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Editor’s Note Editor’s Note

Colophon Colophon A Special Thanks... A Special Thanks...

Note: The staff and editorial policy are located on the image side of the magazine.

To the reader: This is a very unique issue of the Setting Stone Liberal Arts Magazine. In correspondence to the theme of this publication, Versus, our magazine is two-sided; one side directly opposing the other with text versus image. Versus is a theme oppositions, double meanings, and perpendiculars that parallel to common subjects. That being said, you are about to view the text side of Versus. This side consists of works of mixed genre and form (poetry and short stories) that are paired together to display our definition of Versus in some way. The theme, Versus, was chosen during the idea-process because staff members kept naming off themes of opposition. In turn, it was a unanimous decision of all staff to just have the common theme of opposition, or Versus. All in all, Versus has been a great theme to work with. As a senior, I’m proud to see this finished product as the last issue of Setting Stone that my peers and I will ever work on. Sincerely,

Morgan Murray Head Editor

Talawanda School Board - THS Administration - Kofenya Coffee - THS Cafeteria Staff - Coffeehouse Performers - Submission Contributions - Gary Brockman - THS English Department - Matthew Aerni and Clare Squance - Docupros

Awards Awards 2011: NCTE Excellent Rating, CSPA Silver Medal 2010: NCTE Superior--Nominated Highest Award, CSPA Silver Medal 2009: NCTE Excellent Rating ,CSPA Gold Medal 2008: NCTE Excellent Rating, CSPA Gold Medal 2007: CSPA Bronze Medal

TechnicalTechnical Specifications Specifications

All titles and bylines are in either Zapfino or Perpetua fonts. All copy text is in Times. Fifty copies of this volume were printed. Artwork was scanned using the Canon “Photo All-in-One” Pixma MP 470, then edited using Adobe Photoshop CS2. All editing, page creation, and layout was done on an Apple iMac using Leopard OS X, Version 10.5.2. All spreads were designed using Adobe InDesign CS3.


vs

Table of Contents Table of Contents Sky by Ariel Shirley 7

Poetry

Tracks by Kathy Neisch 31

The Phoenix from the Ash by Luke Howard 8

Suffocation by Rachel Winters 32

Red by Kathryn Callahan 9

Flying by Shelby Sterwerf 37

Blue by Kathryn Callahan 10

Martain Poem by Carly Hansel 38

Sonnet: The Stranger by Anna Modirrousta 11

On Permanence by Mickey Myers 39

Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall by Kathryn Callahan 12 How to be an Insomniac by Morgan Murray 13

There is a Reason There is a Smile Upon My Face 40 By Lynsey Huntington Arise by Kathy Neisch 41

Catching Those Zs by Rachel Winters 14

In the Night by Scotty Hart 42

Snapshots by Ariel Shirley 17

Fragmented by Ariel Shirley 43

Time to Time by Kathryn Callahan 18

The Rain Falls by David Malone 44

Self Portrait of Pregress by Julia Stone 19

Foam Poem by Alex Tillman 45

Forever by Andy Hoffman 20

Super by Rachel Winters 46

Unseen by David Malone 21

Self Portrait at Six by Alison Brown 47

Stained Glass by Ariel Shirley 22

Death by Julia Stone 48

My Body is a House by David Malone 27

Swing by Kathy Neisch 49

Mud by Morgan Murray 28

Chicken Chicken Dinner by Justin Nipper 50

Future by Joey Hall 29

How It Appears by Morgan Murray 51

Remember When by Tessa Stevens 30

White Lies by Shelby Sterwerf 52

Short stories, Play,and Performance Piece Angels by Andy Hofmann 15 Silence by Marcus Hold 16

Someday, It Will Rain by Ariel Shirley 23-26

Wake Up, Allen by Scotty Hart 33-36


Sky Sky By Ariel Shirley I’m sorry for this; how you tremble and sweat, your pale lips cracked and yawning, bare limbs stretched to engulf the earth. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but debts and deals in time change – they continuously wane and wax – dragging charcoal circles around your platinum eyes, hollows to the pits of your cheeks, yellowed zing to your teeth. Gray mist surrounds you as you recline, drooping marrow-stained arms backward over mountains, resting your shoulders on valleys and hills. You are an enigma to my soul; as you drift and linger, so do I below the swarms of stars.

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The Phoenix from the Ash The Phoenix does rise from Ash By Luke Howard The Phoenix does rise from Ash After the Tornado of searing flame Eviscerates the old world Filled with the stench of self pity and shame Born again simple and pure Free from the old infected vines The fresh start being a sweet cure Alleviated from the vice of past crimes Now the new being takes flight Shining eyes focused at the sky Straining to see beyond the horizon’s light.

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Red

Red

By Kathryn Callahan The world is turning red, and I, we, are in the blush of the morning. Mama digs her thumb past the skin, and while the juice cries out she pries out the pit of a peach. Papa’s blood works up like a sweat behind the copper of his freckled face. It’s wide and bloated structure make me remember the cherry tomatoes we used to grill on rosy summer nights. The world is turning red, and I, they, stand by each other near tired crimson wallpaper. Mama and Papa bought it together in the heat of a summery noon, when we first arrived in this feverish town. I wipe my coral-tinged face and erase evidence of their last wine battle. And I, they, we lower our bloodshot eyes. We cannot bare to see one another, because it reminds us of when the world was pink. The world is turning red, and I do not know how to stop it.

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Blue Blue By Kathryn Callahan The family is falling into blue, and it, we, are in the push of the evening. Papa flips his knife past the shell, and while the shavings cry out he carves out the scales of a fish. Mama’s eyes build up like a sea behind the ice of her staring irises. Their ringed and looped design help me remember the navy berries we sometimes picked on salty summer mornings. The family is falling into blue, and it, we, stand on separate beryl floor tiles. Papa and Mama washed it together in the chill of a wintry night, when we again arrived in this apathetic town. I hide my cloudless-sky face and clear evidence of their last neck battle. And it, they, we lower our teal-veined hands. We cannot bare to touch one another, because it reminds us of when the world was royal. The family is falling into blue, and I do not know how to start it.

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Sonnet: The Stranger

Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall

By Anna Modirrousta

By Kathryn Callahan

Sonnet: The Stranger

As I set foot on this foreign nation A wave of unknown faces greeted me Piercing stares examined in confusion While I tried to find way in this city Searching a familiar place in sight I stumbled and fell, so lost and alone Desperate, I attempted with my might To manage this kind of life on my own. But I noticed soon that effort was vain For, although I wanted to blend in here, I knew there was much more knowledge to gain That I’d be victim of worries and fear Fear of being stranger, to not fit in Of collapsing entirely within.

Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall

She told me how many bristles and how many brushes it takes until she can work her hair into something “presentable”. And I wonder how something able enough to be present can be so passable. Because she told me she stands there 6360 seconds, more than that at times, and watches herself in the mirror, and models herself in the mirror, and tells me she hates how she looks. And I wonder how still she stood when she glared into the mirror. Because when I am with her she is always moving, and every 6360 seconds she’s changed 6360 times. One movement she is a mixture of her own skin and breaths, and the next I am distracted by the flap of a folder on a desk. And I wonder if she’s ever gonna stop staring at me like she looks into a mirror.

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Because during the day her perspectives and the angles that others watch her with are not hung up on a bathroom wall, they are like amateur cameras, minus the special effects. Some slightly out of focus and others too far away.

And I wonder if she knows that I’m not judging her all the time. Because she’s almost always moving too much, and shifting too much for me to remember what I saw three seconds ago that is now being replaced with what I saw one second ago. And I can’t remember all those seconds. And I wonder why she makes us all out to be mirrors and not windows. Because if she noticed me and then noticed that I have moved on, she’d begin to understand that her movements sometimes mimic me, or sometimes lead my way and that we work together. And I wonder why she doesn’t know that she is not ugly. Because I know that I’m more alive than a smoothed and glossy picture bound into this year’s magazine. And that I can think and change faster than the flip of every page and every blow to her self-esteem. And I wonder, if I’m her mirror, why doesn’t she see what I see? 12


How to be an Insomniac How to be an insomniac

By Rachel Winters

By Morgan Murray i Wait until night; Turn off the light. Stare into the dark— Hoping, praying, depending for the sandman to catch your eye. ii Wait for the dark to spark the stars in your mind. Count the constellations and wave hello to the man on the moon. iii Wait for the stars to tell you a story. Breathe in and think. Think of all you must do tomorrow. Think of all the problems in the world today. Think of all things that happened yesterday.

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Catching Those Zs Catching Those Zs

iv Turn on the lamp and kill the stars. Pull out your charcoals; Pull out your sketchpad— from underneath your pillow. v Wait for tomorrow to become today, and for today to become yesterday.

In one night it all went downhill. The dark air shifted to black, black Lingering over my retinas, Longing for sleep, leaving my sanity in reality. Green stars gleaming from the ceiling above my head. Hours have passed. The lack of shut-eye consumes me. Droopy eyelids sag with sleepiness. Wanting to close but remaining open. My limbs are restless, aching to move. So I do. My body flops over, forcing a pillow over the edge. Time carries forward, and yet I still lay here. My mind wanders into the back crevices, Dwelling on what I could dream of. The lack of shut-eye consumes me. The night moves on into eternity. Eleven turns to one turns to three. The sheep get counted. The drunken milk sits in my stomach. Finally, finally my eyelids get heavy. Suddenly, all my worries flee. There is nothing. The lack of shut-eye consumes me.

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Angels Angels By Andy Hofmann

Your head is turned upward like on one of those stained glass windows of Jesus or The Virgin Mary or Paul or whoever, your head turned unnaturally to the side. I think I can see a tear running down your cheek, but maybe it’s just a stray sparkle of light that happened to land upon your upturned features. You’re floating here, like an angel, but I know you’re not one of those celestial guardians you loved so much. Angels, if they exist, don’t fly using ropes. When you walked the earth like a human being, your laugh shook mountains and people and hearts and those cobwebs in my head that stick to my thoughts like cancer. Even back then, it was a rare treasure that I had the pleasure of hearing only once or twice. If God laughs, he laughs like you. You’re beautiful still, even though your limbs can’t find the strength to pull you back to earth. I briefly wonder if stronger limbs could pull you back to me. I stare at you. No, nothing could pull you down. Not even love. No, nothing could pull you up from the depths. Not even love. You walked among the slugged because you thought you were sludge. You cried because you thought you deserved to cry. I want to tell you that you’re wrong, that you’re beautiful and amazing and pure, but I can’t. My throat is filled with the mire you collected, year after year after year. There are things I cxould have done, though. Even if I couldn’t have helped you out of your prison, I could’ve still helped you in this battle of you vs. yourself. We could have gone to see someone. Counseling, medication. I could have been with you 24/7, I could have supported you 15

Silence Silence and that faith that had kept you here long enough to fascinate and mystify me. But you’re floating in the air now, like an angel. If there is a God I’m not sure he or her or it created us out of love, out of sadistic pleasure, or something else, because angels don’t fly using ropes. You etched your name on the back of my eyelids, and then in a cloud of chaos you disappeared and now you’re up there. I can’t call it floating anymore but I’m not ready to call it what it is. I should have taken more pictures of you. Pictures of your smile. Your smile was like a beautiful red balloon on a dreary spring day. I should have take a picture of it, framed it. Now I can’t, I guess. People in the air don’t smile. Angels smile, but they don’t use ropes to fly. Lives are like paintings and I consider what your painting was like. I don’t think there’s an answer to the question. I call it what it is, even though I’m still not ready. You’re hanging. Hanging from the rafters of a world that didn’t understand, couldn’t understand. The noose is tight around your neck, and angels don’t fly with nooses around their necks. You’re swinging slightly, and your head is turned upward like Jesus or The Virgin Mary. There’s a sparkle of stray light on your cheek, but maybe it’s the last tear that ran out of those deep, deep eyes that I’ll never be able to look into again. You’re beautiful, like an angel, but you’re dad and hanging from a noose. For a moment, I imagine there is no rope ,and you’re floating like a Goddess. Or, perhaps, one of those celestial, winged guardians you loved so much. But I blink, and you’re gone, like memories.

By Marcus Holm (Performance piece) Quiet cripple Crutches Hinders

Keeps people from feeling From hearing

Teaches them to work only in quiet Only when no one else can help Teaches them to never focus

Only ever work on one stimulus Shut the rest out

Because the rest are going to hurt you. Quiet is the enemy Silence is strong So powerful

So meaningful

And yet we turn into something less Every time we hush an idea Or quiet a speech

We simply use silence as a punishment “Be quiet. It’s the ideal” “Be silent, it’s proper”

“Be hushed, it’s efficient Don’t be quiet

But encourage a respected silence Like this one Or this one

Because the lull of passion In the lull of anger

In the lull of all emotion We find it

That beautiful silence That respect

Because the power of silence

Is in the power of what it follows

And if silence follows “Quiet Coyote” or “Be quiet while others take their test” What power will that ever have? Fight the quiet Fight the hush

Defend the silence.

Defend moments like this.

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Snapshots Snapshots By Ariel Shirley So, he took up the broom And swept away the broken bits Of leaves; stroking at the old floorboards, He smiled almost Forgetfully. The soft sound came at me, Sort of like a scratch, a whisper; An echo of the madness and mayhem Of before. Hands with knuckles bared, Scarred, blooming white tips To long rose fingers. Wrapped about the handle, He leaned against some imaginary Reminisce of the wind. Brown eyes Set to stare off into the distance.

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Time To Time Time To Time By Kathryn Callahan In small doses and from time to time I don’t really mind the smell of pollution. When it dies in rock beds that thickness really hits my eyes and the bags below them are filled with leaves. When we rake we take them to the edge. It is for the rain that likes to fall and drag them into the streets. It’s there we car-weave and shy away from hunger-bys. You, I don’t know why you don’t just rock yourself to sleep in my bed. It’s not like I haven’t been awake since post-birth made me sit up and smell the cups of chemicals. And each cup turns to gallons to turn to tons to fill this tank of a meaning I can’t get through the small doses and “time to time”. I don’t really mind the rest when it dies.

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Self Portrait of Progress Self Portrait of Progress

Forever Forever

By Julia Stone

By Andy Hofmann

The day was young Radiant light blissfully cascaded Upon branches of a blossoming tree White flowers painted their innocence in the wind Swaying angelically like majestic ballroom dancers Leaves welcomed sky’s euphonious song of life They embraced each note with the buoyancy of youth A softly flowing melody composed of blue harmony And sky reached down to touch each supple branch Its cool iridescent hand refreshing and invigorating And sun carefully kindled the tree’s green spirit With the affectionate warmth of a mother to her child But soon the unsettling crunch of footsteps A sound foreign to the tree’s keen ear His breath smelled of rotten flesh The salty sin of sweat on his lips Axe in hand Not a care He slashed Through the Trembling Trunk Then He rebuilt A home For himself With all the Tree had lost A trunk remains Never quite the same But still my roots endure Strong and wise, resilient To grow again once more

go, God, like, hands, limply, looking, seek-ing, stringing, comprehend, an-idealike, eternity-yes, like-eternity, foreverisalove, lookatmyeyesthe, queriessearching, markingofeternity, butthenrealizethat, andeverythingislove. (Snowball poem)

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Unseen Unseen

Stained Stained Glass Glass

By David Malone

By Ariel Shirley

Windows, spider-webbed with cracks glisten like silver threads in the early morning haze as vibrant shades of yellow peek out from behind the protection of grey giants. There is life here. It creeps behind doorways, hollow mouths agape in readiness for words swallowed for their interpretation. Yes, they say. No. Do. Do not. Yesnododonot and there is a pulse, A breath of fresh air as the life stirs creating ripples, obscured behind dust and debris, that many will not see.

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There is simplicity to sorrow, how it lounges and hangs about the moistening, bourbon eyes. How it drips and droops along the curvature of the conscious upper brow – How it displays itself within the folds of a curious smile.

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Someday, It Will Rain Someday, It Will Rain By Ariel Shirley

“John?” he whispered sadly, as if moaning only to the mellowed wind.  He didn’t raise his eyes from the culled dirt beneath his bare feet, too afraid of the nothingness to look up.   Too afraid he wouldn’t be there, like so many times before.  “Can you hear me?  John?” the wind shifted and dusted off a pile of leaves beside him, kicking them up so that they could dance along the ground on their flimsy edges, waltzing precariously away down the lane leading out—to who knows where.  Bella didn’t, certainly didn’t, because if he did, then he wouldn’t need John around.  And where would the fun be in that?  He finally let his gaze lift a little to graze over the patchwork fence that surrounded his grandfather’s yard, seeing a murder of crows gliding close to the ground.   His tanned, slim face creased as he thought suddenly:   why’re they always called a murder?  They seemed cruel enough as it went, seeing as how black they were.   Dirty.   They reminded him of the mud that once splattered through the tiny yard, back when there was rain. Rain.   “How’re things, Bellamy?” a ghostly voice asked, seeming so far away.  John stood but a few steps behind where Bella stooped, wiggling his toes.   He was up on the porch, whistling.   Bella could never resist his whistling, just like he couldn’t fight the sweet temptation of flowers in the spring.  Or the sound of that crooning brook sixteen stone throws away, or the bark of that hound dog mama kept till she croaked five summers ago.   Poor mama... She never had the chance to meet John.   Bellamy slowly came up from his crouch and spun, smiling wearily at sweet John. John smiled simply, his feet planted firmly on the worn floor boards, loose and lanky black hair shivering slightly in the breeze.  He 23

wore that rumpled cadet’s jacket from the old wars, spangled with ropy adornments on the stiff shoulders, tailored buttons down the front.   Opened, so that Bella could catch sight of the crisp, starched white shirt beneath.  Pristine, as always. His blanched face was calm-set and wonderful, as if he had just stepped off from a dream.  That’s where ‘poet’ John lived—positively in dreams.  He had no work to speak of, but he carried the burden of a thousands untold worlds on his back.   He was brilliant, quietly brilliant.  He also controlled the stars. And the moon, if you were lucky enough to catch him.  Bellamy shrugged his shoulders, lowering his eyes to John’s scuffed up black riding boots.  “Fine, John.  Besides the dry air, and the twisters, we’re just...dandy.” it was a bit of a lie, but could you blame him?  He didn’t want to worry his old friend, his only friend, besides the peach tree out back that he talked to from time to time.  It wasn’t much of a peach tree, on account of it haven’t growing anything since mama died, but it was what it was.  Like Bellamy, who was nothing but some scrawny little farm boy.   He breathed out a heavy sigh and looked up once again, seeing the shining look of bravado in John’s eyes.  They held that bittersweet charm of being somewhere painful yet romantic at the same time. He was sort of grinning.  “How many twisters there been, Bella?” he murmured, rolling a tiny twig between his fingers.  Dead.  The tiny leaves black and twisted.  He couldn’t see John harming anything living.   Bella twirled and plopped back down onto the dusty ground again.   He took up his scavenging for puddles on the ground, left behind maybe by the passing storms of the past.   He saw none but in John’s salt-watery blue eyes.  He listened with

taut awareness as John passed by him, down the steps, and to the back of the front gate, staring indecisively out over the tar-caked road.   The backside of his pants covered in dirt.  Bellamy thought of mentioning it, when he just kind of laughed.  Softly and full of thought. He didn’t know what to say.  “Five this past month,” he replied honestly, heaving out his small chest as he scooped up a grainy bit of ground in his hand.  He blew it away with a single breath and shrugged.  “Twenty this year, I’m sure, over all.” Bella’s mind drifted, he wondered suddenly to himself:  what are you? His eyes lifted as John wandered back, silent.  Trapped.  Bellamy could almost see the chains around his friend’s ankles, he could see the hunger in his iridescent eyes, the way he threw his wild gaze against the fenced in walls like the place was a prison. Bella realized all at once that he was beautiful.  Like one of those murderous crows; mysterious and majestic.  John began to smile once more. “Not good, Bella, not good.” he resumed his trek, the porch to the gate, retracing his sure steps, always clicking black heels, face resigned to a look of resignation.  Bellamy kept quiet as he dug further down into the ground, looking for gold.   Bellamy knew there was nothing there in the ground, but he imagined that there was some somewhere.  Maybe someday it would reach him -- until then, he merely searched in vain.   “Why doesn’t your old man drag you away from this horrid place?” Bella shrugged his slight shoulders again, glancing up.  “He won’t leave.  Said he can’t abandon mama or grams.   I don’t really care, besides the lack of rain.   Nothing grows anymore, John.   It worries me more than anything else.  What’ll we do without it?  I’d even

take a bit of hail, if that’s what the sky would give me.   Anything...” he lifted his hands up slowly, his eyes opening up to the sky.  He let his mouth hang open for a moment, imagining a drop of water hitting his pink tongue.  He shut his mouth. His soft, boyish lips pursed, and he thought himself about to cry, when John reappeared again, beside him, sliding down so that they were completely parallel.  He said nothing for awhile, he merely stared down at his hands; thinking.  He was always thinking.  Above everything else, Bellamy loved him for that.  They listened as the sharp winds died down and let the weak sounds of spring leak into their ears, their minds, their hearts.  It was strange, how it all creaked like an old screen door.  Bellamy’s green eyes flickered from his dirty hands up to John, who was now picking at the tassels on his shoulders.  He was still thoughtful, worryingly thoughtful. He began to frown.   “Do you know why I’m kept here, Bella?” he asked quietly, not looking up or away, just down.   Down at his white hands, down at his bare pockets, down at his crossed ankles, down at the parched ground.  Bella slowly shook his head, halfway shutting his out stretched palms. “No,” he answered promptly, smiling a bit.  He stayed for him, didn’t he?  He could see that far off twinkle in his eye, like he might say so.  But his lips told different, not smiling this way or that.   “Your grandfather keeps me here,” he began easily enough, sighing as he ran a hand through his fine hair.  He didn’t meet his eyes as he glanced out over the horizon.  His mouth hung agape as he chuckled under his breath.   “You know, I’ve never been past that fence...” 24


(continued) Bella pressed a hand to John’s knee.   “Why’re you kept here, John?” he searched him for an answer, feeling slightly ill, like everything was unraveling again.   “What d’you mean?” he didn’t dare voice what rose up within him:  are you even real? John laughed once more.  “You should know.  I mean, what do I look like to you?” his nostrils flared and his raking gaze was hot.  “A ghost?” Bellamy shook his head despite himself. “No, not a ghost, John—” he mumbled fretfully, stupidly, seeing that he must have said something completely idiotic.  Why else would John be glaring at him like that?  What did he say?   He just wanted some protection, some love, caring—where could he get that, if not from John? “Then what?” he demanded, jolting to his feet to pace up the front porch.   He fell onto the swing there and buried his face in his hands.   He didn’t cry, no need to.   Bellamy stayed glued to the ground like a shocked mole, wanting to bury himself in the muck.  Let him die, if he drove John away.   He heard a moan come from John and he scrambled to his knees, pushing himself so that he was closer, sprawled on the steps.   John didn’t take notice, looking only at the door.   “I’ve been here sixty years, Bellamy.  Sixty.  No one saw me till you—you lost your mother.  Sure, your grandad did, but he resented me from the start.  He hates me, rightly so.   I can’t do anything about it, though, I...” he drifted into silence, dumb as a clam.   Bella couldn’t understand a word of it, crawling to curl by his feet. “What d’you mean?   Did you die or something?” he figured, having read the occasional ghost story over the years he lived. He never heard grandfather talk of anyone dy25

ing, besides the women.   How he grieved for them.   Took it upon himself, the blame of it, saying he drove them to their early graves through lack of caring.  He cared.  Bella knew he did.   Otherwise, why would they stay the length they did, if not for the sheer love of an honest man?  John licked his lips and sat back, looking as pale as stone. “Quite the opposite actually,” John replied with a bit of that smirk coming back, “I was never born.” “What?” Bella murmured, brow knitting.  The wind picked up again.  “How’re you... like this then?” “Well, this:  this is just make believe.” he gestured at himself and smiled bewitchingly.   “You see, your great grandmother was a very lonely person.  Her husband spent a lot of time on the road, selling things to make the days stretch by.   So, she had your grandad to keep her company at first.   But then, when he was ten, she grew anxious again.   She wanted another, so I was conceived,” his smile faded and he shrugged.  Bellamy crossed his eyes and chewed his bottom lip. “What happened then?”    “Your grandfather pushed her off these steps,” he paused, staring off into the distance.  “And I was...”    “Why would he do that?”     “Because, Bella, he didn’t want any competition.  He was a selfish boy, who did selfish things.   I don’t blame him, I would have done the same.”    “You wouldn’t,” Bellamy whispered, shaking his head.

    “Of course not.   Not my nature, silly,” he rocked back and forth, seeming as content as the breeze.   “But it’s important to know anyone could, even you.” his voice dropped and he looked so incredibly lost.  Like he wasn’t fully there—he never was, Bella couldn’t see why he thought so in the first place.  “So, I’m stuck here.  I don’t know how to leave.  I just appeared one day in the bean fields out back, when they were burying your grandmother.  I didn’t even know what I was then.  Still don’t fully know... Am I a ghost?” his question fell flat in the dirt, “The only thing I remember is snippets, tiny things of when Gregory was growing up and listening to her talk about what I was going to be.  I was to be a soldier, actually.  Got the uniform to prove it,”    Bellamy brightened at this.  “Maybe your our sentry then,” he proposed gently, “You’re always there when I need you.   Seems perfectly correct to me,” John laughed, breaking into a wide grin.    “I don’t think so, but that’s a worthy cause,” he brushed his hair back and looked funny.  Like he did in the moonlight, when he was parked on the far edge of the roof, whistling at the stars.  He looked as if he might be dreaming.  “No, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do...” he perked up for a moment to wink at Bella.  “But I do know that I’d miss you terribly if you left me....” A flickering smile.

father’s.   But not John’s.   Never John’s.   He didn’t have real feet.     He thought that must be the worst thing of all, if he could even understand it.  He wanted to cry, but he was afraid to waste his tears away on something as tragic as a trapped soul in his grandfather’s fortress of lies, scandals.   He couldn’t think of a rational thing to say.  What could he say?  He wanted to apologize, but thought that wrong.  It wasn’t his fault.  He knew that.  He wanted to just spew thoughtless things and sob, clutching at John’s starched white shirt, breathing in nothing.   Because that’s what he truly was:   nothing.   He wasn’t real, was he?   Was he?   Bella drew in a sharp breath and gripped the banister, swaying.  He could smell the electric buzz of lightning.  He mumbled something urgently, before the clouds moved in.  “What am I gonna do?” he whispered anxiously, turning slightly to see the mirror of fragmented torment in John’s glance.  “What am I gonna do, John?” Briefly, a look of pity washed over John’s cool features.  Then he rose like a lark and enveloped Bella in his light-weight arms.  It was like being embraced by the air.  Bellamy leaned into it, burying his face in the man’s non-existent shoulder.  He was there; Bella could feel it.  The thunder broke out as John murmured, “Someday, my Bellamy, someday... It will rain.”

    Then Bellamy stood and stretched, leaning over the porch’s peeling banister.  He could feel a storm coming.     But whether it was a good one or bad, he couldn’t tell.  His sad green eyes took in all that was to see in the growing darkness:  the trees, the road, the fence, the willowy lane.  The cracked ground, his thin fingers, the freckles on his arms.  And his footprints, along with his grand26


My Body is a House My Body is a House

Mud

By David Malone

By Morgan Murray

My body is a house weathered boards, creaking steps, and rusted nails An exoskeleton of resilience thrusting out against the world to meet with leather hands that flick and peel Familiar cascading down to expose Old layers of New A boxy onion of once hidden promise, and of the colour of possibility

A dark cloud whispered to the rocking sea; Together—you and I dreamed of a garden. But the storm’s birth arrived sooner than expected, And our dream of a garden was reduced to a wish. But then the moist summer incubated a tiny beauty, And we were jubilant to unite with the cherished rose.

Mud

Then the painter comes A box full of liquid skin grafts meant to fix to shelter those layers freshly licked by the sun’s warm touch, A silver tongue weaving from ropes of fool’s gold and sewing shut those cracks those flakes those New areas of Old For they still belong to the house and the house alone.

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Remember When Remember When

Future Future By Joey Hall And this is where you wanted to be All the time, in betterment of yourself But you never put forth the effort ‘Til now And this is where you start Where the hand of God meets the heart of man And the sparks start flying Causing embers to kindle And hidden feelings to waken In betterment of yourself From now And you blame yourself For all the things you haven’t done But that’s not the way to move Not the way to advance And in betterment of yourself You leap forward For duty, for country For now And in time things will get better You’ll see the progress shifting And the adoration that comes Will be a fraction of the blessing When the hand of God meets the heart of man And sparks fly in betterment of yourself The advancing of pureness Shining light for all to see But you must start at square one The beginning for now And you should never lose sight Of the gifts He grants you Put a smile on your face In betterment of yourself There is a new you around the corner And it’s waiting, simply waiting 29

For the sparks to fly and the embers to kindle Square one becomes two And onward to infinity For ever and ever And things will be great Through trials be ‘round And ashes and soot you march your way through But you grit your teeth, chasing flying sparks Rekindling embers in betterment of yourself For it’s all you can do ‘Til the light shines right through And you see with true eyes For the very first time Where the fires consume And the embers ensue In betterment of yourself For now And though i’d like to say more, it’s all up to you As you chase flying sparks And rekindle those embers For the hand of God is on your heart, O man, And the heart beats faster as it wonders anew When the hues fuse and rings of light ensue The mighty happenings abounding Are but a taste of the new Reach out, in Glory! For the life is now true! In betterment of yourself, There’s a smile on you And the changes hit, and they on, continue Embrace it, enjoy it Remarkable joy! For the end never comes And “ever” is now

By Tessa Stevens remember when… the moon fell?

the sky was crying shattered stars?

the world was rising to the sun?

my life was leaving through sanity?

i couldn’t feel the sand?

the beautiful raining sand

all that is left of the city.

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Tracks Tracks

Suffocation

By Kathy Neisch

By RAchel Winters

I’ve wasted all my time Writing poems on the bottom of my shoes, but all of the guys who have been there, you’re the only one who just won’t fade. You’ve impacted my soul, so I’ll leave imprints of us across the snow and mud For mother nature to giggle at. Follow my soft footsteps to a slow song of us.

Surrounded. Water caging me in, Which way is up? Down? I’ll never know. I’m 10,000 leagues in, 20 feet from the surface. My eyes open to see the Deep blue being black. My mouth unwillingly opens, Gasping for air but insteadI get water. Is this it? Is this how I will go? Terrified, Unsure arms reach up, desperate for something, anything. Just barely out of reach But I reach all the same.

Suffocation

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Wake Up, Allen

Wake Up, Allen By Scotty Hart (A one-act play.)

THE GIRAFFE- An odd ball teen. THE MAN- Allen, a sad, dirty looking man. The giraffe (a young man in a costume) walks into a dark dirty room, and sits on the couch. While a man is hidden asleep on another couch. The giraffe sits on the couch for several moments. Neither the giraffe nor the man notices each other.

Man: Oh um… (The man stops) Giraffe: Yeah see if this is you’re house then where’s all the pictures? where are all the memories? Man: I burnt them all.

Man: (snore)

Giraffe: Why would you do something dumb like that? In my house?

Giraffe: What was that?

Man: God! This isn’t your house ok? I can prove it.

Man: (snore)

(He points out a heart shaped rug)

Giraffe: Hello?

Giraffe: What’s that?

Man: What? Hello?

Man: Look under the rug. There’s large crack under it.

Giraffe: AH! What are you doing in my house!?

Giraffe: Wow there is.

Man: What are you doing in MY house?!

Man: It’s been growing ever since they left.

(They begin to chase each other around the room.)

Giraffe: Oh god not again. This really is your house

Man: Get out of my house you big animal!

Man: This has happened before?

Giraffe: Get away from me and get out of my house!

Giraffe: Yeah, well last Halloween I was trying to find my house, and I ended up trampling on this very scared Asian family’s dinner. This year I wondered in here.

Man: This is not your house! Giraffe: Yes it is! Man: You’re wrong! Giraffe: No you’re wrong Man: Just get out of MY house! Giraffe: If this is your house then prove it? Where all the pictures on the wall? Hmm? 33

Man: Yeah all the houses in this neighborhood look the same. Giraffe: And it’s really hard to see in this Giraffe costume. Man: Why are you wearing that giraffe costume anyway? You look too big to be trick or treating. What are you in the 17th grade? Giraffe: Well I hit my head when I was 4 and woke up when I was 14. So I trick or treat to make up for lost time. 34


(Continued)

Man: Wow.

(Another chase, Allan wrecks the room. They only stop when they are both out of breath.)

Giraffe: Who’s they?

Giraffe: Thanks for wrecking my house.

Man: They?

Man: How many times do I have to tell you this is my house?

Giraffe: They! You said, “They left”, and why did you burn your photos?

Giraffe: It might as well be my house. I mean you just let it sit and rot. I bet the neighbors talk. Talk about how you’re lowering their home value. How you never leave the house?

Man: Listen kid. Sometimes things don’t work out you know? Sometimes you can love someone so much, but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes there’s not a line in the world can put your life back together. Giraffe: So you burnt all the photos to forget? Man: Yeah, I just couldn’t bare the pain anymore. I didn’t want to remember but I couldn’t forget. I’ve known my wife since we were kids. We had such beautiful children… Then one morning she left a note and they were gone. You’re lucky you didn’t have a childhood. It fills you with hope and sets you up for disappointment. (He sits on the couch and stares off into the distance)

Man: How do you know I never leave the house? Giraffe: Of course you don’t I mean you look at yourself you’re a mess. Man: Oh so now the kid dressed as a giraffe is the fashion police. Giraffe: No, that’s not what I’m saying. Man: Then what are you saying?

Giraffe: Wow, That’s awful. I’m sorry. There’s just one thing.

Giraffe: All I’m saying is that this is your life, so you can make with it what you will. But I’m not going to let the world rob me of my best years. How long have you been napping? An hour? A day? A year? How long are you going to let you life drift away?

Man: What?

Man: I don’t know what to say.

Giraffe: Why did you stop living?

Giraffe: It’s not what you say in life it’s what you do that counts. You couldn’t say anything to get your wife to stick around. But did you ever do anything?

Man: What do mean? I’m breathing aren’t I? Giraffe: Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you’re living. I lost some of the best years of my life to a coma. But I am still living. I’m still trying to get my life back. Why are you here sitting on your ass in this dark dingy room, watching your life go by? Man: Get out. Giraffe: Listen, I. Man: I said get out! Giraffe: No this is my house. Man: NO IT’S NOT! 35

Man: No, I guess not. Giraffe: Good-bye. It’s time for me to go. (He turns to the door) Man: No don’t go please! I don’t have anyone else, but you. Giraffe: But I must. I can’t stay here. I can’t live in this house for you; I can’t fix the life you destroyed. Nothing can last forever. That’s what makes the time you had, and the time you have so special. Wake up Allen. Man: Wait don’t go! How do you know my name? Giraffe: (Exits) Man: (Looks around at the mess. Then walks off set. He returns with a bucket of wet cement. Then starts cementing the cracks under the rug. Then exits again.) I’m awake! 36


Flying Flying By Shelby Sterwerf The cold air touching my skin Bright lights touching the horizon But the fog makes the light cloudy. No matter the condition, The little birds song is the only thing to be heard. Whispering for anyone to hear Singing the song of beauty No one is around So I sit and listen, Life around me fades away that is the secret to flying, let life fade away She sings and then you will soar.

Martian Poem

Martian Poem By Carly Hansel The thudding of hooves Heavy breathing. Blinded by speed They fly by. How do they do it? No one out there to help. Working as a team, They must do it together. Right here right now, No time for mistakes. You either get it right Or you get it wrong. Seconds pass, Barrels pass. any time to think? No, just time to do. Only time to be the best, Failure is not an option. All the hard work And time put in, Only to go by in seconds. It’s them, Against the others, Them against One day being the best. Its three barrels, Two hearts, And one dream. Are you ready? (Martian Poem)

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On Permanence On Permanence

There Is a Reason There is a Smile Upon My Face There Is a Reason There is a Smile Upon My Face

By Mickey Myers

By Lynsey Huntington

The wind gusts through the sliding open doors what is this bustling world of which I see? I lean forward with curiosity But is this adventure for I, or we? For some seek freedom for themselves alone this is a question I could not foresee to love without you chills me to the bone.

My fingers sprawled, resting gently against the keys. My hands jump, ready for what they’ve done practically all their lives. Ready to run their fastest. Ready to sneak from tree to tree. Ready to caress that new born baby. Ready to hit the softball with the bat Ready to dance, to love. My hands, they are ready to come alive.

But I cannot for you this world be shone and you will journey with me in my heart for I could not forget your quiet moan untimely, we meet as we depart.

My ears rise up out of bed. They listen to the notes, dynamics, and the rhythm. They look out for mistakes. They marvel at the beauty, the greatness, the pure happiness and joy that their allies Produce so easily.

If I am simply half to your dear soul, then we cannot ourselves be proudly whole.

My right foot goes out for a nice walk through the breezes, easy exercise. It lifts up and down, the pedal rising and falling, as the line indicates, my eyes tell me so. My eyes, my genius eyes are the most important piece to this puzzle. They are my horoscope reader for my music. They connect every piece of me together. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, without them, I wouldn’t be here. For they see when my right foot should lift. They see the notes, dynamics, and the rhythm my fingers should play. They help produce the sound my ears hear. My eyes are the most important because the enable my fingers, ears, and my right foot, To smile, enable ME to smile, to be happy, free, to live.

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Arise Arise

In the Night In the Night

By Kathy Neisch

By Scotty Hart

I guess that’s what I have to do When the smell of fear Becomes your musky cologne. The places I used to go For the gentle, tingling breath On the back of my neck That went from dreams to nightmares. Those hugs I used to cherish Faded like old Polaroids And the echoes of your beating heart Become the drum beat To the painful memory march.

In the night, I open my eyes, I close my ears, so not to hear the lies. I thoughts these words would not take me places; Now I know, like the moon, we live through phases. I swallow the disappointment; the kid in me dies. I inhale, and then sigh. Silence, not a whimper nor cry. I mark these empty pages In the night. I breathe the black sky; I remembered the words I used to live by. I’ll be the shadow between spaces, The wrinkles on my parent’s faces. We can live, you and I In the night. (Rondeau)

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Fragmented Fragmented

The Rain Falls

By Ariel Shirley

By David Malone

Sat on the terrace, Eyes tracing a line From the fading trees, to the ocean brine.

the rain falls tiny crystalline bullets that sh a t t e r upon impact flecks of translucent shrapnel pooling together forming patchwork plates which clothe the sodden ground

Listening without ears To the expanse of space and time, The silence that explores the dusty hues of my mind. The lips that once enshrouded mine Are now enclosed beneath the pale sky, Wondering, affixed to something strung awry. Perhaps, per chance, Lost to the benevolence Of nature’s immature grind.

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The Rain Falls

the rain falls a ratta tat tat tat of tiny drumming fingers intent on capturing attention like the liquid feet of a tap dancer placed gracefully to the soles of shoes black as dusk

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Foam Poem Foam Poem

Super Super

By Alex Tillmann

By Rachel Winters

Under the sea I go. Nothing ever comes of us. Torn from you, torn from life. Orange strip circles your pupil as you look up at the sky. Unchanged, unmoved. Cheering for life and love. Hate reality and the future because it’s unknown. Advance toward me, arms stretched out wide. Birthing a new beginning. Living on and staying occupied. Eating, sleeping, living.

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They call me super I’m not a fantastic person, no extraordinary talents. So why am I super? I glue the pieces together. When all the Elmer’s flakes off, here I stand. Durable, withstanding extreme pressure. Your trusty steed. All you need in one convenient red white and green tube. When you are wounded I bond the oozing wound back together. When your life shatters, Millions of shards, a puzzle to fit back. I’m there. I glue the pieces together. But I can’t flake off, no. I’ll get sued. But what holds me together? Myself. I’m super.

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Self Portrait at Six Self Portrait at Six

Death

By Alison Brown

By Julia Stone

A porcelain doll, Only the occasional playmate, No mud pies, Sitting alone on a shelf Lonely and shy, I sit in my given place. Moving is not an option. For I might get dirty I’ve secluded myself within these walls, My master my best friend Scared of dust and dirt, I keep to myself, Right on this shelf.

Death

I can’t help but think of what’s to come The unknown The pulsing beat of my heart Reminds me that I am temporary thump thump thump Blood flows People grow Time goes by People die What does it feel like? A sharp pain An indescribable sensation? Where do we go? A new world, A light at the end of the tunnel? Or just dark Endless sleep Just numbness Just nothing.

To catch a glimpse of what this New life screen would show Press play Wrinkles Weak brittle bones And a world where Nothing seems permanent And life is but a limit A ticking clock Tick tick tick The nursing home like a prison With death as the only key to freedom Am I satisfied with the life I’ve had? Do regrets stain my soul with dread? Or is it too soon to think of being dead? Is this simply just another Senseless worry in my head.

Adult. Mature. Old. We will all be old. It’s a scary word; old.

Fast-forward 47

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Swing Swing By Kathy Neisch Do not speak softly As your passion’s stern callings Echo over miles. Inside a swing step We are moving through time, so Intertwined by fate.

Chicken Chicken Dinner Chicken Chicken Dinner By Justin Nipper By a route obscure and lonely, Success in Circuit lies Hear the sledges with the bellsGlazed with rain I celebrate myself, and sing myself, Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

Do not step softly Because I need you to lead, I can hardly stand. This little word ‘love’ Has been millions of things, But now it makes sense. Step-step, rock-step, and Suddenly with a great jolt I remember it. This fluttering thing They call it butterflies, right, This is something great.

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How It Appears How It Appears By Morgan Murray

I will press my ear to the concrete and listen to the heartbeat of mother Earth. Nature—her son—pulses through her veins with magma blood cells. The sun shines upon my hair—a golden reflection; a curtain of yellow silk. The folds and creases shine bright with pride; each curl has a mind of its own. A piano riffs while the choir sings—a joyous tune to be heard in the summer sunrise. I feel the sweet summer slipping away; air cools and reminds me of the salty fall. The dew on the grass reminds me of a broken mirror—shining in pieces on a sharp blade. The shadows from the blades are like mountain tops—rising and falling with elegance. My pen dances across the page; each letter slightly less immaculate than the next. They turn to ribbons of black ink—tying into twists and loops, lengthening with each word.

White Lies White Lies By Shelby Sterwerf I lied a little. There are things I don’t want to tell you. Not lost, although I long to be, Lost as a snowflake in the sea. The gray sea and the long black land trembling, flickering. like a sun alone absence like a murderous blood. What I want is just the fantasy, A heart whose love is innocent. The red rose whispers of passion. In silence the heart raves. What a liar you are, It’s really fear you want to talk about. The secret of like assuming there is such a secret, yes, Of the waves that are breaking upon the shore, Remember me when I am gone away. There are still things I don’t want to tell you. Cento Poem.

Poems used: Angel of Duluth by Madelon Sprengnether, Meeting at Night by Robert Browning, The White Rose by John Boyce O’ Reilly, She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon Bryon, True Love by Robert Penn Warren, Demon and the Dove by Miguel Murphy, I Am Not Yours by Sara Teasdale, Japanese Lullaby by Eugene Field

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versus


Setting Stone--Versus