Short Story



















To a True Friend:

I just would like to tell you,
Thanks for always being there for me,
Through all my smiles, tears, and pain.
You've always helped me in anyway you can.
I can tell you absolutely anything
And I know you won't tell a soul.
Whenever I am feeling down,
You're the one who can make me laugh.
And we stick together like two peas in a pod.
You encourage me to be my true self,
And you don't judge me by my clothes or looks,
but by my personality.
You're the one I know will tell me if my hair doesn't look just right,
Or that there is food in my teeth.
And when ever we get together,
We can be as crazy as a Tasmanian devil, or more.
You will do anything just to see a smile on my face.
You are very honest and loyal,
And I know that you would never lie to me.
Your personality as multi - colored, las the rainbow.
You can get along with anyone.
You have made me realize that there is so much joy in life,
and to live it to the fullest.
Your unique qualities are what I admire the most about you.
The way your positive attitude impacts your personality.
You have taught me so much and have really been a supporting friend.
I don't think that I have ever said thanks for that.
So I would just like to say, thank you.
For always being they're for me.
Hey, I'm Mollie. I love to wirte. I hope you enjoy my writing.
Me and Gladys

With tears in her eyes, but a smile on her lips, she left, just like that. No good-byes, no warning, it's as if she hadn't even seen it coming. But she had, I knew it, even me with the mind of a nine year old could comprehend, she had never meant to stay. I realize now, that the world was never really meant for such a free-spirit, she's happier now anyway with no boundaries. I can recall the first time I laid eyes on her, I was six. She had lived next door even before my parents moved in, but she had stayed in recluse, or at least during the few hours I was coherent. I was sitting on the front porch, my too short legs dangling over the Adirondack chair. And a figure walked out of the house next door. I was somewhat taken aback, not knowing anyone lived there, but intrigued I continued to watch. The figure looked towards me, and her gray hair caught the sunlight, she flashed a toothy smile and began walking towards me. Across the fence she spoke to me, "Hello dear, nice day!
 out. My name's Gladys. And yours would be?"
"Uh, uh, Gretchen," I stammered.
"Would you care to come in and have a cup of tea? I just received some charming flavors from Beijing."
I smiled stupidly, not even knowing where or what Beijing was.
"Oh dear, run and asked your mum I wouldn't want to trouble her with a missing child," she chucked a bit, as I ran inside the house.
I returned with my mothers consent, and found Gladys talking to my cat about a secret garden of cat-mint that lies forbidden somewhere in my other neighbor's garden. She looked up as I walked out, "Well come along dear, right this way."
I followed where she pointed. Her garden was massive, well to me at least. It was jumbled, filled with all sorts of flower. I found its beauty in disorganization. I think she did too. We walked into her house, the lights were dimmed, and ferns lurked in the corners. A huge green, Oriental rug lined the floor and candles were haphazardly placed on different pieces of furniture.  We walked through, and into her kitchen, where a pot of tea was steeping.
"It's called Chai, from Beijing, it tastes like pumpkin, and you'll like it."
I nodded, after realizes she was talking about tea.
"So, Gretchen, my dear, how old do you happen to be? At least seven I presume."
"No, only six," I smiled sheepishly.
"I remember when I was six," she sighed, then laughing, "How simple it was back then, before the war and all."
"Err, the war?" Being only six, I believed the world consisted of Grass Valley, Nevada City, and some place called "Monterey". And as far as I knew Grass Valley hadn't suffered from any wars.
"Oh forgive me dear, you wouldn't know, let me tell you a story," she smiled as she place two sugar cubes into my tea.
"It was during the beginning of World War Two. I was living in Brussels, in an area that was occupied by the Germans. I was only seventeen and I had just graduated high-school, and was working as an apprentice to a tailor. That was short-lasted once the Germans discovered he was Jewish, and he was shipped off to a concentration camp, leaving me jobless. My family was broken-up, and broken down. I was the only one still living in the town. So, I really had no reason to stay, and I caught a train which took me to Cherbourg , and from Cherbourg I managed my way to Brest. I haven't a clue how I got there, with all the mumble-jumble of papers and such. I hitch-hiked mostly. I arrived in Brest, and by the time I got there the United States had even joined the war, something to do with Japan. I didn't want to have anything to do with the war, being somewhat of a pacifist and all."
"Pacifist?" I queried.
"Someone who doesn't like war," she replied as she poured me another cup of tea.
"Anyway, I continued my work as a tailor, a full-fledged one; I was too good to be an apprentice. Not many people came to my little shop for it was on the edge of town, and a bit of a dump. But I had enough customers to keep me busy, and happy. One day, while I was working a young man walked in. Oh, did I swoon. He was tall and tan, with blonde curls that nearly covered his deep blue eyes. He fancied me too, at first sight, and we began to court. And that's when my free-spirit truly began to shine through, I couldn't be tied down, and early one morning I left town without so much as a good-bye. I hitch-hiked my way back up to Brussels, the moment I reached Belgium, tears flowed openly down from my eyes, the war had hit too hard. I knew I couldn't stay, but I knew I had to do something to help. I became a nurse, putting my sewing skills to work. You can sew more than cloth my dear. I traveled all though Europe, helping as many people as I could, oh the blood I saw, it still !
haunts me to this day," she said with a shudder. "After too many years, the war finally came to an end, and I was back in France. I had always wanted to visit Nice, so I traveled with the soldiers returning home to Nice and I lived there for some time. Continuing my work as a nurse, but after I felt that I was becoming too attached I traveled to the Americas. Right here in California. Berkeley to be exact. I can't say that I liked it there, too much politics for my simple mind." As she finished, the church bells rang for six o'clock.
Gladys smiled, and sent me home. "I don't want your parents to worry about you too much. Come back soon dear."
My visits and her stories became a regular, each time with a different flavor of tea. To this day Chai remains my favorite. But when I turned nine the visits became less frequent, because Gladys was never home, I thought she had left, her free-spirit needing freedom. But that wasn't the case.
One day after school my parents came to me with distressing news. "Gretchen, you may have noticed that Gladys hasn't been at home lately, she has been in chemotherapy, for breast cancer." After a brief explanation of chemo, and breast cancer they continued, "It hasn't been getting better though, only worse. Gretchen, Gladys is in the hospital; well, because she's dying."
I didn't cry at first, it took awhile for it to sink in. My parents suggested that once I had regained my clear head we should visit her. I consented and we drove away.
Gladys was lying in bed, with her gray hair all but gone. When I walked in she smiled. "Just in time my dear, I don't think I can hold out for much longer. Don't worry though, I'll be happier elsewhere, who knows maybe I'll re-meet my love from Brest." She chuckled amidst coughing spasms. "Dear, sit here," she motioned to a chair next to her bed, "Let me tell you a story. I was living in Grass Valley, in a small house but with a massive garden, for once I was settled down, but I wasn't content, I can't stay in the same place for very long, you know that. And I was about to sell my house and move away, but one day I walked outside and there was a little girl sitting on her Adirondack chair, swinging her little legs, looking out across the world. I invited her in for some tea, it became a ritual, and it held me down. For once my free-spirit was content, I had a friend. A true friend. I cannot tell you how much I love that little girl, a grand-daughter I never had; tell her th!
at I love her." Tears began welling up in Gladys's eyes, and she smiled, and she left.
I haven't met a free-spirit at all like Gladys, and I never will, never content, never satisfied, but now she is and I know it.  
9th grader
Grass Valley, California, United States
About the author of "me and gladys". My name is Gretchen, I'm a freshman in high school, and I love to write. But sadly it takes a back seat to my social life. I am an athlete, I'm on my school's soccer team at the moment, and I also run cross-county and snowboard when I can. I thrive on music, mainly punk. But I also like hard-rock and the occasioal metal. but punk music is my vice. My friends are the most important thing to me, so I spend almost all my free time (which isn't very much) with them. However, writing is quite a passion for me, even though I may not be too good at it, I still love it anyway.
Dead or Alive

With war at their fingertips, they dare not look behind,
Afraid they'll turn to see what's been haunting in their mind.
The sight from which they see the men
Transform from young to old,
Exchanging of their organs
And their trademarks scatter the world.

Grandmothers, old and frail,
Dream as they lye awake,
Dream of suffering, and whose lives may be at stake,
Evil from which they fought had died,
Once more comes back to life,
From which had ruined and tortured,
Made them a lonely wife.

From a time they believed so much had banished,
Become content, watch their dreadful memories slowly vanish,
Once again the young ones see the tears from
Their lonely grannies eyes,
Tug on the cardigan, wonder why they see her cries.
She knows what to expect,
"Daddy won't be coming home tonight."

As for the men, fought, and won their death,
Their blood-drenched bodies breathe not a single breath,
Believed they could go home feeling wise and bold,
Get through it alive, to have and to hold.
Their homeland grieve, take pity on their soul,
Dig out their future, a grave filled hole.

10th grader
About the author of Dead or alive.  My name is Natasha.  This poem reminds me of how some, possibly more elders may be affected by the war.
Untitled 1

You are Posiedon,
God of the ocean.
Strong, brave, protective.
Unforgiving to your
But patient and loving to your

You are independent
And forceful.
When harm comes towards
Your friends or family
They know that
You are right behind ,
Giving love, support and a shoulder 
To cry or lean on.

You are each individual
Washing up on the beach.
You come and go,
People are sad when you leave
And yet reassured because they
Know that you will
Always come back.

If you are
The ocean,
I am the
Ocean floor.
If you are
The wave,
I am
The beach, which you wash up on.

Making it through
Good times and bad, through
Love and friendships, through
Heartbreaks and death
You depend on me,
And I on you.
The inseparable pair,
You and me.

10th grader
Appleton, WI
This is a poem I wrote for a Creative Writing course at my school, it is about my best friend.  The assignment was to write a poem about an extended metaphor.  This poem has won me 100 dollars in a local poetry contest.  I am very proud of it!
I am Tollbooth Tilly.
Yes, that is correct-
I work in a tollbooth.

I am Peter at your gate
I take your coins
(correct change, please!)
                      and I let you enter.

I see you pass by each day
You, with the loud music
and You-
Without a passenger door!
and You-
                                           Without a smile (or correct change!)

                                           I don't know why you don't
                                          Smile at me
                                          I don't know why you don't
                                          Say, "thank you!"

                                         You say "thank you!"
                                         To a librarian
                                         You say "thank you!"
                                         To a waiter

                                        But to me, Tollbooth Tilly,
                                        You give:
                                        No smiles
                   No love
                   No quarters (twenty-five cents, please!)

                 I am letting you in
                 I am setting you free
                To work, to love, to roam-
      I am letting you go; why do you not thank me?

               You wish you didn't have to ride.
                You wish that you had stayed inside.
11th grader
Edison,NJ, USA
This is just something that got me thinking one day....

You walk past
Don't even notice me

My face tainted with dry
Trails of pain and betrayal

I handed my halcyon soul to you
But all I got back was vague reflection
Of what I was,
Like a murky portrait
Suffocating under the tainted glass
Of a placid dark lake

I stare now at crimson words dripping
From pulsing lips
I cry because my every breath is filled with
The memories we shared

I scream and fire leaps from my
Mouth in the form of words
They taste like sweet poison
As my last breathe draws and I
Fall into a deep sleep

The last words that echo
In my ear like bells chiming
In the great cathedrals bell towers
Is your
Katy, TX/ U.S.A
About the author of Name. i wrote this poem because of the way i felt about my ex love. I would never really do the thing that the poem describes, but it helps vent some of the pain you feel. I hope you enjoy it and learn something from it.
Definition of a promise,
leaks from your head.
Go find your next victim,
then deny everything you've said.

I was the perfect girl,
for you to chase.
Funded your antics,
oblivion to your case.

Your life holds nothing,
your secrets I'll reveal.
Own up to what you did,
I won't let you conceal.

Take off your mask,
who are you inside?
Ashamed of who you are,
is that why you hide?

I'm such a fool,
you took me over.
How could I have trusted you?
You should've told her.

You hurt me,
bruised my heart.
I loved you,
and you loved tearing me apart.

You're sick and twisted,
you lied and betrayed.
I thought I had found a friend,
but I'm left to cry again today.

Someone please prove me wrong,
what's wrong with the world these days?
I'm searching for a friend,
but every one is turning away.
10th grader
What Best Friends Are

Best friends are a smile,
One that will always brighten your day.
Best friends are a hug,
That reassures you, the world is yours.
Best friends are a few words,
To tell you everything will be ok.
Best friends are there,
To accompany you in seeing the world.
Best friends are a glance,
That enables you to communicate with eachother.
Best friends are an ear,
That will always listen to your  problems.
Best friends are a soul,
That you must treasure for a lifetime.

Stewart, MN, 55385
About the author of What Best Friends Are.  I wrote this for a girl, who has changed my life dramatically in the short time I've known her.  Writing has always been my way of expressing myself.
The Time Before She Did Not Know

The Time before she did not know,
Unaware of how her life would go.
She did not know of what was to be,
That far ahead she could not see.

She only knew of how to run,
Happily, gaily, beneath the sun.
How to play and romp in the grass,
Oblivious of what was soon to pass.

Protected from all of life's sins,
And its game that's hard to win.
Childlike ways of thinking pure,
Not thinking about what life endures

Her beauty was beyond compare,
The way the sunlight hit her hair.
Eyes only a goddess would claim,
Soul only a prince could tame.

Yes, this girl had a heart of gold
That truly shattered the average mold
Last but not least her intelligence my, Lord!
Unmistakably she was sharp as a sword.

They all knew she was as good as they came.
They all knew she just wasn't the same.
Jealously filled their foolish hearts,
as they brutally tried to tear her apart

Three long years of hate age 10 to 13,
Her confidence broken or so it had seemed.
They thought the life in her was gone,
They thought their adolescence game had won.

Alas, it's true, she still is scarred,
Those words and deeds were oh so hard.
It even seemed like her beauty died.
That's how much inside he cried.

Now all that was lost is rightly returned.
How smugly she smiles she hopes they've learned,
That true beauty exists in every way,
And it cannot be squandered no matter what you say.

And when a child is born to win,
Childish jealousy won't make her cave in.
Remember I said my heart was gold?
Well, gold is stone and stones are also hard and cold.

Alice Elizabeth
9th grader
Brownsville, TX  U.S.A.
About the author of The Time Before She Did Not Know
My name is Alice I live in Texas, and I am a freshman in high school. I am in the top 10% of my class and it Pre Ap classes. I am a Varsity Cheerleader, a Varsity Polevaulter/Runner. U.S.A. Diver, Academy Chior, and a dancer at my school.  After school I teach gymnastics to underprivilaged children. I was voted most talented for my 9th grade class, and was nominated to rep[resent my class as dutchess for the Homecoming court.  However things were not always this easy for me and i hope that you can relate to my poetry.

As I tip-toe toward the window
I heard a little voice
From up above,
Say to me
"Be strong and have faith"
I thought to myself
Maybe I should listten
Listen to my heart more often
Life can be hard sometimes but
you still need to go on with your life
you will love and learn in
every second of the day
just stay strong in every
Aspect of your life
Angels from up above
Will guide you
To your brighter future and
Soothe your feelings inside
Be bright and your
Life will turn out to be a beautiful
and wondrous thing
A whisper is a bright and joyous thing
to come forth to you

10th grader
Grass valley,CA
About the author of Sarah

I am a very poetic person. I love to play sports and have fun with my friends but I also love to write. I especially love it when things pop into my head and I just have to write them down. I live in California and l love to go to the beach whenever I can.  That is me!!!!
Tears N' Love

How do I say I'm over you,
When inside I'm falling apart,
How do I say there's no love for you,
When that's all that's in my heart,

How do I begin to say,
I need you back with me,
Need to be back in your arms,
Just like I used to be,

How do I say I never,
Meant to let you go,
And that now my heart is hurting,
More than you'll ever know,

How do I ask how I can,
Get you to come home,
Because home is where the heart is,
Not left here alone,

So, boy I'm here waiting,
And I miss you more everyday,
When you see my tears, Just know,
They're words my heart can't say.

Amy Lauren
9th grader
Slidell,L.A, United States
About the author of Tears N'  Love: I wrote this poem when my boyfriend Antoine and I broke up. He was and still is my heart and soul. I've been lost for 6 months. My happiest times were spent with him...I found so much love with him but lost so much more without him. Having to see him everyday hurts. Nothing hurts more than realizing he meant everything to me but I meant nothing to him. I put my heart and soul into that relationship. Now that it's gone....I never want to love again...it just hurts too much. I know the love you get in the long run is what matters but...How do you surpass the pain that's right now? "If I can't have you, I'll just stay single for the rest of my life"

I watch, I wait, I sit, I cry;
In my room I hide, I sigh:
"Will I be lonely ever more?
When opportunity knocks, can I open the door?"
Put on a CD- full volume please.
Take a picture, I won't say cheese.
Ordinary lives let boredom reign,
I feel like I'm living only in vain.
I know when I die I won't be well
But what does it matter?
I'm not going to hell.
9th grader
About the author of "Alone"

My name is Megan, I'm fourteen and I love writing, especially short stories and weird poems like this one!

I lost the fight but it's alright
Cause' I'm a soldier
You may defeat me but believe me
It's not over
I put forth everything I got
And I survive
You try to kill me but right now
I am alive
You pull me down to the ground
But I will stay strong
I won't be weak, I'll be on top
All my life long

I run and hide, you try to find me
But you don't
I'll slip away, you'll try to catch me
But you won't
You pull your gun and try to shoot
I get my knife
I won't let you destroy my world,
Destroy my life
I fight back with all I have
With all my heart
You give up quick, you know you can't
Tear me apart

Whatever you do, you can never ever
Put me down
No matter what you do, you can't
Knock me down to the ground
You think you got me, but, trust,
My life isn't over
I won't back down, I am an
Everlasting soldier...

8th grader
McDonald, PA
Untitled 2

Can you name the newest spring fashion? Shoe? Color? Hair cut? Swimsuit style?  I can't. Then again, I sport the ever-classic jeans and t-shirt look. But I find myself belonging to the minority in today's society. As I walk down the hallway I pass girls with their noses buried in "Vogue" or "Cosmo" catching up with the girls on the runway. I see the pictures of the models
on the covers and notice the reader has a similar, if not the exact same, out fit on.
  Then in class I see the chicks flipping through the pages of "Self" and "Fitness" magazines looking for the miracle move to flatten their abs or shape their butt or tone their legs, all while munching on greasy, calorie-filled snacks. Do you see something wrong with this picture?  I do. As a fellow female I worry about these girls. They eat, sleep and breathe what these 'teen bibles' tell them. When will this insanity stop?
  First I should address why we, as girls, read these articles. Reasons can range from self-improvement to self-consciousness. We feel like we don't fit in. All the other girls are skinnier, prettier, fuller, flatter.  The list goes on. We're searching for a way to feel like we are just like
everyone else. But as a result of living by the rules of the 'zine we don't live our lives; we live the life the authors tell us to.
  And we can't forget the male eyes that are always on us. Dress to impress, is what they tell us in not so many words. Movies, TV, ads, you name it. They all feature tall, thin blonds as the ideal female figure. You would have to search to find one that does not fall into this category. The image has been burned into our minds so successfully that if you do,
then you wonder why the heck they have that pudgy, brown haired girl on there. Surely they could have found someone more  beautiful and perfect to play the part of the heroine.
  And what about Barbie? Do you see any of the them that don't have a size 2 waist or less than a DD cup? No way. Not unless you're looking at Skipper or Kelly, who, as Barbie's sisters are expect to be exactly the same. But then you switch your focus back to reality and very few families work that way. Real life is full of diverse people. So why are girls so afraid to be different?
  I find that being different is something everyone has in common. We could all the be same if we would just be different. I enjoy being different than everyone else. I'm not a wallflower. People will remember me because I stuck out from the crowd. It just boggles my mind, as a girl, why we spend
so much time in the bathroom in front the mirror. Why waste you time doing that when you could be out doing something else, like playing volleyball or laughing with you friends or at least something fun?
  I mean, who are we trying to impress? Our friends? Well if they are our friends, we shouldn't have to, right? Ok, how about the guys? Maybe to a certain extent but just from catching bits and pieces of various guy conversations, I get the impression they don't find it very attractive when girls have the makeup caked on or her skin an unnaturally dark color. Any
males I've talked to seems to prefer the more natural look.
  I'll admit that I do read some of those magazines. And I do wear makeup. But I spend ten minutes at the most on either of them. It is fun to get princess-ed up and to look pretty and feel good about how you look. But it's way too high maintenance for every day. And I refuse to beat my body up and down on fad diets because of how some magazine is telling me I
should look. I am in charge of my body, my looks and my life. Girls of the world today let people write down their lives for them. They spend hours worried about what they look like and what people will think of them. But as time passes they will realize on their own, that the only way they can be happy with themselves is to BE themselves.

11th grader
Imperial, NE
I'm a junior in a small-town NE school.  I was inspired to write this in English while watching fellow classmates obsess over a fashion/fitness magazine
Come Into my Dreams

Soft as a shadow, like mist on the leather,
Come into my dreams, and stay there forever.
If you can't be in my arms, you can still touch my heart
and our souls will meet though temporarily apart
When i can't touch your lips, come dwell in my soul,
dispelling my loneliness, making me whole.
When the silver stars blaze, and the pale moon streams,
When a word comes between us, come into my dreams

9th grader
Albion, MI, USA
About the author of "Come into my Dreams". Kelsey is a young 14 year old girl who has a passion of writing poems of what she feels.
She has been published in " A celebration of young poets" twice in the years 2002 and 2003.
Untitled 3

City shoes stepping on country mud
Bring back memories you never forget
Memories of mud wars and horses
Running thru the dew covered fields
At the barn watching a rainbow appear
After a warm summer rain
Mud squishing in between your toes
Fishing in the not-very-well stocked pond
Cotton wars on neighbors' cotton fields
Sweet tea and lemonade on the deck
City shoes on country mud bring back
Warm country days in the south

9th grader
Rock Hill, South Carolina
I am a 15 year old student in 9th grade at Northwestern High School. I ride horses, i have a horse named Shakespeare. I listen to punk rock and emo music. Right now i am teaching myself to play acoustic guitar, and i am pretty good in Visual Arts.
The Pearl

The intoxicating smell of salty air
Penetrates my every breath
The sand sparkles in its silicate splendor
Beneath my feet

The sun illuminates the expanse of sky
In a multicolored pallet of wonder
Slowly sinking toward the horizon
Bidding farewell to the day

Wispy clouds caress the heavens
As they parade along the evening sky
The Venetians with their artful strokes
Would be awe-inspired by the majestic mural laid before them

I lie on the sand
Waves wash up against the shore
The surfs cascading symphony lulls me into tranquility
Seagulls frolic in the breeze, chasing waves in the updrafts

Just a pebble on the beach
How insignificant I seem, to the sky to the sea
To the Creator
I am a pearl.
New York, USA
Marianna, Staten Island, New York, USA, is a published author and poet, who has been published on over eight Internet sites including: Stories.com, About.com, PlainInk Online Magazine, TeenInk, Izza's Haven and more... as well as in TeenInk Magazine. She was also featured in a recently issued out, nationwide seller-Teen Girlfriends written by Julia DeVillers. She is currently a staff writer for a New York city magazine called New Youth Connections, and just finished writing for a newsletter written by the Board of Education Home Instruction Program in Queens, NY.
     Marianna has wanted to write since she was six. She has experience in reporting and being a newspaper editor and chief. She writes short stories, poems, articles, and essays. She hopes to achieve her goal of becoming a successful journalist and a flourishing writer.
Untitled 4

I love you secret crush; I do
 not know what else to say.
I just want you to know that I've
 been dreaming life away.

I cannot help but catch your eye
 when I see you at school.
I tremble and my knees go weak
 and I feel like a fool.

During break, I look for you
 and try to say something,
but speechless, I can't find the words
 that could mean everything.

I hope you understand that I
 don't know what else to do.
I simply felt that you should know,
 I honestly love you.

9th grader
Wood Point, NB, Canada
My name is Rachel, and I'm 14 yr's old. I am Canadian too! Here's some stuff I like: reading, writing, poetry, English and Math, LAUGHING, joking around, playing the piano (especially performing), hamsters, British Columbia, "the phone", dreaming, surfing the net, and last but certainly, oh most certainly not least, my very special black and white kitten, Isaac.
This poem was written on March 15, 2003, when I was of course, dreaming about my crush. For his sake, I will not reveal his name!
Untitled 5

She told me she loved me
She told me she never wanted to let me go
We played all day and all night
We played dress-up and painted our nails
She was so warm and lovable

Our love is undying, everlasting

Today, she is cold and far-away
She won't look me in the eye
She won't utter a single word
She refuses to laugh, even to cry

I thought our love was undying, everlasting

As I look into her handsome face
Her gorgeous, shiny locks
Her rouged cheeks and painted lips
I know I'm the one who's changed
But she will stay forever trapped in my Utopia
My perfect china doll

My love for her is undying, everlasting

10th grader
Lexington, MA
Untitled 6

See as I stand here looking at these faces,
Brown, white, black, from all these different places,
I wonder why the poor man always gets the cases. 
Hard as it is with nothing but Washington on his dollar faces.
Yet having the same blood run through them, knowing in my heart what God gave to em.  I contemplate us all seeing the same answers.  Cause problems today eat at us like cancer. We fight and kill, love and steal, deal drugs and still, wake up to the same sun, while some go to sleep with none. No family no food no jobs.  Laying there cold, soft echoing of sobs.  I think we should rethink our thesis.  Cause right now, right here, the world's in pieces.  The solutions won't come easy, yet we must never quit.  Lying isn't the answer and hate just ain't it.

12th grader
Fairfield, CT
My Reality

when should a person realize,
that the past is the past,
and the future has nothing to do with the past?

when should a person realize,
that it's time to give up,
and move on?

when should a person realize,
that he or she or they,
will never be in their life ever again?

when should a person realize,
that it's the end of the road,
and maybe their time has come?

when should a person realize,
that nothing makes sense anymore,
so why sit there trying to figure things out?

when will that girl realize,
that she can stare out the window
as long and hard as she wants,
but he'll never look back at her?

when will that girl realize,
that she needs to forget everything,
and just get on with life?

when will that boy realize,
just how much he's hurting her
by not saying anything to her?

when will that boy realize,
that he meant more to her
than life itself?

when will that girl's friends realize,
that she's not ok,
and everyday that goes by,
and she sits there staring out that window,
that it's one less day,
she might be willing to deal with it all?

when will everyone realize,
that it's ME i'm talking about,
and that i miss him,
and that he doesn't see that,
and i'm so close to giving up,
surrendering to the pressures
of life and love...not only
on what i wish would happen between
me and that, at least what once seemed as,
and yet still seems to be,
mystery prince,
from my past,
but also giving up on living one more day,
knowing he knows none of what i speak?

when will people start to realize,
to comprehend, to begin to understand,
my fairytale wishes,
that will only ever be heard of
written down on paper,
and wisked into the wind,
as i make those idiotic wishes
on those stars..even though
they are just balls of gas out in space?

when will the world start seeing things through my eyes?
when will the world start living the hell i have to live?
when will the world start realizing what's really going on in my mind?
when will the world start to understand?
when will the world start facing... MY REALITY??

9th grader
Belle Chasse, LA
About the author of 'My Reality': my name is Ashely. I'm a high school freshmen, and I am 15. This poem, like many others I have written, are about the lose of a first love. hope you liked it!
What to do

When the world falls
And skies cloud
And the smiles are gone.
Where to go
When your homes not there
And your family is no where to be found
What to say when your mind draws a blank
And words can't form
Like your froze into the exact position you were
When all this madness started
Where do you go you when no body knows and no one cares and they all sit and stare when the skies fall and the world is pitch black and your falling down into a huge crack
And you can't get up and you can't move
Where are you to go, when the worlds after you?

8th grader
About the author of What to do.
my names Melissa, im  14 and i live in a subarb of detriot called Westbloomfield. i enjoy writing poetry very much.
i think  its  a great way to express your feelings , enjoy! :)

Years down the road
You'll look at this and say,
How could I have done that
Why did I act that way?

You let something go
That was dear to you.
But you tossed it to the side,
Gave up and said your through.

So many things you lost out on,
So many you could of had.
But you pushed it out of your life,
Without even feeling bad.

You gave it up to go for
Something that isn't true.
Your chasing after a life,
That wasn't meant for you.

Now I go for my goal,
A dream you once held too.
But I'm the one fulfilling it,
There's nothing else to do.

9th grader
Phoenix, Az ,USA
About the author of "Future"
    I write about my own experiences. I find that when I'm frustrated, confused, mad, or excited its good to get it all down on paper. Most of the works that I have written are about me and my life occurences and about my friends and my experiences with them. I find that when I'm not speaking, the writing is another way of expression.
    Too Late
I see you with her,
and start thinking about when I was with you.

I once used to be the one holding you,
loving you,
kissing you,
telling you how much I care about you,
but now it seems that you've found
someone new to do what I onced did.

Now, you got me thinking,
if you really cared about me as you once said or
where you just using me to have someone by your side?
But I don't think I want to know the truth,
because I can end up getting hurt again by you.

I'll just think that you cared about me,
and you still do.
Just like I care about you.
But my feelings are stronger.
Know how?
Because I Love You with all my heart.
8th grader
Kent, WA
Hello, my name is Claudia. I'm just an ordinary teenager like all you out there. I'm in 8th grade right now and wish to finish school. I live in Washington. This poem is based on what I'm going through right now in my life. Which a lot of teenage girls go through too. I hope that you guys like my poem and hopefully I get known as a writer. If not this has been a great start for my life to get thinking about what I want to do to my life. Hopefully it will be as an author because I love to write about everything especially about my feelings. I think I have a great talent and that is the ability to be abale to write poems based on what we teenage girls go through in life. If you would like to read more poems that I've written you will have to wait until I submit another. Which hopefully will be soom.Love, Claudia

Rubber-band bodies
Bend and twist,
Stretch and snap.
Moving with
The swift,
Subtle grace
Of a tiger
That is hunting it's prey.  

Lips let loose
Fervent, forceful
Exhales, escaping
From the dungeons
Of the throats.
Like the voices
Of ancient phantoms
In torment,
Breathing their tragic tales,
Whispering their life stories,
Into our un-listening ears,
Trying to tell us something,
Trying to give us a warning. 

The drumbeat
Of feet against floor
Sounds through the air.
It is the pulse
Of the gym,
Striking a steady,
Synchronized rhythm
That is not knocked down,
That is not defeated. 

Lindsey Mia
8th grader
Nortondale, Wisconsin
About the author of Karate.  I take karate. 
Verse Freely

I speak what I feel
Deep down what is real
I lost what was once so found
Among the truth that seems so sound
I reflected the one moment, that ruled all
And promised myself I wouldn't stumble or fall
I cried rivers of tears and blood in my heart
While my passion for living was slowly torn apart
I catapulted away into a vault of nothingness
As my world filled with needle-struck numbness
I searched away in my layers of cynical soul
Steeped in pain as it took it's philosophical toll
Calling out in harsh deadpan winter's criticism
My own summit of superb sustained surrealism
Dodging this and that in a destiny controlled game
I long for futuristic happiness, wealth, and rapid fame
Awaiting my succession of madness from my raving mother
I longingly desire to be an unknown alien, a totally unique other
I slammed into a wall of my own demented concrete
Thus rocking to my instinctive sense of jutting beat
I recalled inspiring words from a wise and fatherly man
Who said you can do anything you set your mind to, man

10th grader
Sherman oaks
About the author of Verse Freely
Hey whoever is reading this. im sophia, an artsy, poetic, passionate, painter surfer rock climber music lover grl. im different, weird, strange, odd, deranged, crazy, psycho, eccentric, etc. i luv writing poetry, its not part of my life, it is my life.
well thanks for reading this
peace out!
Untitled 7

I see a world that's a mass
Of rusted iron set in glass.
All the people do is keep
Dreamt disillusions. Fast asleep
They never wake to look around.
Wrapped in slumber, safe and sound.
I watch through dirty window panes,
At the children's un-felt chains.
One by one I set them free
Into this bleak reality.
They turn away from happiness
Abandoning their plastic bliss.
There are times I wonder why
I can't let them live a lie.
I cause them pain with what I do,
But now they know their pain is true.

12th grader
Brooklyn, NY/USA

It might take the world and forever to be understood.
Or might take just a poem to say something.
May require a thousand words to say love.
Yet may make a one-second of saying the word "love" to feel love.
No one is the same. Absolutely everyone is different.
Anyone can take similarities. Not every person can understand resemblance's.
Inquiring a language takes adaptation, ultimately it is a lot to translate.
Everyone has their own version of explanatory information, in which a factual with stimulating definition, of a word and meaning.
Every meaning you make is only an awareness that is actually a perception because life is all an opinion.
An interpretation can be above more then one level of acknowledgement.
Impressions should avoid personalization, especially when you don't control anyone.
You only control yourself. No one else can live your life neither should you live their life.
Some ones life is never your conclusion, it is only an assumption.
Theory is a given estimation on another persons action, which you have reacted to based on suspicion.
Either way no matter what, acknowledging this
is a good persuasion that would end false judgment.
Realizing that you can never KNOW someone absolute,
helps relieve stress over how responsible we really are to their actions.
Your reactions count. You can be accountable only for your own actions yet no one can hold you liable to them but you.
May you find the answers inside your heart for they work best naturally for your own benefit  not someone else.
Someone can take easily how to tell their feelings, for another could possibly take harder to tell their feelings.
So don't play "better" no one is count as "better" or more "right" than anyone.
Remember be realistic. We are all human. Yet we all are of love.
11th grader
Sacramento, CA USA

Like the poisonous fumes
That chokes the life
Out of the air,
Hate consumes.

It's the heaviest load
That anyone can bear. 
It's weighs us down,
Making us one
With the dirt and the mud on the ground. 
It stops us from soaring
With the angels and the doves.
It throttles the goodness
Given from above. 

It kills
Our ambitions
And our goals. 
It gives us nothing to live for,
Except to annihilate
Those that we abhor. 

Hate robs us of all the treasures
That lie inside of each of us.
It robs us of true pleasure.
For isn't laughter and love
Truly better than battle and blood? 

Hate picks away
At our spirit,
At our soul.
As long as we carry it,
We are not whole.

Like a parasite,
It eats away at our hearts.
Taking, taking, taking,
And never giving
A single thing back. 

In the end, it leaves us with nothing.
But our nothing selves,
Who lack
All the gifts life gives.  

8th grader
Lorien, Middle Earth
IŽll be waiting

I needed you to comfort me,
I needed you to see,
what all the pain
had done to me,
I needed you to see.

I needed you to comfort me,
I needed you to see,
that my heart was full with pain
and you should be ashamed,
I needed you to see.

I still need you to comfort me,
I still need you to see,
but maybe you will never do,
although I will always belive in you.
IŽll be waiting in heaven.
Hrefna and Gerđur
9th grader
Reykjavík, Iceland
We are two 14  years old girls that did this poem in English class and decided to send this poem to teenlit.com.  We hope you like it. 
The End

The end of the road; the edge of the brink;
Mind, body, & soul, all dangerously out-of-sync;
The ultimate price, alas, I have paid;
Victory & success, still, thus slowly fade.

Eternal suffering; pure tribulation;
Blinded by immorality & temptation;
Unfathomable depths into the unknown;
Shamefully defeated, & left all alone.

Peaceful bliss, can no longer pretend;
Everything deprived; nothing left to defend;
Darkness falls; Fear & confusion rise;
True "peace" hidden; camouflaged in disguise.

Life itself is cracked & ready to break;
One simple choice; one foolish mistake;
Pure "goodness", now ultimately rare;
Life: a sinful, malicious nightmare.

San Jose, CA, USA
Taught to Fly

Have you ever wondered
What it's like to fly?
To spread your wings and glide?
They do.
They'll teach you.
In your dreams.

Have you ever felt the freedom.
To go where you'd like?
They do.
They'll teach you.
In your dreams.

Have you ever dreamt
That you were soaring?
It was the eagles.
Who taught you
To fly.

And when numbers 9-11
Appear on your T.V,
What follows them?
The symbol of freedom.
The eagle.
Who lifted your spirits
And taught you to fly.

And so you stand
With pride in your heart
When the national anthem plays.
Remember the eagles
Who taught not just you
But New York,
And the world
To spread their wings,
And fly.

8th grader
Pittsburgh PA
It has always been a dream of mine to get published and become a famous author such as Steven King, J.R.R. Tolkin, or Jack London. Those writers are an inspiration for any young aspiring author, like myself, to take their talents to the next level. Each writer thinks differently; from Steven King and his vivid and frightfully morbid stories, Jack London and his death defying Yukon adventures, or Tolkin with his dungeon writings of elves, wizards, and magical creatures. These writers have really inspired me to be the best I can be, and show you don't have to be, "Another number in the system" as they say it to be a writer. In the world of writing, the sky and beyond is the limit. Good luck to my fellow writers!

I quickly walked down the hall, taking quick nervous glances at some students casually leaning against the classroom doors.  I hated people looking at me, studying my every move, as if any moment now I would break down, and they would be there to witness my downfall.  I never knew how to hold my books, or how to walk without causing much attention.  Though it was silly to be concerned about such things, I cared a lot about what people thought of me.  I always wished I was one of those pretty girls that walked around looking confident, smiling, and waving a hello to most of the students that crowded the halls of the old high school.  Though a senior, I felt lower than a freshman, felt disrespected, because I knew that many people wished I wasn't there. 
I was never the most popular girl in school, I didn't hang out with the star football players, was definitely not invited to everyone's parties, and wasn't the brightest student in class; on the contrary, I represented the "average" girl.  The previous year I had had a tight group of friends, and was part of the drama club.  In the drama classroom I had eaten lunch and spent hours after school chatting with my friends, and planning the next school play.  Now, I had nowhere to go for lunch; a few underclassmen I knew waved at me between classes, but no one else bothered to acknowledge me, except to whisper as I passed.
As I made my way to the Spanish classroom, I began to think about that night that changed my life.   These thoughts were recurring, and as much as I tried to forget them, I couldn't. . .because they were part of me.  My heart began to accelerate.  I could feel it pounding against my chest, and my first instinct was to run away, to get away from everyone.  I couldn't stand the crowd, and as I began to take a firmer grip of my books, I decided I had to get away. 
Running towards the opposite hall from my classroom, I could feel everyone's eyes on me, but did it matter anymore?  It didn't, because they weren't going to make me feel any better, or any worse, and I decided to ignore the whispering, and comments they made as I tried to get away.
I opened the back door of the school, which led to the playground used by the childcare center near the school.  A few sprinkles of a morning shower hit my forehead, but unaware of my surroundings, I sat on one of the old swings, and began to sob, as I remembered that dreadful night.
"We are not driving like this; I won't let you drive home Katelyn".  I forcefully pulled the car keys away from my best friend, stumbled backwards, and almost lost my balance.  I was sure I wasn't going to let her drive, but next thing I knew, she had taken the keys from me, and we were on our way home.  I sat there, desperately wanting to say something, but I was as drunk as Katelyn, and neither of us was in condition to argue with each other.
I remembered that I had never before tasted the sour flavor of the cold beers that had intoxicated me, I felt as if a powerful force had freed my body, and I had danced with every boy in sight.  Now, sitting in the car, watching my friend swerve the car from side to side, I panicked, I knew something wrong was going on.  My mind knew, but my body seemed to have a mind of its own.
I feel trapped inside my own body' oh let me just move my fingers a bit, because we can't drive home.  Why can't I move?  Why am I still?
The road ahead seemed endless, as if the car stood still and nothing moved anymore, I closed my eyes to regain my posture, but I heard nothing anymore.  I could've sworn we were still at Kendall's party when I heard Katelyn's screams; they seemed miles away, maybe it was an echo; then the screams became louder and louder, and as I opened my eyes, all I heard was silence.
  "Silence can also be loud, and it awakes you from nightmares.  Silence may also bring the happiest of times, but it was silent the night Katelyn died.  Silence didn't bring comfort that night; in fact it was the loudest and sharpest silence I ever heard"
That's all I remembered reading at Katelyn's funeral; the rest of it was just a blurry memory.  In fact, everything since then, even after a year, was just a blur in my life.  I never knew exactly how to apologize to Katelyn's family; I never seized apologizing, though I had been told many times by them "it was a decision that both of you made, not just you".  I carried that night's painful screams with me; they weighed heavily on my body, and ruled my life.  But how could I get away from something so permanent?  Everyone in school knew of what had happened; they knew me as "the girl that let her friend get killed."  Everyone pointed, everyone looked, and as long as I lived, I'd carry the burden.
Part of me knew that the accident had been Katelyn's fault too, but I was alive and Katelyn wasn't.  It didn't make me feel any better.
  And, now, as I sat alone in the middle of the playground, I began to think that, though my friend was gone, I still had a life ahead of me, and that I only had to try harder.
As I continued to slowly swing back and forth, I felt a small hand touch my back.  I quickly wiped away my years and turned around to see a little girl smiling at me. 
  "Would you play with me?  None of the kids want to play with me because I'm the only girl here," said the red-haired little girl
I didn't know exactly why, but that when that small hand touched my back, it had made me feel wanted and needed again; of course it didn't make the memories go away, but it was a small beginning to the healing that should've started the moment I lost my friend.  I got up, reached for the little hand and walked towards the rest of the kids.

Miami, FL
About the author of Silence.  My name is Vanessa, and I'm 19 years old.  Currently finishing my Associates Degree at a community college, and transferring to the University of Miami, to pursue Journalism.

The English word war can be traced back to the Indo-European word wers, meaning to confuse or mix up.  And perhaps that says something about wars in general.  Every war throughout history can be traced back to a series of confusions or mix-ups.  World War I began when an Austrian Archduke was assassinated by a separatist group in Serbia.  Austria blamed the Serbian government for the death of their archduke, declared war, and, through a chain of treaties, the First World War began.  World War II, one of the most horrible things ever to happen to mankind, can be traced back to Hitler's confused, mixed up view of the world.  The Vietnam War was caused, and escalated by, the confused perspectives of a few powerful men.  And now, in the year 2003, the United States is, for the first time ever, starting a war without any provocation, due to the mixed up views of one man.
On September 11, 2001, the United States was stunned by a series of deadly terrorist attacks.  Shortly after the attacks, The U.S. Congress approved a bill allowing for the U.S. to launch a military assault against any country "perceived by the U.S. to be a terrorist threat."  It is this bill with which George W. Bush is justifying his actions.  What evidence has Bush given to show that Iraq is a dire threat to the United States?  Yes, Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons.  Yes, Iraq has a nuclear weapons program.  Yes, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction on his people.  Yes, Saddam Hussein has tortured, raped, and killed dissidents and their families.  But what has he done to directly threaten the United States?  Bush has given no evidence that Iraq supports or funds any terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda.  Iraq has issued no threats against the United States.  Iraq has not hoarded oil or arbitrarily raised oil prices.
Bush began his campaign against Iraq solitarily, then, under pressure from within the country and abroad, began diplomatic negotiations through the United Nations.  Under a U.N. resolution, weapons inspectors were sent to Iraq to locate and supervise the demolition of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.  In fact, in the six months that the inspectors were in Iraq, more weapons were destroyed than during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.  They were making significant progress, but then, when Bush's arbitrary deadline for the success of diplomatic talks was reached, the inspectors left Iraq, in fear for their lives as war loomed.  Why were the inspections suddenly halted when they seemed to be progressing so well?  Perhaps Bush thought that if he ended the inspections soon and then presented the world with "evidence" as to why Iraq was a threat, he would seem as if he had made the right decision a few months earlier when he called for military action against Iraq.  The evidence of!
 Iraq's weapons program presented by Bush was a series of photos.  I'm no military expert, but the photos looked remarkably like black and white pictures of buildings and convoys.  There is no possible way to tell, from these pictures, what is inside the buildings, or what is being transported by the convoy.  Bush has completely failed to prove his case for a large military campaign against Iraq.
In a large-scale war against Iraq, hundreds of thousands of American troops are put in danger.  As President Bush said, "There's no question that we have put the finest of our citizens in harm's way."  Am I missing something?  Is this a good thing?  Last time I checked, putting our finest citizens in harm's way was a bad thing.  The United States is said to have most accurate weapons in the world, yet the first confirmed casualty of the war was a foreign taxi driver in Baghdad, who had stopped to make a phone call.  The Tomahawk cruise missiles used in the opening round of the war are accurate to within a six-inch radius.  At what exactly was that missile aimed?  Furthermore, Iraq has said it will position its weaponry near schools and other civilian areas.  Can we trust our missiles to hit their targets?  Or will they miss by twenty feet and hit a nearby hall packed with innocent Iraqi civilians?  Bush says that this war is designed to help Iraqi citizens, but will killing!
 them really help?
America has longed been perceived by the international community as an arrogant country with too much money and power for its own good.  This war has not helped to remedy that image at all.  In fact, it has just made it much worse.  Our three biggest allies in this war are Britain, Spain, and Portugal.  What does that say about a war when the third and fourth most powerful countries supporting it are Spain and Portugal?  Additionally, what will this war do to the already elevated gas prices?  It is reasonable to say that during the war, as the Iraqi military burns its oil fields during retreat, those prices could reach over two and a half dollars per gallon.  Is this going to help our economy?  Now, while reading this, some of you may get the feeling that I am somehow "Un-American" or "Un-Patriotic," and that I should support our troops.  Firstly, I would like to say that by exercising my right to free speech, I am doing exactly what the founding fathers of our country wanted me to be able to do; I am having my own opinions, beliefs and views about our government.  Secondly, I do support our troops.  As the war continues, I wish our troops the best of luck and I hope that they prevail.  One of the reasons I am against the war is that I don't want our troops half a world away from their families and friends, in constant danger of being killed.  Our troops are not pieces of machinery that can be arbitrarily put into danger.
So now I think back to the root of the word war and wonder once again; what confusion or mix-up has caused this war?  Were Bush's distorted views caused by the September 11 attacks on our country?  Or maybe his view of Iraq was distorted when his father began Operation Desert Storm.  Perhaps it was when a Hussein operative was caught attempting to assassinate George Bush Sr.  In any case, someone has to step up and remedy the confusion, because confusion can lead to horrible things.  To George Bush, and others in power, I leave with this warning, from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:  "Put up your swords, you know not what you do."

9th grader
The Clouds

The clouds are coming and the rain starts to pour. The summer changes to winter and everything dies. The sun never shines and the moon is always out. All you have is a  candle to light the way. The bit of candle you hold in your hand is too much for the dark tunnel. So out of fear, you turn around. You don't want to walk through the darkness alone, but it seems there is no one there to light the way. So as you walk through the water, you slip, and reality hits you...there is no one there to catch you.

9th grader
Fort Worth, TX USA
My name is Amanda and I'm 14 years old. I believe that all poetry has it's own unique flavor and that it takes someone that really loves poetry to be able to understand it. This poem came to me one late night in March and I felt that I should show my love for poetry.
**What's the point**

What's the point of looking for love,
When love is not looking for you.
And times when you do think it's love,
it's only the reflection. The signs of love
should be as clear as when you look in
the mirror, but if it's not there you stand
still in silence and shed a tear. Love works
for some not all, and the ones that try always
fall. Love is suppose to be beautiful and true
not painful and out to hurt you.
What's the point of looking for love,
when love is not looking for you, if this is
something your going through, pick up your
broken heart and find something else to do.
10th grader
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
I would say i'm a  bright ray of sunshine who secretly wonders why i'm not famous yet. I don't get annoyed with people very easily, and I can handle stressful situations with grace. As if all that weren't enough, I'm friendly, charming, and great with people. Creativity is very important to me, it's how I express myself.
Untitled 9

My dearest friend
I hoped to find you,
Sitting in your chair.
I did not see you,
And I cried out,
Feeling the despair.
I prayed to God that you were safe,
And in the door you then appeared.
As you remember,
We embraced,
And I longed to just stay there.
You were in pain,
I felt it too,
And silently,
I asked why.
The peace is broken,
Nations suffer,
And Angels fly away.
And as war brakes,
My heart aches,
To see the peace again.

9th grader
I am 13, and I have been writing poetry since I was 7.  I also have been writing short stories since I turned 9. This year, I won a short-story writing contest for fiction, and I love to participate in readings.
Untitled 10

As we move on in our
young lives,
We learn many things,
and set goals which
are sometimes hard
to control,
We take a test
even though sometimes
we might fail, we fall
in love hoping that it
won't be our last,
We strive to be happy,
even though sometimes
we aren't,
We live in a dream world
wishing for once it
were reality,
We sometimes feel down,
still hoping that one day
we will get to wear,
that cap, and gown,
We mature as
life goes, on
and learn things
that we are told,

We lose a loved one,
and mourn for them
until our tears
are no more,
you made it,
time to face the real
world, and all
the joys, and dangers
in it.

12th grader
Plano, Tx/U.S
I wrote this poem because I'm graduating in less then five weeks. My name is Leanne  and I've been writing sense I can remember. My life goal is to write inspiring poetry, and stories that touch peoples heart.
Untitled 11

Eyelids flutter
Shattered confidence is lent ease
Procrastination speaks
Every word comes as a squeak
Willful abandon
Of humanity

Thoughts of the mind
Actions of the heart
Long to be expressed
Their will is hard pressed
To be impressed
Upon hands
Which are tied

A man in shackles
Burning eyes
Long to open
Tongue aflame
Words unspoken
A battle lost
Then forgotten

Eyes wide open!
Awake at last
Piercing blue eyes
Long to attack

The last time I opened my eyes
I saw innocence
Now all I see is hate and fear

I see a boy.

His life lived in fantasy
Dreads the new days dawn
Suggests reality
The euphoria
Of heinous acts committed
Then without reality
They are made unreal in our minds
Yet their immorality
Lingers behind

I see a girl.
A pretty girl
Last seen at fifteen
Put on a mask
Pale white
And mostly black
The plaster cracks
Waiting for the storm to pass

Tears pass through the cracks
Evidence she wants back
But it's too late
So fragile at seventeen

Leave her be until the morning light
Tears turn to blood
With the flick of a knife
So little effort
So much pain
Beneath the surface
I can't lay blame

A wish.
To shed my weathered coat
Deploy one white
With feathers
Take her under my cover
Room for two inside
Show her all the hope
Left in the world

It's true
Every word is a lie
But in every word
Lies a letter
Betrays the rest
Speaks true

With eyelids shut
Oblivious to time
Perception blurred
As if gazing
Through stained glass
Perceiving only shadows
Yet through illuminated vessels
Of blood veins nestled
I could perceive the final dawn
When the lights were dimmed
The curtains drawn

Into the sun
Our innocence runs.

12th grader
I don't mean to sound generic.

But I guess I may be as generic,
As the pains in my chest,
When looking back,
On the bubbles of the water,
Forming a contour around your beautiful arms.

It flashes,
And I have to abandon your image,
Because it hurts too much
To recognize your beauty.
And to recognize the truth,
That hurts even more.

It won't ever be mine.

So beauty taunts me,
Plaguing my dreams.

How does such disease form
From mere glances?
Reflections in a hot tub.

I feel something in you,
I have only felt once before,
And when it was followed,
I was led astray,
And helpless.

But there is something different this time,

Maybe it was just that the grace of the water,
Flowing like an intoxication,
drugged me into you.
And I haven't sobered from its poison.

Maybe it is just loneliness,
Taking its toll.
And you are my breaking point.

But it just doesn't feel that way.
It wasn't the grace of the water,
It was the grace of your smile.
That palpitates in my chest,
Every time.

And I'm left generic,
and helpless.
10th grader
San Antonio, Texas, United States of America
This author enjoys bubble wrap, ducks, ska and peach cobbler.
The Return to God

Adrian Aleksandrovich didn't know how much he had slept before he woke up in the surprise as he felt someone carefully touching his scabrous cheek. He hardly opened his sleepy wide hazel eyes and stared at the dark silhouette of someone who was standing near the spacious bed and holding a burning black candle in one hand. However, it was surely not a human being since it had a hairy face and body. Adrian Aleksandrovich squinted his eyes and noted that this creature was fully covered with dark gray hair and had long black claws on each finger, a two-holed hairless flat pink nose like the one of a swine, bright red eyes, big gray ears like the ones of a goat, and two black horns on his head. Adrian Aleksandrovich remembered the picture of the devil from some book that resembled this creature, and his eyes widened with amazement. However, was it possible? The devil surely never existed!
"Yes, yes, it is me. Because you can really see me, I do exist," the devil exclaimed in a hoarse voice.
Adrian Aleksandrovich's tongue lost its ability to talk. His long and fine but dry fingers moved on the satin violet blanket, on which he was lying. He noticed that he was still in clothes - even the long dark-blue velvet coat partly covered the laced white shirt. The pantaloons were of the same texture as the coat and reached his bony round knees. The lower legs were fully protected under tight white half-hoses, but there were no shoes on his feet.          
Adrian Aleksandrovich quickly turned his head back to the devil. "But science proves that . ," he whispered, still constrained in his amazement.
"Alas, science can be wrong sometimes," the devil interrupted, "Anyway, I really came in to assist you." He took the man's sweaty and cold hand and affectionately and gently held it, "Please stand up and come with me."
Immersed in the darkness, the devil led Adrian Aleksandrovich, who wobbly and  hollowly paced, to the neighboring room. Only a quick and light clatter of the devil's steps was heard after him as he closed the dark brown door behind them.
The first thing Adrian Aleksandrovich saw in the room was the portrait of Tatiana with her long resin-like black hair tied in a clew and her calm blue eyes, and his heart started to beat rapidly. He adored her slow and aristocratic hand movements.
"You should understand that Tatiana's father will not allow you to marry her, although you are affluent. Tatiana is a noblewoman while you are of peasant origin. She already has a much better fiancé. He is a count with glorious ancestors, but who are you?" the devil shrugged.
Adrian Aleksandrovich heavily sighed, producing a hollow sound, and his eyes turned to the elegant silver telescope, which was standing on the windowsill and pointing to the clear night heaven. Through the window it was seen that it was a summer night with the shining and dancing stars, and a few hours were left before the sunrise. The moon elucidated Adrian Aleksandrovich's pale long face with the eagle-like humpbacked nose and thin but wide lips. The man glanced at the "morning star" - diamond-like blue Venus. He recalled that he was observing this planet for long hours before unconsciously falling asleep. 
The devil raised his index finger, "On the other hand, it is a fact that the father of Tatiana adores science and famous scientists, so you are right that with the discovery of the composition of Venus' clouds you would be able to conquer both Tatiana's and her father's noble hearts. In addition, I'm here, your friend. Would you like me to make you an honorable scientist?"
Adrian Aleksandrovich shuddered; several drops of sweat appeared on his forehead, and he smelled of salty and caustic sweat. He thought, "He seems to be willing to be help me, but I cannot even believe in his existence! The mere fact that he is standing with me is absurd!"
He remembered how he studied science for many years - even the web of dry thin wrinkles framing his eyes revealed this. Every scientist he met believed that any religion was a hoax and nothing except the material world existed. However, what if science was really wrong in this area?   
He quickly muttered a clear low bass, "If this is true, and you can help me, then it is great." The image of Tatiana with her appeased glance emerged in his mind. He hardly breathed, desiring to be loved by her.
"Aye, my lord," the devil smiled, uncovering his icicle-like little sharpened teeth, which had a rather yellowish color.
Adrian Aleksandrovich gazed at the devil's long black claws like the ones of a tiger, and he shuddered again. The devil also smelled of rotten eggs.
"I'll show you something," the devil still held the man's hand as they were suddenly raised above the floor and flew out through the open window. The man could not make any sound from his enormous shock, and he could only observe the dark roofs of houses of St. Petersburg. The full moon was extremely white against the dark blue sky, and the strong wind fluttered the man's smoothly brushed white periwig, which was tied with a black velvet "butterfly" on the hind head.
After a hour of continuous flying, they slowed down to the ground and landed just near from a house, which features were not seen through the extreme darkness. Adrian Aleksandrovich accidentally saw through the open window that a couple on the bed was hugging each other. His cheeks turned red, and he questioningly glanced at the devil.
"I just wanted to tell you that I really can help you with your Tatiana," the devil giggled. "This boy was in the worse situation. He was a poor peasant while she was a wealthy aristocrat, but I nevertheless helped him meet her. Now look at this house," he pointed his claw to the neighbor house, which was decorated with several artistic sculptures and many roses of various colors.
Adrian Aleksandrovich turned his head to the house and through the open window with a silver frame saw a young man who was sitting and counting mountains of golden coins on the argent table. Adrian Aleksandrovich involuntarily opened his mouth and blinked his eyes. He thought that in his whole life he never had seen so much money.
"He was extremely impecunious, but I made him an opulent one," the devil slowly touched his long horns. "As you see, I can make you so moneyed that even the richest kings will worship you. Let's go," he took the man's hand, and they entered the neighbor pub, which was just on the right from the recherché house.
Inside the pub it was hazy with smoke, and there were many drunk men with dropsically red noses and loudly laughing women with a lot of bright cosmetics on their faces. It strongly smelled of alcohol, and Adrian Aleksandrovich corrugated his nose.
The devil led him to a scratched round table with some traces of yellow paint. While the devil promptly sat down, Adrian Aleksandrovich at first fastidiously wiped the dust away before sitting down on the shaking stool with unequal legs. A fat waiter with spiny unshaved cheeks and a brown pipe between teeth placed two glasses with wine on the table. Adrian Aleksandrovich looked at his wine and noted that it had a membrane of sawdust floating on its surface.
Adrian Aleksandrovich gazed around himself, and his glance stayed on the man, who had to had to place his big hand on the bar's stand in order not to fall. His swollen eyes resembled the ones of Adrian Aleksandrovich's father, who always drank wine and frequently beat little Adrian for claiming that neither God nor the devil ruled the world.
"I can enable you to enjoy the greatest pleasures of life such as wine," the devil drank his wine, which was as scarlet as blood, and glanced at the women nearby, "and women. This is so because I'm the master of Universe!"
The devil drank more wine, and his long ruddy tongue became even more garrulous. He told Adrian Aleksandrovich about how he helped Ivan steal a married woman. Then he helped a scientist named Aleksey become famous by discovering some chemical compound. The devil helped Maria have a beautiful palace with a fountain and proud peacocks. At the end, the devil hugged Adrian Aleksandrovich and in a honeyed voice whispered into his ear that the man would achieve everything he wished, including the marriage with Tatiana, by selling his soul to the devil.
Adrian Aleksandrovich did not pronounce any word. He merely looked at his wine and thought, "His proposal is great, but his smell irritates me!" He really did not know what to answer to the devil. Adrian Aleksandrovich thought that the devil was friendly behaving, but his whole beast-like appearance did not cause the trust at all. Adrian Aleksandrovich sighed and saw through the window with dirty fragments of glass that the red rays of sunlight started to wake up, piercing the thick gray clouds above the horizon.
He remembered how his mother always used to cross him before saying good-night and then whisper into his ear, "My sweet boy, avoid the devil's tricks and listen God only!" He quickly raised his eyes up to the devil's face and thought, "If there is a devil, then there should be God. Yes, it is like an axiom - the existence of the devil proves the existence of God. After all, God is better than this bad-smelling devil!"
Adrian Aleksandrovich stood up, and he directed his lean and thin right hand to his glass with wine on the table and energetically took it. He grimaced as he like an impetuous lighting dashed wine to the devil, who raised his hands as if he were trying to protect himself.
"What are you doing!" the devil bawled as drops of wine dripped from his wet hair, but Adrian Aleksandrovich speedily directed to the pub's brittle door, not even giving a look to the devil. The pub's visitors ran out of his way as Adrian Aleksandrovich fled  like  a  hungry  cheetah out of the pub to the street. 
He ran and ran, not feeling tired at all and not paying any attention to the stares of those few people who were out in this early morning. Everything he saw was the rising daystar that slowly crept on the azure heaven as he madly raced on the cold and rigid ground.  
The sun was already high in the sky when Adrian Aleksandrovich finally stopped and gazed at the magnificent view of the church and its neighborhood. There was a refreshing cool breeze that lightly moved his hair, and the solar light slightly warmed his skin. The church was surrounded by a dazzlingly bright blanket of flowers of various colors: blue, red, yellow, white, and orange. Around this circular flower-bed there were tall old trees-giants with wrinkly dark brown stalks and wide caps of youthfully light green leaves that bowed to the church, humbled and afraid to contravene the unusually sacramental silence mantling the church.
Adrian Aleksandrovich heavily breathed and his feet were so hurt as if they were pierced with many bayonets, but he soon became more relaxed as he observed the church, which was so high that he felt himself very tiny. The main entrance was too teeny in comparison with the church's large flat white walls, which were like a wedding dress and decorated with various relief patterns and images of Jesus Christ and saints. Adrian Aleksandrovich slowly turned his head up and noted that the head of the church was crowned with one enormous dome in the center and four smaller domes located on each corner of the church, just near the greatest dome. All these domes were golden and smooth like mirrors. On the apex of each dome, a huge ornamental gold Orthodox cross dominated as if it were high in the sky.
Suddenly Adrian Aleksandrovich's ears were shaken by the majestic low ring of the church bells that were like a choir of many sonorous men. He realized that the Sunday service had started, and he quickly but quietly approached toward the main entrance and entered the church.
                    Adrian Aleksandrovich stopped, feeling unable to go further into the church. Inside, it was dark; only slender rays of sunlight, which penetrated through narrow patterned windows, and the sallow shine of burning candles danced on the elegant old features of the church, illuminating them. "I'm too sinful even to observe this unearthly beauty," Adrian Aleksandrovich thought as he felt the smell of sweetish wax coming from burning candles, and frankincense produced a honeyed aroma. The euphonious and solemn words of praying appeased his ears - "In the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen." There were many parish people who were standing and facing the east and crossing themselves and listening how the priest was reading prayers. In the front, toward the east, there was the beautified golden wall with semi-circular portals - "the Gates of Paradise" - behind which only the priest and deacons could go.
Adrian Aleksandrovich's glance suddenly stayed on the demure but nevertheless impressive large icon of Jesus Christ, which was just on the right from the portals. His breath calmed as his eyes traced the icon. The sun-like halo with three broad lines was just behind the head of Jesus Christ, like a modest circular crown. His strict but loving warm dark brown eyes with the reflected light from candles calmly observed the sinful yet penitent people in the church, while the tranquil words "In the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen" fluently filled the church. Jesus Christ wore a long-sleeved chaste scarlet toga, like the one of a Roman thinker, that covered His whole body except for His naked muscular feet. This toga was loose; its undulate crinkles gathered near the elbows. The figure was partly buried under the navy blue mantle that hanged from the left shoulder and concealed stomach and legs and back and then returned to the left shoulder.
Suddenly Adrian Aleksandrovich gasped as Jesus Christ moved His hands and legs and descended to the floor from the icon's beige background and as  a  fleshed  human  paced  toward him. The priest and people in the church slowly evaporated from Adrian Aleksandrovich's view. The light from sallow gauzy candles became more bright and blinding. The church song continued on.
Adrian Aleksandrovich could not believe his eyes. "How is this possible? He just became alive! Science does not have such cases recorded!" he thought while his mouth was still open. A second later, he could see Jesus Christ more closer - even the long wrinkles around Christ's eyes, which seemed to be resulted from harsh sufferings and mournful tears, were visible. Adrian Aleksandrovich realized that Jesus Christ looked like a human and God the Son at the same time.
                      He recalled that his mother told him that Jesus Christ was the Savior who suffered to save the whole humanity. He thought that he had been extremely ignorant being an unbeliever - he spent many years thinking that there was no God, but now he was seeing Jesus Christ and thus could not deny His existence. The thought turned up in his mind, "Well, the devil was right - science can be wrong sometimes. However, I'll never return to the devil - his appearance is too displeasing, but I like Christ. I know that I'm too sinful, but what if He can forgive me?"            
Adrian Aleksandrovich fell to his knees, and two streams of tears poured on his arid and hollow cheeks as he wailed. "Oh, Jesus Christ, forgive me, a sinner! I have done many bad things in my life. I don't want to finally fall into the devil's hands. I want to be with You. Forgive me! Help me clean my soul from sins! Forgive me!" He mind returned to the moment when he stole money from his friend's safe in order to pay for his university education. Then he remembered how he was almost wishing to accept the devil's proposal. His wail even became more loud and sharp.
A slight smile was seen though Christ's neatly smooth short maroon beard with a dark brown moustache as He placed his lean hand on the man's head. "I bless you.  You  are  My  child again. I'm glad you returned to Me."
Adrian Aleksandrovich took Christ's smooth and warm hand and kissed it, and more tears poured from his reddish eyes. "I was wrong! Help me follow Your true way of life!" He tightly closed his eyes for a while as more wails escaped his shaking lungs.
When he opened his wet eyes, his hands were not holding Christ's hand anymore. Jesus Christ was in the icon again, and there were people and the priest in the church. Adrian Aleksandrovich smiled and wiped the tears from his flaming cheeks. He leaned his body down to the floor and kissed the church's floor as his breath became more harmonic and tranquil. He raised his head to Jesus Christ on the icon and whispered, "Thank You for everything."

12th grader
Brooklyn, NY
About the author of "The Return to God":
Natalya is a senior at her high school and soon will go to a college. She loves reading classical literature, especially the works of Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Chekhov, and Nilus

Snow, so elegantly white.
So soft and gentle;
To have to fall down on a
ruff, rigid, hot black surface,
seems like such a waste to fall.
No matter how lovely,
the scenery seems to be.
For that white snow to become so dirty, so dark,
as that same ugly, black surface.
Loosing all of its beautiful pureness.
Why does it fall?
If the beautiful, white snow
Does not mix well
with the ugly, black surface,
why mix, why fall?
12th grader
CT/Fairfield, U.S.A

Though they never say a word, my eyes cry out to you, since you've never seen or heard, they'll cry until you do.
Although a tear has never left my eye for you to see, I am dying deep inside and all who knows is me.
I look to you, you look away not seeing all my pain, and so my feelings from inside remain to stay the same.
Yet since I think that soon you'll know, I am sure that you will see, my heart is mearly waiting, for you who has the key.

12 grader
california, usa
About the author of Waiting, I have loved writing from an early age and even though I do not always have the words to say when speaking my mind, I always have the words to write. I am lucky that God blessed me with such a talent.

When sun greets life in joyful hope each morn
And walk we 'round in blessings' garden slow,
Our plans take shape, in practiced hands they're formed,
Till out of crisp blue sky a thunderous blow
Rains glistening glass. In painful shards, they fall
From brightened dreams in double tow'rs, thus fly
To rest in bloodied dust of hopes piled tall
Midst mournful cries among the suffering-Why?

Beloved flow'rs from garden death has snatched.
Dark nights' deep dread obscures the stars above.
Demand we, "Why the Lord's strong arm won't match
In loving kindness, desolation's cuff?"
Yet self disarmed, from sorrow, weeping, turn
We find in joy the gentle Sun still burns.

11th grader
Paoli, PA

It was Tuesday, and I was hurrying through the halls. Two minutes left! I walked as fast as I could toward the orchestra room. My eyes were fixed on the row of clocks in the hall.  Thirty seconds left! I turned around the bend. Five seconds left! I rushed into the orchestra room just as the bell rang.
     After checking that the attendance taker had seen me, I proceeded, very much relieved, to get my violin out of the instrument locker. I was walking toward my usual seat in the back of the room when someone yelled, "Hey! Today's backward day!" It was then that I remembered that yesterday, our fun-loving conductor, Mrs. H, decided to do something special for the day before the midterm finals.
     "Come on, let's switch seats now," someone else yelled, and I slowly headed up towards the front of the room. We had decided to flip the seating arrangements in the orchestra for one day, the ones sitting in the front to the back, and the back to the front.
     "Hey Ruth, you get to sit in the front now," Irene, one of my close friends, said cheerfully.
    "And you'll have to endure the terrible experience of sitting all the way in the very last chair," I reminded her with a mischievous smile. She just grinned and shrugged. Irene played viola, and she has always been either first or second chair. She didn't know what it was like. Ever since the beginning of the year, I had to endure the horrible feeling of being looked down at while I was sitting in the back. It wasn't entirely my fault, though. I actually had a pretty good chair, but our previous, even more fun-loving and unpredictable conductor decided to arrange the seats just a bit differently.
    Putting down my violin next to the front-most chair, I looked around. The closeness of the conductor's stand and overhead gave me a familiar feeling, I memories tickled the back of my head.
     The arrival of Mrs. H. broke up my thoughts. She popped out of her office and limped toward the front of the room. She lost one of her legs when she had been very young. Walking on her artificial leg, she approached her podium, and attempted to quiet the orchestra.
     "It's reading time, everyone. Sit down in your seats," she said her cool, steady, voice. Turning, and seeing me reading quietly in the chair next to her, she smiled, and whispered softly:
    "Well, Ruth, this is a nice way to spend your last day of rehearsal at this school. You get to sit here as concertmistress today instead of sitting all the way in that back row. Aren't you glad?"
     Although she meant well, she had no idea what effect those words had on me. I gave her a weak smile and nodded, but my heart felt like it was bleeding. How many weeks and months had I waited to be able to sit in this chair again? At how many rehearsals had I tried to contain the frustration of being regarded as an inferior player by classmates and visitors, when I knew I was not?
     Mrs. H. had started to read her book after I nodded, being satisfied with my answer. I lowered my head and tried to hold back the tears that were welling up in my eyes. All through the fifteen minutes of reading time, I silently cried inside.
     During middle school, I had been one of the best players in the orchestra, constantly sitting in that honored seat at the front of the room. I was very close to the teacher, spending many days after school with her, chatting about a number of different things. Those days faded away along with middle school, now replaced with constant put-downs from the upperclassmen, though they themselves were unaware of what they were doing. I tried as hard as I can, sitting in the back. I played through the music and tried to feel its soul, but it was no use. I was separated from the rest of the orchestra. Perhaps the worst part of this exile was the knowledge that I wasn't as bad as they thought I was. Though at times, especially when I had a tough day, I, too, had doubts. I felt pressure to fulfill the position that I had been unintentionally put in, whether or not I fitted the part.
     What I was enjoying at this moment-this privilege of being first chair, sitting in the principal seat-represented only a remaining flicker of what had been. Of those past days I had no more. At that thought, tears streamed down my cheeks, but I quickly wiped them away, fearing that someone would see. My heart ached terribly.
     Just then, the announcements came on. Although I often listened attentively, I ignored it this time. Still brooding, I started tuning my violin. Not surprisingly, the others were tuning as well. Some didn't even know the announcements were on, the din was so loud in the room.  Though I was still rather downcast, it amazed me how much one could hear from the front of the room. I felt as if I was sitting within the very nucleus of the orchestra.
     Mrs. H. stood up and clapped her hands. After a brief period of turmoil, everyone readied their instruments and watched for her cue. The rehearsal had begun. Oh, the harmonies I felt sitting in that first row! One could sense the pulse of the music beating through every section of the orchestra. Every little side melody could be heard, and every stroke of the bow could be seen. It was as if the music had just come alive, and I touched its very soul.
     I was lifted out of my melancholy mood by the joy of the full orchestra experience that I was delighting in. I floated through white, puffy clouds, each a shining note, dancing around me. I could see the wonderful music, and hear its rich story, and feel its various emotions. For one brief hour, I enjoyed again what I had not felt for what seemed a long, long time.
     Gradually, the rehearsal came to a close, and I was refreshed. I cheerfully took another look through this point of view, from the front of the room. Everything seemed to come together down here. Even though I knew that I would be back in my old seat on finals day, I was still joyful. Irene approached and trudged up to me.
     "I played terribly today," she said in a defeated voice, "I kept messing up. I'm so unused to sitting in the back. How could anyone hear anything back there? I could barely keep the beat."
     I chuckled at my troubled friend and thought about how lucky the orchestra was to have had me sitting in that last row. Somehow, I was able to keep beat and play through the music, even in an audibly unfavorable section of the orchestra. I realized that by struggling so hard to keep up with the first and second chairs, I had actually kept my small group of classmates in the back together by matching up with what the front was playing. Perhaps I was needed in the last row, just as the first and second chairs were needed in the first. All that I had gone through the past semester suddenly had a purpose. Nothing happens without a reason.
     The bell rang, I packed up, and slow left my last rehearsal in that orchestra room, in that high. Though I was worried, I was no more. I had closure.

11th grader
Paoli, PA

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