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2nd Year English Pieces

2002-2003

Tanka

by Alina Everett

Noric Ski Racesr

Starter's hand lifts up,
numbing wind roars swiftly past,
skiing at high speeds.
Visioning gold urges pace,
ahhh, hard work pays off: first place!

Summer

Shopping around town,
cheerful groups of friends enjoy
parties, sandy beach. that next school year proposes.


Zephyr

by Caitlin Patterson

Saffron, rust-colored, and mahogany leaves float, unpronounced,
telling of scars, of countries, of worlds. Saffron leaves mirror sunlight,
their timorous yellow hues scintillating
as they plunge, and pick up anew
merely to collapse, abruptly. Disguised in a bush, supposing themselves
susceptible to rain; apprehending disintegration.

Emulating an undistorted red, some deceive and hurt:
testy elements spicing everything. Those reds dwell on pepper, take it, receive it,
behind weathered leather coverings.
Yet, red leaves endure such zest, though it wears holes in them.

Mahogany and quite unadorned, simple multitude of brown existence,
without awe, merely elevated, then deposited into
a field of serenity to rot peacefully Brown carcasses encounter
no challenges. There are no skyward elevations,
nor headlong motions, to their atmospheric travel.

The majority of leaves drift -- mahogany brown, saffron yellow, and a few rust-colored red.
Most infrequent are emerald greens,
no carcasses with frozen veins, but fountains of everlasting growth, bursting throughout
with spirit, bridging all time.
Emerald vigor and eruptions of being out-shine red, yellow, and brown leaves.


Creek of Vitality

by Willy Smart

Kayaking a river
is like passing through life:
the start of the trip is
smooth,
Water shimmers
in hot sun;
gentle trickling
of calm water
is a lullaby.
You are care-free
and have no worries.
Downstream, you become
helplessly stuck in eddies
with no escape route.
Extricating yourself,
moving onward
towards smooth waters, you find
there is always a way out.
Occasionally, rapids flip you boat,
just as you begin
to think you have life
all figured out.
Too soon,
you must exit your little boat
for sandy shores and other
adventures.


A Thought

by Alina Everett

Crackle, snap. A hypnotizing flame rhythmically sways to the long-familiar beat of surrounding silence. No longer known to me is the realm above my personal zone: ahh! Quality time with my brain.

I love this state of utter meditation and relaxation. No troubles intervene; silent time alone can be as satisfying as a productive day at school. Slowly, I think about everything. It's like putting my burdens on a conveyer belt and shipping them off to the far-away cabinets in the recesses of my mind. Each memory or thought has a place in my inner network, yet it must be consciously put there.

I appear to sit idlely, dully staring into vivid orange flames. However, I am at work: sorting, cleaning, refreshing. Making space for new thoughts and ideas. I mentally wrap up the day's work. Oh, but the warmth of the fire entices me, drawing me in. Only now, after my brainwork is complete, am I truly idle.


Frost

by James Jarvis

Tiny white flakes
progress down
like small pieces of paper
I await them
on the porch floor.
They flow silent,
calm,
clean,
cold,
all around me.
Some on me.
On my arms,
on my hair,
I feel so
cool and pure:
happy
about the new season.


Glasses or Contacts

by Caitlin Patterson

Since writing Glasses, I have acquired contact lenses. Before having contacts, I thought they would be easy to use and that I would see well. Now I am not sure that contacts are better for me than glasses.

Contacts are an extreme hassle to put in and take out. It can take me as long as fifteen minutes to put the contacts in. First I have to clean the contacts with solution, then I must pop them in my eyes, which often takes a couple tries. It takes less time to take them out, because all I have to do is open my eye, pinch the contacts, and pull them out.

I was told by one of the eye care professionals at my eye doctor's office, that I will always have slightly better vision with glasses, and that contacts will always be a tiny bit blurry. My contacts are Toric Lenses, meaning that when they rotate, my vision is affected. They have weights on the bottom, but they still are often blurry from changing positions. When they dry out, they become less transparent. During a soccer game, they became so dry as I ran, that at one point in the game, I could not see anyone's face and I could not judge how far away the player with the ball was.

I suppose it is nice not to have glasses on my face all the time, especially since my glasses recently broke in a collision of the soccer ball, my face, and my glasses. Even with all the apparent benefits, I think at this point, I prefer glasses to contact lenses.


Yellow Jackets

by Adam Summerfield

The thing I hate most about them
is when they bite or sting.
Stings turn into red welts, like chickenpox,
which seem to stay forever, towering redwoods on your face.
If you do not
wash the welt, more yellow jackets
will attack. Some
will do nothing but pester you all day,
pernicious, relentless beasts of burden,
flying everywhere. A nuisance
to the world.


Falling Out

by Laurel Faurot

Our raft was ahead of the other one and we were coming up on the biggest rapid of the whole trip. We were on a rafting trip for the day on the Salmon River, A.K.A. The River Of No Return. The front of the raft went down and the back went up, flinging Brie and me into the turbulent waves of Trap rapid.

I frantically swam the way that I thought was up. When I was about to break the surface, I hit something. It was the bottom of the raft. I got sucked under again and finally, after savagely kicking and pulling upwards, I broke the surface. I was turned around facing backwards when I saw Brie hanging on to the front of the raft. She turned around and yelled "RROOOOOOOCK!!!!!" If the raft had gone ten feet further in that direction, with her still hanging on like that, she would have been mush.

After I heard her scream, I got sucked under, again. I went fast and deep. I hit a rock with my feet, pushed off as hard as I could, and hit my back. I don't know what I hit but it was something. Finally I broke the surface again. The waves were less vicious so I turned around and saw everybody in the boat except for me. Angie had blood covering half of her face.

Angie is my dad's college roommates' daughter. She is about twenty, so she is heavier than Brie and me. That is why she didn't get thrown out of the boat we were in. Instead, her head went down and hit the board that my dad was sitting on. Later, she wasn't crying, but the cut was about a half-inch deep, and it was right in her eyebrow. She got many stitches in the inside and eleven on the outside.

I was really scared in the water but now that I think about it, I would do it again, if I had air and I didn't hit anything. It was an exciting yet terrible experience for all of us but, hey, at least my new sunglasses stayed on!


The Interesting Topic of Music

by Willy Smart

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I received my first CD player for Christmas when I was ten years old. I had received my first actual CD for my birthday in November earlier that year. It was a bluegrass CD. I liked bluegrass because my dad liked it and I hadn¹t heard a lot of other music.

At about the same time, some of my friends started listening to other music such as punk rock. This music was a lot different than the bluegrass that I was used to. It was played much faster, the words were harder to understand, and a punk band typically had fewer people than a bluegrass band did. Punk music is also played in distortion, which gave it a kind of rough, static sound.

The same year, I started listening to a punk band called MXPX at a friend¹s house. I liked punk rock a lot after that. On my eleventh birthday that year, someone gave me a Millencolin CD called "For Monkeys." I listened to it 24/7, and stopped listening to bluegrass altogether. Millencolin quickly became my favorite band. I enjoyed them because they were funny, their music had a lot of energy, and they made me want to go skiing.

Music is more important than some people give it credit for being. Music helps calm people down and forget things. Music is a major form of art. Without music, life would be a lot more boring.

A Bowl of Cherries 

by Laurel Faurot

On a cherry,
fruit surrounds
a pit.
Same with life:
Pleasure encompasses
pain.
In McCall,
a small ski town,
everyone skis and boards
at Brundage Mountain.
You can go
with friends or meet them there--
Yet, in the midst of all those friends
and fun, you crash.
Avalanching down a ski hill
is as fun as
biting too hard
on cherry pits:
teeth break.
Without a mall, our small town boasts
so many summer sports:
soccer
volleyball
running
swimming,
hikingŠ but,
we live
in the middle of
nowhere.
A two-hour drive separates us from
all our competitors.
We do not like to drive,
we do not like rotten cherries.
There is more fun in life,
than pain. Like cherries:
more fruit
than pit.


Whales

by Marshall Hoke

From arctic water in Alaska,
the giant of the sea lumbers west like sun in a brazen afternoon.
Waters slowly warm:
the course veers more southerly.
Acquiring unwanted guests along the way,
stopping only to breathe or to shake them off;
as the business man evades the IRS.
Boats grow sparse,
out in the middle of nowhere.
Few men wander here.
Soon though, as the water warms and clears,
they come again:
islands, now reefs, then caves
Undisturbed, they carry on, like Giant Redwoods, 
only perturbed when young ones wander,
to discover what adults cannot.
Now boats come often,
stopping for a look, dedicated to nagging.
Then there are those who pass and don¹t stop
for whales in crosswalk.


Generosity

by Adam Summerfield

What comes around goes around.
As a little boy, I was always told:
when one animal bites another one,
the other retaliates.
When light hits metal,
it is reflected back to where it came, as
in a canyon, sound reflects and echoes.
Dolphins use echolocation to find their way
in the ocean.
In life, if you do something,
you should expect for that
to happen to you.


Snowball fight 

by Laurel Faurot

Hard,
icy snow brushes across
my face,
stinging and burning
like nettles. I swear for
revenge:
I am as vindictive as the victim
of a terrorist
attack.
After recovering from my
unserious injury,
the hunt begins.
Finally, after five excruciating minutes,
I find him. He
sits near a snow-covered
pine, looking smug.
Not for long.
I attack.
After tackling him and giving him a
whitewash,
sweet revenge is finally
mine.


Afterlife

by Marshall Hoke

A car drove along a leaf-covered road
in brisk autumn.
The squirrel, quickening its pace,
scampered through dense leaves.
Wide-eyed, in flashing headlights,
a thousand thoughts
rushed
through the squirrel's hectic mind,
each crazier than the next.
The best way to deal
with headlights
was to stare right into them, he thought insanely.
The heat of tires grew close;
the driver swerved, the squirrel countered.
Tires let off smoke as the car whined to a screeching halt.
The squirrel
knew nothing.
A baby frog opened its eyes;
new life started where old life left off.


Friday the 13th

by Willy Smart

I wake
knowing it is
Friday the 13th.
I gobble breakfast down,
throwing it back up to
stain my new shirt.
On my way to my car,
I trip,
twist,
and sprain my ankle.
During 1st period,
I impale the palm of my
left hand into a
freshly-sharpened pencil.
Bleeding profusely
in the bathroom,
I glance at the mirror
which shatters,
cutting deeply
into my face.
Severe bleeding ushers in
lunchtime, where food is
poisoned.
Chicken bones make me gag
and throw up
for the second time today.
Tastes not unlike
stomach acid.
I stay and clean up.
One hour of school left.
Out of the blue,
I suffer a heart attack, and
am rushed
to the hospital
where I learn
I am to die in
one hour.
Last seconds on Earth:
glance at the heart monitor.
It reads:
September 14, 2002.


Ocean's Glory

by Melissa Dammerman

The ocean's salty winds
run through wet, tangled hair. I
search the deserted, sun-filled beach
for shells. Gigantic waves threaten
to steal me into deep blue. I dare
to creep closer.
Humbled by vast greatness, awed
by eternal power;
the never-ending sapphire blanket stretches
farther
than my eyes can see.


When the Elders Were Young

by Alina Everett

Gnarled, old, archaic;
immortal life reaching its end.
Only time can tell
what once these wise ancients knew.
Golden roses rise, blazing emblems
of everlasting ages, awarding each
dewdrop of the new day a
scintillating bullion medallion.
A small child walks, scared and inconsequential, on a crisp,
new morning. He stops,
listening.
Old, crackling voices whisper--
³when the elders were
youngŠ²
The little boy sits,
and smiles.
He is no longer
alone.


Glasses

by Caitlin Patterson

Some people have perfect eyesight, but not everyone is so lucky. When I was five, I had eye surgery to adjust the muscles in my eyes. It is difficult for a person with good eyesight to understand what it is like not being able to see. For me, when I don't have my glasses on, I can make my eyes be in two different positions. In one position, which I call the blurry position, I can barely see the lines on a piece of paper from an arm's length away. Words are unreadable at any distance, unless they are very large. In the other position, the cross eyed position, I am just that, cross-eyed. My left eye is weak, so without glasses, it travels towards my nose, making me see double. Even seeing double, it is much clearer than the blurry position, though not as clear as when I wear my glasses.

Glasses are one way of correcting vision problems, improving vision and changing a person's appearance. A prescription for lenses that magnify can make your eyes and eyelashes appear bigger, sometimes making you more noticeable. Glasses often give the wearer an older or more studious appearance.

The disadvantages of wearing glasses include the way glasses always fall off your head, slip down your nose, or fog up, becoming grossly smeared and smudged. Having to take them off at night is a huge hassle especially when I am not at home. The biggest disadvantage to wearing glasses is having to wear them all the day long.

As the years have gone by, my vision has improved and my prescription is slowly becoming weaker. Someday I'll get contact lenses, which should eliminate some of the disadvantages of glasses. When I'm around twenty, and my eyes have stopped growing, I'll consider laser surgery to improve my eyesight permanently. In spite of the disadvantages, I truly don't mind wearing glasses all that much.

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