Poems are… by Tucker

Poems are…

And Pointless.
Murmuring. Vile.
And sarcastic filth.

Hushed whispers defined by dread.
Disillusioned intellect.
Childish pleading, shining with fright.
The unspeakable words, dipped in doubt.

It’s ironically ingenious.
Inconsequential disappointment.

Those shining souls mention dull words,
lost throughout our beautiful
lives. Our glimpse of thought:
synthetic failure.

Cruel frustration
we recall

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He’s Full- By Megan

He’s full.
Full of it.
Full of greed and
hatred and anger.
He walks cocky and self-
conceited, without a doubt.
Why, they ask? Why is he like this?

They have no answers. He is odd, no
doubt. But it was she who transformed him out
of this childish way of life. It was
she who brought him back to earth, back to
reality. How they ask? Why
would someone like her be with
someone like him? She loves
him. No one knows how.
Or why she does.
Until now.

She sees.

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Finally Found- by Makayla V.

In her
gleaming gaze,
she gives me a
shifted expression.
Her eyes shouting to help
her, she tells me we all have
filthy secrets carved into us.
She whispers life is cruel to her. I
am inconsequential–her words dipped in
Depression.  Life is misunderstood. Life
is full of pretending.  Life is full
of complicated memories.
She wears a mask and shushes
me with her sharp smile. I
am pleading to be
discovered. She

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A Hundred Cans of Paint: by Rawand

Semester 2 Exam Topic

A Hundred Cans of Paint

If you look out your window on any given morning, it is likely you may see a boy in sweats, running. If you follow him, very closely and very quietly, you can see where he goes. Over on East Avenue, just across the small candy shop where all the delinquents–criminals in training– gather, there is a large brick wall. This wall is no ordinary wall . This wall has vision. It is covered in the ideas of many, but it has not been touched in years. If you look closely, you can see that what is drawn on the wall tells a lifetime of stories. There are words, initials, flowers, initials, skulls, rainbow-bubbled swirls, testaments to people–people represented as leaders, as failures. The boy passes this candy shop and ducks in the alley to a secret forgotten pocket, isolated from the world.

The boy in the sweats wakes up at precisely 4 AM . He gathers his spray cans and his copper-colored hoodie and leaves his home. I wake up and examine his passing my window every morning, every day. His colors in the cans correspond with the days of the week. On Sundays, they are primary colors: golden sun yellow, heat rising red, mysterious indigo-blue. On Mondays and Thursdays his colors are dark and sad: moss green and bitter violet. Occasionally the color of combed velvet. It’s a serious style of work.

I don’t know the boy anymore, but I know that he runs to the wall when he needs to. I’ve seen him cry for reasons that cannot be explained with even the most absolute description of words. I know that he is alone and in pain. This wall is his only mode of expression, and he is looked at as a vandal. He receives no credit and no praise from anyone. I want to help him but I feel he would push me away. He doesn’t even show his face in public. He wears his hoodie pulled deep over his face allowing him to see out, but no one to see in.

Why do I care about him?

We met in third grade. He was my only friend. He was the only one I could turn to when everyone else turned away from me. On that first day of third grade, I had noticed there was always this one boy who always had his head buried in his desk. His oversized hoodie covered practically his whole body. He was extremely skinny and had the darkest brown eyes, nearly black. He was in that class for really stupid people. But this boy was not stupid. He watched everyone closely, but no one paid attention to him. He had no friends, just like me. I couldn’t help but feel sad for him, though he probably didn’t feel anything for me. He seemed to get along just fine without what any third grader would die to have: a friend. It was unusual, but that’s what I liked about him. He was different.

I remember that one day, a couple of months after school started, we had to bring in something for show and tell.  After everyone had gone, the boy finally got up in front of the whole classroom to present what he had brought. Not many paid attention, and when they did, they hardly paid any. I watched him closely though. I remember that day like I remember my name. His story was unique, crazy, and weird.  He spoke softly, his eyes looking at the floor, not daring to even look at the teacher. It went like this:

“I brought in something very special for show and tell.  It may seem like nothing to you, it is like a valuable treasure to me.” He held out the spray paint can to show the class. It l was empty and caked with dirt. My eyes started to widen and I started to get small shivers up my spine. It was then when I started to get a real interest in the boy. He continued “I am-er, I once knew this boy, who everyone ignored. He was alone, had no one. Had no family and knew no one. This boy would always run to…to escape. He had experienced a painful time. There wasn’t much to say about him. He seemed to live on the streets, since he was always there rather than his house. He practically lived off small sandwiches from the nearest convenience store, paying for them by frantically searching through the roads for small change or under the large vending machines and soda pop machines. He was barely surviving. He was malnutritional, I think that’s how you say it?” He looked at the teacher for assurance. Mrs. Livy was in tears. “Malnourished” she corrected in a whisper. The boy paused a split second, then continued “You might ask ‘why won’t he just tell someone? Then he could be happier, get himself fed, even go to live with a foster home?’ ” He paused. Everyone was looking at him now. I was too. “But he only has his cans.” He finished, abruptly. Then, he took his seat and put his head down on his desk.

I waited until lunch to talk to him. Everyone else just ignored him, like nothing had even happened. I sat down next to him and looked at him closely. His skin was dry; his eyes were bloodshot, like he had been crying. He didn’t pay any attention to me, just fidgeted with his tuna sandwich on stale bread that he got from free lunch. I started “What cans?” He looked at me suddenly, like he had just been accused of murder. His expression, I could tell, was a mix of worry to who I would tell, hatred of the world, and surprise from how sudden it all seemed. He shook his head and got up to leave but I pulled him back in his seat. I knew he wouldn’t do anything to fight back because I knew that was not who he was. Tears started to spring in his eyes, but he blinked them back and walked back to the classroom. Our conversation was over. The rest of the kids went outside for recess, but I know that seeing other kids laugh would just make him want to be alone, isolated away from the others.

I walked home. I have ever since I was in first grade. We lived near the school and my mother did not mind me doing it as long as I came home in time, but that was never a problem. I walked home with my hands in my faded jeans pockets, pushing rocks out of my way as I went. I was looking at the ground until I felt a sudden swift rush of wind and a tug at my arm.  It was the boy. He wordlessly led me over to the fence near the playground. We walked along a long narrow and dusty path for quite a long time until we reached an old beaten down rusted shed. He pulled me inside. It was pitch black and I didn’t move because I was too busy feeling scared. I didn’t know what he was going to do to me–not like rape, or hurt me. It was weird.

The room suddenly brightened as he pulled a stained cloth away from the window. I turned to look the boy. He was grinning wide, as if he took pride in this rusty old dump. He finally answered my question before I could ask another one “These cans” he pulled a large sheet off the large table. Once he did, I understood why it would be something to be proud of. The table was COVERED in cans. Cans of spray paint of every single color that ever existed and more. There must have been thousands on the table and the floor.

Instead of asking questions, I just stood there, open-mouthed. The boy looked at me, still smiling. I walked over to some of them and read the colors aloud “Popping purple, roasting red, jungle green.” There were some weird names, but it was kind of fun reading them. I looked at him again. He was examining some of the cans closely. I asked “What’s your name?” He turned to me in all seriousness. “Drew” he said.”What’s yours?” I smiled at that because he sounded like he really wanted to know. “Marcus,” I answered. He nodded and sat down on the chair next to him. “So, you want me to tell you what these cans are for? They kinda have a big secret.” “Like you?” I said. He looked at me, a little shocked but he didn’t do anything to stop it, almost like he had known it was coming. “Yeah..” He nodded. “So what are they for?” He told me that the cans were his pencil, the walls his paper, and that he was telling his story.

He said that when he got older, he would draw amazing things that everyone would love, things that no one would have ever seen before. I asked him if he was worried about getting in trouble for the graffiti. He shook his head and said “It’s not graffiti. It’s vision”

He pulled out this dark folder from under a large pile of paint cans. He showed me some of the drawings he had been working on. He said he needed to choose the right spot, a place where people would see the difference between vision and graffiti. His pictures were detailed: sad, happy, silly, perfect, and wrong. There was a mixture of emotions I can’t explain, but overall it was absolutely wonderful. Then he changed his story. He told me it wasn’t such a big deal; he didn’t want me to tell anyone about his pictures. But even with this secret, he had let me in.  Finally I had found a friend. For the next five years we were inseparable.

Freshman year, Drew’s grades started to slip. He had barely passed third grade, but after that he and I always worked together on projects and homework assignments. I kept him alert and helped him keep his grades high enough pass. But during his first year of high school, he just stopped caring. I never understood why. It hurt me.  Back then we were close and we never kept secrets. It felt weird that he was shutting me out. Drew said that he couldn’t take the stress from school anymore and dropped out. I wish I could have done something about it, but I didn’t know what to do. Freshman year was rough for me too though and I never had time to see him after school. Our friendship had started to fade.

When Drew left school, I was once again alone. At lunch, I sat alone at the table farthest away from everyone. It was terrible for me, but I spent most of my time worrying about Drew. I had always wondered how he managed to take care of himself as a child, but as we grew I didn’t think as much about it. Now I worried about him all the time. But whenever I would walk home and see him running, I never said anything. It was like we existed in different worlds.

When I was younger, I really wanted our friendship to last; in fact, part of me still does. It is weird. I don’t see him much anymore.  I am now a senior. I miss him. The thing is, Drew meant a lot to me. He was the brother I never had. We talked a lot about what we wanted in life–girls, jobs, family, dreams. We were never embarrassed to admit anything to each other. We went into depth a lot. Sometimes we were really emotional too. When we got upset, we would go to the shed.  There, in private, he would cry on my shoulder and I would cry on his. We acted like kids but we didn’t care. We were best friends.

But now I don’t know him.

I get up every morning to see him run. I don’t know if he sees me looking out the window. Once I followed him, to look at his ‘visions’ on the wall. They were intricate: a life story in paint. It reflected all that was him–happiness, sadness, disappointment, grief. It was no secret that he had accomplished what he had wanted in life, or what he thought he wanted: fragments of childhood ignorance. He lives with no one, but I don’t know how to affords to live at all.  He doesn’t have a job, or education, or a focus in life.

Once caught up to him and told him that if he didn’t get a job or get an education, he was going to go nowhere in life fast. He just shook his head and ran away. I don’t even know him now; the Drew I once knew is gone. I only know him from his visions now. The visions I won’t tell.  Visions that are constantly under revision.

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They Swerved: by Savana

They swerved.

Life is cruel,
possessing a poised
and childish balance.

The distaste of a pointless
embrace beyond the comfort of
civilization disappoints me.

The exact memory pulses through me.
That jagged, unspeakable gaze frightens
me. The patients scamper about as
if they are confused and tattered.

My thoughts have been restored but
the recall of dread grips
me inside. Whispers
of depression,
pleading for
my dad.

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Mystery Beneath: by Christina

Mystery Beneath

and relaxed,
dread interjects.
Happiness now lost:
anxiously murmuring.
Ignorant, pointless shouting–
disappointing and frustrating.
Frightened. Trembling. Confused. And anxious.
Before, patient, and her smile gleaming.
Her gaze: simple, girlish, and understood.
The happy sunshine shines bright outside.
Wordless misunderstandings missed;
Expressions shift in a thought.
Beautiful curse: defined.
Comforting embrace,
Comfort restored.

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Escape: by Morgan

The sunlight pours into my bedroom, making the blue walls seem brighter than they actually are. Wind filters through the window screen, making that one poster just above my head wave, crinkle, and annoyingly flap. My phone vibrates twice beside me, signaling a new text message that I am not going to bother reading. Instead, I click ‘ignore’ on the screen and open up my music app.

Finding a song to fit my mood right now is almost impossible.  I’m happy, yet I have a strange feeling of sadness, like something could go wrong any second. That is what life does: makes you happy, then tears you apart. Not bothering to look any further, I hit ‘shuffle’ and wait for a sound to come through the small white cords connected to my ears. After a few seconds, the slow, soothing voice of Ed Sheeran leaks thorough.  His meaningful lyrics sink into my head.

I sit, listening, trying to make sense of the lyrics I don’t understand and seeing how the ones I do apply to my life. That is what he sings about, life, and how it makes you feel –happy, sad, broken, delighted, wonderful.

Drowning out the music until it is just merely background instrumentals, I start to think about myself.  I reflect on my day.  I walk through it all in my mind, smiling at the good memories and the people who made them possible. I think about the work we did in all my classes, and remind myself to study for that upcoming Algebra quiz retake.  I think about the things I could have prevented, or helped.  Like the boy in the hallway who dropped all his things, and I just walked around him because I was in a rush to my next class. I think about the things that made me mad or sad or stressed.  Like friend drama, boy drama, or just plain old high school drama. I think about my day in general and give it a grade.  I’d give it a B-.

Soon, I stop reflecting and see that the song Ed was once singing to me was replaced with some upbeat Rhianna. I’m not in the mood.  I pull out my headphones and end the song. Wrapping the cords around my phone, I gently put them on the black nightstand beside my bed. I reach for the soft purple blanket scrunched at the end of my bed, exactly where I had left it this morning. I pull it around my shoulders and sink into the pillows.  I close my eyes, and memories of Ed’s melodies lull me to sleep.

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Escape: by Victoria

The field.  The only place where I can truly escape.

We, as in my chestnut painted quarter horse and I, decide to explore as soon as the fireball sun hits the edge of the horizon. It rises, making the cotton ball clouds explode in different and striking colors. We creep along the bumpy path that leads to the destination of my liking. Along the way, we search for signs of fuzzy puff-ball rabbits dancing parallel to the path.

We finally make it.

As soon as we get there, we take off in a gallop across the hilly plain of the field. The hooves hitting the ground sound like thunder; the faint smell of hay pricks my nose and tickles my calves as we run through. Polka dotted deer scurry away from us as we collide with their natural habitat.Every once in a while, monstrous flocks of creepy black birds launch from the ground. Today they are absent.

We slow, eventually coming to a complete stop as we hit the rocky, then sandy creek. I let my horse take a deep draw of water.  It seemingly lasts forever. Then we continue our journey, crossing the jagged creek. Twigs crunch beneath us and the crisp cool wind sends shivers down my back and across my arms. Multicolored leaves gently swirl around us.

We stop tracing the outline of the field. I get off my horse and mope to the creek’s edge. Again he takes a long sip of water. I tie him to a nearby tree branch. I lay down in the sweet-smelling grass and the sun hits my sweaty, though quickly chilling, skin. It reminds me of being wrapped in my wool blanket during the wintertime, when the icy wind seeps though my bedroom windows at night.

I doze, padded by a little bed of grass and wrapped in the warmth of the sun, my new wool blanket. I slip seamlessly in and out of sleep. Eventually I wake, remembering that I’m in the middle of a hay-field and have tied my horse to a flimsy tree branch.

I lazily pick myself up off of the ground and walk to my horse. I untie him and continue to explore these surrounding. More spotted deer and racing rabbits. Rushing birds cross my eyesight as we walk around the field one last time. Well, gallop. We frighten the animals; that is the only way I see them, as they scurry away. Finally we lazily creep back down the bumpy dirt path that started this journey.

And that is my escape–where I go when I am mad, or sad, or just need to get away–just me, my quarter horse, and an open field.

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Escape: by Audrey

I slip my feet into the boots, clicking each buckle into place.  When I stand again, I’m two inches taller, the wheels and the boot giving me an advantage. I slowly step to the door, careful not to fall.  Climbing out into the cool air, I look like a baby bird, wobbly on my legs.  But when I hit the concrete,  I steady. I roll into the yard, careful not to trip on the walnuts strewn about from the last storm and scattered haphazardly, threatening to sprain my ankle.

Finally, I reach the road.  One slow step, then I’m off.  I pump my legs fast and strong to build momentum.  The road is rough, jostling me as though I’m riding on a bed of rocks. My face shakes and feet vibrate in the roller blades. Finally, I hit a smooth spot, the one I take all the way down the small hill.  No tough climbing needed yet.

I slow a bit, pulling myself into a sharp turn, balancing like a dancer. A car jumps the large hill up ahead, the one I’m about to scale.  I stagger into the grass as the car screams past, jolting impatiently up the road.

I carefully walk to the drainage pipe that runs under the road and sit on the concrete, watching the water trickle beneath me.  It’s not fast today.  Instead it slowly hums, softly whispering into the tunnel underneath the road towards the shimmering river behind me.

My escape is partly this place, and partly the trek I took to get here.  As I sit, I take in the conversations between the talkative birds and the cheerful water. I do exactly what I came here to avoid: I think.  I think about my therapy sessions I must attend, for my father fears depression.  I think about my friends, the problems they are facing.  I just think.

But I came here to not think, to push all of it away.  I came here to leave it all behind and forget all about it, at least for a little while.   So when I realize I’ve been caught by the peace of the river, that I have allowed these thoughts to pass through my head, I stand up and brush myself off, resolute in my decision to keep moving.  I climb back up to the road,  slowly crunching brown, red, and orange leaves as I go.

I coast to the base of the hill, lungs fully restored, and then begin to climb. When I reach the top, my heart beats like a drum in my ears, a signal that I need a break.  I ignore it.

By the time I get home, I feel better already. Thoughts are forced out.  My body feels lighter, emptier. I crawl into the bed and fall asleep, clinging to my carefully constructed pattern of suppression.

That is my escape. I rollerblade.  I push until the only things I can think about are my burning legs, my dry lungs, my numb head.  I rollerblade until I have nothing left to think about.

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Escape: by Aaron

Grabbing my ipod, I unravel my headphones. I put them in and curl up in a ball in my bed. I hit shuffle and my mind goes blank. Everything I have done, that I need to do, that I will do leaves my mind. Who I am leaves my mind. I am no longer me. I am an empty vessel; the sweet melody of music slowly fills me up. As I lay there with my eyes closed, ten minutes pass. Now thirty. I lose track of time as I lose touch with reality. I lay there motionless as my ipod sings to me.

I never want to leave this state of mind–never leave this world of music, never leave the place where my dreams and reality collide. They are infinitely tied together in music. When I am in this state, nothing can hurt me. I am invincible. I don’t have to worry about getting people to like me. I don’t have to be bothered with petty drama. I don’t have to fear people talking about me.

I don’t have to turn down my personality.

It not longer matters if I talk a lot. It no longer matters if I dress well or not. It no longer matters if I am gay or straight. Nothing matters. I feel my heartbeat slow, my breath slow. I fall deeper into the magical world of escape.

The longer I lay there, the deeper I go. My senses slowly start to shift. I can’t see anything or feel anything or hear anything from this world. I am surrounded by music. Soft riffs and melodies dance before my eyes. The bass vibrates my soul. The rhymes, the words coax me to forget.

I am now as deep as I can go. I am in complete peace as the music and I become one. The impossible has become possible. The unimaginable has become imaginable. I can do anything; I can be anything. This is my escape.

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