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3rd Year Pieces

Gliding

by Travis Drake

I pull on my old, oversized skates and awkwardly
clamber onto rough ice.
As I head out, I am broadsided
by a gust of chilly, refreshing air.
All around, people seem
to float by me,
gliding effortlessly over hazy, white ice.
We embark toward transparently-black ice which lies like a crystal carpet
several hundred yards away.
I am quickly outdistanced by my classmates as I stumble
behind. When I finally reach
my destination, I am amazed.
The ice here is a frozen pond of sizzling 7-Up.
Eerily thick, the gelid water below it rests stationary.
This ice is more to my preference.
Skating comes more easily upon it; gliding feels as light as floating in air.
I think I am starting to get the hang of this.


Triple

by Toby Johnson

The pitcher's hand whips down.
My eyes lock on the ball,
concentrating, as it spins in towards me.
A curve, and the pitcher had left it hanging belt-high.
Crack! I crush the ball down the left field line.
Off the wall, I round second as
the ball rolls into the corner of the grassy field.
A single hopper from left field and
Pop!
The ball hits the third baseman's glove,
just as my hand
scrapes against the base.


Haiku


by Sarah Armstrong

Maui Beaches

Giant ocean waves
beat upon black sandy shores,
like Hawaiian drums.

Snorkeling

Tropical fish glide
through calm, warm, salty waters
among reef mazes.

Aspen Winter View

Snowflakes gently fall
through layers of Aspen leaves;
trembling softly there.

Dog's Hunt

Fresh coyote tracks,
softly printed through new snow;
unfamiliar scent.

Sunrise

Rising over peeks,
sunbeams brightly lighting earth.
Bright and dark collide.

Sunset

All light vanishes
between two distant mountains;
moonlight comes again.


Black and White

by Hannah Hoke

Bright white beams know black midnight bliss,
reflecting off crystal snow and illuminating the night sky.
Moonlight reveals ebony
secrets, although
night wishes to remain in
constant shadow.

White melts into black
as clouds disintegrate after a storm.
Velvet heavens disperse ghostly mistiness,
regaining their dark solitude.

Brilliant black ice shrugs under
every discouraging slice
of Hoar Frost. Smooth
ice fiercely fights ivory flakes
to regain its jewel-like jet surface.


Me, Myself, and I

by Clay Charles

Dark lashes encircle
aquamarine eyes.
Short brown hair
blankets the top of my head,
like a turtle's shell envelopes
his round body. A unique,
circular patch of white hair
stands out on the dark surface
like a flashlight in a dark room.
My short, curved nose
sports a blunt tip.
War-wounds stand on my face
with temerity:
my trophies
of athletic participation,
encompassed in a
five foot, four inch
frame.


The Night Raid

by Travis Drake

We sneak through frightening woods
in the middle of a frigid, black night.
Silence surrounds us,
except for the occasional
crack
of a twig
as we move through flickering shadows.
We slam to a halt,
holding our breaths.
Had something moved?
Noiselessly
we listen, but hear
nothing.
We press on quickly, but
more carefully. Then
suddenly two guards leap out
of the thick bushes like foxes on their prey.
Ambushed!
Dodging flour bombs,
we dash through noisy woods.
Powder explodes all around us in a fine mist.
I hear a yell and know
someone is hit.
Towards base, we run with all our might.
Like people fleeing persecution we escape to
freedom.


Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone

by Erica Laidlaw

This colorful,
animated clown turned topsy-turvy:
a plump, gay face concealed by a pastel ruff of hair.
Plaited cone placed on top hides his bizarre locks.
This amusing character is more-than-willing to dish out his
tasteful joy to whomever longs for a lick . . .
Sadly, this ignorant fellow obviously has
no sense of what awaits him.

A minor, wet kiss on his frigid cheek;
his irresistible charm beckons us back for another,
and another,
and another.
These wanton smooches melt our impotent jester,
but still we proceed, maliciously devouring our friend.
The jolly, chubby cheeks we once knew
mournfully vanish beneath his hat.
We savagely consume his brittle, patterned cone
to kiss our companion once more.

Finally, this loving harassment comes to a close.
In remembrance of this performer:
nothing.
Only the contents of his makeup dripping
off our fingers.


Enemies

by Travis Drake

Light understands darkness
like a war general knows his enemy.
Each battles, like a Warrior, to be in control.
When light is dominant, it beats darkness down,
master over his slaves.
But darkness, a vengeful servant,
catches light unaware and usurps his throne.


The Bubbles

by Clay Charles

Stationary bubbles
stuck in ice
like stars in the night sky:
petrified, frozen in time,
holding no significance,
affecting nothing until
violent sun rays quickly reach their
optimal warmth. Rays strike
the ice like a boxer to his opponent,
slowly wearing it away.
The bubbles, like hibernating bears
released from restriction,
waddle into the wild.


Travis

by Travis Drake

Light blue eyes flicker on a
peach-colored face.
Dusty brown hair
drifts
over the top of my head.
Tall, six-foot-three, boy.
Resides in McCall.
Fourteen years of age,
working hard through the eighth grade.
Actively plays basketball and football.
Mows lawns like an ant.
Me!


What is Good About Golf by Bret Van Velzen

Golfing is a calm, but fun sport. There is not much physical activity in golf, so you can play for a long time. Luckily, you will never run out of breath playing golf, because there is no running involved. Golf is a sport that you can play when you are old, and (unlike other sports, such as running and biking), you can still be talented.

When you are playing, golf relaxes your mind. Just being outside, on a large area of grass with trees and trimmed bushes, focusing on your game, is a peaceful experience. When you make a good shot, you feel excited because you have a chance of lowering your score. In golf, the lower the score, the better.

The main reason that people like golf is that someone can drive a ball three hundred yards and then make a completely different shot, trying to avoid an obstacle. Then he can attempt a short shot on the putting green, which is a large spot of short grass where the hole is located. In baseball, a player can only hit the ball about half the distance, and it will not be as accurate as a shot in golf. This is why golf is one of the fastest growing sports.


Spring Meadow

by Sarah Armstrong

New grasses sprout up,
like bullets out of nowhere,
rising from soft, luscious ground.
Greenish blue swallows sing divinely.
Iris, silky petals glowing purple, dance as
wedding bells ring softly in slow breezes.
Brilliant shooting stars reach for indigo sky, while
snowy-white Sego Lilies flood
sweet and wild scent into fresh surroundings.
Various green grasses crowd other spacious valleys,
too. Meadows fill themselves
with a brilliance of spring.


The Basketball Game

by Travis Drake

The lights overhead send a brilliant yellow, illuminating glow
about the room. The burnt-orange basketball
sails toward the hoop. A resounding crack
echoes
through a nearly-silent court
as the ball slices
through the net. Seconds later, a buzzer sounds,
signifying the end of the game.
Cheering and clapping follow
as excited teammates surround you.
You have won
the game.


Jack O'Lantern

by Clay Charles

Brightly lit,
creamy orange interior --
fierce cuts
beam throughout
pitch-black skies.
Wicked, jagged teeth
curve into a mischievous grin.
Two catlike slits glare,
allowing only the slightest
crescent light
to seep through.

Goblins and witches
gesticulate
in awe, wondering,
as they collect
gooey sweet candy
and continue trekking
from house to house.

Jack's smirk is everlasting
and his stationary position
allows him to see all!


Snowboarding

by Sarah Armstrong

When I first arrive at Brundage Mountain, each year on the first day of the season, I feel free: free to roam the slopes with my friends and to plow through fresh powdery snow on my board. I normally use the first day to get back on track and feel comfortable again. It doesn't take very long to adjust bindings to fit my boots just right. Then I'm ready to slide. The first few lift rides are challenging, because I catch my edge until I get the hang of riding again, but I'm willing to keep trying for the fun run down.

On my very first run,I sort of teach myself again how to stop, and turn, and jump. My favorite runs are always ones where I turn the corner and find a surprise: a new jump, or a new off-trail adventure. My favorite surprise is when there is an unexpected jump in my path that I can't avoid. As my board departs from the jump, I reach down for the feeling of the snowboard at my fingertips: the snow clumps on the top, and slips off the bottom of my board so easily. My stomach seems to drift away with the snow as I fall to the nice fluff below me. Over, and over again, I jump, trying different techniques until I eventually succeed at my particular jump routine. Then I'm off to try something new.

The powder stuffs my hat and coat full as I catch an edge and topple over. Although it is a pleasant and soft landing, it's still cold. I don't feel wet though, since the powder is fresh and fairly dry. As I roll over and push myself up, the cold temperature rushes to my head, and an ice-cream headache forms. I can't stop and complain, however: it always seems like it's just too nice of a day for that. Even if it's not a nice day, being outside always cheers me up, enough at least.

When I unclip my feet from my board after that first day on the hill, my feet always feel free again. I grab my snowboard and make my way to my car, feeling, once again, like I've accomplished something.

Change depends on Consistency

by Toby Johnson

A warm spring always feels rejuvenated
after a tediously long, chilling Winter.
without Winter's morose repression,
spring wouldn't feel as fresh and new.
Relentless Winter orchestrates Spring's praised entrance.
if it were always Spring,
the slightest snowfall
would be as celebrated as
Christmas.


The Colors of Dreams

by Travis Drake

What are the colors of dreams?
Are they yellow
like merry frolicks
in prodigious, enchanting
dreamlands, where troubles and problems lie
too far distant to bother them?

Or are they black nightmares,
full of darkness so thick it chokes,
encompassing chilling monsters
whose cold, icy fingers
grip your frail neck?

Dreams comprise both colors,
which alternate unceasingly; bumblebees
in flight.


Drama

by Krista Van Velzen

When I am with my horse
all sounds fall silent,
except for the drumbeat of his hooves,
landing
on soft sand.
Stillness reigns,
as my thoroughbred's
smooth, ebony mane flies upwards
with every bouncy step.
Together we take off
over crossed cardinal-and-gold-striped jumps,
holding our breath.
The world watches
as we fly through the air,
safely landing on the other side.
My gelding prances through a pile
of rust and amber leaves --
which shiver off the now-bare
tree that
towers above us.
Wind whispers
through crisp air
and bites my scarlet cheeks.
As the alpenglow precedes the night,
I dismount,
leading my companion
to the safety of his barn.


Failure Knows Success

by Clay Charles

Faliure and Success
are like brothers, so close to each other:
only a thin line
separates them.
Success, to me, could be Failure to another.
Sharing the same characteristics,
Failure and Success
understand each other,
and come to a liking,
accepting their positions as equals.


Slide Ice

by Sarah Armstrong

Sliding,
softly skating over black ice.
White figure skates stand out like fresh blood
seeping through powdery snow. Catching
a silver blade, I slam
downward with terrific force upon thick ice,
(once under my feet; now at my side). Pain
runs through my body.
Struggling to stand,
I raise my head heavily to see everyone
staring and chuckling.
Laughing hyenas, they
seem to be. I
push myself up
and daringly try again.


Utopia

by Erica Laidlaw

Reality:
    a farfetched thought;
    a heretic objecting to the society in which he lives;
    a dreamer's dream (but only a dream);
    a being who fears life's game and longs for another opportunity at the sport,

Image:
    a place where neither death nor life will trouble one;
    a milieu where fault does not occur;
    a communistic society neither greed nor indolence infests;
    a community refusing to judge individuals by complexion or complexity.

Utopia
    may exist for cats, perhaps, but
    not
    for me.


Wire

by Hannah Hoke

Square brackets cemented to teeth:
wire attached,
colors applied.
Rubber-bands from top to bottom,
pain surrounding pink gums,
sores everywhere.
BRACES!


Lupine

by Sarah Armstrong

It was a special moment, when
she came into this world.
So small and fragile,
so weak,
yet strong in her will to live.
Though her mare lay weary,
as a songbird does, ending
his migration flight,
little Lupine trotted around her.
Then, tired and exhausted
from this thrilling, first experience,
beginning her journey of life,
the filly settled down beside her mom,
and there they slept
as do peaceful swans on a glassy
calm lake at midnight.


Fantasy Baseball

by Toby Johnson

Fantasy Baseball is an Internet game where you can create a baseball team and earn points based on real statistics. I play Fantasy Baseball at Smallworld, a web site that hosts numerous fantasy games. Baseball is my favorite game at Smallworld because I know the most about baseball.

At the start of each year, Full Season Baseball is the only game available. Towards the end of the year, you can play Midseason Baseball and Baseball Playoffs. You play against the other people in your division, and against all of the other Fantasy Baseball players in the world. When you go to look at your team, The website shows you both rankings: your division ranking, from one through twenty, and your world ranking that is usually from one to around 500,000.

Once you have chosen a team name, you can start to buy the players that you want on your team. You can only buy Major League Baseball players that currently have a contract. You start the year out with a $50,000,000 salary cap to buy thirteen players: one player for each infield position, four pitchers, and four outfielders. Your salary cap and your team's value will fluctuate throughout the year, depending on your players' performances throughout the year.

An average player costs around $3,500,000. A really good player can cost from $3,000,000 to $12,000,000. Each week, you get three hitter trades and three pitcher trades to buy and sell different players. Your players earn points by getting hits, stealing bases, and scoring runs. Your pitchers earn points by pitching innings and getting strikeouts. As your players earn points, your team can improve its division and world rankings.

If your team has a world ranking lower than 100, you can earn a prize. In the middle of the season there are about 500,000 people playing Full Season Baseball. I especially like Fantasy Baseball because you can compete with your friends over the Internet. By creating a division, you can give your password out to the people whom you want to compete in your division. Anyone you do not want in your division is kept out by your password. Fantasy Baseball is a great game for anyone who follows professional baseball.


The Skier

by Clay Charles

Surging out of the starting gate,
plunging
down the course,
he curves around gates,
blowing them over
with inimitable ease.
Accelerating
at every turn --
closing
in on the victorious time:
curving,
plunging,
accelerating,
closing...
Finally, clapping amidst a cloud of snow.
The audience hoots and hollers.
He raises his hands
in victory.


Blue Brilliance

by Hannah Hoke

White waves crashing against
sandy shores...seashells
mysteriously appearing...
sticks
floating peacefully on blue waters...
The ocean soothes softly,
while singing
a lullaby.


My Brother

by Erica Laidlaw

In my opinion, Jamie is a perfect being. He has always been a remarkable athlete, his intelligence is exceptional, and he is an all- around, good-looking guy. Jamie's golden locks of hair, crystal blue eyes, and rippling muscles are only the beginning of his long list of ideal features. Being a perfectionist myself, his traits repetitively get on my nerves. I often compare myself to him, and his achievements have always topped mine!

Jamie has a very unique way of caring for me: by pushing me to my limit. Whether I am skiing or just trying to finish a simple stomach routine, he always persuades me to attempt higher standards. There is both a positive and a negative aspect to this. I feel that having perseverance and striving for new heights is great, but there comes a time when I grow weak and just want to cease. I realize that his incessant pushing will help me in the long run, but I am rather indolent about my working habits.

Jamie is off at college now, and I frequently miss his helpful hints. However, one fewer faultless person in my family is one fewer person to have conflicts with.


An Old Tree

by Bret Van Velzen

When there is a large, dead
standing oak tree
in my walking path,
I wonder how
long has that tree been
standing there?
How many bear and deer
have rested at its base?
What was the biggest storm
It stood through?
But the question that I will always wonder:
What was the
cause of this tree's
death?


Motorcycling

by Travis Drake

I like to ride motorcycles. It is a very enjoyable thing to do. Motorcycles are fun to ride because a person can go almost anywhere on a motorcycle. These machines easily go over hills, through valleys, on-road, and off-road. It is intriguing to be able to go over all these different kinds of terrain. One of my favorite places to ride is on a long, flat road where I can go really fast.

Motorcycles are convenient because they are easily maintained and do not need to be fed or exercised like animals, such as horses, do. These small vehicles can go long distances before you need to refill the gas tank and, being machines, they do not become tired.

With a motorcycle, I can quickly ascend steep hills and move with great speed across flat surfaces. Motorcycles are a way to travel without having to walk or bicycle. I like riding because being in control of the motorcycle makes me feel powerful. It is exciting to ride fast down a road and sense the wind rushing past my face.

When I hit jumps, it seems as though I am floating through the air. Sometimes I crash, but the joy of riding makes the risk of injury worthwhile. I can smell the gas when I am riding, but it does not smell very bad, and it usually is not noticeable when Iım concentrating on the road.

When I ride at high speeds I can see all the scenery flying past me. I have a nice, satisfying feeling when I come home and rest after I have taken a long ride. Motorcycling is a great way to be outdoors.


Afraid of the Dark

by Toby Johnson

The intimidating dark is shattered
as a bolt of white light pierces
the night sky.
Fierce lightning illuminates the firmament,
triumphing over the foreboding gloom.


First Horse

by Krista Van Velzen

I love my horse, Drama, very much, but it definitely didn't start out that way.

When I tried riding Drama for the first time, I was in Boise with my mom, and my trainer, Holly. Although I thought that Drama was a gorgeous horse, and had graceful movements, he was the worst horse I had ever ridden. The first thing he did when I mounted him, was to leap twenty feet to the side, at a dog which he had seen every day, and shouldn't have been scared of. He wouldn't do anything I asked him to do. Even when I gave him the cue to walk, he wouldn't: all he would do was lock his knees, or back up. He tossed his head a lot, and he really scared me.

Almost always, after riding each horse I have ever tried out, I told my parents that I wanted to buy it. The moment I dismounted Drama, I told my mom that I hated him. I thought that she would agree with me, but instead, she bought him! Both Holly and my mom said that he was an excellent horse, and was a "steal".

We had a two-week trial period for Drama. On the first day I owned him, at his home in Meadows Valley, Idaho, I thought that I might actually like him. That all changed when I started to ride him. He was even worse than he had been before, and every day, for two weeks, I told my mom that I wanted a different horse.

That didn't happen. I was stuck with him. After one month, I was finally beginning to like Drama. I started to adjust to having a difficult horse, and Holly taught me to control him. He still had his little fits, like all Canadian Thoroughbreds do, but I did fine with him.

I became a better rider with every lesson and every 4-H meeting. Now, I love Drama. At my first show, a 4-H show, Drama and I won three out of four events. We won equitation, where we rode with our whole level, and the judge would tell all of us what do. We also won the event in which I made up my Reining pattern, and Showmanship, where I led Drama around, and the judge watched only Drama the whole time.

Now I'm learning to jump on Drama. I've started Pony Club, which is an English riding club, and soon I will have a rating to advance to the next level. I am glad that Drama turned out to be an excellent horse, and, even though I used to want to sell him, that I finally have a horse I love.


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