Liked or Loved?

By Anusaya M.

Last evening, the winds were silent

But inside my head there was a flood,

It laved the shore and shown me

The real difference between like and love. 

 

Love is kind of complicated 

Like is way more simplified,

There are no breakups and no promises 

But all they need is just your smile. 

 

Love is blind

It can make you fall, 

Love is bound to a single person

But like is meant for all. 

 

There are certain love songs

Songs that you might have listened too, 

But there are no like songs

Because for that just a thumbs up would do. 

 

I do respect the feelings of both

The one who believes in spring and the one who believes in fall, 

It's alright if you are not loved

Maybe you are meant to be liked by all.

Roses

By Quinn R.

we are

roses

 

thorns

hidden

in people

 

we are

paper

 

invisible

ink

splatters again 

 

we are 

everything

 

void

in

my heart

 

we are

nothing

 

endless

pain

and agony

 

we were

Roses.

 

Two Worlds

By Shivi D.

Lights flicker at the other side,
both flanks oblivious of either.

Silence
rustle
whispers 
zephyr.
Barks
cold
concrete
arrhythmia

analogous.

Lamps far and away,
visible through the expanse
stay burning till intimidated by the sun.

Variations on a Snowy Day

By Adrija J.

I. 

A bell ringing afar  

Announces the arrival of winter 

The sound loud and clear  

Echoing along the empty streets 

 

II. 

The chilly breeze  

Swirls around  

Mingling with people's breath  

Awaiting the arrival of the snow  

 

III. 

A young girl sits at the window  

Trying to look through the frosted glass  

Wondering if Santa Claus 

Was after all a fairy tale  

 

IV. 

The snow falls in flakes  

Covering the road in a white carpet  

The Road Not Taken and The Road Taken  

Both desolately welcoming  

 

V. 

The sun peeps and hides  

The white and dark clouds warring  

The momentary sunshine on snow  

Sparkling like stars on a snowy cloak 

 

VI. 

A lonely skateboard sliding down the hill 

Stops atop a frosted lake  

The fish look on from underneath  

A white bird lands on the skate  

 

VII. 

The crackling of the flames  

People gather round the bonfire  

The heat rising from the soup 

The twinkling star on the Christmas tree  

 

VIII. 

The nose at the window  

Desperately seeking a whiff of the soup  

Little shivers running along the spine  

Little rumbles in the stomach  

 

IX. 

The street light blinks and winks  

A magic show on the snow  

Unblinking eyes  

Snowflake in hand  

 

X. 

The sky lights up in celebration 

Wisps of warmth whisper and wane  

The door pushed open again the force of the snow  

A bright red bell on a pale cold palm.

 
 

Who Was I -- Seventh Grade

By AM

I people watch 

I listen 

I learned about others 

I wanted to know their stories 

Everyone’s is different 

Everyone’s is important 

Almost imperative to the world

Which is really just a collection of stories if you think about it 

Well everyone’s story was important

Except mine 

I heard everyone’s stories

About their friends 

About siblings 

Or family vacations 

Or even their stupid dog

I listened to everyone’s stories, their happy stories

And I read book after book after book

Always wanting to escape from this world, if only for a little while 

Filling my mind with so many stories in hopes I could forget my own 

Yet here they are 

Stuck in my head 

But bleeding from my fingertips across a blank page 

Filling it with pain and heartbreak 

That’s why I write 

To bleed 

But I guess there are some stories we don’t share 

Some stories we can’t share

I never shared stories 

I gathered them all up

And put them in a box of 

“Things I wish I could forget”

My life became one dimensional 

I was just a body 

With no stories 

With no memories

With no love

With no nothing

Somedays I was overwhelmed with emotion and others I was just numb 

And I didn’t know what was worse 

Dying of thirst or drowning 

Days just became the same thing 

Over and over again 

A repetitive motion 

Half the time I forgot I was even alive

But one day the box broke and everything came pouring out

Drowning me

I broke too

But I wouldn’t tell anyone anything 

I thought sharing a memory was like sharing a burden 

A burden no one else deserved 

I remember that day, naturally I was a mess

One person noticed 

Out of the 500 people I passed by 

One person noticed

It was my teacher, I was mortified 

She asked if I was okay

I started to cry like I was in kindergarden and I’d lost my stuffed animal 

But now I was in danger of losing much more 

But I wouldn’t tell her what was wrong 

I couldn’t 

And I was embarrassed 

Embarrassed of not being okay

Embarrassed of the story I refused to tell

As if telling someone would kill me 

And if I’m being honest it might

I was embarrassed of the scars it left me with 

Some physical

Most emotional 

Because the thing about scars is

Sometimes they make past seem more real than the present 

And the thing about stories and memories is 

They remind you that the future is shaped by the past 

And sometimes you don’t want it to be

Sometimes you want to start over

Sometimes you want to forget 

Sometimes you just want to just live your life 

Sometimes you can’t.

 

I Am From Everything Blue

By Ellie C.

I am from blue, everything blue,

The shining of the ocean glimmering in sunlight,

The crashing of the waterfall that cascades down in a misty veil,

The shades of my jacket, jeans, water bottle, backpack,

The azure of the pool that I see almost every day.

 

I am from the feeling of the sapphire rain on my face,

From the booming thunder, flashing lightning, and gray skies, of Virginia

From stars scattered like bright paint across the dark canvas sky.

 

I am from all the fruit: mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, blackberries:

From the sweet to sour tastes of all of them,

From the plate of no vegetables,

From the flavorful sauce spread upon pasta with love

Made by my mother.

 

I am from Wai-gong and Wai-poa, from their silent support,

From the nights spent long ago.

 

I am from Hawaii visits in the summer,

Dancing palm trees and sunny blue skies,

Starlight and sunsets shining on water.

 

I am from music, filled with vibrant colors and carrying lingering smells,

Calm blue of Mozart, Bright purple of Beethoven. The red of pop and the yellow of classical.

I am from painting words onto paper,

From splashing images onto a blank canvas,

From creativity and imagination,

From the music that flies from fingers placed on ringing strings of my cello.

From the glimmering notes when hands meet the keys of my piano,

Lost and long ago.

 

I am from swimming,

Floating above the ground like an eagle,

Soaring, soaring, soaring to worlds unknown.

I am from the pool, where many dreams, friendships, treasured moments live.

I am from the waves, reflecting turquoise, smooth feel and calm sounds.

I am from the water, where I feel free, where I know

No limits.

 

I am from the chatter in my household:

Four kids, two adults, a cat, and a dog, 

Always filling my life with unexpected twists and turns:

I never know what’s around the corner.

I am 

From sibling fights,

From sibling hugs,

From sibling conversations,

From a life shaped by the people I live with.

 

I am from lemon leaves and budding roses,

From the backyard

That my mother always insists on watering.

I am from candles,

Smells of any kind: raspberry, cucumber, coconut.

Colors of any kind: mint, magenta, cyan, mahogany, cream, lavender, cerulean blue.

 

I am from you can achieve anything.

Always do you best,

And it doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

I am from dreams: moonlight-dappled nights,

Midnight thoughts, navy skies,

Starlight, moonlight, dusk and dawn.

 

I am from my world where the colors dance 

In an unending display of blues.

 

And I am from myself:

Flaws, imperfections, mistakes

Shape who I am

And who I will always be.

A Double-Edged Sword

By Erica L.

Steel staffs, steady and still 

An absence of sound, not one moves around 

A beast starts to run with a free mind 

But is quickly ambushed by a hunter pack 

It cries for help but is out of luck 

A parade of sharp, pointy spears collectively strike 

 

They stab it with their steely knives 

But they just can’t kill the beast. 

 

Confused, the hunters look at each other 

They thought the key was to strike altogether 

Everyone wants one more crumb, one more piece 

All envy the legend of the Midas touch 

No matter what they have, they continue to reach 

Stressing endlessly, restless for more possessions 

Trampling over one another for the Promised Land 

It paves a powerful path for their wrath 

 

They stab it with their steely knives 

But they just can’t kill the beast. 

 

Pandora’s box opens from the insatiable desire 

Closed before hope gets a chance to explore  

The unleashed evil only promotes more upheaval 

Each hunter realizes his reward is impossible to resist  

The cause of their demise, all humanity is lost 

So when the beast awakens, the hunters strike again 

 

They stab it with their steely knives 

But they just can’t kill the beast. 

 
 
 
 
 

Married

By Daniel L.

Do you remember that day? 

What was it, a year ago now? 

When I forgot my faith 

And I left it behind for a mistake 

I still remember so vividly 

Betrayed someone who meant a lot to me 

Someone who deserved much better 

 

I’m married to my regret  

And nobody knows 

A past I wish to forget 

That’s the way that it goes 

That’s the way that it goes 

 

And if you’re listening, I swear 

I’ve never been so sorry in my life 

They say that you live and learn 

Well, I learned the hard way this time 

Do you think that you could ever forgive me? 

I don’t think I can forgive myself 

We were something special, weren’t we? 

Now I’ve put myself in my own hell 

 

I’m married to my regret 

And nobody knows 

My past I wish to forget 

That’s the way that it goes 

That’s the way that it goes 

I’m married to my regret 

Now do you wish that I was dead? 

I know that I can never forget 

Everything that was said 

Wish I could take back what I said 

 

The wedding was officiated  

By my own mind 

And the rings that bind us 

Are the scars on my arm 

I’m sorry 

I’m so sorry 

What will it take to make things right? 

Have we already run out of time? 

I still remember what you meant to me 

I just want to tell you that I’m so sorry 

Heart Head

By Daniel L.

Today was a month long 

Because you weren’t in it at all 

And I’ve been waiting for so long 

Will you answer my call? 

 

Patiently waiting 

Are you hesitating? 

I’m losing my mind and I feel like I’m dead 

I’m screaming your name 

No, I’m not okay 

Is the pain in my heart or my head? 

 

I feel like I’m insane 

As I’m calling out your name 

Can you hear a word that I say? 

Are we running out of time? 

I thought you said that you were mine 

I need you with me tonight 

My voice is breaking 

With every smile I’m faking 

And halfhearted excuses I’m making 

Just give me a call 

Your voice can break my fall 

I need you to tear down my walls 

 

Can you hear my voice? 

This is the only way I know how to vent 

All this time I’ve been waiting for 

Someone who could finally understand 

I promised myself I would never cave in 

And I know that it’s not your fault 

My rage isn’t for you, it’s our situation 

Because if I am without you, am I really me at all? 

Shards of Glass

By Shrawani P.

I hope you heal from the wounds,

Inflicted by the cruel world. 

Trust me many others are injured,

Just like you. 

 

I hope you heal from all the attempts,

To fix yourself in certain standards. 

Trust me many others are "not matched",

Just like you. 

 

I hope you heal from all the criticisms,

Your distant relatives bombarded you with.

Trust me many others are "not good enough",

Just like you. 

 

I hope you heal from looking in the mirror,

And not smiling at yourself. 

Trust me many others have lost their smiles,

Just like you. 

 

I hope you heal from relentless hatred,

Of every beautiful part of yours. 

Trust me many others are yet to love themselves,

Just like you. 

 

 I hope you heal from the ignorance,

Of the immense beauty you possess 

Trust me many others are unenlightened,

Just like you. 

I hope you heal from everything that,

The world hasn't apologized for.

Trust me many others have lost hope,

Just like you. 

 

I hope you heal, heal and come back.

Shine brighter with bravery and confidence.

Trust me many others have that power within themselves,

Just like you. 

River Veins - Imagine

By Mahica J.

Imagine the ancient hero.  

 

The warrior is standing,  

sword poised in turf-rough hands,  

waiting.  

 

The universe is burning amber and green.  

 

Ya see those hills, Eamonn? All the way out to them mountains? Our land. Our 

people.  

 

The ashes are alight and smoke fills his eyes.  

 

The bog-marshes are filled with bodies. 

Fighters, children, brothers,  

Lost, lost and losing.  

 

Memories snuffed like old wax candles  

left out in the midnight breeze.  

 

He fastens his grip on the sword.  

Familiar blood on familiar soil.  

 

We’ll be remembered as heroes, boy. Choirs will sing our names.  

 

The blade through the book,  

Knife deftly slices through the imaginations  

of the crafted world.  

 

The forgotten voices sing from the unmarked graves.  

 

The warrior runs. 

 

I can’t just do nothin’, ma. They’re takin’ our history!   

 

He runs, he falls, forgotten.  

The unnamed hero lost.  

 

He barely breaths through delicate paper lungs 

and the ink blood in his heart. 

 

The forgotten warrior stands,  

sword clasped in forgotten hands, 

waiting for a forgotten war.  

 

Just wait for me Eamonn, yeah? I’ll be back by dawn.  

 

Back, back, back.  

These pages take us back. 

Glance Upon Reflection

By Dylan H.

My soul windows concealed by doubt,

Intrepid, within inner war, heedful of my

present.

Risk my gift? I'd rather end this excruciating

drought.

Rain overlooks my introspection, darkness

dooms.

Obvolute spirit, entanglement of outer

criticism and inner optimism ever the

effervescent

Rays beam through my windows as

opportunity looms.

I walk away

Beating Waves

By Emilia A.

Resemble that flowers that I tried so hard to plant 

​withered when had enough of them

​did not want to abandon them earlier , 

​but the severity of these incidents went through 

​did not allow them to grow as I please though 

​Just to be in this dark blue   

​​Because I'm fine, I'll be fine, that's all I've

heard all this time

​And now it has become the usual lie kept tellin' right? 

A sea of ​​​thoughts trying to coddle me into

the other side

​By forgetting that I were happy before as was sure 

​That I were glad to go on and ignore 

​Whenever look at my reflection mirror, can't

help but see 

​my pale gloomy face and much errors 

​  But I swear that's not me! I'm healthy, why do I show 

such jitters?

​   left my faith in someone who was everything for me

​After that, heard nothing but broken glass and tears

​Huh! What did you do? was a naive question asked  before​On the pages of my diary, only drew the letters of  your name insure

​All I hear now is the glass that you broke, ringing

 to secure 

​It continues and stays on the crumbling, dear 

​Was i easy to broke and fell poor

​Why i act like that now? and for?

​Why can't I laugh in your face like before?

​Aren't you my favorite anymore?

​Or are you not real to me furthermore 

​Everything I was trying to tell you before 

​a mixture of lies didn't want to say anything more 

​That's  the window I'm leaning on still cold

​The cries of children around are no longer joy, 

​Will we be tormented here forever long?

​All I knew, I were unwanted door

​Since mother didn't even try to calm me 

​reassure since i was born

​Is it a safe and warm feeling to be near her?

I don't know

​  shouldn't have given up on me ergo 

​Oh, yeah, that's what everyone do

​Ideas started to collide in my memory tons ​

  now you live in the image of the sea ​

  ​​​the owner of this voice

​    standing on the edge of these rocks, 

​cumulative waves that send an image of no return

​What a beautiful color. Will it be a nicer combination  if i jump though?

​Blue, red and then clouds reflections it's my last

 sight though ​

​It's time for me to find out who I really am behind this flee ​

The winter wind is whispering softly and I'm getting  colder now

​I can't hear my heartbeat anymore, it's too late

​To tell me the truth and everything you want

Ghosts

By Wesley L.

Ghosts are wisps of feeble pasts

  memories that do not fade

 

They are the eerie words from dying lips

  the ones that make the air feel colder

    the ones you cannot forget

 

They are the nightmares that plague your dreams

  the ones that make you scared to sleep

    the ones that are all too familiar

 

They are the waking woes that cling to you

  that feed when you close your eyes

    that feast when you are alone

 

They are the things that hound you

  years after they have lived:

    the car crash that killed your friends,

    your loved one’s cancer diagnosis,

    the miscarriage in December,

    the screams of war,

    suicide attempts,

    the cuts,

    abuse,

    rape.

 

They never leave you

  they haunt you

    like ghosts.

Fear of Falling

By Aviana P.

And I know that you just don't want to see me 

Yet you said I was the only one honey 

Don't build that wall just let it fall 

I'm close 

I'm right here 

You’re too hurt to even come near 

You’re scared 

I know  

But love i'm not the enemy 

Your pain and past is dead to me 

Let it die instead of you 

Because unlike the past 

You can always birth anew 

GO

By Weyinmi B.

when you realize that the people around you keep  telling you to

GO 

leave the only home you’ve ever known 

that’s when you know it isn’t really home anymore 

 

when you see how many people are willing to stand in lines at the embassy for hours 

no rest, no food 

that’s when the urge to GO  

hits  

 

when you see how many weeks your parents are  willing to wait 

for the visa that will take you away 

maybe GOing 

doesn’t seem so bad  

 

when you look around and see the people  that have died 

the corruption strangling, insecurity suffocating 

you understand the compulsion to GO 

doesn’t sound so bad anymore 

 

when you see yourself, mom, sister and dad  leaving in the cover of the night  

running in haste to your boarding gate 

that’s when GO  

takes its realest form 

 

when you see the stacks of papers for immigration  and customs 

in your dad’s hand, myriad in number 

you know you can’t  

GO back 

 

you know when you’re GONE 

when your people back at home boast to their friends saying you’re in the good life 

and even your own motherland 

doesn’t know how to take you back.  

War Against War

By Lehar G.

Crack! 

Dismantled the pieces integrated 

Million yearnings engraved 

Meanders of tears deepened 

So did the pains of caved 

Alas! 

Fell flat all the efforts 

Rare phenomenon was hope 

Though little left to be mustered 

Did courage in a palm to lope 

God! 

Courage that could only fit 

A small hand like that 

Beneath the rock of despair 

Hard to be noticed as gnat 

Poor! 

Under the sunlight of darkness  

Blazed a frail fire 

Unlike those scarce flares 

No less than a satire 

Hurrah! 

Darkness flew like an arrow 

Off the bow of reliance 

Thousands long trails followed 

The one strong domino of defiance 

Freedom! 

Victory so sweet attained 

Against the prolonged war 

Such an epitome of faith 

Ever witnessed before 

Yester Eve

By Lehar G.

Notes paving way to the ears 

The love floating, eyes rigid 

Tension builds as the heart nears 

Passion overtook by melancholy 

Spotted a table, tracing the stares 

Eyes bulged out; brows wrinkled 

The locked lips earned plenty a jeers 

Guilty beards, shunned for 

That otherwise receives many a cheers 

Oh lord! 

Why such a fashion so shallow 

One’s love can interrupt that of his peers 

The grip on my hand lightened 

Worry shadowing her face dear 

My soul crippled, hopes dived 

Again...stood against the fear 

The rebel in took control 

As my lips collided hers 

Returned the smile on parole 

Grips tightened, nothing to impede 

As the feelings again divvied

500 Ways to Di(v)e At a Swim Meet

By Kirsten L.

Water is a fickle god        like the slurp 

of a tongue over my skin and thousands of 

syringes the next       nails of a merciless 

spirit sinking into the spaces between 

vertebrae       as i cut through the water

eyes closed.       I’ll die in three days 

without you but here you gush and sieve 

ruthlessly through the outletsin a polluted 

form tainted by chlorine and sweat and tears

I tried to snap some pictures of you in the 50 

free, my father said, but it’s kind of hard to 

tell which one is you       and i agree 

with that because touching the garish blue of 

the pool makes everyone look the same at 

times:       round forms of flesh encased 

in black polyester shining white as working 

muscles ripple beneath it

bulging plastic eyes iridescent like an 

insect’s       heads shrunken and 

rubberized in uniformity.

remember to tuck your chin in so you don’t 

belly-flop, coach says, dry eyes smiling at 

the edges.       at least it didn’t hurt 

this time when i hit the water, i say, wry grin

recall the last time, relay warm-ups, each 

time i tried to di(v)e my thighs glowed red 

with pain, the scraped skin on my left knee 

hanging without avidity       but the 

tension runs through the air like cough 

particles       and it winks at me in the 

beads of water coating the back of the boy 

sitting in front of me       unscrewing 

the cap of his bubbling Coke

carefully       as though defusing a bomb. 

Is a Poem

By Rachel E.

is a poem 

 

a place to put emotion 

i can tell you how it comes in waves 

of how emotions are less and less emotion 

and more and more reaction 

I can tell you how it is inconvenient 

sporadic and messy yet joyful 

but that 

you already know 

 

is a poem 

 

a place to journal beauty 

I can tell you of the little things 

sunlight flowing in through curtains 

mud sticking to tiny fingers playing in the grass 

trees dropping their leaves as gifts 

I can tell you of the beauty 

of a loved one after a long day 

a simple smile 

that wraps the whole world up in duct tape 

patching it until tomorrow 

but that 

you already know 

 

is a poem 

 

an excuse to ramble 

without rambling 

I can tell you to assort words 

without sentences 

to write 

without essays lab reports articles evidence thesis claims analysis 

simply thoughts 

put in fastest form 

but that 

you already know 

 

or is a poem 

 

just a poem 

and we’re overthinking 

again 

but did you 

already know