Friday, April 29, 2016

"The Swan" by Megatron

A baby swan is just born into the world
covered by clean,
smooth, pure, feathers

With wings not strong enough to fly yet
she sits, floating on the water's blue surface
with ease

Not influenced by hunting or hurricane season
the swan swims with grace and a head held high
by pride

Afraid of nothing she swims into unknown water

Surrounded by tall green brush she sings with joy
not knowing that behind the brush is a world of dark skies
filled with loud thunder storms and gunfire from monsters

These beasts howl and hackle
at the sight of the baby swan but have never had the right
to hunt for her

threatened by her beauty they fire their guns, mocking
the existence
of the pure innocent young blood

desperate but too weak to fly away she struggles to
swim fast enough in waters that have become dark
and thick with thirst to claim a new life with

now ruffled and grimy feathers she flees for safety
away from the world she once knew as accepting

A baby swan who once sang in joy and happiness
now hides behind thorns of tall restricting bushes

Never knowing how to fly she becomes weaker
and her song becomes almost lost in silence.

Petrified by the storms blowing in and the light slowly
disappearing, she becomes lost.

Blinded by darkness now she swims with fear
Unaware of her surroundings

Sounds of howling and hackling along with
thunder and gunshots still fill the air.

Barely dodging everything she becomes tired

Out of breath and lame from scrutiny she is barely
floating above deep, pitch dark waters still hungry
for her life

Beaten by solitary confinement her mind wanders
 into madness

Thinking of the worst her mind only goes
deeper into insanity

Starved of light her soul goes to the color of the night

and deprived of joy, her happiness fades into the mist
of grey hovering the water of toxicity she now barely
floats upon

As the gunfire from the monsters becomes louder
and the sound of thunder from the storms becomes
overbearing she loses her hearing

She’s Now barely alive in a weak frail skeleton she
calls her body.

blinded by darkness and
deaf from howling, hackling,
gunfire, and thunder she hits her breaking point

Driven to the point of no return she falls
to the beast’s idea of self harm

She sees no point of her life

She contemplates self drowning
in the waters now controlled by monsters
driven only by the idea to please society

In the world she thought was good
she saw bad

In the world she thought was pure
she saw poison

In the world she thought was safe
she saw danger

In the world she thought was joyful
she saw depression

In the world she thought had courage
she saw meekness

In the world she thought accepted
she felt outcasted

In the world she thought was beautiful
she saw ugly

In the world she thought had peace
she saw war

In the world she thought had happiness
she saw negativity

In the world she thought had light
she saw darkness

In the world she thought had freedom
she saw incarceration

In the world she thought had serenity
she saw chaos

In the world she thought had love
she saw hate

Now, moments away from ending her once innocent life
she lets out one last song

With all her strength she gathers the ability to sing one note
That note was filled with more than she could ever imagine

Encrypted in her song was the
cry for help the ones she loved
needed to hear

Her message was small but had the strength
to be carried for miles in the darkness

Flocks of help came flyinging in like
a beacon of light

with strength in numbers her once
weak and frail body became strong and filled
with the power of self confidence

Now fully grown with morale she swims
in clear blue waters with grace and poise

Not afraid to be be herself she sings
loud and floats with reassurance

strong enough to fly she spreads
her golden pearl wings

like a chariot they carry her through the sky

Flying through the air she soars
in her freedom

embracing her life she takes chances
and isn't afraid to fall

she knows the scars of failing
will eventually only make her even stronger

With the joy of life bright in her
eyes she makes the most of her dark experience

The evils no longer taunt her

The monsters no longer hunt her

The storm no longer scares her

The water no longer drowns her

The thorns no longer trap her

She realizes the world she once thought
to be covered by dark gray storms and filled
with monsters who crave her blood no longer

Once the monsters saw the beautiful light
radiating from her soul they ran in fear

The air was no longer filled with
hacking and howling
Once the storm saw her courage to fly
it blew away in the strong wind from her

Her now clear skies were filled with the
bright yellow sun
that brings warmth on her glowing white
coat of feathers

The love from her support system
surrounds her with a shield of comfort
ready to help defend her if she needs it

If times ever get dark again she knows
that the howling from the monsters can’t get to her

Out of all the hard times
the once baby swan who grew
into an outstanding swan

The world was good
The world was pure
The world was safe
The world was joyful
The world had courage
The world was accepting
The world was beautiful
The world was peaceful
The world did have happiness
The world was filled with light
The world did have freedom
The world was filled with serenity

The world was filled with love.

"An Average Leprechaun's Day" by Larry the Leprechaun

Where did I put me green top hat? Ah, there it is on top of me green bureau. I wonder what Mrs. Leprechaun is cooking today. I really hope it is not green pancakes and ham again. Good, good, the chiluns are still dreamin about four leaf clovers and green top hats. I hope that smell filling me nose isn’t green pancakes and ham. Making my way down to the kitchen I see the greenest pancakes and ham yet! Just me luck! “No me, sweetest pot o gold, I love your green pancakes and ham they just fill me up and take away my appetite!” I love me perfect Leprechaun wife but I do not have the courage to tell her about her heinous cooking. If only there was a courage wall in which I could share my insecurity and grow, such a thing is fabled to be in a make believe land called Herndon High and others are said to be all across a mystical land land known as the United States. I don’t like to think about these fables as the ruler of this mystical land is known as Donald Trump and the wall he built has nothing to with courage. Settling back into me green Leprechaun chair I opened the Leprechaun Times and was discouraged with the quality of the articles. Each day they are all the same; how to make your green top hat greener or how to find more four leaf clovers. Curse these bland articles, me top hat is already plenty green and I don’t need any help finding four leaf clovers, they’re everywhere! Well I’m off to go guard me family’s pot o gold for the rest of the day, I hope there is more excitement in the lives of other creatures. On me way to me rainbow I ran into Leprechaun O’Sullivan and he told me that the Leprechaun Republic has been cheating us out of two shillings of gold each month! What an outrage! Being just an average Leprechaun I had to make my way to me pot o gold as quickly as possible to avoid the possibility of a devious adventurer trying to steal me bounty. The day was mostly quiet and I had a nice chat with the Harry the Unicorn who traded me some pixie dust for two horseshoes. As the day retreated, I made my way home and was delighted to see me chiluns studying their Leprechaun textbooks and taking notes. They were such smart chiluns and I knew they could be any type of Leprechaun they wanted to be. With a warm heart I made my way to me green bed and fell asleep without Mrs. Leprechaun harrassing me about the pot o gold; what a good day today was.

Friday, April 15, 2016

"Harper Lee" by Keyser Soze

I pride myself in my ability to create long, elaborate sentences, full of eloquence and beauty. But sometimes, you just need to state the facts, plain and simple.

Yesterday, February 19th, Harper Lee died. I found out when I was on Twitter at lunch. At first, I didn’t believe it. You never really think that you’ll read about the death of your hero on any old day. When I realized it was true, I cursed. Then, I went back to class in a daze. I forgot all about the 98 I got on my chemistry midterm, and the fact that my least favorite teacher was absent that day, so we had a sub. I had to stay in school. I couldn’t focus on my work, and I found myself staring off into space absently. In my last class, a few nice people talked to me, distracting me just enough to keep me from crying. Granted, they thought it was stupid that I was so upset, but that’s okay, because they were still nice to me. I was able to forget for fleeting minutes, but once I remembered again, it was like someone had hurled a rock at my stomach. I didn’t cry in class, though. I just felt sad and hollow. This isn’t going to be an obituary for Harper Lee. I just wanted to tell people the profound effect she had on my life.

I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time when I was in the fifth grade. My mom and I would discuss it; I sat in the purple recliner and my mom sat on the couch. Ever since then, my hair hasn’t gotten longer than my shoulders. I got my parents to buy me a pair of overalls. I tried to play with the boys in my neighborhood outside. We climbed trees and pretended we were Greek gods and wrestled in the grassy field across the street from my front porch. I remember watching the black-and-white film and thinking that Gregory Peck was the greatest Atticus Finch of all time. Honestly, when I was younger, I thought Atticus Finch was my hero. As I got older, I realized that Atticus wasn’t the saint I believed he was, and that my real hero was actually Harper Lee. I wouldn’t be in this class if it wasn’t for her because I wouldn’t have wanted to be the next great American novelist. “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” You have to live your life in a good way, you have to help the helpless, you have to do the right thing. That book taught me so many life lessons, and it still is. It may be a staple in high school classrooms and one of the greatest literary works of all time. But before that, it was a draft written by a young woman who showed some promise at writing.

 A mockingbird died on February 19th, 2016. I’ll never forget my hero and my inspiration, or the profound effect her book had on my life. Thank you, Nelle Harper Lee.

"The Last Time I Ate Fast Food" by Hunter Vega

What does getting a quick bite to eat say about your beliefs, political alignment, and code of ethics? Hopefully, not much. But more and more, as suspect business practices are exposed and controversial views are publicized, we need to take a look at where we stand in our involvement with different companies. The other day, as I was walking in the mall with my brother, I seriously considered this dilemma. I casually suggested we stop at Chick-Fil-A for some fries and a lemonade; he immediately shut me down, citing the news of the owner’s denouncement of gay marriage, a story that had circulated a couple years back. To be honest, I had forgotten about that and I’d eaten there repeatedly during those years. He had decided to boycott the restaurant chain entirely, but I was less convinced.

Did my choice really hold any weight? Could I really affect the owner I wanted to hurt? I didn’t see how someone not buying a chicken sandwich could at all combat homophobia. I was doubtful that my purchasing behavior would take a toll on already wildly rich and successful man. On top of that, wouldn’t impact on the business first reach employees at a lower paygrade? What if, in trying to take down a homophobic corporation we cause the unemployment of a gay person who is already disrespected and ostracized by their place of work? This got me thinking about how useless consumer activism can sometimes feel.

I had already experienced this feeling of futility. When I heard Nestle had been bottling water in California in their time of drought, I decided to attempt a boycott of their products. It went well, until I realized that their dog food, kitchen equipment, and bullion cubes were already sitting in my house. This just repeated itself a month or so down the road, when I heard that Unilever was dumping waste in the water supply of poorer areas in India. I tried to stop my use of this company, until I learned how much I relied on their products every day. I finally found that these boycotts were unrealistic. Yes, most big corporations have methods I would never agree with. Still, I’m sure that is the case with most of the businesses I buy from every day. Who am I to tamper with industry?

I didn’t have an answer for my issues with all these groups, but I did have an answer for my brother. We didn’t go to eat at Chic-Fil-A then, and I haven't eaten there since. I decided that buying-behavior activism is all in perspective. I may not be doing much to the corporation, but I can’t expect to. If I choose to not eat at a restaurant, I’m making that decision based off of my personal opinion on the owner, not because I expect to make change. And that’s okay with me. I’ll do my part, and when people ask, I’ll tell them: if it’s difficult to stomach, let it go.

Announcing the HWC's first annual National Poetry Month Poetry Contest!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Courage Wall: March 29-April 8

“Change Your Perspective” by Blabbering Becky

I know I have to keep fighting every day
The world is rough on me
 I stand up ready to fight
But, I keep falling back down
I clean all the wounds and cuts off myself
Yet, there are continuous beatings on my body
 I tell myself that I can get through this
All I want to do is give up, though
I take one last chance to fight for myself
 I feel like I can’t do it anymore
 I’ve been through too much
But, I see a bright light at the end of the journey
It’s just a glimpse 
I’m wrong if I think I can get through this
Problems take over my whole body
There’s no point anymore
The flicker of hope I had is now gone
I finally come to the conclusion
Is it even worth fighting for myself?

(Now read from bottom to top)