English I/II Pieces



by Tristen Stoll

Dogs have accompanied man for centuries. One of those dogs has a special place in my heart. His name is Bosco DeLaRosco Brown. But we call him Bosco. Bosco is a cute purebred English Labrador Retriever. He is also a stumpy, brown, cinder-block-headed dog. Every day when I come home, he is always the first thing I see: sitting waiting for me, lying on the porch, or taking a nap in his chair.

When I hop out of the car, his ears and tail immediately perk up. As he spies me walk toward the porch, like a fish jumping out of the water, he flings himself in the air. Every step I take makes him wriggle higher and higher into the air. Sometimes when I step on the porch he is so excitedly wriggling and hurling himself so high that he flips himself over and lands on his head, back, or butt. When I reach the porch, I drop my school gear and give him a huge squeeze. As I hug him looks at the person closest and makes his sad face look: help me. After I put my gear inside I come back to release him from the rope that holds him on the porch.

Bosco then darts away as fast as he can, turns around, and starts running in circles or patterns, longing to be chased. When he runs, the wind blows his stumpy, soft, fluffy, brown ears around like rag dolls. His tail tucks in a perfect curling loop between his legs. His tongue flops around his mouth. He looks as if he is screaming and running around shouting, "My boy is here! My boy is here!"

Grievous Destruction

by Diesel Messenger

My brother qualifies as a weapon
of mass destruction.
CRASH! Tinkle.
He's on the rampage
The fighter screams past
firing every concealed missile
in random directions.
The blackened heap of rubble
that used to be my mother's patience
is all that remains.
He streaks through the house like a tornado.
Grenades fall on each unsuspecting organized party.
He rockets to the ground
creating a massive crater in the earth.
When the dust clears,
there is only my brother,
fast asleep in a pile
of broken plane parts.

Typing vs Handwriting

by Sascha Stoll

Typing is easier than handwriting. It is definitely easier to type speedily than it is to write fast. Last year in my school, my grade received Chromebooks to take home for doing our work on them. Handwriting something always takes much more time than it does to type on a computer. When I was learning to write, it took me approximately one-and-a-half years, whereas I learned to typed in a few months. This was also true for everyone in my class.

When learning to type, students could see the keys and identify the letters they wanted. While writing by hand, it is necessary to call the letter to your brain then write it down. It is much easier to identify and press, instead of identify, recall, and write. Handwriting makes your hand sore so you can't write well anymore.

Handwriting is also sloppy. Handwritten work is always much harder to read than it would have been if the same document had been typed. Typing also makes it easier to remember indenting paragraphs. I much prefer typing to handwriting, as it feels easier to type fast, easier to learn to type, and easier to type neatly.


by Diesel Messenger

Hovering through darkness:
inspiring tremors of body
and mind.
Chest clenched.
Terror squeezes the mind
sets fire to the heart,
contorts every substance.
Bolting through a hall of mirrors;
reflecting fear. Fleeing,
It is already on top of you.

Each demon comes from within:
mandibles ripping
from inside out. Struggling
to be free in the night.
Darkened objects
have flexible identities:
hung clothes become monsters,
inept for fight or flight.


Reality is far less paralyzing
than demons
within your own mind.

Tarantula Catching

by Diesel Messenger

The desolate horizon spread out in front of me, burning like a molotov cocktail. The slow shallow river wound through scarred land, slicing it in half. Yucca and cactus speckled mangled landscape with patches of pale green. My brother Steel and I sat on a spire of sandstone towering above our camp. We had scaled a flood shoot that bordered the Escalante River and sat there, waiting. After chef Kasey called for dinner, we drifted back to camp. We paused often to throw rocks or inspect the sienna and terra-cotta cliff, noticing amber and titanium bands that cut the red rock.

As we joined the dinner scene, Eric came over to me. "Dude," he said in his "bro-talk" demeanor, "you know how warm it is around the fire right now?"

"Yeah," I said.

"And remember how that one night was not warm?" he asked.

"Dude! That was robust!" This is pretty much my relationship with my dad. About eighteen months ago, he had learned the word "robust". I was never sure where he picked it up or whether his definition was correct, but we always interpreted the word as indicating a potent or (more usually) funky quality. We liked to use it as much as possible. This time, we remembered the night we camped in the high desert on our way to the Grand Staircase. We were dressed for the desert heat and had not prepared for the actual eleven degrees Fahrenheit night. To this day, that was the worst night I have ever spent. None of us ever fully fell asleep; we spent the whole night shivering, trying to keep warm. The experience was definitely "robust".

After dinner, Steel and I took a walk. We didn't have any location or reason in mind; we just started up the flood-zone, and meandered along another side shoot. At the cliff line, we looked out across the plain once again and breathed in the evening air. Small deposits of sand and pools of water scattered about the chute-bed. We had heard about tarantulas being nocturnal, so naturally we desperately had to find one.

We never did find a tarantula, but we did find happiness. We were there in the present and alone: unsuppressed despite closing darkness. This night was much warmer, although we will never forget the one under the frigid high desert sky.


by Sascha Stoll

Darkness surrounds Diesel Messenger. Not necessarily darkness of heart, but a different kind, the darkness of night. "It makes me feel calm, and free to do what I want," Diesel says. "The contrast between my and others' rest periods makes me feel creative and awake." His satisfaction does not just reside in the feeling of freedom lying awake gives: "I think about whatever has happened in the day and process it before I fall asleep," Diesel says. For many people, lying in bed is truly a time to relax with nothing else on your mind, a time to let loose all the anxiety of a day and reflect. But staying awake is not just a time for processing reality; it can be a time for fantasy too. Diesel says: "Sometimes if I am lying in bed I will think of a story and put myself in one of the main characters' shoes: a story I have read or watched recently. I think it helps me relate what I have read or watched to real life." For some, fantasizing may be a way to force themselves to sleep, but for others it is just a way to escape. Other times Diesel wants to get up and do things: "Sometimes I feel a little repressed because I don't want to wake people up," he says. Darkness of night helps change Diesel for the better.


by Sophia Ririe

Tristen's family dog is an English chocolate lab named Bosco. One day when Tristen and Sascha came home from school, their dad was home early from work. "There was a box in the middle of the room and there was ruffling," Tristen says. He went over and pulled out a new puppy. Bosco is now a very happy family dog, but he is mostly Tristen's because he taught Bosco most of the tricks he can do, such as sit, lie down, and shake paws. Tristen likes that Bosco is very sweet, super fluffy, and nice to come home to. Tristen says, "Bosco is named by my dad; his name originally meant chocolate syrup, and thate's Boscoe's coat color."


by Tristen Stoll

Winter is
dead; cold.
White sheets of snow cover cold, even ground
like blankets. Alone wolf howls
alone. He moves on,
tracking his
footsteps light, soft and swift.
Sounds are
few and
From the north
wind blows a particular scent.
He is far too familiar with this one:
Picking up pace and jumping with purpose,
each step becomes heavier; less soft.
The wolf is now the prey.
as he runs, white sheets of snow cover cold,
uneven ground like blankets.
Winter is
Dead; cold.

The Gambler

by Diesel Messenger

I often spent my afternoons here,
pumping quarters into a machine
that only spits out
shattered promises. It's a song
that I like to sing.
Clink, whiiiiiiiirrrrrrr, click,
over and over.
I enjoy the simple
madness of the luck
of the draw; the passing
of time; the butchery
of many a night. Another
free drink. Empty space.
I lie in wait
an eternal
Nanosecond. Only the scroll
of fate
can silence
this insanity.


by Diesel Messenger

I watch the hummingbirds circle my perch. They buzz around excitedly, extracting sweet nectar from flowers. My algae-covered paws reach out and try and touch them; but I'm always too slow. The birds aren't the most sagacious creatures. They are always worrying about something, but they're lots of fun to watch. Some of them have beaks the length of their bodies, which helps them reach into the deepest flowers while gathering nectar. They're well-fed but ruffled from the lack of an adequate beak to groom themselves.

I don't do much, but then again, I don't need much either. My hobbies include napping, eating, and watching life go by. Frozen in my position, I can view a diverse menagerie of life and death. One of the perks of being very inactive is that an algae the color of the forest grows on my fur, making me almost undetectable. Jaguar would almost have to step on me to find my hiding place.

However, I have one major vulnerability: every week, I must descend to the forest floor to relieve myself. If I had to describe it using only one word, that word would be: intense. Every second counts. Heart racing, every muscle in my body straining to move at my top speed (three meters per minute) I strive to reach sweet relief. After doing my business, I make my way back up the tree. Exhaustion then causes me to collapse on a branch and sleep for twenty hours.

I accomplish my business relatively quickly and quietly, while not attracting much attention. However, in my youth, I developed a capriciousness which ultimately led to the loss of my mostly useless, but still existent, tail. Ahe-hem. Once upon a midnight bathroom break, I crashed through the canopy to the forest floor. After pooping at the base of a tree, I felt distinctly dehydrated. Normally sloths get all the water they need from fruit and vegetables, but I had only eaten a single dried-out mango. Thirst must be quenched, and conveniently, there was a river very nearby. Being the reckless young sloth that I was, I decided to crawl over land rather than safely climb over to it, hang from a branch, and drink. At the water's edge I decided that I not only wanted a drink, but felt the need for a swim, too. While sloths are very slow creatures, our speed is slightly increased in water; this ability is sometimes necessary to find a mate if one is unavailable on your own side of the river.

Being a young soul, I wasn't a particularly good swimmer. My stroke was accompanied by much unstealthy splashing and flailing about. When it was time to dry off, I made my way to the edge of the river, but before I climbed out, a hangry piranha gripped my tail in its jaws. I let loose an exclamatory noise and grabbed onto a bush with my immensely strong claws. I pulled myself free, intact, except for my tail.

I made my way up the tree to lick my wounds and recuperate. A tail is one of the only sources of a sloth's vanity; it's a way to show your grandness and compete. Now all I have is my beautiful, moss-covered coat. The stump on my behind will forever remind me of my foolish audacity.



Diesel Blue Messenger
stands six foot three.
Looking through smart,
turquoise eyes, he
soars above turmoil,
a gull over troubled water:
thirsty for knowledge,
desiring accomplishment.
Never satisfied with unhappiness,
creative fire fuels
the fury. Finding
his place
among legacies:
artists, writers, musicians
of past eras.

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