Whirlwind 2021

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l r w i d h i n W Longfellow MiddleSchool 2020-2021

Literary Magazine

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“Build me straight, O worthy Master! Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel, That shall laugh at all disaster, And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!” From The Building of the Ship By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Literary Magzine Longfellow Middle School 2000 Westmoreland Street Falls Church, VA 22043 June 2021

~Daniella N.

Sponsors: Andrea Duggan Diana Gibson Tom Grady Faculty Advisor: Wendy Eaton Principal: Jim Patrick District: Fairfax County Public Schools Contact: alduggan@fcps.edu Cover Art: Abuzar W. Futuristic Architecture

Whirlwind is a student magazine published annually.

~Charles D.

Whirlwind d


I am a Story

Every word has a meaning, A denotation and a connotation. Alone they are weak, But together they have depth, Together they have purpose and emotion. A word by itself does not reflect the writer, A sentence displays more of the writer, Although not much more than the word, But a whole page of words Shows the writer’s purpose, And tells the reader a little bit about who the writer is. Teachers can’t discover who a student is by the way they solve a math problem, But by the stories they make, The poems they compose, The essays they write, And the words they use. ~Andrew L.

I am a book, I hear pages turning, I see the stories I’ve known all my life, I want a home, I see romances, comedies, dramas, I want to show people my story, I am a book, I want to be the world someone escapes to when they’re sad or lonely, I am a story, I feel my leather cover, the one I’m judged by, I dream that one day I will be judged by my story and not my fabric on the outside, I try to get others to read all I have to offer, I hope this time I will not be judged by my outside but all I have to offer on the inside, I am a story ~Afton K.


~Sabrina M. 2


~Anna G.

World of Dragons Sidetracked My assignments glare at me dauntingly, Staring me down into imminent dread, Begrudgingly I start across the sea, As I work, a daydream starts in my head.


Scared of the Dark I promise I’m not scared of the night. Just once I thought there was something in the dark. Kidnapper or monster, I’m not sure what. Later that night there was a crash, Maybe there was something in the dark. Now I am getting a little scared. Okay, I guess I am scared of the dark. Please don’t turn off the lights ~Juliana R.

My mind drifts away and my pencil drops, With an “I’ll do this later” I depart, Immediately, all my homework stops, And away I go to begin my art. A new world in mind, I sketch a new ground, A mossy boulder here, a mountain there, A brand new type of tree that I have found, Strange little fungi with neon green hair. I glance at the clock and jump up now scared, It’s 9 o’clock now, I have failed to care. ~Sophia R.



~Sonora K.

My Brain Comic d

Literally Everything I think about space a lot Have you ever thought about everything that’s out there? Not just everything as in our world Not just our solar system Or our universe Or even multiverse But the omniverse Literally, everything that’s out there How it is completely endless I mean if the omniverse is infinite then There is literally every possible reality you can imagine In one realty some moron never put pineapple on pizza In one George Washington became King of the US And in one an asteroid never hit Earth 65 million years ago and there are still dinosaus Some infinities are larger than other infinities It’s also really interesting to think about how the speed of light affects time It’s amazing to think about when you look at the stars you are really looking in the past So if the universe is infinite and some alien race out there had a really powerful telescope then especially you would never die and you would always be living in some way in some part of the universe, even if it’s the farthest, even when the earth is long gone ~Samantha C. 4

Whirlwind Universe


From a Cave

Interconnection The link between dimensions Far realities Alicia Y.

Humanity is ugly, beautiful, scary, and hopeful From the first sparks of fire To the black soot from factories We have come far There has been trials and tribulations Doubts, fears, setbacks, losses We have lost those we loved along the way But we form new bonds to fill the void We persevere, strive, and through hard work we succeed And as the years blur into decades, centuries, millennia, We will look back on our humble origins From our birth in caves, to touching the stars ~Jack S.

Dear Universe Dear big universe, Was I put here for something? I don’t really know. ~Landry N.

Safe Space Dreams, our hiding place Dreams, the space where we are free Dreams, where we seek peace ~Alicia Y.

Online School Awakened to a room full of darkness It is not the night but the beginning to a long short day of attentiveness beneath and above the unpromising Burdens being constructed by the day Depression is the new reality Free time shrinking so now there is no play Balance of life lays in uncertainty Frustrated parents demand improvement While more work is being distributed Students now become a disappointment And old work is now procrastinated This shouldn’t be a worry for students We have a test next week on exponents ~Diana S.

Whirlwind 5

~Sabrina M.


Sistine Covid


Social distancing Every day in life People have to stay distanced Will this ever stop? ~Yoonjae H.

Quarantine I feel more lazy Streets filled with nothing but dust I hate that feeling ~Aanya J.

~Rita D.

2020: the year of adversity There was despair but we will repair There was poverty and inequality but hopefully, there will be generosity Just like covid spread our devotion will spread Sadness will turn into gladness on a canvas that shall never vanish The saddest and baddest of times will turn into the gladdest palace We will recover and rediscover our personalities and we will uncover our glorified pride A year of deaths, devastation, brutality and insanity can be a year of revitalization and tenacity ~Daanial P.



~Nishtha N.

Clouds d

A Battle Through the Night Our world was left in darkness When a deadly virus engulfed it as we felt our way through endless night Our torches were unlit The charts were skyrocketing We tried to maintain control But as we panicked There were only more buried souls We fought for a happier end We fought for what we believed in As the troubles tried to silence us We screamed from our spirits within This year has been a battle A fight to reach the end But as we wait in the shadows The sun will rise again

~Alicia Y.

Finding My Place I’m going back to school today After a year behind my door Ready to embrace the world A thousand questions blow like the wind As I open-up to take it in Excitement building on itself Waiting for the perfect moment bursting — releasing streams of energy Shouting from my core, begging to be heard Feeling waves of questions, the wind of my fear creates A vicious storm, blackened skies On which to pontificate Each weighted blow of second thoughts pulls me under. Anchored to existential thoughts of my place, in this place. And are they smiling behind their mask, I wonder. ~Sydney J. This poem was published in The Washington Post, April 23, 2021. Kid’s Post “Poetry of the Pandemic”

~Nishtha N.



Whirlwind The Pandemic’s Silver Lining By Michelle L. The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) started in December of 2019 in the city of Wuhan in central China. Within months, it has affected the daily life and national economy of every populated continent. People have found new ways to live their lives indoors and connect over the internet. Social distancing is reinforced, and numerous schools have closed.

opens another door for me. The COVID-19 situation has made me realize that through hard times, there are good things that will change your life, even though they may be small. It truly depends on you finding the silver lining during hardships in life. Of course, we need to be cautious and concerned about the current situation, but we can also try to turn it around. It is important for all of us to keep an open mind when we look at problems and reach out to help others. At this time during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving back to communities and doing good provides opportunities for everyone to find a new path or a new interest.

My family planned to go to Shanghai and neighboring cities such as Suzhou, I. M. Pei’s hometown, and Hangzhou during the spring break of 2020 but obviously with the COVID-19 situation, it was cancelled. Today, we spend our time at home and interact only with our family members. But even through hard times, it is always possible to find the positive. It is just a matter of how you look at things. I found this to be true with my experience of connecting with a Chinese pen pal Yue, a sixth grader, who lives in Suzhou, China! My parents and Yue’s parents are friends, but they haven’t seen each other for over 20 years. When our trip was canceled, she contacted me and now we write to each other on a regular basis. Yue and I communicate with each other by email and write mostly in Chinese. We became pen pals last February when America had not yet been impacted but China was shut down. I was still in school and had my regular activities. In our emails, we like to talk about music and about our daily lives. Living in China is very different from living in America. It is fascinating to see the differences in our cultures. For example, school is quite different. Yue has at least two hours of homework to do every day while we get much less. Yue and I also talk about the books we read, especially Chinese classics. Together we celebrated Chinese and American holidays such as Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, and the Dragon Boat Festival. As the coronavirus gets worse in America, we talk about how China and America are changing every day. We both are experiencing the effects of social distancing and self-isolation. We can’t see our friends, or go parties, or visit a movie theater, or eat at our favorite restaurants and going to the mall is definitely out. These similarities bring us together and make us feel that we understand and support each other. Although we have never met in person, we hope to keep being pen pals. Our conversations let me see the contrast between American and Chinese cultures and

Time to Unwind


~Rojia K.


~Aimee A.

Blooming Creativity




~Abuzar W.




Rise Up

~Tyler H.


~Serene H.


~Joy H.

Best Friends 11


~Leila P.

Leila’s Surrealist Self-Portrait d

Apartment 12B

By Sophia W. Decrepit iron doors, with a whisper of light peeking through a missing panel, heralded the entrance to the apartment building. A single window glowed with warm orange lamplight, a little beacon casting its signal. It just barely illuminated the mottled gray-and-white bricks beyond the window’s edges. The same sunset shade of light flashed in the skies above, in the writhing mass of black clouds that funnelled down towards the window. The harsh wind tousled his ashy brown hair as he climbed the old, worn steps. The shifting sediment in the air made the color of his clothing unrecognizable. Surely centuries of dust and dirt stirred and swirled above where the cobblestones plateaued. He felt his muscles tense and his hand instinctively curl into a fist as he took stock of the place, concerned. His eyes roved over the upper levels of apartments as he strode toward the building. Eye of the storm, he thought.

He pulled open the iron doors and ducked inside. The “lobby” was little more than a broom closet, with just enough space for the receptionist’s desk and a file cabinet. The young man at the desk looked up from a book in surprise. “Quite early for visitors,” the receptionist said. “Can I get a name?” “Matthias Swift,” he told him. “I’m here about the - you know -” He made a swirling motion with his finger. The receptionist stared at him blankly. Clearly, he hadn’t been outside in several hours. “Never mind,” said Matthias, deciding against involving him unnecessarily. “I’m a plumber. Apartment 12B is that way?” He pointed to a doorway on the left. The receptionist nodded. “Be quiet about it; they’re nearly all asleep.” Matthias took this as an invitation to dash up the stairs. This wasn’t his first rodeo, and his heavy shoes barely made a sound against the hardwood. Reaching the first floor, he bolted across the springy


carpet and skidded to a stop in front of apartment 12B. Light spilled from the cracks around the door, and Matthias wondered briefly how the occupants could afford so many lamps. He knocked. For a moment there was no response. He heard a faint wail and a shuffling noise. Then the door swung open. A middleaged woman with bedraggled blonde hair escaping from its bun looked up at him with desperate eyes. “Oh, thank goodness! They’ve sent someone at last.” She ushered him in. “I swear, I’ve submitted an investigation form a dozen times in vain. I knew something was wrong.” Matthias stepped into a room full of children. Two bunk beds and several cots, their frames falling apart just as much as the rest of the building, were squeezed into a space that would ordinarily be used as a living room. The kids were all huddled near the door, a few small ones clinging to the woman’s dress.

Continued on p. 13


Cherry Blossoms dContinued from p. 12

The glow, Matthias realized quite quickly, was not coming from lamps. The little girl, no older than eight, clung to her cot for dear life, the pulsing light in her eyes a stark contrast against the encroaching darkness out the window. Tears slipped down her cheeks. At the sight of Matthias, she shrieked, and the window flew open. The other children shuddered and cried as the maelstrom entered the apartment. “Don’t take me, don’t take me!” wailed the girl. Her dark hair whipped around her face. “I’m sorry! I can’t control it!” “Do you see?” croaked the woman, stumbling back. “You can’t expect me to live with that!” “Excellent,” said Matthias. “You’ve just erased any guilt I had about this.” Calmly, he moved towards the girl, and kneeled down on her level. The floor was cold beneath his knees. “You’re wrong on two counts, love,” he told her. “I’m not a Retriever. You’re not being sent anywhere nasty.” “I don’t believe you,” she sobbed, and orange lightning flashed along with her eyes. “Second,” he continued, “you can control this. No, really. I’ve loads of mates who’ve done

~Abuzar W.

it. I’ve done it.” She trembled wordlessly. “Let me guess, nightmare?” The girl nodded, and suddenly launched herself into his arms. He held her as the storm swelled, and he heard the sound of the others scuttling out of the room. Good riddance, he thought. “Listen,” he said, keeping his voice soft. “You’re feeling a lot right now. Secondhand shame, and terror, eh? Let yourself feel it. Let this storm run its course, just for a moment. Then let it go. If you don’t want it, just let it disappear into the dawn.” “But - but -” “This is your storm. You control it, not the other way around.” She took a deep, gasping breath, and let it out forcefully. “You’re okay, love. You’re safe. You’re safe.” She breathed in and out a few more times, and slowly stopped shaking. The glow in her eyes faded. She still wouldn’t let go of him. Matthias smiled with satisfaction, watching the last wisps of smoky clouds drift into the wind. “There you go,” he whispered.


“I don’t want that to happen again,” she said into his shirt. He looked down at her head of tangled hair. “Tell you what.” “What?” “How would you like to meet some more people like us?”

Inspired by this image found on Once Upon a Picture


~Aimee A.

There’s No Place Like Gnome 14

Whirlwind My Friend Named Childhood I walked by Baker Street this morning And remembered my old friend who sat On the kid’s table in the bookstore She always read with a frilly hat We would write songs and share pleasant tales Spend hours drawing on paper walls I loved when she drew eyes like daisies She liked to wear purple overalls I miss when we made cakes and watched whales A plane took her far away from me She silently left, doubt she’ll return So I’ll sing our song beneath the tree. For evermore, I’ll sing our song Verses of love on sorrowful days Melodies that warm the coldest nights Our memories, lightening my gaze I know, friend, we’ll never meet again So I say this if you’re listening: Grateful I am for our days and nights Because of you, I’ll keep glistening ~Kailyn K.

~Riley S.


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter I’m sucked in as I crack open the book, I’m transported back to my second home. A new world has come to life with one look, I imagine Dumbledore on his throne. A magic world of wizards and witches, A school teeming with magical creatures. Spells, potions, and identity switches, A variety of unique teachers.

Good Haiku This Is Yoda my name is Crazy people think I am Speak funny I do ~Jackson M.

A boy who lived and battled Voldemort, Who lost his parents and received a scar. He persuaded the old hat that could sort, And hit a willow with a flying car.

Haiku I am really short I’m measured in syllables I am a haiku ~Reagan C.

The golden trio of the three best friends, Makes sure that Hogwarts magic never ends.

Harry Potter

~Uma N.


Elise W.


~Julia W.

Soybean Dogs


They are amazing creatures, Mankind’s best friends, Tails wagging and tongues hanging, Loyal through and through. Sometimes we take advantage of their nature, We ignore them when we have things to do, They wait patiently by the door, Hoping for a walk or a something more. They don’t need nice things, They just need love and attention, And an occasional treat, They give more than they take. ~Brayden S.

I am happiness I hear bubbly laughter I see affectionate smiles I want to infect everyone around me I see eyes lit up with joy I want to make people smile I am happiness


I want to be celebrated I am happiness I feel like joy and contentment I dream of making everyone cheerful I try to help everyone around me I hope to put a smile on everyone’s face I am happiness ~Emily J.

My Dog


Shaggy/ Fluffy / glossy soft brown fur Silky ears and maple eyes Big black clumsy nose

Outside in the sun He gives happiness to all Eating Cicadas -William H.

~Landry N. 16

Whirlwind A Wish for a Pet Oh, my how my heart aches for something more All I want in life is a furry friend Over mountains and to white beach’s shores We could run through big fields and play pretend I don’t care if you are brown, black or white Or if you are big, small or super shy As long as it lasts more than a fortnight Unconditional love I will give thy Please don’t remind me what happened last time My new best friends taken in a heartbeat This time around you will always be mine My life without you just feel incomplete I hope that one day I will get a pet But until then my wish will not be met ~Hannah Z.

Dog ~Madelyn C.

Good Boy “Good boy,” says Mama Run, run, run, go get the stick Can’t wait for a treat

-Maddie S.

Remedy Being all alone Only has one remedy Its to love your pet

-Maddie S.

Baby Sheep Lambs, meek and gentle Occasionally aloof cute little creatures ~Britt H.

Nothing Sweeter Than Honey 17

~Courtenay K.


~Logan S.



Thunder Breaks the darkened sky A light from the clouds above What a sight to see ~Jennifer W.

Sunlight The rich golden glare warming my body and soul dazzles from the sky ~Emily H.

~Anika Z.

A Sunny Shore 18

Whirlwind d

I Am Water By Ben F.

I am water, I am the very thing that keeps you alive, I hear ships sailing on my body every day, I see many different creatures passing through me, I want people to respect me and not dump garbage in my many bodies, I see people feeling refreshed after they force me into their mouths, I want to nourish people and relieve them of pain, I am water.

I want to provide shelter for the many creatures in me, I feel joyful when helpful humans rid my bodies of pollution, I dream that people will discover more about the depths of my bodies, I try to hydrate the world, I hope that one day my bodies will be completely clean without garbage, I am water.

~Sabrina M.

High Tide 19

Whirlwind Heartbroken All I’ve ever known is my love for you I am still reminded of you daily The shimmering stars and the morning dew The soft whispers of a ukulele The gleaming sun, luminous and shining Only for the light to be dimmed by time The beauty of you was so divining The sweet aroma of citrus and thyme The soothing splashes of the ocean waves It is silent. I hear endless quiet I miss you so much and my heart still caves I still love you. I cannot deny it. My heart is broken, and it hurts to love But I must remain, though you are above. ~Emily T.

~Ava C.

A Dock at Sunset


Vacation By Andrew L. I go to the ocean every year, I always arrive and yell, “we’re here!” I look at the dolphins and ride the waves, And watch my puppy as he misbehaves.

As my family played and laughed on the sand, I finally started to understand, That what I enjoy is not swimming in the sea, But spending time with people who care about me.

Nothing felt different till I got in the water, I’d already been warned by my aunt’s daughter, About how cold it would be in early June, Even if I went swimming in the afternoon.

So I made my way up, up towards our chairs, Where I saw my family climbing the stairs, They were leaving and I had squandered my time, I felt guilty, almost like I’d committed a crime.

It was freezing, but I didn’t much care, Even with the colder breezy air, I usually go to the beach in late-summer, I thought, this June-weather is kind of a bummer.


Whirlwind UNDER WATER In the depth, the dark, the night, the pressure, Covers the sound of animals and light. Blanketing me with the end I’m so sure. Darkness keeps pulling back with all its might. Retracting into the great blue ocean, Only to come right back with greater force, To go hit the sand in the same motion, Pull back, build up, crash and repeat its course. Tiny little animals live down there. All different shapes that lie down beneath, Some of them are meant to give you a scare. Some have tails and fins and even sharp teeth. It might look dark, scary, and really steep, But in reality, it’s not that deep. ~Sophia F.

~Julia W.

~Sophia F.

Sea Turtle 21


~Sabrina M.


~Gadiel L.

Lakeside ~Nikola V.


~Olivia S.


~Jiyoon P.

Under the Microscope



~Davanee L. ~Davanee L.

~Davanee L.

Robins Egg Blue By Delaney P. It was hard to find a bench that was as well-loved as the one that Miss May sat on. Yes, the paint was peeling at the edges and the wood creaked as you sat down, but it was easily the brightest thing in the park. The grass was once lush and green, but now it was yellow and brittle. The tiny saplings that had been planted by the grandfathers and grandmothers of the current generation now seemed to touch the sky. However, the bench was still there, reliable and untouched by time. As far as anyone could remember, Miss May had always sat there, just as she had always been a kindergarten teacher. She sat on that bench as tulip bulbs were being planted, and she sat on that bench while she watched birds weave their nests. She especially loved the bright blue of robin’s eggs, and never left her home without a teal scarf or cerulean pair of shoes. She never let a speck of dirt remain on the bench, and every week, she would scrub the wooden boards until they positively shone. She painted the boards with new paint every year, and even on the cloudiest, chilliest day, the sight of her bench never failed to make her neighbors smile. Miss May grew up on that bench, reading every book that she could get her hands on, plowing through pages and pages of math equations, and staring up at the constellations of a clear night sky. While the bench hadn’t changed much throughout the years, Miss May had. She now found it difficult to get out of bed without her back and legs aching and walking to the park felt longer than it used to. On a sunny, crisp morning, the neighbors discovered that Miss May had begun to fade. They would be talking to her, and they would only be able to see her in the sunlight. The distinctive colors of her clothing had become dull shades of black, grey, and off-white. On cloudy days, they were only able to tell where she was by watching for the swish of her skirt of the end of her scarf trailing behind her. It was a warm day when Miss May became impossible to find. Her oldest students, now parents themselves, called her name and looked all over town. The last place they searched was the park. They were all dreading looking here, because they

knew it would mean that she wasn’t invisible anymore if she wasn’t there. They knew that her time was coming, but they never thought that this day would come so soon. When they got there, they all fell silent. Her bench was freshly painted, and the fallen leaves around the bench had been raked into a neat pile. Later, they would wonder how this had happenedMiss May hadn’t had the strength to paint in weeks, and all of her neighbors had been too busy searching for her to paint her bench. They couldn’t find a single paintbrush or rake, and the only thing that they did discover was a single robin’s feather that lay on the bench. Somewhere in the trees, unseen by any of the townspeople, a robin flew into the sky, circled over the bench once more and vanished out of sight. The bench was still able to bring a smile to everyone in town. Even in the winter, the vibrant blue paint peeked out from underneath the snow. But now, a copper plate gleamed on the back of the bench. Engraved on the plate was Miss May’s nameand a sketch of a robin’s nest.

Inspired by this Image found on Creative Writing Picture Prompts


Whirlwind Hiraeth By Sandi S. It is a longing, it is a yearning, it is a wishing.

No one can hear the downpour, no one can hear it at all. I feel alone there, I feel alone in the darkness. but it is okay.

It is a wish to return to the breeze of the homely oak trees that surround me in it’s warm branches, stretching out as if moving to forever embrace me. The warm ebony brown and it’s green leaves; I wish to return to the vibrance the world has lost. Everytime I believe that I glimpsed color, I shift my gaze only to find it a shade greyer, it is a kind of sadness that is muddled, but still blue.

It is a wish to return to the window sill in which my first sentences of tales had stricken me, the rain pattering in it’s solemn rhythm to create a dull word called ‘inspiration’. A word cannot describe a feeling in which creation is birthed and molded in the hands of someone new; or lost in the downpour. But still, I long to press my cold cheek to the raindrop riddled glass, to close my eyes, I wish to return to this.

It is a wish to return to the skies of blue that look upon my tiny form, it is strange in it’s forgiving ways. It seems to ripple with clouds upon one soul amongst thousands of others, murmuring about each memory I have acquired. I am afraid, yet I still cannot place what it is I fear.

It is a wish to return. I wish to return to these places, to the destinations my heart has longed to go to, to the world in which my mind begs to be taken back to...and it hurts, for I am not there. I wish...to go home. I wish to go home, to return home, I wish and I plead and I hurt. But still, i cannot go home. I cannot return, and I cannot visit the only places in which I can feel a sense of welcoming. Why? Why can’t I return to these places of beauty, why can’t I return to them?

It is a wish to return to the loneliness I pushed away for so long, though it still leaves a pang in the depths of my sorrow. To stand alone in the darkness as each faint sound of waves pummels the already surrendered sand, it is oddly comforting. My feet stand in the cold sand, the wind whirls around my hair and my eyes cannot clearly see through the waterfalls and the colors of night.

Pixel Vermeer

For, they do not exist.

~Sabrina M.



~Madelyn C.


~Liyah C.

Falling Paradise

Dragon Spirit


~Emily T. 26

~Julia W.

Whirlwind Prologue from

The Wizard Lizard Chronicles: Book 1 By Gwen M. and members of the GSA

The castle loomed over the forest, imposing and indestructible looking. On the inside, however, it was buzzing with worried chatter about the precious queen lying on her deathbed. In a valiant battle, she was struck with a dark hex by King Gavaar himself, fatally wounding her. The queen had accepted her fate and called upon her eldest daughter, Princess Donohue, to hear her dying wishes. Princess Donohue was blessed with many gifts, including incredible intelligence and a kind heart, but she had never truly wanted the crown. Her mother on the other hand knew she would make an excellent queen and would always try to convince her daughter the same. As the princess arrived at her mother’s bedside, she was struck with sadness at the sight of her dying, rushing to her side and gently hugging her. The queen smiled, and began to whisper, “My dear daughter, the thought of leaving you gives me more pain than any hex could inflict. But I know that I will be leaving my kingdom to a kind and fair leader.” “The thought of seeing you go gives me pain beyond measure,” the Princess choked. “But I still do not believe I can be the queen you want me to be. Please, choose one of my sisters, one of them could be a much better ruler than I.” The queen showed a weak smile and replied, “All these years and you still doubt yourself as a leader. My dear, I kn-.” She began to cough uncontrollably, breathing slower and slower. Her eyes widened and she spoke, her final words with immense seriousness. “My dear, you shall become queen, but there is something else. There is a child, who will bring an end to this heinous war. She will not be who you think, but she will have more power than you can imagine. When you come across this girl, trust her. Trust her with every essence of your being, for she will be the true savior of Pharis. However, if she is informed of her fate, she will fail, and all will be lost. I will miss you, my dear. Goodbye.”

Princess Donohue was overwhelmed with grief as she watched her mother’s spirit leave her body and ascend to the heavens, where she would watch over her from the stars. The princess rose from her mother’s bedside and spoke to her lady in waiting, telling her to begin the planning for the queen’s burial ceremony. She left her mother’s room and retreated to her quarters, where she stayed for days, speaking only about preparations for her mother. While in her room, she had time to think over her mother’s words. She decided that she would put her doubts aside and grant her mother’s dying wish for her to be queen. She informed the high council of her decision and preparations began at once. The princess’s coronation was less grand than her mother’s, for there was a war raging on, but the princess held no objections. She sped through the festivities, barely speaking with anyone, so she could finally have time for herself. There was but one thing left she had to do, be fitted for her royal attire. She hurried down the corridors of the castle until she reached the fitting room. When she entered all eyes were drawn to her, for she was not only blessed with intellect, but beauty as well. She spoke a brief greeting and stood on the platform to begin her fitting. One of the tailors broke the silence and asked, “My queen?” The new queen winced at the mention of her title. “Is there a color you would prefer?” “Actually,” she replied, “I believe I would like a pastel blue, similar to my-to my mothers.” The tailor nodded and began giving his assistants directions. Princess, now Queen, Donohue began to tune out their words and drift off into her own thoughts. She thought about her mother’s final words. Who is this girl she speaks of? How could a child stop a war? As she continued to think on those words, it dawned upon her. Mother isn’t coming back this time, I truly am queen.

~Charles D.

Scales 27


~Marjan Rezva

A Cold Night

~Sydney M.


Whirlwind eclipse

By Natalia C.

Clearly I am superior.

The same way some of the creatures just know how to breathe.

And how is that?

I bring light and warmth to the world and to the creatures living on it. Birds sing and rabbits dance when I am there.

You would have no spot in the sky if I didn’t leave you to take charge.

Owls serenade the quiet forests and wolves beckon for each other under my glow. You glow solely because I let you, Without my radiance you’d be nothing but another piece of debris.

And yet I can still be seen while your light ‘blesses’ the earth. Many creatures are asleep when you take over; Most creatures are able to bask in warmth I send down when I’m in charge.

At least that piece of debris wouldn’t have to have this conversation. I shine the most and the longest. Only for half the year. The other half is known for having me shine the most.

You don’t shine, You reflect the light that I give to you.

And you do it?

Light that no person nor animal can look at for more than a second. You burn their eyes and their skin if they are near you for too long.

Do your creatures ever just, Watch you in wonder?

And because the creatures can look at you, you think you’re better than I? Maybe they can look at you but not much else. Your time is dark and cold.

Of course, It’s only right. They do. Sometimes, they make art with me as a muse.

That sounds nice. Having creatures be able to just, Look. Without being in pain.

Some creatures thrive in the dark, And the cold can be a nice escape from your never ending heat. The blanket of quiet holds a sense of peace, And the darkness, a sense of mystery. Not very peaceful for those who are scared of the monsters they can’t see in it.


Many of the ‘monsters’ heard at night aren’t even there to hurt them. And you know this how?

Many are asleep, but the ones who remain are often fascinating. They tell me their troubles and their stories, Trusting me to listen and care for them even if they can’t tell it’s me.

Maybe they can’t look directly at you, But they can watch the dancing shadows you cast on everything. They can still marvel at the stunning reflections you cause. You’re still the star of many art pieces; Some pieces even have both of us.

I didn’t think to look.

I just do.


Those are my favorites. Have you never seen them? Maybe you should. I think you’d like them.

Whirlwind I Thought That I Loved Rain The cold rain falls on a dark afternoon The small black umbrella protecting me I hope that I will get to my home soon But for now, my home is too far to see I usually love it when it rains But today it’s colder than usual Wind, rain reminiscent of hurricanes It’s miserable but it’s beautiful I’m unsure of how I feel about it It is cold, dreary, sad and depressing The cold rain hurts me, it’s hard to admit The rain today is far from a blessing I usually love the falling rain But today as I walk it causes pain ~Hannah Lee

TRAIN STATION MIDNIGHT Very late at night 5 stops left for the west side train 1 for the east 2 for the south 1 for the north Mice crawling People waiting Now the stops are done The people made it As the moon shined The later it got The train station is open again at 7am ~Henok T.


~Virginia I.

Transformation Drawing

I want to be the pavement of the city Unnoticed by most Soaked in rain and the dreams of those that walk upon me Stained with the sorrows that have been dragged over my rough surface Cracking and crumbling with the weight of all this knowledge The thoughts stored in every grain of my surface Unable to share anything with anyone So, I listen to what’s around me and hope the city lights have seen all that I know Watching from a distance I’ll never be able to reach An unspoken friendship that neither of us are able to communicate One friend in this melancholy world I want to be the pavement of the city ~Skye M. 30

Wonders Of Rain: I sit in silence As soaked trees dance in the wind Fresh rain coats their leaves ~Madison K.

Whirlwind The Rain I love the rain I have always loved the rain The smell, the comfort, the feeling Everything about it I like the feeling of the water droplets hitting my skin and I get soaking wet Sometimes I just lay in the rain and think about life Some people see the rain as a wasted day But the days that it rains are my favorite You can go outside and play in the puddles Or you can sit inside with a book Or you can cuddle with your dogs and watch a movie I love the rain ~Tatum O.

Wonders Of Rain Trudging on grey stones Rain decorating my hair Clutching my raincoat ~Kavya K.

Rain I close my eyes as Rain pounds against the roof it Goes pitter patter ~Landry N. ~Annika R.

City Street in the Rain Busy Street


A man walks by, reading the newspaper Blowing in the wind, two leaves pass by Cats are meowing in the alley Doves fly high in the sky Elegant women strut across the street Fat pigeons are lounging about Giant buildings surround the street Hats are worn by many people on the street ~Scott T.

Leaves are falling down today Maybe a sign of Autumn has come my way Now it is getting kind of chilly Open house warmth is here to welcome me Pancakes, cookies to have by the window Quiet leaves falling down form trees Roads become greyer and darker Suddenly Autumn is here to welcome me ~Lana Z.


Whirlwind Insecurity


What will the others think--will I look dumb? Will I look like I’m not in the right place? At what moment will the perfect time come? Will I be embarrassed to show my face?

I spent hours scrolling on Instagram Comparing myself to girls that I would do anything to look like Ignoring the beauty that is in front of me I looked at myself in the mirror And picked out every imperfection and flaw I had Little things like the beauty mark underneath my eye that I wish I didn’t have Each and every individual is beautiful I tell that to as many people as I can It’s easy to compare I look myself in the mirror again with fresh eyes I start to like my beauty mark I love my smile It’s easy to compare But I love myself And you should too. ~Mathilde L.

These are the thoughts which always flood my mind I feel insecure of my own being These thoughts close me off and leave me confined One day they will leave, which will be freeing But I just cannot take a chance at all No, for that just simply will never do I will be confident and stand up tall From now on, I’m the lion, not the shrew I am solely myself and that’s enough And now is my chance to stand proud and tough ~Sabrina W.

~Jessica S. 32

Whirlwind Drama They whispered as she passed Shared what they knew The story was changing From what it was Drama was everywhere From the classroom into the halls The gossip spread Till everyone knew By afternoon everyone had heard They waited to see what would happen The drama was all you could think about Then it exploded As lunch started the drama spread more People took sides and alliances were broken There were tears shed, hearts broken, and friendships destroyed As people tried to solve the problem it unfolded more When lunch ended The sadness was gone and in came the anger Rumors were spread and the truth soon came out Apologies were told The drama was over You missed it a little Having the spotlight and peoples support But you knew this would soon happen again You thought the teachers didn’t notice But they saw everything Parents would never know What had happened that day The school was our battlefield With rumors as our weapons The students were soldiers But in the end, there was no victor In this war that would last all year ~Alicia A.

~Leyla C.




~Charles D.

Things You Do 34

Whirlwind Baseball I seem to always write about this sport Baseball is not played on a rainy day It is not played on a rink nor a court Baseball is played when there is a sun ray The dirt, the grass, the trees, the scenery No sport has ever been any better The smell is better than a creamery If there is better I have not met her ~Elissa Thomas

Rugby Rough and tough United as a team Get low in the ruck Bruises cover me Yelling on the sidelines ~Miguel L.

The Resurrection of Sports Sports are back again, The world has just been revived, I am so joyful. ~Ben F.

Baseball has always given me great fun It has always relieved me of my stress Without it my life would be by far done Baseball always has me feeling my best Baseball is really not all in my life But it always gives my heart extreme light ~Gabriel P.

Football Fat offensive lineman line up to block the quarterback Obedience is what people get to when they face an ally that is rivals. Olympics need to make football a sport there. Thinking about how pro football players have good IQs in the game. Backing up on the defense. Awesome when you see a diving catch against defenders late game. Love and hate relationships for me. Lively coaches and a good community surrounding you. ~Takumi Sugimoto ~Leila P.

Walking on Clouds

~Nicola V.

Turquoise Converse

~Lauren S.




~Abuzar W.

Childhood Memories

My Lovely Bike

We ran down the streets and played ball and bat As we grow older, we stay more indoors Glued to phones and getting more and more fat We played tag in our house breaking some doors

My bike, my lovely bike, it is the best. I’d rather ride it than go on a hike. I feel alive. It brings warmth to my chest. My bike is the one thing I really like.

We thought Santa would give us some presents Until we found wrappers in the closet The world is naughty and filled with peasants Our gifts just bought from our parents’ profit

The sound of its pedals, sound of the gears. Oh, how glad I am to have it here, now. If it wasn’t here, I would disappear. When will I ride my bike again? Where? How?

We had a lot of Legos in our room We made some action films with all those toys But now they will be all donated soon Now I burn my eyes on screens like all boys

My bike brings me so much cheer, an escape From homework, chores, so I don’t go berserk. My happy place where there’s no work to chase. A day on my bike is solace, my perk.

I really wish I could go back in time Back when I was very happy and fine

I go in for the night, the day done I dream of my bike, and my freedom won. ~Christian M.

~Veeraj N.



~Guillermo J.

Transformation Drawing


Whirlwind d

Empty Hallways

School Building

By Anika Z. The deafening silence The quietest it’s ever been Lonely hallways Arrows on tiles To direct, to lead Uninviting No one to avoid No one to annoy No one to greet Only idle halls Array of lockers Stand tall against the walls Untouched Undisturbed Spiders call them home Is this some kind of spell? A trance in fairytales? Graffiti art talks “It’s safe to be smart”

And in these hallways Excellence thrives. Today, yesterday, and months before No sound of clicking heels No suits bustling of selfimportance No knowledge in satchels and bags Someday I know we’ll cramp these spaces We’ll switch phases And see bright faces Dark times slowly leave A new day soon to break We’ll flock again In these empty hallways Our very happy places

I am a school building I hear the laughs of children big and small I see buses drive away into the traffic I want all the students to feel safe inside I see people run into the front doors’ seconds before the bell rings I want all the students to pass their classes I am a school building I want 7:30-2:00 pm to last forever I am a school building I feel excited that in-person learning is finally here I dream of teachers and their students connecting I try to stand tall on this bright and early day I hope kids who continue to learn online are doing okay I am a school building ~Amina K.

~Amelie L.

The Journey of Me 38


Life Online d

BBCU There’s a program called BBCU. I thought ‘twould be good for me too. But it has major lags, It shudders and drags, And I really don’t know what to do. ~Jaiden S.

Seventh Grade

~Joshua A.

Distance Learning

I Am the Q Key

Internet connections breaking down Jargon tossed around as if play Knowledge flowing through the web page Limping through the day Microphones off more often than not Nothing more than sitting all day Over and over and over Painful learning is the way ~Tyler S.

I am the Q key, I hear the clicking of other keys, I see fingers looming over me, I want to be noticed, I see the glimmer of oil on wornout keys, I want to be of use like them, I am the Q key.

New experiences daily. Odd is a good word to describe it all. d Consoles People go through many phases. Consistently slow Quickly get to class before the bell Original games rings. Non-stop playing Run around in the gym. Screaming at my screen Successful students study every night. Obviously loud Toxic friends will only drag you down. Losing my mind Unbearably awkward describes the Emotions flow vibe. Success, the battle’s won Very fun all the time. ~Joshua W. ~Prashim R. 39

I want to be used for more than Minecraft, I am the Q key. I feel left out, ignored, I dream about being the most worn-away key on the keyboard, I try to have the most satisfying click, I hope to be worthy of more than the words ‘quail’ or ‘quick’, I am the Q key. ~Sophia R.


Whirlwind Daily Routine Always rushing in the morning to be on time Bleakly hoping beyond hope to be in time while in the car Careening into several people as I rush past them in the school trying to be on time Distractedly glancing out of the window in class while the teacher drones on Excitedly sprinting back home to watch my favorite TV show Forging ahead and completing all my homework early Getting ready for bed so I can finally go to sleep Hoping to wake up on time tomorrow ~Logan K.

Things A thing is common We all belong to something That something is ours ~Norris C.

Patient People Able to stand through the darkest days Becoming stronger by experience Calming themselves in the scariest times Defeating the ones who want success overnight Entitled people are the hardest to handle Failures build their resilience day by day Got to their goal by taking each step of the staircase Hope is their most powerful weapon ~Veeraj N.

We Are Not The Same We are not the same We all have different aspects We share many things

~Norris C.

I Have I have a sports car I have a gaming computer I have a house of gold I have a 3-D printer I have all these things I have a life of riches I have a wife that loves me And I have many followers But I have not gotten happiness Or I have not gotten a purpose I just live here with all my stuff I think to myself, someday I want a better life ~Liam C.

~Jessica S. 40


~Gadiel L.

A Trunk of Me If I Had A Treehouse

My Couch

If I had a treehouse, I’d always be inside A perfect place to work on projects A perfect place to be I’d decorate it with crafts, streamers, and balloons Where I would invite my friends to eat and study But now that I think about it, the balloons could fly away The streamers could crumble The crafts could break I have found that it’s not quite as good as it sounds So if I had a treehouse, just up in any tree Simple as that, a good place to sleep, I’d use it for when I just need a place to be myself ~Phoebe J.

Oh! My couch, my dear You give me comfort when I need it most Your cushions and pillows work so well together You are soft, yet supportive On the good days and bad Always there you are And always there you will be Each side of you is the same No better but no worse I spend too much time with you We need to work on ourselves And split up ~Britt H.

Stormy Days Stormy, rainy days, Writing by the fireplace, Gloomy, clam, cozy


~By Uma N.


~Uma N.

Lines In Time d

Time Drake Equation

Waves rise and settle, crashing on rocks. A burst of wind blows down a tree. As the sun rises and settle, the life of a mayfly passes. An aged man dies. A child is born. A new family is made. One is awarded for its virtue. Another is punished for its sin. However, the criteria for right and wrong changes. This is the nature’s flow. You feel it as you are living. This is time. ~Doyoung K.

Dividing and calculating are its abilities Real life a quantifiable possibility Aliens, somewhere out in space Keep our hopes up, the math says there’s more Equations by Drake have worked out before. ~Andrew E.



Chaos What’s chaos really? Some say too little order I say it’s too much

Epiphany Each moment cannot be an epiphany Pain-free is the moment, that will be Influential, Important, and impressive is understating Peaceful, pleasant, and priceless don’t begin to define How oh how do I describe this moment A moment where your mind is perspicacity Not any moment can be Your epiphany ~Nimera S.



~Tennyson M.

Technology The end of innovation And a new Dark Age Seems impossible to our modern ways of thinking. If we have digital data How could we ever lose our progress? Perhaps after some great catastrophe Whether alien or of our own design Will be the cause. Or fear, the selfish betrayer of humanity. Fear of the unknown, or of the future. Grasping the Singularity and falling short ~Andrew E.

Pluto Pushed down to the underworld, lord lived with a forlorn hope of love, until a girl named Persephone came True love was indomitable, oathed on the river Styx ~Emily H.

Mind Map

~Sabrina M.

Chain 43

~Rita D.

Whirlwind Spring Bluebells in the grass Yellow daffodils in fields Spring blooms with the sun ~Emily M.

Flowers Springtime is coming The flowers bloom, the bees buzz Grass all green and bright ~Jennifer W.

Smelling Flowers Smelling the flowers Everything here is so nice I’m at Chernobyl ~Owen B.

Lovely Lavenders

~Maya A.

The Last Seed I watched my seedling grow Sprouting up from the earth My days in the meadow They made my love unearth It was reaching for the sun Was taller day by day Oh it was lots of fun But then twas a delay The life I created Slowly wilted to death So I sat and waited To catch my hollow breath Gone away with the wind Leaving me all alone Twas the last of its kind To heaven it had flown I watched my seedling die Folding into the ground Oh my oh my oh my What a sad little sound ~Hannah Z.

Dandelions 44

~Elise A.


Spring Day

~Tanishka B.

Sunset Valley


Every single detail Every little piece Has been put in its place.

The warm humid air Dewdrops on the blades of grass Flowers in my hand ~Landry N.

Silver tears Golden irises Glow soft lavender and coral in the light of the setting sun.

Spring A bud, then a flower, A fruit grows, falls, then seeds plant, The cycle starts again. ~Zoe A.

After hours of cloudy gray Colors of serendipity find their way Into the sunset valley. Green ferns sway in the breeze Red mountains with faint hints of marigold Rows and rows of candy-apple poppies and peachy tulips All complete with the complementary colors of a sunset ~Alicia Y.


Spring The Start Of Springtime: The quiet ambience of content birds chirping fill my ears As the morning light pours onto the blooming flowers I step on the damp grass While I smell the fresh morning air And I am reminded That Spring has come again. Madison K.



~Sabrina M.

Distracted - Animation

Scholastic Gold Key Winner

Scan this QR Code to view the video


Graveyard Thoughts

A woman stands all alone She feels the cold bitter wind biting at her face She wraps her scarf tighter around her neck to keep in some warmth It does not work for no amount of heat will warm her frozen heart Even the vast deserts cannot produce enough heat to thaw her frozen heart It is getting dark and she sees storm clouds gathering She leaves a bouquet of flowers on her husband’s grave and walks towards her car As she drives home, she reflects on their life together The summer picnics and fall Halloween parties The spring bike rides and the winter snow days All that is over now All she has are the memories ~Jackson M.

On top of a hill, Surrounded by nameless graves, I have to let myself wonder aloud: “What happens when my existence is just a rock?” “What happens when everyone I know is dead?” “What happens when no one on Earth knows my name?” My grandfather’s grave offers up no comforts. “Will I be a lucky one, whose name is passed down through generations?” “Or will I just be another wandering soul from times long forgotten?” It is said that a dead man tells no tales. But I do not want to believe that my life will end just because of my death. Alas, I guess there is only one way to find out. ~Alexandra V.


Whirlwind The spider in Your Sleeping Bag

Frog in a Well

I am the spider in your sleeping bag I wonder what I would find if i was to go in your ear I hear your deep breaths as you sleep I see your arm twitch as I crawl up your side I want to lay eggs in your ear I am the spider in your sleeping bag

I am a frog in a well I hear the mockery of others I see only the stone walls of my well I want to leave this wretched place I see the small dot of sky above I want to leave, to experience the earth I am a frog in a well

I pretend your hair is a soft blanket around me I feel the air from your nostrils on my small body I touch your lips because they look soft I worry you might wake from your slumber I cry as your eyes open and you notice me I am the spider in your sleeping bag

I want to swim to my heart’s content I am a frog in a well I feel the smooth, slippery stone of my prison I dream of a world outside I try to jump out, to no avail I hope to be saved I am a frog in a well ~Jack S.

I understand your fear as I sit on your chin I say please just let me go peacefully I dream of the great outdoors one more time I try not to take it personally as you flick me off and crush me I hope the 20 bites I left on your legs reminds you of me ~Devy R.


~Annika R.



~Jennifer L.

Noodle Art

~Phoebe J.

Ted There once was a man named Ted He could hardly get out of bed Though he was never on time And was not in his prime He still had a very smart head ~Owen B.

The Game Was Bad I went to see the game It ended up pretty lame It was very boring And it was pouring Even my stepmother came ~Eko A.


Red Panda

Carnivorous animals Hidden in the savanna Easily camouflaged Extremely fast Two cheetahs can easily catch prey Agile and quick Have to be aware all the time ~Aryav G.

~Sarah L. 48

Whirlwind Cheesecake A pristine slice of cake calling my name A type of cake that is rich and creamy Sitting in the fridge, waiting to be claimed It rests overnight, all nice and dreamy The next day, I dash down without a break To take a bite of my luxurious, Chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake It was a breathtaking experience The white chocolate cream cheese flavor hits The raspberry tang is tart, fresh and sweet Bitterness comes from the crunchy crust bits Cheesecake is my favorite thing to eat

Citrus Slice

Before I know it, I take the last bite This was the end of my cheesecake delight ~Marina L.

Avacado John the Gardener

~Serene H.

Dream I had this weird dream with cars I dreamed that they were from Mars They went very fast They flew with a blast They went and crashed with the stars ~Liam C.

~Ava C.

There once was a young man named John And he worked from dusk till dawn He loved what he did And he did not kid But boy you should see his lawn ~Nathan B.

Cards Cunningness is key Attentive to your opponents every move React with ambiguity Destroy everyone no matter the cost Super fun! ~Alexander D.

Giraffe 49

~Ava C.

Whirlwind Music is the universal language Music is something that everyone loves It is the best way to express yourself Singing and listening to all the runs CD’s and records stacked on every shelf You feel it throughout your entire soul Have to find your style of music though There’s many like rap, pop, and rock and roll You can play it when you are feeling low ~Marisa U.

There is music for every emotion To pump you up, to calm you down it’s there To some people songs are their devotion Music is for everyone to share

Prideful Symphony

How do you live without all the music? How do you not listen? You are too sick ~Katia A.

~Davanee L.

Tapped Toed Budgies 50

Whirlwind Music


The sweet melody The soft music fills my heart I am filled with peac ~Patrick F.

My fingers pressing The black and white keys bend as notes flow with me ~Landry N.

Music Endlessly flowing into your ear Communicating without words Emotion reflecting off its Silent tunes Shining light into the blue. Colors streaming from the notes And overtaking the air Expressing the soul Into majestic Strokes on a string Or rhymes on the keys. Turning sound into you voice Endlessly flowing for all To hear. ~Sydney J.


~Owen S. 51

Whirlwind Dragons Inspired by the podcast “The Anthropocene Reviewed” by John Green By Leah D. Hello, I’m Leah Durkee; and welcome to Analyzing Humanity, a podcast that reflects on the everyday, often unnoticed things that connect us all. Today we will be looking into a legend that has imbedded itself into practically every culture, for thousands of years – dragons. All it takes is the word “dragons” for a clear image to pop into your head. You may imagine a giant reptilian beast burning everything in its wake with a terrifying fiery breath, or perhaps a peaceful serpent-like creature gliding through the skies. Nobody knows when these magnificent creatures first found their way into our lives, though evidence of dragon-related myths can be discovered in civilizations as far back at the Ancient Greeks and Sumerians. The stories were a result of the Ancients discovering fossils from dinosaurs and other reptiles – with no other explanation for these strange, gigantic bones, dragons were their answer. Despite their bizarre, mythological appearance – tough scaled bodies, large bat-like wings, jagged horns, barbed tails, magical abilities, and a breath of smoldering flames, just to name a few – dragons are a very human thing. Not in appearance, of course, but as a concept. Dragons were used to explain the unknown and they represent ideas we find hard to grasp. For example, in Europe, Christians viewed dragons as a living depiction of Satan; afterall, the Bible described Leviathan with verses such as “the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan” and “Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him”. Therefore, European legends often include these malevolent versions of dragons being slain by knights and heros, showing that the saints would always win over the devil, that good would triumph over evil. Asia, in a stark contrast, views dragons to be benevolent, wise beings that represent the imperial rule. Unlike their European counterparts, these versions are often long, serpentlike, and wingless, though they are still capable of gliding through the skies. Many stories of Chinese origin tell of these guardian-like creatures bringing good fortune and rain. Dragons can mean a plethora of things to each culture –– in my research for this recording alone I came across countless different depictions –– , but each person also carries their own interpretation. Whether you truly believe they exist or not, their impact on our lives is undoubtedly very real. For me, the idea of dragons is synonymous with a sense of wonder, of discovery. When I was in the second grade, reading no more than the school requirements, I came upon a book; Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. The novels each tell the story of an epic quest from the perspective of different dragon characters, and I was hooked from book one. I went from barely knowing where my library was to flying through a 15-book series in one school year. This fascination sparked a passion, and in addition to reading any and all dragon-related books I could get my hands

Things That Fly (Relief Sculpture)


~Sophia F.

on, I started to write my own stories, though very poorly. See, I grew up a Navy brat, and the countless moves meant continuous friendships were more of a luxury than a staple of childhood. Writing, however, stayed with me, and every recess for a year I sat in the back corner of the playground with nothing more than a pencil and composition notebook. My first ever story was about a dragon named Joy, and the adventures she went on with her companions. It was just about the worst thing I have ever read, but those sloppily written pages were the start of a journey. In fact, I later went on to have a poem published in my local newspaper about being a military child. However, my wonderment over dragons didn’t simply fade away once I began pursuing other passions. The Navy eventually moved me and my family to Sicily, Italy, and we took advantage of every travel opportunity we could while in Europe. That is when I discovered dragons had a whole culture worldwide. I would stare in awe at the monstrous depictions throughout the cities we visited, my tiny little world suddenly growing into something much larger. I went on almost every trip with my family, all except one, when my sister, mother, and my mother’s two friends traveled to Poland. They returned with stories of seeing the Wawel Dragon in Krakow, a 20 foot tall bronze masterpiece that has been Continued on p. 53


Continued from p. 52 engineered to breathe actual fire. The little purple dragon plushie they got me as a souvenir was not enough to stop me from dreaming of going myself ever since. Now that I have grown up a bit, I realise their aweinspiring appearance and deadly powers aren’t why every human knows of them. We use them almost as a placeholder, just as we claimed Mercy Brown to be a vampire, or tell our children that a tooth fairy is the reason they awake to coins under their pillow. When people come across ideas too big or complex to conceptualize, we use legends such as these to visualize that which cannot be defined. Humanity simply manifested our fears, our wonders, and the unexplainable into the scaly bodies of dragons. Whether you grew up on stories of these malevolent representations being slayed by knights, or of wise guardians bringing good fortune, dragons taught us all something. G.K. Chesterton summed it up the best, in my opinion, in just three sentences: “Fairytales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.” I give dragons four stars.

~Sophia F. 53


~Courtenay K.

Sunshine and Snow at Mary’s Rock Winter

Cold Love


Children are playing In the cold cold winter snow What fun that must be ~Emily M.

I exhale sharply The cold air chokes me tonight Reminiscing warmth ~Alicia Y.

Trees in frosty air Through snowfall bold colors stay Silent, wait for spring ~Braydon S.


Whirlwind A LOVELY WAR

Big Bad People

Love is a war that knows no earthly bounds It comes and then takes battered prisoners It’s like screaming and screaming with no sound Those who seek love are no doubt beginners

The world is a terrifying, big place People are rude and selfish, harsh, and mean Loved ones always ask for “A bit of space” You’re a shell of a person, a machine

It’s pain and fire that keeps getting stronger But pure joy that always intoxicates With more and more, love takes and grasps longer A crime that no one wants to perpetrate

You can’t control what others choose to do Can’t push them into something they don’t want But nobody knows what you’re going through Dismissing your feelings so nonchalant

A broken heart is filled with so much pain But the good times outweigh, by much, the bad Healing hearts takes time and it leaves bloodstains Though without love one is sure to go mad Be careful with those you give your heart to Because only truest love makes you new

Reaching for Daylight

Do not let people tell you how to feel They cannot control what you feel inside The only way to thrive is to be real Be the one who won’t easily comply

~Leena D.

It doesn’t matter what the others say You show that you are stronger every day ~Olivia P.

~Hannah Z.


Winter Sun

~Nishtha N.

Whirlwind Dress Code By grade 6, girls’ bodies are “distractions.” We are sent home when we show too much skin. No one pays attention to boys’ actions. They just shame us for the bodies we’re in.

The Spark Behind your frown and your negativity, Can I see a sparkle of light, a spark of positivity? Don’t worry, don’t feel snappy! Even though you’re sad now, remember that being positive will make you happy! Feel the joyousness of the world around you, life is too short. Glee is what you need, and I will be your cheerful escort! Hope and dream! You can’t live life without aspiration! I can’t see you sad, let me lead you in the right direction ~Georgia S.

We are sent home to change into new clothes And told “boys will be boys,” and other lies. We miss out on more learning from dress codes Than boys do from exposed shoulders and thighs. Don’t tell us to be ashamed of our skin. Teach boys that girls are not sex objects. Teach kids that showing skin is not a sin. Stop keeping us away from our projects. My body should not be a distraction, Nor is it an excuse for your actions.


~Isabel C.

~Marisa U. 56

Whirlwind The New Normal An imaginary bubble surrounds me In the bare emptiness of my home I long for change For things to go back to the way they were Tears drip down my cheeks And soak into my mask I can’t help but feel regret For not experiencing more In the time I had Before this became the new normal ~Madison K.

Longing Gaze

~Serene H.

Emotions I am your emotions I hear every taunt, every curse, every compliment. I see your life, in all its colors. I want you to feel happy, although it’s not always the case, I see insecurities, and sometimes I make you feel them. I want your happiness, your hope, your peace, I am your emotions I want to make you hopeful for a fulfilling life. I am your emotions I feel your depression, your loneliness, your sorrow. I dream of a day, that you’ll stop feeling rejected I try to bring you hope and, I hope to try I am your emotions ~Lana F.

~Giana N. 57


~Kailyn K.

Hearts 58


Origami Iris Flowers

~Marina L.

Our Evolving World

Love Is Complicated

In Love

The complications of love are absurd Some people they don’t find it for a long time The whole process can be extremely blurred Love can be the world’s longest uphill climb

Loving someone can be a great blessing, But being in love is terrifying. You can’t know thoughts, so it keeps you guessing. It’s a burden to keep clarifying.

Finding the correct person can be hard All the character, compassion, and grit Some try to get in your head and bombard Make sure that your real feelings are legit

What if you give love but don’t get it back? Is it possible to love way too much? Questions join my brain going in a stack. And once you get love, it slips from your clutch.

Love can make people travel near and far The way you persevere is how you’re made You need someone who is about on par Be on the lookout so you don’t get played The art of love is hard to understand The entire journey is extremely grand

Similar to a dandelion, right? Beautiful, delicate on the outside But blow too hard, and it is out of sight. And eventually thoughts will collide. And while love is tough, and hard to work out, Take the risk, even if you have these doubts ~Juliana R.

~Allison H.



~Logan S.

Self Portrait ~Lev S.

~Lucy N. ~Logan S. ~Joshua A.




~Marina L.

Traveling Deer


Whirlwind Earbuds Alone the boy sat listening to tunes His earbuds broke that afternoon Along came a girl with earbuds to spare And so they used them to share The song that played had a nice beat “I think I’m in love” the song would repeat She smiled at the boy oh so fair He couldn’t help but to stare Bells were ringing and the day had come Wearing his ring made his finger go numb He had married the girl with earbuds to spare The girl that handed him earbuds to share

Whirlwind Mug

A song was played to make the wedding complete “I can’t help falling in love” the song would repeat She laughed and smiled at her husband with glee He gazed into her eyes feeling truly happy

~Joana A.

Another day at the hospital with his wife His heart felt as if it was cut by a knife She was dying, the girl with earbuds to spare She hid her pain and she did not share Her husband played a song so very sweet “I’ll love you forever” the song would repeat As she laid there silently, her husband cried His beloved deaf wife had died

~Calla Y.

~Daanial P.

TikTok This app is overrated It’s not hard to see why Keep scrolling through the app all day TikTok’s a waste of time Online exposure is unhealthy Kids need to stop using TikTok ~Jon Q.

Dolphin Beach

~Phoebe J.


Whirlwind Siblings

~Katherine D.

Annoying as can be Bridges that you cross together Common courtesy towards them… what’s that? Dinner when we’re all together Extreme pain after fighting Family comes first, stick up for them Gratitude, I’m glad I have them, a little bit How was your day? Something we never ask each other ~Joseph M.


Modern Vermeer

~Liyah C.


You’re always busy Studying in pure silence Breathe for a second ~Kavya K.

The birds chirp sweetly The winds sing in harmony The sounds of nature ~Kavya K.

~Katherine D.

The Pleasant Surprise By Angeline Z.

It was a pleasant surprise. The fact that it was pleasant was even more of a surprise because it was obviously of no value whatsoever. He stared, blinking in almost-confusion at the single paper that had been lying outside his doorway. Decorated in the haphazard, but endearing, manner only a child could accomplish, the card was violently out of place with its immaculate surroundings. The odd little scrap of paper had apparently been left by the neighbors that had arrived just days ago, along with a small package that was, by the looks of it, a homemade dessert of some kind. They had come noisily, the child shrieking and squealing with little regard for proper decorum, the parents doing nothing to temper her obnoxious cacophony of sound. Their behavior had been absolute barnyard and humiliating, and so he hadn’t bothered to acknowledge in any sort of way. After all, they had seemed excessively boring and dressed themselves in drab, cheap clothing. In the days since they had done nothing but wreak havoc in his life: the TV blared noisily at all hours of the night, the child shrieked and laughed startlingly loudly, and they clattered up and down the stairs in a stampede. It was infuriating. And yet, despite his simmering hostility over the past days, they had left him a present, one that left him feeling off , in some way. It wasn’t as though he had never received any gifts before. In contrast, his entire flat was filled to the brim with presents and various possessions, each more glamorous than the last. Each

piece of china was decorated with fine etchings along the edges, the furniture was engraved with gorgeous carvings and though nearly a decade old, possessed the polish and gleam of an unused piece of furniture. His wardrobe was a lengthy hall, one wall entirely glass, the others overflowing with designer clothing and tasteful decor. Frankly, many of his possessions were simply placed about in the most outwardly appealing way possible and left there, despite there being no one besides himself to appreciate them. Despite the undoubtedly lavish gifts he’d received over the years, he had been left unsatisfied, no matter how beautiful they were, how long he spent admiring them. And so, in a desperate attempt to quench his never ending thirst for more and more - of what, precisely, he had no clue - he continued on, filling his life, his entire world, with every beautiful piece of art within arm’s reach. He hadn’t felt as though his life was lacking in any sort of way, but evidently, something was holding him back. Frustration bubbled up as he stared curiously, for perhaps the tenth time, at the crooked lettering on the offensively bright card. He looked, once more, at the beautifully and painstakingly decorated space of his apartment and his life, and back at the worthless scrap of paper in his hands, and wondered why despite all of his efforts, the first seemed so much duller in comparison.


Whirlwind The Best Lesson There was a little girl Who liked to study hard She flipped and found her spiral, And started to write cards Her test was coming up She studied with no rest, So she could get an A, But she was very stressed She found an empty book And wrote it all again Now she has an image Of everything in her brain Her test was coming up So she could get an A, But she was very stressed She read through all the questions As she took the test It was getting stressful, But she had tried her best The girl was really sad She learned a new lesson “Study smarter not harder” Is the best expression ~Haya A.

~Marina L.

Musical Memories


I want to take pride in challenges and ploys I am a journal I feel the air of melancholy I dream my end is near I try to shrink the writing I hope to begin with a clean slate I am a journal ~Anika Z.

I am a journal I hear heartfelt scribbling I see pensive drawings and doodling I want jovial quotes and memories I see no self-care ideas just useless vain I want to explore the world with maps and travels I am a journal



~Owen S.

Daffodils Best Friend

I remember when we first met in 2nd grade And became the closest of friends We would talk to each other about anything I remember those times on the bus Where we would sit together and play games I still cherish those memories today Being part of the same homeroom And working together on group projects Was probably one of the highlights of school However not every friendship lasts forever And that was a hard concept for me to grasp At that time as we started to drift apart We had different teachers Rarely saw each other in school And you easily had new friends To make things worse you were moving So, you didn’t ride the bus anymore You would also go to a different middle school When I look back at those times The times that brought me happiness and sadness And have made me a stronger person

Self Portrait (Surreal)

~Sabrina M. 65

I know that not every friendship is meant to last Because people come and go And the memories last even if contact is lost ~Marina L.


Summer Sunset


Champ de Fleurs

~Ava C.

~Maria A.

A la Plage

~Dylan R.

Sunset Dog

~Ava C.

Life According to a Vine

~Dylan R. 66

~Dylan R.


Mirror Mirror on the Wall

~Tanishka B.




~Sophia W.

Self Portrait

~Lana F.

Anticipation By Alex H. The soft ringing of a bell pulled her from the dream that had only just begun after hours of restless tossing. Nevertheless, as she sat up to silence the ringing bell, hopped into her slippers and pulled on her robe, she felt a jolt of excitement fly throughout her body. Walking out of her room, she passed though the cozy living room and kitchen and retrieved some wood from the stack outside and stuffed it into the stove. Then, she quickly made some oatmeal and devoured her breakfast. The sun shone with a consistent brightness that had assisted the seeds forward and out of the ground and into the flowers that rested silently on the hill just outside of the cottage. Olive joined the flowers outside, soaking up the sunshine as she walked on a small beaten down path, dew, coating her boots. Olive walked up the hill and into a small grove as she continued to follow the path. In the forest, the trees grew slanted and winding for no particular reason. The ground was littered with vines and

flowers of all different colors, spanning from light pinks to deep reds. Olive continued on walking until suddenly the forest surrounding her became silent. Not a single worm wriggled or bird chirped. She carefully avoided twigs and continued only a few paces before reaching a cluster of rocks. She set her bag down. Then, carefully unzipping it, she spread out a handkerchief. It was embroidered with flowers that twisted and turned with deep pinks and light pastels. Inside the handkerchief was a blueberry muffin. Olive had read in a book that the best way to catch a fairy was to do as such. Then, following the directions she had previously memorized, she sprinkled glitter around the muffin, retreated back to the rocks and layed down. She waited, every inch of her tense with anticipation. She scanned the branches of trees and the twigs on the ground. Then, a flutter and whirring of wings caught her attention.



~Harper J.

Fire Skies 69

Whirlwind School in 2021 Morning isn’t too far off. No, no, not 6:30. Oh no, not the time I hate. Please let me sleep in late. Quiet mom, the bus can wait. Reducing sleep is the school’s goal. So early it’s like the school’s a troll. Tired is what I am right now. Unfortunately, I have to live with it. Very little is done outdoors, instead we’re indoors the whole day. Room after room after room, there are regulations everywhere. When school ends, it’s right to the homework. Xylophones play in my head, distracting me, making me go berserk. YEET! My brother yells, and I once again get distracted, but that’s the life of a middle schooler during 2021, but we can live through it. ~ Christian M.

Rainy Night The glow of street lights Rain trickles down my window A car engine starts Patrick F.

Stormy Days Stormy, rainy days, Writing by the fireplace, Gloomy, clam, cozy ~Uma N.

~Marley D.

Of Course, It’s you



~Diana S.

My Origin



~Katherine H.

Chained Casino


Aanya J., p. 6 Abuzar W., Cover Design, pp. 10, 13, 32, 36 Afton K., p. 2 Aimee A., p. 9, 14 Alex H., p. 68 Alexander D., p. 49 Alexandra V., p. 46 Alicia A., p. 33 Alicia Y., pp. 5, 7, 45, 54 Allison H., p. 59 Amelie L., p. 38 Amina K., p. 38 Amiti G., p. Inside back cover Andrew E., pp. 42, 43 Andrew L., pp. 2, 20 Angeline Z., p. 63 Anika Z., pp. 18, 38, 64 Anna G., p. 3, Back Cover Annika R., pp. 31, 47 Aryav G., p. 48 Ava C., pp. 20, 49, 66 Ben F., pp. 19, 35 Brayden S., pp. 16, 54 Britt H., pp. 17, 41 Calla Y., p. 62 Charles D. pp. 1, 27, 34 Christian M., pp. 36, 70 Courtenay K., pp. 17, 54 Daanial P., p. 6, 62 Daniella N., p. 1 Davanee L., pp. 24, 50 Delaney P., p. 24 Devy R., p. 47 Diana S., p. 5, 56, 71 Doyoung K., p. 42 Dylan R., pp. 13, 66. Eko A., p. 48 Elise A., p. 44 Elise W., p. 13

Elissa T., p. 35 Emily H., pp. 18, 43 Emily J., p. 16 Emily M., pp. 44, 54 Emily T., pp. 20, 26 Gabriel P., p. 35 Gadiel L., pp. 22, 41 Giana N., p. 57 Guillermo J., p. 37 Gwen M., p. 27 Hannah L., p. 30 Hannah Z., pp. 17, 44, 55 Harper J., p. 69 Haya A., p. 64 Henok T., p. 30 Isabel C., p. 56 Jack S., pp. 5, 40, 47 Jackson M., pp. 13, 46 Jaiden S., p. 39 Jay H., p.11 Jennifer L., p. 48 Jennifer W., pp. 18, 44 Jessica S., p. 32 Jiyoon P., p. 23 Joana A., p. 62 Jon Q., p. 62 Joseph M., p. 63 Joshua A., pp. 39, 60 Joshua W., p. 39 Julia W., pp. 16, 21, 26 Juliana R., pp. 3, 59 Kailyn K., pp. 13, 58 Katherine D., p. 63 Katherine H., p. 72 Katya A., p. 50 Kavya K., pp. 31, 63 Lana F., pp. 57, 68 Lana Z., p. 31 Landry N., pp. 16, 31, 45, 51 Lauren S., p. 35

Dream Cave

Leah D., p. 52-53 Leena D., p. 55 Leila P., pp. 12, 35 Lev S., p. 60 Leyla C., p. 33 Liam C., pp. 40, 49 Liyah C., pp. 26, 63 Logan K., p. 40 Logan S., pp. 18, 60 Lucy N., p. 60 Maddie S., p. 17 Madelyn C., pp. 17, 25 Madison K., pp. 30, 45, 57 Maria A., p. 66 Marina L., pp. 49, 59, 61, 64, 65 Marisa U., pp. 50, 56 Marley D., p. 70 Mathilde L., p. 32 Maya A., p. 44 Michelle L., p. 8 Miguel L., p. 35 Natalia C., p. 29 Nathan B., p. 49 Nikola V., pp. 22, 35 Nimera S., p. 43 Nishtha N., pp. 7, 55 Norris C., p. 40 Olivia P., p. 55 Olivia S., p.22 Owen B., pp. 44, 48 Owen S., pp. 51, 65 Patrick F., pp. 51, 70 Phoebe J., pp. 41, 48, 62 Prashim R., p. 39 Reagan C., p. 13 Riley S., p. 13 Rita D., pp. 6, 39, 43 Rojia K., p. 8 Sabrina M., pp. 2, 5, 19, 22,

25, 43, 46, 65 Sabrina W., p. 32 Samantha C., p.4 Sandi S., p. 25 Sarah L., p. 48 Scott T., p. 31 Serene H., pp. 10, 49, 57 Skye M., p. 30 Sonora K., p. 4 Sophia F., p. 21 Sophia F., pp. 21, 52, 53 Sophia R., pp. 3, 39 Sophia W., pp. 12-13, 68 Sunay G., p. 12 Sydney J., pp. 7, 51 Sydney M., p. 28 Takumi S., p. 35 Tanishka B., pp. 45, 67 Tatum O., p. 31 Tennyson M., p. 43 Tyler H., p. 10 Tyler S., p. 39 Uma N., pp. 13, 41, 42, 70 Veeraj N., pp. 36, 40 Virginia I., p. 30 William H., p. 16 Yoonjae H., p. 6 Zoe A., p.45

~Amiti G.

~Anna G.

Soaring Letters of Imagination


nd i w irl Longfellow Middle School Literary Magzine June 2021