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SNU Expressions

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Contents Hannah Amos

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George H. Price

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Marion Brรถdys

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Catherine Roby

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Celeste Forrest-Blissett

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Christina Roby

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Caleb Siems

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Art 6

Poetry 10

Photography 12 Literature 13 Poetry 15

Poetry 60

Poetry 62 Photography 63 Art 64 Photography 66 Literature 68 Poetry 76

Lindsey Fudge

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Cassie Halbert

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Photography 80 Literature 82 Poetry 89

Jacob Hicks

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Jana Seymour

Summer Howard

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Cole Trotter 97

Briana Looby

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Diane Wade

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Jade McCall

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Sam Wing

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Laura Womack

109

Poetry 20 Poetry 24

Poetry 30

Literature 34 Art 40 Poetry 43

Art 48 Photography 51

Morgan Mosshart Photography 56

Poetry 94

Photography 98

Photography 100 Poetry 103 Poetry 121 Poetry 110

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Dedicated to those who contributed. May the talent that is immortalized in these pages be a light in times of struggle.

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The Art of

Hannah Amos

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Art

Lydia the Fawn

It’s also a Gun 6


The Sun Caught in Her Raven Hair

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The Poetry of

Marion Brรถdys

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Poetry Dreams

There is a moment, Early, when I open my eyes and the sun is ready to rise, When sadness and joy equally get a hold of me. The confusion, written on my face, the empty look again, I wanted to tell her what it feels like, Exactly that instant when my mind comes back to reality, When the alarm has more authority over me than heartfelt desires All I want is to stay in paradise with you. Then I’m trying to put the pain into words Trying to describe what this hole actually feels like. I needed to say out loud how your death rips me apart Only ever seeing an unfair world that is shattered A world in that He let you die. Dictionaries do not hold words strong enough No vocabulary, in all these languages Describes a pain so deep. The silent tears rolling down my cheeks Replace the word I was searching for. The empty stares towards the sky best show what it feels like To think about death daily To think about your life Replaying all the memories – and knowing there won’t be more. The pain is abundant, just like the love, When you enter my mind; and never leave. Author’s note: One line for each year you were with us, and one paragraph for each month, we have been suffering without you. Dearly loved and painfully missed. “Es tut so weh.”

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The Photography, Literature & Poetry of

Celeste Forrest-Blissett

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Photography

Fuschia

Spring is Here 12


Literature An Original SNU Sodexo Story Once upon a time, there lived a family at a magical world called Southern Nazarene University. The family was very wealthy and happy because the father was a king, and their mother was a retired Warrior Princess (until she became a queen of course, then she became officially known as the Retired Warrior Queen). The King was named Robert of Cranston and the Queen was named Karalyn. They had three amazingly gifted, bright, and lovely children. Each had their own amazing, bright, and lovely ability. The oldest of the three was a witty, tall princess named Jenae. She had gorgeous, perfect hair that always seemed to stay in place, even when she went goat wrangling on the weekends. The second was another princess named Malorie, who had gorgeous eyes and a great sense of style. Princess Malorie was well versed in the magical arts of fashion and had the power to pull off any outfit. Next, was a cunning, handsome and a bit cocky prince by the name of Joseph. Prince Joseph had the powerful ability to rescue anyone out of any situation. Prince Joseph even rescued the Star-Princess, Celeste, from hungry witches after she fell from the sky. Celeste was later adopted by King Robert and Queen Karalyn, and she became known across the land for her overwhelming cuteness. One day, the royal children were hunting cats and building fires in a nearby forest, when they suddenly came upon a ferocious, hideous troll. The troll tried to grab them and eat them, as trolls do, but the royal children would have none of that, as they were far too clever to get eaten in the beginning of a story. “I’ll stop you!” exclaimed Princess Jenae, and

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using her perfect-hair abilities, she braided the troll’s leg hair at lightning speed. The clumsy troll took a step towards them and tripped over his own hair. “And I shall punish you!” cried Princess Malorie, and using her abilities in fashion magic, she set the troll’s clothes on fire because she knew the material was flammable. The daft Troll screamed in agony. “And I shall finish this!” Declared Princess Celeste, and she smiled at the troll. The smile was so bright and overwhelmingly cute that the troll could bear it no longer and fell over, dead. However, in the process of falling, the troll landed on Celeste. “OH NO!!!” Malorie and Jenae ran up to Celeste’s limp body and cried. They thought Celeste was seriously dead. “I’ll save her!” Prince Joseph announced. Using his amazing rescuing-people abilities, he kissed Celeste and the princess woke up! After that, the four skipped happily home to their castle and ate a feast of candy.

THE END

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Poetry My Storm

You are my storm You have swept me away, I am carried by your tide You have taken me, breathless, over the crashing waves into the eye of the very heart, the very most center, of the place you call me yours This is the only storm I care to be lost in.

To My Dear Friend, the Swallow Bird To my dear friend, the swallow bird: Do not let the mass of the ocean overwhelm you, or let its forceful tide overcome you Look pass the strength of the waves. Seek farther than the crashing shores. Do not stop at the sight of the coming storm. Look beyond the shipwrecks, father than the day breaking on the horizon. See the light beyond the light of tomorrow. And take wing. Fly because nothing is holding you back.

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The Narrow Road I wish to walk the narrow road down the path of jagged stone Even if I trip and fall, and wounds so deep force me to crawl, I’ll push myself, for each step I take; and no bitter course will forsake the passion I feel, strong inside to cross a road; narrow or wide. So I shall walk the narrow road down a path that can be sad and cold If my heart feels heavy, or if I cry, I’ll lift my spirit, my head held high, because my Maker, with open arms is here to protect me from harm. His light aglow, His hands out-reached to hold my hands and guide my feet. I’ll take each step, whether easy or hard, if my heart be singing, broken, or scarred even ahead, I feel His eyes of care. I feel him, strong, by me: still there. Because He is, and I am not alone, and He and I, together, walk the narrow road.

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A Kite Story

He held on to her His kite, swaying in the wind. Hanging on his every word. he runs faster, she chases after. Tightly, pulling, snuggling her closer to himself. To let her go, he would mean to climb a tree to untangle from snarled branches to free the knots and kinks, but to set her free, would mean to watch her set higher and adore how freely she soars. Carried by his heart beats pulsing in the wind drifting on sighs and songs Oh how jealous of the sky that embraced her so quickly, but once the winds died She fell back into his arms.

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The Poetry of

Lindsey Fudge

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Poetry Burned Like the flame of a candle being snuffed, you scorch my frail fingers. Leaving a trail of soot and the stench of burning flesh. You are a heat my body has never known. You are a light my eyes have never seen. You are a pain my mind thought never to endure. But you are a flame being extinguished. And I am the fingers, pinching your wick until you are gone. Even then, I still feel you here. My body, cold. Darkness envelopes the places you once illuminated. But the pain lingers still. You’ve made your mark.

Ignited Like the flame of a match, you ignite my dormant heart. Kindling the dried up pieces of me and creating something lovely. You are the warmth my body has never known. You are the brilliance my eyes have never seen. You are the joy my heart has never thought to appreciate. You are a blaze. I am the tinder, welcoming your fiery embrace. Even now, I admire your splendor. My body stirred. Light surrounds the places once enveloped with gloom. And the passion continues. You’re making your mark.

Worry Worry stains her face. Each tear a casualty, her heart’s wandering threatening an end. The look in her eyes screams “not again”. But the smile on her lips keeps it all in. For her words won’t escape her. Her lines so easily rehearsed are forgotten. He won’t even know. He doesn’t have to know.

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Darling But darling there’s too many songs to sing, miles to drive, stars to admire, mountains to climb, people to love, trees to sit under, cups of coffee to sip, kisses to be had, dreams to chase, praises to be shouted, books to read, movies to watch, poems to swoon, swing sets to be swung, hands to be held, hugs to embrace, photos to take, memories to make, pies to eat, cats to pet, prayers to send, letters to write, meals to cook, pools to swim, high fives to be clapped, tears to wipe, water to drink, canvases to paint, ice cream cones to enjoy, couches to sit, adventures to find, heights to reach. So don’t sleep yet. No darling, not yet.

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The Poetry of

Cassie Halbert

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Poetry The Glass Box I have spent my whole life in a glass box. The outside is painted to look like me but the inside is a trap of whispers and lies. The inside is much older than the outside, worn by the inner winds and storms from which I cannot hide. I am in a glass box. I have spent most of my time painting the glass from the inside, for everyone to see. My thoughts deceive me… “Maybe if they say I am good enough, I can be free. If I look the part, and act the part, eventually I can become the painting on the outside. Then it won’t feel like a box at all.” The painting I have spent so much time on is who I’d rather be. I have started over countless times; I don’t know the real me. I have been handed the supplies to make my walls complete. My carefully designed structure that is destruction on the inside. The paint chips away, as people get closer, but as long as I have my paint and brushes, I can touch up any blemishes. How do I escape this prison?

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I have erased the painting for a few to see in but they don’t seem to understand. The inside is the complicated part. People accept my outer work of art but the inside is messy and sometimes dark. The people on the outside seem very strange to me, they point, and mime, and talk but I can’t hear them, and they can’t hear me. All they can do is stare in disbelief. I don’t understand who they want me to be. “Hit the glass!” It seems that’s what they want me to do. I pound with all my might but it’s never enough to break through. They seem to think that I am weak. If they were on the inside they would never think such things. But that’s okay… I like my glass box. It keeps others away, and in it I am safely lost. Lost in fear, manipulation and doubt. Sometimes, I’m not really sure that I want out.

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In my box I can paint whatever I like. I can make others think that I’m alright. That’s all that matters, their comfort, not mine. I can stay in this box for the rest of my life. ..... But my arms are tired, and my paint is drying up. Will what’s behind my art be enough? I can no longer wipe away the paint because my rags are dirty… stained. They can only smear things now, and make them murky. The outside of my box was a masterpiece but is now a clouded mess. There is no understanding, because my box doesn’t look like the rest. Mine is too pretty, painted with a smile. My paintbrush is getting heavier and my arms burn like fire. How long will this be required? Some nights I dream that my paintbrush is a hammer. That there might actually be a way out. The impact knocks me off my feet. I am surrounded by shards of glass. At first I feel relief; it doesn’t last.

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I am covered in cuts. The blood explains the sting. I have lost everything. I shudder in the cold air, it’s not warm out here. My eyes well up, down falls the fear. Not tears of joy or tears of relief. Tears of what may be. My eyes jolt open as I search for my box. The walls are still here. I am safe. Safety is my favorite lie. I hold the paintbrush in my hand and begin to stare. I say, “we’re never going anywhere.” “The lies are too pretty and the box is so safe. Shattering it to pieces must be a mistake.” In my box I stay waiting for a day a day that may never come. The day I shatter my glass box. ~Cassandra Gale~ 06/25/15

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The Poetry of

Jacob Hicks

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Poetry It’s Worth It Why sacrifice what you most desire? What is worth giving up something or someone you love so dearly? This world blesses us with so much, But we must also give so much in return. Wouldn’t you rather see your child grow up to be a success, Than see yourself having everything but your son or daughter? Wouldn’t you rather give up your possessions to those in need, Than die greedy? Happiness comes at a cost, But every ounce of offering equals a good future.

Never Letting Go It’s hard facing this world without breaking apart, But you keep me intact. I’m so sad by all this madness of responsibility and positivity, But you always remind why it’s important. I could never survive this world without you, So I’m never letting you go. Just tell me what you crave, And I’ll happily fulfill your needs.

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The Lonely Man He walks alone every night, calm, but suffering within. The people around him love him, but they don’t know him. They don’t know his hobbies, His habitats, his likes, his dislikes, And everything in between. He disguises himself to avoid rejection, For this is the only life he knows. But there is one individual whom he reveals all his secrets to. He can’t be seen, only heard. So he walks a mile to the nearest church to visit his friend, And once he makes it to the first row of seats, He sits, and talks to the Lord, Unafraid of being himself. No longer suffering in this moment.

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The Literature of

Summer Howard

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Literature There’s No Such Thing as Winning “We’re in position.” His voice coming through the comms unit caused my stomach to turn violently. I played with the napkin in my lap, surveying the crowd for my target. Or— given the way things had gone the past few weeks—more accurately, my tail. Thankfully, my poker face remained intact. “I don’t know about this,” I responded. “What if they figure out we’re trying to find Lexa and Blaise’s location?” “They would have pulled back by now if they did,” he said reassuringly. “Just keep your cool and act like you’re still talking on Bluetooth; it’ll be fine.” “Would they? Pull back, I mean. We could start a war, Alex,” I whispered. “We’re trying to prevent one, Aria,” he replied calmly, though I detected a slight hesitation. He knew the stakes too, and he disliked them as much as I did. “Incoming target at 4 o’clock,” Luke said suddenly. “Showtime.” “What I don’t understand, quite frankly, is how anyone has that much taste in something so cheap,” I started, putting on my best impression of a rich snob with a disgusted look that reflected my urge to vomit. A shadow fell across my table. I glanced upward into her face—the face that I’d stared at for weeks while we had spied on her as she developed a plan to kidnap the heads of the country under the chaos of a mass shooting. The timeline had moved up for this event when her team had discovered some of Luke’s hacker friends placing viruses in their computers and traced it back to their IP address. So Luke, Alex, and I had to organize a mission where we would stall them long enough to find out

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leader.

their location, foil the plan, and take down the

Which was how I ended up staring into the cold, gray eyes of the blonde mastermind. I smiled, giving a signal with my finger that I’d be done in just a moment. “Well, Trisha, I have to let you go. I’m having a late lunch with a friend, and she just arrived.” “Call back soon, honey,” Alex mimicked a shrill voice to ease the tension and help me with my character. I rolled my eyes, laughing lightly as I pressed a button on my comms-disguised-as-Bluetooth to “end” the call. Instead, what it was doing was scanning the location tracker on her phone and sending it to Luke’s computer—a tracker that had been downloaded and remained unfound in Lexa and Blaise’s hacking spree on the group’s technology, but unfortunately had been deactivated when the group had wiped the viruses. The only way to activate it again meant closerange contact with the enemy. “Sorry. Friends can be just a pain sometimes,” I heard myself say, getting up and extending my hand. My eyes immediately locked on the messenger bag over her left shoulder. “My name is Rose March. But you knew that already.” She gave me a grin that was sweet and cunning at the same time, as if she knew something. I swallowed. “My name is Luna West,” she replied. “You said your need to meet me was urgent.” “I did,” I replied, gesturing for us to sit down. “I know you are a busy woman, so I’ll keep it simple.” I leaned in. “I know your secret.” A smirk instantly appeared on your lips. “You do, do you?” “Keep stalling,” Alex urged as Luke told me that he almost had a location on Lexa and Blaise. “Your real name is Mara Anderson,” I said calmly,

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leaning in slightly. “You work with an underground organization called HUSH that seeks to manipulate all the world powers to do your bidding, in order to control all the money from any war or criminal activities.” “And your real name is Aria Decker. Former CIA agent, gone rogue, now working in the circles my organization calls friends,” she fired back, just as collected and looking bored. I sat back in my chair, my lips forming a thin line before I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. Alex breathed a sigh of relief—if she was telling me about the fake files we had set up, then she hadn’t seen through me. Yet. “So, we both know about each other’s double lives. That makes us even,” I replied. “Oh, but does it, my dear?” Mara asked, cocking her head to one side and looking me directly in the eye for the first time, just as Luke whisper-shouted, “I got it! Yes!” through the comms. But I wasn’t paying attention. Mara had reached for her messenger bag. I knew I didn’t have time to pull out my gun before she managed to draw hers from the bag, so I did the next best thing. I tackled her. The gun went off before I even knew what was happening, causing the air to fill with screams as we toppled tables and broke dishes and chairs. I managed to throw a punch or two, but she had the upper hand, and if I didn’t do something soon, we’d all be dead. I dove for the messenger bag. Mara shrieked, managing to twist my arm into an unnatural position. A blinding pain hit me, but I allowed the pain to motivate me to twist my body back toward her and land a drop kick squarely in her side. She released the gun, toppling to the concrete herself. I shoved the gun away from her, pulling out my own and aiming it squarely at her chest.

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She cackled hauntingly, blood dripping down her face from the fight. “You win,” she whispered. “Or not.” The sound of an explosion met my ears. There’s no such thing as winning in my world.

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The Art & Poetry of

Briana Looby

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Art

The Journey

Jeweled Glory 40


Mad World

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Finding Her Way

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Poetry Fall Memories Things are changing, September brings leaves of gold and red. Leaves float from the trees, dancing in the sky as they fall to the ground. A whistle of a breeze sweeps by, playing a song as it soars through the air. Wiggling my toes, feeling the fur in my UGGS, Longing for a cup of rich dark cinnamon coffee to kiss my lips. The time for scarves, jackets, and hats has arrived. State fair…sweet smells of cotton candy, corn dogs…filling my nose. October brings hauntings, and pumpkins galore. Jack-o-lanterns line house porches, with scary, goofy smiles across their faces. Hearing the chatter of children, in talks of candy-filled dreams. Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls run through the streets, looking for yummy treats to eat, haunted houses and spooky sounds, Scary movies and late-night frights. November brings fantasizing of food that will loosen my belt Pumpkin muffins, turkey, and pie. A Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Family and friends gathering around with warmth and love, Foggy mornings and misty afternoons, bun warmers and space heaters. Holding hands and cuddling tight, Toasting s’mores and burning fires, Crunching leaves and wearing hoodies, Football games—Let your fan out, Go Bears! In home movies under deep blankets, Fall is a mixture of mystery and awe.

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Heartfelt Summer June is a time to celebrate, No books…no school…no papers to write. It’s time for the pool the heat rises high—cannonball! Grab your sunglasses...coconut suntan oil or sunscreen, Freckles on my shoulders and the bridge of my nose. Boat rides... lake adventures…skiing on the tube Burgers…hot dogs…cookout with friends. June 23rd is a full day of birthday surprises, Presents and roses come my way. Fireflies and June bugs in the night, Jean shorts, tank tops, and hair in ponytails. Dreaming of beach vacations and sand between my toes. July brings the BOOM! Red, White, and Blue, Fireworks glistening from up above. Four-wheeler riding across the plains. Boat dock fishing—let’s throw out a line. Watermelon feast—take it outside. Park outings and kids’ laughter Sprinklers and trampolines, Lazy mornings and late night voyages. Ice-cold drinks, gulping them down. August is the closing of summer fun, Oh…no…its back in session…school has begun.

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Winter Chill Winter is a time of seeing your breath. Drinking hot chocolate full of marshmallows. Late night cuddles by a fireplace so warm, Making snow ice cream and building snowmen. Festive decorations of mistletoe splendor, Santa Claus with cheery-eyed smiles on every street corner. Kids with eyes full of wonder and passionate giggles. Family and friends passing out presents, White wonderland and the smell of the chimney. Holiday music and bright Christmas lights in every color, Stockings hung on the fireplace with thought. Ice skaters bundled in scarves and their mittens, Late night readings by the Christmas tree, after children are in bed. Watching Christmas Story on repeat a thousand times, Cookies, eggnog, and so many pies. Scraping off ice and licking icicles, Looking…shopping…and buying dreams, Kisses…hugs…please…with a grateful thank you. Jack Frost working hard around the clock. Christmas elves, on the shelves, lurking around every door with their dirty little tricks. Reindeer eating carrots up on rooftops, Magical moments shared by everyone. Stories of Jesus have begun. The brightest star shines in the north. Father time will be coming. New resolutions will be made. Winter is the enchanting moment of pure bliss.

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A New Beginning Jack Frost has gone on vacation and the stale winter air is gone. The bees will be buzzing. The hummingbirds will be humming. The blooms will be opening. The first spring flower poking out to say hello. Tweeting birds waking in the rise of the sunshine. Flowers surround us, It’s a new beginning in the world of nature. The Fluffy Easter bunny has hopped in to pay us a visit; Chocolate eggs, caramels, and Peeps. Lush grass that has that fresh fragrance so sweet. Tie-dyed eggs with stickers and glitter, Kids waiting for Easter baskets with joy and surprise. Chasing after eggs hidden so deep, How many will they find? One does not know. May will bring showers, it’s time to take cover. Listen to the rain shower outside, while cozying up with a book. Grab a hot tea and a big bold umbrella for outside adventures. Storms and tornados swirling about, In skies of gray lightning-strikes, enormous in size. Raincoats and rain puddles, splish, and splash. Pollen is here, and allergies on the rise. Spring has sprung to its full potential. Running through fields of green is high on my list; Horseback riding and picking flowers. Dewdrops on flowers, and trees covered in mist. Showing my children the world blossoming in front of their eyes, Bright hues, spring jackets, and sandals so fine. Yellows…blues…purple…and pinks; All colors everywhere. Spring’s new beginning is a huge affair.

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The Art & Photography of

Jade McCall

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Art

Daisies in Bloom

Mickey Mouse 48


May I Have This Dance

Marie 49


Anna

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Photography

Lucy and Oliver

The Grand Tetons

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Union Falls 52


Bentley

Jackson Lake and the Grand Tetons

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The Photography of

Morgan Mosshart

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Photography

Wildflower Grandma

I Miss That 56


Wild at Heart

Viewfinder

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Cycle

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The Poetry of

George H. Price

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Poetry A Sooner from Norman It was the fourteenth of January. In my usual tradition of waking in the morning with ambition, I was strolling down the road and kicking the gravel, as my troubles were starting to unravel. I have been on this road one hundred times or more, but a beauty like her I had never seen before. As I got to know her, I knew that to go out with her I had to ask her father, because she would never date without permission. No matter if he were a teacher or physician. When I met the man I had no regret. He said I could date his daughter if I would do one request. Help his cousin who was farming in the west. So for that summer, I was piling and plowing and calling her when I found the time allowing. Then I travel back to the man knowing that I can now date his daughter. The man said to me I would never date his daughter, she was engaged to a man from Stillwater. Soon she will be a married woman; never would he let her marry any Sooner that came from Norman. - George Hollis Price

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The Poetry, Photography, & Art of

Catherine Roby

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Poetry Success

Down I look at shoes worn through, Holes and dirt are what I see, No beauty left in such as these. But they see different than me, Where I see dirt and holes and wear, They see the work which got me there. Cute they say, success they see. My jaded shoes, I see as me, Tired and ragged as can be. Worthless, overworked, and torn, I see me walking, moving on. But they see, what You see, the things I’ve gone through.In each hole perseverance, each tear a good job. My shoes have been tattered and life tears at me, But God has a purpose, though hard it may be. Not pretty, but usable, all that He needs. So now I walk,In tennis shoes so tired, I know it’s not the holes that define them, But what they’re made of. What holds them together, through rain, snow, and sleet That’s what they’re judged on, what makes them succeed.

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Photography

Success

An Austrian Perspective 63


Art

A Vibrant Shade 64


The Photography, Literature,& Poetry of

CHristina Roby

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Photography

Harmony of Elements

The Places We Trod 66


Icy Touch

Fire Trees

Sleeping Tiger 67


Literature The Illusion He felt his way through the crowds. There had to be over a thousand people pushing in on him, but Jonny wasn’t scared of crowds. He wasn’t scared of anything. Well mostly… But he never thought about that. Jonny had long lost his mother in the throng of humanity. She kept pestering him about everything; his shirt being tucked in, his hair getting messed up. He was 10 years old for goodness sake! It was time for him to break free from her. Jonny spotted the magician he had wanted to see. His mother didn’t approve of magicians. She thought they were the devil in disguise. Please, the man looked harmless. Although come to think of it, his eyes were strange. They drew Jonny in with a fiery gaze. “Step right up, one and all!” the magician shouted in a majestic voice, keeping his eyes on Jonny the whole time. Jonny eagerly pushed forward through the crowd until he stood right in front of the man. The magician knelt in front of Jonny, smiling. “Want to help me with an illusion?” he asked, holding a hand out to Jonny. Jonny smiled, nodded, and took the hand offered. After being pulled up onto the podium Jonny glanced around at the sea of people. “Come see this young man disappear!” the magician yelled to the hoard of humans. His bright cloak sparkled in the sunlight as he danced around Jonny. The blanket fell from nowhere, covering Jonny just as he spotted his mother crying out for him. Her voice faded and in a heartbeat the blanket fell from his body revealing darkness. Jonny’s heart raced. What happened? He scanned the darkness but there was nothing to see. He reached his fingers gently out in front of him. He felt nothing, nothing at all.

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“Hello?” he whispered nervously, nothing, nothing at all. Jonny shivered. “Hello?” he heard an echo of at voice that didn’t belong to him. A harsh voice from behind whispered his name. Jonny spun, but again saw nothing. “Yes?” he asked, his voice shaking. “Welcome home Jonny…” Jonny sat up shaking and gasping from the nightmare. His heart pounded in his ears until the headache blocked it out. Why was he having these nightmares? Why now? He wasn’t 10, he never had a mother, and what was all this magician stuff ? Jonny clutched his throbbing head. It screamed out for relief. Or maybe it was him screaming, because the birds near by flew into the sky startled. The forest was a brighter green than when he had fallen asleep, but since he could still see the ceiling through the leaves it must have been around 4 pm. The Room was so small that it wasn’t easy to get lost anyway. Jonny wondered what made the trees glow at night but shoved the thought away with the rest of his useless questions. Rival was always telling him that his mind wandered too much. The Room provided everything he could ever want: Why question it? Jonny stood breathing in the medicinal air. His headache calmed at once. Why did he get headaches? Surely he breathed when sleeping as well… Another question to ponder. Rival was waiting for him at the other side of The Room. “Having good dreams?” He asked Jonny. He was calmly leaning against the wall. “No, actually. I was 10 again and-” “You’re 21. You should be dreaming about girls not nightmares of your past.” Rival interrupted. Girls huh? Jonny shook his head. There was only one girl in The Room and she had been annoying him all their lives. “Don’t you think you should like Lena by now? I mean she’s beautiful and you have a lot in common.” Rival pointed out. Jonny winced at her name.

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Rival may have raised Jonny but he didn’t understand much. “Lena and I will never be together like that.” Jonny replied. “It’s in your destiny Jonny. No man can be happy alone.” “I have you, don’t I?” Rival smiled. “I won’t be here much longer. He is coming soon to check up on you.” Jonny nodded. “You always talk about ‘him’. Who is this man you always talk about?” Jonny asked. Rival looked up from his crossed arms. “The Magician.” He whispered crackly. A shiver flew through Jonny’s spine. His nightmare flashed in his mind. Rival laughed and disappeared. Jonny’s headache returned. He fell to his knees in pain. Rival, why? Who is Rival anyway? I’m going crazy. Jonny’s thoughts were betrayed through tears. “Welcome home Jonny…” The voice mocked him. Jonny had been stuck in this massive room for years now playing this game with the Magician. Every time the Magician got close to convincing him that he wasn’t alone in this room, Jonny had managed to snap out of it. “Nice try! Rival was a nice touch. I never would’ve fallen for it so long if you had tried showing me Lena again.” Jonny yelled in anger. The goal had always been the same: Convince Jonny that he needed Lena (whoever that was) and that living in this place was normal. The Magician’s laughter echoed through The Room. Rival wasn’t real. The dream was real. Jonny repeated this truth in his mind over and over again. 21 years old? Jonny looked at his hands. Had he really been here for 11 years? “Who is this Lena girl anyway?” Jonny’s mind began to become tired again. No! Don’t let him created a new reality in your head. Must fight this… Lena could hear the boy’s yelling from across The Room. The chains cut into her wrists as she tried to pull against them. Please, come! Don’t let him keep you away! Lena

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thought desperately. “Jonny!” She screamed crying. “Shhhh…” The Magician appeared beside her. “Save your pretty voice Lena. Jonny can’t hear you.” He whispered in her ear. Lena hung her head as she wept. “Why are you doing this? Why did you make him forget?” She asked through her sobs. The Magician smoothed her hair behind her ear. “I didn’t make him forget. He’s making himself forget. If he had just stuck with the plan you would be free by now.” He replied scanning her face. “He loves me. He will remember, no matter how much you torture him with my name.” Lena dared to look the Magician in the eye. He smiled at her. “Nothing makes a better legacy than a tragic love story.” He leaned closer. “He’s not coming Lena. You have become another figment of his imagination like ‘Rival’.” He whispered happily. “You can’t make me disappear, Magician.” Lena glared defiantly. “We will see.” Jonny hit the wall with all his might. Nothing. Not even a sound. That same darkness that surrounded him 11 years ago engulfed him. Lena. Who is Lena? Why does the Magician want me to be with her? Or was that my mind’s creation? Jonny frowned in the dark. He couldn’t trust anything. Was the Magician even real? Yes. He’s real. Jonny saw the trees glow in the darkness. They lit up the Magician’s face in front of him. “Why do you resist the reality I offer you? You could be so happy.” He said gesturing around him. Jonny glared at him. “Happy in a fake life? I don’t think so. I’m done helping you with your ‘illusions’.” Jonny sneered. The Magician laughed. “You want to leave? By all means…” He gestured to a door that hadn’t been there before. “Go for it Jonny. Leave.” Jonny stared at the door. Lena. Jonny shook his head. “Who’s Lena?” He asked stepping back. “Lena?

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She’s another illusion. One of my finest.” Jonny felt a chill in his spine. Was he telling the truth? Was Lena real or another illusion? “Prove it to me. Show me her.” Jonny dared the Magician. He laughed.

Lena suddenly was kneeling before Jonny. His eyes searched her face confused. Lena reached for him. “Jonny!” He jumped back in fear. Remember me Jonny. Remem-

ber. Hot tears burned her cheek. “It’s me. Your Lena.” She whispered. “You see? I really outdid myself with her, I think.” The Magician snickered behind her. She looked frantically from one eye to the other on Jonny’s pained face. “She…” Jonny clutched his head in pain. “Yes, remember me Jonny!” She felt a boot slam against the back of her head. “Shut up stupid girl. You aren’t real.” The Magician sneered. Jonny fell in front of her to his knees, still holding his head. “None of you are real!” Jonny screeched. The blanket fell from his body and crumpled onto the floor. The crowd cheered. Jonny looked around. His mother was cheering. The Magician bowed to the crowd. Jonny’s reality shattered. The illusion was over.

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The Hottest Woman in the World She felt like every girl must feel like this at some point. A burning desire to just once have someone look at her like she was the hottest woman in the world. She checked out herself in the mirror again. Are these shorts too short? She thought they were cute, but since she was not attracted to women she couldn’t tell if they were too cute. Sighing she traded the shorts for her jeans. Too tight? She turned to the mirror again. The jeans hugged her figure but they looked modest. Maybe? She briefly thought of asking her father but shook the thought away with a shudder. I don’t want to go through that lecture again. He just made it more confusing. How am I supposed to know if a guy is “stumbling?” She decided to risk the jeans. The shirt was a button-up, which meant she needed an undershirt. She cursed her curves. Other girls look so cute in these kinds of shirts. She contemplated covering the remaining skin with a scarf but it was 100 degrees outside. Surveying her outfit one final time she sighed. Just once I want to look in style without looking promiscuous. Shaking her head she grabbed her bag and headed out to catch the bus. The bus was full of looks and whispers. “Did you see her shirt?” “Slut.” “Oh my gosh her jeans look painted on.” “She really needs to put that chest away.” Away where?? Tears fell down her face. She reached for her hoodie. It might be hot but it was better than letting them see her cry. “Did you hear about her crush?” “Like Heath would ever like her!” “He’d be afraid of catching something.” Maybe they don’t know I can hear them. She wasn’t sure if that made her feel better or not. Is that what people think of me? I’ve never even kissed a boy! She hugged herself and leaned against the bus window. She put her headphones in her ears and tried to drown out the whispers.

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Lunch was more of the same this time from the boys. “Did you see her in biology?” “I know man!” “She’s pretty hot.” She let a slight smile reach her mouth. Maybe today is the day! They seem to be looking at me. Do they really think I’m hot? “I’d hit that.” “Yeah but who else has?” She felt her heart sink. Maybe the scarf would have been a good idea. This wasn’t exactly what she had wanted. Yeah, she wanted to be desired but this? Her heart felt sick. Is it possible for a heart to throw up? She took her tray and turned away and retreated into her music again. I don’t understand. The other girls are wearing almost the same thing! The tears threatened to come again. Glancing up, her eyes met Heath’s. No! Don’t see me now! She quickly looked down. Every time she talked to him she felt like a freak. Now she looked like one too wearing a hoodie in 100-degree weather. His footsteps were coming her way. She zipped up her hoodie further. It might be hot but the last thing she wanted was for him to think she was immodest. She felt a tap on her shoulder. Please don’t be Heath. Removing an earphone she looked up. Crap. “Hey can I sit here?” She nodded slowly afraid to say anything. I feel so dirty right now with the way those guys are looking at us. I probably smell dirty too with this sweaty hoodie. She concentrated on her food. “Aren’t you hot?” She dropped her spoon onto her lap. No. I feel wonderful in this heat. “Uh… Yeah actually.” She nervously grabbed the spoon cursing in her head for looking like a freak again. “Why the hoodie?” Heath smiled at her. Man. Why did I respond honestly? How the heck do I explain this? “I uh, felt uncomfortable.” Why am I telling him this? Heath looked at her intensely. Her heart skipped a beat. Looking down she made sure nothing was showing. What is he looking at? “Uncomfortable?” He finally asked. She felt the boys across to yard staring. “I just feel like being more covered, ok?” Great. The one guy I want to notice me is now noticing how insane I am. Just my luck. Heath smiled.

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“You have nothing that needs covering up.” His words rang in her ear. “What?” She stared at him trying to decide how to feel. Heath nodded towards the guys across the yard. “It’s those guys who need to change. The only thing you are ‘showing’ is your beautiful sense of style.” She felt stunned. How did Heath know about those guys? Did he hear them? Wait! Did he say beautiful? Her face felt hot. Must be this stupid hoodie… “Thank you.” She smiled. Heath laughed a little. “Wanna ditch that hoodie before you get heat stroke?” She looked at the guys across the yard. Should she…? “Yeah. I guess I should.” She shrugged off the hoodie and tied it around her waist. She cringed waiting for Heath to start looking her over like the others. He was looking at his slice of pizza. “This thing looks like it needs prayer, am I right?” She raised an eyebrow. “Sure?” Heath looked back at her. “By the way…” “Yeah?” “I hear you’re really good at writing. Think you could teach me a few tips? I’m really bad with words.” She laughed. Does he really not care what I am wearing right now? She studied his face. He was genuine. “I think you are amazing with words.” She replied. He stared at her with a small smile. “Not like you are.” This is it! It hit her like a ton of bricks. She felt a strange sensation throughout her skin. The look he was giving her! She felt a smile spread on her face. I feel like the hottest woman in the world.

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Poetry Together The more she looks the more she despairs. All she can see is sadness to heal, pain to cure, fatigue to carry. She gives and gives her soul To replenish the vessels of confusion. She drops to the ground, completely exhausted. Still the vessels draw from her last breaths. The Living shakes his head. Her eyes close as she continues to give what’s left of her. The Living holds his hand out. She just shakes her head. “I won’t disappoint you!” she whispers. The Living kneels next to her shrinking form. “This isn’t your job. How can the empty fill the dry?” The Living takes her hand and she flinches, Waiting for the last of her to be drawn out into him. Suddenly her form is aglow. Herself is flooding back into her. The Living whispers “I don’t take. I only give. Your life will only grow when you come to me.” Tears leave her face. “I want to give.” She answers. The Living smiles. “Good. Just keep my hand in yours. We have to do it together.” Her fingers feel his strength flowing into her. She smiles at his shining face. “Together.”

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Knowing I live in despair, Knowing, just knowing, Something was going on that I couldn’t control. Despair and agony coursed through me, Knowing, just knowing, It was all over. My hopes burned. My excitement crushed and mocked. It was no use. It would never be better. It would always continue in a circle. Never ending. Always knowing, just knowing, And being helpless against it.

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78


The Photography, Literature,& Poetry of

Caleb Siems

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Photography

Benjamin Franklin’s Garden

Red Leaves on a Sunday

Higher than a Soaring Kite 80


Encased

Edmond, OK 81


Literature I Remember the Birds I remember the birds. They always sat outside my window and watched me. Grandma said that they must have thought I was interesting. I thought that I would have prefered it if they watched Tabitha instead. It wasn’t that I didn’t think they were pretty. They were very handsome with their dark feathers and eyes that looked like the beads on grandma’s dress. I just thought they looked like they were waiting for me to climb out the window and join them on their perch. Whenever they yelled, it was as if they were impatient with me. Maybe the reason I didn’t like them was because they reminded me of Grandma. She always wore the same colors as the birds, like the ink on the letters she was always sending off. Grandma didn’t like me, but she pretended. She told me how glad she was to have me and Tabitha with her and would smile with everything but her eyes. She always looked like Tabitha’s old doll that had a cracked face when she smiled. Tabitha once said that Grandma didn’t like either of us. Even though Tabitha was eight and I was ten and could look out for ourselves Tabitha had told me in a whisper how one night she had walked by Grandma’s room and had seen Grandma sitting in front of a mirror, combing out her long white hair. Tabitha said that she was muttering “miserable little monsters” under breath every time she came to a knot in her spiderweb tresses. Tabitha also said that Grandma reminded her of a spider, long and skinny, with cobwebs for hair. But Grandma didn’t always wear dark colors.

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Every now and then she would put on a brooch with two rubies that glistened like an ember. Sometimes when Grandma screamed at us her eyes looked like they were the same color as that shiny red brooch. Daddy had told us when he sent me and Tabitha away that Grandma was old and had been through a lot, which was why she screamed at us. But she didn’t seem old. She never did. Her face was like momma’s, smooth and pale. Except momma’s cheeks were pink and you could see her eyebrows. The last time momma came to visit, Grandma had screamed at her too. Said that momma’s cheeks were pink and asked if her husband had been slapping her too. Grandma said it was a tradition for women in her family to marry “slappers.” Momma had cried. Tabitha had cried. Tabitha said that she didn’t want to marry a slapper. Momma and Daddy stopped coming after a while. They sent letters, but soon those stopped too. They said they were trying to earn enough money to take care of us. Grandma smiled her cracked smile when we read her one of their letters. She said Daddy was probably slapping momma and didn’t want me to get in the way. “Men like him only feel bad when they slap one of their own kind.” I wondered if she was right. Momma wrote Grandma a letter saying Daddy had run off. Grandma laughed when she heard that. Then Tabitha screamed at her and ran away to cry in her room. It was just me and Grandma. Grandma had looked down at me with red eyes. Like the rubies in her brooch had come alive and crawled onto her face like bugs. Her face was still pale. Maybe she didn’t have enough blood in her body to make her face pink, even after someone slapped her.

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I told her that Momma said she was never going to return and wanted Grandma to take care of me and Tabitha. Grandma screamed at me for a long time. She said that momma didn’t want to deal with reality and had left me and Tabitha here to rot along with her. I thought for sure Momma was lying about not coming to get us, but I was wrong. She always liked to say that she kept her word, and she didn’t disappoint. That’s when I started talking to the birds. I asked them to fly away, to spread their dark wings and go find momma and Daddy. I gave them a message: I told them that me and Tabitha missed them and that Grandma was not very nice. I decided not to tell the birds to say that Tabitha had stopped coughing. I wanted to surprise momma and Daddy when they came and got us. She said it was the cobwebs, but two weeks before momma wrote to us she suddenly stopped. Tabitha asked Grandma if she could share a room with me. Grandma smiled. She said no. The next night Tabitha snuck into my room and hugged me under the covers. She was shaking like Daddy did whenever Grandma got angry. Grandma found out somehow and started locking me and Tabitha up every night. Then, whenever one of us made her mad, she started locking both of us up for the rest of the day. No matter how hard we tried to be good, we always ended up being locked up before ten in the morning. Tabitha found a small hole between our rooms, which were right next to each other, so we could talk. She said that she had seen a man wandering around the grounds outside the house, next to the woods. Maybe he thought it was abandoned. Or maybe he was waiting for something. I asked Grandma about him. She didn’t smile.

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She said he was waiting for her. He wanted to slap her again. Punish her for what she had done. Tabitha said through the keyhole that momma once told her Grandma used to see things, which was why Grandpa slapped her. He had told her to stop acting like a scared spider and stop pretending she saw people that weren’t there. Grandma started to look old. Her brooch got lost and she screamed at me for taking it and burying it in the graveyard. One night she forgot to lock my door and I snuck downstairs to find food. There was nothing in the kitchen except some old bread and moldy cheese. I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten but now that I thought about it I really wasn’t that hungry. I started going back to my room when I saw a light from Grandma’s room. I looked in and saw her in a white nightgown sitting at her mirror, combing her hair by the light of a lamp. As I watched, she came to a knot in her hair and pulled at it. Finally it gave way and a little dark speck fell out of her hair to the floor. She picked it up and held it close to the light. It was a spider. “Miserable little monsters,” she muttered as she tossed it aside. I went back to bed. Tabitha wouldn’t come to the hole in the wall so I curled up under my covers and shivered. I was always cold now. A few days later a woman came to the door and Grandma spoke to her while I watched from the stairs. She asked if Grandma was interested in selling the house and Grandma told her “over my dead body,” and that she had to take care of her grandchildren who were “her responsibility.” The woman tried to argue with her, so Grandma told her to go somewhere.

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I don’t remember where she told her to go, but the woman seemed mad. She told her that she would see Grandma there, then walked away. I wondered where they were going. After the woman left, Grandma walked up the stairs. As she passed me, I wondered if she was going to faint, like the girls in the movies momma always liked to watch. She looked really old and skinny. She looked like the sheets on my bed. I went back to my room. The birds were silent, just watching my window. At the time I could not guess what they were waiting for. That night, Grandma forgot to lock me and Tabitha in our rooms. When the big old clock in the hall rang one in the morning, Grandma started screaming. It had started raining and thundering, so at first we didn’t hear her. Once we did, Me and Tabitha both left our rooms and ran to see what was the matter. Grandma was standing by the mirror, the lamp lying on the floor and casting strange shadows on the walls. She was screaming and pointing at a bundle of white sheets next to the mirror, her long white her flowing as if by wind. The door downstairs opened. A man came into the room. Grandma was screaming at him to “go away.” He just looked at her. It was the man who had been wandering around the grounds. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.” He said. He had a low voice and very pink cheeks. Grandma started crying. She said that she hated seeing things. Hated that she couldn’t stop bad things from happening. She said that she hated him. At least that was what I could understand. She was crying quite a lot and I couldn’t understand most of what she was saying. “You know why I came” he said as he walked towards her. Grandma backed against the wall. She looked like a insect that was about to be stepped on.

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“To punish me for what I did to them” She snarled. Her eyes were wide with fright. The man nodded. “It’s time to go,” he said, and picked Grandma up like a baby. She screamed and fought against him as he walked down the stairs. Me and Tabitha followed him. Neither of us knew what was happening, and couldn’t bring ourselves to try and stop him. We watched from the stairs as the man kicked open the front door, Grandma screaming and clawing at him in his arms. The man stopped and turned just outside the door and looked up at us, his dark mustache tangled with Grandma’s pale, flying hairs. A flash of lightening illuminated their faces for an instant as they stood in the doorway, and it was as if their skin had disappeared and you could only see pale bone and empty sockets and grinning teeth. Then they were both gone, Grandma’s screams echoing through the hall and melding with the rain pounding on the roof. Tabitha and I both returned to Grandma’s bedroom. Neither of us knew what to do. With one mind, we both approached the bundle of sheets Grandma had been pointing to. As the lightening flashed, we gazed upon the mass before us. Her face was hollow and the same shade of white as her hair and her dress. Her eyes were open, like her gaping mouth, and stared ahead. No wonder we mistook her for a sheet. She seemed like she was entirely one shade of white. Only her open, lifeless eyes were black. Black as the birds outside my window. Laying next to her was a torn piece of paper, dated a month prior. A letter. Tabitha and I leaned over and read. “Dearest Fredrick, I am sorry for what I have done today. I was angry. I did not mean to hurt him that way. I will make it up, though. I will take care of both of them. I wish I had not acted the way I did,

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but I will care for him just as I cared for you before you left. Funny how I hurt him like I hurt you. I am glad that the girl is like me. I cannot tell her now. She can touch him, so the secret can stay safe. I only hope that one day she-” The rest of the letter was lost. Tabitha looked up at me. She seemed frightened of me. The next day she packed up her bags and left the house and me without a word. She cried a lot and I wanted to cry too. But I couldn’t. I could not understand why. It would be some time before I did. I would realize eventually, sitting in my room, watching the seasons pass as I waited for Tabitha to return. I would realize and then forget, then remember again. It is a cycle I still go through constantly. Knowing and then not knowing. But I always remember the birds. I just forget the name sometimes. The empty branches are still visible through the pieces of wood that some strange men came and nailed over all the windows. I wish I could leave with them, but I can’t. The birds are gone now, perhaps because they got what they wanted from us. What were they called? Ravens. They were called ravens. No, no that’s not it. Ah, now I remember. They are called Vultures.

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Poetry To Class I Go Disclaimer: this humorous poem is not based on an actual experience and is merely meant for entertainment. The author bears no ill-will against any of his professors and certainly would never be guilty of the actions of the college student depicted in this poem, nor would he approve if someone actually behaved in this manner.

I bought a case of thumbtacks Upon a Winter’s day I had a message to send to them, Since words I could not say

A lowering of my grades, Were given to my humble self, A credit to my shame So now I go to classes all, Revenge upon my mind, A thumbtack placed on all their seats Shall work to my design

“You cannot be as you are right now” Those teachers had said to me To which I’d replied, with steadfast claim, “I’m afraid I disagree”

This petty act will not do much, But mayhap it will show That I am using my God-given rights When naked to class I go

(“Be respectful of your elders,” As all the elders say, Yet why should I respect them

After all this is America, And freedom SHOULD prevail, So do not say that I am wrong, While sending me to jail

When they throw such barbs my way?) Brief suspension from the college,

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The Unwelcome Guide I merely guide As I stand by their side And ferry them to and fro

I. I entered the room Like a wind born of doom Yet none could see or hear me They do not yet know I have entered to show A beloved the path to their Tomb

III. I am an angel, But if I were able, I would give my job away To see so much death To hear their last breath Is enough to turn me unfaithful

A woman of age With a smile on her face Hears her family sing gently A hymn I have heard, The song of a bird, Fluttering like wings unbraced

For when I enter the room Like a wind born of doom They sense me and somehow guess Their time has now come To leave all they’ve done And walk with the angel of death

II. A child of youth Lies there as proof Of how cruel the world can be His mother dares To tell him he fares Much better, but I know the truth I never can know Just where they go (To heaven or down below)

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Deagol This poem was written as a creative project for the “Tolkien and Friends” class in the fall semester of 2015. This project tasked the students with creating an original piece of art that was motivated by a story or an idea from the world of Middle Earth or the life of J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Taken from the opening scene of Return of the King and inspired by the works of poets Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth, as well as the dramatic monologues of Robert Browning, this folk-like poem depicts the day that Smeagol (or “Bestie” as he is described by Deagol, the poem’s narrator) acquires the ring of power.

I turn to Bestie and cry on out “Go grab th’ nets” I yell to ‘im Before a sharp tug pulls me in Into the rive’side I go

The Sun were not too brigh’ tha’ day The water were not too lo’ So with m’ bestie Bestie To the rive’side I go The fishies bite not quickly The Boat will move too slow So we rest withou’ a-rowin’ On the rive’side we flow

The water is cold for little ol’ me The fish is not too slow So I let the line jus’ slip away As I under the rive’side flow

The Bestie likes his speakin’ The words he li’ to blow So m’ head begins to pound and ache On the rive’side we flow

A glimpse! A flash! What do I see? A lil’ fleck of gold? There in bottom of the Bank,

The rod in m’ hand grows heavy The speakin’ will not slow So with a tug on m’ fishin’ line On the rive’side I crow

To the shiny thing I go! The hand grabs onto glim’rin’ gold The mud begins to flow So in my hand the lov’ly thing

“I gotta big one!” I scream and shout

From the rive’side I stole

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The sun is still a-shinin’ brigh’ The Bestie starts to crow So I clamber out to meet wi’ him From rive’side he rows The Bestie wants the shiny The “present” he says I owe So wi’ some hands abou’ m’ neck Back to the rive’ I go

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The Poetry of

Jana Seymour

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Poetry Forrest Gump at the Gardens It’s like walking away from Disney World. There are a lot of people, Shuffling and chuckling, Leaving at once. There are lights, High above the night. They’re reflections in their eyes. And the music, A euphoric, cinematic swell. You want to linger to soak up all the Wonder that remains to be explored.

12:33 PM 7/7/2015 A cat nestles her soft face into yours and you laugh. Rain spills from the cloudy sky and you dance. When you feel this way you want to do everything. You don’t feel lonely. You don’t feel anything Except the energy of clean life Clapping your hands, Tapping your feet. Run.

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Pictures on the iPhone 6 I’m looking at a memory Hoping for the image to consume me, Concentrating as I do when I feel ordinary. Wind howls Waves crash Sun smiles Birds soar The scene from the cliffs is brightly illuminated In front of me. Only today it’s not working. I’m still here and I’m only looking at my hands.

5:35 PM 12/11/2015

La vie en rose The sun sets in Bethany, mixing Soft, delicate colors over the water Do the ducks wonder why the surface Beneath them has turned pink? Do the birds lose sight of their destination When they take in the beauty of the world about them? Here you are, life before you In all its beauty And you dash at each chance To soak up another drop of it. You keep those drops in a journal And one day They’ll be useful And here you are, life before you. You are happy.

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3/2/2016

What if we reached the lights At the end of the black road stretched out, The white dots behind the black lines, What if we found When we reached the dazzling dots, We were the last inhabitants of this world. What if we slept and in the morning we found We were it, we were all, and we felt nothing.

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The PHotography of

Cole Trotter

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Who You Love Shapes Who You Become 98


The PHotography & Poetry of

Diane Wade

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Photography

Eve

Eaten Through 100


Arched

Lights 101


Tessia

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Poetry

Coee Steam rises in ribbons The milky cream slowly changes From black, to brown, to tan Fine sugar crystals float to the bottom The warmth of the morning begins in my hands

Owl Softly the yellow glow fills the dark room The owl watches from under the shade Unmoving eyes Unruffled feathers Perched atop the desk A click The owl blinks out into the darkness

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104


The Poetry of

Sam Wing

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Poetry Time Underneath the weeping willow tree. Two girls giggle and whisper quietly. Now they’re ten and playing grown-up again. Making friendship anklets and writing with fuzzy pens. Thirteen came and things didn’t appear the same. A father was lost and time swept like rain. Now they’re seventeen and nothing was what it seemed. They’re losing a fight to keep things right. Nineteen now and living in dorms, while they confess their Sins to each other behind closed doors. Time is coming quick and life is becoming less kind. The reality of it all begins to unwind.

September Leaves make a promise. But they always seem to fall. Until the next season, when the trees grow so tall. Their colors will wear. And veins run thin. All that they held will never be kept again...

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Limerence You are a mountain and I’m a flimsy ocean who cannot love you

... Their words hurt like stones that dented her heart. Each letter punctured and left their mark. One by one knocked her layers down thin Until she was nothing but bones and skin Her feet, though they walked, couldn’t get too far The seed they planted kept her from the stars Her body ached. Lonely and starved. Those crooks took all but left her scars. The wounds they shoveled into her veins Filled her heart with growing pains And grew no more did this girl become Her parts totaled to a minimal sum So small in fact nothing she was. her head hung low and they thought just because.

*sigh* I can’t stop thinking it’s 2:48 am but I am craving a hug

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108


The Poetry of

Laura Womack

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Poetry Once Once I was a little girl without a care in the world. I didn’t have a voice, I didn’t have a choice. Pushed into the background by the world. Caught up in my anxieties. Fear and doubt, they tried to drag me down. I tried to drown them out. Dragged into an unrelenting sea caught up in animosity. Once I was a little girl and my mamma told me to be the kindest girl that I could be. Once I was all grown up, my friends and family, they told me you know you’ve got someone to care for you. Come sit down at the table, you don’t have to feel lonely We’ve got to love each other. Love your brother, love your sister, love your mother. It’s a crazy world and it’s getting crazier Rushing, rushing, rushing all around trying to keep up with the standards. Once I was all grown up, I was told you’ve gotta love your neighbor as yourself. Once I heard it said your heart has got to be the prettiest thing about you. Oh lord won’t you help this broken sinner. I’ve been crying for so long, hiding this lost and aching heart. I’ve been doing wrong for so long and I wanna make it right. So pour down your mercy on me, pour down your grace, pour down your love, ‘cause I wanna see your face.

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Lord I need you to polish me, dust off this dirty soul. Once I heard it said you need to love mercy, you need to seek justice, you need to walk humbly. Once I found out life is a restless game when trying not to lose it. I wanna make a change, make this world a better place. I don’t want to see anyone crying cause they don’t fit in with what society says matters. Soon I’ll be a little older and God will show me that He was by my side through every heartbeat. Soon we’ll be a little older and what will our lives hold. Will I be satisfied by all that surrounds me? Age is just a number. It’s never too late to love, to reach or to care for one another. Life is a mystery waiting to be discovered.

111


SNU Expressions | 2016  
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