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 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 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 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 keep digging today and tomorrow and after tomorrow and forever. Plus, there’s three of us, so it'll be way faster.” That 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.
“ we will, don’t be stupid.”
by Nicole S., Grade 9
|artwork by Madison G., Grade 9|
10 hours straight
Of suffering in a car.
At least I have my phone with me,
And oh! my precious chocolate bar.
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