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Calliope
A collection of artwork, poems, stories, and reflections by the students of Our Lady of Holy Cross College

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18th Edition Calliope is the muse of heroic and epic poetry.

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Cover Art by Jubilant Scott-Madison
Cover Photo by Matthew Exnicios

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PHIL BLANCHARD Owner
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Our Lady of Holy Cross College A Ministry of The Marianites of Holy Cross

Calliope Staff
Editor .............................................................. Jillien Minera Photography Editor .................................. Matthew Exnicios Art Advisor ................................................ Mrs. Carol Scott Faculty Advisor ........................... Dr. Claudia M.Champagne

Literary Club Officers
President ......................................................... Jillien Minera Vice-President ............................................... Bethany Beierl Secretary ........................................................ Monica Perrin Treasurer ........................................................... Derek Witte

Members
Bethany Beierl Jamie Chesterman Megan Ducote Matthew Exnicios Tracy Hatty Cheryl Lacoste Anne-Marie Landry Paul Levy Sharon Mamolo Chelsea Martin Jillien Minera Monica Perrin Suzanne Pfefferle R. J. Prestenbach Terese Thibodaux Laurel Thomas Derek Witte

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Table of Contents
Short Stories
Jamie Chesterman Stella’s Story Laurel Thomas Signs Sharon E Mamolo Rainy Days The Big Lie 7 10 15 17 18 20 22 25 26 28 30 33 35 36 37 40 41 42 44 46 49 50 53 54 57 58 60

Poetry
Chelsea R. Martin Upon a Midnight Quay A World Awakening Not Forgotten Anne-Marie Landry Haiku Delilah Firmin YOU ARE Laurel Thomas In March (a found poem) Rachel K. Morales Simple Gestures Terese Thibodaux Lost and Found Derek Witte [I want a day…] [I like to call it “5 o’clock New Orleans blue.”] Telegram Home Melanie Arnold BLUE One Grain of Sand Eternally Now Sharon E Mamolo Kindness, At Last The Strike New Forms of Life Jillien Minera Fleeting Emotions Just One More Awkward Moment My Little Girl Bethany Beierl Androgyny Aeola Good Luck Charm Not-me

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Reflections
Derek Witte February 13th, 2008 Jamie Chesterman My Mother Adele Labrador LOVE…What is it? 65 66 69 PhotoArt Little Girl Happy Flamingo Lisa’s Party Rose Son Hard Times Princess Steph Under the Covers Fallout Mask Tulip Little Girl Lost New Orleans Feast Zinnia Transitions Monstrance For My Grandmother Meta Cognition Disney Fire Fighter Moon Boot Bright Girl The Gateway Rearview Mirror Husband and Wife Eyes and Lines Woman Beauty PhotoArt Serenity Don’t Mess with Me Crest, Cross, Crown Reggie Lilly’s Birthday The Wedding Day PhotoArt 6 9 13 13 16 21 24 27 29 29 31 32 32 34 38 39 43 43 45 45 47 48 48 51 52 55 56 59 61 61 63 64 64 67 68 71 70

Artwork
Paul Levy Charlene Cavalier Jamie Percle Lisa Patureau Emily Bloom Adam Serovich Amber Mata Delilah Firmin Dana Lepanto Brett LaCava Lauren Bergen Nicole Jones Trisa Warner Joyce McKines Matthew Exnicios Heather Primeaux Sr. Claudia Mashambo Anisha Blackwell Joshua Porte Kristi Kirsch Yvette English Kelly Lore Sharon E Mamolo Megan Taylor Brooke Salassi Jillien Minera Catherine Langley Lisa Minter Emily Huezo Katie DePascal Melanie D. Kaufman Blaine Nelson Robyn Powell Angela Falcone Jubilant Scott-Madison Emily Huezo

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Acknowledgments

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A Letter from the Editor..............
Dear Our Lady of Holy Cross Family, Every year the Literary Club collects poems, short stories, reflections, and artwork, which are then printed in a literary magazine called Calliope. But Calliope is more than the mere collection of pictures and writings. It is a permanent record of memories, of emotions, of beauty, and sometimes of pain. It is a snapshot of life beyond what one can see or touch. Each writer or artist showcased in Calliope has contributed a bit of real life, as he or she has lived it. During my final semester here at OLHCC, I’ve been bombarded with writing papers, meeting deadlines, fulfilling family responsibilities, commuting from my home in Baton Rouge, and papers, papers, papers. (I write a lot of papers.) In helping Dr. Champagne with Calliope, reading the poetry and seeing the artwork, I have been given the opportunity to step into someone else’s mind and imagination for a while. I believe this is what makes Calliope great. It not only preserves the ideas and creativity of its contributors, but it also allows its readers to experience life through someone else’s perception. Graduation is fast approaching, and I’m just beginning to realize that my life will change dramatically, as life so consistently does. But Calliope will always be a keepsake of this year—my senior year. It preserves a piece of me, of my fellow classmates, of my acquaintances, and of some I have never even met. In the time that I have spent here as a student, I have formed beautiful, lasting friendships and made memories that I know will bring a smile to my face for the rest of my life. So I want to give thanks to all of you who submitted to Calliope. Thank you for allowing me and all of Calliope’s readers into your lives. I will never forget this year or any of the time I’ve spent at OLHCC, and your involvement in this year’s magazine has left me with a wonderful souvenir of it all. Also, I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Claudia Champagne, who has been much more than a professor to me; she has been an advisor, a mentor, a counselor at times, and most importantly a friend. I am honored that she asked me to be this year’s editor, and without her hard work and dedication there would be no Calliope.

We celebrate with our English instructor Juyanne James the upcoming publication of her short story “My Drowning Words” in The Southern Review and the nomination of her Master of Fine Arts thesis The Elderberries and Other Stories for the Eileen Egan Award at Spalding University, which is given to an outstanding graduate student. Congratulations!!!!!!

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PhotoArt by Emily Huezo

PhotoArt by Paul Levy 6 71

Calliope Acknowledgments
The Literary Club would like to thank the following for their generous support:

Short Stories
Stella’s Story: A Different Version of Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live at the PO” Sister and I have never quite seen eye to eye, being as I am the younger sister. I guess it’s not hard to imagine, and I shouldn’t be surprised by her any more. She’s always had it in for me. Back when Mr. Whitaker and I met, she started right off. Of course, he paid no mind to her. Well, maybe to be polite, but certainly no interest like he had in me. Sister swears he was hers, but I know better. He told me so himself. So here I come home from just being separated from Mr. Whitaker, and Sister already has green eyes for me. Me! In my worst form, all weepy-eyed and sniffling. And right off she starts questionin’. To make matters worse my innocent little adopted daughter Shirley T. has me by the coattails and witnesses all of Sister’s fury. Poor little Shirley T. ain’t never harmed nobody. She just sat starin’ around at these new kin with them big ole blue eyes and took it all in. Now why does Sister want to go and scare her and talk bad about that child? Well, of course, Mama don’t believe a word of it! She knows better than to listen to Sister. Mama just has to look at me and know I’m tellin’ the truth of the matter. Why wouldn’t I? To even suggest that baby can’t talk….just cuz she didn’t talk to Sister don’t mean that baby can’t talk! I do say that was downright rude of Sister. Oh, and that little spin she puts on Papa-Daddy; well, let me tell you right off, she said that! She said it in those kind of words you listen to people say that sound one thing and mean another! You can be sure she said it all, that he should cut off all his whiskers. I would never, never, lie ’bout Papa-Daddy’s whiskers. We all know how much those whiskers mean to him. Treats them like they’re his lifeboat on the wild sea. He’s 7

Fr. Anthony DeConciliis Dr. Vernon Miles Ms Kristine Hatfield Mr. Stanton McNeely Ms Anne Katherine Lene’ Dr. Claudia M. Champagne Mrs. Carol Scott Dr. Raymond Gitz Ms Diana Schaubhut Dr. Stephen Pearce Dr. James Quina Mr. John Travis Ms Juyanne James Ms Bernadette Gross Ferdie’s Printing
and all of the students of OLHCC who have given their time and talent to Calliope.

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been growing them whiskers since he was fifteen, you know. To even have suggested such a thing… Boy, she really got to old Uncle Rondo though. I don’t think we’ve ever seen him in such a tizzy. The look on Sister’s face when those firecrackers went off so early in the morning! Hah! It woke the whole house. Sister was mad as a wet hen. Uncle Rondo had every right though. The way Sister talked about him. Well, she stood right there by my window and blabbed and babbled about how ridiculous he looked. I tried to tell her, I said, “Sister, you don’t mean those things. I am not gonna listen to these crazy things you tellin’ me.” And I put my hands right over my ears, like this, to block her out. It did no good, she just kept on talking. I had no choice but to let Uncle Rondo know how unkindly she spoke of him, now did I? Well, I guess Sister just finally lost it. You know they always said I was smarter than her. I got brains and beauty, that’s what Mr. Whitaker told her. He told me, too. Well, Sister lost it. She started pickin’ things up and stuffin’ ’em in this satchel she has. Probably that’s for the P.O., too. Who knows with Sister? She even went as far as taking the motor to Mama’s sewing machine. Now, what gave her the right to do that?! I helped buy it, too. I think maybe I’ll just get Mama a new one and that’ll teach Sister. She took the clock and calendar. She even pulled up those real pretty four o’clocks that was planted out front of the house. You know the ones that were all around the porch and full of colors by the time they was full bloomed? I can’t imagine what she’s gonna do with those with no yard to put them in. You think they’ll let her plant them out front of the P.O.? I’m only wondering. No, no, I don’t want you to go see. No, we’re through with Sister. I can’t say I know exactly what got into her, but she did it to herself. I guess she’ll come to her senses. I don’t see how she’ll fix the harm she’s done though. Mama and Papa Daddy say no more stamps or postcards. I hope she knows she really did it this time. But how can I get my postcards and letters? 8

LOVE…What is it? LOVE, it’s often the issue in a person’s life, at some point. Whether it’s mentioned in music, movies, gossip shows, magazines, or just among friends, two questions remain prevalent in so many lives: “What is love?” and “How do you know who’s the special one?” Before I met someone really special in my life, I had no clue where to begin to answer this question: “What is love?” Sure, someone obviously loves you, but what makes it so special? I’ve often heard of phrases like “Love is patient”; “Love is blind”; and “Love does not envy.” Before attending college, I took the meaning of these phrases sort of literally. But now, I know the deeper meaning behind these simple statements. So “What is love?” Love is patient. Although it may seem to lack patience sometimes, it can also teach you to persevere or to wait for things that really matter. Love is also blind. When you can see a person with his or her own flaws and still love that person for who he or she is, this is love. Finally, love does not envy. This means that you’ve basically set your heart aside for that one special person you want to live with for the rest of your life. Finally, to answer the last question, “How do you know who’s the one?” Every once and a while, I see an old couple walking past me, hand and hand, and that’s when I’m really amazed. With divorce rates so high now, how did they stay together? Well, I guess you can see when you look in their eyes, that the powerful love pouring from within themselves kept them from falling apart. In addition, both have sacrificed for each other, not just to make things fair, but to make the other person happy as well. To sum up these thoughts, consider this: My boyfriend’s nephew, Ben, is more than year old now. Plus, he’s learning to walk and talk. I see him a few times a week, and it seems as though any stress I have disappears quickly, when he wraps his little arms around me. Suddenly, I no longer think of myself, but of his safety and happiness. This, to me, is love. Adele Labrador 69

Oh, Mr. Whitaker, yes, we’ve recently separated. No, she’s really adopted. Oh, that’s Mama callin’ me back. Nice chattin’ with you. I gotta get back now. Jamie Chesterman

The Wedding Day by Jubilant Scott-Madison

Little Girl Happy by Charlene Cavalier

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Signs It was a cool September morning when Moreigh and Desi Peccati headed down the interstate to Capital City. Desi’s cousin was getting married after dating his girlfriend for seven years. It was the event of the century for Desi’s family, and Moreigh was afraid they would be late getting there. It was already past nine and they still had another two hours to go. Moreigh hated the drive to Capital City. All she could see were trees and billboards. Plus, Desi drove slower than her eighty-two-year-old grandmother did. “That is the fifth casino I’ve seen advertised! The people around here must be a greedy bunch!” Desi kept his eyes on the road. “I’ve always hated casinos. People always seem to want more than they have.” He pointed at a billboard. “Look. There’s another one.” “Oh my God. That’s just disgusting.” Moreigh pointed to another sign showing a heavily made-up girl in a low-cut top. “Isn’t the use of the phrase ‘gentlemen’s club’ just ironic?” “Yeah. Those places are anything but. I went to a bachelor party once for my friend Steven and at this place… Well, you don’t really want to know. What kind of town are we getting close to anyway?” “Hey! When did you go to a bachelor party? I don’t remember any bachelor party... Hmm, another billboard... No surprise that it’s for a plastic surgeon. He probably has a lot of clients at the gentleman’s club. I don’t get plastic surgery. Why can’t people just be satisfied with the way they look? Would you ever want me to have surgery, baby?” “No, you look great the way you are. Don’t need to change a thing. Hey, are you hungry? I think we should stop for a quick breakfast. Keep your eye out for a place.” “I’m beginning to have my doubts about what we could even find around here.” Moreigh closed her eyes for a few 10

Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. Okay, most times we don’t agree. But she is my mother and has always looked out for me even when I did not want her to. So in case I don’t express it enough or adequately… “I love you, Mom.” I hope she knows that, and I hope all of you take time out to let your mothers know, too. Dedicated to my Momma, Pamela J. Briggs: Teacher, Wife, and #1 Mother Jamie Chesterman

Lilly’s Birthday by Angela Falcone 67

My Mother My mother is not perfect, but the older I get the more I realize how lucky I am that she is my mother and that I have the best mother anyone could hope for. Every Mother’s Day, I search the shelves for the perfect card and realize that there aren’t any that suit my mother. I now know this is because Hallmark doesn’t have the right sentiment and vocabulary for my mother. Growing up, I focused on when my mother wasn’t there. I remember her coming home from work commenting on the “monsters” in her class and not needing four more at home. At the time this hurt my feelings, but I have followed in my mother’s footsteps and am becoming a teacher myself, and now I realize how demanding, draining, and disappointing teaching can be on some days. I am no longer hurt by these comments but sympathetic and understanding. I am thirty years old now, and by the time anyone sees this probably past that. I have three children of my own, and I respect and admire my mother more than she will ever know. The times when she seemed to be belittling and giving up she was actually performing the motherly art of reverse psychology. Boy, did that work! It took me nine years to go to college after I graduated from high school, but here I am in the final stretch of my senior year. Thanks, Mom. My girlfriend said that her mother stopped taking care of her the day she got married. Thank God, my mother didn’t. I’d be living on Chinese noodles and sandwiches if she had done that. My mother is truly an angel. My favorite grocery store is Mom’s kitchen. Whenever times are rough, and this is often with children and college, Mom is there. Without even being asked or bringing it up she comes through. Whether it is uniforms and school supplies in August, Thanksgiving goodies in November, trips home in the summer or just groceries anytime, my mother has always been there. 66

moments. When she finally opened them, she began glancing at the side of the highway. “Ha! Look! What did I tell you?” She pointed to a billboard advertising a casino buffet. “They don’t even try to hide the fact that people are swine; look at the amount of food that man has in front of him. All you can eat! Hmmph! They should rewrite it to say, ‘All you can eat to make yourself throw up.’” “Moreigh, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I’ve seen you eat your share. I can only imagine what’s going to happen at the wedding buffet.” “Desi, please. I don’t eat that much. Hey, turn off here. I think there’s a place we can get something. Can you go to the drive-through? I don’t really feel like getting out of the car.” Desi turned off the highway and maneuvered the car toward a small fast-food type restaurant. As they waited at the window for their food, he laughed to himself. Women, Moreigh in particular, were such a contradiction. They always said one thing and did another. As he returned to the highway, he thought of why he married Moreigh and smiled. “So what are we giving them for a wedding present?” he asked, glancing at his wife before turning his attention back to the road. “Well, it was so easy to choose one. I just went to their online registry and picked one out and had it shipped straight from the site. They’re getting a lovely crystal bowl they’ll probably never even use.” “It’s such a waste buying them a wedding present. It’s not like their parents haven’t already spoiled them. They’ve never really had to do much for themselves.” He sighed. “Makes it more difficult for the rest of us. Hey look! That place would be perfect for them!” He pointed to a billboard advertising a spa resort. 11

“I love the slogan: ‘This weekend, you don’t have to lift a finger.’ The sign just encourages people to be lazy. In fact, most of the signs we’ve seen seem to encourage some type of depravity.” “We’ve only seen five.” “Huh? Five what?” “Five of the seven deadly sins. We’ve seen five of them: greed, lust, gluttony, pride, and sloth. Let’s see. We need envy and.... I always have trouble remembering... Oh! Wrath! That’s it.” “Are we playing a game now? A somewhat twisted one, I’d say.” “Ha! Not much of a game left. But I guess we can try to find the other two. Hmmm. I haven’t seen any billboards for a while.” “That’s strange. Did we veer off the highway or something?” Moreigh giggled. They drove for twenty minutes surrounded by nothing but road and trees. “Do you think David and Beth’s marriage will last? From what you’ve told me, they don’t exactly sound ready.” “Well, they’ve been together seven years, but I’ll only give them seven months of marriage. Did you know that David originally had his eye on Beth’s best friend? But she was taken, so he asked Beth out instead.” “It should be an interesting wedding. Hey, it’s a billboard! Oh. Another casino. Figures. Oh wait! What does that one say?” Moreigh pointed to a picture of an enormous house. “Pique Builders. For the home all your neighbors will long for. I think we may have our envy. What’s the other one we need?” “Wrath. But that’s going to be hard. I don’t recall ever seeing anything that could represent that.” “Look, that sign says that we’re all going to... But I hardly 12

Reflections
February 13th, 2008 As of today, there are roughly three and a half million homeless people in the United States. Judging by the Edwin Moses-like hurdle of humanity that I encountered on Decatur St. recently, most of them live here. I think that it would be safe to guess that included in the throng of homeless are a few of the about 20,000 Americans who suffer a drug overdose each year. Some of those overdoses are probably the result of an intravenously used drug. Intravenous drug use is also one of the ways in which HIV is spread. In the United States, there are around 1.2 million people suffering with HIV/AIDS. One main reason why people resort to dangerous things (i.e., intravenous drug use and unprotected sex) is a lack of education. This lack of education is due in part to the fact that approximately 40 million adult Americans that read at or below a 5th grade level. When you combine the above problems with the myriad of others, it becomes obvious that something needs to be done. Our government has its hands full. To that end, a special Congressional committee was convened on February 13th, 2008. Of course, none of the aforementioned problems was addressed. “Well, what did they talk about?” you might ask. Was it the epidemic of gun-related violence in our country? Nope. How about our flawed legal and prison systems that do not so much rehabilitate as they create more violent and effective criminals? Sorry, ’fraid not. What about school shootings or dangerous religious cults? Guess again. What about the economy or, for Pete’s sake, the continued rebuilding efforts in the Gulf South? Nice try. On February 13 th, 2008, Congress met to discuss whether or not a professional baseball player had used illegal performanceenhancing drugs and then lied about it. Really? You’re kidding, right? With all that is going on right now, that took precedence over anything else those Congress people could have been doing that day? Brilliant. God Bless America! Derek Witte 65

Flamingo by Jamie Percle Crest, Cross, Crown by Blaine Nelson

Reggie by Robyn Powell 64

Lisa’s Party by Lisa Patureau 13

think the wrath of God is what we are looking for. Have you ever felt wrath in your life, Desi?” “I’m not generally an angry person, you know that. A couple of times, there’s been something that’s set me off a bit, but I really couldn’t call it wrath. To me, wrath is like a super, uncontrollable anger. Can’t say I’ve ever really felt that way. Hey, it’s a billboard for that movie everyone’s been talking about at work. We need to go see that.” “I heard it got really bad reviews. It seems all the movies everyone flocks to lately are about vicious killers. What’s up with that? Doesn’t anyone like a nice romantic comedy anymore?” “I guess no one seems to have scruples any more. Hey, could that billboard bring our game to an end?” “I guess so. Look, there’s the turnoff to the church.” Moreigh and Desi pulled up a few minutes later at a large church. Pebbles crunched under their feet as they walked to the chapel. A few of the wedding attendants were standing on the steps; shouting was coming from inside. Desi shook one of the grooms- men’s hands. “What’s going on?” “It seems that David was caught with Beth’s friend, Lila, this morning. I believe the wedding is off. Beth is really, really angry. I would not go in there, unless you want to lose an eye.” Moreigh looked at Desi and shook her head. “Wow. Not even seven minutes. What are we going to do with a crystal bowl?” Desi put his arm around Moreigh. “Hock it and go to a casino?” He ducked as Moreigh swatted at him. They headed back to the car, hand in hand, kicking up bits of gravel as they walked. Laurel Thomas 14

They put her in a box and lower it into the ground. Mom cries out— my name. Can’t you see? That’s Not-me, Mom, I’m up here. Don’t cry for Not-me. Don’t cry.

Bethany Beierl

Don’t Mess with Me by Melanie D. Kaufman

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Not-me I hover above what used to be me. A red ribbon of blood runs from my hair. I reach out to touch it, but my hands pass through. It isn’t me, any more. Men stand around, gawping at what isn’t me. Can’t they see? I’m just above that girl on the floor. They’re carrying Not-me away and I follow. I watch as they peel away all that is Not-me, examining heart and lungs and bones. There is blood everywhere. Not-me’s blood. Finally, they finish dissecting Not-me. They take her to a funeral home. Mom is there; she has my favorite dress for Not-me to wear.

Rainy Days It seems to me that my life changes dramatically on rainy days, although I know that can’t always be the case. The first rainy day came when I could barely make sense of what was going on around me. I remember the rain falling down at a severe angle and the sky being pitch black, even though it must have been no later than mid-afternoon. A bolt of lightning struck an oak tree near the road on which our family was traveling. My father lost control of the car and swerved off the road into a ditch. Our car was immersed in inky, grimy water, with rain pouring down in a fury from the heavens, as if asking why we had even ventured from our safe and dry home. That day my dad managed to save me, the baby of the family. My mother tried to help my brother, but they were both caught in a torrent of water that swept them away from my dad and me forever. I became a very spoiled little girl after that day, and my dad became an old man overnight. I would sometimes catch him staring out the window when it rained, as if he were consulting the raindrops about that fateful day. Rainy days have not always been so sad, though. The day I graduated from high school was a beautiful day with large, fluffy clouds and cobalt-blue skies. At the start of the ceremony, a fine, cold shower started to descend in small waves from the east. That day the glistening raindrops were a welcome relief from the heat of the blazing ball in the sky. I took the sight of the liquid prisms as a sign that my mother and brother were also attending my graduation. I was proposed to during a hurricane party, found out I was pregnant under overcast skies, and divorced while my car took a beating in a hailstorm. In all forms, rain has affected me since the first time that I can remember. My dad says it is because I am a water baby (Cancer) and that my life is 15

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intertwined with the element that can bring forth life. (I believe my dad has watched too many Kung-Fu reruns.) Today is another beautiful rainy day. I can hear the raindrops hitting the roof at a steady rhythm. The sound of it makes me wonder if something strange, wonderful, or unique will happen to me today. If not, I will not mind so very much. The raindrops keep me company during the different stages of my life. At least I know that there will always be rainy days to look forward to. Sharon E Mamolo

PhotoArt by Emily Huezo

Rose by Emily Bloom 16

Serenity by Katie DePascal 61

Good Luck Charm Alone in a back field, surrounded by clover, I sat after school. Looking for lucky charms. Alone, always alone. That was how I waited, always waiting, for Thomas to come and take me home again. Time passed as I searched for four-leafed bringers of good luck. Maybe I would make my luck with a split leaf. That day, she came. I didn’t know her, and yet I did, for she was as much me as I was her. She asked what I did, and I replied, and she joined me there, among the clover.

The Big Lie I had always suspected something was wrong in our relationship. About the same time each year he would become mysterious and secretive. I would try to shake it off as mood swings. Maybe the cold weather didn’t agree with him, or the holiday season might have made him sad. It could have been a thousand and one things that made him change every year. I never suspected the truth. I now look around and realize that everyone has known the truth all along. That the people I had trusted were all laughing at me. Everyone was in on the great, big lie. It even reached the point where they helped cover up for him those times when he slipped and accidentally revealed the unpleasant side of suburban life. All those winks and stares from Ms. Graft; all those late nights working at the office. But I couldn’t face up to the truth of the matter. I kept making excuses for all the neon signs that were flashing. It’s the same old story you will hear from countless victims. I loved and trusted him completely. I figured our lives would return to the same old, comfortable routine eventually. My illusions of a perfect life were shattered one fateful night, however. He had told me not to bother waiting for him that night. He had some work to catch up on at the office, and he would be home as soon as possible. I awakened to a terrible thirst and padded downstairs for a glass of water. That is where I caught them together. Ms. Graft, the babysitter, was bidding him goodnight at our kitchen door. They hadn’t noticed me standing behind the refrigerator, frozen with understanding. Two cups of half-drunk cocoa, colorful paper bits and ribbon strewn all around the countertops. The cookies that I had made were gone. They had the nerve to eat my cookies! Then I saw the unmistakable evidence of the biggest lie in my world. There were neatly wrapped presents all over the room, shouting out at me . Daddy had lied! There was no Santa Claus! Sharon E Mamolo

Bethany Beierl

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Poetry
Upon A Midnight Quay Still do wayworn wanderers seek For hope oft cast afar Upon the foreign fields Seeking ever, Truth Among forsaken lands Found never to exist Save for without, within And infinitely far beyond Our own secret perceptions Seeking ever, he may find A golden prize within The pages of our history, deep Or legend far gone by Beyond recall, yet known to those Who yet walk in the Light And safeguard that which many sought Throughout the passing years A prize more grand than golden sun In Spirit, savored ever A chalice filled with water clear More potent than any wine To be found within the halls of kings Or lords of kingdoms vast Who ever fight, in fealty sworn Seeking through blood for power And find false glory long perceived As will is torn asunder 18

Words form in my mind, filling Me, and I weep. not for Myself. for the Hollowness. the Solemnity that resonates deep in my Heart. the Cold grips my soul. my Center withdraws, closes itself off from the World. She consumes Me. Bethany Beierl

Beauty by Lisa Minter 59

Aeola a cold Breath —She enters, gliding across the room silently, slowly. the Cold penetrates to the deepest part of Me. She passes by, as gentle as a kiss in Spring —there the similarity ends. Nothingness. Nothingness follows Her, leaving Desolation, a vast tundra. It seeps into the core of Me. the Emptiness lies about Her, like supplicants before their Queen, a spreading Ice. softly She winds her sinuous arms around Me. her voice sounds, the low moaning of a heavy Wind moving through trees.

Wanderer, why in longing chase So desperate a dream Realized not those who yet In despair, forsake the word But by he who through words gaze beyond And find by blood, written The answer for so long sought Not in prized, golden fair Or the power that we allot But in ancient promise made Hidden but never lost Chelsea R. Martin

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A World Awakening So much hate and fear has spread (Or worse, a shallow pity) By the different beliefs that are held Or in how the spirit of Truth is read Blood has darkened the passing years And mistrusts between them long were drawn By either weak and hollow fears Or by deep desirous pride for power Even today, the battle goes on Devouring the love of the innocent And staining the beauty of the dawn With the shadows of hungry fire The cause, the driving of the divide Religion—in human languages wrote Held at first to raise and guide But through time eternally corrupting Ideals and differing beliefs are held No other opinion can then be seen And from youth they are compelled So brotherhood becomes a competition But beliefs in all ways eventually lead Either toward the Good or Negative Mean But this has long been hidden by greed And the bonds of love long weakening And yet in these swiftly changing days A new tide is rising against the lines Set even against the hell-fires blaze The bonds of Enlightened minds illuminating That there exists beyond the written word Where limitations of linguistics quickly fail A life in joy—a song long unheard Calling sleeping worlds to wake Chelsea R. Martin 20

Androgyny Is she a man, or is he a woman? He-she is Person. Person strides forward, alone in a sea of others, a salmon bent on its suicidal travel upstream. With swaying hips and swinging hair, Person pushes determinedly onward. Is he a man, or is she a woman? Who can tell? Person goes on its way. A prettily un-pretty face rises above a slim, trim, unsexed figure. Which one is it? Which one? Person continues on his way, her feet going left-right, onetwo, one in front of the other. Always against the flow of bodies, against people, against mindless following. He-sheit is on the way to a different place, the same place. Who can tell? Who cares? Person keeps pressing forward and backward, going its own way, living its own life. The long braid sways in the wind; one long braid on a head of ear-length hair. Man or woman? The figure disappears in a long black coat, styled unstylish. White slacks show under black hem, innocence dwarfed in sin. Person presses against the stream, heading to its beginning, a salmon in its struggle to procreate. Man-woman goes against the flow alone. Is he? Is she? Or are there more? Bethany Beierl

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Son by Adam Serovich

Woman by Catherine Langley

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Not Forgotten Oh, to be remembered Beyond the passing of your age What a great and wonderful dream— To touch not a life, a time, a place But all the world beyond Teacher Whose wisdom still stands true? Shouted now from shore to shore In lands to you unknown In languages then unspoken So very far from home Master Whose work still is shown? Loved, preserved dearer than gold Reprinted, repainted, recalled Meaning something still when viewed By hearts long beyond your time Maestro Every inch that was suffered for Every tune and tone and word Did you ever dream that it could One day be sung across the globe Set in minds and hearts and souls

Eyes and Lines by Jillien Minera

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My Little Girl You’re my little girl and my best friend. Love you more than life because my love has no end: With your beautiful eyes that you must get from me, and your sassy attitude, but from whom could that be? My Little Girl L-I-A What can I say? I live every day to see your smile showing all six of your teeth. It makes my heart melt. In my life, I’ve never felt such pride inside. To the LORD I lift my heart and give thanks for such a precious gift. And I pray every night and every day for the strength to be the type of mom to make your life go right. Be happy. Be you. Stay true. That’s what I wish for you, My Little Girl. Jillien Minera

Your work not so contained By time or land or kingdom-boundary This art and works and music Still beloved by all mankind Did you ever dare to dream? And what a daring wish, A longing, impossible dream! A silent hope, to touch the world “Do not forget me—I gave you all I had” “Do not forget me—my immortal soul to thee” And now not only remembered, But exalted, hailed, emulated Great and terrible artist, who suffered so Alone, unheard, unloved—desperate in your time You are not forgotten. Thank you… Chelsea R. Martin

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Just One More Awkward Moment “We’re not supposed to do this,” he said. As she kissed him again and again. Ran her fingers through his hair. Left her heart open and bare. And a pause in the passion caused a small conversation. But he was uneasy, she sensed, which she took to mean regret. “Tell me what you are thinking.” “I don’t like this questioning.” And the silence fell once more Then the fantasy was torn. “What an awkward moment,”she admitted. No thoughts of the sin she had committed. Only of this man whom she adores took years for him to catch her lures. And with silly giggles she tried to relieve the tension her passion had readily conceived. Then he pulled her closer with lust and resentment, and asked for just one more awkward moment. Jillien Minera

Hard Times by Amber Mata 24 53

Haiku Beloved broccoli, in the cold sun you blossom soon I will eat you.

My sweet, little boy, you are growing like bamboo. You have surpassed me.

Poor old kitty-cat, Your bones are so thin and frail. Sleep tight, little cat.

Sweet, white fragrance pops. The spring warmth excites me, too, Little orange tree. Anne-Marie Landry Husband and Wife by Brooke Salassi

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YOU ARE The things we want—you are. The things we see—you are. The life we live—you are. Come go with me—you are. How do we tell the things that you are? How do we move the things—you are? Let me love you—you are. How is life to you—you are? Baby boy and baby girl—you are. I am in you and you are in me—you are. Let this be love—you are. Take me away, my you are, is Yours, “My Lord”! Delilah Firmin

Rearview Mirror by Megan Taylor 26 51

Fleeting Emotions

People lurking in the past; Things I’ve started left undone, and when I think of “will it last” I look back to what will come. Left without a fair goodbye, what do they all think of me? I know I blocked you from my mind, But I think sometimes of what could be. It’s only right that you should know That bed I made is sinking low, and while I don’t deserve the thought I wish that you had left me not. A long past passing in my brain is caught not easily by my hand, but I hopelessly attempt to gain a glimpse of what once I had. Jillien Minera Princess Steph by Delilah Firmin

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In March (a found poem) it is improper suffering. they are beaten. mental faces leave marks. we have revenge for lunch. our alleged health irons pale blue lips. we mourn independence. they deserve nothing and everything. Laurel Thomas

New Forms of Life We’ve managed for years To look into eyes That sparkle with cheer And homemade pride Now we’ve moved on To a brighter future One with predestinies, For all who live here Our comrades in arms White smocks for armor Pick and choose the desired Traits of our lovers Our children are born With no chance left to fate Eye color, hair color Sex and height will be named No longer are we Children of love We’re created by men, White knights in smocks Sharon E Mamolo

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Bright Girl by Kelly Lore Under the Covers by Dana Lepanto

The Gateway by Sharon E Mamolo 48

Fallout by Brett LaCava 29

Simple Gestures Outside he looked fine. He had a smile on his face, But all throughout his mind, There lingered feelings of disgrace. As he looked at all his peers, His brain began to swell. Torment struck him like spears, And yet he would never tell. On his break he sat down, As these words rang in his head, Lord, why did you create me? I wish that I were dead! Then he stood up sadly, And began to make his way, Down the hall, on what was to become His last living day. Meanwhile, she was walking, Never had they met, Yet she would change his life, On this day he would never forget. While passing in his direction, She looked him directly in the eye, And she said with polite affection, A sweet and simple “hi.” Moon Boot by Yvette English 30 47

The Strike I have stood my ground for years. Always swaying, gently, with your blows. I’ve never showed fear The many times that I was brought low. Tonight I sense the fury Tonight I have no time. You struck me once, without hurry Now I’m free of life I smell the smouldering remains I feel the heat of pain. It’s also the heat of death One that walks toward my bed. I needed your tears To soothe my fears To shower my limbs, My roots, My being. Sharon E Mamolo

He jumped as he smiled back, Inside he felt amazed, He thought, Someone noticed me, And his heart was set ablaze. Yes, his life regained its significance, On that fateful day, Who knew one could make such a difference, Just by saying, “Hey”? Rachel K. Morales

Mask by Lauren Bergen

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Meta Cognition by Joshua Porte Tulip by Nicole Jones

Little Girl Lost by Trisa Warner 32

Disney Fire Fighter by Kristi Kirsch 45

Lost and Found Bursting through every door, Banging on the walls, Screaming out a long lost name, Running down the halls. Shadows turning every corner, Voices echoing near, Searching for what I long for, Hoping to find it here. Letting nothing stand in the way, Wanting what is mine, Quickening my pace with every step, Running out of time. Someone whom I cannot find, But even worse, cannot see, Only to find the hidden truth, The one who’s lost is me. Terese Thibodaux

Kindness, At Last I wish to know, dear sir What is it you seek? I seek nothing beyond That which must be. Can I help you, perhaps? What do you need? Nothing from you, lad Please go in peace. Well, I bid you good day And good luck on your quest. I thank you, dear son, Take your soul and run fast. Sharon E Mamolo

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Monstrance by Sr. Claudia Mashambo

New Orleans Feast by Joyce McKines

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For My Grandmother by Anisha Blackwell 43

[I want a day...] I want a day… A day to do absolutely nothing— no chapters to read no papers to write no verbs to conjugate no sentences to translate no trucks to unload no shelves to fill no warehouse to straighten no errands to run no deposits to make no phone calls to return no mail to read no dishes or clothes to wash no trash to put out by the curb no lawn to mow no nothing. That’s what I want. I want nothing and I want it now. I want to lie on the couch and become part of it. I want to leave the phone off the hook. I want the dog to be self-sufficient for once. I want to flip through the channels and watch reruns of sitcoms I didn’t like in the first place. I want to eat dry cereal straight from the box and worry about the crumbs later. I want to lie around like the slacker most who know me assume I am. Let me prove them right. Just once. For just one day, I want to do nothing. Is that too much to ask? Derek Witte 35

Eternally Now Oh my precious child I hear you, now Let your salvation be continuously pursued, now Every hour, minute, second I am here, now Be with me always, now What will be is an eternal promise, now Memories are a gift of nows gone by Do this in remembrance of me, now Be with me always, now Melanie Arnold

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[I like to call it “5 o’clock New Orleans blue.”] I like to call it “5 o’clock New Orleans blue.” It’s the color I see when I have broken another dawn. It’s not the only color around but, it’s the one that lets me know that I have won. I’ve beaten another night. Sitting around a table surrounded by friends the colors are everywhere. The swirling amber in the pint glass in front of me that is merely the last of many. The piles of gray and white ash in the trays before me remind me why I’m coughing so much. The red of the lipstick on the other cigarettes leads me to wonder where the girl who smelled like heaven went. All of these colors are muted. I never know if it’s too much booze or not enough sleep. It really doesn’t matter. These colors are mine. I’ve earned them. Every yellow finger from too many Marlboros. Every brown elbow on my shirt from leaning on the bar. Every speck of red-brown blood from the God knows what. Every blue-black-green-gray bruise from a forgotten bump. All filtered through the lens of a long night. All earned. All mine.

One Grain of Sand As one grain of sand moves toward the shores of heaven, It is the waves of mothering, Circular Seemingly with no progression, beginning and ending in the same place, Longing for the shore in sight and out of reach. On this weary beach, the grain is pounded and polished, Purified and perfected, doused and drowned, Splashed and salted. It is laid bare, sparkling on the shores of eternal light. One tiny grain of sand, One clear pure crystal, One tiny part of something bigger than itself Who would notice this small sparkling speck… Jesus It lies on the shore where His feet pass. Melanie Arnold

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BLUE Cool, tranquil, clear Heaven Ocean blue billowing to white,sky blue rippling with cumulus gold; Painting perpetually. God creating in His world, Blending colors with perfection from nothing.

All beautiful. All roads to lead to somewhere or another, or so the saying goes. All these colors lead to one moment in time— 5 AM in New Orleans, the most glorious shade of blue. No matter how many times I see it. Derek Witte

Seeing and not seeing, Feeling and not feeling, Hearing and not hearing, Experiencing and yet not experiencing fully. Though pleasing to Him, He rests These gifts gracefully in the world. God gains nothing by my seeing, By my feeling, By my hearing, By my experiencing. Yet pleasing Him seems so BLUE. Melanie Arnold

Telegram Home dear mom and dad STOP i know youve been worried im sorry STOP im fine im in costa rica STOP you cant imagine how beautiful it is here STOP im having the best time ever STOP im learning to dance merengue and speak spanish STOP uno cerveza por favor STOP im looking for a job and an apartment STOP i don’t think im ever leaving here STOP ive gotta go these messages arent cheap STOP ill be in touch when i have a real address STOP maybe you can send some of my stuff here STOP i love you all and miss you already STOP but this is home now goodbye STOP Derek Witte

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Zinnia by Matthew Exnicios

Transitions by Heather Primeaux

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