Muscles, a Fish

Self Portrait by James Griffen © 2012

there’s always a wrinkle in water
flashing dashing round and round
hopes of friendship like colored flakes
r g y g b
 e r  e  r  r
  d e  l   e  o
      e  l   y w
       n  o      n

he sees this as another day of social studies
I see him as another friend
one I hope will last forever
a fish is a fish no matter if it’s loved
or not

our friends have left us wondering
how life will turn out after
the ones
you left
are gone

Erez is a ten-year-old student in C. W. Henry’s 4th grade GS program. He loves to play golf (when it’s warmer), and made the Roxborough Y swim team. Erez lives mostly with his mom, but he writes poetry with his dad. He has a four-year-old sister, Rebecca.

Philly Senses

Philly tastes like
The sweet effervescent drinks from corner delis, tickling my tongue with tiny bubbles,
My teeth breaking through the Philly pretzel’s bronze outer crust,
Water ice melting into a colorful syrup and pooling in my mouth,
And, of course, the Philly cheesesteak drooling cheese over all of my fingers.

Philly smells like
The pungent aroma of perfume and cologne,
And the tangy scent of various cheeses to the subtle smell of succulent fruits and vegetables from local farm stands.

Philly looks like
The kaleidoscopic rose maze at the Wyck House garden,

Thirteen-year-old Ma’at Smith attends the Waldorf School of Philadelphia as an eighth grader. She has been a resident of Philadelphia for thirteen years, along with her three siblings, mother and father. She loves the outdoors and nature, the fine arts, reading, and writing, mainly fiction and poetry. Some of her many cherished books are the Harry Potter stories, as well as the Mrs. Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children series.

The Last Thoughts

Swimming in the ocean
I let myself get a little too deep
The current pulled me down under
And I could finally see

The land is constantly booming
People, places, everywhere
Under the waves I can finally think
Alone, with no air

I can see the light begin to grow
Time zooms by in a blink Seeing the waves flow by overhead
Lower and lower I sink

On land I wasted so much time
I stressed over little things and details
I should have savored the important things
What we worry about is so trivial

I see that now as I drift deeper under

This is a ballad about an adolescent girl contemplating the loss of a parent, her mom, while in her last moments alive, as she is drowning, written by 13-year-old eighth graders Renee Begley, Lucy Czechowski, and Arianna Harris. Renee, Lucy, and Arianna all live in Haddon Heights and attend Haddon Heights Junior High in South Jersey. 

Monsters Not Demons

My mama always told me to double check.
Again and again she would say, “Did you lock the door?”
Again and again I would say, “Yes mama, the door is locked.”
But she always made me double check.

Now it’s late at night, the rain is tapping on the roof.
The wind is rattling the windows.
Only I know it’s not the wind or the rain,
Just the demons.

I curl into a tight ball, the salt from my tears sting my eyes.
I can hear their claws nearing my bed
As my tears stain my pillow.
Why won’t they leave me alone?

My name is Ayah Pearson. I am Homeschooled and I am in the ninth grade. I like to write horror because I’m a big scaredy cat. That along with my vivid imagination gives me the fuel to write scary stories and thrillers. When I’m not writing I like to draw, read, design characters and ride horses. I live in Philadelphia with my mom, my brother, and my stuffed animals. I am a proud Mighty Writer.

A Monster is Near

her eyes flutter shut

she sleeps like the dead

her dreams become nightmares,

she lives in her head.

a moment has passed

outside of her dream,

but a mere second is years

in her mystic extreme.

all the while she lies

convulsing in fear

for outside her subconscious

a monster is near.

but she can do nothing—

she’s trapped in this prison,

she cannot wake up—

for her monster has risen.

the monster’s eyes twinkle,

leaning back on his throne,

no one can save her—

Sarah Uhlman is a junior at Pennsbury High School who likes art, traveling, and watching the X-Files with her family. She’s a Hufflepuff and her favorite Broadway musical is Phantom of the Opera.


I want to cover my cities in magazine
and floral applique. Plaster all the concrete
vineyards with paths or tear in typing.
I want billboards showing pocket watches and
telling all the mountains that time is up.
Tick tick to the terror house of street men
and buggers we always formed, and
never wanted. I know of a boy who sleeps
in this city. He wants to live in a box with
baseball cards and blue. A warm city sound and roads making anew.
When skies have fun and cities sleep,
you know it mustn’t end. You glue on paper
stars to paper cars and polish crowns.

Kristine Kearns is a 16 year old aspiring poet at Souderton High School. Kristine publishes her poetry on her personal blog, kristinekearns.blogspot.com, where she also expresses her creativity in fashion, beauty, and baking. Kearns also runs cross-country and track and is in love with running, as well as English, poetry in particular


She, by no means, had ever thought that she needed a man to save her,
She never really thought she needed anyone.
She would climb the tallest trees to reach her aspirations,
Never expecting a safety net woven by anyone’s hands but her own.

She had curated an image of the person she desired to be,
A story she needed to write for herself,
Not borrow from someone else’s shelf.
Pen strokes of fierce independence,
Call her an enigma, if you will.

However, shallow breaths took place of the light she desired to breathe into a room,

My name is Kaitlyn McCormick and I am a junior at West Deptford High School. I live with my parents, my twin brother, and pets. I enjoy singing and participating in my school’s color guard. I am very ambitious and believe in staying true to yourself

I am an Oak Tree

I am an oak tree.
Big, bold, tall, kind, your best friend...
Child, look after me.

Click here to view the artwork for this poem.

I Am From

I am from
Dominican Republic
Where it is
poor and not
so good, where
we have to
search walls
and rivers and beaches are so

I am from
music and dance
where love
is never
I’m from
where empty
plates are a thing.
Where family
is always
together and
never apart.
I am from Dominican Republic
where Dios may free you.

Kalmaris Diaz is in the sixth grade at Feltonville Arts and Sciences in North Philly. Her favorite subject is Math, and she likes to hang out with her family in her spare 

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