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HEART, MIND, THEN PAPER Writing from Brooklyn Public Library Cortelyou & Kensington Branches N Y W RITERS C OALITION P RESS


H EART , M IND , T HEN P APER Writing from Brooklyn Public Library Cortelyou & Kensington Branches



Copyright © 2015 NY Writers Coalition, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-9911174-9-9 Library of Congress Control Number: 2015935758 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Upon publication, copyright to individual works returns to the authors. Editor: Nancy Sanchez-Taylor Layout: Anna Pettus, Rose Gorman Title: Sarah Lebaili Cover Image: Umbreen Mohammed Heart, Mind, Then Paper contains writing by members of NY Writers Coalition creative writing workshops for youth ages 5-17 at Brooklyn Public Library’s Cortelyou and Kensington Branches. NY Writers Coalition Press, Inc. 80 Hanson Place, Suite 604 Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 398-2883
































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I NTRODUCTION Hi. Nancy Sanchez-Taylor here. We’re back! It has been two years since these workshops’ last publication, Pen to Paper, was published. Many things have happened since then; a lot of the writers have come and gone, but what has not changed is the enthusiasm, energy and awesomeness of the young writers who remain at the Cortelyou and Kensington libraries. They could not wait to have their work published and their voices heard once again here. I am grateful to NY Writers Coalition for allowing me to be a part of such an extraordinary experience. These young writers never cease to amaze me with the quality and depth of their writing. I always find I am regenerated when I am with them. The youngsters at Cortelyou keep me on my toes, invigorated and challenged, and the youth at Kensington keep me grounded, calm and introspective – all in a single day of the week! I miss my partner in crime, Jackie Glasthal, who started me on this journey from our becoming friends in a kickboxing class to co-facilitating workshops on Rikers Island and then at Cortelyou and Kensington libraries. Although she is no longer conducting workshops with me, she is still a part of my journey and is always remembered fondly by our young people. What more can I say other than to invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy reading the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, but always interesting, thought-provoking and genuine stories and poems from the kids at these libraries. They truly write from their heart and mind and then put it on paper for our pleasure and edification.

N ANCY S ANCHEZ T AYLOR NYWC Workshop Leader Spring 2015 11


JULIA A.G.F. Age 9

Science Class I love science. I was in science club. I learned too many facts. I love to learn, and I never like to break rules. I sit at Table 2. I was learning about grams and gasses. I love class. I wish I had a microscope, but I am also in band. I won’t tell you how my class behaves because it’s bad. It’s not so awesome, but science and me are awesome. I love experiments. I pass all of my exams. I really love science and I hope science loves me. I would marry science…if I could. But at least I am healthy. And I’m going to the sink to cool off my hand. P.S.: I love dogs.


Cold Snowy No school Outside Window Days Awesome Yay! It’s snowy outside. My first look is out the window. They cancelled school because it’s too snowy. Yay, no school! It’s so awesome. It’s going to take some days to clear out the snow.

Snow I love snow. Snow can be cold. I can build a snowman Or a snow angel. Snow is fun and white.


Poems Snowy There was a spider web. A mirror got stuck on the web. Then 2 jacks. The jacks broke the web. And they were free again. The jacks saved the day. The spider web ate the mirror. The mirror ate the 2 jacks and The jack survived. Julia that’s me Amanda my Christmas Kick Summer

Wednesday Elena my sister Bay hay Monday Ice Roar Run On the go Rise high Funny Rises Inside Enter Neptune Dance


Halloween What are you wearing? I am wearing a dress. A pink dress with one pocket. The pocket has a knife with blood dripping. And my dress is ripped, and I am full of blood. Even my dress has blood dripping from it.

I Have a Dream I have a dream. It is to make our world safe. We should stop pollution/gasses. Kids should stop bullying. Cops should stop killing people for nonsense. Cops should go around and trap the most wanted. And we as people should study and work hard. Sincerely, Julia A. G. F.



Realizations Every now and then I look at my life, and I stop to realize where I am. Every now and then I look around me and just have a moment to genuinely breathe and think. I know where I am physically. I am in a chair facing east, in a room secluded from the hustle and bustle that surrounds itself in every crevasse in my day-to-day life. I am surrounded by beautiful human beings, whom I’ve had the honor of getting to know. I have been blessed with a functioning mind and body, loving family and friends, safe, warm, and welcoming environments. I know I am overcome with emotion whenever I count my blessings that have been gifted to me by my creator. I am grateful for everything in my life. The things that I perceive to be good as well as the things I perceive to be bad. I am grateful for it all.


The Child Complex As much as they all wanted to dive into the plate that was delicately placed with homemade sweets, the adults refrained. In fact, they didn’t even dare to look to that side of the room. Jenna knew that they were for the kids, and it would just be plain wrong for her to eat them, even if it was just one piece. Noah knew that if he had any more sugar his doctor would scold him, for he was diabetic. Susan thought about the plating and how the removal of a single sweet would ruin the whole display. Sitting on the couch all of the adults awkwardly glared at one another, the unspoken dialogue between them communicated words of anticipation. “Who would take the first piece?” the silence uttered. One after the other hands gnawed at the plate. Physically, they were adults. Mentally, not so much.

Dark Clouds Filled With Words I forgot how to write. My creativity dwindled. My imagination, well, that has always been in a box filled with chambers only the lost can open. My vocabulary has expanded, but not with words of expression, emotion, or communication. Just empty words – jargon at the very least.


Change Have you ever looked at something once and returned to look at it again only to find it completely different? You clearly see it hasn’t physically changed. You wonder what is it that made you see it differently. Was it the emotion provoked from you that made it seem different? There is something different. Like a broken television set, the images around me flickered with moving horizontal lines. Lines that created the illusion of a distorted image. The change was not to the extent of obstructing the picture but distorting it enough to change the interpretation and feelings that were directed towards it. The concept, though simple in theory, was complicated. The world is what you make of it. The world is only as real as you see it to be. Stare closely at the picture. What you find might just be different than what you were looking for. And I think that is beautifully frightening.



Wings We were all born with wings; an invisible pair that grew directly off our backs. We used them for many things and we never truly appreciated their value until they flew away for themselves. The wings gave us our light and our darkness. They filled us with love and affection. In their presence our minds flourished with innovation and imagination. We were free from the earth and looked only to the stars for hope. The wings were our necessities. We needed them as much as we needed air, water, and food. As children we grew to love wings and their limitless potential. The adults around us, however, did not. They caged us, locked us down; chained us to the earth to be forever bound and limited. They feared us and resented us. They wanted our wings and when they lost theirs they became full of hate to destroy ours. The wings loved us as much as we loved them but when the time came they had to return to the heavens knowing that their job was complete. Some people could live their entire lives with their wings, but most lose theirs at a young age. Why, you might ask? The world is imperfect and the wings are anything but imperfect.


Change Usually when someone feels lost and needs a place to turn to, they look for their roots; their homes, family, close friends and concepts that have been there since the beginning. As with all things in life, change is inevitable and such is the case with a person’s roots. Homes change, family relationships weaken, close friends are no longer close and a person’s perspective changes on lots of subjects. Change might appear to be the villain in the plot of a person’s life, but change could also be seen as that strict teacher or parent whose only goal is designed with your ultimate benefit in mind. It is because of this change factor that a person returns to their roots on occasion. Others might revisit old friends, family or neighborhoods, but for me I decided to return to wings. Originally I wrote this piece with a solid goal in mind to find inspiration from the topic I first wrote about. A few years ago I never had imagined I would still be writing but I’m glad I am. Even though the subject of my writing was trivial, the encouragement and motivation I found from the writing workshop and Ms. Nancy was more than enough to motivate me to come mostly every week. Roots are important to remember no matter their connotation. No matter how tall the tree grows it cannot stand without its roots.


That Moment And on that day we ran on the water We danced and laughed, the day was like no other And unified we stood, and together we danced The moon was so bright. And the rivers so red The trees wept for us The sky showed its mercy Yet we were the happiest Right there, in that moment That moment before people stopped trying That moment when our family started dying Yet in that moment With fear in our eyes We went out smiling, into the river with Our lives And our community mourned With envy for our lives Yes, we were free Ready for a new life For together we stood And together we died Never once did we regret Living our lives


A Thought... When we remember to look ahead, we forget to look at the present. That is often the case for many, spending too much time worrying about what lies ahead, but not about what’s going on at the present. We are so worried about having good lives, yet wasting most of it trying to have an even better life...


I Am Thankful I am so thankful for many things, yet so unhappy for just as many. I am thankful for the ability to live and be physically existent in this world. Often times I had wondered thoroughly about the theory of non-existence and more or less where something would be if it didn’t exist; an abstract and complex idea that can often times denote religious context and spirituality. When I am thankful for my life I am simultaneously regretful of my inability to have been non-existent, a figure that was never counted, the sperm that didn’t make it, the thought that was never conceived. So contradictory, yet so rational, the ability to have never been birthed into this world might have been the greatest element that life had to offer. For what is a fire to a toddler who has never felt its sting? What is the sound of a tree falling when no one is there listening? What is the flavor of music to a toddler with no ears? And how does one decide when something simply can’t be? This notion of existence is easily overseen. So it is with my first and last breath that I breathe, that I cherish my toes and feet and learn to see the miracle of life unparalleled by no other, except of course, its only twin brother.



The Bird Who Flew I’m ready. It was my first day of flying. I’m too nervous to jump off a huge tree and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to fly. Dad makes it look so easy to fly. It’s not that you have to open your wings and flap really hard. You have to have wing muscles if you want to fly. My brother came up the tree and pushed me down the tree. I was nervous. I was scared. I kept on flapping my wings with all my strength. I did it! I was flying! I never felt this good before. It was the first time I flew. I never saw this day coming. I thought I would be the bird who didn’t know how to fly. But I’m not. I’m the bird who flew.


Victor Knows He Must Not Fail Victor, once known as the man who walked on water, jumped over a 23-foot shark tank. Now he must not fail his next accomplishment. He noticed people got bored of his achievements. He went outside and saw no one. He yelled for people to come out of their homes. He told everyone that he was going to walk through a burning house alive. People were amazed. He started planning how he would do it. He went to the forest. He saw an old abandoned cabin. He threw gasoline all over it and burned it. Once he did this, he called his whole town. He was cheered for by tons of fans. Doing crazy stunts was his dark obsession. He went to the cabin, took a deep breath and stepped in. He had chairs lined up across the room. He would have to cross them and come out alive. He went in. All he heard was a crowd screaming. Victor knew he must not fail.


The Escape The museum doors were locked. I still find a way to get in. I busted down the door that leads straight to the room with the paintings. Caption below read: “Here lies the scream.” I didn’t know what was so great about it. All I saw was a dude who has his hands covering his ears and screaming. I don’t know why it’s worth so much money. All I knew was that I needed money for my family that lives in the alley near the soup kitchen. I needed money for my family to buy a house and start a living. That’s all I wanted. But still… I got caught. You know the saying, “Bad things happen to good people.” But in this case, it’s bad things happen to good people who do bad things. I was miserable, didn’t know what to do. How do I escape this prison?


The Austins Day 1 Why Emily? Why would you do such a thing? Emily has done something very unacceptable; so unacceptable that her mom was speechless. What could it possibly be you ask? I can’t even explain, but trust me I’ll try. Emily has done the impossible-the dangerous impossible. Her family was full of surprises, but Emily was a different type of surprise. Every day she would get in trouble, but this time she did something terrible. I’m just the neighbor of the Austins. I have heard them arguing day and night. That’s why I’m writing about them. I can’t imagine what it is she did. Day 2 I’m going to head down over to the Austins and ask them what all the arguing was about. One thing I know for sure is that Little Emily has done something. I walk over to their dull red door. My heart is thumping so hard I think everybody could hear it. I ring their bell ding-dong. All of a sudden, I heard a glass bottle smashing against the door. I ran all the way to the comfort of my home. I think I’ll try again tomorrow. Day 3 I had a terrible dream last night. All I remember was it had to do with Emily Austin. It woke me up at 4:00. My teeth were shivering in fear. Once again I rang


the door bell. Before I could take a deep breath, the door opened. I walked in and there were clothes everywhere on the floor. It smelled as if an animal had died. I stopped breathing. I turned around and the door shut itself. I knew at that moment I had to leave. But there was a sudden urge that made me continue. I was in the kitchen. I almost vomited. There was meat drenched in blood. I ran out the house for some air. I got home and couldn’t sleep. Day 4 I don’t think I should go. There it is, that urge again. It is killing me that I can’t go to find out what Emily did. I think I’ll just rest for today. Day 5 I had a whole day. My final answer is that I am going to continue my search. I snuck into the back door. I found a normal home with a happy family. All well put together. Was everything I was seeing a dream? I walked in and the Austins were staring at me. I ran home again. Day 791 The Austins are dead and my hair is falling out. WHAT DID EMILY DO?


I Am I am not afraid, I am weird. I wonder why the world is the way it is today I hear the sound of leaves rustling I see a deer at the end of the road I want a life of adventure I am not afraid, I am weird. I pretend I’m stuck in the hunger games I feel rescued I touch the soft fur of my rabbit I worry about why people care about what others think I cry when I see homeless animals I am not afraid, I am weird. I understand that no one has a problem free life I say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I dream I live in the forest I try to have faith in humanity I hope I don’t lose any loved ones I am not afraid, I am weird.



The Winter Mystery In the late 1660’s, there lived a detective whose name was Sherlock Holmes. It was a very cold winter as Holmes was confused with a mystery. How did the snowman move? So Sherlock Holmes went to Wisdom Woods, where he last saw the moving snowman. When Sherlock arrived, he saw the same snowman walking. Sherlock yelled, “Stop!” but he wouldn’t listen. Sherlock was so mad that he kicked a stone that hit the moving snowman and a door opened. He saw two feet. He ran to the moving snowman and picked up the snowman suit. He saw Richie, the boy who pranked Sherlock, on the last case. Now the case was solved.


The Snow Blizzard In our house all the kids were waiting for it to snow. Ben asked, “Dad, when is it going to snow? The forecast said it will snow today at 2:36 and it’s 2:59. It hasn’t snowed in 6 weeks!” His dad stared at him, “Don’t think about it. Last year, when you went in the snow, you were sick for 3 weeks.” “Well that’s not a long time.” “It’s 21 days!” said his dad. “So what will we do? Just sit here?” “No, we will play an indoor game.” “Can we play tag?” asked Jen. “No.” answered Dad. “We don’t have enough space.” “How about hide and seek?” “asked David. “No.” said Mom. “We don’t have enough hiding spots in the house.” “How about we play a board game!!!” said Dad. “Why couldn’t I think about that.” whispered Ben. “Well, it’s snowing. How about we play The Winter Game?” they all said. While they were playing “The Winter Game’, it was snowing and no one noticed it, including Ben.


The Dream One day the sky got dark. The birds completed their song. As the birds flew to their nests, I imagined having their wings to fly in the sky. The sky got darker and darker every second, sunset turned into evening. I went to my house, in my room, into my bed. As I slept, there came a dream, a wonderful dream- that I had the wings I wanted and was able to fly with the birds. RING!!! said the alarm. It was morning. From my window, outside, was a big, flat box in front of the door. I ran to my father and told him about the box. As me and my dad opened the box and put it together, it was a... TRAMPOLINE. I jumped higher and higher. I thought Finally. I am flying with wings.


Chicago One sunny day in Chicago, it was really hot. It was 78 degrees. On Maple Street there lived a family. The family’s house was also too hot. The house had the fan on, the A/C on and made paper fans. “Do you want to go outside?” said David. “What did you say?” said Eric, David’s dad. Then David turned off the fan and the A/C. David repeated, “Do you want to go outside?” “Why did you turn off the A/C and fan?” “Because I want to tell you that there is ice cream.” When they got the ice cream the problem was solved.


Going Down the Road As we went down the road on a dull Saturday morning, walking down Folters Avenue, we approached a dead end. Then we remembered the shortcut we had made-a hole in Mrs. Walker’s rose bushes. We ran through the hole quickly as we saw Mrs. Walker very upset. We ran and jumped over Mrs. Walker’s fence, from the residential areas to the busy areas. We were all glad that we escaped the meanest woman in the neighborhood.


The Day of Thanksgiving Amber woke up one dark Thursday morning. She almost forgot it was Thanksgiving. She got out of bed and rushed to the living room to make thank you cards for her family and friends. She made one for her mom, her dad, her sister, and her brother. She almost forgot her friend Carla. Oh no! She ran out of construction paper. She checked everywhere in the house, but no construction paper. Then her mom asked Amber, “Do you want to come to ShopRite with me?” “Of course!” So they went to ShopRite. When they were at ShopRite, Amber and her mom were walking through the art aisle and saw construction paper on sale 300 pieces for $2.50 and she asked her mom, “Can we buy the construction paper for cards?” “Okay,” said her mom. When they went home and unpacked the items they bought, Amber took the package of construction paper and quickly made cards and gave them out. It was the best Thanksgiving ever!


The Valentines Day Party Danny had rushed home from school. “Mom! Mom! When you go shopping can you buy Valentine’s Day candies for the Valentine’s Day party?” “Okay, but do you know the meaning of Valentine’s Day? Danny ignored his mother. He always ignored his mother’s lessons. It was getting dark, his dad came, his mom went shopping, and he went to sleep. The next morning of school, his school bag was heavier than usual. When he opened his school bag, he saw a big bag of candies, more than enough for the class (46 candies). “Wow!” said Danny “Danny, do you know the reason for Valentine’s Day?” said Danny’s mom. Danny slammed the door and already was on his way to school. “He never gets holiday lessons.” said Danny’s dad.


The Strange Woods There lived a poor girl, with a poor family. She stared out the window as it was snowing. It was January, 18, 1993. She heard her parents yelling, “We can’t, we just can’t do it!” As the girl went to the living room, she saw her parents shaking their heads. The girl asked, “What’s going on?” Her father answered, “I’ll tell you what’s going on for sure, Lucy. It’s winter. We will never survive.” “Is there any way I can help?” asked Lucy. “You really want to help? Go to Eerie Woods and chop some wood. I said go!” said Lucy’s father. She got dressed, went out of the door, and got the axe. She dragged the heavy axe exhaustingly. The axe felt like 900 pounds! As the girl walked on her way she saw children almost done making a snowman. When they were done their mother called them to come home. Lucy continued walking. Then the snowman moved! Lucy didn’t notice the moving snowman, but she heard footsteps. She yelled, “Is anyone there?!” The snowman hid in the trees before Lucy could look around. Lucy just continued to walk to the Eerie Woods. And the snowman still followed Lucy. Then the snowman thought to himself, “I can do it.” The snowman tapped Lucy’s shoulder. Lucy asked, “What’s the matter?” “It’s just the cold. I need a house.” “So, can you axe wood?” “Sure I can.” “So if you chop wood for me, I will make a house for you” “Okay!” The snowman chopped wood, while Lucy made the snowman a house. “Thank you!” said the snowman. “I will carry your wood home for you.” When Lucy arrived home, her parents were relieved.



Going Out to Space One day Sam said, “That’s it. I’m going out to space.” And his mom and dad did not believe him. One night when they were asleep, Sam climbed down his bed in his PJ’s and he went on a rocket ship that his dad was building. It was not finished. It was 90% complete. The problem was it ran out of energy in 10 minutes and he wanted to go to Pluto and it would take 10 years to get there. That’s why their first name was the st -word, and his last name was the sh-word. That is why he went out to space. In ten seconds, the whole spaceship would land and self protect. Until he saw the Pilgrims and Native Americans. They had a gas station and said he could get gas for free. So, he got gas, and after ten years he was twenty. He was at Pluto before you could know it, and he talked to the fish king of space.


Cats There is a cat in Anthony’s yard. He always keeps it out in the yard. He was the president of the universe. He even told a 1 year old to go on the swing. The 1 year old didn’t. The 1 year old didn’t listen, so the 1 year old was sent to jail. That was even his own son. His son even bit him. The police were so scared they said, “Someone call 911!” even though they knew they were 911, but there were other cannibals there. They were so happy one of them took the keys and set all the cannibals free. The cannibals cheered for it. They were at Six Flags. They remembered about the cat. “I have to get home because if I don’t, I can’t live. My cat will get in my house and eat all my food. He’ll rip the bed I got for $90,000. My house was destroyed. I guess I will need to live in jail.” The cat is playful, likes to leap, has a tail, is a kitten, with pupils and a caterwaul.


The Trouble with Nuts and Nutcrackers Once there was a man named Nick and he did not like nuts. One day he got a nutcracker for a gift and Antony said, “Here’s a nutcracker.” Nick did not hear and said, “I don’t like nuts.” Then Antony said, “I said nutcracker.” Then Nick said, “I don’t like nuts!” One day he had mail. It said, “I said nutcracker!” and Nick was a little babyish for a 40 year old, and then he said, “I do not like nuts!” so loud that Antony could hear even though he was on vacation at China in Asia. Then Antony sent another letter that said, “I said nutcracker!” Then Nick said, “Why didn’t you tell me before! I love nutcrackers but I hate nuts!” It was so loud Antony could hear, and when Antony was back from vacation, he gave Nick the nutcracker. “…and also, I changed my mind. I like nuts.” “You just wasted your voice, Nick.” “No, I didn’t…You see Nick?” So they went to the master, the master who became the master by kicking somebody in the nose and went to jail. He got out because once he was singing “I am free but nobody knows.” So the guards heard him singing and said, “Keep on singing then I’ll open the gate and give you lunch.” The master said, “OK.” So the guard opened the gate and gave The Master lunch. When the guard opened the door The Master quickly slithered away because he was a snake. That is how he became a master. He does not even know what a dream is. So they went to The Master and Nick got his voice back.


Pens Sometimes pens are big, but some are small. Pens are always different. But I have a different story. Because I have bad eye sight; if I was looking at blue, I would see black. If I was going to look at black, I would see gray. If I looked at gray, I would see white. If I looked at white, I would see blue. But if I blink 26 times, I see purple and if I blink 20 times, I see normal again. So for me, all pens are not different. I am 90 pounds or more and I am just 7. I even see all pens the same shape and sizes. Right now I see everything purplelike a camera, lights, tables, pencils, candy canes and pens. And they are the same pens, a chalk board, a pencil case, a marker board, a speaker, chairs, a phone, glass, and doors and floors. Wait, I can’t forget my pants, and my shirt, and my jacket. And I can’t forget myself and a snake. It will take years or seconds. This will take forever for a few seconds and definitely half of seconds.


The Revolutionary War Once upon a time was a snake named Shadow. That snake was still alive. One day he said, “That is it. I can’t stand this anymore. I quit!” So one night when the Brag family was fast asleep, he flew away into space. Spike landed on the moon and he was in the Revolutionary War. He was a snake, but not just any type of snake. He was a python, a python named Shadow the First Snake.


The Stolen Tank Motor One bad stormy day in Silver World, with all silver things, Silver, Shadow and Tails said “Let’s get out of this place.” So Shadow said, “Yeah! That’s an excellent plan I really like that idea. Let’s go to Shadow World.” And they dug a hole and they made it a deep one. But before they jumped in they saw a tank motor. Shadow said, “Let’s take it.” And they had no idea what it was because they were just hedge hogs. Shadow said, “Let’s just take it. Who knows what it could do.” Silver said, “Just take it and don’t forget to bring it down the hole.” Shadow said, “Really Tails, take it.” Then Shadow took it and the three of them rushed down the hole with no trouble with the larva. Then the first thing they knew was a tank. Then Shadow said, “I’ll put this thing inside so nobody will find it.” And the tank was flying and Shadow said, “I’ll call it a tank U. F. O.”



The Ghost The ghost is scary. I’m sleeping in the house. I watch television. It is dark. I am scared. Boo!

My Favorite Things My favorite breakfast food is fish and spaghetti. My favorite dessert is ice cream. My favorite fruits are grapes.


RICHALDA COULANGES Age 12 Arieal’s Sick Day Arieal was really sick and I mean like puking and having a fever. So one day Arieal decided to open a restaurant to try to make money and buy medicine for herself to feel better. Suddenly, she started to puke again at the restaurant. Then she closed her shop. “Arieal, Arieal, wake up!” “What mom?” “What happened to you last night?” “I had a new restaurant to get money and help our family, but suddenly I did not feel good and I puked everywhere in the restaurant.” “Darling! I know how you feel grumpy, and miss your old time with your friends and boyfriend.” “But mom but when I’m going to school?” “Um, next week.” “Mom, you got to be kidding me, but I know how I’m sick, but I really want to go to school tomorrow. I’m sick of this just staying home and missing my boyfriend and friends. I’m just wondering can I go to school when I’m sick?” “Well have a good night sleep Arieal.” “Ok mom.” “OK, love you.”


*** “Wakey, wakey!” “Mom, I’m ready to go to school.’ “Do you still feel better?” “Yes mom.” “OK.” “So leave me alone so I can go to school.” “Hey Arieal! Welcome back to school!” “Hey Ms Jackson!” “Hey Arieal, where were you the whole time?” “Oh, Ms. Jackson. I was home really sick but I’m really feeling better. Ms. Jackson, well, may I see my friends please?” “Sure.” “What’s up Arieal?” “Good. Jasmine I really missed you. Hey, where is Alex?” “Oh, she’s absent.” “Oh well.” “I want to know where you were the whole time.” “Home puking and having a fever.” “Um, what’s up Zayn?” “Cool. Where were you? Too sick babe?” “Oh, puking and having fever.” “Oh well. I still love you.” “Right. Me too. I’m going to puke on you Zayn. Watch out honey!!!” “Ill, ill, ill, you puked on my shoes!” “Sorry...” “I’m never falling in love with you again” That’s when my love ended.


Poems Becoming True I will make people read poems because I want people to know a poem can repeat the same thing and be funny. I want people to read poems because it makes kids feel happy and learn better. For me, I love reading poems and I want people to read my poems and see if they are funny or not. Sometimes when I read poems, it feels that one day I should make poems for people and make them enjoy reading awesome poems. But sometimes I think of things like making a sing along poem for people. For me I think it’s true. I should make poem books for kids and probably adults. Right now what should be true is me actually making poems because I love making poems and reading poems a lot. That’s like my dream and new destiny, making poems. During my future I really should make poems because I just love reading poems. It is like a dream for me. One day that dream will become true.


At the Zoo A person named Jasmine was at the zoo and she saw cute, cute animals there. Then she said, “Oh my. Those cute animals are suffering. I wonder if I could put them in a better zoo?” What happened next was that Mr. Brown said, “Animals, you could stop jumping all over the cages.” But Jasmine said to Mr. Brown, “Why do you act mean to the poor little animals who do not have beautiful homes?” Then Mr. Brown said, “Why do you care and why are you here and why are you telling me what to do?” Jasmine said, “You know what? I will bring these animals to a better home because you treat those animals like garbage.”



Life is a Challenge Hi, this is how life is all boring, sad, fun, happy, and now here is how it all goes. You have a test and it is boring. You have a boyfriend and you’re crushed. You are sitting and your friend invites you over. You are with all your friends and playing around. You have a life and this is how it goes.


Night At night, the sky you See the Moon, You pray every night This time, You forget When you sleep the dolls You love Wake up and tell you The song Ring around a rosey A pocket full of posies Ashes, ashes we all Fall down To hell… Mommy, Mommy, Mommy Daddy, Daddy, Daddy Come and help Us By giving us your SOUL


Child My child A devil Rosemary help me Or SAVE ME So sick Eating well but not helping Come Papi Run, I’m sick Aha, caught you So first up is… On you now… Need to kill you !!! Honey leave from this house Arrive at the airport quickly RUN! Crason bring it on In to the living room Now kill me son Go ahead So now I am in hell Oh what, why did I try to kill my son as born Now I’m doomed with my son in hell!!!


Light Candles Are Never Dangerous, Look Everyone let’s touch Come And Now get Dangerous by Lighting the house on fire Everyone

Killing is Every day You’re next Funny Ruins In Every Noodle Day

How are you going to escape? Oh how? Let us see Dear, I am not in this trouble Every day I’m good tricking you Run for your life


New There’s a new face at the door the Devil. A new face at the door my friend. There’s a new face at the window the sky. A new face at the window the creeper There’s a new face at the mirror it’s ugly A new face at the mirror who is it, guess, … … You!


Live or Die God God is above you he never turns away leads you to life if you are bad he leads you to death but for you he will ‌ lead you to life leading to life is good we are all happy at life


MARIA HASHMI Age 11 Only in NYC The she-bear was tired of the Bronx; the stupid little kids, the retarded teenagers, sulking everywhere, thinking that they’re better than anyone else, the researchers with their shabby attitude. They think that we animals can’t think. Wish I could bite their faces out. It’s been a while since I’ve sunk my teeth into real fresh flesh. All they give us are frozen cod and mice. Pathetic. One day the bear named Monique decided to kill a baby. When the mother wasn’t looking, which was often, she snatched the baby out of its stroller. Fresh meat. But too much fat. Monique was separated from her mom and spent her life held hostage behind bars. What did she do wrong? Be born? When she gets mad, which wasn’t often, she was a tame bear (but only on the outside, so beware). She would wait for the midnight stroke which was actually at 12:37, which didn’t make sense. She would use her massive paws to claw away. She backed and stormed outside. Then she trekked 39 miles to Central Park in Manhattan.


She enjoyed the grass and the birds, of which she only ate 2 because she was on a diet. She liked the squirrels nestled in the trees. She liked the homeless hippie. He understood her. So she ate him to relieve his misery. A time came when she viewed herself. A misfit. Born only to please the humans that laughed at her. She didn’t want to live in a world without freedom. And with that, she said her final farewells to all beasts out there, to have strength. Something that Monique did not have.

Homemade Oreos The first time I got eaten by a dinosaur was when I was 2. I was helping my mom clean the machine (I was supervising) when I saw cookies on the capsule. Damn, those cookies looked good. Imagine homemade Oreos. So, I stepped in. Went to 300,000,000,000 B.C. 11 zeros. I was in a somewhat dire land when all of a sudden I saw them. The Homemade Oreos I was toddling towards them when I heard and felt a big thump. It got louder and bumpier. Homemade Oreos AND a free roller coaster ride? This was the best day ever! As I was nibbling the Oreos (Jason told me to ALWAYS savor the moment) I saw a big, colossal stuffed animal dino. OMG. Today was the best day ever! Big Ole’ dino started to sniff me all around. Free Fan! Free Oreos! Homemade Oreos!


Then the dino swallowed me whole. I went down to his stomach. That was a cool ride! The tunnel was so slippery and slimy! I was surrounded by a booger green lake. The lake rose barely brushing my toes (I didn’t wear shoes). It hurt! Then the lake receded. Then it went back, harder this time, now up to my knee. I cried in pain. It felt like my baby soft legs were being burned. Suddenly the lake and me came tumbling out. I was perched on the highest mountain as the eye can see. Below me was dino bear. He had a look of regret and shame. He dipped his head to me. So did everything else in the world. As I looked around the land, everyone was bent down. Kinda like bowing down. To me. I like dino bear to this day… And homemade Oreos.

Crossroads of Faith He tore through the woods. Little pathetic fat boy he was. Running away from a cat. What would Ms. Smith think of that? Roger? He could just imagine Jack on the floor, howling with laughter. But he couldn’t help it. Cats freaked him out. The lamp-like eyes, the arched back, the tail. She hated school; the tests, homework, the kids, the teachers. Sure, she may get the highest grades. She may think that school was easy, she may have many friends, but she still hated it. Why did everyone think she’s lucky? She was always forced to do school work, whether at home or


at school. Her parents were always busy, whether it be the law work or the medical patients or the bills. She didn’t have any siblings, unless you count a dead 9 year old brother. One day she decided to run away. He didn’t know where he was. He ran (tripped) so much that his jeans were ripped and his lungs wheezed as he tried to gasp for air. He stumbled on a rock and fell face down like an idiot. “This is it.” he thought. “I’m going to die. I’m starving, sick and wounded, and a bear will come and eat me.” He wasn’t any of those things and there were no bears around. He liked to feel sorry for himself. He heard crunching coming from behind him. “Finally someone noticed me!” he thought to himself. When he turned, he gasped. Walking in the woods was okay, but it was getting a little boring. Nothing but snow, dirt and trees, and the occasional squirrel. She saw what seemed to be a boy on the floor. “Idiot” she thought to herself. But nonetheless, she approached him only to be scared off. It wasn’t sure how it worked out, but it was something about her bravery and his sense of fear that brought them together. Little did they know that there was something down by the water.


To Yosemite I wanted to go to Yosemite National Park. I wanted to be in touch with nature. I don’t want to go to some 5 star hotel this time. I want to go to a camp site- hitch a tent, roast marshmallows over the fire, eat a box of Oreos with the ones I love and jump into a waterfall. Crazy stuff. Day 1 of 14 First thing I noticed: I needed to be on a mountain to take good pictures. Second: Nature is alive. I see everything around me clearer, brighter, vivid. I see flashes of green, red, orange, yellow and the occasional purple. I hear the birds chirping; blue jays, robins, finches and the woodpeckers. So many woodpeckers. I hear the branches being stepped on, the leaves swishing in the wind. The trees stick out in the weirdest positions, and somehow it seems simple. It’s breathtaking. It truly is. Day 6 of 14 We reached a top of a somewhat mountain. All I see are trees. No people. No cars. No buildings. Life without us. I can see the stars at night. All I used to see in the city were planes, disguised as stars. I never want to leave. Day 10 of 14 The air is fresher too. Like someone took a giant net to filter out all the toxins. The sunsets are the best. You see the yellow sun dip under


the trees. The sky filled with pink, orange, yellow, blue. The world going to sleep. I’ll sleep too. Write tomorrow.

His Name is Albert Location: Australia Time: 2:27 p.m., July 19, 2031 Mission: Locate long-lost parakeets Walking along with Albert, my dog, I get a feeling that we’re being watched. We haven’t seen anything for 8 days. Our food supplies now consist of mangoes, bananas, and the occasional coconut. How I miss beef jerky. Why am I even out here? Parakeets probably don’t exist anymore. No cell phones, no wifi, and no beef jerky. Albert stops. Sniffs a tree. I think he’s on to something. Then he raises his leg. He just needed to use the bathroom. Now that I think about it, I need to use the bathroom too. It was at that time when I felt something above me. A bird. A parakeet. It was preening its feathers when one of its tail feathers came loose. It was blue, and green, and black. It was nightfall and I had set up camp. Mmmm. Roast lizard. Albert seemed to love roast lizard. To me, it kind of tastes like roast salamander. A rustle came from behind me. A tiger. Great.


The Meaning of Thanksgiving Many love Thanksgiving because of no school or the huge shopping sales. But the real reason has been buried deep throughout history. Whatever happened to the real reason? For coming together and reflecting on what we were grateful for? To set aside our differences and settling everything on a big meal. I myself was in fact there when the Pilgrims were there, who came in the ships. I remember how the Cherokee were so nice and friendly, and so easy to let the newcomers in (In my opinion, they should have let them starve to death.) In history, we are taught that the Pilgrims came from Europe in the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. That the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and fish. That they became one big happy family. But due to society, we are not taught the real reason of Thanksgiving. This is what really happened‌ The Pilgrims actually arrived in space ships. They were entering the Americas to test the environment, to see how the Natives were taking care of the land. They were very impressed. The Natives used everything they could, and were overall peaceful. The Pilgrim’s king, King Kanine, was a sly king. He decided that the Pilgrims should become great friends with the Cherokee, the Shawnee, Iroquois and all the tribes. Then they would announce the feast in which they would like to pay their thanks. Afterwards, they would take over the lands, kill the Natives, and settle on the continent. Then eventually take over the world. You can see it happening. The Pilgrims gave us


smartphones, TVs, and tablets. They gave us sugar and sickness. They gave us anger and resentment. So be in touch with nature. Be healthy, be happy. And be thankful for what you have. How do I know all this? I am…the one and only… Ghost of the First Turkey. I was slaughtered, just so some aliens could eat my brains out. Since then it has been my mission to stop King Feline (the new king) from completely inhabiting the universe.

I Wonder I wonder. What would happen if I fell off the top of the bridge? Would I fly? Would I fall? Will I disappear like Ronald? Or William? Or Melissa? I wonder where they went. Apparently that’s what Amanda wondered. So she jumped off the bridge. And she disappeared too. About five years ago, Old man Kelly jumped off the bridge. He didn’t seem curious why the people disappeared. He said something about “dying.” I don’t know what that is. Maybe he wanted to color the ocean. Someone saw him floating face down in the ocean. The firemen got him out, but he wouldn’t talk. His face was blue. So I guess the ocean colored him! I wanted to know what happened when you jumped off the bridge. So I did the only reasonable thing to do. I threw my baby brother down. He was very happy, yelling loudly as I


tossed him down. He also went in the ocean. I never saw my brother again, but maybe the ocean colored him, then we would find him. Abby told me that the ocean is a big hotel and you get to stay there forever. Mommy got to go to the big hotel. Maybe she went to look after my brother. I always knew that mommy liked him more than me. Today I laid flat on a rock. My knees had some red liquid on them. It was pretty. And it tasted just like candy. So I put the rocks on my knee. More red stuff came. It was funny. I saw other things coming from the red candy. I saw something pink. It was chewy. There was this white thing that tasted like a lollipop. My leg was gone! I wonder where it went! Maybe it went to the hotel! So I went to the bridge. And I jumped.

Home Me, being a journalist and all, travel around the world. My bed is a place and my routine is, well, non-existent. I’ve been to Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ireland, France, Britain, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Morocco (just to name a few). I’ve been in dangerous situations, being near an active volcano and such. I’ve tried foods from just about everywhere. I’ve seen the view from many balconies. I’ve reported many interesting topics.


But nothing beats home. I’ve tried many foods, but nothing beats mom’s homemade stuff. I’ve been in tough situations, but nothing like being yelled at by my dad. I’ve heard some interesting reports, but nothing like my sister’s love life. I’ve seen great views, but nothing beats our tiny backyard in a small town in Wisconsin. When I come home, it’s like a soldier returning from battle. I get interrogated by my mom-who did you meet?, how was it like?, you’ve lost weight! I live to see my little brother’s astonished face saying, “I saw you on TV!” He is too young to understand what my job is, but he idolizes me just the same. I miss home sometimes. I miss Albert, the good-for-nothing turtle, and Mave, the town’s lucky cow. Sure, the world may be amazing and all, but nothing beats home.

Fitting In I wasn’t really much in middle school. I didn’t really stand out. I followed the rules, I got good grades. I was a good kid. And I hated it. I mean, I didn’t really show it (obviously), but I hated it. It was boring. I would see all those kids who would break the rules and cut class and would stand out. And you would see them grow up to have 3 kids, a job at McDonald’s and no college


degree. Couldn’t there be something in between? Like a kid that’s funny and rebellious and smart, not just one or the other. It’s hard. You’re stuck in a parallel universe, you want to have fun but you also want to be intelligent and you don’t want to make an outlandish decision. So you’re in between. An ehh person. But I didn’t want that. I wasn’t just one thing, but a mixture of many. I was vibrant, different from many. And there are others out there like me, I’m sure; but maybe they don’t have the voice to speak out. They didn’t want people to see them as a loud mouth. I grew up different. I didn’t just stick to one social group. When I settled down to start a family, I taught my kids the valuable lessons of life. I’ve seen them grow older, and start a family themselves. I grew old with my beloved husband, who later died in a nuclear bombing. Alas, my face was wrinkled with age, and I knew my time had come. I had lived a good life, definitely one to remember. I learned that people should be together, but not the same. And that’s my story.


Superstition They say if a leaf crosses your path and lands upright, you are cursed with your throat swelling up until a dog licks your right ear. I didn’t listen. I heard them calling me careless. There aren’t any dogs in the Blue Valleys. I had to venture out into the silver forest to get a fleeting glimpse of the dogs. Even there, the dogs are wild and live in packs. I would have to go out on the border on to the Village of Smog. The next day I packed my things and set off on my journey. I wouldn’t be back until the time of 3 months. Miki, my Russian Blue, tagged along. My throat swelled, just a bit. A week had passed. Everything was running smoothly until the 7th day. I had fallen into a trap.



The Trip I went on a trip. I went to the museum. I learned a lot and facts too. I learned about a mummy, history and ancient history stuff.

The House Once a boy named Alex and his sister Sara were lost. Then they went to a candy house. Then a witch came over. She was flying and said, “My house is your house too.”


Winter Break What I did on break was I went to a party two times for New Year’s and Christmas Eve. I had so much fun. I ate cake that had café in it and on the top of it had fruit like strawberry, kiwi, and mangos. I liked it. Then I danced. I went home and saw a lot of gifts. I got a Monster High doll, 5 of them and a big teddy bear. I couldn’t sleep. On 1-1-15 I went there again. I like it so much better because on New Year’s 2015, when the ball falls, everybody celebrates. I was tired a little.


The Dream I dream that we don’t go to school every day because it’s always boring. Also, more chips like tacos and a lot of ice cream falling in the sky. That’s what I want in my dream.

Poems I wrote your name in the sky But the wind blew it away I wrote your name in the sand But the waves washed it away I wrote your name in my heart And forever it would stay.



The Dragon There was once a fierce dragon, a medieval dragon. It was a beast and he hid in his lair all day. Every day in his lair he held hundreds of gems. So if you defeated the dragon, you would get tons of riches if you could find his hidden cave, but beware. He is the most evil beast in the world with its long serpent-like scales and body and strong tail. You can defeat him and get the treasure, but only if you are a brave knight. And if you do defeat the dragon, you will be legendary because with its claws it will cause massive destruction.



I Am I am a monkey I am a hot dog I am the letter A I am summer I am the sun I am “Call me baby” I am school I am a bat I am sweet I am a killer whale I am flowers I am 108 I am a puppy


In School In school I learn math and living things. I like my teacher. I have so much fun in school

Books When I Open a book Words pop into My head Its wings Open and close Flies anywhere.


Science Class There was a frog named Freddy. Freddy was a good scientist. He had a lab and lots of potions in the lab. But then Freddy wanted to be a human. He tried, tried, and tried. Then he turned into a human and he went out of his lab. He liked the city he lived in, but instead of him staying in the lab where it was a little bit dark, he was walking around the city.



The Wedding Day It’s finally here! It was Aunt Daisy’s wedding day and I, Isabella Manro am the flower girl. My cousin David is the ring bearer since I don’t have a brother. I do have a sister. She is the best. She was already at the Chapel with Dad. She was decorating. Meanwhile, me and Mom were getting ready for the occasion. When we got there, everything was amazing. There was a huge white and pink cake. Pink frosted cupcakes surrounded it. An old lady was stealing some silverware. Other than that, everything was perfect.


Ice Cream World I have a dream that I lived in a world that was made of ice cream. The ice cream would never melt. Everything would be free. It would snow chocolate and rain chocolate milk. Everybody would be nice and I would be a queen. I would wear a crown made of diamonds and rubies.



City Girl One day, Amy woke up and she saw a chicken sitting on her stomach. She screamed and her grandpa heard her. He ran over to where she slept. Amy forgot she was on a farm. “What happened?” asked Amy’s grandpa. “There was a chicken sitting on my stomach!” Amy yelled. “Calm down. It’s only a chicken.” her grandpa said. Amy was a city girl. She had never been on a farm before. She remembered she wasn’t staying on the farm forever. It was just a vacation. She didn’t know what to do on the farm that was fun. All there was to do for Amy was to sit down and do nothing. “Go play like other people.” said her grandpa. “I don’t like getting compared.” said Amy. And vacation continued.


The Watcher “Aliens from space are spying on people on earth. We will have to make a potion that will make everyone one of us.” the Captain told his minions. “Team P., make the potions while Team S. spies on the people.” Some robots entered the spaceship. Captain Three Toes commanded attack. “Warning! Those who they call people have sent these robots to attack us,” said the spaceship computer. “I think they have found out we were spying on them.” Someone said on Team S. Back on earth, there was a huge crowd. Cops were trying to clear out the way. Gun shops have been sold out. The alien spaceships have been lowered down from space and can be seen. The people were shouting like crazy. “Throw the potions!’ yelled the Captain. The minions came off with millions of potions. The aliens splattered all the potions. Many people turned into aliens. All the aliens shot the people who didn’t turn into aliens. “We now own earth. Now we have an extra planet to ourselves!” Captain Three Toes said. “Muuhahahahahahahahaha,” the team said together.


Kangaroo Trouble One day, a boy named Joe was going on a trip on a boat across the Pacific Ocean. They were packing their bags. Joe couldn’t wait to go to the Pacific Ocean. Joe ran to tell his mother where they were going to land. “Where are we landing?” asked Joe. “In Australia.” Joe’s mother replied. Joe ran back into his room to think about going to Australia. “Aren’t kangaroos in Australia?” Joe thought. On the day Joe went on the boat, he asked his mother, “Are we going to see kangaroos?’ “Yes.” said Joe’s mother. By the time he went on the boat, he was thinking. He got worried because he knew kangaroos know how to box. When they landed there were kangaroos everywhere! He started to like kangaroos. Days and weeks passed and Joe’s vacation was about to end. We went back home and continued to do the same things we always did. THE END



Her Story The story I want to tell is the story of her, how everyone views her, but what is she really? She whispers, but her beauty screams. She smiles, but cries inside. She acts normal, but is broken. She is intelligent, but acts ignorant. She has a talent, but acts like she is useless. But why? Because of how everyone views her. She is seen as ugly, useless, ignorant. We shove her against the walls, tease her, steal from her. Bystanders watch unsure of what to do. We just walk on, minding our own beeswax. Why? Because we are afraid, afraid of all the attention being turned on us. It takes one mind, one voice to say, “Hey, leave her alone!� But none of our minds function like that, neither do our voices. If each of us could take one minute of our time to speak up, bullying would be washed out.


I Found I jumped into a pile of leaves and found a red box half buried in the ground. I pulled it out and it had a small lock. I looked around it and on the base it said, “make wise wishes.” I looked at the hole I pulled it from. I saw the small golden key. I tested it to see if it opened. It popped open. There was a note. It read “Don’t waste your wishes. These are very valuable.” Then I saw 25 candles with the same quote, “Don’t be selfish, be thankful.” What was going on? I turned to the back of the note. Directions: light the candle and make wish. Well, what should I do? There were the matches, there were the candles. I lit one up. “I wish…I wish for…” The edges of my lips curled. I made the wish and blew. In front of me it stood…Just waiting to be touched.


Why is Dad Strict? The snow had been falling heavily for weeks now. Tim’s brother, Jacob was still lost. His parents could not sleep for 3 days now because of Jacob’s disappearance. Tim’s Point of View My brother Jacob has been gone for 3 days now, although it has felt like years. I remember how it all happened. Jacob was coming home from school. He told mom that he was hanging with his friends for New Year’s Eve. He went to a restaurant. It was 9 pm, even though he was supposed to come around 8:00. Mom was worried and called all of his friends to see if they knew where he went. They all said he left around 8:30. She was worried sick. I was shaking. She called so many people including my father. She told him if he wasn’t home in 1 hr, she was calling 911. She called around 10:11. They said they were going to investigate tomorrow at 7 am.


At first I did not worry since he was 17, old enough to fend for himself. He was tall and built like steel, very bulky. The next morning, there was a blizzard for 6 or 25 minutes and so many car crashes happened. They called off the investigation. I looked out of the window. All the houses were half buried. It was also freezing, -4degrees F. He could have been under that snow anywhere. 30 Years Later Well, we found Jacob. He washed up on shore. They say he fell off the docks watching fireworks. He was drinking. They say he would have been 47 now. I’m 41. Mom died of a stroke. She never got over Jacob’s death. Dad died naturally. I have a boy, a girl, and a wife. I got over Jacob, but from time to time I tell his story, when they ask why I’m so strict.


I Am I am creative, I am only human I wonder why the stars shine so bright I wonder how blue can the sky get I hear the stars talk me to sleep I hear the wind blowing against me I see beautiful colors of the earth I want world peace I want to end world hunger I am creative, I am only human. I pretend to be a lion, roaring against the ugly truth in the world I feel small I touch upon hope and happiness I worry we are all only human and can’t change anything but ourselves I cry when hope is far I cry when the world tears itself apart I understand we will not be perfect. I say to myself, me and good people have that grip on hope and pull it closer and closer I dream we will all be together. Only the good will rule. I try- but I feel I’m too small to help I hope we will grow our own hope because we can’t seek it in thin air I am creative. I am only human.


Culture In this culture, the people must blink 20 times every time they hear potato or tomato. They take a shower sitting in the tub instead of standing. They pray on their birthdays and celebrate only one holiday, on July 5th, the day of Jump. On this day, they substitute walking with jumping, eat only rice, drink water and pray. At the end of the day, they exchange gifts. Their traditional clothing is green shirts and black skirts or pants and sandals. They live in large groups on the Islands of the Bahamas, mostly feeding off of fish, fruit, plants and birds. They are respectful, but quiet people. In this culture, the family structure is quite simple. The mother and father share equal responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and watching over the children. The elders are most respected. They just relax and sometimes help parents. They are usually leaders of the groups. The children’s part is a simple task. They must focus on studies until they turn 18, when they make their own choices. At the end of the week, Sundays, they get together for a nice celebration and relax as they reflect upon their week. In this culture, everyone is equal and deserves rights.


Jury Duty I had jury duty, me and 11 others, all men. We had to come to a verdict, guilty or not guilty. If we agree on guilty – he will go to the electric chair. “Okay,” the foreman said, “We will first vote to see where we stand. Okay, whoever thinks he is guilty, raise your hand.” Eleven people raised their hand except juror #8. “Okay, we must all agree and come to the same verdict. It is the law.” “Okay, why don’t you think he is not guilty?” “Because...well, I’m conflicted. I know he is guilty, but I can’t just agree and say yeah, we’ll just send him to die.” It took 42 hours to change his mind.



Candy Land If I could dream of anything it would be a world full of candy and if someone tried to stop me they couldn’t because Candy World would have no grown-ups. So that means no dentists and no parents to say, “Stop eating candy!” And everyone has to eat candy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. P.S. Candy Land will be called Candytopia.


During the Break During the break, I celebrated Christmas with my family. It was fun picking out the tree and decorating the tree and the house. What I hated the most was waiting for the snow. During the break, I also went to Times Square. It was hard for me to stay up until 12:00 and when we got home I went to my room fast asleep. Finally, I had to get my mom a present and help my sister and dad prepare for the surprise birthday party for my mom. She loved it.

My Favorite Things My favorite toy is an Easy Bake Oven. It is my favorite because you can make so many delicious treats. My favorite sport is basketball.


Halloween Mystery One day Katy and Melissa were walking in the woods. They were looking for pumpkins because the ones in the woods were really rare. Okay, so they were walking into the woods and they found a house. They thought it would be a good place to stay while the rain stopped, but what they didn’t know was that a witch lived in the house. After 5 minutes later, the witch came back and saw Katy and Melissa. She took out her wand and turned them into wood and put the two pieces of wood into the fireplace. And they were never seen again. TO BE CONTINUED


UMBREEN MOHAMMED Age 18 I Jumped Into a Pile of Leaves I jumped into a pile of leaves And watched them fly Wishing that was me But I could only stand by I wished upon a dandelion I wished upon a star Hoping that I’ll be flying So my family won’t be so far I threw my penny into the well Hoping to see their faces But my eyes could only swell When that wasn’t the case Now that I’m a little older I ask if I could join them It seems they’ve gotten colder Because they said “That’s not the plan”


I Am I am not fond of many things, including this Therefore I’ll rebel and truly show who I am. There’s nothing to wonder, the world is absolute Society is deaf to reality The blind are able to see the truth Wanting is greed put lightly Even I don’t know who I am Feeling is an illusion of the heart I’m numb to the pain of this world The world is safe to those who follow I cry tears of joy What am I? Everything is too complex for the human mind Silence overtakes me when I speak the truth There is nothing but nightmares for a rebel What’s the point in trying to blend in? I guess I don’t know Who I am?


Magical Balloon In the Land of Oz Was a weary wanderer Her head of rose Popped around every corner. She walked the path Of bright yellow bricks A field so vast For a scarecrow named Rick. He was silly as he stumbled And falling with laughter “But I’m dumb,” he grumbled “Believe for your happily ever after. For you’re smarter than you know.” Said the girl in the blue “Thank you,” said the scarecrow “Here’s a string for you.” Trekking through the woods She heard a weak roar There a lion stood Creeping a far “I’m a coward!” he cried Tail between his legs


“I’m afraid to die!” “Life with fear, is no life at all,” she said. Thankful the lion stood strong With courage he roared He felt he belonged And handed a balloon he stored. The young lady traveled And saw a man of metal He clanked and revealed I have no heart “Love is all around us,” Said sweet little Dorothy He shed his rust And smiled happily. In his hand he held The string and balloon “Just a moment” he yelled As big as the moon. The balloon grew He tried the string And away she flew With her magic balloon.


The Old Mansion I entered the old mansion, pushing its creaky door to the side. This mansion did not age well at all. The walls were gray and cracked. Although it was empty, it was full of life; spiders, mosquitoes and who knows what else, crawled around watching me. This place gave me the creeps, but I had no choice. Why couldn’t Jane listen to me just this once? There’s no room for complaining now. I have to find her quick. “Jane, Jane. Where are you?” “Hahaha!” “Jane, is that you?” Well, it had to be. No one else is in this mansion, right? Every step that I took echoed through the large halls. The laughter grew louder and louder, picking up my speed in hopes of catching her quicker. The air breezed in and out of my lungs sharply. The only thing that stood in front of me was two large double doors. A small figure stood in front of a window; the light allowed me to see the silhouette. “Jane, come on. Let’s go!” She didn’t answer. I reached out and grabbed her hand. It was cold and hard. “Jane?” She turned around and all I saw were her dark eyes. “The name is George Washington.” I fainted into a black sea.


Haku The snow as white as the moon sprinkles slow all through noon so beautiful and untainted until red is painted not pure for long for the beast will hunt monstrously strong even your knife is blunt


TAMZID RAHMAN Age 14 The Man Who Has No Imagination Has No Wings I am a man who has no life, no education and has to struggle for my family. I tried to be a novelist, no work. I tried to be a doctor, no luck. What should I just do? To me I was thinking of how my life is going. My dad passed away, my mom can barely feed us and my sister was deprived her education. My dream is what no man had ever thought about. I will be a person who just felt as hopeless. I wrote and wrote and showed it to everyone. Until a woman said your writing is as precious as gold. I had thought to be a baby sitter because I love children, but I am just 13, or wait how about a Nurse, but nurses have a hard education. Then, soon I stared at the sky, and dreamed with my eyes shut and saw those words: “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” And it’s probably true, my imagination is hopeless. I am a writer who gets his ideas from a


life as a teenager. Like really I expect to be like this, wandering in the streets and seeing what it’s like to be as a teen. But the difference is that I don’t have an imagination, but most teens do. I just learn them by looking for them in the streets, and then Bam!!! I write it down like many authors like Stephen King, John Green, Suzanne Collins and Stephen Hawking. They have these remarkable words and ideas of wisdom. Like John Green wrote about a girl named Hazel who has cancer. Cancer….cancer is in today’s life. At least one person dies from cancer in one day. A quote that I recommend for you is: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” So this quote I just said by Les Brown means that even if you want to accomplish your goals, but if you miss you have a chance to land among the stars. Look at the night sky and you will see what is going to happen if you wish among one of the stars.


There Will Be War and Peace In the country of Russia, a princess named Natasha Henstry was alone in her kingdom. She had no life, but to stay in the kingdom with her father. It was the war between France and Moscow in 1865. The governor in Moscow wanted everyone to start preparing for war. Princess Natasha was busy in the kingdom preparing for the party. A man in the party, Andrew Morgan was the famous soldier. He was so nice and intelligent. He told Natasha that if she did not want him, then he will die. The hand maiden thought it was a beloved romance, but Princess Natasha disagreed. In France, Napoleon Bonaparte and his crew were ready, but in Moscow people were shocked at what was going to happen. The fight started on June 26, 1865 and was a struggle for the people in Russia. France was taking almost 1/5 of Russia’s territory. Princess Natasha poisoned herself and died. The mother tried to call the doctor quickly, but it was impossible. So she committed suicide and Andrew shot himself. There will always be one life, One love and one belief. There is passion, secrets and betrayal. But there will always be War and peace.


Dream It, Achieve It When I think about culture, I think about hope. Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is when you first meet God in heaven. When you first think of the word culture, you might be blank, but most people think of hope as a dove. Hope is when you first met your mother and father. Hope is when you are kissing in the stars. Hope is when you found your first true love. When you think about hope, it is similar to just one thing. But it is more inside your heart. Hope is when you see the dark blue of midnight. Hope has two things: morning and night. People go to work and then sleep. Hope is when you see the moon and stars. Most of all, it is part of faith. Hope helps faith by its mercy and abstinence. But if you get to the point, what surrounds it is affecting it. Like kids with their phones and tablets and there are less kids in the parks and playgrounds. See what it is faced with.


A Cabin Fever It was a fine winter day. I was relaxed and felt as cool as a cucumber, until my mother came and told the family that we were going out to uncle and aunt’s cabin in the woods. Like how likely it would be fun like that. I was sarcastic. I remember one time I was attacked by a wolf, but Uncle Stuart said that there were no wolves in the woods. Like how come I got attacked? As we went to the family car, it took about 3 hours to get from New York to Pennsylvania. I felt bored with my teenaged sister Gloria and my baby brother Adam. Adam was crying in the car within two and a half hours. I just want to like squeeze his throat so hard. But I am 14 and was volunteering at a college which you might not be jealous and it is NYU. Like really, they just accept me for who I am. And I am, no matter what, a boy with a dream. Until we arrived. Aunt Lucie gave each of us a kiss. It was so gross with her crusty lips kissing us on our forehead. But as soon as we went inside, it was like a dream. Inside was heat and felt so warming. It is like we won’t even get blankets. We could even sleep without a pillow, either. For lunch was a delicious white cheese sandwich with chicken. And Aunt Lucie’s food is much better than mom’s. Soon my mom just rolled her eyes and didn’t care. As Uncle Stuart came from his driveway, I tried to open the door, but the door was locked. Uncle Stuart couldn’t even open the door. I told Aunt Lucie and she said it was open for a long time. I tried and tried, but soon I accidentally broke the door knob. I told Aunt Lucie and the whole family, but it was hopeless. So now Uncle Stuart is going to be buried under the snow and


the whole family is going to melt. First I thought it was going to be fun inside a comfortable cabin that’s warm. Well, it’s not. It feels like being baked from an oven and it’s not funny. So what should the family do? What should Uncle Stuart do?

Ethereal: The Home Across the Bridge I am Clark. My life had started perfectly until a pair of cops came after me. I was shocked until my life is about to be destroyed right about now. I had lost everything and soon got back home. When I went upstairs, my brother Todd was playing a game. The game starts by an injection and leads toward a new world of reality. As you cross the bridge, a frame will show a destination and if you lose the game., there will be no way out. Todd so far won like 200 games in a row. So far I want to challenge him by a new game. A new game about a future to its presence. I offer my brother a turkey sandwich and he replied a, “No thank you.” As we went outside to the repair thrift shop I traded in a very expensive antique belt, and sold it for the one and only Orpheus. The Orpheus is the crystal that can lead to a roadway of tranquility and peace to another world. As my brother points out to another thing above. It was a Volsuga, which the old man replied that if you enter a beam would spark and you enter a game. This is not an ordinary game. It is a game of knowledge. The iron joint in the bridge lets you


move to another dimension. Once you lose, there will be no life and you can’t come back to reality. When my brother stole the Vosulga. I came running to chase him. It was not just the Vosulga but he took the Orpheus as well. The police are behind us and we have nothing to do. So he ran upstairs to the house, but I was slow and was caught by the police. The police told me that they will give me another chance if I return it, and I said never. So I used my action skills to fight them and escape. Like I always say, “Because reality is not a game – it’s a choice” The police are too slow to catch me, but within weeks I finally went to my house. And we are going to play the game. We are going to the bridge. We are going to beat the game, and most of all we are … Ethereal

The Doll That She Ever Wanted Once there was a family, a mother named Carol and a father named Steve. Steve was a poor person. He had only $10 dollars. He can’t be able to serve food and treasure. Carol has a golden necklace given to her grandmother. But they have two beloved children. “Hey, my loved ones, what do you want for Christmas?” said the father. Gabriella replied, “Daddy, I want to have a book, Little Women.”


“How about you Christine?” said the father. “Hmm. I always dreamt to have the doll in the toy store.” said Christine. When the father went to the toy store, the book Little Women was $1.99, but he needed to get the doll for Christine. When he got the doll, it was $15.46. “Please cashier, could you do anything? I have only $10 dollars.” said Steve when he was begging. “Sorry Sir. Rules are rules. Buy the doll or just leave.” said the cashier. But as Steve looked through the window, there was a music box. The music box has a ballerina twirling and has the song from Swan Lake. When he asked the cashier how much the music box cost, it was on sale for $5.26 and that was a miracle for his Christmas day. When Steve went home, “Surprise, daddy’s home.” said Steve. “Finally, you got my book.” said Gabriella. “Oh, Yahhhh…did you get my doll?” said Christine. “Christine, can I talk to you for a moment?” said Steve. “Sure dad, what do you want?” said Christine. Steve replied, “Daddy couldn’t afford the doll that you wanted and I wanted to give you this, a music box.” When Christine opened it, she was crying because it was much better than a doll because it came from her father’s heart. “So are you mad at me, Christine?” said the father. “No, it is the most pleasuring thing you ever gave me.” said Christine. And Christine gave a hug to her father and Steve kissed her forehead and was crying with joy. So it was a happy, and a cherished Christmas. It doesn’t matter what is in the mind, but what is also in the heart.


I Am I am talented and intelligent. I wonder what is the meaning of life in a human’s heart. I hear the ocean moving in the water. I see the color of midnight blue and how the stars glisten and twinkle around the moon. I want to see my mother smile because I had never seen her smile at all in my heart. I am insecure and smart. I pretended to be a step brother so I could scare my sister. I feel that there is a light feather beside my funny bone to tickle me. I touch the hand of my mom when I was born


I worry that someday I will die at a young age I cry when I lose my friends in my middle School I am a novelist and a surgeon. I understand what it is like to have responsibility I say that we should stop child labor. I dream that someday every child in the world will make a difference. And someday I will be like Nelson Mandela. I try my best to be a smart student but it is hopeless. I hope that someday I will have my family and I have a new house and we all are gonna have a nice life. I am who I wanna be.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower It was a nice Fall, and the leaves were turning red and golden crispy. It was the first day of school and it is not just school. It was high school. I was wondering what is going to happen to me. Am I smart? Is my IQ going to rise? I just don’t know what is happening. Until when I just fell by some 11th grade boy and soon saw him. His hair was moving left to right as if he was like Elvis Presley. I just love his blue eyes and his what…birth mole. And I was grossed out because like how could someone not be easily noticed with that. Like really, I just wanted to shave it so badly. But I am just so obsessed with his face. Luckily first period bell rang and it was English class. I felt as if I was claustrophobic. Soon I met friends like Sam for her intelligence and Mark for his sense of being idiotic. So we called ourselves “the perks of being a wallflower.” We just took that name from a book by Stephen Chbosky. Somewhere I will find my dream book because I am a book lover. The first question that the teacher said was “Who was the first author who wrote dark gruesome satires in the late 1800s and was drunk while he wrote them?” When I looked at the class, no one raised their hand. So the teacher Mr. Marcus looked at my binder on which I just wrote Edgar Allan Poe, which was the right answer. I wrote it on my paper because I was so shy when I was in Middle School. And he said to me just “Meet me after class.” Sam was in class just busy eating a large carton of Oreos and soon was stuffing tissues in Eli, the Geek’s, desk. So when I realized


that, Mark was so quiet. I just saw him doodling in his journal. When Mr. Marcus told me to talk to him, he just told me to participate more often. Then later, 2nd period was Chemistry which was a heart attack because Mark was caught doodling and Ms. Watson showed the drawing in class; only to realize that the drawing was just what’s going to happen in World War III. And I was like 3rd period 4th period was the worst thing and it was Algebra I. I just couldn’t stand it if I failed the Regents once like what is going to happen. 5th period was lunch and I was like finally I could eat my sandwich. This time I was actually sleeping until Sam woke me up and gave me a blueberry pie. And I told her that she was sweet. To tell the truth, Mark is like the idiot person in the school and has a grade point average of 2.81 and a letter grade of a C-. 6th period was wood chuck class and you are right, you have to make something out of wood. So Mr. Welch was the teacher and the assignment was to make a wooden clock from the 1700s that works perfectly and must have a robin that tweaks. The last period which was finally going to finish was gym. Like gym is Mark’s favorite subject. Come on people. Just shut your mouth. I wanted just to sleep in gym. I believe that gym is not even a subject. When school was over, Sam said bye to me and was going to her Nursing class and Mark invited me to go to a party, but wait...What party plus you don’t have any friends. So what kind of party is it and did you send an invitation to me because I am a freshman?” TO BE CONTINUED



R.I.P Turkey Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday to be grateful. About what? Natives helping Pilgrims? That’s all?!! I mean hello, they trapped you as slaves and you’re giving them food. You know, come to think about it, I don’t even think they had turkey! I think it was buffalo or maybe fish? Anyway, people then decide they wanna make that “feast” a holiday called Thanksgiving which will be the last Thursday of November. Ok Lincoln, bruh, first of all the feast was in October. Second, WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING THIS AFTER WHAT 600 OR 500 YEARS LATER?! FOR REAL! Anyway, my next problem is with Tom the Turkey. Why Tom? Why not Theodore or Teddy or Trex. If you wanted a 3letter word, what about Bob? Bob the builder was pretty good. Now if this was all lies I was talking about then I really hate Social Studies. I forgot my textbook and this was all I remember. I hate Social Studies and mostly History. I mean do we have to really learn about the dead? I mean really vodu. School should really be canceled for that! Hey I’m hungry. What’s for dinner? Oh and by the way, it better not be Tom the Turkey because I do not like that. Give me Henry the Ham or Cassie the Chicken.


Falcon Lover Hello Falcon Lovers. I have finally understood the “Chicken Pox.” Yellow and brown. It finally makes sense! I am a giraffe. I deserve to run in the planes of Africa with my people. I have also lost a subscriber. Don’t worry my 3 subscribers. I will post my first video soon. I will get my people safe. We will unite. Please subscribe to FalconLoverxxxXXxxx. Together we will run together around the planes of Africa. Don’t hate. Peace. FalconLoverxxXXxxx Meanwhile in Africa the giraffes are still continuing to find out what is a computer and how to work it and what is YouTube. The world we live in tsk, tsk, tsk. Oh well, this is a sign that we will live the life as blonde white girls who don’t understand life. Just their phones. Brought to you by a PewdiePie true story FalconLoverxxXXxxx


10 Reasons Why I Hate School TEACHERS The teacher is just weird. This will include your bossyknow –it-all dean, your boring ELA teacher and the students trying to be smart but not really smart and comes out a fail. STUDENTS The students are kind of like your average mean bully. So how I like to think about it they try to make your life AWFUL! NON-STOP TALKERS These people are the 2 faced people, act nice and sweet. They are ok with you. Do something they don’t like you’re in with lectures. So take my advice, goes in one ear, comes out the other. HOMEWORK So most teachers are really evil, mean, (may be a wizard or witch). So those people give you homework on the first day and it may take about 2-3 years. THE BLAME This may or may not happen to you but most teachers may blame you for just you know having no life and they’re really bored. Or it may be just because yep they hate you A LOT.


BFFS So you may be like “What? Why BFF?” Because of 1 thing: SPOILED. They’re always talking about their summer. “Oh, I went to Europe and had a V.I.P. pass with Zayn Malik!” In my head I said, “I was trying to get a life.” BACKSTABBERS So these people are those who were so close to you but then they have to hate you the next year like why? BECAUSE YOU’RE BEING YOURSELF You know when they say when you’re on a date “BE YOUR SELF!” Not in school. You do that, more bullying. So, don’t be yourself. THE UNIFORM Now most schools aren’t doing uniforms, but now most do. The uniform is nastyful.* I mean, hello, it’s 2014. Change the clothes already! IT JUST SUCKS People, come on. We have a life, so why go to school! We could sleep late, watch TV, and play the computer. Why go to school? It is nastyful. *NASTYFUL / NAS-tee-ful / adjective Definition: A mixture of nasty and awful


I Am I am someone who laughs a lot and is quiet I wonder will it ever snow? I hear thunder and people yelling I see pollution wherever I go I want a phone really badly I am someone who laughs a lot and is quiet. I pretend I’m an elf who always plays pranks I feel lost and alone when I’m at school I touch the tree which looks like it’s about to die I worry that I feel like I’m too short or young I cry when I’m invisible and being hurt I am someone who laughs a lot and is quiet. I understand when you feel alone and no one is there I say who needs them when you have yourself to turn up I dream that you’re not alone or invisible I try to make my family to be proud of me I hope I’ll be that butterfly while everyone else is still that caterpillar I am someone who laughs a lot and is quiet.


Push Yourself I thought I had friends, real, true, loyal friends. I guess you have to be that girl who is a spoiled person who is popular, pretty and has brains. But not me. My life is full of poop. People thought I had depression problems, but I don’t. My “best friend” Michelle only likes me because all of the teachers just do. She envies me because I was an elf in 5th grade. A teacher now finally gives her a chance to help her. She also asks for another one that she can pick. That’s when my heart ripped in half. She picked Sabine. A girl who everyone likes. I go to my Guidance Counselor and tell her. The thing she told me is why I’m here, how I live today. Ms. Debalsio (my guidance counselor) told me. “Sometimes people like you because of what you have or did. I always tell my kids, push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.” So I did. Every little thing I did made me proud. That’s why I look like this now, the first lady President, making the country safe from war or anything. “So thank you, the citizens of the United States for electing me for your President.” Out of nowhere, Zombie Michelles and Vampire Michelles, did I mention Werewolf Michelles too, came and were about to eat me. My little sister Deon woke me up and told me to get ready for school. As I was getting ready, I remembered my dream. So now I really truly do know. If you want to be successful in life, you have to…PUSH YOURSELF BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU.


Holidays Holidays. There. I said it. Holidays. I hate them all, each one of them. They’re so stupid. How could someone even like them? You may think that I’m weird or that I’m a secret cat writing this. Or even a unicorn who is eating a corndog and writing this. It all started something, sort of, kinda like this. Each holiday, Christmas, Easter, even Halloween, you get something, but I can’t. It’s a big no or people take it as a joke. What you didn’t see coming is that I am a cat that is eating a corndog and writing this, that we will take over the world. Every holiday, even your birthday, will be eliminated. Cats and our friends the unicorns will get our tacos and corndogs and fight each one of you till June 26. Well hey, school’s over. We just gave you a life. Be glad. June 26 is the last day of school, what, you thought we killed you? Nah, we’re not that mean.=P Don’t hate. Donate to #CatandUnicornswith tacos and corndogsgetYouALifeByDestroyingHolidays. P. S.: The only time we will make an exception is when there is a break…because hey, there’s no school. P. S. S.: Our fight starts on the first day of school. P. S. S. S.: Maryam said hi!


My Story...When I Was 5 “Nostril hair was on me. I was a maiden that used to live in the village. The king announced that whoever gets Sleepy out of here will be the new ruler. I didn’t want to be one, trust me. I just went because my brother forgot to return a toy to one of the kids here. ‘Calm down Kate. You have a bow and arrow somewhere right?’ I said searching in my bag. I literally lost it when Sleepy here sneezed and got snot on me. The sad part was I’m still in the nose. Then I thought will I die in a dragon’s nose. Yea, I forgot to tell you Sleepy’s a dragon. Then I do what a 5 year old would do; act like a spoiled little brat and scream. The dragon got me out and said sorry. He also promised never to come back ever again. The end.” I told my classmates. Everyone clapped for me again. And you know what? Ms. Dede gave me a cookie because I told the story at story time. Living the life as a kindergartener is awesome.



Neutral Days She didn’t know how to feel. She didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. She had lived through one of her “neutral” days. That’s Hasheem. She is well, for the most part, an average kid. For the other part, she’s a psycho, asylum escaped, 23 year old. Anyway, back to the point: It was an awesome Thursday. Hasheem’s last period class was Ms. Fuller. Hasheem was finished with questions 2-6 and was reading. She then felt a tap on her shoulder and turned around. No one. She had a feeling it was Dawnson, who was known for grabbing people and pushing them down. Hasheem threw this thought away. Besides, Louis Ducan was just hitting his climax in his book. As she turned to her book, she saw an envelope. Her eyes gazed at Ms. Fuller. She winked and mouthed: “Open it.” Just as Hasheem was about to reply, Ms. Fuller said, “Pack up!” since their school didn’t have a bell. Hasheem grabbed her bag and homework and ran out. She had to meet Katelyn at the library. As Hasheem came to her table’s usual spot, she spotted Jayly at the table. She was also one of Hasheem’s friends. They were insulting each other as usual. “B-censored!” “A-censored!”


Hasheem sat down. As her mouth opened to speak, someone yelled, “Jayly! I can’t reach the book!” followed by jumping attempts. It was Josie, Jayly’s little brother. Jayly sighed, “Well, better get the book.” She said. “What’s up with your hair?” Katelyn asked. Hasheem usually had her hair in a pony tail, but now she had it in a failed attempt of a bun. Insulted, Hasheem retorted, “What’s up with your face, jerk?” Instantly, Katelyn began to cry. “YOU’RE SO MEAN!” she yelled and ran out of the library. “What?” Hasheem thought.”Was that really insulting? Perplexed, she left without saying another word. When she got home, it was around 6:30. As she was doing her algebra equations, she nearly forgot about Ms. Fuller’s envelope. Immediately, she took it out of her black binder. When she opened it, she was shocked. It was a job application for the school’s library. The salary plus her regular job’s salary would just get her by with her rent. All of this happened on a neutral Thursday. “Oh! How I wish it was Friday!” Hasheem said sort of dreamily, hugging the application tightly in her arms.


When You’re Stuck in Snow You’d think being the way I am I would enjoy snow blizzards, but I don’t. Even though Ms. Talerfir showed us the “4 Wondrous Seasons” and I wrote that I liked winter, I lied. Well, not really. Here’s why I HATE the other seasons: Fall – I don’t like school. I don’t like school. I HATE SCHOOL! Spring – You don’t know what happens to me when it rains. Summer – You wouldn’t like to see me in the heat. Back to the point: It’s snowing REALLY hard, and I can’t feel my legs. My mom’s loving it though. She’s squealing and laughing and acting like she is 6. My aunt groans. My auntie used to be REAL cheerful and funny, but after her wedding, oh boy. All she wants to talk about is him. “He’s so cute!” “I love him!” They give each other pet names and say, “You complete my soul.” But she was flirting with the servant. Now she’s saying, “Grow up!” Mom sticks her tongue out. I really wish my brother were here. He would just yell and everyone, except mom, would shut up. Do you know who I am? (Frosty the Snowman)


Caught Cheating “Yo dawg, what you doin’ with Angela?” one of Marty’s friends questioned. He was trying to be “cool” using his “slang”. But Marty didn’t answer. It was 3 years after he met Rose. In that time, they got married, had 3 kids, freshed up, and both got jobs. Rose became a construction worker and Marty became a teacher. He was in the lounge, flirting. But, how could he not? Angela had long, chestnut brown hair, and crystal clear, sea-green blue eyes. Today she was wearing a black short dress with big, white pearls. Donald (who asked the question) was here because he needed change for $10, since it was break time from his café, 2 blocks away. Marty is caught. Angela took a flirtatious look at Donald and smiled. “Me and Mr. Marty were just talking.” She finished softly. Donald shook his head and left. When Marty came home, he was shocked to find this note on the fridge: Marty, Sweetie, my mother’s not feeling well. The kids never really got to know her, so before she goes… The note ended in tear stains, but Marty only smiled. Well, at least he and Angela could be alone. *Marty’s wife actually left him for Donald.


Love’s Problem “I’m in love!” Daphne cried. “Good for you.” Gabby grumbled. Not that Gabby envied Daphne; that’s not the case. But when your sister falls in love every 5 minutes looking at guys on Instagram, Facebook and so on, it’s VERY annoying. So far, Daphne’s rambling about a guy named Troy or Alex who has extremely good looking hair. Gabby sighed. Why couldn’t her sister be like her? - Smart, responsible, and confident. He WAS the one. Sure, what happened with Luke ended badly. And Mule. But that didn’t matter. This guy was dead hot. Something about him made him look like the dude in Twilight (hint, hint). He was single, 18, and lived about three miles away. Tonight, Daphne thought, We will meet in secret.




A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS As a small, grassroots organization, NY Writers Coalition relies on the generous support of those dedicated to getting the voices of those who have been silenced heard. Many thanks go to our foundation, government, and corporate supporters, without whom this writing community and publication would not exist: Allianz GI,, the Bay and Paul Foundations, Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Kalliopeia Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, the Pinkerton Foundation, the Tiger Baron Foundation, and the Two West Foundation. NYWC programming is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. We rely heavily on the support of individual NYWC members and attendees of our annual Write-A-Thon. In addition, members of our Board of Directors have kept this vital, rewarding work going year after year: Louise Crawford, Marian Fontana, Sandy Huang, Matthew Krejcarek, Lisa Smith, Jonathan Tasini, and NYWC Founder and Executive Director Aaron Zimmerman. Many thanks to Allison Nagel and the staff at Cortelyou Library and William Lewnes, Charles Moran, and Matt Cole at the Kensington Branch. We would also like to thank Nancy Sanchez-Taylor, NYWC’s volunteer workshop leader (and her “twin” Jackie Glasthal for her continued support and encouragement), who was instrumental in making this book happen, plus the dedicated young writers at Brooklyn Public Library’s Kensington and Cortelyou Branches.



A BOUT NY W RITERS C OALITION NY Writers Coalition (NYWC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that creates opportunities for formerly voiceless members of society to be heard through the art of writing. One of the largest community-based writing organizations in the country, we provide free, unique, and powerful creative writing workshops throughout New York City for people from groups that have been historically deprived of voice in our society, including atrisk, disconnected, and LGBT youth, homeless and formerly homeless people, those who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, war veterans, people living with disabilities, cancer, and other major illnesses, immigrants, seniors, and many others. For more information about NYWC programs and NY Writers Coalition Press publications visit WWW . NYWRI TER SCOALI TION . ORG


HEART, MIND, THEN PAPER Writing from Brooklyn Public Library Cortelyou & Kensington Branches NY Writers Coalition Press is proud to present Heart, Mind, Then Paper: Writing from Brooklyn Public Library Cortelyou & Kensington Branches. a collection of poetry and prose from NYWC creative writing workshops for youth in Brooklyn. Featuring writing from Julia A. G. F., Mie Abouelkheir, Mahmoud Abouelkheir, Hafsa Anwar, Hussna Buldan, Ahmed Buldan, Randy Cadet, Richalda Coulanges, Elena Gamboa, Maria Hashmi, Carmen Jimenez, Joseph Junicic, Brook Junicic, Sabina Khan, Mohammed Lebaili, Sarah Lebaili, Miehema Mishi, Umbreen Mohammed, Tamzid Rahman, Maryam Tariq, and Amna Tariq. Edited by Nancy Sanchez-Taylor. Learn more about NYWC Programs and NYWC Press at




Heart, Mind, Then Paper