of arc

By: Lara Katz

that man
he was a woman, with
cropped hair and cobwebbed

that illiterate woman
she fought a court to
remain single

she in drag brought men to
war horse to water they
drank they drank deep

that girl
won a war dressed in
white that peasant
commanded a dauphin

and he obeyed
like a dog that virgin
at nineteen she became ash
before her own funeral

that life
that swift.

Lara Katz is 16; she lives in Weston, Connecticut

The Wisest

By: Daniel Boyko

Upon receiving the reality beyond the most intelligent parts of my brain,
I discover the truth.
She’s by far the smartest of them all,
able to give advice on just about everything
in a language that isn’t her natural tongue.

The hard-core sciences, the puzzling history,
and sophisticated opinions on philosophy
are all answered with brilliance.
Yet, she’s never been formally taught any of it.

Sure, her mathematical computing skills aren’t on par with Caltech’s finest,
but she stopped attending school by third grade.
If only she had the opportunities that the wealthy American receives,
she would be hailed by all and would be placed on the same pedestal as Einstein himself.

There would be an element named after her,
a city, a town, an avenue, and an airport would be named the same as well,
and she would have invented some bewildering creation
that would forever revolutionize life as we know it.

The future would come fifty years earlier,
and cancer may be a thing of a past.
Sure, it could be that wisdom comes with age,
but if that were the case, a certain someone would be a little brighter.
Maybe, the whole world has just gotten education wrong.

Daniel Boyko is 14 years old and lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, USA


By: Kiana Mpala

Clouds are big fluffy things they are.
As big as a house, as big as a car,
then you think how far do they go?
Far up into the clouds where nobody knows...

Different shapes and sizes are they,
moving fast to places far away.
Clouds are magical and the most magic of all,
they might give rainy days and sad ones too.

But best of all is they love us, they do!

Kiana Mpala is 10 years old and lives in Chatam, England. 


By: Isabella Popa

Brown paint
flicking off
god’s paintbrush,
onto your

Raw honey
thick with emotion
escapes from
your eyes
and drips
down your face.

Lips gently
coated in sugar,
so sweet
that I would
gladly eat up
every word.

You can’t be real.
Maybe I should
touch you,
just to
be sure.

Isabella Popa is 13 and lives in San Jose, California

Heart of Light

By: Narlyn Rodriguez

I have the heart of light
No matter what you say or do
Will you stop my light from shining

No I’m not dying
Yes I’m trying
Don’t tell me I’m not enough
When you don’t know my stuff

But isn’t it lovely
Tearing me down
Make me look like a clown

Well I have news for you
I’m having fun too
Seeing you mock me
Tryna stop me

Where are you now
You’re the one with the frown

So I got that heart of light
Like an airplane
I’ll take flight

I'm too high in the sky
To listen to your lies

So treat me with respect
Or don’t
Let's see who it’ll affect

Oh honey
You can’t stop me
I got that heart of light
And it’s a real sight

Narlyn Rodriguez is 15 and lives Pomona, California 


By: Julia Riesman
Something, even in daylight, always hides
under three shifting cups face-down, there we
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
With blood-red cow carcass, each shelf is lined
in this grocery aisle mortuary—
something, even in daylight, always hides.
A light bulb bursts on a carnival ride,
same fate as my left eye capillary;
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
In the shadow cast by his tune, the pied
piper hinted at coal mine canary.
Something, even in daylight, always hides.
How was she to know, now a draped deer hide,
that hunting season's not January:
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
Apricot pits, within, house cyanide
in the jars of an apothecary;
Something, even in daylight, always hides—
can’t know, in the dark, what is falsified.
Julia Riesman is 16 and lives in Brookline, Massachussetts. 

The Old Dog

By: Abby Bartlett

The old dog lying in the sun
lounges there every day.
He casts his shadow across the lawn,
and watches younger puppies play.

He sniffles at the lily flowers
that line his sleepy path.
He sits there,
still as a rock,
and takes in the world—

Until his owner comes to play,
the old dog lounges in the sun

Abby Bartlett is 11;  she lives in Freeport, Maine


By: Rebecca Huang
The shot rings out in place of a bell.
Left, right, left. 
The sound of our boots and the heart-wrenching cries blend together into one cacophonous symphony
And we march to its beat. 
One by one the students fall into the onslaught of indifference.
As the cannons fire in the fields
Where fallen comrades lay mangled and broken and
But this time the bloody sacrifices will not go unaccounted for.
In our Sherman’s march, we will blaze a path of solidarity
Trailing behind us a scarlet line 
On our trek to the Capitol.
When will you Kings on the mount of the hill
finally open your eyes to the suffering that surrounds you?
You have locked yourselves away in a glass cage.
Do the walls mute the cry of our brethren?
When you wake up every morning and see the sunrise,
Do you think about the all the sunrises they will
never see?
How much longer will it take before the broken shards of their dreams break through your wall of apathy?
He claimed that the devil made him do it.
What about you?
One day your cage will shatter from the pressure of our pain.
One day your cage will shatter.
Rebecca Huang is 16 and lives in Darnestown, Maryland.

Dance of Disassembly

By: Tristan Deeley
We dance to the music no-one hears—the beats of our hearts, the breaths of our lungs, the caresses of our minds. No matter. Music of the mouth is unnatural and discordant; instruments are not as perfect as we are.
I take your hand in mine, then take you all, from the shoulder onwards. When you twirl, the simple twist lends me your other arm, like soft clay being taken apart.
Armless, harmless, you spin to the floor, legs spread wide for me. A gentle tug, the ones you like, which elicit purrs from your porcelain throat, and I have them, too. 
The torso is much harder. Nothing to hold and pull, at least not without hurting you. I run a fingernail gently across your neck, and that does the trick. You fall apart.
You roll away now, as I pick up your body and follow. You’ve gone far ahead. Ahead; I chuckle throatily at the thought. I am so tired. Only the sane sleep.
I catch your head, the backs of my fingers resting on your delicate cheek. You cannot leave yet. Not until I am done. Not until we finish our dance. I smile softly into your eyes, your cold glare sending arrows up at me. You hadn’t thought I would take it this far.
I ponder your eyes. Deep brown, like chocolate. Wild, though. Untameable, untakeable. I look at my full arms. There is no room, anyway. I would not want to break them. They look beautiful in your sockets, and I must leave something. A single tear runs down your snowy face, falling to the marble ground. But I am still hungry. Not my mouth, nor my stomach, but my soul.
With a final kiss, I take your lips, and I tuck them into my breast-pocket. For later.
Tristan Deeley is 17 and lives in Queensland, Australia.


An Adventurous Heart

By: Madeline Rick

I wandered through the desert

With nothing but my guitar,

I trekked across the seas—

Waves tossed me near and far.

I dined in all the palaces,

And lived like kings and queens,

I napped amongst the jungle:

Wild, and yet serene.

But nothing, I admit

Prepared me well for this—

For you

My dear,

After all, I fear

Have slain me with a kiss.

Madeline is 18 and lives in Temperance, Missouri