Miami Country Day School Spring 2019 Issue I, Volume XIII
Editorsâ€™ Note Amused is a student-run art and literary magazine with the purpose of showcasing the highest quality work produced by the Upper School student. Through the compilation of studentsâ€™ works, we aim to showcase the contrasting viewpoints and experiences that exist within our community in a format that is aesthetically pleasing for the reader while also complementing the talent of the students.
Editorial Policy Current MCDS students may submit art and writing for consideration by the editors during the first semester. Editorial staff positions are open to all members of the student body, but specifically it is the project of students in the National English Honor Society. The magazine is free to all members of the MCDS community and is distributed during the second semester.
Editors-in-Chief Evelyn Abramowitz Isabella Pedraza
Literary Editors Michael Athanassiadis Sabrina Cabarcos Arian Djahed Klara Meyer Sophia Paredes Maria Silva Andrew Weaver
Visual Art Editors Brianna Espinosa Vasilisa Nestscheret
Layout Editors Evelyn Abramowitz Giulianna Bruce
Staff Gabriela Abramowitz Hannah Amoils Sophia Agurcia Tatiana Barnes Zeina Bazzi Helena Cardillo Ramos Eduardo Dana Camryn Davis Julieta Feldman Emanuelle Hart Karen Jendrick Roxana Kaplan
Maya Kreger Krystal Leyva Isabel Marquez Ananda Naves Sophie Naves MariaPia Onorato Alicia Rodriguez Camila Serrano Francesca Settineri Taisa Strouse Madeline Sukhdeo Asha Yearwood
Faculty Advisors Scott Brennan Samuel Brown
Writing 10 Airplane
41 Rising Sun
13 A Land Remembered
17 Wild Tamarind
55 No Longer Sisters
21 If You Go Chasing Rabbits
58 Jazz Night
60 Blackout Poem I
27 Hymn of Life
61 Blackout Poem II
29 Guns in Our Garden
61 Blackout Poem III
31 Sign of the Times
62 Blackout Poem IV
34 Ocean’s Arms
62 Blackout Poem V
35 An Escape from Reality
39 With a Gleam of Gold
65 At the Corner of 4th Avenue
Daniel Gallup Andrew Weaver
Helena Cardillo Ramos Maya Kreger Klara Meyer
Arian Djahed Roothbenie Desir Anonymous Nicole Chirinos
Michael Puglise Vittoria van Blommestein
Rianna Washington Samantha Long
Evelyn Abramowitz Isabel Marquez
70 A Blank Slate
101 Shy of Breaking
104 The Beach Was So Quiet
83 A Special Place
107 These Woods are Lovely,
85 View from the Stratosphere
Michael Athanassiadis Isabella Pedraza
87 My Adolescence
93 How I Chose My Six Word
Dark, and Deep
117 Hamlet: Act II, Scene 1.5
Maria Clara Paes
122 Spring Fleet
96 The Exodus
125 Everyday Struggle
98 In My Head
130 Love in Limbo
99 Head Resting on the Car
131 The Day’s Changes
Zoey Arnold Alexandra Vaygensberg
Nicole Chirinos Nicole Chirinos
Window Listening to Hozier
Nicole Chirinos Joseph Aming Tara Sarli
Visual Art 09 Swimming in the Stars
12 Swimming in the Stars
32 Overlayed Words
33 Fisherman in the Fog
16 Art Basel
37 Leaf and Shadow
16 La Tienda
40 Urban Sunset
17 Love That Grows
20 Crystal Ball
21 Makeshift Monocle
51 Mistresses of Flavor
23 Breakfast in Technicolor
51 Donut Lookout
52 Mistress of Sugar
28 Recurring Shapes
Giulianna Bruce Giulianna Bruce
Vanessa Miroshkina Giulianna Bruce
Carly Rich Evelyn Abramowitz Charlie Leoni
Evelyn Abramowitz Evelyn Abramowitz
Sophia Agurcia Graham Bradley
Valeria Quintero Evelyn Abramowitz
Valeria Quintero Valeria Quintero
54 Ocean Drive
56 Rainbow Without Colors
57 London After Dark
81 Devil’s Connection
63 Sea Lion
82 Waiting for the Bus
83 Can I Get a Smile?
85 Triple-Tiered Blue
88 Over the Shoulder
71 stone-cut blooms
89 Aermotor U.S.A.
74 harsh petals
91 Moby Dick: Chapter IX
75 Sweeping Grandeur
91 Moby Dick: Chapter LVI
91 Moby Dick: Chapter LVI
78 The Shadowed Throne
92 Moby Dick: Chapter LVI
MariaPia Onorato Sofia Cabarcos Lorelai Konen
Carly Rich Arian Djahed
Evelyn Abramowitz Evelyn Abramowitz Evelyn Abramowitz
Isabella Pedraza Evelyn Abramowitz
Isabel Marquez Lauren Arriaga
Michael Mcpherson Giulianna Bruce Sofia Cabarcos
Giulianna Bruce Isabel Marquez Taylor Lynott Taylor Lynott Taylor Lynott
94 The Front Door!
126 Behind the Counter
Sophia Agurcia Giulianna Bruce
Valeria Quintero Sophia Agurcia
101 Puddle Art
129 b&w love
131 A Purple Sun
Giulianna Bruce Giulianna Bruce Arian Djahed
108 Man and Sea
Evelyn Abramowitz Vanessa Miroshkina
Airplane Daniel Gallup
The ocean has never beckoned me Never have the waves sung a sweet serenade tempting me Crashing like symbols upon the shore I don’t skip along the beach picking up seashells, Telling the story of a journey a million miles or more I don’t take much pleasure in strides along the sand Or treading into the wild to see where I may land The dirty ground, shrouding God knows what kinds of insects Surprisingly doesn’t put any sort of a rise in me, not the way the inside begets Yes, I take pleasure in the comfort that an AC unit provides, When I can sit inside, mind my time, And tell myself it’s hotter than it looks outside But my sofa doesn’t cut it, frankly, neither does my bed Only when I’m in a small seat Packed in between two other passengers Do I find that discomfort seemingly heaven sent My ideal day is one spent inside an airplane Those claustrophobia-causing vessels of metal that lift off from terrain You might wonder why I’d choose to spend My most idyllic day inside these constraints But it’s only when I’m tightly packed in these conditions that I can stop thinking And a sense of freedom is all that remains
I suppose the truth is that my mind is constantly moving So when my phone enters airplane mode So too does my mind stop receiving signals That it needs to do things The problem is that I crave action and love to be busy But this unsustainable, occasionally unattainable Which always remains to pull me away from convention, Leads me down a path that’s somewhat risky When I shirk my friends and pretend That I hate to be thrown into this sort of tizzy I reminisce on how it’s only when I’m strapped into an airplane seat That that desire doesn’t leave with me I suppose it’s somewhat odd, You might be thinking it’s somewhat queer That my resting place is at the same height Where one meets the lower stratosphere Perhaps it’s somewhat out of fear, I need these moments of rumination When I’m contemplating, isolated, And even though when I land Awaiting me will be obligation, It is only in these moments that I obtain true placation When I’m beholden to the greater sky, I’m finally pacified As I can’t do much of anything When I’m on that great metal vessel in the sky
A Land Rememered Andrew Weaver
September Morning in Eden I climbed out of the stream beckoned by the whisper of the reeds. Î&#x;ut of the swift memories of the past fateful deeds call me back. I remember the old garden before the long night-it was lively like the blue jayâ€™s song. When I glance into the water I can still see the two live oaks, souls of my creation, shimmering in the warm water, standing together.
A n Au t u m n E v e n i n g The blue jayâ€™s song is blown away. Cool northern air carries it aloft through the old sea grape tree cracked, withered, and gnarled. It stands like an old sentinel, memories of Edenâ€™s beauty buried deep within its roots. Sea grape leaves fall into the stream weeping in the cold water â€“ their memory floats off into oblivion. I remember now, under the crown of the bald cypress, how the red celosias, with their burning love protected the innocent green ferns that clung to life underneath their flaming leaves. But alas, with the coming of winter they burn no more.
Silence in December The only sound is silence. The sabal palm hangs its yellow frond in woe. The sky sinks beneath winter stars to silence the voices of Eden. The garden is lost. A memory. I wade back into the stream, its water bitter like regret. The shimmering oaks beckon me to follow, ancient limbs giving way. Hollow as the old sea grape, I float into lost memory.
15 Giulianna Bruce
Every week there was new jam that my mother conceived from her imagination. Boredom created the most marvelous sweetness that melted away the unsavory flavors. The bitter sting on my tongue from the tamarind left a dolorous aftertaste. Now, the tamarind tree in the garden hovers over everything, seizing shadows like she did. My mother’s dress flared in the wind while she picked the tamarind from the branches. The ladder always made her scared but the fruit was worth the fear. Continuously, I’d hear all the neighbors voice, “Isso esta divino!” Her kitchen was always fixed with the smell. Jars labeled with her drawings, hours spent beautifying for those she loved. In the backyard, the tamarind leaves breathed. Like the seeds from the pods that hurt the bottom of my feet, the tender green blades cut the sky. Afterwards, she’d turn the seeds into brown jelly that was loved by all except me. But how could I judge? How could I reject such an attempt to bring delight into our world.
Helena Cardillo Ramos
Melting Maya Kreger
I like it to watch ice melt. Watch it fade Into fluid, Until it’s a puddle And no one will ever know it was ice Except for me. I like it when The movie is slow And the song is fast. When I feel everything. And when I feel nothing. I like it when I feel like screaming, But don’t. When the mosquito bite Is swollen And the popsicle Is melting. I like it when The clock ticks So loud That when I focus it’s All I can hear. When the sun is bright And the room is small And the sleeves of My sweater Are not long enough And I feel so Cold I want to cry But All I can do is smile.
For a long time, I went to bed early. That is, until I found something much, much better. Reading is the biggest, longest, and most daunting doorway you will ever stumble upon. And there is no other way to find it than falling. You will fall into it as Alice fell into her hole: hard, fast, and indefinitely. If there was a choice–which there isn’t–between putting down a book or staying awake for a week, I would pick the latter. Reading is an absolute lack of restraint and control. It is the throwing away of all logic and reasoning in sacrifice for a good book. Reading is staying up until 2:30 in the morning the night before the ACT because the book is just too good. Reading is uncontrollably laughing, screaming, and crying in all social situations–even on long plane rides next to a smelly stranger who is fast asleep and very much encroaching on my space. A space which is very distinctly marked by the armrest, which he has also taken over. Feel no sympathy for me; it did not last long, for I woke him up with my laughter. Reading is being absolutely lost in your own world for more than a few days because your favorite series just ended and your favorite character has died. It is being more invested in another character’s life than you are in your own. It is the true feeling of unending love for something. A love that is strong enough to make you late to your own mother’s wedding–a wedding at which you were a very important bridesmaid. I learned the lesson with mom, but no promises to my sister (if there’s a book involved).
Reading is a thief. It piles up all of your worst fears and wildest dreams and gives it all back to you for Christmas. Books come to you in a pretty box with a perfect red bow on the top, except once they are opened, your every fear, sleepless night, and feelings of insanity you never had come out to play. Reading is the thing that opens up every doorway into the sky and out of the planet. It sends you on a conveyor belt to Narnia, or Prythian, or whichever door you wish to open. It sends you to the deepest part of your mind and your heart–places that would have otherwise gone untouched–and pours it all out into the open. It sends an atheist to heaven and then rips that paradise away with the turn of a page. The conveyor belt halts, the world stops spinning. Your heart melts away. And you fall back to reality. And then you have four essays, two quizzes, and a test the next day, but you were so caught up in that book that none of it was important until right now. But you realize that life is only a series of right nows and even if the world ends, there’s another world to find in the next “right now” and you can find it if you only open that cover and peek inside. They ask me everyday how I like it. I don’t. I hate it. Reading tears out my soul and then tapes it all back up again. Reading is being lost in a novel to the point where you forget what real life is. Reading leaves you with every misconception of love, life, death, hate, war, and peace and no solid answers or endings or explanations for any of it. Reading is a devil that plays by its
23 Evelyn Abramowitz
own rules. At some point, every author gets somewhat possessed and decides to disregard every emotion, need, and desire of their readers to make a point. Because ultimately, reading is a point. Reading is a point made to all people who do not read. Books give you a lifetime of pain, suffering, love, loss, and triumph in a few hours and anyone who has not experienced that is quite literally missing out on life. Reading is a point in your life that turns the world on its axis. A word can change an era. A word can start or end a person’s life, or begin or end two people’s lives together. But also, reading is just one point. A book starts and it ends, and then a new one comes along. Reading is hard, but endless. So if you, too, have fallen down this hole, hear this: a book can tear you apart just to fill you back up again. So fret not, there is always another world to see and book to read. Alice and I have come up from Wonderland to tell you this, so listen carefully. If you do not read, you forget to love. You forget to think and you forget to see. So, see into the world. Do not watch it pass you. Jump aboard the Polar Express. Perhaps you’ll find what you’ve been looking for.
R o bber s
I see the struggling of the woman on the street, begging for a penny, while her body deteriorates, her baby cries more and more. You smell the alcohol on her breath, while she pulls out another cigarette; once a beautiful face, but now has nothing to say. The man holding the sign sings the song his mother sang to him, his shirt torn, like the box he lives in, under the bridge. The flame of anxiety so heavy, while the syringe hides under his eyes; he had a face straight out of a magazine. The world should be spiritually enlightened. The world has been growing into death, as the woman uses her last and final cigarette. The light of the moon will fade like her looks, the small light of the moon will soon become utter darkness. Modernity has failed us, Savior please save our outcast souls. Because the chemicals that make them laugh are fading. Because the people that are just like us are dying. Because we never want to grow old. As our grey hair becomes more and more defined. Is there somebody who will walk you back in time? Is there somebody who will love you? Noah Billante
Hymn of Life Arian Djahed
My life’s been reduced to a dull routine. The future is something I have not yet seen. I’m filled with nostalgia, longing for the past. When I relive those memories, they simply will not last. The past was full of life, magic, and even joy. The present is something I can’t seem to enjoy. I see myself grow older, feeling the days fly away. I can’t seem to cherish them because my past gets in the way. What I do does not change. This life is such a bore. Is this to be my fate, or is there something more?
29 Sophia Agurcia
Guns in Our Garden Sophia Agurcia
Roses, daisies, carnations, lilies: all victims of one culprit, the dandelion. The weed that never seems to leave this grand garden of Eden that is crowded with vibrant flowers and pollen that floats through the pure air like pixie dust. Your children skip through the bed, their feet trample through the weeds, watching as the seeds fly into the wind like tiny helicopters, making their way into someone elseâ€™s garden. They plant themselves without permission, without care. They are killing machines Quickly spreading from garden to garden. Choking the cherished stems. Every day, there are more and more victims, even your innocent seedlings, and you still keep them: these yellow and white bullets, shooting through the flower bed. Why do you refuse to pull them? You sit back, watch the execution of beauty, the wilting petals as if it were a reality show. Why do we have this desire to stare chaos in the face? You find pleasure in otherâ€™s losses but as soon as you feel that loss yourself you begin to wonder; what would have happened if you had picked the dandelions yesterday?
Sign of the Times There we lie so comfortably, numbed by our slow death, drowned in its dark depths. There where every strand of our humanity rots, taking with it our worthless vanities. There where in money we trust, under this god to whom we sold ourselves as glorified martyrs. But there is no glory. There is filth, there is despair, there is a land of lies and home of fools, but there is no glory. That which is to come will only drown us deeper in destruction, deflating all that was once our pride. These are the sign of the times, the beginning of sorrows. Krystal Leyva
Graham Bradley Graham Bradley
Ocean’s Arms Michael Athanassiadis
The ocean’s arms are everlasting– united yet diverse, heartwarming and far-reaching. The constant waves anchor us to the ground. Courage seeps from the seafoam, and beauty from the deep royal blue. The crashing waves give us flight– imagination flourishes from the limitless expanse of the sea, which stretches to the heavens and reaches down to dark depths. Wonder wallows in shallow tidal pools, vibrant corals and sneaky urchins, recluse hermits and bellicose eels. The ocean’s arms are everlasting, friend mingling with foe in coexistence. Grim undertones lie beneath a nourishing surface, yet the proud heroes live among the criminals The orange clowns alongside the sailing knights, itty krill with leviathan humpbacks. The ocean exists as one. Sizes, races, personalities tackle life. The vast interdependence beckons. A first chilling embrace with an overwhelming wave of blue will bring us to the warmth of the turquoise tropics, leaving behind our stable discord for wild unity.
An Escape from Reality
The sky is hidden by the trees and plants above like a sanctuary, a protective place. All that surrounds is beautiful. Peaceful. Hidden away the sound of playful birds chirps through the air. The wind blows to cool off the heat. strong continuous deafening. A warning sign. A storm is approaching. But nature does not surrender, it is not bothered. The canal moves lazily without a care nor a worry. The sun energizes, shines, gives life. He makes his way through to complete the task heâ€™s obliged to do. All of nature is linked together like a family. They stay close.
There is an alien. Something that doesnâ€™t fit, a blaring sound that interrupts the serene environment. This is a brief escape from all our external pressures. This environment does not protect us forever. We are naive. We try to ignore traces of humanity. Plastic bags. Trash. Destruction. Do we even care? I look up. The beautiful roof created by the branches battered by a plastic tray. Do we even notice? I walk along the path. Branches and leaves protrude. Nature has marked its territory. They do not want us there. They try to obstruct our path, but we ignore their defense efforts. An escape from reality is what we seek. To be engrossed in beauty. Peace. Relaxation. But in reality, there is no escape.
With a Gleam of Gold
She lays flat on her back. Her big blue belly, speckled with white clouds, stays exposed to the heavens. She peaks outside as if from the passenger seat window of my motherâ€™s station wagon. She remembers how it was before. She lets down her hair, a million hues of tangled green.
You burned it. The rust-colored mulch, like the feathers of the formidable Phoenix, shows her rebirth. But she is lost. In the maze of shadows created by her palms, she is lost. Sunlight falls on the faces of her perceivers. Their eyes gleam, though only with a gleam of gold. Through all this, her canal still runs its course. The reflections still mix
like a watercolor painting left out on in the rain, forgotten and overlooked and once beautiful. Through all this, the veins of her sea grape leaves still fill with her blood. And light still dances through her leaves. And the red tassels of her dress still blow like cattails in the wind. Through all this, she still opens her arms. The parasol of her palms still shields all seeking shelter beneath. Her tired eyes never tire of waiting for you. Forty days and forty nights she waits. A hundred dawns and a hundred dusks she waits. All of your life she waits until the inevitable waxing winter finally grasps her wrists. Slowly, her parasol closes. The sun begins beating down again on that rust-colored mulch. Smoke rises, like a dictator, the fire stands erect once again.
A rian Djahed
Prologue: Premonition The sky was red. The beauteous azure expanse that the people of Neya had grown so accustomed to gazing at in wonder and awe had been replaced with an enormous fireball, rapidly engulfing all that the eye could see. Asura, the princess of the people of this fair land, lay watching from the sidelines, completely helpless and confused. No one knew how this came to pass, only that the sole achievable future that could be hoped for was a swift death. Asura frantically looked around, as if searching for some sign or seeress that would provide an explanation for their sudden predicament. However, all that Asura could see was her people: some were running around in a mindless panic, while some still were gazing up at the crimson reaper, as if they had already accepted their abrupt and most unfortunate fate. At that moment, she came to the crushing realization that she had failed her people. She did not provide as a governing body, as a prac-
ticer of divination, and most certainly not as a sign of hope. Still turning her head, her eyes became glued to the royal castle. She watched helplessly as it collapsed in on itself. Spire after spire toppled down onto the ground, and those who were fortunate enough to find themselves beneath the falling castle in the midst of the fray were spared the anxiety that comes with waiting for death. Then, Asura began to run. With all her might and main, she sprinted for the castle, as if she somehow hoped to rebuild the crumbling towers and undo what had already been done. But as her legs carried her forward, the castle steadily receded onto the horizon, and continued to do so at an accelerating rate as she ran. And once the crumbling castle became nothing more than a speck on the horizon, it all came to black. The red sky had finally collided with the earth. And then Asura awoke.
Part One: The Journey The subsequent shock jerked Asura from her slumber, her torso now perpendicular with her legs. Her eyes were wide open now, and her face carried an expression that suggested disbelief and bewilderment. Her dream played itself in her head repeatedly, sending new shockwaves of terror into Asura. It was not uncommon for Asura to contemplate her dreams after waking. But she never had a dream quite like this. Asura tried to fall back asleep, but all her attempts were met with failure. Giving up, she walked over to the balcony of her private bedroom in the royal castle to gaze up at the stars. She hoped that the stars may give her mind something else to think about, but the dream still lurked in a dark corner of her mind, just within reach of recalling. You see, Asura’s dreams were not like the dreams of any ordinary being, be he or she elf or not. At birth, Asura was blessed with powers that no other princess of Neya in history has ever had. These powers included divination, which meant that while some of her dreams were simply dreams and nothing more, some foretold events that would happen in the near future. Her divination powers were even stronger than that of the royal seeress. Impressed by this ability that Asura possessed, her father, king Makan, had her live with the seeress for periods of time in order to further hone her abilities. Even though this meant that she seldom saw her parents for much of her life, she loved them nonetheless because
she knew that this was done with the best of intentions. Now she was twenty five years of age, and her divination powers proved invaluable time and time again. Because of it, the Neyans were prepared for events that could have been catastrophic had they not known about them beforehand. For example, several years ago, Asura once had a dream foretelling of a large rock from outer space crashing onto their planet’s surface. According to her dream, it would crashland right in the middle if the capitol’s square. However, Asura’s dream allowed the citizens of Neya to evacuate the area and fortify their homes in advance, resulting in minimal collateral damage and no casualties. However, Asura’s premonitions had a tendency of dramatizing coming events. The space rock, for example, was much smaller in real life than it was in her dream. Asura wondered what this could mean for the dream she just had. She wondered if it was even a premonition at all. Either way, she had to tell her father; with her powers, such a dream could not go unnoticed. She hoped that he would wake up soon, and they would discuss the matter over breakfast. All the while, the sky’s hue gradually lightened: daybreak was come. The morning sun broke the threshold of the horizon and showered its light upon the world. The houses below seemed ablaze, much like how they were in her dream. However, they instead shone with the promise of new opportunities that
memories played back in her mind. As the sequence of memories concluded, Asura’s attention was brought back to the present day. Suddenly, she noticed a figure from the corner of her eye. She turned her head to the leftmost edge of the table. There, she saw Makan, alone, eating his breakfast without a care in the world. “Asura,” he exclaimed, “you’re awake! Come, have some crêpes! They’re nice and warm.” Asura sat beside him, and her father piled a few crêpes onto her plate. Asura, who was surprisingly hungry after her nightmare, wolfed her breakfast down with incredible speed and then sat in silence, searching for the right words to begin her explanation. “Father,” she spoke, “I...” “Yes, Asura?” He looked at her with a puzzled expression, but she only looked down at her empty plate. Stammering, she managed to say, “I have news. I bring... tidings from the dreamscape.” “Well?” he queried. “Are they good tidings or bad tidings?” Asura remained silent, hesitant to relive the terrifying experience. She did not want to see that horrifying image of children screaming in agony as they melted or burned. Her father sensed this inner reluctance: “Asura, my daughter. Remember who I am. I am your father; you need not hide anything from me. And now matter how horrible your premonition may have been, remember that I am here to help you make sure that it never comes to pass. Now please, for the sake of our kingdom, tell me what you saw.” Asura looked up from her plate. She now faced her father with
a determined expression on her face. She took a deep breath and begun her account. “It all began so abruptly,” she began. “One moment I saw the back of my eyelids, and the next I was staring at a red wall that looked like it was slowly coming near me. Something didn’t seem right, however. I felt miniscule compared to this wall; it made me think at first that I may have been in one of those premonitions in which I find some lost knickknack tucked away in some dark corner. And oh, when I looked down, how I wished that that was what it really was instead of what lay before me!” “And when you did look down?” Makan inquired. “When I looked down… that’s when it occurred to me that that red wall was our very own sun. I mean, what else could it have been? It was midday, or at least it seemed so, only so much brighter and so much hotter. And the ground! It was literally melting under my feet! I know not how I stood, or how I even stayed alive for that matter. It’s as if my cruel powers kept me alive long enough within my dream so that they could elongate how much I would be tortured. Nothing pained me more than to see our people dying, in so much agony, while I stood there, lame in my incompetence. The screams still ring in my ears. And the castle! I almost forgot the castle! It was the ultimate salt to the wound. It was almost as if my dream was emphasizing that this was not only the end of our planet, but the end of your reign and our dynasty as well. And finally, as it crumbled, the sun reached the ground as a great flame consumed all, living or dead, and I was once more
back of my own eyelids.” Asura sighed again, and Makan gave her a solemn look. “My dear, as I’m sure you remember from your studies, our star is middle-sized. That means that when its demise is come, it does not die by supernova or hypernova. Instead, it expands, and as it does so it swallows every celestial body that used to rely on it as a source of light and life. In addition, our star has been around for approximately ten billion years. Therefore, it is with great reluctance that I must inform you that it is unfortunately quite likely that this will indeed come to pass if we do not act on it.” Asura angled her eyes downward, leaving them stationary where her father’s pendant sat, though she was not actually looking at it. “How sure are you?” “Not sure enough to guarantee anything,” Makan replied. “As I said, it’s likely. For now, I am simply going off of scientific intuition. And, as you know, all things in the sciences must be backed with evidence. That is why I will make my first order of business today to travel to the observatory and have our scientists there observe the sun using our shaded telescopes and observe any change in radius and/or color for a period of time.” “But if we are to do that,” Asura pointed out, “we must be quick. If this dream truly is a premonition, then we must act soon, for the repercussions now are far more grave than they have ever been.” “Yes, of course,” Makan said, pausing afterward in thought. “Then, let’s say, how about we set the time
elapsed to a fortnight? That will give us just enough time to observe any discernible change.” “That seems fine with me.” “Then a fortnight it is! Now child, come; let us go greet your mother.” After calling the servants to clear the table, Makan extended his hand to Asura, which Asura took. They stood and walked upstairs, away from the dining hall and momentarily away from the burden that lay on them both. * * * The fateful day of reckoning arrived sooner than Asura would have preferred. Over those two weeks, she wasted so much time fretting over things beyond her control. She lost sleep worrying, and no dreams came to her in the dead of those nights. Asura only realized now how much time she had wasted, and she lamented at the thought of how she could have spent those two weeks with peace of mind, free from worry. None of that mattered now, though, for the fate of the restless Neyan royal family was finally come, and all were astir. When the sun leapt forth upon the capital, now two weeks older, Asura winded down the spiral staircase to the dining hall for breakfast. To think that it was not too long ago that she and her father spoke of her premonition in that same place, and now it would be revealed whether the events foretold by this dream would come to pass. Asura knew that though the room would look the same and smell the same, it would feel so much different from the tension in the air. As she reached the bottom of the staircase, Asura put her hand on her
neck, where she felt a chill run down her spine. In the dining hall, there lay a vast array of various breakfast foods upon the silk tablecloth; such always happened whenever Asura came down after all the food was prepared. She ate very little, for her appetite was small on that particular morning, and she knew that the longer she tarried here, the longer she would have to wait to receive the news. It was not customary to speak of such matters in a place meant for mirth, even though Asura and her father had done it just two weeks prior. However, on that occasion there had been no one to catch them doing so because no one else was awake, whereas now it was well past dawn. One of Makan’s chief servants, Renako, opened the door to find Asura clearing her plate. “Asura,” he called, “your father is asking for you.” “Is he in the observatory?” Asura called back. “Yes. They are printing the photographs as we speak.” With that, Asura left the dining hall as Renako held the door for her. The pathway to the observatory was a perilous one. The capital sat in a valley between two great mountain ranges, the Okori to the north and the Tarai to the south. To the east and west lay plains where roads extended out from the capital to the other settlements of Neya. The observatory, meanwhile, was perched on the tallest of the foothills of the Okori, far from the obstructive artificial lights of the capital; such a location was ideal for stargazing. This, however, meant that Asura must travel upon a steep northerly road amongst evergreen alpine trees. It was not un-
common for Neyans walking upon this path to tire out and camp in the forest overnight, but Asura had no such time. With all speed, she marched up the gradient. Thanks to her ability to absorb energy from the surrounding environment (another one of her powers alongside divination), she reached the door in a mere hour. When she entered she was met with a most unexpected surprise. “Mother!” Asura exclaimed, taking a step back. “I… didn’t expect to see you here.” A tall, silent figure stepped forth. She was the queen of Neya, and all could tell by her long platinum-blond hair that cascaded down to her knees and the soft light that emanated from her body. She seldom spoke, and she often did not get herself intertwined in extraterrestrial affairs. She did not think such her fancy and preferred to focus on her own people, hence Asura’s surprise. “Don’t fret, Asura; your father called me here.” They both turned to Makan, who wore a grave expression on his face, photographs clenched in hand. “I called your mother here…because this turn of events is one that she must know about right away,” Makan said. He shoved the photographs forth, and Asura saw as clear as day that the sun was indeed expanding, and its heat signature indicated an increase in temperature. A subsequent onslaught of tears blurred the image, and Asura’s mother came forth to lock her in a warm embrace. “This is it, this is it…” Asura repeated several times. “Oh, how much I wished that it wouldn’t end this way!” “It doesn’t have to,” replied her father. “There is a way to reverse the expansion and postpone the star’s death.”
â€œThe morning sun broke the threshold of the horizon and showered its light upon the world.â€? 47
Asura’s head rose spontaneously from her mother’s sodden arms. “There is?” “Indeed, Asura. Do you remember the Kenajin?” “Yes, they were that alien race that came from another star system and colonized Kena, right?” “Correct. It turns out that with their advanced technology, they constructed a device capable of restoring stars to a younger state. Even though they perished long before your or my birth, we know for a fact that this device still remains on Kena. However, we do not know its exact whereabouts on the planet; they were always so secretive, after all. The most logical course of action would be to send a team to search for it, but…” “Father,” Asura interjected, “I’ll go.” Makan’s head rose from its pensive position. “You? But, you’re my daughter! You are to succeed me! I can’t take such a risk!” “I know that you are concerned about my welfare,” Asura refuted, “but we mustn’t waste our time assembling a team. After all, I know how to spar. And as you know, my powers go beyond those of a simple seeress!” “But, my child,” Makan replied, “your nubility is nigh… and I am already greying. If you wish to continue this dynasty…” “Father, forget about this dynasty. If you wish to continue the life of this planet and everyone on it, you will let me retrieve this device and bring it home.” It was with this that Makan relented: “Fine. You shall go. The stubbornness of your youth has overcome the cautiousness of my age. But I will only let you go on one condition.” With a prideful smirk, Asura asked, “And that condition is?” “That you be accompanied on your journey. And I know just the fellow to watch you.” “And who might this be?” “You will see soon enough. Come, Asura, and I will show you.”
They don’t know me, but they hate me. They don’t know me, but the color of my skin defines me. They say I’m a thug who sells drugs and smells like weed. The narrative of my life is set as I enter a room with cold, blue eyes judging me. Eight seconds, wordless. My dialect, ghetto. My hair, unprofessional. My intelligence demeaned. My blackness is not a weapon -it’s what defines me. They claim my culture, but not my color.
Desire Who says I need your love? I want your attention. Not you entirely. Anonymous
no longer sisters
nicole chirinos We havenâ€™t had a real conversation in over 5 years Donâ€™t sit there and act like you know me.
Jazz Night Hues of blue blend together revealing new
notes of jazz. They linger clashing together obscuring singers, violins, drummers. Rising stars fill the canvas with shapes bizarre. Jazz is their light contrasting waves of navy with dazzling brightness. The band roars on until blush of dawn.
B L AC KO UT P O EMS (n.) when a p oet takes a marker to already established textâ€“like in a newspap erâ€“and starts redacting words until a poem is for med
Lorelai 63 Konen
At this time of day the beasts emerge. In the fields we used to roam, where we used to lay in the lush green boughs of our thoughts. Alone we talked about the fields of daisies, crushed underneath the heavy feet of powerful animals. Now we hide and bury ourselves in the vivid sea of green. At this time of day, the beasts feed on innocent creatures like you and me. It is time. We must flee, for the sun is too. It is time. The animals are out.
AT THE CORNER OF 4TH AVENUE Giulianna Bruce
The rhythmic thumping of my navy-blue Nikes carries me across the sidewalk. I don’t see them, but I feel their presence under me. I don’t know where I’m going. Thump, thump, thump, but I’m running. A stranger calls, “Where are you going, baby?” Why do you care? I don’t confront him. I never do. I was never taught how. Again he calls, “Where are you going, baby?” Just how I was taught, I ignore it. Ignore it. Ignore Him. Leave me be! A third time He calls, “Where are you going, baby?” Oh, you’ll see. I can run past all this gray. Grey is the pavement below me. Grey is the world behind me. Grey is the color of my bedsheets that I awoke in this morning. I can run to the train tracks, where east meets westtwo worlds colliding, atoms crashing and life coexisting before my eyes.
I can run to the ocean, the salt-breeze swirling, singing free. Zephyrus blows on a kiss on my cheek. I can run to the forest, the scent of evergreens wafting, filling my lungs and reviving my soul, towering as high as the redwood trees of my mother. The damp soil, teeming with life, climbing between my toes, where I am grounded. But, for now, I am trying to make my way around the block. He is now far behind me on this cold, grey path of pavement, slick with a thin layer of moss that taunts me, though I do not slip. I remember when I was young. Countless times I slipped on this same path. Never did my neighbors pressure-clean this same path. Still it taunts me. But now, I do not slip nor do I fall. I do not turn to see His face when He says, â€œWhere did you go, baby?â€? I made my way around the block.
A Blank Slate
Michael Athanassiadis I am sweating Sifting through sheets of soft White paper In search of it Already scribbled upon, complete Pages crafted with thought Gone My head beats like a tympani A bombarding barrage of cracking drumfire Resounding waves invading Crimson flushes my once pallid face Beads dripping onto the pages Turning the soft white into a blotched gray The page was perfect Pristine and placid The ballpoint pen glided upon its surface Its splendid movements were irreplaceable They were uniquely mine The ink swam in a pool of imagination The letters streamed from a vision It was a proud amalgamation Chilling panic Desolation like a cold dark street The feeling is inconsolable Rage drips onto the pages The pile of graying sheets Dampen, turning gray and distant They are nothing compared to that piece I bite my tongue I cannot scream because it pains me to cry I cannot think of those great words That had once flooded the white page Formed to create a masterpiece The poem could not be remade For a redraft would be counterfeit Great artists can create a masterpiece But only the greatest can recreate
Arian Djahed 70
Searching Isabella Pedraza
Summer I’ve always talked to God as if I would get an answer back. Nights spent kneeling over the cold marble, elbows bent over the edge of my bed, hands gripped together tightly as if to strangle the air. My hands were always there, holding so much more than the wooden rosary between them. In the summer, I would pray under the moon, feeling the cold soil soak the folds of my knees. The hot wind would brush against my wet neck; the mosquitoes would feverishly kiss my skin. And yet, I prayed. Being close to the earth, resting my head between the blades of bluegrass, I believed I could will God to answer. I would dig my fingernails into the earth, holding tightly to my prayer, waiting. Rain I used to believe the rain was God’s tears. The days when the sun would hide behind the black cotton sky brought me divine sorrow. As the first drops would fall and the scent of the rain would fill my nose, I would stare up to Heaven, waiting to feel closer to Him. If God’s tears could save me, my tears could save poor, the sick, the unwanted. Cheap beggars and thieves were forgiven under His suffering. As my cold tears intertwined with God’s warm ones, I forgave Him for letting their agony exist in the first place.
Sermon Under the kaleidoscope blues and greens of the stain glass windows, I envied the priest. He could speak with Him, He could hear His answers. No matter how many times my lips echoed the words on the yellowing bible leaves or how many hymns I sang, I could never hear Him. The cicadas, the thunderstorms, the church bells–all meaningless. In the morning silence, when the first drops of dew began to leave their essence on the grass, I would lock myself in my room. Eyes wrinkled shut, forehead creased tightly, I envisioned the priest’s words: “Thou shall hear Him within thy heart.” Hands shaking, I slowly pulled out my father’s medicine bag from underneath my bed. Tenderly, I placed his stethoscope to my beating, anxious heart. I heard nothing. Overcast I never thought Heaven was white. To think that such a color, harsh and alien to young eyes, could be eternal never brought me peace. No, Heaven was made of the grey clouds that painted the winter. Heaven was made of the mixes of slate and ash that blessed the winter rain. My soul was a canvas for the sky–each shade of grey coating the shell of my body. The overcast brought the rain that darkened my brown skin with each drop. As light would fade into dusk’s mellow blue, I felt full yet empty, content yet dissatisfied, with the melancholy.
Winter I’ve always wanted to know why God created winter. “Father,” I would whisper, “why end the life in your creations?” I would play on the black concrete of the parking lot outside of the Church when it snowed. Recesses were blue lips and snowflake covered eyelashes. Black leather shoes itched to break the virgin snow. Winters were scraped knees and cracked lips. Black salt would stain the sheets of ice that melted by midday and froze by midnight. Within the grey ice and black snow, I found happiness.
77 Pedraza Isabella
I felt so alone And the thought of you was the only thing that kept me company
80 Lauren Arriagaga
Special Place Camryn Johnson
The cool air flows around me as I sit on my balcony, overlooking the beds of peonies. Rather than listening to the blaring sirens that fill the city, I can hear a soft wind that causes the leaves to dance. The deafening silence allows a seemingly unattainable peace to find its way into my mind and take control of my mood. If I ever get tired of the overwhelming nature, I can bike over to the nearest train station and embark on my own journey. Within a matter of minutes, I go from the suburbs to the city. Urban cafes and French boutiques surround me. Around every corner is an interesting business. Whether itâ€™s an incredible cream shop that makes bacon flavored ice cream or a store completely
devoted to maple syrup, there is always something interesting syrup, there is always something interesting to discover. In Montreal, I have the opportunity to learn. Everywhere I go, someone is conversing in French. The harsh words of English are cast away and replaced by the harmonious expressions of my language, French. Despite the stereotypes, the people are truly kind. Everyone displays generosity and genuine emotions. The masks I am used to in Miami are lifted. I get to be exposed to organic people for the first time in a while. Every summer, I anticipate my return to the one place that holds the highest position in my heart, Montreal.
View from the S t r a t o s p h e r e Giulianna Bruce
The islands of the Bahamas are like oil spills on crystal blue agate. A mirror set down on the sea that reflects the sky back up to its creator. How hard it is to tell the ocean from the sky.
“What is Adolescence?” I can tell you. I can speak from experience. I am living your inquiry. I am here. I am growing: growing physically, growing intellectually, and growing emotionally. I am developing, developing into my full form. I’ve understood adolescence to be a struggle, a struggle to define your undecided status. It’s having society cage you in a setting that requires you to make life-altering decisions while battling with an identity crisis. Who am I? What are my passions? Who will I become? How will I accomplish my goals? Adolescence is struggling to come up with supposedly
correct answers to these questions. But adolescence isn’t only a series of daunting tasks and open-ended existential questions. For me, adolescence is living in a constant state of awkwardness. It’s feeling your face flush at any slightly embarrassing remark. It’s feeling unnatural in every new situation. It’s not knowing how to react or how to be suave. It’s falling asleep to the thought of every cringe-worthy thing you did during the day and promising yourself to hide those parts of you, to be less of your authentic self the very next day. Adolescence is forming a family outside of your mother, father, and sib-
your friends will do well by you. It’s trusting that your friends will keep your secrets. It’s trusting that the fire of your friendship will never stop burning. Adolescence is worshiping your favorite music artists. It’s creating a shrine in your room of George Harrison. It’s collecting every album, listening to every song, memorizing every lyric. Adolescence is lying on your couch and listening to your father’s Joshua Tree vinyl for hours because those songs make you feel less alone in the world. It’s raging to You Can’t Stop Me Now with your sister on the way home from school. Adolescence is using music to escape from the harsh
realities of unending schoolwork and closeted issues. Adolescence is finding truth in the words of Holden Caulfield. It’s being able to hear his voice and feel him as a friend. It’s sharing his distrust towards the approaching adult world. Adolescence is forging an unbreakable connection with every other character that is living through adolescence too. It’s cheering on Harry Potter and it’s having your heart seize of joy when Lizzy Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy. Adolescence is feeling so passionately and fervently about the people you love, even if they only are fictional.
Adolescence is exploding: exploding with tears, exploding with stress, exploding with joy. It’s releasing every ounce of doubt, unease, rage, and glorious euphoria through cries and shouts and secret journals entries and funny dance moves and nonstop pounding on a stiff mattress. Adolescence does not last forever. Adolescence is the youthful memories you’ll recall fifteen years from now. Today is what you make of it. Today is my adolescence, my crazy, fleeting, unforgiving, relentless adolescence. I may never have the best responses to the questions regarding my future and I may never quit being awkward, but hopefully I’ll always have my friendships, my outdated music, and my literary characters to help guide the way.
Moby-Dick in Denim
How I Chose My Six Word Memoir
We wrapped two fluffy, golden biscuits in a small white napkin to eat later and drove away in our small, silver rental car. On the way to the camp, we stopped at a boiled peanut stand on the side of the road. A ragged, hippie-like man filled a paper cone with some juicy, tan, peanut morsels for us and we were on our way. I tried one but I found it repulsive; I quickly spit it out the window while my dad munched on the rest. In about half an hour, we turned the corner onto a long and winding dirt road and arrived at the camp. I marveled at a sign that read, “Camp Coleman, established 1962,” painted in bright blue, overlaying a painting of two mountains on a wooden background. * * * We put on our pajamas and as slowly, gingerly, and quietly as we could, started making our way down the steep, stone stairs. As we tiptoed across the mushy, red, Georgia clay, we watched for others lurking in the shadows to make sure we wouldn’t get caught. When we reached the fishing dock, we knew it would be our final destination. We walked to the end of the dock and laid side by side on the wooden-plank floor. We looked up at the stars and every care and stress in the world left our minds. The only sounds around us were those of the frogs croaking and the crickets chirping. Each star twinkled with its own special light and I felt as if those stars were my camp memories, endless, everlasting, and full of light.
The Exodus Alexandra Vaygensberg
A mother hushes her screaming baby, while she sails through the waters. A father marches on the boiling pavement, as he approaches border patrol, frightened. A guard pushes along a single file line, careless and coarse. Pregnant, a woman sobs in silence. Leaning on her cane, an elderly woman, begs for help. A child fails to reach his family, full of fearâ€“ bewildered. A new beginning, for everyone. Finally a home for the lost, the day has arrived. For my family. Tortured in their mother country, no choice, but to vanish. I feel lucky to have a stable roof that glistens when raindrops slide down, a school with a lovely garden overlooking the serene canal, a home with fresh fruit and access to Robitussin when needed, to be wanted.
Signs Nicole Chirinos Windshield wipers Always try to look at the clear side No matter how many raindrops fall on them They just wipe them away And move on
In My Head
arenâ€™t you ever scared? not of monsters or aliens but of the mind. your own mind. the one that can make you feel, the one that can take over and in an instant leave you feeling lost.
Head Resting on the
Car Window Listening to
In and out of consciousness, the window curtains of eyes slowly subduing to my body’s gentle call for sleep. Like real people do. The twists and turns of Coconut Grove’s Poinciana Avenue rock my soul to sleep, like a baby in a cradle, and the moon and stars, my mobile. The white noise of the wheels underneath, the humming of my mothers faithful steed of silver Volkswagen, and my sister’s silent singingsweet as cherry wine. The sounds of I-95 serenade me to sleep. Behind the curtains of my eyes, I see the passing lights and shadows of her towering lampposts. Exit 8A is my portal between the known and the unknown. Transgressing past reality into fantasy, no longer can I tell the difference between life and dream. The stranger the better. At my side lies my U.S. History textbook. Outside lies the multitude of beaming freckles on the face of the cosmos. I try to count the stars like sheep. The time is 10:13 and I am asleep.
Shy of Breaking Mia Scemla
Oh, little birdy. Little birdy. I await you each morning when the skyâ€™s different shades of periwinkle are blended together. I open my curtains to the windows; this fills the empty void. At your home by the branch that bends shy of breaking, oh, the colors you brought into my life, though your plumage is a deep toasty brown. Each dusk you leave me yet are not gone. Your wings so gently touch one another at dawn, shaking off dew, the empty void now full of your dexterity and refinement. One dawn I did not hear the soothing sounds of your elegant flapping. Another dawn went by. Soon enough a yearâ€™s worth of dawns have gone by and no one fills the void. I awaited my little birdy to sit on the branch shy of breaking. Without her, the branch snapped of heartache. And so did I. Oh little birdy, Little birdy. Giulianna Bruce
The Beach Was So The beach was so quiet. I fell in love with Quiet the sound of the gentle popping of bubbles
in the sea foam that caressed the cheek of the sandy shoreline.
The beach was so quiet. It seemed as though mine were the only footprints that had ever graced the sand. The beach was so quiet. Like the first dream ever dreamt by an infant, tiny bodies gently swayed to the rhythm of the music produced by their imagination. The beach was so quiet. It was a dream. A dream curated by the hands of many, or the hands of one, or by the hands of our past selves, the hands that we will never meet. The beach was so vacant. Though it was far from empty, it was full to the brim with watercolor seas, oil pastel skies, and a terra of pointillism.
The lumberjack walks forcefully into the forest. His gait is blocky as he nearly stumbles over the wrangles of tree roots on the ground under his feet. Behind him, more of his kind follow. A brigade. They walk forward, some carrying hand saws, others wield axes. Weaving in between trees, they are steadfast inreach their destination. Finally, they reach a sea of stumps. A panoramic view of amputated trees fills the expanse, almost to the horizon. The burly men converge on the edge of this terrain, near their next victims. Mapping out their game plan, one man points as the crowd murmurs in agreement. With a routine precision, they diverge to their designated areas. The two ends of a handsaw are shared between a pair. The rigid teeth jerk back and forth, cutting into the flesh of the wood. Slowly, the wood is cut directly through, causing the innocent tree to fall to the ground in an earth shaking manner. Sap excretes like blood from a surgical procedure, dripping steadily from the incision. Now the tree is a stump. Once a gorgeous, natural form of art, now a useless, rotting piece without a whole. A pine screams out in agony as it watches its sisters fall. A spruce sheds a single tear. A birch silently awaits its fate. What was once a lush forest has been reduced to a desolate graveyard and will soon be a splinter. Mother Nature winces and pours her tears out in the form of rain. The lumberjacks haul their logs onto the back of a noxious sixteen wheeler. They drive away peacefully as if they did not just commit mass genocide. Tonight, they will sleep peacefully. Arian Djahed
In the remanence of the forest, animals scavenge for sparse nutrients. Their homes have been forcefully taken away. A fierce wind blows through the air with no trees to halt it. Tonight, a squirrel will sleep on the ground until an eagle soars down and snatches it. Without protection, small rodents will be preyed upon immediately. The ecosystem is askew. Mother Nature continues to weep, pouring rain over the now barren landscape. The sun peeks above the horizon as a new day begins. Hours later, the lumberjack is at work. He and his dutiful men once again tear apart an environment. Trees are demolished, torn from their roots. Natureâ€™s gift to us is desecrated, used simply for our material needs. Later, those very trees are pieces of paper, much like this one. The next day, the routine continues. Those trees are now newspaper or books. With every sunset, thousands of trees are now newspapers, only to be thrown away the next day. Mother Nature screams. Through the rise of greenhouse gases and soil erosion, Mother Nature expresses her distress. We do not listen. She begs and pleads with every temperature drop. Yet we continue in our self-destructive way. Her cries are silent, not like those of a baby, but those that can only be seen through data. Data is not as compelling as the sweet cries of an infant. So, we continue desecrating our only home. We chop the trees down, we burn fossil fuels, we donâ€™t recycle. Mother Nature sobs as the lumberjack smiles.
These Woods are Lovely, Dark, and Deep Mary Hanson Mr. Barbary is a realistic man. He claims no possession of forerunning goals or ideals, cares little for excess, and exists in a perpetual state of habit. Each afternoon, he ambles down the sand path to gaze fixedly at the horizon. Dewed grass and weeds brush against his tweed suit as he walks, and drops of water cling to his limbs like orbs of glass interring the earth in kaleidoscopic beads. It can be said, on these expeditions, his body holds more of the world in those little light spheres than his mind will ever contain. The man stands, fully clothed, in the sea. Froth gathers around his pant legs and his dress clogs sot. Along each breath of wind, his slim, ill-fitted body sways slightly, and hollow-hinged arms swing like pendulums at each swell-break. Burly, rolling clouds kiss the ocean end over end.
He stares at the sunset through faintly protuberant eyes, and his flaccid, hanging mouth shrinks into itself until, puffing his lips, he expels the air fixed inside. The man has an almost imperceptible tic: he impounds his breath five seconds longer than most. As such, he liberates fairly pronounced exhalations. The misfortunate features in his chest empty before ever being filled, and the remaining portion sojourns in his throat until the inevitable -- release. And then again, he draws his mouth gape like a circle and drinks it in. Therefore, unendingly, he inhales to redraw recycled air. As Mr. Barbary folds his face and chews the corners of his mouth, he murmurs, “It’s about here now.” White-lipped, he curls his back and casts his eyes to catch the reflection of gripping packs of dirt-colored clouds. They are superimposed upon the setting sun -- red circles glowing -- Mr. Barbary drags his thumb round his cheek hard again, again, and again. “Don’t move!” he chortles. The sun splays its limbs, stretches, slicing the blue and white and pink. The sky is falling, and inside, static, tweed-suited Mr. Barbary rocks. This often happens: he possesses a peculiar interest in life’s happens, but, more often than not, this man strains to move and does not. While fantastical drool slaps like rain on black, silver folds, he stands, bizarrely suited in the heart. Azure chunks and tendrils of smoky air slam into the sea, and accordingly, sky and sea meld together in a flamely embrace. Dogged Mr. Barbary gazes at the marriage of heaven and earth.
He’s gathering ripples. A ring yields to clothe every second. Hence, the sky consumes the sea, and Mr. Barbary, bewildered, burns his eyes into the phenomena. He knows little of rarity, but certainly this shall suffice. Suspended in strange waters, the horizon unfurls like a rose, bleeding in fanning petals. He does an odd thing when a wing of crimson reaches his pant: he holds himself, hesitantly, then shuffles his sodden shoes deeper. He stares. In a glassed moment, Mr. Barbary drops a hand close above the sky and clenches his fingers. He stares. “Hold my eyes,” he rasps. Tremulous fingers fumble toward his face, grope across his skin, and shutting his lids, his nails trace the dubious shape of eyes. “I need to…” Pinching his nose, plastering his mouth, he dives into the briny sky. And sinks. (Woolen claws clutching crests.) Diaphanous light falls in serrated waves through a fissure that runs at the sky’s sea cavern ceiling. It’s dark, but, in a burst of luck, it seems Mr. Barbary gains the gift of unending sight. And Mr. Barbary now rests on a perfectly shaped rock. The gauzy floor is thin and unsteady, better to dig, naturally. In a place where the ground dips, he’s reflected there, and he confines his face just above his face, eyes digging into one another. He picks up the rock and throws it into the minor but perfectly shaped depression and the floor gives, naturally. Thus, Mr. Barbary sinks. Red sun-stripes sprawl like jewels on the seaweed ground, and Mr. Barbary falls in the center of a feather spiral. His feet and limbs interrupt the
sun-waves. He’s mangled like a coral spine; resolvedly, he redresses the issue by pulling his body apart then, raptly, repositioning his arms, legs, head, and torso. Unfortunately, blood spreads. Thick clouds of it arose spontaneously until his unending sight is obstructed. Thereby, the ground furls, suspicious, around Mr. Barbary’s form and spits him out. The room is great and large, red and crawling; the sky is red, speckled with green and black blots. All-things around Mr. Barbary move. Flame-like tentacles with wan bulbous cups that run in rows on each underbelly repeat a quick, straight motion toward the center of the cylinder sky. Mr. Barbary is propelled back and forth by the angular tentacles’ magnetic force. As he struggles against push and pull, he does not understand why the sky is not blue, and the sea is not black. Back and forth. Eventually, Mr. Barbary stumbles to his feet, sadly, not standing, but his feet are vertical and puncture the floor. The creatures part, and a tunnel appears. Through the tunnel, the air barely reaches his lungs as he flies down. It is, extraordinarily, difficult to contract the diaphragm; therefore he exhales indefinitely. He takes no concern about his draining color, for he, Mr. Barbary, endeavors to absorb color. And so he extends himself. Reaching into stained space, a flounce of
cerise, lilac, and gold spring past Mr. Barbary’s eyes. He grasps the colored sprays too late. He lands light on a whey-flesh lip. Incredibly bright. Each mouth, like suns, infinitely brighter. Nevertheless, Mr. Barbary no longer sees. The gapes pucker, now and again, and although he stands over a breach, he hunkers to the bridge pressing himself into the ground. Mr Barbary simply cannot see. He reaches. His fingers, in quaking, awkward scramble, flurry to his face, and gripping his skin to feel his skin, his nails trace the dubious shape of eyes. His body contracts suddenly. The man turns, fingertips graze the salty film, and he trudges up the sliver of grainy beach, soaking. Parched. •
I stand in a long, neverending line. One where you do not need to wait. One where you tower over us. One where we feel small and useless. Without looking, you simply push us out of the way. Still, I celebrate the land where all men are created equal. A land where we celebrate opportunity, the American Dream. Yet we fear pursuing our dreams. This land is called The United States of America. Yet we are not united, We do not stand together. You stand above me. A land where we strive for greatness but are drowned by your hatred. Not only are we drowned by your words, but your actions too. But we continue. We strive to find hope. Our hands reach and try to grasp the sliver of light that still exists within this world. One day, we will cross the finish line. We will share the same dream. We will look at each other, Your eyes will meet mine, We will see the respect we deserve, the respect we have earned, and the respect we should have had a long time ago. You will make eye contact with us.
MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN. MEN.
No longer will you make us wait in the neverending line. No longer will you make us want to run and hide. No longer will you make us feel small and meek. We won’t be controlled by the stares we receive when walking down the street. We won’t be controlled by the fear of going out by ourselves. We won’t be controlled by the terror of being hurt, violated, or endangered. We won’t allow our ideas to be diminished. The poisonous words you hiss at us like a snake. No longer will you prey on us. We will sit across the table from you, you and I at the heads. We will be seen. We will be treated. We will be Equal.
Maria Clara Paes
118 Evelyn Abramowitz
[Laertes, Elizabeth, and Reynaldo enter] Laertes: Tisâ€™ a most alluring sight,
The reflection of the midnight stars Burn flames in thy eyes. O most wonderous Elizabeth how thou make my insides crumble to stardust. Thou shine as a thousand suns, my heart Melting under each one. Helios would Be left lacking in comparison.
Elizabeth: My lord, I am rendered without Words. O how I awaited my whole life to Be graced by this affection. So that if I die At this very moment, I need not go to Heaven For thou have given me eternal joy.
Reynaldo [aside]: O what a most pleasant site. Lord Laertes with a beautiful maiden. Sweet Ophelia Desevereth not to be strangled as she is By the eyes of her brother and father. I Shall dearly please Polonius with this News.
Laertes: To love, a new name was
Given when these eyes of mine rested Upon thy ravishing face. With thou by My side I could be victor of great wars Dear Ophelia.
Elizabeth: Ophelia? Laertes what is in the matter
With thee. I have ripped this cross upon my neck, Turned away from the Father himself many a Time in order to give thee the fullest of my love And affection and in return I receive deception.
Laertes: How dare thee accuse me of
such Infidelities. I have done nothing of the nature. Twas a simple slip of the tongue. Once I upheld Thee to the most high of standards, but alas Thou hath acted as a small child. I would Be in my right mind to commend you to A nunnery, but that hath shown to be of no Resolve.
Reynaldo [aside]: O Holy God! The appalling truth! The fair maiden hath revealed Herself to be A worker of the Church. Her nunâ€™s garb concealed By her outerwear.
Laertes: Wretched snake, slither out of
thy Bush. Reynaldo, I dare not say I expected more Of my father. Yet I come not to Paris to Throw a shadow on my family name. Two doors shall show thee out, one door Tightly shut by this fraud thou hath Convicted.
Andrew Weaver My adolescent yawp, rumbles deep in the old heart of this harbour. I sail my spring ship, formed of the soil and blood of this coast, this shore of my brothers, of their blood and my blood. This promised vessel, guided by the eastern breeze. I am told to lower my sails my course is unknown, idealistic. I can not enter the harbour, with such a melody.
Lorelai Konen 122
I am told none can change, the ancient tides that growl like a fatal undertow, constrain the shipâ€™s ties, that drive us into narrow straits, dash our vessels against the rocks, and drown our songs into the murky depths. But I reach head on into the stubborn maelstrom, Blown by the breeze of conviction and hope of unchained melody of the fleet that sailed before. Their names, pure and everlasting, emblazoned on the bow Of my spring ship On this morning, I am not alone. I am joined by a newborn fleet, that overcomes the old storm, singing in chorus with its virgin voice.
I am joined by my brothers who give a new shape to this harbour, this haven, who change the tides and mark new course, so that maybe once, in all the years since the harbour opened her gates, all may sail through. That is the beauty of this place, that the tides can change. With each passing fleet, a new day, a new song. Barren landscape, cracked, withered, and gnarled can be made plain. The rough places made soft. The air and sea made pure again. While corruption, like an oar weed simmering in hot summer sun, can wither and blow away with the winds of change. Springâ€™s song, like life-giving blood, trickles through the ground down to the roots of our land, bringing renewed energy to the parched earth. There, in the heart of the harbour, My youthful yell, my dream for this place, rings its melody for all to hear. The flower of truth spreads her petals wide this morning and the winds blow for a truer course.
Everyday Struggle “Let me help you please.” I wipe her tears away Yet she seems so beautiful crying The tears liberate her of the sadness she carries. I want to see her happy. She deserves it. “Do I?” she replies. She sobs. I reach for her Hoping to make her feel better Only reaching the cold mirror in front of me
Here I am, moving from side to side, biting my nails, chewing at my pen, looking around anxiously for no apparent reason. Look at me. Look without judging. Your judgment does not change me or my perception that the world will cave in on me if I donâ€™t do something quick. Put yourself in my shy, competition-infested, high-personal-expectations, not-allowed-to-make-mistakes, afraid-to-fail life and hear me. Anxiety is approaching someone or something new or unknown, afraid of being rejected or being interpreted the wrong way. Anxiety is the loss of the words you rehearsed over and over, in preparation for such a scenario, that leaves you sweating beads of perspiration. Anxiety has you consumed in the fear of saying something inappropriate in a desperate attempt to be accepted or fit in. All you can do is rock silently back and forth, hoping to simply blend in. It is the feeling that you will not be liked by the person you want to so badly meet, so you procrastinate until she finally walks
away, then you are anxious that you may never have that opportunity to be that close again. Anxiety can cripple new relationships. Anxiety is the desire to compete even when the stakes are high and knowing that there is much to lose. Anxiety is not knowing the outcome and fearing, while reliving the worst-case scenario over and over before you have even begun. Anxiety is me envisioning myself losing a chess game repeatedly--before the game even started. Anxiety is me waiting until the clock is almost out of time before making a move because I was too afraid to blunder. Anxiety can limit your ability to come out a winner. Anxiety is tension. Being tense about staying on the honor roll, making a grade that is above C level, staying on task and scholastically above water. The tension of achieving what it takes to earn that scholarship because my parents could not afford to send me to college otherwise. The tension of being my mother’s only child and only hope, so I cannot fail her. Anxiety is the tension of knowing that there are standards that I have to hold on tightly to or I will fall. Anxiety takes away your sleep. Anxiety will keep you up all night studying for that one AP quiz that you have been studying weeks for, yet you are sure you will not pass it. Anxiety is sleep-deprivation as you go over the same material, yet your mind will not let you rest because you might miss something in that test if you don’t read the material just-one-more-time! Even though I am always anxious, I somehow stay focused. I know that I cannot stop my fate or the inevitable, so I plow through and fight my hardest. When I can, I ignore the voice inside my head that causes my anxiety. When I can’t, I treat the voice as the enemy and strive to prove it wrong by succeeding. Anxiety may never leave my side, so I have learned to treat it as my driving force, my partner and sometimes adversary in order.
Love in Limbo
In my frustrated misery I dwell, Restraining the love that I hold for you. For your tall silver window is a cell, Restricting feelings mine roam true and free. To me your bloody blue heart you extend, I smack on to the dark and lifeless ground. Soon my blurred screams fill the air till the end Until my voice no longer has a sound. If I could see the words from your kind voice, Would I so gladly accept your warm heart? You shed your inviting green tears so moist, Forcing us to drown whilst we fall apart. We know our future is eternal pain, As we decide our fragile love remain.
The Day’s Changes
Streaks of orange, yellow, purple, and pink, Alas, another day has come and gone, The sun’s bright pen has run out of ink -Brightness will return with tomorrow’s dawn. Now the onset evening’s presence’s looming. The moon begins to take its place High above the trees and the sea, glooming, Knowing it’ll soon fall from grace. Its existence seems to be unnecessary, Only glistening when the world is fast asleep; With an attitude that is commentary On the mortals below that it knows it could sweep
With a simple rush of the high tide it can cause Without so much as taking a moment’s pause.
Colophon This issue of amused was designed on Apple iMacs using Adobe InDesign CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. It was printed by Minuteman Printers. Amused is set in four fonts. The main text is set in Baskerville. Titles and bylines are set in Butler Stencil and Baskerville. The magazineâ€™s nameplate on the cover, inside cover, and masthead are set in Stanley.
About Amused Published by the members of the National English Honors Society of Miami Country Day School, 601 Northeast 107th Street, Miami, FL 33161. School Enrollment for Upper School is 477, with a staff of 28. The poetry, prose, and artwork found herein are the original and creative works of the students. Copyright on all works is retained by the authors and artists. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
a MIAMI COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL NATIONAL ENGLISH HONOR SOCIETY
Amused is a student-run art and literary magazine with the purpose of showcasing the highest quality work produced by the Miami Country Day...
Published on May 28, 2019
Amused is a student-run art and literary magazine with the purpose of showcasing the highest quality work produced by the Miami Country Day...