3rd Year Pieces


Simple Song

by Sophia Ririe

I gently skim my fingers over
sepia strings; I pluck one,
and listen to the
clear, strong sound resonate
through the room,
its echo dissipating.
I hum softly,
listening to the waterfall of notes
scatter around me, like
water raining down
in soft harmonies,
letting each melody
slowly unfold.


by Sadie Berry

Days warm: this bright bronze star melts away;
jade saplings emerge from darkness.
Teal waves flow swiftly between rocks:
cold as icy winters, eddies spin,
just as fast as seasons change.

The Marsh

by Tristen Stoll

At dawn comes morning sunlight through the reed;
I walk across the thick and murky bog.
The lily pads and cattails roaming free --
my blind is hid so well amongst the fog.
Each sunrise marks the point in time I spy
which birds are up. Their wings beat hard toward me.
My call is blown. I quack a few (to lie):
they turn their heads and fly down toward my plea.
Those hens and drakes aim toward the open hole.
Their wings beat hard. I greet them with my steel.
As shots ring out, some ducks add to my toll.
So morning turns to day. I fetch a meal.
Good smells of roasted duck drift in cold air.
I slog through marshy swamp to sling a pair.


by Sadie Berry

I slouch by the silk pond, watching
a dragonfly hover over its jade leaf.
The insect slumps onto an emerald plant;
completely carefree it lies,
welcoming movements of summer.
Sweet smells: smooth water and crisp air,
make me feel relaxed and content.


by Sophia Ririe

I walk down the stone steps, trailing the tour group. As we approach the White Tower, its worn-down walls, and majestic power stand over the street as though guarding it. It had been a week since my dad and I had arrived to London, England. One of the last places we decided to visit was the Tower of London, saving the best for last. I was super excited; I've always loved the whole history behind Henry VIII. Now actually getting to see the tower in real life was beyond cool.

The tour guide discussed how Henry VIII was married to Anne Boleyn, his second wife, before he had her beheaded for false treason and adultery. I listened intensely, focusing on her words. After nearly ten minutes of listening to the tour guide, I began drifting away, my mind wandering. I wondered what time we would be heading off to eat lunch, and where would we be eating it. Would it be that little Fish and Chips restaurant we saw tucked away behind one of the gift shops? Or maybe the coffee shop that had the huge sandwiches and pink ice cream machine? I started getting super excited, imagining the kind of food I would order. I had been craving ice cream all day and I think my dad had been too, because I had seen his eyes linger on the ice cream machine earlier that day. Maybe I had a chance.

I realize that the lady is still talking, explaining different historical facts and gesturing at artifacts and examples that are lying on a table behind her. I squint, looking closer at the various knives, spoons, and clothes that lie limply on the white plastic table. I wonder what kinds of people used them, nearly 500 years ago. It fascinates me, imagining the different world back then. I look around and realize we're all standing in a small circular room, and I realize that I haven't been really observing my surroundings lately. I sneak a look at my dad, feeling guilty and quite frankly under-appreciative of the rich English history we are learning. Then I realize he's staring at his phone, so I go back to thinking about lunch.

Our group begins walking down a spiral staircase, heading towards the next part of the tour, The Bloody Tower. Unlike the White Tower, this tower's name promises a much more interesting story. I feel my anticipation growing as we march down the stone street, our feet falling in unison.

Plum Picking

by Sadie Berry

Just after first frost,
we knew they should be picked:
small, indigo, juicy plums.
Dad said it was time to go.
I grabbed my navy jacket;
a wave of warmth surrounded me.
Just then, little white flakes descended,
from cloudy gray sky.
Chartreuse trees with indigo fruits swayed like they were dancing.
As we started picking, twirling snow spilled over everything.
My hands were frozen.
Being together as a family warmed me again.


by Diesel Messenger

The tension mounts with style and with speed.
A bubble filled with jazz is near to pop.
While four delightful flavors turn to mead,
the wonky contrast makes my insides drop.

A quartal line of chaos pushes through.
The lick's of such bad rank it needs a mint.
Menageries of spice make something new.
The final phrase leaves such a crazy tint.

From belly blows a sound of heartful rage.
The soul takes form to blend with noises wild.
The wisest spirits know that freedom's sage:
to best one's pressures, rebecoming child.

The strongest power, love, will sure attest,
that jazz fire is a loving mother's breast.

A Day Out Tuna Fishing

by Tristen Stoll

The heat was excruciating on this day in mid-June. I glared at the temperature gauge, hoping I could change it with my mind. Unsurprised, I looked away with determination to beat the heat.

We headed down to the dock, where our boat waited for us, longing to be ridden as if it too could feel my pain. As the engine started, something inside me also sparked. I was so excited. It was a perfect day to go to sea. As we left the harbor, the city noises ceased. We heard only seagulls, sea lions, and our engine propelling us through the sixty-eight degree water. The mainland shrank behind as an offshore island became bigger and more detailed. The ocean was like glass. Only the wake of our boat displaced the calm, sleeping sea.

At first, all I saw were a few birds circling. As we approached, I noticed a section of ocean that seemed to be bubbling. Birds dove down into the choppy section. I knew what it was: tuna. I could see thousands of bait fish, mackerel and sardines, jumping out of the water in a desperate attempt to escape what lay beneath the surface. Driving up on the school of boiling tuna, I prepared a whole, live greenback mackerel on my hook and cast it right into the ball of fish.

Not even one minute after my live bait hit the water, I felt it begin an extremely hard sprint for its life. Pulling out line fast and free for a second, the mackerel suddenly stopped. Almost as abruptly, I felt a hard thump as my line went slack and completely stopped. My bait had been swallowed. I waited for two seconds before winding the handle of the reel as fast as I could, just to come up tight with a heavy dead weight on the end of my line. Feeling the weight, I pulled up on my rod, instantly doubling it over. The line screamed off my reel so hard and fast that it cut me. Continuing to make its long run, the fish made the reel grow hot as the line tension increased. The run slowed down, and my rod gave back just enough so that I could start cranking on this fish and levering it in. After about three minutes of fighting, the fish took another long, screaming run out towards deep water. We realized that we were going to have to chase my fish down with the boat.

In gear, we slowly followed the fish, and I regained some of my line. The line mark indicator reflected that 385 yards of my 415 yards had been taken out. That was too close. Finally, we lined the fish straight up and down with the boat. After another grueling twenty-five minutes of battle, I spotted deep color. I could tell by the length of it that this was no tuna. It was a shark. Thinking about the tuna I had hoped for, I looked around to try and spot the boils. There was no chance of going back. Caught in my wishes for tuna, I was abruptly reminded of my current situation. The rod doubled over, line peeling off my reel again. After yet another long run followed by constant pulling and winding on my part, I brought the beast to the surface.

Although the shark was not my target species, it had still been lots of fun. At an estimated 300 pounds and 15 feet long, the shark was my trophy. I cut the hook's shank off and let the hook slide free. As my shark returned to sea, we started our engine up and headed home.

Who am I

by Sadie Berry

My coiffure of silky burnt sienna hair
makes days of hardship easier.
Even hidden away in thick foliage wrapped around my head,
there is no escape
from now.
Hazel eyes turn reflections of serene skies to luscious oceans.
I'm stuck
in deep forest greens.

What I like.

by Tristen Stoll

The forecast calls for snow and rain,
making me want to go.
I put on waders; decoys bagged,
I hope for a bird with a band.
At my spot, my parents stay back to watch as
I settle into my honey hole just in time.
Decoys slouch on frost-glazed water,
my duck call searches; they call back.
From a distance I spy Greenheads hovering over me.
I pull the trigger. Crash.
Ducks fall from the dark cloudy sky.
I wade out into the pond to retrieve my prize.
Walking back to the pickup spot at the end of the day,
I sit around relaxed, and think "what a good day."
At home I put them in a pot.


by Sadie Berry

I look around for leaves to change their hue.
The robins in tall aspens sing their song.
Each branch sounds like it's giving off a clue.
I lie in grass as leaves are swept along.

I wind along the path of moss and stone.
I spy a log that fell across my road.
In dreams I never feel all alone.
I button up my coat that once was stowed.

I look up and see a waterfall above.
The smell is sweet just like it is unknown.
It sounds as if it's all a play for love.
The fleeting drops send peace into my bones.

This does not feel like I'm in real life:
I wake up to see there is no paradise.


by Diesel Messenger

My grandfather slides his deep-set eyes over relatives huddled around a tan, vinyl table. Lamplight casts long shadows that spiderweb out from the card-bearing figures. So many memories of such scenes resonate throughout generations of Messengers: my father's family tradition centers around games and competition. Children are born and are ruthlessly defeated, zealously clinging to occasional victories. In his adult life, my father has moved away from this "no prisoners" definition of success. His life experiences have helped him break away and, if not completely purge the desire to win, at least notice the problems it creates.

The game goes on, my father and grandfather monopolizing cards as usual. I often note with some dismay the panic I feel every time I lose the bonus gained by making a bid. Tricks fly by without making more than a few points. As the round ends, I am dead last. I take a deep breath and consider the knowledge that I have just been blessed with. Next time I won't make that bad call. Next time I won't let myself get so trapped inside my head and become worked up about a small loss.

I look at my own present reality: playing scrabble with friends. We laugh on the floor and while there is still a competitive aura, there is no ruthlessness or judgment. We cheat and play fake words and hardly break the thirty-point barrier when a friendly dispute over a made-up word leaves us tired of the game. We do something else. I notice that nobody wins, nobody loses, but we have fun. I feel satisfied and happy. Why can't every game end like this? So often people leave feeling angry and narcissistic when each match should have been a chance to further bond with companions.

Cards cascade over one another as my grandfather shuffles and packs the deck. A life of idle evenings and lively competitions have honed his cardmanship and given him an exquisitely keen eye. His childhood, rooted in the Great Depression, was filled with work and hardship. Still he was able to devote enough energy to refine his card playing and create a habit in which he would find much solace (as well as conflict). I have a poignant memory of the tragedy of my great-grandmother, who gambled away her life savings in old age. I take a deep breath, feeling joy instead of judgment. I become better with every faulty play and more learned with every loss. I will not let myself become immersed in the ego of competition.

A Memory

by Sophia Ririe

One day when I was younger, long ago
there was a lone road that broke into two.
The trees on either side swayed high and low:
they rose, with branches each a sunset hue.
I remember this time after many years
and wish that I could go back there someday.

But time, a cheating master, draws my tears.
It goes on and precious moments fly away.
I lie and watch the stars soar quickly past.
The constellations shift and fly through space
and sun, a yellow piercing, rises fast.
Is time a simply never-ending race?
I wonder how night turns to day so quick.
Is time a moment that will never stick?

Snorkeling with Tiger Sharks

by Sadie Berry

It was a warm and sunny day off the island of Oahu. My family decided to go snorkeling with some friends. My sister was only four or five at the time and was afraid of the ocean. "No!" she told us. "I do not want to go to the ocean. It is not fun. I'm scared I will get caught in the waves or a shark will eat me!"

"Sierra," I responded. "You will have a great time. The ocean is so much fun and you will see so many animals!"

My parents then piped in, "You need to listen or you will not get any sugar today." That changed her mind. Sierra hopped in the car to go to the beach.

We eventually made it to the catamaran and set sail. Sailing about ten miles off shore, we viewed the bottlenose dolphin migration. We all jumped in the water and I could see hundreds of bottlenose dolphins. If you were lucky, they would even swim right up to you. I remember the magical feeling of light gray streaks swimming around me as the bright blue waters surrounded us. I was in awe of how beautiful creatures could be.

After viewing the dolphins, we hopped back on the catamaran and set sail to a coral reef. The ride was only a few minutes long. The wind brushing past my face and the sun warming my body filled me with joy. I did not care that I was becoming sunburnt. I just wanted to live in the moment and let everything pass me by.

As we neared the reef, I waited in anticipation as my parents prepared my gear so I could hop in the water. I have been snorkeling since I was four or five and was now was seven or eight; it was nothing new to me. We saw eels, turtles, and of course tropical fish. Our friend even caught an octopus and placed it on my leg. I remember the strange sensation as an oddly-shaped, color-changing blob wrapped its tentacles around my small leg and suctioned onto it. We then let it go and continued snorkeling.

After snorkeling for about twenty more minutes, my dad and I saw that our friends were trying to get our attention. I did not fully understand what he was saying, but I did hear him yell, "Hey! Get your wife and kid!" Next thing I knew, my dad was picking me up and putting me on the catamaran with our friends. I did not understand what was happening, so I walked to the front of the cat while my dad swam out to get my mom and sister. As I looked down over the catamaran, what I saw surprised me. Three tiger sharks swam under the water right next to my family. I thought they were just dolphins. Their coloring was almost the same as a dolphin's, although upon closer inspection, I saw that they had small lighter stripes on their backs. I quickly realized that they were sharks.

The idea of sharks right next to my family made me very tense. I thought my family was going to be eaten by sharks. I heard somebody yell that there were five, ten, and fifteen-foot sharks. I kept watching where my family was and where the sharks were. Luckily they kept their distance from each other. My sister seemed as though she had no idea what was going on. If she had known, she would have never gone in the water again. My parents both had very shocked and tense looks on their faces. They scrambled onto the boat to escape the sharks.

I was so terrified of sharks for the rest of the day. As I went back to the house, I thought about the day I had experienced. I then realized that being scared of sharks was normal and that they really are not anything to worry about and should instead be seen as beautiful creatures of the sea.

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2017-2018

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2015-2016

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2012-2013

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2010-2011

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2008-2009

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2005-2006

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2003-2004

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2002-2003

Pieces written by 3rd Year students in 2001-2002

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