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LYRE 2017

Dear Readers, In your hands is a year’s worth of work. Each week a group of poetry and art lovers meets to read and critique. We gather submissions from every division of the school, from the George Cottage to the senior class. After going over each and every submission backwards and forwards and backwards again, we are pleased to present you the best art and writing St. Martin’s has to offer. This year has been exceptionally great, and we are grateful for every single submission, and for the fantastic people who worked hard to make this a great addition to a tradition of publication that reaches back decades. Thanks to all who contributed and made it possible for you to enjoy the blood and sweat of the impossible. -Letter from the Editors Special Thanks to the Art Department and to our Fearless Captain Christopher Shipman

Cover Art by Iris Hu, ‘17

The Shaper by Griff Thomas, ‘19 It is the responsibility of a poet to fly to a world that no one can see It is the responsibility of a poet to make the reader see that world It is the responsibility of a poet to be herself in front of everyone else It is the responsibility of a poet to have a mind of a single blade of grass in the meadow of a farm It is the responsibility of a poet to think like a God, and to create and destroy words It is the responsibility of a poet to shape and order those words into new galaxies of emotions


The Emoji Hit in the Hills by Charley Leopold, ‘19 Shooting star punches a mountain house Golf goes up in galaxy Shooting star x2 hits the Earth TV, couples see, people volcano Waves by hotel plus golf? Star star star star Police + angel + siren Police reads reports You cut rare then float like A police underwater + California California punches star Pray for California Stars hit California Guard Up 3 waves hit star Up shooting star to shine Pray star Up siren sick of saying hi Bowie California shines Smoking, eyes, down a path cloud Thinking “OK Shine”


The City Fish by Samuel Kellum, ‘19 The fish swam fast in the rain and thunder. The lips of death did not stop, nor did they sleep. The house turned from new to abandoned, but I looked for the ring in the trash while raining. The angel sang when the rainy fish moved fast down the water. It worshipped the devil with a beautiful smile. The sun did not rise, the bus was caught by the tongue. The lips felt wet and foggy. Stoplights. Death played tunes, music, or even jingles. It shot the house and created a neighborhood. Two fish each played tunes, then stopped when they felt okay. They prayed for peace— for the wet lips


Emoji Fish for Katrina by Pierce Gremillion, ‘19 in the mouth of death where the dead do not dream damaged houses are married to distraction/destruction buckets in the storm— people singing in the rain like fish breathing underwater pray for the youth fire and light inside of the destruction the city is no longer a city— a tongue inside a tunnel— the mouth is wet


The Green Glassed Bear of Death by Katie Williams, ‘20 Rain drop drip drop from the tip top of the world And all they do is go splat against the green glazed glass Window open radio on I’m dense in the depressing dark of a quiet park 90 I think I’ll go then maybe a little more until I’m broke out of gas Tears start to come and my heart starts to feel Yet at a minute’s notice I’m swollen gobbled up by sorrow But all I seem to know is that I’m stuck in the past Roads slick Tires can’t stick No grip Swerving swirling until bang Crash Lights red and blue flash As the officer comes out and tells me that it was a drunken car crash Then I let out a scream that is all of childhood me Realizing that my mother will never return from her car But I’m on the road with too much to drink Bad choices are what make me me No longer in the past as my car starts to swerve then flip Head goes smack then everything starts to fade into black No matter what I do I am stuck back in the past Apples don’t fall far from the tree people always told me But that never meant anything before to me And now I know that I can’t change how my past has made me me This I know and no matter where I go the future is free For me to have it as what I want it to be And the only question that rattles around In my mind as I walk a thin line Is will I be my mother


or another

Ten Years Past the End by Jesse Pickens, ‘19 I live in a small apartment. When I lie in my bed at night, I listen to the sound of car alarms and sometimes hear screaming or yelling or both. At this point, I’ve probably saved up enough to live in a larger apartment, probably in a nicer neighborhood, but I just don’t fit. Two months ago, when I went to look at apartments, one woman, an infant resting on her hip, quickly pulled her three-year-old inside an apartment a few moments after she saw me. Another elderly man shot me a confused look as my real estate agent led me inside. So, I decided to purchase an apartment that fit with my look. My current apartment was dusty and the walls were cracking. It was barely enough room for one person. In this area, no one would wonder if I were dangerous. They would assume I was. Sometimes it’s easier to live around people who are lower than you. It almost makes me happy to see white people who are poorer, drunker even, than myself. It shouldn’t make me feel better about myself, but it does. Living away from the reservation also made me realize that Indians aren’t the only lonely, depressed, and povertystricken people. As I stare at the broken floorboards or moldy celling, I realize other people are staring at the same things. I’m not the only one.


Arnold and Rowdy: BFF’s by Lainey Pickens, ‘19 On a muggy night in summer I returned to the Spokane reservation. I walked quickly past my childhood home, the streets I grew up in. I headed to the graveyard. I didn’t want my parents to know I was here. The half-moon dimly lit the poorly made tombstone’s inscription: HERE LIES ROWDY (1991-2012). This was the first time I’d been back to the rez since his death. My wife wanted to come, but she had to stay home and watch the baby. On a cartoonists nonexistent salary you couldn’t afford a babysitter. On the rez, maybe, but not in Seattle. On the day he died I went to visit him in the hospital. He was in the charity wing, sharing a room with an old woman, surrounded by old blankets and ancient medicines. His face was swollen, but it was the legs that were the worst. Or the lack of them, taken from him by a drunk driver on a late night in July. I sat by his bed, staring at the person I hadn’t seen in years. I wasn’t sure if I could call him my friend. He didn’t talk to me except to tell me what he wanted on his grave. He didn’t want anything “gushy” on it he said. And no last name. No connection to his drunk father, he said. He had no other visitors, so I was the only one who could tell them what to write on it. I stood up and walked away from the grave. I looked back once and turned around. I set a sketch I found of Rowdy and me against the gravestone. It’s old. “Boys can hold hands until they turn 9,” it reads. Then I left the rez and headed back to where I came from.


Her Last Days by Adriana Paz, ‘21 She felt the cool air hit her as she walked into the doctor’s office. She was anxious, I could tell. I would be too, if that was me. She waited patiently for her name to get called for about thirty minutes. Every minute she seemed to get more worried. Finally, they called her in. As she walked in to the room, she started shaking. The doctor came in and examined her. After the examination, the doctor brought the results. The doctor was not happy, and soon he told us that my grandmother had cancer. He told her that she had only a couple more years to live. It was the hardest day for me. We drove back to her house and prayed that whole evening. She had still not found the courage to tell the rest of the family. Words cannot describe how I was feeling that day. Why would God want to take my grandmother away from me? That night, we went to my grandfather and told him the news. All three of us held hands and cried. He did not go to work the next morning. Instead, he stayed home, cooked, and decided to gather the whole family. We all had dinner, we prayed, we sang, and it was a great night. We ate her favorite dish, which was tamales, and we all sang to the tune of the guitar my grandfather began to play. Before everyone left, my grandfather told everyone the news. Everyone was devastated and my father, his sister, and his brother began crying. It was such a great night until then. The next few years were pretty intense. Every summer, I stayed at her house and I practically lived with her for about three months. I wanted to enjoy every second I had with her. I went to all her doctor appointments and translated everything for her because she only spoke Spanish. I remember watching her in the bathroom while she brushed her hair. Slowly, all her hair came off. She began to lose confidence and never really went out. Instead of going outside and working on her garden, she stayed inside and watched television. I missed seeing her with her own hair. Two years later, I made my first communion. That was the only time she came to my house when she had cancer. I remember bringing her out to eat and it was one of the happiest times of my life. My grandpa played the guitar and we sat at the table and began to sing. To this date, it is probably one of the only vivid pictures I have of her in my mind. When my grandmother got back to Florida, where she lived, she 8

began to go to church. She would read the Bible every single day and prayed a long time. I remember seeing my father go out every night into the backyard and crying because he was afraid of losing his mother and I sometimes would cry myself to sleep because I didn’t want to lose her. The next few months were pretty hectic. Time after time, she would go to the doctor until one day she came home and was jumping with joy. She immediately told all of us that she no longer had the cancer. I was so happy to see that my grandmother was finally happy and healthy! She was fine for a couple of months and went to the doctor regularly. A year had passed and she was healthy. Her hair had begun to grow back but this time it came out grey. I remember she used to tell me that she didn’t feel like a grandmother because she didn’t have the typical grey hair that all the other grandmothers used to have, so I knew that she was very excited about her new hair color . That summer, I went back to her house. It was different. She was happier, she finally brought her colorful garden back to life, and she was able to do much more. It was such a great summer until one day we had to go back to the doctor’s office. To get there was an adventure. We had to ride the public bus to get to the hospital which was where her doctor was. I remember getting on the bus and looking at the wide array of different kind of people, so I held her hand even tighter. I was scared. She let me take a nap on her lap and I still remember her warm, tender hands playing with my hair. My grandmother began to sing to me as I went to sleep. After several bus stops, we finally made it to her doctor. Everything was going well; she had drunk her medicine, took care of herself, and exercised. The doctor decided to run some tests to make sure everything continued to be normal. He brought her to another room and I waited in the cold, plain room patiently as they spoke separately. They walked back into the room. They both looked unhappy. Immediately, I understood what had happened and I began to sob. “Why did God hate me?” I thought. He wanted to take my caring, loving, and affectionate grandmother away from me. The doctor said she only had one year to live and that was it. The summer ended and we said our goodbyes. This goodbye was different. My father and I took an airplane back home and we got back safely. The school year went by and I got to see her in August. My whole family came with me and she was fine. We all went to church, ate as a family, and went to the beach. The week had ended and we had to leave. Again, we said our goodbyes and this time I was really sad because I didn’t want to leave her. She told me, “ Don’t worry, I’ll see you in a couple of weeks when you come back to go on the cruise with me.” She 9

made me feel better and I gave her a hug. This hug was different; I felt this warm feeling inside of me that I had never felt. It was special. A couple of weeks later, I took a road trip with my other grandpa from my mom’s side and we went to Texas. I had such a fun time because I got to hang out with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and some friends. It was a three day weekend, so we rode back on the third day. While in the car, my mom had called me and told me that my grandmother was very, very sick. And that my dad was on his way to Florida to see her. I thought everything was going to be ok so I kind of ignored it and continued to have fun with my grandpa. The nine hour car trip was over and my grandpa dropped me off at my house. I was greeted by my mom and my little brother. I unpacked and went to take a shower and I noticed that my mom was crying. I got out the shower and was getting dressed when my mom walked in. She had been crying so I tried to cheer her up by acting silly. It did not work so she sat me down and told me the news. My grandmother had died. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. At first, I had no reaction; and I just sat there watching my mother cry until it hit me. I ran to my room and started sobbing. I no longer had my grandmother to talk to. My mother walked into my room about three hours later and I was still in the same position. I just lied there the whole time, crying, and all I could think about was my dad. My dad had called my mother and he wanted to talk to me. I was scared to talk to him because I thought we would both be crying and I was trying to avoid that. The day after that, I sat in bed all day and I couldn’t believe that my grandmother was gone. She would never call me again on my birthday, come to my house, or even talk to me again. She was gone. A few weeks after that, we went to her funeral. Everyone told me that she was in a better place now and that she wasn’t suffering. But what about me? I was still in denial and I just wanted to see her one last time. Now that I look back after so many hard years of not being able to speak with her physically, I realized that God did not hate me. Ever since she died, I look back to the good times we had together and I am so grateful to have had her as my grandmother. I look at all the other families whose relatives have cancer and I know what they are going through, especially their grandkids. I hope they enjoy every moment they have with them because once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Thank you, abuelita, for making me who I am today.


Brooke Williamson, ‘17


Another Day in Paradise by Elliot Schmedtje, ‘22 Winner of the Middle School Boluwatife Poetry Prize —In Loving Memory: Stephen August Schmedtje Jr. Whenever I wake up early on a crisp, silent morning, I like to go out on the front porch and savor the quiet moment by myself. I like to listen to the world as it awakens; birds arise early and whistle their everyday tune. I listen to how the birds chirp while I ponder what kind of bird is emitting each wonderful song. Is it a dove? A mocking bird? Other animals like squirrels, dogs, and cats wake up to do their everyday habits; grabbing an acorn, eating their kibble, barking at passing cars. As the cars pass, I feel the wind blowing against me, as if I were peacefully swimming in an ocean with the tide pushing against me, car by car, wave by gentle wave. I start to hear the neighbors waking from their deep slumber; They start to get into their cars to go to work and join the everyday hustle and bustle of work. Their alarm clocks start to go off, ring by ring. Is that toast I smell? Scrambled eggs? Pancakes with the syrup slowly flowing off the sides and forming small pools in the plate? I sigh, leaving my humble area, to go eat breakfast with my loving wonderful family. “The imagery of this prose poem is strikingly authentic. I particularly enjoy the pools of syrup on the plate. The sweetness of the pancakes is as apparent as the sweetness of the life to which they belong. Overall, the poem does what poetry does best; it shows us the poetry that is always right in front of our faces.” —Megan King, Upper School Instructor of English


Wishful by Emily Farber, ‘24 I feel lonely as I look back At the photos Of the place where I wish I could stay forever. I was there for such a short time. But I was not alone. I had friends, I had my family. Now as I look back, I wish I cherished it more. I wish I was there right now. I will go again, I just don’t know when.


#The Place To Be by Ethan Kann, ‘24 Oh, New Jersey— my home town. I cherish the memories of cool wind and sun while running around my backyard. There were cold, sunny days and hot, windy days. It was a small town, everything was local, and my farthest friends were only 7 minutes away. The snow was soft and fluffy. I remember those cold winters were always fun. But when my dad got a new job— same job, different place— I realized the good life doesn’t last. We drove, and drove and drove for 16 hours. When we finally reached our destination I admired the warmth although it was night. I could understand I would stand this place once school started after the very humid summer. I adapted though reluctantly To my new home: LOUISIANA 14

A Place I love by Sofia Urrego, ‘24 Sorrow fills me. I miss the place I love. The lush palm trees flowing through the wind filling me with an overwhelming sense of warmth. Houses draw the eyes of tourists as their Hispanic tile roofs glisten. Glamorous hotels draw in visitors as the pools fill with people in the hot summer. The vast everglades taunting the city with mysterious creatures inside. Local restaurants waiting silently for the most creative to devour. Walking under the infinite canopies of green. At last reaching the beautiful beaches. White sand crumbling between my toes. The crystal clear ocean crashing against the surface of the earth. Infamous fish observing the absurd species invading their home. In the evening watching the sun fall asleep to rest for the night. In the darkness I wish I could be there.


Dust Bunnies by Elizabeth Kuehne, ‘18 We each have our stories The building top jolts Or the highway buzz I’ve done away with a few of me My self remains the stone carved images: Pink overalls Blackberry bushes Jagged edges of April 24th Skinned knees and Bicycle crashes But I have been hundreds Of notebook-edge sketches since then Thrown away Hidden under a bed somewhere Dust accumulating on the hardened cynic And the porcelain doll The painted heart And the chemical mess My worst fears are erasers And spring cleaning Because I don’t want to disappear Because I know what it looks like So I keep my notebooks under my bed And stones in my chest


notes by Grayson Doyle, ‘18 i hop along the train tracks, beneath the big white wolf. The air speaks to me, fat and sad. i hold a light in my hand, like a mighty sword i wield against… what foe? My flock and i perch atop a slippery train car, overlooking a wharf. i’ve heard stories of the river long ago when it wore no hideous vestments. i lust to see it nude once more. We fly through the eye of an abandoned water tower. Inside it is dry and dirty, like me. A silhouette of a man walks towards me; i’m sure this is what i saw. He tells me that he is there when i dream; i’m sure this is what i heard. i ask him his name, and he repeats me. He repeats everything i say. Frustrated, i sit on a pile of rusty spray paint cans and ignore him. Without pause, he begins to speak all that i think: yelling my frustrations. He turns my thoughts into careless vibrations. Frightened, i turn to leave when i hear him whisper in a new voice: do not fear— seek the unknown


A Good Quitting Story by Philip Lazich, ‘17 I’m done bleeding led in an office desk And counting daydreams sinking downstream Letting the wheel of death tick away my smile Enough staring at blank walls Letting my 3 diplomas laugh at me While my pockets get emptied of all the green I’m done typing percentages Reporting constant crashes of shattered thoughts And having the pieces fidget back Eliminating these morning coffee runs for the kings Specificities like I’m chasing endangered species Slaughtering and burying my patience after I forget the extra whip I’m done tucking in my shirt Fastening in rush, passion, and love with a strangling belt Not letting myself merge onto the empty lane


2018 By Jules France, ‘18 Winner of the Upper School Boluwatife Fiction Prize Perhaps there is a paradise where the leaves on the trees turn orange in the autumn and drop from their lofty positions, and a thick white blanket covers the January soil. It is a land where the joys and pleasures of life are felt incessantly, and although strife and distress are still commonplace, the simple joys of human companionship and inherent natural energy can be experienced at will. Perhaps this is a land of love and compassion, vastly different from the cold empty world I find myself part of today. Perhaps this is a world where the joys and sorrows of life can be felt simultaneously, and all of nature is willing to pour forth all of its effort to keep you afloat in the sea of fear and terror. That place is not here, for I find myself a resident of an entirely different setting. I come from a world where families are made by machine, and homes made-to-order. I come from a world where a child is built to be not who he wishes to be, but to be what society expects him to be. This is the culture from which I was reared, and whence I would desire nothing more than to escape. I’ve thought of every way I can get to this paradise. There’s a 7 AM train that runs to New York, and from there one could board another train to Boston, whence a short connection must be bridged, and a final train can be taken to paradise. However, in order to make this trip, I must earn the ability to complete it: twenty weeks of labor could bring me the wealth to afford such a feat. After years upon years, even twenty weeks sounds hellish. However, I suppose that’s all I can do. In my corner of the planet, we devote our lives to being other people. I’m not implying that we should take the time to enjoy life’s simplicities: in this purgatory, potential epiphanies are torn down and replaced with sprawling suburbs and empty promises. Crows are commonplace here in my corner of the world. They fill the streets and whisper lies and evil messages into people’s gullible ears. Thus, society dictates that we do not talk to the crows, and so we do not. I’ve taken up a habit of speaking to them on a daily basis. I have grown particularly fond of one crow - a young, eager bird named Sirius, who tells me of his adventures across the world and all the things he’s seen. 19

He tells me of places to the North where the months of winter fill the ground with icy droplets, and where in the autumn, the trees become weak and drop their leaves. He sings to me about the lives of the little people there, how they find love, discover who they are, and go about their lives. I decide that this land is a paradise, and as such I will refer to it always as a paradise. As crows are not good with place names (when you migrate as often as they do, you tend to forget which territory is which) he can’t tell me the true name of this land. However, I set it forth in my mind that I would do all I could to travel to this beautiful heavenly paradise. Through my entire life, I’ve always been as deviant as a person can be from the system in which they are reared. I listen to the wrong music, wear the wrong clothes, talk the wrong way, and have the wrong hobbies. This has caused society to have a watchful, concerned eye over me at all times, looking to protect me and secure my safety from dangerous outside influences. They’ve tried so many times to control me, but a man or woman cannot be controlled. A person cannot be forced to become something that they are not. And thus, I remain silently separate from the rest of the world I am a part of. They’ve caught onto it. They’ve taken Sirius and wrung his neck. And now they’ve built walls around the city, keeping everyone out, but more importantly, keeping us in. Personally, I still think that the paradise Sirius described to me was real, but I suppose I’ll never know now.

“‘2018’ creates a sense of dread and mystery. In the story, the protagonist seeks escape from a dystopian future (not very far off, based on the title). This concise tale uses brevity to its advantage, focusing more on creating atmosphere, and the broad strokes make the story feel almost allegorical.” —Jordan Soyka, Middle School Instructor of English


The Penguins By Cole Angerer, ‘24 I go to the zoo where the exquisite penguins live to see them in the tanks. I love to watch the penguins swim and waddle all day long. The penguins bolt in the water. They make strange sounds that can’t be described. Their feathers shine of silver. The penguins’ eyes are small but cute. They live so happily with no cares. It makes me cheerful and glad To know that people save penguins. Penguins light up my life.


The lady in my room by Karly Bruss, ‘18 I couldn’t tell you much about the lady in my room other than that she was small had six legs red with black spots and had been stalking me for like 7 months she was really annoying sometimes because she just couldn’t figure out how the light worked she flew right at it every day waiting for a different result honestly I wanted to help the poor lady but the lady wouldn’t let me help her so I gave up but sometimes the lady distracted my cat which was cool but I didn’t want the cat to kill the poor lady I really would have done something about it but I really did try but I got too busy to give the lady anymore of my time


Friday the 13th by Bellen S. Davis, ‘25 a Winner of the Lower School Boluwatife Prize Friday the 13th was the worst day of my life! When I the time was 7:30am. I was supposed to be ready for 6:00am! I ran as fast as I could down the stairs, then and actually fell down the stairs. It was already a

woke up school at I tripped bad day.

When I brushed my teeth I saw something pink in my hair. It was gum! I couldn’t get it out so I had to cut it out. When I got to school I was 5 minutes late. I ran to Spanish class and just remembered I had a Spanish test. When I got to class everyone had already started except me. I got a test and I could not understand any of it, because it was all in Spanish! When class was over we had P.E. It was terrible, I had to run two miles and then do 20 push-ups and that was just the warm up! Then I had lunch. When I finally found a seat the person next to me threw up! I was finally at the last class of the day— grammar (I hate grammar). The teacher is so mean except when we give her sweets, but today we had a substitute. We were going to watch a movie. I wondered what movie. When I got there the movie was on the desk and it was… Elmo. When home.

the bell rang for school Finally, it was the end

to of

be over I ran Friday the 13th.

“Interestingly, the author chooses to set her story on Friday the 13th, a day we have come to associate with possible terror, but this story does a wonderful job of reminding us of the struggles of everyday life. Friday the 13th is just another day…or is it?” —Chris Shipman, Upper School Instructor of English


Basketball by David Helwig, ‘24 Running A lot more than you think The hardest I’ve ever played When you get home All you want to do Is lie in your bed Your legs get sore So does your upper body and Pretty much every part of your body In practice when we do something wrong We run a suicide, It’s the most running I’ve ever Done my whole life But it’s worth it. Fun with my Brother by Patrick LaForge, ‘24 Max and I are walking outside He grabs the basketball We’re going to play around the world He takes a shot He makes a goal He moves along the circle and back He makes it all the way to the end He is good at basketball My turn I miss the first shot and lose I still have fun


Circle 30: Child Stars Gone Wrong By Joseph Martin, ‘17 In the most stressful time of my mortal life, I found myself in a dark room with a sole point of light, a television set. This same stress led to a clouding of my vision and judgement. Soon, I found myself on a channel not visited in years, the quintessential yet monopolous Disney Channel.1 To my amazement, from the set came a man “all dressed up in his suit and tie.”2 By his benevolent, somewhat innocent and therefore not so well-worn face, it was evident he was established, yet respected, a most unusual combination. After much deliberation and befuddlement on my part, he finally addressed my person. “I am the shade, Justin of the Timber Lake,3 come to guide lost souls down the frequently traveled path otherwise known as childhood fame. But be forewarned, our path is one encountered solely by the tender of experience and will only lead to temporary positive recognition for most with the guarantee of eternal infamy. We will encounter the lowest of the low. Let us now descend like the meerkat to its hole; the path is a short one.” “Descend into where?” I asked. “There is only my house and this dark room, nothing subterranean.” “The path is through the television; many places will be encountered, the worst of which leads into the most feared place of them all where only the worst sinners reside: The Mickey Mouse Club4 subdivision of Disney Channel. Few who go here remain unscathed. What we see on channel 30 is only the precursor of the path we will follow” said Justin. Upon immediate suspension of this conversation, we embarked and I immediately blacked out. After awakening, I found myself moving rapidly on an automatic walkway, along with Justin. The path was so quick it was hard to remember much of it. We came upon a bridge over the “Cry Me a River”5 Styx, in 1. Channel 30 on local television; principal channel for kids whose parents think they watch too much TV and should go outside more. 2. Lyrics by Justin Timberlake 3. Justin Timberlake: pop star who has been in the singing and acting business since 1995 4. American variety show from 1955 to 1996 featuring real children. 5. Timberlake’s song lyrics.


which we encountered a most horrific sight. I was certain now that this was an unsurmountable obstacle. I shielded my eyes from the form of the much ostracized ostrich that was clad in tattered, too tight clothing. With a head void of any semblance of hair was the misshapen and distorted form of the creature once known as Britney Spears.6 Her eyes were like daggers, or to be more specific, like Spears. Britney was once regarded as pretty, but a shaved head fixes that without much effort. The monstrosity barred our way and threatened us with harsh language such as, “Hit me baby one more time.”7 “O Muses and directors of the highest power! This beast is too formidable for the likes of me!” I said. “Oops, I did it again. I played with your heart, got lost in the game. Oh baby, baby. Oops, you think I’m in love. That I’m sent from above (instead of down below). I’m not that innocent.”8 My guide intervened with the magical phrase, “I’m bringing sexy back.”9 The beast failed to withstand this onslaught of magical language which reminded it of a time in which it was once considered sexy but soon fell from the position of fame, and it soon ceded its way to us. We continued onward until we came upon a house in which everything near and on the interior of it seemed artificial. This is because it all resembled a movie or television show set that is seen on television. The shoddy workmanship is sufficient enough for only seeing, not for encountering personally. The inscription on the building said, “BEWARE OF THE CURSE OF THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. MANY MAY ENTER, BUT FEW EXIT WITH THEIR SANITY OR ANY SEMBLANCE OF DIGNITY.” Upon entering, we encountered a most obscure sight. The world seemed normal, but every object had an artificiality: phones that cease to ring, doors that lead to nowhere, appliances that have never worked, and walls that collapse with a slight push. These walls were thin and 6. Pop star in the early 2000s who underwent the most serious transformation from cute child star to horrific, bald-headed druggie. 7. Song by Britney Spears. 8. “Oops!... I did it again” song by Britney Spears, also relates to the downward spiral of her career. 9. Lyrics by Justin Timberlake.


served no purpose to keep elements out like normal walls would. All of these appliances and other devices were mere mimics of the real object in order for the producer to save money while still trying to make the show have a sense of reality. My guide told me, “These sinners must live in a world in which nothing works, for they so wrongfully let fame get to their head at a young age and thought that they could succeed once and forever have the favor and money of the people. Some have gone so far from their original appearance that they are unrecognizable beyond the furthest imagination. Eternally they suffer in the same artificial worlds that they themselves chose upon joiningthe world of television at a young age. At the same time, they must try to regain fame by any means necessary or unnecessary to no avail but only to accomplish infamy in the eyes of the ones who once loved them. Not all originate here, but they must together suffer.” Standing in tight dance formation were the adult forms of Miley “Best of Both Worlds” Cyrus,10 Lindsay Lohan,11 Macaulay Culkin,12 Jaden Smith,13 Justin Bieber,14 and Shia LaBeouf.15 My guide was well aware of the disturbing sight upon which I laid my eyes. He said, “Not all of these fiends originated in the Club House, but all must face the same fate. I knew some of these beings in the above world, before they turned dark. My fate was avoided through

10. Pop star and young actor that had her own television show in 2006 and played both normal kid Miley Stewart and pop star Hannah Montana. Not all agree, but most sources believe she gave into the bad side of the two of her personas. 11. Yet another Disney child actor turned singer who has gotten multiple DUI’s and gone through extensive rehab. 12. Sources are not even sure what Culkin is up to, but being a millionaire at the age of 14 can make people live strange lives. 13. Seemingly the successful son of actor Will Smith, Jaden Smith has recently considered himself an outstanding philosopher, even though his words are nonsensical and meaningless, but hey! It’s free publicity! 14. Young pop star Justin Bieber has had more ups and downs than many can count. It seems that he has somewhat recovered much of his dignity recently but he’s still young. 15. LaBeouf is famous for his acting role in the Disney movie Holes and in the Transformers franchise. He apparently had a bad childhood and is the lesser of the sinners in this Hell.


much deliberation, but ‘what comes around goes around.’16 Look! See how the paparazzi tortures the sinners by documenting their every mistake for the world to see.” “Just do it!”17 said Shia, “Put me out of my misery!” The shade of Macauley Culkin sat slumped in the corner eating a slice of pizza by himself.18 All the while Jaden Smith wore an elevated expression and kept repeating, “How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real?”19 “I hope I will never be as lost as these souls,” I said. “Never say never,”20 said the shade of Justin Bieber. “It’s the climb,”21 said Miley. “But for real, the O so holy directors and producers up above don’t support us anymore. Do you want to make a movie about our struggles to come back into the popular world that would actually result in our return to the limelight?” “‘I can’t stop the feeling’22 that this is a ploy by the sinners to pull you into Hell for eternity,” Justin said. “We must continue. We have a long journey ahead of us; the path is a long and winding road full of regret.” The journey out of this hellhole called sitcom television was indeed long, for we had to backtrack our steps many times and also avoid many potential obstacles that would have been fatal to our career and well-being if we were like these sinners. Finally, my guide and I got back up into the shining world above and into my room with the television set. The light from the windows proved that it was day. Alone in my room I sat and pondered the recent occurrences. “Thank Heaven it is daytime and that there are no stars that are able to fall from their prominent stardom.”

16. Song by Justin Timberlake. 17. Motivational Youtube video done by Shia Labeouf that the Internet made fun of for it ridiculousness. 18. Culkin directed a short in which he simply eats a slice of pizza. Also related to his band “The Pizza Underground.” 19. One of Jaden Smith’s most famous philosophical tweets on social media. 20. “Never Say Never” is a song by Justin Bieber. 21. “The Climb” is a song by Miley Cyrus from her movie Hannah Montana: The Movie 22. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake.


Time Table by Grayson Doyle, ‘18 god, whom you will meet very shortly, can see time all at once should he look to his left, he’ll see the past and on his right, the future depending on where he’s standing, of course to answer your first question, you prideful particle, no, he cannot see your life he cannot even see the century in which your life exists (existed, will exist) without his spectacles, that is for god is quite old (at the time of writing) when he has pushed the thick lenses over the bridge of his nose, then and only then can he discern millennia with considerable strain he may just make out the details of the decades and though a true miracle, he can view every life scrambling simultaneously he sees every fire set at every minute, and every child abandoned at the next he watches empires built in Europe, and the heathens gathering tools to pretend to stop time that same hour his eye is drawn from a diligent Egyptian, painting a quiet tomb to a raging flood in the Yangtze valley he glimpses a pride parade, then looks leftward at the happy little chimps on the moon tired of watching our tribulations, he rubs his sore eyes he listens to the godfather clock, its hands spinning according to the never-ending, all powerful current of his design 29

The End Comes Quick by Isabella Bartholomew, ‘21 “Three days?!” Jake exclaimed as he studied the train schedule. It was difficult to make out just that little piece of information since most of it was in another language. Here, on their once in a lifetime journey in Europe, they had missed their train and were now stranded. Not exactly what he and Jamie had planned. “Well it definitely isn’t my fault,” an irritable Jamie said. Jamie was the sensible one. It had been Jake’s idea to go backpacking in Europe after college before they had any real responsibilities. She always planned ahead, so when Jake said they would just see what happened, she was wary, and only gave in after much begging on Jake’s part. On the way to the train station, Jake had realized he had forgotten his wallet and they had been forced to turn around, making them late to the train. They had pulled up just after the train had left without them. When they had finally found a dirty, cheap motel, neither of them was in a particularly good mood. Just to add to this, they discovered in their room a single twin sized-bed with a few ratty blankets and a shower with pressure that was like a person crying on them, the drops coming a few at a time. At this point, all Jake wanted to do was collapse on the bed, but not Jamie. “We need to figure out what we’re doing for the next three days,” she insisted. He thought it could wait until tomorrow, but according to her, apparently not. After he voiced his thoughts to her, she said, “Well, we wouldn’t be in this situation if not for you!”There was a lot of blaming and arguing and by the end of it, Jamie had gathered up her belongings and was slamming the door shut, ready to face anything if she could just get away from him. Jake realized what a terrible mistake he had made and ran after her, but he was too late. She had already called a cab and driven away. Jake’s first call came after she had boarded the bus. She ignored it at first, not caring for any of his apologies, but soon found it quite difficult after a number of calls. She turned her phone on silent and fell into an uneasy sleep. She didn’t have to worry about missing her stop since she was riding as far as she could go. Her dreams consisted of her and Jake arguing, the door slamming shut, him calling out after her, and the dreaded sensation of regret and loss. By the time she had woken up, it was already light outside, and she could 30

see the dew on the ground. Jamie decided it was best to leave Jake a message to tell him she wasn’t coming back and he best forget about her. Just as she was putting away her phone, she heard the announcer over the intercom telling everyone that Paris, France was about an hour away and that it was the end of the line and that everyone had to get off. She was starting a new life, one with no strings attached. No one would come looking for her, she thought. No parents, no siblings, no Jake, nobody. She would become her own person, not letting anyone weigh her down.


“Merci, beaucoup,” Jamie told the waitress. She went back to scribbling a new dress design she had been thinking of on a napkin. She was at a small cafe in Paris, ordering her breakfast. The cafe gave her a sense of comfort. She had been going here for some seven or eight years? She knew how the black and white marbled floor was cracked here and there and how the same wooden tables and chairs were in desperate need of attention, but she didn’t care. She liked it here. Despite the wealth she had, she preferred this place any day over some over-the-top, fancy tea place. Eight years had passed and this was one of her few constants in life. She came here nearly every other day just to sit in the sun and look out over the beautiful garden. She had gotten some of her best design ideas here. She was back at her comfy place when a certain boy with brown hair and blue eyes came to her mind. She hadn’t thought of Jake in maybe three or four years. Why was she thinking of him now? She decided to call him; she hadn’t spoken to him since that lonely night that now seemed so far away. When she finally convinced herself to hit the call button, she was told that the line had been disconnected. She was a little disappointed but decided not to fret over it too much. That night, she tossed and turned, unable to get him out of her mind. When she finally fell into an uneasy sleep, all she could dream about was that night that changed everything. The next morning, she decided to do a little investigating. All she could find was that Jake Daylon was now a street painter in New Orleans. She guessed he had stayed near home and pursued his love of the arts. She had been a little disappointed when he had finally given up trying to contact her, even though that’s what she had wanted, wasn’t it? She decided she had to see him again, that maybe after all these years, they could have just forgotten the hurtful things they had said to each other that night, but she supposed that was just foolish of her. Plus, what 31

would it hurt to go to the United States again, if only for a short time? She had the money and she was long overdue for a vacation anyways... Yes, she would go and maybe, just maybe, time can heal wounds after all. “We are now starting our initial descent into New Orleans. Please fasten your seat belt,” the lady over the intercom said. She was so nervous! She was actually doing it! Yes, when she got to France she became more adventurous and didn’t follow the rules as much, but since she started over, she had never done anything like this! After she gathered her bags and took a step outside, the humidity hit her like a wave. She didn’t remember it being this hot in March, but she hadn’t cared to remember much of her previous life. She was breaking out in a sweat by the time she reached her rental car. It wasn’t until she turned on the engine that she realized that she had no idea where to find Jake. She decided to go to his old house near the French Quarter just to see if he still lived there. It was a good enough guess as any. Sure enough, when she arrived in her rental car, the boy with the messy brown hair and bright blue eyes was there, but he had definitely changed. True, she was no longer the simple, shy girl who sat in the back of the classroom, but for some reason she thought he would simply freeze in time since she had last seen him. She started toward him when she saw him flash one of those lopsided grins that she had fallen in love with. The moment he saw her, his face froze and then fell. Did she really remind him of such bad times? When she finally reached him after what felt like an eternity of staring, all she could squeak out was, “H-hi, Jake. I-it’s Jamie.” She felt like an idiot. Of course he knew it was her. He wouldn’t be staring at her like he’s just seen a ghost if he didn’t. “It’s been a long time,” he croaked. “You never responded.” The last sentence came out a little harsh, she thought. She had told him that she wasn’t coming back. She didn’t realize now how horrible it had been of her to just leave, with only an “I’m not coming back.” Just then all of her emotions came flooding back, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet. As they stood there awkwardly, all Jamie wanted to do was throw her arms around him and cry when she saw a golden ring around his finger. When he saw her staring at it with an open mouth, he shyly hid it behind his back. “You’re married?” she asked, a mix between surprise and sadness. She had never imagined him with anyone else, but of course he had moved on. What had happened in all the time that had past? Now she would never know. She had envisioned them getting a coffee and talking about all that had passed. How it had been stupid of her to leave. However, 32

it had been eight long years. Eight years with no response to the countless emails and voice messages he had sent her. Eight years since she had said anything to him at all. How could she have expected him to wait? Yet, she had. He had frozen in time in her mind. She never imagined his life. She just thought that when she eventually encountered him again, he would be exactly the same—that nothing would have changed. But that was far from the case. Life went on without her. Time stopped for no one. “Newlyweds,” he added. “Three months ago.” She was too late. She couldn’t change anything. How had she expected that she could just come back and pick up where they had left over, minus the heartbreaking goodbye? She said she was just visiting and wanted to say hi, though that was far from the truth. Here she had come with her heart on her sleeve and now she left with it buried in her chest. She walked away to her car quickly, embarrassed to be the girl coming to look for her love just to be rejected. After she had driven to a quiet spot, she pulled over and started to sob. Not the little sniffles, but the deep, heavy, and wet sound that was wrenched from her throat. How could she have been so stupid? She didn’t know how long she sat there, minutes or hours, it didn’t matter anymore. When she finally pulled her act together, she started to drive. As she drove, it seemed as if all the happy couples on the streets were gloating over how happy they were and how miserable she was. She finally reached her old world hotel in the French quarter that she had made reservations for because she thought it would remind her of her European back-packing trip years ago. She walked into her bathroom and saw her reflection. As she approached the mirror, she saw a girl in Europe leaving her love in a fit of rage. As she got closer, she saw a heavier woman with thinning hair and wrinkling skin. She was different, just like the boy she had left was now a man with a family. Only then did she understand that time stopped for no one.


Anabella Imbornone, ‘19


Michael Gandolfi, ‘17


Iris Hu, ‘17


Heaven Barriere, ‘17

Nick DellaCroce, ‘17 37

Max Gremillion, ‘17

Christian Rice, ‘17


Ohmes, ‘20; Marcello,’19; Kronenberg,’19; Kaliszeski,’19

Kolby McWilliams, ‘19


Allie Grace Ducote, ’22

Kate Corcoran, ’22


Riya Shah, ’27

Dalton Rivas, ‘29


Charley Halpern, ’22

Lauren Bone, ’22 42

Clara Rabe, ’19


Chelsea Ouyang,’21


Adam Pendleton,’17


Michael Gandolfi, ’17


Renee Angerer, ’21


Marley Shepherd, ’28


Russell Huber, ’26


Iris Hu, ’17


Adam Pendleton, ‘17


River Relan, ‘17

Iris Hu ‘17 52

are these even questions. by Luke Giordano, ‘18 what is in a little place. what is in a big place. what is an empty space. what is in a full glass. what is in a cloud. what is in a red. what is in a blue. what happens in a color. what happens in a moment. what happened in that moment. what goes through a man’s mind. what goes through a woman’s mind. what goes through a child’s mind. what is the is behind the what questioning. in this big place? within a bigger place? i can’t help but ask?


The Friends of Magic

by Aidan Molaison, ‘26 a Winner of the Lower School Boluwatife Prize Chapter 1: The Life It is a Sunday night and I am at my friend’s house. My name is Max and my friend’s name is William. I have another friend named Alex, but he’s not here. William’s mom just walked in and told us to go to bed now. The next morning, we had to be at school at 830am. We met Alex at his locker. We were getting ready for our Greek test, so we headed to class. When we got there, the bell rang. We were right on time! Our teacher, Mr. Kevin, gave us our test. I got an A+, Alex got a B- and William got a C+. School ended at 3:30pm. We went to the library to study English then a book fell of the shelf. We picked it up and looked at it. Chapter 2: The Journey of the Greek We opened the book and the book spoke to us. It said, go to San Diego. There, you will find magic. Then, we felt something strange. Alex said that we should go to San Diego. So we rode there on the bus. When we got there, we sat on the beach. A wave pulled us into the ocean and we were knocked out. When we awoke, we were in a big temple. Someone was speaking. The voice said, “When you get to your destination, you will meet a centaur named Collin. You have to go to Austin now. There you will find a beach and a forest. Now Go!” William asked, “What’s your name?” The voice said, “Poseidon, King of the Water.” Chapter 3: Camp of Gods So we headed to Austin, looking for a forest and a beach. Once we found the forest, we saw a sign that said, “Welcome to Camp 54

Greek.” Once we found the Centaur, Collin, he showed us around the camp and took us to all of the different places. There was a training camp, a healing camp, an archery camp, a sword fighting camp and a Kronos fighting camp. There was also a big battlefield. Chapter 4: We Get Sent on a Journey Then Collin said, “Come, see a friend of mine. He wants to talk to you all.” So we went with him to the meeting room. We saw a person there who looked very familiar. It was our friend, Michael. He said, “Hello Friends!” I asked him what he was doing there? “I am the camp owner. I own this camp.” “How do you own it?” He explained that it was his Mother’s camp and her name was Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. “Who sent us here,” I asked? “You will know after your journey,” he replied. “What journey,” Alex asked? “You have to go to Kansas. You will find a treasure there.” “What else should we know,” inquired William? “Nothing,” said Michael. “Now go!” So we headed off to Kansas. My aunt lives there, maybe we could stay with her, I thought. We got to her house at about 5:30pm. We knocked on the door. My aunt opened it and said, “Max, what are you doing here?” “We are here for a report,” I answered. “Oh come in and have dinner.” “What did you make?” “Chicken, salad and steak.” After we had dinner, we went to sleep on the couch. When we woke up the next morning, we told my aunt that we were headed to look for rocks. We went to the famous park in Kansas. We tried to explore around the oldest tree, but there was nothing there. So we went to a cemetery. We saw a grave, but there was also nothing there. Then we discovered a tree with a big hole in it. I looked inside the hole and saw a purple object. I touched it and I disappeared. My friends also touched it and soon we were all in a cave together. 55

Chapter 5: The Cave of Treasure We walked and walked until we saw a light. The light was a torch so we picked it up and threw it on the ground. Then we heard a voice coming from the fire. “You shall use this fire to get to the treasure. Now go!” So we picked up the torch and ran. Thirty minutes later we found a door. Once we opened it, we heard a voice. It said, “I’ve been expecting you.” “Who are you,” asked Alex? “I am Zeus, God of the Sky. I brought you here.” Why,” asked William? “Because you three are the chosen three. You will receive powers to help with the battle. You three will each get the power of one God. Max, you have the power of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. William, you have the power of Apollo, God of Healing. Alex, you have the power of Aries, God of War. Now go back to where you came from.” When we got home, we went straight to bed! To Be Continued….. “‘Friends of Magic’ befriends us by taking us on a magical journey loaded with imaginative twists and turns. The treatment of ancient mythology seems surprisingly new!” ­

—Chris Shipman, Upper School Instructor of English


The Delight Song of Icicle by Ice Greer, ‘19 I am a storm on the horizon I am the warning before danger I am the wind that sees all I am the freshly fallen snow that protects you from the fall I can be as fierce as a lion Strong as a dragon I hold within me the Sahara Night For you see in all my young life I will never feel as alive as the night that all was bright


Acorn Music Boy by Alec Ricci, ‘19 I am an acorn on a green tree I am the tree that grows tall I am the object that strikes the ground I am the watcher over the ground I am the one who blends into the trunk I am the one weighing down my home I am invisible from afar I am one with the branch I am the one who dents your car I am the shadow that cannot be seen I am the offspring of a root I am the root I am potential I am growing I am a tree You see, I am growing, I am the future I am the crunch beneath your feet I am the meal for the animals I am a provider I am able to serve many purposes but I am able to only serve one purpose I am broken I am fallen I am lost I am found I am carried I am dropped again I am growing I am the future I am the beginning of another cycle.


The Delight Song of Quiet Girl by Clara Rabe, ‘19 I am a fly on a wall. I am a school on Saturday morning. I am a mouse hiding behind the light. I am a mall after-hours. I am a silent library. I am a study hall without headphones. I am a cellphone on do not disturb. I am the moment before the movie starts. You see, I am quiet, I am quiet. I stand with my close friends. I stand by my interests. I stand with my musical taste. I often stand alone. You see, I am quiet, I am quiet.


Family without Relations by Renee Angerer, ‘21 Winner of the Middle School Boluwatife Fiction Prize They were family to each other in all but blood. They were the only ones to depend on, never any adults and never love. He was eight. Neglected. Overshadowed by his older brother. He wasn’t in the family pictures. Only got hand-me-downs from his older brother that were sizes too large. He was never read bedtime stories or said a word to his parents. He was alone. He saved every penny he was given and taught himself how to read, and now he could escape. All he brought with him was what he was wearing and the little stone that appeared with a fire symbol on it. No one would even realize that he was gone; he did not eat with his family since his brother became a brainless star, but no one can tell the difference, no one but him. That day was when his parents stopped loving him; his brother never had. She was seven. Her parents had died. Her grandmother had died. Now, she had to live with her ice cold cousin and go with the flow of aunt and uncle. How could her cousin be so cold when her aunt and uncle were so nice? How could she live with another relative just to see them die? It was her fault they were all gone. She was smart enough to know that someone was after her. She could read and had the money from her parents and grandmother. That is when she chose to run. Her aunt and uncle didn’t even know that she was coming. They wouldn’t worry until she was too far away. That is when she decided not to love. He found her the night they both ran. She was leaning against the wall, and sobbing silently so no one would notice her. She was crying about the people who had died, the safety that was never there, and the hunt she was unwillingly a part of. Was it the stone that caused all of her problems? After all, this hadn’t started until after she picked up that stone with a water-like appearance. She had felt a draw to it for an unknown reason. That long night they talked. They agreed to travel together, and that is what happened for the next five years. Each picked up a few skills as they grew up on the street. He learned how to steal with blazing reflexes while she would sing like a siren on a street corner. She learned how to sew clothes for them while he learned how to pick locks on abandoned warehouses for shelter. Both loved to be outside when the weather was nice, and decided 60

that they would visit one of the many parks they knew of. At twelve and thirteen, they did not have to worry about not having an adult with them because they could say that their parents allowed them to go to the park together. As they strolled through the park, they noticed a small boy of about four on a bench. He had a small rock in his hand and a stony look covering his young face that otherwise looked similar to the two older kids with straight, chocolate brown hair and light blue eyes with gray specks that reminded most of the Titanic’s iceberg. The little boy’s story hit a little too close to home because he was kicked out of his house for trying to get food after he was sent to bed without dinner. That is when he realized love doesn’t work; it doesn’t conquer. Love is just another painful feeling. The young duo chose to take the little boy with them. As the youngest babbled, they found out that his name was Matt. She thought it was strange that they all had names that started with M: Mike, Mary, and Matt. They all have a special stone that they carry everywhere with them. They all had lost and forgotten love. They all hated others who didn’t care. Others. Those people who have tiny problems like being a few minutes late for work. The trio hated these people. They had an easy life and didn’t even think of how many people they had to step on to get to that place. Others tried to break the trio up and stop them. Others tried to stop them from doing what was needed for survival. They tried to destroy families. After all, they were family in all but blood. Others tracked them, or tried to at least. They were being tracked. It was obvious to the older children that someone was watching them; this was a common occurrence. They were children, alone children, that wandered around and lived nowhere, or that is what Others thought and saw. The hairs on their necks were doing somersaults, and the air had a weird stiffness that was hard to shake. She realized that it was the same people from all those years ago; someone wanted them. They already ruined her life, what else is there to do? Death followed her everywhere, and it was only a matter of time until it caught up once more. That night they were all in the same room for the night. The next morning, to keep their minds off the stalker, they each tried to juggle the stones. Mike was attempting to juggle as the others giggled at his attempt when the stones crashed into each other. As the three stones touched, they glowed silver and swallowed the trio. There was this feeling of competence and wholeness while their skin absorbed this foreign foggy dome that had formed around them. They hadn’t realized what extreme power they now had, but they knew what they would do with whatever they were given. They wanted for 61

Others to feel what they did, to live a loveless life. They wanted Others to feel their pain of being despised and desperate for a family. They wanted to show their true personality now that they had power. They had to leave once that day to buy food, and Mike spotted someone that was staring right at their small group. They talked to him, and the man said he wanted to help them use their powers to save Others. The trio claimed that they wanted to go pack, and the man followed them back to where they were taking shelter at this time. When they arrived, they told him that they knew he was a spy before they approached him. That was when he realized it was too late for them to be controled, too late for love, only hatred could be felt in the hearts of these children. No one has heard from him since; fire can get rid of unwanted trash easily. No one missed him. Others may breathe, but their chests are hollow for anyone besides themselves. The three all thought the same thing: It was too late when the world stopped loving them, and they had left their lives behind. They then started their true downward spiral into the hands of hatred and darkness, but they did it together. They were family in all but blood; power would never get in the way of that.

“This story is stark and intriguing and feels like it should be the beginning of a larger dystopian work. It is clear that this young writer is up to the task. I love the author’s economical but sharp use of language. The voice of this work resonates with emotional intensity from beginning to end.” –Megan King, Upper School Instructor of English


I Hear America Singing by Ishmael Blackstone, ‘19 I hear America Singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of blue lives, each one singing his as he serves and protects, The rapper singing his as he measures his chain to another, The single mother singing hers as she fears her children are missing out, The grieving mother singing what she has lost from her life, the lawyer Singing what’s right and wrong according to law, The hard worker singing in poverty, the slacker singing in wealth, The daredevil’s song, the boy on his way to find trouble, The dedicated mother raising her grandchildren, or of the young Wife out at night looking to make the quick buck, or Of the girl who was never taught what examples to not follow, Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, The lovers and haters of Trump singing out as we create The future of America.


I once heard… By Ice Greer, ‘19 I once heard that America used to sing I wonder if the people who said that Would change their minds if they heard it today. I think I used to hear America singing Now All I hear is America screaming I hear it within every homeless person That walks the streets begging for money I hear it with every cry for help that goes unnoticed I hear it through the hatred raving over race and sex I hear this cacophony of sound and it bleeds my ears I also hear inside of America A tiny faint sound, I hear through all this noise and pain America laughing Through a baby’s first words first steps first swell Of the heart like a man and woman Professing their love— something that can make you Blush—so intimate and fragile


Reflections of the Past by Macy Johnson, ‘20 A simple reflection, a glimpse of past glee, shimmers of hope for what used to be A simple reflection, showing me you and you me, a slight longing for what used to be A simple reflection, of fun with past friends of family gatherings the fun that we’ve had. Oh yes, a simple reflection can show you the past, but what fun would it be to live where it wouldn’t last? So we stop and look ahead, making new memories to dream of in the years beyond our lives.


Mirror Mistrust by Jade Punch, ‘20 Never trust the mirror you see yourself in, For it always lies. It makes you see what you want Rather than what’s actually there. People who look in the mirror Are in search for validation That they are good enough— Good enough for society. They try to fix their hair and do their makeup To hide who they really are, And then they go places and see things Where all they care about is our skin And we don’t let them see what actually matters, And that’s what comes from deep within.


Everything Going On by Hakeem Blackstone, ‘17 You need not fear me because my skin is darker. I’m a brother. I’m a friend. I’m a lawabiding citizen. You need not fear me because my skin is darker. I was taught about manners, patriotism, & respect. I was taught to be thankful for great Teachers, good Policemen, & fearless Vets. You need not fear me because my skin is darker. Peace, Love, & Respect for All of my Human Family


Shedding Skin by Charley Leopold, ‘19 We were wonderin’ round the woods late at night, I think it was almost dawn. Jim been talking bout how the evil spirits winder round during this time in the world I told him, “You way too suspicious Jim, you been non-stop bout all this evil spirit nonsense!” “I’m sorry, my momma raised me to believe that there are many more evil things than man. I always be thinkin’ of ways to avoid the evils of this world and the littlest things is always the biggest,” Jim said, but I still think it’s all nothing. The ground was wet from the showers earlier that day, my feet were startin’ to get all wrinkly like the widow’s old hands. So I suggested to Jim we find a spot to rest the rest of the night. I sent Jim out to gather some leaves so we can make some sort of pallet for our restin’ and I stayed to make the fire. I found much of wood and kindling to make us a good fire, not too sure what we gonna eat tonight though, some nights we go to sleep hungry hopin’ something surprises us in the morning. I was gettin’ ready to make my fire till all of a sudden I heard the biggest roar ever. “Ahhh Jesus!” It sounded like Jim. I rushed to find him, hopin’ nothing too bad happened. “Jim what’s the big racket for?” I asked him with some concern. “Huck, I done see the devil, he looked me right in the eye!” There were leaves everywhere, I reckon it’s from when he dropped all dem while he freaked. “Jim… now whatchu mean you seen the devil… we da only ones in this woods!” “No no no, I done seen the devil and he slithered right under my feet as I was getting the leafs!” He was still shaky so I made him take a seat to explain. “It was the devil, I’m tellin’ ya! He was dark, like me, and he was fast and just slither around me.” “It sounds like it was just a harmless lil snake Jim, there ain’t no devil. Get yourself together and bring the leaves, I’m so tired” 68


By morning, Jim was all calmed down. I don’t think he got much sleep though. Today we was plannin’ to just go on the raft and catch some fish, we been hungry for a good while. “Let’s go, Jim! We gots to eat.” I woke him. We gathered all our blongins and started. The weather was still cloudy, I think it gon rain again. The river was high. We been floating on the raft for a lil while, only caught two lil catfish. I went to get some more bait from under the cloth tent, grabbed me a shrimp to hook on and I saw the snake. It was black, like Jim had said. It startled me at first but it seemed like it ain’t meant any harm, so I left it be, I didn’t tell Jim, I knew he’d flip and we don’t need that right now, we need food. Time’s been passin’ and the sun is finally out. I suggested we take a lil rest so floated over to da bank and get cookin’ and relaxin’. Jim’s been tired all day, I’m happy I didn’t tell him bout that snake. Jim helped me pull the raft to shore, the mud got on the bottom of the raft but I didn’t bother, I figure I just warsh it off later. I went to start the fire and Jim grabbed the catfish from the tent covering, he screamed again! A big ole “Ahhhhh noo! The devil got me! He’s here!” I never heard anything so screeching or loud before, it’s a scream I ain’t ever gonna forget. “Jim, it’s just a lil snake. You prob’ly scared him way.” I looked at his hand and I seen blood, he been bit by that lil thing. “It’s poisonous, Huck… the devil done followed us and now he takin’ me with him!” I didn’t know what to do or say, I was shakin, Jim can’t die, he needs to be free and with his family. He started shakin’ and sweatin’ and startin’ looking as ill as a sick baby.


I don’t think Jim is gon make it, I feel terrible. I feel so guilty. If I had told him there was a snake, none dis would have happened. Jim called me over to where he’s been layin. “HucK, ain’t no white man ever been so kind and so caring to me but you. I think you’s is a blessing sent down from my momma, she always knows what’s da best for me. And I think it’s my time to go, Huck, I 69

don’t want the devil to take me, I wanna be with the big man and my momma, I do I do.” “Jim, you’ve helped me so much and taught me so much, I never thought a black man would ever be so close to me. I do hope you end up in Heaven above us too.” He done closed his eyes and left us. I guess da snake really is da devil and you can’t always see him.

Iris Hu,’17


Dead Cold by Natalia Bourg and Elise Lafleur, ‘19 Light flecks of snow drifted sideways from the sky, got caught in my hair, and melted there. My boots made shallow divots of slush where I stood in my usual spot in front of the Walmart. The cold shook me to my bones and I couldn’t feel my fingers, my hands. At least I had gotten some money today. I guess people felt bad for a kid stuck out here asking for change, but that old man who was laying down a little ways away had been passed up by everyone who wandered by. No one even noticed him and his little cardboard sign, which was slowly sinking into the snow as the slush water crept up the edges, smudging the writing. “Wil worc fur coins” it read, I think. Whoosh, the sliding doors split apart, blowing feathery bits of snow forwards into the air. A lanky man with thick gloves and a long coat strode briskly out into the December night, bags of groceries hanging from his arm. He sort of tilted his head at me, eyebrows lowered giving a half smile. The man looked sorry, but he kept walking, straight into the old man. His boot came down on the wrinkled hand and shoved into his side. The groceries went sprawling, and the man swiftly picked them up and placed them back into his bags. Without a word, or even a glance at the elderly man, he brushed himself off and continued on his way, not noticing that he had crushed the little cardboard sign into the snow. The old man shakily sat up. I saw his cheeks had turned red with the biting cold and his lips pale, blue as ice. He took up his soaked sign, and brushing it off, gave a long sigh. A little cloud of breath flew from his mouth and disappeared up into the air. Then he leaned back and closed his eyes. Why, he didn’t only look like he was dead, he looked considerable more than that.


The Apocryphal Zombies: A Boat Scene by Barret Shepherd, ‘19 It’s been days since Jim and I done stopped for land. Everyone had turned. Everyone except Jim and Tom. I didn’t really care for anyone else. Pap had already done tried to attack me while he was drunk; it done make no differences if he was a zombie or not. And then Widow Douglas, she done turned after her own slaves attacked her. There ain’t no question about if she still livin’ or not. Good thing Jim ran away though. He might not be here right now. He could have been one of them zombies on the Widow’s property. It’s funny how the word zombie can suddenly break the barrier between whites and blacks and just call them zombies. We been going down the river now for days. Some towns still tried to keep order. I didn’t know what to do though. Should I turn Jim in or not? If I turned him in in the next town, he might be a walking zombie the next day. I decided not to turn him in because I didn’t want to know the Jim could be a zombie. As me and Jim were going down the river, we came across an abandoned boat. I saw this as a chance to explore but Jim didn’t like the idea. Jim didn’t like to be adventurous; he was more scared than you could be. All I could hear from him was, “-but Huck there could be a bunch of zombies, or what if there are whites livin’ there. They’d want to kill me for escapin’. Or make me them slave.” All I thought about was what Tom would do. Then I said to Jim, “What we gonna do? Just sit in this boat waiting to die? Let’s go explore!” Jim didn’t like the idea, but he came anyway. We tied our raft to the side of the boat. We creeped up close enough to the boat where we saw a group of zombies. Jim started getting scared, but I was having fun. I was throwing rocks and making all the zombies move to where the sound was coming from. I was having a good old time just like Tom would have until I saw something. Out the corner of my eye through the hole in the wall, I saw about three men and two girls. All white. They looked like they hadn’t seen light in days. Jim said, “They done look paler then a scared ghost.” All of the sudden things just became serious because I realized that I had to stop playing around. I had to stop being a kid and think how to save these people. Something that Tom didn’t teach me. Jim didn’t have the same ideas that I had. Jim said, “Before the turn, what did white people do for us? Why should I help these white folks? They done take what they get.” I told Jim, “If you don’t wanna help these people it’s okay, you wait in the 72

raft while I help them get out. Then we can go before they see who saved them.” Jim got mad that I wouldn’t leave them to die so he just got on the raft and waited. I had to think on my feet real quick, something that Pap was actually useful for, and came up with a plan. As the zombies started to group together and started breaking into the hole where the people were, I took about ten big rocks and threw them all at once on the other side of the boat in the water. Giving them just enough time to escape. But one of the girls made a loud scream as she saw one of dem zombies. They started turning around but I had to leave. Later, me and Jim started back down the river where we came across another boat going the other way where we just came from. Jim ducked to where they couldn’t see him and I spoke.They had plenty of guns so I told them that there was a boat with whites trapped by zombies. I knew that they were probably dead by now but I told them about it because one day I might be trapped just like them. The Widow would have been happy.

Anabella Imbornone, ’19 73

Eight Whole Dollars by Lainey Pickens, Bennett Kahn, and Rico Coleman, ‘19 I lay under the tarp in the back of a pickup truck, heading to my freedom in America. The border patrol hadn’t caught us yet. Just then, the gringo driving the truck said, “Stay low, we’re comin’ up on the border now, y’hear?” I stayed quiet. I couldn’t wait for my freedom. I had been in the states a week now. I joined three other Mexicans who had just crossed. We found work in an orchard right outside of Austin. We had just finished our first day of work, and we were celebrating. “Eight whole dollars!” I said. “We’re ripping them off! And that’s for only one day of work!” “I know!”Montequillo said.“This could buy a whole barrel of beer!” I didn’t respond to that. I was sending that money home to my beautiful wife and four daughters. They would be oh so excited for that money. I had come to the states for them, and I felt like it was worth being away from my family. My back was aching, and my fingers were mangled, but I kept on furiously picking oranges. Whoever picked the most oranges got a bonus today: one whole dollar. I really wanted to send that home to my family. I was beginning to miss them. I wanted to return home. This was not the freedom I expected. Every night, I stayed in the tents, saving my money, while the other men went out drinking. The whistle shrilled in the distance. I grabbed a last few oranges and descended the ladder. I counted out my oranges. The farmer handed me $0.50. “Ran outta cash, son,” he grumbled. I stood there for a second in silence. I gave the farmer a half-smile, but he had already turned away. Oh well, I thought, fifty cents is better than nothing.


Ghosts of Christmas Past: A Selection of Holiday Tales Once upon a time we went to a haunted house. First the house was tilted over. Next we went inside. Cobwebs were everywhere. It was Halloween night. Tombstones were in the garden. Then a very scary ghost flew inside! The ghost was crazy! We had to run out of the haunted house. We made it out! by Juan Pablo, Caballero ‘27

OH NO! The sleigh is missing! How will Santa deliver the presents? The sleigh is missing! “What should we do?” said the Elf. Santa is very worried. Santa said, “What should we do?” The Elf said, “I have an idea.” “I’m about to cry,” said Santa. “How about we ride a bike,” said the Elf. Santa said, “I don’t think that would work.” The Elf said, “Let’s try it out.” So Santa tried out the bike, but it did not work. The Elf said, “How about a flying car?” Santa said, “That is a good idea.” It worked, it worked! “Yeah!” said the Elf. Now Santa has a flying car. by Alexandra Livingston, ‘27


Once upon a time in a house there was boy named Beckett. In the house there were weird noises and the TV went on and off sometimes. The boy was scared. One day the boy went to his basement to wash some clothes. But when he opened the washing machine, spirits came out. Frankenstein was there and Dracula and the Headless Horseman. Beckett was in big trouble. He ran up the stairs and ran out the door and he got all of his friends together. They had to catch the spirits. They made a plan. First Beckett and Curtis ran around the monster. They took a step back. Then Arthur shot them with his Nerf gun. They took another step back. BAM! There was a flash of light. Then there was a ghost. He said his name was Charley. Then he said BOO!!! They got scared and fell down the basement. Lilly grabbed the net and threw it on them. They put them back in the washing machine. Everyone saved the day. by Beckett Smuck, ‘27 Santa has a new reindeer! His name is LeBron. Santa put him in the front. When LeBron knew he was in the front he was mad. He was so mad that he broke the reins! Then he ran away to the mountain. It was so windy. The wind caused an avalanche. Then there was a river. It was almost frozen. LeBron jumped in the river. When he jumped in the river, he almost froze to death. He was not floating he was sinking! But luckily he fell on a rock. Then he was knocked out. Suddenly he woke up. Then he ran back home. Before Santa and the other reindeer took off, he made it just in time. They took off with LeBron in the front. Then they delivered many presents together. Then they played football together. LeBron scored three touchdowns. Then when he was on defense he had one interception. It was a great day! by Curtis McAllister, ‘27


Once upon a time there was a ghost. The ghost was always scaring everybody. The next day the monsters gathered around. The monsters were thinking of ways to make the ghost stop scaring everybody. Next one of the monsters had an idea. The idea was to scare the ghost without him knowing. Last the monsters did the plan. The plan worked. Now the ghost was not scaring anybody. by Mary Alice Comer, ‘27 Once upon a time there was a girl named Lilly. First Lilly made a zombie toy. Next she made ten toys. She also vacuumed. After Lilly went to bed a ghost came in. Ahhh! she said. Lilly ran and ran. The ghost brought his friends. She locked them up. Lilly had a plan. Lilly sneaked up on him. She put him in her zombie toy. Next she buried him. Then she stomped on him. Last she went to bed. by Devyn McManus, ‘27 Santa has a new reindeer. His name is Wilson. Wilson was no ordinary reindeer. He could see through walls. He has a green shiny nose. He has antler detectors. He also has awesome night vision. One night Wilson went on a walk and he noticed he was lost. He saw nothing but trees and snow. He got so cold his antlers were frozen so he couldn’t detect the North Pole. All of a sudden he saw a polar bear named Sally. “Do you know where I could get warm,” Wilson asked. “Yes, follow me,” said Sally. Sally took Wilson to her cave to warm up. Sally said, “If you want to get back to the North Pole, follow the candy cane constellation.” Wilson said, “Thanks,” and started to jump up. He took off in the air. When Wilson got back to the reindeer stable, Santa said, “Wilson, where have you been? Long story,” said Wilson. “Wilson,” said Santa, “do you want to ride around the world with me tonight?” “Yes!” Wilson shouted, “I would love to.” That is how Wilson became one of Santa’s reindeer. --Beckett Smuck, ‘27 77

Nature Reminding Us to Remember by Charley Leopold, ‘19, Winner of the Upper School Boluwatife Poetry Prize The veins inside a leaf when the sun shines through them reminding us that everything is transparent Sun reflecting off the river making it hard to look at reminding us that it is hard to look at anything beautiful for too long Seasons changing, reminding us that everything is temporary Flowers dying and resurrected reminding us of the eternal revolution— the repetition of Earth Feeling the wind and sun on your skin reminding us that we can be warmed without being touched Observing the dried mud on our shoes reminding us from where we’ve come Driving home under a sunset every evening reminding us of the comfort we feel knowing there is one every day And God rising the sun for us every morning reminding us there is always a time to start over


“‘Nature Reminding Us to Remember’ is a metaphorical reflection on nature. The speaker finds insightful and surprising lessons, as well as evidence of something beyond us, in these seemingly everyday moments.” —Jordan Soyka, Middle School Instructor of English

Halle Bryan, ’22


Index Cole Angerer: 21 Renee Angerer: 47, 60 Heaven Barriere: 37 Isabella Bartholomew: 30 Hakeem Blackstone: 67 Ishmael Blackstone: 63 Lauren Bone: 42 Natalia Bourg: 71 Halle Bryan: 79 Karly Bruss: 22 Rico Coleman: 74 Mary Alice Comer: 77 Kate Corcoran: 40 Bellen S. Davis: 23 Nick DellaCroce: 37 Grayson Doyle: 17, 29 Allie Grace Ducote: 40 Emily Farber: 13 Jules France: 19 Michael Gandolfi: 35, 46 Luke Giordano: 53 Max Gremillion: 38 Ice Greer: 57, 64 Pierce Gremillion: 4 Charley Halpern: 42 David Helwig: 24 Iris Hu: 36, 50, 52, 70 Russel Huber: 49 Anabella Imbornone: 34, 73 Macy Johnson: 65 Bennett Kahn: 74 Ethan Kann: 14 Charles Kaliszenski: 39 Brenan Kronenberg: 39

Samuel Kellum: 3 Elizabeth Kuehne: 16 Elise Lafleur: 71 Philip Lazich: 18 Charley Leopold: 2, 68, 78 Alexandra Linvingston: 75 Enzo Marcello: 39 Joseph Martin: 25 Curtis McAllister: 76 Devin McManus: 77 Kolby McWilliams: 39 Aidan Molaison: 54 Zoe Ohmes: 39 Chelsea Ouyang: 44 Juan Pablo: 75 Adriana Paz: 8 Adam Pendleton: 45, 51 Jesse Pickens: 6 Lainey Pickens: 7, 74 Jade Punch: 66 Clara Rabe: 43, 59 River Relan: 52 Alec Ricci: 58 Christian Rice: 38 Dalton Rivas: 41 Elliot Schmedtje: 12 Riya Shah: 41 Barret Shepherd: 72 Marley Shepherd: 48 Beckett Smuck: 76, 77 Griff Thomas: 1 Sofia Urrego: 15 Katie Williams: 5 Brook Williamson: 11 80

Lyre Staff

Co-Editors in Chief: Rickeia Coleman Elizabeth Kuehne Editors: Grayson Doyle Ice Greer Eva Morenc Clara Rabe Alec Ricci Annabeth Talbot


Lyre 2017  
Lyre 2017