The Goddess of our Solar System
In the deep, dark abyss that is outer space, a star is born. Not just any star, our sun. It shines bright for billions of years and planets gravitate towards it. It's bright, warming, and seeing its breathtaking beauty bring smiles to our faces. Its captivating light pulls us in and hugs us. Its welcoming warmth kisses our skin. Staring at it blinds us and sometimes the burning heat can bite us. Without it we'd be lost in the darkness with no way out. I am the sun always shining brightly and beautifully. The goddess of our solar system.
I shine bright without trying and and people seem to take a liking towards me. I'm a hot ball of fire that will burn so you can't get close. Some people say I'm mean but really I'm just distant. I may be far out but without a doubt people notice me. I'm majestic and royal like the Egyptian Sun God, Ra. I may act superior but really I'm not much different than anyone else. My warmth motivates people which is why I seem to be a natural-born leader.
I burn in the summer, feeling bright as ever. The power I feel is overwhelming. In the winter the brightness I have seemed to diminish. The burning dwindles. My heart has a burning rage to it that runs and never settles. My soul is a fiery inferno. I am the goddess of our solar system. The sun burns incessantly in me.
— Ra'Nya Taylor, grade 8
A Floating Bloom
The delicate lily bud rests upon the tender green plate. It floats atop the water with exquisite beauty, looking as if the gentle, lapping ripples could knock it over. But, the lily is hardier than you would think. The water lily withstands the daily traffic of frogs hopping about the pond, dragonflies that land on its pad, and water moccasins that streak through the pond. The lily takes the stamping in stride. Like a water lily, I deal with the toughness of life everyday, but take it in stride. I am a water lily.
When something new comes up, like a new leaf shooting out of the water to sunlight, I accept it like a lily pad accepts a new leaf in its vascular bundles. When I was little, my parents told me I was going to be an older sister. "Really?" I exclaimed, "Can I play with her?" I asked excitedly. I welcomed the newest member of our family with amity.
As a person, I want to make the world a better place. A water lily contributes to its environment by proving shade to all of the underwater organisms and a landing pad on top of the water and all manner of pond life. I wish to make sure all walks of life have a safe refuge when they need one. Waves and tides can influence where I go, but my rhizomes ground me. I am a water lily.
— Lily Watson, grade 8
With a yellow that rivals the brightness of the sun, it is the little face of joy in a meadow of shallow beauty. Not the showy rose with thorns just out of sight, waiting to pierce an unsuspecting person, but an honest, imperfect bloom. The blinding smile is hidden just beneath the surface, shining light onto the others around it. Carefully transplanted, this flower will wilt, turn its face to the shadows and memories of home, then bloom again more glorious than ever, with its face to the sun. I am not the lilac, intoxicating people with its fragrant blossoms. I am a dandelion.
Just as I am a plain old flower to those who do not give more than a glance, people are more than what they seem. Though I am a flower at heart, sometimes the part of me that is a weed pokes its head through my petals of grins and jokes. The flower loses its luster for a moment, hitting a sister or hurling a rude comment. "I'm so sorry!" I stammer sincerely. But the weed bides its time and knows exactly when to come out of its dormant state. It knows where it hurts most for those people the flower keeps close to her heart.
Once she is firmly planted in her new home, with her tendrils of roots growing by the day, this bloom will send seeds of influence, thought, and laughter floating on the whispering breeze into the hearts of the other people around her. The blossom will always be trying to conquer the meadow that is her life and the people in it. I am a dandelion, always wrestling and trying to pull out the weed that is so much, but at the same time, not a part of me.
— Regan Christensen, grade 8
I am the ground littered with bright, green leaves. I surround an area I call my own with long, outstretched arms keeping it dark and safe. There are so many things to reveal, yet so little time to show what lies beneath. My dark olive ceiling, with speckled sunlight breaking through, reveals a sapling, brimming with the anticipation of young climbers. I am a forest.
Inside malicious echoes of thoughts resound, bouncing from branch to branch; small critters quiver in the hollow trunks. The constant, gentle winds rustle the leaves to reassure the creatures that the grey clouds won't bring too much of a flood. Crooked trees stand their ground, their cold, winding roots anchor together what they call home. The cold streams flicker with life, lapping at the banks. Though I'm quiet and patient like a fox, my voice reverberates through the forest like the chirping of a cricket.
My walls tower like skyscrapers with broad, tough bark that act as barriers to shield any threat to my well-being. Some manage to find a weak spot in my barricade, so they wander in. Instead of obstructing any sunshine through my leaves, driving them away, I offer them my scarlet berries and comforting shade from my tall trees. I gift them with my tranquility. But there's always that distressing noise, like a deadly buzzsaw, making itself wanting to be known. Along with the morphing, omnipresent thoughts, one grasps my attention: No matter how gentle the leaves rustle, it cannot brush that voice away. It's simple for them to light one match and burn everything you love. Sometimes we're all terrified of change; we stay in place because we don't want to lose our lives. We'll learn to forge our own paths, down in the forest.
— Brianna Guerra, grade 8
The Celestial Star
I am the rift that cracks the light into the sky. I am the father that tells the Man In the Moon "it's time for him to go to bed." And I am the pitcher that pours yellow drops of sunlight onto the surface of the Earth. I am the knitter of light that spins a ball of sun and sends its rays of sunny yarn throughout the world for all to see. My presence reveals an illuminating star that scintillates our world. I am the Sunrise.
I am the harbinger of a new day.
I am the guardian that watches over the vast horizon. I am a light that illuminates the moon with light. I am the fellow star that tells constellations to reveal themselves to man. I am the knowledge that determines the birth signs of all. I am the elder that has lived forever. I am the great-grandfather who's 4.5 billion years old. Yet I am a mortal star destined to die in 5 billion years. But for now I am the seraphim's orb who brings God's light onto Earth. I am the sun.
I am a celestial star that enters the sky in the morning. I am an emitter of light whose rays love to dance on the white, fluffy clouds. "I love watching the sunrise illuminate the clouds in the sky," I tell my parents. I am a weaver who knits the clouds together. I am a source that man uses for energy. I am the light who goes away during winter and the rain. I am a ball of plasma that helps to pass the cycle of seasons. I am the warmth that all will soon enjoy. And I am the hearth whose fire all of humanity seeks. Greetings. I am the Sunrise
— Mac Nowalk, grade 8
The time has come for the photo to be revamped. Fingers moving, typing faster than life, my screen blares with tools. The cut tool is used to splice every even slice of the photo with the sound of clicks ... The stylus is moving and erasing the undos and redos of my multiple mistakes ... The lighting of the perfect zones and the shadows of the unseen picture ... typing of the board and sliding of the trustful mouse who has both been with me for the decades. The layers of artificial color covers my screen with unknown purposes alone. Finally the photo is done. Now comes the final task before it goes on its way ... the pushing of buttons make the sound of the whirling jets and the silent sound of the ink splatter over the canvas. Now the rush of completion runs through me. I'm that editor who took photos in the cold breeze mountains. I'm the editor who learns through the sounds of nature. The editor who learned through the multiple layers of life.
The world doesn't always recognizes my labor. Without me, it's like a cake without icing. I'm the entire project: I'm the cover, l'm the body, and I'm the pages. Behind the scenes less attention helps you focus on what really matters.
My skills are the knife of the chef, the board of a cook and the axe of a lumberjack. Inside my tool box are the essentials required for perfected product. I can deploy them across many media in any field. I'm as sharp as a machete, as precise as a surgeon, and as skilled as a civil engineer. Hail artist, I am the editor.
— Qide Baa, grade 8
In the middle of the field stands a magnificent tree with arms outstretched.
As lonely as he seems, he has been around longer than any other creature in the wooded area. He who holds these individual branches holds what I have felt and known and cared for in my short life ... He seems to hold the keys of time ...His stature is mighty, his roots run deep into the ground, and his bark is withered like an ancient man who has experienced etemity. The fruits of this body have been dropped for myriad animals who feast and are spawned as tiny seedlings, little kids, around my perimeter. Birds have been born in the lengths of my branches. In my lifetime my bark purified more gasses for the people for whom I give life. Insects have been nurtured by my bark and given a haven. As strong and as mighty in stature and in nature, I am an oak tree.
I am tall and far reaching, I provide protection for my brothers and parents. My hard work has paid off in the time I am alive. The sun is harsh and burning rays are blocked by my branches and
leaves. I am always tending those under my powerful arms. I put my brother to bed and as tired as I am, I do it for the love of my brother. I am like a father when my dad can't be there. I pour milk and make supper when he asks. I do everybody's laundry and throw out the trash. I provide the strength, never worry, I have strong roots to provide the needed strength.
These traits help me in life because it shows a reliable entity who is hardworking, and also has the stamina to handle pressure. Even though I get tired, I am a dedicated soul who quietly towers above the fray.
— Alejandro Ortiz, Grade 8
A Dance Destroying the Darkness
Burning from the pits of the Underworld, yet a gift of the Gods themselves, I swirl around the darkness, destroying it with my piercing stare. When it admits defeat, I die down once again, letting the glow of my embers soothe the people into a sleepy lull of calm. Sometimes, I am a harsh reality that burns the fantasies out of your skull. I'm not always there, but when I am, be wary; I am both and friend and a foe. I am fire.
My silence is a warning of looming dark times. An obtrusive hand will be injured by my plain, heated hate, but a gentle one will be welcomed into my warm embrace. Sometimes, I am spread far and wide by the gusts of a chilling windstorm. I remember when I was but a spark, I needed constant stoking: "You can do it. Build your own dreams, and make them come true," my elders would say. A spark was nurtured into a burgeoning fire; a raging, twisting flame of excitement.
Flames like my own are ignited often, but most burn out before they can become crackling bonfires that light up the dark. Every lick could be the last flare. I can never know when the windstorm will put me out instead of spreading my wildfire; I can never know when a sudden rain will reduce me to a smoldering mess. I try to fuel my flames for as long as I can, but eventually, there will be a limit. One day, I'll be pushed past the limit; one day, the flame will go out forever, leaving only glowing golden embers as memories of a simple legacy whose intensity illuminated its world.
— Sophia McMahan, grade 8
My thoughts move with such velocity that spectators only see blurred lights where they used to be, like a car accelerating at unimaginable speeds. It's loud and bright in my mind; each synapse a powerfully-lit street that, in early hours, is far from abandoned. I am a clutter of dreams, living in both the smallest corners of my mind and the larger, more prominent areas. I am angry and busy. I am New York City.
My anger is a taxi's honk: abrupt. I am a motivated person, and like a New Yorker, I get annoyed when people are in my way. For example, last year, I had difficulties with my group in a project. An internal clock counts down, and once my patience is tried, I explode: "You will not be the reason I fail!" I yell, standing to enforce that I mean business. Finally we finish, but much like angry, abrupt New Yorkers, I don't win any popularity points. And just like those New Yorkers, I don't care. My temper is quick and direct, and sometimes spontaneous, cutting through my seemingly happy and calm demeanor. Inside me there is a drive that will claw through anything to get what it wants.
Just as New York is the city that never sleeps, I never stop planning. My thoughts are loud enough to consume me, like New York, from the roars of strong opinions to the blast of an idea. When I believe my brain has finally run dry, it ignites again with questions or answers. I talk endlessly about ideas or projects, and just as the excitement in NYC never ends, neither does my constant flow of thoughts. I am New York, a passionate, driven force filled with hope, dreams, and really loud noises.
— Julia Van Lare, grade 8
I breeze past everyone quietly, without them even noticing. I calm people, filling them with thoughts of laughter and happiness. However, some days I can be the opposite, leaving people down; howling up a storm of thoughts they wished to leave behind. I can also be fierce if I need to; a strong gust of wind meant to knock anyone off their feet and send them flying. I am understood as many entities, but mostly I am a calm, laughter-spreading feeling that circulates through the school and my world. I am the wind.
As my parents know, I have overcome many obstacles before, pushing harder and harder against such barriers, until they come down. I have gone through the easiest of times, which breeze by, and the hardest of conflicts, which stand strong and
tough and wired to keep me from my goals. "You know," my friends share with me, "you seem to be that one person who tries to make everyone laugh, and if you can't, you don't care; you just keep on trying until you can make everyone else happy." Just like the breeze trying to push and squirm through the holes in an old, red brick wall, I try to share my cheerfulness with anyone, no matter how I'm thought of.
Nowadays, I still float around, but more conscious of how I flow than before. Sometimes, the wind can be pleasing, but can be irritating at times when it blows too hard or too sporadically. I can easily find myself in awkward situations, going where I shouldn't go with people, like when the wind convinces you to go inside to avoid it. I have to avoid these situations as I zoom around the school, trying to share the joyfulness I have with everyone.
— Benjamin Jacobs, grade 8
I am the mystery figure you never get to know. I am the seeker looking for adventure, never settled on one thing. I drift around for a purpose to fulfil. My feet like foxes, scampering around as they please, hopping trains and running miles. I'm often restless because of my many travels and journeys but still, I venture on. My head a vortex, spinning and swirling rapidly. I am the wanderer.
Like the wind I am never in one single place. My arms are like a cold breeze and my legs like a thunder storm. My words can be soft like the falling leaves or as treacherous as a sandstorm. I often get lost in the path of life, searching for meaning on it. I'm too close to those I'm close to and not close enough to the ones I'm not. Attachment to me is a fire that can not be ignited. The unlit fire does not have enough time to spark into something amazing. This blaze will never ignite and will forever lost in my collection of unlit fires.
Like the red moon, my stillness is rare. Even when I try to stay in one place, I can't help but crash down hill like an avalanche. There are times when there is nothing to seek, but in those times I always find something to go after. "Never let others decide your path," my father often tells me. I've realized after a while that there will always be another secret to uncover our another mountain to climb. Always a new journey to embark on. I have come to terms with what I am. Never still, always forward ... the Wanderer.
— Carson Ruth, grade 8
Glistening Sea of Light
I am a guide, illuminating the way through the darkness of the night. I am sturdy and strong, built to withstand high winds and howling storms. I lead boats away from the treacherous rocks below and the narrow. Sailors look up to me, wondering what lies ahead. offer safe harbor. I am a visionary, watching over the seas. I am a lighthouse.
My eyes are lights flooding brightly, watching over those who want help. Sometimes my light wanes, when I am feeling down. When I am stressed out, my light flickers like that time I failed a test in math. Or that time I forgot to take out the trash. Sometimes my light will shine as bright as the sun. I will help many people and in return my lights get even brighter. This beacon shines the brightest when I am happy. Most people respect me, but some will try to break stubborn walls. It is a waste of time trying to break me because my structure is indestructible.
My walls are withered and rusted from the inside and out but I still stand tall and sturdy.
I still wait for those who seek help. I am no longer new but far from old. I might fail but I will never give up; but if I wane, my light may need a repair. I will always help those in need, even if i break down. I arn a guide. I am a visionary. I am a lighthouse.
— Ben Cassatt, grade 8
In the early morning, the deer dances across the forest floor. It is a young deer, a fawn. As a song bird whistles, the fawn freezes. If you are watching it you see how lovely and graceful the tiny creature is. It hears a crack in nearby brush and gracefully bounds away. Its long legs disappear on its last "grand jete" into the coming dawn. She leaves traces of ballet steps and wide, wondering eyes in my mind. I am a fawn.
Sometimes I get shy when I am around people I don't know. Most times I would much rather be outside or dancing. A fawn is a very elegant animal, jumping fences and running. Many people tell me, “Oh, Emma; you are really graceful." It is because I dance. Running is also something we have in common. The fawn's long ears are very sensitive and can hear the most slightest sounds. They hear the thumping of people's feet far away and the near sounds of berries being dropped.
I am a fawn. I don't leap and twirl down the hall. Fawns are careful animals. They don't like a lot of attention. Quietly darting from human view, we occasionally see some friends and quietly walk with them. At a young age fawns are playful and perky. As they get older it will get more mature. They have more responsibility and thoughtfulness. They lose some of the silliness. They still leaping over streams and racing friends but fawns also turn into deer. But you are still graceful for the rest of your life. I am a fawn.
— Emma Weaver, grade 8
Thirsty for knowledge, I eagerly absorb the quips, sound bites, and musings of these inspiring and talented YouTubers. I process the information, learn from it, and teach it. This cycle — the ebb and flow of data — quenches my thirst. Homemade props: wagons, wigs and wilderness; my imagination teleports me through time. I capture it all on video. Screens, colored lights ... I connect with old friends on a virtual battlefield. Pass on the diagonal — the queen moves in for the kill. Dodging defenders, I set up the shot. The knight evades capture. The soccer field is a chess board. Shoot, score, checkmate! I am green but my interests and ambitions are many. I am a Renaissance Man.
I pioneer new ideas. I pencil tap and beat box. I cook, play soccer, basketball, football, and chess. Video games, board games, HGTV, Dr. Pol, Dr. K, political debates-!like them all. A single day in this Renaissance Man's life is full of fun, challenge, and discover. One Texas winter day, my friends and I were on the trampoline. Mid-jump, I noticed something flopping around on the ground. A baby blackbird was distressed under the leaves. We took him in, cared for him, and perched him on the Xbox. We studied him, researched him, then set him free. His name was Colton. To this day, he is one of my many spirit animals.
I am never bored. Opportunities to engage the world are everywhere. The internet is my portal; the camera lens both captures and fuels my appetite for information. I don't waste a minute. (I may not always do what I am supposed to do, but my mind is always on.) Lights, camera, action: Think, react, build, create. I am a Renaissance Man, always creating and in motion.
— Kendall Hartman, grade 8
Swirling in the eye, I send silent, warm vibes into people's souls. I swirl round an around in the fresh breeze until I reach the edge; from there everything goes downhill, it is crashing down, BLASTING my voice. Wind flows through my hair, the lightning in my eyes, the clouds on my skin cover every inch. My words burn like bolts. I am the storm.
Like the winds, my words are powerful. I'm a tornado that's never quiet. During a debate, I argue as turbulently as the winds. I fling epithets out like a tornado throwing people out. My opinions thrash through my mind, wanting to erupt. My voice floods people's minds as I talk. Suddenly the tempest quells, an eerie silence descends. Before pronouncing my beliefs; I put myself in the eye of a hurricane, warm but dangerous. My anger shifts to a calm breeze, making me feel like soft sea winds.
"Great job", I tell myself, seeing the people's faces, as they understand with full force my passionate beliefs.
Sometimes I am powerless wind. I'm like a gentle breeze passing through the flowers, weak as a baby sapling. Flowers dance with wind. Leaves spiral like a staircase. Other times, I'm an alarming, raging cyclone. I crash intensely into trees as I'm furious, fueled with rage. I tear them down with intense anger, like a bull. Flowers are ripped from their roots seeming like a machete did the job. My vortex always changes speed as my fury mounts. I am the hurricane.
— Cindy Ovando, grade 8
The Bronze Giant
A forgotten giant rests in the sea, covered in bronze, shaken down from the upset of power. What once used to be a reminder of power, the thousand-foot giant loomed above the world. Thousands of shattered pieces slumber in the down in the watery depths. What once used to be a sheen warm glow emanating from the metallic bronze now an icy cold glare from each broken piece. The whole world was below him, ships sailed under his colossal legs, he was power. I am the Colossus of Rhodes.
What was a once great giant is now buried thousands of feet under the Earth adds to the rocky bottom. The massive figure in the sea shows a chilling after-image of the human race. Fish now swim through the rough metal smoothed down by bone-crushing currents. This forgone hero is now an icy shape indescribable from a common rock, waiting for rescue. Slimy algae and rough oysters infused on the giant; they cling to the power it once held. The giant may have fallen but his greatness will never entirely erode and, one day it will ascend again.
The colossus is just a symbol of power, truly making people think he is a god. Now, as I sit at a desk, I wonder if I will ever obtain power like that. Thousands of feet above the world, no human could ever bring him down. But with that, the Earth shook and rough plates collide and danced together, creating destruction in their wake. And with that the Colossus fell, only for it to get back up again. And it will continue getting back up every morning to ascend higher than the day before.
— Quinn Schroeder, grade 8
Every problem that I'm going through bends my mind, casting a shadow to torture me. Letting go of problems and to surrender completely to our innermost selves and to gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious is not easy in the life of a teenaged girl. Unexpected things happen, falling all at once like rocks falling down a mountain. We all have realize the possibility misfortune and the cruel slings of unexpected tragedy. We should be prepared, and we have to be flexible. I have suffered and continue to experience the pain of almost unspeakable sadness. I am a weeping willow watching over the river, all alone.
Life hits hard, like a comet coming down from space. Wind blows so slow sometimes you can't even feel it, like time passing by. My dad left me all alone next to a river, and I don't where to look or go. Not knowing why he left this big world, haunts me. Memories return like a boomerang. Leaving me was his choice; he made a mistake.
People leave, nobody sticks by when you need them. Sometimes I feel like I don't belong in this world, that I shouldn't exist anymore, I should be extinct like a dinosaur. I'm all alone like a weeping willow, people surround me, but they are invisible to me. I don't wanna be here anymore, there's too many things going on, that I would just want to crush like crushing leaving from the ground. Anxiety isn't simple; my anxiety has anxieties. Anxiety also freezes everything. Depression leads to fake smiling, laughing, and saying "I'm fine." all the time, and I'm not. A weeping willow's silence is just another way to show pain. I'm a weeping willow.
— Dalila Martinez, grade 8