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1st Year Pieces



by Cassie Drake

Water droplets ease their way down,
forming crystal icicles.
For only a second, each
hangs above frozen ground before
colliding with slushy snow,
gently tap, tapping, gathering into small streams
which trickle across the cold ground
to collect in clear, icy puddles.
Occasionally a tiny finch
swoops from above to refresh before
flying off again: twittering,
welcoming the brisk, spring day.

Mary's Psychedelic-Disco-Hippie Pig

by Carley Charles

Mary Parker has an adorable, small, stout, stuffed animal pig that has short, soft, tidy fur. The pig also has a pink fuzzy nose, "with golden-brown eyes, and a tidy, curly tail that stands out." The pig's most wonderful feature is that it walks when you flip a switch on its belly. "And every now and then, it will pause and snort, while wiggling its nose," Mary says.

Mary named her pig Psychedelic-Disco-Hippie (disco for short). Mary came up with this extraordinary name because the librarian had first started calling it Psychedelic. Mary claimed Disco, and then she added on to the name. The pig reminded her of a disco ball with all its radiant colors. She added on "Hippie" because the colors mixed together like a pool being stirred up. Mary ties her only blue silky hair ribbon around its chubby neck when she's not using the ribbon. "The pig was just somewhere to put [the ribbon] so that I wouldn't loose it" Mary comments.

One of the reasons this pig is so special to Mary is because she "won it out of pure luck when I put my name into the jar at school." Mary's pig is very important to her.


by Mary Parker

World History
Continuously writing poems
We learn without realizing


by Cassie Drake

Spiders are pretzels:
hard, twisted, and deformed,
dropping to symmetrical tiled floors
before being squashed by many feet of all sizes.
Swept away with the other dirt,
landing in the banging trash can,
submerged in rotten darkness.
Forgotten until the next morning, when
the lid is opened
and warm milk with soggy, half-chewed Cheerios
pours on top of them, before a world of blackness
drops down once again.


by Jacqueline Batchelor

Flexible pearly-white leather
bends to a new form. Tight laces
touching silver, mirror-like
blades. Scratched wood
hovers over crystal-clear ice. Sharp toe picks
cling to cold frost below.
off skates, jumping to high points
in Earth's atmosphere.


by Cassie Drake

Restlessly staring
into nothingness inside myself
as darkness tries
to seize hold of me, I hear
raindrops fall, telling stories
of creatures that once lived.
Voices that can only be heard, not seen; monsters
calling my name. Chills run up my spine,
telling me to crawl away.
For some reason
my heart tells me to stay.
Silence eases my mind.


by Carley Charles

The cresent moon
shone radiantly:
glowing with pride;
spreading a silver, misty
blanket upon rough ground.
Stars lingered around the pale figure,
shining just as brilliantly as the moon.
The smell of fresh pine hovered low to the ground.
Silence swept through brisk air.

Upside Down

by Carley Charles


"Here kitty, kitty, kitty." My cat came waddling towards me from the bushes. "Meow," Tommy cried as he started rubbing his whitish-gray pudgy face against my legs. I scooped him up into my arms scratching behind his ears and under his chin. He began purring so loudly he sounded like a motor. I set him down on the deck and disappeared into the house to retrieve our can of cat treats.

Soon I returned with the can. Tommy was sitting exactly where I had set him- waiting for me as if he knew that I would return with his treats. I opened the door and nudged him inside the house. Opening the can of goodies, I gave him a chicken flavored- one. Glancing at the net that was set up in the corner of the house for the boys to throw a football into, I opened the can once more and dug for a tuna-flavored fish-shaped goodie, Tommy's personal favorite. Holding it in front of his nose, I walked toward the corner and he followed right at my heels. I stopped at the net and squatted close to the ground, I was going to test to see how far Tommy could climb the net. He had done this amazing stunt before, but I wanted to see how high he could go.

Holding the treat right in front of him, I raised it level with the bottom edge of the net. He lifted his paw and began to swat at the treat. I then raised it a little higher and he stuck his two front paws into the holes of the netting, gripping with his claws. Once he was at this stage, I then lifted the goodie several times, urging Tommy to follow the treat up the net until suddenly he slipped.

Some people say cats have nine lives and always land on their feet. Tommy barely gripped and caught himself. He was hanging onto the bottom edge of the net with all fours, upside down! Sitting on my knees, open-mouthed in astonishment, I stared at him for what seemed like forever. He gazed back at me in that uncomfortable, upside-down position with a look that seemed to say, "Help me down you stupid idiot, don't just sit there and watch me dangle!"

I soon came out of my hypnotized trance, and started fussing over how to detach him safely. I finally succeeded getting him back on the ground, and we never did that trick again. A dumb cat will do anything for a tuna-flavored, fish-shaped goodie!!


by Carley Charles

They landed on my tongue
one by one.
With icy mellowness,
 big clots of snow fell
heavily from pure white clouds.  

I picked my fingers out
of warm, fat gloves
with a strong desire
for a cold and watery

Looking for a fresh patch to
pluck a pinch,
I found a perfect,
untouched blob:
light, feathery, and expectantly

I popped a zillion
flaky balls into my
mouth, and waited while they
watered and melted away,
swiftly as a snap.


by Cassie Drake

Aqua is as relaxed as a cloud,
drifting alone on a warm sunny day.
Calm, quiet, enjoyable, soothing
green-blue gently sways in the bay¬-
softening the glaring sun;
offering cool refreshment
as cool shade from the sky.


by Garret Spenst

Kinetic kids hope for a bright sight.
Droplets wash down spotted glass,
miniature streams turning into quick rivers.  

Bright sapphire skies
transform to unbearable pale gray.
Gloomy skies shed raindrops like needles.  

Shielded by misty gloom, warming rays gleam:
a train through a misty tunnel --
breaking through the foggy murk.


by Jacqueline Batchelor

Delicate wings
flutter under fiery rays.
Watercolor mixtures blur
under periwinkle sky.
Flowing to sweet poppies beneath,
a strong wind wafts the butterfly
Wings like rainbows
fold in despair.
Asleep in a green grassy mesh, she awakes:
startled and afraid.
Flying home at last,
the hungry, frightened creature
collapses on a flowery haven
beneath a full moon.
Fast asleep in the glitter of velvet night
she sleeps in peace.

The City Streets

by Cassie Drake

Walking down
weathered city sidewalks,
people bustle by
returning to their stuffy cubicles.
The smell of fresh corndogs and sewage clings to polluted air.
Beggars interrupt the steady flow of passersby,
calling out to busy pedestrians,
trying to sell newspapers they have gathered
from the free bins around each corner.
Tourists, cameras dangling around their necks,
capture moments of busy city life.
Cabs pull aside
collecting impatient, waiting people.
Joggers run,
hoping to forget
the stress of the day.
The homeless slumber uneasily
in alleyways,
awaiting the next dawn.

Losing Grip

by Carley Charles

Droplets of glassy rain
drooped from the roof…
hovering high in brisk air above
slowly starting to slip
away, as if being tugged
with force down, down, down.\
Holding on,
seeming to loose grip,
suddenly falling
with a tragic splatter
against jagged rocks below.

Garret's Trophy

by Cassie Drake

Garret Spenst has a very valued possession, a State Championship Hockey plaque. This award was given to him and his fellow teammates for winning the Colorado State Championships in 2003.

The championship was a single elimination tournament meaning that once a team lost, it was eliminated. Garret's team made it all the way to compete against the three final teams. His team had to wait and see which team was going home before they could play their last game. The officials made it so that teams ranking second and third competed to see who would play the number one team; which was, of course, Garret's team. Their team "creamed 'em, " leading to the championship.

Garret got the privilege of retrieving the Championship trophy from the stage for being the captain of the team. He was also given "… a varsity jacket with our team colors: black, gray, white, and blue." Each player received his own plaque with the player's name, the year, and his number engraved into it. Garret's plaque was engraved, "Garret Spenst, 2002 -2003, #28". The plaque also has a picture of two hockey players about to begin their game. This plaque and Garret's team hold a very special place in his heart.


by Jacqueline Batchelor

Blue-grey eyes
stare down at ivory skates.
Short, dark brown highlighted hair
sways back and forth.
A twelve-year-old young female face
covered in freckles is


by Cassie Drake

This year, for the first time, my dad and I went backpacking in the Seven Devils Mountains. To prepare for our trip we had to buy dehydrated food, lightweight tents, and sleeping bags. While packing, my dad kept telling me to pack light because everything counts. I, of course was thinking about what I was going to wear on each day and how to fit it all in my bag.

On the day we left we had to drive for about an hour and a half to the Seven Devils Camp Ground. We got to the campground around 7:30, too late to start that night, so we camped at the campground for the night. The next morning we left on Goat Pass, a trail that would start our adventure. The first couple yards were weird for me because I wasn't used to the backpack, but in a little while I got used to it. The trip started with a 250-yard hike up a hill. With every step we took, our feet sank into loose rock and slid back, causing a little rockslide. Along the way we spotted a couple of Grouse bouncing in the rocks. I tried to get a picture of them but the first click frightened them and they bounced away.

Once we climbed up the hill and reached the saddle, the high little valley in between the two mountains, we saw our first lake: Mirror Lake. Looking out over the lake we could see one little patch of snow that our map said stayed there all year long. I liked the fact that the water was so blue. It was like the water you see in commercials for Caribbean Cruises. My dad gave me a the choice of hiking down to the lake, but I decided against it. We would have to hike all the way down and all the way back up the lake basin and I didn’t want to get tired just yet, so we continued on.

We hiked along the edge of the mountain on a very narrow, dusty trail surrounding Mirror Lake Basin. Just as we were nearing the actual Goat Pass my dad got clipped in the head by a low-hanging branch. Even though it was gushing blood, he wouldn't let me help clean it and put a Band-Aid on it. Since it was almost lunchtime, we sat down to eat our food. While we were eating our lunch, a little chipmunk scurried through the rocks to see who or what we were. For lunch we opened a bag of trail mix, and I started throwing the nuts I didn't like down to the chipmunk. My dad teasingly said that I was wasting food and littering. After finishing lunch, we started off again.

As we passed through Goat Pass, we could just see the lake. The path down to the lake was all steep downhill, covered with loose, gravelly rock. I really enjoyed going down because it was alot like skiing. As for my dad, he had blown out his knee the year before and was having a hard time getting down. Once we reached the lake, my dad decided that he needed to take a break and rest his knee. I went down to the shore to skip rocks and soon heard loud snores coming from my dad. Eventually, my dad woke up and we started along a long and hidden trail around the lake.

We were almost around one fourth of the lake when we came to a little stream coming off of it with lots of waterfalls. The grass all around was really green and soft. Moss was growing on all the rocks, making it look like a place from a story. We had planned to continue hiking until we reached Lily Pad Lake, but my right ankle started to hurt when we were nearing the trail head, so we decided to camp at the lake for the night. It was only about 3:00 pm when we were done setting up camp, so we went for a swim. The lake water was so cold; we could only stay in for a few minutes. The mud at the bottom of the lake was nearly a foot deep and gross. To dry off and get warm, we found some rocks on the side of the hill to lie on in the sun. When we finished we went and looked for some Pica among the rocks. Pica are little rabbit/mice like animals that make a high-pitched squeal. We spotted a few put they were hard to find and it was getting dark, so we headed back to camp to make dinner. I started the fire while my dad started the camp stove. For dinner we had beef stew that was delicious. When dinner was done, we crowded into our little tent to go to sleep.

The next morning we packed up camp and started hiking. Our camping spot had been right below the trail out of the lake. We had been hiking for about an hour when we met a Forest Service man. We told him that we planned on hiking to Lily Pad Lake, spending the night there and going the rest of the way the next day. To our surprise, we were told we had to hike the rest of the way out and were not allowed to stay another night! The forest fire on the other side of the mountain was getting worse, and just to be safe, they wanted us to be out of the Seven Devils camping area. We kept on hiking, and saw Gem Lake, Shelf Lake, Basin Lake and finally came to Lily Pad Lake. We still had a long way to go.

After Lily Pad Lake we had to go to a four way junction that would lead us out and from there we had about six miles to go. Once at the Junction, we met another ranger. He was supposed to tail us out because we were the last people on the trail. By the time we reached the junction, I was tired hungry and needed to rest. The ranger told us that there were two creeks coming up, which would be a good place to rest before heading up the hill that would lead us back to the campground. At one of the creeks there was a perfect log to sit on and put your feet into the water. Although the water was freezing, it was refreshing. While we were resting, a caravan of horses and donkeys passed by us on their way out. We rested at the creeks for about an hour when we saw the ranger and decided to keep moving. The hardest part of the whole trip was going up that hill; we had to hike for two hours uphill with twenty-five pounds on our backs, in the blazing sun. The trail was a switchback, and just when it looked like we were to the top, it went the opposite direction. Finally, we reached the top of the hill and took a rest. Again, just as we were about to leave we saw the ranger coming up the trail. Now we only had to hike down and back up to the campground.

I don't think I have ever been as happy as when we were done with that nine-mile hike. I was so happy to see a bathroom again. That was the first backpacking trip I have ever been on. It was a long one too, but it was a great experience.


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