Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quote of the Week

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more." -Dr. Seuss

Bravery/ Faith by Josh Skalski


Someone once said that if you don’t know where you’re going any road you walk will take you there. For me, I think that in some cases that this may be true. Although I stumble a lot, and the roads I take usually lead me back home, so I’ve come to expect this outcome. The roads wind and twist most of the time. I have passed by a great variety of people(?) and places and buildings that all call to me without end. Sometimes I stop in the road and watch the people(?) who live away from the road, on the edge of the forest, on the edge of a world I have no knowledge of. They interact so much more differently than we do at home. They are touchier, more tender, more loving, caring: family. I occasionally consider straying from my path to go and meet them. But I look back to the road and I remember the saying. I’m hoping that my destination waits for me at the end of one of these paths. I am afraid to veer off my path. My path is smoothly paved and lined with flowers of a golden yellow. The flowers seem to almost stretch towards me. The homes off the sides of the path are usually surrounded by grass of brown and green. Their appearance puts me off. They are run-down and happy at the same time. I keep walking. And I keep walking. And walking still. My surroundings change, becoming more familiar and comforting. I keep walking. Less familiar. Ephemeral. I see people(?) a little ways away from the road. I call to them. They don’t answer; they don’t even look at me. I stop and I call again. They stay silent. At this point I am angry. I glance down to the edge of the road. I look back up. I clench my hands into fists. I breathe. I step off the road. I expect explosions, and screams. But nothing happens. I walk towards them. I blink and they are farther away. I pick up my pace. Again, they’re farther. And again. Again. I’m running. I’ve almost reached them. I stretch out my hand. And I fall. Fall down a deep hole. For seconds, for hours, for minutes. I land, and I am not hurt. It is completely dark except for the light shining through the opening at the top of the hole. I’m cold. I have to get back up. I call for help. I scream.

B u t  n o b o d y  c a m e .

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Quote of the Week

"Nothing haunts us like the things we don't say." -Unknown

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Roses by Julia Johnson


I once had
a dream
that we were 
in a field 
of roses
the thorns
were nowhere in sight
it was just 
You and Me
and I remember
your green eyes 
sparkling in the sun
as they bore into
and I remember
feeling alive
and I think
You felt it too

White is the Absence of Color by Jillian Oliveira

White is the Absence of Color

     I can barely remember the events that took place ten years ago. I’m not sure if my brain has forced me to forget the past, or if was just too young to remember. As I pass through this large world, occasionally, there are sights, sounds, and smells that can reel in my memory. The memory was like a photographer developing images in a darkroom. At first the photos will be bright and vivid, they will stay for a while, but fade, and the image is gone. It was only up to the photographer to recreate a new photo, but the the world is the object who supplied her with her shot, the only thing that could fuel her photos. These memories impacted me greatly throughout my earlier years. I was always a happy child, one to never say what’s on her mind, to keep her grief inside of her. But this changed.

     A scene that I play in my head, over and over again, is the day my dad left my family. He was never a part of it in the first place, but I was the only one to visit him, being his child of course. On an early bright morning, my father came over with his parents. It seemed out of the ordinary for so many people to visit at one time. I never had much contact with my grandparents on my father’s side, which made it even more strange they came to visit. The mood they brought was very comforting, a feeling I had always craved. My whole family has never lived together, so I guess the lack of support was what I was missing. But they provided me with a comfort of lies. I was struck with the news that my father was leaving the country to travel back to his home. From my whole childhood, this is one of the few memories I remember. I cannot recall hearing voices or words, but seeing and observing the atmosphere. I never remember him saying he’d be back, but my little four-year old mind could only grasp the idea of a loss or departure. I only knew what he said from stories from my family. I believed him and them. But as time started to pass, my curiosity grew larger.

     During my middle school years I was a mess. I often had thoughts about contacting him, but I never did. In 7th grade I experienced depression for the first time.. Many of the causes were basic middle school conflicts, like finding yourself, but there was something very strong holding me back, my insecurities. I never thought I was worth anything, and this was taught to me from my father. It was incredibly hard to change this mindset. Throughout this struggle, my mom was very good at comforting and supporting me. I also took therapy for years. I learned ways of coping. And it worked, and only because I wanted to get better. I see people all the time that have had difficult past lives, they start to blossom, but it just takes them a second to go down. I’ve used my knowledge from observing my father to not be like these people. They do this because usually people stay with what they know. I’ve come across the saying, “You accept the love you think you deserve.” As cliched as it sounds, I find a very authentic and genuine meaning to this. If people do not acknowledge, they will go back to what they know, what feels comfortable, even if it is abuse. I believe I was under this spell for most of my life. I never noticed the bright colors of the flowers, or the things that made me happy. I never felt that I fit in. I never felt or noticed anything besides sadness. The photographer continued to process photographs, but this time their presence was not as overwhelming. I was able to appreciate the vibrant colors of the photographs. I never waited for them to disappear. Instead I decorated my room with them; they were apart of me. I was lucky, to be able to see the colors, instead of a large plain white canvas.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Proper Title by Matthew Ciaramitaro

Proper TItle
Trapped in the broken system.
Order is spoken listen.
Slaves we are and children.
It’s awkward when written.

The revolution is underway,
Things will change from night to day.
The grip they have will soon slip away.

Tonight’s the night.
It’s our crowning moment.

No more oppression. Freedom has come. Our sweet sorrow is over and peace will last forever.

The gangs have taken over.
The violence is beginning.

We were supposed to seize the day,
But now we jump into piles of hay
Else I fear in piles we will soon lay.

Without order chaos.
Winning losers makes us.
Dictators never last.
Trapped in the broken system.

Whenever you break out you will be reined back in.

Only so much freedom may be taken, before all of it is taken.

Be a Rock by Matthew Ciaramitaro

Be a Rock
As a boulder rolls down a mountain,
It crumbles, it breaks.
But then the dust begins clouding
Whether the pieces are together or apart.
However so, they fall in the same direction.
They were one, but move together as two parts.
So one they still are, the fractures made fractions
Of the whole that the boulder once was,
But even with a hole in the heart of the stone,
The hole becomes a hearth, and even through the dust.
The pieces find each other, and are never alone.

As a boulder rolls down a mountain,
it breaks until all thats left is a few stones,
One stone is thrown into a fountain,
Others are brought into peoples homes,
Yet the stones will always be a part of the boulder
The stones are the boulder whether in tandem or isolated.
Even as the world begins to smolder.
Each stone dies as it was created.

As the boulder rolls, it begins to rain.
The rain falls unto a wildfire.
Two things so separate, so different, yet the same.
They join, and one becomes wetter and the other becomes drier,
Yet entirely, the two are now one, floating together in the air.
And even when the clouds and the rain tear them apart,
the water will alway find the fire somewhere.
Whether it art by weather, or art by art.
Thy fire burns ferociously and thy lake sits calmly,
Yet thy fire is so soothing, and thy lake becomes a rapid.
My passion lives no matter what becomes thee,
And the fire's love for the rain can never be vapid.

As the boulder rolls down a mountain,
The rain falls unto a wildfire.
As one becomes many, there's no discounting.
That many will become one, and together they will acquire

An eternal existence within the other,
that draws them back to each other.
But in being the same neither can be an other.
Even when apart from one another.

As the boulder rolls down a mountain,
A beginning begins an end, and ends a beginning.
As the rains falls unto a wildfire,
An end ends a beginning and begins an end.

Deleterious to Health by Matthew Ciaramitaro

Deleterious to Health
I've got a cot with shingles wrought.
I clean each drop off of the cot
But still, I find so many blots.
I work, I ache, I sleep, I wake,
And yet, I find, my cot, still breaks.

They talk of how my hands turn black
With soot, from keeping it intact,
yet me my cot has sought attack,
I fight, I lose, I yield, I lose,
It seems, I've lost, the will to move.

My work, in vain, caused great disdain
to me, my name, and all in this game.
Each day, I claim, it bursts aflame.
I fix, I change, but it's ephemeral.
I never will escape the peril.

I want simply a chance to lead
A day where once I can be free
A day where once I can attack ,
I choose, I pick, I aim, I miss
There is never a day where I get success.

Yet friends, they come, they lift the load.
To me their worth is more than gold.
They are what I would not forebode.
Family, and friends, and love, they send.

They keep my life from bitter end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Set in Stone by Spencer Taft

Set in Stone

It is easy to feel like a mind of concrete,
A single block, set among thousands,
as layers of discarded chewing gum sit on your surface
keeping the secrets in.
Just trying to survive, with the assault of rain and snow and sun and footsteps of others
Trying to pierce the surface, as you refuse to falter,
until a crack appears, splitting the surface in two for an hour or so
As children avoid it
Lest their mothers pay the price.
And you do the same.
You sit, open and weak to the elements,
until a new layer of stone is piled on top
and you are right back where you started,
Minus some indents where the cracks were,
Stuck right where you are
Just staying alive.

Your surface, smooth as marble at a glance,
looks just like the other blocks around you
As the people above waltz over you,
Laser focused on their routines.
Their sneakers, boots, $200 loafers
all taking their toll,
one chip at a time.
They never look back.

Seasons change, people come and go,
But still you stay, stoic and stable
Expecting nothing from anyone, but willing to endure
Whatever they throw your way,
Cracks be damned.

Eventually you realize
Those cracks, hidden under all those layers,
go deeper than you know.
Suddenly, you’re not so strong.
Your stone fa├žade stays, strong as ever.
As your core crumbles by the hour.
The people bear down on you
day after day,
never a second thought,
While you can do nothing but watch,
and wait,
and pray it ends up alright
and add more layers to the surface,

because the surface is all that’s left.

A Walk in the Park by Spencer Taft

A Walk in the Park
Love is not giggling on a park bench
Love is not holding hands in the midday sun, applying pecks to the cheek.
Love is not a texted smiley face or a wish to have a good day.
Love is not seeing someone every day and reveling in their presence.
Love is not knowing that someone is rooting for you.
Love is not knowing that every day, you can count on someone saying “hello”.
Love is not an emotional thread that connects the lives of two people.
Love is not unconditional agreement to the ideals of another.
Love is not control.
Love is not thinking more of one person than you do of the whole rest of the world
Love is not support in times of trouble and celebration in triumph
Love is not knowing that someone cares.
Love is not easy
Love is not cheap
Love is not fair.

Love, real love,
Is devoid of romanticized disney princess fantasy
Far above pretense and stereotype.
Love only reveals itself
when you say the wrong thing, and hurt someone
and realize you can’t live with yourself

Until you know they’re safe.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dancing to Frank Sinatra
By Kate Parisi

Across the room his eyes are shining
blue as an endless see of
wishing and dreaming and hoping
that maybe one day he'll grow up
and be what he thinks he should be,
to be what his parents want,
to love how he’s supposed to love
as told by everyone else.
He wants to be an engineer--
he told me once--
but the way he said it
wasn't hopeful and dreaming
it was a hopeless dream;
a bucket list wish.
But I thought bucket lists
were supposed to be made for people
who needed something to look forward to.
Here I am thinking he has that,
here I am thinking that every person
has something to look forward to.
Here I am, wrong again.

I catch his eye from his corner seat
slouched back in a weighted way
as if the world he carries on his shoulders
is more like Jupiter than Earth.
But when our eyes meet
he looks at me like he’s just remembered
the nights we had where
talking about our futures
didn't seem like a chore, but rather
a place we could go together
where gravity wasn't gravity
and hopes were reality.
We were astronauts and cowboys,
we were firefighters and doctors and singers
and lovers and livers and we lived
in our time, our infinity, as if it was our now.
As if we could wake up tomorrow and live
how we said we could live.
It was always more fun that way.

He looks at me now like he did the first time,
the gleam in his eyes a mix of surprise
and curiosity. Of hope.
He rises from his seat and moves,
the weight of the world on his shoulders
replaced by a smattering of stardust.

His hands on mine,
holding and breathing and caring.

We danced until the sun rose again.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Gently Overcast by Jaclyn Lowe


T w o  p e o p l e  w a l k i n g  t o  t h e  s t o r e  t a l k i n g  a b o u t

T h e  b i l l s  a n d  w h a t  t h e  w e a t h e r  i s  l i k e .

C l o u d s  i n  t h e  s k y.  F e e t  h i t t i  n g  p a v e m e n t. W a l  k i n g

S t i l l  t o  t h e  s a m e  p l a c e .  P a s t  t h e  o l d  m o t e l

T h a t  w a s  b u r n t  d o w n  a  f e w  m o n t h s  b a c k .  H e a d i n g  t o  t h e

S a m e  s t o r e  e v e r y d a y  w h e r e  t h e y  s e l l  t h e  s a m e

T h i n g s .  S h e  r e m e m b e r s  t h e  b e g i n n i n g  w h e n  t h e y  f  i r s t  m e t  

T h e n   l o o k s  a t  h i m  a n d  f r o w n s  b e c a u s e  t h i s  i s

A l l  s h e  w i l l  e v e r  h a v e .  H e  l o o k s  a t  h e r  a n d  d o e s  n o t h i n g

B e c a u s e  h e  d o e s  n o t  w a n t  h e r  t o  k n o w

T h a t  e v e r y d a y  h e  w a n t s  l i g h t  a  m a t ch  a n d  l e t  t h e  

F l a m e s  c a r e s s  h i m  .  H e  c a n  r e m e m b e r  t h e  f i r s t  t i m e

T h a t  i t  h a p p e n d. S h e  w a s  a n g r y  a n d  h e  w a s  

S c a r e d,  b u t  s h e  d i d  i t  a n y w a y s.  T h e  b r u i s e

L o o k e d  l i k e  a  s t or m  c l o u d  e n c i r c l i n g  h i s  l e f t

E y e.  H e  t o l d  e v e r y o n e  i t  w a s  n o t h i n g  b u t  i t

W a s  e v e r y t h i n g.  H e  l o v e d  h e r  o n c e,  a  l o n g  t i m e  a g o  s o

H e  w e n t  f a r  a w a y  a n d  t o o k  h i s  m a t c h b o x  w i t h  h i m.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Difference and Distance

By Chloe Kenyon

deserts and the east coast
what's the difference?
about 3,000 miles, no
it's more like 4,000
coast to coast?
almost but not quite.
the desert is not on the coast
there's one difference
about two hours
change in time
it's 7:00 on the coast
it's 5:00 in the desert
there's two differences for you
how's the weather treating you?
oh it's in the mid 70's,
must be nice to be warm
it's cold on the coast
freezing on the coast
try the low 30's here
there's three differences for you
how about the trees?
deserts don't have trees,
deserts have cactus
deserts have shrubs
and then theres the coast
the coast has trees
pine trees,
oak trees,
growing along the waters edge
there's four differences for you
deserts and the coast have colors
the desert is brown
dry and brown
the coast is green
green with trees and the ocean
there's five differences for you
another thing, the ground
deseret ground
it's dry and cracked
coastal soil
it's wet and rocky
there's six differences for you
the surrounding space
in the desert it's miles of open
plateau to plateau
by the coast theres rocks and trees
until the coast meets the ocean
there's seven differences for you
the people
there's people in the desert
there's people on the coast
so similar
but so different at the same time.
now theres eight differences
eight differences
eight months
almost 4,000 miles
four time zones
about 18 states
and a world of missing you
that's what stands,
between the desert and the coast
between you and I