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These pieces are selected for publication by YWP Staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact Susan Reid.

 

 
Apr 26
Mozzerelli's picture

me and my pal anxiety

i fall asleep, maybe when i wake up i’ll feel different 
i wake up at 6 tired, maybe this life isn’t for me 
i roll out of bed at 630 
i drag myself to and fro
from the closet
to the mirror 
back to the closet
i cast aside each article of clothing as they fail 
to turn my torso into an hourglass 
make my ass so fat all the home boys want to hit it 
i tug and pull the clothing around my figure 
each shift of fabric reminds me that 
perhaps it will take more than something pretty
to make me someone pretty. 
my hands wade through the waves of my hair 
frantic, i gaze at the clock
715 
time keeps flying past 
The anxiety that was sleeping in chest 
Has awoken in full throttle 
A raging storm, lighting piercing my stomach
My knees are weak
As i shrug into my clothing and gaze 
Too long in the mirror 
Apr 09

Why I don't Play Sports

   I know that some people love sports. They watch it, play it, basically do anything to get involved with it.
   I am not one of those people.
   The first time I really tried to play a sport was when I was about nine. My homeschooling group had set up a soccer team, and I arrived with new shin-guards and an eager outlook. I was so sure I'd be great! Simple enough, right? Kick the ball into a net, don't use your hands. 
   About three minutes into the game, I discovered I had an uncanny talent for being hit with the ball. Even more amazing, I had the talent to be hit square in the face with it and not even come away with a nosebleed. What did the coach do?
   He put me in a defensive position. Don't get me wrong- he's a really nice guy. It's just that he thought my misfortune was untrained talent.
Mar 30
nikki.crouse's picture

A House With No Windows


No way for anyone to look in,
to tell if it was light or dark inside.
No way to tell if things were quiet and still,
or if the house was about to explode.

If one wanted to see inside, they could,
but only if they had a key.
And that key, of course,
came from the owner.

And she was picky,
some would say too picky.
But why would anyone allow someone inside their house?
When they feared what those someones would think of it.

Those who were allowed inside may still have been tricked,
by the decoration adorning the house.
Lovely furniture disguised the warped floors,
and beautiful paintings covered deep cracks in its walls.

It was an old and tired house.
It had stood through many storms,
survived floods and earthquakes,
but that didn’t matter if it didn’t look nice.

And that’s all the visitors seemed to notice,
the pretty things,
Mar 26

Remembering You

What I remember of you is very little.
I was young when you passed.
I remember when you gave me,
a five year old,
four lollipops.
Your reasoning?
"two in each hand
so you don't lose balance 
and fall over"

I remember you at your husband's wake.
You cried over his casket
it was "the worst day of your life"
as you said.
It was soon forgotten.

I remember visiting you.
You offered us icecream and I felt
uncomfortable- but that's not your fault.
You didn't know that Grampy
wouldn't be coming home today.
You didn't know he'd been gone so long.
We let you live
in your ignorant bliss.

I remember that you didn't look the same,
you laid expressionless,
your face was too flat,
instead of round, plump, and smiling.
They had your hair just right,
blonde ringlets framing your face,
as you slept under the orchids.
Mar 25

"Schools are For Learning, Not Lockdowns"

Taken at the March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, in Montpelier, VT. 

It was so incredibly inspiring to be in the midst of this march and hear everyone's incredible speeches. Congrats to all the YWP members who spoke, you were AMAZING and truly inspiring!
Mar 22
clearyj's picture

The Roof


I watch 
As the sunlight dips 
Behind the greenish-gold mountains.
And I try to ignore the
Responsibilities tugging 
In the back of my mind

I am hypnotized by the roof of my garage,
But I am not looking at it.
I am staring at it without a meaning.

I am not looking at the roof
I am just resting my eyes
On a not-too-bright
Mesmerizing 
Surface
With a bountiful amount of bumps.

I am thinking.

When I think,
Deep thoughts
Like what happens when I die,
Or what will happen, 
When the sun explodes
It is best no to bother me.

I will not listen.
Because I am drowning in my mind.
Please do not save me.

I watch as the 
Darkness creeps over the garage.
It is not a bad darkness,
But a reminder kind of darkness.
A go-inside-it’s-getting-dark type of darkness.
Mar 11

By Poetry

I. Moved:

I am moved by poetry
Sometimes slammed against the walls
Tossed up and down, side to side, to and fro
The adrenaline
The spine-tingling
Heart-stopping
Hair-raising
Flow of poetry
I feel the words coming together
Unified, but divided
Unified so every word connects
Divided so every word has its own meaning
So every word has its own story.


II. Broken:

I am broken by poetry
Touched, tapped
My heart breaks
Imploding
Exploding
Into thousands of irreparable, irreplaceable
Bits and shards
Over and over
“Be careful,” they say. “Glass hurts!”
I know it hurts
My heart hurts too
But I would rather have my heart broken by poetry anyways
Even though I try to glue it back together
It always falls apart.


III. Caged:

I am held captive by poetry
Audio download:
By Poetry.m4a
Mar 08
wondering about rain's picture

Electric Galaxy

City floating in the black, inky sky,
I see you as I fly by. 
Each light adds to the galaxy 
of stories and lives. 
I imagine jumping into
the darkness, forever falling up
into the night sky reflected below. 
Maybe it's an ocean with 
strange creatures busy flowing
with the undertow. 
I'm a space traveler observing without
really seeing,
but I can still feel each being, 
pockets of life shown by lights. 
Teeming night, do you see me add
to your sky as you add to mine?
Awe inspiring, spread out
like beautiful coral,
or a crack in the earth 
with shining stardust showing through. 
I want to reach out and dip my
fingers into the land, 
touching each light. 
We cannot be only a blight. 
There is a peace to the chaos as you
watch from afar. 
It used to be a miracle to see the world
from the sky. 
Beauty tends to be lost on us after
Mar 03
Icarus Blackmore's picture

Drill

“Pay attention to how you act,
We develop habits in our youth."
My eighth grade teacher claimed,

“Even if it’s not healthy,
I still eat everything on my plate.”
He explained, “Because that’s,
What I’m used to,
I don’t feel right if don’t,
Because,
That’s how I was taught to behave,
And now the habit’s engrained.”

“So I ask you to pratice,
That habit of a postive mind.
Just try and look at the world,
In a good light because,
Compassion, cruelty,
Organization, messissness,
Responsibility, tom foolery,
All of these are habits.”
He informed us.

As I would later learn so are,
“Paranoia and Security.”

Enter a building-look for and note the exits.
Enter a classroom-take a seat away from the door.
Enter a hallway-remember to look behind you.
Habits drilled into me by, “Code Red,” drills.
Where we sat in a classroom, silent and still.
Feb 21

but i did

the first time i felt unsafe in school
was because someone vandalized my homework.
it was crudely scratched and hasty,
but a deliberate "asian" across my math.
i didn't want to go back,
but i did.

the second time i felt unsafe in school
was Sandy Hook.
all i could think about was children
screaming and crying
wanting to know what was happening
and why it was.
i thought of how they wanted their parents
or didn't understand why people were screaming.
i didn't want to go back,
but i did.

i still didnt understand the weight of it
until february 14th 2018.
i had a new water bottle,
new socks,
and a package of mints i opened that morning.
i remember the cute red and pink heart plastered bag
my mom proudly presented to me.

i remember the headlines.
high schoolers,
like me,
shot dead fleeing.
Stoneman Douglas High students,
dead.
Jan 24

simplicity

i sit
at the sunny cafeteria
table eating
a peaunt butter and jelly
listening
to my friends discuss
poltics, anthony ramos's new album,
our new english assignment.

our proximity to each other
makes it possible to
hear one another
over the dull roar of
student chatter.

they go over
our president's latest stupid tweet,
the school dance, new classes.

i do not speak much,
just eat my sandwich,
and listen.

they learn about
politics, anthony ramos's new album
our new english assignment
our president's latest stupid tweet,
the school dance, new classes.

i learn about them. 
Jan 24

Easy things can be harder than hard things

I am told: 
Who I should be
Who I shouldn't be
Who I should talk to
Who I shouldn't talk to
What I should do
What I shouldn't do
What I am
What I am not
When I can talk
When I can't talk
When I can
When I can't
Where I should 
Where I shouldn't 
Where I can
Where I can't
How I should act
How I shouldn't act
How I should 
How I shouldn't
...
Excuse me, I'm sorry, I thought
That I live in free country?
Whoops, my mistake.

I don't get it...
We abolished slavery (kind of)
We earned a couple of rights for women (a couple)
But I still don't qualify as my own person?
Why are easy things harder than hard things? 

 
Jan 21

Dying World

The world is dying,
the people crying,
as if they weren't the ones
who held the guns. 

Put that oil in the water,
atmosphere getting hotter,
millions of trees hit the ground,
a world-wide nervous breakdown.

All we care about is a selfie,
who looks the most like Barbie,
whose teeth are whiter,
whose dress is tighter.

Just say it will be fine. 
Pretend we aren't running out of time.
Watch your TV and drink your expresso,
kill the polar bears but feed your calico.

Don't think about the guy
who went overseas to die,
gave his life so you could be alive
to type your documents on Google Drive.

No you can't come into America.
Why not? You might have zika.
No, it's really because you aren't white.
Trump says that means you must have dynamite.

Grab a woman and build a wall, 
he thinks he has it all.
Jan 15
eulusivepurplepanda's picture

Acceptable- an open letter to the president




Dear Mr. Trump, 

​Well, here we are again! I've come to complain. A white, middle class, teenage girl. Writing to you: An orange, 1%, seventy-year-old man who also happens to be my President. 
​Here we go. 

George Washington owned slaves. He was publicly excused because he helped found the country and was a gentleman. 
Though I, and most others are still mad about the slaves, we still study him in school.
Abraham Lincoln signed an act to imprison Civil War protesters. That was excused because he ended slavery.
John F. Kennedy authorized, then blotched the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. That was excused because he died a martyr.

​But you sir, are neither a gentleman, a founder, nor have you done anything to liberate anyone. 
​You gave a woman hush money to stay silent about a private love affair. 
Dec 02

Rooftop

Nov 28

interest in the pig snorts



you think my hair is strange,
just because it isn’t straight and regular.
you think my nose is too wide,
and long,
and not proportioned in any direction it goes.
you think my eyes are plain
and not interesting,
not in the slightest.
you think
that my laugh sounds like a pig snorting.
but I think that my hair is good hair.
I think that my nose isn’t too wide or long.
I don’t think my eyes are plain.
they’re not stunning,
but that doesn’t mean they’re ugly.
and I don’t care if I sometimes snort when I laugh,
because at least I’m enjoying myself when I’m laughing.
and you may never take the slightest bit of interest in me,
might always think I’m butt-ugly,
might always think of me as
the girl who has too much confidence.
but I could stop investing my time in you,
faster than a quick snap of the fingers.
and you sure don’t seem
to need me in your life.
Audio download:
12.11.17.PigSnorts.mp3
Nov 06
Kittykatruff's picture

The Beautiful Inevitable

How beautifully the brush of existence
Sweeps across the broad canvas of the sky,
Leaving streaks of colors
in compliance
With the whispered wish of watching eyes.
Raising a harmonious symphony,
The birds cradle joy and sadness in song;
As ink-black darkness spreads infinitely,
Light slips from the sky, but not for too long—
I catch my reflection in the window,
And watch the twinkling stars dance in my eyes;
I can't stay for long—I wish I could, though,
For I know all too soon the sun will rise.
I slip into a dreamworld of a kind,
As shadows and light weave all through my mind.


 
Oct 25

Distance

I can't seem to find
the name for this feeling,
it's somewhere between
melancholy and nostalgia.

I know that you and I
are not similar enough
to stay the way we were,
and I don't really want to be
constantly by your side anymore.

But I miss the way we were
and I wish we could
go back to then
when we were inseparable.

We'd go on adventures
through the woods,
pretend there were people
chasing us and we'd have
to run and hide and laugh,
and we'd eventually defeat them.
We were witches and fairies
and spies and a family.
Two sisters sometimes,
two mothers others.

I know we can't get that back,
we've both changed
we've stopped playing pretend
we've grown and matured.
You seem to have left
your imagination in the past,
I can't seem to get over
my insecurities that always
multiply around you.
Oct 20
poem 1 comment challenge: Rain
emilytrage's picture

One Stormy Eve


The hour presents itself in shades of grey,
rusted leaves replacing the blossoms of May.
My footsteps crunch against gravel and stone
as I tiredly wend my way home.

The rain wastes no time in tumbling down,
collecting on flowers and soaking the town,
clinging to shoes, then socks, then barefeet
as I follow the lonely street.

I watch in wonder as the river swells,
and fat droplets sing like tinkling bells.
The sky darkens fast and I quicken my pace
through pastures of Queen Anne’s lace.

But sadly, all good things must come to an end,
and I audibly sigh as I come round the bend.
I peer through the haze—my house is in sight,
a reprieve from this stormy night.

I rejoice in the last few drops of the rain,
quite out of breath, but surely still sane.
I stumble onto the sunken wood porch
before lightning strikes like a torch.
Audio download:
One Stormy Eve.m4a