Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Meaningless Words and Sentences From Our Mouths

Our web-based magazine features a ninth-grade piece this month that combined the work of a poet and the work of an artist who both chose to reflect on the role of technology in our lives.

Meaningless Words and Sentences From Our Mouths
Poem by Monica M., Grade 9    Drawing by Evelyn H., Grade 9

artwork by Vita M., Grade 9

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Scarlet Hooverguard and the Case of the Stolen Diamonds

Nothing is more fun to read in the winter than a Sherlock-Holmes-inspired detective story.  But before you enter this criminal underworld, enjoy this drawing of four kittens. 

artwork by Jane F., Grade 8

            “Ms. Scarlet, I believe it has come to the point where we need your assistance,” my advisor says to me in a low voice.  Everyone in the room glances up from his or her computer, trying to get an earful of our conversation.  I turn around in my chair, leaning back nonchalantly.  However, I suppose I should introduce myself before I continue on.  I am Scarlet Hooverguard.  I work for the FBI but not in the way one might think.  I leave all the dirty work to the agents.  I am simply here for when the agents come to the point of desperation, and they need my assistance.  I am what one might call a detective.  I have been trained how to fight, for one never knows what could happen in the FBI business, but I prefer not to do those kinds of activities.  I simply investigate crime scenes, searching for clues one may have missed during their sweep through the area.  When I am not investigating, I am a journalist for the local paper; I’m the best in the business, actually.  I suppose I am getting a bit ahead of myself; I have a story to tell.  I glance up at my advisor, whose name is Malcolm Fielder III.  I suppose one might call him a bit disorganized.  He has wild eyes and hair that never seems to stay smooth.  I smooth my own hair into place before speaking to him.

Is this the case of the missing diamond necklace?” I ask tiredly. Malcolm nods.

            “There is no trace of him or her to be found.” About three days ago, in a museum, a diamond necklace was stolen out of its display case. The glass was shattered, and the necklace was ripped from its place, sounding the alarm. The robber escaped before security could even show up. The FBI found barely any clues, including an open air vent that leads to the outside, which the robber must have gone through, and a smudge of red lipstick on the display case.  Neither of the clues seems like they will be much help to my case. The way the robber came in normally is not much help, and matching the lipstick is a very difficult and tedious task.

“We have three suspects, Miss, all of which are women and wearers of red lipstick.  The first is Mrs. Irene Walker, the owner of the shoe store next door.  She owns a museum key in case of  emergency.  The second is Ms. Liliana Doolittle, the woman who works the night shift at the coffee shop three blocks down.  The third is Molly Chalmer, the owner of the cosmetic shop.  They have all been interviewed, but there are no signs of them bearing guilt.”  I nod, solemnly before thinking over my choices. 

“Alright,” I say, “I’ll take a look.”

Malcolm was right; there is no trace of the robber. There are glass shards on the floor from the smashing of the glass and an open air vent. That’s it. I have each woman’s file.  There are definitely some clues about each one that leads me to believe that one may have stolen the diamonds, but I don’t have any good proof to prove any of them.  I examine each shard of glass. Several of the shards are too small to have any clues. There is nothing to be found on the glass, but as I’m on my hands and knees on the floor, I notice something shoved between the wooden display case and the floor. It’s wedged under there so much that nobody would see it unless they were really searching. Most of the FBI agents are not as skilled at catching small details.  I crawl over, and place my fingers around the object. I wrench it from its hiding place with a sharp yank. It’s odd, really. It seems to be the heel of a high- heeled shoe. I quickly shove it in my coat pocket before I walk up to the front desk where a woman sits. Her name tag reads Wanda. I take a glance at her face -- no red lipstick.

“Hello,” I say politely.

“Hi,” she says, her voice clipped. I peer over the desk at her.

“I was wondering if I could take a peek at your surveillance,” I ask.

“You can’t,” she says, “The cords were cut.”  I drop my pen on the ground and fall to my knees.  As I’m down on the ground, I see nothing but Wanda’s size 9 beat up flats—no other clues.  I quickly stand up, brushing off my pencil skirt.

 “I was just wondering,” I say, “When is your trash picked up each week?” Wanda looks up at me slowly.

“Every Thursday,” she answers in a murmur.  Today is Wednesday—the trash has not been picked up since the robbery.  I mumble a quick thanks before I go to the back door by the Ancient Greece exhibit.  I quietly slip through the heavy door.  In the back, just as I suspected, there’s a large dumpster.  Most of the dumpster is covered in rust, but that shouldn’t affect my work.  I know I said I don’t normally do the dirty work, but digging through dumpsters wasn’t exactly what I meant.  I throw open the large black lid, cringing at the loud squeal from the hinges.  After digging around for a few moments, I find exactly what I’m looking for: a pair of broken high heels.  Perfect.  I lift them out of the dumpster and take the heel I found earlier out of my coat pocket. 
It fits beautifully. 
Ah, so it appears that neither the lipstick nor the open vent provides me any information about the robber.  They are simply red herrings. If one were to glance inside the soles of the shoes, they would see a small sticker labeled with the shoe size.  In case two and two has yet to be put together, allow me to further explain.  Before the robber went to steal the multimillion dollar necklace, she made some very smart moves indeed.  She cut the camera cables, smeared red lipstick on the case even though she doesn’t wear it, and she opened the vent to make detectives such as myself believe she came from outside.  But she didn’t. 
When she was stealing the necklace from the case, her heel snapped off, sliding across the floor and wedging it beneath the display case.  The robber removed her shoes and proceeded to steal the necklace.  But her smart moves stop there.  She was inept enough to toss the remains of her shoes into the garbage bin outside, unable to find the broken heel that snapped off.  The size sticker clearly was still on the sole.  If you were to look closely at that sticker you can make out the size.  And that size, is a size 9.  The thief of the diamond necklace is obvious.  She had easy access, and she knew the best quick getaways through the museum by being an employee.  Miss Wanda, the keeper of the reception desk, is guilty for stealing the diamond necklace.
-- By Courtney S., Grade 8

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Name Is

The coffeehouse may seem like a distant memory of the autumn, but we are pleased and proud to share with you a recorded spoken word poem from this most memorable event! Thank you to all of our readers and community members who were able to attend.  Over 200 people were able to hear this poem live.  Sevenatenine is thrilled to share it with a broader audience here.  

 My Name Is -- By Sophia P., Grade 7

artwork by Lyndsey Z., Grade 7

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Well, the coffeehouse has come and gone, and now it's time to settle down and read November's ninth-grade (and very belated) post!

Have you ever exaggerated? Ever said something that wasn't meant to be taken literally? Ever said idiom? Now normally we dismiss these ideas as just a phrase... but what if it was taken literally? What if when a cat had your tongue, it actually did. Well, welcome to Idiomville, were all your everyday idioms, become real.



The town looked quiet and old-timey as I parked in the five and dime parking lot. The population was a mere five hundred and the streets were bare. I slowly hopped out of the car and opened the diner door.


From the back-room I could here harsh whispering. It sounded like a pretty intense argument. But when they heard my voice they quieted down and came out--with an axe. "Oh, um I'll...I'll come back later" I rushed to the door.

"No, no I just have an axe to grind with her," the old man said.

"Sorry?" I asked, opening the door.

"Oh, nevermind that! Come in and have a seat, what can I get for you?"

"I'll just have a cup of Joe."

The man's face contorted and suddenly he said, "Excuse me?! We don't serve cannibals here. You're going to have leave and take your sick ideas with you!"

I sat there dazed for a second--before realizing what he thought I meant. I then proceeded to explain to him that I called coffee "a cup of Joe". He slowly nodded his head and went to the back of the kitchen. I took a deep breath in.

Suddenly a hooded man entered the diner and sat in the booth behind me. The little old waitress scurried over with the coffee pot and leaned down to pour me a steaming cup. I smiled to her and she leaned in close. "Obviously you're a visitor to town, so listen to me and listen well. That man over there," she gestured to the hooded figure, "has quite a temper. Last week, in an intense argument, he lost his head."

She left it at that and waddled back to the kitchen. I rolled my eyes. I couldn't stand people who were so easily overtaken by emotion. I decided that I would ignore him--keep my distance as best as I could. Unfortunately, that wasn't very well. He stood up and came over to me. "Could I have some of that coffee?" he asked, rather politely.

"Sure," I said.

He leaned over to pour the coffee and when he stood back up his hood fell off. Suddenly I felt sick. I looked at him in total shock and disgust. Where he should have had a head, there was an empty void. I shot up from the table and ran to the door. But suddenly a teenage girl entered and threw her textbook across the floor. She then proceeded to kick it, punch it and slap it. I watched, in horror as she took her rage out on the thing. But most disturbing of all was the lack of response from the other townspeople. Suddenly, I couldn't take it anymore. "Excuse me, miss? What exactly do you think your doing?"

She looked at me confused, "Um, I have a test tomorrow. So I thought that I had better hit the books."
I had seen enough. I walked right out of that diner. As I started walking towards my car a group of guys started to walk towards me. The "pack leader" called out to me as he got closer, "High five!"
I lifted my hand up as he pulled from his pocket a paper number five and held it above his head. I lowered my hand and smiled sheepishly.

"Woah, dude. Not cool--dissing me like that, so not cool." he sulked.

I didn't know what to do. The people in this town were insane. I sat down in the middle of the parking lot--maybe I was the one going crazy. I needed to take a break from the outside world. I sat in my own silence for no longer than one minute before I felt a tap on my shoulder. A little girl, maybe six years old, sat beside me.

"Keep an eye on that one," she whispered.

"Who? What?"

"Keep an eye on that boy who just gave you a high five. I certainly do," she said.

Nodding, I responded, "Oh, okay. Thank you."

I turned to look at the boy who I had just high fived. On his shoulder was something round, white and seemingly squishy. I looked closer and to my surprise I realized it was a human eye. When I turned to look at the little girl I noticed her left eye missing. I am positive I fainted right then and there.

By now, I was tired and confused. To make matters worse it started raining cats and dogs on me. Literally. A puddle of Dachsunds lay across the street and Siamese cats started filling the gutters. Poodles were showering down all around me and Calicos fell in heavy sheets around me. It was pouring. I stood up and unlocked my car. I wasn't wet, but furry. I saw an ASPCA truck travelling down the road. On my windshield a small paper fluttered in the wind. "GREAT DANE HURRICANE IS COMING... BE PREPARED!" I sighed, started my car and headed down the road.

You are now leaving Idiom-ville.

Population: 500

Hope to see you again!

As if.

by Rory R., Grade 9

artwork by Claudia E., Grade 9

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Countdown Continues!

A flash of light, a mysterious girl, and an even more mysterious land. These are just some of the things that await you behind the doors of "Where to Belong." When books and girls fly and where the very fabric of reality is tested, "Where to Belong" will keep you guessing to the very end.

Artwork by Michael H., Grade 8

Where to Belong

A striking flash of light struck the house in two. Acrid smells of smoke curled from the burning house. But strangely, it wasn’t burning. No, it was merely the blinding light engulfing the house, filling every nook and crevice. Every part of the house was smothered in this mysterious light- except for one tiny corner. The light stretched and teared to get to it, pulling with every drop of its energy. Then, in that one millisecond, everything disappeared. 

Caroline slid out of the window. What had happened? She wasn’t sure. One moment she had been sitting on her bed, admiring the daylight streaming from her window, the very window she tumbled out of, reading her book, when she noticed the light getting stronger and stronger, and stronger still…..Caroline felt the grass beneath her. Course, rough, and bland, just like the way everything else seemed to her. Sighing, she picked up the bland book off of the bland grass and walked through the bland neighborhood that she was in.  She came across the grasslands with the path winding towards a land nobody has ever dared ventured before. Now, it was deserted. Now, it was just a bland scenery for bland people to look at when life was too bland to be noticed. Caroline looked up at the sky stretching infinitely from the horizon.

She wanted to be a bird; she wanted to fly on the never-ending sky and let her soul be free. In her imagination, she saw a girl holding onto the strings of balloons, their colors striking compared to the dull neighborhood. The girl was somehow different from anyone Caroline had ever seen. It wasn’t her complexion; it wasn’t even the fact that she was flying. It was her energy, how it surrounded her, how it danced around her the most buoyantly out of all of the striking features that she possessed. It was the smile, so bright and graceful.  The girl seemed so much more content than Caroline. On the girl’s dress was the word “Ella” sown in beautiful flowing letters. Then Caroline realized that it wasn’t her imagination. It was reality. The balloons were books drifting away, pulling Ella with her. Caroline glanced around her, but nobody seemed to notice the girl flying in the sky. 

Ella gracefully retrieved a book with a flourish of her hand, and the book traveled down to Caroline. It situated itself on the fence in one graceful movement and flipped open the pages. It was a picture of Dumbo, the elephant. The pages flipped again, depicting Dumbo waving. Caroline hesitantly waved back. Another page. Dumbo’s long trunk pointed towards the direction of the grassland. Follow me, it seemed to say. With one fluid movement, it leapt off of the molding fence and fluttered onto the crusty path. It seemed to Caroline that it was winding to the very brink of the world. Cautiously, she stepped on the trail to follow the flyaway volume.  

 It seemed to go on for an eternity. But strangely, Caroline enjoyed the feeling of never reaching the end, so when they finally came to stop at a tall, stocky house, she felt a little disappointed. She would have pursued this peculiar book to the end of the world if it hadn’t been such an odd circumstance. The book swooped down and landed at her feet. This page was Dumbo taking his hat off as a welcome greeting. Caroline warily stepped into the house. She didn’t know why, but for some odd reason, this place gave her a feeling she never felt before. It wasn’t just that paperbacks were flying around at their leisure or that every nook and cranny was jammed with books; it was something more. The feeling of energy seemed to show up everywhere here. It seemed to brighten up; the air seemed to fill with color, emotion, and everything that Caroline had never experienced before. It was a refreshing feeling, suddenly opening her eyes to the world. Life didn’t seem as dull anymore; everywhere there was this magical feeling of happiness that seemed to thrive in every corner and every molecule of air in this house. Dumbo had a look of anticipation on his face as he looked to Caroline. He showed her a huge book twice as big as her, propped up on the lectern. It was filled with curlicues of letters, myriad characters, and seemed more magical than any book she had ever seen. Dumbo seemed to be asking her, Can you comprehend this? Caroline realized with a start that she could; the meaning was coming to her faster than a rapid going downstream. She wandered through this place in awe. Everything seemed so peaceful and just. Books-old, new, fancy, plain, big, small, hardcover, textbooks- anything you could think of- they were all here in this beautiful house. And to think that nobody has ever thought of coming here! Sequence the books into chronological order, commanded Dumbo to the mounds of books. He was clearly the boss here. The piles and piles of volumes greeted Caroline warmly with bursts of excitement. Some settling down on her arm whiles others bowed in unison.

"Will you dance with us?" asked the books. Caroline never felt so happy, so loved. The events following were blurs of joy, music, color, and energy. It was the most exhilarating day she had ever experienced. The pleasure was almost too much to process; Caroline only remembered the dancing, the jubilancy, and the laughing. 

 Somehow, she ended up in the most peaceful sleep she’s ever experienced. The large book, that acted as a bed, also helped. Sometime in the period between falling asleep and waking up, she seemed to realize something. That she was chosen. Chosen to be the one like Ella and find someone to pass on this life, to make someone else’s existence feel appreciated and fill it with color. She was chosen to help the world understand the importance of books, and to cherish these memories. Someday, she would be like Ella, floating with the books to someplace only people who have realized where the key can go to. Maybe she will pass down the book too, and fill up someone else’s heart to the brim of happiness. 

by Ling X., Grade 8

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Coffeehouse Countdown!

So if it seems like we are running a little late on our posts this month, we are!
We have been planning the first-ever Holicong Coffeehouse, and these three posts will lead up to the day of the coffeehouse on Friday the 13th of November.  We hope you can join us.

While surrounded by the world of literature, people can find a companion, someone who they can live a life full of journeys and emotions with. On such journeys, they can also begin their quest for clarity, a deep understanding of life. If You Want a Friend and Clarity will provide you with an insight of these writers' own quests through literature.
If You Want a Friend

If you want to escape,

whisked away

to a world

with more surprises

than stars in the night sky.

Where imagination and reality collide.

And emotions are merely a game.

If you want a friend

that will make you laugh,

wispy like a fairy’s light kiss

or deep and pure like rare diamonds.

That will make you cry,

cause a single lonely tear

or the waterfall of grief from a broken heart.

That will make you mad,

angry like a bloated volcano

ready to unleash its rage.

That will inspire you,

ignite the flame of curiosity

that burns with passion

and intensity

and keeps you up at night,



A friend

that gives you





and a plethora more.

A friend that shows you





and peace.


If you want a friend,

follow the musky scent,



pearl-white pages,

and colorful covers

of the stories

you will never forget.

by Trinity F., Grade 7
artwork by Carmella P., Grade 7
I don’t understand.
I don’t want to understand.
I should understand.
My eyes grasp a tear
But I can’t lock it in
The tears rain down like an April shower
My sadness bubbles to the surface
  I scream but it’s not heard
I cry but it’s not worth hearing
I don’t understand.
I don’t want to understand.
I should understand.
My mind and heart sink low
Entering a puddle of midnight black ink
My dreary eyes close
Sun peeks through these unamendable cracks of wonder
Suddenly, sunlight shatters the storm cloud over my brain
My mind is washed away of worries
My tears slowly fade and dry
I finally understand and I don’t know why
It may be hard but it’s worth the fight
I understand.
I want to understand.
I needed to understand.
by Zara L., Grade 7

Friday, October 9, 2015

Two Voices

Two Voices

            Everyone always warned the McLoreys’ mansion was haunted. Pickets jutted from the metal fence, towering over six feet. The bare trees rotted after fifty years of negligence. The house itself decayed. Green ivy crept up and strangled the walls while the paint peeled away, revealing dead wood underneath. Night or day, winter or summer, it always seemed as though a dark gloom hung over the house.

            They’d say that the young couple that lived there was a match made in heaven. They had a fierce relationship – one you could only dream of having. Every day, the neighbors would watch them strolling hand-in-hand through the fields outside their mansion. When the lights were off in every house, theirs would still be on. They’d hear laughter so pure, it resonated into the night.

            As the years went on, their bond only grew. They’d travel together every so often, yearning for adventure, for something fresh. The hourglass trickled, and the clock ticked away. Though they’ve only lived there for ten years, they realized the time melted faster than quicksand. The couple became desperate for more moments, memories, life.

            A week after they returned from one of their escapades, something changed. At night, there were no longer any lights. There was no longer any laughter. There was no couple strolling in the field. The house was dark, silent, and empty. In this way, yet another week passed. The neighbors talked, and rumors flew. They snuck out on another get-away. They sold the house without notice. They contracted a deadly disease in Brazil. The neighbors twisted the gossip into wild tales until someone finally worked up the courage to check for themselves.

            One knock. Two knocks. Three. No one answered the door. Worry wove itself around the town. The next day, the man tried again. One knock. Two knocks. Three. No one answered the door. Curiosity suffocated the town, so at the next town meeting, it was decided that he would pick the lock.

            That was the first mistake.

            The man returned to the house and unlocked the door himself. He was instantly thrown back by a rancid stench – the stench of death. A warning tugged at the back of his mind, but he waved the smell away as that of a stray raccoon that let itself inside. He searched the first floor – nothing. The house seemed to be in perfect condition – clean and tidy, save for some dust.

After a moment of hesitation, he started his way up the stairs, the steps creaking under his footfall. The rooms above were a mess. Shattered glass littered the ground, clothes were strewn across the floor, and the foul odor consumed the air. At the end of the hall, there was a single door. He jiggled the knob – locked. That wasn’t an issue, of course. All he had to do was pick the latch again.

That was the second mistake.

The neighbors never heard a scream. Some would say he’d seen a ghost, and some would say he’d seen the bodies. Either way, he’d never returned.

            Needless to say, most people stayed away. But I wasn’t most people. I didn’t believe the stories.

            And that was my mistake.

            Five teenagers sat around a campfire. Four would stay alive. Three would support the dare. Two would tell the story. It happened one Halloween night.

            “Are you sure about this?” they asked me.

            “Of course,” I said. “It’s just a story. It’s just a house.”

            But it wasn’t just a story. It wasn’t just a house.

            One knock. Two knocks. Three. What a fool I was to even knock. No one had lived there for half a century. But by some miracle, the door scraped open. A chill rattled my bones. Cold. All I could feel was the cold. I stepped into the house, and the door slammed behind me.

            It’s just the wind, I assured myself. I couldn’t back out now. I’d look like a coward.

            The dusty musk tickled my nose, and I sneezed. It echoed through the house, lingering just a second longer than an echo should. Following in the footsteps of the story, I searched the first floor before making my way upstairs. Creak. Creak. Creak.

            Stepping over the glass, I reached the door – closed, but unlocked.

            I placed my hand on the knob, but just as I did, the door flung open on its own. A woman stared at me. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out.

            Pale, milky skin. Dark, waist-length hair. Eyes the color of black holes.

            “He killed me,” she bellowed. “He killed me, then killed himself. ‘It’s the only way we’ll stay forever young,’ he told me. I hated him. He took away my life. Oh, but he was right. We’ve been together for so, so long. And now you’ll join us.” The woman grinned.

            I stumbled out of the room. Her figure disappeared.

            “Please. Help me,” a voice wept. My eyes darted around the hall, but I couldn’t see anyone. “Somebody help me. I was just checking if the couple was alright. Please. Help me.”

            A slash appeared on the wall, followed by one across the carpet. Drips of red appeared on the ground.

            “Help me…” The voice faded away. A shrill laughter took its place.

            I staggered towards the stairs, tripping over my own feet as I ran for the front door. Locked. Locked. Locked.          

            A slit tore across the door.

            I retreated. There were two voices now. Two voices laughed at me. Two voices backed me into a corner.

            Two voices were the last I heard.

            Two voices made my world go dark.

by Sasha T., Grade 9

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Eighth Grade Reading Inspirations

Greetings from the eighth grade!  These two poems were inspired by reading in Mrs. Schmitt's English class.  We hope you enjoy them!


We’re from the down under
Darker days, notorious nights
Aggressiveness, greed, recklessness
That’s all they’ll ever recognize

We are the streets
Rigid, firm
Pummeled over our assiduous actions
Mistreatment, just a daily ticket

Ticket to the gentry
Ignorant loiterers
Terminating the cold, black cement they call a person

They call us
Lurking under rusty fumes
Of our dimmed, facetious “life”

by Lindsey F., Grade 8

artwork by Emily W., Grade 8


Cold Soul

Harsh and rigid,
Cold down to the bone,
Eyes lacking warmth,
A heart made of stone.

We shape up when we’re around him,
He can’t know we’re weak,
We shape up to satisfy,
Those icy eyes, ever so bleak.

by Olivia M., Grade 8

artwork by Sydney E., Grade 8

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Bit of Candy to Start the Year

Hello, Holicong! The sevenatenine staff is back together and ready for an incredible new year! Returning editors and newcomers alike are all here and we can't wait to get this started and for good reason, too.  We have incredible things planned for this year!

 First of all, many readers out there are probably new to our magazine, so first we'll tell you what it is all about here, and how you, the readers, can make your own contributions to our site! At sevenatenine, we aspire to curate the best and brightest works of creativity made by students of Holicong Middle School, whether they be art, creative writing, or essays, and display them up on our site for everyone to enjoy.

 You can submit a work by giving it to your English teacher, or you can bring it directly to Mr.Vogelsinger out in Mod 4. Then our keen-eyed team of devoted editors will hand-pick the best works from that month's submissions, and the selected entries will be posted up on our website. You might even see yours! Whether you are a contributor or just a reader, we know you will enjoy the wide array of our school's creativity.

Also, one more thing. We love to hear thoughts and feedback from our readers. We encourage everyone to drop a comment down below and get involved. Just because you are not submitting a work does not mean you can not contribute to our little community.

Like a delicious lollipop, we can't wait to UNWRAP the limitless creative potential of our students, and we can't wait to kick off a fantastic new year!

We'll see you tomorrow with our first poetry of the year from eighth grade (on the eighth of the month, get it?) Stay creative, Holicong!

-- David H. and Ethan V., Grade 9

artwork by Lyndsey Z., Grade 7

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Famous Last Words

Well, fair readers, it comes to the time of the year where we need to say goodbye for the summer.  In all honesty, we had planned to post on the seventh, eighth and ninth of June, but it never quite happened, so instead we are here at the last possible hour crafting slightly clever farewells.  We wish you all the best and will see you in September!

From Mr. V. -- These may be my last words, but while most of our editors will be moving on to East, I will still be here next year, running the magazine.  So this isn't goodbye -- it's just "sayonara."

From Ashley -- I have learned a lot about great literature from my time in this group.  If you are looking for forms of self-expression and creativity, participate in sevenatenine.  Now is your big chance!

From Max -- Everything boils down to your true personality.  Stop pretending and start growing up.

From Rachel -- Today we close a book, but the pages keep turning -- we have merely reached the end of the beginning . . .

From Zoe -- "Change is the basis of all history." -- Jenny Holzer: The only way to proceed is to alter where you are. Sevenatenine has been a lovely experience, and it will continue to be so even after we depart (well, not in a death sense of course).

From Carter -- If you are looking for a way to share your views on the world, join Sevenatenine. 

From Gina -- "How long is forever? Sometimes just one second." -- Lewis Carrol: It's been longer than a second, but it felt like forever. Everyone can find his or her forever.  Maybe it's closer than you think!

artwork by Nathan Morgan, grade 8

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shakespearean Sonneteers

Each year, after studying Shakespeare, Miss Levin's students try to craft that most beautiful and challenging type of poem: the sonnet.

In just fourteen formally rhymed lines, they aim to capture some profound observation about life to share. Here are two of the top sonnets from the current freshman class. 


I can feel a coming conflagration
That will destroy everything in its way.
Burning with righteous determination.
Coming sans delay.
To divine justice it’s obedient.
To evil it’s an awful scurge.
It will soon sweep in upon the deviant and have many others caught in the purge.
Its mercy is nothing to be feared
It is a spark for enlightening.
Many will soon find it endeared,
Not some wicked spell that is frightening.
We will not be stuck in evil’s mire!
Heaven will cleanse us with this great fire!

by Jack H., Grade 9


Yesterday I was staring at the stars,
Thinking and wondering of the future.
I thought of how I have come oh so far.
My parents strive to take care and nurture.
Just today I was watching the sun set,
I was looking back and thought of my past.
I realized I have so much to learn yet.
My mom always said I was growing fast.
Tomorrow I will think of what I own
And remember all that I once possessed.
Every morning I miss the bubbles blown.
I think of the day I cut my own lawn,
and know some day all I have will be gone

by Amanda K., Grade 9

Friday, May 8, 2015

Nature Poetry

Spring is in the air, but this poem was too good to miss.  We found it lost in a folder of submissions, and we thought, "The time for the world to see this poem has arrived!"  We hope you agree!

artwork by Alyssa Gibson
Grade 8

My Tree

When I pull on my old brown
As I pile the thick laces into
messy double knots

Before I slide into my worn,
thin jacket,

While I breathe in the
lavender smell of my house

I relish in the warmth of the crackling fire before
stepping outside into the bitter cold and the icy wind.

As I walk into the woods,

Before I even enter them,

While me shoes crunch over dead leaves,

Though the cold wind sears into my skin, a biting
blanket of a nearing winter

I allow the thick darkness of the forest to close
around me as I push deeper into thick trees
and thorny brush

When I reach my tree,
My beautiful tree,
As I lay my eyes upon it,

My heart stops.

While hundreds of leaves fly around me,
obscuring my vision,

Though the forest is dark

I can see my tree


Laying on its side


Heart shattered like jagged glass,
I sit down next to my tree

And grieve for my fallen friend

by M. K. Maclean, Grade 8

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Injustice and Pelicans

In this poem, the writer uses a frame of sentence structure created by another poet to craft an original poem about injustice and silence.  This copy-change technique allows writers to capture big ideas in captivating rhythms modeled after the masters of the craft.

And in other news, we have a delightful painting of a pelican :)  Enjoy the spring!

First they banned books, and I
could not speak out --
Because I could no longer know what to say.

Then they banned communication, and I
could not speak out --
Because I no longer heard other voices.

Then they banned writing, and I
could not speak out --
Because I did not have a voice.

Then they banned opinions -- and
there was nothing more my voice could speak for. 

by Michael S., Grade 7

artwork by Adam G., Grade 7

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Inside, Outside, Upside Down

OK, so maybe the fact that we stole this month's title from a Dr. Seuss book is proof that we are still getting over our school's production of Seussical, but we are thrilled to share a poem today with a special design. 

This poem is actually two poems in one.  It can be read top-to-bottom, in the traditional manner, or bottom-to-top.  Each way, the poem creates a different meaning, but it still works.  Congrats to the ninth-grade PEN students who worked in small groups to craft one of these "palindrome poems." 

It’s time to grow up

And I cannot accept that

It’s okay to imagine

Hidden treasure and undersea castles

You need to keep your

Distance from fairy tales


Let your imagination fly

You need to

Accept the truth because

Dreams don’t.

Life Changes

Accept the reality

Of leaving behind your childhood

Get rid of thoughts

Of faraway lands and distant dynasties

Hold onto your reality


Throw away your fantasies of flight


Keep your dreams.
by Deepti T., Emily H., Rachel W.

infographic designed by Jake N.
Grade 9