Pause and Rewind

By Ananya B.

Teaching us the wrong ways of life,

none pondered over the right,

suppressing our emotions,

portraying the ever fine side,

we tangled our expressions,

muted our voices,

disturbed our peace.

For the mess you created,

we saw life as a struggle,

for which we weren't taught. 

Holding us back through the chains of taboos and labels,

we developed vacuum souls, churning minds and fragile hearts.

Teaching us the wrong definition of happiness,

we fell into a rattrap.

Teaching us the wrong parameters of success, we lost our sight.

We need to fix it before hope loses its value, before hiding mental status becomes normal, before we lose someone else.

Unfading Hope

By Ananya B.

When hope is dull and worth seems null,

speak up to get some cuddle. 

When voice is mute and mind uproot,

give yourself time to reboot.

When mood is low and life seems hollow,

seek help to re-glow.

When times are tough and experiences rough,

gear up to rise above just enough.

When emotions are tight and end seems right,

find a reason to fight.

Because a phase lasts no long,

If we gather hope against wrong,

it's easy to advice and say what seems wise,

but difficult to rise.

You will find a way to cope,

because for someone you are a HOPE...

 

My Heartbeat

By Anusaya M.

Today I let my heart decide my route and

Take me on an evening walk 

The heartbeat led the way 

And neither of us talked

 

It took me to our old wooden house 

That seemed very old now

There were long creepers and shattered panes 

With an autumn effect in the barren garden

 

My mother a lost spring 

Who always caught me sneaking ice cream

She has always been with me

Then holding my hand and now in my dreams 

 

The summer breeze swept us to the old library

Where all my fantasies were locked inside

From Cinderella to Snow White 

And the poisonous apple that made her die 

 

The next moment we were at the school 

That looked beautiful more than it looked 10 years back

Where I left my mother's hand losing myself in the crowd 

And presently holding all this in my memories rack

 

And now we both are sitting at the playground 

Gazing up the shining stars

Thinking when we changed this much

From what we were to what we are

Still, She Remains

By Lucia H.

darling, if I could rescue the lost,

the lover, despite your stars that crossed,

the faith you carry till the end,

would your smile revive again?

nobody loved the way you do,

the way you mourn the birds that flew

across the sea, wings set aflame.

I promise they remember her name.

 

I know you miss her; no one else

was there to ease the pain you felt.

she’s left you in the night alone

yet you still wait by the telephone.

you swear the wind still longs for her,

that things are as they always were,

lamenting to the rising moon.

I promise you’ll see her soon.

 

the gold that bled into her room,

replaced by cobwebs filled with gloom,

still perseveres to you, it seems —

the gold that fills your dreams.

the ocean weeps and sings her song;

the people say it’s been too long

for you to still feel this much pain,

but I promise you’re not insane.

 

all eyes on her, did you forget

you’re more than just her marionette?

you’ve based your life on someone else

yet I’ve never seen you love yourself.

this world will not erase your name

just as you’ve fought to do the same

for her. this will come back to you.

I promise they’ll love you, too.

 
 

Who Was I -- Sixth Grade

By AM

Middle school

New faces 

Yet again 

I had one friend who didn’t really understand me 

Or know me 

She knew who I built out of words 

She liked who I built out of words 

I hid in skirts and sweaters

Because I hated my body 

I hated what other people saw 

I thought I was disgusting 

Everything about me was disgusting 

It’s not like I’d ever heard otherwise

I was never really okay 

But I mustered a smile 

But a smile isn’t really a smile unless you smile with your eyes

I couldn’t do that 

My blue grey eyes were murky waters

Not clear enough to see what’s hiding what’s behind them 

Hiding the monsters 

Hiding the pain

Hiding me

I liked to hide 

But I played a twisted game of hide and seek 

I wouldn’t ever let anyone find me 

Everyone told me I was too nice

But to be honest I was scared to be mean

Because there was anger inside me 

And I wouldn’t let it out

I couldn’t let it out

Because there was fear inside me 

And I was scared to become the casualty of bullying and grief 

I already lived a life that was an empty hole 

A hole that everyone was too sad to try and fill again

Maybe some holes are better unfilled 

I didn’t want grief to take me to it’s chambers  

I didn’t want to become what I should have been 

I didn’t want depression to steal me from myself 

Or become unpredictable 

Angry

Moody

Lonely

Or I didn’t want to believe that I was

But of course no one saw that 

But it left me wondering 

If I’m supposedly so nice to them

Why are they mean to me

But then I made some friends

But not the ones that disappear the minute you lose a battle

I guess they didn’t realise, I can lose a battle 

But still win a war

I guess they didn’t realise

That I’m a fighter

Even if I seem like a flower 

I made friends that were weird 

As weird as me at least 

Friends who fell in love with stuffed elephants 

And then smuggled the elephant 

But I also made bad friends 

With the people who want to take advantage of you 

Because I am weak 

Because I can’t escape toxic friendships 

And bullying 

And words 

So I got captured in the riptide

Getting pulled down and down or pushed down and down 

Because who cares if you kill others when you are trying to survive

I was scared of yelling 

And commotion 

And crowds

When teachers would yell I froze 

My brain went to static 

And I became paralysed 

There were reasons for this 

Of course 

There are reasons for everything

But I didn’t want to believe them

I refused to believe them 

I was scared and anxious 

All the time 

Of classmates

Of teachers 

Of my parents 

Even of friends

But I knew I couldn’t stand up for myself 

Couldn’t shield myself against their words without making it worse 

I guess it has to get worse before it gets better

But if you are never ready for it to get worse 

Will it ever get better?

 

If the Fire Burns My House Down

By Sarah F.

7

I was a meager seven years old.

Stubby legs, tousled hair

In the car with quickened breath—

“There’s a fire on our street.”

The flames were in my veins

Pounding the rhythm of blinding fear

As the car lurched to a stop

And our eyes engulfed the scene of flames.

Tall, licking flames

Gorgeous and screaming and relentless

Red like the dress I wore to church

Blue like the tears that dried on my cheeks.

“It’s Laurie’s house”

Came shouts here and there

And I watched the house dissolve

The memories and screams of delight

Into ashes that clogged our throats.

 

I dreamt of that night

The flames burned into my mind

And when we left our house

I knelt into a prayer.

My lips moved fervently

My heart pounding promises

“Please let my house be intact—

Please let the flames have spared our home.”

My house never burned

So the fear beneath my skin

Dissolved into nothingness.

My head was turned each way

As my worries blew away.

If the fire burns my house down…

Well

    I just know it won’t.

 

17

I am a meager seventeen years old.

The Earth is screaming

In a symphony of wails

For its conductor is dying

Silenced by greenhouse gas.

With the dying earth

Comes a new round of flames

Licking thousands of acres

Screaming through towns

Red like the devil

Blue like the depths of the sea.

For weeks the smoke hovers

Like a bittersweet memory

Blurring our vision

Destroying our lungs.

The fear of fire is returning

The one that pounds in my veins

I wonder when the earth will combust 

And swallow my town whole.

I watch the hills

The ones that I used to love

For signs of flames—

For thickening smoke that clogs my throat.

 

I cannot predict

The path of the wildfires

I am helpless

Against the Earth’s revenge.

I scream for mercy

Into the thickening air

But the conductor is tired

He is confused by the havoc

We have reaped on our planet.

So I sit beneath

The California sun

I touch the brittle plants

I sing into the screams of pain.

My lips melt into a prayer

“Please let my town be intact—

Please let the flames pass us by.”

This is our doing

We have the Earth in our hands

But we squeeze her

Until she cannot breathe.

When will we change?

If the fire burns my house down… 

Well

    I will curse what we have done.

 

Beginning of COVID

By Kayla S.

This is the most beautiful spring day

The sun was shining in the clear sky

Outside all the student were out to play

The students needed sunscreen to apply

When the news came they all laughed and cheered

They all celebrated their new freedom

Finally away from school they were cleared

They all were free from their teachers’ wisdom

But their newfound joy came to an end

The news came out to be worse than they thought

They were stuck inside and could not see their friends

The teens tried to sneak out but were caught

Almost everyone stuck inside worldwide

It is now Christmas time and still stuck inside

 

something

By Yael R.

there is something

just around the corner

 

    something new

    something exciting

 

this one something

i don't know what it is

 

    something ominous

    something scary

 

but this something

it’s very mysterious

 

    something odd

    something puzzling

 

maybe this something

makes me feel bad

 

    something horrible

    something sickening

 

or perhaps this something

is too alien to understand

 

    something crazy

    something bizarre

 

but when this something

comes around the corner


        will i even notice?