Student Journal Responses

Sunset

It’s easy, you imagine,
To present my brilliance.
I don’t shine or dance like
atoms and particles in quantum physics.
Do you admire my colors?
When you look at me I die,
manipulating galaxies, space, and time.

We have neither summer nor winter
Neither Autumn or Spring.
Instead there are days
When the golden sun shines its rays
Magnificently.

The days when the rain falls like bullets
On the rooftops for hundreds of miles
Leaving wet droplets of dew
And as palm trees struggle in the high Florida winds,
We know the best of all are the days:
When all this stops—
And all is left but pure silence.

(This response is from a student who lost her father in the shooting at Fort Hood last year)

I saw you a lot today. I saw you as the wind blowing through the trees, knocking leaves down ever so gently. One by one they fell, but you were there to catch them. You were the soft ground under mine and their bodies. You are the ant, triumphantly crawling up the leg of the porch chair, moving slowly, but confidently. You are the clouds in the sky, watching me from heaven, blowing slowly away as to spend as much time soaking up the pure air in the stratosphere. You are the manly lizard crawling on the hood of your car, not moving because you like the feeling of the warm hood on your belly. You are the birds chirping, telling me that you love me ever so softly, so that only my ears can hear it. I whisper it back, but not with the air of sophistication and mystery as you do. You are everything else I see in nature. You are the world around me as I know it, protecting me and wrapping me in the blanket of blissful peace that only you, as nature, can. I love you, Dad.

One thing particularly bothersome to me about the domination of visual technology is its tendency to incapacitate me to experience where I really am. I’ve gotten so good at imagining experiences that the fun in being where I really am lies in the thoughts it provokes. So today I tried to pay attention to the fact that all I could see was a small area around me and so pretended that was all that existed in the world. It was very calming, almost cathartic to have discovered this. I was getting all my senses stimulated from what was around me.

From the Roof

Held diagonal
Millions of microscopic hooks
Desperately clutching the
cloth back Of an aimless soul

That apparition stares
Upward, gazing into a
Boundless sea
of shimmers and glints

Luminous, and nearly brilliant
Yet somehow there’s a
Quality in them amiss
Those little bulbs cradled in abyss

Weary orbs project
their infintesimal sheen
to all, but fire brightest
Into terrestrial pinholes.

That lonesome signal
cast off into the eternal night
long before the time of its witness
who takes comfort in the finality:
That even the stars will end

Van

Nature is…
Blue deeper than the deepest ocean,
Colors more vibrant than the burning sun,
Beauty beyond compare.
And most of all
Nature is silence.
Silence that is louder than
Any noise that has ever
Been heard before.

Kylie Y. (10th grade)

As I meander beyond the line that separates the predictable daily schedule and the untamed wilderness, I find that the concrete limitations from which I was previously bound aren’t limitations at all, but a different means to which one would reach a goal. But today, they would not lead me to an ordinary goal. No, today I take an unknown route, an unfamiliar, nature-drawn path.

Dylan (10th grade)

The world will never be as we knew of it.
We live in a new era of smart phones
and stupid people who use them.
Happily they text away whilst
leaving behind the tasks of the day.
Forever will connectivity
be the only means of communicating?
Children being birthed are merely
virtual children, being led to
virtual suicide.

Is there an app to fix this hole in mankind?
A way to rekindle communication that’s genuine.
As long as we live in cyberspace,
Nothing can change, and nothing will.

Angelica (12th grade)