In the Real World

By: Amina Mohamed

Sweet Nostalgia fills in
As I think back to a place
Where dreams and hopes are Forgotten
Where Scrupulous balls of lint scatter the floor
And rows of rosemary
Fill the garden

I think back to a day
When shards of glass
struck my heart
Where the cold winds
Swept away my soul
Where the Picture wasn’t completely perfect

I aspire to escape to a world
where flowers bloom in the winter time
And where dreams are fulfilled

Amina Mohamed is fifteen and lives in Portland, Maine.

I Am Waiting

By: Azalea Rosas

I am waiting for amazing people to stop blowing out their candle
Empathy is a trait no human would lose after birth
I am waiting for one mind to be changed to change much bigger
And the innocent vessels that were infected could be saved
The colorful laborer wouldn’t be quarantined
The ripples of past mental laceration no more felt 
Those that deserve should stop drowning
Accountability will soon breed responsibility
The simple beauty of the morning dew pleases the eye, why
I am waiting for my labeled wings to slice through the ageless norm

I am waiting for the contagious, affectionate disease to fall into the right hands
I am waiting for the colored blotches to become unprinted
Deceiving words will cease when the sun dies out
We go and we go,
but towards what?
People will speak in a way that leaves me mesmerized
I am waiting for mountains to look puny sooner than later
The bites from the uncivil should never cloud our hearts
We shouldn’t be waiting for their ego to be put to rest
I am waiting for my labeled wings to slice through the ageless norm

Vines and soil will fuse into the outstretched arms of mortals
I am waiting for human beings to be great at being human
That creature that undoubtedly acts more compassionate,
they will be recognized as truly man’s best friend
I am waiting for decency to envelop our mindsets
The moon does not shine without the sun,
Just like us we need a shoulder to lean on
I’m waiting for my scars to be cleansed
And I’m waiting for the age of embracing to endure
I am waiting for my labeled wings to slice through the ageless norm



Azalea Rosas is a 16-year-old from California.

When the Lights Turn Off

By: Isabelle Edgar

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
Silence filled the creases in our palms as we looked for something to hold onto
It was living life by texture
By our fingerprints kissing surfaces
Light was a memory

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We stared into a sea of misty darkness
Dilating our pupils with confusion
It was color through touch
Words through echo

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We wanted to find a place to rest our bones
Yet the sky was the earth just the same
Up became over and around and down
It was as if we were chalk figures
dancing together through the chalkboard

The sun shone blue above our heads
Until the lights turned off
We realized that we could at last close our eyes
Without worry that something would flutter past our eyelids
Listening to the misty darkness
Resting our bones



Isabelle is a 16-year-old from Massachusetts.


By: Clarissa Nunez

A dark empty room
A masked enemy
And impending doom
A fear with no remedy
Hands tied
The echo of a plea
No one to reply
Desperate to be free

A black comb was near
Strong rope in a twist
The edge like a spear
Dragged across the wrist
A flow of blood
Undid the tight grasp
But now a red flood
And a nervous gasp

A shoe lace
Tied on the forearm
A bloody trace
An act of harm
Purpose to escape
Eyes searching for hope
No fight without a scrape
Not much besides the rope

A stone with some weight
As smooth as leather
A rusty nail, long and straight
Working together
The sturdy doorknob
Would not unlock
A shaky sob
Knock, knock, knock

Freedom in sight
Swinging of the door
By the enemy’s might
Please, no more
Jabbing a nail
In his eye
An angry wail
To the enemy, goodbye



Clarissa is a 17-year-old from New Mexico.

Nadja, Tell Me About the Tooth Fairy

By: Nadja Goldberg

Vermillion lips delicately poised with peace
Gleaming green eyes to see through the night
A rosy draped gown made purely of fleece
Well before dawn, she takes off in flight.

Without wings she glides through air
Below a rounded moon and speckled stars;
Behind her drifts long locks of hair
Fiery red like the planet of Mars.

About the size of a sponge
She visits each house on her list
Through the mail-slot she does plunge
Sheltered from chilly night mist.

Flying down the hall or up the stairs
And through the door to the child’s room
Careful not to tug any hairs
As under the pillow she does zoom.

Searching for that jagged tooth
Replacing it with a special gift
To sustain the children through years of youth
As soon as they grip the pillow and lift.



Nadja is a 14-year-old from California.

Just Under the Surface

By: Mary McGaffigan

Just Under The Surface

Worn white sneakers
Traverse across dry oak.
The sun’s rays strike my back,
The sky fills with smoke.

Tenacious skin covered with sunscreen,
I gaze around at the flat.
I feel the sweat on my neck,
And adjust my pink hat.

As we hike through the terrain,
I notice bones very near;
A decayed bison with horns,
Collapsed in its bronze gear.

Arid grass blankets the field,
Amidst multiple holes
Brimming with water,
Boiling hot in their bowls.

Some are crystal clear,
While others nebulous and brown.
Geysers burst into the sky,
And then plunge back down.

I draw close to the pools,
Which reek of rotten eggs.
The steam fogs up my glasses,
The hair prickles on my legs.

Rock mountains tower above me,
Dripping down like melted wax.
Their torrid basins overflow,
And water cascades through the cracks.

After hours of aching feet,
We arrive at the end of the trail.
The light brawls with the oncoming darkness,
But is unable to prevail.

Dawn transfigures into dusk,
The sun descends behind trees.
Dark clouds charge across the sky,
And I know it is time to leave.


Mary is a 16-year-old from Massachusetts.

Leftover Snack

By: J. L Von Ende

Leftover Snack

I know
At least
4 things about pigeons.

I know
That the one who sits in the flower boxes
Off Michelle street
Is named Fernando,
And prefers toast crusts to bagel crumbs
(Unless it’s raining out).

I know
That the cluster around my bus stop
Has a book club every Tuesday.
They munch ground coffee and read lines of Frankenstein
Until they must catch the train home.

I know
That the one who pecked at my foot Sunday morning
Was asking me to share my blueberry muffin.
I wasn’t going to finish it anyway.

I know
That there are a million people in this city,
And I am one of the masses,
On the train, on the bus, in the traffic.

I know
I prefer to share my company
With some charcoal doves
And a packet of French fries.



J. L Von Ende is a 17-year-old from Virginia.

The Rain

By: Alex LeGrys

The Rain

I think you’re
related to the
rain, or at least
its best friend,
or maybe
even the missing
half of it--
because God
knows everything’s
so damn incomplete

you see, the
rain splatters
on sidewalks
and patters on windows,
metal surfaces,
similar to your voice--
gently resounding
and sometimes it’s a little
cold, but neither of you
can help that,
it’s just the
way things are.

you tease like
the rain, it seems
you might come--
the clouds crowd
together excitedly
and there’s that
small rush of hope,
but it’s just another
false alarm

then the rain can clean
things a little, freshen them--
soiled hands or tear-stained
faces are washed up
a bit--
you do that too

and when
you both part
one feels chilly,
somewhat tired,
and all in a soft sort
of way--
the two
of you leave that
same worn-out aftertaste
as if it’s all settled,
and though
the remnant raindrops
quickly evaporate,
for those twenty minutes
it’s still all right.

the duo is so
even when storming--
neither will look
all bad, at
least not to me

and of course the
pair of you
fit grandly with
flowers and old
industrial towns--
abandoned factories
and old pastel doors
become even better, as such
dilapidation has a
charm like no other.

I would gladly
have you both
even if
some say
it’s more trouble
than it’s worth

neither of you should
ever be taken for
it’s best if a fragment is
measured in a
rain gage to acknowledge
what was there
for otherwise
it’ll merely
be a washed-up blur

but, what’s different
is you’ll never flood,
never grow in excess,
at least I don’t think
you’d ever cause
such destruction...

so perhaps you’re
the rain’s younger sibling--
not in the inferior
sense, you have just
as many forms,
yet more tender,
equally complex,
and obviously
open to misinterpretation
by anyone--
and I’m no

this makes you two
frightening, as I can’t
help but fear that
some brisk storm--
large or small,
will someday
be on my account.



Alex LeGrys is a 16-year-old from Vermont.


By: Dia Fatima



Dandelions white and dandelions yellow

Dandelions enough to surprise a fellow

Over the fields and under the sky

As the wind blows, the dandelions fly

Dia is a six year old student at Trivandrum International School. She lives in the city of Trivandrum in India.  

Nocturnal Poet

By: Gracie Foster

one morning, the poet stared out into the sun and said:

wretched ball of
wake me no more.
wretched ball of
yellow and red
blind me no more

why must I sleep during the day?
what is the point?
who thought of that?
from here on, I will not sleep under the moon.
but under the sun

later, at dawn, a child knocks on the poets door,
and the child says:

Why do you sleep in the day?
Most of us sleep in the night.
Night's when the sun goes away
and the moon becomes our light.

and the poet replies:

why might you sleep at night?

and the child thinks a moment:

It is what my mother does.
And it's what her mother did.
It is what my father does.
And it's what his father did.

and the poet retorts:

my answer is as simple as yours;
I sleep under the sun
just because I can.

and the child says:

I believe I am confused.

and the poet says:

do not be
have you ever thought of doing for the sake of
have you ever thought of being for the sake of
have you ever thought of loving for the sake of
ever thought of laughing
because you can?
as humans:
we can love
and have dreams
and have goals
and feel happy
and sad
and angry
and have friends
and write poems
and the poems don't have to have meaning,
or structure,
or rhythm,
or anything!
you can write a poem
just for the sake of writing a-

the child interjects:

I think you must go to sleep,
you must do it very soon.
this sun won't always keep,
and you may have to sleep underneath the moon.


Gracie is a 16 year old from Oneida, Tennessee.