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Oak Park, Illinois April 2011

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Fenwick High School

Editorial Staff

-Christie Spisak


Thank you to Fr. DePorres Durham, O.P Mr. Peter Groom, Ms. Mary Marcotte, Mr. Art Chiapetta, The English Department of Fenwick High School, Father Michael Winkels O.P, Mike Inzano for photo work beyond the call of duty, Jake O’Donnell, and Christie Spisak, for early Sunday morning work.



Melanie Kogol

Faculty Moderator: Mr. John Paulett




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Stephen Jake O’Donnell Sam Nicholson

Angel 16 Rivera

William DeMaio


Gianna Marchetti


Stephen Jake Jenna O’Donnell Sullivan Claire Kelly



Daniel Murphy Kevin Bugielski

Abbey Sturwold


6 Nichole Taylor Soja Abbey Sturwold Melanie Kogol


Liam Douglass



Patricia Nero Abbey Sturwold

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Theresa Steinmeyer William DeMaio

Anne Kowalsk i Mark Yeakey

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Kendall Livingston Gabriella Bomben

Felip e Alva rado Nicol e Stark


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Photograph by Momo Chapa Poem by Jack Rafferty


Heavy weight pressing down, Metal imprisonment, there is no way out. This raging dragon is rearing to roar.

Artwork and Poem

It climbs upward, ready to soar.

by Abbey Sturwold

The top of the tower, the peak of the mountain, Heaping over the edge, Clasping the cold, lifeless metal, That will either keep me alive or bring me to death. No more objections.

This is it. There is no turning back. Surrender to this metal monster, And release my hands of this life pleading clench. Free falling down, wind dancing beside, Twirling, spinning, out of control. An entirely different feeling this time, Not of angst, but the freeing of my soul.

3 I see not a soul and don't hear a sound. The dark night sky paints a backdrop for our town. The absence of noise reminds me of you And the heartbreaking damage you silently do. I'll leave my one-sided love and the few lit city-lights behind To walk on our memory-filled beach and pass the time. I'll lose track of the years and how you never stayed And try to forget the minutes I won't be repaid. I'll let the water play on my feet And try not to let you haunt my sleep. We don't exist together, in the real world, it seems; I need to stop holding onto you through my dreams. When my head rests on the pillow, I play a fantasy game. I'm sick of this sleep deprivation and your constant change. The seashells crack but sound nothing like a heart breaking. I keep remembering all along you'd been faking. I can't comprehend how easily you lie But the lingering question I have is why? You humored me at all the wrong times But I'm the fool who fell into your lines. I will be forgotten and my questions left unanswered; All the lies you told were simply enhancers. I can imagine how often you've done this before; I'm just another girl you don't want anymore. I have a bad habit of believing what I want to believe But you led me to think that we were meant to be. Those one of a kind kisses aren't reserved for me anymore. I'm torturing myself by replaying your walking out the door. I can't stop seeing you guiltlessly sneaking in at three And I can't fast forward what you're doing to me. You always loved watching me fall apart; Was the plan all along to break my heart?

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I’ll watch the tide recede like I watched you slip away, Trick my mind into forgetting your sweet talking ways, Run away from our city like I used to run to you, And force myself to grasp how you and I are really through. I'll try to stop picturing your hand in mine, Let myself get lost in the folds of time, Go deeper and deeper, let the water numb me, And hope that this pain, too, will be dragged out to sea. I'll sink into the sand, like your voice in my mind, And in the morning there will be nothing left to find.

I'm washing away. I'm washing you away.

Artwork by Jen Concepcion

Be Quiet

by Taylor Soja

Be quiet. And listen to the silence of the water. Listen to the silent swish and the timid magic of your bath, or the pool, or your kitchen sink; the spray of your backyard hose or the wave of ice as the water balloon breaks over your head. The sound brings solitude. It brings reflection, and contemplation, and nothing, all at once. Clear your thoughts and silence your heart-to listen with your soul. Listen to the indescribable nothing that comes as you cover yourself in a flowing, continuous blanket. You can hear nothing but the movement and see nothing but the bubbles that are your own breath. Your own life.

It washes away the dust, and oftentimes the smiles; leaving you with only those things that are more permanent. You are left only with raw memories, distilled down to the deepest emotions of the moment. All the rest; the dust and details, get washed away, but are never gone. They are only flowing around you- or maybe someone else by now; waiting for you to drink them up again. When you’re thirsty.

Photograph by Abbey Sturwold Because often it’s not enough to survive on only that which is substantial; solid. We need the water. We need to see, feel, and taste the beauty of the little things. So as water washes away all that is simple, and leaves us to contemplate what is left in a complicated silence; it also brings us back. It brings us back to the truths of our lives; the things that are easily forgotten and easily taken away. What we lose is always returned. As we slide underneath the surface of the water we let go of those trivial things, both good and bad. We lay submerged, left only with our raw joy and singular misery. Our lives. But as the pain starts to grow; as we run out of air, we can always sit up, we can set the hose down; we can run out of rainstorm. We can walk into the kitchen and get a glass of water. We can drink back in the little things; we can cancel out the silence.


by Liam Douglass On the top of a precipice

Stands a solemn sentry.

A lone tall soldier at the peak.

Whirling, he beams to sea.

The weather-beaten soldier toils,

Insures those out at sea

From ruining on the rock-bound face.

Safe home to stray from thee.

Photograph by Melanie Kogol


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by Michelle Villegas Slice, slice, slice. Chop, chop, chop. Mix, smash, add a pinch of salt. I sit quietly in my brightly lit kitchen doing homework as my abuelita makes dinner. Her hands move easily as she sets out the deep green poblano peppers on the counter and begins the laborious task of holding each one over a slow fire until the pepper begins peeling its outer layer. She carefully holds each pepper over the open fire as if she were creating a beautiful piece of art. Chilles rellenos, poblano peppers stuffed with panela cheese, are a family favorite, and one of my abuelita’s specialty dishes. The process starts in the cold vegetable aisle at the Mexican grocery store. My abuelita puts each poblano pepper on trial for its life, making sure that it is in its deep green prime color, and that it is of good size. She picks the ripe tomatoes, ready to be made into sauce, and the freshest panela cheese. She says that the ingredients are often the secret to any great meal. So, now as I sit here enjoying the smells of the fresh tomatoes and the sound of the hot oil sizzling, my abuelita tells me that I must learn the family recipes to pass on to my children. And so, just like that I’m out of my chair, math homework forgotten, and I watch magic happen before my eyes. Abuelita explains that first she does the busy work, chops up the tomatoes and onions and begins to heat the oil. She hands me the eggs and a bowl for me to separate the egg whites from the yolk. She watches as I beat the egg whites until they begin to rise, all the while telling me stories of her mother’s cooking, and the secrets that have been passed down through generations. “Like this one,” she says as she sprinkles water over the egg whites and mixes in the yolk, while the whites stay risen. “Incredible!” I tell her. I make a mental note to write down this incredible family secret. Who knew adding water to egg whites helped them rise even more when you add the yolk? Next, we take each pepper and hold it over the burner until the first layer of the pepper starts peeling off and we can take the entire layer off easily. While I finish peeling off the skins my abuelita begins slicing open each pepper and carefully stuffs it with fresh panela cheese. Then we submerge each stuffed pepper into the magical egg batter and then into the hot sizzling oil, watching carefully so as not to overcook the pepper. My abuelita and I do this quietly and in full concentration until all the peppers have been stuffed and cooked. Then we move on to the sauce. My abuelita explains that the sauce is where you make it or break it. It has to be red and rich so that it looks appealing, but thin enough that it doesn’t overpower the tasty green poblano peppers. She blends the cooked tomatoes and a few pieces of onion with a few pinches of salt and water. I watch in amazement as she pours the gleaming red sauce into a pan over the stove, hoping that someday I will be able to cook with her ease and confidence. The stuffed peppers, or, as my family calls them, “chilles rellenos”, were delicious. As my abuelita and I served dinner that night, I realized that sitting down to eat a home cooked meal every night is a such a fantastic gift in my life that very often goes unappreciated. I love the warm smell of the house after dinner and the taste of fresh ingredients in every meal, but most of all I love my family; the laughing, teasing, and fighting that goes on at dinner every night. The true secret family recipe isn’t written in a cook book or passed down through some magic cooking genetics; it’s our love for each other, and of course, the chilles rellenos.


Or I’ll Be Mad At You by Grace Duggan

Wake up at 6:30 on Monday and put your uniform on; wake up at 6:45 on Tuesday and fish your uniform out of the hamper; don’t forget to look like a lady--put earrings on or something; make sure to put make-up on; did you forget to make your lunch?--I forget everyday; get in the car, there’s no gas; make sure to get that car washed with your own money because if it is not it smells; be sure to work out for a half hour or I’ll be mad at you; is it true that you forgot to make your bed again?; always clean your room or I’ll be mad at you; at church on Sunday look nice; at church make sure to act like a lady; at church don’t goof off with your siblings; stand up straight like you are supposed to--you’ll turn into a hunchback; do you expect to get a date like that?; this is how you do your makeup for school; this is how you do your makeup for a dance-not that you will be going; this is how you do your makeup like a lady; clean the bathroom and the living room or I’ll be mad at you; make sure you are always polite; always say please and thank you; always be friendly, you’re too shy; don’t forget to set the table; put the knife on the right--sharp edge faced in; put the fork on the left; turn off the television or your brain will turn to mush; read a book from the library; go to work, it’s good for you; wash the dishes, it’s good for you; a thirty-minute walk, it’s good for you; it better be done before I get home, or I’ll be mad at you; smile and give a kiss to your family at the party--Ginny smells like a funeral home; don’t do your hair like that--you look like a boy; don’t buy that shirt--look like a lady, I’m just a girl; boys won’t notice you if you look like that; try harder, be better, look better--look better; grow up and stop crying--people don’t like cry-babies; be mature and act like a grown-up--like a lady; Why aren’t you prettier?; always be nice and generous; always be a good person--a good lady; this is how to walk the right way; this is how to talk the right way, no cursing; this is how to act the right way so they won’t know immediately that you’re just a girl; you better do well in school or I'll be mad at you; put some lotion on your legs--they're too dry and too pale; put something on your eyebrows because they are blonde and I can't see them; walk the dog or I'll be mad at you; is it true that you are more outgoing this year?; read a book or something--what if it's a bad book? Would you want me to read it then?; brush your teeth, wash your face and hands; don't say hate, it's a swear--I'm seventeen years old; don’t fight with your sister; your sister always looks pretty--why can’t you?; don't look like that, boys will not like you--I want them to like me though; is it true that you don't act like a lady? No, I don't. I'm a girl and I act like a girl.

9 Golden Leaves in Golden Light by Felipe Alvarado Golden Leaves in Golden Light He stood amazed at their height He was petrified by the sight He could not help but think Golden Leaves in Golden Light

That image became his shining knight To combat his fears and frights of the endless nights He simply watched the images fight mid-flight And all through this he could not help but think Golden Leaves in Golden Light

He felt the strength of the vision's might He understood the beauty it held was right He held the image in his mind until that very night He could not help but think Golden Leaves in Golden Light

He awoke to his room filled with daylight He ran outside to once again gaze upon the sight. He ran ignoring any danger that could be or might, He could not help but think Golden Leaves in Golden Light

Then the nightmares came and filled him with fright They came again, the creatures that would tear and bite The boy could not hope to fight But then he could not help but think Golden Leaves in Golden Light

He saw the tree and gazed up the great height He realized the wood was barren, the leaves had taken flight He finally accepted that all life was finite But he would still think Not of Leaves but of the parents that had fought for him.

Artwork by Nicole Stark


Pilgrimage into Solitude by Kendall Livingston The sun travels across the sky. I feel its warmth on my back. All the waiting is about to come to its closing stages. Alone, amongst the blooming flowers, I perceive a slight quiver in the cocoon. Before more time passes, A break in the shell becomes evident to the naked eye. Out breaks free a creature decorated With an array of colors! As the creature allows its new wings to be heated by the sun Thoughts begin to rush through my mind. I voice my inquiries to the creature. “Oh butterfly! Instruct me in thy truths!” In reply, it leisurely makes its way to a flower. This simple act has taught mePatience. Bravery. Courage. Just as the butterfly waits for its life to take shape, So must I. Wait for God’s perfect timing. How bravery and courage guide its first steps into the world! While contemplating these truths, the colorful butterfly, Wings stretched out to catch the lazy breeze, Soars into its new future. As I shall fly into mine. Dancing my way into what life has in store for me. I raise myself up to my full height, look around to Drink in one last time the solitude and wisdom This secluded meadow has granted me.

“Grandma� by Katyana Palafox


I awoke with a smile Sunlight beaming, birds chirping But I remembered And all became cheerless The elevator thundered beneath my feet And opened its doors to a prison I saw the torture chamber My eyes closed tight A stained, sour mattress Bore my exhausted hero Unresponsive, yet aware He thanked me for my visit I awoke with a smile Breeze blowing, flowing blooming But I was told And all was at peace

“Ey es”







Poem by Madeline Nicholson



barefoot in the snow

with soppy Soppy socks on.


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Artwork by Angel Rivera


Artwork by Stephen Jake O’Donnell


“The 21st Century� by Jenna Sullivan

Sitting here

I see You Me

Sitting there They just left Sitting anywhere We are all

They We


Won't you stay


You Me They



But why does this

Are all

have to be So complicated?

One. -Claire Kelly


Television by Julie Tentler Light glowing from the crystal veil Of all mortal reality From far away refined Monet Would claim this kosher masterpiece Yet close inspection would Declare this glass, not art But stumpy brushstrokes made Into T.V. pixels Small sparkles simmer, reflecting The feeble stare of time. The moments spent, now wasted as Minds concentrate on it. Now clicking by boredom proves Incessant lies and truths Exposed by instant wishes of Remotes and satellites In the sky, above the earth Sending light from stars to us as Constellations, milkyways, all Help deliver small charades home.

Photograph by Abbey Sturwold

Some Simple Instructions by Olivia Caputo When the hustle and bustle of civilization deprives the heart of solitude, visit Mother Nature, for She holds the key. Her realm is isolated from civilization. It is here that one sees the sizzling stars in the night sky. It is here that one smells the scent of the sunflowers. It is here that one listens to the roar of the raging, rapid wind. It is here that one tastes the fresh fruit from the tree. It is here that one feels the frigid caress of the cold air. For these beauties are not emphasized in society. Before seeking out Nature’s Queen, simplify all fractions twice. Mother wants one to bring nothing. She has no demands. All excess baggage is toxic in her opinion. Let one’s heavy hair hang loose. Let one’s molded money stay behind. Let one’s fancy fashions be of no value. Let one’s chaotic computer shut down. Let one’s beastly breakfast reduce to a piece of unbaked bread. For She does not require these so called goods. Follow the soothing sway of the flowers. For although the invisible wind is difficult to follow, it is still the most trusted path to solitude. Leave behind the superficial and unneeded, and climb the tall trees. Trust the mischievous mountain.

Photograph by Michael McLean


Photograph by Kevin Bugielski

The Journey

By Daniel Murphy

Boats, ships, and vessels, Embark on their great journey, Through deep waters, past the rocks, Hurled by raging storms, Snapped mast, punctured hull, many are left behind, But still they sail like those before them, Yet destination is unknown. They see fellow ships wandering away, and inadvertently follow, They look to the stars, for guidance, for help, And the course is righted fast. Boats, ships, vessels sail in peace, But they slowly drift awry, The stars right them, they sail away, Time and time again. But at the end, has their course been right? Will they pass the test? The stars will decide, not the ships, And let them dock in peace.


By Patricia Nero

The eyes are the windows to the soul show true life and wisdom's fate give a heart bursting full even when others leave some hate. A classic turn of people to hide when others also screen their face able not to see the opposite side and then stare at their disgrace. Belief is all that's true to touch a faith considered to be myth. One may say there's nothing much and then go through a Labyrinth. Look once more into eyes a founding place to believe. Another's own shall not defy and no one will ever want to leave. A deep sense of the purest kind lies in allies, nowhere to be seen. The use of complexions lie and riddles find in order to pay a handsome fee for the truth we all seek. The windows to all our souls are never too meek or weak and lay on the burden it hulls. Can't run away from our own windows or then we turn all of our lives to a close for in the end we direct our shows and decide on the happiness or the woes. Photograph by Abbey Sturwold


A cento is a poem composed from lines compiled from verses of many

Different works–usually by the same poet. The cento creates a poetic

Collage. By creating tension, the cento looks for new meaning in poetry.


Artwork by William DeMaio


Coffee Moon by Anne Kowalski Tonight’s a sort of coffee moon The air is buzzing as crickets croon. The moon in the trees makes shadows dance And change their shape with each passing glance. There’s a magic here that cannot stay It leaves with summer on the last day. So make this moment last with me And remember how we once felt free. Keep the summer’s magic if you can And think on it your whole life span. Keep the bug spray and chlorine perfume That would normally end with the flowers’ bloom. Just stay here with me under this coffee moon In the kind of magic impossible at noon. Our inhibitions are gone because of the hour, And partly ’cause of how caffeine can empower. Outside in the night your imagination is free And you think of all the things you wanted to be. Back inside your room there’s no room to think So sit out here and let’s share a drink. We can slip out to the porch to sneak a sip Of coffee on a forbidden trip To the sticky summery spellbinding heat And escape all the expectations you’re told to meet. Forget you’re at a job you hate Making money by staying late All you need are coffee beans, The dark night sky and pearl moon beams.

Artwork by Mark Yeakey

It gleams in the day, Shines through the night at me. Your beautiful smile. Bianca Mariottini

The crimson leaves dance spinning through shadows and light. Landing in piles. Felipe Alvarado Being here in silence, The TV softer than thoughts, We both know it’s real. Anna Demes

Open starry skies Feels like ev'rythings alright Fleeting Happiness Stephen Jake O’Donnell

gentle breeze that swifts through the treetops scent of an orchid Michelle Villegas

Snow falls to the ground hopefully there's a snow day now it's time to play Paige Nelson

La madrugada traerá la belleza del mundo, cielo Marlena Ortiz

Wind is whispering, Cool, white snow is falling down, And I sit and watch. Christie Spisak

Apple stores, crowded, pushing and shoving your way, through the mass unknown. Allie Williams

Ready to burst free. Open up and see the world. With all your petals. Abbey Sturwold

Tonight is the night: Keep warm and remain inside The blizzard is here. John Kovac

sleeping is so nice blankets piled up to my face ill go to sleep now Claire Kelly Artwork by Madeleine Nicholson

Little toes wiggle On baby caterpillars, Up the flower's stem Julie Tentler

Near raw winter draft, Black dots roam through my brain with Probability. Theresa Steinmeyer

In solidarity with our brothers And sisters in Japan

raindrops dance and prance little butterflies join too party in the sky Melanie Kogol


Angel Tears by Andrew Schroeder Rain falls down As angel tears drop Those words we heard Made our hearts stop The loss we felt The joy that drained Captured our hearts As those tears rained The silence around us That struck our nerves Spread like fire Across the earth Now we look Up at the sky And think of the moment That made angels cry.

Photograph by Michael Inzano

In Memory of Anthony Ambrose



In Remembrance By Sam Nicholson Is freedom really free you ask? That simply cannot be. Just look at all our soldier’s graves. Is freedom really free? They battled through the days and nights. This was for you and me. At Arlington you shall question, Was freedom really free? Today we battle on and on. These words ring true and clear. The brav’ry of our soldiers is, The reason freedom’s here

30 0 = 0 is truly "0 = 1 - 1" or "0 = 2^(4) - 4 * 4". Beauty can only be created with ugliness, but it is beautiful that either can exist at all.

by Stephen Jake O’Donnell Someday I will become angelic with Wings of Gold and eyesight like God who reigns. Under the Sun, there is a place, lovely, Beautiful, and adorned with mighty gems. What Buddha said is really true: One must Let life be lived, impermanent, with Bliss. The softest bed may give good rest, but when You're scared it may always be a failure. What must I do to live? To love? Now, how Could I get past these Earthly attachments? A Goal: To live in mind and not Body. My form confuses me. What is this pain? The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Alone in the barren desert, I am Fearless. My God will protect me always. Artwork by William DeMaio

Touchstone 2011  

Fenwick High School 2011 Literary and Art Magazine

Touchstone 2011  

Fenwick High School 2011 Literary and Art Magazine