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Mountain Vista High School wvw

Literary Magazine


wvw This year’s Literary Magazine, “Periphas”, is a compilation of poetry, prose and artwork from students and staff at Mountain Vista High School. I am thankful for the effort the authors and artists put forth into making this publication happen. The Greek word periphas literally means the “wide view over something” and is based upon the Greek myth regarding King Periphas who became a Golden Eagle by the hands of Zeus. Periphas sat next to Zeus’s throne and was able to see far and wide over the Greek kingdom. It is our hope that the writing in this magazine brings this wide spectrum of blessing and insight to you and your life. I am fortunate to work with many of these amazing students in Creative Writing 2. They inspire me to pick my pen back up and craft stories again. I am also thankful for Karin Wyks, Mark Newton and the VISTAj team who have worked diligently to produce this year’s magazine. The English department has also been a valuable resource and support system for me and this endeavor. Special thanks to Kay Porterfield and Staci Stech for their listening ear and constant encouragement. St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “The sun invigorates the eyes of eagles, but injures our own.” Our contributors have exposed themselves to the sun, and to the injuries of life, and have been invigorated to create from that broken place. Their talent and willingness to step out of comfort in order to publish this magazine is incredible. Enjoy!

Jeff Hoefs, Literary Magazine Adviser

wvw As a high school senior here at Mountain Vista, there are lots of things that I love about our school. We have a great school community, and something that I have learned over the past three years being at Vista is that we have a very encouraging community of students parents and teachers. There is almost nothing that we can’t do if we put our minds to it, whether it be as a group or individual students.

So last year, after taking my Intro to Journalism class, decided that I would become part of our school’s VISTAj staff in order to take on the daunting task of bringing back some form of a Literary and Art Magazine. To say that this was a large undertaking is no understatement. There was a lot of planning and coordinating that went on largely outside of class time to make this happen, but to see the end result is more than worth it. So, before you move on I would just like to give a huge thank you to each and every student and teacher who contributed to this wonderful magazine. They are all amazingly talented artists and writers. I would also like to make sure to thank all of the parents and supporters who came to our first annual Creative Writing Performance Night which helped to fund a part of this magazine. I would also like to thank Mr. Hoefs for being on board with the idea from the beginning when I set up meeting with him and a few other teachers to pitch the idea. And of course I would like to thank my senior classmates Lauren Ashford and Alia Reza for helping with communication between myself and the Creative Writing two class without which we would not have been able to put this all together. And last but not least, I would like to give a big thank you to our adviser Mr. Newton for all of his help, advice and encouragement, alongside the many member of our VISTAj staff who helped to make the magazine the best that it could be.

So without further ado, we present to you the 2014 Mountain Vista Literary Magazine: Periphas.

Karin E. Wyks, Literary Magazine Editor

Cover Photo used with permission by Paul Apal’kin

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wvw Table of Contents wvw 2 Opening Letters

18 Karin Wyks w James Margonie

4 Brendan Story w Autumn Gale

w Aidan Stolzenbach w Blake Graf

5 Peyton Galbraith w Karin Wyks w Elizabeth

19 Jason William Fisher w Sammy Linares

Workman w David Wreschner

20 Justin Schroeder w Lauren Ashford

6 Peyton Galbraith

w Emily Reed

7 Justin Barker

21 James Margonie w Divya Jain

8 Alia Reza 9 Maddie Carlson 10 Mackenzie Martin w Rebecca Riiser w Carissa Warnock w Megan Albrechtsen w Kendra Lavallee 11 Alex Connors w Elisabeth Braun w Mackenzie Martin 12 Justin Barker w Jason William Fisher w Mark Maggs

w Ryan Hulett 22 Lauren Ashford w Matthew Barich w Divya Jain w Matthew Barich 23 Natalie Vail w Jack Probst w Mark Maggs w Chase Whelchel 24 Sean Keirns w Elizabeth Workman w Lauren Ashford 25 Elizabeth Workman w Lauren Ashford w Josh Brandt w Staci Stech

13 Caitlin Cobb w Matthew Barich

26 Connor Croan w Wes Edwards

w Christa Wilson w Staci Stech

27 Austin Johns w Will Hipp w Tiffany Leung

14 Emily Ireland w Allie Williams

28 Sara Panahi w Maddy Worley

15 Allie Williams w Rebecca Riiser 16 Lindsay Page w Elizabeth Workman w Rachel Nunnelee w Karin Wyks 17 Sammy Linares w Eliza Nalen

w Elizabeth Workman 29 Maddy Worley w Divya Jain w Sean Donahue 30 Cyron Completo Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 3


The World wvw Brendan Story The world cares about perfection. About that goal never in reach but always in sight. About trying hard and moving backwards. About seeing fake images of ourselves and thinking they are real. About putting others down to raise themselves up. About having the most money and the least love. About learning numbers instead of how to file taxes and history instead of communication skills. About looking at the beginning and end, leaving the middle behind. About masks being faces and faces being nothing less than ‘the truth’. About stereotypes; meeting them, filling them, feeling them, BEING them. About lies. Our lies. Their lies. Everyone’s lies. Lies about Perfection, and the world’s lack of it.

Autumn Gale

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Peyton Galbraith

Elizabeth Workman

David Wreschner

Karin Wyks

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Peyton Galbraith

Peyton Galbraith

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“Love” wvw Justin Barker It’s the feeling the 4th grade boy gets when he realizes that girls don’t have cooties. It’s the formation of a crush, brown eyes staring into blue. It’s the confession of attraction, hoping it’s accepted. It’s the smile and her accepting, hope shining through. It’s the invitation to his house, and his mother striking up a wonderful conversation. It’s asking her to play video games with him, opening up a brave new world for her. It’s her nodding and she dives headlong into the rabbit hole. It’s the start of 6th grade, where they have all but two classes together. It’s the feeling of betrayal as he sees her holding hands with some boy. It’s her tears staining his shirt, and he comforts her. It’s the brave passing of a note when all her tears have dried. It’s her eyes scanning the paper, and looking into his. It’s the relief of her saying “yes”. It’s the start of high school, when the relationship becomes all the more important. It’s the night of homecoming, when they look into each other’s eyes. The first kiss is made. It’s the creaking of the mattress springs, or the fogging of the car windows. It’s the courage he has to use to ask her to Prom in their junior year. It’s her eyes sparkling and smile widening as she says “yes”. It’s the rage in him as a boy who had too much to drink tries to take her for a dance. It’s his fist that contacts with the boy’s face, splitting the skin around his knuckles. It’s the pulling her in close, dancing slow, their tongues slowly embracing each others’. It’s the moonlight shining on them in the field, as her legs were wrapped around him. It’s the joy they feel when their caps fill the air. It’s the sadness to part ways for a higher education, states apart but only a face chat away. It’s the late night ramen and a Skype call, their faces smiling in the dead of the night. It’s the jubilation as they both accept their diplomas. It’s the happiness when they finally reunite. It’s the smiles when they walk into the apartment for the first time. It’s the fear as a man tries to pull her into the alley. It’s the immediate retaliation as his fists break the bones in the mans’ jaw and nose. It’s the relief that she’s okay, and the safety of the apartment. It’s the shock as he drops to his knee, and the diamond stares back at her. It’s his breathlessness as he stares in awe at her flawless dress. It’s his tuxedo laying crumpled on the floor as her neatly placed dress witness their wedlock. It’s the island sun making streaks on her face as they honeymoon in the tropics. It’s the passion as they try their hardest for a baby. It’s the doctor’s somber atmosphere as he explains the cancer she has, tears streaking her face. It’s him quitting his job so he can enlist, taking the higher salary to pay for her treatment. It’s the tears down both faces as he parts for another country, neither knowing if he will return. It’s the fear as the bullets whiz past in the ambush his company drove into. It’s the memory of her that motivates him. It’s the burning sensation in his muscles as he runs, directing his comrades’ fire and firing upon the enemy, those that would dare to take him from her. It’s the Medal of Honor dissertation he receives with pride from the commander-in-chief. It’s him embracing his wife at the airport, and she shows him his daughter for the first time. And people wonder why love is such a powerful thing.

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Better Than Drinking Alone: A Memoir wvw Alia Reza

District Show

I’ve had five piano teachers in thirteen years. Most people have one or two in their entire lives. My first teacher was Michelle. I don’t even remember her last name. She was just Ms. Michelle. She wouldn’t give me a make-up lesson after I had the flu. So, we moved on. My second was Ms. Valda-May. She came to my house to teach. She taught me a Hell of a lot but she was quite strict which, for a second-grader, is synonymous with “mean.” So I, being little and stubborn, didn’t like her. I’m still not sure if I even know how to spell her name. Anyway, she stopped teaching in Highlands Ranch because she lived too far away. My third; I remember both his names: Mark Middlebrooks: school teacher, stage actor, piano teacher, inspiration. He taught me everything I needed to know about my long, skinny, “piano-fingers.” I remember thinking you were somewhat quiet but very... engaged. Engaged in the process, understanding what this piano thing was about. I have to say I was pretty impressed throughout the years, especially considering the fact that you never got lost on the way to my house; the house with no address. We were painting it and in the painting of the house we took the address off. It was my intention to replace those silly little common numbers with something ornate and elaborate but we never got to it so we just never put them up. I just wanted to be different and not have to live up to other people’s expectations. Cleo and Bentley; his two cats. I shouldn’t remember them so well, but I do. I remember I was at his house playing piano, and his daughter, Sierra, gave the cats a bath. They were stomping around dripping, and Mr. Middlebrooks… let them. They marched everywhere, even under my feet while I was trying to push the pedals, and we laughed about it. His rules were different from other teachers. He simply had fun with us. And we had fun with him. I’m not a cat person. There’s a story here. The only reason I had a cat in the first place was because Sierra’s mom wanted a cat and when she remarried her new husband was allergic to cats. Because Sierra loved this cat so much, I agreed to take it on. The cat didn’t like me and I don’t know that I especially liked him. When I got home from work he would attack my foot. So I thought, maybe he needs some companionship. And that’s when we got Cleo. Cleo’s a very different kind of cat. I kind of liked Cleo’s personality but Bentley was always mean to me. I will say, though, when Bentley died I was very sad, I was surprised to be sad. And same with Cleo. Not being a cat person, I did start to get attached to those little monsters. There was a bird too. I always thought two cats and a bird were an interesting combination, but I never saw Cleo or Bentley try to attack Mango. Mango was quite the social butterfly. Mr. Middlebrooks would often let us hold him. My sister had him the afternoon Mango almost destroyed the living room floor. To this day I don’t know how a piano teacher knew what was about to happen, somehow he did and Mango was back in his cage faster than any bird could excrete waste off a human arm and onto a carpet. But none of them lost it. Not the bird, the teacher, not the sister. It became an instant joke. I could’ve sworn even Mango chuckled slightly. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why I remember something this arbitrary. I guess it’s because this was Mr. Middlebrooks’ way of relating to his students. He seemed to appreciate us; our interests, our talents, what made us smile. I liked that. We only had the bird because Sierra was such a great student in elementary school. She had a fifth grade teacher who thought she was the most responsible kid in the class. She had to give the bird away so she offered it to Sierra. And Sierra, of course, wanted the bird more than anything in the world - and then I took care of it. After a while I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore so we gave the bird to another family that had a cockatiel, so the bird would have a friend. And the bird is still there, actually, doing very well. There’s an old man sitting next to me… If you know what comes next, great. If not... nevermind. The Christmas recital was coming up, and I had nothing to play. I wanted to play Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” but didn’t have the guts to ask if I could. No other teacher ever let me because of the lyrics. Finally, I mustered the courage to ask, thinking about how stupid I must sound. But he was delighted, and didn’t hesitate to get started. One second I’m wringing my nervous hands and the next those same hands are on the keys.

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I’m not Christian. I don’t celebrate Christmas. Usually I’m asked to just play “Jingle Bells,” but not this time. During practice, I played the piano, and Mr. Middlebrooks sang. I got so good I didn’t even have to think about what I was doing. The black and white bars of wood became extensions of my arms, and I became the music. When the day came, I put on my purple dress, and had Mommy do my hair. The first two things I learned that day were, one, I was going first, and, two, I was singing. I was terrified. My hands shook as I placed them on the keys, my first breath was shaky, and my first line was quiet. But, I got stronger. My third lesson was that I didn’t need to be perfect. I needed to be myself, and make my music me. I remember you and your dad both had an affinity for Billy Joel. It was a big surprise for him at the recital. I don’t understand why none of your other teachers would let you play it. Why would Billy Joel be so inappropriate? I guess I let you play it because I’m not a classically trained pianist so I enjoy that kind of music. I also try to encourage my students to sing, although for rehearsal I will still sing along with them because they’re learning and it’s hard to do both. People always ask what I thought about their performance, and I’m going to give you a real honest answer. I’m always proud of students when they perform. Just getting up there is half the battle, right? So I’m sure I was beaming with pride when you performed. I was proud of you. That’s all there is to say. Mr. Middlebrooks never forced me to do anything. I was in control of my own hands. I didn’t have to play cheesy cartoon theme songs if I didn’t want to. I could be unique. I am unique. I can make my own choices and live with them. I have the power to be myself. See, Mr Middlebrooks was different. He taught me to open my different side. It was my better side. And I’ll never close it. I try to be a real, honest person. I try to be who I say I am. I try to live what I say I believe. And I try to be a good teacher! Why? Because music has the power to touch your heart and change your soul. It moves people. You asked me what one life lesson I want my students to take away from me: I want them to acquire a life-long love of music. A pursuit of music on some level. I don’t expect that most students will go on to perform or will make a career out of music but we all use music almost every day. So I really hope that my students will embrace a lifelong pursuit of music and let it be a tool to challenge them to be better people. I really try to be transparent with my students. I know a lot of teachers feel like they can’t do that because it’s difficult to maintain authority if you don’t put on the front. I just try to be real. To be me. That’s not always a pleasant thing if you ask my students. They know.... Sometimes I’m not that pleasant to be around. That’s a lie. I always looked forward to piano lessons. Mr. Middlebrooks and I may have ended up being distinct, strange, a bit eccentric. But, why should we mind? Go ahead, call us crazy. “’Cuz we’re sharing a drink that’s called loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.”

Maddie Carlson Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 9


wvw Rebecca Riiser wvw

wvw Mackenzie Martin wvw

“Imperfection is perfection.”

Inside of You It’s a magical part of everyone, with it you feel alive. It can cause you to feel like you are floating on air, or it could tear you to shreds. It’s the engine to your soul, the center of your being, the home to your dreams. What is it? Your HEART

Carissa Warnock

Kendra Lavallee

wvw Megan Albrechtsen wvw My heart is pounding in my head. My breath comes in with sharp intakes. Footsteps follow me through the empty city. Gun shots ring out around me. I dodge between two buildings in order to get out of the fire range. I continue running in a disorientating direction, but still stay true to my destination. The building looms in front of me quickly and I scale its steps. Glass rains down on top of me as I go through the entry way. The shattered glass grabs its sharps corners and arms as it falls. Small drops of blood roll down my cheeks and arms, but I sprint up the interior stairs. The latch to the stairwell door doesn’t fit into its’ hole, so I spin and run. I’m three floors up before the door crashes inwards. The bangin of the fallen door echoes so loudly throughout the stairwell. The door to the lab is within sight when my name is called, echoing through the well. I look towards the downstairs, towards my pursuers. I could always quit, cooperate, maybe live a good lift, but do I really want to live like this? Leave everything I’ve built in the last few weeks go to waste? No. I have people counting on me, I will complete this mission. I shake the ideas of betrayal out of my head and swing open the lab door. The room is gloomy and dark when I enter. Only the emergency lights are on. I search for the key code system that will spread throughout the building to put everyone into an eternal sleep. Numbers swim through my head: 4,1,5,9,2; the five numbers that will allow me to activate the security system, then the green button to start the process. I punch in the exact numbers as I’ve memorized them, except for the last one. “Stop!” my pursuer says. I turn towards him. “You can’t do this.” His gun is raised. “You know I don’t have a choice,” I say reaching behind me to click in the last number. “Stop,” he says. “Or I will have to.” “Please,” I whisper. I punch the last number and I hear the gun go off. Pain flares, but I’m not sure wear it hit. My hand automatically goes to where warm blood is pooling into my shirt and cooling. I hit the green button and two more shots ring. I hear sirens as I fall, not really feeling anything else, but I know I have succeeded. He stands over me looking down at me as I slip into darkness and the weight of life is suddenly lifted.

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wvw Alex Connors wvw I remember eyes red fro tears I remember rushing rivers and snowy eyelashes I remember snores telling me I wasn’t alone I remember a stake in the sand I remember my lips sealed The twinkling stars revealed I remember the smile of a best friend who forgot how to smile one day I remember a trampoline a field I remember howls singing me into sleep I remember a moon I remember warm arms snow over my head I remember driving to a hot place where religion was treated like race where I was a disgrace I remember a ball a wall and a clock the never ending sound of tick tock I remember flowers in the place of leaves I remember climbing those trees I remember the moon I couldn’t see I remember a journal a pen I remember a boy who watched those he loved die I remember how ne never asked why How he didn’t cry when we could see I remember making a mistake followed by 18 more I remember two years that went by I remember tally marks on a wall I remember one birthday call I remember lights over my head pictures over my bed I remover my escape and I remember being born again 4 years later.

Elisabeth Braun

wvw Mackenzie Martin wvw Whom It’s the person you can always count on. It’s the person you make the best memories with. It’s the someone who means the world to you, and you to them. It’s the neverending feeling of joy you get when you are with them. Who is it for you?

Elisabeth Braun

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“Change” wvw Justin Barker I remember when kids could save the world in the playground. I remember when the teacher never gave a second glance to his finger gun. I remember when the world I lived in disguised itself to look equal. I remember being the one in the crowd who swayed with them. I remember not having to give a shit about people’s opinions. I remember not having to worry about offending someone with your opinions. I remember thinking religion was so great, that everyone in it was happy. I remember seeing injustice, but too young to understand or care. I remember feeling entitlement, simply because I was male. I remember thinking that people could get along, that the world was happy. I remember opening my eyes to the truth. And that’s when it all changed. Cuz’ I remember learning to not give damn about opinions against me. I remember dropping my entitlement like Atlas dropping the world. I remember seeing the lies in people and things. I remember learning to form my own opinions. I remember seeing the hypocrisies in everything. And I remember feeling lost hope, knowing I couldn’t change it.

Embrace Thee wvw Jason William Fisher By the grace of God I have thee now, To hold close to heart. My vision cannot see past you, Vision of beauty. Before you is an evil memory. Beyond now may not exist… This. Moment with you. Embrace of the true. Soothes every bone, Unleashes the soul; I am whole. Any doubts should be erased. If you’ve ever felt the same, Then reciprocal is our love. Every ounce that you love me, Is the same exact love As I hold for thee.

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Mark Maggs


Boughs wvw Staci Stech A football. Lodged in a tree. Cradled in the branches. It takes some precision to get stuck like this. For the nearly infinite Number of ways to be lodged in the tree The football found the one that worked. Stopped its trajectory And captured it, frozen In its arc Until someone decides to get it Unstuck.

Caitlin Cobb

And when I think about people We take precision to get ourselves stuck. We work and plan and craft and scheme to put ourselves In those perfectly confining branches. Boughs that could cradle us, Support us, Shade us, Enliven us. But trap us. We find that perfect way To paralyze ourselves, lost with nowhere to turn to get out of the mess we worked ourselves into. We can be no more powerful than A football lost in its arc Among the branches. We have arms, legs, feet, hands, Minds, hearts, souls. These elements of the self that Can free us from the Wretched entrapment. Unlike the football We have a way out that is not dependent On external forces. But we sit. Held in a prison of branches. A prison of Our fears, inadequacies, nightmares, insecurities, Doubts, arrogance, prejudice, history, perceptions.

Matthew Barich

We perceive we are trapped far too easily. A way out Is within our grasp, not dependent On a rake in our hands, wielded to dislodge us from the Prison. We are aware of our limitations far too readily. Crumbling As we are worn away by the echos of time And our own fears of the truth Of our capabilities. We are so much more Than a frozen arc, nailed down by a tree. But we let ourselves be nabbed, Snagged in the branches.

Christa Wilson

When the football finally becomes Dislodged, it will Fall. The branches will still be there, ever growing, to snag a future arc. Unlike the football We have arms, legs, feet, hands Minds, hearts, souls To set us free.

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Purpose wvw Emily Ireland I asked him why he didn’t believe in love. I told him that sometimes, it makes it easier to convince ourselves that the existence of our fears is simply a figment of our imaginations. If you truly commit to believing hard enough, maybe all those fears will simply vanish. I fear not the event of death, but more the fact that one day I will stop living. Every fiber, every cell that made up who I used to be, from my personality, the way I processed information, my passive aggression, my witty mind, all encompassed in the hands of oblivion…masked, never to be foreseen by the human eye again. I will one day never flourish, never exchange my words, or touch another human, skin to skin. Only my soul will ascend, only the outer shell, or inner I should say, of my once abundant existence. Whatever imprint I left upon the solid grounds is destitute, for never again shall I return into my original body form. I’ll miss those little things. Pain, adrenaline, regret…sin… the feelings that come along with the price of being human. But maybe humanity isn’t such a terrible thing after all. I’ll miss the struggle of fighting between what’s right and wrong, and trying to change the world, convincing others of my views. Soon it will all be too late. I better hurry the hell up. Let’s say that I live for a hundred years. It’s really an unfathomable thought when put into perspective… terrifying really, to think that my mere existence will last an eternity, but only a small portion of time will be that of when I lived as a human: alive, and earthly. In the domain of everlasting life, that portion of time in which I lived on earth will only grow exceedingly more miniscule in contrast, until it is barely visible any longer. But let’s say I do something extraordinary with that time of mine here on earth. Let’s imagine that I’m like Anne Frank, and all those diary entries and words of mine will be recovered years later…inspirational for generations and generations to come. What if I make a speech like Martin Luther King Jr., and I change the world forever? What if I spark a legacy that will ignite the lives of the present, and encourage the lives of the future? And then again, what if I do none of those things? Maybe. Or maybe the mark I leave on this earth, no matter how seemingly diminutive will be remarkably changing and rewarding once my soul is eternally bound. Perhaps time will bend in heaven. Perhaps, my mere perception cannot even begin to fathom the complexity of its nature. No matter what, the human interactions in which I partake have to have made an impact on some sort of being on this plentiful earth, and that my friends, is forever, everlastingly, and eternal. “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” —Romans 7:6

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Allie Williams

I Remember wvw Rebecca Riiser I remember needing a nightlight, so all of the shadows would disappear I remember feeling safe with my mom, rid of all fears I remember going to school, eager to learn I remember only playing games, just waiting for my turn I remember getting older, learning wrong from right I remember the first time I stayed up all night I remember my first best friend, inseparable for a year I remember when I was yelled at, I would always shed a tear I remember learning how to play sports I remember learning girls “can’t” play sports I remember the pain of words, and always being alone I remember the pain of falling, breaking my first bone. I remember being accepted for who I am, nothing less I remember befriending the wrong people, which turned into a mess I remember the feel of freedom, the weights are lifted I remember the adults, always saying I’m gifted I remember the sadness, my father walked away I remember the date, I think it was May… I remember my mom, the pain in her eyes I remember my father, never kept family ties I remember the sickness, I could never breathe I remember the doctor, it was just allergies I remember the treatment, anaphylaxis shock I remember saying, “We need to talk.” I remember the move, packing our stuff I remember the boxes, man, it was tough I remember the dreams, to change the world and be free I remember the inspiration, she was once just a girl, just like me.

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Bullies wvw Lindsay Page Another post means another cut. Why can’t they leave me alone? Why must they be so cruel? I’ve done nothing to them yet they torture me. I knew I should stop checking Facebook but it was pulling me towards it. I couldn’t help but check. Lisa and Missy were once again offending my outfits and music choices. Leila and Brooke were talking about how I have no friends and I’m a stupid nerd, even though there is no such thing. I continued scrolling and saw the most unexpected thing, there was a positive message on my wall. It was from the school’s head jock, Spencer Collins. Reading it, I saw he was sorry for how his friends were acting and actually asked me out. I squealed in delight and accepted. He said he’ll pick me up tonight at seven. I glanced at the clock and saw it was already six. I was at my closet in an instant throwing clothes everywhere. I decided on my black jeans, red cami, black hoodie, and red converse sneakers. I was also wearing my cross necklace and stud earrings. I kept my long black hair down and ran out the door as soon as I heard the doorbell. Sadly I didn’t think to look to see who was at the door and got sucker-punched in the stomach as soon as I stepped outside. I wheezed in air just to be tripped. Long story short the bullies beat me up. They kept saying things like, “why’d u steal him. He’s too good for you.” They even went so far as to pull out a knife and stab me. After they left I laid there barely conscious waiting for my life to end. My eyes were closing when I saw Spencer. He ran to me and called 911. Spencer saved my life that day. -Four years later Spencer proposed -One year later we were married -Three years later I had two adorable babies- My life was perfect with my wonderful Spence, while those stupid bullies were now working at fast food stops or strip clubs. I have never been happier and I’m so glad I never fully gave into the depression caused by those ignorant bullies.

Elizabeth Workman

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Karin Wyks


My Crayon wvw Eliza Nalen Bright red crayon. Glue, glitter, and little paper shapes, a sticky mess. Smiling little children, roaring laughter. Pictures presented to waiting mothers. A teacher, shoving concepts for grown ups into children’s brains. The first shot at their innocence. It’s destroyed young, innocence. Is it the waxy crayons that are hated most by grown ups? Or the craft room mess? Day in and day out, mothers work, smiling at the laughter. Pure laughter. Fueled from innocence. Encouraged by mothers. Scissors, paper, glue, and crayons. Supplies for the mess that is despised by grown ups. What are grown ups that they don’t have laughter? Life is a mess. Cherish the rare picture of innocence. The toddler with the white wall and blue crayon. Selfless mother.

Sammy Linares

Innocence trained by the mother, and murdered by the grown up. A simple crayon, a little laughter. That is what innocence is. It is a mess. Cope with the mess of life. Learn from the mothers. Soon comes the restoration of innocence, despite the protests of grown ups. Here comes the laughter. And all it takes is one little crayon.

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Confusion wvw Justin Schroeder Sometimes, I get confused. I don’t know if I am happy about my good life, Or the fact I can endure a bad one. Sometimes, I wonder if God is punishing me, Or preparing me for the hardships of life. I wonder if I am wrong, or the world is. Yet, I have no intention of leaving. When I wonder about the world, I am greeted by silence. Is it the silence of serenity, Or mourning? I am confused. Or am I?

Lauren Ashford

Emily Reed

10 wvw // Eagle Eye // Iwvw ssue 2 20 Periphas Eagle Ink


TwoSidesofLove wvw Jason William Fisher When you enter the room

I light up with joy and excitement Life loses all gloom I always knew you were God sent I adore you; my sight is free of blur There is no other I’d rather see You are life’s golden treasure I bloom because of you; a flower of your beauty tree Like her, you gave me life Like him, I am captivated by your every move I am forever yours; you heal all strife Any pain or ache, it’s you who soothes A perfect woman in all you do You care for me with balance; Grace You’re a flash of light over an ocean view Your footsteps, I will trace and chase You’re a vista with no comparison Just half your genes equals incredible You are love beyond emotion And mothered by you, I will be sensational A partner to trust; loyal and true The one I look up to; each morning it’s you You are nature. You are nurture. You are nurture. You are nature. My lover. My wife. My Mother. Giver of life.

Sammy Linares Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 19


Confusion wvw Justin Schroeder Sometimes, I get confused. I don’t know if I am happy about my good life, Or the fact I can endure a bad one. Sometimes, I wonder if God is punishing me, Or preparing me for the hardships of life. I wonder if I am wrong, or the world is. Yet, I have no intention of leaving. When I wonder about the world, I am greeted by silence. Is it the silence of serenity, Or mourning? I am confused. Or am I?

Lauren Ashford

Emily Reed

10 wvw // Eagle Eye // Iwvw ssue 2 20 Periphas Eagle Ink


wvw Ryan Hulett wvw

James Margonie

Divya Jain

“Hey you Look at that girl on the TV” If you don’t eat Smoke cigarettes Too guilty to sleep Red lipstick On the mouths Of money hungry fiends Maybe you’ll be something Rid yourself of food But feed Every corrupt industry It’s okay if the music you buy degrades you Listen to the subliminal messaging Fuel the pharmaceutical companies And get your scripts for codeine Turn off the news It doesn’t matter that There’s still a lack of equality He wants to be with a man? “That’s wrong.” Why? “Because he’s less of a man than me.” Do everything you can to be different America’s turned this into a contest of “Who can be the most unique” Gold teeth Spitter of rhymes That knock women onto their knees Eat a gram of molly But don’t nourish yourself for weeks Destroy your brain with chemicals Because you can’t give yourself That good of a feeling Cut your wrists And burn your thighs Stay with the “man” That puts black on your eyes And when he says he loves you Even you know That’s a lie But “oh she’s so pretty when she cries” Let’s romanticize self destruction Because the girls in the pictures are Attractive to the blind eye While pedophilia is being legalized in Russia Getting enough money for a sack Is the only thing That’s on your mind Get your As Go to college right away Those who don’t are nothing They get too far behind Censor everything But exploit people And make things worse than they seem Shelter your kids to a point of When they step outside They die From over drinking Not everything is what it seems Not even close Nothing could be held true This might all be a dream

// Eagle Eye // 11 Eagle InkIssue wvw2 Periphas wvw 21


Rain, Sun, and Angels wvw Lauren Ashford Rain pounded against the car as it slowly speed down the road. Everything looked so dark and murky, even for a girl who is usually happy and optimistic. The same girl who loves hearing the pitter patter of the rain as it falls because it seems to impersonate rebirth. Rain gives the world a clean slate and makes people believe that anything can happen. But that day, the rain meant something totally different to the girl. The rain was the tears of angels from heaven. They were morning with her. They were morning with me. I was that girl. The girl looking out the car window as the houses passed by in a blur. Though, I couldn’t really see the houses because of the rain. Or maybe it was the fact that they didn’t really register with me. I was too deep in a haze to see anything. I just wanted the day to be over with. I just wanted my nightmare to end. The rain slowly halted, as we finally hit the bump and entered one of the saddest places every town has. A place no one wants to go, but must. A place that holds many in its grasp. A place most of us will go to someday. We trekked towards a forged patch of grass. Black chairs stood around a monstrous pit, and I held the water from falling out of my eyes. I couldn’t accept the reality that was so evidently in front of me. I don’t know why I was so resistant, I just was. When the men in black approached us, more tears had started to come. Again, I struggled to keep them at bay. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I had shed too many tears. All that resilience though, broke in a moment. It broke when the men backed away from the snowy casket. It broke as I walked towards the dark dug up hole. It broke when I placed a single red rose on the icy coffin. It broke as the memory of what the stone cold body inside that tomb looked like filled my mind. It broke when the reality that I would never see my hero again in this life hit me. It broke and my strength fled. I couldn’t stand there and get the looks of pity from family and friends. I couldn’t cry in front of them. So I ran. I ran to the car, and I sobbed to my heart’s content. Then I felt the heat. The heat of the sun, the heat I loved so much. I looked up to the sky, and remembered what I sometimes said about the sun. How the sun was the angels way of brightening up the living’s day from heaven. I recoiled what my hero used to say about guardian angels. How everyone has one. A small smile flickered upon my lips as the tears began to slow. Softly, ever so softly, I whispered, “Now you’re my guardian angel, Nane.”

Matthew Barich

Divya Jain

22 wvw Periphas wvw Eagle Ink

Matthew Barich


My World, My Life wvw Natalie Vail In my world I can be anything I want to be. And no one but me has to know. My trampoline holds my world. Where’s yours? I dream awake, I dream moving. In my world I can be anybody, and thing. Your world is yours! No one can take that from you! No matter how hard they try. Tell people want happens in your world or don’t. Share it or keep it secret. No one can get into your world. The only things that get in and out are things you let. It requires no pocket space, so you can take in anywhere! In my world I write the story. I control the situation. No one can tell you otherwise. Where’s your world? My world is hidden in plain sight. For it’s My World, My Life.

The Frontlawn wvw Jack Probst Barely any of us survived yesterday. It was a beautiful day outside 75 degrees, very sunny with nothing but a comforting breeze, hitting us at the side. It felt amazing. We had gotten so tall too, some of us around 5 inches long and we kept wondering how tall could we get? Then, that really big door slowly opened. It was that digesting-looking ogre again. This time, he was pushing something. It was green and had wheels. We didn’t know what it was but was getting closer to us. The ogre started tugging on it. That thing started to make a noise like an airplane propellor. The ogre pushed it over us starting with the edge. I couldn’t hear what it was doing, but the thing got closer. I started to hear screaming, terror, small shreds of us torn apart and killed. I too screamed as I watched my sister got shredded; piece by piece with her remains left on that grey rough walkway. What have we done to deserve this? We have done nothing wrong. Luckily for me, I survived from that shredding machine, once the ogre turned it off and walked inside, closing that huge door. Now, I just have to wait, watching new ones slowly grow, day by day on this big, green, and grassy front lawn.

Mark Maggs

Chase Whelchel

Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 23


La Chasse wvw Sean Keirns The dappled-dotted, sunlight-spotted ferns and fungus rise. awakened to greet their newest color their pallette, splattered, pounded, speckled by that distinctly rosen hue reserved for deeply hemoglobin dew. Doe flees. Bounds and cascades churns and boils, escaping. Steamy sinew lurches over ‘shrooms now stained, famine driven, death evading, fangs pour after a venison estranged. Ravenous pursuit caused for pause. For a beauty now seen in golden day. The stream so supple to arrest this beast. While in warm-red meadow lays his one true feast. The beast rests raptured enthralled in “bliss” his famine-driven fate submitted to for this? Our biche fades gently to nourish her feed, while fangs fall quickly for a pull that draws no seed.

Elizabeth Workman

In darkened forest the brush now lay, once blush, turned brown by cold decay. The cool stream welcomes as one’s own nest but draws and drowns the hunter, lest he sprints past crafted coy parade to that for which his bowels are made.

Lauren Ashford

24 wvw Periphas wvw Eagle Ink


(In)Decision wvw Josh Brandt and Staci Stech

Elizabeth Workman

Lauren Ashford

The moment of decision teeters—a fleeting instant of singularity— Within reach All you have to do is grab it, clutch it, clasp it. Hang on for dear life. For all of your life. You are too scared, too lost, too far gone. You are proud. You are embarrassed. You are brave. Or you’re not. The moment is here It’s invitingly simple. And? Requires nothing But the movement of lips. It requires the entire collective reasoning of the brain! It starts at 8:15, 1:15, 12:30, 9:47 Can you tear through that last barrier That is as imperceptible as the moment you fall asleep? The moment you notice least The edge of time slipping forward The head slides under the surface of the water Unaware but fully aware that what comes next is Without restraint, in the hands of Gravity And as massive as the pounding of your heart. The split second—but it’s not even time-dependent— Or is it? When you could or you don’t Are you going to jump off the diving board, Speak your mind, read aloud, give a kiss— Hoping it’s received and returned—not ignored like deadened sound Echoing to the ground— Take the plunge—what plunge? The leap into what you don’t know And what you fear, but are so Electrically drawn toward. You Can’t stay away—from the thought. Only the thought. Enticing, Intoxicating, addicting. The thought. But can you bring it to action? At the moment? You feel paralyzed, poised, fragile. Divisive. You feel dependent, exposed, neurotic. Reckless. You are brave. You are invincible. Decisive. You need to take the risk in order to stand up to the flood and hold it back. To feel, to validate, to defy the constant inadequacies the universe throws your way. To exist in the moment You are alive.

Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 25


All at Once wvw Connor Croan In a blink of an eye I lost them. The older brothers that Put up with me, Taught me, Praised me, Broke me, And fixed me. All because a tiny man in both the saying, and his height wanted a job to be handed to him. In the blink of an eye, I got to see my brothers Walk away. As if it were some sort of “pleasure,” That I was honored to do it. Because I had a different fate already planned out for me, No time for goodbyes, No time for tears, Those fears that you never thought would come true Just did.

I didn’t want to bury them, I didn’t want to say goodbye, There was a time for fears but that time has passed. Use this time to realize, That you don’t have to be ostracized any more to swim fast. The “all knowing voice” Doesn’t know You. I then spat on everything that was drawn out for me, looked it dead in the eye and remembered my brothers. Nothing is drawn to scale, Study the body systems, Marginal utility, Your feet are nasty, Choose somebody to impress, Do everything with grace, The words rang through my head, From stupid advice to gripping prose, it was enough to impose a threat to the control that was over me.

And you can’t even start to describe how you feel. But you must steel yourself because you don’t get a say in this, We will pick you up and put you Here.

I left, and chose a different path. And every time after when I feel sad, I realize, There is no time for goodbyes, No time for tears,

Start again all at once. Don’t look back, Because I will tell you they are dead to you, Even though they did nothing wrong. They are the worst thing for you, Even though you didn’t know them. You are better than them already, Even though you knew I wasn’t.

Because I am strong, and I will move forward in grace. To be strong like you guys taught me to be.

So all at once, I dug 12 graves in my mind. To find in another lifetime. Grey skies covered my mind for 2 years searching for those graves. Hoping that once I found them they would be resurrected, Albeit the voice that told me they were wrong. The voice that insisted it was all knowing, The same voice I was subjected to upon my journey with no choice. A fire started.

26 wvw Periphas wvw Eagle Ink

Wes Edwards


Ephemeron wvw Tiffany Leung The high marble walls are lined with dirt Kingdom of filth Your glamour is disorder here Dangerously libidinous eyes Little pseudo succubus You are like the moon Have no sheen or luster Nor luminance without a glorified sun

Austin Johns

You lay there, sprawled Provocateur Every glance is masochistic Looking at you is obscenity unto suicide; Perversion A breath steals from your lips, Smoke You are illicit Lavish fur rug and candles Decor in a room of debris and rubble Ashes and ruins

Will Hipp

The pearls around your neck are cracked and broken Even the diamond on your finger is fractured Is this a fever dream Or have I been induced by you? I reach out for you Your bloodied fingertips move for mine But the sound of vicious cracking resonates The image of you is fragmented The pieces of you collapse into dust And suddenly this decaying room Is void of you

Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 27


Giants wvw Sara Panahi How gorgeous is this rebirth On the faint precipice of the galaxy’s edge Or perhaps it is going head under water With open eyes And lungs screaming for air Until you learn to breathe on your own You are not my life support and I am not your cane Forget that divine crimson Of cold cheeks and warm hearts At a cross of running away into the faint ink void From which we sprang Might alight a new, more radiant amity That I have started to feel growing at my fingertips And the tip of my pen that spills out life With words that will no longer sing to you Thrusting newness born from the electricity of my thoughts And anxious impulses broadcasted from between my lips That scream freedom without permission from Your tense mouth I fold myself into this thick distance that spreads At endless speed with infinite reason That I had previously feared as it grew from the empty Pit in my chest, That precarious calm that both Filled and suffocated my new lungs like sea water I will wash every trace of you from my hair and from my eyes I am Lazarus, risen from death I can breathe on my own again.

Maddy Worley 28 wvw Periphas wvw Eagle Ink

Elizabeth Workman

Maddy Worley


Divya Jain

wvw Sean Donahue wvw

Maddy Worley

Galileo Galilei Dante Alighieri Both were born of me Their toil laid down for all to see Their hands still guiding long after fading to dust Raised by my hand And made eternal by my blood Mozart Van Gogh Forged great things from me Their smithing wrought me to beautiful ends My presence resounding I carried their dreams For all the world to see All great men were born of me Made possible by me I sit in shadowed back ignored by all But it is my nature which makes such things possible Like to like, bond to bond I forge, I stay, never pulled away Polar to polar that is my way On my poles are great cities built and societies raise and fall In the early days I was all you had to hold your thoughts Even now it’s by my molecules that your empires can be built I am ink so small and discrete but by my hands are all man’s things made.

Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 29


To Thine Own Self be True wvw Cyron Completo Shattered, fragmented memories were all that was left of Elijah’s mind. He felt nothing, saw nothing, was nothing. His sense of perception was gone. Mind and body, separated. His thoughts and remaining memories floated all around him, suspended and frozen with the rigidity of rigor mortis. Emotions seethed in his core, welling up like an uncontrollable whirlpool, and just as quickly, subsided into a deep calm. Where the hell was he? Slowly, Elijah felt the world forming, slowly, around him, as he regained feeling of his body. He felt the blood rushing in his veins; his heartbeat, pounding, desperate and weak, in his chest, slowly coaxing its master back into consciousness. Growling emerged from deep within him, pangs of hunger, his throat: burning, an ache at his side. Then, he felt the cold. A vast, immeasurable cold that gnawed at his bones and threatened to extinguish that feeble flame of life that fought to stay lit within him. The cold was accompanied by its mistress, a great dampness that clung to every square inch of his body, almost as if he was submerged in water. His hands brushed against the side of something smooth, slick, and he dug his nails into it as he strained to lift himself up. A pungent smell hit him, the smell of moss and earth, decay, wafted up and greeted him. Elijah opened his eyes and sat as they adjusted themselves to the darkness. He was garbed in rags, the remnant of a tunic adorning his chest and threadbare trousers covering his legs. A dark cell received him, he was surrounded by stone walls, worn down and crumbling. He ran his hands against a nearby block of stone, feeling its cold, unsympathetic face. He shifted, uncomfortable, just noticing that he was submerged in a puddle of rainwater. His legs were numb. He glanced down. His hands were bound and shackled. Rusty iron manacles held his wrists captive, connected to the wall behind him. A small inkling of panic welled up in some distant part of him. He tugged at his chains, straining his bony arms, only managing to scratch his wrists. A solitary window was perched upon the wall, a meter above him, too small for him to fit through, but large enough to siphon in sunlight and show the world beyond. A small vein of frost snaked from the window. He sat back and rested himself on the mossy wall behind him. The cell had a high- vaulted ceiling, completely untouched by the light. Across the cell he saw the bars, rusted away and gaping open, mocking him. Why am I here? He thought. “You want to be here.” A raspy, old voice answered him from across the cell. A hunched figure rose. It approached him, limping, and seemed to drain the already sparse sunlight from the room. It stopped a couple meters away from Elijah. Some shadows dissipated from the figure as it spoke. “You asked to be put here.” “What the hell are you talking about?” Elijah felt a strange pang of anger and anxiety as he stared at the shrouded figure. “Why would I ever ask to be put in a cell? Where am I, really? Who are you? Who am I?” Elijah’s desperation leaked through his words, betraying his panic. The figure seemed to smile through the darkness which hid its face. “You have been in this cell for a long time and your memory has often failed you. I am merely your guide, as well as your jailer. As for you, I suppose, since you really have lost your memory…” The figure smiled to itself again. “What is it? Spit it out!” “I suppose everything will be revealed in time.” The figure slowly morphed in front of Elijah as it spoke. Its features unmasked themselves a little more, revealing the figure to be an old man. His face was still difficult to discern entirely. “Why am I being held here?” Elijah asked, knowing that the old man was being intentionally cryptic, and wanted to get something out of the guy. “The thing is, Elijah, you are not actually being held.” Just as he was about to protest, he felt the manacles fall, heavy, from his wrists. He lifted his aching arms from his sides and massaged his raw skin. Elijah looked up at the old man. The shadows that once enshrouded his face were gone and Elijah saw the rest of his face; a greyed, leathery complexion, aged and weather-worn, great valleys of wrinkles, the hint of laugh lines, and deep, unreadable grey eyes. The old man’s eyes met his. “What are you playing at, old man?”

30 wvw Periphas wvw Eagle Ink


To Thine Own Self be True wvw Cyron Completo “I am ‘playing’ at nothing. I have already told you that you are here of your own free will, and if you believe that you are rehabilitated, then who am I to keep you?” “What do you know of my past?” Elijah asked. “I know all of it. My question for you: do you believe you are ready to learn of it?” said the man. “Of course I’m ready. Who do you think I am?” The old man smiled. Elijah was whisked away. His body, the cell, no longer there. Instead, Elijah felt weightless, like a feather picked up by a gentle breeze. A light, brilliant, but not blinding, surrounded him and caressed him as he floated in the great nothingness. He felt a real breeze this time, one that tugged at his clothes and hair playfully. It carried an intoxicating aroma of cookies, chocolate, freshly removed from some distant oven. For the first time in a while, it seemed, Elijah felt a deep calm, a tranquility that spread over him like a great, warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. It made some deep part of him smile in both happiness and bittersweet nostalgia. It felt right. Images of his childhood slowly materialized in front of him. His mother’s smile. A garden of daisies. Children laughing in the schoolyard as they played tag. A dream to be an artist. His little red bike. The light that caressed him was no longer as bright as before. Memories flew by. Secondary school. Grades flew through his mind like a vast flipbook. The scent of sweaty feet. Messing up with his first shave. His first car. First relationship. Second relationship. His friends, multitudes of them, winking in and out of his life like a field of candles. The light continued to grow dimmer. Thence came university. Moving out of his parents’ house. Dorm life. Stress. Professors. A committed relationship. Spilling coffee on textbooks. Minimum wage jobs. Slaving over lectures. His college thesis. Freedom. Responsibility. Adulthood. The light continuously grew darker and darker thereafter. His working life began. Paying off college loans. Mortgage loans. Marriage. Sitting in a cubicle. The drive home. First child, then his second. Stress. Sometimes, vacations. The light that was once bright was about to wink out. Elijah observed his body begin to weaken and waste away. The onset of a cough. A fever. All of a sudden, he gets a stroke. He sees himself lying in a hospital bed surrounded by his family. The light that once caressed Elijah was gone. The breeze that once carried the hint of cookies and a happy life was now rendered into a foul gust of wind, heavy with the scent of motor oil and decay. Elijah was now back in the cell, looking in the eyes of the old man. The old man’s eyes now shown with a brilliant gleam, and the old man’s wrinkles were receding. He was smiling, the type of smile that could disarm a person of their prejudices and worries, and make them happy. “Do you understand why you are here now?” asked the man. Elijah nodded. “This was the life you wanted. You could have freed yourself, made yourself anything you wanted to be. As a child, you had a dream. Instead, you shackled yourself into the life you thought was safe. You didn’t question it. You didn’t try to escape.” Elijah felt the cold once again, it battered him pitilessly, beckoning him to curl up and lose himself like before. “You wanted to be here.” Elijah looked down at his hands and rubbed them. They were clammy and wrinkled, liver spots starting to appear. His hands shook as he lifted them up to his face and as he felt the many creases and furrows, newly formed. Hot tears streamed down and landed gently on his hands. “Is it too late for me?” asked Elijah. “Never.” said the man. “Can I leave now?” The man smiled once again. He walked up to Elijah and clasped his shoulder. “Don’t you understand? You could have left anytime you wanted to.” And so he did.

Eagle Ink wvw Periphas wvw 31


Eagle Ink: Periphas, May 2014  

The first installment of the Eagle Ink literary magazine for the 2013-2014 school year brought to you by VISTAj.

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