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.

And

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.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Outstretched Hand

By Chip Newcome

1.


It begins soft and slight,
a rhythmic tap, tap, tap.
Insistent and incessant,
it becomes white noise, unnoticed,
a forgotten fan in a child’s room
at night helping her fall asleep.


Until


2.


the tapping is answered;
the one who answers
disappears, and a hole
opens, an emptiness
never again filled.  
Grief follows.


Then,


3.


without warning, white noise becomes noticeable.
Tapping ceases and is replaced with a deep silence
extending into the recesses of space and time.
Waves ripple the fabric of our universe.
Silence is filled with wails of mourning.


And the tapping is replaced
by a powerful


4.


knocking.  A deep, hollow sound.
echoing through eternity;
No longer white noise, it brings fear and pain,
an expectation, not of everyday life,
but of life every day, It is its equal, an
opposing force.


It is

5.


night to morning
ignorance to education
old to young
fire to water
war to peace
Heaven to Hell
life to death


It continues; the door cracks and
with a deep thud, closes.
A mourning silence, and, once again,
knocking resumes.


Once heard,


6.


it is ever present,
never again to be white noise;
a hollow sound that haunts humanity
until we pass through the door,

walking into the outstretched hand.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fourteen years, 89 days

By Maddie Ray
Fourteen years and 89 days I've lived with a disabled mother. At age 37, she birthed a happy, healthy baby weighing in at 8.7 pounds. She had been diagnosed with a nonfatal variant of multiple sclerosis when she turned 30. She turned 40 and life became a spiral of crutches, ace bandages, and compression socks, leading to a wheelchair. Any hope of walking again was lost by age 49.
My whole life I’ve never seen my mother as different. I’ve always had to explain that my father would be picking me up, not my mother. I don’t notice the odd looks from strangers. I don’t think of her as less. But every day I am reminded of how blessed I am to be able-bodied. I see how much more work simple things I take for granted are for her. I am grateful to have been raised to see those that are different as equals. I am grateful to have been raised to open the door for those who can’t.  I am grateful to see disabled people the same as an abled person.
Recently, I met a girl on the street who was in a wheelchair. She needed help opening a door, so I opened it. We both happened to be going to the same place, so we went around the store together. I could see she had bruises on the back of her arms, so I offered to push her. We talk for hours shopping and having a great time. A worker at the store had come up to us and told us the store was closing. Shocked, we paid for our items and left. I asked her if she wanted me to go with her and push her home. By the time we reached her house we didn't want to stop talking. We exchanged numbers and she told me that I made her day. I realized how much simple things like holding the door can change a person's day. Had I just walked past her struggling, I wouldn't have made a new friend.
I believe that the able-bodied should be more grateful for their lives. I see people on the street stare and mock others for things they can’t control. I see people shove past and hurt those who are undeserving. I see able people walk past those who need their help without blinking an eye. The things I see are things most people wouldn’t  think as rude or disrespectful, but from my experiences with my mother, I know what they do is wrong. Most people don’t realize how hard life is for the disabled.

You never know what that disabled stranger on the street dealt with that day. A simple “Hello,” or opening the door for them can make their day a bit brighter. Shoving them and staring at them won’t benefit anyone. I hope that people will realize that the disabled are just as valid as those who are not. I believe that people can change and can benefit from helping others.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Try to Focus: A story about ADHD

By Jade Rickman

As a nine-year-old, the only thing I understood was that the problem was inside of me.

I remember sitting at the kitchen counter staring at the math homework I had started two hours ago and still wasn’t any closer to finishing. This is how it was every single day. I would come home sit and stare. I would find myself daydreaming for hours, creating stories in my mind. I would daydream about superheros, royalty, and all kinds of things. My imagination was endless. But I had work to do. Why couldn’t I focus? What was going on? I had no idea what a twisted road I had ahead of me.
I knew there was something wrong, but I only started worrying in third grade. I would be sitting in class trying to work on a paper to the best of my ability, but I couldn’t. The room was quiet. I was sitting in the back of the classroom, what could be wrong? Even though there was no noise everything seemed so loud, so distracting; time was moving faster than I could even write a single sentence. As a nine-year-old the only thing I understood was that the problem was inside of me. I didn’t know what the problem was or how to solve it, but at least I knew it was there.
I remember my mom taking me to a huge sparkling building in the middle of Baltimore, Maryland. I knew this was where my mom worked but I didn’t know why I was here. She walked me through the silver skyscraper taking me to a plain simple white room. A woman with a tired smile told me that we were going to take some tests and that they would help her understand me better. The tests took all day long and I couldn’t focus on any of them. By the end of the day I was frustrated and tired. I just wanted to know what was wrong with me.
When the woman came back, she had a serious look on her face; her smile was gone. She spoke to my mom like I wasn’t there, using words I couldn’t understand. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I knew it was serious.
Finally, I got my answer: I had ADHD. I really didn’t understand what that meant until I got older, yet I was happy to know what was wrong with me. As I got older, the doctor suggested that I take medication to help me focus better. The medicine does help a lot, at least when I remember to take it. I am slowly learning how to cope with my ADHD, though it is a struggle. I sometimes find myself getting distracted and end up frustrated. But I know not to worry, because even though ADHD can’t be cured, as I get older, I am able to control it better.

I was going to continue with a closing statement, but of course, I got distracted. So this is where the story ends, for now.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Cherry Tree

By Jade Rickman

There is a cherry tree by the creek,
Where my friend and I played hide and seek.
We splashed around and played all day,
Until our parents came to carry us away.

In winter we skated on frozen water,
And fall was when we looked for otters.
In spring we watched the cherry tree bloom,
And we wished that summer would come soon.

As time went on and we grew older,
Our relationship grew into something much bolder.
We sat under the tree our feelings undiscovered,
Yet somehow we became lovers.

There is a cherry tree by the creek,
Where my daughter and I play hide and seek.
We splash around and play all day,

Until her father comes to carry us away.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane

Illustration by Emnet Abraham


By Mikayla Kennett
 
It makes its way through a broken town
The wind it carries makes a soft, haunting sound
No hope remaining, for they have drowned 
Cracked roads to buildings yet to fall down

The sea glistens with its many lights  
The birds on ships ready to take flight 
As they'll soon arrive to this broken town
no other life to be seen around 

Poles and wires lay out and about
The waters before it surely brought doubt
As the ocean restrains from its next bout 
The town lays broken, inside and out

Before the storm, the town was alive 
And in its streets many people thrived  
The warning too late and the town on its bay
The waves that had cast their town away 

Panic arose from this catastrophe 
No one ready to be carried at sea
The town now empty and on its own
The souls that linger seem all alone 

Few survived but the town is now gone 
They watch their home at the break of dawn 
On a boat in the distance, they sing soft songs 
Away they go for a journey so long

Friday, February 17, 2017

Step by step

Step by step.
Hand by hand.
Brothers and sisters we stand.
Together we will band
for a new world.
We will rejoice with our fellow man.
Change life for the better.
Equality, no matter the face.
Living in a better time and place.
Knowing the people who fought for
these rights had their hearts in the right place.
Now their work is encased
in our society.
Different everything,
the variety.

-Samalia Nivens