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Grade
7

My body lays awake

My mind shut down

Where am I?

Cloudy like a rainy day

I can't think

I can’t FEEL

I can't see

Is this death?

Has it finally come

To fulfil my wishes?

The enhanced but diluted

Feeling in my fingers

My tense but relaxed

Muscles

I don't understand

What is this?

Imagination?

Jitters?

Relaxation?

Why

        can’t

                   I

                       FEEL?

What is this?

I’ve never FELT this

I don’t know if

I like it

Why now?

Minutes have already passed

Sunlight starts shining

Through my window

I have to get up

The day is starting

As my thoughts start

My senses awake with a jolt

I can FEEL my bed

I can FEEL my skin and clothes

It FEELS normal again

The word to describe my experience

Numb

State
Texas
Zip Code
75098
Grade
12

Plastic Paper feeds us

Plastic Paper clothes us

But Plastic Paper leaves me empty

What more do you want, Plastic Paper?

I gave you my belongings

I gave you my time

Yet you consumed my mind

My friends agree with you, Plastic Paper

How prestigious you are

We save save save and hoard what we cannot afford

Yet I do not see how it is possible to glorify you, Plastic Paper

When all you did was make me blind

The weight of your last pressure stabilizes my soul

Makes me understand the danger of not contributing to the billion dollar war

You owe us your tastebuds

A hot mess of ice cream drips from an unfinished cone, giving me the simplicity of having something to own

I stare at the drain where my Plastic Paper has gone

I understand now that Plastic Paper was Paper Devil's spawn

Your wit is a smirk behind the curtain of drawn eyes and smiling faces

The seamstress can mend my soul but she will fail to mend what has been sewn into my eyes

I am bleeding

I can no longer keep up with everything I owe

But they still won't let me go.

You still owe us one more thing, Adrenaline Junky

I owe them my life

I’d sing to you if I knew the words to my own tunes

Yet now I am nothing more than a croaking voice to put in earbuds too

I wish they would tell me what I did wrong

Provoking me is silence and alienation for not keeping Devils in my pockets

I speak in hoping the world will understand

Only it fails too

Just like I do

We can choose how to use you, Paper Devil

We are not your control

No longer persuaded to keep up with a society that does not feel good enough in their own souls.

Plastic Paper may feed us

Plastic Paper may clothe us

But Plastic Paper is not our pass time

I ask of you not to place me into a coma made for Adrenaline Junkies.

And you Paper Devil, will not own mine.

 

State
Nova Scotia
Zip Code
B4G 1B8
Grade
7

To conceal our errors, our scars-

Anything

We keep to ourselves and pretend-

Masquerading is

Our closest friend

We do something

We shouldn’t be doing

To conceal our shame

And convey goodness

But

Errant we remain and

Conscience beseeches

To reveal our errors

And ask for assistance

Instead

We stay undercover

Like an earthquake

Releasing tremors

Of Withering

Esteem

And proliferating

Madness-

A constant inner war

That we long to

Be freed from.

All we need to do-

Express ourselves, then

Errors unfold into

Intimations of need

Where peers along

With the One above

Can lift us

To the honest place

We yearn to remain

State
California
Zip Code
91381
Grade
11

the flowers lie perfectly still in the pond of water

petals scattered, adrift and reflected

 

I had watched the vase tip over with someone’s accidental touch

a very light, quite faint motion

and it left the surface of the table, descending with little resistance

 

the vase was beautiful and ornate

valued as priceless by its owner, for it was a family heirloom

intricate patterns painted across the sides

strings of lanterns intertwined to show a path

with the darkened forest and silver crescent set behind

 

the pieces are sharp fragments

edges deep and straight enough to cause bleeding

but I hear the bleeding in the owner’s heart when she sees the scene

everyone heard the crash, but only she cradled the broken pieces

 

I too saw the beauty, but not in the same way

the broken vase was a form of art by itself

for destruction can sometimes be the same as creation

enough to move the mind, enough to create tears of emotion

enough to shake the soul, and enough to be remembered for all time

 

and I think to myself

is it not still even more astonishing when the pieces are brought back together?

just like when a person rises from their ashes and dust

as a stronger person with a vision to live and a future of hope

 

in the end, however

I laugh for the irony of the situation

for those flowers were a bouquet of freesias

a representation of joy.

 

State
CT
Grade
10

If I could paint with words

I’d dip my fingers into a hundred jars of ink

And I would light a page with a thousand sparks of joy

 

I’d start by sketching the sun, sky and moon

Twilight wild goosebumps, ghost tales and shivers

A sunrise warm, world caught in a sleepy yawn

Dusk still and quiet, empty of breath and song

Noon scorching with the real, all else burnt to dust

 

I might then turn to life, motion, excitement

With a galloping herd of zebras, breaking light

As a dark slick crocodile slunk forward

Then snap!, bright red blood flows

And energy grows

And running sprinting panic must escape

And I think I’d have to let the other zebras get away

 

And turn to still my heart beat

(As it thump thump thumped in it’s cage)

A flower, delicacy, glass, frost, beauty

Color seeping in, lending a vibrance

Spice, reds and yellows and orange

Or maybe sliding into a slick green leaf

Waxy, still, calm

I’d slip into a dream

 

Dancing figures leaping across a painted sky

Swans intertwined with candy canes

A thousand meters high

And they would spin and twirl

A blur of perfection

But faster

Faster

Faster still and no it’s not good now

But still spinning twisting whirling

A hurricane of light

 

And out spits a thousand frogs

And red trains chugging forward

A whirlpool of marbles

Falling through a giant’s hand

Flashing colors crazy

Purple yellow up and down

Zigzagging around

And pounding, breaking

A hurricane of sound

Until I can’t take it anymore

 

And I jump up!

And I settle back down

I don’t think I’ll go back

Quite yet at least

That’s plenty of dreams for me

 

So I think I’ll paint a lullaby

Warm, soft, safe, and real

Snuggle in a blanket

A glass of warm milk

Childhood returns

Innocent, fun, play a game

Silly, excitement, follow me

Happy giggles, wonder and delight

A teddy bear

A painted doll

A sleepy goodnight

 

An I’ll leave with just one more quick sight

A thousand lights in sync, twinkling

Far, beyond grasp

Close, I think I can reach

Colorful jewels

Tiny but so huge

I think I’ve shrunken

But I feel so large

The sky’s so large

Life in every direction

And there is so much light

 

State
Michigan
Grade
11

 

your ideas are selective
you say the news is a bore
“nothing here concerns me”
and prove it first by closing your door
“I dont care”
and you draw your blinds
“it really can’t be that bad out there”
you shut your eyes tight 
lean into the silence 
“nothing is wrong on my planet earth”
you board up the windows
and nail down the door
“see, nothing's wrong, I'm here and just doing alright”
you turn out the lights 
climb into bed
plug in ear plugs
and tie the sheets over your head
you wrap a cloth around your eyes for good measure 
viva indifference 

the lengths you go to listen to silence 
for the screams of the end of the world are ear-splitting 
you do not want to know of pain and sorrow 
life is easier that way
even as you create silence in your own mind
editing out what you call negative thinking 
this negativity is someone’s everyday
this negativity is someone’s every breath
maybe it is so you don't have to care, to hurt, to think, to feel wrong, to feel wronged
you want to lay back and never try anymore a day in your life
because maybe it is easier pretending things are fine
with your headphones in you can't hear the planet being destroyed 
you don't want to put in effort for change
you don't want to see the things that’ll make you cry
you don't want to admit that we could fail as a species
and you definitely don't want to save the world today 
viva indifference

you build your house in the wilderness of avoidance  
far far away from the civilization in a path of pain
you move away, in fear of knowing the truth
convince yourself that you "just don't like the noise" 
decay speaks to you in the essence of seeking your tears
“but these tears belong to me I will not shed them upon the weak”
if you don't speak out you are just adding to the destruction 
you don't want to believe this 
you've plugged your ears again
the end of humanity is your fault if you chose to be naive
but you’ll probably just ignore this too
carry on and hold your indifference tight 
you will never change the world

State
Mi
Zip Code
48895
Grade
9

Laughter bubbles from a corner

Hair tucked behind ears,

Faces dotted with rainbow freckles

Hands and arms dance about

 

Colors fly through the air

Banana yellow,

Radish red,

Hints of blue and green

 

Bright accents,

Dynamic changes,

Spinning and singing,

Music for our eyes

 

An hour of bliss,

Unrestrained and bright,

New ideas flow

From young excited minds

 

The sun dips lower

Colors fade to pastel

Rosy cheeks wave goodbye

Until next week!

State
California
Zip Code
94070
Grade
6

Light

and

Dark

 

Even

and

Odd

 

Up

and

Down

 

Cold

and

Hot

 

Peace

and

War

 

Clean

and

Dirty

 

True

and

False

 

Give

and

Take

 

Love

and

Hate

 

Good

and

Bad

 

Angels

and

Demons

State
Michigan
Zip Code
48104
Grade
11

Imagine yourself beyond the picturesque beauty on the outside.

Beyond the cage you hold yourself in.

Who do you see?

You are made up of so many people, your ancestry runs deeper than you will ever know. Perhaps you’re made of slaves or slaveholders.

Do you let that define you?

When you push back the curtains in the morning and let the light hit your face, what does the sun see? Or perhaps, the moon?

The night is dangerous in your town but how do you contribute? When you hear screams do you run towards them or away from them? Perhaps the answer is wired into your DNA. Who have you become

State
Michigan
Zip Code
48895
Grade
7

Dark and gloomy days inside

Graceful tears softly cried

Tears drip from lonely eyes

Bottled up secrets and lies

Cold arms linger near

Bright blue eyes full of fear

Long nights spent alone

Left by herself, on her own

Hoping for better days soon

Stars shining with the moon

Sad days feeling lost

What does her life really cost?

All those people don’t care

Friends that her loved won't be there

She’s about ready to end it all

But she stands up feeling tall

Facing the world so big and cruel

Cause if she were to end it she’d be a fool.

State
ohio
Zip Code
45429