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Hog Creek Review
Allen County High Schools 2011

Poetry
Allen East star Apollo Career Center star Bath star Bluffton star Delphos Jefferson star Delphos St. John's star Elida star Lima Central Catholic
Lima Senior star Perry star Shawnee star Spencerville star Temple Christian
Freshman/Sophomore Division
A Forest Trail
Darian Shaw, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Krawetzke

Gently, sweetly, the wind caresses green Tao trees, carrying with it the smell of dirt, pollen, bark and fruit of the season’s labors.

Oak, paper bark, willow and ash sway and swoon with the free wind, delighted by the simplest of gentle movement. Rush grass shudders together in lyrical matrimony, as dandelions and roses fit together in a short-lived dance.

The sky is pure azure. They drink it like water; calm, clear, and cool.  It drifts and swirls in unseen typhoons, waiting; listening. Drafting in and out.

A sun, so bright it has become argent, shifts like clockwork. Teetering on a blank brink so that azure turns to ebony in an explosion of hues and shades.

The night is a gloom; a darkness defined by the silver lining of an empty room. All stays still. All stays silent.

There is a faint sound, almost like a bashful hum, before the world is an echoing sound of noise; twitters, howls, cheers and cries. Yells, slurs, and shrieks alike. All coming together to bask in tranquil harmony, in a world of equal dark and light; Of an era collaborated of peaceable intentions and diffident reasonings, surrounded by black and blue and sweet, tender white.

Under
Adrienne Pohl, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Heather Shatto

I have buried many things:

I have buried many things:
The occasional animal, dead by my porch
Corroded relationships, black and acidic—
Before they could bury me.
Nothing sadder than graveyard visits in summer and fall
Though the fact remains—no amount of experience could prepare for this
Standing amid the never-ending white country,
Only interrupted by occasional weathered gray stone, or bare (brown)-armed trees
I stare down into the hole at my feet
The wind buffets my full black coat,
Cold air blowing away my weak words
Most die in my throat—I’m not sure what I can say
To you, who died before me
Painting the street red with your blood
A soundtrack of traffic plays, a cacophony of tire squeals and crunching bumpers
Again I feel myself kneeling beside you, the cold snow burning into my skin
I rise slowly, unaware of hitting the ground, stealing one last look
Then cast those three meaningless words into the icy gust
I slowly walk away, just as alone as before

A Lovely Game of Chess
Emily Hunt, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Timothy Cheeseman

Can chess pieces ever
Play one another?
It seems they belong to a much larger game…
Even the queen bows her head to the shame -
For it is fear that runs this parade.

Across all the squares.
So stark black and white
They don’t want to die,
They quickly take sides…
They’re dancing their waltz,
Their deadly ballet
Across this vicious parade.

Can anyone tell who is brave?
Does anyone know who is sane?
“Oh yes!” they reply, “it’s those ready to die
For our pure and beautiful queen.”

And so they go out and they fight
A fight between black and white
Between black and blue
Whatever color you choose
To paint that deadly façade
As you march this vicious parade

And all that comes from their hate
Is one million catcalls of “Checkmate!”
The pieces don’t win, they don’t gain.
You see, they are all pawns in this game.
Even the queen, thought to be so sane…
They’re all pawns in this devil’s parade.

And never will end this game
Until they see that no one is sane
And that they are all the same.

And then will they fade…
The black/white squares to gray…
And so ends.
The vicious.
Parade.

But if they don’t who am I to say?
I’m a pawn in this vicious parade.

Beauty
Shelby Kirwan, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Emotional pain is beautiful.
When you see a person,
A person who is emotionally scarred; damaged beyond repair,
You may see beauty within them.
You may see something about them that you admire.
They are strong enough to hold the pain inside,
But can admit when they need someone to lean on.
For the most part, they are content with loneliness.
They can be independent, but with occasional dependence.
They know how to keep their guard up, and they know who to open up to.
People like this notice certain aspects about people for their own emotional safety.
Beauty is seeing things in a perspective you’ve never seen before.
Beauty is within the soul of the being who sees it.
You cannot see beauty until you find yourself beautiful.
In this case, there is no one as intricate or emotionally beautiful as I.

Last Kiss
Nicole Joseph, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Tricia May

The lights went out.
I could see
the silhouette
slipping
into blackness.

I was left
floating.
Alone.

Maria

“So much for the
perfect honeymoon,”
I moaned.
Helen offers a hug
and pulls me in,
sobbing as well.
My ears are still ringing
from the screams
of separated lovers,
family,
and friends
as lifeboats
smacked
against the waves.
“Charles!
Charles, I can’t leave you!
I won’t!”
He ran to comfort me, but
it was too late.
My lifeboat
slipped
into
the
night.

Charles

Maybe
she’ll make it.
Maybe
she’ll find help.
Maybe
there is someone out there
who can wrap her in their arms
and let her know
she is safe
the way I used to.
The way I know
I never will
again.

I walk
through deserted corridors
Run my hand
along the wallpaper,
already feeling it pucker
as if it had been submerged
in the freezing Atlantic
for years.
I sit on the tilting carpet
and
cry.

Her parents
gave us the tickets for the cruise
as a belated wedding present.
After a month-long tour
of Europe,
we would board the ship
at Southampton,
bound for New York.
Home.
Maria was so happy and excited,
but
I didn’t want to go.
I hate cruises.
Just the idea of floating
on this big…
thing
in the middle of nowhere
surrounded by water
seems like
a recipe for
disaster.
But she dragged me along.
She was so ecstatic
I didn’t want to bring her down.
And, hey, it was free!

Nothing
is ever free.

Maria

We waved to our new friends
from England
as the ship left port.
They were so glad to see us
embarking
on this new adventure
of our life together.
I remember laughing
as they panicked
when the other ship,
the New York,
came loose
and almost hit us.
They were so scared
that all the money
my parents invested in
our trip was wasted
and the voyage would be over
before it began.
Then a tugboat came along
and got the New York under control.
See, guys?
Nothing is wrong.
Nothing can take this trip
away from us.
We were on our way.
“Crisis” averted.
Now I wonder how –
if-
I will be able to greet our family,
hug them, and be glad when –
if –
I get back,
alone.
No.
Not if.
Not  alone.

Charles

First Class.
Maria’s parents
are the most
generous
people I know.
It was the definition
of awesome.
We had the time of our lives.
We danced
in the magnificent ballroom.
We dined
with fancy silverware
and crystal wineglasses.
We feasted
on exotic foods:
calamari,
lobster,
caviar.
We drank
champagne
as we watched the dancers
twirl
and fly
across the stage.
We listened
to the band
as we snuggled,
looking up at the stars
and pondering our future.

And I lay awake at night
thanking God
for blessing us with this opportunity
and thanking Him
for giving me the courage
to finally decide to go on the cruise.
This experience
had changed my life
in wonderful ways.
I couldn’t wait
to tell
our kids
breathtaking stories
of our honeymoon cruise,
our entire week
in the lap of luxury.
Our trip of a lifetime.
It was so perfect.

Maria

I’ve made the right choice.
Look at him:
he’s having the time of his life.
He knows it, too –
I was right.
The cruise was a perfect idea,
thank you Mom and Dad!
This would be a great setting
to tell him…
but not yet.
I have to wait –
the right moment will present itself.
Maybe when he is admiring
some other couple’s child,
the way he always does,
telling me
we ought to have some of our own
someday.
Maybe when he is eyeballing
a little train set
or dollhouse
in a store window.
Maybe that would be
a good segue
into the news
I’ve been hiding inside.
He’ll be so happy.
He’ll be so proud.
Then our late honeymoon
will be complete.

Charles

In an instant,
anything can change.
Everything
turned
upside-down.
Literally.
The ship lurched,
running out of fuel,
captain falling asleep,
engine stalling,
could have been
anything.
I looked down at Maria
sleeping
so peacefully.
Whatever it was,
it could wait until morning.
No use
in waking her up
for nothing.

Sirens.
Flashing lights.
Doors slamming.
People yelling.
“What
is
going
on?”

One voice above the madness.
“Iceberg!”
Confusion.
Seeing red
as I shook Maria awake
and pulled her
down the hall.
Just as she pulled me
up the dock
the day we boarded
this cursed ship.

Maria

No!
Wait, please!
I have to tell you –
Stop running!
It’s about –
Oh, for goodness sake!
Slow down!
I can’t run this fast!
It’s bad for
the baby!
Yes, the baby.
Our little Sally
or John –
of course
I was going to tell you!
I was waiting for the right time.
Well, when else would you expect me to?
We’re running for our lives here –
and running out of time.
I shouldn’t have waited.
I’m sorry.
I love you too.

Charles

OUT
OF
MY
WAY!
I push innocent, frantic people aside
to achieve one glimmer
of hope.
“Lifeboats!”
We
will make it.
“Women and children first.”
She
will make it.
“Line up!
Women and children.
First Class.”
Relief.
“We’re First Class!
Please
help my wife.
She’s pregnant.”
The usher glares
at me
and demands to see
our ticket.
It’s amazing to see
people who, even in a crisis,
think they can
pick
and
choose
who is of high enough status
to receive their
“assistance.”
I frantically search
my pockets
and produce our tickets,
waving them in his face.
“She goes.”
Optimism.
“You
wait.”

Rushing
to the front of the line,
I pull her in
and kiss her
one last time.
“You need to go now.
I’ll see you
when  we get back to New York.
Where we met…
Our little café…
Do you remember?
Of course you do.
I’ll be waiting.
Meet me there.
I love you.”
I pry her off my arm
and help her
into the lifeboat.

I lean
as far as I can
over the railing
and watch
as she is lowered
into the waves.
I blow one final kiss,
but she doesn’t see.
I take my place
at the back
of the line.

“Help is coming.”
“They reached another ship by radio.”
“We have enough lifeboats for everyone.”
“This
ship
can’t
sink.”
Their words float past as
I am sucked in.
The current
of events past
and present
pull me deeper
and
deeper
into blackness.
“No more lifeboats.”
I awaken to a nightmare.

Maria

The blonde
across from me
introduces herself as Helen.
She had to leave her sister
and nephews behind.
Her sister refused
to be separated from her boys
and there was no more room
in this lifeboat.
I instantly feel guilty,
taking someone’s spot
while Charles
was practically killing himself
back on the ship.
I shouldn’t have sprung everything on him like that,
not with all the panic.
I should have told him earlier.
What was I thinking?
He would have been happy no matter what.
I’m just glad I told him at all –
or else this boat
would have been given to someone
more deserving
like Helen’s sister
and the twins.
But then I remember,
who is more important
than little Sally?
Little John?
I needed to escape.
Not for myself,
not even for Charles
or our family and friends.
But for this little baby
I now carry inside me.
I lay my head
on Helen’s shoulder,
letting her comfort me
as another girl
steers us toward a looming shape
on the horizon –
is that another ship?
When I get back to New York
and meet Charles,
I will make sure
I make this up to him.
Somehow.

Charles

“Save yourself!”
“Jump, everyone!”
“Not me!”
“She’s going down!”
“I’m going with her…”

Blurs of motion;
hallways,
and people,
the railing,
and sky,
the side of the ship flying by,
people flying all around me,
then ice water,
darkness.
Silence.

Maria

They all say I’m crazy.
I’m not, I swear!
I see
how they look at me now.
The waiters,
the chefs,
the host and hostess,
the patrons,
the lowly passersby.
They do not know.
They do not understand.

Our ship, the Carpathia,
arrived in New York
3 days later than the Titanic was scheduled to.
Our family was waiting,
but I couldn’t meet them.
Not now.
I left Helen on the dock,
waiting anxiously for the arrival
of her sister.
I signaled a cab
and headed for Brooklyn.

I sit
at Café Lalo.
At table 12,
where I first spotted Charles
across the way,
at the bar,
I am waiting.
At table 12,
where he proposed
over a candlelight dinner,
I am waiting.
At table 12,
where I dream of him and me,
old and gray,
talking about “the good old days,”
reminiscing about our children,
who were finally all grown up,
I am waiting.
Our friends
and family
all tell me I need
to go home,
get some rest.
But how can I rest
when Charles is on his way?
How can I rest
if there’s a chance I’ll miss him?
He’s coming.
I just have to wait
a little while longer.

Charles

I resurface
just in time to see
the lights go out.
I watch
as the silhouette
slowly
slips
into blackness.

And I am left
floating.
Alone.

Alone.

Star
Precious Grundy, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Up in the sky gazing down at the night
Often I wonder what it’s like up there
You brighten the night
Fade away at day
There’s so much mystery in your existence
But I like it that way
Scientists say you’re so big and once you die you become a black hole
When I look at you there
It makes me not want to live in the past nor the future but the now
The now is when you don’t dwell on your wrongs or your past failures
Or even plan out the future
Now is when you live life to the fullest worry free
So when I look to the sky and see you at night you inspire me
To be better than I am greater than appear I to be
Star gazing down at night shine

Personal Medicine
Shelby Kirwan, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

I love how music can touch my soul.
I love that it can bring out my inner being.
I love how when I hear a song,
My heart beats almost in sync with the rhythm.
The beat pulses through my veins
Like an electrical current,
And it doesn’t stop.
Music is literally my only way out of this world;
This disheveled world.
Listening to a song,
I get lost in the sound.
I love that there’s a song for any mood.
I love that music can change me in any instant.
I love music with every fiber of my being.
I love the feeling I get from hearing the lyrics;
Lyrics are so deep in meaning;
Inspirational, if you only listen.
I love how as soon as I start playing my guitar,
I can only feel the vibrations of the strings upon my fingertips.
I can only hear the beautiful sound reverberating through the atmosphere.
Like a surge of energy, it feels electric.
It's the greatest feeling in the world, controlling the beauty around me.
Once the neck of the guitar is in my hand,
The strings against my fingers,
As I feel the anguish of life,
The only way to relieve the stress is this medicine called Music.

Dear Mr. Jonas
Cami Gossard, Lima Senior
Sponsoring Teacher: Lexi Jamison

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember me?
The day we first locked eyes,
You told me the heart never lies;
That it won't fail, until the day it dies.
That when I smile, your heart flies.
Even when it shies.
You told me my heart was open like the skies,
Even when it cries.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember when we first kissed?
When you took me in your arms and said your feelings could never miss;
A smile forms as I reminisce.
I told you that choosing me was amiss.
The light brush of your lips was my complete bliss,
My mind has revolved around that kiss.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember when you said you loved me?
But I told you we could never be.
My heart was bound, but yours was free;
But I listened when you'd plea.
You said I took your heart to a new degree,
That even when we disagree,
You'll always be there for me.
You told me I was all your heart could see.
You promised you would never hurt, never harm, never leave,
That our love will never cease.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember when you broke that promise all too soon?
You might as well have been on the moon.
You weren't there to hold me, protect me, to make me swoon.
You used to call every afternoon,
But now I'm tired of waiting by the phone.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember when you didn't come back?
I loved you, but now that feeling is lack.
I should have known when I saw you pack;
You put my pictures in a paper sack.
Do you remember?

 Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember those rumors you faced?
The ones about you dating someone else that made my heart race.
I have to calm myself with my own embrace;
I want you back, but you're too face to chase.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember when you appeared on my front step?
When you told me you've barely slept;
When you told me of the promise that you've always kept?
When you told me that when you heard the sound of my voice, your heart leapt.
With more of your words, I've learned to accept,
That the power of our love, nothing can intercept.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
Do you remember the accident in the car?
The anniversary present by driving me afar.
The date, the flowers, you on guitar;
We were hit by guys coming back from the bar.
After many flips, they settled on tar.
As I looked over, I could see a bright star.
The light was so close, but yet so far.
Do you remember?

Dear Mr. Jonas,
I write you from a better place.
I miss you, but you were in a better case.
All I want is to see your face.
You said that nothing could make your memories erase.
Although that hit has left your mind in space.
So Mr. Jonas, I ask of you one thing...
Do you remember?

Frozen
Emma Rostorfer, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Merrit Brunelle

As we stand here holding hands
we see our future flashing before our eyes
as we stand here frozen in time
we see everyone passing us by
as we stand here frozen...
never moving forward.

Shark
Gabe Akers, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Tricia May

Deep blue water
Waves rolling gently
Up and then down
The warm water washing over me
I swim to the surface
Suddenly
Something's not right
A cold feeling
In the pit of my stomach
I glance
Left
Right
I dive below
To get a better look
No fish
I spin around
And see
Teeth.

Escapism
Adrienne Pohl, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Heather Shatto

I have run my whole life
I know nothing else:
Memories cherished, of cracked gray roads
Heat rising in iridescent waves
No solace from the tall green stalks- the farmer planted beans this year
Viewing city streets on an early summer’s eve
Sidewalks that would scare me, if I weren’t so fortunate;
The diverse colors fall, cloaked in gold
Dappled trails, high reservoirs, steep hills of dust;
Winter doesn’t faze me- the crunch of snow my tempo
Frozen lungs a victory, my lifeline;
Dazzling green of a new spring lane, dizzying petals swirl
On the ground, in the air, plucked by wind carrying a perfume of earth-
This is my solution.
To every hated word, to the feelings that consume my soul
Pain, anger, stress, frustration by turn
Nothing worse than solving loneliness by solitude.
My flight response constantly evoked,
I’m out the door at any time of day
Five AM, still, silent and black; three-thirty and the rain cleans my shoes
I no longer trust, am not sure if I am capable
Of facing what is in front of me, much less what I leave behind
Fear travels on my heels
My constant shadow, the most faithful companion
Fear of losing, fear of missing out
On what I know to be so important
Yet so out of reach.
I pound the pavement instead of thinking
Numbing my mind as I squish through mud
Traversing incredible distances
Forcing myself to stop- I will not allow the weak thoughts to penetrate
Not of my pain: physical, emotional
So remember, as I run away from you
It’s not that I don’t trust you (I never did), not that I don’t love you (I can’t)
It’s that I run away; and am no longer capable of anything else

Tanka
Adrienne Pohl, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Heather Shatto

Surrounded by stars

Surrounded by stars
Her lovely face a moon- backed
By the dark features
Of a cold and snowy night
Branches shake- an icicle

Glass
Emily Hunt, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Timothy Cheeseman

The sun reflects
On the greenhouse windows
So high above my head
Sparkling on the grassy bed
Of the indoor jungle
Inside my head.
 
The leaves they rustle
I feel no wind
But I hear them whisper
Of secrets within
The spirit of adventure
Of hidden sin.

As I wander in this lush green world
Within I feel all things begin.
The flowers bloom,
The birds they zoom,
From tree to greener tree.

The distant drum beats faster
As I draw near the center
Of this morbid, joyous place.
The trees I pass are closer
And from green unto the greener
I see that in the center
There’s a figure that is red.

Alas there is a clearing,
Circle of yellow brick.
And a jungle that once was thick
Stops in avoid-dance.

From here a staircase climbs
Towards a glassy sky high
Above
And reaches for a red object
From which the drumbeats come.

And so I begin my climb
Up to that object high
High above the trees
From which the drumbeats sing
Below glass vaulted skies.

At last I’m steps away
From that dark and red beacon
That pulled me from within
To go and follow it.
But alas I’m filled with dread!
For this object is from past
I’ve seen it once before
An airplane dusty and red
And it will fly no more.

But it beckons to me still
And with conflicting will
I climb inside this red airplane
And look out on my world.

The trees are far below
And below all danger stays,
But beauty stays there too…
Oh truly, beauty will.
Is this plane where I shall live?
It is safe and it is still
But as I live away from all
I live…
And die…
Alone.

Breaking Down the Walls
Samantha Stose, Delphos St. John’s
Sponsoring Teacher: Chrissy Elwer

Breaking Down the Walls

I’ve built internal walls
They’re sturdy and they’re sound.
They’re meant to keep pain out,
And not let it around.
You pushed and pressured me,
You took away my guard.
Now I’m left with nothing,
Please don’t leave my heart scarred.
You promised you would not,
A promise that you kept.
I’m left now loving you,
That’s something I’ll accept.
The walls I thought were strong,
They crumbled to the ground.
They no longer exist,
You came and knocked them down.

Little Pebble
Corinne Metzger, Delphos Jefferson
Sponsoring Teacher: Joshua Vasquez

On the side of a misled road
On a fun-filled playground
In the cold abandoned road
Anywhere you may go
You will find many unique pebbles
 
Some have traveled many miles
Look closely, and see what you find
A variation of lively colors
Scratches and bruises
Few are even smashed to such small pieces
They will travel no more
As others get to rest
Soaking up the love and warmth from the sun
 
You carelessly stroll across these small stones
Causing scars upon their surface
You pick up many pebbles at a time
Then skip one at a time across a blue ocean
Regardless the depth or size of waves
You should be forbidden to have access
To Mother Nature’s gifts
But no restriction is real
 
You take advantage of the opportunity
You find the smallest pebble
Molding it into your entertainment
You kick the tiny pebble
To follow your own path
Dominating it with force
Leaving abrasions and wounds
The pebble falling apart
Losing a small chunk every day
Until you’ve demolished it to its last breathe.

Home
Melissa Rower, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

In the dull middle room,
I’ll sit there alone, doing what I do best;
Listen for the wind to knock against the glass
Whispering, warning
From my favorite escape.
When they all close their eyes, I’ll slip out without breaking my stride;
Out there the world breathes in sync with me.
If the ground broke up from within,
Would you still be here tonight?
Relief quickly embraces me,
Grasping my fingertips
Pulling me through the trees
You know I follow desperately
I couldn’t wait to get lost in here,
If you would let me get in deeper
Pieces of who they once were, littered dreams scattered through the branches.
This is what you call home
And I can’t wait to be home
Peace.
Alive.
Release.
But it’s time to go.
Click shut the window
Before I turn,
I see your eyes glowing back at me in the dark.
You live out there,
And I live in here
And I can’t wait till tomorrow,
When I can go back home.

You
Brianna Roby, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Late at night i stare at the ceiling and
Try to close my restless eyes,
Try to drift off.
Something on my mind
Is clouding my every thought,
Blocking the dreams from streaming.
I cannot focus,
I cannot stop thinking of you.

Beauty Living Upon Earth
Jessica Recker, Delphos St. John’s
Sponsoring Teacher: Chrissy Elwer

On the side of a misled road
On a fun-filled playground
In the cold abandoned road
Anywhere you may go
You will find many unique pebbles

Some have traveled many miles
Look closely, and see what you find
A variation of lively colors
Scratches and bruises
Few are even smashed to such small pieces
They will travel no more
As others get to rest
Soaking up the love and warmth from the sun

You carelessly stroll across these small stones
Causing scars upon their surface
You pick up many pebbles at a time
Then skip one at a time across a blue ocean
Regardless the depth or size of waves
You should be forbidden to have access
To Mother Nature’s gifts
But no restriction is real

You take advantage of the opportunity
You find the smallest pebble
Molding it into your entertainment
You kick the tiny pebble
To follow your own path
Dominating it with force
Leaving abrasions and wounds
The pebble falling apart
Losing a small chunk every day
Until you’ve demolished it to its last breathe.

Junior/Senior Division
The River Stopped Me
Olivia DuBois, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Krawetzke

The River Stopped Me

I didn’t want to muddy the snow,
And leave a trace behind.
In the sunshine, the bluest sky,
Caught in the clouds, wherever they happen to be.

The trees beckon, and the sky calls my name.
My boots stick to the earth, and the mud splashes my knees.
No escape, from this voice in my head,
Condemning my life and my little dreams,
It calls out to the birds,
Who have a better song to sing.

Fighting through the thorns,
I wonder when I stopped feeling their sting.
And just how much a ship can take,
Before it isn’t a ship anymore.

The shadows become my home and the heavens my shame;
Too shy for forgiveness.
Rustling leaves and setting sun,
I wonder where I’ll be tomorrow,
Because today was not in the plan.
Regretting the things I love, and wanting to start over.
Until my heart speeds its beating and breath become foreign;
This blissful pain of mine.

I’m coming home, and I’m bringing it all with me.
I won’t deny it.
I don’t regret it.
But I wish I did.

As I realize I might have lost the things that once were so reliable,
I remember that I’ll have you forever.
But I wish you would just go away...
...And take me along-
But the river stopped me,
So I’m going home.

Sprout, Bud, Blossom
Nick Magoteaux, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Mark Decker

Sprout, Bud, Blossom

You are an artist,
A life clad in color
Bathed in benevolence
Brushed in a beautiful bounty of blues and reds,
Colors that reflect the tint of my face when I approach you.
My movement is awkward,
Fidget and twist.
I stare in awe as you load your weapons
An arsenal of graphite and lead,
Stock paper and varieties of shiny tin foil
I dream with open eyes as you stroke the canvas:
I imagine wings.
They sprout, bud and blossom.
Your feathers fluttering in fluid elegancy
With knees bent and wings outstretched, your coils release
A buffet of kinetic energy,
~Off you fly~
An artist in celestial.
Off to somewhere warm.
As your mind soars I watch your arms move, your head tilt, your right eye close.
Your better eye is your left eye.
What will you create?
Aloft in thought, you hone into your assortment of mediums.
Your right hand reaches behind you, blindly rummaging to find a pencil.
Your fingers test to point to feel if it is fit to fancy you.
I look at my hands,
I do not have a pencil.

I Am Proud
Whitney Hall, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Walking with my head held high,
This feeling of superiority.
I will not break, I am strength.
Is this what you expected from me?

Is it the color of my skin?
It’s probably the sassiness in my walk.
Is it the determination in my heart?
Or maybe the slang in my talk?

Whatever you do, don’t judge me;
I was born and raised this way.
You know what? I changed my mind; judge me all you want,
I don’t mind what you say.

Appearance means everything;
I don’t fit in with any of these people.
I expect all the attention that I am given.
Your mouth tells me all the lies that your eyes can’t hide.

I don’t let you get under my skin.
Your words won’t penetrate my head.
I am tough; I was this way as a kid;
I’ll continue to be this way until I’m dead.

Listen closely, not to the words though.
Watch me very attentively,
The way that I am portraying them.
Words can’t deny what body language is showing.

All of the words I have placed together, to help you understand why I am, who I am.
What do you have to say about me now?
I have one final question for you:
Does my exterior show that I am proud?

Seed Sower
Nicole Fairburn, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Timothy Cheeseman

You have sown the seed of the tree that is me
Breathed life into lungs and patient limb construction
I know my leaves rustle careful and free
Because you are the sower of the tree that is me
My roots quench dying thirst while arms branch with elegance
Masters of the earth, my siblings grow with veins deep
Feeding off the grub of mother air and father spring
Scientifical giants
I grow beside time and age with grace
My branches stronger with ticks and tocks
A wise old owl visits me
You are the sower I am the sowist
You are the parents I am the poet
Ode to the seed sower
What you sow is what you will reap
Parenting kindling of what can and should be
For, I thank you for sowing the seed of the tree that is me

Mad is your Heart
Mackenzie Beverly, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Timothy Decker

Mad is your Heart

Mad
Mad is your heart
Mad are the things you cry in the dark
Would you call it sane
If you simply went to sleep?
What dirges does your mind sing?
What eulogies you keep?
Mad are your eyes
Who know too well an empty goodbye
Would it be sane
To close them for good?
Would it be sane to sleep
A sleep so deep
The waking world
Could no longer drive you mad?
Mad
Mad as your heart
As you dig your nails in your skin
In the dark
So mad
So mad you cannot sleep

Evil’s Creed
Robin Klaus, Elida
Sponsoring Teacher: LuAnn Williams

Evil’s Creed

A poisonous spider,
fear spreads its bent arms over the innocent.
No one is out of reach of its death grip.
Unlike the cross, unlike love, this is hate.
This is a twisted cross.

An endless circle,
their suffering is unceasing, despite their innocence.
They are a white circle.

Pandora's Box unleashed,
Hate's hands squeeze the life from the innocent.
Blood spills over the edge.
It is a red box.

A twisted cross, a white circle, a red box:
a beacon of terror.
Evil's creed, incarnated.

Pink Laces
Jennifer Shimp, Spencerville
Sponsoring Teacher: Georgia McMichael

Pink Laces

She pulls and she tugs
at those silky pink laces,
tighter and tighter
for the show that she faces.

She pulls back her hair
in such an elegant way.
With just minor touches,
she is well on her way.

She poses on stage,
in the silence she waits.
The curtain then rises
not a minute too late.

The music begins,
and those shoes dance with grace.
The attention is on
those little pink laces.

To the beat they dance on
so smooth and so free,
with the grace of a butterfly
how beautiful is she.

The performance has ended,
she bows with such grace.
She floats back to her room,
to rest those pink laces.

Fantastic and Wrong
Mackenzie Beverly, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Timothy Decker

Fantastic and Wrong

I think if I lie very still
I can almost feel something
--a something
peculiar and strange
a heartbeat to my name
there’s life in there
peculiar and strange

I think if I sing very low
I will hear nothing
--just nothing
ceaseless and cold
a frost to what I am
the weather to it
ceaseless and cold

I think if I look very sane
I can do anything
--about anything
fantastic and wrong
an ere to all of me
this nature I find
fantastic and wrong

peculiar and strange
ceaseless and cold
fantastic and wrong

His Laugh
Lacy Pellegrini, Bath
Sponsoring Teacher: Elaine Bradley

Today I heard you laugh.
It’s such a beautiful sound.
A lovely melody to hear,
It makes my mind spin ‘round.
I hadn’t heard it in so long,
Almost three months.
I thought my feelings had gone,
But now again, I miss you so much.
I still think about you,
Quite frequently.
And my attempts to forget
Are just too measly.
I’ll admit it;
I still want you.
Please lie to me and say
You want me, too.
Please come back,
I swear I’ll be better.
I’ll give you all my love
And keep us together.
You are the most amazing thing
To walk this earth.
All the happiness in the world
Doesn’t compare to your worth.
I pray every night
And hope every day
That you’ll come back,
Instead of moving farther away.
There’s that laugh,
Playing again.
A siren’s song,
An addictive sin.
It beckons me
Like a drug,
Making me
Fall more in love.
I need to move on,
Try to forget.
But my feelings for you
Simply won’t quit.
I’m always here
If you want me again.
I still want you,
But for ‘us’ it’s the end.

The Imperfect Stitch
Claire McConnell, Spencerville
Sponsoring Teacher: Georgia McMichael

The Imperfect Stitch

Stitches will last forever
If they are strong and sturdy
They will not fall apart
If put in with time and care

Stitch by stitch I work away
Making it perfect
But I get distracted
My stitches falter
and the straight line goes crooked

I worry about what my outfit will look like
Will it fit?
Will they notice the wrong stitch? 
I sat in fear that what I worked so hard for won’t ever be perfect. 

The stitch stands out in mind as a falter too big to fix
 a problem too big to face
I make myself move on letting the crooked stitch serve as a reminder
and I tell myself it must not happen again
I wipe away the worry filled brow and move on
Stitch by stitch
 I get closer to the end

I sew the last stitch and loop the thread into a knot leaving no hanging threads
I put my prized piece of work on,
I smile
It is my own outfit
My own masterpiece
But the crooked stitch finds its way back to my mind

I look for the imperfect stitch knowing it’s there
I search for it in the mirror but can’t see it
I step closer and still can’t find it
Finally I frown
My eyes squint
I found the crooked stitch

I examine it
It was smaller then I remembered
Not quite as outstanding as before
I realize it wasn’t as bad as I remembered
Maybe just maybe it added design and character to my outfit

I proudly wore my outfit with the imperfection on my sleeve
Knowing that my one falter
The imperfection
My crooked stitch
Is my best outfit yet
Within These Walls
Janina Bradshaw, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

This is how I am today:

This is how I am today:
a tired, hollow shell,
all chipped paint,
sagging walls,
and the sad, exhausted drone
of weakening boards
from once proud, mighty trees.
I am but the ancient, crumbling skin
of joyful times long past.
Within this worn skeleton,
The Family laughed and played.
I was their home.
Man was my creator;
he built me with his own two hands.
The pulse of his hammer,
the edge of his saw
brought me upright.
He was my creator
and I, his protector.
He lived within these walls
with Woman, whom he loved,
and together they took care of me
and I, of them.
I delighted in their good fortune
and lamented their sadness:
rejoicing when the little Girl
laughed and cried and played
within these walls,
and mourning when she left,
body and soul,
to be buried.
With her passing came a great,
unimaginable emptiness,
for I missed the thumping
of tiny footsteps
as she played throughout my rooms.
I no longer felt
Woman’s lively steps,
nor heard Man’s joyful whistle.
They were as hollow
as I was.
For many seasons
they remained this way.
I grew unkempt,
ugly.
I deserved the mistreatment,
for I had failed to protect the family.
As the guilt and sadness
sat thickly, heavily in the air,
I grew weary, worn, old.
However, as all things must fade,
so did the grief, the emptiness.
Slowly, her toys were picked up,
her bed made,
the last of her clothes folded.
Life moved on without her.
Man was around less and less,
often gone late into the night,
and Woman sat for hours
in my living room,
sewing a brightly colored quilt.
She worked tirelessly on it until
one evening
she hung it from my porch
like a beacon in the darkness.
That night, Man and Woman
sat up for hours in my living room,
waiting, until,
through the stillness,
there came a timid, tired knock
upon my door.
My door was flung open
and many footsteps rushed inside.
Some footsteps were like Man’s,
some like Woman’s,
but these were all tired, worn, afraid.
Suddenly, one quiet, timid little step
caught my attention,
for it reminded me of Girl.
Could it be?
I searched amid the crowd until I found her.
She was not like my little Girl.
Her skin was not fair,
her hair was not blonde,
her eyes were not blue,
and her face was not sprinkled with freckles.
Instead, her skin and hair were dark
and her black eyes were scared, haunted.
But her footsteps, oh! Her footsteps!
They were just like Girl’s.
I watched with delight as she
was ushered inside with the rest of her family.
They were all shown to my cellar,
for it has a secret door in the back,
behind the shelf.
I felt her explore
all throughout my cellar,
and I was proud when she chose my wall
as the place to rest against.
Soon, she was fast asleep on my very floor.
I was in awe of her gentleness;
she was so much like Girl.
I felt the footsteps of her family fall slower
until all was silent
except the rustling of Woman’s skirts
as she closed the cellar door.
But this blessed, beautiful silence
was never meant to last.
A great sound
like that of a thousand thunderclaps
pierced through the stillness.
My door was flung open
and my rooms were exposed
to an angry cacophony of footsteps
that surged through my doorway.
There were men within my walls.
Angry men,
hateful men,
cruel men.
They marched across my floor
in their matching boots,
and they shouted spiteful words
at Man, who stood between them
and my cellar door.
The angry men were looking for
my little dark girl
and her family.
They wanted to take her away from me.
They grabbed Woman’s arm
and pulled her down my stairs.
They shoved Man,
who hit his head against the very wall
he had built so many seasons ago.
They pulled him out of their way
and began to beat my cellar door.
But I held strong.
They were not going to take away
my little dark girl.
I could feel her tiny footsteps
rushing with her family
to my shelves,
wrenching open my secret door and—
There was another great thunderclap
and the handle of my cellar door fell to the ground.
But it was too late.
She was gone,
and they would never find her,
for she and her family were fleeing north,
away from me
and away from the angry footsteps
that ran through my cellar,
pointlessly searching for the little girl
I had saved.
But my triumph was overshadowed
by overwhelming loss,
for Man and Woman were swept up
in the angry footsteps,
and I could no longer feel them.
They had left with the angry men,
with their matching boots and hateful voices.
I could no longer protect them.
So here I stay,
alone, but unafraid,
for I know that my little dark girl
is happy somewhere
because of me.
And now, my sagging walls,
with their chipped paint
and weakening boards,
can finally come to rest,
collapsing this hollow shell
into nothing but a crumbled, tangled memory
of a Man and a Woman
and two little Girls
and a cellar door that would not open.
For this is how I am today:
I have done my protecting
and I am content.

All Hair is Dead Hair
Nick Magoteaux, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Mark Decker

All Hair is Dead Hair

Wrinkles pronounce themselves with sharp consonants and round vowels
Grandiose hills and valleys roll along the contour of aging facial features
A glance commits a robbery
The mirror reflects:
A blanket of skin,
The final curtain call.
A loss of grip and surface tension
Bald knuckles, blotted arms
Beveled bones droop, sundered by the persistent pull of gravity
Surly balding, every bath leaves the drain clogged.
All hair is dead hair,
So pluck the roots with understanding.
In cavities that they lay
Resting undead, lavishly
Among these things are living breathing follicles that wish to sprout.

Reality
Natesha Bankston, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Some people want
What in reality they can’t have,
Fantasizing and glorifying
‘Bout the Hollywood life,
Not living in the moment.
Money doesn’t grow on trees…
Nor can it please.
Why can’t they realize
Everyone’s not going to be
a
Lebron, Kobe,
Tyra, Oprah
Lil Wayne or Beyoncé.
Lady Gaga you can’t read my poker face.
I’m holding a hand full of
Queens.
Royal flushes can’t hush
This progression
That’s right before your eyes.
I’m you’re A.S.S.E.T
Ambitious
Sincere
Suave
Enthusiastic
Talented.
You can reach for the stars.
Try to fulfill your dreams.
Traits of our
Doctors, coaches, and teachers,
All traits of my reality.
Sitting here prepping for college
Wondering what is my fate.
I know GOD will guide me thru
But my impatient ways are getting
The best of me.
Watching many friends do good
And some not so.
Just praying that he will show
Me favor
In hopes of being successful and
Able to share my story
To those he brings in my path.
Growing up they say isn’t easy to do.
This I can testify to.
I’m 16 strong willed
And independently built.
Been through a few hurdles,
Setbacks and heartaches,
But I will remain focused
Not fazed by peer pressure
And the media.
For this I give thanks to
The ones with wisdom
Who’s shed their own tears
To see me thru.
Some people want
What in reality they can’t have.
Fantasizing and glorifying
‘Bout the Hollywood life
And not living in the present, REALITY!

Walls
Claire Dieringer, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Murals of how life is supposed to be
Painted on the walls.
 Surrounded and encircled,
Trying to find a way out.
Out of here
And on to what is right
Or left, will she ever know?
Like a garden full of wild flowers
She wishes to be fearless and vibrant
But is held captive by the walls,
Walls that hold her so close and leave no room for change.
She wishes and hopes that one day her roots will grow strong
Allowing her to break,
Break down the walls that hold her so close.
So that her wet and crumpled petals become firm and full of sun,
Sun that shows light upon a paint brush,
The paintbrush she uses
  Swiping its fine bristles across the rough wall
Creating a scene of what her heart desires
Not caring if it is the norm
Or what is custom to most.
She paints what is right to her.
An open field,
No limits in sight,
Full of many other flowers
Some are similar looking and others are far unusual
Unusual, yet so familiar.
A strange phenomenon that she doesn’t bother to figure out
Outside of her comfort zone but feels so at home.
A randomness that she loves,
A true vision that she always keeps in mind
To help get through the days of bordered lifestyle.
Yet she still searches her way through the maze
Not knowing the final route
Trying to find a way out
Out of here
And on to what is right
Or left, will she ever know?
More and more walls appear
Nothing like she has seen before
Bound by locks and chains
Curious as to what is behind the make-shift prison gate.
A tug and a pull,
Still no entrance.
A strength from within
Pierces her like a soldiers sword.
Strength that has been with her the entire time,
Time to realize how strong she really was
And still is.
Conscience thoughts of what to do next
She knows at once,
To break free from the life she once lived,
Uses the inner strength to break,
Break free from the mural covered walls,
And the chains that once directed her.
All the walls fall as she stands,
Except the wall where her mural was painted.
Realizing that she has shattered the past,
And the mural she painted was no longer tangible.
It was now the life she lived,
Limitless,
Like a garden full of wild flowers.

Knowledge Tree
Olivia DuBois, Shawnee
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Krawetzke

Knowledge Tree

I left it all alone,
But I know where it is.
I left it in a safe place;
I know it well.

I know it like I know myself,
So it still tends to surprise me.

I left it on the tail of a kite,
Between the rays of the sun.
So it flew away, and down it went,
Into the horizon.

Caught in the branches,
It watches over me.
It waits for me to call,
And I know it will be patient.
But I’ll walk right on by,
Because I’ve got different crumbs to follow.

Those apples are juicy, ripe for my weakness.
The poison drips down my chin.
They aren’t as sweet as you think they’d be;
And the kite won’t fly anymore.

So I’ll walk by with a lump in my chest;
Choking, and crying, and knowing:
That there’s no place for me,
In that Knowledge tree.

I’ll find a boat with one white sail,
I’ll catch the rip tide and call it my own.
I will bury this hopeless seed,
Where it will never find me.

The Walk of Shame
Janeece West, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Inch by inch
Foot by foot
Second by second
My feet began to stick to the world,
Dissolving into the quick sand,
They became heavy, feeling like a ton of
Weight that my legs could not lift.

A ball stuck in my throat that I was
Straining to swallow,
I wouldn’t dare give in,
A tear would not ash my face,
I’m too strong,
Weakness is never an option, But challenges and failures
will definitely push those tears that are straining.

Few people are called up,
I’m one of the unlucky chosen, they can’t compete,
My brain can compare, the tear is ready to dive.
Everyone look, I can’t help but intercede their thoughts with
My guesses, embarrassing but beneficial. The tear disappears.
I’m there.

I Meant To Say No
Whitney Hall, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

The River Stopped Me

When I said nothing,
I should have said everything.
Thinking back, I neglected my beautiful voice,
When I decided not to sing.
 
When I picked the color orange, and labeled it my favorite,
I could have easily said blue.
Like that one time when I took the blame for everything,
I could have easily pointed the finger at you.
 
When I chose to be alone, all sad and depressed,
I should’ve danced in the rain.
When I decided to live by love,
I disregarded the pain.
 
When I accepted being strong,
I overcame being weak.
Deciding to keep to myself and be silent,
I neglected my ability to speak.
 
When I made bad choices,
I should’ve stopped to consider the good ones I pushed to the side.
When I gave up on everyone,
I also gave up the right to say I tried.
 
I can still hear you telling me to live above the influence,
But instead I left you, and decided to go.
Along with my former friends, I said yes
When I meant to say no.
 

War at Home
Hope Bowman, Elida
Sponsoring Teacher: Katherine Glenn

Blood is shed in the fields
Men are armed with guns
They all run and fight
Not knowing what they have done

War on the home front
And war at home
How is one supposed to live
With all this war going on

How about we stop arguing
And stop throwing bombs
How about we sit and talk
"What do you think about that, Mom?"

Let me tell you how you've hurt me
How you tore down all my dreams
And how I've loved you through it all
Even though you were no good to me

Yell and hit me all you want
You'll never make me fade
In return I'll pray for you
To get you through the days

Yes, I'll always love you, Mom
But I don't want to fight
So until you're ready to end this war
I'll choose to walk away tonight

A Villain
Holly Davis, Lima Central Catholic
Sponsoring Teacher: Kent Krogman

Deceitful, cunning, selfish
Words to describe a villain,
The only ones with these qualities.
What is a villain?
Someone who tries to hurt the hero?
Someone who is on the run?
Someone who is trying to not get killed?
Someone who changes herself so she doesn’t have to run?
Someone who looks out for herself since she knows what happens to the others?
Is someone a villain cause she’s guarded since she was hurt before? 
Whether they were then or not, they end up one in the end
Hurt, betrayed, and hunted,
She changed to not have to run anymore,
Saw her family die because of her choices,
Chose to only care about herself from then on,
Lived her life going from place to place using anybody she had to
To get what she wanted.
Played brothers against brothers claiming she loved them both,
Left them and came back to mess with them again
Along with a girl in the same predicament  
To decide between running, giving in, or running for eternity like her
She made her selfish choices to stay alive
Choices that have made her a villain
She’s on the run from the bigger villain
I guess that’s the life of this selfish doppelganger.