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• ' • • • • 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 


The Writers' and Artists' Magazine of Wayne Community College 
Goldsboro, North Carolina 
Volume 26, May 2010 


Majena Howell 


Art Jovon Michael Moore 

Essay Tina Benton 

Poetry Terri Register 


Jeanine Callaway Kathryn Spicer Jeff Williams 
Rosalyn Lomax, Editor Emerita Marian Westbrook, Editor Emerita 


Faculty: Torey Romero 

Staff: Theresa White-Wallace 

Educational Support Technologies Department: 
Wade Hallman, Majena Howell, Ken Jones and Ron Lane 

Student Government Association 


The Artists and Writers 

No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission. Copyright 2010 Renaissance 
Views expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this institution. 


The Renewal 1 Terri Register, Associate in Arts 

Possibilities 1 Ashleigh Stafford, Associate in Arts 

Yesterday Before Tomorrow 2 Terri Register, Associate in Arts 

The Time is Ripe 2 Nancy Ceja, Associate in Arts 

Undefined 3 Christina Wardle, Associate in Arts 

Never Alone 4 Lisa Hankins, Associate in Arts 

Then Play On 5 Ashleigh Stafford, Associate in Arts 

Bug Eyes 5 David Brantley, Associate in Arts 

Granny's Light 6 Tina Benton, Office Administration 

Basket and Shell 7 Nancy Ceja, Associate in Arts 

Patience 8 Jovon Michael Moore, Associate in Arts 

Lost Somewhere in Imaginary Time 9 Jeff Williams, English Instructor 

Pouring 9 Mike Kimbrell, Associate in Arts 

Rainbow Brite 10 Theresa White-Wallace, Secretary, 

Language/Communication Department 

Hat Hep 1 1 Courtney Wegman, Associate in Arts 

Just So You Know 1 1 Ashley Whitehurst, Associate in Arts 

If My Mouth Could Think 1 1 Iris Davis Robinson, Human Services 

America, The Modern Icarus 12 Blake Brady, Associate in Arts 

Dog God 13 Jovon Michael Moore, Associate in Arts 

Sudden Stops 14 Graham Parker, Associate in Science 

Wayfarer 14 Courtney Wegman, Associate in Arts 

Somewhere There's a Path 15 Jeff Williams, English Instructor 

Building Door 15 Karina West, Associate in Arts 

Dogwood 16 Ashlyn Hall, Early College High School 

Beauty 17 Ashlyn Hall, Early College High School 

i no longer carry your heart with me 17 Terri Register, Associate in Arts 

Stuff of Dreams 18 Amit Lai, Associate in Science 

White Flower Fields 18 Rebecca Hines, Information Systems 

My Mind 19 Terri Register, Associate in Arts 

Genius Has Abandoned Me 19 Robert Linley McCoy, Associate in Science 

Celtic Crosses 19 Ashleigh Stafford, Associate in Arts 

Saturday 20 Amelia Rawlings, Associate in Science 

Renaissance Editors' Routine 2010 20 Jeff Williams, English Instructor 

You Lookin' at Me 21 Katina Davis, Math Instructor 

The House on Dahmer Street 21 Theresa White- Wallace, Secretary, 

Language/Communication Department 

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation 22 Anita Collier, Medical Office Administration 

Somebody Helped Me Along One Day 23 Roethyll Lunn, English Instructor 

Summer Nights 23 Arianna Thong, Associate in Arts 

Buffet Escape 23 Katie Cottle, Associate in Arts 

Waiting 24 Tyler Worrell, Associate in Arts 

Life-support 24 Jeremiah Ingram, Associate in Arts 

It's You 25 Arianna Thong, Associate in Arts 

Picasso Joni 25 Courtney Wegman, Associate in Arts 

Almighty Ruler 26 Harris Brogden, Associate in Arts 

Haiti 26 Nicole Denise Hughes, Associate in Arts 

Crazy Hair 27 Karina West, Associate in Arts 

Snake in the Pool 27 Ashley Whitehurst, Associate in Arts 

The Tainted Embrace 27 Patrick Eason, Associate in Arts 

What's Left 28 Karina West, Associate in Arts 

A Woodland Catastrophe 28 Jordan Howell, Associate in Arts 

Death for the Unnoticed Beauty 29 Kiri Smith, Associate in Arts 

Jake the Snake 30 Stephanie Williams, Special Credit 

How the Mighty Have Fallen 30 Kiri Smith, Associate in Arts 

Daddy's Garden 31 Terry Jones, Medical Office Administration 

Forest for the Trees 31 Tyler Worrell, Associate in Arts 

Listen 32 Alexis Alday, Associate in Arts 

Frost's Woods 33 Joy Pearce, Secretary, Admissions 

Down Home 33 Terence Davis, Associate in Arts 

Running from Gloom 34 Rachel Hines, Associate in Arts 

Closed 34 Amit Lai, Associate in Science 

In Shapes 35 Nancy Ceja, Associate in Arts 

Pyramid 35 Jeff Williams, English Instructor 

It's o'four hundred 36 Gina Willard, Medical Office Administration 

Never Coming Home 37 Elizabeth Morrisette, Associate in Arts 

Born to Trouble 37 David Roberts, Associate in Arts 

Reflect 38 Jovon Michael Moore, Associate in Arts 

Life Time Love 38 Wendy Turner, Medical Assisting 

You Get What You Ask For 39 Candace Jones, Associate in Arts 

Flower 39 Amit Lai, Associate in Science 

A Dull Boy 40 Lisa Hankins, Associate in Arts 

In Motion 40 Ashleigh Stafford, Associate in Arts 


The Renewal 

We live to die 
Love dying to live 
Somewhere in between 
Growth becomes a reality 
Sometimes short lived 

We await our rebirth 
Cracked cocoons 
Awaken new beauty butterflying 
Arrival from the longest journey ever 
Then out 

Into a world of irrelevance 
We are never too young 
Or even old for that matter to learn 

Indifference has a blank face 
But familiar nonetheless 
A perfect polluted reflection 
Nothing is as it appears 
or as we hoped for it to be 
Desires misguide 
And we follow willingly 
Cowering with false content 
Never asking for much 
Or aspiring for more 

We just float 

Barely above concrete grounds 
Nothing to cushion our countless falls 
Torn wings waving 

Treading wild winds that carry us off course 

We crash Possibilities 
We burn 

To do it all again and again — renewed 
Terri Register 


Yesterday Before Tomorrow 

I've been busy 

Trying to get elsewhere 

Here and there 

Leaving the silver linings 

Wrapping my dreams to tarnish quickly 

Loud contemplations killing silence 

Counting mortal minutes on a standstill clock 

Time is moving somewhere fast 

In a ton of nonsense 

Filling imaginary voids 

But between pauses 

In this moment 

I realize I have arrived 

Present in the now of living 



Regardless of what was 
Or what will be 

Terri Register 

The Time is Ripe Nancy Ceja 



Just as the stars don't belong to the Earth 
as the air doesn't belong to humans 
I don't belong to this world. 
I am not yours to define. 
You did not create me. 
You do not validate me. 

One person, place, or thing cannot make or break me. 

My destiny isn't written in the stars 

my future is not determined by my past 

and my existence is not justified by your profile. 

I know it makes you more comfortable 

to set boundaries and place me in them 

to determine who I am, what I want 

what I have to offer by your preconceived notions. 

You sleep better at night knowing 

I've been tucked in my little place. 

Wake up! 

I want you to be uncomfortable! 

I want you to wonder, to be confused 

because then maybe your mind will open 

and you will see truth. 

I don't fall into your great order of things. 

I won't stand in your line 

because it's going nowhere. 

I won't hold my tongue or quiet my yell 

even if it scares you 

because it's my voice to be heard 

and someone is going to hear it. 

With every word that makes you uneasy 

I'm unraveling the ties that bind deeper thought. 

Watch out! 

I'm changing the rules. 
Christina Wardle 


iNcver Alone 

I ne Diaaes oi grass 

so 1 mougiu 

Tickle my skin 

That is to say 

As I sit here in silence 

Was I sitting here alone? 

wun my noieoooK diici pen 

od; i>o wdy ; 

rdiien DdFK 

ror lying Dciicdiii iiic 

On the ground 

On the ground 

Pine needles and cones 

A city of life 

OCUlilCS dlVJUlld 

1 nnHfi 1 1 c f CTC n H 

A Krr\\x/n little* cniHpr 

r\ JjlUC Jdj ?i lUol ICciLllCl 

t\ 1 CLi IILLIC dill 

jLie uenedm me SKy 

t\ moscjuiio mdL wdnis me 

in inis Dcduiiiui weainci 

jjui ndve me sne cdn i 

i^ooKing up 

kjo awciy Tnosquiioi ung. ( duck lo my 

1 lie sun iiuw 111 iiiy idce 

COniposurt: ) 

V— aUlUlCLl Uy LllC WallllLll dllU. 

lis lenaer emDiace 

/\ grassnopper jumps 

A iiiiie Dug nies 

1 lie LI CCS give UllLll 

Ante dn/H cr^i cKp^x'C 
/AllLS dUU SpiUClS 

10 a ramuow oi colors 

vji an uiriereni size 

/vna aecoraie me grouna 

wiin ine leaves laiien DrOLners 

A roly poly that is walking about 

A nH that <sTTIPTn Mn<NnTTTTn''s 

oiiLiiig 111 siieiiec 


Beneath the trees 

That IS not going to work out! 

The air is clear 

^Squish * 

With a gentle breeze 

Ah, so much better 

All alone 

Now where was I...? Oh yes! 

Sitting on the ground 

I'm sorry 

Complete solitude 

I just had to get rid of that pest 

No one around 


Of course, I must note 
The birds in the air 
Soar above me 
Without a care 

Sharing their song 
Of the evening day 
While the crickets join in 
With their song to play 

And now a frog croaks 
By a nearby pond 
Completing this symphony 
Of unique song 

While sitting here in awe 
And complete fascination 
I have enjoyed admiring 
God's splendid creation 

But the sun is now setting 
And I must go home 
I enjoyed my time of solitude 
Though, I was never alone. 

Lisa Hankins 

Then Play On Ashleigh Stafford 

Bug Eyes David Brantley 


Granny's Light 

Tina Benton 

The clock on the wall read 7: 15 a.m. when the light above my desk started to flicker in 
its now familiar way-on and off once, then on and off once more. My lips formed a sad smile, 
and I quietly whispered, "Gran" into the emptiness of the showroom. Had anyone else been in 
the dealership at the time and heard my talking to the overhead light, calling it Gran, he no doubt 
would have called the men in the white coats to take me to the local nuthouse. I would have 
completely understood. I did feel a bit crazy talking to a light blub. Three weeks earlier, as my 
precious grandmother's health began to decline, the light above my desk began to flicker briefly 
then come back on and function normally for the rest of the day. Inexplicably, when it happened, 
I murmured, "Hi, Gran" and continued with my duties at the dealership. This little ritual would 
continue until the day of my grandmother's death. 

My grandmother's name was Harriet Lamb, but to my sister, Theresa, and me, she was 
always "Granny." A tiny little thing, only five feet tall, gray hair swept back in a bun, with spec- 
tacles high up on her nose, she looked just like the character "Granny" from The Beverly Hillbil- 
lies. She was just as feisty, too. My mind wandered back to days long past when Theresa and I 
would get her all riled up, and she would chase us all around the house with whatever she could 
get her hands on. She used her bedroom slippers, a wooden spoon, and the thing that I feared the 
most: The Texas Flyswatter! The swatter on that thing was the size of my Webster's Hardback 
College Dictionary. I have never been to Texas, but if they have flies big enough to have to use 
that thing, I'm staying here. We knew she would never hurt us even if she had been about to 
catch us, but we had the biggest giggle fits watching her in hot pursuit, armed and dangerous. 

Seeing her now, after having two small strokes and then falling and breaking her hip, I 
knew she would never be able to chase us again. She was confined to a hospital type bed where 
she lay very still, drifting in and out of consciousness, lost in her own lonely world. She was 
unable to eat, only able to accept drops of water occasionally from an ear syringe. I know she 
would have been mortified had she been aware of what was happening to her. Many people 
asked us why we didn't put her in the hospital or hospice. She wanted to be at home, in her own 
bed, with her loved ones always near. 

As my granny approached her final days, she would have brief moments of lucidity. On 
one of these occasions, she turned to my mother, who sat beside her on her bed, gently stroking 
her hair, and asked her where I had been. She said she had been waiting for me to come spend 
time with her, and I was nowhere to be found. When my mother relayed this to me, guilty tears 
sprang to my eyes. It was true; I had been avoiding her. I couldn't bear to see my once fierce 
and feisty little granny looking so frail and weak. I didn't want her to die, so I dealt with the 
situation by not dealing with it. I had been selfish, only thinking about how I felt, giving no 
thought to my grandmother's feelings. She needed to know that I loved her. 


That night as my family gathered for supper, I said that I wasn't feeling well and excused 
myself for the evening. Instead of going to my own room, however, I started toward the little 
room at the other end of the hall where my grandmother was. I hesitated for a moment, took a 
deep breath, slowly turned the knob, and let myself in. She lay quietly in her bed, looking up 
toward the left hand corner of her ceiling, the ebullient smile of a child lighting up her face. I 
followed her gaze, trying to see what it was that had her attention, but whoever, or whatever it 
was, it was not for me to see. She appeared to be listening to someone. I knew that time was 
running out for me to tell her how I felt. I approached her bed and gently took her delicate hand 
in mine. "Gran," I said, "it's Tina. I'm here." Her eyes never left that spot on the ceiling. I was 
heartbroken. I had waited too long, and now she didn't know I was there. She would die think- 
ing that I hadn't loved her enough to spend time with her before she was gone. I decided that I 
had to say the words anyway and prayed that some part of her would still be able to hear them. I 
told her how much I loved her and thanked her for taking such good care of me; I thanked her for 
loving me even during my teenage years when I had been so horrible to her. I apologized for any 
pain I may have caused her and then told her how very much I was going to miss her. I stayed 
with her for a little while longer, listening to the reassuring sound of her breathing. Finally, I 
stood up and gave her a lingering kiss on her cheek, surprised by the coolness of her skin. Tear- 
fully, I made my way to my room. Those would be my last moments with my grandmother. 

I was brought back to the present time by the unexpected flickering of the light over my 
desk. I looked up in surprise, then noted the time on the nearby clock: 8:00 on the dot. Why 
was it flickering again? Since the day it began its little game with me, it would flicker on time 
each day, and it had already done so today. As I pondered this thought, the light bulb glowed a 
brilliant white, seeming to double in size, and then burst into tiny pieces on the showroom floor. 
Somehow, I knew that she was now free and on her way home after a brief stop to tell me good 
bye. Momentarily stunned, I pulled myself together, and quietly whispered, "Goodbye, Gran." 

Basket and Shell 

Nancy Ceja 


Lost Somewhere in Imaginary Time 

These are the hours that should Hve • 
ones that are not mere whispers or 
rising steam from tea cup rims 

not ones void of all but entropy 

or simple inertia of unconscious life 

empty decanters where once was wine. 

Hours must have joy or flow with tears 
or dreams that flash then supernova 
light which burns, recreates, illumines. 

I stare at hands on a stove top clock 
watch seconds wander and minutes 
step off and drift lazily to the cosmos 

or white stucco villas by calm seas 
and dull, disappointing waves. Somber 
hours that should've never been born. 

Jejf Williams 


I can't stop thinking about you 
The way you move and your straight-laced smile 
Please don't stop singing the songs of feeling 
I am a man who can listen a while 

Before I met you, my world was clouded 
Walls had collapsed with me inside 
But now there's a light in the darkness 
Your eyes command stars and open skies 

How do we end this perfect moment 

Well, here comes your chance to blow my mind 

No good is regret if there's a tomorrow 

The water stopped at just the right time 

Mike Kimbrell 


Rainbow Brite 

Theresa White -Wallace 

My sister called me just before 6:00 one morning. I knew something was wrong when I 
heard her voice. "Oh, Theresa, I colored my hair last night and it's a hot pepper red color. What 
am I going to do? I can't go to work like this. I don't know of anyone who has ever had this 
happen to them." 

My mind went immediately to my mother. How could my sister have forgotten? 
I was eight years old when my mother decided to have her hair frosted like one of her sisters. 
I remember my mother's coming home in tears. Her beautiful dark brunette hair had turned 
orange. My mother blamed the beautician for using the wrong color. That was the first and last 
time frost or color touched her hair. Looking back at old photos, it's not hard to spot the year 
my mother had orange hair. In every photo, her face was either covered up with a book, hand, or 
lawn chair. 

Food Lion didn't have the color that my sister uses, so she chose another. That was her 
first mistake. My sister is a natural red head, and her roots have darkened as she has gotten older. 

I proceeded to give her advice even though I knew she wouldn't take it. I told her to call 
the beauty shop when it opened. They would know what to tell her to do. My sister said that she 
didn't want to wait that long since she had to go to work. Instead, she called a lady at her church 
who fixes hair. The lady fixes hair, but she is not a beautician. My sister called me back an hour 
later just to say that she was going back to Food Lion to get the color that the lady had suggested. 
I knew that would be a mistake, but saying anything at that point would have been useless. 

I received another phone call at 2:30 that evening. This time, my sister was in tears. Her 
hot pepper red was now bright purple. It took everything out of me not to laugh out loud. My 
sister had gone straight to the beauty shop after the purple incident. The minute she walked in, 
everyone stopped. Mouths dropped open. Oh, how I would have loved to have been a fly on the 
wall when she walked in! The beauticians got together and decided what to do. My sister was 
told that brown was the only color that would cover up the bright purple. The results left my 
sister in tears. Her hair was now a copper/brownish color with a purple tint when she got out in 
the sunlight. "I can't go to work. I can't go to church. I can't go anywhere until my hair grows 
out." I really wanted to fuss at her for not taking my advice. Instead, my heart went out to her. I 
told her to go back into the beauty shop and ask if and when they could strip her hair. I then 
suggested that she go downtown to the wig shop. I also forewarned her that she might not find 
one. She didn't want to go alone, so I picked her up after work. I prayed all the way there that 
we would find the perfect wig. My prayer was answered. My sister was very happy as we 
headed back to her work place. I happened to look down at her feet as we pulled up into the 
parking lot. "Where's your purse?" Again, I prayed as we headed back to the wig shop. 
Nothing is ever simple with my sister. 

Two weeks later, my sister got her hair stripped, and all is well with her hair. My one 
hope is that she has learned from this painful experience. But don't be surprised if in a future 
issue of Renaissance you read "Rainbow Brite II." 


Hat Hep 

Courtney Wegman 

Just So You Know 

I used the last 
Of the money 
In the money jar 

Which was all 
We had left 

Please forgive me 
I'll replace it 
But just so you know 
It was totally worth it 

Ashley Whitehurst 

If My Mouth Could Think 

If my mouth could think 

I would need no brain 

If my mouth could think 

My tongue would be tame 

If my mouth could think 

Would I care what others feel 

Letting them know that what's 

In my heart is real 

If my mouth could think 

Would my foot still go there 

Or would I have a kind word to share 

If my mouth could think 

Iris Davis Robinson 


America, the Modern Icarus 

America — the bold, the beautiful, the wench 

Home to the dirty, the poor, the greedy, and the rich 

Who is most important? 

I don't think anyone can say 

The middle class always visible 

But off the field, on the bench 

The country is politically torn 

Now more than ever 

Caught up in the politically torn fervor 

On one side? The left-wing, tree-hugging. Communists! 

On the other side? The right-winged, Bible and gun-toting Rednecks 

Who's right one may say? That's all up to the observer 

All I know is that it takes two wings 

The left and the right, to fly 

So why don't we put the feathers on that eagle and try to soar high? 

Feathers of white, the color of a peace dove 

Feathers of brown, still bloodstained from the past as a reminder 

Not a nationalistic, communistic, or fanatical movement 

Just a little movement at all 

And we could soar high 

Over the clouds and into the sky 

Towards the sun 

Where perhaps our doing would be undone 

For perhaps our wings are like that of Icarus 

Perhaps our wings are made of wax 

And as we fly towards the trap door in the sun 

They are all the while melting like an accelerated candle 

And only while we try and continue to fly will we have realized that 

They are gone 

And we'll call out asking 

"Why have our wings failed?" 

But no one will be there to answer back 


Blake Brady 



Sudden Stops 

When the vibrant days of youthful years 

were plentiful there was something 

now i cannot grasp what 

which kept my eyes open. All things 

beautiful and all things glowing 

the light of which shined the brightest in her. 

And like a moth i was trapped 

and blindly dived forward into a dream 

of my own perception, my own fate it seemed. 

Whose love flowed like water into my heart 

until i couldn't tell her from me. 

i drank her again and again. 

Through strife we over (came and went) 

like a traffic light. Caution! 

It's that stop start (and go) i was dying for. 

And then it stopped. One could say the light 
had faded from me. The air that i breathed 
became more suffocating. It was she 
the light of which shined no more. 

Graham Parker 

Wayfarer Courtney Wegman 


Somewhere There's a Path 

He's walked among the pawnshops, watching moneylenders trawl 
for refuse, and he's seen the curios destroyed in the exchange, lost 
among the ruins of the old way, and he's grown tired waiting for things 
to be different, for there is nothing to be lost and nothing to be gained 
now in the shadows of the falling sun, watery and cold in the December 
sky, and the bitterness flows like alcohol from a bottle of Campari. 

"There're dreams to be had somewhere," she'd said, "somewhere there's 
a path, a path to the open sea, a beach with no footprints, only seagulls 
on wing. In the ocean breeze we'll throw ourselves upon the waves and 
swim among the dolphins, play games with sand dollars, find driftwood, 
lie upon a bed of sea oats, wait as the lunar tide slides water on our feet." 
And for a moment he believed her, just as he'd believed in the mornings 
he was free, awash in the blissful time between waking and reconnecting. 

It was cold when the songs dried up, frozen like an arctic spring, when he 
no longer fought the music of silence which echoed liked an absent clarinet 
or piano with no strings, and the claxon drove him to ground, to the streets 
where the moneylenders prowled, where the worn prostitutes put themselves 
up for sale, where the worthless paper rained from skyscraper windows. 
"Somewhere, there's a path," he says, and drifts hollow into the crowd. 

Jeff Williams 

Building Door Karina West 



Beauty Ashlyn Hall 

i no longer carry your heart with me 

i no longer carry your heart with me 

(i no longer have the heart to care) 

for it was as if i were bearing the weight of ten worlds 

(and the weight of ten worlds has finally devastated my existence) 

my screams of agony are silent against the atmosphere 

losing you has become a repetitive hellish nightmare 

(long lasting images) 

these are the memories left of you 

there is no light in love 

(and i have found serenity in the darkness) 

you are far 

far and out of my reach 

(in a universe of disappointments) 

i no longer carry your heart with me 
(i no longer have the heart to care) 

Terri Register 


Stujf of Dreams 

Amit Lai 

White Flower Fields 

Rebecca Mines 

It was the stroke of midnight when my slumber deepened. I was upon the line of dream 
and fantasy, walking upon the silver thread of the imagination. I was taken into the wings of 
the seraph that seduced me into a longing dream state. There I lay, an angel clothed in an ebony 
black dress like the deepest hour of midnight in a field that was picture perfect. I was trapped in 
a scene that belonged to what seemed like an undesirably beautiful masterpiece, a tour de force 
created by the hand of a nameless artist. I was lost within a deep field of snow white flowers. 
The diminutive colorless flowers masked the ground and were spread out as far as the eye could 
see. Yet around the edges of the field was a lingering fog that played in the distance, making the 
scene look as if it was trapped in a frosted glass orb. The flowers gave off an innocent glow, 
making everything around them so innocently pure and radiant. 

I could hear the sound of thunder softly singing in the distance. A storm was starting to 
awaken upon us, creating a sense of comfort upon this monochromatic scene. I could feel the 
soft white petals brush against me. Their velvety texture caressed my faintly tan bare skin as 
they danced with the rhythm of the storm's breeze. The untamed wind stirred their intoxicating 
fragrance into the open air. The sweet addicting scent hung in the flawless atmosphere which 
triggered childlike memories like a weak haze in my mind. I breathed in the delicious scent with 
every breath I took as it played upon a remembrance of a forever lost pastime, making me feel so 
strangely naive. The growing strength of the ominous storm set the whole scene completely off 
balance. The cool frosted fog closed around us, fading everything away. In my darkness I felt the 
fresh crisp kisses of the unseen falling rain. 

Unwillingly, I opened my eyes, tearing away from my new world of fantasy. Awakening 
from the bewitching spell, I found myself back in the reality which I must call my own. Never 
again have I returned to such an amazing landscape, such a vivid breathtaking dream. 


My Mind 

My mind is always cluttered 
A closet with no space 
Holding on to the old 
Without room for the new 
With a need to replace 

My pen is running dry 

As my notebook falls apart 

My toes are like icicles 

The faucet drips are tiny taunts 

The neighbor's baby is crying 

Planes are roaring 

As a dog barks 

I am a train without tracks 

Did I mention my mind is always cluttered? 

I meant to write something meaningful 

Terri Register 

Celtic Crosses Ashleigh Stafford 

Genius Has Abandoned Me 

My creative genius has abandoned me 
Left me cold and hollow inside 
Like the shell of a once lavish home 
Decayed by time, leaving only stone 

My creative genius has abandoned me 
Left me poor and bare 
This home used to be full of activity 
Now nothing is here 

Robert Linley McCoy 



Amelia Rawlings 

While roosters crow, each one trying to outdo the other, ducks quack incessantly, vainly 
attempting to drown out the sound of the roosters. Mother Nature kisses me good morning with 
a gentle breeze on my face. As I open my eyes, I know there is no going back. I'm stuck in the 
real world for fifteen to sixteen more hours. The sound of bacon sizzling combined with the 
smell of Mother's French toast tells me that it's Saturday. I roll over trying to grip onto the com- 
fort of my adventurous dreams, the warmth of homemade quilts, and the laziness of the night. 
Sadly, it is in vain. After a brief battle with my conscience, I throw back the quilt of plugs to 
further investigate this breakfast, secretly hoping that we're having either rooster or duck. 

Upon my arrival, I find no creature of feather for breakfast. However, I am not dismayed, 
for my mother has mouth-watering pure vanilla French toast, thick maple smoked bacon, fresh 
eggs recently scrambled, home grown pears cooked in brown sugar, and ice cold orange juice all 
prepared. When I walk into the room, my nostrils flood with the smells of what she has so lov- 
ingly prepared. My stomach tightens from sensations of hunger. My legs go weak knowing that 
I will have to wait nine hundred more seconds until my sisters and father make their presence in 
the kitchen a reality. 

Having kissed my mother good morning, I offer my assistance in whatever will get break- 
fast on the table faster. I am handed a can containing coffee beans and start the machine that 
will magically turn these beans and some water into my father. Civil war breaks out in my mind 
between the half that wishes for sleep and the half that does not. The sound of the water slowly 
and steadily dripping into the pot tries to put me to sleep while the sporadic popping of the bacon 
fights to keep me in the land of consciousness. The deafening roar in my stomach forces me to 
stay awake. 

The fifteen minutes go by quicker than I had originally expected, and my taste buds are 
flying high as my tongue offers up the food to my palette for further analysis. With every bite, I 
silently sing the praises of my mother's cooking. Conversation at the table is joyous, and I admit 
my happiness at everyone's decision to rise and embrace the morning. As I look at my now 
empty plate, I sadly add up the hours until I can eat breakfast again. 

Renaissance Editors' Routine 2010 

Kathryn takes a comma out. Jeffrey starts to scream and shout. 
Jeanine watches quite bemused by the punctuation feud. 

Jejf Williams 


You Lookin ' at Me Katina Davis 

The House on Dahmer Street 

Theresa White-Wallace 

On my way to work one morning, I saw an empty house on Dahmer Street. The house 
was pastel and trimmed in white. It was the cutest little house I had ever seen. There wasn't a 
sign in the yard, so I didn't know if the house was for rent or for sale. For two years, I drove by 
the house, and for two years it stayed empty. One day as I was driving by, I noticed a car parked 
in the driveway. Someone had moved in. 

By this time, I had become very interested in the house. Two weeks went by. The 
windows were covered in sheets. When weeks turned into months, I told my husband that it just 
didn't make any sense. He told me I was being nosey and to quit staring at the house. I figured 
the family was probably poor and even thought about leaving some curtains on the front porch. I 
became more suspicious when I noticed there was a truck driver in the family. With such a nice 
truck, to be sure they could afford a pair of curtains at the Dollar Store. 

Over the course of a couple of months, the screen doors on both the front and side 
disappeared. Obviously, these people were rough on doors. I finally got a glimpse of the 
occupants before the year ended. They looked normal and even had a dog. And then the digging 
began. Each week the hole in the back yard got bigger and bigger. I told my husband that I just 
knew that was where they were hiding the bodies. "Mark my word," I said. "One day Goldsboro 
will be in the news, and I can say I knew something was going on all along." Again, my husband 
said I was being nosey and to quit staring at the house. 

The windows finally got blinds, but that too didn't last long. When summer came, flower 
pots sat on the front porch. That's normal, I thought. Then, they started putting up a fence that 
blocked any view of the back yard from the house next door. What more proof did my husband 
need? Bodies were being buried! 

I had to take a double look as I passed the house one morning. The once cute little pastel 
house trimmed in white was now being covered with shingles, and the color was hideous. Even 
my husband agreed that they had ruined the look of the house. I guess they thought the same 
thing because a week later, they started painting the house. I assume they ran out of paint, 
though, because only half of the house got painted, and it has been like that for over a year. 

If I were Nancy Drew, I would have solved the mystery of The House on Dahmer Street 
long ago. Of course, I am still waiting for the 6:00 news. 


What I Did Over My Summer Vacation 

Anita Collier 

I just recently returned to the U.S. My friends and family hadn't seen me in four months; 
they didn't even notice I was gone. That's my support group for ya! I ran into a friend of mine 
the other day at Walmart. She said, "I haven't seen you in sooooo long. What did you do — fall 
off the face of the earth?" Well, as a matter of fact, I did fall off the face of the earth. I was 
drunk! Hey, it happens! Don't laugh; it could happen to anyone of you at any moment. Now I 
know where all those missing people who suddenly disappear go. Christopher Columbus had it 
right after all. The earth really is flat. 

Falling off the face of the earth was quite a trip (this has nothing to do with LSD). It 
was a loooong way down to the bottom. By the way, hell is NOT in the center of the earth; if 
it were, I could have roasted marshmallows in the fire and visited a couple of people I know. If 
I had known sooner that I was going on a trip, I would have packed and brought snacks and a 
magazine. Also, I would have brought a lot of deodorant for the sinners down there! It was an 
exhausting, backbreaking climb back up to the top. I hadn't sweated so much since gym class in 
the 5th grade. 

When I finally reached the surface of mother earth, I ended up in Zimbabwe — Africa for 
those of you who flunked out of geography class. I attempted to speak Swahili to the natives 
until I realized they were calling me an Americano fool in English and laughing. When I want to 
get a laugh out of someone, I can't. Go figure! 

I had to hitchhike across the ocean to get back home, and let me tell ya, seafaring men are 
not sympathetic at all. I tried to flag down a tug boat, but the crew were all down below deck, 
getting drunk on whiskey. Never drink and drive! And those cruise ships! The crew won't pick 
you up unless you have a ticket. All the passengers were very cheerful. They had been drinking. 

They wouldn't throw me a life preserver, but they did toss me a bottle of tequila, Jose 
Cuervo, which was better than getting a ride. I ate the worm first. I figured I needed the protein. 
Floating around out there, I felt just like Tom Hanks in Castaway except I didn't have a soccer 
ball named Wilson as my best friend. I kept an eye out for Gilligan and the skipper, too, but no 
luck there. 

A Russian tanker finally picked me up. The crew were all drunk on vodka. They thought 
I was the mail order bride they had ordered. I learned quite a few Russian words during my stay! 
Things were going fine until I realized they were going the wrong way. I've never been to Mos- 
cow, and I hear it is quite lovely this time of year, but I abandoned ship. 

I paddled around in a life boat for quite awhile; by the way, rubber life rafts can actually 
be a lot of fun even if you don't know where you're going. You'll have to try it sometime. Even- 
tually, a yacht came by and picked me up in the Gulf of Mexico. They needed a servant. Ap- 
parently, their former maid had thrown herself overboard. They must not have tipped very well. 
The yacht people didn't pay union wages, and the rum supply was running dangerously low, so 
after they paid off the custom's officer, I had them drop me off in West Palm Beach. I had plenty 
of rubles to spend from my stint on the Russian tanker. I hung around there and did the Margari- 
taville thing for awhile. I love those drinks with the little umbrellas in them! I mainly wanted 
to get back to the U.S. because they serve beer here... and cheeseburgers. So here I am, with a 
hangover, but at least I have a really nice tan now. That's what I did over my summer vacation. 


Somebody Helped Me Along One Day 

Somebody helped me along one day 

gave me a little encouragement as I went my way 

allowed me a time to learn and to know 

and set time aside for me to grow 

Roethyll Lunn 

Summer Nights 
Summer nights 

Groovy gardens ^^^^^ ^^^^^^ j^^^j^ ^^^^j^ 

And slippery rocks 

High class fashion 

And painted skin. 

Two deep breaths 

And one quick glance. 

Running through a field of flowers 

Swimming through a field of trees. 

Summer nights 

Drunken fights. 

Arianna Thong 



Tyler Worrell 


You were supposed to be my life-support system 
Someone that I could always depend on 
Now they are telling that there is no cure 
But my cure is you 

You were supposed to be my life-support system 
Someone that I could always depend on 
Now you're telling that you wish to abandon me 
Obsessed with this war called love 
I thought you cared about me 

Now I finally see you don't give a care about me 
It's a catch 22 for my only cure was you 
For my final battle plan 
I got to be with you 

You were supposed to be my life-support system 
Someone that I can always depend on 
Now they are telling that there is no cure 

Jeremiah Ingram 


It's You 

I love the white birds, 

The ones that fly past 

And seem to not notice a thing. 

That swoop down to the ground 

To catch innocent bugs to take to their young. 

I miss the white car 

That was once mine. 

It would break down more than 

Any other car I owned. 

But it was mine, making it my everything. 

I remember the white shirts 
That you would always wear. 
They felt so soft against my cheeks 
And smelled so fresh. 

I suppose it's you I miss more than those shirts. 
Arianna Thong 

Picasso Joni Courtney Wegman 


Almighty Ruler 

I am ruler of this town 

I should be presented with a crown 

Throwing plates against the wall 

And smashing them on the ground 

Doing whatever it takes 

To gain control of everyone around 

I am a force to be reckoned with 

I sit high up on my throne; I'm worry free 

My only thought is "Should I show more sympathy?" 

I trample the weak and fragile 

Shattering them to pieces like dropped glass 

Gaining control isn't an easy task 

I am willing to stop at never 

I am witty and clever 

I make sure all of my jobs are complete 

One word to describe me isn't sweet 

I try to be honest and fair 

My main goal is to give everyone a little scare 

Harris Brogden 


Are you the friend as I saw you 
Coming to my house saying 
I'll write you back as soon as I 
finish helping my family and my 
schooling? I promise with a deep 
compassion in my heart. That was 
the last Sunday you told me, my lady 
as I thought of your eyes staring like 
red ruby sapphires in the ocean. 
I tried my best to keep you. 
Dearly Beloved, as I love you 
I want to have one... last... kiss... 
before the earth ever crumbles into clay. 
I'm the bronze king of Port-Au- Prince. 
I'm still waiting for your kiss. 
Now, the quake arrives 
and I don't know how to survive. 
When will you trust my love again? 
When will you write your next letter? 

Nicole Denise Hughes 


Crazy Hair 

Karina West 

Snake in the Pool 

He slithered in the water 
Back and forth, 

Glimpses of yellow, brown, orange 

Zigzagging away from me; 

Oh how sneaky he was 

As he teased me. 

He slithered his way to the steps 

Wrapping himself around them. 

I chased him with my net. 

When he swam to the trap 

I saw the little corn snake 

Slithering in fear. 

I enticed him with my hand 

Gliding it over the clear glistening water. 

As he poked his brown head out, 

I pinched it between my fingers 

And over the fence he flew. 

The Tainted Embrace 

The time was autumn. The cool breeze scattered 
the brown leaves. The ground crunched 
beneath as I walked an axe in one hand, 
a saw in the other. I was planning to clear 
the back brush. A snake scurried suddenly 
in tall grass for retreat. I seized him 
with my tools, throttled his head and tail. 
A neighbor saw, glanced in terror, and yelled 
"He's poisonous!" 
"You better throw him!" 
"My God, please don't let him get killed!" 
I threw him off in an instant! I ran in disbelief. 
Heart pounding, emotionally poisoned. 

Patrick Eason 

Ashley Whitehurst 


What's Left 

Karina West 

A Woodland Catastrophe 

Jordan Howell 

A crackle of thunder split the quiescent darkness of the forest; a storm was approaching. The 
distinct and frantic chirping of birds and chattering of squirrels could be heard emanating from 
the tall pine trees that dominated the forest. Lightning, like spears of furious light, punctured the 
night air, producing more echoing blasts of thunder. Rabbits scurried through the undergrowth, 
desperately trying to find their homes. Every animal, from the deer to the snake, retreated to a 
place of shelter, and as the last owl found its refuge in the hollow of a mighty oak tree, an over- 
powering jolt of lightning sundered the menacing clouds that loomed overhead. The clouds 
separated, releasing torrents of rain on the forest. Gusts of wind meandered through the complex 
arrangement of trees and tossed leaves and twigs into the air. Swirling heaps of pine needles 
barraged every tree and bush. As another blade of lighting shattered the air, the volatile storm 
unloaded an array of hailstones on the innocent forest. They descended into the foliage, nail- 
ing down leaves, tearing branches, and pelting every plant they could find. The forest creatures 
watched and listened in horror as their precious community was destroyed. When the last field 
mouse bowed its head in sorrow, a final streak of lightning slithered through the ebony clouds. 
The whirling winds gathered together in the center of the forest and dissipated instantly. Crawl- 
ing from their refuges, the animals stepped into the moon's light to behold the tragic destruction. 
The forest, now drenched by rain, had been ravaged, but the animals returned to their routine 
habits. The sun would rise in the morning to restore everything to order. 


Death for the Unnoticed Beauty 

Kiri Smith 

Sitting on a hill. Feeling the coolness of the wind on my skin as the last of spring makes 
way for the first of summer. The vibrant blues, reds, and purples of the flowers excite me in 
a way that only the beginning of the warmth can bring. On my hill, the trees around are tiny 
indeed, for the hill I sit on is taller than the highest-reaching of those trees. Green, yellow-green, 
and some pink clutter the land as far as the eye can see. Tree tops are exceedingly beautiful in 
the spring, but sitting beneath one is even better. Shade surrounds me, making it a little chilly for 
my preference, but something about resting up against an old oak soothes my mind. Watching 
the sky fade from a brilliant blue to a pumpkin orange, I stand and walk around my comfort tree. 
I see something ominous in the distance. Dark grey smoke crawls up the sky as if it were a hand 
stretching out to strangle the life around it. Something bad is on its way. 

As the days grow swelteringly hot, it becomes almost unbearable to go visit my 
peaceful area. One day turns into two, then three, and before I know it, fall is fast approaching. 
As the stress in everyday life grows, I decide that it is past time for my comfort place. Taking my 
normal route, I was surrounded by the thick green of the forest. As I start my incline to that one 
and only hill, it takes my breath away. Wind rustling through the leaves of the trees, whistling of 
the blue jays taking flight, and the slight trickling of the nearby stream are music to my ears. My 
hill is finally in sight. A few more steps to the top, and I'll be there. 

At first glance, everything seems normal, but a chill soon goes from my head to my toes 
that is not due to the cold. Not everything is right in my humble abode. I creep around my 
favorite oak tree not wanting to see what is on the other side. The gorgeous thick canopy starts 
to dwindle away. On the other side of the proud oak tree, life is virtually nonexistent. Machines 
now sit sturdy and sound as the new masters of this land. 

Slowly, I fall to my knees as the cold tears of sadness leak from my eyes. What once was 
a proud land is no longer thriving. Standing, I turn and run as fast as my legs will carry me away 
from the death and destruction of my once harmonious kingdom. I run through the trees and 
across fields back to town. Street after street blend together as tears continue to blur my vision. 
Just like every other dull boring house, mine doesn't make a statement of itself. Running up the 
stairs, I throw open the door and head straight to my room. That night, I cry myself to sleep. 

Life has passed me by: exciting, inspiring, and interesting as I fight for the land that 
others don't seem to understand anymore. As the years pass, I have yet to return to my own 
personal sanctuary, but being afraid of what I might find keeps me away. I know that I need 
to visit one last time to remind myself of why I have fought for what I have. I make the long 
journey to my once childhood home. I now take a new highway through the forest that no longer 
exists. I see my hill approaching as the land lay naked. My proud oak tree still stands, alone and 
isolated from its once powerful kingdom. I used to see it as the ruler of this land, but now what I 
see is its imprisonment in a future that was never chosen. 


Jake the Snake 

A flowing creek, woods dark and deep 
he sometimes finds solace here. 

Expertly, he'll climb a tall tree 

or pause to rest on suspended branch 

as if an arbour across the creek. 

On a summer day you may find him here 

catching a ray of warm sunshine. 

Reptilian eyes make no pretense 

to disguise as he strikes out at his prey. 

Slithering sliding, endlessly gliding 
he scours the ground before hiding 
in his beautiful wooded glade. 

Jake led a solitary life 
in his beautiful wood and glade 
contentment abound, no human around 
for he was happiest here. 

What caused his confusion 

on that hot summer day 

when he weaved his way up 

the back deck and under my door? 

Jake met his fate on a cold tile floor 
never more to roam and explore. 

Stephanie Williams 

How The Mighty Have Fallen 

Tall and proud I stand 

As tall as the ocean is wide 

Graceful as a cheetah in the middle of a hunt 

Different in the wind 

Branches flowing gracefully from side to side 

On top of a hill I sit 

All alone and on my own 

But accepting of the life I live 

Standing my ground for centuries 

Watching each day pass by in a blur 

There once were many of my kind around 

But soon as man came around 

We began to dwindle 

Slowly at first my brothers fell 

Faster and faster as the years progressed 

But wait my time grows nigh 

A man yards down with machines is near 

I look out at this vacant land 

Once so vibrant with life 

Now as bland as a desert 

I start to fall painfully awaiting my end 

I hit the ground 

Once a proud tall tree I stood 

Now just a piece of wood 

Kiri Smith 


Daddy's Garden 

Terry Jones 

Daddy's garden was a combination of hard work and love. Every year, Daddy loved 
planting a garden. After sunrise, he would put on his Turtle Shell hat and start getting his red 
Farmall tractor ready to till the land. Chugging along preparing the rows, he would plant the 
seed in the dark, rich soil. Daddy grew long purple hull field peas. Blue Lake green beans, both 
red and white Irish potatoes, small green butter beans, white corn, big red tomatoes, short pick- 
ling cucumbers, golden yellow cantaloupes, and large green striped watermelons. He carefully 
watched the green shoots coming up through the fertile ground. Daddy always planted White 
Silver Queen corn because it had a sweeter taste compared to other types of corn. The canta- 
loupes, with their orange color and distinctive flavor, were a scrumptious treat. In our neighbor- 
hood, out of all of the watermelons grown with their rich red color and delicious sweet juicy 
taste, Daddy's were the best. Hard work — well worth it — was preparing the array of vegetables 
and putting them in the freezer for the winter months. Using the frozen vegetables to make a rich 
homemade vegetable soup on cold winter days was wonderful. Smelling the aroma and seeing 
the steaming pot of soup on the stove made our mouths water. The memories of Daddy's hard 
work and the love he put into growing his garden will always be special to me. 


Maria Alexis Feby Cabuno Alday 

As I walked by this wretched hall, I saw a girl staring at nothing inside a music room. I 
ignored her. I tripped. I got up. Our eyes met. For a split second, I saw something familiar. We 
stared at each other's eyes. No words were spoken. Our glaring game was stopped by a sudden 
noise. I picked up my phone. I finished my talk. She was gone. I wandered inside the room. I 
did not see her. 

During the following days, I went back to where I had seen her, but every time, I was 
disappointed. Once inside the room, I was alone. To pass time, I listened to music. Sounds were 
everywhere from left to right, up and down. Loud music blasted at maximum volume. Walls vi- 
brated. The bass banged so furiously that my chest felt two beats: one from my stereo, the other 
from my heart. Music filled the room. Electric guitar played solo. Drums made multiple beats. 
Bass guitar thumped madly. The room was still intact. Sound flowed in and out of my body. I 
felt each and every beat of the music. I was back in the world that I knew I wished I lived in. 

I listened to different genres from ballad to metal. All depended upon my mood. In a 
good mood, I listened to love songs. In a bad mood, I listened to rock songs. I never listened to 
anything in between; it was either mushy or suicidal. Sometimes, the music would get so loud 
that I was oblivious to my surroundings. 

Startled by a loud thump from behind, I saw her. She looked different. But when I met 
her eyes once again, I saw it, the loneliness. I got up and walked toward her. My eyes did not 
leave hers. I tried to speak, but nothing came out. I had so many questions but no answers. I 
choked from my own saliva. I went back to the stereo behind me. I pressed the power button, 
and sound blasted from the stereo again. She stared at me, confused. I stared back at her. I said, 
"Listen." That was exactly what she did. She listened. I listened. We listened. It was not 
awkward, but relaxing. 

Through music, I saw an escape. Through music, I was at peace. Through music, I 
gained a friend. Through music, I could express myself. Unlike others who could express 
themselves through writing lyrics, composing melodies, and singing songs, I could not. I 
concentrated only on what I thought I did well and what I needed. That meant listening. While 
my mouth had a hard time getting across my thoughts, my ear knew when to listen. 


Frost's Woods 

Joy Pearce 

Down Home 

A simmering pot of vegetable soup 

With chunks of ham meat thrown in for flavor 

Brought down from a boil 

Now only small bubbles rise to the top and burst 

The aroma of freshly cooked blueberry pie 

Drifts throughout the kitchen 

While Dad washes up from a long day at the mill 

Mom rolls out the dough for biscuits 

Fire roars in the hearth, brightening the shadows 

The crackle of wood echoes 

The children rush to the table 

Eager and headstrong 

But still remember their prayer 

After supper Dad pulls out his pipe 

And tells stories of the war 

But only the funny ones 

While Mom knits a broken seam in his pants 

And hums to the tune of "Amazing Grace" 

Terence Davis 


Running from Gloom 

Rachel Mines 

A small single bird flies through the gray sky to find a warm, dry place to hide. I look 
up to watch him and feel the cold mist tickle my face. Curious to see if the mist could taste 
anything like it smells, I stick out my tongue. Sure enough, it is the same, crisp sensation. My 
hands in my pockets and coat pulled tightly, I walk on listening to the velcro-like sound com- 
ing from my sneakers. I travel beneath low trees that let down heavy drops of rain that gather 
on its bare branches. Seeing dogs in their dog houses with their heads down and their sad eyes 
makes me feel ever so depressed. Just like every other creature out in this friggin' weather, I 
want to feel the rays of the sun on my skin. Just the day before, everyone was wearing short 
sleeves, soaking up the sun in all its glorious warmth. Some were riding down the road with the 
windows rolled down; children were playing in yards, and the dogs were following behind them. 
Where are the excited children now? Kicking a stick into a puddle in the road, I feel a drop on 
my forehead. This is not mist but a rain drop. It trickles down my nose and bounces off my lip 
as I face the gloomy heavens almost as if to dare them to pour rain on me. The heavens accept. 
Now splashing through the thick rain, I see the earth fly by me like a blinding flash of lightening. 
Beating against my face and clothes, the rain will not ease. I can no longer see the houses or the 
lifeless front yards. I can only see my feet, the water they kick up, and the path that I am set for. 


In Shapes Nancy Ceja 


A pyramid is a color 
of sand and heavy stone 
the color of burnt gold 
under a desert sun 

Come with me, she 'd said 
we 'II dance on soft wet grass 
watch stars blinking in 
slow rhythmic chants 

but now in this old townhouse 
the town's pale winter light 
streams through white drapes. 
I shield my eyes 

see will-o-wisps of fog 
to a yellow moon fly 
past the stars of the hunter 
rising into the sky. 

and climb beige-colored stairs 
boards creaking in the gloom 
to my little chamber 
narrow as a tomb. 

Jeff Williams 


It's o' four hundred 

It's o'four hundred just the darkness of the night. 

She's already up with the day on her mind. 

She puts on her uniform and ties up her boots. 

Picks up her rifle, she's a soldier trained to shoot. 

With her Kevlar on her head and a bulletproof vest, 

Her gas mask on her side, there's not time to rest. 

Out of her barracks, she's prepared for her day. 

Looking out for mortars that come flying her way. 

Halfway across the world, her family lay asleep. 

In their mind is their soldier, fighting for the free. 

Steadily she marches with her head held high. 

Being a woman in combat, all odds she must defy. 

Strong-willed and determined, she will be all she can be 

Living the core values of the United States Army. 

As months go by, more responsibility she bears 

As she watches over soldiers that are under her care. 

Holidays pass and a new year begins. 

It's been ten months since she has seen her own kin. 

Letters and pictures are what she uses to get by 

Another ten more months, taking it one day at a time. 

Each new soldier she meets, a different story she hears. 

One of a man deployed seven out of twelve years 

Another of a girl who had to leave her baby behind 

And what keeps her going is her baby on her mind. 

And one of another soldier who is as proud as can be. 

The fifth generation serving in the US military. 

She watches as more soldiers come and more soldiers go 

Trying to keep their heads up until it's time to go home. 

Twenty months down, and another day more. 

Serving side by side the Air Force and the US Marine Corps. 

It's o'four hundred, just the darkness of the night. 

Already up with her family in sight. 

Gina Willard 


Never Coming Home 

It's been well over a year now 

since I first heard the news 

and your uniforms still haunt me 

in the closet untouched and unused. 

The love I make is empty 

his kisses are all the same 

his touches make me violently ill 

I am disgusted, distracted, and ashamed. 

I see them as they watch me 
staring through their pity-filled eyes 
but as they hang their pretty ribbons 
of smooth, shiny yellow foil 
they can judge me all they like. 
It means nothing to me anymore. 
Because as I lie alone in our bed 
sleepless on my tear-stained pillow 
surviving here lost without you 
gets harder every day. 

Yes, I know 
the others suffer, too 
but with or without you 
their life will soon carry on. 
Do they know how hard it is 
to live each and every day 
waiting for and loving a soldier 
You know is never coming home? 

Elizabeth Morrisette 

Born to Trouble 

Bom to trouble, Motown turmoil 
Drawn to a world of order and regulation 
Saw sights that make the blood run cold 
Some things the eye isn't made to see 
The mind has no delete button 
Moral corruption, forgiveness lost 
Patriot despair 

More sleepless nights, post traumatic, huh 

So hot I can smell the burning sand 

The family collection of flags wrapped in pine 

Why won't the dead die? Bring that up in group 

Writing letters about heroic sons 

Still wake in sweats 

Ready to go back 

David Roberts 


Life Time Love 

How do you explain the bond we share? 
How do you tell someone how you feel? 
How do you tell others you care? 
How do you help them understand it's real? 

You were my "first" in so many ways 
So many many years ago 
You brightened my heart for so many days 
That I thought you would always know. 

I thought you knew so long ago 

How deeply you touched my life 

I would have gone wherever you'd go 

I would have loved to have been your wife. 

But life interrupted our happy times, 
And we both went our separate ways 
We grew apart not a crime 
It's just that I missed those happy days. 

Now 23 years have passed us by 
Marriage, divorce and children 
I've found you again and although I cry 
It truly is a happy cry. 

The minute I saw you again I wanted to cry 
Because those feelings from so long ago 
Came alive inside my heart when I looked in your eyes 
Reflect Jovon Michael Moore i n^ver wanted to see you turn and go. 

When you told me that you had been looking for me 
All those years ago, I wanted so much to 
Hold you tight and kiss you for all time. 
A new beginning "no more wasting time!" 

May our lives be fulfilled with happiness 
May I be the one to keep love in your heart 
May we never have to look again 
May we never part. 

Wendy Turner 


You Get What You Ask For 

Candace Jones 

"You better get ready!" my sister screamed flying past my car with hers while spinning 
tires in the driveway. She was leaving the house as I was coming home to what I felt like was a 
world war filled with bloodshed and hate. I understood the implications of those words. Getting 
out of my car with serious hesitation, I started to walk to the front door like a timid dog with its 
tail tucked in between its legs. Easing into the house, I could feel the tension breathing down the 
back of my neck. Trying to make a safe escape, I heard the sound of his footsteps inching closer 
and closer with his heavy construction boots pounding the floor, followed by his untied shoe 
strings dancing behind them. With a lump in my throat, I felt as if I were in an intense game of 
hide and go seek, my room being the base. With an abruptness, he approached me with a 
turkey sandwich and a lingering stench of alcohol. As he looked me up and down with an 
undeniable hate in his eyes, I felt disgusted, not only just by him but also his eating habits: the 
way he chomped down into the sandwich, leaving scattered bread crumbs imbedded in between 
the hairs of his salt and pepper beard and spit clinching from his top lip to his bottom. His words 
started down on me like a heavy rain jolts down onto a tin roof. I waited patiently as he wore me 
down with every insult I imagined he could think. 

Later that night, I wrote in my journal. I wrote about my life, my hopes, my dreams, 
about him. I documented every harsh word he had thrown my way and how I wanted the harsh 
words to stop. It was at 10:03 p.m. that night when he had a stroke. After his seeing a speech 
therapist and struggling with the simplest of words, I often wonder, who got what was asked for, 
me or my dad. 

Flower Amit Lai 


A Dull Boy 

In attempts to make 
My parents proud 
I don't give in 
And run with the crowd 

I don't sit in class 

And text all day 

But I take notes and learn 

From what the teachers say 

After class 

I have no time for fun 
So I march myself 
Back to my home 

Back up the stairs 
Into my little room 
Sit at my comer desk 
Where my life is consumed 

Eyes all red 
From lack of sleep 
Lack of nutrition 
No time to eat 

White-lined paper 
Pen in hand 
All this repetition 
Makes my spirit so bland 

Burdened by 
the need of success 
Lack of sleep 
Maximum stress 

No time for friends 
No time for fun 
No time for anything 
Until school is done 

But continuous catastrophic waves 
Of schoolwork are caving in 
Suffocation under these waves 
Of due dates and isolation 

All this school is hectic 

And makes me depressed 

But right now I can't worry about it 

I must study for another test 

Lisa Hankins