a butterfly, they only live for one day. They prepare themselves for the one day that would ultimately result in their demise. One day it’s a new life and the next day none. Death. This war we were in- it’s young soldiers marching to their ends- is a war of butterflies. .... August 1914 The air was still and thick. The south-English summer rendered everyone soaked with perspiration under their high-collared dresses and cravats. The ambience was soundless, save for the ticking of the watch. A gift that once belonged to my father, the seconds tick-ticked by comfortingly. There was nothing surer than time. Every breath I drew, every heart palpitation, every facial twitch, every turning of the book’s page synchronized with the seconds the pocket watch announced. Vivid are the memories of my early childhood. They come back to me, the moving images in my head, of me running about and scouring the Abbey grounds. The maze of rose bushes had me running wildly through them until I could find the one. The osiria rose was my favorite. My namesake, it blossomed with an exterior as pure as snow and an interior as thick of a red as blood. The specific bush was in the center, neighbored by the Lancashire rose. Childhood is knowing no world outside the little one you’ve created in your mind. It is being content with being unable to comprehend that there is a whole, large world out there besides your home and few acquaintances. After all, one’s life begins at birth but one’s life in the world begins with his or her deep thought.
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New Beginnings Tara Troschak
Polaroid Grant Bolstad Through the personalized zoom, a scene is viewed. Each detail is accounted for, not a shadow askew. A slight movement of the finger solidifies that thought, while the scene is rendered, and then immediately caught. That picture is now special, truly one of a kind And the photographer is responsible, truly a brilliant mind. The picture is now itself, as though stuck in cement And it cannot be copied due to heart and sentiment. The result makes him proud, his eyes present that truth Of the work he has done, and the picture so clean and smooth. Through the unscathed glass zoom, a scene is viewed. Each soldier is accounted for, not a figure askew. A slight movement of the trigger solidifies that thought, while the scene is blurred, and then immediately caught. That blast is now special, truly one of a kind And the trained young man is responsible, truly a brilliant mind. The field is now itself, as though stuck in cement And it cannot be cleaned due to heart and sentiment. The result makes him afraid, his eyes present that truth Of the work he has done, and the picture no longer clean and smooth.
Honey Joshua Baum
CVHS Literary Magazine
Persimmon and Fig Katherine Castellana
The girl who had had her hair all fixed up away from the candles and popping oil who gave me the library book she had stolen on the rhetoric of Aristotle which had some pages in the middle not ripped out but missing nonetheless lets herself be held by me two months later in the same room that she had tucked Aristotle and his secrets into my purse the room which now still holds a groaning table but instead of light and latkes has wake food either raw in the middle or donated by the local PTA so she lets herself be held even though her hair is down and she has to know we have never managed to introduce ourselves but on the days we see each other it never matters because we both know how to get up from the table and go past the overcrowded kitchen and the grumbling laundry machine how to step over the old blind dog to finally reach the backdoor and the wild garden beyond, all bristling persimmon trees and tall grass left unchecked out of some tenderness beside the pool that always has those thick glossy leaves resting somewhere in the blue so together we dip our tired feet pinched from synagogue shoes and remember the family we have managed to find we remember the family that holds us even when the table has no light
walking away Emma Benitez
CVHS Literary Magazine
Untitled Hannah Hunter
Untitled Noel Hwang
Untitled Noel Hwang
Colophon Editors-in-Chief: Titash Biswas, Jackie Dall, Raya DerBedrossian
Advisor: Jennifer Waters
Staff Editors: Abbey Markham, Aditi Purandare, Alexis Karakas, Angel Ramos, Anjana Saravanan, Annika Park, Athena Bamrick, Bayla Bash, Catherine Dong, Claudia Kim, Edan Bash, Jackie Dall, Jennifer Gorman Jessi Edwards, Joanna Kim, Josh Baum, Julietta Corral, Madeline Heeg, Minji Kim, Natalie Lai, Raya DerBedrossian, Sarahbeth Zohrehvand, Sasha Monterroso, Saya Linney, Sydney Reil, Titash Biswas, Tristan Ganzon
Journeys 2017: Enter Imagination is a compilation of the literary and artistic works of the talented students of Crescenta Valley High School. Throughout the course of the year, the magazine staff extensively reviewed hundreds of poetry, prose, and artwork submissions in order to create a diverse publication.. We appreciate all of the efforts and dedication of our staff editors in helping to make this year’s magazine a success. Layouts were designed by Abbey Markham in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. The magazine was published on ISSUU’s Digital Publishing Platform. All text and bylines are written in Shree Devanagari 714 and the titles are in Basic Title Font . Journeys would like to thank Mr. Herb Smith and the pupils of the Graphic Arts program for helping with the magazine throughout the years. On behalf of the Journeys editorial staff, we would like to extend a special thank you to Mrs. Jennifer Waters for her constant support and encouragement during the creation of this magazine.. Lastly, we would like to thank all of the students for showcasing the talents and skills of Crescenta Valley High School in this year’s Enter Imagination.