Oct 18
joseph.deffner's picture

A Quiet Winter Day

The snow crunches softly beneath my boots as I trudge up the hill. Small delicate snowflakes land on my fuzzy hat. I tilt my head back to catch them in my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, a male cardinal dashes from tree to tree, his red feathers bright against the white snow. When I get to the top of the hill, I pause to look around at the snow covered trees, and listen to how peaceful it is. Dropping my sled on the wet snow, I climb on and slide down the hill, going down easily on top of the smooth and icy snow. The cool wind blowing in my face, smiling to myself. Winter makes me feel serene and content.
Oct 18
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The Deer

One winter afternoon I was sledding with my family out on our hill. We had been at it for long enough that our cheeks had gotten rosey and our fingers slightly numb. The sun was low in the sky, with the trees casting long shadows on the snow when Mom called to all of us and showed us she had found deer tracks heading into the forest. Because we live in Vermont, deer tracks aren't especially rare, but tracking animals is always fun, so we set out. 
May 15
joseph.deffner's picture

I saw a man today

I saw a man today

He had 

Confederate flags 

On his

Red truck


He had

A shotgun

In his hand

His face 

Didn’t portray anger

But to have 

Confederate flags 

On his




And to 

Be carrying 

a gun

He had to 

Be past the point of anger

His feelings turned to 



I feel it sometimes

Sometimes I want to slip into

The depths and


But I know 

That is dangerous

Because hate

Is dangerous

Like playing with fire

I might burn myself

At any moment

This man

With the 


And the


And the 

Mar 02
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Panther Carnival

It was a cold and windy day at TA (Thetford Academy). The wind was blowing so hard that it made this weird whistling sound like a tea kettle making some tea. The wind never stopped. It let up sometimes and you didn't hear that whistling all the time, but the wind was always heavy like a bag of bricks on you. It got to be 2:55-time for school to get out-and the bell never rang but sometimes it’s a little late. So we waited and waited for the sound of freedom, but it never came. My last class of the day is in the library with Mr. Black and Kate, Kate said ” Go ahead and go. The bell should have rung by now.” I opened the door with excitement to go home, but all of a sudden the door slammed back. We all backed up slowly, unsure of what had just happened and then Kate said “You can go.”
Feb 16
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Indigenous Language Revitalization (And Why It Should Matter Now More Than Ever)

Indigenous languages have been on the verge of extinction for decades. Through efforts from the government, they have become almost obsolete in modern society. But thanks to resistance and the will to continue tradition, Native people have kept their languages alive against all odds.

Though the percentages of fluent speakers are low in many cases, the number of immersion schools, like Waadookodaading immersion school in Wisconsin, for instance, and also classes being taught to young people around the country, seem to be bringing about a new generation of speakers.

So to any Native person reading this, try and be part of the new wave of speakers. Don’t take the easy route and give up on your language. If you have the means, go out and learn. I can’t say it will be easy, but it will be worth it. The ability to speak your Native language is the ability to see the world as your ancestors did.
Feb 12
joseph.deffner's picture

If only

If only I could reach a little farther
And work a little harder

 If I could find bravery
They wouldn’t worry about me

If I could be wise
I wouldn’t cry at all the goodbyes

If I could trust
My heart would burst into fairy dust

If I could get hurt and get back up
I would be as bright as a buttercup
Feb 06
joseph.deffner's picture

All About Me

Feb 05
joseph.deffner's picture


Dec 21
joseph.deffner's picture


Tomorrow I hope my mind won’t stray way and find a place to trap my thoughts.

Tomorrow I hope I will have fun–find joy and excitement.

Tomorrow I hope I can find time to relax, to let my soul run wild.

Tomorrow I hope my dog will bring me comfort and will curl up by my side.

Tomorrow I hope I will find time to read, to send myself to the world of books.

Tomorrow I hope to write, to let my hands chose what to say.

Tomorrow I hope to see my friends, to let their voices flow through my mind.

Tomorrow I hope to play basketball, to let my feet carry my in the patterns they find so familiar. 

Tomorrow I hope to draw, to let my hands show my eyes what to see.

Tomorrow I hope to sing, to let my voice travel the world through music.

Tomorrow I hope to be present in the world to be seen and heard.