Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February Fire

The cold weather may be getting you down, but let our artwork and writing lift your spirits.  Welcome back for another month of Sevenatenine Literary Magazine!

Artwork by Madison G., Grade 9


5:42 am the clock crashes off the nightstand, the nightstand that is only ever in use during the day. The sun has yet to rise, leaving the atmosphere still cold and dark from the wrath of the moon. Cool winds snake through the forest and birds ruffle their wings to make themselves comfortable in their beds of twig. The clock is desolate on the ground, dormant and waiting to be returned to the pedestal by the bed where is lives. Morning traffic passes on the highway as people lazily head to their long hours of work. Some more awake than others, some more lively about their occupations, but all weak from the tireless seconds of their days. Many up before their children are off to school, some still trying to nod off and get a few minutes of rest before morning official strikes. Dawn exists solemnly in the backyard of fall, and with winter approaching it creeps back. Sunlight streams in through small, broken, rhythmic rays of a majestic flowering earth. Lush fumes of morning meals caress the air and dance through a pilgrimage of those with nothing to eat. The morning is still sleeping and will continue to shut eye until dusk howls it awake. A heavy beating emerges from Earth’s core, a sudden reminder of our land’s pulse and breathing. Then a calm hush rolls over the equator and cataclysmically denotes itself as hero. And when the sun sets, the universe itself exhales deeply and waits for everything to occur again tomorrow.

by Shannon R., Grade 9

Artwork by Rafe P., Grade 7

A Strange Human Behavior

How odd the human body
A miraculous creation,
Left with reflex so cloudy
As to its motivation

The hiccups are an enigma
With purpose unexplained.
Held with disruptive stigma,
They really are a pain.

From within the world wide web
Comes forth ideas to fix
That from in our chest which ebbs
And flows with burps inflict’d.

All have been dismissed
As fiction from the minds
Of those who’re hiccup-kissed
With moment’s peace to find.

And as we all well know
They sometimes turn aloud,
As if the hiccups desired the glow
Of the eyes from a staring crowd.

Spasms from a muscle
Within the diaphragm
Make a person wish to tussle
With the lungs at hand

If one has never felt the fear
Of a hiccup hicc’d aloud
Or the eyes that follow, so austere
They're not from on this world

Reflexes left over
From primeval times
Useless in our tech-filled world
Of drones and pizza pies.

by Michael B., Grade 8

Artwork by Alita L., Grade 8

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Polar Vortex Post

            As we begin the new year, we mourn the winter break that is over and yearn for our next long break that will occur five months from now. So we have collected some writing that reflects the doom-and-gloom attitude of January and some artwork with themes of contrast. 

           In all seriousness, we have found some great poems and artwork for this month that portray several relatable ideas and emotions. (They also happen to be great for January.) 


Dirt and Spoons

             It was hot. Very hot. The sun taunted us in the sky, peeking in and out of the clouds. Its rays were like streams of lava, burning our backs and arms. It felt like I was standing on the surface Mars or something. I wiped the sweat off my brow, crinkling my nose in disgust. “I think I’m dying,” I told my friend, fanning my face vigorously with my hands. 
“Me too. It's like an oven.” We stood in the cool shade of a maple tree, leaning on its rough bark. The sun poked through holes in the trees canopy, casting a jigsaw pattern of sunlight on our faces. There was no escape from the heat. I surveyed the playground, searching for something fun to do amidst the boiling weather. The black top in the distance had become an ocean from the heat, as though water had been poured onto it by the bucket-full. My attention turned to a patch of trees to our left. 
“Hey… what are they doing over there?” I asked, pointing to three kids huddled on the dirt. 
“No idea,” My friend said. “Do you wanna go see?” I nodded with a gap-toothed smile. The two of us padded over to the children, craning our necks to see what they were doing.  They sat crouched in a circle on the dirt floor, each armed with a spoon or a stick. I turned to my friend for explanation but saw the same look of confusion plastered on her face. “What’re you guys doing?” she asked, peering over the kids’ shoulders.
One of the children looked up at her. “We’re digging, duh,” one of the boys said. I gazed at the center of their little circle. As the boy had said, they were digging, a small hole forming in the cracked dirt. Next to it there lay a pile of dust, topped with a few pebbles and tufts of grass. 
              “Why are you digging? It’s just dirt. What's the point?” The boy looked at me as though I was an idiot.  
               “We’re digging to China. My brother told me he did it once. You just have to keep digging for a super-duper long time and one day you’ll get there, and we’re totally gonna get there,” he said matter-of-factly. I glanced at the miniscule dent in the ground. 
               “You’re not really far.”  
               “That’s why were gonna keep digging today and tomorrow and after tomorrow and forever. Plus, there’s three of us, so it'll be way faster.” That kinda made sense. If you kept digging, you’d have to end up somewhere, right? I looked at my friend. We had nothing else to do. 
               “Can we help?” I asked. The boy thought for a moment then nodded. Gingerly, he reached into his pocket and pulled out two plastic spoons from the cafeteria, offering them to us as though they were blocks of gold. My friend and I took the spoons, smiling. The other kids scooted over to make room for us, and we joined them in their digging circle, not minding the dust and dirt that would stain our clothes. From there, we dug.  
               The ground was coated with a layer of soft dust, so the first few scoops with the spoon were nothing. But the deeper we dug --which still wasn’t deep at all -- the harder the ground became. I hardly noticed the sun melting my back. All I could focus on was digging. Could we really get to China? How long would it take? What does it look like? I had a million questions. I knew nothing about other countries. After all, I was only six. “Will we actually get to China?” I asked. 
             “Of course we will, don’t be stupid.”

by Nicole S., Grade 9

artwork by Madison G., Grade 9

Road Trip

10 hours straight
Of suffering in a car.
At least I have my phone with me,
And oh! my precious chocolate bar.

Damn it
My phone just died!
This can’t be happening! What am I going to do?
I won’t be able to survive without my phone on this trip,
Would any of you?

At least I still have my chocolate- which I plan to save
Until we reach our destination,
But still at the beginning of the trip, it went soft because it’s so hot outside!
And UGH I swear it made me so mad.
I can’t believe the luck I’ve got- and with nowhere to go,
I almost cried

10 hours straight
Of suffering in a car,
Without the pleasure of using my phone

And a melted chocolate bar.

by V. Djambova, Grade 9

artwork by Faith C., Grade 8

Alone In My Mind

A lone star lights up the starry night. 
The final flames die in the embers,
The warm coals heat the air around.
Alone in the dark. 

Owls pitch their sounds to the eerie silence,
Foxes scurry among the vast fields,
Deer nibble on bushes far off, swallowed by the moon.
Alone with the thoughts that scratch in my head. 

Alone in the dark outside.  
The trees reach for the moon,
But only a few can hear their monotonous cries.
Alone with the thoughts that pry open the mind.

Alone in the mind, where none can escape.
The forest hushes its final goodbyes,
As the mind consumes what's left inside.
Dreams drift to far-off places.

The wilderness dies as the morning sunbeams rise.
The animals scurry away. 
The mind eases back to its natural state,
Like the animals receding to their caves.

Alone in my mind.
Alone in the woods and the darkness inside. 

by Amanda C., Grade 9

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December Gray

Well, the gray, wet weather persists into December, but it does not stifle our students' creativity here at Holicong Middle School.  Enjoy the wit, humor, and excellence embodied by this month's poets, and we look forward to bringing you new art and writing in the new year. A viola, a photocopier, Instagram and the hospital all make an appearance in this month's post. It is as eclectic as we are.


You may not have heard my name spoken aloud before, but you know I’m always there.
In every orchestral arrangement, quartet piece, even solo.
You hear me, yet you are surprised at my very existence.
I let them make jokes about me, their mockery and cruel laughter crashing over me, day after day.

I let Violin bask in constant praise and attention, for she always receives the melody.
She, of course, deserves the most credit.
You can see the picture painted right before your eyes as she sings her song.
She is the best and most elegant. She leads the orchestra.

I step out of the picture to let Cello have his time in the light, for he is in the back as much as I and deserves respect.
His deep, mysterious voice echoes off the walls of the concert hall. He, too, is just as capable of imagery as Violin.
Cello keeps the beat going while contributing to the melody.

Bass is different.
 He has a highly important job to fulfill-to help us stay in line.
He is the beat we fall back on when we stumble.

And then there’s me.
I’m pushed out of the way.
I always give up the spotlight, rather I’m forced to, because I’m simply the one who plays the background. 

My job is to support my brothers and sisters, the column that holds the temple up.
Alas, never the solo, never the melody.
Nothing special.
Nice to meet you, I’m a viola.

by Emma S., Grade 9

Copy Machine

There are no uniforms at this school,
But that is a lie.
Because girls are quite cruel, and in order to be cool,
You have some things you need to buy:

1.     Black leggings with long socks
2.     T-shirts from old sports teams
3.     Grey slip-on vans or Birkenstocks
4.     A flat iron to burn your hair until it steams
5.     Make sure your mascara is caked
6.     And your personality is faked

If you don’t follow these rules,
Then you’ll be called a fool.
God forbid you are different or unique,
And if you are, they will quickly bespeak.

It happens every day,
In some sort of way.
It even happened today,
To a girl in my class.
She wasn’t like the rest.
These other girls picked up on it fast,
And made fun of the way she dressed.
In front of everyone.

The poor girl was stunned,
For being herself, she was bullied,
And will never again be herself fully.
Ever since that day,
I am sad to say,
She never dresses the same way,
And just like that, we have another clone.
Their real personalities never shown.

Almost all girls are the same,
To which we cannot tame.
It is all just someone’s ploy,
Your differences, they want to destroy.

Like a candle,
Your flame can easily be blown out.
To most, their words are too much to handle.
Then, without a doubt,
You too will fit the mold,
Until you grow old,
Because of what they told,
And never again will you be bold.
Their opinion, you will always hold.

Because when you were fourteen,
Their words were like a guillotine.
Will somebody please turn off
This horrible copy machine?

by Kayla S., Grade 9

** The following poem is inspired by an article from Psychology Today and meant in jest.  The poet has specified that he wants you to know that he is not actually aspiring to be a dictator**

How I am Turning Into a Dictator via Instagram
Before we begin
Credit should be given where due:

These requirements come from Psychology Today and Mark Van Vugt, Ph.D.

Also hit me up @Morose 42.
1 Expand your power base through nepotism and corruption
I have told my parents and brother to follow me in exchange for favors.
2 Instigate a monopoly on the use of force to curb public protest
People who disagree with me on Instagram are met with immediate and merciless yelling.
3 Curry favor by providing public goods efficiently and generously
I post spicy memes on my Instagram, which are seen as funny and valuable.
4 Create and defeat a common enemy
This one not so much, but I make fun of Trump a bit;
And that is sort of a common enemy, though not created.
5 Accumulate power by manipulating the hearts and minds of your citizens
I express vehement, well-worded opinions which people are naturally drawn to support.
6 Create an ideology to justify an exalted position
I have invented “Morosism.”
This is an ideology wherein I am the sole deity and to disagree with myself is a sin.

The dark part of this is that I am not the only person who fits all of these requirements.

by Eli M., Grade 9

I Remember

My dad,
All the memories I hold near
And I am so glad--
But I also fear

But what do I fear?
Keep hope, keep hope,
The time is near
I cannot cope

Setting up the ice rink,
Mowing the grass,
My heart starts to sink,
Helping me with class

Thoughts of my dad flood my head,
Working hours and hours
The newspaper he read;
I quickly glance over at the flowers

“You call that music?” he would say,
He splashed around in the small Intex pool,
Would tell stories of Santa’s sleigh:
But watching this was cruel

He slowly inhales,
The monitor beeps
His body is frail,
My brother weeps

The look of confusion
Is evident on his wrinkly face…
This must be an illusion,
The hospital is his home base

My tears start to roll,
And he keeps glaring
My heart has a hole;
I keep staring

“Dad, it’s me” I softly say
I think, will the sun ever rise?
Dad, come on… answer, I pray--
“Who are you” he softly replies.

by Delaney P., Grade 9

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

November Ravioli

The weather for sweaters and warm apple cider is finally upon us. We are finishing our third month of school, where we fall into the awkward weeks just before the winter break. Teachers begin to ramble on with the loose ends of every project and unit. However, the writings for this month seem to address important matters, such as the acceptance of society, the beauty of nature, and most importantly – the matters of ravioli.  

Artwork by Jason R., Grade 9

On Ravioli and the Meaning of Life

Almost everything on Earth is technically ravioli.
I don’t mean in that almost everything falls under the traditional definition of ravioli, of course, because only a very small percentage of things in existence technically do. Most objects in the world are not actually “small pasta envelopes containing ground meat, cheese, or vegetables.”
I simply mean that people have taken the definition of said pasta dish and twisted and altered it until it is nearly unrecognizable from the original. Recipes for items like dessert ravioli -- which contains no pasta, ground meat, cheese, or vegetables whatsoever -- are popular, and that’s only the beginning. Nowadays, just about anything with a somewhat carb-based outside and a filling inside can be considered ravioli. It’s been a long time since everyone on the internet unanimously decided that dumplings were ravioli, and that same sentiment has since been extended to Pop Tarts, empanadas, Hot Pockets, and more.
This obviously begs a single, extremely important question: Where does it end? Are there any limits to what can and can’t be considered ravioli? Who’s to stop us from saying that the definition extends to anything that has something else inside of it? In that case, isn’t a drawer ravioli? A building? Aren’t all human beings technically skin ravioli with an organ-and-bone filling?
Once we reject the actual definition of something, are there any guidelines at all? What if we all collectively decided that anything even remotely small and soft was a hamster? Would there be anything left to distinguish hamsters from chihuahuas, or throw pillows, or dishtowels? It would be chaos.
Our collective voice is a powerful thing. Enough of us can completely overthrow any definition or rule that we want to, simply by agreeing and taking action. This is amazing and can be used as a force for good – young people all over the world are doing unbelievable things just by using their voices. It’s also incredibly dangerous, though, because we as humans can be unbelievably stupid sometimes, and are proven to make worse decisions when we’re in a crowd. We can’t be trusted to govern ourselves when we think a clothes hamper is ravioli.
The terrifying part is, we don’t have a choice. None of us asked to exist on this blue planet hurtling through nothingness at breakneck speed, but we do. And since we’re here, and no one gave us any instructions, we try to make sense of everything by creating rules and definitions. We’re terrified, so we try to find meaningful order in meaningless chaos. In our minds, we may know nothing about who we are or why we exist, but as least we know the difference between a tree and rock. They each have their own definitions. It makes sense.
The problem comes about when we start to change those definitions. If enough of us agreed on it, we could come up with some crazy reasoning for why a rock is actually a type of tree. We’re good at defending ridiculous arguments. And once we no longer know something as basic as the difference between a tree and a rock, do we really know anything at all? Once we consider a grocery bag "ravioli" are we any better than the cavemen who didn’t even have words to define anything? Is our entire language then meaningless?
It may be really depressing to think about the idiocy of humankind and how we have no reason to exist, but it shouldn’t be. After all, we may not be here for some greater purpose, but at least we’re here. We may not live in a world with meaning, but we do live in a world with garlic bread, teacup pugs, and Broadway musicals. People may not know the difference between couch cushions and ravioli, but who cares? At least we still have couch cushions to sit on and ravioli to eat.
The meaning of life is what you make it. It doesn’t matter if you accomplish “amazing things” or not, as long as you’re kind to other people, care at least marginally about improving the world around you, and most importantly, have a good time. If calling yourself a piece of ravioli makes you happy, then drench yourself in marinara sauce. After all, if you can be a piece of a ravioli, then you can easily be a singer, or actor, or president, or whatever else you want to be. If you can be a piece of ravioli, then anything is possible.
We search for a meaning that’s been written out for us by creating definitions and rules, then we drive ourselves crazy trying to follow them. All we really need to do is just accept that not everything in life fits perfectly into neat little boxes, and that sometimes, we just need to take a deep breath and accept that a Pop Tart can be considered ravioli. Only when we accept that life is meaningless chaos can we truly be happy. After all, happiness is the real meaning of life. As long as we’re having a good time, that’s all that matters.
When enough people agree, we can do amazing things.  We can also make some ridiculous decisions. Of course, it’s worth it to fight those decisions if they’re harmful or unfair, but sometimes they’re not either one – they’re just weird. When that happens, we can’t get too upset, or we’ll never learn to find peace in our insane world. We just have to let go of the rocks and allow ourselves to be swept up in the current of crazy.
So yeah, almost everything on Earth is technically ravioli.

by Cara S., Grade 9

Artwork by Ilene S., Grade 9

The Garden of Eden

Of vast oceans blue,
I’ve dreamt a few.
For a world borne wholly anew,
Yet painted by the hands of each iridescent view.

Where the stars do cry,
None’ll stand idly by.
As in the words we dare confide
Shall forever bleed hearts that bide.

And by the blood of every rose,
Will lay mark to every nose.
Herein those symphonies we lie,
Each note honored with pride.

Where the land kisses the sea,
All shall bend down and see,
Through the grains beneath their feet,
Difference makes complete.

In the land of vast oceans blue,
I’ll bid adieu.
None the wiser should I not follow through,
For dreams are what we must live up to.

by Aaron G., Grade 9

Artwork by Mysterious Coffeehouse Artist
Is it you?  Email Mr. Vogelsinger to claim credit!