lost at sea

She doesn’t cry because she doesn’t like wasting time
on pointless pleas for sentiments never shared
sympathies stolen
and things never given.

She remembers bits of words and lots of letters
the soft and wrinkled edges of notebook paper
Gentle curves between the lines
anxious turning…
Check the time.

When she writes, her eyes go blind and somehow
she feels lost.
In a place that is entirely her own
to share and to hide
I don’t think she minds.

But when she stops and breathes out slowly
Bites her lips and turns the pencil she’s holding
with nails that gnaw into skin
I am terrified.

She promises not to cry but
Nobody’s listening
Everything wants a say
and all their little voices and little faces
Make her so afraid.

The waves that build inside her eyes
make me think she isn’t blind.
Instead she must want to be
away

lost at sea


S. F. Austin High School

10

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Honesty

All those days just trying to get out of my own head
I’m greedy like this.
With the comforting lies I repeat to myself
“This doesn’t matter as much to anyone else.”

I know it isn’t true or fair,
But with everything I see, read, and hear
“My teacher made me do this.”
And
“I thought it’d be easy.”
Words like those hurt, and they slander.
But what right do I have to judge?

If you can’t try to win, then this must be a hobby.
But ranking matters to those who writing means something.
No, I’m sure it is possible to live in interest or appreciation.
But to someone young and foolish,
Writing has been that last thread
From which I hang.
It’s a delicate place to stay.
But I fought to be here and I don’t want to leave.
I live to write, and I write to breathe.

I want to live off the words I write and that’s why I know
My writings need to be recognized.
It isn’t enough for me alone to bask under the words I write.
Someday soon I’ll need to open my world a little wider,
And all those precious hopes and broken thoughts
Will be trampled on and picked to pieces.
But peace is more than I can afford
Because I need to write.
Please prove me wrong.

For me, “hobby” disrespects the friends and advocates,
My closest confidantes,
Who led me slow and scared
From all those dark and dangerous places,
The closets and forests in my mind.

Yes, I take it seriously
Because I’m writing fearfully.
I love this so much.
I don’t want this to end.
I’m fighting for my future.
Please try to understand.

These words are not beautiful.
They do not win contests.
But I’m trying so hard,
And I wanted to be honest.

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I don’t believe in suicide.

When we fall and stall and climb
It’s suicide. It’s suicide.
All the madness in my mind
It’s suicide! It’s suicide!
All the words I hide inside
It’s suicide! It’s suicide!
The dead can’t speak of suicide.
The passed can’t see, cannot breathe.
And that is why I know I live.
They say I’m dead; I’m meant to die
Of suicide. Just suicide.
And yet I see, I breathe, I feel
In this world that I hold dear.

I’m not yet ready to change or die
I don’t believe in suicide.
So please give me time to live this life.
There’s beauty here, time preserved.
Beauty in these spoken words.
Pay me little mind.
You don’t need to feel anything at the something that is me.
After all, I’m suicidal.
A suicidal in denial.

Call me cancer. Make me a traitor if you must.
It’s just that I have a hard time letting go of the things I’m given.
I was given breath, and life, even love.
Such painstakingly beautiful gifts from above.
You still live in bondage to our world.
But I am free now, nevermind tomorrow
I was freed by all my sorrow.

But die they say, I must die.
I wonder why I must die.
A time for all and my time is now.
My worthless misgivings will never show.
My life, my dreams, they’ll never know.

So while you may be able to stop me from existing
You certainly cannot stop me from living.
I often don’t like living but I’ll live my life
Because it was a gift love.

Sometimes, I confess, it gets lonely down here!
I wonder, does anyone feel what I feel.
I’m dead, no I’m not, ah–it’s so complicated.
All my attempts are quickly frustrated.
To be and belong, these things are not mine.
No more than the air that I breathe
Or the words that I rhyme.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep trying like this!
All the things I never had I miss.
Every moment I wonder if who I am is real
I don’t know myself these days
I’m afraid when my thoughts stray
To suicide. To suicide.

They never look me in the eye.
They’re just waiting for me to die
From suicide. Yes, suicide.
They’ll never cry for all they lost.
They’ll never know what they lost.
(Admittedly, it was not much, but it was mine.)
If it’s easier, then believe the lies
That I’m already dead from suicide.

Even now, I’ll live and breathe.
No longer existing, so it seems.
It’s beautiful, it’s restless… I am free
To be absolutely nothing.
Either way, I won’t quit life.
I want to live more than to die.
I’ll try. I’ll try. I’ll try. I’ll try.
I don’t believe in suicide.

My blood stops running, my lungs stop breathing
This new existence is so freeing.
I won’t die to suicide.


S. F. Austin High School

10

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Sincerity

Arms, reaching, a cradle of thought.
Melodramatic misgivings are ignored.
So what if I can’t speak beautifully?
There’s meaning in every word that I unravel
To take the fear apart
And expose all the rehearsed ugliness, the cogs and gears.
Love is a line you read from a book
A stolen quote from some unsuspecting author
Who deserves much better
Than to have their artistry
Tarnished once spoken from a mouth like yours.
I do not need
perfection.
But could you find
sincerity?
Somewhere among all the beautiful words
I have found a lonely parasite.
What am I supposed to do?

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No thanks, never mind.

We look for things we’ve never known.
Grieving things we cannot own.
And it crawls around inside our minds
And binds away our hope from the inside.
I don’t want it.

I want to open my heart to the world,
But there’s parasites corrupting everything good.
I need to be kinder and so much better.
But it’s hard to have a pure heart when you’re a bloodletter.

If I was a little smarter I’d stifle my own breath
But I’m foolish and young and oh so selfish.
I’ll fall a thousand times into myself
And never once land on my feet.
Because this is a game I always play,
And it’s a game I’ll never win.

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Don’t Whisper.

I’m whispering away the silence
While my mind is still, my heart is violent.
Turning in over itself. Begging for freedom over all that is left.

But these whisperings remain untouched
Little much that whispering does.
In all the screaming cries of this world,
Our quiet whisperings are ignored.

I need to think and I need to breathe.
I think I’m breathing, so it seems.
Please release me now from this binding reality
I’d rather fall than falter one more day
I’d rather die alone than be forced to stay
Beside all that you are.

The gears that click slowly into place
Are lost in our graceless world.
A tasteless void fills me now.
A life’s objections surrounds me, but how
Else can I break this silence?

They trample over all that I am
Nothing more than a useless, empty vessel trying to stand.
My heart will bleed onto this page.
After all, the wrists remember better days.

I know I mention whispering, but words are all that I am.
A quiet puff of air, and whispers blow away like sand.
And so while they are free, we remain ensnared
All because we tried to care.

It’s some sort of irony… it has to be, right?
The way we lose ourselves in this struggle.
“I want to be good.”
And so I let life just live.
But even a little space
Is more than this world gives.

Our refusal to conform begins to transform
Into a terrible hate for the terror.
Our love for light is lost in the night
Because we refused to compromise with violence.
And so, once again, we are left with the silence.

This silence is not the absence of voices
More likely the culmination of all our well-intentioned choices.
When you keep your heart open
The world has its way.
Little by little, all the hurt numbs the pain.
Step by step, we don’t care if they fall.
If I pause to think… do we still care at all?.

You’re right, you know. The young are different.
We adapt very quickly, so we’ll no longer be the recipient
Of all the chaos of your world.

We’re tired of the lull after every unanswered word.
We’re tired of the quiet, all the lives on auto-pilot.
We’re tired of bad endings, therefore it’s time that we begin
To be what we need, to accomplish what we want.
Please forgive us; our love is lost in violence,
But it’s time these voices spoke and shattered all the silence.


S. F. Austin High School

10

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angels in new england

we were like angels
our toes carried us
quick against cold concrete to chipped red monkey bars
our fingers led us home
pointing to the swirling circles of light dance in the dark blue
our noses taught us how
the pale and bright hydrangea sang under it’s satisfied sun, the soil against my skin feeling like the safest home i knew
our lips brought us memories
crying the anthems of our little life
knowing how to build the words but never what lay behind them
our eyes granted wishes
blossoming fantasy into our own palms, shimmers of excitement sprouting from behind the glass and into the dark curls of my hair that shook with each over energetic blink
our hearts stayed
stayed as we drove away
as we felt the creak of that wood one last time
as we ran with a clueless smile out of that life forever
we were like angels
angels in new england


Austin High School

10

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What is Kerrville?

What is Kerrville?
To me, it’s a sacred ground
Where songs are the prayers
and I get lost in the one place I feel found
There the language is music
And fingers dance with care
As they swim across guitar strings
Fluttering through the air
It’s a place where you’re not judged
And your voice is always heard
A place where you wake up
And the first sound you hear is a songbird
Politics and religion don’t divide us
We are all one
And we believe we are all connected
We are apart of the sun

When you see welcome home
With beautifully painted white letters
In front I see him place the stones
And red, green and yellow plastic
feathers
Its mix master with red shirts worn
Seeing storp written on a stop sign
seeing this world untorn
knowing everything is going to be fine

walking Around the big green meadow
Searching for my dear old friends
A year since we’ve said hello
These friendships that don’t have ends
kerrparents John and Mary
giving hugs with a smile on their face
It’s John finding watermelon unnecessary
And them giving me a sweet from a peach place
seeing Ken play at camp stupid
And eating burgers late at Camp Buyou Love
being surrounded by folk music
And bugs I don’t know the name of

It’s going to the Music Camp for Teens
lying about my age at 10
the wonderful John and Francine
thanking a stick bug for Austin my friend
It’s the staff giving an opportunity
For me to get up on stage
It’s about making a little community
So that I don’t have to be afraid
It’s about going on a canoe trip
With bill Oliver and Noodles
It’s hoping that the boat won’t flip
And I won’t get bit by anything unusual

Mr.pancake singing silly songs
Jena and Mathew writing poetry
Susan Roads taking pictures all day long
The best music of the century
Loose helping me play the bass
Annie keeping beat with her body
Looking at a smile on everyone’s face
Remember the things that everybody told me

working backstage for performers
keeping the green room clean
seeing Dallis being a supporter
She’s the heart of this magnificent machine
She’s standing at her desk smiling
with Dove Dark Chocolate in her hand
listening to performers inspiring
Making it feel like a dreamland
seeing Rossi, Doc, Fish, and Dave
Smile as I go by
black shirts buzzing bees swarming sound waves
I’m Fascinated by how they fly

But most of all it would have to be
Singing heal in the wisdom at night
another goodbye still hard for me
We all hold each other so tight
each note we sing with love in our hearts
Crying with our fellow man
We all sing in harmony parts
“One day together we’ll heal in the wisdom and we’ll understand”

Kerrville means everything to me
I wouldn’t be the same without it
And though this poem is not complete
I still felt the need to say it
You may be three hours away
But there are wonders that you have shown
Someday I want to be onstage and play
But forever I will call you HOME


Austin High School

Sophomore

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Ocean Love 3.2/5 (5)

Ocean Love
I walked out into the ocean
Felt the water rising past my ankles, my hips, my chest.
Wave after wave
Furiously beating down
On my back
The salt water stings
But I open my mouth and tell her,
(the ocean)
tales of you anyway.
And after I have finished confessing
The salt in her body turns to sugar


Anderson High School

10th

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