Fear by Riley B.

I should be lying on the ground
Paralyzed with fear
Scared out of my mind
Stuck frozen and dead
But I’m alive as I run faster than I ever have
From the danger
From the pain
I run not scared of the fact I might die today
It just makes me run faster
But why?
Why don’t I fall, not able to move?
I mean I might die this second
But I feel fine
I know
Fear doesn’t shut me down, it wakes me up

Parallels by Hanna L.

My awareness is at its peak.
My soul is on fire for lucidity.
I can feel your manifestation,
sweltering to me to heaps.
Nothing is a coincidence, nor a quirk.
I live for these moments, when people think
I’m impractical, but at least I have a good story
to tell. Connections fluctuating like the plates
at the core of this earth.
My being flourishes with subliminal outlooks.
Nothing will ever be the same, when parallels
change anything and everything you’ve ever

Season by Anna H.

The time of new beginning’s
Hopefully the biting cold has left me for good
So I can look forward to summer

Finally I am out of school
I can stay in my pj’s all day and stay up all night
For now my worries are behind me

Here I am at school again
And I’m in the post summer blues
But trick or treating is just around the corner

The time when bundle up
I also excited for the New Year
Then soon it’s time for spring again

Life is like a broken Winged Bird by Isabella T.

Life is like a broken winged bird.
It isn’t always flying how it should.
Or sometimes not flying at all.
Sometimes it takes life a while to take off.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
It seems that life is always like that bird,
That one bird who was hit by the transformer on the highway,
But I hope my life will never be like that.
I will be the majestic robin.
Smartly staying clear of roads.
But one day I might end up like that broken winged bird.
But that’s another story.

Why? by Dominique C.

Why do you make fun of suicide if it’s so sad?

Why do you make fun of disabled people if their conditions are so bad?

Why do you make fun of bullying if it’s not nice?

Before you open your mouth


No Regrets by Allan

The feeling
The feeling I’ve had for the longest time
It’s been sitting there
Waiting, lurking
Just making me angry
Making me doubt myself
I can’t take it any more
It’s like getting stabbed
A thousand times
And then falling into a pit of flames
I just want it gone
But I can’t
It just sits there
 I regret that
But I can’t let that stop me
Because life goes on
With me
Or without

The Other Half of My Heart by Dariana A.

At times like these, I don’t want old memories to appear in my head like a slideshow. But they do anyway and it gets infuriating.

Even though the car ride would only take at least six hours, it felt like my Mom was driving faster than the train that me and my Daddy saw when were at a car shop in Downtown.

I remember that day as if it only happened seconds ago. Mom needed to buy a new car before it’s time to give up her rental minivan.

Dad pointed to a train that zoomed like a dozen of race cars crossing the finish line. It was more or less of a dusty, old train with different colored carts, but it seemed almost like a time machine to me. It was unusual and out-of-this-world to me.

But now; everything’s going to change. Daddy and my Mom are breaking up.

I remember how nights ago, Daddy broke the news to me. His reasons seemed almost prejudiced even though they were true. There was a great ire in me. I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t even want to sleep next to him like we did every night.

Sometimes I wish that the right to drink alcohol was never revoked. I hated the fact that beer destroys family.

But the past is the past. God, I hate that fact! I wish that I could erase and then a write a whole, new different story.

Once upon a time, there was a princess who didn’t have a single friend. But she did have one! And that was her father, the king. They did almost everything together. So, since they loved each other so much, they spent the rest of their lives together.

That’s how I would’ve rewritten the story. But that’s just own fantasy.

But I don’t understand why my Papa would turn to drinking. I mean he was a Christian and the Bible was a deterrent for that.

Ever since then; Papa was always preoccupied with his drinking and going out with his friends.


We made it to the airport. This was about the toughest moment I’d ever go through.

Papa grabbed his luggage and we went with him inside. I tried to hold back tears but they’ve completely covered my face like a flood of water. I cried harder than the time I showered with a fever. I didn’t really appreciate that shower since the door was gauzy which meant that anyone who came in the bathroom saw you and figuring it out wasn’t very difficult.

Soon, we made it to the security check and from there; we had to say goodbye. I gave my Papa the tightest hug I’ve ever given him and cried even more.

I loved my Papa and I couldn’t imagine seeing him leave me. But I guess that’s just what beer does. Not only does it ruin you, but it ruins your family, too.

All of my memories of me and Papa hit me like a punching bag.

I remember the dark, brown, molasses-colored cake that we’ve made together. His guitar in which his music sounded like it could go heavenward because it was so soothing and loud.

Maybe Papa hasn’t left Jacksonville completely. “Why?” You may ask? Well, it’s because my Papa’s love for me is still in my memories… and Papa resides on “the other half” of my heart.

The Rolling Tide by Amelia D.

I blow my kisses      
I wave my goodbyes
As I set sail
Past the open skies
And if I die
But there’s no chance I will
Take me out of the mischievous ocean
And lay me down beside a hill
They bang the bottle against the boat
I hear a loud clatter
The rest of my shipmates tell about what the war holds for us
But to me it doesn’t matter
I look forward to the endless ocean
My eyes stay open wide
As our boat sets sail to another land
Against the rolling tide

A Rough Past by Grace B.

You grew up in a black and white era,
Of shattered bottles and countless scars,
Of drunken mothers and broken hearts,
And it took a lot of faults,
A lot of strength,
To not loose the love of those who didn’t care.  

You grew up in fear and fright,
All of those lonely nights,
The world was sane.
But today,
You live up to your name.  

You’ve ripped the ropes tying you back,
And fought through the ones cutting you slack,
All because of paint chips,
And a silly mistake.  

Now, you can hardly tell that you spent half of your life,
Staring at the clock.  

Your life has taken a voyage, 
And your boat,
Has kept afloat,
Over the sea of alcohol and lead,
Just look where you are now,
The past is in the past,
So make your happy moments last.

My Dream by Molly B.

The rush of the nerves. The adrenaline pulsing through every inch of your body. And you step up. Climb on the block and get ready for the horn that could change your life. And you’re off. You dive into the water, piercing through the ice. And you swim your heart out until you can’t breath, until you don’t have any more energy, until your legs get hot and itchy. But you keep going. You keep striving for your goal. Then you touch the wall and that’s when you scream. You got first place. You deserved this because you worked hard for it. You went to practice every single day in the winter and in the summer. You worked out three times a week, every week and you didn’t give up. Even when people brought you down. My dream to be an Olympic swimmer.

Till Next Time Princess by Shelby M.

I’ll miss the mornings
I spent
Running down the stairs,
Almost tripping over your shirt-
But it fit me like a dress.
The sun barely out,
But that’s just the way we liked it.
I would sit down
And wait for my cup of
Hot chocolate.
You drank coffee-
But it was only for adults.
You said it would stunt my growth.
I wanted to be as tall as you,
So I didn’t mind.
As our cups would grow empty
With each sip,
You’d come over
And kiss me on the forehead.
“Till next time princess,”
You’d say. 

I’ll miss the afternoons
I spent
Waiting for you to get home,
Because I drew a picture of us.
When you’d walk through the door,
I would run up and hug you.
You’d pick me up,
Spinning me around-
Making me feel on top of the world.
You’d plop me on the couch,
And when I showed you the picture
You’d smile
And tell me how great it was.
Even it was the same picture
As every other day.
Then you’d walk over to the fridge,
And pin it to the door with the rest.
But you would have to leave for a meeting soon.
You’d come over to me
And kiss me on the forehead.
“Till next time princess,”
You’d say. 

I’ll miss the nights
I spent
Waiting for you to tuck me in,
For the hundredth time.
You’d come into my room
Knowing what would happen.
I’d ask you to tell me a story,
But not just any story.
One about a princess.
You’d gladly tell the story
Of a princess.
One with
 the most beautiful brown eyes,
That made the strongest man cry.
One with
The prettiest blonde hair,
That turned golden in the sun.
You named her Shelby,
An she would find a prince one day,
Who treated her like a queen.
She’d live a long happy life
 with this prince,
And her mom and dad by her side.
Then when you thought I was asleep,
You’d kiss me on the forehead.
“Till next time princess,”
You’d say. 

I’ll miss the memories
I got to share with you.
I’ll miss your warm smile.
I’ll miss the way you sang to me.
I’ll miss the long car rides
with you.
I’ll miss your cheesy jokes
That always made me laugh.
I’ll miss you protecting me
From my mean brothers.
I’ll miss you.
I’ll miss my friend.
I’ll miss my dad.
“Till next time dad,”
I say kissing your forehead.

The Voyage by Olivia M.

Patterned handkerchiefs spot midair.
The steamboat’s horns,
Start to blare
The call of goodbye to the farewell party-
Sobs are heard, thick and hearty
Over the cheering, screaming, joyous crowd.
The crimson ship
Has started to plow-
Through the dark, mighty water
It will go. Then the large boat
Will start to slow
To an end at the land,
Where new people stand.
Where one voyage ends,
A new one begins.

Broken Beginnings by Emma F.

Cracked buildings rise from the rubble
Broken fragments of the past
Littered among the glass shards
A long time ago
Wealth flowed from this ground
People sang, Monuments were built
But now they lay lifeless
Ashes from the past
Are trickling together 
To form new beginnings
To fill new purposes
To reach a new height
To defy their past and create their future
Their glory wasn’t from never falling
But from rising when they fell

Why I Write by Cassidy W.

They say I’m quiet
I reply, “You can’t plan a murder out loud”
They laugh and leave me alone
But the truth is, I’m afraid,
Afraid they won’t like me, for me
So I stay quiet,
But I go crazy
Holding in my words
I have to get them out,
That’s why I write
My pencil, is my second mouth that isn’t shy
But the truth is,
I want to be the girl,
The girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind
The girl who is funny
The girl who is confident
The girl who isn’t everyone’s second choice
The girl who isn’t constantly afraid of rejection
The girl who isn’t constantly being left out
The girl who people actually want to hang out with
The girl who isn’t always being ditched
The girl who isn’t constantly being used
But honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be any of that
So I stay quiet
That’s why I write
Even when I try,
My voice isn’t heard
So what the use in trying?
They don’t hear me,
They don’t care
But all my feelings and emotions are so packed
I don’t know where they begin
Where they start
Or where they end
But I’m trying so, very hard,
But I will always be the girl,
The girl who is quiet
The girl that is ditched
The girl who is abandoned
The girl who is always a second choice
The girl that isn’t confident
The girl that keeps her head down,
The girl who isn’t heard,
And I will always be the girl who is afraid of rejection
That, is why I write

Where Am I From? by Ashley S.

Where am I from?
Let’s see.

I’m from grungy streets
And a high crime rate.

I’m from missing kids,
And murdered adults.

 I’m from guns & knives,
 And hit & runs.

  I’m from stab wounds,
And gun shots.

       I’m from drunk-driving,
And suicide.

Where’s my home, you might ask?
Jacksonville, Florida.

"I am" by Patrice S.

I am: determined and strong
I wonder: if I’ll ever be good enough to make it
I hear: my family congratulating me
I see: camera flashes, me excepting the Nobel Peace Prize
I want: to be the most famous author around
I am: determined and strong
I pretend: that I have the most money in the entire world
I feel: that if I study, work hard, and try my best I can reach the top
I touch: the clouds, never coming down
I worry: about failing and never making my dreams come true
I cry: when I am discouraged by some of my” closest friends”
I am: determined and strong
I understand: that you can’t get everything you want
I say: as long as it’s in your heart and mind, stop being a dreamer, and become a go- getter !

Something Scary by Sarina P.

Twelve-year-old Nevada Reyes walked through the opening of the chic new restaurant The Garage. She stumbled through the craggy metallic path mapped out for her…a crack, in diameter, in the dilapidated entrance- which reminded her of the progressive evolution of Tupperware (the place was stacked full of it). Rusty nails spiked the walls and firm tires were placed in the cubbies of dirt in the wall. The white paint crackled and crumbled off the high, grungy ceiling. 

Nevada knew that something far better…something really great was behind the door. And that was…  

“DENVER!” Nevada squealed. She reached out to hug her equally-enthused stepsister, who she hadn’t seen in four whole years.  

Thirteen-year-old Denver lived in faraway Morocco with their archaeologist father to help report his findings while Nevada stayed with Denver’s mom.  

Tall Denver looked nothing like Nevada- she had long, dark caramel hair with chocolate streaks and blue eyes; while her stepsister Nevada was shorter- and she had thick, short black hair and green eyes.  

“Den, where’s Dad?” Nevada asked.  

Her heart started to pound as she excavated the building with just her concerned eyes, which were welling up quick. Her dad called it, “The Archaeologist Expedition.” Because whenever she was looking for someone, her eyes zoomed into microscopic mode.  

She missed Dad SO much- she’d give anything to hear his voice flood the room with liquid sound. His smile, his laugh…all gone. Now that Mom had died and he’d gone away, Nevada needed someone’s support real bad.  

While she was thinking all this, Denver’s eyes crinkled with immense worry but she smiled, cheery as could be. “Oh, he’s in the bathroom, Neva. You’ll see him later- for tonight’s barbecue! Want to catch some slurps here?” 

‘You’re lying,’ Nevada wanted to scream, her eyes now brimming with tears. ‘You’re lying to protect me. Dad’s in a dangerous place and something’s happened to him…you even had the nerve to lie to my face, Denver?’ But for the sake of Aunt Cadie, for the sake of her sanity, and for Denver’s sake, she pulled it together and once again suppressed her feelings. Just like she always had- for the sake of those around her, never for herself.  

“C’mon, Neva,” Denver suggested, hands out and a warm smile plastered on that sisterly expression of hers. The other side of Denver, Nevada knew, was somewhere inside fighting her other concerns to protect Nevada.  What a pair they were. “Let’s go for a walk.” 

Crunch! Crunch! Bits of aluminum foil and other rubbish besides flung into the metal tubs as they trudged towards The Garage’s soda fountain.  

The two of them promised each other that they’d enjoy this lazy summer day and indulged themselves with the soda fountain: brightly-colored jets of icy, bubbly sweetness that you could loll your pink tongue under and feel the currents rushing down, down, down; into your eyes and armpits, which only made them laugh as hard and as jolly as Santa during Comedy Night at the North Pole. And there were so many flavors!  

They vowed to try one each: dark cherry vanilla cream, lemon raspberry, strawberry mint, cranberry caramel, blue raspberry pineapple, mango blueberry, currant coffee, lime coconut….there were so many choices!  

But as soon as they swallowed their first sip of the fantastic fluids, they started to quake and shake as if a landslide had occurred in the soda fountain. Horrified, both girls looked at each other while they jolted and jostled; jiggling and wriggling around until they felt entirely different. Their feet were slowly melting into the floor like thick, hot cubes of butter while they were stretched and molded, squashed and folded, squeezed and hammered right out of their wits. Their breath was sucked out of their lungs while they rolled and convulsed from the extreme discomfort, lying in a subconscious state on the floor.  

“Wh…wh…what’s happening?” Stuttered Nevada as she dropped to the floor, blood crashing out of a fresh bruise. She was frightened and curious- and rightfully so. “What’s HAPPENING?” She screamed.  

Not too long afterwards, the two young survivors woke up on the grimy, grainy floor; coughing and spluttering from exhaustion.
“You OK?” Denver asked, shaking Nevada’s shirt hard. Her eyes were filled with worry; her blond hair splayed outwards in a fan while she looked sideways at her stepsister.  

“Think so,” Nevada replied, coughing a little more before staggering into a squat. What had that soda done to them?  

“Well it’s about doggone time you came to!” Her stepsister snapped.  

When Nevada tried to conjure up an earnest excuse, Denver raised a hand; eyes smoldering. Splotchy bruises dotted her arms. Her face wasn’t much better. 

“Miss Sleepyhead, I was getting SO worried! Did you even pause to think how I was coping in your little knocked-out state of mind?” Denver demanded, interrogating me far too harshly with her blue eyes.  

“Denver, I-” Nevada faltered, grasping the iron bars of the prison she realized she was standing in. The sharp staccato of footsteps broke their conversation and shattered all traces of apologizes as Nevada flung herself to the floor and lay there silently, pretending to sleep and Denver masked her feelings; monitoring Nevada with a troubled expression.  

“Is she well?” the soldier grunting, his Irish brogue seeping into his voice.
Denver looked up innocent as a baby lamb. “What now?” The man crept up to the bars in full height. Denver’s heart pounded in unison with Nevada’s, as she tried to steady each rapid, shuddering breath. Before the click of a rifle caused her fear to skyrocket. The man pointed it at her and cursed in Irish, saying some very hurtful things that Denver didn’t need a translator to understand. Her blood froze and churned like a massive tsunami, violent as it thrashed against her stomach. But before he could fire the rifle, something shattered Denver’s fear instantaneously. Nevada launched herself to her feet with a wild spring to her steps and faced the man down. The anticipation hung thick in the air, accelerating until the tension crackled with an eerie electricity. Nevada stepped forwards while Denver’s eyes got huge. The man pointed his rifle. Nevada quickly stepped forwards while Denver continued to screech desperately and sob into her shoulders, clutching at Nevada. But her stepsister couldn’t take all THIS any longer. She calmly swiveled around to fully face the rifle and drew herself up to full height, roughly thrusting Denver’s hands aside. Nevada pressed up against the bars, smiled confidently, and turned to wave goodbye. Then she slipped through the bars, leaving Denver in the path of a weapon. And the bullet made its mark with a CRACK….but it didn’t silence either girl. It splintered the wall. Which left Nevada to wonder…if the bullet didn’t hit her stepsister, then what had? Before the wind was pulled out of her chest, Nevada’s jaw snapped up and she saw an icy sparkle that glimmered inside two VERY familiar blue eyes. Denver. How did she escape? Denver mouthed something, but it wasn’t the comfort Nevada was used to.  

Just as well, Nevada thought through gritted teeth, holding out against the pain of being shoved to the floor. Why should I expect any sisterly love?

Instead, Denver mouthed these words: “This time, you’re on your own.” 

In a flurry of light and sound, a flash streaked out of the bars and slammed Nevada onto the hard, stony floor. The guard was knocked out. When Nevada looked up through hazy vision, she saw Denver as she raced to the street, and hitched herself to a vehicle leaving the prison. 

“Well, some stories have no happy ending,” Nevada mused as she stood up, lumbering out to the gates, as far as she could go in her injured state. A half-smirk, half-smile formed on her face as she continued, “This is one of them.”