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Bishop Canevin Oracle


Letter from the Editor Welcome to the 2020 Spring Edition of the Bishop Canevin Oracle. The Oracle is the school’s literary magazine which showcases the best of students’ creative efforts in the fields of poetry, short fiction, topical essays, photography, and art. Though this magazine has been regularly published for decades, the circumstances under which this issue is being released are anything but ordinary. It is easy, in our current crisis, to ignore these simple and seemingly trivial things that bring some degree of enjoyment to our days. Despite these circumstances, I would say there is no better time for the arts, no better time for creativity, and no better time to collect one’s thoughts through the medium of writing. The poetry in this issue contains many meditations and reflections on our common home, our situation, our happy places, and many of the issues which we currently confront as a society. This book is dedicated to the Class of 2020 of Bishop Canevin. In particular, many seniors contributed poetry and artwork to this book. The beautiful cover design was created by Jenny Umalin ’20. As our class prepares for graduation, we will have to go without many of our treasured traditions. However, though so many things will change, some will also remain the same. As our community faces these uncertain times, I hope that this magazine will serve as momentary joy and distraction, but also as a lasting record of our emotions during this turbulent era.

Joel Skelley Oracle Editor


Index of Contributors Senior Class Connor Adamski Linda Ashby Julia Balobeck Lilly Chabala Timothy Durkin Alex Fuchs Alexa Malloy Sam Simpson Joel Skelley Junior Class Francis Skindzier Sophomore Class Mia Altman Willie Banks-Hicks Halle Bergman Carolyn Bigley Alysha Cutri Katie Drauch Justin Gmys Sani Jones Morgan Kindle Lauren Kirsch Mac Johnson Renee LaGrosse Ian Lecker Sophie Maida Jake Phillips Cecelia Sciullo George Shorthouse Theresa Skindzier


The Ocean By Theresa Skindzier    An endless sphere of water  around the land on which we stand,  once thought to have poured off the ends of the earth.    Its body colored of greens and blues.  Its life within like another world.  Its depths holding secrets once lost by the young and old.    Winds blow across the water.  Water carries afloat the ships.  Ships sail voyages to destinations where they may never arrive.     Waves crashing, thunder rumbling  from north or south, cold or warm  But as all else, this too shall pass,  and water will regain its calm.  The Lonely Limerick By Julia Balobeck   

I sit here in my room, in this world filled with gloom  waiting for the light to shine   hoping everything will be fine  waiting for the flowers to bloom.  The Peaceful Limerick   Life is good on a farm  Where the animals do no harm  Peaceful and green  After a successful glean  What a calm and beautiful charm.


ABCs of an Empty Heart By Renee LaGrosse   Andre woke up with a start,  Because there was emptiness in his heart.  Couldn’t shake this unruly feeling,  Delilah stared into her ceiling.  Even though the two have not met,  Falling in love was the next step.  Getting ready to start their day,  Hearts both empty, filled with dismay.  If only they were to meet,  Just one look from across the street,  Kiss and tell?  Lips kissed on the stairwell.  Morning came way too fast,  November soon passed.  Once their hearts were made of stone,  Pictured together, true love shown.  Quite a story this may be,  Remember how Andre and Delilah became Mr. and Mrs. Zee.  Separate lives,  Torn hearts,  Universal love,  Vows,  Weddings,  Xenia, Ohio,  Young kids come and play,  Zeal for true love any day.       

Artwork by Carolyn Bigley


ABCs of an African Safari By Alysha Cutri

Annually my family and I go on a trip to Africa.  By the time we get there, everyone is exhausted from traveling.  Commanding as the travel is, the trip is worth it.  During the days we go out on safaris.  Every day the safaris are a great learning experience.  Families often come with us on the safaris.  Giraffes are usually the first thing we end up seeing.  High above the shorter trees we see their necks and heads.  I especially like the giraffes because of their blue tongues.  Just in case of an emergency, there is always a doctor on board. Kids are screaming in the back of the safari jeep.  Later we see my dad’s favorite animal, meerkats.  “Meerkats can recognize each other’s voices.” This is a fact the safari guide gives us.  Not only do meerkats recognize each other’s voices, they also, interestingly, have gang fights.  Other than giraffes and meerkats, we’ve seen animals that I’ve never even heard of.  Pangolins were the next animal we came across. I had absolutely no clue what they were.  Quietly the safari guide spoke as we passed the pangolins because a few of them were asleep.  Rushing past the cheetahs was impossible to do with their speed.  Surely we were almost done with the safari for the day.  Though we were almost done, we still had a few more animals to see.  Ugliness was the only word to describe the next animal we were to see.  Very carefully we crept by this massive animal.  White rhinoceroses were one of the only things we had left to see. Xrays were then showed to us of the skull of a white rhinoceros.  Yearning for one last animal, my mom’s favorite, our safari guide moved forward.  Zebras, my mom’s favorite, were everywhere. Afterward, we headed back for much needed rest. 


Alien ABCs By Ian Lecker

Aliens are friendly you will come to find.  Bob, Dan and Joe are my alien friends.  Can you imagine what goes on in their minds?  Digo Digo is where they are from.  Earth is not their home.  Far away is where their world lies.  Go straight across the galaxy and that’s where it is.  Have you ever thought about a far away place?  I have, but it’s nothing like the home they talk about.  Just listen to them and you’ll be surprised.  Knights, wizards and kings are on their planet, too!  Lions, tigers, bears, just like us!  Many of the aliens have pets.  None of the aliens like to be alone.  One of the aliens has a dog with three arms.  Plenty of the animals are different out there.  Quite a crazy night indeed!  Rare creatures, old creatures, strange Artwork by Alysha Cutri creatures, new creatures!  Some of the creatures even talk.  There is nothing like an alien zoo,  Unless you’ve seen a zoo on Earth.  Very interesting is what the things on Earth are.  What a beauty our home on Earth is.  Xylophones, animals, humans are just some of the great things on Earth.  You can explore amazing things, even in your own backyard.  Zillions and zillions of things special to our home. Earth is so special; just take a look yourself ! 


You Are By My Side By Carolyn Bigley  

After all this time, I still find myself unworthy of a friend like you.  Best friends we are, and best friends we stay.  Cold winter nights spent under fuzzy blankets while laughing over nothing.  Dreamy summer evenings passed on the lawn as our noses burn under the sun.  Every hour spent together is an hour I won’t forget.  FaceTiming with you flies by and, before you know it, it’s well past midnight.  Goodbyes are never easy but, with you, they are the hardest.  Having you by my side is what brought me this far.  I am so lucky to have you in my life.  Joking around with you eradicates my negative emotions in an instant.  Kardashian marathons last for days with you.  Lazy Sundays of doing nothing together is more fun than any party we could attend.  Mario Kart tournaments that get taken a little too far as we throw playful insults back and forth.  Nothing compares to the joy I feel when we are together.  Our bond is unbreakable.  Please, never change.  Quietly whispering snarky remarks during class helps us through the long days at school.  Rainy days give us an excuse to avoid everyone else.  Sleepovers on Fridays are the only thing that encourages me to finish the week.  Together, we have come so far.  Ups and downs we have faced never seem to phase us.  Venting about all of our troubles while crying on a phone call.  Without you, I don’t know where I’d be in life.  Xenial visits have turned into random ones, and it just feels natural.  You are all I need in life.  Zero worries fill my mind when I know I have you by my side.  


My Best Friend By Sani Jones   All day we talk  But there’s always more than meets the eye  Caring and thinking about you has become second nature  Daring to tell you how I feel has become a battle I’m not sure how to handle  Every conversation holds endless laughter  Frankly I never realized that I could be so sure about something.  Gathering the courage to let you know the truth is much easier said than done  Hearing your laugh, knowing you’re at peace even for a second  Instead of doubts I feel content with you, my best friend  Just because you don’t see how perfect you are doesn’t mean I don’t  Knowing that you don’t see your worth boggles me day after day  Looking at you and knowing that there’s no one better  Making up dumb sayings we always say to each other  Never doubting for a second that you’re my favorite person  Opening my phone with hopes that you’ve responded  Perhaps it’s unfair to keep this from you  Quite frankly, I’m not sure how to even put these feelings into words  Regardless of what happens  So many memories have been made  Through any doubt you ever have about yourself  Undoubtedly I’m never leaving your side  Varying scenarios have occurred on how I could tell you  With that being said,  X-rays couldn’t even penetrate my mind.  You deserve to know, so maybe  Zoning out in your eyes 100 more times might be what will break this secret.   


America’s Pastime By Justin Gmys   America’s pastime is what it’s called  Baseball is its name  Come down to the ballpark  Don’t forget your glove  Eat before you go  Food is expensive  Good it still is, though  Having a great time is what it’s all about  Infielders making great plays will make you shout  Joyful memories to be made  K’s going back and forth like a trade  Long home runs are the best  Moving through the air, it will make you obsessed  Now that it has landed, it’s back to playing  Over the game is, my parents are saying  Pittsburgh Pirates lost again  Quirks of being a Pirates fan, I guess  Remember when they were so good  Sad that I wasn’t born yet to see that  Though the Pirates might be bad  Under the surface I am actually glad  Visiting the ballpark makes a great day  Wishing that we could stay  Xenacious the game of baseball might be  Zestful it is, forever to me.

Photograph

by Alysha Cutri


I Can’t Take It By Matthias Hirst   I am so frustrated!  People are on my nerves.  I have a huge feeling of ennui,  And teachers are giving so much work!  Sedition is my foremost emotion currently.    I did not know how long this would last.  I did not prognosticate that I would be so annoyed.  My brazen frustration and annoyance are overflowing  And I feel like a sinner.    This really is an inscrutable time.  I don’t know what to expect  Or when I will even see my friends again.    I’m so sad today.  I feel like I’m trapped in a bubble  And the bubble is my house  And my life has lost so much.  What is my purpose?  When can I shine again outside?    I know God will help me shine in my house.  I just need to listen for what He says  And when shall I expect my Paean  To arrive and bring me happiness?    I can’t take it…….or can I?                                


This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen By Matthias Hirst   Well, this is quite a nebulous phase.  I don’t really feel too good right now.  Um, are we all aware of how difficult this is?  I think, I know, we all need some aplomb.    Watch out! It’s a barrage of disease!  A tower of horror…..  A token of fright……  An era of discombobulation.    Admonish those who don’t practice  Social distancing or hand washing.  Reprimand those who don’t believe  That this paradigm is serious,  That this plague is washing us away.    There really is no need for anyone to participate in hegemony  Or to acknowledge minute problems,  For now we are faced with a different one,  Something that is still handwriting on the wall.    Some will get sick,  Some will die,  Some will recover,  Some will cry.  Some will push,  Some will shove,  Some will hate,  Some will love.  But we all can fight as hard as we can,  So let’s stay in it together as best we can.     


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Run By Matthias Hirst   The Run 

The person you see as you watch television Going, going, going,  Like the commercials that fly by. 

The Choice 

Not another pointless decision, The mind constantly wonders and debates.  It asks, “Should I really do it?” 

The Resistance 

Knowing it will hurt Is a challenge too difficult for some,  A challenge that is not easily overcome.  Is there anyone who has full willingness before they start? 

The Drive 

The reason some wake up in the morning, A way to get them through all the struggles  And turmoils which never seem to end. 

The Thrill 

Like a huge roller coaster, Or a big performance,  Or a wedding day,  There is nothing exactly like the feeling at the starting line. 

The Company 

Why do people think the runners are lonely? They have their shoes, their clothes, their health  And, most importantly, their run. 

The Connection 

“It’s just physical activity,” some say.


Sure, for some it might be. But, for others, it is a past time, a way of life, a member of their family. 

The Thought 

“Just get to the top of the hill.” “Only one more mile.”  “Come on, push a little harder.”  If only it were as easy as some say,  If only it were easy. 

The Work 

The most obvious thought, The most dreaded job,  The toughest part of the day,  The work that gives the best prize. 

The Pain 

If it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work. If there’s no pain, there’s no gain.  If you don’t have to stop, then why do you? 

The Death

Yet sometimes, it hurts, it sprains, it falls, it breaks. Sometimes it separates, it ends, it kills.  “It is not worth it,” they recite. 

The Life 

The feeling one receives after is like no other. It all makes sense, since now there is a feeling of accomplishment  Of pride, of joy, of love, of desire for more of this. 

The Reward 

The first sip of water, The high five from a friend,  The outlook to the future.  Everything is viewed so greatly now.  Living in itself has become a reward. 


Limerick in Quarantine #1 By Connor Adamski Being inside all the time is boring I often find myself sleeping and snoring Oh, woe is me! I just wish to see The coronavirus stop its world touring.   Limerick in Quarantine #2 By Alexander Fuchs    There was a young man who procrastinated and got lost  He knew his grades would suffer and he would pay the cost  So one day he sat down to do the work  Realized it was so easy it hurt  And felt stupid for his own predicament he caused. 

Artwork by Alysha Cutri

Artwork by Cecelia Sciullo


My Home By Ian Lecker   City of Bridges,  Original Gateway to the West,  Steel City,  Arsenal of Democracy,  City of Champions.  An industrial abyss, with no escape found,  With citizens exiled,  Their culture scattered, forced beyond anywhere familiar.  Moreover, a city of change,  A city of recovery and transition,  No longer smog and steel,  But rather medical and educational zeal.  Changed,  Reborn,  Symbolic,  Progressive,  Resurgent.  Now a land of promise,  A land of small town culture,  In a land of metropolis size,  A land of new life, new promise,  Or a land of growth like a knife carving items quite flawless.  City of Bridges, Original Gateway to the West, Steel City, Arsenal of Democracy, City of Champions.  . The Burgh By Justin Gmys I am just a boy born in the Burgh  The City of Champions  Pollution all around  But hearts pure of gold.  Traffic waiting time 


The Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers restore my sanity. Rain frequently visits However, joy can always be found.  Also called the Steel City  As tall buildings fill the sky.  The Black and Gold City  As our sports teams fill us wih pride.  And the City of Bridges  Bringing hope   Bringing joy  Bringing love  Into the city.  Pittsburgh is hard-working  Energetic  Charming  Loyal  Good.  These things turn the city of Pittsburgh into  The Burgh, the City of Champions, the Steel City, the Black and Gold City, the City of Bridges and, most importantly, the place I call home.  Pittsburgh By George Shorthouse    Originally the furnace of the world,  Smithing, striking, behemoth of steel  The metal giant of industrialist age  The Colossus of production and progress  A titan that carried the world on its back.  The city’s furnaces were a place of fire and heat. Temperatures were so high that they could instantly vaporize any living thing that got too close.  Smoke that choked the lungs and stung at the eyes came from every smokestack. The street lights had to be left on all day due to the opaque smog that enveloped everything. 


And, of course, the smell. A horrible burning smell. A disgusting stench of melting metal. A smell that could possibly be the worst factor of them all. But….  To those who say that the flames were for nothing, I say that they were there to melt the steel that would one day form our own skyscrapers.  To those who complain about the city and soot, I say that any who strive through this have gained fortitude and the value of perseverance.  And, to those who claim that the smell was unbearable, I say that any who have endured are now steadfast against any other foul scent that comes their way.  Flaming  Blazing  Working  Fighting  Persistent  The flames now are stifled and the leviathan of steel now slumbers.  The city is now the birthplace of a new creature, an entity devoted to improving the lives of the city’s inhabitants.  The new being is paying for the sins of beasts before it.  It has now taken it upon itself to bring us into a new era

Photos by Alysha Cutri


Kitty Hawk By Lauren Kirsch   Kitty Hawk for the Wright Brothers  Kill Devil Hills, First in Flight  Safe haven for wild horses  Windy, tropical, humid  Home of the Outer Banks  They tell me the first flight only lasted twelve seconds which many may say is not even monumental.  And they also tell me that your beaches are home to many tropical storms and hurricanes.  And they even tell how you are boring with your lack of seasons and how climate change is threatening your inhabitants.  But I say in return how the Wright Brothers impacted the entire world in science and engineering.  The sea is rather known for being as fresh and invigorating as a breath of fresh air. The beach gives you a time to lay back and relax without worries.  But I again say in return how the climate of Kitty Hawk protects its people from illness. The weather is even like the sun smiling down on its people.  Memorable like its multicolored sunsets and smooth sand beaches, warm as the glowing beams of the sun.  Vibrant  Happy  Timeless  Lively  Scenic.  Here is where my past has been spent, where memories have been made.  Here is the place where I will look at in the future as the place where true happiness resided.  Memories that will be taught to future generations of my family, memories that will live on forever. 


Memories are like books which need to be opened from time to time, to share, and later to be read to others. Memories that came from windy, tropical humid Kitty Hawk, origin of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kill Devil Hills. Safe haven for wild horses, home of the Outer Banks, where my memories were made and where they will last forever.  A Trip to Disney World By Carolyn Bigley    The land where dreams come true  Happiest place on earth  Breathing fairy tale  Home of nostalgia  Magic wonderland.  Miles away you are and miles away you stay.  The cost to have your fun is like the highest object on a shelf, borderline unattainable.  The piercing rays of sun slice the skin of desperate dreamers.  Many yawning hours standing in windy lines and tight spaces for a few moments of thrill.  Colorful  Exciting  Lively  Blissful  Romantic  Eyes in the air following the bubbles floating through the atmosphere.  Eyes darting from bubbles to balloons to sores.  Diverting the gaze of wandering eyes onto the graciously elegant kingdom just so far away.  Eyes smiling with a cartoonish sparkle at the sight of happiness surrounding you.  The land where dreams come true, happiest place on Earth, breathing fairy tale, home of nostalgia, magic wonderland. 


Pittsburgh by Mac Johnson   City of Bridges  City of Champions  City of Meds and Eds  Arsenal of Democracy  A city scarred by pollution, decreasing in population. It’s a huge city to its inhabitants but small in comparison to the Big Apple.  Our skies were once dark and dreary but now they are clear and bright just like Pittsburgh’s future.  More people come here every day for wonderful educational opportunities. New York wishes it had all the amazing cultural, historical, medical and educational significance and prominence that Pittsburgh has. The city is like a Hydra. With a hydra you chop off one head and two more grow in its place. Pittsburgh has grown stronger and better after each hardship it has faced.  Hard-working  Cutting-edge  Breathtaking  Helping  Ambitious  Pittsburgh is built on the hard work of the people who made the city. Pittsburgh is built on the foundation of generations of dreams who saw and still see a bright future for the city. Pittsburgh is built on the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of immigrants and strong-willed steelworkers.  Pittsburgh is built on the confluence of not only rivers but of people from all walks of life, living in harmony.  City of Bridges  City of Champions  City of Meds and Eds  Arsenal of Democracy 


When I Saw You by Katie Drauch   When I saw you the first time, I felt nothing  Now all my heart does is ache for your loving  To trust me and treat me like no other  But I know in my head there are better.  If you walk away now I don’t know what I would do  But what I do know is I don’t think living without you is an option.  I don’t know why I ever fell for you and those dark brown eyes  For I know in my heart I can never outdo the girl with the disguise.  I’ll never be good enough for your bright smile  So maybe I should just look back to the past and forget I ever bumped into you on that one summer night.  The World is Unjust By Willie Banks-Hicks  The world is unjust  But deal with it I must.  I’m able to see myself everywhere  And nowhere, and what I will do will be a dare.  Even if it’s nothing, I’ll make it out of something.  What I will be will be for me; what is to do will be for you.  The world is unjust           But deal with it I must. 

Photograph by Theresa Skindzier


Letter to the World by George Shorthouse   To the world I’d like you to know not everything must be a show.  Why not slow down and write a rhyme, maybe use it for some family time?  Why not stop all the rustle? The time we spend is always a bustle.  Why not sit down and give a new start? You might find that you’re a master of art.  We always try to be the best, trying to rise above the rest.  We must all stop trying to impress.  We’ve started to care more about ourselves and others, less and less.  We’re all caught up in our storm of pain; we could all stop and look past the rain.  The sun is coming up for a new day. I’m afraid it’s almost time to say  Goodbye, farewell and please keep positive.  I hope you make your life one that’s worth it and well-lived.  My Letter to the World By Theresa Skindzier    It is uncommon for those in this generation to dream small dreams, but rather ordinary for one to say they want to be known. Today we live where hopes have been inflated and anything appears to be possible. But what is possible on this screen from reality without work and sacrifice. Time has been the enemy to the vision of success because it has always been; life is limited. A person’s time on this earth is merely a word in their generation’s chapter of the book of eternity.    So today, I stand to make an impact on those generations. To make their one word what it should be in this chapter. Some are lesser than others but every word within a sentence is deliberate and placed to make the line whole. For without one, the phrase would be broken.   


For me, the world will be there. And I will be there for the world. Knowing the people within will help me and others through the struggles and uphill battles, is satisfaction enough to be alive. Not all dreams will be reached at the top of the mountains, especially for those who think their world will be handed to them. But, only those who not only try, but try, fail, then try again, will achieve their dreams. The Medicinal Mishap Morgan Kindle    The last drop fell into the test tube, then everything went wrong. Dr. Nye had make a horrible miscalculation regarding his elixir. Had he put one less drop of acid into his base concoction, he could have created the cure for his patient’s ravaging tumors. However, this one mistake turned the elixir into a chemical toxin, potent enough to cause permanent paralysis when ingested. Unfortunately for the patient, Dr. Nye’s theoretical cure would function when ingested. Dr. Nye gave the patient the “medicine” and the results were immediate. The doctor sighed; this would not be his first nor last mistake.  The Cure By Renee LaGrosse    The cure had to be somewhere, but, in this world, the cure was nowhere. I walked through the empty streets, accompanied by my shadow. The world isn’t a friendly place and no cure could heal the evil and malice in it. I know I was put here for a reason, and it’s one that I’ve finally found. I was there to cure the evilness in the world, and that alone was a journey. I found the cure in the empty street that night. The only cure for the evilness in this world is only the love found in one’s heart.   


Thirteen Ways of Looking at Soccer By Riz Saldanha I  The beautiful game,  An admiration to life,  A sense of comfort.  II  A wet, torrid pitch  Akin to a battleground  To those who fight on it,  Receive a reward like none other.  III   Technique and ambition in every play,  For it will never become a tedium  Until death comes, a passion it shall remain.  IV  Hexagonal shapes inscribed within.  Its physiognomy speaks to hearts,  And shows its beauty.  V   Is a footballer an archetype  For something much greater?  Maybe he serves as the identity  Of a nation, as a whole.  VI  Once it started,  It became incurable.  Northing will hinder it. 

VII Pressure reigns down  Like a storm,  One wrong play  And there is hatred forever.  VIII  Imagine if this game came  As an accident,  Regardless, it became the creed  Of many!  IX  Passion to the sport  Is in the eye of the beholder.  Evident to one  While resentment to the other.  X  Should players be seen  As tireless craftsmen?  Or suppliants waiting for  Approval to be reckoned.  XI  A prisoner of fate  Is in the game  They may not know their impact.  XII  Intellectually, it is reasoned  That it is nothing less than a hero.  Blessed.  XIII  For excitement, laughter and pleasure  To those who cannot find it on their own.  But as an afterthought,  What if it is for nothing? 


What Inspires Me By Lilly Chabala There are many things that inspire me To do the things I do every day Drawing is one of my passions, you see When I am not inspired I see gray Listening to music helps me a lot It makes me think of worlds that don’t exist I draw them so others can see the plot Of the story I’m telling with a twist My family also helps me in times When I feel like giving up on my dream. They tell me life will bring me down sometimes When life is in the dark, be the light beam That inspires others to do their best Because they will learn from you and be blessed.

Photographs by Alysha Cutri


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Picture Frame By Joel Skelley   I  Sitting on the highest shelf  With the price tag slightly peeling  Sat the perfect picture frame.  II  Filled with pictures of other children  A stock image family fills the frame  As the store clerk places it into the bag.   III  Empty, the photographs removed,  Lies the new picture frame,  Ready to receive the newest memories.  IV   Their pictures of honeymoons   And beautiful gowns,  With bridesmaids and groomsmen  Fill the frame, fresh off the shelf.  V  Suddenly, babies fill the frames,  Their rosy cheeks bursting off the edge,  Their pastel tones calming and warming.  VI   The spelling bee champion  Or the newest family vacation  Fill the dusty frame now.  VII  The wedding photos still sit in the frame 


Behind the newest photos of their children, Their memories subordinated,  Just as their desires had to be.  VIII  Another frame sits in a locket  Clutched against her chest,  Her sweetheart still contained within.  IX  His vanity mirror serves as a picture frame  His favorite picture of her stuck in its corner,  Another one lies deep within his wallet,  Always on him, but never within him.  X  The frames were replaced by new ones,  The children all grown up,  Pictures from family reunions,  Replaced those of childhood’s halcyon days.  XI  Grandchildren fill those frames now,  Their smiles are fresh and new,  But somehow the same.  XII  They hardly see those pictures now,  The television’s glow takes precedence  Over the reflective glow of the frame  And the distant memories therein lying.  XIII  Their wedding pictures shine through once more,  The finest frame placed on an easel  With the smell of rosy perfumes,  And the faint sound of weeping cutting through. 


I’ll Make It By Alexa Malloy   In the world of tag, he’s it but,  If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,  You’ll make it.  You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day and how awesome it will be and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. But then one day you wake up to realize that this path you’ve been on is where you are meant to be. You then think to yourself, “This much I know is true, that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.” And then you say to yourselves,  We’ll make it.  This life can be challenging but one day everything will all make sense.  And once that day comes, you yourself will realize: I’ll make it.  It Will All Work Out By Alex Fuchs    “On being hated, don’t give way to hating and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.” And’s hard to wake from feeling blue, but I will rise, oh I will rise.  No spam, no bullying, just be kind.  Do or do not; there is no try.  My friend, it will all work out in due time.  Nothing Endures by Sam Simpson    “Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it and, which is more, you’ll be a man, my son.” Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.  Everest is conquered; go and conquer the world.  There is nothing you keep; there is only a reflection.  Nothing endures. Not a tree. Not love. Not even death by violence.


13 Ways of Looking at a Book By Tim Durkin I  From the stoic shelves  The only thing that stood out  Was the bright red cover.  II  Rivers of thought flow through me,   Like a book.  I give into the tide.  III  A book is lost and free  Among the endless shelves of a library.  IV  A bookmark and a page  Are one.  A bookmark and a page and a book  Are one.  V  Which is better?  The satisfaction of a new read  Or the satisfaction seconds after finishing?  VI  Change of seasons,  Change of ways,  A book always stays. 

VII Oh ignorant people,  Do you not see what a book does?  How it changes you?  How it changes your imagination?  VIII  Is all we know  From books?  Or is all we know  Put into books?  IX  When the book left my hands  It marked the eclipse  Of many sunsets.  X  At the sight of damaged books  Even the naysayers  Cry out in horror.  XI  The ignorant roam the library aisles  In fear.  Fear of knowing something  They do not wish to know.  XII  The ice is melting  The book must be waterlogged.  XIII  It was morning all morning.  It was raining.  And it was going to be rainy.  The book sits,  Unread. 



The Minds of the Broken By Theresa Skindzier    It was a dark and stormy night when it was not at all but, in the minds of the broken, it is a constant reality. Inside of one’s head, darkness can encapsulate a view of the world from abducting emotions. As thoughts and feelings become challenged by the storm, they may break out and fall into the abyss, leaving the subject dormant to all joy. It takes only support from the outside world for light to break through the thunderous clouds. In the end, either the sun shines through causing a slow recovery back into the daylight, or the rainwater floods, leaving nothing but emptiness.  A Diamante Poem by Carolyn Bigley  Angel  Pure, Innocent  Praying, Radiating, Watching  Wings, Halo, Horns, Flames  Preying, Lurking, Scheming  Sneaky, Sinful  Demon 

Artwork by Carolyn Bigley

A Diamante Poem by Ian Lecker Order  Steady, Resolute  Harmonizing, Existing, Cooperating  Foundation, Control, Anarchy, Disorganization  Rupturing, Separating, Destroying  Confused, Cacophonous  Chaos


The Creation of Man By Francis Skindzier In the Oral Tradition of the Native American Indian    In a village where no two creatures were alike and, when the mountains were still young and the trees barely more than saplings and the rivers only ankle-deep, there lived a creature by the name of Paddle Legs. Paddle Legs was walking through the village fields when he came across a log stranded at the edge of the stream. The creatures would use logs to hold their bodies as they used their hands to cross streams to where the buffalo roamed. Paddle Legs, being a good creature, wanted to return the important possession to its owner in the village and so he approached the log.  As Paddle Legs was about to pick up the end of the log, a weak wooden voice called out to him, “Help me, man,” it said. Paddle Legs looked around but, seeing no one, started for the log again. The voice responded again. “Down here, creature.” Paddle Legs looked down and realized that the voice belonged to the log and he knelt down and asked what its name was.  The voice responded, “I am called Canoe in my land.” Paddle Legs asked how Canoe ended up here. “I was bathing in the river when a monster attacked me and forced me out of the water. In my haste to escape, I ended up on this side and I would normally just swim back across but I am scared the monster will eat my legs. I have been stranded on this riverside since then.” Paddle Legs asked, “If I help you get across the river, how will I get back across the river?” Canoe replied, “Do not worry when the time comes for you to cross the river again, you will have the means to cross it.”  Paddle Legs sat back and thought for a moment. He had little faith in Canoe and told Canoe as much. Canoe said, “If you take me across and protect me from the monster you will be rewarded handsomely,” Paddle Legs considered and, being a good creature, decided to protect Canoe as


they crossed the river. Paddle Legs asked Canoe what he should do. Canoe said, “Straddle me like you are riding a horse and whenever the monster comes close, use your long legs to poke it.” So Paddle Legs did as he was instructed and, when Canoe was ready, he pushed off with his great legs. Sure enough, there was a great monster beneath the river and Paddle Legs kicked at it with great force whenever it approached Canoe. However, the river monster caused a great storm to come down and flood the river, making it treacherous for Canoe and Paddle Legs. “Help! I can’t float and we will surely be swept downstream and you will die,” cried Canoe. Paddle Legs heard this and knew that Canoe spoke truth and was afraid. Then Canoe said, “Use your legs to propel us through the water faster.”   Paddle Legs trusted the wisdom of Canoe and at once began moving his legs like he was swimming. In no time at all Paddle Legs and Canoe were on the far side of the river bank, safe from the river monster. Canoe stood up and said, “I promised you that if you got me to the other side you would be rewarded handsomely, so come follow me to your reward.” Paddle Legs followed, seeing that Canoe was good for its word. They walked for a total of six days and six nights but neither grew tired nor did they grow hungry. On the morning of the seventh day, Canoe arrived at his home and introduced Paddle Legs to his daughter. “This is my daughter whom I give to you to do with what you want for saving my life,” said Canoe.  Upon laying eyes on each other, they instantly fell in love. After getting to know Canoe’s daughter, Paddle Legs married her under the Sap moon. They had many children together and their children had their mother’s legs and their father’s upper body. This was how the race of man was created. 


Tribute to Fred Rogers by Linda Ashby “I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now,  Appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.” ------- Fred Rogers    A man of simple phrases that held beautiful wisdom  And life lessons for all to live by.  I speak of Fred Rogers.  Pittsburgh he called home,  Where he first discovered his love of music,  The piano being forever a part of him.  Dreams of reaching the public eye had he  Encumbered by setbacks but never believing in impasses  Soon becoming a public inspiration and role model  Through a timeless show known only as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Creativity and imagination poured out of thee  Breaking once standing social boundaries  Introducing difficult but necessary topics to children  When others thought them too young to understand.  Poised and calm was he  Never a glimpse of a choleric man  Never a doubt of his sincerity.  He who approached life with wisdom only known by Minerva  Never drifting from who he is  As he inspired millions by trying to be no one other than himself.  Fred saw people for who they are  Never asking them to be someone else  A presence that will be forever felt  And remind us that it’s always a beautiful day in the neighborhood. 


A Day in the Life of the Kirsch Household By Lauren Kirsch   A day in the Kirsch household is a very chaotic event.  Basketball games get very competitive between all of the siblings.  Champions get bragging rights for weeks on end.  Dealing out playing cards is just another day of playing board games.  Every one of us loves to play Clue.  Farkel, Sushi Go, Avalon and Deception are some of the other few.  Gluten free meals are eaten 24/7.  Hikes on quarantine break give us time to relax and take in nature.  Insanity starts to set in when spring sports are getting cancelled.  Jogging around the neighborhood might have to become our new hobby.  Kicking a soccer ball in our backyard is one of the only ways to get exercise.  Lauren is taking up baking.  Michael was sent home from studying abroad in London.  Natalie enjoys reading The Hunger Games while Nate plays FIFA and 2K19.  Ordinary life is suddenly all changed.  Plans for the FBLA and DC trips are being cancelled.  Quarantine is driving everyone crazy.  Rice and radishes are about the only foods left in grocery stores.  Sanitizer and soap are all the rage.  Toilet paper is also really scarce right now and we do not understand why.  Universally this problem started out small but now it is a global pandemic.  Vacations might be cancelled this summer.  Watching the news daily for answers happens a lot.  Xerotic skin is setting in so I think we are staying safe from these germs.  Yearning for the day that we can all leave this quarantine.  Zealous for freedom, for life to return to normal.


The Coronovirus ABCs By Mia Altman 

Ayla is having a drum lesson on Facetime  Because Ayla is not allowed to leave her house due to the Coronavirus.  COVID-19 has left Ayla very bored so she is very happy she still gets to have drum lessons.  Due to the quarantine, she is also helping her sister make cookies.  Every cookie has to be iced the same because it makes them look pretty.  For Easter, Ayla and her sister are going to deliver those cookies to their friends.  Going outside is also keeping Ayla busy.  Having walks around the neighborhood is keeping her active, too.  Instead of sitting on the couch for hours each day, Ayls tries to play volleyball or tennis in the backyard.  Just because there had been some rainy days, Ayla still tries to keep busy inside of the house. Keeping busy inside of the house means she is helping clean out closets.  Lots of clothes are being given to her from her sister, Mia.  Mia and Ayla have watched lots of Netflix, too.  Netflix has saved Ayla from boredom on rainy days.  Other things that have kept Ayla busy are schoolwork and drawing.  Practicing math is one of Ayla’s least favorite things to do.  Questions are given to Ayla in Social Studies for her to daily complete.  Receiving creative essays in English is one of Ayla’s favorite assignments to complete.  Studying for tests is something Ayla does not need to worry about any more.  Today, Ayla is hoping her sister will go outside with her and play tennis.  Until her sister says yes, she will continue to ask her.  Very persistent, she gets Mia to agree.  With the nice weather outside, they decide instead to go on a bike ride.  X-rays, hopefully, will not be needed after all the outside activities.  Yesterday, Ayla and Mia raced up a very steep hill and now have sore muscles.  Zero places to go, Ayla will keep trying to find new activities to do.


The ABCs of Darkness By Jake Phillips All alone, a man was strolling down the street. Barry was this man’s name. Cutting through alleyways to avoid the loud street corners, Darkness surrounded him. Echoes of his footsteps carried through the alley. Frightened by a sudden noise, he snapped around to look behind his shoulder. Ghastly shadows seemed to be emerging from the darkness. Haunted, he turned a pale white. Instinctively, he began to run the other way. Just as he reached the end of the alley, it seemed to extend. Knowing these shadows were upon him, he tried running again. Losing all sense of reality, he tried climbing onto a dumpster to escape to a window. Much to his dismay, the window was too high to reach. Now the shadows appeared to get closer. Only thing left to do was pray. Praying, he heard the shadows this time. Quietly, they seemed to laugh at him. Reluctantly, he opened his eyes. Staring back at him were three pale faces, Their eyes, nothing but empty black sockets. Unfazed by the man’s tears and begging, their expressionless faces twisted into grins. Violently, they lunged at him. Whining faded into silence. Xanthochroia overtook the man’s mouth. Yellow teeth and rotting white skin replaced what he once was. Zabaglione leaked from his mouth as he smiled and became one with the Darkness.


A Beautiful Day By Halle Bergman   A sunrise is the most  Beautiful thing to watch.  Covering the sky, it’s a  Day-starter bright and  Early. It’s a start to a  Fun day.  Going to watch the pretty skies,  Having some coffee  In the bright dawn,  Joining my friends,  Knowing we will have a good day.  Laughing and enjoying our time  Making memories  Now and forever.  Oh, how my day is great,  Pausing all of my worries,  Quiet as we watch,  Radiant sun rays  Starting to shine.  The day is coming to a start  Under the pretty sky.  Various colors cross my face and eyes  Walking across the beach,  Xylophones playing in the back.  Yes, I’m going to have a good day. 

The ABCs of Friendship By Sophie Maida Always has your back  Believes in you  Calls you when times are tough  Doesn’t give up on you  Every day is there for you  Friends through everything  Gives unconditionally  Helps you any time  Is caring and compassionate  Just being with you is comfort  Keeps you close at heart  Loves you no matter what  Makes your life different  Never leaves you alone  Open to helping you  Picks you up  Quiets your fears  Raises your mood  Says kind things to you  Tells you the truth  Understands you  Very funny  Will always comfort you  Xmas is their favorite holiday  Yearly friendship  Zaps you back to reality. 



Haikus from an Open Window By Joel Skelley I  Windswept and chilling,  The earth is being refreshed, Nature being freed.    II  Laughter of children,  The whir of bicycle spokes,  Strength in innocence.    III  Fear comes in the wind,  That batters my windowpane,  My soul remains still.    IV  One day the sunshine,  In my heart as in the world,  Dark rains come the next.    V  With blossoms on trees,  Springtime comes despite it all, Easter lilies grow.    VI  While our minds flutter, Let our hearts lie in nature,  Renewed in stillness. 


To Graduate in 2020 By Joel Skelley Written March 19, 2020 Today, as we face our new paradigm, it is difficult not to reflect on the things that have changed. For our senior class, this is a particularly poignant moment of recollection. Of course, we are cognizant of the fact that many families, many struggling individuals, are facing far greater odds at this time than we are. However, though we are aware of our privileged state, that does not mean we are not profoundly affected by this tragedy.   Each day, we hear the barrage of news regarding our present crisis. We see the stock market fall, though this seems nebulous from our perspective. We see the small businesses close their doors and the workers furloughed. We see the weaknesses in our system which have been exploited by this pandemic. We fear for our families, for our older relatives, for our immunosuppressed friends. But, this is not where the vast majority of our thoughts lie.  Our entire lives, we have looked forward to graduating in 2020. Could there be a more perfect year to walk across the stage with aplomb? Now, we see the events we’ve looked forward to for years in jeopardy. Endless questions stream through our minds. Is it fair? Certainly Prom seems out of the question, but will we even get Commencement Exercises? When will this end? How can we avoid boredom, fear, and lethargy? We are admonished to remain hopeful, but why should we? We have no answers to any of these questions. We have no way out of current unfortunate situation. Therefore, the only response left to our discretion is to acquiesce and to continue in peace. 


Until We Meet Again…

Profile for Oracle Literary Magazine

Oracle Literary Magazine Spring 2020  

Bishop Canevin High School, Pittsburgh, PA, student-produced literary magazine of artwork, photography, essays, poetry and short stories

Oracle Literary Magazine Spring 2020  

Bishop Canevin High School, Pittsburgh, PA, student-produced literary magazine of artwork, photography, essays, poetry and short stories

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