All posts by Erin O'Rourke

Ashes & Absolution

Resting in the ashes of your countless mistakes
You wallow, failing to recognize what it truly takes
To rekindle the fire which I foolishly trusted
The flame that left our house empty and rusted

Once you bought a shiny new box of matches
Furious, I treated their sparks as meaningless flashes
And now I wallow, refusing to imagine what we could do
Unforgiving, I am without fire, and so are you

As I shiver in the cold of what could have been
I rub my palms, look inside, and suddenly begin
To gaze upon the ashes where grudges stay strung
Maybe some smoke could be good for our lungs

Adriana Pera ’17


I could walk a mile in your shoes
And not make it very far
I know your callouses sting more than mine
But does that make my feet ache any less?
I could borrow your ears for a day
And end up covering them
I know you hear worse words than I
But should I never be upset?
I could see through your glasses for an hour
And view my own blindness
I know your viewpoint is wider than mine
But are the things I see meaningless?
I can never become you
And fully understand
I know your problems are graver than mine
But are my problems any less real?

Allison Schaum ’17

A Bitter Divide

It used to be this kind of torture,
To men and women of African American culture.
The young and old both judged light or dark,
Without a closer look at character or at heart.

Then the movement was started by Dr. King,
A brave, black man saying “Let freedom ring.”
We thought it was over, the segregation and divide,
Until our voices were once more pushed to the side.

And here it is again, a bitter divide,
A split, a spread; just self-pride.
What we need is a giant unification,
So we can live as one, peacefully, in this beautiful, free nation.

All I see now is one huge divide,
Between the blacks and the whites like it’s 1965.
Stop with insults, about either race.
Just smile and hug more because we all deserve a better place.

If you believe this poem to be true,
Then take my advice and do something new.
It all starts with one; it all starts with you.
Stop insulting, start embracing because we can see this world from a different point of view.

Erika Shanahan ’18


Across the sea
across the desert
across the mountains
people move
A constant flow of sacrifice
for the ones who keep our heads above water
A constant battle between
satisfaction and the drive to reach our zenith
migrating from one side of town to the other
migrating to the train station
migrating across the country
migrating to new nations
our human race feeds off of movement.
do not surrender to the oppression you face
or the road blocks that set you back
open the door and suffer a little
for a greater success is soon to come
migration facilitates our growth.
cultures flow throughout our sangre and mix with one another
they are the wind
that touches everyone
of all kinds
that blows into the the knots in our hair, the cracks and crevices
the little things that make up the big things
our nation is founded on migration.
release the permanence of who you were and
allow growth for who you are to become
collapse the boundaries of your comfort zone
set yourself free
become una mezcla

Gabby Noto ’17

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Cooper Veit ’18

To Suffer or Not to Suffer

The world, heartless and shattered,
Emotions scattered,
A dark torrent of chartless fear.
Satan, omnipresent, on his face a smug sneer,
Stealing the lives of innocents and the souls of the living,
The devil is always unforgiving.
Life is suffering.

Woe to newly widowed, the fatherless, the motherless
Woe to lost innocence, to lives now colorless
Where was God when the world crumbled before our eyes?
Certainly not above our blue skies,
We watched in horror, the damage decimating,
Who could have done such a thing?
Life is suffering.

Power: a precious entity that gives us intention,
To lose it means to lose control, a contravention
Of natural law, surrendering our superiority,
Nothing more than a puppet of divine authority.
Why should we live if we will always miss something?
Why should we live if every second means nothing?
Life is suffering.

Yet we must never let go of love,
But rather celebrate the lives now up above,
So when we learn to stand tall,
We realize that God was there through the fall.
For the righteous person may have many troubles,
But the Lord delivers him from them all.

Is life suffering?
You tell me.

Justin Yamamura ’18

Her Seasons

In the summer she is the sun;
She is so warm, she is so bright.
Her smile seems to be the only one;
That keeps you happy through lonely nights.

It’s in the winter that she gets cold;
You won’t hear her laugh anymore.
Painful shivers, tears like ice;
Suddenly, she is not so nice.

But we know,
Seasons come and go.
As soon as winter comes is as soon as winter goes.
And the joys of summer never stays;
Why does she have to be this way?

One second hot, one second cold;
Her changing tricks are getting old.
Suddenly you begin to wonder;
If you can still handle the winter to love the summer.

Every year, it’s the same old thing;
With cheer summer comes, but agony winter brings.
And you question why you never left her;
But you realize her August is worth her December.

Charlize Ott ’18

Throw Me a Pitch

Give me a pen,
And I’ll write you a best-seller.
Promise me your vote,
And I’ll run for president.
Give me a wrench,
And I’ll repair your car.
Throw me a pitch,
And I’ll hit a home run.

Give me the paycheck I deserve,
And I’ll provide for my family.
Hand me an application,
And I’ll enroll in school.
Give me a man in distress,
And I’ll rescue him.
Write me a script,
And I’ll play the lead role.

But give me a broom,
Tell me what to do,
And I’ll laugh in your face because I can do so much more
Than just clean up your space.

Annika Tiña ’16

Dear Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Donald Trump,

Do I even address you as Mister? Because the last time I checked, the term “mister” was used for gentleman, and that is one thing I would assume you are not. Now, Donald, as I hope you don’t mind I address you, I’m not here to be angry about your political views or stances. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care because all I do is sit here and pray to God that you will never be the President of this country that I call my home. God, that’s what I came here for. You see, Donald, in my culture, I call him Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful, and he’s still my God. If I am correct, and please correct me if I am wrong, you are Presbyterian, so you do have a God. And if I understand correctly, we all come from Abrahamic religions so don’t we all share a common God?

You see, Donald, I don’t understand what I did wrong or what I did to deserve this, but I do know that your bias against my religion hurts. Because I do know that you are an educated person, you attended Fordham University, the very university that I might attend next year, as I was accepted into their freshman class. Incidentally, it’s a Jesuit university which I can’t believe would really let you graduate with the mindset that you have. You have spoken out against my religion saying that Muslims should be banned from America, that we should carry identification with us to alert others that we are different from others and have our houses of worship monitored for acts of terrorism. Does that make me different from my classmates? Different from other Americans? Because the last time I checked, I shop at the same grocery store, attend ballgames in the same stadiums and ski down the same slopes.

Now Donald, I know you don’t know what it’s like to be part of a religion that is hated and misunderstood, but it hurts. My community of faith does not hate others, and we do not wish to terrorize America or anyone for that matter. From what I was taught as a little girl, Islam is a religion about peace and love like any other religion. We live by five pillars: the pillars of faith, prayer, charity, pilgrimage and fasting. Charity, taught to give our excess to those who need. Donald, I’m sure you can tell me a little bit about excess. What I wish others knew was that Islam is actually kicking butt when it comes to the feminist movement because Muhammad told us to educate our women. Actually the best part is Muhammad married a widow, a rich widow, who helped support him. Now how about that for a woman’s independence? But really Donald, I don’t understand how you could ask to ban all Muslims because when my cousin decides to visit his Dad in Denmark, I’d really rather not worry about whether or not I’ll ever see him again. And really Donald, I’d prefer not to mark myself as Muslims if others – Hindus, Christians and Jews – don’t have to do the same. It’s only fair, isn’t it? And isn’t that what America is all about?
Equity and equality?

The Muslim Next Door

Zarina Wong ’16

City by the Bay

The fog lingers like a fox,
waiting for his next unsuspecting victim,
sauntering over the hills only to envelop the water in a dark mist,
he preys on the surrounding area,
flowing like water down a stream,
slowing only to stalk its next meal,
slowly draping the rust stained metal carcass in waves of haze,
lowering his body to sneak under the nose of the next target,
before the city knows it, the concrete land is veiled in mist,
incapable of escaping its dark fate,
only the tips of the buildings are able to escape the grey shroud.

John Pollak ’18