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!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Back Again For More

While the school year feels like an old routine, it has actually just begun. These three poems perfectly encapsulate the rollercoaster of feelings that a middle schooler has at the start of the school year. These poems from our editors and the artwork from our fellow students will take you on a short journey of darkness (with a little hope) just in time for the beginning of the school year and the Coffeehouse on November 9th in the Holicong Cafeteria!


We scroll down the screen

And see the pictures that people post
Here we don’t realize it but this is where we are vulnerable the most

Our minds caught up in the perfectness to it all
Not even realizing what we really see

We don’t know it’s a facade put up for people just like you and me

The people we see don’t have a perfect life,
For the pictures are merely a shell of what they want to be

The pictures all so “naturally” taken
Have filters on and are edited to the tee

But nevertheless, this is what we choose to see
The facade a person creates
To hide what occurs behind the screen

by Nina H., Grade 8

Artwork by Emma H., Grade 9


streaks of white on blue
a brilliant hue
how nostalgic, but new

and as the shadows fade
my thoughts cascade
and the dome above darkens
yet escaping shade

and so it begins.
when dawn calls again,
as it always does,
infinity commences

and by the time the contrast
has fallen into itself
we are all wandering
in our dreams

by John M., Grade 8

Artwork by Sarah E., Grade 9

The Words of a Poet

Day and night I write my heart,
I am determined to find my start.
The poet's word are so sleek,
Almost like the lazy waters of a flowing creek.

Shall I stop now, my rhyming endeavors?
Or continue into the night, and perhaps forever?
I think I shall continue down this path,
and take whatever fury society hath.

I enjoy writing and speaking thus,
who are they, to try and stop us?
My power lies naught in my strength,
but within my words, and of course their length.

For naught is the skill of this humble bard,
my true inner intentions I shall no longer guard.
I love the freedom in which I write,
I shall strike hard at those who show me spite.

These are the words of a young teenage girl,
One who will never fold, or even curl.
This is the tale that I will spin,
in the end, just you wait, I shall win.

Society may think that I must fit the mold,
allow me to assure you that, yes, I am that bold.
Push and pull me every which way,
they shall not silence what I have to say.

This is the tale of the strength within,
of a soldier willing to fight for more than just kin.
I will continue to speak as I wish,
for what do we live in, if not ignorant bliss.

Society can try as hard as it might,
I shall never give up on my fight.
The poet's words come easily to me.
so I will say this, leave them be!

A writer I may be,
but there is still strength in me.
Do not forget the fire in which I was born,
it shall be your end, if it is a thought forlorn.

by Ariel C., Grade 9

Artwork by Katherine P., Grade 9

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

May June Be Jolly

After nine treacherous months of sweat and determination, June is finally blossoming! May June be jolly as we wrap up these concluding days of work until we can reach the beach. We are proud to present these last few selections from the tough students at Holicong that have fought through the countless snowstorms, power emergencies, and finals and look forward to the warm, comforting air of summer! Of course, we couldn't help but include some last puns, so be shore to enjoy and have a whale of a time as you read these final submissions! We'll sea you next year! 

Blue Confessions

The wind played with my hair, twirling it into its layers of air. My jacket buffeted around me, the blue neon sign glowing in the grim air. I hurriedly pulled onto the door of the place I loved so much. 
“The usual, Ashe?” Liam’s kind face smiled at me.
He turned his back on me, his faultless hair moving with his movements as he prepared my drink. My eyes stared off into nothing, thinking of the chances with the person I loved. Their figure appeared in the back of my mind, permanently stamped. I would never be able to forget about them. As the foam brimmed the edge, he stuck an azure-striped straw upon the silky drink.
“One milkshake, half vanilla, half espresso. Anything else?” he rubbed his hands onto his worn, stained apron.
“Thanks. I’ll just sit somewhere here,” I said, grabbing the glass.
He nodded me off, and I sat by the window, which was mimicking the chilly air outside. Sipping the drink, I felt the grooves of the cup, the frosty condensation burning my palms. They would always tell me it was crazy to drink a milkshake in the middle of winter; little did they know I only drank the milkshakes to see their face every day. I heard the light jingle of the door open yet again, but instead of a regular pedestrian, it was her. The one who would be the girlfriend of the barista. Abby ran, giggling with anticipation, as she flung herself onto Liam. Surprised, he spun her and kissed her forehead. Perfect. She turned and met my gaze, smiling as bright as her personality.
“Hey, Ashley. How are you?” She curled her hair endlessly. She fixed her hair, even though it didn’t need to be.
“Nothing. Still struggling with Mr. Bracer’s homework though,” I responded.
“Same. What even is the purpose of knowing each specific person who helped in the Russian war? Confusing,” she added, looking back over at Liam.
I noticed she wore the cobalt jacket we bought together, her delicate frame curving effortlessly with it. She hugged me, insisting we hang out again.
 No one knows. But I always admired from afar. Yet if I interrupted, I would make things more complicated. I always looked back on the moment and thought to myself, what could have happened? To walk up to the person I loved? They walked as a pair nonstop, everyone gushing on about their future. It left a bittersweet taste, so I drank up other things in life that were better. Friends. Family. This milkshake. After Liam went for a break, I hesitated. He left. Better off him not hearing this.
I walked up to Abby with her beaming face, creating her freckles to dance. Her cerulean eyes were persistent, ready to take my words in. I took a breath. Nothing could stop me from saying my thoughts. She should know.

“I love you.”

by Carolyn C., Grade 7

Artwork by Sarah Z., Grade 9

Exam Anxiety
A Sonnet

The test paper is put in front of me.
I glance at all of the questions and graphs,
I take a breath and start to bob my knee.
Thoughts swirl in my head with nervous laughs.

I start, my unpreparedness becomes clear.
No, that’s not the answer that can’t be right,
My own crushing self-doubts fill me with fear.
My eyes hold back tears in the harsh white light.

In my stomach butterflies flap their wings.
I slowly walk up and turn in my test.
The ending bell laughs at me with its dings.
I wonder why I was cruelly assessed.

My teacher hands back the evil exam,
Wow-- I failed-- education is a sham.

by Brandon L., Grade 9

A kite is the freest of us all.
It can soar higher than us
into the third dimension.
Its only limit a measly cord.

We see it as amusement;
no more than a child’s plaything.
It is of no significance to us.

Yet, it holds unimaginable power:
the power of joy,
of happiness.
It can brighten the day
of anyone that looks up.

It is with this in mind
that we can finally realize
how much of our lives

are in

the hands

of others.

by Lucas S., Grade 7

Bodies of Water

She is the ocean on a mild day,
Swaying lazily, yawning on the sand,
The water lifts and everything's okay
Enveloped in Mother Earth's gentle hand.
She is the sea on a stormy evening,
Churning angrily, pummeling the shore,
The water spirals, always deceiving,
Crashing and miming the chaos of war. 
She is the creek on a hot afternoon
Splashing joyfully, licking at the rocks,
The water twirls and dances to a tune,
Each memory a song in life's jukebox.
She's got liquid feelings that ebb and flow,
That girl's a body of water, you know. 

by Jordan MacConnell, Grade 9

I like the union of colors,
the way, for example
they blend to enhance the world around us;
taupe with a dash of pink, a smiling face
arcs of gold, eyelashes in the sun, 
deep blue shadows in the snow.

I like the warmth of neutrals,
anchoring the mind in reality,
stirring up memories of swaying trees
And homemade apple pie.

And the energy of neon,
shining amongst the endless sea
of grays and browns,
the spotlight of every gaze.

Even grays are never bland,
just feathers shading in shadows,
an absence of color,
an appearance of depth.

There is a sadness to blue,
one that suffocates the heart
in bittersweet honey,
stealing the warmth of the soul.

And I never fail to be impressed
by the innocence of white,
fresh and untouched,
the purest of this world.

A fiery sunset on a chilly evening,
one sunflower gazing into the sun,
a sad song that pains the heart. 

by Rachel C., Grade 9

Monday, April 30, 2018

April Showers

Scant warmth has come to us in Pennsylvania as April ends, so we hope that curling up with some good reading will help stave off the endless winter in the air.  And remember, as the temperature does rise in May, going outside with a notebook forges an excellent path to some inspired writing.  This month's post features four poems written by Sevenatenine editors. 


The world 
Was completely silent 
Since the day that I was born. 
I always wondered 
What it felt like 
To have words spill 
Forward from my lips as if popcorn, 
Buttery and tangible, 
Reaching forward and telling everyone, 
Informing, educating, humoring, 
To know that was the cause 
Of that bright, endless smile 
That would appear on someone's face. 

Words have always 
Been my sanctuary 
Since I realized 
I could not utter a single word 
Floated around on clouds 
Long enough for me to touch them, 
To feel and grasp them, 
But also evaporating and falling 
In droplets of tears, not rain 
Trickling down my cheeks. 

I could never hear music 
Since the day that I was born. 
Never to hear those precious notes, 
Dancing, whispering, calling my name 
As it twirled in circles, 
Never to tell an octave or rest,  
The low, steady thrum of the bass 
High, whistling notes of a flute, 
Dancing, tiptoeing oboe, 
Or placid, rhythmic dums 
Keeping everything together 

But in music, 
There is always a wrong note played somewhere, 
Somewhere in the music, 
Something most people can't hear, 
And that wrong note 
Is me.

by Sarah Z., Grade 9

Artwork by Carolena B., Grade 9


I see a light flicker,
and flutter nearby,
Its golden hues cascading across the sky.

A gentle hum, a vibration illuminating like that of a star.

I step- quickly
wanting to, so badly, catch the light 
to feel its power
shake my hands and warm my fingers
I jump- ready
hands open, then clasped like praying...

I have the light!
I feel the light,
I feel the power,
I see my hands shake

And then my finger burns
because the warmth is now fire.
It pierces 
and I cry out,
releasing my hands 
sucking my finger,
watching the bumblebee fall at my feet.

It wasn't light after all. 

by Sofia P., Grade 9 

Artwork by Lauren G., Grade 9

Long Way 

It's a long way 
To the shallow grave 
That will return her grandfather to the Earth 

It's a long way, so 
You offer her your shoes—she's getting blisters 
She decides to walk barefoot instead.  
You do, too 

It's a long way 
Back to a feeling of normality 
It's been years since you have spoken 
Words other than a garbled "happy birthday" 
Over the phone 

You stand at the back,  
Watch tears roll down her face 
As she says the last goodbyes 
To a person she loves 

That night,  
Your only goal is to make her smile 
Guarantee that nothing you ever do  
Will cause these tears 

You do make her cry,  
But they are tears of laughter, joy, 
As jokes are shared,  
And the invisible gap between you begins to close 

It's a long way to friendship 
But in a place where so many journeys ended,  
Your journey with her 

by Trinity F., Grade 9

Artwork by Kylie A., Grade 9


Nobody said 
To wait and see, 
To stop and look and think, 
To slide your bookmark 
Where stories are 
Made of merely ink. 
To ponder what 
And where and when 
The story tries to show, 
To discover a 
Different meaning that 
Before, you didn’t know. 
Nobody said 
To step a step, 
To live another’s quest, 
To think inside 
Another’s head, 
To be the story’s guest. 

To hide inside 
A nook or cranny, 
To cover up your head 
With a blanket 
And a flashlight, 
Cuddled up in bed. 

Nobody said 
To wait and see, 
To stop and look and think, 
To slide your bookmark 
Where stories are 
Made of merely ink. 

by Rebeca S., Grade 9