Poetry

A lot of things will break your heart if you let them 

By Rachel Halpern

 

A lot of things will break your heart if you let them. 

 

If you open the gate

the water rushes in

And suddenly you’re drowning in their fate

 

And you’re holding hands in the whirlpool as the current tugs you under 

It happens so fast and you grab at the ledges

At the gape

and the shards pierce your fist 

You just miss

As you sink down into the dredges

Down down.

 

Into the depths as your vision blurs black at the edges

And your tears would fall save for the seawater burning them away 

Your memory seems to fray 

Who pulled who down?

 

Down down.

Into the thick blue night 

You tried to do right 

now you’ll drown.

Clouds

By Annabel Kermaier

 

Clouds cluster at the horizon, low

And dark against pale orange

Dim light, tinged with fading blue

Surrounds, like being underwater

 

Outside the window of my school bus

Whales swim overhead

So noble and solid and simply there

That I know they’re not merely mist

 

The bus turns a corner and I

Can’t see them anymore

Just cars, speeding blurs in bright colors

I picture flashing fish

 

My eyes close, head falls back, but

Whales follow in my wake

Immense bodies lifted from their world

And I, a girl on a school bus

Circles

By Nadav Lemberger

 

We left

Abandoned our home — abandoned our legacy.

We left Earth

We left the Hell of Hells that we created

And we left people behind.

 

We’re far away now

The journey was terrible

Long,

Hard,

And dangerous

Very dangerous

Mutinies and rebellions abounded

But everyone was just trying to survive.

 

This planet is too small for everyone

The atmosphere is thin

The days are warm

Yet the nights are cold as death

The lucky ones live above

They have heat

And heat keeps them alive.

 

Everyone else goes below

Into the caverns heated by this second Hell’s core

Space is nonexistent

Air is sparse

Disease is everywhere

The strong survive

The strong kill to survive

The weak die for the strong to survive

Have we reached the last circle of the Inferno yet?

 

No

That circle is reserved for something worse

That circle is where we came from — a little blue circle in the vast peace of the universe

A circle that created Hell.

A circle that created Humanity.

Perception

By Talia Berg

 

everyone said she was a quiet girl.

truthful, reliable, 

kind, loyal,

calm, well-behaved.

 

her teachers loved her.

she was a model student—

quiet, sweet, straight A’s.

if only she would participate a little more.

 

everyone said she was just shy—

a listener, not an observer.

she was basking in her silence.

 

what if they were looking at it all wrong?

what if their perception was off?

 

they all saw the calm in the storm.

 

but she was the storm.

and there was no calm.

only the thunderous, storming thoughts

and nowhere for them to go. 

 

she had been silenced.

not by any other person,

by herself.

 

she allowed her fear to guide her.

it made her decisions.

it ruled her. 

it kept her quiet.

 

the people were no help.

they were judging her—

she could tell.

their stares penetrated her,

scared her.

 

that fear again.

she stayed quiet.

 

what if she was looking at it all wrong?

what if they were just trying to figure her out?

she never spoke up—

they couldn’t tell if she was friendly.

 

the fear was wrong.

irrational,

illogical,

she couldn’t control it.

 

the fear ruled her.

guided her,

kept her quiet,

the blind led the blind.

 

she wanted to be loud.

she wished she could speak up,

wished it was easy to talk,

wished it wasn’t impossible to open her mouth. 

 

too bad for her—

her perception was off. 

Anger

By Mia Hahn

When shoulders slump and I’m still forced to have a straight back,

when they get the credit for carrying a brick while I carried the building,

left crumbled under its weight,

the heat inside stirs,

attempting to be released.

It refuses to be tamed like in times past

and it kicks and pants

and rants and raves

until I’m left struggling to destroy it,

and it grows to the size of its full potential

until it clandestinely

b u r s t s.

Acquired Strength

By Rochel Leah Itzkowitz

 

I willfully confess to my flaws, to my insecurities,

Hoping for some sort of sympathy from the room:

In the midst of disarray, I vanished

In the unsteady maze of reality,

And accused the dwindling figure in my reflection

That her blemishes were deplorable acts of transgression,

I convinced the confident yet fading voice furrowing inside me that

My shortcomings were nothing short of evil.

 

I willfully reveal more of my apprehension,

And I hear every sound inadvertently occurring but not

Voices explaining their empathy for me and my self-doubt,

My vulnerability is credible, yet blockaded by the minds of 

Those I perceived to be my friends. 

 

I willfully share more of my uncertain past,

Discussing the root of my inhibition and unexpectedly,

Even though my friends’ silence agitates me,

I am overjoyed by the self-assertive person I’ve become today

And that there was a strange element that I fostered on that occasion, 

Confidence,

That battles against my multitude of insecurities, knocks out the opponent

And proceeds to the next endeavor:

Climbing a mountain of triumph without hiding behind others’ shadows.

Defying the Odds  

By Miriam Boss

 

chills ran up her back

her palms drowned in sweat 

 

her heart fluttered and 

her fists tightened 

 

those years of taunting

the teasing, the yelling 

 

those years of fear, 

of weakness, of fragility 

 

those years are over 

for good.

Medusa

By Katie Goldberg

 

Where do we go from here —

the insincere confessions fill my lungs

with a bitter fluid.

The weeds that sprout from a barren

earth softly wrap around my bruised ankles

squeezing tighter and tighter

until I can see my thoughts and

taste my shortcomings. I am in agony and in love.

I long to walk again

but the weeds have spun to

snakes

and I've woken up

in the pantheon; frozen.

A stone, a statue, a tearful masterpiece.

 

As the sun sets on another day

and humanity moves on

I am forced to watch all that I know

                                                          a  t o  m i   z    e

and I am alone again.

Before I begin to Regret 

By Rosie Fellig

 

I fear I will look back one day when my skin is permanently wrinkled, 

Marked so that anyone who saw me would know of my wise existence, 

And I fear that when I reach this point, 

When life is quiet and mundane,

When I am forced to sit and watch the world run,  

I will look back and say, 

If only I was young again, and I had wasted those days.

The Power of Words

By Zehava Shatzkes

 

if every harmful word 

left a scar on my body 

and each bruise 

marked a hateful remark 

 

if every malicious criticism 

about the way I dress 

wear my hair 

present myself 

left a visible impact

 

if every cruel comment 

rumor. 

judgment. 

opinion.  

if each became a scar

 

 

if that was the Power of Words.

Marc Fishkind

Zehava Shatzkes

Eitan Weinberg

Lara Jacobowitz

Shirah Abrahams

Zehava Shatzkes

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