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Tiger PAWS

St. Philip’s College Volume 4, Issue 1 Spring 2015


Tiger PAWS Personal Academic Writing Space St. Philip’s College Volume 4, Issue 1 Spring 2015

Cover Art: Royal Blue by Fadela Gacis Castro Photograph

Tiger PAWS is a student-run literary art journal composed of students’ works, such as prose, poetry, art, and photography. The selected works may not reflect the attitudes or opinions of St. Philip’s College or the Department of Communications and Learning.

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Acknowledgments The Tiger PAWS staff wishes to thank the following people: Aunya Byrd—Dean of Arts and Sciences Erick Akins—Title III Director, Title III Grant Management Sean Nighbert—Chair, Communications & Learning San Juan San Miguel—Coordinator, Rose R. Thomas Writing Center Nereida Reyes— Senior Tutor, Rose R. Thomas Writing Center Mitchell Miranda—Art & Photography Judge Dr. Audrey L. Mosley—Communications & Learning Faculty Tom Manzo—Communications & Learning Faculty Velia De La Rosa—Administrative Services Specialist, Communications & Learning St. Philip's College Public Relations Department Department of Communications & Learning for funding the publication UPS Store

© 2015 St. Philip’s College Selections for Tiger PAWS are printed with the permission of the authors and artists cited. Copyright reverts to authors and artists immediately after publication. 4

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Editorial Staff Student Staff: Danielle Alonzo

Keren Hernandez

Anastacia Casarez

Chazz Lee

Fadela Gacis Castro

Hannah Mahaffey

Maverick L. Crawford III

Sulema Mendoza

Yvonne De La Fuente

Rosalinda Valdez

Victoria Garcia

Frank Vasquez

Melody Halsrud

Faculty Staff: Lee Ann Epstein Stephanie Gresham Pris Lopez Jamie Miranda San Juan San Miguel

Submissions for the next edition of Tiger PAWS in Fall 2015 will be accepted through October 9, 2015. Enrolled SPC students are encouraged to submit essays, short stories, poetry, artwork, or photography. Spring 2015

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Table of Contents Royal Blue — Fadela Gacis Castro …….………...……………………….

Cover

Serenity — Samantha Peña ……………………………………………………..

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“My Heartache” — Sulema Mendoza …..……………………….…….

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Mask — Alexandria Arevalo ………………………….……………………….

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“It Was a Good Day” — James Nyugen ………………………………

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GA Sunset — Yvonne De La Fuente ………………………………………

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“UNBREAKABLE” — Amy Holguin ……………………………….…..

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Glass Vase — Melody Halsrud …………………………...…………….…...

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“The Impact of Strength and Perseverance of a Mother” — Yvonne De La Fuente ………………………………………..

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Possum — Chris Dech ……………………………………………………………..

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“Every Woman” — Sulema Mendoza ……………………………..….

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Toxic Path — Victoria Garcia …………………….………..………………...

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PYX — Chris Dech ….………………………………………………...…………….

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“An Eire Tale” — Hannah Mahaffey….…………………...….…...…..

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Ellandre — Chris Dech …………………………….....………..………………..

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“The Promise” — Yvonne De La Fuente ……………………………..

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Sanding through Absence — Yolanda Jones ……………………………..

30

Two Birds — Melody Halsrud ………………………………………………..

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“Feelings Taking over” — Anastacia Casarez ……………….….

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Lovebirds — Yvonne De La Fuente…….…………………….…...……….

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“Listen” —Sulema Mendoza ………………….………………………...…..

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Money Doesn’t Matter if It Feels You — Danielle Alonzo ….…..

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Excerpt from “Those Snared by Fate” — Chazz Lee …..…..

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“Humble Me Boldly” — Dorothy Helen Henderson …………

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Simnee — Chris Dech ……………………………………………………………….

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Excerpt from “Hotel of the Setting Moon” — Chazz Lee..

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Street Sweeper — Cody Smith ………………………………………………….

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Catching Waves — Yvonne De La Fuente………………………………

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Table of Contents Sunflowers — Alicia Cantu ……………………………………………………...

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“My Mother’s Father” —Robert Alvarado Jr. …………………….

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Mother Nature — Victoria Garcia ……………….………………….……..

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“Chasing for Guidance” — San Juanita Rodriguez …...……..

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[Alone on the Soccer Field] — Dianna Guzman ……………………..

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“Overcoming Obstacles” — Maverick L. Crawford III ..…..

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Looking up — Fadela Gacis Castro ……………………….………………..

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The Orange — Alicia Cantu ……………………………………………………..

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“Once Used” — Maria Buford .………………………….…….………..…..

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Morrissey — Alicia Cantu ………………………………………………………..

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“Youth Opportunity” — Sulema Mendoza ………..………..……..

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Space Dust (I’m Just Here for You) — Danielle Alonzo …….….….

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“My Mother’s Storgē”— Anastacia Casarez ……...……………...…

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Eagle Eyes — Fadela Gacis Castro …………………………………..…….

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Excerpt from “Life Sucks: Don’t Get over It--Funeral” — Sean Graupner …………………………………………………….

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Peace — Maria D. Lopez ………….……………………………………………...

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“The Promise” — Madison Thibeaux ……...………………………….

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Selena’s Picture — Frank Vasquez ………….………………………………

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“Elders’ Dream” — Alan J. Quiles ….……………………………………..

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Our Judges …….……………………………………………………………………………

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Serenity By Samantha Pe単a

Photograph

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My Heartache By Sulema Mendoza I can no longer wait for you to wake up, let alone give you the time to make-up Your motives have gone obstruct, by definition you've gone corrupt with your bullshit and deceit, this time truth will defeat I'll overcome these situations with swift feet left behind a mistake I won’t repeat You are that man that became cold and faithless who took for granted my time and patience and honestly believe that you’re innocent and blameless, an ignorance that’s quite contagious, just outrageous I cannot lie, nor deny I still love the wrong guy a piece of me still tied to the memories that will never die So there’s no better time than now for me to leave because things have changed between you and me You gave up and no longer believe A destiny apparently not meant to be A lost hope, a false dream the wrong cause so it seem You once were that beautiful king Now you’re just a jerk who doesn’t deserve anything So what's the point of being together for If all I ever yearned for was the love we once shared before Instead you’re distant and seek love no more To think I felt our love was so unique rushing to get to you like a star athlete Spring 2015

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You were all I ever needed, my heart beated No one else for me to seek Instead you left me weak I was the woman that was devoted and only my loyalty to offer What else, my love, my money which I thought was proper I gave of myself like no other, with no appreciation I was left to suffer But now I've embraced life’s harsh reality An experience that’s repeated constantly Love just grows old for some of us gradually It’s a definite lesson if you're askin’ me I'm no longer blinded, slow minded It’s life I now get it I realize the heartache that gave me the headache A waste of potential, ignorant mental It’s just pathetic A story so predictable it’s just automatic to wait for a love to crumble now that’s tragic Two different souls whose hearts got static This is the end no longer a friend I'm gone I've had it!

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Mask By Alexandria Arevalo

Photograph

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It Was a Good Day By James Nyugen January 15, 2014, on a Wednesday, I woke up right before the alarm went off. It was 6:25. I felt energized and motivated to go to work. My wife was already up making breakfast, which was homemade blueberry pancakes. I just had that feeling that today was going to be a good day. She even packed my lunch with sweet caramel rib tips, dirty rice, and refried beans. It’s weird because I normally get a cold sandwich overkilled with mustard. So after I finished my breakfast and got my boots on, I started heading out the door; she stopped me, gave me a kiss, and told me to have a wonderful day. Barnes Electric was the name of the company I worked for, two years with them that I will never get back. Our specialty was using cheap “caveman” tools, and every machine we owned was either on its last leg or broken. Our motto was, “If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for you.” We dug ditches that were four feet deep and over three hundred feet long all day, every day, to replace old power wire with new ones. I worked with a three-man crew, Chris, Skipper, and myself. Skipper was the supervisor and was also kind of a hillbilly. He would work in his tank top and short-shorts, which caused him to have a “farmer’s tan.” He would chew tobacco all day and smoke cigarettes on his break. Chris was one of my best of friends, also Skipper’s son-inlaw. We would persuade Skipper in to buying Popeye’s for lunch every day, and today finally worked. Lunch was always from thirty to fortyfive minutes long, and going to Popeye’s was an hour long. He bought a box of thirty-six, all spicy chicken. For only three people, Skipper was spoiling us. Skipper looked after us like we were his own kids. Both of them were family to me. Don’t get me wrong. We had our ups and downs, but today we got along with no arguments. After we got back to work, it was almost time to go home. I was so full that I couldn’t eat the lunch my wife packed for me. I didn’t have the heart to bring back a full lunch and make her feel bad, so I gave it to Chris to bring it home. My wife, Melissa, is the best woman anyone can ask for. She is always on top, making sure that I am eating well and getting enough sleep. She motivates me to always do better and makes me feel like I am somebody. She works at the hospital with irritated patients from morning until dusk and then comes home with a smile on her face. She would be a great mom one day. I have been with her for six years now, 12

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but I can still remember the first time I asked for her name. One of my buddies introduced us, and ever since that day, we were stuck together like super glue. She wasn’t in the Air Force at the time nor looking for a relationship. I am glad I changed her mind about getting serious because we are perfect for each other. I got home every day feeling like I was swimming in a pool of sweat from work. As I walked through my front door, that blast of cold air conditioning was refreshing. I walked straight toward the kitchen where I found my wife cooking dinner. I normally complained about my back pain and how terrible work was. But there was no pain, and we had Popeye’s (of course, I didn’t tell her that). We exchanged each other’s work day experiences over dinner. Her stories are usually longer and detailed. She gets mad at me most of the time for not remembering, but I do try. I hate it when she tests me, asking me what she said. I always get it wrong. After dinner, we watched a movie and then went to bed. As I lay there, thinking about my day, my phone rang. “Hello?” I answered, wondering who was calling me this late at night. It was the Sheriff in Port Arthur, Texas. He said, “We never do this over the phone, but your mother is having a hard time understanding English (she is Vietnamese); are you the son?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “It’s about your sister; she has passed away.” I was speechless, in tears. And I was supposed to translate that back to my mom, but I couldn’t even make a sound. I was wishing it were some cruel prank call, but it was real. Too real. She was hit by a drunk driver. There was nothing I could do; I was nine hours away in Florida. I felt useless. I remember explaining to my mom over the phone while she was crying and yelling. While I was on the phone, wishing somehow I was in Texas, I had this pain in my chest as if someone were stabbing me over and over. That day officially turned into the worst day of my life. I hate saying goodbyes. I became isolated from everyone. Today, still scared of losing someone close, I feel like I have this barrier from socializing with people, so I don’t have to go through that same pain. It has been a year now, and it still feels like it was yesterday. I haven’t moved on, and I don’t think I ever will. What I thought was a good day turned out to be my worst nightmare.

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GA Sunset By Yvonne De La Fuente

Photograph

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UNBREAKABLE By Amy Holguin A universe of diverse souls Walking alone, this dark lonely road, A shattered empty space steering on and on … There we sit alone. As an aging wave takes our fate, We can never rewind time nor can it ever be replaced. Standing there as a metal iron rostrum, With piercing spur’s encompassing the exteriors. Like the rose’s stem that is solid. The jagged edges’ incision propounded. I weep for those misled, misunderstanding. A world of complexity with disturbances. So cold! So crucial! Many bring about judgment determined of one’s thoughts. The unknown without actually learning purposes of its Light.

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Glass Vase By Melody Halsrud

ContĂŠ Crayon on Black Chalk Paper

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s ge’ Jud ice o Ch

The Impact of Strength and Perseverance of a Mother By Yvonne De La Fuente

Her life was transformed from dreaming of fairy-tales to living in her own fairy-tale. That day all little girls dream of had finally arrived. She was dressed in a white gown of taffeta and lace with her hair gently swept up with tousles of curls framing her beautiful face. Her young features gave promise of a family waiting to be created. “I do; I do,” was all she remembers of her wedding day; she thought her nerves would drive her insane. Those words gently uttered from her fiancé set her heart a-bliss and set her path to her own “happily ever after.” They were a young couple in love; despite the hesitation of both families, everyone was ecstatic to witness the exchange of vows and was excited about what the future held. The first six years flew by while each day her husband worked long hours to provide for the growing family at home. She had three beautiful, vivacious daughters with another on her way. The pitter patter of little feet seemed to be endless as each daughter was born only a year after the previous. She did not seem to notice the swelling of her tummy nor the nausea another pregnancy promised to bring. She was quite content being a mother and wife to the love of her life. Looking back upon the early years, she could remember the laughter, tears, and joys, which filled her every waking hour. She was thankful for the time she was allowed to enjoy watching her beautiful children explore the world. In a moment of carelessness created out of exhaustion, our lives would change and force her to become the sole provider for four young children. The sun was just about to rise when she heard a knock at the front door. “That’s odd,” she said aloud, as she quickly covered herself in the tattered pink gown she loved. She giggled a bit when she remembered how he always tried to get her to buy another one, a more appropriate one. But this one was the one her daughters had given her for Mother’s Day, and she couldn’t bear to part with it. She hurriedly walked to answer the door for her unsuspecting visitor. It was not unusual for her husband to come in at this time. He was forced to take two jobs to support his family and maintain a home. He enjoyed watching his wife and daughters thrive, and that gave him the encouragement he needed to keep going. Forgetting his key was not unusual either; he had done that on more occasions than she could remember. The only peculiar thing about this early morning visitor was that it couldn’t be her husband; he wasn’t due out for at least another two hours. She answered the door and found her mother-in-law standing on the other side, her hair a mess with a tear-stained face. Up till now, she had not noticed her father-in-law standing there holding the hand of his wife, as if supporting her. Her stomach felt like a pit, and her heart sank in her chest. Spring 2015

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This could be good news, but she hoped for the best. “We did not want to call you and felt it was best to talk to you in person,” her in-laws said. She wanted to scream at the top of her lungs, “Please tell me, what it is?” They politely asked to come in and sat down while they appeared to gather their composure. “This is not going to be easy for you or the girls.” At that moment, all four girls came running in to jump on their grandparents’ laps. They were excited to see them and started rattling on about the day’s events. My mother quickly dismissed us and demanded we go back to our rooms to sleep. We did as we were told, and their conversation continued. “We received a visit from an officer with the NBPD,” she whispered. All was quiet again in anticipation of the news. Then, as she spilled the news like she could not contain it any longer, tears began to fall. Your husband was in an accident on his way home from work. “What?” Could this be true? This was not happening; it’s just a dream. But it wasn’t; it was her worst nightmare. Her husband was killed instantly when his car ran off the road. He had fallen asleep at the wheel from sheer exhaustion. The long hours and endless days had finally caught up to him. This moment changed the rest of her life and the life of her children. With the strength and perseverance of a lion on a hunt and the gentleness of a lioness, my mother tackled the challenge of raising four daughters. Due to the lack of an education, my mother faced many obstacles and was forced to labor in jobs that paid poorly. Working long hours kept her apart from her family but allowed her to provide every day necessities, as well as periodic luxuries. She taught me pride, strength, and will-power. She made every effort to ensure the lack of a father did not impact our lives in any way. She instilled strong morals, the properness of a lady, the will of a man, and faith in God. We also learned the importance of family and created a bond, which continues to flourish. My sisters quickly became my friends and supported me in everything I did. They were there when my mother wasn’t. I failed to see the absence of a mother; I only saw the incredible love I was surrounded by. I am grateful for the family the Lord has blessed me with and continue to count on their support when life gets tough. I know now that this type of bond is nurtured over many years. My mother’s hard work and lessons have paid off. She has a family full of grand-children, which bring her joy, and a daughter she patiently awaits to give her another grandchild. My path, however, does not include children; at this moment, it entails an education, sacrificing family events to study and earn a degree. My family is proud of me for making this choice and supports me. I will finally show my mother the impact her life has had on me. I will work hard to pursue a dream. I am my mother’s daughter, strong-willed, compassionate, motivated, and spiritually grounded. 18

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Possum By Chris Dech

Digital Art

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Every Woman By Sulema Mendoza Give of yourself completely Not discreetly but freely fully and intimately fining secretively not desperately wanting more exactly start acting actually listen to your heart begin breathing no one is leaving live life gracefully love comes gradually no need for it rapidly If you’re askin’ me believe and you'll see you too can be happy ever after just ask her We’re always seeking, never thinking open your eyes stop blinking start floating, not sinking Then you'll begin dreaming your feelings streaming eyes gleaming

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Toxic Path By Victoria Garcia

Mixed Media

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PYX By Chris Dech

Digital Art 22

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An Eire Tale By Hannah Mahaffey Hello, my name is Elena Rigby. I’m twenty-one years old and am on a mission. I’m on a mission to find my twin sister Eire. She has been kidnapped by a cult. She’s been gone since I was six. We are identical twins. We both have black hair and blue eyes. The last time I saw her we were in pig tails. After she was taken, things went bad, really bad. My parents had been members of the organization of The Children of the Sun and the Moon Church. They were in it since college. That’s actually how they met. You know how people fall in love, date, get proposed to romantically, and then marry? That was not the case for Mom and Dad. They were “matched.” Basically, it was decided by their church leader, whom they worshiped and thought was God. He just pointed at her and at him in the crowd, put his hands together, and “bang,” they were engaged. They didn’t even know each other. But they bought into it, clearly, or else I wouldn’t be here. They got married just a couple of months after they were matched. But, do you want to know the weirdest part? They weren’t allowed to live together or even consummate their marriage until they completed three years of missionary work. They didn’t go help aids orphans in Africa though. They would go door to door with pamphlets and sell flowers by the freeway to raise money for the church. They weren’t bad people, though. They were just naive and terribly confused. My sister and I were conceived right after they got together. It was a difficult labor for my mother. She was in labor for twenty-three hours. I was born April 1, 1988, at 12:02 in the morning. My sister was born March 31 at 11:58 at night. We are only four minutes apart, but we have two different birthdays. It’s weird. But then again, what part of my story isn’t? My sister and I have always been close. We have a very special bond. We are identical twins, after all. When we were babies we lived in the church house. We lived there till I was about five. There were a lot of people living there with us. It was sort of a boarding house/ apartment complex. There were plenty of kids for us to play with, but my sister and I kept to ourselves mostly. We would play hide-and-seek a lot. We would play mirrors, which is a game where you stand in front of each other, put your hands and feet together, and do exactly what the other one does. Anyone can play it, but it’s more fun when you’re playing it with someone who looks exactly like you. We really used to freak people out doing that. My sister and I even came up with our own little language. To everyone Spring 2015

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else, it sounded like gibberish, but it made sense to us. We had so much fun together. I hate those people for taking her away from me. It was a stormy night in October. I remember that we were scared because we heard noises. It sounded like some sort of weird chanting. We huddled up under our Cabbage Patch comforter and tried to be invisible. Just then, three men in black, hooded robes burst through the door. They were really scary. They grabbed Eire. She tried to hold on to me, but they pried her away. She was kicking and screaming. They put a hood over her face to muffle her sobs. I tried to fight them. I was trying to protect her, but they were just too strong. I felt so helpless. I didn’t know what to do. Where were my mother and father? How could they let this happen? I was so angry and confused. I went to live with my aunt after that. My parents wanted nothing to do with me. You would think that losing one daughter would make them love me more, but no. That was not the case. They sent me away. The last thing that my mother said to me was, “She’s in a better place now.” In sixth grade, I started hearing voices. I would see things too. But they weren’t neon rabbits or weird stuff like that. I would see her. I would hear her voice. I was standing alone in the hallway of my school. Suddenly, a girl that looked just like me ran past. I knew that it was her. I knew that it was my sister. I followed her to the gym. I went behind the big curtain where the drama club keeps their stuff. “Elena… Elena,” a voice just like mine called out. “Eire, I’m here. Where are you,” I cried desperately. I followed the voice to a curtain. “I’ve found you,” I say as I pull it back. But to my utter dismay, it was only my own reflection staring back at me. I was so angry and disappointed that I punched the mirror. It shattered, and I was left alone and bleeding in the dark. In ninth grade, I found a note crumpled up in my locker. All it said was, “On the shores of Lake Eire... .” That got my attention immediately. I looked everywhere for the person who wrote the note. That note was my only clue to finding her. Fate would tease me like that, often. I would hear her singing when I was in the shower. I would jump out and look, but there was no one there. I would see little girls playing at the park. Sometimes they would be playing tag or maybe fighting over a doll. They reminded me so much of my sister. I had lost complete contact with my parents. They, along with their crazy church, had moved. I had no Idea where I could find them. I looked up The Children of the Sun and the Moon on the Internet, but found no reference. I’m always on the lookout for clues to find her. I dropped out of school and ran away to New York. That’s the last place I saw her. 24

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“I want a shot of vodka on the rocks, and make it a double.” That would be the fifth shot I would be taking today. There has been no progress on finding Eire. I find it easy to take comfort in the warm and fuzzy feeling of alcoholism. Getting drunk is the only way to silence the voices of my guilty conscience. I’m about to order another round when some man I don’t know comes up to me. “Eire, what are you doing here? You know you’re not supposed to drink,” he says, putting his hand on my shoulder. “What did you just call me?” I ask in utter shock. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought that you were someone else,” the man says and then walks out the door and down the street. I run after him, completely forgetting to pay my bar tab. I chase him down an alley. “Wait,” I scream after him. Many heads turn, but I take no notice. My eyes are only on him. I finally catch up to him and grab a hold of his arm. He tries desperately to free himself from my grasp, so I punch him in the face. He falls to the ground, and I straddle him, sitting on his stomach. He looks completely freaked, but I don’t care. “Who are you, and what can you tell me about my sister?” I growl, pulling him up by the collar. “I... I… my name is Thomas Evans, and I mistook you for someone else,” he stammers. “I know that; now where’s Eire? Where do you know her from?” I question. “We are a part of the same church. We sell flowers together sometimes. Please let me go. I can’t help you,” he answers. “Like hell you can’t help me. Tell me what I need to know, now. I’m drunk and cannot be held responsible for my actions,” I threaten, starting to get irritated. “You need serious help, lady. My church group meets at this address every Wednesday evening. Maybe they can help you, “ he says, handing me a card. I get off him and let him go. He runs off quicker than a gazelle runs from a hungry lion. I stand there still in shock. Is this it? Have I finally found her? I’m so close to her, yet I don’t want to get my hopes up. This may be it. I may have finally found my sister. I am so excited I throw up and then pass out. I wake up in the alley with a bad taste in my mouth and throw-up on my blouse. I hurry home to change. I unlock my apartment and turn on the lights. It’s a tiny one-bedroom. I don’t have much furniture. It kind of looks like I just moved in even though I’ve lived here for three years already. I don’t make friends. I’m scared of getting close to people. When I lost my sister, I lost everything. I take a quick shower Spring 2015

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then throw on a tee-shirt and a pair of jeans. I brush my hair and look at myself in the mirror. I pretend that I’m looking at Eire. Maybe soon I really will be looking at her. I drive to the address on the card. It’s an old-looking building. It looks like it needs to be condemned, actually. Is this where she’s been? Poor Eire, this place looks like hell. I knock on the big door but don’t wait for anyone to answer. I let myself in and step into the corridor. It’s lit with candles. It’s creepy and smells of incense and mold. I walk down the hall till I hear chanting. I freeze, standing there quietly. My body goes tense. It’s the exact same sound I heard all those years ago. I’m really scared, but I can’t stop now. I follow the noise to a big auditorium. There are a bunch of people gathered in a circle. In the middle is something covered with a big cloth. All of a sudden, they all turn to look at me. “She’s here,” they whisper in unison. Okay, I’m really scared now. “Where is she?” I ask, demanding an answer. “Where is who, my dear?” An older man asks. Are they really going to play dumb with me? “We have something to show you,” a woman says, beckoning for me to come closer. I look in the direction that they are pointing, and to my complete surprise, my parents step out of the shadows. “Mom, Dad, Eire’s been with you the whole time?” I ask in confusion. “Darling, you are Eire,” my dad replies. They pull the cloth back to reveal a mirror. I look into it but see only myself. I am tripping out. “What do you mean? Are you crazy?” I say, backing away slowly. “I was pregnant with twins, but you were born an only child,” my mother answers, stepping towards me. “What are you talking about? She’s real. She’s not just in my head,” I cry, starting to shake. “Of course, she’s real. Her spirit lives in your body. She’s like a split personality,” my father says. “No, I can’t cope with this.” I lunge toward the big mirror and throw myself into it. Pieces of glass cut my skin. A big piece slits my throat. As I lay on the ground bleeding, I see her. She’s standing over me, hand outstretched. I take her hand as I close my eyes. We are finally together. I’m finally at peace. And I slowly slip away into nothingness. 26

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Ellandre By Chris Dech

Digital Art Spring 2015

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The Promise By: Yvonne De La Fuente You took your first labored breath as your fragile, little body lay struggling to grasp air into your lungs. How could such a tiny body hold all my hopes and dreams? You are my first born, my precious little boy; Jon Jacob is the name you will carry. You will bring your name fame and glory. You will be taught to be a strong, confident, and independent young man, a man who treats his lady like a queen. But first, I will hold you in my arms and cradle you to sleep while singing sweet lullabies. I will be swallowed up in your sweet aroma and baby soft skin. The promise of you will keep me strong during days and nights of unrest. I will be forever by your side, guiding and encouraging every single step. I will watch you grow and discover the world with all its majesty. I will hold your hand for a short while, until you begin to put one foot in front of the other and learn to walk on your own. I look forward to the day you walk the stage at graduation, walk down the aisle to prepare for your wedding, the day you walk down the hospital hallways to find me and rejoice in the birth of my first grandchild, so many promises of who you will become. I regain my senses and a grasp on reality as I see your little body through the clear glass incubator. Your delivery date was unexpected, yet this emergency gave us no other option. I was only 25 weeks along, and your prematurity is evident in your weight and size alone. You are perfect in every other way. I run my hands along your little head full of curly, black hair. You wrap your hand around my finger—just like you are sure to wrap me around your little finger through eternity. I gently lay your tiny feet in my hand. How can tiny feet make such an impact on my life? My heart aches to keep you safe and warm, to surround you in my loving embrace, giving you my strength, the strength you need to begin breathing on your own. I see your little body struggling to breathe—you begin to shiver and groan. Such a horrible gasping noise, I can’t stand it any longer. I must look away. If I continue to watch you, I may just scream out, “Why God? Why my child?” I begin to cry and make deals with God. Just keep him here with me longer, Lord, and I will become a better person. I will do whatever you want me to do so long as you keep Jon Jacob here with me. I will love him as I already do; he will be my everything. “Please Lord!!, Please, entrust him to me.” But just like a horrible nightmare I cannot wake from, I regain my grasp on my reality as they carry your tiny blue coffin through the garden. You were taken from me and placed in this cold, wooden box. I wonder if you are afraid of the dark. Do you think that I have abandoned you? Have 28

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you lost your way? I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t breathe; my heart is beating so loudly I can’t hear anything but it’s slow and fading heartbeat. My life has lost all meaning, and I cannot control my sobbing. I sob with my entire body, shivering in my mother’s arms. She holds me to console me. But what do you tell someone who has lost a child? My family’s words still linger in my mind— God loved him too much to let him go— You will see him again— You can have another baby— Bless their hearts, they try, but I don’t hear a word they’re saying. I begin to feel resentment and hatred at the world AND everybody in it. How can this be happening? It isn’t real; it’s a nightmare I cannot wake from. IT IS REAL, just like the earth they begin to cover your coffin with….cold, dark, and dirty---this nightmare is real. There is a great emptiness inside of me, like a part of my heart has been torn away from my body. A part of me has been destroyed, never to walk the face of this earth again. ***This is part of a story based on what I remember about the day my son died over twenty- four years ago. The promises of what he was to become and the hopes and dreams I had for him still linger. Many times I still mourn his death and find it difficult to let go. Shortly after Jon Jacob passed, I could not bear to see infants without crying uncontrollably. People would stare and wonder why I was crying, but they never asked or really seemed to care. My heart was heavy, and as the hours grew into days and months, I became hardened and careless with my life. I made many mistakes and treated my family horribly because in my mind they were all to blame. I was to blame as well because had I been a better person, I would still have my child. I was punished because of the wrong I had done, and I didn’t deserve to be a mother—those were the lies I told myself. BUT I’m here to tell you—those lies are not true. YOU ARE WORTHY, and although I still don’t understand why he was taken from me, I rejoice in the fact that I held him and love him still. When I finally released my son into the arms of the Lord, I learned to forgive myself. I learned to love and laugh again. YOU can also learn to live again after the loss of a loved one….So I will say it again. YOU ARE WORTHY; the PROMISE is still alive within you!

Spring 2015

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s ge’ Jud ice o Ch

Sanding through Absence By Yolanda Jones

Photograph 30

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s ge’ d u J e oic Ch

Two Birds By Melody Halsrud

Digital Art Spring 2015

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Feelings Taking Over By Anastacia Casarez Take a pill Get a shot Something just to shut it off Outta control Losing role Now a tainted soul Tears are going Hearts lowering All is finally crumbling down Left alone Not to roam All just to hide at home All is done There is no fun There is no will left to run

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Lovebirds By Yvonne De La Fuente

Photograph

Spring 2015

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Listen By Sulema Mendoza One more opportunity to say what I think If you’re lost or confused look up a link I speak reality while you ignore with a drink So listen carefully I speak clearly Whether you can hear me or not take a moment and stop to hear my words drop my lyrics are non-stop flowing like hip-hop glowing like a neon block A star like Chris Rock sitting on top jealousy in stock stop crying, no mop stop flipping you flop I’m working you’re not You're shit I’m not stop hating you’re caught Oops, no time left on the clock

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Money Doesn’t Matter if It Feels You By Danielle Alonzo

Digital Art Spring 2015

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Excerpt from “Those Snared by Fate” By Chazz Lee She sighed and looked down at me; she moved and sat beside me, pulling a cloth off my head and dipping it into a pan of chilled water next to the bed on the floor. “When you were injured from your fall, it was more damaging than you knew of. Also, you caught some type of virus or infection from the swamplands that you were wandering in.” As she said this, the heavy sound of her heart seemed to drop. I was still so confused to why she had even bothered to save me; from what she said, she could have let me drop, leaving me to die. “Why would you save me?” As I said this, she parted the hair on top of my head to clear my view completely. She stared down at me, and even though the dark pools of inky black were just so that I could feel that there was warmth in them, she started to tell me of how she had even gotten to me and my location. She used to be like me, an angel, although she was banished for committing sin. She was of the third sphere and was in the works to move up to archangel. While on a patrol on Earth disguised as a human, she walked into a restraint where she was forced to eat, else she would have to leave the building. Who she was tracking was a demon of vile sorts. She was not going to leave, so she asked what a good suggestion was and went with it. Ten minutes later, a huge item called a burger and a mound of warm fries filled her nose, and she started to eat as to blend in. However, the taste was something that she had never even imagined it would taste like, and she was hooked on the food. When the mission was over, she repented for her sins and was pardoned; however, the next time, she was met with a chance to taste the food of men, she was unable to resist. This was unforgivable, and she was sent on trial for her actions and judged to be damned for her sins of a deceitful nature and of a glutinous nature. As I ebbed into the void, the realm where dreams lived and fantasy ran wild, more nightmares attacked me, and still, there she was to save me. I awoke in time to see her peering out over the horizon on the veranda. I moved to get up, not to make a sound. I felt as though I was being pulled towards her. The glass door slid open, and she did not flinch. “Good morning . . . ,” I just realized I did not know her 36

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name yet. “Good Morning! My name is David, and I am in your debt. Thank you for all that you have done.” As I said this, she turned towards me. Tears were running down her face. I didn’t know why, but I was compelled to swoop in and comfort her. “My eyes are broken, for I am not sad though I cry. Why is this so?” Through small sobs, she says this, a steady stream of tears down either side of her face. “My name is Gabby.” As the tears are rolling, I move us towards the ground where we sat, her head in my lap, and I pushed the hair out of her face and wiped her tears away. My actions were not my own although I allowed them to take hold. My heart fluttered faster, and for some reason, I did what I felt like I should do. “Gabby, it is okay. I don’t know why, when I should be fleeing, I stay, and at the same time, I feel strange around you right now.” I leaned down to kiss her forehead. A smile cracked on her face. The tears seemed to be stopping. She pushed herself up and leaned in towards me; her lips pressed upon my lips. Warmth greeted me to my surprise. My heart was racing, and I knew that I could never leave her side. “Is this what the men of Earth call love?” She looked back and said unto me, “Yes, and I think it is called a forbidden love, one that happens on all good terms but should not be.” She pushed away from me, now fear on her face. “I do not want you to be damned like me, here on this plane for eternity with no hope of return.” The look of fear made me feel a heavy sinking in my chest. “If this is love and it is true, then we have nothing to worry about. For forgiveness is something that can be granted to both the wicked and those who are worthy of forgiveness and help themselves towards the path.” The fear seemed to leave her face. She moved back towards me, and I placed my arm across her shoulder. “Besides nothing will move me from your side as you have done nothing but help me in my time of need, and I see you not as evil but as that of beauty.” We both peered out as the sun breached the landscape, sending colors of warm orange and red into our visions. This was surely to be the start of grand adventure in my life; no, not my life—our life.

Spring 2015

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Humble Me Boldly By Dorothy Helen Henderson I shall stand tall and bold in the presence of my enemy. I’m a force to be reckoned with, because of my shielded features. I‘m all black without a trace of any other mixture. I humble myself in the forefronts of those who want to attack me from behind and go to war with my mind intact. I humble myself boldly to those who want to see me fail in this lifetime. I have found out that people will hate me for no reason at all, and I will have to fend for myself when judgment calls. I’m not given a warning to go to battle with any weapons that will protect me in a mere second of time. Humble me boldly, Lord. I will humble myself when all hope is gone. I will humble myself boldly when I’m right, but you think that I’m wrong. I will call on my strength and run to His camp of refuge. You see . . ., I will humble myself boldly, while praying on bended knees. Humble me boldly. 38

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Simnee By Chris Dech

Digital Art Spring 2015

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Excerpt from “Hotel of the Setting Moon” By Chazz Lee As I edged to the door and saw the inside of what I was sure was some kind of Hell, Nicademus was moving in and out of the battle at hand. It was almost like watching an artist paint. He danced around the spectral, ethereal creatures and blasted them into the void with his gauntlet and what appeared to be a blade of some type. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, we nodded and moved in. No sooner had we stepped in than the icy chill of the room swept us. I saw the look on Nicademus’s face while we entered, and it was one of shock. As I rounded about behind Glen in a corner, I made a small shielded portion of the wall so nothing could sneak me from behind nor above and beneath me. Glen was already going through clips to kill the foe as it seemed to be pouring from a point near the center of the room. Nicademus was attempting to make a clear path to the center. I could see; I messaged to Glen over comms to cover him. At first, I thought that he had the music too loud until I realized and had to stop myself from shouting into the comms that he was stuck fighting something that had breached the room from the outside. The room grew colder and colder as we all fought the creatures. Just as we all thought that the area was almost clear, a large and metallic-looking, hook-looking object jutted from the center of the room. I was tearing through the centermost of the room, tearing the now visible portal and the ground around it. Without delay, we all led fire into the beast. I fired arrow after arrow at the stray that moved near Nicademus and Glen, keeping them safe to focus on the new task at hand. Nic was laying heavy fire on to the claw or part of some greater beast that was tearing through the portal. Glen was now out of clips for his guns and had moved to his sword, dealing blow after blow to the creature. I felt they were doing nothing more but angering it. Shortly thereafter, it retreated from the surface. I wiped my brow after disposing of the last of the small creatures in the room, allowing the boys to relax. This was a short respite; the ground started to quake and rumble. Parts of the building came crashing down as the ground ripped open, and a blur sprang into the air, landing with a thud. I could now make out that this was the creature attempting to breach the portal and make for our realm. It was a monstrous ethereal spider, darker blue stripes down its back. Nicademus, leaping back against the wall, reached behind him and pulled a scroll out, started to unroll it, and shouted, “Give me cover fire. NOW!!” 40

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Glen made a move in, toggling the controls over his right ear, changing the music to something a little more for the situation, slashing at the insect, weaving around the legs, and using the rubble around him to leap on to the back. He slammed the sword into the back of the beast. “Please grab its attention long enough for me change types and fire at it with the new arrows you got for this trip. By the counsel, let me get off before you fire!” I pressed the up arrow above my thumb, changing the type of arrow from energy to that of incendiary. The plan now seemed to destroy his sword when it was a fire type, causing a huge explosion. In all the lessons that we were taught, the one of how magic items explode was one that we never got to do in class. Now was as good a time as any in my book to try. Glen leaped from the beast just as I took aim on the sword in its back. It was moving and swinging its legs rapidly at any and everything. I let loose my arrow; my aim was true and hit the hilt of the sword. With a deafening explosive boom, smoke filling the air and blinding our senses, I smiled on what was a job well done. A terrible screech filled the air and made me very aware that all we had done was anger it even further. As the smoke cleared, I saw that Glen was pressed on his side and unconscious. Nicademus was still chanting as the spider made around towards Glen. I started to rotate back to the other type of arrow, just as I noticed Nicademus had stopped chanting. A thunderclap echoed overhead. Ash was wafting out of hands, and the call of a giant bird could be heard above. The spider stopped almost dead in its pursuit of Glen and attempted to hide in the rubble. Then, the sky turned bright orange and red, and erupting from the cover of cloud, a grand black flame bird swooped down and hovered over the opening. Reaching in, it grappled with the spider, and as quickly as it was here, soared back to the heavens. Mouth open and mind swimming, I found Nicademus over Glen’s body, checking the vitals. “Next time don’t blow things up. Bravery and stupidity don’t do too well; you could have very well died.” He looked up at me with such disappointment, his eyes now a mix of blue frost and black flames. He blinked, and they were back to cold, icy blue. Was I just seeing things? “Yes, sir!” I said, standing up straight and rendering a salute with my palm facing me and the tip of my middle finger right at the hair line just in front of my face. “He will live, and we need to get him some medical aid. Let’s move out.” Spring 2015

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Street Sweeper By Cody Smith

Photograph 42

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Catching Waves By Yvonne De La Fuente

Photograph Spring 2015

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Sunflowers By Alicia Cantu

Spray Paint 44

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My Mother’s Father By Robert Alvarado Jr.

It was February 3, 1937, when Demetrio S. Hatol left the Port of Manila in the Philippines Islands. He was on his first leg of a new voyage in life as a Filipino immigrant heading to the United States. My grandfather’s journey in life took many paths, but he always found time for his family. My grandfather was born on October 25, 1896, and spent the early years of his life in the small village of Bato, located on the island of Leyte. He grew up with his parents and enjoyed fishing, swimming, and gathering coconuts. He never spoke about his father except to say that his name was Domingo, but he did tell stories about his mother. Her name was Philomena, and she was known throughout the village as the “Snake Lady.” When a snake bit someone, she was called over to suck out the poison from the victims. No one really knows why my grandfather decided to leave his homeland at the age of forty, but my guess is that he was searching for a better way of life. Prior to his departure, he had been working as an indentured servant for Army Col. J.R. Copenhaven, stationed there in Manila. He worked for him as a tailor and as a cook. When Col. Copenhaven was reassigned to Kelly Airfield in San Antonio, Texas, he asked my grandfather to go with him. I was able to research on the Internet, located a copy of the ship log, found that they boarded the U.S.S. Grant, and arrived in San Francisco, California, on February 19, 1937. I was not able to find records on how he traveled to get here to San Antonio, Texas, so I assume that they traveled by train to get here. A few years later, Col. Copenhaven was reassigned by the Army to another duty station. By that time, my grandfather had met my grandmother and had a family, so they decided to stay here in San Antonio. He continued working as a cook and was employed at Kelly Field, The Spotted Horse (now renamed The Hungry Farmer), and The Kit Kat. There was one other job that was rather interesting and stood out among the rest. He worked on the north side of town as a pastry chef for Mr. Tom Slick Jr. ,who was an heir to an oil business. Mr. Slick was also an inventor and an adventurer who traveled the world on expeditions searching for the Loch Ness Monster, The Yeti, and Bigfoot. He never traveled with Mr. Slick but did take the whole Spring 2015

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family once to his mansion to show them his place of work. At home, away from work, my grandfather stayed busy raising a family that included my grandmother and six children He rarely spoke in his native language of Tagalog to the family because he wanted to better his English. He enjoyed baking pies, building furniture, and drinking cold beer while listening to Spanish music. Sometimes he would go buy a block of ice and shave it, and then make his own syrup to make snow cones. One of my mother’s favorite memories was going to a Filipino party when she was young and eating some roasted pig with an apple in its mouth. I remember the stories that were passed down from my mother Guadalupe and my Aunt Helen about how my grandfather always walked with a limp because he fell off a coconut tree when he was young. Then, there were the photos of him and two others in the Philippines holding a human head. Headhunters were still a common sight back in the days when he was young in the Philippine Islands. Several years later my grandmother found an old trunk containing two human heads. No one knows whose heads they were or why he kept them, but my grandmother made sure that he threw them away. I can still remember playing with my grandfather and going fishing with him in Corpus Christi, enjoying the ocean. I can also still picture him walking around the house with his cane or crutches and sitting in the living room watching an old black and white television set. As the years went by, old age and illnesses started to catch up to him, and he was unable to do the things he enjoyed. One day when I got home from Sunday school, there was an ambulance in front of his home, and my mother was on the porch crying. My grandfather had fallen asleep that night after eating a banana and went to heaven on October 5, 1968. Still to this day, we all have happy memories of a man who worked very hard for his family then fell on hard times due to his struggles with severe gout, but was still somehow able to provide the necessities. We all have continued to live the way he taught us and still enjoy eating some of his recipes that he passed down to my mother. Sometimes, I wonder if he is looking down at us, smiling as we all eat his cherry pies and tell the stories of this man, “My Mother’s Father,” whose spirit is still alive in our hearts.

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Mother Nature By Victoria Garcia

Mixed Media Spring 2015

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Chasing For Guidance By San Juanita Rodriguez

Chasing the Deceased My road, my path is my riveting dream. It is my enemy, my loss, my passion, my heart’s closed seam. I did not choose to become this way, so severely broken. I simply allowed the evil, twisted fears to consume my time. Even for a while, my mind projected the forbidden words unspoken. But to permit my body to persist, to pursue the intent of this selfish crime. I bled hopelessness, almost ready to give in as I looked the devil in the eyes. A declaration of fight and a violent battle indeed. No hope, my hell, my vicious battle with myself, on the verge of suicide. But Lucifer did not win; no, not this time, he did not lead. My Savior, a power unseen yet so extreme. Satan shivers at the scene, and my soul is saved. Almost too easy, you say? Wrong! My journey is not over. My pain is not erased or discreet. I cannot succumb to the ruins of my pathetic depression but choose one way. The Lord is my answer. My God, our God, the driver of my fate. The only thing I am sure of is that it is never too late.

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[Alone on the Soccer Field] By Dianna Guzman

Photograph Spring 2015

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Overcoming Obstacles By Maverick L. Crawford III My mother’s wish was to have a boy and a girl, and here came me, another boy. I was the child that my mother did not want and tried to abandon. She was outraged that I was another boy and that I had mental health problems. I even think she hated that I was ten pounds and weighed more than any of her children. Being a child with significant learning delays brought stress upon my mother, which meant a multitude of abuse for me. I felt like a stranger living with my mother and her family because she didn’t treat me like a child she loved. Growing up, I was diagnosed with multiple disabilities, such as a speech impediment, mental retardation, dysphasia, autism, attention deficit disorder, and had multiple seizures. Around the time I turned three, I was diagnosed with a speech impediment. This occurred because I had an abnormally thick line that connected my tongue to the bottom of my mouth. This deformity is called tongue-tie. Tongue-tie affected my speech, eating, and basic social skills. I had to have surgery in order to remove this abnormal line from the bottom of my tongue, and the result of this surgery was a speech impediment. A year after surgery, I was put in speech therapy, and, as a consequence, I did not speak until age four. Speaking was difficult because I would stutter and stammer, struggling to make a sound. Thus, I remained silent because my stuttering was severe, and others could not understand me. Because of the tongue clip surgery, I was diagnosed with mental retardation at age three. My symptoms of mental retardation included difficulty in remembering things, behavior problems (tantrums), and delayed speaking, walking, rolling over, and sitting up late. I had to attend a special school at age three with other disabled children. Because of my condition, I was restricted from everybody else and had to be supervised. My mother and aunt would repeatedly tell me, “Maverick, you are mentally retarded!” Having mental retardation, made me feel as if I had a contagious disease and that I could not be around anyone. The next disability I was diagnosed with was dysphasia. Dysphasia is a language and speech disorder that is caused by brain 50

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damage. I developed this disorder from being repeatedly thrown across the house by my mother. Since I already had a severe speech impediment, my condition of dysphasia was even worse. The symptoms I had were speaking in incomplete sentences, slurring over words, trouble expressing thoughts verbally and clearly, trouble understanding English, and writing difficulties. Because of dysphasia, learning in a general classroom with other students was a nightmare for me. I was not able to keep up or understand what was being taught. At age five, I was diagnosed with autism, which was also associated with the other disabilities I had. I had abnormal behaviors, such as hand flapping, rocking, hiding, not responding to my name when called, and refusing to be touched. I arranged and rearranged objects and sucked my ring finger. I avoided social activities with members of my family and stayed away from them as much as possible. I repeatedly flushed the toilet because the sound fascinated me. My autism also caused delays in brain function. Consequently, I was two years old when I started walking, six when I began to sit upright, ten when I learned how to tie my shoes, and I was seventeen when I finally learned how to grip a pencil correctly. Because of autism, I repeatedly made towers out of blocks and opened and closed doors. My mother, aunt, and a few teachers made me feel worthless and useless because I had autism and would bully or make fun of me because of my disability. I displayed many significant symptoms of attention deficit disorder when I was in elementary school. Behaviors included a short attention span, difficulty focusing and paying attention, easily forgetting things, anxiety, and depression. When something was too hard for me to understand, my body would shiver; my head would hurt; my heart would pound, and I felt like passing out. I looked down at the floor for long periods of time to stop people from looking at me having a nervous breakdown. My teacher would think something was wrong with me, but I did not want to say anything because of my speech impediment. Another problem I had growing up was seizures. This came about from either being thrown or having multiple disabilities. My symptoms included blacking out, falling, shaking my body, twitching, and jerking. I even had milder symptoms, such as a blank stare and small hand movements. The seizures I had were both severe and moderate. It was scary to have a seizure because they Spring 2015

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were unexpected and a terrifying experience. My mother and aunt thought I had a brain disorder because of my frequent seizures. When I recovered after having a seizure, I would have a bad headache with sharp pain going through my body. I couldn’t think straight after having a seizure or remember what happened before I had it. Having a seizure was one horrible event that occurred in my childhood. Due to all of the mental disabilities I was diagnosed with, I was placed in special education. My mental condition was so severe that I could not be in a general class setting. Starting at age two, I received occupational therapy for mental retardation and autism. Then, at age three, I was placed in Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities for almost three years. This program is an early childhood intervention that provides services for children with special needs. The preschool program demanded speech services and for me to see a psychologist, neurologist, and various other mental health doctors. I was one of the only students that was supervised regularly by school staff and repeatedly hit with a rubber band for my behavior. I was in special education and received these services until I graduated from high school. I felt that my disabilities would have been enough of a barrier to overcome without the abuse. Special education and having multiple disabilities have made me different and unique. I needed special attention and services because I displayed behaviors that were abnormal. I always stood and was referred to as, “That silent weird kid!” I have had support from my older brothers (Maynard and Marcus), younger sister (Shaneka), Dr. Loston, my professors and staff at St. Philip’s College, and many others who have always had confidence in me to be successful even with a disability. Because of their support, I myself gained confidence to strive for greatness while undergoing obstacles. I learned that having a disability does not make you ineligible to become successful. Multiple disabilities and special education have made me realize that I’m different and to always be different in a good way. It helped me to see that I am a special person and to always believe in myself no matter who tells me otherwise.

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Looking Up By Fadela Gacis Castro

Photograph Spring 2015

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The Orange By Alicia Cantu

Oil with a Glaze 54

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Once Used By Maria Burford I have been the sword of the mighty. I have been heard through all the times. I have been by the sides of our country men. I have been placed where all the world can see our truths. I have been used countless times for a mighty promise for a better future. I have been used by artists as a key tool in making many masterpieces of art. I have been the voice to those who could not speak. I have been around this whole world and seen many sunrises. I have been used to express loving thoughts to my one and only true love. I have been used to carry on what is and what was that of yesteryear. I have been held up in many classes as an inspiration for others to see. I have been used as a savior by many different gods to give people salvation. I have been bonded into pages and pages of all our histories. I have been used to hunt down those who have committed heinous crimes in our world. I have been used to define one’s self worth and to help all collect their fortunes. I have even been used to declare one’s life or death. I have been used in so many ways that it’s now this new generation has grown tired of me. It’s now that I have been placed in a quiet corner awaiting my death of hell and fire. It’s there that I suffer much sadness, for I am no longer seen as a true necessity in our world.

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Yet, as I sit there awaiting my death I wonder, “Why must I die?” Is it because I once served our countries too well, or perhaps, it’s because I gave us hope for a better tomorrow? Although, I do realize that I too have brought some worrisome and ugly truths to the light of day, but it’s in those moments that I made history. It’s now in my last dying moments that can feel the warmth of the sunrise and see the many days of amazement I have lived through. So as I begin to bid my last farewell, I ask that no one shed a tear nor morn for me. Instead, I only ask that when you speak of me to future generations that you inspire them to make me a necessity so that I can once again live among the world.

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Morrissey By Alicia Cantu

Charcoal Spring 2015

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Youth Opportunity By Sulema Mendoza As I step up and make a move My lyrical capabilities to prove. Fearless, truly nothing for me to lose As I look around, I see I've got everyone confused A chica flowing, even I’m amused; nonetheless, my words shouldn’t be excused. So listen, pay attention don’t be dissin’ as I mention that without purpose I’d be missin’ my life’s true intention A chance to embrace life’s opportunity A movement to invent a change that no one can prevent of course, room for improvement and with your commitment my point can be sent I’m talkin’ bout Youth Opportunity, Improve our community strengthen our unity. So it’s up to you and me Doesn’t the thought make you quiver Have your whole body shiver, a positive motivation I plan to deliver. Put on this earth as a pleaser and a giver As I offer my answers to our life’s equation that there’s a place for aspirations with less complications encouragement from so many persuasions and invasions of optimistic demonstrations To find a surrounding of open minds, fantastic to overcome ignorance, we've passed it! So feel my expressions of enthusiastic of course not too drastic, jus’ realize our strength is like elastic So now I have something to stand for like never before As I yearn for more, my motivations soar, ideas galore Inspirations from my children that I truly adore As for me, I’m definitely unique evidently as I speak quite so gently, no longer weak 58

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As I stand before you on my own two feet It’s the opportunity that I seek A way to get respect and earn it correct It’s the principle to protect, never to neglect as we connect with good intent for the right cause and effect We can get over the wall for we are all bound to fall under the law influenced by a world that is cold and raw; just listen for the call and we will overcome life’s barrier; wait any longer it will get scarier so open your mind and heart to a carrier of support a place within a fort that will protect against all sorts through all ports An idea so rare that there is nothing to compare Who else would care? And share in our efforts to dismantle despair when life is unfair who is bold, brave, and willing to bare the challenges we share Who else would dare? ‘Cuz I can’t stand it when people take things for granted for those who haven't taken the time to understand it that a foundation is planted when an idea has landed A bond is branded all rough edges are sanded no one else left abandoned

Spring 2015

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Space Dust (I’m Just Here for You) By Danielle Alonzo

Digital Art 60

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My Mother’s Storgē By Anastacia Casarez

Placing galaxies in my head, Yet, I fail to fill the gleam Raising me up beyond the stars, For I fell far in me. Offer me up the world, One I am not deemed. Calming my rapid mind, Serenading my peace. Filling my heart with storgē, I, a bottomless hole always needing. Encouraging my spirit with prayer, My soul was slowly dimming. Through Thick & Thin, You Loved. With Good & Bad, You Cared. From Right & Wrong, You Taught. With Everlasting, Never-ending So Fulfilling Eternal Love Your Storgē My Storgē Mamasítas Y Neńa Forever and Always My Mother’s Love Spring 2015

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Eagle Eyes By Fadela Gacis Castro

Photograph 62

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Excerpt from “Life Sucks: Don’t Get over It—Funeral” By Sean Graupner

I stayed in my room all the time after she died. I couldn’t feel anything. The tears were gone. The anger, the rage, at what had happened were diminished. All I seemed to feel were ghosts of emotions, subtle stirrings that surfaced for mere moments before I went back to the nothing that engulfed my life. I thought to myself at one point, how can nothing envelop me the way it does? It’s nothing. I spent every waking and dreaming moment with the image of her lifeless body tattooed onto my mind. I tried getting high to forget everything, but it didn’t help. It only made it worse. It made the picture more vivid in my mind. As bad as it was, though, it made me feel something, even for a short while. I felt sadness and grief, but I wanted to feel something. I hated feeling nothing. The only time I left my room was exactly a week after Liz’s death. It was for her funeral. **** I woke up the morning of Liz’s funeral feeling the same as I had since her death—the nothing still engulfing every inch of my mind not thinking of Liz. I took a shower then put on the only suit I had, a stark white t-shirt with a black tie and matching jacket. My pants had been starched, and my shoes were black dress shoes. It was the nicest I had looked in the past week. I was staring at my reflection in the mirror and saw a lifeless look in my eyes. I was lost. I didn’t even recognize myself. My eyes had dark circles around them, and I looked paler than normal. I hadn’t known such a change could occur in a person within just a week. I was swallowed by my suffering, and it didn’t seem likely that it would spit me out anytime soon. “Kade, honey, it’s time to go,” my mother called through the door. “I’ll be right out.” I stepped out of the bathroom then followed my mom to the car. The sky was a light gray. I could tell a storm was coming. When we started heading towards the cemetery, it started to drizzle. The raindrops covered the window, and I thought it was the sky crying for Liz, crying the tears I couldn’t. It was as if the universe knew what an injustice it was that Liz had been killed, as if all around the world was dimmer because her light was gone. We arrived at the procession, and most everyone was already there, dressed in black and umbrellas over them. The coffin that held my Spring 2015

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best friend was over the hole dug for her already. My mother and I took our place near the front, and the priest started his speech about how Liz was in a better place and that we should mourn but also be happy for her. I wasn’t happy. I wanted the only person who understood me back in my life. I looked around while the priest kept talking, and everywhere I looked I saw the despair and grief that hung over everyone. All the students and teachers that this affected, her death had taken a toll. Everyone looked older, as if a heavy burden had been laid upon their shoulders. But as heavy a burden as they were carrying, I was Atlas, holding a world of burden upon my shoulders. They were only carrying pebbles. I was caught by just how sad everyone there looked. And then, I saw her parents, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Liz’s parents were in the back of the crowd, and I saw no hint of mourning in their eyes. No sign of the sadness that permeated the air around everyone else. All I saw on their faces was a hint of annoyance. It looked as though they thought this whole thing was just a waste of time and money. I knew they didn’t show affection towards Liz, but not even grieving over the death of their only daughter was the final indignity that they could ever show her. The only thing that stopped me from screaming at them was the respect I had for Liz. The priest finished his speech, and everyone started to leave. I asked my mom to wait for me in the car. She left, and I waited until there was no one around; then, I walked up to the glossy wooden case that held the only person I considered family. The rain was still falling softly, making the coffin slick and wet. I fell to my knees and placed my head on it. The tears I thought were gone came with a torrent that I didn’t know was possible. The rain matched my tears and came down harder, soaking me. I didn’t care. All I could feel was the immense sadness that fell on me. I screamed and cursed at the sky, asking why this had been done to someone so special and amazing. I yelled until my throat was raw then placed my head back onto her coffin. I whispered, “Liz. Liz, I’m so sorry. I should have protected you. I don’t know what I’m going to do without my best friend. I don’t know how I’m going to live, but I’ll try for you. I know it’s what you want. Thank you for making my every day bright. I hope wherever you are you’re happy, and when things look dark to me, I’ll let you be my light. I love you, Liz. Goodbye.” I stood back up and walked back to the car, tears and rain still falling down my face. I got inside, and my mom drove away. I took one last look at the coffin as we drove off then closed my eyes and fell asleep, and for the first time didn’t dream of Liz dying. 64

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Peace By Maria D. Lopez

Photograph

Spring 2015

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The Promise By Madison Thibeaux "You promised." Rain was falling heavily from the sky, yet neither of us seemed to notice. "I make a lot of promises that I can't keep." Tears were lost in the rain, but the pain was still there. "I love you." I sighed and looked away. "I know." There was a steady throbbing that seemed to start in my chest and spread throughout my body. "Does that fact mean nothing to you?" Her breathing was coming in ragged gasps now. I shoved my hands into my pockets. "Goodbye, love." She was shaking her head as if she could dispel what was happening. I turned towards the sound just as she reached for me. Her touch sent an electric current running across my skin. "Let me go." It was a recommendation that had nothing to do with her physical hold on me. My life was complicated and not one she should be a part of. "I can't do that. I can't let you do this." She was pleading now. "I have to. It's the only way I can.... I don't have another choice." The rain had let up, and her tears were viewable now. The wind whipped violently around us. She shivered, and I had a strong urge to wrap my arms around her. Pulling free, I began my march. "There's always a choice." She called it to my back. I hesitated. "You don't know what it's like. You don't have to deal with the aftermath." The wind whipped harder. I moved forward again until I was standing at the top of the wall. The water was a good one- hundred feet below us, and the waves were crashing up against the wall. "Please. Please. Don't do this." She had followed me. "You don't know what it's like." My voice was flat. I didn't care anymore. "So explain it to me." I looked over at her. Her beautiful face. Porcelain skin, grey-blue eyes, and the features of a goddess. My goddess. "I'm sorry, love." My hand twitched as I desired to touch her—to feel the warmth of her body one last time. "Please." Her voice was a whisper. She knew she had lost. I closed my eyes, breathed in the ocean air. It was salty yet fresh. She screamed my name as I jumped. The wind rushed around me and whistled through my ears. There 66

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was a sharp pain and then nothing. When I opened my eyes, I was standing on the wall again just behind her. She had fallen to her knees and was alternating between sobbing and screaming in anguish. I forced my legs to work. Looking over the edge, I could see my body floating in the sound below me. Placing my hand on her shoulder, I pulled her up. She started then smiled. I could touch her! She lunged forward and placed her lips against mine—the first time we had kissed since the accident that had claimed her life.

Selena’s Picture By Frank Vasquez

Photograph Spring 2015

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s ge’ Jud ice o Ch

Elders’ Dream By : Alan J. Quiles Cold shivery pipes Shudder relentless Through the night Windy weather Taps, on the tips of frost

Windows glaze to the gleam of gloss The numbing bite clinches the freeze with might Winter chills, travel up the spines of trees As the branches sway musically, within the midst of breeze The frigid calamity clasps its lips As darkness swallows the sun like lost ships Tarnished speckles of gray pave the vault Atop the earth with flurries of salt As I long for swelter I shy away to the embracing arms of shelter Spring is nowhere to be seen, as I lie Dormant in the elders’ dream.

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Our Judges Prose: San Juan San Miguel is the Coordinator of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center at St. Philip’s College. He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Communications and Learning Department. He has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from UTSA and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. Mary’s University. He enjoys traveling, cooking (and eating), cycling, reading, writing, and funding Kickstarter campaigns but most of all basketball! He is currently in pursuit of his lifelong ambition to be an NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach. Poetry: Nereida Reyes has been a staff member of the Rose R. Thomas Writing Center for twelve years. She is a St. Philip’s graduate who received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a great grandmother, she still enjoys swimming, cooking, writing poetry, reading, and dismantling the myths embedded in America’s so-called generation gap. Art/Photography: Mitchell Miranda is an award-winning artist, photographer, and graduate of St. Philip’s College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a minor in Great Texts of the Western Tradition and a Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology with a focus on World Religion from Baylor University; he received a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern & Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology from University College London’s Institute of Archaeology and is currently a doctoral student at Reading University in England. His studies have taken him to Europe and Guatemala. His artwork has been on exhibit at Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art and the Hill Country Arts Foundation where he was named a Texas Emerging Artist by James Avery and the Texas Art and Craft Fair. When abroad, he FaceTimes his pet gecko, Little Man.


Profile for SPC  English

Tiger PAWS Spring 2015  

Tiger PAWS Spring 2015  

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