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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
May 01, 2020
It finds a weakness and it
Until it becomes my overwhelming universe
Someone I know nothing about
Into someone I am destined to always place second place with
A meaningless comment
Into something that ruins my day and makes me sick
Into a lost friend
Into my definition
Me and my growing mind
MY LAST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL
April 8, 2020
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:
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?
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.
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
An impossible list.
But when we look in the mirror, we can’t help but notice the list, shaming us for not meeting its
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Or that being stuck in secure school was never a surprise, it was just a regular, almost
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:
A waste of time
A convenient place to see their friends.
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
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
Rumble and howl
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
Red pimples on the face
Its dusty air
Stings the insides of the nostril
Even the non-living
This is now home
A red barren desert
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.
November 1, 2019
“And I oop” I say
Scrunchie and hydroflask
In hand, SKSKSK
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.