Zoey Reign Reed-Nature calls

As the birds chirp, I lay

back in my rocking chair and

watch as the large trees tower over me,

the grass swaying in the wind.

I hum to myself as I look up at the birds dancing

and twirling in the sky, I smile.

The denim-jean jumper I’m wearing itches on

my skin, the brown-colored cardigan I wrap myself in, shines in the sun.

I step off of my porch and walk onto the grass, the wind

blows my locs another direction,

and I silently grin.

Yana Yael V.

My Fear

From the cushioned chairs, to the old grandfather clock, to the sailboat keeper of time, to the messy, envelope-and- sticker and plastic-plant-in-a-vase-covered table, to the clear, glass coffee table, to the stuffed animal-covered couch, to the Fabergé-like eggs, on a metal, decorated platter, to the mp3 standing on the thicker-than-normal windowsill, to the oddly, but impossibly familiar rug, 

I know, that in the future, all of these things are inevitably going to change, 

and when they do, no matter how much time I’ve taken to prepare for what’s to come, I’ll never be ready for them to be gone. From the white, flower-embroidered, cushioned, wooden chairs, that will probably go to my family, when my grandparents eventually inevitably die,

to the old, wooden grandfather clock, with a smaller-than-normal clock face with a golden minute and hour hand, but we already have one so it will most likely end up being sold as if it was never a part of my grandparents’ lives, as if they never even lived, as if they were just a small dent in the world, a world so cruel, that it won’t care when they’re no longer here, 

to the wooden sailor-in-a-sailboat time-keeper teetering back-and-forth, trying to create a balance with what it has, all that it has, that will probably be given to their grandchildren or the child who wants it the most, to the brown, wooden, forever-messy desk, white medical envelopes and multicolored stickers covering it, with a plastic-cherry-blossom-in-a-vase, that, possibly, I’ll get or maybe someone else,

to the elegant, glass and wooden coffee table, that my cousins might inherit, to the three pink, green and red stuffed animal-covered, milk-chocolate-colored, faux leather couch that’ll probably get sold off or given to whoever needs it most in our extended family, to the colorfully-decorated Fabergé-like eggs on a gold-and-white flower-patterned metal platter, that my family will probably inherit, to the leaf-green mp3 player with a slick design, standing on the white, thicker-than-normal windowsill, the mp3 player which will probably be sold, which will make it feel like it never even belonged to my grandparents, creating the illusion

that they were never really here, on earth,

to the oddly, but impossibly familiar, red-and-gold rug

I know

that all of these things are going to change: when my grandparents are no longer living, the world won’t care. Their house might be sold and everything will be gone to the point that no one would ever even think they existed. But I’ll know, and unlike the world, I’ll have to find a way to accept that they’re gone.

Mia Duarte-Julie

It was a couple of weeks ago, when I had a sleepover with my best friend, Julie. It was two in the morning, we were both laying on my aunts’ old bed with the blankets removed because of the summer heat. The window was open, there was small crickets chirping and little sounds from my grandmother’s dog down stairs. We held our heads in our hands and giggled about boys and asked each other questions we already knew the answer to. Out of the blue, I tell her, “There is nobody I would rather share the bed with, than you.”

And she laughed, and snorted. Of course she would, it was a ridiculous thing to say to your best friend. We had been friends for six years, but I never stopped loving her hilarious laugh where she snorts and she surprises herself. Although it was dark, I could still make out the goofy smile spread widely across her face when she finally asked why.

Her eyebrows were raised and she was still wearing the same shirt that she had been wearing all day. I rolled my eyes and responded, with a serious face, “Well, I know that if I wake in the morning and everybody hates me, you would stand by my side,” I paused, and added, “Plus, if you get a letter to Hogwarts tomorrow morning I can rely on you to pack me in your luggage and secretly take me with you. And, let’s just say there’s an apocalypse and everyone is a zombie, you can be my adventure buddy.”

She laughed again, but even harder this time.  She covered her face with her hands and snorted extremely loud. I shushed her, reminding her that my grandfather is sleeping, and my grandmother and brother were camping in the yard outside. We both sighed, and reminisced about our first sleepover when we had a fake marriage way back in fifth grade. Since I had short hair, I had pretended that I was her crush that she used to have on this cute boy. She wore a white dress and I wore black pants and wore a scarf to represent a tie. We had wedding music and everything, and I think we smashed a handful of whipped cream in each other’s faces.

After many memories and talks about our past sleepovers, we eventually fell asleep around four or five, and woke up around nine. We headed down stairs and greeted my grandmother, she smiled at us as we giggled about our conversations from the night before. She then made us some coffee and gave us permission to get the captain crunch cereal out of the pantry, a treat for me since I never eat cereal.

The rest of the morning was pretty unproductive, I put on Princess Mononoke and we both sat on the couch in silence, trying to get out of the since-its-morning-I-feel-tired-and-gross feeling. She had to leave around twelve, her mom was going to pick her up so they could go shopping. I knew she couldn’t say no to that, she only saw her mother once in a while and this was important to her.

When she left, I waved to her from the wooden porch as the van left the gravel driveway. I suddenly felt like crying. I had just realized what I had done. I had confessed my love to my best friend, but not in the I-want-to-kiss-you way. Its that feeling when you know that your best friend will be coming soon and that you are going to see her face. Its that feeling when you know your going to have fun and you’re going to laugh all day. Its that feeling when you know that you can fully trust someone with your time and energy because they trust you with theirs. And that is the definition of a best friend.

Sophia Kantsevoy- The Lantern

In a hidden part of a freezing mountain lies a hollow obscured by frost-covered stone. Not marked on any maps and unknown to humanity, the tiny cave is a rare refuge for weary lost travelers, its hard exterior protecting them from the predators that make the harsh, quiet mountain their home. A tiny, nearly-invisible hole in the roof of the enclave lets in trickles of soft, sparkling snow, and, over the centuries since the hollow was formed, it’s filled up with layers of frost. Though visitors rarely stumble upon the hidden shelter, and the constant cold has eroded nearly all traces of humans, one mark has been made on the obscured, icy cave.


In the spring, when the top layers of snow have melted, only a pile of the cold white crystals, soft and a few feet-deep, remains in the center of the hollow. Atop this heap of unfamiliar, undisturbed snow lies an old, ever-burning lantern, left by a traveler who’s certainly all but forgotten about the glowing contraption he left behind in a strange, hidden hollow on a harsh, snow-covered mountain.


The lantern lights up the darkness

And warms up the cold.

It softens the starkness

And turns everything gold.


It’s a woolen coat keeping out the harsh wind

It’s an inviting word, erasing chagrin.


It’s a soft tissue soaking up salty tears

It’s an understanding look exchanged between peers.


It’s reading a book in a soft, cozy bed

It’s cutting into a fresh loaf of warm, home-made bread.


It’s the arm of a friend draped around shaking shoulders

It’s the roots of a tree sprouting up between two mossy boulders.


The lantern’s a light keeping nightmares at bay

The lantern’s jumping into a huge pile of hay.


It’s a soft, yellow duckling swimming across a still lake

It’s blowing out the candles of a sweet birthday cake.


It’s a mother cat licking the heads of her kittens

It’s putting on a pair of snug, knitted mittens.


It’s a rosy sunset emitting soft, golden light

It’s a silvery moon illuminating the night.


It’s a lone lifeboat floating in the roiling blue.


The lantern is comfort.


The lantern is safety.


But, most of all, the lantern is you.

Bella Fauser- Never Ending Darkness

Earth is falling apart.

Darkness fills the skies, our home struggling against the wind.

If only our hearts were strong enough.


Now, while hearts are special, they’re also dangerous.

Playing with minds and distracting our souls from reality.

leaving our visions to be narrowed, and our mind dull.


We seem to believe that depression can and will find you anywhere,

that it’s going to infiltrate the mind.

Crumbling you from the inside out, with no chance of escaping.


Perspective is overrated. 

Constantly criticizing the world, however it wants 

Judging the world just because it can, but who’s to say

 that perspective won’t benefit one’s mind? 

I hear you but it’s not that easy

Despite the fact that it often moves the conscious to an 

abstract, quiet, dark place, where your view on life is dimmed and darkened


Nothing can motivate the change of one’s ways 

Continuously making the wrong decisions, slipping into their own mind. 

But, no matter how confused or lost someone is, their 

heart will, no matter what, find something to live for, 

something to beat for, something that cares.


I believe we all have something that is worth 

knowing by others, that we all deserve a fair chance.

Though, not all will get to prove themselves, 

not all get to prove what makes them special 

Some are, well, not so lucky 

Drifting beneath the surface, giving up on themselves 


And the sad truth is, those who who fall, will stray away from the world 

And from themselves entirely.

Corrine Reed – What The Sky Sees

Bristles of grass prod at her bare legs

Her heap of curly hair tangled in the leaves,

Arms crossed aimlessly over her chest; she envelops herself into a hug

Staring up at the sky, a smile stained against her lips

So very blue and so pure, it carried a childlike innocence that warmed her


What she does not know, this innocence that warms her so

It is fake, a facade.

What she does not know, what her ignorance blinds her too is the violent reality of what the sky has seen.

What it has heard.

So, she lays in the prickly grass, embracing herself, a stupid grin on her face.


All while distant cries can be heard, true innocence being stripped away, stolen.

Gun shots and bullet wounds

Disease and sickness

War and famine

All of which linger under the eyes of the sky.

Ryian Hartley – The Match Will Haunt the Maker

Smoke is what I breathed in as they tried to hold me back. The yells and the screams sounded liberating.

Ash is what marred my hands, and even with them cuffed behind my back, I still could feel myself smiling.

Irreversible damage is what I aimed to cause, so I grinned when I saw she was suffocating.

Abusive, is what she said I was, so I left her apartment sizzling.

Evil is what even her neighbors said I had become, so I set fire to the entire building.

Amy Rose Wagenheim-Meet me on the sidewalk?

Meet me on the sidewalk?

I wish a word existed

That could explain this feeling

Where happiness feels so sad

Smooth stone with sharp edges

Sunbathing in a rainstorm


Laying in a sidewalk together

The warmth of the pavement

Staring into the blinding sky

The song that is thoughts

Irrelevant pain in my head

Lost in the grand universe


The world looks different here

A new perspective enveloping me

Everything is so much brighter

Bittersweet doesn’t cover this sensation

Washed away to this place


Here, a sort of home

Solitude in your company

Here I will lie forever

Scavenged by beasts of thoughts

No words cover this sensation



Aili Miller – Waves


Waves in the ocean

Like the name of the song I only half learned to play on my old piano

The piano I begged my parents to buy me so I could learn Mozart

I wanted to play for you

I still know some songs by heart

The ones you loved to hear

The ones I practiced late at night so that one day-

I could play them perfectly

That old piano still sits in my home

Really just decoration now

But if you ever came back-

And asked me to play

I’d smile and say,

Anytime love, but only for you