Editor’s Note True leaders do not invest in buildings. Jesus never built a building. They invest in people . Why? Because success without a successor is failure . So legacy should not be in buildings, programs, or projects; our legacy must be in people . -Myles Munroe It ’s not about tuition or about admission . It ’s about building and creating a legacy for all of the brothers that will come after True dofamily not invest in us buildings. Jesus never built Fora us. “leaders Loosing abliges to find family,” -Finding building. They invest in people Why? Because success without ester. Every year we loose apart. of us, so we keep the graduates a successor is failure . Soabout legacythe should not the be in buildings, proclose . Benedict ’s is not brothers, brothers are about grams, or ’s. projects; our legacy be in people . Benedict Stewardship; eachmust brother that aririves here is pre-Myles Munroe pared to be a care taker of this legacy. He owes this to the brothers It ’s not about tuition about admission ’s about that came before himor and for his brothers. It that will building come afterand creating a legacy for all of the brothers that will come after wards. us. “ Loosing family abliges us to find family,” -Finding Forester. Every year we loose apart of us, so we keep the graduates close . Benedict ’s is not about the brothers, the brothers are about Benedict ’s. Stewardship; each brother that aririves here is prepared to be a care taker of this legacy. He owes this to the brothers that came before him and for his brothers that will come afterwards.
-David Rahaman Editor-in- Chief Editorial ,Staff
Editorial ,Staff -David Rahaman Editor-in- Chief David Rahaman- Editor- in- Chief Logisan Lorance- Cover Page Designer David Rahaman- Editor- in- Chief John Mollozzi- Associate Editor Logisan Lorance- Cover Page Designer Jeremy Pinos- Associate Editor John Mollozzi- Associate Editor
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Excerpt’s from SBP’s Writers Notebooks
“If you believe in yourself you can. Well you can believe in yourself and still get hurt.Dont think about that though because then you will fail.”
“Do you see how behavior is connected to everything? Anything and everything you do can affect you. I’m learning that the hard way.”
“I want to pass every class. I just want to make my mother proud. I had too many F’s throughout the years. I’ll make sure this year is going to be the best!” “I don’t want people to know I’m smart. Now a days people think your a nerd if you do good in school. I don’t want to be labeled as a nerd , I want to be labeled as a cool kid.”
“Isn’t that what makes people happy? Giving them what they want.”
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Excerpt’s from SBP’s Writers Notebooks “Today has been slow but not that slow. Classes will be classes and time will be time. You can’t rush either one of them.”
“I need to start being more serious and not focus on trying to make people laugh. While they are getting a good grade and laughing at my jokes.”
“My Great Grandfather died. He had trouble breath-
ing. Now he’s in heaven with my Great Grandmother. He went to St. Benedict’s Prep even before Fr. Ed did. He didn’t graduate from here, because he was sent to war. I was very sad when I saw him in the hospital. My mom, dad, and sister came with me.”
“If you don’t make the basketball team come to me. I am tired of the doubt, I am tired of the thoughts they try to put in my head. I’m tired. Why? Is it because I am only 5’3”? Is it because I am Juhare. Well I truly don’t care, because when I make the team I don’t want to be tired anymore. I want to feel more alive than ever and never hear doubt.”
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Excerpt’s from SBP’s Writers Notebooks “I don’t know why, but lots of people said I could make it far in life by the way I act and how I’m around people. Sometimes I think they’re just telling me what I want to hear, but other times I think it’s for real.”
“It was the year 2012, when I moved from my Grandma’s house with my mom, dad, and sister. I also moved to another school in Union, NJ. My first year there was terrible. My teacher didn’t understand me and decided to not help me. I would get angry every day. All of the students didn’t care about me. At first, I thought they were being racist, because I am Chinese and Irish. Maybe they didn’t understand me, too. That was the worst year of my life. I almost felt like killing myself. That changed my life, because I am more angry and I can’t control my attitude. It still bothers me and I want to share it, to let it all out. Now I go to a very good school where everyone cares about eachother.”
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Excerpt’s from SBP’s Writers Notebooks “Today, I just scrimmaged the Varsity B Benedict’s team with my Cedar Stars team. Even though we lost the game 10-1, I went into the game saying I am going to play the best I can, try my best to be a team player, and reflect on my decisions after the game is finished. I enjoyed playing this scrimmage because I learned what my weaknesses are as a player. When I play against teams my level, it is harder to notice my flaws because I am not exposed to the same type of pressure as if I play guys who are better than I am. Sometimes I have a bad first touch and I can get away with it because the other team may not step to me as quick as they should, but better players, like Varsity B, steal the ball immediately and counter right away and score in less than 10 seconds.”
“Ahhhhhhh!!!! Rock music blasts into my ear. As I am wondering why counselors are blasting this demonic music? But as soon as I wake up at first sight I saw people running towards me. So my first instinct was to run away. But where is there to go? I have been imprisoned by other males like me. I feel like they didn’t send us here to try and make us men, they sent us here to mess with us.” “We have been talking about the process of going from boy to man. But I had the question, can you go from man to child?”
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Has Racism Improved By: Jeremy Pinos
Throughout history certain groups of people have felt hatred or discrimination toward them. The Jews during the holocaust, women all over the world not having the same rights as men, and black people basically all over the world. All the hatred has faded or calmed down since these groups fought for their rights, but for black people having to fight for their rights every day of their lives change is really questionable at this point. In Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Jem and Scout are living in Maycomb in the 1930’s where racism was at its highest toward black people. Their father is defending a negro man who is on trial for rape and just because he is black he might lose. We see blacks getting treated the same way today as they do in the book, yet we say we are improving. Since the 1960’s the racial hatred and condition has not improved for a black citizen because the same language to discriminate against black people back then is still used today. The belief that every black person is evil, and not how if you are white that you are more likely to succeed in life then a black person. Words hurt more then actions. Back in the days black people were called racist things like the “ n- word.” They were not seen as real human beings. They were seen as lower class than everybody else. In the novel Scout is having a fight with her cousin Francis about her father defending a black person. Francis gets Scout furious by saying “ He’s nothin’ but a nigger- lover!” ( Lee 110). This book was set during the 1930’s and it was common for words like the “N- word” or “ N- lover” to be used as insults. Almost 90 years
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 later we are still using the same words. “ N- word” is still used today as a violent way to refer to a black person. Some people do not even see the problem with it because it is used so often today that it just becomes normal. How could we have improved if our way of speaking about black people has not? There are different stereotypes for different types of people. When someone thinks of a white person they think they are rich, or an Asian person, you think they are smart. When someone thinks of a black person they think “Oh no he might rob me.”In Amanda Nguyen’s article “ Racism in North America Then and Now,” she talks about our thoughts on black people. She states “Young black boys are assumed to be aggressive, dangerous and up to no good. The same stereotype we have on them now is the same stereotype that we had on them almost a whole century ago. Some people think they just live in the hood or have no job and decide steal. These stereotypes have been conditioned into our minds since we were young. Although some black people have fought and surpassed the stereotypes, we just will always have that question of how did he get there ? Privilege can shape your life up. You could have had the privilege to be born rich, to have both your parents present in your childhood, or even just to know what your next meal will be. A white person has the better privilege to succeed in life then a black person, just because of the privilege they were given when they were born. None of these actions are our fault. Most of the time it is just the life we were born into but that does not mean a black person can not make it because of course we have seen a lot of successful black people in our time but they just had to work harder than a whiter person. Hatred toward groups can fadeaway over a period of time. We see now that women have the same rights that men do or that jewish people can live in nice neighborhoods but black people still have to deal with the racism and hatred toward them. Black people always had to fight or speak out for a cause. In the 1800’s it was to ban slavery, 1900’s it was the civil rights movement and now it is “black lives matter”.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 All of these movements have been because of one thing and that is how black people have been treated more unfairly then any other type of people. They never had the life of a normal white person. The life of a black person has not improved because of the language we still use to insult them ,stereotypes we still have on them, and the privilege that they are not given.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 The Bus
By: Woodmay Joseph I will always have room for you. Even if you can’t walk up the steps. I have a special rampart so that you may get on board. I have a perfect spot for you to sit. It’s my job to give you a sense of belonging, and at the same time a cold feeling of awkwardness. But nevertheless, I’m here to support you. My doors are open to anybody, who is willing to stand or sit next to anyone. Without the people, I have no gas and with no gas my engine cannot function. When you get on board you must follow the rules. If you do not value my laws, it will burn, but if you trust and believe in the process that I will drop you off wherever you wish. I represent something. I’m the support that a lot of people need. When their car breaks down, I offer a bigger one. So when there’s too much snow on the ground you can always come into me for warmth and comfort. I am the 25 that demonstrates what a community looks like
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 The City
By: Liam Murphy Torres From afar, the city is a thing of majesty; its industrial spires standing in rigid defiance of the night sky. They are great monuments of steel and glass, a testament to human ingenuity, constantly reaching higher and higher. The skyline is littered with these modern day towers of Babel, and the beauty of the city compel all who come close to gasp with awe. This city seems to be the place where dreams can come true, where one can leave a mark on the world. The great buildings grow even larger as one draws closer, and more details become visible; The old historic buildings now have gargoyles atop their ornate cornices. The skyscrapers seem to loom ever higher, their roofs now too high to see. However, not all the details are quite so picturesque. There are windows boarded up, graffiti on the walls, grime and trash in the streets. In a dark side alley, a homeless man has found some small refuge in sleep’s sweet embrace, but he will be cold and hungry again when he wakes up. Then, a wrong turn. The houses no longer tower above, but sag as if they were holding the weight of the world. There, on the corner, a boy of sixteen is selling the same drugs both his parent’s overdosed on. He knows that it is wrong, but has no other way to provide for himself and his siblings. A block away a man beats his girlfriend in front of her three year old daughter. Unlike the drug dealer, he doesn’t know right and wrong. He only knows anger. The anger that has been building in him since he was a child, and watched his father get shot. Those three bullets in his chest are all he sees, the sound of gunshots drown out the screams of the little girl. “Stop it! You’re hurting my mommy!” She too is angry now, and will be for a long time.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Perhaps she will overcome it, but more likely the fear and anger and pain will distract her from school. She’ll drop out, and have a child of her own. Desperate to survive she might stay in an abusive relationship just to avoid being out on the street, and so the sick cycle will continue. The city has many names. They read like a list of broken promises and shattered dreams, each with its own reputation for drugs, and violence, and police brutality, and everything else that makes our sheltered “members of high society” shiver in revulsion. The name doesn’t matter: Detroit, Newark, Chicago, Compton, New York. These places are all the city. It is the same situation repeated time and time again, just with new faces and a new skyline in the backdrop. Muhammad Ali once said “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” For far too long, people have gazed at the city from afar. They have floated, seeing the butterflies and the beauty of our skyscrapers. They talk about crime with euphemisms, always avoiding the gruesome and unpleasant truths of reality. However, for those living in the city, there is no such luxury. These events are the irrefutable facts of life in the inner city, and this is the bee’s sting.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Shattered
By: Yannie Lopez Inside him lies a dark alley Deeper than any valley The pain hidden in the dark Your bullets, they left a mark He lies awake at night Hoping he can win the fight Donâ€™t sugarcoat it, donâ€™t be polite HIs demons control him, right? He keeps it locked away Never to see the light of day He treks for miles and miles Keeping it hidden within his smiles Carries it like a sack Safely upon his back Neither is this a game For he will never be the same Tonight his eyes will rain For he cannot get rid of the pain.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 The Appalchian Trail By: David Rahaman
The first thing I learned about myself was that even though I was tired I still somehow got through it. I thought about quitting more than a dozen times but there was a strange feeling inside of me that didn’t let me do it. I also knew deep down I couldn’t quit. I thought this for a couple of reasons, the first one was because I was attending St. Benedict’s Prep since I was a lower division student. The second reason was that I knew that a ton of people had gone before me and since I was at SBP since I was an LD I knew some of the people that went before me and I knew if they could do it, I could do it. The last reason was I couldn’t quit on my friends. They probably didn’t need me out there but since I already started it I knew I had to finish it. I never thought that I would finish. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without my friends. They definitely played a big part in this. Without them it would’ve been ten times easier to quit.
I also learned to keep my head up. Once you put your head down you will become miserable. Then the minutes start to feel like hours. When I was in the woods I was miserable. I didn’t want to be out there at all. I tried not to show it but I still think that everyone knew. Every step and every breath I took I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to be in the woods. Nobody could change my mind or make me change my opinion. I never want to go back to that place again. The most important thing I learned was that teamwork is key. I mean without a team your pack would be extremely heavy. The last thing you wanted was everyone turning on each other. Even though I didn’t want to be there I tried to keep it to myself and soak in my own grief. While I was there I did some self reflection. Even though I didn’t like the trip vey much I learned that I could accomplish anything at least, that’s what it feels like. One thing that I was amazed by was that I actually didn’t miss my family. I thought that 5 days would be a long enough time but believe me it wasn’t.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 I felt like I was there for a lifetime. I didn’t even see civilization. I only saw the same six faces every single day and after a while it got old. I wanted to leave after the third day because I was so sick of seeing tree after tree after tree. Through this dreadful experience I learned that sometimes you just have to muscle through things. It might not be the best way to do it but as long as you get the job done everyone is happy right? I never thought that I wasn’t going to like the Appalachian Trail. I thought I would have a great time, but things don’t exactly turn out the way you want them to. I could not fix that though. It was something I just had to deal with. I’m actually surprised that I dealt with it so well . While I was there I also learned I have a ton of patience. Who would’ve thought? Overall I learned that I can get through anything mentally and physically, and to keep my head up. Teamwork is everything, I learned to muscle through certain obstacles. I have a ton of patience, and the main thing I learned was who my good friends are. I never want to do that again. It wasn’t even because of the people I was with, or the people in charge of me. I just learned that the woods aren’t for me.
Even though I absolutely hated the Appalachian Trail I learned a ton of important things and it gave me time to self reflect. I think that was the main purpose of the trail. As much as I don’t enjoy writing this, I hope that I am the only one who had this experience because I would like all of my other friends to have a good experience and to tell the other generations what a good time sounds like.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Withering Mayflower: Chapter 3 Neverland By: Sleepii
I wished upon a star eagerly awaiting to be whisked away, looking for any means to leave this decrepit place. But that was a long time ago you see, and now I know fantasies are a childish thing to believe. I’m aware now of the cruel reality of things and how brutal this world can be. Fore I’ve heard the sound of my eternal clock begin to tick and sing, oh how I wish I could be amongst the clouds, in The Haven Of Dreams. Forever young, never having to search for the meaning of things, where imagination runs wild and free. In The Haven of Dreams, things aren’t so black and white but clear, as your troubles disappear. Full of blue skies that bleed into your eyes and everlasting sunshine. A place that lies dormant in your mind. Now this Haven of Dreams I speak of is no longer mine, my kingdom had deteriorated with the passing of time. With age, I lost faith and I have no chance of saving grace, doomed to live with this forsaken fate. Struggling to stay sane I wither away each passing day, watching the wind blow as my precious Haven of Dreams crumbles away.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Kingdom Of The Lost Children: Chapter 2 A King’s Lament By: Sleepii Since I was a child I had this picture in my mind of how you were going to be by my side. Playing it over every night, a distant thought that passes from time to time. Fore I always knew something was missing, I needed a Daedalus to my Icarus and yearned for your company. I loved and despised you all at the same time, broken because words were never spoken between you and I. Your the essence of my mortal coil that I can’t ignore, for the blood running through my veins is yours. I use to look up at the silent skies into the night, and with every star that shined a light, I would pray for you to be in my life. Even when I blew out a candle I would always wish for you. Left wondering, if the dream would ever come true. You were the thing I wanted the most, something to hold close and call my own. A symbol of home, so even If I was lost I’d know in my very bones I was not alone. Now as the pendulum swings, time moves forward but doesn’t phase me. I’m blessed with immortality and wealth, I can have anything I want with a puff of my breath. But the only need that can’t be met, is seeing you because I don’t know where you went. In my days of everlasting life I regret, that time between you and I, was never spent.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Requiem For Dreams and Fantasies: Chapter 8 R.O.O.T By: Sleepii My dream, will it sink or will it soar, a chapter in my life I’ve yet to explore. Knowing in my heart and my very core, there’s something more to life then the daily struggles I must endure. I can see past the Injustice that was done to me, floating on a leaf I am free from my worries. I’ve found serenity now I am full of glee, at peace knowing I have people to catch me. I Know there will be days I’ll remember my time of sorrow, for I’m still plagued with not wanting to see another tomorrow. Finding hands to hold, nurturing me until I grow old. The ones I love cover me like the green on a bed of clovers, reassuring me my lonely days are over. Seeing that true beauty lives in everything. Struggling to see such things at the beginning, always reminded that life and death are siblings. Told as a child “You can’t have one without the other”, a rule of equivalent exchange taught to me by my dear mother. This and many other things made me question life’s meaning, as I try not to be tormented by my father leaving. Stuck grieving, constantly chasing a floating paradise that appears when I’m dreaming. Still learning to let go of such desires, as I strive to be someone people can admire. I failed to prevail before but I shall not wallow in pain anymore, I can see this life I lead is worth living for. Fading as I’m engulfed by golden trees, saying goodbye to my demons, running free.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 Chapter 5 Hédoné By: Sleepii
You’re an enigma that eludes me, turning asteroids into jewelry to compliment your otherworldly beauty. Cosmic like neon stardust. Skin smooth and soft as the clouds above, hair that soars like a flock of mystical turtle doves. A thing that dreams are made of. I would build you a castle from the galaxies ashes, giving you anything you wanted so you could live lavish. Needing you cause your my addiction, my peace of mind when I’m stricken with afflictions. My wicked temptation I’m always pursuing, the only thing I fear losing. My beacon Illuminating my path, a radiant spectacle like seeing Stars collapse. Something glorious only angels could craft. Sleep deprived the last few nights because you’re not by my side. Fighting Internal beasts that plague my mind. Searching for paradise to expel these parasites, as I try my best to hide. Trapped in this melancholy by these satanic deities, I remember your voice and its soulful melody. Giving anything to believe this feeling will someday leave, and you will be there to liberate me. Floating aimlessly in this season of dreams, as though I was Osiris being pulled by the oceans stream. Shapeless beings trying to devour me like crocodiles in the Egyptian Nile. My heart is protected, being filled with joy when I see your smile. Separated by millions of miles. Only capturing a glimpse of my beautiful Starchild.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 An Analysis of Finding Forrester By: Samuel Pineda Jamal Wallace, one of the protagonists in the motion picture Finding Forrester, directed by Mike Rich, never comes of age because he was already an adult. Jamal made independent decisions and felt sympathy during the start of the movie, proving he was already an adult. His personality does not change over the course of the story, disregarding his experiences Jamal’s first scene in the movie include him playing basketball with his friends. The movie ends with Jamall playing basketball with his friends. A child can not come of age if it does not lose its given values. Jamal never loses the value of this sport, in fact he is consistent with his decision to pursue it. This is a value that he has chosen for himself, proving that he was not a child who came of age. The beginning and ending scenes are the same. Jamal never changes because he was already an adult. Jamal makes critical decisions early on in the movie. When he chooses to be The Window’s (William Forrester; mysterious author in hiding) apprentice is a perfect example. Some may say that in the previous scene Jamal was a child, a reflection of the values he was born into because he broke into The Window’s house. In reality, he was already a misunderstood adult. He was The Window’s apprentice because he wanted criticism of his writing, so he could get better at it. Jamal’s desire to write was contrary to any value he was presumably born into. This shows that Jamal was not a child, Jamal made his own decisions because he was already an adult. The Window (who was struggling to come of age) had Jamal as an example of what it was to be an adult. Jamal was The Window’s inspiration to face the world head on. Jamal’s actions provided The Window with enough courage to go out and make decisions of his own. The Windows decisions to try to publish his second book was promoted by Jamal. Jamal was already an adult if the window came of age because of him. It is now clear that Jamal had always been an adult. His constant exhibition of the traits that define an adult, such as decision making, and showing sympathy prove this. Jamal does not come of age.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 An Analysis of Bambi
By: Emory Rodrigues
In the novel Bambi, by Felix Salten, Bambi realizes that taking big steps toward adulthood without any experiences is a path to death. Gobo’s death could have been avoided if he had not taken big steps toward adulthood. Gobo is guilty of taking huge steps towards adulthood while he is still a child with no experiences. This led him to the nose of a gun.
Gobo believes that he can become an adult by living life with no struggles. Gobo shows us this when he says that in the house with humans there is warmth. He also says how does not have to suffer in the cold like the deer did. Fortunately, Bambi has the Old Stag to teach him that he has to go through experiences to become an adult. This example appears when the Old Stag shows Bambi the human on the floor dying. He shows Bambi they are no different than the deer, themselves. Another event that also summarizes this theme is when Gobo is wearing his halter. Gobo says, “It is his halter and it is the greatest honor to wear” (Salten, Felix, Page 187). Gobo is a child who does not realize that the halter may be dangerous to him and the deer around him. The halter may have a tracking device on it because the humans who killed Gobo went straight to Gobo leading him to other deer. Gobo’s death taught Bambi a lot. After Gobo’s death Bambi made a decision to become an adult. Bambi made a decision to become an adult after the Old Stag’s death because when Bambi was with the Old Stag he was a child. Now Bambi sees that bad things happen when you take big steps towards adulthood. Bambi made the decision to grow up when he corrects two little fawns for crying when their mom left.
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 An Analysis of Romeo and Juliet By: Samuel Pineda
In the play The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare bad things happen when children keep things from their parents. Many deaths and incidents could have been avoided if parents were aware of the situation. Both Romeo and Juliet are guilty of not communicating with the parents, in the making of childish decisions with severe consequences. Romeo attended the Capulet’s masque party without his parents’ consent. Tybalt perceived that Romeo’s attendance was an act of defiancy. This leads Tybalt to form a grudge against Romeo. The grudge is then the cause of both Mercutio and Tybalt’s death. If Romeo would have spoken to his parents first then they would not have let Romeo go to a party with their enemies, especially after the new law the prince put in place; If there is another fight between the two families then the consequences will be death. Romeo’s parents are smart enough to know that if Romeo goes to that party there is a high chance that there will be a fight. This proves that Romeo’s parents would not have let him go. Tybalt and Mercutio would not have died if Romeo would have talked to his parents. Juliet never tells her parents that she is married with Romeo, instead she plays dead to avoid her arranged marriage with Paris. If Juliet would have instead been honest with her parents, they could not marry Paris to Juliet because Juliet was already married. If Paris knew he could not marry Juliet he would lose interest in her. This proves that Paris would not have died if only Juliet’s parents knew about her secret marriage ( results of Friar Laurence scheme of secrecy).
Kayrix Kayrix2018 1868 The decisions that ended the lovers’ lives was taken without a word to either of the parents. Romeo decides to kill himself because he finds Juliet in a tomb. When Juliet wakes up she also kills herself because Romeo’s dead. These two deaths would not have happened if only the parents knew what was going on. If Romeo would have your phone his father personally his father would not allow him to take his own life. It is obvious that the secret that Romeo and Juliet kept from the parents let to their deaths. Terrible things happen when children don’t communicate with their parents. Just play the consequences of such miscommunication includes death.
Kayrix 2018 1868 Orion
By: Lorraine Elias The grandfather tipped back his head, just touching the shingled wall—shingles he had applied to all the exterior facade decades before the girl was born. Resting here upon a green bench of his own making, he now cradled the back of his neck on folded arms; the length of his taut workman’s body stretched before him and he had crossed his leather-slippered feet, as in a kind of oriental contemplation. Now in the warm autumn night, the small girl next to him did her best to follow his skyward gaze. The eyes of this not-quiteold man seemed to pierce straight into, and even past, the spangled black zenith; they squinted beyond themselves in the way of those who are always looking at some distant place and, perhaps, thinking distant and unordinary thoughts. Pointing upward suddenly, he exclaimed upon an expressive and uniquely Hungarian sound—not quite a whine, but something like it—which so often announced his speaking, “ N-n-ng-ye-eh, there, kislani, you see him? The girl moved her small head and scanned her light eyes through the dark, “No, Papa, where?’ Look, little one!—the hunter! And, you know, even in the Magyar, he is “oree-yohn’—Orion”. The stars etched themselves into the girl’s mind, forever with this grandfather next to her. So, wanting desperately to prove a good student to the stern teacher, who sat near her often but spoke rarely, the child imitated his squint. He continued, pointing: “See! one star is head; two”—and he spread apart his strong hands—“shoulders. Three are belt, then
sword, then knees. You see?” She thought she saw; she wanted to see. “Yes, Papa, I do see!” He stared down at her through the dark, “And you know what is true? Is true that if you are looking from some other place past these stars—in galaxy they call it—he is no more Orion; he is someone else! But only if not in this yard—if someplace else in sky” “Yes, Papa” the little girl marveled—gazing up in pure devotion, not at the stars—but past the jutting cheekbones, at the dark, slanted eyes under black brows— and those shadowed by the visored worker’s cap, slightly puffed with a button pinning its center. The ruddy dark skin across the strong jaw and the wide, flexible mouth were only beginning to show signs of age. The girl loved this grandfather beyond words—and, in a way, beyond any recognizable emotion; she simply wanted to sit near him. She wanted to hear his voice. “Tell how you came here from the old country!” She knew how he had come here; he knew that she knew. But he spoke, staring again, as if beyond the whole universe, squinting harder at Orion. “Was bad over there—with having to show papers in streets; Kaiser and Franz Josef angry now in 1913. Your father’s uncle—Antal, father of Willi, your cousin fireman over on other street—this brother Antal was here already, and this grandmother, my Sidonya— he looked toward the kitchen door—came also already before me. She had big job at fourteen, cleaning doctor’s house in the New York—East Sixty-Eighth Street.
Kayrix 2018 1868 I was walking there from Jersey City ferry in too-tight shoes, taking her to the Central Park on every other Sunday” He laughed his dry laugh. “N-n-ng-ye-eh, I knew her from next village over near us, in same school. In the Magyar, we call her village Peter-hegy; for the Slovenski people, it is Petrovtsi. So, I tell the mother in my Hungary, in my Szabad-hegy, by Austria, by Slovenski border, that I am going to work on logging-crew up by big lake, in fir forests in north, by this lake Balaton. I am seventeen; the father is dead long time, and some other brothers already in army: Lajos and Ferencz, But Antal is here, working in this big steel mill. Plenty jobs here—good ones. I think that I don’t want anything to do with armies. We have no pasture. I am taking this cow every day to village land and the women are carrying our water long way from town well. I think then it is better to go—now. But I don’t tell mother because I am her baby, her Sandor-leli. So I go at night to train station in our town, where we always get on carts going north to forests. But my friend has given me ticket to Lubljana on Slovenski side, west, where I get papers and telegram from Antal. I jump onto train that night. Never see mother again, you know. She is sure I am working up at Balaton. But I never smell cold air and green pines at Balaton again either. Never see all the high stars above mountains. He stared in silence at the sky. “Never see mother again”, thought the girl. The soft pale grandmother inside the kitchen door never saw her mother again. And, upstairs, the girl’s own mother never saw her illiterate,
polyglot Lithuanian mother again after she was thirteen—even here in the new country. That grandmother died of pneumonia, weeping into the christening robes of three baby boys, and they, dead from diphtheria, one after the other, in their old cradle in the poor tenement over by the river—the worst part of the neighborhood. That grandmother had spent her few remaining years, after the last death, dragging the mother in the morning darkness to novenas at the Lithuanian church—offered up to yet another mother, for these three dead sons…. “Never see mother again”, the grandfather suddenly repeated, staring as if he might find her in the stars above the neighborhood. He was Lutheran, so praying to that Catholic Mother-of-Mothers did not occur to him….”Never see mother again.” “Tell more”, spoke up the girl—instinctively seeking to bring this grandfather back here next to her in the yard. “Where did you go then?” “Lubljana, far into mountains, west to Trieste—where everyone speaks Slovenski or the Italian. Now the Magyar is for us boys ourselves. So we tell them in Slovenski we are going to Geneva in the Switzerland. In the Switzerland we have to speak in Deutsch—in the German. We don’t like this German—belongs now to Kaiser. But this German is all they are understanding where we go in Geneva, and we were learning it in the school—and from some Oesterreicher soldiers. But, now, in this Geneva, more tickets, more papers. He looked down at her, “You have to always learn everything where you are; you have to be careful. Figure out who is speaking what. Learn that.
Kayrix 2018 1868 Watch everything. Think what you should do. Look for next stop on train—what city where you are going.” She nodded in eager agreement. Smiling down at the girl, the grandfather stood suddenly. “Wait. I come back.” He entered the grand mother’s kitchen, the screen door slamming behind him. The girl stared up at the sky, at this new Orion and at the Great Bear which he had already shown her a number of seasons ago. “We say, ‘ursa major’ in old country—but this is the Latin, not Magyar. Your Catholics are speaking the Latin, but not us Lutherans.” Another fact of some kind of importance; the girl was not sure. But she remembered it. And she knew what Latin was; the priests prayed in it in church, and the girl could follow the Latin words in her missal. Now in the dark the grandfather reappeared, crossing in front of her and blocking out the sky. He carried a miniature flashlight and a book. Sitting, he lit the light and fanned the book’s pages. Across two of them stretched the world—at least the world from Lake Balaton in Hungary to Le Havre in the northwest of France—and across to England and to Ireland then. “Look”, he ran the light along a dark pencil trail from right to left— and stopped at the northern-most Adriatic “See—Trieste. “Then”—still along the pencil line that indeed stretched to Ireland and across the Atlantic to New York—“we go into Italy and days of mountains—sleeping in little barns and also in the fields—walking, riding on carts, catching on backs of trains when conductor is not looking. Heh! Big trouble if they catch us!”—his voice now rising mis-
chievously in that Hungarian sound.. Then, like I already say, to Geneva with the German. We know enough to get our papers” “And we have maps”, he continued—“we know how to read maps!—and we have oldest sister’s address with husband in Paris. They went there long time since, and owned Hungarian restaurant—very good! the best!” The girl, barely eight years old, felt the importance of all the names, of the catching of trains and the switching of languages, of reading maps, of Geneva, of Paris, of the sister’s restaurant being the best—and all of these places at night beneath the stars in her mind—Orion guiding the grandfather across mountains and out of the ‘old country’. And he was seventeen, and he would never see his mother again—or smell the cold pines at Balaton. Suddenly, the girl’s mother called from a dark window just above them, “Bed time!” And, “No” answered the girl—“Ma, it’s Friday night. I don’t have school tomorrow!” The mother’s voice disappeared into the silence—and the girl nestled against the grandfather’s hard-sinewed shoulder, which she imagined as Orion’s shoulder in the sky. The night air chilled them now. “Mother is calling you!”—I finish another time. “No, Papa, no! Please tell it to me now!” He grunted. “O.K. Then, we find a man in Geneva—for these papers”. “What are papers?” the child wanted to know. “Never mind, never mind”—he spoke past that, and impatiently. “Like I tell you; I go to sister in Paris—and never see her again, you know. In Paris we get on long train—last train for us in
Kayrix 2018 1868 Europe—and go at night to port of Le Havre. This train is ‘boat-train’. I never see this and I am looking at everything how it is made! They unhitch train cars and push them on boat. Deck of boat has railroad tracks—where our trains rest on, and we sleep in train. Then boats push off into English Channel—only twenty miles but I am sick in stomach—very, very sick! Gott! I think of mother in my village. Why am I doing this—why going to these places? By morning we are pulling into biggest port I ever see—called Southhampton, full of British navy ships and cargo ships and ships to New York. “Now they push train cars back in line, attach to big engine and in so much smoke and cinders with burning eyes and sick stomach, I am riding train in England!—going to Liverpool, all full of people and factories and I don’t understand what they are saying. Everywhere are too many people. Only one boy from my town is with me now, and we speak the Magyar to make us feel better. Now, in this Liverpool, there, at great high dock, I see HMS Cameronia. This very tall ship is my ship. This ship is going to the New York. I will never see mother again, but am going to the New York! So we board HMS Cameronia. I stand on deck for all the hours and breathe hard and don’t become sick.” He squinted further into the past. The air was colder now, but the excitement in the grandfather’s words warmed the girl and wafted her upon the sea—now to Glasgow. “Here is worst place in world that I am seeing”, he shook his head vehemently and even in the dark his dark eyes darkened.
So many people, so dirty, so poor—brothers pushing sisters at sailors” “Why?” the girl asked him. “Never mind, never mind….In this awful Glasgow are Hungarians working in mines—but they will not stay here. No, they are coming on this ship with me to the New York. This Glasgow is no place for Hungarians!” ‘Now”, he shook his head again, “all these young people with cheap tickets have to go below decks, they call it. Now, for eight days, we live in dark. We are sick—puking in buckets Pursers come only once a day to take them. Now I think that even Glasgow would be good place! And maybe my village is O.K. even without our own pasture!” ….Never see mother again; never smell pines at Balaton—repeated the girl silently in her mind. “Then, New York?” the child’s voice questioned out of the darkness. “Then, this New York. I tell you more again at other time.” “But,” the child insisted, “tell me how you learned English.” “I learn in night school. I read newspaper. With no English, you can only dig ditches for Italian bosses. Takes maybe six months to learn enough English. Then I get real job in great factory with tall steam machines and belts and wheels—and I understand all of these things. I work and live with brother Antal. By nineteen years old, I am youngest greenhorn foreman at Hyatt Bearings Company! See! I watch everything and learn everything.” He closed the tattered atlas. The mother called again from the window, and the girl, on a sharp little push from the grandfather, hurried through the grandmother’s kitchen and up the side hallway.
Kayrix 2018 1868 One never took leave of him—never said anything. One simply walked from where he was. And the grandfather sat on, with his hands behind his head again, staring deeply at the other side of Orion in the dark October sky. In the wee hours of that night, curled in her bed with the cold air wafting through the window above her, the girl dreamed. And in the dream she saw the grandfather, like a giant striding across the map, striding from Lake Balaton to New York—not even a ship to take him. And it was he in his worker’s cap and his loose shirt and trousers, striding across the sky, looking ahead upon his dark, far-reaching gaze. But, above his head shone a star, and stars marked his square shoulders and his belt and his knees. Some days later, as the girl mused out the school windows and counted the houses across the street, the teacher wrote a verse on the blackboard. The children dipped their pens and copied, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shores….”—and there was more. The girl delighted in copying. And she worked hard with her left hand, hooked across the top of her paper, to make all the letters perfectly and avoid ink splotches. Now the teacher instructed that they were to memorize these words and recite them on the next day. Would there be any questions? The girl’s hand shot upward—and the teacher nodded in patient resignation. “What is ‘huddled’? What is ‘wretched refuse’”? The teacher opened a drawer in her
desk and pulled out a rolled scroll—which, unfurled, was a kind of painting. She held it up before the class. The picture showed a crowd of men, women and children—all pressed together beneath what looked to be a ship’s mast. They seemed dirty, their clothes were ragged and their eyes were sad and vacant. Every one of them carried a tied cloth bundle. “These people are ‘huddled’ together on their way to America,” the teacher explained. They are ‘wretched’, which means hopeless and frightened. “‘Refuse’ is garbage—and that is how they were treated in all those horrible countries over there. They have no education, no skills; they can’t speak English and they don’t know even how to get a job or find a place to live.” The girl stared at the picture in astonishment. How very wonderful, her thoughts ruminated, that the grandfather—and the grandmother who worked for the rich doctor—were never ‘huddled’ nor could be called ‘wretched’ or ‘refuse’! They stood so very straight and proud—especially in all those brown-toned old photographs—in their wedding clothes, like a prince and princess, or holding babies in christening portraits. She supposed that, as the grandfather had instructed her to do, herself, they always ‘learned about where they were’. And so, she mused, this grandfather had been, at nineteen, the “youngest greenhorn foreman at Hyatt Bearings Company”. The girl felt deeply sorry for the people in the picture who were called ‘wretched refuse’—and she wondered who thought of this and how it could be at all true.
Kayrix 2018 1868 Peter Elias ‘90 “The Road to Pochomil” A dry and dusty road-Walking shadow souls Occupy a life so far from mine. Hardened by the sun Apart from every one, Staring blank at the horizon. Their vision in my mind As we go driving by-Do I become a thought inside them too? Miles turn into miles. Tattered domiciles, Littered with a life long-gone Where is it they will go-Today or years from now? Of what their dreams consist I do not know. Peter Elias (SBP ’90 and former Kayrix editor) written after a long drive to the Pacific Ocean from Managua, Nicaragua
KAYRIX is the name given to the literary magazine published annually by the students of St. Benedict's Prep. While our goal is to publish a...
Published on Jun 13, 2018
KAYRIX is the name given to the literary magazine published annually by the students of St. Benedict's Prep. While our goal is to publish a...