HOPE

June 09, 2020

By Linda Berry

Just a few weeks ago, I went to a school.
A school filled with students from different neighborhoods, different families, different cultures.
Students who lived in cliques with their friends, who rarely emerged from their groups.
I remember walking through those halls in a sea of bodies, with everyone’s face blank. There
was no recognition for the struggles anyone was going through, no smiles for those we didn’t
know, no laughter that rang beyond small groups of friends. So many of us had known each
other for years, without really knowing one another.
Our silence separated us, filling in the gaps of the unknown with our judgement.
Some were being judged for the mark they were given, while others were being judged for
where they came from.
Some were suffering from not being picked for a sports team, while others had a parent in the
hospital.
So few of us knew any of this about each other because of the separation.
The separation from our struggles, our differences, our judgements.
The separation from each other.
Invisible lines surrounded us everyday, a barrier that kept us safe in our groups.
Until the coronavirus swept those barriers away, sending us into a completely different world of
uncertainty.
An ache of uncertainty.
More like a dread.
The dread of not knowing when this will end, when our lives will go back to normal.
A dread of not knowing what will happen to those that we love.
A dread of not knowing what will happen to our world that we love.
We all suffer from the loneliness, the dread, the anxiety. The nights when sleep will not come to
us, and we’re wondering, “what will happen next?”
But as much as it tears us apart, it brings us closer together.
Things like our appearance, who we are friends with, and where we come from, don’t matter
anymore.
Everything that was superficial which defined us before, has no worth.
Because a virus attacks without judgment, prejudice or praise.
The lines that have once separated us, have now drawn us together, like a rope we’re all
grasping for dear life.
And although we all fight different battles, we fight for the same thing everyday.
We fight for hope.

REUNION

June 01, 2020

By Miriam Felman

*Spoilers for The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline*

A poetic monologue in the perspective of Frenchie

Characters and inspiration from Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves

 

“Francis.”

Two familiar syllables that enter my ear and swirl around my chest, 

stirring up a tangle of old emotions

before finding their home in my heart. 

I never thought I’d hear that voice again

I never thought I’d see that face again

I never thought I’d feel so small again

“Dad.”

My love for Rose and the others makes me feel strong, empowered, brave

Like it is my purpose to protect them

But just hearing my father’s voice turns me into a little kid

cuddled up next to my brother, shivering from the cold, yet glowing warm inside

Feeling safe. 

Because no matter how biting the wind is, or who’s out to get us

My dad is here, and everything is going to be okay.

I can see it in his eyes.

His eyes that are hopefully scanning our group for him

For Mitch.

Selfless, courageous Mitch, who gave his life for mine. 

The high-pitched screech of the Recruiter’s doom whistle echoes through my skull, followed by Mitch’s sickening banging and taunting. 

I’m hit with a wave of nausea. 

Now he’s gone. 

Mom is gone. 

RiRi’s gone. 

Sometimes the weight of missing them pushes down on my chest so hard, I can’t breathe. 

Dad’s eyes meet mine, and I don’t need to say any words for him to know

We hold each other and cry and wail and curse the Recruiters

And it feels so good to feel that pain together

To share the sorrow with someone else so it’s not buried deep and heavy within me

melted into my bone marrow

weighing down my bones

but instead my grief and anger bubble to the surface along with Dad’s

Our marrow on fire together.

--

"Let the world we dream about be the one we live in now." - Anais Mitchell (Hadestown)

WEAKNESS

May 01, 2020

By Anonymous

It finds a weakness and it

Grows

Until it becomes my overwhelming universe

Someone I know nothing about

Grows

Into someone I am destined to always place second place with

A meaningless comment

Grows

Into something that ruins my day and makes me sick

A typo

Grows

Into a lost friend

A mistake

Grows

Into my definition

Me and my growing mind

MY LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL

April 8, 2020

By Anonymous

My last year of high school.​

The most valuable and exciting and unforgettable year.

But instead only a month or two in,

I lost my thirst for life.

I was left dry,

And I was ready to wither away.

But the people around me grew me back to life.

They fertilized me with love, they drenched me with laughter, they showed me things I had forgotten to love.

I had found myself looking forward to things

I had never even been looking at before.

I finally thought I'd found what made me flourish.

Then like a delicate flower in a terrible storm, the virus left me right back where I started:

Nothing.

SWEPT UNDER THE RUG

April 1, 2020

By Parker Seasons

Swept under the rug.

Problems not dealt with, but simply hidden, obscured behind a wall of numbers.

Numbers that, to their credit, do in fact reflect reality, do in fact tell the truth.

 

But they reflect the wrong reality, tell the wrong truth.

 

They are completely accurate answers to the wrong questions.

 

The statistics do not lie. But they do not tell the whole truth.

 

Often they don't even tell the correct truth.

 

Statistics cannot lie, but they can be twisted, skewed to support a view.

 

But that's all right. After all, it can't be denied that there are less homeless people on the street.

 

It's not as if it's possible that they might still be there, remaining yet unseen, right?

 

Right?

 

It doesn't matter anyway. So long as it seems like something is being done - that's all that matters. That will win the vote.

 

Great job mayor, members of the city council: You make us proud.

 

Those of us you can see, anyway.

THE LIST

April 1, 2020

By Linda Berry

When we look at ourselves in the mirror, the reactions of people that barely know us are shoved
in our faces.
When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we picture what we’d rather see instead.
When we look at ourselves in the mirror, the nature of the smile that spread across our face only
minutes ago, surrenders to the harsh judgement that is gnawing at us in our heads.
Our happiness is replaced by discontent, discomfort, despair. That’s when our shoulders sage,
and we imagine a million other people who look like what we would rather be.
It’s because of the list that is looming down on us wherever we go.
A list that represents what beauty is.
A list with criteria so long, that some people try their whole lives to meet all of its criteria, failing
miserably.
An impossible list.
But when we look in the mirror, we can’t help but notice the list, shaming us for not meeting its
standards.
The feeling of failing a test washes over us, and although we’ve had enough, although we want
to shove the list into the garbage, we can’t.
And even though this seems like enough, we are forced to digest the lists of others, letting it
sink in when they’ve met all the criteria that we haven’t.
Everytime we go to the mall, everytime we turn on the TV, even in our own houses it exists.
We cannot hide from it, ignore it, destroy it.
But collectively, we can change it.

VSCO QUEEN

February 14, 2020

By Anonymous VSCO girl sksksk

I fake a crazy laugh before mouthing along to "Stupied boy think I need him"

I tighten the scrunchie that holds my perfectly made messy bun place.

I smile as I caption the Tik Tok I made in 30 sec "It took me 2 hours to make this don't let it flop"

I make more Tik Toks containing stolen jokes and relish at the laughing crying emojis, and delete the comments saying I stole the joke

I dance along to this weeks popular songs

I'm off beat but I don't care

I post Tik Toks where the music cuts off halfway through

It gets 3.5 million hits.

I gain 2.3 million followers

I post a video of me dieing my hair and say "come back in 24 hours"

I gain another 2 million followers

I am the VSCO Queen.

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SUNLIGHT

February 14, 2020

By Joyce Lau

Years seemed to have passed without any sun

Taking away our merriment and joy 

It is clear we can no longer outrun

Their desire to break our heart and destroy

We no longer struggle for our high hopes

Because we know there is no cure at all

So we can only look through telescopes 

To look for shining stars that shall not fall

And despair over the fallen dull stars

So that we understand the hopelessness 

That we may have set too high of a bar

And have ruined our chance at happiness 

But the clouds have fled and the sun shined bright

 And a new start has come and there is light.

HOME

February 14, 2020

By Anna Carsley-Jones

A new house

A new room

A new street 

A new backyard

 

A new door

A new floor

A new start

And another crack in my heart

 

Moving once again

The rental lease is up 

Find a new place 

Pack all of my stuff

 

Furniture stacked

The U-Haul is going

On its way to the new house

My tears begin flowing

 

Our next living space

Memorizing the number of our new home phone

A different fireplace

Yet I will always be cold from my dislike of the unknown

 

Constant upheaval

Ever since I was ten

That is when the divorce happened

I have not known a home since then

 

Mom says that it is a new adventure

A new place to explore

But I do not want adventure

I want a home, one familiar creaky floor

HER

February 14, 2020

By Anna Berglas

Sometimes you feel the need to be perfect in order to be valuable

Although perfection is impossible to achieve.

Instead, how about

Beautiful

Universal

Indescribable

Worth my time and worry and pain

Dripping off my chin

Pooling along my jaw

Worth the shaky bike ride to track your address

To betray you in a phone call

A mother that will sob

Men with guns

And I’ll never see your

Indescribable universal beauty again

The type that makes my eyes melt

Into rivers of words unspoken

Nervous hands

A desire so deep and desperate

To see you again

To know that others see you

To be able to wait for someone to draw the lense upon your eyes

So you can see the beauty too

WHAT THEY DON'T REALISE

February 14, 2020

By Maddie Matier

People think I'm strange.

 

They wonder why I walk into the school with a smile on my face.

 

Or why I look surprised when someone invites me to sit with them.

 

Or why I'm astounded that I can walk through the halls without being sworn at or

called names.

 

People ask me a lot of questions.

 

They say "how can you actually enjoy this?"

 

Or "Why would you pick to go somewhere where you didn't know anyone?"

 

Or "Out of all the schools to pick, why would you choose to come here?"

 

People don't know.

 

They don't know that I came from a school that had so many fights that seeing

ambulances outside and people being rushed out of the school on stretchers was

perfectly normal.

 

Or that being stuck in secure school was never a surprise, it was just a regular, almost

weekly occurrence.

 

Or that the environment and people there were so toxic that a quarter of the people

in my grade left because they couldn't take it anymore.

 

People don't realize.

 

They don't realize that the reason that I smile when I walk into the school is because

for me, it saved my life.

 

Or that the reason I'm surprised when people ask me to sit with them is because

nobody had ever asked me to before.

 

Or that the reason I'm astounded that I feel safe at school is because I spent an entire

year worrying about getting beaten up for being proud of who I am.

 

People often don't understand.

 

They don't understand how I can enjoy this school because the vast majority of them

had never known another school and thus could not compare.

 

Or they don't understand why I would pick to go to a school where I knew nobody

because they had gone to school with the same people all their lives, and now they

couldn't imagine leaving them.

 

Or they don't understand why I would choose to go here out of all the other schools in

the board because to them, the grass is always greener on the other side and any

school looks better than this one.

 

To them, this school may just feel like:

 

An obligation

 

A waste of time

 

A convenient place to see their friends.

 

Lacklustre

 

But to me, it means much more than that. It's:

 

A fresh start

 

A new lease on life

 

A community of people who have my back

 

Home

STEPPING ON MARS

March 1, 2020

By Alexander Duong

I have imprinted humankind
On that red pixel drowned in
The pitch-black cloack
That envelops home

Its winds
Rumble and howl
As creatures
Of the wild

Stroking its thirsty skin
Littered with pebbles
Like rubbing sand
On a waterless beach

Glazed with red powder
A bone-dry surface
And mountains--
Red pimples on the face

Its dusty air
Stings the insides of the nostril
And suffocates
Even the non-living

This is now home
A red barren desert

For now
And forever

JUST KEEP BREATHING

February 1, 2020

By Lane Audrey

Today wednesday the 15th is my one year anniversary of being adopted and I'm spending it at school writing my summatives. I feel as if I’m drowning but I need to keep going and pushing through after all there is one benefit of today, I’m going to get to lie in my bed and play on my DS. as sad as that sounds it’s not schoolwork or memorizing lines, its me doing what I want to do for a few moments. For some people it’s cuddling their animals, and for others it can be taking a bath, even though I am very stressed I am able to remember that I'm loved, cared about, and that this semester is almost over.

VSCO GIRLS

November 1, 2019

By anonymous

“And I oop” I say

Scrunchie and hydroflask 

In hand, SKSKSK

HAIKU

October 2, 2019

By Lily Raaflaub

Dab, whip, nae nae, lit

My generation is trash

I am disgusted

WELCOME TO NEPEAN

October 1, 2019

By Lianna D'Angelo

Welcome to Nepean, you terrified grade nines,

Hopefully, this poem can give you peace of mind.

Small fish in a big pond, boy have we been there,

The great white shark from middle school, now gasping for air.

 

You feel like you're invisible,

Like no one really cares.

Or like you’re invincible,

Til you behold the stairs.

 

You’ll see familiar faces,

Recognize grade tens.

But they’ve already run the bases,

And even made some friends.

 

You’d think after their first year,

Experienced and in-group.

But inside they all do still fear,

The horrors of the stoop.

 

Grade eleven’s where that changes,

I know it to be true.

Not only close in ages,

But friendships will come too.

 

In that year will come maturity,

With thoughts towards the future.

You may find security,

Getting through this juncture.

 

Grade twelves, congrats you made it,

This year so bittersweet,

You’ll swear that school, you hate it,

But wish it could repeat.

 

You’ll hope to have things solved,

By the time your time has finished.

You finally have evolved,

But the stress has not diminished.

College and University,

Or backpacking through Roma.

There’s too much diversity,

After securing that diploma.

 

Well, what do you want to be?

They’ve asked you from the start.

I hope one day it’s clear to see,

Til then follow your heart.

 
 
SPRINKLE OF SUGAR

February 1, 2020

By Anna Berglas

He is out back smoking, but with a

Cotton candy cigarette.

It is sweet, these fumes, and inside she bakes.

It is sweet, these fumes.

Like icing without eggs or milk.

He is out back smoking and she is inside,

Outside, the sky is pinkish purple.

Inside, the ceiling glows with silicone stars.

It is like a sugar-cane cliff edge

It is death before love do us part

It is burnt cookies and smoke.

KNIGHTWATCH 2019/2020

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