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3rd Year Pieces


Taste Victory

by Cam Charles

Taste victory: the essence of life flavoring each
dynamic influence.
Savoring credit as reigning champion
keeps one’s soul satisfied. Bitter hours of
grueling work receive compensation:
sweet gratification of accomplishment.
Success is the dessert
of everyday life.

No Success Without Defeat

by Katie McDaniel

Failure remembers success as
excruciating pain shoots down bruised legs
and swollen hips after a crash on the
downhill course. Nostalgia
drives failure to push for the feeling of victory once again.
Failure compels success to triumph,
while success feels more glorious after ignominious defeat.


by Hannah Quapp

His jokes were obnoxious his heart was pure.
She was petite and her hair was light-brown.
The grace of his laughter was full and clear.
She captured his heart with her words and sound.
When he would swing the bat the crowd would cheer.
For when he ran around and touched home plate,
then down from her eye came one singe tear.
She knew that their love was more than just fate.
They had been in love with corruption,
ever since she had moved to his small town.
Their love was chaste with heavy attraction,
and from this day on they were marriage-bound.
There would always be a place in heart
and no man could ever tear them apart.

Power of America

by Cam Charles


"Freedom is not free.' This is just one of many reasons why the United States needs a number of expensive nuclear warheads to defend itself. The 1,750 nuclear bombs ready to be fired upon anyone who dares make the U.S angry are absolutely essential to freedom. It helps me sleep at night knowing that 10,000 nuclear warheads are safely locked away in high-security bunkers; we have a wealthy store of destruction in case any planets in our solar system must no longer exist. Why waste money on health care or education when sometime soon there may be intergalactic war? I am proud that America is the strongest nation in the history of mankind. Not only do nukes defend our nation, but building more of them would create new jobs to clean up waste and to control radiation. If there happen to be a few missiles left over from the intergalactic war, Americans could celebrate by making huge craters and massive mushroom clouds in the empty desert wastelands of Nevada. I am proud to be an American.


by Kelsey Mack

Fire surronds a cozy home which
illuminates the midnight bliss
like a star in a pitch-black sky.
Happiness drifts away,
smoke rising into dark horizons.
Coldness surrounds an
innocent victim as
a snowflake falls
gently upon an eyelash,
soon melted away
by tears. 


by Kirsten Wiking

Thoughts and muse reject any
flow from my dull pencil.
Words echo through sterile paper--callused
and awkward in context;
conflicting with one another. Key points
wedge themselves into each argument, emerging
as vague and dry proposals.
Sentences plunge into long tedious cycles;
new ideas appear predictable.
Then, the slightest slice of inspiration
begins to glow through scratches upon the page.
The pencil starts to weave
a piece, gaining pace
like an oiled black locomotive skating along a new railroad.
Etching, adding, revising.
Innovative, insightful views begin to pour,
tea flowing through a kettle's polished spout,
connoting deeper ideas which hide
messy, previous faćades of old prose.
A few more words adhere bits of
new ideas together and the transformation is


by Katie McDaniel

The leaves begin to turn within a flash,
with ginger colors splashing through the trees.
The animals start to make a great dash,
but miss the fact there are no honey bees.
Hot drinks are shared within a fresh brown house
and fire illuminates a living room.
While deep inside the floor there lives a mouse
and just outside there is glowing moon.
The crisp sweet air runs through my nice brown hair,
as sapphire birds fly right over my head.
Young children toss the snow without a care,
but then they have sweet dreams within their bed.
It's true sweet breezes of summer are gone,
but fall brings its new joys to all who’re drawn.

The Trip

by Kelsey Mack

One day last year, while my family was on a camping trip, I had to use the bathroom, a normal everyday occurrence. Unfortunately, the restrooms were not five-star bathrooms, they were outhouses: putrid-smelling blue boxes, with who-knows-what encrusting them. When I finished using the restroom, I opened the door, took a step out, and was suddenly sprawled on my stomach on the ground. My pant leg had caught a piece of the metal frame sticking out of the door. A surge of relief raced through my mind. I thought nobody had seen it happen, but I was wrong. A family camped near the outhouse was just sitting down to dinner. They quickly stood up to see if I was okay. I was perfectly fine but a little flustered.

I tried to get up gracefully and realized that I was still stuck to the metal frame. Wiggling myself free, like a fish out of water, only made the situation worse. My pants slid off my hips to mid-thigh, exposing my green-and-blue-striped undies. By this time I was as red as a raspberry, but I thought to myself that I could get through the situation. Wrong again! Now the family was walking over to try and help me. Before they reached me, I shook my whole body to see if my pant leg would come loose of the door. My pants fell down to my knees.

I had made so much commotion that the people from another campsite looked over. By this time I figured that nothing else could go wrong, so I violently shook myself till it looked as if I were having a seizure. The mom from the closest campsite asked if I was okay again, and as she said that, my pant leg came unstuck. I quickly pulled up my pants and ran silently back to my tent to hide there until dinner.


by Jamie Valle

Chilled blood runs through my tired body.
Searching an unknown abyss of darkness,
unfathomable ocean depths,
I grasp for light, hope.
Like shrill screams echoing through deserted hallways,
winds howl fiercely.
Muscles tense,
I hear nothing but constant shrieks of pain outside my tent.
With an instant rupture of confidence,
I plunder for an object capable of producing light.
Nothing. Only
sad desertions of hope.
Again, I am stricken with fright.
Picking up strength, winds poignantly screech their pains,
nearly uprooting my tent.
Becoming ill, I resort to objects of comfort.
Scoring my sleeping bag and pillow, I lose myself in them.
Ignoring constant howls
I attempt to escape two worlds of screaming pain.

Left Behind

by Kelsey Mack

Gazing through a crystal window,
a girl examines fog-covered earth.
Like a masked figure at a costume festivity, misty air seeps
into the warm room:
guests coming to a secret party.
The girl’s gentle fingers make contact with
frosted windows;
imprinting a trail of spirals
for the next visitor to discover.

Success Remembers Failure

by Kirsten Wiking

One can only be encountered after
the bitter bite of the other. Success transforms
the shape of defeat:
as failure swallows victory and inspiration,
its sour figure is polished into a new,
untainted form.
As an oil-painting first emerges as
repulsive and disappointing; new ideas gloss
over this old structure, altering the piece
into a successful, absorbing figure.

Failure serves as a measure to compare
against new accomplishment.
After rising to the uppermost heights of success
during an athletic game, energy emitted
by victory is enhanced by peering
down into the murky pits,
comprehending the distance
that has been scaled.

Within the deepest cavity of failure,
the image of success looms ahead. Serving
as anchors, small victories restrain despair from drifting
into the deep melancholy that failure brings.
Success remembers failure:
comprising one synchronized form,
converting from one to the other.


by Garnet Kwader

Why do they call a rainy day "forlorn"?
What cause to be supported do they hold?
'Tis not the rain that causes us to mourn.
This incorrect conceit should be controlled.
I ask you now why sun's more fair than rain.
What's better than the glistening forest leaves
after the world has just been bathed again?
I wear my loving thoughts upon my sleeves.
The air is naught but fresh; the ground is damp.
The flowers cannot help but bloom; birds sing.
The animals all roll in mud and stamp
the earth contently.  Now the world breathes clean.
Why should we then name this an awful day,
When after rain natural things are gay?


by Kirsten Wiking

Sliding unobserved into my first class of the day, I flick a glance at my instructor. Unsteadily standing at the front of the class, she bears an expression of sheer bewilderment; she does not know why swarms of morose adolescents are approaching her classroom. Anxiously drumming the sole of her loafers on the tattered linoleum, she observes pupils filing into their desks, and plans to pull out another of her infamously tiresome lessons. As the room quiets, a thickness of boredom oozes into my thoughts. She begins her predictable droning lesson of seemingly pointless and vague topics.

Once she dispenses today's assignment, I pull out a worn, dull-tipped pencil and begin, hoping I can plow through the heap of tedious worksheets before the hours end. She peers over students' shoulders, curtly pointing out every detail we may have missed. Worse yet, she reads over our shoulders, remaining in one spot for an awkwardly long time. Waddling to my desk, she launches into the project of reading my work. After a moment's silence, her tongue starts to cluck. The pure aggravation of its sound causes me to lose my concentration; I stop my work. Annoyed, she spits out a gurgle, a sort of command to remain on task. Yet she ignores the gang of disorderly students slapping each other with the school's meter sticks. Moments later, realizing that she cannot think of anything to do, she moves to her desk clutching a mound of papers and begins idly shuffling, re-shuffling, and re-arranging what she has done, only to start this process over on a different pack of papers.

Resuming her cycle through the classroom, she seeks to be sure that she has given us all the correct answers to her day's task. She has become aware that if she does not bluntly tell us the answers, by the end of the year the school board will have noticed the extensive flow of abysmal grades in her class and finally realize that she cannot teach. My fellow classmates and I have become increasingly impatient with the final elastic minutes of class time; we anticipate the plastic tentacles of the clock ticking lethargically to their final destination. The ring of the bell shoots through our skulls, declaring our freedom from the teacher's classroom. As I exit, I notice her visage in an identical expression to the one she sported when we first entered her class. She sways, waiting for her next mob of scholars.


by Jamie Valle

The boys and girls ran through tall aspen trees;
the forest flowing with green moss and slime.
They screamed and hollered: boisterous yippees.
What great fun going down; it’s summer time.
But weather gradually turned freezing cold,
and days were shorter, causing need for lights.
As nature’s splendor faded from bright gold,
it changed to bleak, and desolate sad sights.
All over, branches hung broken and low,
the winds grew frigid, frosty harsh and cool.
As animals readied for coming snow,
the children returned heartily to school.
Soft snow was falling upon sleeping ground;
like summer, snow was spreading joy around.

The Lies of Fast Food

by Kelsey Mack


Over the past two years I have gained 50 pounds, going from 275 to 325.  My question is: what went wrong?  Everyday I eat lettuce and tomatoes.  Sure, they may be on a triple patty Big Mac, but I still get all those veggies.  The nutritionists say that an average person needs around sixty-five ounces of water each day, which I am getting in my two super-sized Pepsis.  Together, they come in at ninety-six ounces of mostly water! Now, I know what you are thinking: where does she get fruit?  Well, that comes conveniently in double scoop, extra-large banana sundaes.  All my dietary choices have been proven to be healthy in the magazine, “Fast Foods.” This fantastic research volume records all the up-to-date benefits of eating fast foods.  One recent article said that eating at McDonald’s every day will help a hefty person lose weight.  I am trying this diet, but am not losing weight.  I even read the fine print at the bottom of the page where it said that substituting healthy foods for some of the McDonald’s meals may be necessary.  So I have been trying the taco salad at Taco Bell once a week, but the question that continually arises is: what is healthy?  With that under consideration, I have come up with my supplements.  For my mid-morning snack, I have a Twinkie, and my late-afternoon munchy is potato chips with a refried-bean dip.  With all this cutting-edge nutrition, how I have gained weight is a question I cannot figure out.

Touch the Darkness

by Garnet Kwader


Darkness runs its fingers through
my hair: softly strokes my cheek,
sending shivers up my spine.
Blackness penetrates my very thoughts.
Gently it pushes me; gently
it pulls. Holding me up, night skies
help me to fly

A Special Comfort

by Jamie Valle

Spring rain:
not falling in great torrents
pounding from limitless heavens above;
not the harbinger of horrific storms.
Simply gently descending from dreamy skies,
landing in delicate drops on dirt ground.
Waking from deep slumber,
I hear this rain.
Arising, I gaze out my window into
misty morning haze. All is
silent: no sound but monotonous, drowsy plops
upon tin roofs. Prolonged rhythmic beats alternate with strains of silence, leading
me to contemplate; to reflect upon life.
Thought upon thought of cruelties and wrongdoings
crosses my mind; happy memories linger
near. Elsewhere,
a door slams loudly. It does not
faze me.
After countless minutes,
I awake from dreaming
into conscious awareness of reality.
Slowly I seek refuge on the living room couch.
The ever-present liquid clicking persists,
but is not bothersome. Rather, a sense of utter relaxation
floods my mind with pleasant images.
Drooping, eyelids slide over my vision.
Darkness engulfs my being: I slip into worlds
similar to those I have just now

Touch a Memory

by Hannah Quapp

Touch a memory. Embrace it
in warm arms,
tranquil and blue,
to hold a special place in your heart.

Smell memories in the distance:
Soft aromas of thoughts.
Reminisce in light evergreen scents;
reassuring and hopeful.

Disgustingly Fun

by Jamie Valle

It is a bright July afternoon; winds run free and wild in the skies. Securely tightening my life jacket, I eagerly wait on the water’s edge, feeling the cool breeze lift my hair. Taking a second glance at the tumbling waves, my eagerness quickly turns to anxiety. I reluctantly board the banana tube along with several other kids from my cabin at Camp Ida-Haven. The boat driver fires up the engine and, with what seems to be increasingly slow speed, tugs us toward the ominous waves.

Suddenly we accelerate to jolting speeds and my eyes sting from the rushing air. All of us grip the handles hard as we thrash about. We bounce off a giant wave and I am flung from the boat. Slamming into the water, I twist and turn, my limbs carelessly tossing about like those of a rag doll; I am momentarily dazed. Something hits my mouth. Resurfacing, I see the boat heading my way. We all float in the water like castaways. As everybody clambers on board, conversations arise about individual injuries sustained from the fall off the tube: one kid complains about his foot, which is gashed open and bleeding.

With a dull realization, I slowly open my mouth. Large pieces of wet foot skin hang from my braces. Coolly, I turn to the kids and smile wide, presenting my new tubing trophy. We ride the boat back to shore. I bask in the glory of having survived the embarrassment of someone else’s foot in my mouth.


by Kirsten Wiking

Atop a wooden desk, black newsprint lies.
Its words and letters give the news of strife.
The newspaper provides the world with ties;
it's like a portal to new types of life.
Sometimes delivering reports so dim;
while still having the rumor of delight.
The stories pack the mind all to the brim;
often of robbers who steal in the night.
I read the pages though they are so thin.
Dried autumn leaves: the sound the Daily makes.
In delicate pages: stories of sin;
and items waxing on serene blue lakes.
The information carried in my head,
my skull heavy with news now hangs like lead.

Oppression Creates Improvement

by Cam Charles


Oppression provides advancement:
Oprah Winfrey, born deprived and abused, each defeat
creating determination and motivation to rise above.
Now idolized: a household name.  

The oppressed demonstrate incredible acts.
Like a bullet out of a gun, Jesse Owens fires from starting blocks.
Finishing first, he reigns superior over Hitler’s Aryan dream.
Poor southern sharecropper,
raised under Caucasian suppression:
training harder to better his circumstance,
the world’s fastest man
rises above all odds.


by Kathryn Pope

The crushing pain of humiliating defeat courses through my body. I walk dejectedly from the field of battle, nursing my wounded pride and lamenting an abysmal performance. Intense competition had overwhelmed my undeveloped abilities, the game consisting mainly of horrific demolition on my half of the arena. I had entered the match harboring dreams of greatness, only to receive a brutal awakening to the necessity of re-evaluating my ambitions. The realization now hits that my aspirations to become a star had been ridiculous and unrealistic. It is with utmost sorrow and regret that I admit my foolishness. The game of checkers clearly does not hold a future for me.

Stellar Beauty

by Kelsey Mack

Relaxed, gentle giants
slide through pristine water.
One whale breeches: for a moment
all time stops.
The whale hovers above azure-gray liquid, suspended
in mid-air. Inept in our world of chaos,
it slowly descends
into darkness.

The Wonderful World of Diets

by Katie McDaniel

Lose thirty pounds in thirty days, and still eat all the chocolate you want! Shed stubborn belly fat first.


Man, I just love diets. I am from downtown L.A. and in this city, I have to look my best if I want to be noticed. It is nice to know I have many diet choices and backup plans if one of my foolproof diets fails to take a pound off every day- I mean, I have no time to waste waiting for results! I need to look good now! I took on the scrumptious fat-free, no sugar, low-carb, protein smoothie diet that still magically tastes like vanilla and strawberry. This was successful for a few weeks, as I lost all my desired weight.

One of the best things about diets is how easy it is to stick to the plan. Eat no bread, no sugar, and no fat: no problem! Now I mainly eat eggs, fruit, and lots and lots of celery. Only eight calories in one stalk, and it fills you right up. As a special treat, I also indulge in decedent sugar-free gum. Extra’s Winterfresh is one of my favorites and I don’t have to worry about any extra calories! Any trendy Atkins, South Beach, or Zone diet will put you easily on your way to having a perfect body, just like mine. And remember: if one diet fails to give immediate results, you can just move right on to the next one. I recommend EDiets online so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of going all the way to the store to pick up your diet bible. You’re just one click away from a perfect figure!


by Bailey Hoover

It is a place where age of growth just stops.
A tale turned real, for kids to live in fun,
a land across the seas where there aren’t cops.
Hook's pirates are the ones to fear; so run.
Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock makes Hook have countless scares.
If Peter Pan is with you now, you’re saved!
Lost boys who miss their moms face frightening dares.
One happy thought to fly; the way is paved
for Pan to fight his foe by hand or sword,
for he shall win the war by fate or skill,
to save Wendy from death walking the board.
The boys who don’t grow up can flaunt free will.
But soon it all must terminate, unplanned;
the freedom, magic-Never-Neverland.


by Cameron Charles

Katrina grasps historic New Orleans,
and inundates the famed city of blues.
Some residents don’t listen to Marines,
so thousands of lifeless are in the news.
Reporters talk of looting in the street,
and wonder what they need to outride death.
Reporters show that all have need to eat;
enforcement catches those who take the fifth.
The city is ten feet under water,
with starving people hunting the high ground.
Sev’ral, with wounds find how to get better;
anxious to know if family has drowned.
The army extracts water from damp roads,
while officers patrol; light’ning the load.


by Hannah Quapp

Failure tells about success,
taking pleasure in past triumphs:
ongoing battle to be on top.
Failure relives days of glory
talking about great achievements;
remembering wins and past victories.
A reminder to push for excellence.

Good Needs Evil

by Garnet Kwader

Good needs evil as shadows must creep
around the light to show where each ray lies.
Righteous people cannot be good without
evil to compare and contrast with. One is dependant
upon the other for its very breath of existence,
and where evil outweighs the good,
the good is as a spot of light among the dark blank page:
a star shining hopefully in the moonless sky.
During day when there is light
all 'round, the stars seem nonexistent.  They are
not appreciated as they are in an obsidian night sky.

Personal Pains

by Jamie Valle

But found.
I am aware of my location,
but not where I belong. I
take in sweet pine fragrances.
Standing amongst naked trees and falling leaves,
lonely crunches of my footsteps trail
off into empty distances.
Inhaling cold air stings;
not quite like the stinging emotions inside. I
stare into beady eyes, which abandon me to
scurry up branches high among blue skies.
Deprived of passion,
I continue walking in solitude.
Trudging through tall weeds,
overcome with cold tingling sensations,
I come to an opening; my house stands in front of me.
Back where I started, I
Again my loneliness deals a heavy blow.
I tread subconsciously
along familiar paths.
Just me
and my echoing

One, Two, Three…

by Bailey Hoover

"Boulangerie, Patisserie, Boucherie, Fromagerie. Where do I go to buy my food?" This was one of my first questions when I arrived in Paris. My family and I would go out to the market street, which was very near our apartment, to buy food for that nights’ dinner. Unlike in the United States, we would have to go to three or more different little shops to buy everything we needed. Shopping for everyday necessaries was almost a full day job that needed future planning. Not only was the shopping time consuming, but the walk to and from took fifteen to twenty minutes each way. After about a week of living in Paris, my mother’s arms were killing her from carrying the bags of groceries home, so she did what every other Parisian did: she bought a little roller bag created for carrying the bags of food.

Many people have heard that Parisians are not the friendliest people to try to get to know, so my mother and I made a promise to each other that we would get the ornery little man at the Fromagerie to smile at us. Every week we would walk into the cheese shop hoping for at least a small grin, but every week it was the same frown. My mom tried talking to him to see if that would put him in a better mood, but it never really worked. One day, after about six months of returning to the same Fromagerie, we finally made the little man smile at us. We had walked into the shop, with no hope in sight of a smile. The thick aroma of cheese filled the air; everyone inside was quiet to the point where it seemed creepy, but outside there was a different feeling. Children ran and laughed as their parents shopped. The walls of the store were covered in shelves that had nothing but rows and rows of cheese. The man was standing at the back of store, waiting for us to make our choice, but my mom wasn’t sure which cheese she wanted. After some time I talked my mom into buying goat cheese, which is my absolute favorite. We told the man which cheese we had chosen, so that he could cut it, and out came a smile. At that point though, we weren’t trying to make him smile, it just happened. It might be the fact that he had finally become used us going in everyday, but we are not completely sure. We had fulfilled our mission!

The French have to be the best bread makers in the world. A huge hit in our family was the baguette at dinner, and we tried every Boulangerie in the area to test who made the best one. Finally, we found it; it was called BE, which stood for Boulangerie et Epicerie. On the days that I had soccer practice after school my grandfather would give me one Euro to buy a baguette on my way home. I was always so tempted to take a bite out of it while walking down the street, because it was always fresh right out of the oven, but I knew that I should not unless I had permission. A few times I was allowed to and it made me feel extremely French. If one were to stroll along the streets of Paris before dinner, you would see many Parisians with baguettes in their hands. One picture that stands out in my mind was when I saw a little boy running down the street with a baguette that was almost as tall as he was. Little memories such as these remind me of how much I enjoyed the different life styles of Paris.

Though shopping was a tedious task, it was well worth the experience. The food in Paris was fresh and every dessert was delicious because each store had its own specialty. Just the memory of a whole street being dedicated to nothing but food is something that still baffles me.


by Kirsten Wiking

In Paradise, the air is tucked
with soothing saccharine notes
of flowers singing in alien tongues.
Inhabitants of Paradise, the few elite
who were allowed to enter
the faultless gates, who were placed here to be protected
from long-ago memories, sit in pure sunbeams,
glassy and distant eyes holding no memory
of a turbulent past.

But on the periphery of Paradise,
outside spiked gates and past the sign
with symbols of warning,
remains an outlandish sea of brambles.
In this forest shameful beasts,
now unknown to those who live
inside sheltering walls, roam with ease,
searching for negligible creatures
fallen astray.
Most feared of all the wild things:
Melancholy; emits an odor lingering in sadness.
This warning frequently comes tardy:
travelers are often swallowed
in the monster's infinite jowls.
These fiends and beasts still frighten
and spitefully threaten to again imprison
those inside Paradise's protecting walls.

When last seen, the fence which divides Paradise from the brambles
was growing weary; the habitants becoming less numb;
yet again, drawing toward strange beasts
which seem so distantly familiar.

See 2000-2001 3rd Year pieces by clicking HERE

See 2002-2003 3rd Year pieces by clicking HERE

See 2003-2004 3rd Year pieces by clicking HERE

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