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Young Writers Project is grateful to VTDigger.org, a nonprofit news operation in Vermont, for publishing selected YWP writing, art and photos each week. Please support the young writers and artists by going to VTDigger.org and leaving a comment. 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 YWP Executive Director Susan Reid.
 

 
Oct 23

An Inspirational Adventure

I have always had a huge passion for wildlife, but when I first got my camera, my world brightened. Photography is an art that can be so moving and inspirational for me. This past year I went on a trip with my family to the Grand Canyon. The sites were so captivating and beautiful. The photo with the man in it was actually by chance. I saw this man on the edge of a cliff looking out to the canyon below and had to take a picture. Now, when I look at the picture I find deeper meanings behind it. I now see someone looking out into their future and seeing beauty. The picture of the crow was taken when a swarm of crows kept creeping towards my family's table while we tried to eat. I got many pictures of different crows, but this one stuck with me. 
 
Oct 22
Burnt Black Petals's picture

Pebble

Once I saw a pebble

Small and smooth.

I walked around it.

Next I saw a rock

It could fit in my hand nicely

It’s smooth surface pleasing.

I walked around it.

Then I saw a rock

As big as my head

It’s smooth surface cracked in a few places

It seemed heavy and awkward.

I walked around it.

I found a small boulder

Big and heavy

Half smooth half not

Heavy and solid

A daunting rock.

I walked around it.

I saw a boulder blocking my way.

I could not go around it.

I tried to move it

With no luck.

I saw it sigh, and roll down the hill.

I saw a pebble.

I remembered the bolder.

I picked it up.

 
Oct 18

Rogue train

There is a train that carries everyone through this life.
Some people are sleeping, some have to look out the window,
a few others mutter in tentative conversation with each other.
But most... most people are engrossed in their phones.
Texting, calling, watching, listening, streaming, memorizing, obsessing.
There are old people, there are young people.
There are people who see things in black and white,
there are people who like rainbow.
People wander in and out, but never leaving the train.
They are in control, no one leaves the train.
This is not spoken but it is the rule.
I know this rule like the back of my hand,
like my shoes, like my past... because it is my past.
There are no choices on the train.
No argument, therefore nothing changes, but I hopped off that train.
I didn't think others should control where I went and when.
No one has a right to my future but me.
Oct 18
Noquell_21's picture

Lifeless winter

Winter is not about doing basic things like building snowmen with your friends or sipping hot chocolate by an open fire. Winter is about the simple things you can enjoy, like admiring that perfect little flake of snow that landed on your hand and watching it slowly melt away until it’s just a tiny water droplet slithering its way down your hand. Or when you are waiting for the school bus and you take a long breath of fresh crisp air and exhale to see the beautiful hazy white veil of your carbon dioxide slowly appear in front of you. Watching your favorite maple tree that is at the center of your back yard lose it’s very last vivid red leaf, then looking around to realize that all of the beautiful reds and oranges and yellows are gone, only to be replaced by the blinding white blanket of snow that stretches as far as the eye can see.

fall drive

Oct 10
Grace._.'s picture

One Haunted Night


I can’t remember the last time I felt safe traveling down Webster Avenue. There was just such an eerie, cold feeling when I would drive by. In most neighborhoods one sees children riding bikes, dogs being walked, and old ladies tending to their gardens. None of this ever happened on “Wacky Webster” as the locals call it. You’d never see anyone outside, which made it look abandoned. The only thing that signified that anyone still lived there was when the lights were turned on at night. I swear the people that live on Webster Avenue must be nocturnal or something. If you dare to drive by at night, almost every single light in the neighborhood is turned on. I made the mistake of doing exactly that one crisp October night. The wind was howling and so was my dog, riding shotgun in my Chevy Silverado. He knew he had to go to the vet, so he was trying to make me feel guilty. It didn’t work though.
Oct 07
22donam's picture

origami city

lovely, oh it'd be so lovely
if you would come with me
well take a trip you'll see
down to a place so pretty
to origami city--

my fickle hearted friend
it's just around the bend
so won't you come with me--

we can run past white paper houses
as if they'd blow away
and climb the tallest skyscraper
you and I--

oh wouldn't it be pretty
down in origami city
where we can watch the stars 
from our tiny paper cars
as they flicker above--

temperamental pal won't you stick around for a while
I bet I can make you smile
if you trust me 
you will see
we can be--

so wouldnt it be pretty 
down in origami city
just you and me--
Sep 16
sophie.d's picture

Teach Me Climate

The first lab I ever worked in 
Was my backyard. 

I was a self-proclaimed botanist
Taught by the wildflowers in the woods,
And a soil stained flower encyclopedia.
 
I researched the yellow flowers bursting
Along the wood’s edge
And noticed 
The book’s map of North America said 
Their range didn’t extend up to Vermont. 

So why are they here?
I pondered. 
Isn’t it too cold?

At the age of 7, my environmental knowledge
Was built of observation, not explanation
I could see climate change sprouting
Before I learned the word.

Ten years later I can tell you that the earth is warming. 
I understand the news stories of greenhouse gases, 
solar radiation, 
species migration.

But despite the flaming headlines
I know more about slope and Shakespearean Sonnets
Than about the very earth I live on. 

faded memories

Sep 11

Blue-Grey

Blue-grey is the color of the ocean on a stormy day
A day when you can smell the battle of the wind and the water 
Blue-grey is the color of a sad woman's eyes, 
Eyes that haunt your memory for years because you did nothing to help her
Blue-grey is the color of my worn denim jeans 
The ones with the paint splatters and tears in the knees 
Blue-grey is the color of things that used to be wonderful 
That have now faded from use 
Blue-grey is feeling sad on a day when everyone says you should be happy 
It's that last week of winter where the snow is all melted and the air is heavy with hesitation 
Blue-grey is the feeling of finally finding what you need
After months of searching for what you had wanted 
 
Aug 31
mythicalquill's picture

Bliss

Her fingertips drift over the surface of a fallen log—not quite touching, but almost feeling the rutted rhythm of its bark on her skin nonetheless. Her eyes trace the scene before her as if memorizing its depths. They linger on the scant strip of sky visible between the forking branches of a rusty brown maple. As she inhales, the musty scent of decaying wood fills her, and her mind flickers briefly with recognition. The forest smells like old growth and thriving life, an aroma she can almost recall from her long-ago past. Dawn lets the breath slip out in a sigh of contentment.

This place is beautiful and familiar, like the first chapter of a favorite book. She peruses its pages with reverence, giving each petal and fallen leaf its due. 
Aug 30
poem 1 comment challenge: Nonverbal
JordanSara's picture

Dear Friend,

I used to hate silence
the unending weight
spiraling into the abyss
with no aim
no goal
and nothing to be gained.
For years I filled my life with sound
music and meaningless conversations,
all to fill the hole
and yet I felt empty,
knew that my existence was silent.
 I continued on with the same uncaring voices to give me...
something to feel less alone.
But like all false things, those voices
eventually slithered away in the night and
 I feared I was destined to
live
in the emptiness.

When I met you,
I thought it would be the same
that I had to fill the empty air
for you to care.
But one day we fell into silence,
conversation a burden to our tired minds,
so we simply lounged together.
Yet I didn't feel you slipping away into the chasm,
I didn't feel that I had to say
one breath-filled 
word.
For once, the silence was good
Aug 27

Brand New Friend

I always have trouble talking to a stranger
It's something that's just not in my nature
But this is a new school and new year
Might as well try, I have nothing to fear
So I got the courage to ask him his name
Then I saw the book in his hand and knew we were the same
We shared our interests on various books and stories
finding out that we love the same categories
And before I could think and comprehend
I ended up having a brand new friend
Aug 17

Oh, the places we'll go

1.    The crash of waves on a hidden beach somewhere lost in France. The cliffs rising high around us, so much so they appear to touch the clouds. The sky clear, a mirror of the forever ocean in front of us. The waves taste of salt and possibility, and the air smells fresh and sweet. And fishy.

2.    A rocky scrabble. A final climb to the top of Africa. A pounding in my veins, of the altitude and the oxygen. A bead of sweat, stealthy climbing down your forehead. We stand straight, for the first time in hours. Still. Swaying like the grasses so far below, and the waves on a hidden beach. Our breathing slows. And the world goes on. And on.
Aug 12
eulusivepurplepanda's picture

A Love Letter To My Bedroom

My dearest darling, 
My most beloved chamber, how my heart aches at the words that I have to say to you now. I am behind a veil of tears as I think of our nearing separation. It is you that have been close by my side all these long eight years, you who hath raised me alone in the comfort of your insulated embrace. I still remember when I first met you, a child of seven years, eyeing your vintage 50's floral wallpaper and sea-foam green carpet. Stuck to your hardy, pale walls and auburn floorboards since birth. 
Aug 05
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture

My Desires

Here is what I know:
When I feel something personal and meaningful,
my belly bubbles up inside
My mind begins to expand
and explore,
pondering future possibilities.
I become ensure of what to do with the swirling
and my flushed cheeks––
all my past knowings are turned to
grains of salt
and I begin to consider all of the other perspectives.

That is how I want to feel every day.

I want my perceived ideas to be challenged
and my ideals to be questioned.
I want to wonder why I think what I think
and why you think what you think.

I should be curious about all things:
How the happenings in my small community reflect those of a larger state.
Why certain pigments look so incredibly pleasing together.
Why the vision of the earth which nurtures all life is so surreal.
Why I have been conditioned to view unnatural even harmful things as beautiful.
Aug 03
poem 1 comment challenge: Legacy

The persistence of memory

Legacy.

On my notebook, nestled in the corner
among glued-on stars, are the words
second law of thermodynamics.

It means, literally, that entropy always increases.
It implies that one day, the very last star will run out of
nuclear fuel and everything, anything,
will cease to exist.

I chose to have those words there as a
reminder of my impermanence,
that simple scientific law
turns the pages back to sun-drinking trees in my hands, my
hands back to dust.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t need a legacy.

I don’t need my name up in lights.
But I would like it in the wind and seasalt and dandelions, so
burn me when I die.

I don’t need my name to go down in history.
the infinity before and the infinity after anyone said it
will all be the same to me.

Legacy.
What a distracting concept.
Jul 29

Tear yourself apart

Tell her that she’s beautiful, 
and watch her smile before 
she devours the compliment up 
lapping at every last honey drop 
at her fingers because she’s 
been starved for so long, 
and what is a girl without 
other people to tell her  
the value that she has? 

Tell her that she’s skinny 
and she will beam before 
looking in the mirror and tracing 
the outline of her ribs with 
her paper fingers, half human 
half ghost, so thin she’s almost gone
hunger was never beautiful, 
this animal eating her up from inside. 

Tell her that she’s hot and 
look at her short skirt like it’s 
the only part of her that matters and she’ll 
shoot you a grin before tugging down 
her dress as a sense of anxiety creeps 
in her mind because everyone knows 
what happens to girls with too-short dresses
walking alone at night, 
grips her keys between her fingers and 

Montana

This place is absolutely beautiful. 
Our rental house is right next to the Yellowstone river. :)

P.S.  
why would anyone use explosives to procure fish???
Takes all the fun out of it.