Lions-on-Line Fall Issue 2011
Laura Lazo, Suspended Fabric, Conten Crayon and Chalk Pastel on Paper, 2010 Winner of the 2011 Library Art Prize Purchase Award
Table of Contents Laura Lazo
Suspended Fabric, Winner of the 2011 Library Art Prize Purchase Award……………………………………......………..…………Cover Note from the Faculty Advisor…………………………………………………………………..4 Annie Spinnenweber “Spines,” Winner, Honorable Mention, 10th Grade H.S. Writing Contest, Poetry………………………………………………………..5 Katie Hushion “Marietta”…………..…………………………………………………6 Zachary McCoy “Poetry Sucks”……………………………….....…………………….7 Nolan Karwoski Untitled Sculptures…………….……………………………………...9 Matthew Kohlmorgen “An Especially Cold Night”….........………………………………...10 Angela Corbett “Life Underground”…………………….…………………………...12 Kim Asmus “Sonnet for the Heathens”…………..……………………………….14 Erin Bueker Sweeping Leaves….…………………………………………………15 Rebecca Klapper “The Wishmaker,” Winner, Honorable Mention, 10th Grade H.S. Writing Contest, Fiction......................................................................16 Elizabeth Bible Sunburst……….…………………………………………………….24 Kristina Brodbeck “I Hate Math.”…………………………….........……………………25 Zachary McCoy “Generation Falling Star”………………..…………………………..26 Catherine Adams Facing Your Fears at Lourdes Festival……………….....………….29 Kim Asmus “Revolution”………………………………….……………………..30 Matthew Kohlmorgen “My Luthien”…………………………………………….………….32 Angela Corbett “I Want to Tell You”.………………………………………………..33 Yvonne Alderson Interior……………….……………………………………………...34 Lydia Blaise Allen “Forget-Me-Not,” Winner, First Place, 10th Grade H.S. Writing Contest, Fiction……………………………………………………...35 Catherine Adams Orchids………………………………………………………………39 Cassie Schoborg “The Colorless Canvas,” Winner, Honorable Mention, 10th Grade H.S. Writing Contest, Fiction………......…………………………………40 Yvonne Alderson Build it, Draw it………….................……………………………….42 Zachary McCoy “Clifton Nights”……………………….....………………………….43 Kim Asmus “Who Am I?”………….............…………………………………….44 Paul Orleck “Where I am From”……………………………......………………...46 Macie Smith 3-D Linear Construction…………….………………………………47 Nicholas Caudill “Breakfast on the Moon”…….................…………………………...48 Lauren Davis Hand…………………………………….…………………………...49 Caroline O‟Connell “Yelling,” Winner, First Place, 10th Grade H.S. Writing Contest, Essay………………………………………………………………...50
Note from the Faculty Advisor This is a very special issue of Lions-on-Line, because in this issue we‟ve chosen to feature a selection of the prize-winning poetry, fiction, and personal essays from the Mount‟s very own 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, a contest that has just celebrated its 15th anniversary. Nine sophomores in high school were honored at an Awards Ceremony at the end of March 2011 for their award-winning work. The Mount received in excess of 100 submissions in the genres of poetry, fiction, and personal essay. In each category, a first prize was awarded as well as two honorable mentions. Winners were chosen by a panel of student judges and faculty coordinators from the Mount‟s English and Communication Studies departments. This is only the second time that Lions-on-Line has chosen to publish work generated by the contest and we hope that you will enjoy the extraordinary words of our youngest contributors.
Spines By Annie Spinnenweber, Roger Bacon Honorable Mention, 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, Poetry It all starts with words. Words that live in dialogue; Words indigenous to dictionaries; Words that slip like lies.
They stretch to sentences, Phrases that leap into paragraphs Until they pour off pages, Onto the next.
Pages gather, Creating the substantial From those first few Beautiful words.
Hands cradle the spines Of story-filled paper To gain, to devour Beautiful words.
Marietta By Katie Hushion I am from there. Where the Muskingum meets the Ohio, Where the mountains of West Virginia meet the valleys of Ohio. I am from the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory. Where General Rufus Putnam led the Revolutionary veterans to call home. Where future U.S. President George Washington began surveying. I am from where mounds of pre-historic Indians are buried. Where old bricks line the streets, Where there are museums to show our history. I am from where squirrels could jump tree to tree without ever touching the ground. Where bicyclists ride along a continuous path by the river. Where sternwheelers race on the Ohio every fall, Where people gather and listen to music on the levee. I am from where students from near and far come to attend our prestigious college, Where tourists from around the country come to learn and experience our history. I am from a city where trees meet each other in the middle of the road, Where crew boats interrupt the fog on the river in the mornings. I am from there
Poetry Sucks By Zachary McCoy Look at me With rhyme and rhythm Alliteration allows idiots to perceive themselves philosopher kings What has poetry ever saved When have worried words fretted over your situation Was e e cummings brave because he never used a period or comma Do the waves Stop crashing When words are rightly found and used Does the sun cease to blaze When you capture its rays in poetry Sometimes. Sometimes the words manage to stop time To reverse what has been done To make a rose lovely again after it wilts To allow a man to become a legend To keep you safe amidst the fires of fortune Poetry sucks Because it makes Time
Disjointed Feelings Real And revolution Happen Words manage to capture despite being a net full of holes Manage to ensnare though is jaws lack necessary teeth Limited beyond limit Indescribable in its description Flawed in the most perfect way Poetry is what we are Poetry is saying no Poetry is saying 2+2=4 Poetry is saying truth is true and lies are false but deciding which is true and which is false is up to you. Poetry sucks 7
And poetry thrives In backstreet alleys were drunken liars lie Poetry is humanity Poetry is the life we led Poetry sucks The marrow from life And spits it in societyâ€&#x;s face Poetry is Beauty and the Beast Poetry is simply complex Poetry sucks And poetry thrives And god oh god Donâ€&#x;t let poetry die.
Nolan Karwoski, Untitled Sculpture, Stoneware, 2011
An Especially Cold Night By Matthew Kohlmorgen “What‟s up, you either love my playing or hate it because I got the most diverse range of facial expressions from you.” The musician said as he lit a cigarette. “I, uh, didn‟t notice that you were playing.” The girl said awkwardly trying to cover her blush. “Now that‟s bullshit,” he said chuckling and taking a puff of his menthol… “Would you like one”? “Yea right, that‟s so disgusting. Anyways, I am not old enough,” she replied. “You‟re not old enough for a cigarette-yet-you are old enough to be out, in the rain and in the middle of November, at 3am? Haha, that‟s more bullshit,” he said, smirking helplessly. “Tch, whatever, seriously,” she said sounding very annoyed whilst staring straight ahead. “Seriously.” The musician‟s tone changed, it caused the girl to look at the man in the eyes. “What are ya doin‟ here; this ain‟t no place for a girl your age, not at this time of night. Go home,” he said with a mildly serious tone as he took another large puff of his cigarette. The girl scoffed. “Are you f-ing serious? You don‟t look much older than me; why don‟t you just mind your own business?” She turned away once again. “Besides, I can‟t go home; I just can‟t go back,” she said as her eyes began to swell with tears, “I won‟t go back.” “Tell your parents you‟re a lesbian?” The musician asked. The girl‟s tears were interrupted by a small laugh at his question. “No, told mom I was an atheist. She would probably have preferred lesbian though; there was a lot of yelling and I just split,” she said throwing her face back into her hands. “I see; that‟s rough babe, damn shame”. “Tell me about it, I have nowhere to go. I am so lost.” She wiped her eyes and mascara and she saw a taxi, waved it down. “Where ya goin‟”? He asked. “I dunno, just going really.” He pulled out his wallet and gave her a twenty. “What‟s this for”? “It was the same for me not long ago.” “Gay?” “AND atheist. You got it a lot easier than I did!” He scoffed at her trying to get another laugh, successfully. “Thank you. It means a lot. What‟s your name stranger?” “Freddie.” “Wow, that is a gay name,” she said, laughing, joined by his laughter. “You should go back home,” Freddie said smiling. “Did you?” “Yep.” “How did that work out?”
There was a pause from Freddie. “It got better over time. Sucked for a long time, but it got better; it will get better for you.” “Thank you, Freddie.” Freddie just smiled. She gave the driver her address and got in the car. They drove off and right before the car was out of sight she screamed her name. Freddie took one last puff of his cigarette, threw it to the ground and put his guitar back on. “I did not hear that”.
Life Underground By Angela Corbett I drove through the rain On an empty morning When falling water was all substance. I didnâ€&#x;t understand As her tears trailed across the hardwood What she even cried for. The highway scattered with red eyes The tink-tink on my windshield The whining crow calls as windshield wipers dragged back and forthBack and forth Back and forth Like my mother rocking in my fatherâ€&#x;s arms Her face buried in his neck As I watched from the hallway with fish swimming in my lungs. Later she lost her delicate curls Later she sat, crooked in our living room- drainage tubes drooling from her chest Later I knocked on the bathroom when heaving found me in the halls. Her fingers Staggered across Where breasts had been Where snow-white stitching Stretched out like railroad tracks On and on. I drove with the wipers off And the rain created a wall Until the yellow dashes disappeared 12
Just to prove that I was invincible For her For us Holding the pieces together. And singing
Canaries beneath the mountain.
Sonnet for the Heathens By Kim Asmus I see the leaves racing circles around. The skies above are threatening their mirth. Then they play, “Ashes, ashes, all fall down!” As ribbons fall between the clouds and Earth.
Their drenched colors, browns, oranges and reds, Line the walk ways, cover the grass and street. Our eyes flutter shut as if in our beds, While we raise our arms for the rain to meet.
The blustery breezes blow frosty chills. We smile, laugh, while dancing on the plains. Rain pours down as if it‟s the angels‟ wills, To wash from us the untamed, brazen stains.
But derisive disdain only sweetens, This glorious moment for all heathens!
Erin Bueker, Sweeping Leaves, Reverse Applique, 2011
The Wishmaker By Rebecca Klapper, Mother of Mercy Honorable Mention, 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, Fiction A little girl with white blonde hair with pink streaks in it grabs my hand. She laughs and says something. I can‟t hear her. Her voice seems to be completely forgotten by me. I say something back, and I can‟t hear my own voice. I hear a bell jingle, and the little girl runs through a valley of roses. “Kitty!” shouted a voice. “Pay attention!” I snapped out of my reverie just in time to see my teacher, Robin, throw a white-board marker at me. I moved out of the way and it hit Fern who was sitting behind me. “Miss Robin!” he said. “That‟s not fair!” Robin sighed and held out her hand for the marker, which Fern threw back to her. “Sorry, Fern,” she apologized. “I just hope Kitty remembers she‟s in school next time.” She gave me a contemptuous look and continued with the lesson. I slipped out of focus again. I‟m a normal sorceress, I suppose. I have shoulder-length brown hair that curls out at the bottom and gold eyes. I commonly wear the school uniform for Tania Magic Academy, which is where I‟m a second year student. The uniform consists of a white polo shirt, a light and dark blue striped tie, and a black robe that comes down in the back behind my calves while the sleeves come down to my elbows. The internal lining of our robes are light blue. The girls wear dark blue pleated skirts and knee-high brown boots while the boys wear pants of the same color and ankle boots. My name is Kitty, I‟m sure you noticed, which leads me to customize my uniform by wearing cat ears and a dark blue ribbon with a golden bell around my neck. Robin was glaring angrily at me again as she taught, but I still wasn‟t paying very much attention. The bell rang, signaling the end of class. I got up and made to leave, but Robin called me back. “One moment, Kitty!” she said. “I want to talk to you!” “You deserve it...” Fern muttered as he passed me. I casually conjured a magic ball and threw it at him, causing him to trip. People around us laughed, and Fern scowled at me, his face bright red. “I‟ll pretend I didn‟t see that,” Robin said, trying not to smile as I reached the front of the class. “So, what did you need me for, Robin?” I asked. She gave me a very teacher-like look. “Kitty, while I may be your friend outside school, so long we are on these grounds, I am your teacher and should be addressed as such,” she said firmly. “Sorry, Miss Robin...” I corrected myself. She nodded in satisfaction. “Right, Kitty, I‟ve noticed you‟ve been zoning out a lot more than usual. Are you feeling okay? I‟ve thrown markers at Weasel and Cloud, but you‟re a model student. I almost never throw them at you.” She looked at me carefully. “You sure you‟re okay?” 16
I didn‟t answer and stared down at my boots. Robin sighed. “Fine, off to lunch with you. But if you do feel bad, go to Dr. Walnut, okay?” I nodded without looking at her. Robin put her hand on my shoulder and crouched down to look up at me. “Hey,” she said. “I‟m doing this not only as a teacher, but also as your friend.” “Thanks,” I muttered, looking away. “Um, finding Rose is going well...” Robin smiled at me. “I‟m so glad to hear that!” Then she left me to stand in the classroom alone with my miserable thoughts. “Kittyyyyyyyyyy!” called a voice as I walked into the cafeteria carrying my tray. A girl with long brown hair in a ponytail and gray eyes was waving to me. “Over heeeeere!!” “Oh, let her make up her own mind, Weasel,” said a boy sitting next to her with spiky bluish-silver hair and sky blue eyes. “Hey guys,” I said with a forced smile, sitting down across from them. “Seeeee, Cloud? She came anyway!” Weasel pouted, sitting down in her chair. Weasel and Cloud are my best friends since forever, and support me all the time. I met Weasel in Magical Pre-school, and Cloud in Magical Kindergarten. “Hey, Kitty, you feeling okay?” asked Cloud, looking at me. I blinked and felt slightly surprised. “Huh? Uh, I uh...yeah....” I lied, picking up a fry and taking a bite out of it. “I‟m fine. Totally.” Cloud gave me a blank look that in my current state of ditziness, I couldn‟t read it. “No you‟re not,” he said in a low voice. “It‟s about Rose, isn‟t it?” Weasel gave me a concerned look. I pushed my lunch tray away, suddenly not hungry. “I‟m going to the bathroom,” I said with as much dignity as I could muster and left the cafeteria, Weasel and Cloud staring after me. Once in the bathroom, I stared in the mirror for a long time, gazing into my own gold eyes, hoping that my reflection would give me advice on what to do. All that happened is that the stupidity of my past came back to haunt me. It had been a normal day, but I wasn‟t feeling well. “Kitty, you should stay home,” Weasel said concernedly. Cloud nodded in agreement. “Where‟s Rose?” I whispered, trying not to make my headache worse. “She already left,” Weasel said apologetically. “But...I didn‟t tell her „be safe.‟” Cloud shook his head. “Don‟t worry about it,” he said with a smile. “We‟ll take care of it.” I nodded and went back to sleep, unaware of what I had done. The lack of two words in my little sister‟s day would change things forever. I had no idea just how strong my own magic was. 17
I pressed my hand to the mirror as if trying to break it, my shoulders shaking with sobs. My ignorance on that day was so great. I didn‟t know that she wouldn‟t be safe. I didn‟t know my magic was so strong it caused a spell without my realizing. I didn‟t know my life would change forever because of the lack of two words. I didn‟t know I would never see those bright green eyes and white blonde hair with the pink streaks or the adorable smile ever again. I didn‟t know that day that my baby sister Rose would never come home. “Maybe you should see Dr. Walnut.” “I‟m fine.” “You don‟t look so good...” “I‟m okay.” “Kitty...” “What‟s going on back here?” Cloud, Weasel, and I looked up to see Cloud‟s older brother and our Water magic teacher, Storm, standing there. Storm looked like an older version of Cloud with darker blue hair. “Kitty‟s not feeling well so we‟re trying to convince her to go to Dr. Walnut‟s,” Cloud said in his usual almost monotone voice. Storm looked at me and I blushed and turned away. He felt my forehead. “I don‟t know, Kitty, you feel pretty hot. You might have a fever. Cloud, take her to the nurse‟s office.” Cloud nodded and stood up. We walked down the hall together until we came to a drinking fountain. “Well?” Cloud asked, looking at me. “Well what?” “What‟s happened that‟s made you so upset about Rose?” I bit my lip and turned away. “Kitty, it‟s been five years. You looked eleven back then, and now you look sixteen,” he grabbed my wrist. “There‟s something wrong, and I can tell.” “Valentine‟s Day...” I mumbled. “It was Rose‟s favorite holiday. And it‟s in two weeks...” Cloud looked at me sadly, and gave me a quick hug. “Is there anyone you want to tell that you love them?” he asked. It caught me off guard. “What?” “Is there someone out there that you want to confess your love to?” he repeated. “Kitty, you grant people‟s wishes all the time, but who can grant yours?” I paused for a second, and then turned away. “I‟m going home. Tell Storm for me, will you?” “Kay,” said Cloud, giving me a kiss on the cheek before walking back to class. “Take care of yourself.” 18
I stared after him, touching where he kissed me in amazement. He had never kissed me before, so why now? I was practicing my Time and Space magic with my crystal ball in my room when there was a knock on the door. A bit surprised, I opened it to see a teenage girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes standing there. “Can I help you?” I asked, as she looked rather lost. “Um, are you the Wishmaker?” she asked nervously. I nodded. My job I suppose you could say is granting people‟s wishes. When there is something important to someone, and they want it to be true with all their heart, I make it come true with my magical powers. My magic is far greater than anyone I know, even my teachers. That‟s why I wanted to do something good with it and make people happy, especially Rose. “Do you have a wish?” I asked. “Why don‟t you come in and have some tea.” The girl was wearing a different uniform from ours. She sat down across from me in the kitchen and accepted the cup of tea. “Thank you,” she said quietly. “My name is River and I have a wish concerning my boyfriend, Rain.” I hesitated when I heard this. Many times, both boys and girls will come to me because they lost a loved one and they want them back. But even I know that no magic can bring back someone who has died. The only thing I can do is send them back in time to say good-bye. “He‟s not dead,” River said quickly, correctly reading my expression. “He‟s just…very far away…” She set her teacup down gently and looked down at the table. “What is your wish concerning him?” I asked, setting down my cup as well. She let out a long sigh. “Rain is currently fighting in the Gaian desert…and as you know, Gaia is a very hot country.” I frowned. “But, we‟re not in a war with Gaia, only Adelia is, and they‟re so far south they never bother us,” I said reasonably. “Yes,” said River sadly. “That‟s the problem. Rain is fighting for Adelia in the middle of the Gaian desert and he won‟t be able to be home for Valentine‟s Day.” Valentine‟s Day. That was the second mention of that horrid holiday today. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair, making sure my cat ears were staying on as well. “Well, I can‟t grant a wish unless I know what it is…” I said. River let out a small sigh. She played with her hair and looked out the window. “I-I don‟t know what I want to wish for,” she admitted. I reached out and put my hand on her shoulder. “It‟s hard,” I said quietly. “I know.” River stood up suddenly. “If I think of the wish, I‟ll come back…” she said quickly. I nodded. 19
“That‟s fine, just make sure you come back before February 14th,” I said, and she left. I went back to my study and began to practice my magic again by looking into Weasel‟s future. Then the doorbell rang again. I sighed and went to answer the door when Weasel suddenly appeared. On top of me. “Whoopsie!!” she said with a laugh. “But the door was locked and you know how hard it is for me teleporting in general, sooo, teleporting inside your house and not remembering exactly the layout…” She shrugged. “Would you mind getting off me?” I asked angrily through clenched teeth. Weasel smiled and stood up. I heard the lock click and saw Cloud standing in the doorway of the front door. “Oh. It‟s you.” I said shortly, and walked away. I honestly had no idea why I was being so cold to him. There was something odd about our relationship right now. Maybe the kiss he gave me symbolized something more than just a caring friend. But…I didn‟t like him in that way. At least, I didn‟t think I did. I noticed that Weasel was following me. I tried to ignore her, but she kept staring at me as if I was the most interesting thing in the world. “What?” I asked as we reached my study again. “Why are you being so mean to Cloud?” “I am not.” “Uh-huh…” “Seriously, it‟s fine.” “Cloud doesn‟t feel that way.” “It‟s none of your business.” “I‟m your best friend. Cloud‟s your best friend. Cloud‟s also my best friend. If there‟s something going on between the two of you, I think it‟s my business.” I didn‟t have anything to say back to this, so I ignored her. Maybe what she was saying had a bit of truth in it. Maybe I did like Cloud as more than just a friend. I didn‟t know how to confront this. After all, how many times had I fallen in love? History class was a real drag, as usual. Mr. Gray always taught us the same thing. I tried to take notes but realized that I already had what he was talking about. “There are five separations of humans. Who can tell me what those separations are? Yes, Wolf.” “The largest in number are non-magic people, the common folk. They don‟t have the ability to use any kind of magic. Magicians are the second largest in number. They can only use a small amount of magic and the magic they use is mostly flashy magic used to impress nonmagics. Witches and Wizards are much smaller in number and know the second most amount of magic. They are the authorities in our country and they belong to orders. One of the largest orders is the Order of Mushroom Wizards. If there is a magic dilemma, the non-magics will most likely go to them. There are also Warlocks, who are dangerous renegade Wizards that live by themselves, mostly in forests and are completely insane. They are smaller in numbers, however. Sorcerers and Sorceresses are the smallest in number and are the ones with the 20
strongest magical power. They tend to live by themselves and most of them come through this school. We obtain our magical power through the twelve elements and are given the chance to become a Mage, or the apprentice to a Sage, who bestows their elemental power upon the Mage.” Like I seriously didn‟t know all this already. I decided to put more of my energy toward thinking what I could get Cloud for Valentine‟s Day. He was my closest friend ever that‟s a guy… and Valentine‟s Day seemed like a perfect opportunity. I felt something poke me in the back. I ignored it. I felt it poke me again. I turned very slightly in my seat. “What?” I breathed to the person behind me, Mira. “Weasel wants you.” I turned around to look at Weasel, and I don‟t think Gray even noticed. Well, for a bit anyway. “What, Weasel?” I hissed. “I need to talk to you...” she said softly. The biggest problem with this conversation is that A. it‟s going on during History class, B. Weasel sits diagonally behind me to the left (seeing as I sit in the far right row), and C. it was probably about Cloud. Oh, and D. Gray just noticed what we were doing. Not hard, really. “Kitty! Weasel! I don‟t care if you‟re friends or related to a teacher, pay attention!” he shouted. “Yes sir! Sorry sir!” Weasel and I apologized at the same time. I couldn‟t help but notice Cloud on the other side of the room narrowing his eyes suspiciously. Now that is scary. “Kitty, are you going home?” asked a voice from behind me. I turned around to see Cloud. “Huh? Oh, yeah... Later...” I was beginning to walk out the doors when a sudden thought occurred to me. “Wait, Cloud!” He turned around to look at me. “Yeah, what is it, Kitty? I need to meet up with Stor—” “What do you want for Valentine‟s Day?” I blurted. Cloud stared at me for a moment. I suddenly felt self conscious of the fact that we were in a very public place. Then he smiled at me. “How about a date?” I nodded and blushed. When I walked out the door, however, my heart felt so much lighter. “Come, oh Sages of Time and Space, I plea to thee...show thy humble servant the future that she seeks!” There was a brief pause as I gazed into the crystal ball. Weasel yawned pointedly. I sighed and tried again.
“Sages of Time and Space, Andromeda and Luna, I call upon thy power to show the future of our ways!” Weasel began examining her nails. I rubbed my neck angrily. “So when you going on that date with Cloud?” she asked, showing no signs of wanting to help me. I felt my eye beginning to twitch, meaning I was mad. “Tomorrow... Could you at least help me with this? Your sister is the Space magic teacher,” I said angrily. Weasel shrugged. “Just cuz that‟s true don‟t mean that I know anything about that type of magic. You know I use paper fans to transmit my power,” she said. Her bad grammar was somehow making me even more frustrated. Tomorrow was Valentine‟s Day, and I had a date with Cloud. Unfortunately, Weasel wouldn‟t leave me alone. I was saved from her by the doorbell ringing. “I know who that is,” I muttered, walking to the door. Just as I expected, River was standing there nervously. “Um, I have my wish...” “Sure, what is it?” “I want...snow tomorrow. Lots of it. We first met on a snowy day and some of our best memories have been in the snow. I want him to see something so pure and beautiful and think of me.” I smiled at her. “No problem. Weather forecast for Valentine‟s Day—snow.” The next day, I was standing with River while waiting for Cloud to arrive. I called upon my Ice magic, which is a combination of Water and Air, and made snow. “May this snow fall wherever Rain is!” I shouted, and threw the magic in the air. “Your wish...is granted.” “Thank you!” River smiled. Suddenly, it started snowing. I found this a bit odd considering it was only supposed to snow where Rain was. A young man in a military uniform came up to us. “Excuse me,” he said. “But do either of you know a girl named River?” River gasped and clapped her hands over her mouth. “Oh my goodness! Rain! You came back!” she hugged him and began crying. Rain laughed. “You‟re so beautiful I didn‟t recognize you!” “Hey,” said Cloud, hugging me from behind. I giggled. “Hey.” “So, Kitty,” he said, flicking my bell. “You still wear that huh?” “Yeah, you gave it to me,” I said as it jingled. “So is there a wish that you want granted today? I‟ll do anything, I‟m not too picky. My magic‟s very strong.” “Yes,” said Cloud quietly. “You performed a safety spell on Rose after repeating two words for so long. But you do have the strongest magic in the world, Kitty. Your smile.” He leaned forward and kissed me. Right before our lips met, he whispered something. 22
â€œI love you.â€? Love: n. A deep feeling of affection toward another person. n. Something human beings cannot live without. Love.
Elizabeth Bible, Sunburst, Photograph
I hate math. By Kristina Brodbeck I‟m so not excited about this circle thing. I was dragged, okay pulled, okay, I drove myself. But still, I do not want to be sitting in this circle. I do not want to stand up and say that, lady, you must be on shrooms. Alright, just practice it at least once in your head. “My name is (insert Alias here, because the Lord Jesus, Buddha, Al Gore, Yahweh, knows I‟m not saying my real name) And I am here today because some guy in a white coat who took a class in med school was told that he knows everything about me so here I am.) That sounds okay to me, one more time… Okay, it‟s almost my turn, so just say what you‟re supposed to say. “Hey there, I‟m Kristina Nichole, and I‟m not excited to be sitting in this circle because I hate geometry and anything remotely related to Math. But really I‟m here because I cannot seem to break up with this guy, ED
Generation Falling Star By Zachary McCoy Prologue Do I dare disturb the universe? I don‟t see why not I- All I know All the poets this generation know Are wrapped in money, drugs and hoes. Perhaps that‟s just how it always goes. Their message is simple; their words are coarse. We talk so much of nothing it‟s a shame we never forget the words. Bitches ain‟t shit: this is our new verse. Ain‟t nothin‟ to fuck with; our words of choice. II- Polo ticks Rats all crying that the others have the plague. Their suits grow dirty when they enter Dis. Who with their crooked teeth, babies they kissed. All claiming they know what to do with this; This bedlam ordered into a little line. Rats convincing mice they will be “just fine” When felines come to collect on the debts not paid From all the mice living a life without a cost. III- School Daze All the women come and go knowing nothing of Michelangelo. To talk of finding oneself while one is lost. How can you learn if you want to be outside? How can you learn if you are busy living life? Stupid answers for all our stupid questions. Happily we pay for both the ham and the hand. We are lost in knowing who we are: Hipster Scenester, fascist Preppy, hippie, snitches Yuppies, guppies, bitches The lovers, the liars, and the dreamers
Should I take part in this wistful wheel? How easy it could be to know who they want me to be. How easy to know who I appear to be. I would rather not. We wear the hats, clothes, shoes, and expressions That we are told would make us different: all so we can be the same. To strive, to seek, yet not to find. To yield to those who tell individuals how to be uniquely themselves. IV- What I am I am a falling star. A beauty to behold. Dazzling and doomed from the start. V- The Show If all the world‟s a stage then its players are a motley crew. We are the fallen angels who defied and defiled the heaven which we were given. Now we give hollow titles to stuffed men. All stand out. No more heroes because we all want to shine. All is silent because we always shout. Trying hard to make the spotlight mine. I‟m self serving because who else will pump my gas? VI- Imperfections Where have all the heroes gone? My ambition will be my downfall. With a sigh; I know I will never hear the call. Where have all the heroes gone? Say goodbye to; Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles and the like. All the names of long ago, left to die where they fell. And where are all the gods? We talk a lot of God and Love, yet Religion and Philosophy are quickly forgotten. We were deemed that we were doomed before we were begotten. Just because our world is broke doesn‟t mean Everything is how it seems. 27
As we awake from this dream We know life is not just the top cream. We are very aware nothing gold can stay But donâ€&#x;t judge us before our day. We may fall fast and hard But goddammit all you had the bars! We only have what you gave us to work with And you never trained us to be the great smiths You were. Just give us a chance To kill our own dragons, with our own lance. Epilogue How does the world end? Not with a whimper But with a sigh.
Catherine Adams, Facing Your Fears at Lourdes Festival, Photograph
Revolution By Kim Asmus Papa is packing us a lunch of tahini on pitas and filling our water bottles for the day. A picnic, I am so excited. “Mohsen, go to the bathroom before we leave. I can‟t have you pissing on a wall and attracting the guards today.” Papa says tersely. Guards? For a picnic? “But, Papa, it‟s only a picnic? What is the problem?” I am upset because I thought we would spend a good day together since Papa is not looking for work today. I thought we were playing footie and picnicking like we do occasionally. “A picnic? Well this is a picnic of which you will tell your children and grandchildren, my Mohsen.” Papa says boastfully. But I see his hands trembling as we leave the front door. Mama was nervous as she went to her job today, and now Papa is nervous. What is going on, I wonder. We walk down the street toward the big square. I see cats and dogs lining the alleys, and begging people for scraps of food. I kick dirt at one cur and a pebble hits his matted fur. He simply looks at me. When he notices I have no food to give him, he turns back to his usual route of begging. He growls at a cat who is nuzzling homeless mans leg. As we come upon the square, I hear a lot of chanting about out president. They say he is to go. They say he has built a regime of lies. I see lots of men, and some children, and very few women. I am glad the women are properly covered with the guards out today. Mama has said it is unsafe these days for women to go out without their nijab covering their faces. She says that the guard will do anything to make citizens angry and incite them to violence, and women are the easiest to hurt. She was not happy with Papa today. But he screamed about civil liberties, and his duty to teach me. I was too preoccupied with my new football to care about their arguments, but I heard my name and caught that part. But now we are in the square and I see many protesters. They have linked arms in some places swaying. And during the call to prayer, they turn towards the mosque and pull out their prayer mats. The women even pray beside the men. \ I pull on my Papa‟s hand. I want to go look at the street vendors, or play with the other children. But he screams at me to stay quiet and to enjoy this historical moment. I sit down. The dust and dirt from many people rushes up where my body has rested. I sneeze, then stand again. I am bored. My father tells me to keep quiet, not cause a scene. He reminds me of the guard. If I don‟t behave he will let them cart me off. I see other children being reprimanded. I hear the thwack of their parent‟s hands against their skin. I wince. I can smell the lamb roasting in a vendors cart, and I see the spray from the fruit the small girl in front of us is eating. I am suddenly ravenous. My father hands me my pita. My face falls as I remember that is all we have. He hands me a coin and tells me to go and get some lamb from the vendor to add to our meager lunch. He calls me back and hands me another for a piece of fruit. He tells me to be cautious as I make my way through the crowds. And suddenly the crowd erupts. The regime has fallen. My father scoops me up and races me back down the street. I accidentally drop the coins, and fear he will be angry. I am also saddened because we will not taste the lamb so delicate, and garlicky. Nor will we taste 30
the sweetness of the fruit. My father wipes away my tears and says, â€œWe need not the sweet fruit, for we have a sweet victory my son.â€? I am still saddened by the loss of the coins, and the delicious meal I am missing.
My Luthien By Matthew Kohlmorgen Beneath the moon and beneath the sun, I have witnessed a marvelous and piercing beauty. I have seen the daughter of the starry twilight, she has enchanted me with her song and bewitched me with her kiss. Her love is like a lamp, it brightens the heart that has seen and experienced darkness. Even as history's endless waltz beats on and my life's impending doom draws nigh, I will shelter myself under the majestic beauty. The world changes as nations rise and fall, ere long we all leave this world. Yet two kindreds shall never be alone. The fate of Luthien, my love, follows my own, outside the confines of this world. *This poem was inspired by J.R.R Tolkien's nineteenth chapter of The Silmarillion; On Beren and Luthien.
I Want to Tell You By Angela Corbett I want to tell you That I miss the sound of your footsteps in the morning Your shrieking breaking beneath the door when I had gotten into your things The trips taken- your feet and mine, tangled in competition for space Crammed like snakes in a cage in the back seat of the truck Despite the “don‟t tell mom‟s” and your protests to the tag-along When I came home cherry-eyed You vowed to confront the boys Who had oinked at me in school. The picture of us on the swingset in the backyard A successful puppy-for-Christmas campaign Our bedroom doors side by side- yours right next to mine That now knocks with no answer. And I want to tell you. I miss you.
Yvonne Alderson, Interior, Colored Pencil on Toned Paper, 2011
Forget-Me-Not By Lydia Blaise Allen, Beachwood First Place, 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, Fiction Julie‟s eyes flooded with uncontrollable tears. Her hands shook as she reread the obituary in the newspaper she held in her hands. She sat down before she lost her balance. How could I be so foolish? She stared at the paper in her hand over and over again, but it didn‟t seem real. How can this be? My true love…dead. Why did I let him go? She wiped the tears from her cheeks and remembered that night she denied her true feelings for Matthew. *** It was December 24, 1965. There was a knock on the front door. Julie raced down the stairs checking her hair and makeup one last time before opening the door. “Hey, Gorgeous!” Matthew‟s silky voice proclaimed. He stood leaning against the doorway. His brown hair covered in snow, his sea blue eyes sparkling in the Christmas lights, his leather jacket made him look as if he should be a model. He wore brown winter boots and jeans that were dark blue denim. He was looking in a way which indicated he had a surprise planned; that really excited Julie. “Are you ready to go?” “Yes, let me grab my coat,” Julie said in her quiet voice. She ran and grabbed her beautiful coat, only worn at Christmas-time, and headed for the door. Once in Matthew‟s Mustang convertible Julie asked, “So have you decided where we‟re going, Matt?” “Well I have a little something up my sleeve,” He responded raising his eyebrows and throwing a glance in her direction. “Well don‟t keep it a secret. Tell me!” she demanded, leaning closer to him as the car sped away from her house. “You‟ll find out soon enough,” He laughed. He rubbed her hand which was clinging to his shoulder. “You look beautiful tonight, Julie.” Julie felt her cheeks turning red. It doesn‟t matter if her blonde curls were in knots, or if her outfits didn‟t match, Matt always found her attractive. In two years Matthew was going to finish law school at the University of Georgia and by that time she will hopefully have her career started as well, once she graduates to become a nurse. They pulled into a parking lot near the middle of downtown. They got out and walked down to Julie‟s favorite Italian restaurant. The neon sign flashed brightly: „Martinelli‟s‟. They were seated in a separate room near the back of the restaurant. It was small and contained a single table with two chairs, and the only lighting was candlelight that seemed to surround Matthews face and captivated Julie‟s heart. “You arranged this?!” Julie looked at Matthew after the waiter took their coats. Matthew walked over to the table and pulled out her chair. “Would you do me the honor of being my dinner date tonight?” he asked playfully. Julie walked over and sat down in the chair. “I‟d love to, kind sir,” she responded jokingly. As Matthew took a seat across from her, he stated that she may have anything she‟d like and she better save room for dessert. 35
They ate the gourmet food set before them: lasagna with some garlic bread sticks, and for dessert they shared a huge slice of chocolate cake. Then, they talked for what seemed like hours upon hours. He‟s really incredible. Julie thought looking at Matthew‟s sparkling eyes. I can‟t wait until he graduates law school so we can think about starting a life of our own! We can share our same dream of having a family, and then have our own dreams come true with our careers. Just think, I can one day be the wife of the most successful lawyer in all of history! Julie‟s thoughts were a moment too soon. Matthew reached across the table and took her hand, looking at her still astonished by her extravagant beauty. “Julie, I‟d like to ask you something.” He began. Julie looked hesitant, but since it was Christmas who knows what he could want to ask her? “Yes?” she inquired. “Would you do me the honor, on this Christmas Eve, of taking my hand in marriage?” he pulled out a jewelry box, opened it, and Julie was blinded by the disco ball inside. She was stunned. She looked at him, then at the ring, then back at him. “What about your law degree?” she stuttered at last. “I can still get it eventually, but I don‟t want to right now. I want to fulfill my main dream of you never leaving my side.” He pulled her hand closer to him, “I want you to be my bride now, and I can get my degree after we are married.” Julie sat there staring at him in shock. How could he give up law school for her? How was she supposed to get a career started if she were married? She would love to marry him, but feelings aren‟t important right now. They need to get their careers started before thinking of their emotional desires. “I‟m sorry Matthew, but not right now. We need to get our lives going before even discussing marriage.” She closed the box and pushed it away from her. Matthew sat staring at her in disbelief. “I do love you, don‟t think that I don‟t, but we need to have stable finances and jobs in order to get married.” “Julie, we could still have our careers, and I will provide for you. I want to have you as my wife right now.” “I‟m sorry,” she whispered, “but now is not the time.” Matthew remained rather silent for the rest of the evening. They drove back to Julie‟s home and he walked her up to the front door. “I hope you have a Merry Christmas, Julie.” Matthew handed her a bouquet of flowers then looked deep into her eyes searching for an answer, but he found none. Julie looked down at the flowers. They were her favorites, forget-me-nots. She brought the bouquet up to her face, allowing the fragrance to tickle her nose. She smiled and shut her eyes. “Thank you, Matt. I hope you—“ Julie opened her eyes realizing she was alone on her porch. She looked down the street and saw the last gleam of the red taillights zooming away. *** Now, forty five years from the night of the proposal, Julie read of his death. Her one true love, the only man who cared for her the way she wanted, the only person in the world who understood her every thought, every emotion, every laugh, every cry, the only one who thought 36
of her as beautiful, was now dead. The funeral was two days later and Julie went. She cried and felt a deep pain within her soul that indicated she would never be complete. She sighed deeply and remembered the last time she spoke to Matt. *** Ten years after Matt had proposed to Julie, she was busy working in Glenn Oak Hospital as a nurse. It was a Saturday in early October, and she got a call that someone had come to see her and was waiting at the desk in the lobby on the first floor. She went down, not knowing who to expect, and the person who awaited her was the last person she even guessed. Matthew. He was standing in the waiting area looking out the window. He was very tall and robust as ever. He didn‟t look as playful as he did ten years ago, he looked like a professional lawyer. He was wearing a suit, carrying a brief case, and had on a matching navy blue hat. Julie took a deep breath and walked over toward him. She reached out and gently tapped his back. He whipped his head around, startled. “Julie?” he proclaimed excitedly. Julie smiled at him, “Hello, Matthew.” she was actually very excited to see him. She hadn‟t talked to him since he handed her the flowers. “What are you doing here?” He looked at his watch then back at her. “I have three hours before I need to be in the courtroom, but I was on this part of town and wondered if you would like to have lunch with me, if you haven‟t already had your lunch break?” He asked hopefully. Julie smiled, “I would love to! Let me go clock out for lunch. I‟ll be right back.” She went over to the desk and signed out. She grabbed her purse and walked so quickly to the door where Matt was waiting for her, she was almost running. They went to the diner down the street. She ordered a cherry cola and a burger with fries. Matt had the exact same. “Wow. We still eat the same thing we did when we were in high school.” She laughed. “Why change what works?” he said playfully. “I‟m really happy to see you Julie. I‟ve missed you.” He looked at her, still beautiful even in a nurse‟s uniform. Her hair was pinned back into a bouncy ponytail with two curls surrounding her face. Her blue eyes twinkled with happiness when she looked back at him. “I‟m so happy to see you too. I‟m glad you came to see me.” They continued talking for two hours, and then Matt realized the time. “Oh wow. I need to be in at City Hall in an hour. But before I go, I have one more question Julie,” he began. Julie looked hopeful, yet hesitant. Matt took a deep breath then continued, “Is there any chance you would consider marrying me now?” Julie sat still for a moment, stunned. She had dreamed that this second chance would come, but for some reason her heart wasn‟t jumping with joy. “Matt, I haven‟t seen you in ten years. Shouldn‟t we make sure we still love each other first?” she asked finally. Matt looked confused, but it slowly turned into hurt and then turned into slight anger.
“I am sure, Julie! But you apparently aren‟t!” he was almost screaming at her he was so angry. “Look, I‟m sorry I never lost the love I had for you, how you obviously lost your love for me.” “Matt, that‟s not what I mean at all!” Julie protested, but Matt signaled for her to stop. “I‟m sorry I‟ve wasted your precious time.” He stood up, put on his hat, nodded to her a goodbye and left the diner. Julie‟s eyes flooded with tears. How could I be so foolish? I‟ve refused him twice, when all along, I‟ve wanted to say „yes‟…now I‟ve ruined my chances. *** Four months after the funeral, Julie got a phone call asking her to come down to city hall: they needed to discuss some business with her. When she arrived she was led into the court room, the very court room where Matt had won thousands of cases; the same court room that he went to after being rejected by her a second time. A chill came over her and she felt his presence somehow there with her. A lawyer was there waiting for her arrival. He handed her an envelope, “It‟s all explained in there.” he said quickly. Julie opened the envelope and collapsed into a chair from disbelief after reading it. It read: To my beloved Julie, I have never stopped loving you like I did so many nights ago. You’ve meant the world to me and I have continued to watch you as we grew old, even though we didn’t grow old together. Since you are reading this, I must be dead. Furthermore, I would like you to know that I loved you more than anyone up until my last breath. I leave this possession to you. You will find it in a locked box. Below is the key. You are still beautiful to me, my darling angel. With Love, Matthew I must be going crazy! She thought, I can hear Matt‟s voice saying those very words. The man who had given Julie the letter handed her the box imprinted with Julie‟s favorite flowers. Forget-me-nots! She thought abruptly. She took the key and opened it, slowly revealing the marvel that had been haunting her for forty five years, still sparkling like it did the first time she was blinded by its overwhelming beauty: the oath of love she never accepted as truth, stared back at her with it‟s glistening eyes of rejection.
Catherine Adams, Orchids, Colored Pencil on Toned Paper, 2011
The Colorless Canvas By Cassie Schoborg, Notre Dame Honorable Mention, 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, Essay The brush sweeps across the page in front of me. His hand over mine, guiding each turn, every sweep. “Like this,” he whispers, his eyes trained on the color blanketing the whiteness. I steal a glance at him, then focus again on the sheet in front of me. He straightens from his bent position over the table and stands with his hands on his hips, examining the piece. I watch his face for approval, and he turns his head and catches my eye. An excited, goofy grin spreads across his face and I know I‟ve pleased him. He should have said something then. Anything. But a cough ripples through his body like a wave. He tries to hide the pain in his bright blue eyes, but I catch it in time for it to send a blow to my stomach. As he walks around the table to the front of the room, he continues coughing. I watch him as he raises his paint-streaked apron over his thin, curly locks of snow, the ones that had once been like storm clouds, thick and dark. I return to the swirl of color before me. My hand feels unsteady. No longer fluid without his fingers around the brush. His words from the last lecture flow back to me. “Shoot for the moon. Don‟t let anything or anyone stop you. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to do. Don‟t ever forget that.” He had been leaning back on the countertop in the studio with a twinkle in his eye. His strong, rough hands were splattered with dried paint the colors of the rainbow, gripping the ledge, propping him up on the table. But that was the last lecture. A clap echoes through the hushed room from his hands, and I am drawn back to the present. All thirty of us, like trained officers, jolt to attention. Paintbrushes drop to the tables, and conversations stop mid-sentence. Every eye falls on his pale, white face. All I can hear is the buzzing of the fluorescent lights above us. Again, he slouches against the countertop. This time, though, he is no longer a pillar. His bony fingers are a vice on the table, as if to keep him from drowning, but the spark in his eye is not yet washed away. As he sucks in air, his trembling shoulders rise slowly, then fall. He grimaces and uses his last drop of energy to clear his throat. He points to the tables in front of us. Our masterpieces, according to him. “Awesome.” He barely chokes out the gravelly word, but in his eyes I can see the pride he has in us. I can almost feel the word scratching past his throat. Almost imperceptible to my ear, but ever so clear to my heart. We sit there a moment, taking in the color. The bell rings. The class ends. He stands there and waves. “Bye,” he chokes out as a dismissal. “See you later,” I say. I give him a warm smile. He grins back weakly, the way he always has, his dimples coming out and the warmth touching his eyes. I forget to thank him.
Two nights later I lie in bed with the windows open, listening to the wind blowing through the leaves outdoors. It‟s a beautiful Sunday night. There‟s a soft tap on my door, and my dad comes in and gently sits down beside me. “Did you hear?” he asks me softly. “Hear what?” I ask in return. I have no idea. “Mr. Wood died tonight.” Somewhere someone is seeing vivid colors, but I am not. I see in black and white. Pictures flash through my mind—grayscale and seen through flooded eyes. Replays of the last lecture, the last class, the last goodbye. I must have fallen asleep because I wake up, I go to school and I can‟t get away. As I walk through the doors, the air thickens, heavy with memories and rich with longing. He has breathed on these walls, walked on these floors. His very soul poured out. An indelible mark. Endless murals on every wall to which I turn. I no longer feel steady without his guidance. My hand trembles, uncertain, unready. He transformed me from a mess to a masterpiece, taught me to shoot for the moon. The paint sweeps across the page. I no longer have his hand to guide the brush, but he taught me how to hold it. And I never said thank you.
Yvonne Alderson, Build it, Draw it, Graphite on Paper, 2011 42
Clifton Nights By Zachary McCoy In sooth we know why we are not so sad; Clifton nights leave us with some things to do. Smoky room; hungry eyes on us hungry lads Perusing these cruising young ladies who Look like they need schmoozing. Smoke coming deep From our lungs like caterpillar thoughts which Transform with the wind. Air which falls and seeps Into the pores of teens who found their niche. A place where they can make alleys their bitch And the night becomes a cloak in which to Hide from the labors of day. Come now, ditch dismays to the backlight boulevard. Go forth! And seek but do not find yourself in the ruins of the Clifton night again.
Who Am I? By Kim Asmus Who I am is ever changing reassessing, a life of examination who I am is a middle class girl, no woman who can't make up her mind. A mother strong and fierce but, sometimes I need a little taking care of. Who I am says the wrong things, never behaving properly. Who I am is a little socially inept who is sensitive and cries. Who I am is strong, stubborn, I fight for what I want. Who I am is a traditionalist at heart I will never change that about myself Who I am is someone who dreams big, leaving options open Who I am is a woman who fell in love, and had no choice in the matter. Who I am is not a conservative. I guess I never will be Who I am is a teacher of life a sharer of energies. Who I am, a bride at a little chapel wedding adoring the life I lead Who I am has a fear of committing but only to the wrong person. Who I am is a planner that lives by the letter of the calendar Who I am will show up late, But if I say, so I go. Who I am is a Catholic My guilt over powers me. Who I am is the girl who wants everything I was promised 44
Who I am is a girl who wants everything And nothing in between. Who I am is a former smoker an ex lover Who I am is a heart breaker I told you not to fall for me. Who I am is a woman who knows now knows what she can't live without. Who I am is never going to give up I can't very well anyways. Who I am is a woman who is clean from drugs, disease, and confusion. Who I am is a woman who will shatter your expectations Who I am needs creature comforts the niceties of life Who I am longs not for wealth or things but wants for the life I choose. Who I am has not given up on finding my own way too. I am who I am, Would you love me if I were anything less? Despite your disappointment I give it everything I have I am exactly, really me. And that's how I must be.
Where I am From, By Paul Orleck I am from there. From where the feet hit the dirt where our ancestors came from, where wars have been won where history has carried our future. Where our past controlled our present. I am from light and dark from where endings and beginnings, are made and disappeared. Where we control who we are. I am what I want to be. I am connected to each step I take. Where I go so does my mind. My mind is what Iâ€&#x;m made of what I dream with. My mind makes me how I am.
Macie Smith, 3-D Linear Construction, Painted Aluminum Wire and Wood, 2011 47
Breakfast on the Moon By Nicholas Caudill You‟re making instant oatmeal on the moon and you‟re trying for fame the same way- just add water. With the loss of gravity, you could ascend any mountain in four or five well timed leaps. I got tired of waiting for the random agent from Random House, so I started my third blue book this month. You call them chapbooks for cheapskates and I agreeyou know nothing of the worth of a poem. I toss you a biscuit and it floats, suspended in air, almost hesitating to go near you. I follow the bread‟s lead and take my pancakes to another room. On the computer I hunt for poetry prompts and see you‟ve been Googling yourself again. Another morning and you‟re still eating breakfast on the moon with me.
Lauren Davis, Hand, Chevant Plasteline, 2011
Yelling. By Caroline O’Connell, Summit Country Day First Place, 10th Grade High School Writing Contest, Essay Yelling. It all begins with yelling. Then I sit up, and slowly let my feet touch the floor; he still yells at him, cursing and belittling him. I guess I‟m safe today. I yawn, and then gradually work my way into the bathroom to wash away the imperfection that is my face. When I return to the room I call mine, I shrug my clothes on and walk down stairs, to eat and run out the door. Yelling. The car ride is yelling; he strikes me twice in the routine spot. Music blaring, his head bums to the rhythm; mine remains stationary. Car parked heart beating; late. My watch read 8:10, just enough time to sprint up the stairs, and sit in the seat assigned. Just made it. Yelling. The English class is yelling. A paper is handed to me to write my answers on; I don‟t have any to give; failure. I rest my head on the desk hoping for just a few more minutes of the sleep I desire. She taps me, yelling. They laugh at me, mocking my every statement; none were supposed to draw attention. She passes back papers with low numbers; failure. These concepts I could never grasp, I could if I tried; but I would never care enough to. Yelling. The hallway is yelling. I pass by the empty face with the same blank look of boredom; the same people, the same schedule. Children stopped for improper dress; ticket. Children stopped for improper language; ticket. Children stopped for academic recognition; praise. Children stop to talk to one another; traffic jam. One falls and no one offers a hand, instead they yell for him to move on; car accident. Finally, I arrive at my class; destination. Yelling. The history class is yelling. Teacher craves paper my words scribbled on last minute. In exchange for my paper is a quiz, with questions I don‟t know. The voice inside my head tells me to guess. People stare as I walk up the rows, everything is always the same. People whisper as I walk through the halls, everything remains the same. They giggle and joke when I pass them; the voice inside my head says to ignore them; however my heart says not to let go. The funny man welcomes me back to class; how thoughtful. Then he tells us of the great deeds of those before and scolds the traitors. If we are all trying to make history, why are we always fighting? Yelling. The study hall is yelling. Teacher orders us to sit down and stay quiet; I rest my head on the desk hoping for a few more moments of the sleep I lack. Disturbing thoughts haunt me as I take the deep breathes in order to persuade my mind to rest. Yet it stubbornly rejects the offer. Yelling. The lunch room is yelling. Murmurs of plans for the upcoming weekend arise; I keep my head down and stuff my face. Girls comment on my eating habits; I dust it off. People I don‟t know interrogate me, as if they know me. I remain alone though I am surrounded by people with whom I don‟t know, or ever will. They speak of past memories I could never understand. I‟m always the one lonely in a crowded room. Yelling. The religion class is yelling. We quiet down, but not for long. Teacher talks about theories I don‟t believe; she forces beliefs down my throat, only time before I throw them back up again. She tells of religions, that she knows nothing about. Her ignorance is almost the same as mine, except she gets paid for it. 50
Yelling. The geometry class is yelling. Sit down, read this, do that; the commands flood my brain. Yet I can‟t concentrate. My mind refuses to cooperate, but I don‟t blame it. Teacher hands me back papers with low numbers; I will never be able to understand. The language she speaks is foreign, and the numbers she writes are illiterate to me. So my mind continues to wonder about the most recent pain, and I wait until the school day winds to an end. Yelling. The hallway is yelling. Children complain about homework. I turn the knob on my locker, it opens. Someone pushes me over, I get back up. Pack up and leave. Some call to me to turn around; I ignore them and walk on, I don‟t need them anyways. In this life, I am the only one I will have to live with, why add the complications of others? Yelling. My life is yelling. I hear them yelling as I close my eyes, in hopes of sleeping. They tell him of his ignorance, I cringe as he talks back. And I cringe as I hear his punishment. I attempt to forget all about the yelling. But when I dream, it‟s all but a yell.
Submission Details Initiated in January 2005, Lions-on-Line is a literary collection of works by the College of Mount St. Joseph students and alumni published online with the cooperation of the English Department. Lions-on-Line is published online twice yearly, during the fall and spring semesters. When our budget allows, Lions-on-Line goes “in print”. We take submissions during all twelve months of the year. If you are currently a student or a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph and you would like to see your work published, you may submit your work to LOL simply by emailing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction or digital artwork to LOL@mail.msj.edu. For full submission guidelines, consult our website. Lions-on-Line is always looking for new staff members! If you‟re interested in joining Lions-on-Line, please contact the faculty advisor, Elizabeth Taryn Mason, Ph.D. at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors and Staff Poetry Editor:
Art Editor/Creative Nonfiction Editor:
Emily Berning Matthew Kohlmorgen
Erin Rineair Cheryl Shelton
Elizabeth Taryn Mason, Ph.D.