Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"What are the two magic words that you can always use to make a shark happy?"

Come back after Christmas vacation to find out the answer to this splendid riddle!

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters."

~Solomon Short
Sea of Nothing

by Gianna Cabral

It comes in waves like the ocean tide,
Sometimes I get lucky when the ocean is calm and nothing is in motion.
I get a short, relieving break from myself, something I wish was always there.
But most of the time the roaring water gets strong, pulling me under its suffering sea.
My chest becomes heavy and I never think the feeling is going to vanish,
But just as I'm about to take my final breath, someone swoops beneath the hazardous abyss and pulls me back, breaking the surface once again.
The never-ending cycle is yet to be destroyed,

And I'm still just trying to keep my head above the water and survive this lonely, empty, sea of nothing.  

The Downfall of Man
By: Mary Godwin
Once there was a time
When we were known
For creating art and spreading light.
Once there was a time
When man could love and
Chart unexplored places of imagination.
Once there was a time.

Now we kill and conquer.
The streets run red with blood
And our rivers flow black with poison.
Now we create terrible things;
Murder, famine, war, and poison
Flows through our blood.

We expel our black hatred
Towards the heavens and skies above.
We bleed toxins knowingly into the rivers,
Into the ground, into the sky, into one another
And we’re fine with this;

These problems of mankind.

Frost on Your Roses
By: Mary Godwin
Mom loved to grow various plants
She especially loved her roses
If I had to say which was her favorite
It’d be the yellow ones
She loved her yellow roses.

She got them for her dad
He died when she was eighteen
But she wasn’t sad
She felt like he was still with her
He was the yellow roses.

She took good care of them
If she ever felt alone
She’d go to her garden
To sing to the plants and watch
The roses dance to her songs.

She ended up singing every night
Under the moonlight she sang and they danced
The wind carried her words with it
If you saw her you’d think she was crazy
Singing and dancing alone

The truth was
She wasn’t alone
She was with her dad
They danced all night long
The moon was their only light.

They did this for quite a while
Night after night they’d go
Singing songs of sadness and joy
While dancing with the wind
She did this for as long as she could.

It came to an end one day
When bombs fell from the sky
When tanks rolled through the garden
When they came with weapons
It was then when it all ended.

But it never really ended to us
Her roses still stood
Even though her body could not
Sometimes at night you can still hear her spirit
Singing her songs to the yellow roses.

By Sarah Nealon

A constant, definite moving.  
I peer from the rusted metal bars of my cage, trying desperately to catch a glance at the figures in the front of the machine.  What are they?  I wonder, my eyes slanted with effort.  Aliens?  Demons?  Members of some twisted, government-run mission designed to kidnap innocent citizens?  I gulp anxiously, shrinking into the back of my cage.  
The machine itself is vast and spacious, with a layer of fine fabric coating its lower half and a wall of grayish metal located above that.  Small slivers of weathered glass are planted orderly around the walls of the place, the largest one curved well around the edges of the creatures’ heads.  A tiny light peers meekly from the ceiling, beaming pointlessly through the darkness like a single sigh through an awkward silence.  
To state it mildly, the scene is more depressing than an empty grave.  
My gaze drifts to the window beside me, and a flicker of movement immediately captures my eye.  Without hesitation, I spring to the front of my cage.  
“Help!” I cry desperately, eyeing the mysterious stranger outside of the machine.  He stands cautiously against a worn brick building, his body flattened against the material as if in hiding from some all-seeing force.  “Somebody - help!”  
“Shhhh,” hisses one of the creatures.  It turns to me, gaunt and fatally pale, its enormous round eyes fixated on me like a lion to its unsuspecting prey.  It parted its reddish lips to speak, its voice tuned to a low, guttural rasp.  
What could it possibly be saying?  I puzzle, wincing at the series of clashing syllables.  What would one say to a terrified prisoner?  

Finally, after what felt like weeks of stirring impatiently in cramped confinement, the creatures finally halt to the side of a strange building.  It’s white and angular, illuminated only by two small lights near its door and the faint reflection of moonlight across its windows.  A small field of greenery capes the ground in front of it, glittering droplets of dew collecting on every last blade.  
One of the creatures climbs out of its machine, the other quickly following.  It strides over to my window, laying a shriveled pinkish hand below its base.  Quickly, as if snatching a book from a tabletop, it yanks open the door beside me.  
Here it is, I think nervously, a knot of anxiety swelling in the pit of my stomach.  Here’s where I learn what they want from me.  
The creatures are much larger than I had originally expected their vine-like arms swaying rhythmically by their sides as they lug my cage toward their front door.  A choir of crickets sings melodically in the background; my only sign of familiarity in this bizarre, alien world.  
One of the creatures stabs a sharp device into the side of the door, and I tense with fright.  It began to sway softly on its hinges, an ancient groan echoing painfully through my eardrums.  Only a hair-like sliver of what lay beyond the door is visible to the outer world, and I manage a rasped cry.  
I tighten myself into a shivering mass as the pair begins to drag me through their doorway, a collection of towering figures scattered throughout the solid darkness.  
What can they be?  I wonder frantically, my heart a hammer against the wall of my ribcage.  Devices for torture?  For experimentation?  Will I soon be nothing more than a finished science experiment?  
Suddenly, a blinding light slices through the darkness.  As my eyes quickly adjust to the changes of scenery, I exhale a sigh of relief.  Furniture.  The strange, hulking figures I was so terrified of seconds ago are simply pieces of furniture.  
The creatures slowly lower my cage to the floor, a shriveled hand fingering its lock.  
The barred door to my cage springs loose, a wall of light stifling my vision.  
I sit for a moment, bewildered.  
They’re not seriously releasing me, right?  I wonder, eyeing the shining floor before my cage.  That would make absolutely no sense.  
Slowly, carefully, I inch out of my cell.  The room is gigantic and spacious, the ceiling looming distantly above me like a cloud to a sun-kissed field.  Notes of crimson and burgundy are planted dramatically throughout the scene, peppering it with a slightly gothic finish.  A grand mahogany table lay dormant before a wall-length window toward the back of the place, a wine-red tablecloth draped neatly over its surface.  
Chattering busily, the beasts stride to the impressive table.  The smaller one turns to me as it settles in its seat, a child-like chirp escaping its lips.  Baffled, I wander toward the foot of a cushioned chair, arms extended as I prepared to climb.  
Nnnoooooo …” hissed a creature, crooking a slender figure toward me.  
Uneasy, I shrink away from the chair.  How pleasant they are, I note, propping myself against the chair’s sagging side.  Slowly, gradually, I drifted off into a powerful sleep.  

I miss my family, I think dreamily, nestling into the side of the chair’s fabric.  I miss my mother’s kindness; my father’s patience; my brothers’ playful episodes that never seem to tire …
Suddenly, a deafening thud! echoes throughout the room.  I whip around to face the window, my heart pounding with shock.  
There, sitting watchfully below the window, was the mysterious stranger I had seen only hours ago.  
“Who are you?  What are you doing here?” I question drowsily, eyeing the odd intruder.  He’s tall and ember-haired, a pair of earth-brown eyes staring curiously at me through the darkness.  
“There’s no time,” he answered urgently, motioning toward the windowsill.  “You should escape now while you still can.”  
I narrow my eyes, bewildered.  
“Where will we go?”  
“We’ll find a better place--anywhere but here.  Trust me; you’re not the only one I’ve helped.”
I think for a moment, cautious.  Well, few things can be worse than this bizarre sentence.  
“Very well,” I decide, slipping beneath the opening of the window.  I catch a glimpse of the ground below me, and my stomach drops as if I had tumbled from the edge of a cliff.  
“Just jump,” hissed the stranger, glancing anxiously around the window.  “Jump and we’ll run.”
Inhaling deeply, I shoved myself from the edge of the building.  The world plummeted dizzyingly below me, the wind tousling my hair like the fingers of a thousand rushing ghosts.  Soon, I felt the grass beneath my feet, its dewdrops like gems along my aching feet.  I glance ahead, my heart pounding with anticipation.  
It’s time to use each of my nine lives as wisely as I can.          

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“Whoever is trying to bring you down, is already below you.”

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
~John Steinbeck

Where Am I?
    By Dakota Girard

The aroma of the greasy chicken breasts disperses throughout the area.
Red and white colors fill the room as I glance about.
Volumes of voices grow louder as families fight for the final piece.
Observant, I witness the laughs and full mouths of families here to enjoy a meal
I gently pick up the packaging from my meal.
I start to unravel eager to fill my stomach with the mess in front of me.
The wrapper, greased and slimy, slips from my grasp.
In an embarrassing frenzy, I dig in.
Only to taste the tenderness of my chicken from _______.

By Gianna Cabral

A long time ago in a land far away,
there was a magical girl who lived by the bay.
She has long scarlet hair that fell just below her shoulders,
and a voice so quiet that she remained unnoticed.
She has a slim yet flattering, unique figure,
and she had a life that appeared to be a perfect picture.

But one thing about her was she kept a big secret,
couldn't open her mouth, afraid no one would keep it.
She cast spells to make life seem a bit better,
In hopes of making people act a little less bitter.
She doesn't wear the stereotypical black hat,
and she certainly didn't own a scary green-eyed cat.

She practiced magic late in the night,
where the darkness crept, she hid in plain sight.
Isolated from the world,
although quite strange, she felt at home.

They made her feel like she didn't belong,
but this made her feel like she could prove them wrong.

She could give someone their one dream house,
And make a boy and girl fall in true love.
She could make you hypnotized, or just give you a simple surprise.
Anything you wanted, she could make it happen,
but be careful because she could easily send you to a different planet.

Just because she could perform magic,
doesn't mean her life was not tragic.
Maybe she lived in a fantasy because she didn't want to believe,
that this reality was unfortunate, she had been deceived.
She got caught up in the mystery,
Hung up on who she really was and who she could be.

But one thing I'm sure of is that there is hope out there,
a life where she doesn't have to be hidden and handled with care.
There is a light in the big, open sky,
you just have to find it, obtain it, and just truly fly.
One day eventually she found the light where she could be free,
just like how life is supposed to be.

What about Us?
by Gianna Cabral
What about us?
The people who have rights, too.
The ones that are seen as invisible because we are too low for you.
We are the people who cannot speak our minds,
For all you do is speak, trample over us, and leave us behind.

What about us?
The people who cannot choose for ourselves on who we want to be.
The ones who have dreams but are afraid to pursue them because you make us feel like we are not free.
We are the people who are hurt and stuck in pain,
For all you do is trap us in sorrow and we cannot escape this gruesome game.

What about us?
The people who live in the shadows because we are ashamed of ourselves.
The ones who feel worthless and are put away hidden on shelves,
We are the people who do not see ourselves as beautiful,
For all you do is break us down into pieces until we are not our plain old selves.

What about us?
The people who are human beings, too.
The ones that are underestimated because we are not good enough for you.
We are the people who hide our secrets and who we really are,
For all you do is treat us like misfits who can easily be replaced and not go far.

Depression by Gianna Cabral

Depression sweeps you under its hollow wings so tight
that the pressure makes it impossible to breathe.
If you aren’t cautious enough, it will catch you by surprise
and leave you fearing for your life.
Be careful not to get tangled and entwined because depression will pull your wobbly feet
right from underneath the weight of your frail and fragile figure.
Once it snatches you in its arms, it will drag you to the darkness
and hold you prisoner until you give in and give up everything you've once known.

If you're being tugged down beneath the ground, but still somehow manage to breathe,
No matter how painful,
No matter how far into hell, you have no choice but to just keep going.
All you can do is hope that one day you finally reach the surface and are able to obtain the light,

Or maybe you reach the day darkness pulls you in an undertow and claims you into the night.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

“Not every ballerina starts out gracefully.” MG

A Painter
Mary T. Godwin

A narrow and angular woman walked out from behind the scenes. She smiled brightly. Her clothes were a mix of dark crimson, garden violet, sunny yellow, and turquoise blue. Her auburn hair was put into a plump bun that sat rightly atop her head as bits of loose hair found its way in front of her face, she casually brushed it off as she strutted towards the interviewer.

“Hello there! It’s so great to finally have you on the show!” The blond woman beamed, her bleached teeth contrasting sharply against her coral pink lipstick. “Come, sit! Sit down, right here.” She gestured to a sizeable beige chair and sat down almost immediately after the triangle of a woman became engulfed in the large chair.

“It really is such a pleasure to have you here! So tell us about yourself! When did you first know that you were an artist?” The blonde woman leaned in, faux intrigue spilling out from her mouth in the full gallons .

She could see the images unfolding in her mind. It was a brown dog named Carl. He had a blimp of a body with a craft store pink tongue and black charcoal eyes. He was married to a pumpkin orange cat named Amanda. They lived together in a neon green meadow where it was always sunny and the vibrant blue sky smiled at you. Their house was lemon yellow with a blood red roof. It was the ugliest painting to have ever been created, but was a masterpiece to a five year old.

She spoke, “When I was young, maybe five or six I painted one of the UGLIEST paintings ever. Really! It was just awful. It was this fat brown dog named Carl and his wife Amanda. They lived in this awful bright yellow house with a grossly dark red roof. Honestly, just thinking back to all of the bright colors gives me a headache.”

“Oh wow! You certainly were quite the creative child back then, huh?” The blond female spoke and gestured for the audience to laugh. An almost comedic laughing rang out. “Now, what about your family? Tell us a bit about your home life.”

She lied and spoke with a smile, “My home life? Oh well my parents were great, really nice people. I remember showing that painting I made to my mom after it was dry and she loved it! She said it was the best painting she’d ever seen. I think she hung it on the fridge or the wall, but I don’t remember. I mean it all happened so long ago…”

The memory flooded back to her in an instant. It was a masterpiece until she saw it. She thought it’d make a better ashtray. Carl and Amanda went up in flames. Their lemon yellow house with a blood red roof in the neon green meadow would be lost forever. The vibrant blue sky stopped smiling and it became a twisted black mass before crumbling into ash.

“Oh wow! Talk about a loving household. What about a few years later? When you were a teen, perhaps?”

Another lie and another smile, “A few years later, when I was a teen I was really popular. I had a lot of friends, I went to sleepovers. Honestly it was all so much fun! I even went out partying a few times, experimented with a few things... You know how teens are.”

Her memory of complete and total isolation was lucid. There was a stone tower shrouded in fog hidden in the middle of a vast forest. The tower was mossy and beginning to crumble from years of neglect and abuse. The fog was poisonous and would suffocate anyone who dared to breathe it in. The forest was corrupt, filled with dying and decayed trees as new saplings struggled to live. At the peak of the tower was a lavender painted figure.

“And in your later years?”

Her smile faltered ever-so-slightly for a moment before she fixed it again and spoke, “Later on in my life I left my parents house, went to college. I kept painting and started to sell my work.”

She could still see her painting every time she closed her eyes. A woman was made of triangles, squares, and odd shapes alike. They were a mix of colors. Greens, blues, oranges, the occasional yellow. The colors swirled and stirred freely confined within each shape. Her features were odd, mismatched, misplaced, but so was the entire painting.

“Oh wow! We’re so glad to hear that. It’s really interesting! Do you think you’re going to have any kids? Or perhaps you could tell us about when you decided to get married?”

With a slight wave of her hand she babbled on, “I dated a few people, but it was never anything too serious. At least that was the case until I met my husband. We met in class once and well, I guess we just really hit it off. We dated for a while before we decided to get married. It’s been about five years since then and I’ve never been happier. Kids? Oh I don’t think we’re going to have kids anytime soon.”

That heart ache felt far too real for her. The silhouettes of two people face each other. The background was stained glass, the only colors being pinks like rose and pearl. They were joined hand in hand, a mirror image of them was attached to their waists. The woman's silhouette facing away from the man's. The male’s silhouette faced away from the woman's. He was dressed as a playing card fool.

“Oh my! I never would have guessed that! Isn’t that just outrageous everyone?” The blonde woman turns and motions to the crowd, they erupt into a series of noises, agreeing with the woman.

“We really would love to hear more about you, but I’m afraid we’re just about to run out of time. Anyway, it’s been great having you on the show. A real treat!” The blond woman smiles at the other woman. They hug briefly and the geometric woman walks off the stage, disappearing.