Category Archives: Poetry

Perspective

We complain
that our parents will never understand the problems we face
Not knowing that they spent a lifetime ensuring
their struggles would not be relived by their children

We place
labels on individuals based on judgment and the superficial
Not knowing the story, the struggle, the emotion
that lay beneath each fleeting face

We create
boundaries among ourselves distinguishing the classes
Not knowing that the barriers we manifest
cage people both out and in

We live
in a society where hookup culture dominates
Not knowing that by seeking only the physical
we trivialize our spirits and destroy our souls

We misappropriate
cultures that are not our own
Not knowing that our fads and passing phases
disrespect a history that we do little to comprehend

We tiptoe
around topics of race
Not knowing that by making it a taboo subject
we elongate a culture of silence and blind eyes to oppression

We forget
the lessons of the past about hate and exclusion
Not knowing that our ignorance
leads to a present of the same depravity

Nevertheless, we must
step into the shoes of others and walk around in them
To know the whole story, the truth, the insight
that will shift our mindsets from the confines of ME
to the incomparable freedom and rare luminosity of WE

Ayushi Tandel ’17

Absence

A shadow isn’t really a thing.
It’s the absence of a thing.
(That thing is Light.)

We just stuck the name “shadow” on it,
I guess,
Because we got tired of saying,
“Hey, come look at this cool absence-of-light puppet.”

Claire Fenerty ’16

Based on a True Story

I wonder what the last straw was.
Maybe it was her mom threatening to cut her throat
Or kicking her out of the house again
Or her sister refusing to take her in.
Maybe she was just sick of her dad being in jail
And missing half her family
Maybe it was the truancy notices that started flooding in
And the third address change. In a month.
This one had a neighbor who threw big parties every weekend.
Maybe it was what she learned from attending those
And the “friends” she made
While abandoning the real ones,
Replacing them with a ciggy or a drink.
Maybe it was another failed career attempt
Another ‘no’, another ‘you’re not good enough. You used to be better.’
Maybe that was her last straw.
The fact that her life was real.

 

Leanne Yuen ’17

Among the whispering and the champagne

Their eyes met from the moment she walked in.
She “came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.”
Jack was his name.
It was an instant connection.
One she’d never felt before.
“[She] was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.”
They slurred their speech together.
They jigged the Charleston together.
He consumed her that night.
Jack was toxic.
His company made her wildly dizzy.
He helped her forget everything she did not want to remember.
“Perhaps his presence gave the evening its peculiar quality.”
Jack’s dark appearance was luring.
Though a man of age,
he was the finest of his kind.
He brought her home.
He wooed her.
“[Jack] made [her] feel uncivilized.”
But he was not a good influence.
Jack turned her night into that of a loss.
She lost her morals through her clumsiness and unladylike conduct.
She lost herself when Jack made her feel unconnected to the rest of the world.
She lost her innocence after tasting the intensity of his lips.
But she was not the only victim of Jack’s contagiousness.
His energy pumped through society’s veins.
Their minds.
Their hearts.
“It never occurred to [her] that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people.”
That this man not only ruined her
but began to ruin the rest of humanity.
But maybe Jack wasn’t a person.
Maybe he was a metaphor.
An idea.
An intoxication.
A facade of society’s moral hangover.
Manipulating the human mind.
Demoralizing society.
Responsible for the loss of innocence of America.
“Distorted beyond [anyone’s] eyes’ power of correction.”
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print

Natalie Granville ’16

It

strung like tightropes across her teeth
something unspoken holds her tongue back.

if she were to let It spring loose,
It would probably jump from her mouth with such force It

would singe somebody’s eyebrows. It would char her lips but It
would mean something. and It would smell of

exhaustion or
smallness or

strange cologne that’s too close, an empty bus and a
man who reads the Times, but can’t read “go” in crossed

arms. It is shattered glass, blood mixed with wine and whiskey. It tastes of kitchens
flooded with women, warm light, sad laughter. It tastes of a tangible divide, of

isolation.

and bittersweetness, of
dashes of sugar, spice, and

suppression.

It
is the apron she wears.
It
is because she hates cooking
It
is the little scars on her arms from hot grease

and It is time.
too much time.

Rose Joseph ’16

an ode never uttered

so much i wish i can do
so much i need to say
so much i care for you
so much i want you around each passing day

i know the world is scary
i know the world is hard
i know the world is daunting
but before i did not know that the world has left you scarred

the pain i feel seems insurmountable
but then i remember you
your strength to tell me everything
your ability to try and start new

i tell you all is fine
and i pray to god it is
yet the unspoken truth remains
that we are both still just kids

i am amazed that you are so strong
you are atlas, the great titan
the world is your burden,
but please, your load, let me lighten.

Madison Kaplan ’16

Orgullo y Pride

You know I already have to take it from one group
How I’m not really Latina enough.
I go to my Latino groups,
It’s uncomfortable to be the only one there with an Anglo last name, funny because it’s actually Irish and I don’t see Irish ever being comfortable as an Anglo
And then they say my Spanish sounds white; does that mean my English will sound brown?
It’s weird seeing Byrne in a list of Lopez, Chavez, and Ramirez
Double weird because Ramirez is my mom’s last name
I honor my Colombian heritage; I work so the Latino community recognizes me as not just white.
All they see is my skin
I am the only South American in a room identifying itself as Central American or Mexican— it feels foreign
“You’re not brown enough”
I’m accused of selling out because I don’t live in the barrio, but I never made that choice
Then I think does raza restrict me to one hood only?
Are The Heights too good for us? Are we just afraid to accept that we have every right?

How many times have I heard that Colombia is a province of Mexico?
Whose chief export is cocaine, and no I don’t know a good dealer.
Yes the coffee is good, but it doesn’t mean we serve it with burritos and tacos
Mariachi is not Shakira
James, James does not play for the Chivas
And I’m not afraid of the Chupacabra
La Virgen De Guadalupe is not Colombian and Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday
And I do not paint my face on the Day of the Dead
Then the other group asks me what I’m doing here?
My Irish dance partner challenges my presence in her class
What are you doing here? Seeing my hair is brown instead of red or blonde
didn’t I prefer salsa?
My family doesn’t drink green beer on March 17
I don’t like corned beef that much
Cabbage is okay
I’m equal for rice or potatoes
I hate chipotle sauce just as much as vinegar on my fish and chips
Raw jalapeños turn my stomach in the same way as boiled tomatoes
My dad doesn’t spend every night in the pub—at least not for 25 years
My mom didn’t swim across a river to get here nor pay a coyote
She and my dad’s family both waited in long lines at American embassies
Where bored bureaucrats waited to stamp visas after asking useless, endless questions
About American history and government that most Americans can’t answer themselves

So, I can salsa, cumbia, merengue, and I can jig, hard shoe, and soft shoe
I like Shakira, Juanes, U2, and The Script
Sofia Vergara has always made me laugh
Saoirse Ronan has made me both laugh and cry
Mainly cry as my grandmother tells me yet again how she went to school with her grandmother
Me gustan las arepas con queso
Just as much as black pudding
And both sides make killer rice pudding or arroz con leche depending on which side is serving
I have my mom’s family on December 24
And my dad’s on December 25
I am not brown enough.
I’m not white enough.
But a mixed color works for me

Anne-Cecilia Byrne ’16

To The Single Moms

To the ultimate super woman
Thats is not recognized in a Marvel comic book
Who works like a mad man
And who knows how to cook
To the single mom
Whose joy lies in her children
Know that you are loved
Loved so much that it no words can describe
No words can emphasize
The work that you do
No one saw the greatness in you
Not being in the same situation
They could only see from one point of view
I appreciate your dedication
To ensuring that my life is the best
And trust me mom I will try to fulfill your request
So don’t fret
Wipe that tear from your eye
Don’t sweat
Look alive
Because you don’t need a man
You are independent and strong
And thats why I love you
I have much love to all the super moms out there
To the aunties, the sisters, the grandmothers, the moms
Who had to or have to raise a child on their own
Know that being acknowledged by Marvel doesn’t make you a superhero
Being loved by your child
Living for your children
Willing to risk your life for your child
Protecting and providing for your children
Is what makes you a super woman
M is for magnificent
O is for outrageous
M is for magical
All words to describe you
The ultimate super woman

Alena McGrew ’18

Goldilocks

Right now I sit on my bed and look disdainfully at my hair,
Desperately trying to run my fingers through my coarse and tangled curls
I wish for straighter, shinier, sexier hair—
Anything but this dirty-blonde Jewfro upon my head.

Right now eight-year-old Valeria sits on her bed 385 miles away,
Staring at the thin tufts of hair that awkwardly sprout from her sensitive scalp
Reminiscing the glistening goldilocks she braided and combed—
Before the leukemia.
Before the chemo-therapy.
Before Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles became her home.

Right now hundreds of girls like Valeria sit on the edges of their hospital beds,
In UCSF, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford, CHO
Praying solely for luscious locks of their own—
But right now, doctors don’t know how many “Right nows” these girls have left.

Right now I sit on my bed and stare at my hair,
Understanding that hundreds of girls just like me do the same:
Aspire for more beautiful and desirable hair—
Hair that screams “style, fashion, and grace.”

But right now, ladies, I beg you to stop!
Enough with the keratin!
Enough with the straighteners!
Embrace your God-given beauty and
Cherish your locks while
You’re healthy and strong.

Because one of these days
Disaster may strike and
Just like Valeria’s
Your goldilocks might be gone.

Beata Vayngortin ’16

Reality

Young and free they grab another paper
They hold their crayons like hammers
And draw themselves as fireman or police but not landscapers
I laugh to myself as I think way way back
To when I drew out my dreams in color
And dreamt of painting and traveling until life gave them a hack
But soon their paper will turn into bills
And the crayons into pens
While reality throws their dreams to the landfills
Their attention will turn to houses with AC features
And be reminded that they are just little people
Just like I know I’m only a pawn of the world, a kindergarten teacher

Josh Belandres ’19

Seven Stages of Tree

All the world’s a forest
And all the men and women merely trees
They blossom and fall
And one man in his time turns many shades
His growth in seven stages. At first infancy,
Fragile, vulnerable, pushing through the soil.
Then, the youth, with slender branches
And pointed top, stretching like a cat
Slowly to the sky. And then the prime of life,
Full like heart, with vivid leaves
Mistaken for emeralds. Then, middle age
With new traits and a flattened crown,
still growing unique,
An old dog learning new tricks. And then, a senior,
With sparse branches and dead weight,
Systems down, with aching limbs
And so he fulfills his stage. The sixth age shifts
Into barren and withered twilight,
Shrunken down, unsound,
They usually don’t go in a hurry.
Last stage of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is the last life, pure ashes
No branches, no bark, nothing.

Rene Fong ’19

Thumbs Up For Donald Trump

I assure you, I will run this great nation with only the best intent
As a man who has a lot of money, I am well qualified to be president

I relate deeply with those who are blue collar
Because I launched my career with the small loan of a million dollars

That’s right America, I have answered your prayers
But of course, a sum of our tax money will go to grooming my hair

Besides, who needs taxes for health care when you are born economically blessed
Up here at the top 1%, it’s hard to hear the poor cry of distress

Upon other nations, friendly ways I shall coerce
I am a man who gets along with people (ignore my second divorce)

I will shut out the immigrants and bring terrorism to a halt
Because obviously a few extremists cause all Muslims to be at fault

I will get this economy into its prime
Forget that I have been bankrupt a whopping four times

America doesn’t really need a leader with a smart brain
We just need someone who will make America great again

Maya Gonzales ’18

February

Winter’s shadow always obstructs February.
This month is a beautiful wonderland of hope,
But even butterflies can be dreary,
Elegance tainted when we have to cope.
I’ve never see a more luscious morning,
This comforting layer over the bay
Doesn’t give enough closure from the mourning.
From those we love who have drifted away.
The best lesson is to learn how to fall,
This is what February has taught us.
That even a glorious afternoon,
Can bring the heaviest rain to rust.
So what can we do when we face the worst,
Remember that from coal comes diamonds.

Robert Bertain ’18

On Mission

They say we’re safe now.
New schools,
cool shoes,
new rules,
This is the right thing to do.
They’ve cut the shoelaces of those
Jordans that hung from the telephone wires
on Market street.
There are new places to eat and
no one’s getting beat
but, we’re bereft of those beats.
You know, the ones that used to fill the streets
and the halls;
before strip malls,
sounds inviting and rich
filled the space around us.
Quickly stitched
together was this
patchwork quilt,
only a scrap of us here and there,
embroidering the initials
of the kid who died
you know, his legacy lived on a beloved wall
before this place was
gentrified.
The other day it was painted over,
no place to offer
or to remember
except that altar in the community center.
Is there a gift receipt for that?

Erin Valoroso ’18

While the Sun Sleeps

A mid-summer’s day to a mid-summer’s night
The dim day breathes last
As the sun ebbs towards fair slumber.
Out fades the bright baking eye;
Our blue tinted crystalline canopy
Clemently burns out to a sweet tempered dusk.

Silhouettes of reaching hands—branches let silver light pass
In a yielding orchard with dulcet fruit.
The green grass hums and gently sways as cicadas sing.
Saturated air blown by the seaside breeze
Tempering the vast deep blue
Serene, wide waters reflecting benevolent moon.

Evelyn Plam ’19

Fly

Through times like these you must begin to see
The alacrity of spreading your grown wings.
Though clinging tightly to the final plea
To lose control and fall morosely stings.

Yet time won’t wait for you and neither I,
To cower from the shield of sheltered youth.
The world has called to raise yourself and fly
Away from home to learn about life’s truth.

Your greatest dreams can now come true, my friend,
What’s left to do is break out of your shell;
To view life’s spectacles with no pretend,
By doing so you’ll very soon get well.

Do not succumb to bitter fear and strife,
But rather learn to pilot your new life.

Justin Yamamura ’18

Memories

After one week, he made my name the lyric for every song on the radio.
After one month, he gently rocked me to sleep in his cradled arms.
After six months, he scurried to my house every day just to catch a glimpse of my drooling smile.
After one year, he sat on the pink carpet as I bounced on my tiny legs. With his worn hands, he beckoned me closer. When I could no longer support my chubbiness, he caught me in his arms.
After two years, he rose from the chair as I tugged off his wedding ring. Although he predicted my movements, he let me guide him to the center of the living room to begin our routine performance. As the music filled the air, we became lost in our simple dance of carefreeness, joy, and love.
After three years, he tickled me to tears until I fell onto his lap. He grabbed the nearest book from the bookshelf, and while his right hand flipped the pages, his left hand provided an armrest.
After four years, he defended me against bullies. When my cousins locked me away in the prison of my aunt’s dark bedroom, he rescued his crying princess.
After six years, he took me on mini road trips. Even though I insisted that I was a big girl, he guided me through the sea of strangers’ faces with the warmth of his hand.
After eight years, he only visited during the holidays, but I didn’t care. While my family became lost in mahjong and gossip, he wove magical tales about his home and slipped twenty-dollar bills into my ponytail.
After eleven years, I decided to visit him. As I scribbled a mental list of my many updates, he opened the door and welcomed me inside.
But something seemed off. Maybe it was because he skipped our usual handshake. Or because he didn’t make my favorite peanut butter banana sandwich. Or because he had not once said my name.
After twelve years, he and I lost something dear. When my family and I arrived at the holiday party, I heard his voice drift from the living room. I bolted up the stairs and reached out for a hug, but he just grinned and asked, “Who is this girl?” He had lost his memories, and I had lost my best friend.
After thirteen years, I watched him enter the boarding terminal before his flight back home. As I stared at his retreating figure, I thought about his turning his back on everything we had experienced.
After sixteen years, I received the news in the early morning: he had passed away. His memory was foggy, but he lived peacefully.
After eighteen years, I live peacefully, but my memory is crystal clear. Although I did not know it before, the man I had grown to love – my grandfather – lives in my memories.

Allyson Abad ’16

Diva Work

I’ve got selfies to take
Hearts to break
Heads to turn
Haters to burn
Got cheeks to kiss
“Friends” I won’t miss
I’ve got gowns to wear
Somebody do my hair
Gotta walk the walk
Talk the talk
I got minds to blow
Miles to go
I’ve got stuff to do
Can’t waste time on you.

I’m cocooned in a feather bed
Warm my hands with a mug of tea
Relax my stiff posture and
Let myself be free.

I don’t have to be ruthless
And defend what is mine
Alone, no one can see
I’m not perfectly fine.

Pull me in, story
Take me somewhere new
Let me feel each page
And my mind renew.

Ella McQuaid ’19

One Clipped Wings

Preparing for the day she can make her flight
Away from His grasp, away, she shied
He remembers not of His great blight

Teaching herself to smile and bite
Nodding her head, just quietly abide
Preparing for the day she can make her flight

She learns to toil, struggle, and fight
Her Father, thwarts, tries to keep her tied
He remembers not of His great blight

She looks to the Suns, oh so bright
But she soon finds that she’s pushed aside
Preparing for the day she can make her flight

Please, once in her life, let her be right
He stood and laughed as she simply cried
He remembers not of His great blight

Until, at last, she can soar like a kite
Her ribbons fly free, the wind catches a ride
Preparing for the day she can make her flight
He remembers not of His great blight

Isabella Silvi ’19

Green-Eyed Monster

With my tempting melody I sing to my victims.
Enchanting them as sirens did the Greeks.
Luring them to their pitiful downfalls.
After me, people become gluttons of insecurity and anger,
While I watch with simpering laughter.
Silly humans. So easily controlled.

If you so desire to find me,
Look no further.

I am within you as you sit on the sidelines,
Plastering on a smile,
Watching your best friend make the winning shot,
Underneath the crowd’s roaring cheers,
You bury your bitterness of getting cut this season.

I am within you as you scroll mindlessly,
Admiring iridescent Tumblr models.
Their beaming smiles and slender figures,
Shaping your definition of beautiful.
As you look into the mirror,
My words leave your wall of confidence in shambles.
You see only your blemished skin and pudgy flaws.

I am within you as you stay up until 2 A.M.
Waiting for a notification to remind you that he still cares.
Your mind starts racing,
Where is he? Who is he with?
You’ve got it all wrong,
The only “other girl” is me.
For I am the lascivious nymph feeding your paranoia,
Forcing you to doubt his intentions.

Infiltrating even the strongest souls,
I leave all of my victims searching madly with broken compasses:
For some sense of validation
For some sense of confidence
For some sense of love
What a shame.

Trish Hoy ’16

My Dark Sky

My monster follows me as I walk
It crawls
it creeps
even when I sleep
I can see its breath on
the cold bathroom mirror

Appearing to me as I roam
Alone
with my thoughts

Showing its face,
ferocious blue
I thought blue was like the comfort of a rainy night.
wrong

It’s harsh
I run
I climb
I try to fly
I can’t

I’m stuck inside this endless loop of tragedy
consuming me
I can feel myself slowly slipping
past the brink
Into the ice cold black water

I haven’t seen the sun in sixteen years
I am stuck in the shadow of a monster
My light was put out years before-
stolen-
When I craved it most

My monster follows me as I walk
When all there is
Is noise
static fills the air
still whispers
Parseltongue through its pointy jagged teeth

Sings a song
A strange sound
unlike any I’ve ever heard
Is it his voice
Or is it my own?

Lucy Anastas ’19

Lost Boy

No good.
Not smart.
Not pretty.

kept all in
avoided the pity.

locked away in doors
that Never kept closed
until I discovered a path
to paving repose.

knights and maidens
wizards and magic
gods and creatures
that Never had happened
opened the doors to a new kingdom
where Lost ones could go
and be their own freedom.

Never had a place
to go or to hide
to be myself
no one by my side
i ran
ran for so long
till i found a place
where Never belonged.

David Wall ’17

Toxic

Her life is filled with toxic people
Toxic people think toxic thoughts and speak toxic words
Toxic people drink toxic drinks and smoke toxic smoke
Their lungs are filled with perfect poison pushing through their stained lips
In the form of malicious mumbles and wicked whispers
Their horribly beautiful faces cast stares of death
Their sweet toxic kiss enchants you,
But they do not love you
Toxic people don’t love anyone
The Serpents look down on you with eyes of venom
Bad blood boils
Their toxic beauty convinced you that you are less of a being,
But you can never leave a toxic person
Like a ghost they will linger
Intoxication is addictive

Samantha Riordan ’19

Dear Grandma,

The photo albums
That I would wriggle out from the old oak chest
And unfold on your desk
To look at with you,
As your fingers would caress the faces,
I would imagine you could still smile like you used to,
You would you laugh or sigh,
And I would listen to the stories you wish you could tell me,
Are gone.
Slowly, too, you have gone, but I have not cried, even though
I clung to you and choked on my tears when your
Fluffy poodle
Died
Passed
Was put down.
When my mom read me a picture book about
A grandpa who kept losing his keys
And would always love his granddaughter,
Even when he couldn’t remember her name,
I tried to believe it was just a story.
I’ve never wanted to face sad endings, especially real ones;
I still haven’t read the memoir you tried so hard to finish,
And I still haven’t asked what happened to your sparkly clip-on earrings.
I forgot stories you would tell me as I would put them on, wanting to be like you.
I still want to be like you.
So please, tell me the things I need to know: Why didn’t you pierce your ears?
Where are these pressed flowers, this postcard-sized painting, this Mary statue from?
Can you teach me how to say “I love you,” “I’m your granddaughter,” “Remember?” in a language you can understand?
What should I have asked you? What should I have told you?
I want to tell you I played your song on your piano one last time before they took it away,
Or did you already know?
Because Grandma, that day, the light turned on.
The light in the downstairs bathroom with the blue honeycomb tile
Turned on
And was warm,
And I was scared,
And I was trying not to believe.
Isn’t it only light bulbs can burn out and come back to life?
And gone are your smiles, your sparkles, your music,
And the light turned on.
And your mom forgot, my mom and I am already forgetting, and my granddaughter will forget,
But the light turned on,
Warm as the hugs I wish you could give me,
Bright as the smiles that flashed from your photo albums long gone.

Katrina Keating ’16

The Loveliest Dream of All

One day in May I’ll go and leave this town,
And head into the country for a drive.
To where the blue sky tops the green and brown,
I’ll drive until my body feels alive.
I’ll find the spot that seems to be the best,
One fringed in trees, with shade, soft grass, and stream.
I’ll sleep in flow’rs, get nice and sunny rest,
Slip toes in currents, swim, and eat ice cream.
When red and orange and pink do fill the skies,
And light of day begins to slowly fade,
I’ll run and dance and watch the fireflies,
But deep inside I might just be dismayed.
Why search for beauty, flowers, streams, or views?
When I can’t share them with my love, with you.

Cooper Veit ’18

The 7 Ages of a Soldier

All the world’s a battlefield
And all the soldiers merely pawns on the field,
They have their injuries and promotions,
And one soldier in his time fights many battles,
His part being seven ages. At first the baby,
Pure and unscathed by the agony of war,
Then, the young naive boy with his plastic army soldiers
And his lively imagination, bounding around
Making machine gun sound effects. And then the boy,
Dreaming during class, of joining the effort
To become a hero. Then a teen,
Full of hopes and dreams, and courageous like the lion,
Uneasy feelings filled his body, suddenly, without much contemplation,
Registering for the army,
Even with the chance of regret. And then the young adult,
Dressed in army green, and devouring whatever was served,
With eyes saddened, and beard of rugged cut,
Full of sharp commands, and news of advancements,
And so he does his part. His next age shifts
Into worn and cozy house slippers,
With a cane in his hand, and a new prescription of pills,
His old school uniform, far too large.
For he was now mostly skin and bones, and his scruffy smokers lungs,
Thinking again of nursery rhymes, coughs
And wheezing in his sound. Last battle of all,
That ends this soldier’s tale,
Is returning to his pure and unscathed senselessness,
Without hearing, without understanding, without everything

Anna Fenerty ’19

for my sisters

fall completely, intensely in love with yourself
walk as if the earth was created
for you to have a floor to dance on

the blood that runs through your veins
is that of warriors
women
goddesses
who have fought tirelessly for you

you are magic
you are moonlight

regain your love of being
that the world has wanted you to forget
in the fear that you might
turn us all upside down

Silvia Jiménez-Montano ’17

It Made Me Wonder

Yesterday
it rained,
and the pattering of neon on rippling sewer bound mirrors
made me wonder
The Color of December.

Yesterday
from some obscured corner,
slithered harmonious notes from a gnarled stranger,
and it made me wonder
The Hue of Suspended Song.

Yesterday
I heard the baker
hanging Christmas lights over the cobwebbed frame of his backalley door,
and it made me wonder
The Color of Light
when placed in a crevice of negligence.

Today
I walked along the straightedges of the sleeping city,
turning only at storm drains and street signs.
In the well of nighttime,
only moonlight braved the chattering dark,
and it made me wonder
The Flickering Shades of Hope
when placed in a blind man’s heart.

Angela Yang ’18

My One and Only

Her beautiful exterior fills my heart,
Her glowing interior awes my soul,
Oh how she truly is a work of art,
Oh what a dazzling story to be told.

Although my love may be miles away,
And I am waiting on her presence,
I just only have oh so much to say,
For she is filled with many cooked pheasants.

She is the true love of my tasteless life,
She is the cause of my dull existence.
She is there even in times of strife,
Like when I drop my food, for instance.

O my dear fridge, you may be down the stairs and to the right,
But to me you will never be out of sight.

Tiffany Hue ’18

To Do List

Life has been a to do list.
And I complete every task,
Yet living life itself remains to be undone,
Setting goals to be number one,
But we are beyond perfect, understand?
If you don’t, it’s called life.
If you’ve never suffered, then you’ve never lived.
If you’ve never been treated badly, then you’ve never learned to forgive.
Note to self: learn to forgive

Can we forgive society for chaining us up to its standards?
We don’t need awards to validate skill.
We don’t need to put our lives in danger to validate will.
We don’t need a cool status in order to fill
The void that’s inside of us.
Screw getting into Harvard,
Don’t you want to get into heaven?
Note to self: value authenticity

Life has been a list of reminders.
But then again, we try to forget because the world can be painful.
We try to pretend.
Let’s pretend that all things in life are ok.
Let’s think that there’s no global warming or inequality in this world.
Let’s act like everything we do will matter because oblivion is impossible.
Let’s…
Let’s breathe…
And then learn that we should stop pretending.
We are sick of pretending.
We want to make our dreams a reality.
Note to self: stop being a fake

Life has been a cycle.
It’s a broken record, stuck on repeat,
As if it’ll never end.
It’s never started either.
And if it has, then lately it’s been boring.
I don’t mind being fixed,
I don’t mind being remixed,
I don’t mind getting a kick-start.

And I have a certain part
of myself that’s broken hearted.
It’s not so long until these standards shatter my soul.
Note to self: look deeper into your soul

What is a soul without passion?
What are words worth if you don’t take action?
What is the attraction
Of wasting our valuable time if they don’t live up to something?
And each of these tasks is shouting,
“Get this done!”
But what about the responsibility to myself?
My heart’s saying, “When is it my turn?”
Why is there a need to get everything done so fast?
What’s the rush to grow up?
My heart’s saying that this is getting old,
And it’s also turned cold,
It’s yearning for fire.
I need people to understand how I feel,
Because what I have IGNITED within me is rapid FIRE
Note to self: SET A FIRE

I don’t want to go to college,
I don’t want to be judged.
For every single action,
I just want to be loved.
Maybe I want to be someone,
Live, love, and laugh,
But I was raised to be a coward.
I’m locked up with no chance!
Maybe I’m not wrong,
Maybe I’m not right,
To say I don’t want a job.
I JUST WANT A LIFE!
AND I’M TIRED OF WORRYING ABOUT PLEASING OTHER PEOPLE

Darlene Silva ’17

A Letter to My Past Self

I want to start out by telling you that you will walk again.

I know you’re afraid, and I want to tell you that’s okay.
(They won’t tell you this;
they’ll say you have to be brave.
They’ll be wrong.)
You’re allowed to be afraid.
You’re allowed to not know what’s going on,
you’re allowed to cry.
You will get through this.

You’re going to be so sick of this hospital room.
Every few hours you’ll blow into a tube
to see if you need a machine to breathe for you.
You will not know what threshold you’re approaching
but the numbers will get
lower and
lower and
lower.
You will not reach that threshold.
The speech therapist will make you say
ewehthig thfoouh thinez-
ewehrthing thfoour ttinez-
ewerything foour tines-
everything four times
until you can pronounce every letter.

You will work harder than you have ever worked
to take your first steps on Mother’s Day.
You will be exhausted. You will hurt.
You will wonder what would happen if you just quit now.

You will not quit.

You will reach a point where you understand
you cannot be afraid.
You have to push your limits to discover them
even though it makes your mom nervous
even though it makes you nervous.
You will push yourself.

On a one to ten pain scale
you will call a seven a five and a three a zero.
You will make a paper crane for every minute your
legs hurt too much for you to focus and you will
hang them in strings of a hundred.
You will not be fearless, but you will act like it.

You will not be fearless.

You will walk too fast and stumble or you will
sit down and be too afraid to try and stand back up.
It will be more than a year and a half
before you try to ride a bike again because
you are so afraid of falling.
There will be days where you are certain this will never end.
On those days,
you will be wrong.

I am writing because you need a reminder that someone believes in you.
I am writing to tell you that you are stronger than you imagine and braver too.
I am writing from a time when this is something that you have overcome.
I am writing because no one else knows what to say.
I am writing to tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will live.

With love.

Megan Gamino ’163

Rain Falling

As the sky begins to cry,
the droplets hit the ground with an incredible speed.
The sound becomes a white noise,
a constant ringing that overwhelms the thoughts in my mind.
The water dresses the world around me,
placing a black and white filter over my day.
Filling the holes in the ground with murky liquid,
setting the perfect scene for its counterparts: thunder and lightning.
Igniting my subconscious and inspiring the soundtrack to my nightmares.

Skyelar Reel ’19

Plastic Generation

Can we not simply accept our failure as a people,
as a generation of Plastic Toys?
We have been so diluted to ignore,
a consumerism of the soul,
a Hallmark new world order.
Is all emotion for acquisition, all for self-betterment.
Coddled docile at birth,
Air bag mobiles atop a babies crib,
baptized to a cult of repetition,
and lane to rest in a coffin of our things,
new age pyramids.
Savagery veiled by industry, veiled by profit.
All we want is to eat,
And we devour the plastic things.

Luca Guglielmi ’16

The Noise

Do you hear that?
It can’t be just me,
From left to right, up to down,
That noise is everywhere!

Even when I escape to a cafe,
Or take a trip to paradise,
Drive to the grocery store,
And even in the comfort of my own home.

What could it be?
Where is it coming from?
I ask my mother, my father,
And even my doctor.

None of them seem to have the answer,
I just might go insane.
I’ve looked everywhere,
Under the pillows, under the bed.

Is it in my head?
Or the thousands of people surrounding me?
Is it her?
Is it him?

There it is! I’ve found it, it’s none of them.
It’s just those darn keyboard clicks again.

Tiffany Hue ’18

Changing the Game

Once the day was almost done and there was nothing in the sky,
The sun was no longer visible in the distance,
It was darkest when she sensed she was going to die.
With all her force she fought and strained resistance.

The day was long gone but she still felt the pain,
The toxic relationship obstructed her from bonafide trust.
The once understood ally had altered the game,
She grew to be a vent inhaled with dust.

Once she began to play it was impossible to leave,
“Sit and confide, for I will never leave your side.”
Filling her lungs with gossip she couldn’t breathe,
She begged her, “Get me off this ride!”

After the sun set and Satan was gone, she caught her breath,
Twas’ the first time since she had left.

Catherine Wall ’18

A Girl Upon the Shore

A girl upon the shore, glassy eyes towards the sea
Blank as a canvas, thinks of her beloved four
They are covered in filth and grime, beside the old willow tree

Stolen by sickness, failed to be guarded by remedy
Takes a step into the shallows, a black figure looms offshore
A girl upon the shore, glassy eyes towards the sea.

Accidents claim the best men, charismatic as can be
Cold on the ankles, numb in the toes, step once more
They are covered in filth and grime, beside the old willow tree

Rage burning bright, pierces the heart and clouds the judgment of thee
Deserted, fish nibbling her hips, the waves roar
A girl upon the shore, glassy eyes towards the sea.

Vengeance is a deafening cry, seizing those guilty of immorality
Almost to the black, one more step, to see the four
They are covered in filth and grime, beside the old willow tree.

Cold on the eyelids, red in the face, finally free
Black takes its fifth, brain no longer at war
A girl upon the shore, glassy eyes towards the sea
They are covered in filth and grime, beside the old willow tree.

Lucy Anastas ’19

Sky Clothes

When the sun sets
And the darkness rises
What do you wear?

Do you wear the moon to hide the fear on your face
Directing attention away from true reveal
So no one looks
During the dark times

Or do you wear the stars to brighten the darkness
Projecting luminescence in all directions
So your light reaches others
During the dark times

Perhaps the clouds show you want to float away
Making sure loneliness is the only thing following
So you’re not part of it
During the dark times

When the sun rises
And the darkness sets
What do you remove?

Chloe David ’19

Family of 6

The laundry was never done
The dinner was always burnt
Everyone was on the run
Lessons always learnt
The house was always loud
Rooms never clean
Keys never found
Our best friend was Mr. Clean
The walls were scarred with sharpie and handprints
The car had a constant smell of old milk and socks
Cheerios stained the car seats
A baby was always crying
Mother was always sighing
Ending prayers and good night kisses finished the day
And loud wake up calls brought in the morning
Routines were established
Chores were assigned
Yet the house was still a mess
And schedules never aligned
Chaos ensued
Voices were raised
Doors were slammed
The sun was setting
The table was set
And the family met
To sit and pray
Laughs were shared
A lovely protocol
We never had it all together
But together we had it all

Samantha Riordan ’19

The art of fighting

Boxing- the art of fighting
The application of creative skill in a violent struggle
The hope of something greater
Something greater than the inner city streets
Something greater than the drugs, alcohol, and abuse at home
Not for fun, but for survival
The art of fighting

As I walk down those creaky stairs, I smell the hope
I smell the blood, sweat, and tears of every single person giving his all
I see the posters of champions, both past and present
I hear the jab crosses of future champions on the bag
I feel the desire in their hearts to be the best
Not because they are the most talented,
But because they work 10x harder than anyone else in the world

I hear the bell go off, round one has begun
Two friends had arrived an hour before
But when that bell goes off,
It’s two Pit Bulls biting for the neck
Because winning isn’t everything,
It’s the only thing

A fight is the perfect metaphor for life
Life is full of grace, mercy, and happiness
But life can knock you down, smack you to the floor
It’s in these tough times, you need to stand up and fight
For something greater
For hope
For life
The art of fighting

Connor Clark ’17

Ocean Floor

The wave breaks over me,
My board snaps in half.

The front piece moves closer towards my head,
and everything shifts towards darkness.

Sinking.
My weightless body is sinking.

My sense of color shifts,
Light changes to dark.

As my body drops lower and lower,
I move like a feather released into the air, undulating with the waves.

I drop, the temperatures drops,
And I come to a halt.

Peace.
Quiet.
Darkness.
Shadow.
Everything becomes still, and cold.

I feel silky caresses, seaweed wanting to consume me.
I hear faint hums, barely audible.

The hum turns to whispers, the stillness of my space interrupted.
My dream is broken with a yank on my arm.

Colin Niehaus ’19

nineteen

a boy i once knew
could describe
in great detail
how difficult it is
to be in love with the sun

“he was unreliable
somedays i would see him
others i would not
at night not at all”

“i did not mind the burns
they were only skin deep
the real pain was
the illusion of closeness
when i was light years away”

Silvia Jiménez-Montano ’17

The Confrontation for Progress

Tell me you had to sell drugs to get something in your stomach. Tell me you had to
dodge bullets walking back home. Tell me you had a gun pulled on you. Tell me you’ve
seen a black man shot dead in person. Tell me your daddy lives behind bars.

Tell me you were born and raised in the hood.

People wonder why I don’t mess with too many of you. But I sure as hell don’t talk or
tweet shame about none of y’all.
I don’t know what y’all want! You want our lives, our blood, our rage?
Do you want to be us? I don’t get it. I know not all of y’all are racist, it’s just… I don’t know
what we’re gunna do. I don’t know what we’re gunna do.

Fa’aolatoto “Koko” Griffin ’16

The Seven Ages of a Student

All the world’s a school,
And all the men and women merely students,
They have their orientations and graduations,
And students who change throughout their tenure,
Their phases being seven ages. At first the kindergartener,
Cheery and yearning for the teacher’s attention.
Then, the middle schooler with his light backpack
And young innocent mind, running like cheetah
Happily at recess. And then the junior high student,
Voice cracking like balloon, with an awkward conversation,
Made to his crush. Next the eight grader,
Teeming with confidence, and styled like a celebrity,
Envious of peers, imperfect, yet quick in judgement,
Striving for the popular reputation
Even once graduation has passed. And then the freshman
In big naive eyes, furnished with designer glasses,
With opinions all around, and stubble of poorly shaven,
Full of stupidity, and a new world to fit into,
And so he begins his journey. The sixth ages leads
To understanding and bonds,
With jokes on tongue, and lovers in mind,
Their youthful innocence lost forever, a world too small,
For college draws near, and their thirst for independence,
Flares up in their hearts, like the radios
And music in their car. Last scene of all,
That concludes this long stressful history,
Is graduation songs and the taste of freedom
Sans books, sans papers, sans clothes, sans everything.

Jack Lucas ’19

Just Another Love Poem

Oh! How strongly I love thee!
Your beauty greatly entices me.
With your long hair
To the clothes you wear
If I could, I would give you the sea.

Your wit is above all the rest,
And your jokes are always best.
Your speaking is great.
There’s nothing that you hate.
My heart might beat out my chest.

Your fingers are delicate and full of skill.
And everything is done upon your will.
When caught off-guard,
Recovery ain’t hard
Because there is no seat that you can’t fill.

Why everyone loves you, I never question why.
You are docile, kind, and would never hurt a fly.
No explanation more
For whom this poem is for,
I speak about me, myself, and I.

Joshua Blas ’18

Generation 3

Quiet – doesn’t say a word,
There he goes walking, hidden by stacks of books,
And coal black, uneven rice bowl bangs which shade
Eyes so slim you can’t tell if they’re closed,

Two helicopters (parents) hover by the gate until he goes inside
Identical features, but all that’s heard from their lips is loud and incoherent gibberish
He looks back – nods – secures his ‘exceptional student pin’
And adjusts his fine rimmed glasses,

The further he enters, the more pressure he feels to go back out
He doesn’t want to go, but he’s the one who must succeed, go to college to succeed his family,

He passes the girl he likes
The only one with the compassion to look twice and smile at his foreign face

Her name is Brittany
Fair skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, off-limits
His parents would never approve,

Preparing for class
He gets his books, studies in between periods, and greets all his teachers with a yellow smile
But leaving the classroom feels like leaving the country
He’s pushed from behind and slammed into his locker,
This is a normal day for him

Three bigger guys size him up
And throw his stuff
He hears the same things everyday
‘Chink’, ‘alien’, ‘immigrant’

It hurts,
But who would stick up for the awkward student with honors grades
When that could mean involving yourself
And risking your own reputation?

He has no say, no voice, and no power
All he can do it sit
And wait,
And obey

This continues for years,
But by the end, he’s the one to graduate from Harvard University
With a Master’s degree in Neuroscience
And an internship lined up in accordance
————–
He is an Asian American.
Born facing discrimination,
Challenging racism and hatred,
And expected to be a concert musician by the maximum age of 18

He does what he’s told
He becomes a professional
He marries an Asian girl of their (his parents)choosing
And he provides the family with a grandson that his own parents can feel relieved with

He is trapped between two worlds
Stuck and not knowing what he is anymore
He’s done everything his parents wanted
But what happens when they pass away

Has he wasted his whole life living their lives during his time
Or has he just never been able to break away from the respect that they beat into him
Maybe both

Nevertheless, he sees it now
He realizes what he’s done wrong
And he knows that if anyone can do the right thing
It will be his children, to grow up and follow their own dreams as

Asian Americans to set things straight
Generation three

Grace Pating ’18

The Small Boy Grows Tall

There was a little Boy
Who lived in a little house,
He loved his little life,
Being little as a mouse.

And all the Boy wanted
Was to grow big and tall,
And be a big grownup
Just as big as them all.

Despite him being small,
The world then seemed much smaller,
But that all started to change
We he began growing taller.

He became so smart
And the more that he knew,
The world seemed much bigger,
As he gained a new view.

The Boy learned of war,
Of tragedy and sorrow,
The Boy learned of sadness,
And the world of tomorrow.

He realized the world
Was much bigger than he,
And he understood inside
What he wanted to be.

He no longer wanted
To be big and tall,
He no longer wanted
To be taller than all.

What he wanted was simple,
But not possible at all,
He just wanted to go home
And again to be small.

Matthew Lange ’18

Yin & Yang

Light will shine even in the darkest night,
Darkness consumes, hungry for any glow,
Like a single candle that flickers bright,
In a never-ending sea of bleak woe.
Life will forever prevail over death,
Death will always come to take life away,
Like the delight of an infant’s first breath,
Amid the fear of the final doomsday.
Good will always triumph over the vile,
But evil tempts so sweetly to the soul,
That even a saint might stay for awhile,
In company of hell’s most perverse troll.
Yin and Yang, two polar forces in earth,
Yet virtue cannot exist without mirth.

Nicole Green ’18

Laugh it off

The things we hear so long ago
Can affect us more than we know
But we brush it off, we just don’t care
Then why can’t our minds wander elsewhere
Or if it does it always comes back
To that which sends our mind on attack
That playful teasing can be fun
Unless you’re chosen as the one
The butt of the joke, your flaws pointed out
If you show them you care, the assailants shout
Come on, why can’t you take a joke?
They’re not the ones about to choke
But now it’s worse, play turns to scoff
That’s when your mask comes in, you laugh it off
You push it deep down inside, where it will always remain
But one day you’ll look back and remember all of the pain
I’m not saying to keep from joking around with a friend
But remember the power of your words in the end
They can bring much joy, they can bring much strife
Just remember your words don’t just impact your life

Sophie Bailard ’18

Sleepless in San Francisco

11:59: goodnight friends, goodnight moon, goodnight to the world I’ll see very soon.
12:06: funny, I thought sleep worked faster than this; one more minute, and I should be in bliss
12:11: did that, did this, cross that off my list, but soon enough, there’s a foggy mist.
12:12: why does this happen to me every night, emotions too many, too hard to fight.
12: 14: oh, my mouth knows better than to speak, but there goes the first tear running down my cheek.
12:18: faster and faster, and before I can tell, my heart is in pieces as if under a spell.

12:22: my mind races and falls, jumping from this to that, thinking of what could have gone right and what nearly fell flat.

12:23: is it normal to regret or be caught up in love?

12:26: God, I wish you could tell me. Give me a sign from above!

12:28: mind tricks and mind games I sit and I play, attempting to forget what happened today.

12:29: the knight to my princess, the boy of my dreams, turned out just to be a rouge at the seams.

12:31: oh I wish I had not found out like I did, that he only wished to be kissed and then skid.

12:32: did I push him away, did I not have the style?

12:33: maybe I don’t need him, that boy who lacks the depth of the Nile.

12:36: I dab my eyes, for I look at the clock, and see the time with a shriek and a squawk.

12:37: too many days and weeks, too many minutes and hours, spent on crying over people who steal from my powers.

12:39: the man on a steed with a silver suit and sword reminds me, maybe I’m the one who really scored.

12: 42: a lesson in love can never come easy, especially one that is a journey uneasy.

12:45: but I think I’ve decided the scratches and tears are only temporary at times.
12:46: love is merely a game of crimes
12:47: I have met the boy who broke my heart, maybe I do admit I wasn’t that smart.
12:48: but the boy who steals my heart is the one I want to love.
12:49: he’s the one who makes the water and blood worth it, in this crazy war above.

Emily Cox ’17

A College Checklist

Hello applicants!
Please use this checklist to help you in the application process.
We require:
Your current GPA and test scores (Under 4.2 and 2400 need not apply)
A list of extracurricular (preferably around fifteen but ten is acceptable)
Glowing recommendations from teachers, counselors, and Mr. Barack Obama
Your up to date financial information including weekly grocery expenses
Your family history with a detailed pedigree chart as far back as B.C.E.
An essay so personal you’ve stained it with your tears (yes, we count them)
Your proudest accomplishment; for example, adopting a third-world orphan
And finally
A personal statement telling us why you deserve to be part of the 5% we accept
Thank you for applying to our university! Your interest means a lot to us.
A Disclaimer:
Meeting these qualifications guarantees nothing.

Anna Meehan ’17

To Take a Wrong Train

Sometimes I want to take the wrong train
Leave the pace I’m told to maintain
Go a way I’ve never seen before
Leave the routine I don’t know, or abhor

And I’d sleep a silent slumber soft
Knowing I wouldn’t have to be someone else so ‘oft;
I could remember who I know I can be
In my other reality

It isn’t somewhere beyond the rain
or even too far away
It’s just that sometimes I wonder
How my day could go astray
If I were to take the wrong train

Isabel Cumbelich ’19

Puzzled

This compelling enigma, it twists and turns
Oh how the aborted solution burns.
Possibilities, possibilities galore
All the combinations make me want more.

Everyone’s goal is to be the best
Some never stop, others give it a rest.
So many methods that need to work
But when I fail, I go berserk.

I can try and try and try to change,
But there is only one way the pieces arrange.
A deception as it’s known, so mystical and wise
Everyone, however, says it is filled with lies.

Justin Sautter ’19

My View of the Ocean by An Amateur Surfer

I trudge through the whitewash with my eight-foot surfboard.
Green and brown slippery seaweed squirm past my toes and leash.
Hopping onto my board, I get an extra push through the water.
I begin to paddle with my hands – right, left, right, left
and diving under and over waves tasting the sickening sea salt.
Once past all the chaos of nature’s uncontrollable water,
I reach a part of the water where everything is still.
Everything is at peace with one another.
I can just float on the water with my board
and get lost in the infinite ocean.
As I lie flat on my back and look up at the sky,
the movement of the water makes such a rhythmic beat
I could fall asleep to the sound of it.
Watching for developing waves to come and
deciding which wave to ride,
I begin to paddle in front of the wave right until it catches up with me.
I use all my might and push up from my board.
I may not always catch a wave successfully, but when I do
I get this rush of adrenaline as I move with the water.
Once I jump off my board into the white wash I start all over,
Just to have that moment of inner peace again.

Devin Mallory ’17

Human Beans

The meaning of life?
No one knows
yet these humans go around
searching for this feeling of happiness,
trying to connect
to each other, to god, to themselves, to the universe
They’re so little
Just look at those humans go!
They interact with one another
sometimes they go on dates
They spend time alone
writing poems at 2am trying to figure out it all out
They work together to fix their little planet, their civilizations, their morals
They keep wandering,
searching for jobs, money, chemicals that stimulate their brains
It’s crazy isn’t it?
What these human beans can do
They’re kind of beautiful I guess:
the way their colorful skin shines
and even grows hair,
they speak with a special energy,
they’re obsessed with these emotions,
they have these minds,
They’re each quite unique!
So they clash a lot, sometimes really badly.
They’re all trying to figure out what human means
They make these different religions, governments, philosophies, songs, books
It’s so funny
They don’t even realize
They’re all human beans!

Valerie Kau ’16

Rockaway Beach

My feet sink into the cool sand as the milky waves barrel onto shore;
The crash and swish intensifies with each breath the ocean takes;
The swells erupt against the rocks in a white uproar;
Even the strong standing cliff slightly quakes.

One lone surfer, prominent among the gray waters and skies,
Combats the feisty weather blurring his vision; the rain refuses to subside.
He surveys the horizon with both fear and fascination in his eyes;
He keeps composure in the Armageddon of wild wind and tenacious tide.

The storm persists as I stand on this grounded soil,
Unharmed by the calamity of the sea and its toil.

Maddie Hughes ’18

Motivation

You wake up to darkness completely surrounding you.
You look over as the brightness of your clock says 5:23 am.
You don’t want to be late so you rush to put your clothes on.
You turn your radio on hoping to hear a good weather report.
You begin to make your bagel, smearing the cream cheese on as fast as you can.
You are too late.
You hear the car engine start.
You sprint out after the car.
You make it.
You hold on for life as the freezing California air blows through your hair.
You finally arrive at the one place that will never let you down.
You see only beauty here.
You can imagine yourself here for the rest of your life.
You walk down the hilly cliffside.
You see your favorite spot where you always observe.
You sit and watch wave after wave crash upon the shore.
You finally get ready and plunge into the freezing water.
And then it appears.
The one thing every person who has had the pleasure of meeting never wants to leave.
The one thing that can take you back to shore to your place of peace.
The one thing that makes you realize the sacrifices you made earlier are worth it.
All thoughts are unclouded.
All stress disappears.
All cares are absent.
A sheet of blue rises and the voice of the tide– the one thing you love most in the world– has finally arrived.
The wave crashes onto shore as your board comes to a halt.
You have found what you are looking for.
I have found a purpose.

Mallen Bischoff ’17

(The Driver) Madman – A Story of Cars

At the concrete loop they called him Madman
Madmen can still be sadmen
With the engine roar I feel the tension soar
Because once you crash they’ll call you trash
And the “3-2-1 start!” is the beat, beat, beat, of his heart
At the racetrack he steals his pace back
As he sees his carrier begin to flicker he may begin to drink some liquor
Maybe a little drain from cocaine
Once you’re done it’s the setting of a sun
So all you’ll ever be is a faded memory
But guys with fast cars still leave scars
Though you are forgotten at least you can say you got in
Unlike that one face at every chase

Someone in the crowd
Wishing they could drive

Annabella Lynch ’16

Thank You

In the salty breeze of August
Like the crunch of lonely leaves underfoot
You startled me with your familiarity
Shattered the blissful bubble where I lived stifled searching

In the lingering scent of yesterday’s breath
Like dewdrops on glistening windows
You stayed always there even as I buried myself in blankets forgot you just a little just enough
That when I remembered again it hurt so hard and so good
It was like seeing hearing holding you again for the first time

In wet grass and warm hands words slipping through sidewalk cracks
Like a hummingbird kisses a flower only to dash away as if never there before
I hid guarded stood my ground but somehow somewhere
You slipped through my grasp and fell into the heavy cloying darkness
Unexplored messy ugly secrets torn to shreds and shoved underneath the bed

You swept my broken pieces into the light
Some you stepped on stomped on to reach for the parts you wanted needed
I held the door open with raw fingers and trampled hurts
For moments you exploded my world with heavenly white sunshine
For hours I sat in black reaching to plastic stars glowing with empty promises
For days blindfolded I fought your monster’s heart on my tattered sleeve

I’m lost freed hurt loved changed forever.

Ally Han ’16

Into The Forest

The long open trail comes to a cool end,
Your overworked body feels the first shaded bend.

Your body is filled with a feeling of completion and relief,
It seems like there are no more observable signs of grief.

The pain and suffering is over,
Oh so you think?
Maybe you can just settle down on a shaded bed of clovers,
And enjoy a chilled drink.

Trees of all colors and kinds tower above you,
Their leaves covered with the remaining dew.

No sunlight can reach your trail,
Your body loses the feeling it might fail.

Shadows fill your vision,
You should make your decision.

Do you continue on this trail of dark twists and turns,
Or are you too consumed with thoughts and concerns?

Who knows what lies ahead,
Whether it is a monstrous beast or a sketchy shed.
Your body longs for a bed,
But suddenly a noise fills you ears and you stop dead.

Not a human, that is for sure,
But it moves towards you, its figure obscure.

The sun is setting over the trees,
And your body begins to freeze.

Your heart beats with rapid pace,
Mindful something horrible with surely soon take place.

The figure moves towards your space,
So you prepare for the worst, just in case.

I closed my eyes and heard, “Into the Forest you shall never come,
For you will now pay the price, let your body be and become one of them.”
You take another form.

Colin Niehaus ’19

Runner’s Work

mile after mile
street after street
stoplight after stoplight
polo fields, 19th, sutro baths
3, 4, 5, 6 miles
you name the place, we’ve been there
sweat dripping down my face
heart beating profusely
knees wearing out
just breathe, only two more miles
these hills couldn’t look any steeper
keep an upright position
and lower your arms
deep breath in and exhale
a biker just passed by
and a baby pushed in a stroller
ohh, how I envy their wheels
never mind them
the stoplight just turned green
looks like we’re off again

see, it’s like a game
it’s played rain or shine
there is no room for quitters

unscrewing the cap from my bottle
finally my dry throat is cured

chug, chug, chug, chug

a few minutes go by
stopping for a breath of air
and back to the water

i’ve found my oasis in a desert
ahh, water never has been more refreshing

Erin Louie ’19