FINE ARTS AND LITERATURE
MUSIC AND ARTWORK
ALTERNATIVE MAGA ZINE
The Alternative, Eastfield College’s student-produced visual art and literature magazine, was first published in 1990 to highlight student writing and artwork. After a three year hiatus, from 2007-09, it was restarted in 2010, receiving an honorable mention for general excellence from the Texas Community College Journalism Association.
The college has published a student literary magazine under five other names, starting with The Villager in 1971. It was changed to Goat Leg in 1976. Epoch in 1980, Et Cetera Ambiance in 1988 and Visions in 1989. This year’s edition features a variety of works including drawings, poetry, photography, and music. It would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of students and advisers from the following disciplines: Visual Arts, Digital Media, Music, English and Journalism.
ARTS AND COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION ADVISORS •Iris Bechtol, Gallery Director •Oslynn Williams, Digital Media Program Coordinator •Lori Dann, Journalism Faculty and Program Coordinator •Elizabeth Langton, Student Publication Advisor •Sarah Sheldon, Student Media Manager •Larissa Pierce, English Faculty •Eddie Healy, Music Faculty
DESIGNED AND PRODUCED BY
The Advanced Digital Publishing Class, Digital Media Department, Division of Arts and Comunications. •Antonio Arredondo •Amanda Barros De Araujo •Caleb Beck •Jessica Carrillo •Armando Gurrusquieta •Juan Jaramillo •Manuel Martinez •Quyen Nguyen
•Emmanuel Ramirez •Aallan Ramos •Gerardo Rodriquez Jr •Mary Margaret Tamez •Abraham Velasquez •Ajay Wyche
CONTENTS LITERATURE 04 04 07 09 10 11 12 12 14 15 19 22 24 27 28 29 30 33 36 39 39 41
SPRING IN THE FOREST | Sonia Hernandez THE DRIED UP GARDEN | Sonia Hernandez HERE, ON EARTH | Carl II Webb GROWING PAINS | Alondra Guillen “HOWʼS IT GOING?” | Jason Manske DORMANT | Karyme Esquivel UNSHAKEN | Aquila Freeney THE AWAKENING | Karyme Esquivel MY DEAR FRIEND | Ciaja Beck A HAIKU | Monica Richardson WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF? | Rashun Taft I WANT AN ENCHANTED GARDEN | Monty B THE BUS RIDE | Metztly Zuniga YOURSELF | Sasha Mendoza BALLAD OF THE CHURCH | Nikkia Webb THUNDERSTORMS | Beck Martinez I AM | Sierra O’Neal WINTER | Makaylah Runnels CROW WARS | Esmeralda Reyes LONELY DAYS | Jose Herrera A SUMMER MORNING | Emma Claire A DRIVE FROM PANIC TO POTENTIAL | Hannah Hickman
PHOTOGRAPHY 06 08 08 08 16 17 26 34 35 37
JUSTICE ONE DAY | Alanis Justice FULL MOON | Diana Cantu WAXING CRESCENT | Diana Cantu WAXING GIBBOUS | Diana Cantu BEER | Josh Magalong EYE | Josh Magalong SAD | Josh Magalong THE SPOT TO THINK | Hughes THE STEP | Hughes THE LOOKOUT | Hughes
FINE ARTS 05 13 18 23 31 32 38
ABSTRACT | Emmanuel Ramirez THE MAN WITH NO NAME | Boaz Abraham ADDICTING REMEDY | Eric Santos RUIZ FLORECIENDO | Andrea Ruiz IʼM A SAINT SOMEWHERE | Eric Santos SMILEY ICON | Christian Vargas WONDERCHILD | Naomi Silva
20 AULD LANG SYNE | Calvin Neason
00 AULD LANG SYNE | Calvin Neason
CREATE. WORK. INSPIRE.
2020 EASTFIELD COLLEGE EASTFIELDCOLLEGE.EDU
SPRING IN THE FOREST SONIA HERNANDEZ
Sun filtering through The leaves of the trees above The warmth that shines down
THE DRIED UP GARDEN SONIA HERNANDEZ Fading of springtime
Chases away her dreams for
The flowers and plants wither
A bright bloom of spring
Under the hot sun
Pots overfilled with water
The intense summer
She tilts them over
Leaves the garden in ruins And dampens her mood Dried up flower bulbs
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ABSTRACT 1 EMMANUEL RAMIREZ
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HERE, ON EARTH CARL II WEBB
ONE DAY ALANIS JUSTICE
I would like to place my hands upon the bars and feel electric vibes without the stinging pain. I want the bars to be made of gold, as standard only, neither as gift, nor as a privilege, I want the clouds to meet my feet . . . I want the desire without the wait, I want the desire without the hatred . . . I want goosebumps without the fear of what comes next, I never wish to hesitate to turn the page, I always want to make sure no one’s left behind . . . place a hand upon the gate, we’re all together, not one-at-a-time . . .
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we wish to see what’s on the other side, we wish to make our presence known without solicitation, we want value, we want action standing still . . . we want vibes, want the chills to take us over past the edge, to go beyond, we want this world to be the thrill before it’s gone . . . we won’t be here for very long . . .
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GROWING PAINS ALONDRA GUILLEN
My bones seem to ache the older I get My breath is shorter My lungs weaker The air has now gotten stale And my lips crusted and chapped Can barely croak any positive words Things simply aren’t the same anymore Those 40 hours a week seem endless Oh when does it end? The clock ticks by slowly, Taunting me as each second passes
I suppose I’ll just wait For the end of my shift The end of this week Month Year Life altogether. Perhaps it’s my own self misery making the days longer Happiness shorter Relationships nonexistent And social life nowhere to be found. These are the growing pains after all Or maybe it’s just my early-onset arthritis convincing me of this I’m not really sure anymore Separating the reality from fiction is simply impossible After all, It’s all just wishful thinking
The wish for a new life New identity New job A fresh start overall I miss the old days That’s funny if I’m being quite honest I’m not even past nineteen year old Yet here I am complaining about life My bone problems And my issues The growing pains will continue to stay for as long as I live And hopefully when they stop hurting a new life will begin A new me Growing Pains Growing aches Growing hurt Growing debt Growing mind Growing body Hmm, I guess it all comes With these awful Awful Growing pains.
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“HOW’S IT GOING?”
ot much was “good”, but that’s how he responded to each co-worker’s standardized morning question of “How’s it going?” Which was often accompanied by an awkward smirk and a slight nod. This ritualistic, yet almost universally hated morning greeting could not be avoided. No matter how much he evaded eye contact, people would not take the hint, nearly shouting in an attempt to send their message of greeting across the room. He tried to justify it in his head: Maybe they think it’s just what people do, maybe they want to be acknowledged, or maybe they just enjoy making someone else uncomfortable. Just then a co-worker rounded the corner. “Hey, what’s up?” He responded in kind, cringed to himself, and pressed on. This was not a day when he wanted to deal with pleasantries or rituals; all he wanted was to escape. The distinctive smell of the office was punctuated with a familiar but overpowering aroma. Someone burned popcorn in the microwave again. A quick glance at the ancient clock on the neutral colored wall revealed the time. It was 8:00 AM. Who the hell makes popcorn in the morning? Contemplating what life choices led to an individual making popcorn for breakfast, he slid into the kitchen. Silently praying to not be dragged into another asinine discussion about the game last night, he kept his eyes down. If he could stay away from the unkempt kitchen altogether, he would. There was the requisite pile of unwashed dishes in the sink and a trash bag that no one bothered to take to the dumpster last night. An amateur detective poked her head in and announced, “I found the smell, it’s burned popcorn!” Mystery solved. He hated the kitchen, but he was hooked, and he needed a fix to help him cope with the day. The caffeine and sugar laced liquid drug streamed out of the ultra-expensive gourmet coffee maker. The kind of machine that is supposed to increase company morale but actually just has employees hyped up on caffeine and discourages them from leaving to go get their fix from the
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designer coffee shop down the street. Heaven forbid anyone should see the outside world during work hours and slow down precious productivity. At this point, none of that mattered. What mattered was the little hit of endorphins and short spike of energy he would soon receive. Thoughts of the sweet relief he would soon ingest vanished as that guy, that one guy, turned the corner and entered into his airspace. Like a gunslinger from the old west, his hand went from motionless to quick drawing his phone out of his pocket in an instant. He buried his face straight down with a furrowed brow. Showing the absolute best “I’m reading an important and urgent email I just received” look he could muster. It worked; not a word was spoken. The coffee machine chimed, marking the completion of its task. With a sixth sense, he grabbed his mug, spun and made a hasty retreat without breaking his phony focus nor spilling a drop as he hastened his escape back to his desk. The self-important folks kept a furious pace as they trekked from focus room to conference room. Holding their laptops and notebooks "proud of their bodies" to ensure everyone saw how vital they were to the operation of the business. Then a near miss on a blind corner. Two power walkers nearly smashing into one another as they blindly displayed how busy they were. Of course, this would have at least brought a smile to his face, but alas, the catastrophe was avoided. The two near victims uncomfortably side stepped each other, then slow jogged off in opposite directions. He too had a hurried pace, though that pace was encouraged by retreat to the safety of his desk. His space. His desk so out of the way, few ventured over. Most chose electronic communication rather than an awkward attempt to find him based off loose directions provided by the one person who found his desk, that one time. He loved his out of the way desk. Soon he arrived, in his own space, his own “hidden” desk. As he considered the day ahead, a tremble of anxiety shot through his body, washing away any comfort he had gained
by arrival at his desk. Scanning his multi-color-coded calendar, he read what was to come in the hours ahead. Touchbase, proceeded by workshops, followed by one on ones, then a brainstorming session. A meeting by any other name… He nearly smiled at the skillfully crafted synonyms, devised to not call these meetings, meetings. “Disrupt!” was yelled at least twenty times by the loud, high energy, overly positive consultant brought in by the company earlier this year to help everyone be more productive and ‘happy’. All the money seemingly bought was seven new ways of not calling them meetings. Luckily, he could cancel one meeting, re-schedule another, send an email in place of a third and just hope the rest got cancelled by some fire drill brought about by a procrastinating mid-level exec. Using some graphic with a bar graph, he’ll exclaim: “We’re behind schedule!” and the power walkers will pick up their pace and the coffee machine will work overtime. Then he could just be at his desk. If all went well, even with the threat of corporate fire drills,
he could hide away in the sanctuary of his desk all day. Here he would be able to avoid the mess in the kitchen, stay out of the path of the busy folk and even avoid having to talk to “that guy”. Most importantly, he wouldn’t have to answer, “How’s it going?” Because the truth was, it wasn’t good. Today was the anniversary of his wife’s death and all he wanted to do was to run away and hide. His desk, in its out of the way place, with a framed picture of her on it, was the best he could do. It seemed to him that some days were just made to be hated. But he hated this day most of all.
DORMANT KARYME ESQUIVEL
There’s always the calm before the storm, but there’s a dead silence before chaos. No one will know when it might come. As the minutes passed by, the only sound that is prominent is one’s own heartbeat Pressure begins to accumulate on top your chest It almost feels like you'r suffocating from the thoughts. The thoughts that haunt you day and night. Rethinking every movement, breath, and words. Ones that you haven’t thought about in centuries and those you thought were buried for good. There’s reassurance that it was over, but I have a gut feeling that it’s not
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THE MAN WITH NO NAME
She is rooted, deeply and makes her place known in mother’s nature. For years and years, she stands, proudly and with grace. She bears gifts for her children and offers sweet nectar from her soul. She makes the impossible, possible. She can reach the highest of feats while in the lowest of lows. She flows in the east and falls to the west.
“No-one wants you here!” She aches and yearns to be wanted. She sacrifices her last breath for her sons and daughters. She is hardened, overlooked, and abused but make no mistakes. She is LOVE.
On the longest days, she stands tall. On the shortest, she still rises. Taken for granted, she has been shunned and made to feel like she doesn’t matter.
THE AWAKENING KARYME ESQUIVEL
At the end of the day, the feelings aren’t back As the sun goes down it takes all the warmness with it The brightness is a foreign sight Elation is a stranger Seeking comfort in darkness Anything that would wake my emotions again Even accepting numbness as a feeling Solitude is the only thing I am familiar with Cause at the end of the day, I’m not the same as yesterday
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MY DEAR FRIEND... CIAJA BECK
My dear friend, what has gotten into you? No matter how much you run from your demons They will come back to haunt you You've become consumed with your sorrows, eaten. My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Can't you see the white devil is playing tricks? You can't seem to smell the roses, the thorns will surely cut through. Stop rubbing up against the white brick. My dear friend, what has gotten into you? You've created your grave Life still awaits for you This, this lifestyle is not what you crave. My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Trust Me, I've learned and I've lived from it. It was 5:05 when the light almost saw me through No one knew, but you, so why wouldn't you quit? My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Your deceit, your lies, your hopeless cries All your bullshit has transitioned into a messy stew Please help me understand, so this isn’t our final goodbye My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Death is near Blinded by the light and a gray statue Your world could be picture perfect, but you only see the hemisphere My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Play the endless blame game all you want But my endless love will never give up on you
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One day you’ll become tired and memories will taunt My dear friend, what has gotten into you? How many lives are you willing to hurt? Me, your mom, your dad, your family, who? Our last memory shouldn’t become when you’re 6ft under dirt My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Fix it before it’s too late Over the horizon is where the light shines yellow and blue It will only be a matter of seconds before Heaven or Hell opens their gates My dear friend, what has gotten in you? I can’t seem to recognize my dear friend anymore My love can only go so far through It was 9:09 pm when I found you lying peacefully on the bathroom floor
A HAIKU MONICA RICHARDSON
Hot long summertime A great, scary snake slithers In awe of the sun
My dear friend, what has gotten into you? Can’t you see I love you? I needed you. I believed in you My dear friend, what has gotten into you? I introduced him I am what has gotten into you. And before I could save you the light brighten your dim My dear friend my pain could never replenish from this hurt My sorrows, my pain, my cries are dry as a desert I took one sniff of the white snow this Christmas Angels or Demons were present, and I saw you were one of my wishes.
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BEER JOSH MAGALONG
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JOSH MAGALONG ALTERNATIVE | 17
ADDICTING REMEDY ERIC SANTOS
WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF? RASHUN TAFT
I sit on my bed’s edge as she asks me “What are you so afraid of?” Deep breath….followed by a slow exhale. I’m scared of me. I’m scared to fail. I’m scared to feel like I’m stuck in the same place. I’m scared to disappoint the people around me; can’t stand the looks on their faces. I’m scared to go in the light outside, to be timid, but also to show immense confidence or pride.
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I’m scared to stand tall but too cocky to run and hide. I’m scared of the feel of not knowing what to do. Afraid to leave my room and possibly meet someone new. Too frightened to do much or even to leave the comfort of my own room. I guess you can say that I was too scared to ever meet you.
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drink a cup o'
drink a cup o'
drink a cup o'
drink a cup o'
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I WANT AN ENCHANTED GARDEN MONTY B
I want an enchanted garden. Ever since I was a young child, I loved flowers, fountains, and beautiful status--a child of the arts. My grandmother grew a rosebush on the side of her steps at the front door and a flower box under her window, where she grew purple jasmines. I read stories about talking flowers and watched movies about bewitched topiary that came to life. The idea of a little world made up of pure beauty fascinated me. If I had my own garden, I’d fill it with flowers galore. Beautiful tulips, daisies, violets, marigolds, jasmines, lilies, and carnations too. I’d have exotic ones like orchids and gardenias and calatheas. All in a rainbow of colors and an array of scents. I’d fill it with statues so lifelike you’d wonder if they might
blink. Towers of marble gods showing off their sturdy grace and chiseled physique. Grand sculptures made of bushes with strange and unique shapes. I’d have a muster of peacocks, a bevy of swans, and a string of ponies. I’d have a stone gazebo inspired by the beautiful neoclassical era. A large maze with wicked twists and troubling dead ends. Lovely little benches for me and my sweetheart and I, and one large oak tree with a swing. And in the center, an ornate fountain. Complex in design but simple in nature. I’d throw coins to make a wish: for safety, for love, and for peace. A garden of my own. Beautiful, sweet, and unreal.
RUIZ FLORECIENDO ANDREA RUIZ
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THE BUS RIDE METZTLY ZUNIGA
t was 2008 or 2009; I cannot remember anymore. In third grade, I was young, lively and energetic. Each morning I awoke ready to attack, both literally and physically, whatever obstacles presented themselves. This particular day was no different. While I struggled to remain still, my mother parted my hair and then parted it again. She combed through the strands and sectioned my hair with her fingers; dividing it into three pieces, she moved her fingers back and forth, picking up additional hair as she tightly braided my long, dark hair in her restroom. She pulled tight enough to give me a headache. I did not complain. When she was done, I slowly trudged through the house. Energy abandoned me before I exited. “Hurry up, princesa!” “I don’t have all day,” mom yells. “I’m going to be late to work.” I arrived at the door and my mom is impatiently tapping her foot. My siblings were already in the car. She had to not just take me to the bus stop, but she also had to take my three older siblings to school. We left the house, and my mom drove me to the bus stop. “Okay, princesa. It’s time to go,” my mom said. I exited the vehicle, and stood on the curb. “Have a good day. I love you!” She left me to wait for the bus, due any moment now. My stomach dropped as I saw the familiar large yellow vehicle looming in the distance. Although I wish I had, I never attended the same school as my siblings because I went to a magnet school. If one of my siblings was with me, I could rely on him/her. Maybe something could have gone differently. That is wishful thinking though. I gripped the straps on my backpack I could not postpone it anymore. A part of me wanted to ask my mom to let me stay home. I knew she would say “no;” she always prioritized my education.
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I stepped on the bus and tried to sit as close to the bus driver as I could. This never helped. Maybe I should have called for help. I took a seat, smoothing out my navy blue uniform dress. I placed my backpack and lunchbox in the empty seat next to me. It had not even been five minutes when I felt a familiar slimy hand on my ankle. It was him. He was about three years older than me and had a strong infatuation with me. I hated, loathed, and resented him with every fiber of my soul and being. Every time he touched me, I felt trapped. I knew I was powerless against him. Sometimes I tried to fight him, but that made it worse. He would threaten me, the words in my head long since snuffed. I cannot even remember his face. He was going to do what he did every time we rode the bus to and from school. I cannot recall any day that he was not there. He touched me places I was too innocent to understand were bad. He took advantage of me, and I let it happen. I hated that I just let it happen. I never sought help; I thought it was better that I did not burden anyone. When I returned home, I did not speak a word of it to my family or anyone I knew. I was convinced they would hate me because when I looked in the mirror, I hated myself too. As young as third grade, I have learned to be disgusted with myself, to absolutely hate myself. I wish I could say that it is fixed and I like my own skin and my own body. But I still do not. Over the years, I struggled to come to terms with the events. I hate to look at myself in the mirror and fearing I would see something I did not like. When I looked in the mirror, I often saw a reflection of true horror staring back at me. My skin was full of red bubbling blisters, yellow pus seeping from them, as they popped themselves. My eyes protruded from my skull, irritated as if I rubbed sand into them a milky gloss coating my eyes. My eyebrows were long overgrown into a uni-brow, crawling with
lice and small bugs. My eyelashes were shedding, only a couple surrounding each eye. When I opened my mouth, my teeth covered in cavities were rotting; yellow and black teeth fell out whenever I dared open my mouth. My lips were deflated and withering, too deteriorated to smile. It was hard to believe I was looking at myself. No matter where I went, I felt as though everyone was always looking at me, judging me. I thought they saw the monster that I often avoided. I was scared. I wanted nothing more than to be accepted and loved. I wanted to be hugged and told that I’m beautiful. But I hated physical contact. I did not want anyone near me. Talking to people made me nervous. This conflict within myself only made things worse. I wanted help, but I wanted to avoid everyone as much as possible. I do not know why, but he eventually stopped touching me. I went silent for a year after the event. My grades suffered because I had no interest in school. I felt as if everyone was against me; no one listened to me, and I only got reprimanded by my mother because I was not doing well in class. I felt like I was screaming at the top of my lungs for help. But no matter how loud or how long I yelled, no one heard me, or maybe they chose not to hear me. I often thought to myself ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have the right to be alive’. These words often reverberated in the recesses of my mind, playing in my head like a broken record. No matter how hard I tried, how much I pretended, I could not escape from these thoughts. Fourth grade was my first attempt on my own life. I tried three more times. Thankfully, I was unsuccessful. Only a couple years ago did I start looking in the mirror again; not often though. But when I do look in the mirror, I no longer see a grotesque monster of bubbling fat and self-pity, like I used to in my earlier years. I now see my younger self reflected in the mirror, reminding me to keep pushing and keep trying until I can see someone strong. I often still hear my own voice
telling me to end myself, but I have gotten better at ignoring it. Sometimes, I cry myself to sleep because it becomes too much to handle. But I feel as though that is better than taking commands from the voice. And even though I have improved, I still feel trapped. No amount of the cries of help I scream from the tops of mountains will ever be heard, and I have learned to live with that and with myself.
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YOURSELF SASHA MENDOZA
Before you love someone You must know who you are Love yourself Like yourself Know yourself Value yourself Learn to live with yourself FIRST.
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BALLAD OF THE CHURCH
I have no friends, I was raised on a hill But in the Church They gave me a new will A lease on life In this Church, We do not pray, We eat and sing– Except during the day, At home, I am warm; out of the morning sun, Night falls upon the town below, At night you see, the family gathers– We came out when the moon arose, They should have known, their fates were doomed, Fangs out, eyes wicked, they scream, I feel empty as their necks bleed– It’s not my fault, you see, I have a need, Ever since then, the town is quiet, No one at home, an abandoned shop with stale biscuits, Then a strange woman clasp in all black waltzed in town, A golden chain and a bronze musket. I came around the corner, put out my hand, My smile so sweet but she sensed an evil in me, The musket clapped the stone path, The little lady should have fled! I gripped her arm. Kicking and flailing– She struggled under me, Her eyes swelled; I placed my hand on her cheeks, I faced her, she looked at me puzzled, “I will not hurt you” Her eyes stilled, she rose to her feet, “You startled me, love” I grinned from ear to ear, “I am happy to see you, but I told you to leave!”
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“The Family will not be happy. The town is empty, cold, and dead.” She put her hands above her hips, “I wanted you to come with. We’ll hide in the barn– you and I” I shook my head, surely, she must be insane? “You have to run with me! They ruined your life!” I blinked; she was mad! “That is crazy, my pet; I am bound by the family. Why can’t you understand that?” She shook her head again, “You are blind and scared. You do not belong here.” Truly, her folly was laughable, who was she to think I could be swooned by some female aristocrat? She begged me, “You are meant to be with me, the two of us, together always” I beamed; her pleas softened my heart– Truly, life has its ways, I placed my hand around her waist, "I love you dearly and you mean the world to me, but you see my love" I bent her to the ground, "I– can’t leave!" Words were gone, I didn’t have a choice, Rivers of red, dripped to her knees, Please don’t be mad– The Church on the hill took me in; made me a home I’ve been forgotten by people; left behind. "Oh, dear Agony; this is simply where I roam"
THUNDERSTORMS BECK MARTINEZ
Midnight hour craves an embroidered sunrise, Heartstrings thrumming to a hummingbird song. Muddled thoughts aching wide; I am a drop in the ocean, vast. You are a summer sky, infinite. You want to ground me when the ocean pulls in sand. You feel like coming home, Like the smell of freshly cut grass, Like spring rain on your cheeks. Black ocean tides on pink summer fields, They are blue in the daytime. Aquamarine as fish die, A predator and a prey, Hunters and foxes. God against barbarians. You are the sun and I am a thunderstorm; A heart corrupted beats with the struggle of a million men, Shaky hands dancing across blank pages, Running barefoot in the sand, Writing out inevitabilities, like one would write love songs.
I saw a storm bring new life Over empty meadows as flowers bud; Broken sunrises, Pierced clouds, They cried for mercy to let birds sing free. They cried for mercy to let grass go see. I saw a thunderstorm bring life anew; But I saw it burn the forest too White hot ocean waves Unforgiving smiles few You are the sun, Sweet like honey dew. I am a thunderstorm Bitter like coffee Bare feet on sand Gray clouds up high Suspended alone Forests on fire Thunderstorms rumble on
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I AM SIERRA O’NEAL
I am the girl often looked over I wonder why the people that aren’t true to themselves receive more attention than me I hear the faint whispers as I walk through a crowd of people, the lies they tell about themselves to impress one another I see the way I am looked down upon for being me I want to be noticed I am the girl often looked over
I am the girl often looked over I understand my reasoning on this earth I say “I will be great” I dream of a life where I accept that I am not everyone’s cup of tea I try to view things on the brighter side I hope I continue to stay true to myself I am the girl often looked over
I pretend to be okay when I am not I feel like a lost object in a cluttered space I touch and it turns to ash before my eyes I worry about things I have no control over I cry myself to sleep in hopes that my sorrows will be washed away
I’M A SAINT SOMEWHERE ERIC SANTOS
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SMILEY ICON CHRISTIAN VARGAS
WINTER MAKAYLAH RUNNELS
I was never a lover of winter Cold weather seeping through skin into my bones Leaving me anchored to the harsh memories Of what I once was But you taught me Taught me how to start a fire in my belly One that could not be put out No matter how cold it got One that ignites my whole being Leaving me with breathless eagerness An eagerness to live I have learned to love winter Winter with its hands clasped tightly Heart thrumming with hope Eyes resembling the night stars Twinkling so bright the sun canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but be jealous
The season of new hopes and dreams The season of a new tomorrow The season that is cold to the touch But always keeps me warm You are my winter season My new beginning.
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THE SPOT TO THINK HUGHES
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THE STEP HUGHES
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CROW WARS ESMERALDA REYES
“The damn crow is back,” I thought to myself, as I watched him fly towards the bird feeder and aggressively flap its wings to scare off the smaller birds. The crow was such a pest. If he wasn’t eating all the seeds in the bird feeder, he was devouring anything he could find in my garden. In my irritation, I grabbed a rock and launched it towards him. “Shoo! Get out of here!” I yelled, as I waved my arms and ran towards him. The crow looked at me and let out a harsh caw as it flew off. I was certain that’s the last I’d see of him. The next day, I continued to work on my garden by pulling weeds. I heard a caw from afar, and then the crow flew over me in circles. “Shit. I’m about to get attacked,” I thought. I then felt something warm splatter on my hand. The little jerk had pooped on me! As I washed my hands, I was both angered and amazed at the crow’s aim. I absolutely didn’t have the desire to keep working on the garden, so I stayed indoors the rest of the day. The crow hung around my place more than usual over the next few days. His aggravating caws didn’t subside, and he just watched me as I walked in and out of my house. I tried to pretend he wasn’t there, which only seemed to make him madder. His shrieks grew louder, and he wouldn’t break eye contact. One day, when I came out to water my plants, he was joined by two other crows. They kept their distance, but the crow I had shooed flew towards me and flapped his wings aggressively. It almost seemed like he was communicating with the other crows and letting them know that I was the enemy. I ran back inside and came up with a plan to make peace. As annoying as they were, I didn’t want to constantly worry about being chased and attacked. My solution was to try to gain their trust. They waited for me on my tree, so I fed them daily for a week. I dropped peanuts, oats, and sunflowers seeds which they seemed to enjoy, all except for one crow. Knowing I needed to befriend him specifically, I made a better offer. I gave apples and chocolate, which he ignored while his friends feasted.
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The next morning, two motionless crows laid on the grass. I couldn’t be sure, but I assumed they were the ones I had been feeding. Suddenly, I saw six crows along with my nemesis, who was leading, swoop in my direction rapidly. Their cawing was earsplitting and hostile. Once again, I bolted inside and locked my door shut. The crow had always been unpleasant, but this time things were different. I felt like such an idiot, but the damage had been done. I had accidentally started a war with crows. The weeks that followed were absolute hell. The crows would dive-bomb me and peck my head causing me to bleed. They hated me equally now and tried to run me off each time I stepped foot outside. I watched my garden slowly go to ruins from inside the house, but it simply was not worth trying to save. Leaving my house was nearly impossible without almost losing an eye, and staying outdoors was out of the question. All I could do was sit on my hands and hope they would leave. Fed up by their aggression and persistence, I decided to research crows in order to learn more about them. I discovered that they remember people’s faces for up to five years and can distinguish friendly people versus those who have wronged them. I thought I could outsmart them by wearing a paper bag over my head, but they quickly caught on. I used umbrellas as shields, which worked for a few days, but then they just attacked from different angles. There was no escaping the crows and their unforgiving ways. Roughly after a month, they had successfully gotten to me many times when I had to leave my house, but they didn’t ease up. They were just attacking me for pleasure now. They just wanted me gone. It made living here impossible. I finally accepted that I had lost. The bag over my head was ineffective, and the umbrella was now just a challenge. Defeated, I packed up all my belongings in boxes, and my buddies loaded everything up. I then walked around my empty house and braced myself for my grand exit. It wasn’t until my friends witnessed me running to my truck to avoid being pecked, that they finally understood why the move was completely necessary. Screaming from the crows orchestrated outside even after I was already inside the truck. I took one last look at that black crow I hate so much, and he looked back at me with his beady eyes. He won, and he knew it.
THE LOOKOUT HUGHES
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WONDERCHILD NAOMI SILVA
LONELY DAYS JOSE HERRERA
Oh, lonely days, Oh, sleepless nights. Forever are You in my sight
Be struck with a pain Be killed by guilt Even the mighty Would start to wilt
My life moves on Yet you remain It is so hard To not be slain
But one must move, Never be caught As life is never What you thought
A SUMMER MORNING EMMA CLAIRE
Soft linen rubbed across cheeks Eyes catching warm peeks of light The height of feelings faded from the night before Memories never forgot and stored. Golden rays glazed over the room, messy curls strewed. A deep inhale of the cool stale air, a hand run through tangled hair A gold haze the only thing to comprehend A few more blinks until she understands where her day begins Next to her lay a mop of dark waves, a striped shirt and no gaze. Soundly sleeping, dreaming away Of the night before where memories were made. Memories of love, danger, and a messy haze.
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Memories of the air so sweet Memories of the moon so sleek Memories of the strangers, new friends to keep. Memories made in the stealth of night Memories made by two girls with a loss of sight. Reminiscing of the night before The cool duvet laid across warm bodies, her eyes grew heavy A few blinks before she was gone again, falling into her dreamland.
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n what seemed like any normal Monday, I wake up, eat breakfast, and decide what I am going to do today. Suddenly each thought and dilemma all race in circles through my mind as if they were participants of the Daytona 500. It hits me. I am back at home with my parents. This is not the short vacation back home from the University of Oklahoma to go to a family member’s birthday party or a dental appointment that I have become accustomed to. This feels different. I am no longer in my apartment with my friends; no longer in the loop of fun college activities. I am not enrolled in college at all. I feel like I have not only failed my classes, but I have also failed at life. While in the moment, there is no clear solution to my problems; there is no finish line, no champagne showers, or a huge trophy waiting for me. The more I sit stationary, the faster my thoughts race. The world turns upside down. Air rushes out of my lung and my chest tightens as my breath becomes short and shallow. I feel as if I just completed the Boston Marathon in record time. Like the windshield of a car left on the curb on a late December night, my brain ices over. My eyes blur and fill with tears. I try to think of things put my mind at ease to block out the pain. Should I stay in bed again? I grab my phone, stumble into my bed, and cover myself with a quilt as heavy as my problems. I take a dive into the dangerous waters of self-help provided by Google. “What can I do to make myself feel better?” I typed. The answers come flooding in. “You can hang out with friends;” that search result took my stomach and wrung it like a wet towel. My friends were all in Oklahoma. The next one smirked and said slyly, “Do something you like to do.” Easier said than done, especially when giving up and staying inside seems like the most enjoyable task. After scrolling down through rejected attempts to cheer my mood was just the word: DRIVE. I scoffed at the idea at first, calling it ‘stupid’ and a "waste of time." I had nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody to see. Why would I leave the false comforts of my own bed to experience more failure? Driving to clear my head and relax me worked many times before. When I was younger, just as restless but without real problems, my parents would put me in the backseat and
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drive me around the block. I remember never knowing when or where the journey would end. However, the anticipation always dissipated with every mile. The movement of the car propelled me into trance-like tranquility. The turns of the road felt like a gentle rock. The slight coolness of the leather seat, mixed with the constant flow of warm air, felt like a cool breeze on an early sunny autumn day. My ears filled with the smooth-rolling sounds of various soul and rhythm and blues music from the past. The concert played softly enough for me to hear the quiet roar of the crowd of four wheels rolling on the pavement. I felt like I was sinking into the floor of the car as my body grew heavy from carrying the previous day’s energy. My eyelids grew heavier. Like magic, the next morning I woke up in my bed, tightly tucked in, refreshed and ready to start my next day. I see the next article that says “Go to a place that relaxes you.” I continue to read the suggestions of visiting a place from a favorite memory that was in my past. I examine my brain for memories like a psychological neurosurgeon. I think to the place I visited before I left for college. How serene and quiet it was during the day. I know where I am going now. My drives have transformed from a vacation to slumber land to a mission to mental fortitude. Just like my parents, when I am now on my mission for my mind to be at peace and ready for the next day, I make my way to my car and slightly gasp in my last bit of contained familiar air before I get in the car and close the door. As the car starts, I slowly release a gentle exhale a slight relief as the engine begins to hum. Time has moved so swiftly. While frozen, I have forgotten how long I have not been outside of my house. During my drive, my brain begins to defrost. I am no longer focusing on my failure, but the monotony of a task I have done for years. I pass house after house in my neighborhood, each house taking on the characteristics of the families that inhabit them. I can see the sun peeking through the tops of the trees as if it’s trying to peer through to find my car. I hesitantly let my sunroof down to invite its warm gentle caress on my forehead. Soon my windows invite the touch of the sun on my left cheek, like a comforting rest of a hand. Wind tickles my ears like a feather, and the smells of fresh-cut grass fill my nose and
bring back memories of being outside with my parents, playing with my brother as my mom and dad tend to their masterpiece of a lawn. I exit my neighborhood and onto the main street that starts my long stretch to my destination. The vibration of the car slightly tickles the bottom of my foot. My body relaxes, and the tension dissipates as if the road is giving me a reassuring message of clarity. My stomach’s knots untwist gradually. Smooth sounds of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac fill my surroundings. The raspy yet soothing voice of Stevie Nicks pumps into my veins to give me a dose of coziness. At that time, I realized that I have lost track of how long I have been without music since coming home. I make my way down the snake-like road to Rockwall, Texas. I steadily turn the wheel right and left, having my wheels hug the curve. Trees on the side of the roads act as my tarmac workers guiding me to a safe landing. By now Stevie Wonder’s “As” slowly crescendos minute by minute as I get closer to my destination. Before I see it, my nose detects the earthiness of the lake. I park my car and breathe in life. The vast open lake replaces my tears. Boats look like ants strolling across the concrete. The reflection of the blue makes me wonder if I can swim in the sky. Gentle waves, rocking back and forth, remind me of the constant push of stability and the pull of chaos that has recently occurred in my life. Air charges up my lungs. My chest loosens and my breath grows deep. An influx of positivity and promise flood my mind. It is the same feeling that I experienced before I left for college. Once again, my eyes blur and fill with tears, but they are no longer prompted by problems; now, they are a result of potential for the future.
A DRIVE FROM PANIC TO POTENTIAL HANNAH HICKMAN
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ALTERNATIVE DISCIPLINES AND PROGRAMS DIGITAL MEDIA
Sharpen your computer and design skills in the fast-paced, creative world of graphic design, desktop publishing, and digital photography and video. Learn the Adobe software including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more. Contact Oslynn Williams for more information. EFCDigitalMedia@dcccd.edu
Combine creativity and critical thinking. Topics of study may include art appreciation, history and foundations, as well as hands-on instruction in drawing, design, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, art metals, ceramics, watercolor and digital art. Contact David Wilburn for more information. email@example.com
The EFC Music Department offers the full range of courses for the first two years as a music major and has courses for nonmajors who are interested in music classes. Students can sing in the choir, play an instrument in the jazz band, or play with guitar, piano, and strings ensembles. Students can improve musical skills through small group classes and private lessons in voice and most instruments. Students can learn to read music or improve music literacy with music fundamentals, theory, and ear training classes. All students interested in music classes, especially music majors, should talk with a music faculty member before registering for classes. Contact Oscar Passley for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Apart from your core English requirements, we offer many other courses to help you strengthen your writing, reading, and thinking skills. Creative writing; British, American, and World Literature; and technical and business writing are all options beyond Composition.
Beyond developing artistic skills, theatre helps students to refine skills in collaboration, criticalthinking, creative problem-solving and effective communication. Drama classes may include introduction to theatre, makeup, costumes, acting, voice for the theater, and introduction to cinema.
Contact Tim Cedor for more information. email@example.com@dcccd.edu
Contact Dusty Reasons Thomas for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether your goal is to dance professionally or to enrich your personal life, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find a wide variety of classes that may include tap, hiphop, ballroom, ballet, modern dance, jazz, dance performance, world dance, dance composition and anatomy and kinesiology for dance. Contact Danielle Georgiou for more information. email@example.com
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Prepare yourself for a media career by taking courses including media writing, news reporting, news photography, public relations, advertising, writing for radio, TV and film, radio and television news, radio and television announcing, principles of journalism, and media literacy. Many of our skills classes are connected to Eastfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning student media organization, The Et Cetera, so students can get hands-on experience and get their work published. Contact Lori Dann for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alternative, Eastfield CollegeĘźs student-produced visual art and literature magazine, was first published in 1990 to highlight student writing and artwork. After a three year hiatus, from 2007-09, it was restarted in 2010, receiving an honorable mention for general excellence from the Texas Community College Journalism Association.