teen
submissions

Visit the library April 9-25 to vote for your favorite!

1

After my de-ath, a peaceful sleep of
which can never be awoken, tears will
fall from the face of my fellow Sl-av.
Then after the shower of grief, they will
emerge into the sweet garden of light
where they will remember me by the
smell of my hair, a life that loves to excite.
My beryl eyes swirling full of plasma.
The stubbornness of a common mu-le
and the inability to shut my
mouth. And the relentless spirit fuel
-ed by my mother’s love and father’s sky
full of planets and stars believing that
this life could never and would never end in death.

2

Farewell

I say farewell to you who hurt me
And farewell to the chains you bound me by
I say farewell to your dictatorship
And farewell to your manipulative ways
I say farewell to ones that bound me
And farewell to the ones that held me back
I say farewell to it all
I say farewell to you who almost broke me
and farewell to pain you’ve caused me
I say farewell
Farewell
No longer the naive girl whom you manipulated easily
For i have grown into a strong independent woman
I say farewell to the old life i lived
And welcome to the new one i have chosen
I say farewell to my once innocent spirit
I say farewell to the girl whom you almost shattered
I say farewell to the past of haunting and misery
And i say welcome to future filled with laughter and joy
And i say farewell to the midnight skies
To skies of goodbyes
I say farewell to it all
And i say farewell to who i once was
I say goodbye
And farewell
For i have grown

3

Night Dreaming

You stand on your faded, weathered deck,
your hand resting
on the splintery wooden railing,
gazing out at the perpetual ocean of stars,
that twinkle
like lines of headlights on a highway
that stand out
like fresh white marshmallows
in a warm mug of dark hot chocolate.

Diving into hot chocolate,
all is chestnut brown,
but when you come out,
you lounge in an overly-cushioned easy chair,
holding the warm beverage in one hand
and that book you’ve read over 300 times in the other,
your feet propped up in front of a granite fireplace,
the golden flames licking out
like bronze dancers leaping and pirouetting around on a stage

And there you see your daughter at her first recital,
her thin, blonde pigtails swinging around on her head
with those hot pink scrunchies she insisted on wearing.
She twirls and pliés with other little dancers
bumping into each other,
and when your little girl comes off the stage
full of pride and excitement,
you hand her a bouquet of pink peonies
you harvested from your garden this morning,
listening to her stories about what happened backstage.
The flowers emit a sweet aroma you recognize
and you smell deeper.

You come out holding the fragile blossoms in one hand,
the dampness from the wet stems
seeping through your woolen mittens,
With a box of cheap Valentine’s Day chocolates
from the grocery store in the other,
working up your adolescent courage to ring your first crush’s doorbell.
When you finally do,
she opens the door and you bite your lip
and hope she likes them,
likes you.

And she surprises you and kisses your cheek,
and in her starry eyes
you again see that radiant night sky
as you stand on your deck,
your hand resting against that splintery wooden railing.

4

You are made up of the thoughts I could not
Uncover to write into this poem.
The thoughts that have not yet been thought.

You are the broken phrases and sentences
That make abstract art, abstract literature.
You are the words that could only be summed up by
Shakespeare and Dickens.

You are the ink that runs dry on all of the papers that I’ve torn apart
In my attempt to find the correct words
to even begin to adequately describe you.

You are the fading line between faith and blindly waiting.
You are resilient, extraordinary.
Your back tells a story that no books have the spine to carry.

You deserve to be completely found in your surroundings,
Not merely lost within them.

You have touched me without even touching me.

5

Your best friend goes on runs with you,
And sees you everyday

Your best friend eats your leftovers,
Makes you laugh while they sit and stay

Yes – it’s a best four legged friend,
One who is always down to play.

They pick us up when we fall down
We don’t even have to ask,

These dogs will find every stick and bone
Masters at completing this task,

Their happy tails will lift your frown
they remove your weary mask.

Yes man’s best friend are one of a kind,
Crafted specially, here till the end of time.

6

~ different from the trees~

Laying here waiting for the snow
among the trees
silent whispers
a community of strong separate
individuals, making whole
creating something beautiful
waiting for the snow

Yet the commotion of the lives
we once knew, ages us beyond a season
a tree does not get attached
(roots may intermingle for a greater reason)
but we cannot detach
a tree witnesses all that walk through the forest,
we do not forget all that wonder down our souls own path

How can we detach I beg and wonder
a forest witnesses changes every season
how cannot I muster the strength to see a person go through a change of season
do I say goodbye
as a tree drops it’s leaves
I wonder what gives a tree peace of mind

One may ask, does a tree ever feel alone, as they are on the outside
staring in
Yet each season a tree changes for the better, created a new
a rebirth and a promise of new life
Why does one feel stuck and attached
a tree may fall but the forest hears
if one falls, would anyone care
A tree certainly is not blind
yet one may become changed beyond recognition
without consideration
For the others that truly care
where are they

I sit here waiting for the snow
To find something true
maybe a promise of snow, cold and brutal
but…
The spring promised the rains
As my eyes fill with tears
promising not to be left behind
as a tree is never forgotten
by the forest and in the air we breath
So I will not forget
truly who I am
~where have the trees gone, as some gasp for air~

7

Too Late

I know, I’m sorry,
I’ve done it again,
I was out too late,
But I saw a wren!
Small and beautiful,
Like no other,
Please, oh please!
Just another second mother!
But then I got sidetracked
By a hawk,
And I just had to turn back
Because of that Squawk.
So many things that I could see
I had to stay
I just couldn’t leave!

8

The Second When Nothing Happened

Four babies born every second,
Nearly two people to death beckoned,
Humming bird flaps its wings seventy-fold,
As flowers wilt and the Gouda molds,
What if for a second that were not the case,
And the world nothingness must face.

If for a second the bees wouldn’t buzz,
If a child’s kite wouldn’t fly, as it usually does,
If the seas became calmer and barely waved,
If winds didn’t steal hats and briefly behaved,
If not a single boat bobbed on the open ocean,
If for a second there was little commotion.

As if time had stopped, yet still moves on,
As if no one aged and yet a second was gone,
As no woodland creature sounded in the glade,
As nothing was broken, and nothing was made,
As Earth pauses, nothing cast into dark or light,
As day remains day and night remains night.

Not a single person dies, nor is one born,
Not a reason to rejoice, nor one to mourn,
Not a thing is wasted, except maybe time,
Not one good deed, not one single crime,
Not one accident, not one miracle to cherish
Not a bud to bloom, nor fawn to nourish.

Countdown of milliseconds comes to an end,
So that that was paused can resume again,
Births, deaths, movements, nature all at once,
As if not a second had frozen but months,
If all were for naught in the length of a second,
What time would we lose, if longer we reckoned?

9

The unending burden of life
A crushing sense of numbness and fatigue
Limitless work with limited time

Lying on the floor
Staring at the ceiling
Pondering

What does this all amount to?
Are you wasting your time?
What if you could be happier doing something else?
Happier

Are you happy right now?
I’m not sad
But happy?
No

No sense of direction
No motivation
Nothing
Just silence

Empty
Devoid
Missing

What are you missing?
Will you ever find it here?
Why are you still here?

I’m trapped here
Then escape.
But it’s not that simple
Why not?

Because it’s inside of me
Eating away at me
Choking me

I can’t escape this
Because this
Has become a part of me.

10

So Long my Friend:

As I stood out in the open hill.
Water from the sky began to spill.
Drops of tears began to land in my hand.
As I stood upon the lonely land.

I looked up to the open grey sky.
And slowly I began to cry.
The flowers in my hands began to shake.
For this was a God’s mistake.

She was not ready to leave.
Now we were both in grieve.
As I stood out in the open hill.
Water from the sky began to spill

11

Happiness

Happiness is the scariest
type of feeling
I fear that it will escape
and wash away like
watercolor paint
eating me alive
until my banging heart
cold and sweaty
is mutilated with a fresh dart.

The moment has ceased
to live
so here I lie
with a dream that one day
I dare not to defy
my wanting to strive
as a happy woman
and fearless human

12

Every time I wake up I say
You’re going to be okay
But the truth is that might not be true
The stress of trying to do better than I can handle
The pressure of social media
Of your peers, teachers, parents, everyone around you
Even you
You put pressure on yourself to do better
And when you get one question wrong you feel like a failure
And it feels like everyone thinks that too

So no wonder people deal with
Depression, anxiety, stress, and everything in between
No wonder teenagers have suicidal thoughts

Then you go and compare yourself
You compare yourself to the kids who are smarter than you
Better than you, kinder than you; heck, even more respectful than you
And you tell yourself that you shouldn’t compare yourself but you do
Because you can’t help it
And that just makes you feel even less special or smart
Which hurts your self-esteem and wilts till there is nothing left
And in the end you try to escape from it all but you can’t
You can’t escape the pressure you put on yourself
You can’t escape the comparisons you keep on making
And you fail and fall down

You fall
Spiraling into abyss out of which you try to climb out
But if you claw your way out you fall right back in
So you are stuck
Stuck with this forever falling with nothing to latch onto
Stuck with never ending pressure
Stuck with comparisons that you make
So the world becomes an unrecognizable place for you
Where no one cares and thinks you’re stupid
In which you are powerless to change
This powerlessness is overwhelming

And I can tell you with 100% certainty that we all feel this pain
So do me a favor if you see someone lonely in the hall go and say hi
Say hi and start a conversation with that person
Because that is all you need to do to make that person feel special