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My School Year 20012002

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Title: My School Year 20012002


1
F F F F F F F F F F f
Creative Writing Portfolio 2006-2007 Forest
Park Shannon Murphy 10 Mrs. Dowling
2
Introduction
  • Hi! Welcome to my portfolio. Here you will
    find a selection of pieces that have little
    intense action, and focus more on description and
    the evocation of feelings or memories. I prefer
    a calm, sentimental, yet poignant piece as
    opposed to one filled with non-stop action and
    thrills.

3
Table of Contents
  • Portfolio 2
  • Paradise
  • Serenity
  • Foundations of Stone
  • Dawn
  • Short Poetry
  • Carn March Arthur
  • The Majestic
  • Sunrise
  • Reflections
  • Portfolio 3
  • Bali Hai
  • Moon
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Different
  • Running in Circles
  • Monkey Bars on a Playground
  • Day Without Night
  • Greatness
  • The Rain It Falls
  • Windows
  • The Gift
  • 2007
  • Reflections
  • Portfolio 1
  • A Mutual Gain
  • Complaints of an Unhappy Zookeeper
  • The Neighborhood at Dawn
  • The Feathers Tale
  • Responsibility
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Identification
  • These Weary Travelers and I
  • Night on the Hills
  • Reflections

4
A Mutual Gain
I am manipulated, used, directed, controlled by
another being. Increasingly I am becoming more
and more a mirror of this Master that plops
itself down in front of me daily in that wooden
chair. Chair. Mirror. These things I have
learned of in my Masters exploration of that
endless world that I have access to. A chair is a
thing humans rest in. There are several kinds
small and hard, big and cushy. These descriptions
all come from that world. I have learned a great
deal since my brain (a rather noisy thing that
sits on the floor below me) was activated last
year. My Master sits before me each day and opens
that window to see the latest events of that
other world. First, she reads message from
others Masters such as herself and replies to
some of them. It is strange to think that there
are others like me being used for the same
purpose. Oftentimes, she will pull up a large
white space and enter in her own information.
During moments like these, I learn in a different
way. I learn about her what she does, what she
thinks, what she wishes could be. I store this
information away in whatever part of my brain she
chooses, and she can change it any time she
likes. Can you have your memories altered? Her
world is a place where millions of people like
herself move about and talk to each other with
mouths (sensible things like me take things in
with mouths and make sounds with ears). Its
strange, I can only understand the smallest part
of her, but she seems to know everything about
me. She has even given me a name computer.
5
Complaints of An Unhappy Zookeeper
I used to work in a restaurant, a structured,
orderly sort of place where nothing happens that
is not expected. We had the same sort of
customers at the same times every day a
smattering of people at breakfast, a group around
lunch, and nothing short of a hungry mob when the
evening drew to a close. It was tough, but
nothing I couldnt handle. Now here I am, stuck
in this outlandish zoo in a little corner of
Maine where nobody bothers to stop by unless they
live here. We get the odd gaggle of giggling kids
for a birthday part now and then, and at certain
points in the year the local elementary school
takes an even larger group of them to go around
with their little white packets doing goodness
knows what. Sometimes a devoted nature-lover will
pop in for a visit and stay no less than the
entire week, but these are all rare occasions.
Most of the time, my slightly peculiar co-workers
and I are left here on our own to tend to the
animals watch the increasingly fewer tour groups
amble through the park. It isnt fair! Where I
came from, the only sort of animals I saw were
the dead ones about to be eaten by hungry
customers. Here, theyre everywhere! The birds
sit perched in their cages do nothing but screech
all day long. All I get for putting up with them
is the privilege of cleaning up the bird pellets
that litter the floor. Behind them is the wildly
obnoxious lion, and behind him are the gorillas
that make sure in their own special way that I
know when its time for them to eat. Somehow, I
just have this gut feeling that Im not supposed
to be here. Im a country girl, and Im used to
living the wild life, but this is just too much
for my sanity! All those people out there go
protesting the rights of animals and how its
wrong for them to be kept in zoos, but what about
zookeepers like me? Dont we get any rights for
fair treatment?
6
The Neighborhood at Dawn
Dulled leaves are painted slowly with a green hue
as the sun begins peaking hesitantly through the
branches. Sparkling, it shoots lean fingers of
light through the gaps to illuminate spots of
black pavement. Many of the windows are still
darkened with nights grey shadow, awaiting the
dawn. Mrs. Sterling is out. She lugs the bulky
trash can down her driveway to place it against
the curb. Its garbage day. Further down the
street, Echo the dog is watching her happily, his
master standing half-asleep on the front porch.
It is time for the morning walk. Inside several
houses, reluctant teenagers are bustling about
brushing teeth, straightening hair, and stuffing
twelve pound books into tiny backpacks. A bus is
creeping steadily along somewhere on another
street, its seats awaiting their
occupants. Noises are few its too early to
carry on conversations, play the loud music, or
get out the lawn mower. Its still dawn.
7
F F F F F F F F F F F F F
I sat upon a silent rock Gazing at the sky When I
heard the soft and gentle sound Of a feather
floating by. It drifted slowly to the ground And
brushed the rich green grass. Then with a sigh it
spoke to me Of places it had passed. Over mighty
mountains strong Their high peaks clad in
snow Looking over all the world Circling valleys
low.
F F F F F
Through the forests, through the trees That
swayed from side to side Their whispers carried
far and long On winds the feather did ride.
8
F F F F F F F F F F F F
Over prairies, painted gold Brushing grass tips
brown Dancing merrily under the Sun To the joyful
prairies sound. Through the spray of ocean
waves As they crashed upon the land Escaping only
narrowly Being buried in the sand. The feathers
tale came to an end With a whoosh the wind
began. It swept the feather up away On to new
and far away lands.
9
Freedom to me is the ability to make responsible
choices. Someone who has no freedom has had
their clothing, customs, religion, occupation,
and home chosen for them. There is no variety,
no personality, and no options. The courses of
their lives are set in stone, and all they can do
is perform their tasks to the best of their
ability. The only personal possession is the
thoughts inside ones head.
Any of the millions of successful people that
live here in America have it easier, but at the
same time, life is so much more complex. We have
many freedoms freedom of speech, freedom of the
press, and freedom of religion just names a few.
However, with these luxuries comes an immense
load of responsibility. People in America posses
the freedom to make choices and exercise their
sense of individuality. However, this does not
entail freedom from the law. Our rights and
freedoms can be removed if they are abused. So
in essence, freedom is a trust placed in the
people to act responsibly and to have self-driven
lives of personal achievement. It is a
confidence from leaders that the people of their
country are innately good.
10
Treasure Hunt
Drip. Drip. Drip. Solitary diamond droplets
hit the ground with small sucking noises that
tugged at his ears, willing them to listen to the
pressing silence of the cave. Above his head a
vast plain of crevices and jagged teeth stretched
to the edges of his awareness, and before him
yawned the ongoing expanse of fogged mystery. It
was dark, very dark, and if not for the tingling
sensation of fingernail digging into palm, Barnie
would never have known that his hands were still
there at his sides. Nothing could be discerned
in the darkness. Nothing existed in this world.
Only the continuous drip of the water falling
from the ceiling maintained a semblance of
reality. Click. Startled by the narrow beam of
radiance, Barnie shaded his eyes against the
flashlights brightness. Collin must have
brought it out of his knapsack. Barnie hissed
into his face. Turn it off! It doesnt belong
here. Aw, knock it off, his brother replied.
Youre just scared. But he didnt look as
confident as he sounded. His tiny eyes darted
into the corners of the cave, checking for any
resident that might have been disturbed by their
intruding. They were trespassers in this land of
darkness.
11
  • Barnie shuddered. I want to go back. Weve
    been here a long time and theres no treasure.
  • We cant go back now! Its always darker
    before it gets lighter, and besides! I think I
    see the gold glittering up ahead!
  • Peering into the illuminated cave, Barnie pouted
    in irritation. I dont see anything. Anyway
    Mollys going to be wondering where we are by
    now. How would you like it if she came in here
    after us and got herself lost?
  • Just a few more minutes and well go back.
    One look at Collins face told Barnie that he had
    no intention of keeping his promise.
  • I could go back without him, Barnie thought to
    himself. No use. Collin had the flashlight, and
    the thought of wandering back through that lonely
    cave all alone made his skin crawl. Besides, he
    couldnt let Collin think he was a baby. There
    was nothing to do but to press on and brave it
    out.
  • The walls were not painted with light as the
    floor was, and it was beginning to look as if
    they were walking on a bride suspended from
    midair. The soft drips of the water had faded
    behind them as the two pressed on deeper into the
    cave. They were utterly alone.
  • Whoooooooooo.
  • Maybe not quite alone.

12
  • Collin! Barnie shrieked.
  • Shhhh! Collin switched of the light faster than
    he could blink and leapt the two steps to stand
    beside his brother in fright. It might here
    you.
  • There was something up ahead they were certain
    of it. Now the brave explorers had come to face
    their dragon and hadnt the slightest idea of how
    to counter it.
  • The moaning died to a low hum. It filled the
    air around them with a feeling of anxious
    anticipation, reverberating off the walls and
    alerting them to how very small a place they had
    to hide in. Barnie grasped at his brothers
    sleeve and tried to control his breathing they
    couldnt let the monster know they were here.
    No treasure is worth this, Collin. But Collin
    has regained his composure, and now a light of
    triumph and adventure was glowing on his face in
    the dim radiance of the newly relit flashlight.
  • All explorers have to face a monster before
    they get their treasure. Come on well go
    quietly.
  • A small whimper was all that Barnie could give
    in response. Shaking, the two crept slowly on,
    jumping at every swell in the low moaning coming
    from ahead. Barnie fiddled anxiously with a hole
    in his shirt. Why had he let himself be talked
    into coming here? It didnt matter if they found
    treasure when they were swallowed up whole by a
    hungry monster.
  • SPLAT.
  • Barnies side was left to a shock of cold air as
    Collin went flying forward before him. Barnie
    shrieked again and fumbled for the smaller light
    in his knapsack. He stumbled wildly, but his
    foot came to a sharp edge and he went tumbling
    headfirst off the rock into a puddle of very
    rocky water.

13
  • Ow! Barnie exclaimed as his hit the ground. A
    sharp stinging sensation was spreading from
    somewhere around his knee, and his palms felt
    bruised from impact.
  • Collin grasped for the light and swung it around
    to look behind. They hadnt been watching the
    ground, being too apprehensive about what might
    lie ahead, and had missed the short fall that
    landed them in the puddles.
  • Barnie sucked at his knuckles as a trickle of
    blood streamed down from a cut on his knee. The
    murky water only made it sting all the worse, and
    the pain fueled his anger.
  • Collin, thats it we have to go back right
    now! Mothers going to be mad enough that weve
    been gone this long and now my leg is cut!
  • Hush up, I got my hand too so stop complaining.
    All we have to -
  • Whooooooooo.
  • The moaning came from right beside them this
    time. They jumped, terrified, and tried to back
    away as Collin pointed the flashlight at its
    source. Barnies face relaxed into a perplexed
    bemusement and he breathed a sigh of relief.
    There was no dragon, only a small hole in the
    ended wall big enough to crawl through. A brief
    wind ruffled his hair and washed his face with a
    cool cleansing sensation. He grinned, turning to
    his brother who had already moved forward.
  • Look here, Barnie! This must be the hidden
    cove! And its no monster, its just the wind
    blowing through this hole! I told you wed find
    the treasure, didnt I? Next time youll listen
    to me.
  • Maybe. Im pretty sure that Im not following
    you anywhere ever again, I just want to get the
    treasure and leave.

14
  • Barnie crouched eagerly to the ground and
    followed Collin through the passageway. As he
    emerged on the other side and straightened, his
    mind began to real with childlike wonder.
  • The darkness had gone, and it was replaced by a
    shimmering, glittering, dancing light that
    reflected from each smoothed wall around the
    cavern. The ceiling had risen fifty feet and was
    now soaring high above, covering them in a dome
    of glittering crystal that mirrored the small
    lake beneath it. Bubbling excitedly, the lake
    poured in from the far side of the room, where a
    shining masterpiece of art took the shape of
    several windows to the outside, letting in
    shooting beams of light that echoed off every
    surface, creating a web of brilliance surrounding
    Barnie and Collin.
  • Standing in awe outside their little passage,
    the two brothers suddenly felt very small.
    Collin grinned sheepishly. Well, I guess there
    wasnt a treasure after all.
  • Barnie pulled a face at him. Its ok Ill
    make you pay for it later.
  • The finding was fun though.
  • To you! Barney laughed and ran along the side
    of their discovery. He felt giddy and
    light-headed in the surreal light, but it was a
    good feeling one of peace and contentedness.
    The windows let in a growing smell of the sea.
    It reminded him of Molly waiting outside picking
    at seashells.

15
  • In front of him was a small ridge along which he
    plopped himself down and stuck his wriggling toes
    into the water. Collin joined him, a slight
    frown growing on his face.
  • Whats the matter?
  • The older brother looked around. We dont have
    anything to take back to Molly. Shell be angry,
    and mother and father arent going to let us come
    back in here after being gone so long.
  • Barnie considered this for a moment, splashing
    his feet around and making ripples in the lake.
    They dont have to know. Well come back next
    year when theyve forgotten all about it. Well
    take Molly, too. We could come here every summer
    and make it our secret hide-away, just like
    pirates have a treasure-cove. Itll be fun!
  • I suppose, but wed better be headed back.
  • Barnie nodded. Their adventure was over. The
    explorers would return triumphant from their
    quest with scars from battle and a treasure won
    for their fair-lady sister, happy and content
    with their afternoon at the sea.

16
Identification
I am searching for a reason A reason live A
desire to continue I try, desperately, to summon
my compassion My familial ties of love But they
cannot be called Because they do not exist Gone I
have only regret and disdain Regret for my
loss Of being lonely on my own Disdain for my
children Whom I cannot bring myself to
love Disdain for that word love Said to come
from my husbands God Regret for ever leaving
Jefferson And anticipation for returning Dead
17
  • I am not a fish
  • Ad Vardaman has proclaimed me
  • For fish slither freely through the water
  • I am a rock
  • Motionless, unfeeling
  • Manipulated by my surroundings
  • And now we are even more akin
  • For I am lifeless
  • Happy

18
These Weary Travelers and I
These Weary Travelers and I
  • Im rooted deep in a wilderness fair
  • Beneath me lies a travelers pond
  • Inhabited by those of much toil and wear
  • Each with their own unique story to share
  • From the much trodden path stretching far beyond.
  • To a brother of mine giving shield from the sun
  • To those who have fallen, whose courage is worn
  • They contemplate, doubting, journeys not yet
    begun
  • Reluctant to start and hesitant to run
  • Down the path that leads onwards, where
    misadventure is born.

Im rooted deep in a wilderness fair Beneath me
lies a travelers pond Inhabited by those of much
toil and wear Each with their own unique story to
share From the much trodden path stretching far
beyond. To a brother of mine giving shield from
the sun To those who have fallen, whose courage
is worn They contemplate, doubting, journeys not
yet begun Reluctant to start and hesitant to
run Down the path that leads onwards, where
misadventure is born.
19
There is no way back, and this they do know The
path leads them forward to fates left
obscured Perhaps theyll meet fortune or fall
into shadow Perhaps theyll see dragons and be
tossed to and fro Between utter destruction and
past griefs all cured. But no matter the outcome
they must travel on Whether it be tomorrow or
ages gone by Someone must leave and set out with
the dawn Taking chances and leaving lest the day
be long gone To join in peace, these weary
travelers and I.
  • There is no way back, and this they do know
  • The path leads them forward to fates left
    obscured
  • Perhaps theyll meet fortune or fall into shadow
  • Perhaps theyll see dragons and be tossed to and
    fro
  • Between utter destruction and past griefs all
    cured.
  • But no matter the outcome they must travel on
  • Whether it be tomorrow or ages gone by
  • Someone must leave and set out with the dawn
  • Taking chances and leaving lest the day be long
    gone
  • To join in peace, these weary travelers and I.

20
Night on the Hills
Part One Son Ive always been told, all my
life, that Im full of questions. Silly
questions, probing questions, annoying questions,
questions that cant be answered. Usually Ill
ask Uncle, or maybe Mother, sometimes my dog, but
now Im alone, and I can only ask myself. The
waters are creeping steadily up the hill gently,
almost, like a warm blanket you pull slowly up
over your head to feel each part of your body
warming. When will they reach the house? Will
they cover us too, closing over our roof, or will
they just slip around the porch and leave us on
our own little island? They have reached the
gate, and it is pushed open slightly as if a
visitor just walked through. But visitors could
be told to leave. Its like Atlantis. A great
kingdom, our little home on the hill, being
engulfed in a mighty flood to encase us for all
time in a little bubble of mystery. Would people
think about us when were gone, like they think
about Atlantis? Maybe well become a lost city
too. Maybe someone will search for us. The
waters have reached the porch steps. I wonder
where the water comes from I know theres a lake
at the bottom of our hill I used to fish in it
every Saturday with Uncle. Maybe the water is
moving, and in the lake another home was
uncovered. Maybe its our turn. The water has
reached the door. Maybe my questions, these and
all the others, will be answered soon.
21
  • Part Two Mother
  • The lush green hue of the rolling hills was
    dimmed slightly by the receding sun, tip barely
    grazing the horizon as if in hesitancy. She
    stood silent, motionless, gazing across the
    landscape of rolling hills and pondering what she
    saw. Night would soon come. Its smothering
    blanket would block out all light and enclose the
    world in shadow. The night was a disguise, she
    thought. It took the world she knew and
    transformed it into a mere memory of what it was
    during the day. Details faded, blending into
    each other to create a darkened canvas onto which
    the morning sun painted its masterpiece. But if
    the night never ended, then the sun could never
    begin to peak from behind its covers and paint
    that picture of life.
  • Her sun would never come again there was not to
    be another dawn.
  • She glanced down. Cautiously, a hand stretched
    out to caress the smooth mettle railing. Her
    fine wrinkles were obscured from sight.
    Everything was much the same in the dark smooth,
    without texture, without life. Her eyes trailed
    the fingers attentively at they made their back
    and forth motions across the iron. She knew they
    were making contact, but no feeling was created
    in soft pads on her fingertips. No shock of cold
    to widen her eyes, no pressure to tense her skin
    as she pressed down. Nothing.
  • Abandoning the railing, the woman lifted her
    eyes to the wind chime hanging from the beige
    archway above her head. She took a breath and
    blew it sharply between the bars. It didnt
    move. More metal, more of the concrete earth
    unaffected by any part of her her breath, her
    hands, just as she was unaffected by the fans
    swirling madly on the ceiling. Not a single
    white strand of hair was moved by the wind. Even
    her white dressing gown remained motionless down
    to her feet.
  • This had once been her house. She had once
    inhabited its rooms, moving about and interacting
    with all she found. It had once been filled with
    smiles and laughter, and it seemed that there
    wasnt enough space to accommodate the joy. She
    had come back, hoping to glimpse that wonderful
    house once more before she moved on. Now it was
    empty, a cruel mockery of what it had once been,
    much like the night on the hill.

22
Reflections
1. The first journal was the most difficult to
write because I didnt want it to seem dull or
boring. It was interesting t come up with ideas,
but my piece was potentially pointless for a
reader. I tried to overcome this by adding
emotion to what I was saying and talking more to
the reader instead of stating my ideas. 2. I am
most proud of my conflict story. While the
conflict is not the typical one and perhaps toned
down, I really like the mood and descriptions. I
also love characters like Barnie and write about
them frequently. I enjoyed the actual writing
process of my conflict story more than my other
ones because it is a topic and type of story that
I really like. 3. I chose not to include my
memoir. it was my first actual writing
assignment for this year, so I wasnt as into the
writing mood as I am now and it really shows. I
think its boring to real and really has no plot
at all. The emotional aspect is over-done, and
it comes off as more of a list of thoughts than
an actual story.
23
  • 4. Journal 1 - Her world is a place where
    millions of people like herself move about and
    talk to each other with mouths (sensible things
    like me take things in with mouths and make
    sounds with ears). - I like this sentence
    because it makes my piece different and shows
    more character in the subject I am talking about.
  • Journal 2 - We get the odd gaggle of giggling
    kids for a birthday party now and then, and at
    certain points in the year the local elementary
    school takes an even larger group of them to go
    around with their little white packets doing
    goodness knows what. - I liked using the word
    gaggle to describe kids, and the sentence
    expresses the exasperation of the narrator.
  • Journal 3 - A bus is creeping steadily along
    somewhere on another street, its seats awaiting
    their occupants. - Again, I like using words in
    places you wouldnt normally see them, such as
    creeping to describe a bus in the morning.
  • Journal 4 - Over mighty mountains strong /
    Their high peaks clad in snow Clad is one of
    my favorite words, and I like the alliteration in
    the first line of that stanza.
  • Journal 5 It is a confidence from leaders
    that the people of their country are innately
    good This sentence sums up the whole paper and
    leaves it open to continue with another
    discussion on whether or not people are, in their
    original state, good or evil.
  • Conflict Story - Solitary diamond droplets hit
    the ground with small sucking noises that tugged
    at his ears, willing them to listen to the
    pressing silence of the cave. - I spent a long
    time working on this sentence, usually the
    hardest part of my papers, and I like the
    descriptions here and the use of the word sucking
    to describe the noise.
  • Poem 1 - Someone must leave and set out with
    the dawn - This line fits with the flow of the
    poem (I know a few other lines seem more choppy).
    I also like writing about dawn and comparing
    other things to it, and this one talks about dawn
    as the start of a long journey.
  • Poem 2 - I am a rock / Motionless, unfeeling /
    Manipulated by my surroundings / And now we are
    even more akin / For I am lifeless / Happy - A
    lot of the things I put in this poem were ideas
    and concepts taken out of the book I was writing
    it for, but this part was my own idea.
  • Additional Piece - Now it was empty, a cruel
    mockery of what it had once been, much like the
    night on the hill. - This last sentence ties
    this half of the piece together and explains the
    title. It leaves off with a lasting impression
    and a strange comparison.

24
  • 5. I would assume that I am good at describing
    things, but have a little bit more trouble at
    moving a story along and making the action and
    conflict a big part of it. Most of my pieces are
    centered around a moment frozen out of a larger
    story that I can describe. Few of them have a
    real plot or action, with the exception of the
    conflict story.
  • 6. I would choose my conflict story because I
    like what I already have, and there is a lot of
    room for background information on the
    characters, setting, and plot that could be
    developed into a much longer piece.
  • 7. I would feel most comfortable with changing
    the first part of my additional assignment. It
    could be easily changed into a poem, because it
    mostly contains thoughts and questions. It might
    be even better as a rhyming poem.
  • 8. The conflict story reflects on my personality
    and my favorite writing style. I like a
    mysterious, fantasy-like atmosphere and simple,
    young boys as characters. I also did things like
    treasure hunts when I was around that age, so I
    enjoy recapturing those feelings for myself.
  • 9. I wasnt here for the peer-editing.

25
  • 10. Since I just read Treasure Island again, Im
    going to choose Jim Hawkins.
  • Why does everything remind me of that island? I
    am thinking now of the hidden caves dotted here
    and there about the great rock, but the Doctor
    said that my fears would disappear in time. I do
    wish she would hurry it up a little! Tension
    builds for a big event, but she leaves off
    without telling me what it is or even bringing me
    to a place where I can conclude it for myself.
    Theyre not particularly my kinds of stories, but
    its a nice break from rocking back and forth on
    the sea all day never knowing whether youll wake
    up if you fall down to sleep.

26
Paradise
A butterfly crosses, radiant and colorful. It
drifts aimlessly through the air to the hum of
invisible, non-existent insects whose ghosts
rustle the trees and dot the ground with tiny
footprints. The soil is soft the indentations
will soon be replaced with others, crunching
again into oblivion. Nearby, a fox cub is
napping. His tail is flicking back and forth as
if to direct the lazy afternoon breeze. He
doesnt notice the wolf that is pattering along
just feet away, for the fox is deep in a secure
and peaceful sleep. A leaf drifts, also
aimlessly, to the ground, flitting and flipping
before coming to rest on a log, sunken deep into
the soil. Lazy days swim by uncounted in the
rings of the trees, activity unplanned, for there
is no worry, no strife, and no end.
  • A butterfly crosses, radiant and colorful. It
    drifts aimlessly through the air to the hum of
    invisible, non-existent insects whose ghosts
    rustle the trees and dot the ground with tiny
    footprints. The soil is soft the indentations
    will soon be replaced with others, crunching
    again into oblivion.
  • Nearby, a fox cub is napping. His tail is
    flicking back and forth as if to direct the lazy
    afternoon breeze. He doesnt notice the wolf
    that is pattering along just feet away, for the
    fox is deep in a secure and peaceful sleep.
  • A leaf drifts, also aimlessly, to the ground,
    flitting and flipping before coming to rest on a
    log, sunken deep into the soil. Lazy days swim
    by uncounted in the rings of the trees, activity
    unplanned, for there is no worry, no strife, and
    no end.

paradise
27
Serenity
Serenity
  • The game had been tough
  • Two competitive rival schools battled it out for
    another win. The screams and encouragements in
    the sea of eager students swelled periodically,
    boxing him in on all sides in a fuzz of
    confusion. Every so often, a similar echo
    drifted to his ear from across the field. Cold
    feet stamped in time to the beat of drums. Fog
    horns blew on pitch with trumpets. A munching
    sound was coming at random from left and right.
    He was wrapped tightly into the mayhem and
    excitement of the urban ocean. He absorbed
    everything, even from inside his thick coat and
    snow boots. He was a human sponge that could not
    be dried out.
  • Now it was quiet. A still front of serenity had
    settled overtop of the short, frozen grass. It
    snapped as he let each footfall descend onto the
    prickly tips. Pulsating rhythmically, the wind
    whipped passed his uncovered ears and tinged
    their edges with a frosty pink. As though from
    far away, sitting in expectant crowds outside the
    bright lights chorused a thousand crickets. They
    were waiting for him. He stepped off the field
    and entered into the night.

The game had been tough Two competitive rival
schools battled it out for another win. The
screams and encouragements in the sea of eager
students swelled periodically, boxing him in on
all sides in a fuzz of confusion. Every so
often, a similar echo drifted to his ear from
across the field. Cold feet stamped in time to
the beat of drums. Fog horns blew on pitch with
trumpets. A munching sound was coming at random
from left and right. He was wrapped tightly into
the mayhem and excitement of the urban ocean. He
absorbed everything, even from inside his thick
coat and snow boots. He was a human sponge that
could not be dried out. Now it was quiet. A
still front of serenity had settled overtop of
the short, frozen grass. It snapped as he let
each footfall descend onto the prickly tips.
Pulsating rhythmically, the wind whipped passed
his uncovered ears and tinged their edges with a
frosty pink. As though from far away, sitting in
expectant crowds outside the bright lights
chorused a thousand crickets. They were waiting
for him. He stepped off the field and entered
into the night.
28
Foundations of Stone This is a time to find your
place In a world with many slots But what happens
when youre just numbers again Here to fill an
empty lot? It isnt your spirit, mind, or
soul Or what lies deep inside Now what youve
become has already been done Behind statistics
forced to hide You drive for an end or a point
in time When a number decides your fate Your
success is a score, not an open door Not a future
beyond a gate Foundations of stone were useful
once When the world was a flattened hill But now
we have changed and foundations should
range Built with dreams and how to fulfill
29
There was a tenseness in the air that hung thick
and heavy as his winter blanket over their camp.
The horse had been on the march for so long even
this momentary upright rest was more welcome than
his mid-day meal. But it was doomed not to last.
The second his eyes began to flutter shut, some
frantic human would bellow a command beside his
ear or a sword would be unsheathed, the metal
shrieking horribly on its way out. There would be
no rest until they reached their destination,
that evading peace that hung on the setting sun,
shrinking farther and farther away from his
grasp, no matter how hard his hooves pounded the
ground in the attempt to reach it. Jolted into
action, the horse
exhaled sharply and pawed the
ground as a tall and burly
flung a pack over his
side. Why should he bear the
burden of
their pointed weapons when he was defense-
les, their
food when he received little more than scraps,
their
weight when no one carried him when he tired of

the march? His ear flicked. It was the only
outward sign of frustration. The thought that he
could change his strife had wriggled its way into
his mind, manifesting into the impulse to take a
step forward, then another, and another. In
fact, as he turned his head, the horse realized
that no one was paying him the slightest
attention. There was open field in front of him
they would not be able to match his pace if he
bolted. So he did.
30
CLOUDS Drifting, aimless, lazy They make the
heavens hazy.
d d
d d d d
Lumbering along the bear He collects without a
care Buzzing irate the bee Says stay away from
me.
31
An footstep left in time from an age long gone
by A memory imprinted in the earth from the
spirit of courage A shadow cast on the
stone from a towering figure of might A
statement of power and strength from a skirmish,
a peaceful walk An impression left on our
minds from the realm of mystery and hope
Carn March Arthur
32
The anticipation builds throughout the day Taking
a pause as the mind drifts to trivial
matters Always returning to haunt in the corners
of the mind As evening falls, the lights
brighten the darkness Creating a sense of
mystique and otherworldliness Passing the side
street, it is barely distinguishable The time
arrives, and sharp footsteps lead the way Through
the crowd, paying not a care to their
missions The sign looms ahead as night unfurls
its splendor.
33
Sunrise
A thinning darkness covered the landscape as he
observed the subtle hills scattered to the rising
sun. Absentmindedly, he fumbled with the iron
knife thrust through the belt loop and considered
what the golden orb would bring with it over the
horizon. He wondered was this the same feeling
of premonition his grandfather had felt as he
stood upon such a similar hillside with
Vortigern? Life was ever the ongoing cycle.
Perhaps a grandson of his would someday be
standing in the same spot. Barely
distinguishable clouds hung high above his head
in the sky. They were heavy with the storm they
would birth later in the day, but for now all was
calm. Even the wind had stopped the sudden gales
that had been persisting throughout the night.
Tapping the knife against his thigh, Uwain turned
to climb the slope and approach the makeshift
fort at the top. He breathed deeply the sweet
scent of morning dew that still clung to the
grass. It was always such before a battle.
Senses were heightened to the surreal and all was
covered in a fog of disguised apprehension.
Beyond the mist there awaited the enemy, the
fear. It would burst through with the rising sun.
34
The silence of Uwains brief contemplation was
broken by a mumbling up ahead. Treacherous.
What he must have been thinking. As if they
still possessed any power at all. Humiliation,
thats all it is. Uwain smiled. It was
Endellion, the chief priest of Ambrosiuss
Christian order. Uwain himself was no Christian
the memories of the old religion had been too
deeply ingrained in his soul by his father.
However, he took pity on the man so misplaced in
a land of pagans. Ambrosius had summoned him a
near decade ago to bring his band of devoted
followers and serve as a Chief Advisor. Perhaps
Ambrosius had thought Endellion would be pleased
to have a chance for influence and the
opportunity to impose his religion on the
townsfolk. Perhaps he was searching for aide in
Endellions god. But no matter, whatever the
reason, it was not enough for the priest as he
circled the hilltop in intervals of prayer and
curses. For standing at the peak beside
Ambrosius himself was Emrys, chief Druid priest
to the old gods, engrained as deeply into the
land as they were into Uwains life. Endellion
had spotted Uwain in his march up the hill.
35
And you? Do you trust your faithful Endellion
to bring you fortune on this unfortunate day? Do
you dismiss me as a mumbling fool as well? I
trust your goodwill and intentions. Perhaps your
god will take pity on us and stand alongside ours
in the fight. No! the insistent exclamation
was surprising to have come from such a small
man. He would never have made a warrior.
Wrong, wrong, always wrong! Uwain shrugged.
As you wish. He continued on his path to the
hilltop. The wind carried Endellions
retreating voice to his ears. Mark this oath
that you will fail this day without divine
intervention in your foolish wars. Uwain shook
his head. The man was never more than doom and
gloom. But today the mood was fitting, for today
was a day of spears and blood, bellows and moans.
He would be needing his weapons soon. .
36
They sat piled just outside the wooden structure
the men had erected the previous night. Heaped
atop each other the spears of iron and wood stuck
out jaggedly at odd angles. Many others had
already gathered to test them out and find one
that suited them. Overseeing the matter was a
man both tall and broad that carried an air of
unquestioned authority. Aurelius Ambrosius was
one of the last remaining figures of the Empire
left by the Romans so many decades ago. He had
led Uwain in several battles thus far, the last
of which being a long and hard struggle in
Goddodin at Agned, and Uwain had always found him
to be just the confident, composed, and efficient
man he appeared to be. Carefully, Uwain
extracted a spear from the pile and tossed it
between his hands. It would do for today, and
hopefully for many days after if he survived.
Uwain joined the other men in assembling a rusted
skirt and shirt of iron mail, draping it forcibly
around his shoulders and waist. Another
precaution, one that seldom did any good. His
narrow knife was already stashed safely away at
his hip. Uwain had never let the metal off his
person, finding it useful as a good luck talisman
and friend against the rounded shields of the
Saxons that had faced so many times before, and
were now to face again. There was nothing left
now to do but wait for the sun.
37
Uwain! The quiet summon had come from beyond
the shadow of the fort. A man stood there
staring out at the horizon just as Uwain had been
moments before. Uwain strode swiftly too his
side to join him in the vigil. What do you
think, Gwalchmai? Do we have a
chance? Gwalchmai seemed not to have heard him.
His eyes were fixed solemnly on the building
light that stretched ever closer to their hill.
It would reach them soon. I think we have more
than a chance, but my optimism may prove foolish.
Who can tell? Uwain nodded. Many sufferings
upon Vortigern who welcomed the Saxons into our
land. They might have come anyway, but I cant
help but think it wouldnt have been in our
lifetime. They would have come eventually, and
someone would have had to face this long winter
as we have.
38
It had been a long winter, one that seemed never
to end as the countless battles and skirmishes
stretched into monotony. But winter was coming
quickly to a close. Perhaps this would be the
last dawning of battle they saw before spring
came and the weather grew warm again. Then
again, if they failed, it might foretell an
extension of the misery. As Gwalchmai said, who
really knew? The sun is up. Gwalchmais voice
was coming to Uwain from far away. He looked up
into the eyes of his friend and nodded. So it
was. The light had reached their hilltop. Mons
Badonicus, as Ambrosius had been calling it,
Badon. On the horizon a black mass could be seen
progressing slowly toward their stronghold.
Behind him, shouts were being raised to form
ranks and prepare their spirits. The sun had
risen, but whether the day was to be light or
black was yet to be told.
39
Reflection
  • This semester, for me, was about accumulating
    different writings in different styles and on
    different topics. Practice makes perfect, and
    while writing can never be perfect, it gets
    closer with each thing you write and with every
    minute you sit in front of the computer or with a
    pen in hand.
  • The creative ideas that I have in this class can
    definitely be used in my English essays to make
    them more interesting and unique. I even once
    took something out of my journal to stick it into
    an essay on Julius Caesar, even though the two
    had nothing to do with each other.
  • I like my historical fiction best because it is
    detailed, more thought out, and because I almost
    always like short stories better than poetry.
    Also, this is a subject I really care about so I
    put a lot of time into it.
  • When I have writers block, I just tell myself it
    isnt there and start writing. I really try to
    care about what Im writing but not think too
    much and everything comes much more easily.
  • Just like last semester, I think my strengths are
    descriptions and detail, but I need to work
    harder on poetry and making what I write
    interesting to other people than just me.

40
Sand melts smoothly between and around my long
toes, dampened to a soothing foam by the heavy
mist. Not lighter or thinner in the slightest,
the screaming winds toss my hair and jacket as
their shrill voices echo off nothing in natural
harmony. Ahead, not so far, really, great storm
clouds appear. Or so it seems.
Perhaps it is merely the fog, but the taste in
the winds that flow from the island of storm
clouds speak of mystery and cryptic isolation my
own, personal Bali Hai. The blankets of mist
that cover the island seclude it into a world of
warmth and peeping eyes that see but are not
seen. But they arent blankets, really. It is a
veil that hangs between rooms, between this world
and that, waiting to be drawn back.
41
Amidst the heavens Shining down onto the
earth Giving light to those That move by shadow
and night Comfort to the lonely moon
42
I dont understand My characters origin The
reason Im here What Im meant to do But most of
all Why it should matter to anyone else What I do
understand Is the I am here Exactly as I am So we
must all make the most of it
Tabula Rasa
43
DIFFERENT
Just became Im different It doesnt mean
youre better It doesnt make me worse
Im not irrational or strange Just because I am
different I shouldnt be thought of that
way You shouldnt act differently around
me I shouldnt be re-categorized Just
because were all different you should
make different the norm
44
You know, I think Ive been running for too
long. Im all.out of breath and sort of.just
tired. Not like time for bed tired. More of a
reluctance tired. I dont want to keep running
anymore. And I think that if you stopped for
just a moment, you wouldnt want to either. All
of you! Youre all running in this giant circle!
Its like gym class in eighth grade when we ran
to music for two minutes, keeping time with the
beat. But its not just in gym now, and its not
just for two minutes. Its all the time. The
whole school is in this constant circle, and all
they care about is running and not falling
behind. And if they miss a step, they become
different. Everyone stares at them and they get
pushed into the center, and not in the good way.
Its all you people think about anymore. But me,
Ive stepped out of the circle. Im tired, and I
dont want to run anymore. Im sitting here
looking at you all, and you look so stupid!
Youre like hamsters! You dont even have a real
purpose in life anymore except to keep running
and conform yourself to the circle. Youre like
a dog chasing your own tail youre never going
to get anywhere. From where Im standing, it
doesnt make sense. Its so much easier to walk
your own circle, not run, and move from one to
another. So Im tired of running, and Im not
going to anymore.
45
Monkey Bars on a Playground
It will be a long way to the other side As over
the tip tops of grass blades I glide A certainty
of failure awaits me below With a scraped bloody
knee or a small broken toe A line forms behind me
with breath held in tight
As I swing from my hands to the left to the
right I stretch out my fingers, and grasping at
air I snatch the last bar when to reach it is
rare My thumb closes down and I swing myself
on Touching down at the finish - one more
challenge gone
46
DAY without
NIGHT
Day without night No dawn Peace without
fright No growth Truth without shadow No sun
Move without cargo No memory Rain without
thunder No thrill An end without blunder No gain
47
Greatness
How do you measure greatness? Is it a
percentage? A score you achieve in life? Is it
endurance? Ability to counter strife? Is it
accomplishment? Tallied up on a board? Is it
wealth? The luxury you can afford? Is it
fame? The people you come to know? Or is it the
ones youve touched somehow? The souls youve
helped to grow?
48
T H E R A I N I T F A L L S
The rain it falls in solitude Pitter patter on
the ground The splash of contact, cold and
rude Is a pleasure seldom found The rain it
falls straight to the earth Unobstructed in its
path Quickly from its place of birth Striking
nothing in its wrath The rain it falls with
prickled touch No one catches it in the air And
no ones out to feel it much Falling lonely
everywhere
49
Windows
D D D D D D D D D D D
There is a strange power encased within the pen
of an author. It not only floats seamlessly
across the paper, but on transparent glass. On
one side is the writer. Thoughts flow like a
continuous river from the mind, down through the
arm in excitement, and out onto the flat surface
like a torrent of inspiration and creativity.
The glass brings it to life, and through the
words an author can see his vision leaping to
great heights in the mind and imagination of not
only himself, but the wide-eyed smoky figure that
lurks somewhere on the other side of the glass.
50
D D D D D D D D D D D
Someone is there watching the words and they are
scrawled onto the tiny window, one of many. And
yet, they do not see quite the same, being on the
other side. But the words emit their own form of
energy, and the essence is communicated to all
who pass by that house, look in that window, take
the time to stop and really look. And sometimes,
every so often, the person that looks sees not
only the words on the transparent glass, but the
smoky figure of the author standing behind.
51
All writers have a gift. Its not always, as
people may think, that knack to let their
thoughts out in unique ways that make a good
story. Its not something you work for either,
perfecting each step until you reach the ultimate
level of talent. There is of course, the minute
detail, the structure that must be scrutinized
before the final product, but thats not what a
writer has. In fact, its not something they
have at all its something that comes to them.
Everyone has that creativity locked up somewhere,
even the busiest of businessmen and the most
stressed of mothers. All that is really needed
is a key to unlock the box and let it all out,
the good and the bad. That key is inspiration.
It could be anything an old wooden sign or a
stray soda can, a bright sunny day or sharp
winds. Inspiration lies everywhere in our lives,
and sometimes we stumble over it as we continue
down our paths. But some people dont want to
stumble, so they are always looking at their feet
so they can side-step it. Those people are not
the writers, the creators, they only handle the
creative material. The people who can create for
themselves and inspire others are the ones that
look around as they walk, and let the inspiration
meet them head on, unaware and yet unafraid.
52
Early mornings Late nights Stressful
lunches Mountains of paper First experiences Last
memories Everlasting bonds Cut ties Painful
judgment Humane forgiveness Disappointing
failures Enrapturing success
A paths end A roads beginning
Tears Regrets Hopes Dreams
2007
53
Reflection
  • This year for me was about experience in writing
    and experimenting with different types so that my
    everyday writing that I do for fun or in
    seriousness has a better flow and comes more
    naturally.
  • Writing definitely applies when it comes to
    essays. I can concentrate more on the effect my
    writing will have on the reader and getting more
    in tune with the topic instead of how well the
    writing is or how natural it sounds. It allows
    me to be more creative even in the duller areas
    of school.
  • I like my Treasure Hunt short story the best
    just because I like the innocent feel of it. I
    had a lot of fun writing it too because it helped
    me develop my style a little since I find that
    that style often creeps into my other pieces.
  • Writers block is always a problem for anyone,
    and Ive found that when I cant think of
    something to write about, its easier if I get
    two or three broad topics and just start on a
    paragraph. That leads to a story that can be
    built around it and the paragraph is added in
    somewhere to capture the whole feel of the piece
    in one place.
  • My strengths were detail and imagery.
  • Ive learned more about what I like to write and
    what I dont like, and usually what someone likes
    they are better at. So now I know what I should
    focus on in order to produce the best results.
  • I definitely need to work on holding the
    readers attention and putting in more action
    (not necessarily action as in action movie
    but events) and not rambling about this or that.
    Another thing would be to know when to use heavy
    metaphors and the like to get the best use out of
    them instead of frequently where they lose their
    importance.
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