Monday, January 22, 2018

The rising of the sea

By Kara Lewallen

The rising of the sea…
Oh, how very troubling it is to me.
Goodbye sandy beaches where surfers go to crest the waves.
Goodbye to beach towel heaven where wrinkled skin soaks up the rays.
Farewell to habitat amongst the sand dregs.
Where will the sea turtles go to lay their eggs?
I once knew an island or 100 islands that floated so spectacular in the blue waters.
Now, they are gone... and how about those sea otters?
Rainbows of corals... a garden in the ocean.
How to restore them… is there a mathematical quotient?
Those white mountains of ice and a powerful white bear claw,
all just a memory of when glaciers stood tall.
New York City, Miami, San Francisco, and Baltimore, you had your heyday,
but now... you will be no more.
East Coast, West Coast, Gulf Coast it makes no difference...
The water is rising, no matter your preference.
What will you drink when the salinity of the sea fills your sink?
What will you grow when your soils are full of salt and your plants wither and die?
It makes ME want to cry.
Will going to the beach ever be the same again?
When sea levels rise,
mountains shrink...

Now, what do YOU think?

Monday, January 8, 2018

From El Salvador with a smile

By Kevin Melendez

When people ask me where I am from, I usually say El Salvador even though I was born in Virginia. I don’t exactly know the reason, but maybe it’s because I’ve been speaking Spanish longer than English? Is it because the things I do are influenced by my Hispanic culture? I used to hate saying El Salvador because I thought people would judge me.

Everything I am, feel, and think is based on one question.

The people around me care about me, so why should I let them down?

Now that I’m older, I take into account where I came from. When my parents tell me that the reason they came here was for a better future for me, I have no choice but to try at school, because if I don’t, I’m afraid they will say that they came and immigrated to this country for nothing. I am afraid of the future, the pressure, my life as a whole. But I keep a smile because that is the most important thing in life. So when people ask me where I’m from, I will happily accept my heritage and culture, and will say El Salvador with a smile.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Yours, mine, and ours

By Onzura, Aleycia

I came from Winchester. I have a lot of different values in me, for instance my dad is from Chihuahua, Mexico. He came here at 18 years old  because he needed a better life. He grew up in a poor home in Parrel, Chihuahua with seven siblings, his mom, and stepdad in a two-bedroom home. My dad never knew his real father. His education advanced until fifth grade; after that he worked. He worked in the fields gathering vegetables and taking care of the animals. He never worked for money, he worked for his family to survive. At 26 he got married and had three kids. Unfortunately, he got a divorce and got remarried to my mom.  Currently, he lives at home with his family, taking care of us.
My mom is from Cross Junction, Virginia. She lived in a three-bedroom trailer with three other siblings. When she was about 14, her parents got a divorce. Unlike my dad, my mom went to high school and graduated from James Wood, class of ‘89. After graduation she worked at a daycare ( TLC daycare), but made minimum wage. She had three kids as well, but had never gotten married and raised three kids as a single mother.

Then she met my dad  through my uncle. They now have been married for 19 years and had me and my two little sisters. I come from a blended family, with different moms or dads but that doesn’t matter to us. What matters is the love and the lessons I learn with them. Those lessons show me what I have to work for and achieve in life because nothing is handed to you. I come from a home of my parents’ hopes that we’ll strive to achieve our goals and dreams but also work hard for it. I didn’t come from a special place, but my background goes to show that people want better for their children. I think that's what has impacted where I'm from because my life wasn't such an obstacle. I’m from a regular home, with a regular family, but more of a Mexican-American lifestyle. That makes me Chicana, a Mexican-American girl.

Monday, December 11, 2017

From a thought

By Kortney Summers
I am from a thought of having a second child.
I am the product of Jessica and Royal T.
I am from the city of Winchester.
I am from the state of Virginia.
I am from the United States.
I am from North America.
I am from the Earth.

Now let’s go back to the beginning.

“I am from a thought of having a second child” is because I have an older sister, Kaitlyn, who was born 2 years before me. I came from after the thought of having my sister.

“I am the product of Jessica and Royal T” are my mother and father. My mother is the most important person in my life. She helps me with my issues and gives me the clothes on my back. My father helps support my family by paying the bills and taking care of us.

“I am from the city of Winchester” is the city at the top of Virginia. It is very beautiful and full of life, in most parts.

“I am from the state of Virginia” which is the home of JMU, VCU, UVA, SU, VT, and so forth. Virginia is a state along the east side of the country, which is the next place I am from.

“I am from the United States” which is the land of the free and home of the brave, to some extent. At this time, Donald Trump is the president, and I am actually afraid to see if he keeps that presidency.

“I am from North America” which is the home of people from around the world, even though most people from around the world hate the United States…

“I am from the Earth” which is the planet of life and the planet of 7.6 BILLION people. No other planet is like this planet.

So I came from the Earth, which made North America, which contains the United States, which has Virginia on its east coast, which has this little speck called Winchester, which has two people named Jessica & Royal T., which are my parents, who gave birth to me, and that came from the thought of having a second child.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where I'm From

By Martina Bouder

I’m from the dense woods of Pennsylvania. I’m from deep ponds, and small cabins.
From fall days, and piles of leaves.

I’m from watching the sunrise and listening to the woods come to life.
From cold mornings, and layers of clothes.
Thermoses of hot cocoa to keep me warm.

I’m from beautiful sunsets that no picture can capture.
From stunning colors that are indescribable
And nebulous clouds of all forms.

I’m from whitetail deer and largemouth bass
Finding the first star on starry nights by warm campfires.
From pop-pop’s jokes, and grandpa’s stories.

I’m from The Shore and waves that crash dangerously high.
From sandcastles for hours and the boardwalk for days.
From fishing, and ice cold water that numbs my senses.
I’m from situational awareness
From family talks and family tradition.
I’m from prayers and love.

I’m from one o’clock ideas,
And late night reading.
From insomnia and overthinking.

I’m from books.
From reading non-stop.
From Scout Finch to Kaz Brekker.
From Ernest Hemingway to J.K Rowling.
I’m from getting lost in a story.

I’m from brutal honesty.
From giving advice, and taking on others problems.
Saying what needs to be said when no one wants to hear it.

I’m from some tears and a lot of frustration.
From being better because of it.
And learning from it.

I’m from underestimation.
“Yes I can, if you’d give me a chance.”
“Fight me”
And “Just ‘cause I’m small doesn’t mean anything”.

I’m from classic rock and dancing with mom.
From singing with friends and drumming out the beat with my brother.

I’m from Polaroid photos with friends.
From pulling all nighters, and references that only we understand.
I’m from operations, inside jokes.
From being called short too many times to count.

I’m from being the big sister.
From my little brother, my whole world growing up too fast.
I’m from swinging for hours on end talking about everything.
I’m from tight hugs and messy hair.
I’m from “Never.” and “Always.”
From a brother and sister bond inseparable and strong.

I’m from ambition.
From my drive, my commitment, my willpower.
I’m from what pushes me to be who I am.
What breaks me, and what puts me back together.

That’s where I’m from.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Not from here, but now

By Grace Keeler
I cannot define my origin with the name of a city, or a town. I am not “from” Winchester, Virginia. I am from the earth, my roots running deep down into the soil. I have sprung from a unique collection of experiences that is growing every second of every day. I am born anew continuously, therefore I am from now. This very second, I am different than I was, different than who I will be. I come from every tear I have shed, every bout of laughter to dance upon my lips. Each individual memory I possess has contributed to the person I am in this moment.

My home isn’t a single place, and it certainly isn't another person. I am my home, I am from within myself. The taste of hot chocolate on my tongue after sledding, the sound my pen makes when it scratches upon a page, these are the moments I am derived from. Tomorrow, the experiences from which I have originated will grow, however slowly. I know that I am my own place of origin, when I free myself from thoughts and focus on just being. I am the very essence of myself, unwaveringly Grace.

It’s hard to comprehend that every second we have spent on this earth means something, because we are then overwhelmed by the fear that we are wasting these moments. We are terrified of the concept that we can find a home in ourselves, because we have grown dependent on others for reassurance of worth. I have learned that even though finding a real home within oneself is difficult, it is a leap you have to take in order to fully discover who you are. I will not be confined to the address on my return stamps, or the place of birth on my Birth Certificate, because I am so much more. I am not from a city, a state, a country, a continent, a planet, any of that. I am from myself, evolving on my own within my body, mind, and soul.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I Am From

By Luke Campbell

I am from

the dog that stared too long
into the sun and bit the apple from the rotten branch, on a tree, in someone else's
neck of the woods, a thousand seasons away.

I am from

A broken chain in a room,
lost in the middle of a day in space
Waiting for a moon to escape on.


I am from

the vibrations of echoes in the chambers of dying heart,
casted out from the lies of an honest man's last beg.

I am from

the star's last goodbye to her
universe at the end of the day,
and at that end of the day
when you pull away my skin
I'm from the dark,
lost in the haze
of our vindictive hate.