1st Year Pieces



by Solomon Arndt

It's all fun
for awhile,
poking my brother's nerves until
the tension in the room is almost bursting.
Like a kettle he suddenly blows,
full of rage and hate.
In a flurry of fists,
he jumps at me, screaming for this or that.
All I can do is stand still, pretending he's not there.
Then I say to no one at all,
"Is someone hitting me?"
In response he just
hits harder,
screams louder,
and yells about something else.

Fidget Toy Numero 5

by Marek Clouser

Solomon owns the Fidget Toy 5.0. His toy has two gears that intertwine mounted on a piece of wood. When you turn one gear it turns the other, making a nice clicking noise. From the time he was born, on October 10, 2006, he had dreamed of making this product. He says, "It took years and years to create this beautiful product. When you really pour your heart out on something you get something remarkable in return, such as the Fidget Toy Numero 5."

Solomon is a brilliant young boy, but at times he rages. His fidget toy helps him chill out; however, the gadget often makes him rage more because most of the time it shatters into a billion pieces. Solomon says, "When I was making it, I almost cut my finger off with a hacksaw and got a gnarly scar where I drilled a hole through my palm." Some of Solomon's other hobbies are hiking, riding bears, and frolicking with unicorns because they are fellow fairies.


by Toby Klasner

Waves crash;
the sky turns to fire.
Sand squishes around my feet.
Soon sun sinks into salty water,
shimmering red in the hot glow.
The cliffs on my left are dotted with houses.
Then the moon appears in a small slice.
A slight streak of moon hits my face,
leading me to the water.
Something entrances me.

Cabinet "Unlatcher"

by Andy Scott

Toby Klausner is a 12-year-old boy who loves inventing. Toby's first invention was a steel rod with duct tape around it. Looking like a piece of saltwater taffy, his invention prevents a cabinet from latching. In the cabinet, located in a small classroom at Payette Lakes Middle School, are tools that he uses very often. Toby goes to this classroom every day and can easily sneak his invention into the latch, which locks the cabinet. When the steel rod is in place, the cabinet will not lock. Toby says, "I take hot glue sticks and car motors, then I set the materials on the counter, then Sasha takes them and puts the items in a drawer where we can access them at any time." Mr. Cochrane, his teacher, caught him once, and he did not like this invention.

Toby has only used his invention twice. Toby says, "This is my most useful invention because the item has gotten me materials I need when I need them." After Mr. Cochrane caught him a second time, Toby left the invention in his backpack for a month. Finding it again a month later, Toby said, "I was happy to find it and I couldn't wait to use it again." He started inventing when he saw how the cabinet closed and how he could stop it from closing. He still uses his first invention to get materials today.


by Solomon Arndt

Shallow blue eyes
surrounded by freckles:
on a round plump face,
sits a monster.
A mangled,
Monster who loves to
hike and bike,
play with friends, learn.
He is fun and a little crazy,
full of energy and life.

Creation Myth

by Andy Scott

At the beginning it was as dark as obsidian. Half of the gods loved the dark, but the other half loved the light. The gods who loved the light were tired of not being able to see anything. This started a war. They fought like wolves for a steak dinner. The gods who loved the light lost because the gods who loved the dark could see in the dark. The light gods were as mad as a swarm of hornets after losing their hive. So, they started an argument after which all the gods agreed to half the day being light and the other half being dark. This was a good compromise.

After the war the gods added to the world like an artist adds to a blank canvas. They created trees and plants then animals, but the animals had no fur. All the animals loved each other but that meant they went hungry. The animals tried plants, but they hated the taste. They thought vegetation tasted like dirt. The gods saw this as a problem. They decided that the animals had to get food from somewhere, especially before winter, so the gods thought about winter. Would the animals be too cold and die? They thought about the fur coats they were wearing because it was 50 degrees out. "Maybe they should have fur coats of their own, like ours," one god said.

"Yes, but they're always moving. The coats will fall off," another god replied.

"What if the coats were attached to their bodies?" The gods all agreed. All the animals would come to the heavens and have fur placed on their bodies. While the animals were in the heavens the gods taught the animals how to hunt. Now warm, the animals were hunting their own food and they were still friends with other animals of their species. To this day they are as happy as pigs in mud.


by Marek Clouser

I slouch
like a sloth
hanging from a tree.
flames in the scalding
fireplace rise and fall.
The buzz of our washing
machine rings
in the back
of my head.
My eyes droop,
my legs rest,
and slowly, I fall asleep.

Salmon Fishing

by Sascha Stoll

In Newport, Oregon, I'm sailing out to sea in a commercial fishing boat with my dad and brother. The refreshing ocean breeze ripples my hair as we head out. As the boat speeds out to sea, the length of the journey starts to get to me. Not wanting to fall asleep on the grimy, fishy deck, I go below deck to rest.

"Sascha, wake up," my brother says, "we're here." Out in the middle of the ocean, the boat rocks back and forth. I watch our guide set up everyone's rods while taking deep breaths of her cigarette. Once she sets up the poles, my brother and I rush to the back of the boat for the best trolling spots. The boat starts forward and our guide pours bloody, chopped up mackerel for chum into the salty-blue water. The poles vibrate as if a crazed child were shaking them for fun.

"Do I have one!?" I blurt out.

"NO," the guide barks, "it'll go five times harder than that!" She takes another puff of her cigarette. Ugh, I think to myself as I cover my face with my thick jacket.

The day goes on and on. Everyone sits and waits. The constant rocking of the boat almost lulls me to sleep. "I'm going to go take a nap," I mumble to my brother. As I stroll away from my rod, a violent movement catches my eye. It's my rod! I watch as it violently dips up and down like an axe falling upon wood. I scramble over and yank the rod out of its holder. I pound my hand in a circle around the reel like I am cranking a meat grinder, fighting for my life. The strength of the fish causes beads of sweat to form and fall down my face. Grimacing, I start to lose my grip. Just as the rod is about to squirm free, my dad rushes over and holds the base of the rod for me. I start cranking away. Splash.

"There it is!" my brother exclaims. Sure enough, the green, scaly top of a Chinook salmon is visible on the surface of the water. Our guide quickly nets the fish and hauls the mass of green, silver, and red onto the deck.

"A kid caught the first fish!" people exclaim.

"Wow! It's giant." Just as soon as the fish is on deck, the guide throws it back into the water.

"DIDN'T HAVE A TAG ON IT!" she barks. "WE CAN'T KEEP THE WILD ONES." All of my joy flies away. It's back to the grind.

October Drizzle

by Andrew Scott

Bundled up in my blanket,
I hear rain crashing on glass:
click-clack click-clack.
Steel clouds kill September sun.
Cold breezes howl through crisp auburn
leaves, which
fight to stay warm,
just like me.

Steelhead Fishing

by Marek Clouser

I stare at the tip of my rod: it wobbles up and down just as it had during the many hours that have already gone by. Suddenly, the tip of the rod bobs up and down aggressively like a woodpecker pecking at a tree. The drag screams out and I pull the rod out of its holder.

I had woken up to the screeching sound of the alarm. The bright light of the lamp blinded me, and red numbers on the digital clock blinked four o'clock. I threw my clothes on. My friend Quinn, my mom, and I walked out to our car and drove off to the boat launch.

The air was crisp, and a gentle breeze blew in my face. We floated down the river in a 16-foot drift boat fishing for steelhead. The sky was still dark. Our poles were in their holders and their tips vibrated violently. The water rushed by us, and the winding river seemed to go on forever. Many hours whizzed by. We began to think that there was not a single fish in the river.

The explosive shake of the steelhead's head makes my rod surge up and down. I keep my line tight in order to hold the hook in the fish's mouth. As I fight the fish, I can see the large boils from its powerful tail getting closer and closer. Finally, the majestic 39-inch fish rises out of the water. I pull it up to the side of the boat, and Quinn nets it.

Mountain Biking

by Toby Klasner

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!
The race begins.
A dust cloud surrounds my head
like a swarm of bees.
Cheering fades away,
and the path unfolds in front of me:
a string
that will never end.
A cheer slowly gets louder..
like scissors cutting string, the long path
ends, and the race is over.

How the Earth Came to Be

by Solomon Arndt

Before anything there was Hippie Man. The god of peace and life wore baggy pants with a tie-die shirt. His teeth were all different colors, forming the rainbow. Hippie Man created Billy, the god of anger and fighting. Billy yelled and punched at Hippie Man, until the god could no longer put up with it anymore. Hippie Man then created Fred, a lazy, peace-loving citizen.

While Fred wasn't loud or aggressive, he was as lazy as my little brother. He was always asleep; and his eyes open were as rare as a solar eclipse. Billy would often yell at Fred to wrestle with him or listen up. When Fred would shrug and fall asleep, Billy would flip out. Eventually Billy became so filled with rage that he slugged Fred. Fred kicked back with all his might. Billy (whom had never dealt with retaliation) was so surprised that he reflexively took out his blade. With fire dancing in his eyes, he swung so hard that it would have sliced through 100 trees. SHINK the blade cleanly cut through Fred's neck. Then silence. The only sound was Billy's footsteps as he walked away.

When Hippie Man saw Fred's body and head he quickly got to work. He started chanting some ancient phrases. Fred's head sprang to life. Hippie Man put a bubble around the head. Still chanting, it got bigger and bigger, until it was the earth. Billy was banished to earth all by himself. Punished for eternity, Billy sat there until he slowly faded away.

Fred's eyes and sweat were oceans and rivers. His hair, turned as green as grass, was the plants and trees. His skin formed dirt and rock. Blood of his was volcanoes. His hair lice started the first life on earth then it grew and evolved. That is how earth was created.

The Beginning

by Sascha Stoll

Before there were planets, Banu, the monkey god floated alone all the time. Banu had time to think about what his domain could become. His thoughts filled up his brain like a horn of plenty until he could hold back no more. A single word burst out of his mouth like a jet: "Stars!" The excitement and exhilaration of creation pounded in his head like a jackhammer against cement.

Soon the excitement of creation grew. He wanted to make life, but life that was inferior to him. So he created small housings for them. These were round and in a sphere shape. "Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus!" These spheres were fit to house one like Banu, but he did not want that. He created things like oxygen and land that were suited to fit life unequal to Banu.

Though Banu had brought forth wonderful things. His energy was drained and he had to rest until he could make more.

As the world Banu had brought into existence sat dormant, he grew apprehensive, thinking about how much more he could bring about. When these thoughts of creation came to him, his brain was a volcano waiting to erupt. Banu's unrestfulness boosted his energy and words sprang forth from his mouth. But this time, he spoke towards one planet. Earth. His speech mothered rivers, mountains, and oceans. It made plants and animals, and most importantly, humans.


by Marek Clouser

off high
mountain lakes
look as if they're the real thing.
Scents of earthly damp soil
linger in the air.
Yellow pine needles
fall from giant Tamaracks.
Big mayflies flutter
above bright surfaces
laying transparent eggs.
Fish launch out of frigid
water: snatching winged

Goalie god

by Toby Klasner

Marek Smokey Clouser, from McCall, loves to play hockey. Ever since he started skating at the age of three, he loved it. He has a couple of professional hockey players who inspire him. One of these players gave him a signed hockey puck which he has kept ever since. Marek has gone to many hockey camps, during his nine years of playing hockey. He received the puck at one of them. "I got the hockey puck in Couer d'Alene, at a hockey camp, from Jonathan Quick," Marek says. "The only reason that I won this hockey puck was that everybody else there was trash." As a twelve-year-old sixth grader, Marek loves to play goalie. He is a god at it. Some of Marek's other favorite things to do are hiking, fishing, and sending backflips with his friends on trampolines.

New York

by Sascha Stoll

One day during spring break, nine-year-old Andrew Scott went on vacation with his family to New York City. It was his first time there. Andy was dumbfounded when he arrived. "It was really fun being in a big city," Andy says. "They had everything. We walked around, had lots of different foods, went to the Statue of Liberty, and were able to go to one of the World Trade Centers." Andy's being eleven years old as a seventh grader let him appreciate seeing everything he saw to its fullest.To capture his joy forever, he brought home a small statue of the Empire State Building. "This was the first time we went to New York," Andy remembers.

"We were walking down the street and soon came to a souvenir shop. I thought to myself, we probably won't come back here for a while so I might as well find a souvenir. I looked around and saw this small statue of the Empire State Building that I liked."

To remember his trip, he convinced his parents to buy the miniature statue for him. For all the joy and thrills he experienced, Andy will never forget his trip to New York.

Fat Cat

by Solomon Arndt

Heading to his bed,
drooping flab
drags on smooth floor:
a tiger dragging his gazelle across the Serengeti.
The cat arrives huffing and puffing at his small white bed.
His triple chin hovers
just above slick ground.
With great gusto
he plops down like a French press
Squishing great rolls of blubber
under him.

Jackson Hole

by Toby Klasner

"Ouch!" I yell, as my thumb hits my bunkbed. Just yesterday, I had crushed my thumb between a boat dock and our old boat. Our boat isn't very nice; often the motor would stop and break down. That evening our motor happened to start smoking near the docks. My dad turned off the boat and grabbed the rope.

"Toby, jump out and hold the boat on the dock," he said. I grabbed our faded blue boat.

"Ouch!" I yelled. A pain shot up through my arm, and then my thumb started throbbing. That night we decided not to go to the hospital, so my dad made a splint. Since the splint wasn't great, I kept waking up to shooting pains in my thumb. I awoke the next morning and my thumb was as fat as a bratwurst. My parents saw it and we went to the hospital. I came out with a cast. My thumb was broken. Then we were off to Jackson Hole. The drive was very long, and I slept a lot.

"Wake up we're here!" my mom yelled. I looked outside and saw the Grand Tetons. A paraglider in the distance seemed like a pin compared to the mountains. The tops were snow- capped but jagged with cliffs, so the snow didn't cover the whole mountain. I looked over to my left and saw the cabin.

There was a smaller cabin and a house. Both were wooden, but the cabin was made of big fat logs. My mom told me that they both belonged to my great uncle and that we would be staying in the house. Then I saw a creek running behind the house. Aspens lined the sides but were not quite full as they usually were of leaves. Next to the creek there was a huge herd of deer. The herd was so packed and so big that you couldn't see the other side of it: the deer seemed to be melted together. I couldn't tell one deer from another. We pulled up the dirt road and parked near the house. I saw our relatives outside, and I was happy to be there.

It was late and we went to bring our bags inside and find our beds for the night. My mom and sister shared a room. I slept on the floor next to the kitchen. I wasn't that tired, so I looked out the window. The moon was only a very small sliver, but it was still impressively bright. Then a cloud covered it up like a blanket and I was covered up too. Bang, a pot hit the table. I woke up to my family cooking at about 6:00 A.M. I lay in bed until almost everybody came down. Then my mom asked how I slept.

"Ok, but my thumb hurt a little." I lied. After three mornings like that, most of our extended family left and I could finally sleep in my own bed.

Fat Cat

by Solomon Arndt

Heading to his bed,
drooping flab
drags on smooth floor:
a tiger dragging his gazelle across the Serengeti.
The cat arrives huffing and puffing at his small white bed.
His triple chin hovers
just above slick ground.
With great gusto
he plops down like a French press
Squishing great rolls of blubber
under him.

Big Creek

by Andy Scott

Waking up to the sound of six small all-terrain vehicle RZR engines, I felt excited. Today we were going to Big Creek! My cousins showed up at 7:30 am, and we left right from my house. There were twelve of us, two in each RZR. I was with my dad, who drove in the smallest RZR. We rode to Secesh Summit where we all huddled around a sign with bullet holes that read Secesh Summit for a photo. My great aunt took the picture, then we climbed back in the RZR's and it was my turn to drive.

The road became dirt right by Little Payette Lake. We spread out, driving in a long line, so we didn't ride in each other's dust. We could still talk between vehicles because each of the RZR's had radios that worked like walky-talkies. We drove for a long time along a few scenic trails. One trail took us to an 8,000 ft elevation. All the kids walked out to look over the Salmon River. It was weird being up this high and looking over the canyon.

For the next ride my dad and I were last, so we waited for everyone to drive ahead of us. We found a gravel parking lot and started doing donuts; at one point, we almost rolled the RZR. Then we drove for two more hours and I fell asleep. I woke up in a small valley with everyone looking at a map. Down in the valley it was so hot I thought about jumping in the river. I decided I did not want to be wet for the rest of the trip, so I sat in the shade of a tree. Then my dad went in a different RZR, so I drove with my cousin Ella on the final stretch. Since we were on a good dirt road, I floored it until we reached the lodge.

Imogen to Toxaway Lakes

by Solomon Arndt

"Solomon!" my dad says urgently. Looking around our tent, I see that nobody else is here. I climb out of my too-small sleeping bag. "Solomon get up!" my dad yells once again. Delaying my dad is like messing with a time bomb. I explode out of the tent.


"We're trying to get an early start for today's hike. Eat your breakfast." I stare out at the crystal-clear lake. The water sparkles in early morning light. It is black and looks like glass. My family and I eat rehydrated oats and rehydrated mashed potatoes for breakfast, then my dad starts taking down the tent. My mom packs the food while Eli, my younger brother, stares solemnly at the water. I start to prepare for the hike. In my bag I stuff my sleeping bag, pad, food, and smaller items. Then, ready and excited for the hike, we walk up to the trail.

The hike skirted the glowing lake for a while, then followed a creek to a shimmering waterfall. Mom and I stopped there for some time, waiting for Eli and my dad. Before we saw them, we heard "Wow!" Then they appeared, their eyes as wide as saucers.

"This is amazing," my dad said, staring at the water. After a small break we started hiking again. The waterfall slowly faded away as we wound along the trail. Up ahead next to the trail we saw a dried-up creek. We followed this for a while. Then we saw the climb.

The climb was fifteen to twenty steep switchbacks about 100 yards long. We climbed and climbed, the heat beating down on our heads. About halfway up, I took a quick break and a bite out my LUNA energy bar. Then I pushed to the top. Right before we arrived there, with every step, the view grew better and better. At last I saw the whole thing. There was a big creek in a bright green valley. In the valley the dusty trial wound through the scenery. Huge rugged mountains pointed to the sky; jagged peaks stood near the clouds. To top all of that off, Castle Peak towered off in the distance far above the clouds.

I peeled my eyes away and set down my pack. Turning around, I saw the lake we had previously camped at (Imogen) glistening in the sun. Peaks and hills covered with trees surrounded the lake. The one island in the lake, partially covered with lovely trees and gnarled rocks, stood out in the brilliant blue-green water. Looking down the many gray-rocked switchback, I see my family coming up behind me.

"What a view," I hear my dad whisper.

"It's amazing," I reply, looking around again.

My mom hikes up and says, "Wow! This looks like a great spot for lunch." After digging in my pack, I find our lunch. It's salmon and tuna pouches on pita bread with cucumber, mayo, and cheese.

"Who wants food?" I yell, still taking in the view. Then I turn around and trip over a rock.

"Graceful," I mutter. My family laughs.

Creation Myth

by Toby Klasner

Before earth and humans, there lived Toad, who was as lazy as a sloth, and Raven, the creator of sun and stars. Raven tired of darkness and, craving shiny things, made the sun and stars. Toad was so amazed with this creation of the sun, which seemed like a warm fireplace on a cold winter day. So he sat far enough away that he wouldn't be scorched by its heat, but close enough to feel its warmth. Raven wanted Toad to create planets for all her stars, but Toad would not budge. Raven came up and pecked him; he cried, creating water. Then Raven hit him and kicked him. She did everything she could, yet he continued to stay as still as a stone.

The next day Raven threw rocks at Toad; still he would not move. Little did Raven know these rocks were seeds, which soon grew into plants. Some plants looked like angels; others were as ugly as rats. The most important plants had seed pods. Animals, birds, and fish hatched out of these pods while sitting on Toad, earth. Then humans sprang from the remaining pods. Still Raven craved planets for all her stars, so she flashed on and off the sun with her wings, forming day and night.

Whenever Toad moves, earthquakes shake land, which cracks as if it were glass. The bumps on Toad form mountains. Still, indolent Toad sits in front of the Sun warming himself, and Raven continues to pester Toad by flashing the sun on and off hoping that Toad will get off his lazy butt and make planets.


by Solomon Arndt

Vroom, our loud boat flies
through rough lake riffles.
The white wake
stains the green water.
Slicing through choppy waves
like a knife cutting butter,
the boat turns. My dad steers
a wide arc.
The boat, carving hard,
turns as straight as a pencil.

Creation Myth

by Marek Clouser

Before the earth there was only a mirror. The mirror remained as still as a stone in nothingness for millions of years. One day, a lady found the mirror. She stared into it only to realize she was as ugly as a cockroach. She pulled out her purse and flung out a makeup kit like a knight drawing his sword from its sheath. She began to put her makeup on to look like the most beautiful thing she could imagine. This process took many millions of years to complete.

When she finally finished, her head resembled a planet with big bodies of water and huge forests. As she admired herself in the mirror, an asteroid came and hit her in the back like a bullet hurtling through the air: it broke her back in a second and paralyzed her right there and then. The only thing she could do was blink her eyes. So now, the night comes each time she blinks her big bushy eyebrows that are as big as the night sky.

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