When he created The Park School Anthology in 1966, founding editor John Shaw wrote “Many whose writings and drawings ap pear here will be surprised to see themselves in print. Still others who have nothing in this anthology will be disappointed. Only a part of what I received could be included and I regret that I had to exclude so much. To select short stories, poems, and drawings for an anthology spanning writers who range from ages three to fifteen is not easy. By the selections which appear here, I have tried to reach for both diversity and excellence.”
Fifty-six years later, the mission to “reach for both diversity and excellence” remains the guiding principle. While many faculty and staff editors have overseen this work through the years, Kate LaPine was a constant from 2004 onward. Originally published in black and white, Anthology transitioned to full-color print ing in 2008, and continues to celebrate the creativity of Park students in vibrant color. In her 23 years at Park and as Director of Communications, Kate was dedicated to ensuring a consistent spotlight on the creative work of Park students. We dedicate the 2022 Anthology to Kate LaPine in gratitude for her steadfast commitment to making Park “a thing of beauty.”
Faculty Editors: Nancy Popper & Lauren Dennis
Special Thanks to: Kate LaPine, Flo Farrell, Lyn Williams, and Suzy Akin
ABOUT THE PARK SCHOOL ANTHOLOGY
First published in 1966 under the guidance of founding editor John Shaw, Anthology strives for “diversity and excellence.” Faculty editors have the difficult task of selecting the short stories, poems, and drawings that best achieve this goal from the vast collection created each year by Park students across grades PreK through 8. Anthology is a testament to the many ways in which Park students discover themselves through creative expression, finding their voice, their vision, and building the foundation of their intellectual strength and confidence.Gabe Callejas | GRADE 8 | Stencil Relief Print
Why I Read
I read to wonder. I read to understand. I read to be confused by the tiny letters inked onto the page. I read to imagine like a child looking at the bright, beaming stars. I read to listen. I read to find out. I read to feel the silent characters’ emotions pouring out of the page. I read to imagine different worlds that could be real. I read for inspiration. I read for knowledge. I read to become a better person. I read because it relaxes me. I read to forget what is happening around me. I read to dream. I read to open my mind to new possibilities. I read because it allows me to see the unseeable. I read to explore like a toddler, curiously wandering in a kitchen. I read to be free like an animal in the wild. I read for answers. I read to feel the words fluttering off the page. I read to ask questions. I read to wake up my imagination. I read to fall asleep. I read as a way to conversate with others. I read because I think it will be able to take me away from wherever I am and into a galaxy far, far, away. I read to carve a path through the pages. I read to be ignored. I read to fall into an endless abyss of words, spiraling down and down as the plot slowly envelops me. I read knowing I might never stop. I read knowing that I could stop at any moment. I read to want. I read to need. I keep reading and reading knowing that it will take a world to stop me from flipping page by page, the story goes and goes and suddenly it is done. I stop reading for no one and fall slowly and slowly into a deep hole that gets deeper every chapter and I want it to never end and page by page my mind gets overwhelmed with every detail and letter from every page and for an instant, just an instant, I see a light, but like all others, it gets smothered by the cloud of ink and letters surrounding me. The hole gets deeper and deeper until, after a long journey, everything stops and I find myself sitting down in a chair, relaxed, reading another book. I read because it is a portal to other dimensions. I read to be forgotten.Noora Elzein | GRADE 3 | Watercolor,Crayon&Sharpie
Collaborative Perspective Writing
I stood there in the doorway with my hands in my pockets. I stared at Ponyboy thinking about how tough this week had been without him, he had scared me to death and I couldn’t even count how many nightmares I had. I couldn’t imagine how tough it must have been for him, thinking he was going to have to live as an outcast for the rest of his life.
Suddenly, tears were rolling down my cheeks, I tried to stop but they kept on coming. I couldn’t remember the last time I cried. I didn’t even cry at Mom and Dad’s funeral. I had to stay strong for Soda and Ponyboy then, but now because of me, Ponyboy could’ve died.
I tried to choke out the words “Pony,” hoping that he would understand how sorry I was, how much I had been worrying about him. I loved him more than he would ever realize, but I couldn’t tell him that, that’s not how the greasers do it. I hoped that he would understand and forgive me and I vowed to myself that I would never be so hard on him again, that I would be more caring, more like what Dad used to be.
Ponyboy ran into my arms yelling “Darry!” I was so happy to see him for the first time in what felt like ages. I hope he felt the same way. I tried to say the words that I had been practicing all week. Tried to say that I was sorry, that I was only trying to protect him. But no words came out. I couldn’t explain that I had been horrified that I would lose him, I couldn’t stand to lose someone else I loved. I knew he understood though.
Eventually, I managed to choke out the words, ”Oh Pony, I thought we lost you… like we did Mom and Dad.” At that moment I never wanted to let the Pony go, everything I did was just to protect him. But I still failed him, as a friend, a father figure, and most importantly, a Brother.Caleb Beroukhim | Ella Hernandez WhitePencilonPaper Xander Grossman Relief
An Ode to a Fireplace
The Place of Fire. Encased in a brick wall. Your empire, Your kingdom, Your legacy. Strands of flame Waving and wiggling, Dancing across The bed of coals. Your tentacles of fire, Phase through Each other, Swishing and swirling Making the Temperature rise. Warming my chilled body. Sparks fly From you, Little arrows Cutting through The air, Like a knife Cutting through Butter. Your crown of Yellow, orange, And red, Heat exploding from your Core, The logs shrivel And wither In your presence, Your greatness Shown by your Incinerating flames Tell everyone Your power. The jewels That make up Your crown of heat. Swirling and twirling Like your mortal enemy Waves of fire Crash against the Coals layed down On their deathbed Slowly charred, And disintegrated, Till they are nothing but Dust.
The smoke you produce Thick and foggy And hard to see through, Unlike your Red, orange, and yellow Crystal body, the gems that make up Your arms, Flailing and waving In the wind. After a while Long time When your region Of fire Is over. As your flames Die down Dying away Going beneath The coals placed Beneath the logs. your flaming tendrils Seep back down into the Ground, And fade, Away…Aidan McWilliams | GRADE 6 Schuyler Page | GRADE 1 | Ink Pen Elizabeth McNeel | GRADE 7 | Graphite
When I Took more than One candy When trick Or treating
The sign I Was Blind So I took more Than I Was supposed to It said one But I Took two Oh I confess I felt terrible When I didn’t Listen to the sign But i bet they couldn’t Tell because They had so much But I still felt terrible
Learning Lessons from LEGOS
I was raised by LEGO bricks. I am in the classroom, my kindergarten friends are with me, huddled over the bin of LEGOS. We would create anything we desired, spaceships, huge buildings, racecars, even houses. When I had LEGOS, it felt like I could build anything and had the power to transform ideas into reality. My friends and I were very attached to our builds and we reluctantly cleaned them up at the end of the day. LEGOS were one of things that taught me creativity and how to cooperate to build amazing things.
When I arrived home from school I would always hurry to continue working on the LEGOS I was building. After I finished my homework I would sprint up to my room and resume creating my best project yet. However, throughout the years, my LEGOS projects started to change. The LEGOS became more complex and creative as I built from imagination and learned from directions. Following directions sharpened my skills but also showed me that you can always use your imagination to improve things. I learned not to see projects as individual works, but as parts of connected worlds and communities. LEGOS also taught me patience. I have learned that the best ideas come when I give them time and space as I build. LEGOS are like plants; they need time to grow and you need to treat them with care. LEGOS can’t be rushed, because if you move too fast, it will all fall down.
The small brightly colored bricks, with the smooth feel of plastic on the sides can become anything. LEGOS are putty in my hands, allowing my vision to take shape. The rush that comes with hearing them click into place and seeing the bright colors feeds my energy as I construct my creation. When the pandemic first closed everything down, and I could not leave the house, receiving a brand new box of LEGOS was a big comfort. Stacking brick after brick to build a car with my sister brought me back to when I was a little kid, playing with LEGOS alongside my friends. Even though every thing seemed uncertain, I knew I could depend on my LEGOS to transport me to different worlds of my own creation.
Even now, after all these years, I still love LEGOS. Although I have grown emotionally and physically, the feeling that I can build anything is still invigorating. The lessons of patience, cooperation, and creativity have become part of who I am. I still look for harder and more complicated LEGOS and projects, to be able to build bigger and better things. After all the things that LEGOS have done for me, sometimes I wonder how I can repay them? Often the answer is simple: create.Alex Sherman | Livy Liao | GRADE 6 Zayd Scull | GRADE 5 | CardboardCollage&OilPastel
I Was Raised by Baseball Fields
In a way, I was raised by baseball fields. They are everywhere if you really look, and spotting one always gives me a little jolt of happiness, a sense of home. Even when I was younger and didn’t play yet, I was at them all the time. Running into the park to watch my brother’s games, I’d climb the trees with low-hanging branches, the rough bark scraping against my hands. The boughs shake like they’re waving hello as I clamber up to my spot, a kind of seat formed by the branches, and lay my head against the limb behind me, gazing up at the branches above my head that curled their way into the sky, silhouetted against the blue. From here, I would watch my brother and his team play, listen to the cheers from both sides of the field as the pitcher wound up and threw. To me, the ball seemed to be traveling much too quickly to be hit, yet the batters valiantly stepped up to the plate and faced it and there was the occasional clunk of a bat as someone made contact. It was almost mesmerizing, watching how the players worked as a team, each person always somehow knowing what to do in every situation. Looking out at that shifting, swaying sea of grass, I could imagine myself on that field, same as my brother. And I realized that was what I wanted.
All through the winter we wait, me and my brother and all the other baseball players. We wait for the snow to melt, the bite of the cold to disperse with the coming of spring. We wait for baseball season. The fields are now white with snow, but we can still use them. Not for baseball, but sledding. Racing down the hill, the wind whipping at my hair and roaring in my ears, I skid far out onto the field. I glance only for a moment at the back stop looming in the distance in front of the hill before clambering back up again. Still, this field brings excitement and delight even while it hibernates through the season.
The green grass, still wet with dew from the morning, is a stark contrast to the gleaming white bases and the sandy orange dirt that crunches beneath my feet as I jog onto the field. The snow that previously blanketed it, muffling its existence to the world, is gone, displaying the colors in all their glory. Now, in the spring, the air is alive with laughter and cheers. We’re all happy to be back, back to this world of baseball after a long winter of passing mournfully by the lonely field. To feel that smooth leather sphere in my hand again, cupped perfectly in my palm, find the red bumps that are the stitches. The sounds of the game surround me, the metallic clink of a bat hitting a ball, the rhythmic smack of the pitch into the catcher’s mitt. It’s almost like music, reverberating across the field, the stage that we, the musicians, stand proudly on. And I know that it is my stage, that, no matter what other people say, this is where I belong.
Now, after four years of playing baseball on a team, those fields are an even bigger part of my life. For all that time, I have played with my local league on a co-ed team, but I also discovered Boston’s all-girls travel baseball team, the Slammers. It’s cool to play with other girls who share the same passion for baseball, for those green and orange patterned diamonds that are the fields. I’ve gone to play in tournaments on new fields, in Maryland and New Jersey, and though they are unfamiliar at first, eventually I gain the same feeling of belonging, of confidence. So how can I thank these fields for all that they’ve taught me? My answer: Keep playing. Make them proud.Kaia Evans | GRADE Ella Anders Lewis
Ode to Water
On the blistering hot summer day Water
A droplet of life
A shard of Luminous Ethereal Hope
A River Boisterous Uproarious, Yet Complacent Dubious, Enticing. An ocean
Like a frothy, swirling pot Full of Clear Pure Mass. Your power Contrasts from the Aggressive Burning Flame. Held in a Water Bottle
You are like Grass
As the tongue Slowly grazes Your clear, Refined Personality. You are Anachronistic
An endless sea of blue
As the sun slowly sets Down into you
You envelope Your victims Like a cocoon
Like a spider
Wrapping its prey
You are nature, Nurturing its inhabitants Carefully Cautiously Considerately. You are the Cold Freezing Water
Flowing down The throat Yet you are The steaming Warm Cup of natural bliss
You are water
A beautiful creation Of countless wonders You Are WaterNina Huang | GRADE 5 | CardboardCollagewithOilPastel Josie Barakat | GRADE 1 | Marker
The iPads Are Back Home
The iPads are back home
In their cupboard in the kitchen
And so are you And you look at me
So what did you do
Not much I answer
Which is actually true
We did not do much
We only did three things
That we were probably not allowed to do
Just maybe Again
You did not tell us
Not exactlyMichael Wu | P re- K | Oil Pastel & Watercolor JJ Fantuzzi | 7 | Graphite Cam Pluhar | GRADE 2 | CutPaperCollage Omar Elzein | GRADE 1 | Ink Pen Alice Van Gijsel Vermeersch | GRADE 6
My soul is a volcano that explodes with rage and noise, Very predictable and worrisome, A can that has too much liquid in it, Explosive, electric, eager A soda that has been shaken way too much, Gooey, smoky, and jumpy.
My soul is a book that once you read the whole thing, it makes sense, Wise like Albert Einstein, Mighty like a lion, the king of the Sahara, Ambitious, adept, audible, Someone everyone has a sense about when they are coming, Smart, knowledgeable, and graphical.
My soul is a neighborhood rabbit that keeps coming back, Annoying at first, but you soon start to like it. Comes back every day and follows its tracks, Yack, hop, twkk, the sound of the rabbit always clicks, Jumpy, fast, confident, Always trying to get people’s attention.
My soul is a blistering tornado, Surprising like a jack-in-a-box, Fast and determined like a fox, Hurtful, powerful, and ambitious, Destructive and comes back like a bee in the fall, Comes around just when you think everything’s calm and peaceful.Naia Yu | GRADE 8 | Graphite Uma | Sophie Skokowski | GRADE 6 | Ceramic Jack Witkowski | GRADE 4 | Mixed Media
This is My Soul
My soul is a bright flower shining bright, calm, cool, and collective.
I am colorful, bright, and full of might.
I grow as tall as beanstalk and reach to the sun, I touch the sun then I reach for the stars. This flower is so bright.
My soul is a shy bunny always hopping around and running away from danger. Hop hop you can hear the dirt munching and crunching beneath my feet.
I may dig a hole and hide, but at some point
I poke my head out and find peace.
I am a shy bunny, that sometimes can’t seem to find its way, but don’t fret, my time will be met.Gillian Lamb | GRADE 8 | WhitePencilonPaper Giselle DaSilva GRADE Alexandra Evans | GRADE 2 | Gouache,Watercolor,Sharpie,ColoredPencil Lilly Koles | Pastel & Watercolor
Locked In - Pt.2 of the Difficult Path
3 Years Later...
The dull wooden sword that I hold is light in my hand, but is clumsy at my touch. It is big and off-balance com pared to the small, shiny, metal daggers that I am used to working with. I love the way light shines off of the familiar multicolored handles, so unlike the boring brown of the sword, that I am just now learning to use.
As the sun rose this morning, while the other pirates slept in the dark below deck, me and Tianyi, each holding a sword, circled each other, trying to find a weakness in the other. She moved with unnatural grace and so light on her toes it seemed like she was floating. Her black hair framing her beautiful face, making her look even more majestic. I am awkwardly gripping the hard handle, the sword unbalancing me. The light from the sun reflected off of the polished wooden deck, making it impossible for me to see much, but Tianyi seems to be unaffected by the light.
She tries to go easy on me, trying to allow me to get the hang of it, but I can never seem to do anything correctly. It always ends with me weaponless and her forcing me up against the railing of the ship. She throws my sword back to me and I stumble with the sudden weight in hand. She tries to teach me a few techniques, and most days this finishes with me tumbling across the deck, her promising that I will, someday, get the hang of it. I am not sure I will, though.
When the first pirate emerged from below deck, Tianyi quickly gestured for my sword, then walked away silently, to her private captain’s quarters. I don’t question why, since she is my captain, but that doesn’t mean I can’t wonder quietly in my head.
The rest of the day, I work with the crew, living the life of a pirate. Sometimes I miss my old life though. Like the solid land under my feet, and all of the people that I knew, whether mean or nice, none of them are here with me, in my new life. Don’t get me wrong, waking up every morning and seeing the brilliant aqua blue sea with the occasional tropical island and the beautiful sky, painted with every shade of yellow, or ange, pink and blue with the bright crimson sails of the ship completing the perfect picture, is amazing. As well as the darker blue of the sea at night sometimes glowing with deep purples and light pinks. And the sky. The sky at night is not quite black, but a navy blue. Stars twinkle, a vast blanket covering everything I can see, and much, much more. The moon, huge, lighting up everything so I can quite clearly see the amazing surroundings.
Every night, I think to myself, in my musty, uncomfortable hammock, how lucky I am not to be a ser vant of the Li family. With all of the orders that I had to follow, not to gain anything, but to avoid punishment. I got no understanding from the other, older servants who can be just as mean as any member of the Li family.
Tonight, though, I have more disturbing thoughts. Thoughts about how this life is so close to per fect. And things that are so close to perfect can never last. That someday this peaceful land will disappear, and I will have no control over it.
Sleep slowly takes over, banishing these thoughts from my mind, but they have already made their impression and that won’t fade.
When I wake up, I slide out of the hammock and walk, for the most part, noiselessly, except for the soft thump, thump, thump of my bare feet hitting the slightly damp wood of the floor, through the rows of hammocks with the pirates sleeping in them. Some only breathe quietly and rhythmically while others snore so loudly, it is a miracle I get enough sleep and am not woken up constantly by the impossibly loud sound.
Climbing the old ladder up onto the deck, I am afraid of splinters, though it is some of the most worn-down wood I have ever felt. As I unlock the square hatch, I cringe at the sound of the rusty hinges open ing even though I have heard it every day for almost three years.
When I poke my small head out, I expect to see Tianyi’s silhouette. Dark against the blinding light of the sun. But instead, the only thing I see is the polished deck with the deep blue of the night sky fading to the multicolored dawn.
I call out softly into the crisp morning air, “Tianyi?” hoping for an answer and not the absolute silence that I receive. After I haul myself out onto the deck, I notice that there was no one out on the deck at all. There was not the usual pirate steering the ship or watching for danger from the crow’s nest. The ship was silent, except for the spray of the saltwater and the constant crashing of waves hitting the side of the ship, with the wind whipping the sails. But none of that could ever truly go away and is not under the control of any human.
I walk to the boat railing and look out onto the sea, smelling the salty air. I stood there for a while before I heard the creak of wood like a door opening. I turned around to look at the deserted deck and saw Tianyi’s door slowly open an inch before being flung open by a large burst of wind.
As I walk towards the door the more I get the feeling that no one was inside. The feeling creeping me out, I turn to go back, below deck, to the safety of others. Right before I am about to pull open the hatch, it is forced open from below. I jump back in surprise, painfully landing on my butt.
I look up to see the huge form of one of the pirates, YongWei. He is a kind man, with a gruff voice that makes him seem like the exact opposite of his true personality. He is one of the pirates I got to know the best in the three years I have been on the ship, but his first priority has always been the safety and success of the ship and the crew. So when he sees me lying on the deck and Tianyi’s door wide open, his suspicions go straight to me.
Before he could question me, because I knew he would, I told him, “I came up here, looking for Tianyi, so we could start our daily sword fighting practice. A little bit after I got up here, Tianyi’s door opened by itself. I got scared and was about to go back down below deck when you came up.” YongWei’s face is a mask, but I know that he is trying to decide if he can trust me.
Finally, he says, “Stay here. I am going to go wake Tianyi, it is weird that she is not already awake.”Louisa Furman | GRADE 8 | Glass Mosaic Attean Beeson | KINDERGARTEN | Watercolor
I need to tell him about the weird feeling I felt hanging around Tianyi’s quarters. So when he starts to walk away, I call after him, “YongWei wait! When I got close to her room, I got a weird feeling that there was no one in there.” As I was saying it, I knew how impossible it sounded since there was nowhere else Tianyi could be. He stopped walking, looked back, frowned for a second, then resumed walking toward the dark room.
When he disappeared into the gloom, I sat down hoping that he doesn’t come out with my captain. Then, I knew, they will both think I am crazy and will drop me off the next chance they get. As this thought started to spiral out of my control in my head, YongWei walks out, his eyes darting from side to side. He suddenly seems much more nervous. I stand up and right before he is about to step on me. His eyes flash with surprise, like he didn’t remember I was here. After a few seconds, recognition fills his eyes.
“Oh...um...Lingsi,” he says, “She was your captain too. Come with me. Quick.”
He abruptly starts walking towards the hatch, and I hurry to keep up with him. “YongWei, what happened to Tianyi? Why are you talking about her in past tense?” He barely acknowledges me, even when I keep pestering him with questions. Finally realizing that I wasn’t going to get any answers, I fall silent.
After a moment of silence, without him looking at me, he says, “Tianyi wasn’t in her bed. I think that she was taken against her will. Almost everything breakable in her quarters was broken, her bedding strewn across the floor and what looked to be blood was on the carpet,” he glances at me for less than a second, then looks away again, “I don’t know who or what took her, or even if she is … still alive, but they didn’t have it easy. I have never seen anyone wield a sword like Tianyi. Long swords, short swords, daggers, crossbows, name a weapon, and she has mastered it. That is how I know that you had nothing to do with it, you could never beat her in any kind of fight. But then again, I foolishly thought that no one could.” He glances at me again, but this time his eyes are full of sorrow.
When we get down below deck, almost all of the pirates are still asleep in their hammocks. The few that were awake, had blurry eyes and had just woken up. The only pirate alert and wide awake was PeiLi. PeiLi has never liked me. He thinks that I was too young to be a pirate on a ship of adults. I think that at first, he disliked Tianyi, too. But she has always had an air of authority and I bet it didn’t take long for him to trust and look up to her.
“Off doing your private lessons with the captain, huh? You always thought you were above us all. That you were better than you really are. In truth, you are just a servant. A poor, scared servant looking for protection because you are useless,” PeiLi sneered. His comments always get to me, but I have learned to ignore him for the most part.
I look at him, with not enough energy to respond I just keep walking, my head down and my eyes partially closed.
“YongWei? Do you think we should all go up to the deck?” I ask.
He still seems slightly lost, so when he responds to me I am slightly surprised. “No, no. I don’t want it to be a big deal,” he says to me. I nod understandingly, knowing how he feels. I at least expect him to make an announcement, but instead, he walks to his hammock and sits down. A blank look on his face like he is not aware of his surroundings.
One by one the pirates climb up onto the deck only to come back down to quietly ask a question. Instead of answering, they look at YongWei, indicating they should ask him. They slowly walked towards him noticing that something wasn’t right. After watching this a few times, it got boring, so I layed down on my back and looked at the ceiling.
A drop of water splashed down next to me, making a soft plunking sound. I closed my eyes, as the sound repeated over and over again, but never on the beat. I got more anxious, anticipating and anticipating, never knowing. So that when the next drop fell, instead of the almost unnoticeable sound, it sounded like thunder echoing in my head over and over again.
I covered my head with my dirty, yellowish pillow hoping to block out the sound and it did, but the ringing in my ears didn’t go away. It feels like I stay there for a while, but it might only have been minutes, it might have been hours.
A voice breaks through my temporary sound barrier, “Isn’t it obvious? We need a new captain! And I, personally, think that I am the best choice,” I fling the pillow off me and glare at the speaker, who just hap pens to be PeiLi.
“Are you serious?” I say, “It’s been only a few hours since Tianyi is… has disappeared, and we don’t even know who took her! Are you really thinking about a new captain?”
“Well, what are we going to do?”
“I know perfectly well that everyone here knows the routines, for we do them every day! So let’s get doing them.”
“Yes, of course, servant. Whatever you say, ” PeiLi says, sarcastically, but stalks to the ladder and starts to climb.
As the pirates follow him, I grab my favorite weapon, a blue-tinted dagger. The blade is a boring silver, but when you tilt it at just the right angle, gorgeous blues and greens wash over the blade like a magical force. In the dark, all I can see is the dark browns and grays, but it feels different. The soft curves of the hilt, now sharp, and the flat, straight blade, now curved. The longer I hold it, the more unfamiliar it seems. As I look more closely I see it is made of frightening black and red.
My hand opens in shock and the dagger falls blade first onto the floor, an inch from my foot.
TO BE CONTINUED…Eli Danforth | GRADE 5 | Cardboard Relief Madison Fonseca | GRADE 1 | Ink Pen Michael Allyn | GRADE 2 | Ceramic Bella DaSilva Ceramic
The Spark Inside Me
Is that of a raven
A smart, swift bird cloaked in deepest black Concealed while gliding through the trees
Silence sweeping among the breeze
Yet also a loud one, shrill In adversity
Clamors ringing crosswise the clouds
Also with the soul of the stray log in the fire About to burn but rarely either Quiet, dark, often unseen Triggers, danger
For this slight wooden beam
Only a raging flame will others see
The inner touch of a soft boiled egg Brittle, sharp and disguised to the leg
Thin veiling on the deep below
Hard on the outside
Soft in secrecy
A hard enough crack
Will start some scenery
A heart like that of a tsunami
Roaring wave from the shaking ocean
The cause in the darkness
A hold on the hide
And yet the ocean
Will barrage and recede
A wake of debris on the shoreSophie Lu | GRADE 6 Rafi Ortega | GRADE 2 | Watercolor Samuel Su | GRADE 1 | Ink Pen Allora Beeson | GRADE 2 | Ceramic
Ode to My Dog
You race, You pace, You run, You won Our hearts, From the street, From the cold, From that place, On the ground, Covered in snow.
You were lost, We found you, We were blessed When we found you.
You streak, You sneak, You pounce, You bounce. Over, under, Ever glad. Shining, bright. Like a fire in that cold, Like the sun to warm the earth
Like a tale to soothe the bold. You’re always there, When I need you. If someone lived, And did not meet you, Their life would break in half, For they are ever daft.
You leap, You laugh, You weep, You last. Through the snow, The cold, The sad You emerge Armor-clad.
From the street, From the cold, From that place, On the ground, Covered in snow. You were lost, We found you, We were blessed When we found you.Mika Zoran | GRADE 3 | Crayon,Sharpie&Watercolor Casey Braman | GRADE 5 | CardboardCollagewithOilPastel Denis
Why I draw?
My hand aches and my eyes are closing. It’s the middle of the night but still, my pencil scratches across the lined sheet of my notebook. Why draw? Tomorrow morning I know I will have to get up early. I will drag my feet across the room. I will be tired all day and for what? Why did I choose to draw when there were so many other options? The answer is simple: I draw because drawing is me.
I draw to express my feelings. I draw to reflect on my actions. I draw to speak to the living. I draw to speak to the dead. I draw to speak to nothing. I draw because it hurts my hands. I draw because I have to work for something beautiful. I draw because I am good at it. I draw to get better at it. I draw because drawing is my pride and my gratification. I draw because it makes me a poet. I draw to watch the color drip off of my brush and plop onto the canvas. I draw to hear the charcoal grind against the paper. I draw to see friends, family, characters, animals, machines, houses, worlds, explode from my fingertips. I draw to feel the wind cutting my face and the warmth of the sun shining on my back. I draw to feel the anger that I have hidden from the world and the resolution I am looking for. I draw to shout loud, hard, and strong. I draw to tell the world about my victories. I draw to cry. I draw to honor my losses. I draw to escape to another world. I draw to walk on Mars’s rocky surface. I draw to explore the heat of the sun. I draw to feel the smooth frozen emptiness of space, the universe, existence. I draw to pull myself back to earth. I draw to the birdsong in the forest. I draw to the waves on the seashore. I draw to the silence of my house. I draw to the cheering of a crowd. I draw to gorge myself upon color. I greedily shove ideas into my mouth as if I am a small child who has been given candy. I draw to hold onto the past. I draw to acknowledge the change. I draw to be happy. I draw to be sad. I draw to be angry. I draw to be scared. I draw to be annoying and sneer in the face of those I don’t like, in the face of danger, in the face of acceptance. I write to be joyful. I write to show longing, wishes. I write to draw my dreams and to make new ones. I draw to the idea of the perfect life. I draw to see my family and friends who have not appeared in my life yet. I draw to see my house in the rural fields of the west. I draw to see my house as an apartment building in New York. I draw to see what challenges I may face, what mountains I need to climb, what boulders need to be moved, what difficulties are hiding between the bricks and mortar of my life, and life to come. I draw to cherish what I love, hate, need, want, hope for, hide from, dread, and pursue.
It’s the middle of the night but still, my pencil scratches across the lined sheet of my notebook. Why? Tomorrow morning I know I will have to get up early. I will drag my feet across the room. Why did I choose to draw when there were so many other options? The answer is simple: I draw because drawing is me.Henry Saldarriaga | GRADE 1 | Ink Pen Cate Glass | GRADE 8 | Stencil Relief Print Solomon Fleiss | GRADE 6 | Mixed Media
Harsh blue waters violently crash the boat
My exhausted tired ink-filled hands are shaking with excitement
The traveling waters stand tall as I see the reflection of myself in the water
In the water I can see the mountains of hope covered in gold
I wiped beads of sweat on my face carefully trying not to get ink on my face
I’m tired, my hand is sore with blisters, and I haven’t showered for several days
But I must persevere
Boom! Thump! Boom!
My heartbeat sounds like thunder
I miss my family deeply
But I must stand tall
I’m scared for what will happen next
But I must stand tall
I’m all alone by myself
But I must stand tall
Nick Song | GRADE 5Sophie Gates | GRADE 3 | Ink,OilPastel&Watercolor Dash Rosenberg | GRADE 6 | Wood Na’eem Logan | GRADE 7 | Graphite
My Soul Is
My soul is a lynx, wild and free Graceful as it runs Flowing over the ground Agile as it leaps Dangerous
My soul is a windstorm Blowing crazily Causing chaos everywhere it goes Energetic, But in the middle, a place of calm can be found
My soul is willow, old and strong Flexible in the wind, As it reaches out its leafy boughs Caring for others Large and expansive
My soul is the dusk and dawn, Shining bright through the darkness of night, The sunrise Calm and quiet
A time when life awakensSerenna Chokshi | GRADE 6 Taylor Caruso | GRADE 1 | Marker Marshall Johannsen | GRADE 3 | PaintedWood,MixedMedia Owen Zhong | GRADE 1 | Marker Ellen Robbins | GRADE 6 | IntaglioDrypointPrint Olivia Kim | GRADE 2 | CutPaperCollage
I am (From) Poem
I am from the toy cars with wheels that always came off
From plastic pale purple jewelry and candy apple colored bikes
I am from the creaky old steps with cracks and walls that always seem like they have a stain
I am from the pear trees with leaves as green as Emeralds whose branches provided perfect leverage for
My little body to climb
I am from random McDonald’s Happy Meal toys which always seem to appear
And multitudes of colorful, soft, stuffed animals on the bed
I am from a rainbow of vibrant art supplies all over the Desk and sticky paint blotches on the rug
From light orange cat hair all over my clothes
And from amazing moms and incredible grandparents
I’m from a loud house
And dramatic people
And from artistic humans
And wanting more dessert
I am from last-minute rushed cooking that ends up delicious
I am from Grandpa and Great Nana
I am from pumpkin-colored carrot souffle and creamy chicken and gravy
From escaping the treacherous Holocaust
And from stepping on to Ellis Island
Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas on the same snowy night
I am from through moments that made me an amazing person
The moments that made me, MELexie Kempinski | Sara Livvy Avignon | GRADE 8 | Ceramic
My soul is the Flappy Piece of Pig Leather
My soul is the flappy piece of pig leather. The worn-out fuzzy mitt that’s original color is simply Indistinguishable. The feeling of home and hospitality When looked at. Jam-packed with unforgettable sparkling memories
With the sharp smell Of bubble gum.
My soul is the eye of a hurricane. Temporary pain, Everlasting beauty. Scary but scared. Calm and quiet
Hearing the wooshes of the water around. Dangerous, Aggressive, Ferocious winds attacking The silence. Held in a blanket Of water.
My soul is a fiery dragon. Glowing fire. Humongous, crystal eyes. A deathly stare that feels like it could Burn a hole through your heart. Big wings that look like they could Cover a whole city.
With determination like a bear protecting its cubs. Never going down without a fight, Seeking treasure.
My soul is gulab jamun. A food of my culture, Soft and sweet.
With a puddle of rose water Served warm or cold. Going with kheer at Diwali. With flavor so bold. Rejoicing people with comfort.Josie Koulomzin | GRADE Adele Oudens | GRADE 2 | Ceramic Claire Skeffington | GRADE 5 | CardboardCollagewithOilPastel Oscar Bernstein | GRADE 1 | Watercolor,Sharpie&OilPastel