This is a poem that penetrates
In the tenderness of your heart
That digs deep into your soul
Because in love, lies hurt
Because the truth is no longer there
And when love
Wanders into your life
This is the poem that reminds you to see, not just warmth, but reality
Where your heart joins another
It becomes not your own, but much more like a withered stone
I wake early,
sunshine peers through white shutters
upon my gaze
And I think of you.
Your absence leaves me empty,
though your spirit,
nowhere to be found.
Our hearts once the same,
now arise in other flames.
Half of me gone,
I try to move on
though ties of my spirit
long for your presence.
My anchor once strong,
now encompassed by wrong.
Not able nor willing,
I watch in disgust,
as you rot from you
and new you adjusts.
I miss you,
Your effortless perfection,
still something you attain.
I hear in your heart
your screams to return,
but your eyes masked by lies
now force you to burn.
I wish I could save you
but the risk that I’d take,
may chew my soul, too.
Run when you may,
I’ll be yours again that day.
If you promise forever
Consume Me in Color
Blue is the feeling of eternity.
It’s the feeling of reality and never-ending life.
Blue is the sky in its prime
the highest peak of recurring days.
Blue is the infinite ocean, consuming you.
Blue is truth
always genuine and never changing.
Blue is the feeling of new beginnings
but on occasion, unfortunate endings.
Blue is life, but also death
letting loved ones go, with honor and true love.
Blue is royalty and significance.
Blue is knowing that no matter what, tomorrow will come.
Blue is life.
Fly on the Wall
The Depth of Your Affection
Life’s not about competitions
Its not about how loved you are
or how many roses you get on Valentine’s Day.
Its not about the acknowledgements you receive
or the ones that you don’t.
Life isn’t about the friends you have
or the ones you’ve had.
It isn’t about the color of your skin
or the level of your intellect.
Nor is it about your own happiness.
Life’s about joy.
It’s about the way you love
and the depth of your affection.
Life’s about making the desires of those around you your priorities.
It’s about the things you say
and the way you say them.
Life’s about the people you affect,
and the impacts you’ve left with them.
It’s about your growing love as an individual,
and the way you use your power to serve others.
It’s about making the happiness of those around you, your own.
This, is what life’s about.
So the boy waits
As time lingers by
He’s felt as if
She has told him a lie
As time lingers by
he has figured out why
she has told him a lie
still, he wanted to cry
He has figured out why
she’s escaped the goodbye
still, he wanted to cry.
The love they once shared, slowly would die.
She escaped the goodbye
and with a tortured sigh
the love they once shared, slowly would die.
He could not be deprived.
And with a tortured sigh
he’s felt as if
he could not be deprived.
So, the boy waits.
stiff sheets, humid air,
soft linens, cotton bears,
plush duvet, feather cushions,
dimmed light, cracked curtains.
a sanctuary as I slip into a slumber
A Brother’s Pain
I once met a boy named Jay Cain
Who rejoiced in his poor brother’s pain
But whenever he’d try
His brother would cry
‘Til his brother drove him quite insane
I once met a girl from Bangkok
Who replaced everyday her door lock
But whenever she’d leave
The things she’d achieve
Made her want to return to restock
truly i do,
i’m sorry i’ve fallen
for every part of you.
from your honest brown eyes
to the feel of your lips
ignoring your perfection
just doesn’t seem fit
truly i do,
i’m sorry my heart
continues to grow
fond of you
Mundane days crushed by harsh reality.
Dangling over the edge of a bridge,
shrieks of my daughters piercing through my mind.
A wave of shock roars through my body suffocated by metal.
instant death upon us instills fear of any movement.
Mind, body, numb as all hope of life subsides.
Never understanding significance of a grasp so basic,
We are here,
teetering on the fine line
between life and death.
He strolled into our congested classroom with such a presence that even Mr. Fitzgerald, whom we had all known to be a very self-aware, masculine, gentleman, was taken back. With a height not less than six feet, his existence was captivating, to say the least. His honest hazel eyes glanced at a free seat near the back surrounded by several other unoccupied chairs, as he subtly handed his late pass to Mr. Fitz.
“Take a seat…” ‘name, name, name…,’” our instructor’s mind tracked as he paused slightly to glance at the tardy pass “…Julian. Anywhere you’d like is fine.”
Julian readily made his way to the seat that had previously caught his eye, as I followed his attentive gaze back to the front of the classroom. I looked at my classmates and realized that they too had been utterly impressed by more than his presence alone, yet Julian seemed to be oblivious to the effect he had on people. That, or he had learned to deal with the glued observations of those around him.
As the class continued, we were assigned to created goals in high hopes that we’d reach them by the end of the semester and share whichever goal we were most passionate about with the class. Julian rose first to share his main aspiration.
“Uhh.. a goal I will most passionately work towards…,” voice low and gentle, “would be to create an art gallery here on campus dedicated to showing the pieces made by teens in our district.”
We applauded as Charles began to share. Thoughts flooded my head. Now knowing more about him, but hungry for more, I decided to approach him after class. Surprised by his willing nature to open up, I was all ears. He told me about his family life and how hard it was to grow up without a father. His mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and was undergoing treatment off and on for the time being.
His passion for art began when his depictions of his mother started to become reality. He believed his art had the power to change reality; it was magic. He wanted to help change people’s lives for the better. He would post ads on Craigslist that were extremely out of the ordinary to see who would respond, assuming that only the most desperate would find interest in them. He would get to know these people, and their lives became his art.
This I would stick around to see.
Tears running down my face, I forced my eyes closed. Fighting against the agonizing urge to sob aloud. I attempted to hold in every sensation of pain dying to be freed. My love was forced to an end as I grasped a farewell letter written by the first boy who had shown me a tangible glimpse of never-changing love.
We had both agreed upon a rekindled friendship, in place of the romantic intimacy we shared during the past six months of our lives, much to our dismay. The thought of a long-distance relationship seemed cowardly in our situation. As a college student in his first year, Jake knew that any forced attempt at a relationship would end in nothing but heartbreak.
I embarked on my journey to Oregon in hopes of bettering a solid relationship with the Lord by attending a “Generation Unleashed” camp sponsored by the City Bible churches throughout the state of Oregon. It was here that I had become transformed. The presence and love of God was overwhelming in a way unimaginable to a secondhand bystander. The presence of the Holy Spirit dwelled throughout our everyday surroundings and eventually captured our hearts throughout the duration of this two-week camp. God provided me with a perfect sense of tangible love and peace in the midsts of my toughest times. When I was broken he met me where I was and helped restore my joy once more.
Although I fall short of the glory of God, his grace is sufficient. The mercy and love he has for me shines through his plan and every day works in my life. Despite the challenges I face, I never doubt or question the outcome, knowing that God is well in control. He is the peace and perfection in my life.
The Zeal of Beauty*Editor’s note: This is an ABC story. Note the first letter of each line.
Alice adventures through the astonishing garden.
Branches and bushes of blossoming beauty surround her.
Consumed by the charm of the creation that lies before her,
Dancing and dicing beneath the dazzling drapery the trees had built for her, she stopped, distracted by a deep noise of distress.
Examining the earthly surroundings that held her gaze, she continued on.
Flowers upon flowers flourished till what seemed to be no end.
Gracefully galavanting and gathering nonstop images of God-sent pleasure,
Her mind focused heartily on what rested beyond the beauty, but could not make out the distant figure.
It looked to be a dark hole that could trap and hold an object for infinity.
Joyfully, she thought nothing of it as the surrounding beauty captivated her attraction.
Knowing that eventually she would have to turn back, she continued on.
Lavished by lovely exquisiteness, she refused to retreat in spite of what her conscience had warned her.
Making her way towards the morbid marvel,
Noticing the natural beauty around her,
Oblivious to her near destiny,
Perfection distracting her every gaze,
Quivering through the garden, her never-ending thirst for wonder was quenched.
Run, Alice, run!
Shocked by the horror that had so suddenly surfaced from the dark, she was consumed by a shade of black.
Taken by surprise, and still thrown by the thought of something so tantalizing turning into a terrible fright, she turned away slowly and treaded out of the garden, tortured by reality.
Under the impression that perfection no longer existed, she fell into a downward spiral of darkness.
Vanity became a major value of life.
Wondering if the world would ever redeem itself for that day of disappointment,
Xylose still leaving its trace of sweetness in Alice’s mouth, allowing her to grasp onto the idea of beauty once more,
“You never truly understand the beauty of things, until you have seen the harsh bitterness of reality,” Alice shared.
Zestfully, she embarked on her new journey to rediscover the same beauty with new zeal.
Wandering over, disarranged by reality. My surroundings blur as the ideal blouse lies there high above the rest, in an attempt to seize my attention. Immaculate and ideal in appearance, it holds my glance and induces me to feel a sense of contentment, one of belonging and joy.
I slip it on over my head as each thread interests my desire to know more about its genuine make up.
The outer appearance is yet but a mere glimpse of the intriguing product of a great designer created for none other than my personal joy.
The blouse drapes over my chest guarding my heart from the harsh surroundings of reality.
Thankful and devoted, I allow the blouse to best find itself upon me.
Our appearances work in harmony, as do our essence of beings. We have become one and embark on this journey as so.
Without me the blouse is none but a cloth; without the blouse, I am none but a human in my most vulnerable state. Each of us acquiring an idle trait, yet, when combined, conceives a beautiful sense of security and peace.
Captivated by an overwhelming wall of blue shadows I struggle, to reach the light. The beams of life shine upon my face as I grasp onto any hope of existence beyond today. My mind fixates on the advice given to me by my dad, “Extend your hands, and push the water away from you. Don’t forget to kick!”.
Expectant of defeating my largest adversary, my feet push firmly against the sand beneath me, grateful for the essence of each grain supporting me in my progression to the surface.
Finally, the alleviation overwhelms me as I take a breath. Oxygen fills my lungs, and I smile. My dad greets me at the surface as he treads towards me.
“See, swimming in the ocean isn’t too bad,” and he kisses my salty forehead gently.
The sense of fruition fills me as I see the next set approaching. Here I go again.
The Ugly Duckling: My Perspective
When asked about my brother Charlie, whom most common people know as the Ugly Duckling, I never really know how to respond.
People try to make my other siblings and me out to be these sorts of monsters, yet we don’t really know what we’ve done to be categorised as such.
If anyone, that village of ducks not far from here should be responsible for the torture he went through.
My mother had always told us that we were special in our own unique ways; you know, the typical “Mommy loves you” spiel, but Charlie was different. We all associated his rebellious actions with the fact that he was the first to hatch, a couple days prior to the rest of us, actually.
Being that the average lifespan of a duck is 10 years, those two days could amount to as much as 6 months from the perspective of a human being.
We had always looked up to Charlie, much like an older brother. He was the most handsome of all of us. His feathers were impeccable. He took us under his wing, literally speaking, and taught us how to approach many life situations, while dad was off messing around with other ducks.
Our mother provided us with all that we had growing up. She was great. Many times she expected Charlie to contribute to the family in more of a significant way. He saw this as a lack of love, but being that he was our older brother and without a father figure, it was necessary for him to help out.
He couldn’t seem to get past the bizarre thoughts of mom loving him less, so as a cry for help, he ran away. He was only a year old at that point, still a mere duckling, yet so entirely full of potential. He embarked on a journey to find another family, one that did not lack a father figure.
When he set out, he traveled for many days, weeks and months, until finally he settled upon a village of ducks who seemed to have it all. Little did he know that as time went on, their sense of acceptance would diminish.
They had a way of making everything look so appealing. The languages they spoke, the food they ate, their lives were beyond ideal. As trade for acceptance he had promised to become the cook for this large village of ducks, drakes and ducklings. He soon realized that his job was much more strenuous than what he had been responsible for previously.
In finally understanding this, he decided to escape and come home. One chilling winter dawn, he decided to make a run for it, escaping from the hell he had known as home. In his attempt to escape he was captured by the Enforcers of Duck Law and beaten nearly to his death. He was brought to the doorstep of our nest, beaten, bruised and dirty.
My mother nursed him back to health, and from then on he gained an exponential amount of appreciation for us. The Ugly Duckling story was written by a bystander of the village, unaware of the real story behind Charlie’s horrible life.
In writing this excerpt, I hope to bring the understanding of our family’s love to the rest of the duck world. We love Charlie and are so ecstatic that he decided to come home to his real family.
The frozen blades of grass slide between my toes, sending a frigidity up my spine. Jack and I scurry through the graveyard in search of the conspicuous grave of Dear Johnny, the son of our mirthless principal who had died five years prior to this dreary fall midnight.
Kids of our humble town of Silver Springs, wonder constantly about the tragedy that struck Dear Johnny to death; tonight we planned to change that by reuniting with his ghost.
We search frantically to find one tombstone amongst thousands. Jack flashes his light across the field twice, the signal we had designated for the finding of the grave. I sprint towards him, and we begin digging fervently. “Dank” we hit the gold mine.
Jack looks over at me with a weary smirk. I nod and jump into the hole, quickly dusting the ancient dirt from atop the casket.
As I look up, I catch a glance of Jack, a reflection of blue lights up his face. Sirens begin to blare as my heart drops. We share a frantic glance.
“Dude, Im sorry I gotta go!” Jack exclaims as he begins to run amongst the vog, steering clear of the lawmen. Baffled beyond explanation, I am incapable of speaking. My mind becomes foggy as my goals, which seemed so close, become a new sense of fantasy.
Right out of high school, drafted to UCLA as a baseball star, my life goal, finally achieved, and now, everything was over. Thrown away like nothing more than a withered shoe.
I stand frozen next to the casket of Dear Johnny as police order me to raise my hands.
“Sorry,” I say a word lacking any sense of significance. No sense of regret or offer of escape.
A Gift*Editor’s note: The following is a work of fiction.
Teardrops, rolling rapidly down my face as I struggle against an urge to quickly shut my eyes, causing nothing but an ocean of devastation to flood my face. Twenty-three years of life, lost instantly. My mom and I huddle around our TV only to find our misery, to be real.
“Today around 2:30 p.m., a worker of Bubba Gump’s was stabbed in the Ala Moana staircase, just below CPK. Examiners have identified the victim, as 23-year old Brent Keolaokalani Kanae of Kapahulu. Any intel about the stabbing should be reported to HPD immediately.”
Reality becomes a blur as I attempt to grasp what I had just discovered. “Keola Kanae…my cousin? There’s no possible way they’re right. This isn’t real. It can’t be,” my thoughts begin to trail on as the sobs of my mother slowly intercede.
“We’ll leave for Oahu tonight. Pack your things,” she manages to deliver in one frantic breath.
The tears of my father seem to hold such a sacred essence. As I watch the sorrow-filled drops roll down his soft cheek, my heart burns with hate. How could someone cause so much misery to someone so innocent? So generous, and loved by so many. How?
The question lingers in my mind as we drive to my auntie’s home in Kapahulu, Oahu. We met many people that evening and even more the next day. Blurred face after blurred face. Many of his friends came to offer their condolences to our family. We spent time telling stories and trying to make sense of this bizarre reality. We hugged each of his friends goodbye as they left that night and returned the next morning. Little did we suspect one of them to be the killer of our cherished Keola.
As time expanded, so did the investigation. None of us wanted to believe that the man they had suspected had spoken with us, let alone been in the vicinity of our family. The investigators had a way of keeping things hidden, even from Keola’s parents, but we had sensed something didn’t fit when the head investigator handed him a piece of paper for a signature, explaining his rights.
A week later, my father had returned from Oahu after spending time with his sister and explained to us that Keola’s friend, whom we had met, had admitted to stabbing him.
We miss Keola every day and are gravely reminded of the significance of life. Every day is a gift. Do not let a day go by without expressing your love and gratitude for someone’s existence in your life.
Inner Monologue: The Light Switch
It becomes difficult living in a world of darkness. I mean, clearly you know how that feels, metaphorically, being that the universe is full of nothing but torture and dire pleas of helplessness that lead to nothing more than an unfulfilled emptiness in the pit of your stomach.
But imagine this: Imagine living in a world of literal darkness. Seeing nothing but simple hues of black and gray with the casual astonishment of a ray of beautiful sunlight beaming through the cracks of the titanium corridors, but only for a mere second does it linger and bring joy to my life.
Imagine knowing the power you have to change your life from complete and utter darkness to beautiful light with a simple tilt in the right direction. Yet your inability to successfully communicate holds you back. Is this you?
Is it true that I’m not alone in allowing my insecurities to overpower my pride? Because I know this is me. I know I’m capable of so much more than my esteem allows me to believe, therefore prohibiting me from achieving all that I know I can be.
I am reminded every day of my inadequacy through a tiny crack in this cave—the same place I had previously chosen to be.
Hidden away as nothing more than a simple piece of technology.
The darkness has a way of inducing you to stay.
Depart as soon as you may and radiate your sunshine.
Everyone wants to be that girl. The Cheetah Girl embodies the svelte figure, lyrical voice and enviable position of the teenage idol. There I was, crouched in front of the T.V. in rapt attention and wishing I could only be so lucky. I was confident that I could sing, but could I really be a Cheetah Girl? The T.V. loomed before me, taunting me to speak. I stood and proclaimed it.
“I will be a Cheetah Girl till the day I die!”
“Is that so?” my mother inquired.
I proceeded to run around the house, singing along to the prerecorded album in my purple leopard tights, much to my mother’s dismay. BOOM, the bookshelf… demolished. As I heard my father hustle up the stairs, I knew my dreams to become anything more than a child in time-out should just as well be demolished too.
All Roads Lead to Rome
It was a satin dress with a flared skirt that skimmed the knees. Lavender-colored and tight down to the waist, her satin dress. That was his reason. Nuzzling into the soft, static sheet that lay formlessly beneath him, John attempted once again to shake the last image of his daughter seven years prior to this crisp spring dawn.
The harsh reality suffocated his mind stirring the anguish deep to his core. He sat peering over at the clock sitting no more than a foot away from him. April 20, 4:48 a.m. read the piercing blue numbers. The regret came flooding back in an attack to break every sense of his self-worth.
The things he would do to feel her breath once more.
He forced his eyes shut against the silent tears and envisioned her sincere blue eyes. As she looked up at him, he could only see her simple desire to live.
Charlotte was sixteen when she died. A sweet, spotless sixteen. She had always been close with her father, and, as the only girl, had held a special place in his heart. He loved her more than anything in the universe. In his mind she was perfect in everything she did and was—his prized possession, his pride and joy.
He saw so much of her mother in her, and yet much of himself as well. She had an angelic presence, much like he’d imagined a messenger of God to imbue. As a father, he had done everything in his limited power to protect and cherish his immaculate creation in a world often revolting and vile. Never letting a day go by without expressing his love and embracing her with joy. He had hoped she would have shared these treasures with those around her.
Tuesday, April 20, 1999. I popped the frozen Eggo into the buzzing toaster as I struggled to call Charlotte down for breakfast. The sun had barely risen and my coffee was yet to be guzzled. I heard the staircase above me creek faintly as Charlotte whipped around to the kitchen table, instantly snatching her syrup-drenched waffle as she headed for the door, carelessly tossing her school bag over her shoulder.
Trucking slowly behind, coffee in hand, I quickly slipped the car keys into the front pocket of my tee. As we reached our destination Charlotte turned to me quickly, wrapping her arms around my shoulders in a bear’s embrace.
“Thank you for loving me so much, Daddy! Wouldn’t trade you for the world,” she spilled as a whisper to my heart and slipped out of the car door in a swish of lavender satin. I pulled through the Columbine High School parking lot, gratified in knowing that I had delivered her safely. Fate was in control now. God was in control.
There had been a shooting that day at Wayde High. Twelve students murdered. Charlotte, the fifth. It’s still surreal, and the days will never get easier. But as my life has progressed, I’ve realized that there was nothing more that I could have given her, nothing more I could have done to protect her. This was her fate.
I lay here in bed tears streaming down my face, in awe of my daughter’s grace as she reaches down from heaven and holds my heart. Her peaceful eyes surrender the same understanding love I had once shared.Note: Olivia, the author, said she was inspired to write this story after hearing about Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting, from Mr. Darrell Scott, her father. Olivia said that Rachel’s story exemplifies “the love I know my father has for me — the bond between a father and daughter, much like the one Rachel…had with her father.”
The inside of the bus was hot and dusty and had that bitter, stale smell only sweat has. This year marks the tenth year my brother’s lacrosse team would be traveling to Rhode Island to defeat the various high school teams throughout New York City. Being that my father had coached the Wildcat boys to their victory nine years in a row, my family and I had grown accustomed to this recurring nightmare known as “the out of town trip.” Though, this year, something about this tedium had seemed to be peculiarly tranquil.
As I glance to my left I briefly grasp the gaze of the immaculate Dylan Smith, a senior captain and aristocrat of the Wildcat lacrosse team. Within a matter of seconds his deep blue gaze penetrates half through my physical being, evoking an immediate sensation of implausible empathy. His vehement hold releases my gaze as my breath draws short. I ponder. Perhaps Dylan is much more than an exquisite creation amongst his fellow comrades.