I mount the beam
It's like i'm in a dream
My legs are shaking
It feels like my thoughts are scraping agiants my skull
I feel the judges eyes on the back of my neck
I hope they can't tell i'm a nervous wreck
I prepare for my dismount
I take a deep breath
I run across the beam
I begin my double back flip dismount
All I can hear is my heart beat
Then I feel the ground
The crowd roars
I solute the judges with a big smile on my face.
Hope is a
By only wisps of emotions.
Desperate to find
A ledge to cling to
To keep from falling.
Hope is a poor thing,
Banished by fear,
Unwanted by happiness,
Untrusted by grief,
And forgotten by anger.
But hope is a strong thing.
Because in the depths
Of worry and strife,
No matter how often we reject,
Hope will be there to guide us home,
To clear the clouds,
To warm our hearts,
A little hope
Is all it takes
To save a life
by Valerie Worth
from Thomas Fleming School, Essex Junction
the living room,
my grandparents' house,
looks around, Read more »
Observer Quick Write
The Sickness Read more »
When i write
Im in a different universe
I dont write with a pen
I write with
Everything i feel
Goes down on paper
Everyone i love
Goes down on paper
When i write
When i write
I have the power
When i write
All I could hear was the quickening beat of my heart, and the shouting. The little girl was staring up at her mother with watery eyes and cheeks flecked red with anxiety. Her mother, who looked as if she’d already been quenching her thirst that morning, was throwing insults and curses into the little girl’s face and shaking her fists in the air. The little girl could only sniffle in reply. Every inch of my body was screaming to stand; screaming to help. Despite my rising anger, I found that I couldn’t even look in their direction. Littered throughout the room I saw other observers acting just the same. They were staring into space but listening intently. The expressions on their faces ranged from mild annoyance to true empathetic pain. Read more »
Prairie grass swaying
I stare out the window of our apartment.
My breath leaving a steamy circle on the pane.
A gray, dull, blank city looms above me with an unexpected pop of color here or there.
A red umbrella cartwheeling down the sidewalk.
A blue raincoat anticipating a downpour from the dreadful sky.
Staring at our small alley gives no comfort.
A once blooming garden is dead, littered with trash
An animal with its tail between its legs lets out a sorrowful whine.
Like the wind whispering through the windows at night.
It chills me to the bone just as the cold air does.
Someone is throwing rocks at the mutt,
My hands begin to sweat, nervous for the small, lost, lonely stray.
The person runs away, and the dog is alone once again.
Not thinking twice, I pull the old afghan off of my bed, already running out the door and down the multiple floors to the alleyway,
I scoop up the shaking-like-a-leaf dog,
And, fast as I can, race up the steps to the apartment.
And I stroke him, lamenting of how I know nothing of how to console this mutt-of-broken-demeanor.
But I do know one thing,
His name will be Hope.
Because that’s what he gave me, in this gray, dull, lonely city.
There is not a cloud in the sky.
Well, that’s a lie.
But almost the truth,
Almost isn’t enough.
I can see a blue mountain across the valley.
The trees are salted different fall colors:
Yellow, green, red and orange.
The old, rusty, speed limit sign supports my weight.
I can smell.
Fall, that’s what I smell.
Mud, the crisp fresh air.
A perfect fall day.
The prairie is alive
Car brakes Screeching
Silent meadow in the countryside
I look out to the horizon and see the mountains far off. I feel the breeze hitting me, going in all different directions. The autumn chill making me cold and shiver. The sun coming in and out thanks to the clouds rolling over head. I stand there for a long time, just watching everything around me. I feel safe and secure. I take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. The fresh, cold air going through my lungs and the smell of the nature around me makes me happy. This is familiar, this is home to me. I start to walk once again. I pass the old rusty sign and turn around to look at it. I read it over and over again and each time I do, it warms me to know where I am. I have been gone for so long that I am scared to go away again. I feel like if I do then I will forget about this place forever and lose everything I am.
My family is waiting for me, I know it. I can feel it. I look down the mountain, it is peaceful and quiet. The little town I love is sitting there just waiting for me to return. I start to run down the mountain towards the town ready to see what I have been missing for the past eleven years. I will be able to see my wife, my son, and my mother. I left when my son was only three years old to help serve our country. I can’t imagine how big he has grown. I wonder if he still remembers me or if he will be mad at me for leaving him for so long. I hope nothing has changed too much and that everything is well with them. If something tragic has happened I don’t know what I would do. Read more »
The sight of words,
piercing someones heart.
Or someone's fist,
striking a defenseless victim.
I can’t stand to see it,
the urge to yell or fight back Read more »
As it happens,
You run like your life depends on it,
because at this moment
You run like it’s Read more »
I stare at the blue sky and the rolling green hills,
The change in the years to come gives me chills,
Will the birds have evolved into moles?
And dug hundreds of little holes,
To escape the thick green smog,
That hangs over us in a suffocating fog,
Will skyscrapers have replaced the trees?
And the fields resemble Swiss cheese?
Will vegetation become a myth?
Will the earth become drilled out to the pith?
Will it rain acid on our heads?
And the ozone be torn to shreds?
Will we pay any attention at all?
To natures rise and fall?
Escaping The City
Rebecca Clark Read more »
I never knew the true meaning of "gut wrenching" until this moment. My stomach leapt into the air, hit the roof of my belly, and did a triple front flip before landing and trembling in a corner of my abdomen. I felt the grilled cheese sandwich I had eaten for lunch coming up, the acids burning my throat. A scream escaped my lips and I lifted a sweaty palm to silence the shriek. I lifted one shaky leg at a time, trying to get myself out of the room. I had to lean my quivering body against the wall so I didn't collapse. I tried my hardest to keep the horrible pictures of what I had just seen out of my mind, but they kept slipping back in.
I had to stop. The energy drained from my body. My legs wouldn't carry me any further. They collapsed beneath me, and the world went black.
They forgot me. They forgot me when he fell to the ground, twitching and clutching his chest and they came with their lights flashing and took him away.
I close my eyes and huddle against the wall. My heart is thumping rhythmically in my chest. Ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. My ears are ringing, blocking every other noise out. The world is acting like nothing has happened, like a little girl isn’t abandoned outside a shopping mall, but something has and she is.
One tear--one single tear--squeezes out the corner of my eye and rolls down my cheek, glistening and catching the warm afternoon light, and lands on the very tip of my tongue for the smallest of moments before it is absorbed back into my body.
That tear, though small, represents a waterfall of emotions. Afraid, uncertain, anxious, hurt , abandoned, and so much more. I want to be at the hospital, I want to be with him but at the same time I just want to curl up and vanish and never have to see him in a white cot in a white room hooked up to machines.
I can’t hide. I can’t face the world. I can’t breath. What can I do? Anything? Nothing? Everything?
I have to do something. So I slowly stand up and enter the mall, to call the hospital and ask for my father.
I choke on the endless expanse of blue sky and crisp air
The sky is crushing me, pushing down on collapsed lungs
Nature’s burdens seem to collide with mine; a sliver of unbearable tension
The world has never taken away my breath like this before
Close to pushing through the membrane of our planet, the air gets thinner
Peace and I are finally united in the median
This freeway became white noise as my fingertips drew away from the wheel
My ears lie in the skyway
No longer can I hear cars zooming by
Even the hum of cicadas in the grassy field beyond my stone-like feet ceases to resonate within me
I have joined the silent chorus of the clouds
Zooming away, fast, paying no head to the cautioning sign above me
With me ride fumes of burned rubber and an indescribable holiness
They wait for me
Can They sense my slipping hands, my losing sense of direction?
My mind hums as I wait quietly for this journey to be done.
“Zoe, come here!”
I wander into our TV-room that could very well be a closet with no doors. Wire bins of art supplies, board games I only place with myself, and the worn red binder with “math” written on it in Sharpie even though it holds play-dough recipes, swamp the walls and surround our 13.5-inch TV, which is on.
That’s weird—mommy says that the TV can’t go on until after dinner, and only then if I ate my food and put my dish in the dishwasher.
Mommy is watching a movie—two buildings are burning, and blue banners stream across the screen with words on them that I can’t read and don’t want to. I don’t like this movie—I’d rather watch Madeline and the Bad Hat.
Mommy gets up and snags the phone, startling me. She stares at the buttons and asks me what Daddy’s cell phone number is. I don’t know and don’t care. Daddy will be home tonight from work, and he’ll bring Lea and I Nutter-Butters, like he always does. He’ll be home in a few hours—why does she want to call him?
Mommy dials a number and I hear it ringing—faintly, I hear Daddy’s voice on the speaker, saying hello mean-like, like when he's busy and you shouldn't pester him, Zoe; he's working. Mommy starts talking loudly—too loudly—and Daddy says something before she can finish. Mommy doesn’t take her eyes off of the TV, leaning on the big brown armchair with her free hand while she tells me to stay put for a sec, sweetie.
In the movie, the buildings burn.
My heart was beating so hard, like it was trying to make me explode. My hands were sweating; I balled them up. I just stood there, yelling at myself. Why didn’t I stop him? He was right there. How could someone do that? He took it right off the counter and then smiled at me. He smiled! It was like he knew I would do nothing, like I was always the silent bystander. I could feel my face turning red. I wanted to say something, but my jaw stayed clenched. No words ever escaped the prison my mouth is. I wanted to scream, to yell, and to tell some one! I did nothing; I just stood there and watched him go. What kind of person am I? Why do I never stand up? Have I always been this weak? I wanted to change, to make a difference. I opened my mouth, but still I was silent.
To travel the world
Would be bold.
The spacious deserts,
The vast, empty cold.
You could pass your whole life,
Traveling a stray,
You could pass your whole life,
From Alberta to Australia,
To Paris and Puerto Rico,
So may sites to see
And people to meet,
Could you travel on your own feet?
Oh how I wish I could see it all,
The list of places oh so tall.
Sadly for me,
It is too much to see.
But one day maybe
Have my fill,
I drive, in my 1977 Ford. I chug along the open road. The land is so flay here, so vast. I've been driving, seventeen hours so far, only stopping to quench the thirst of the ancient and dilapidating vehicle in which I am traveling.
As I move on down the road, I have flashbacks. The fighting and how it never stopped. The feelings and how they seem to leave the dark corners, and depths of my soul. And the constant feeling of being trapped looming over my head.
As the memories bubble up, my eyes water. Small tears escape from my eyes. They remind me of pearls. A beautiful thing created from just the oppisite. I wouldn't say I like crying, but it helps me. It reminds me that I'm still here.
Once the storm inside my head settles, I again focus on the landscape. Open sky, a dark periwinkle in color. The soft tan shade of the grasslands, it's so warm, so inviting. The road, in front, behind and underneath me. A pathway in the turmoil that is my life.
Soon, a sign approaches. It's the first ine in at least two hours. It's a speed limit sign, and it reads "75". I ponder for a moment, then apply more pressure to the gas. I gain speed. Soon I am whizzing by the grass, the mountains, and the world at ninety five miles per hour. I feel unstoppable. But soon, I begin to slow down. And all is as it was; a steady fifty. Read more »
Who's on first?
Who's on second?
I don't care!
Silly stage act
Of Costello and Abbott
Butter, milk, yogurt, and cheese
I eat them any time I please
A must have when I climb rocks
Is those Darn Tough socks!
One thing in common
Is their name of Cabot
Kill the wabbit!
Kill the wabbit!
This funny little cartoon
A parody Wagner opera
Listening to Elmer
Causes bad speech habits
But as you can see
There are no guarantees
As the rain drops and plops
That my writing will stop
Even when I'm in Rabet
I have a writing habit
You are sitting there. Alone, but for the occasional car passing or the small mice that sometimes shelter at your base. Alone, with only the grass growing at your feet and the wind on your face. Alone and standing. Alone. That is the life of a desert road sign. No one evens pays attention to the numbers you display, even though that is your pourpose in life. You wish to be free. Free from the post that binds you to the ground. Free from being on earth. You want to fly. Fly away to have a better life and soar above all problems, all despair. Up, up and away from the place where you rest day and night. However, always alone, always, always, always. You are alone but still here. Here and strong. Alone, but standing proud.
You always hear these cliché horror stories about people who are in a haunted house, they get attacked by a ghost or angry spirit, and then only one person comes out. Right? Well, you won't believe me, you'll pass this off as another attempt to scare you into sleepless nights, to make you think twice about opening the door to your own house. But I'm telling you, I'm not lying. See, you already don't believe me. Just listen and then judge me. Because this really happened.
So I'm walking back home from school. Normal enough. Then I see the most dreaded sight you could possibly see while walking home, gangster eleventh graders who just bully people for the heck of it. They all had those baggy pants and those flatbrim hats and the muscle shirts. Each one had a different skin tone. There were four. Three guys and one girl, who was in the trashiest clothes you could possibly imagine that wouldn't get her arrested for public nudity. And of course, as I duck behind one of those blue mailboxes out in the front of the post office, they see me. They start to shout out things like, "Hey kid!" and "Aww. Is somebody afraid?!"
Well, yes. I was afraid. So I got up and ran. Now normally, they don't chase kids. But they must've had an extra dose of their parents' beer because they came after me. Read more »
I look across the meadow
Taking in the scene
I've been driving for hours
It makes me wanna scream
I can't believe I made it
Because not long ago
I didn't think I'd make it
But little did I know
If I do my best
I'll be set for life
I made my true potential
At my destination I've arrived