elementia issue 10



By Hannah McCann

Reading should never just be
considered an option.
A life without reading, not
understanding words, only
spots on a page, with the power
to change worlds, but they’re
dead without a voice, no meaning
till they’re read.

Mother Fletcher

By Tripp Shertenlieb

Full-grown Harlem lady
Eyes as black as night
If caught in a situation
Her decision would be right

Full-grown Harlem lady
Welcomes every child
If one makes a wrong decision
They will be reconciled


By Skyler Pippin

I hate putting my family through pain
If I could wrong my rights I would be sane
Until that point I hang my head in shame

I wish not but blame myself

For what I did I know not
They know I do have faith
Even though I’m in this deep dark place


By Nancy Green

It was a bad day.
Big Joe had a bad idea.
He was going to ruin our street.
Big Joe is a bad man.

I will stop him.
I won’t let him do this.
Everybody will hate him.
I’m not just a little kid.
I am going to take charge.


By Bryson Vanlandingham

My name is Peaches,
I am not very fond of Big Joe,
I think my mother deserves better than a man with dough.
He is selfish, impatient, and acts like a child,
Even though he helps people, and he has a very big smile.


By Micayla Gleaton

Angry and spiteful
Attractive and very tall
Yah I am a teen

Blood, White, and Blue: February 2003

By Catherine Strayhall

It’s been more than 30 years since Nam. It’s been about 20 years since the Wall went up, but this is my first time visiting it. Right now, my nephew, Robin, is headed to Kuwait, and probably soon, Iraq, for another war.


By Jackie Trammell

I want respect
I need tough love
I want freedom
I need control
I want to be wanted
I need to be independent
I want things
I need nothing
I want the high
I need sobriety
I want happiness
I need reality
I want no judgment


By Jake Oltremari

I wish I was home
I wish I was stoned
I wish I was high

I wish I could succeed
I wish I would try.


By Gage Oshman

I wish
I had a tree house
One to sit in all day with my spouse
I would read to the leaves
Feel my hair move with the breeze
A tree supporting so much
Like a caring father that does such
The power to hold all

The End

By Michelle Chan

As children everything is pure
Endless and pure
As you age you notice the stars
Burnt out memories light years away
Only if you can see them
Past your city lights and suburbs.
In their memory we keep living on
And amongst our betrayal and companions


By Alexandra Miller

Turning book pages
taking a journey,
a mystical

Lichtenburg Love

By Rachel Franklin

I used to tread over damp ground
yet seek shelter from the rain.
Those wilted lives, half-truths
fed to half-lovers, are gone.
The hollows of your cheeks
are cracked like parched earth
from years wasted needing me to kiss you.

Crying for the Beauty

By Catherine Strayhall

With winter gone, she can THROW her window open wide
With spring arriving, she can dance in bright SUNSHINE.
This is what it is to LIVE without regret;
To know she can NEVER FORGET, only move on.
With BLUE above, so open, so clear and bright

In The Morning

By Elly Herman

In the morning, I open my eyes
Sit up and stretch, and let out small cries.
I wiggle my toes, and crinkle my nose,
And get out of bed to the sound of rooster crows.
I slip on my jeans, and my long furry coat,
I creep downstairs and out to feed the goat.

The Endless Spirit

By Emily Hilderhof

A bright desire shines, wanting to be noticed.
Throughout the day,
she begins to lose hope, starting
to diminish as if she were to disappear.
Fading to nothing more than a shadow
of what once was.

Call of the Unbiased

By Lauren McGrath

You see the clothes
You see the hair
You don’t see the person there.
(You see a thing)

You don’t see the scars or bruises
You don’t see the fragileness
You see only what you want to see.
(You don’t see a person with emotions)

The Tease

By Jackie Trammell

The chase reels me in.
You lie and fake me out till the end.
I hope and pray that you will be true.
But you let me down.
Screw you.

These Are My Friends

By Portia Miller

I am me
They are them,
Three halves make a whole.
They are the oddballs
Nerds and geeks.
People with voices in their heads
And we love being weird.
We’re none of your labels,
And yet . . . all of them.

Welcome to my family

The Mistake Girl

By Portia Miller

The mistake girl is in the corner,
Facing the wall,
Counting how many cracks are in the cheap,
Thinning plaster.
Trying desperately and
Failing to block out her mother’s voice.
Setting a price.

The Tigros

By Sophia Daniel

They are dangerous and frightening,
Like a strike of lightning.
You have to watch out,
Because they can black you out.
You try to hold back,
Until the police come attack.
Watch out they’re coming,
Just like lightning is stunning.

Larry, 50

By Samuel Pankey

His music will dance around you
And pour into your heart
They will run around the rooms
And jump around the walls
He will bake his notes in emotions
For you to taste
You will never want to leave
His house of soul

Angela, 10 Singer

By Greta Pereira

Out of my mouth
Comes a beautiful song
All of Harlem
Sings along
In the church
Bells ring
Saluting our friend,
Big Joe, they sing
The world dances to
The sweet sound
The best is the
Earth’s pulse, all around
When I stop

Leroy Brown, 55 Band Leader

By Connor O’Brien

My pulse rises when we begin to play
“Amazing Grace” and “One More River to Cross”
This is where I belong
Playing with the All-Star Stompers all day long
I hope they play on my dying day


By Chris Farrell

I live on the streets
I don’t have a pillow or sheets
I’ve been arrested many times
All for stolen goods worth only pennies and dimes
I have to steal to survive
Even though I don’t really thrive
But I’m still me
And that’s JT

Freddy Deceased & Homeless

By Chad Roberts

Freddy oh Freddy
Is an alcoholic
He will beg you to lend him spare change,
To grab an ice cold beer at the bar.
He will never be quiet!
He is underground laying in a coffin.
Freddy oh Freddy.

Mother Fletcher

By Ashley Ruckman

My skin dark as a winter’s midnight,
Tiny body as delicate as morning light.
As worn as dusty books on the attic floor,
Don’t expect things to happen on their own anymore.
My eyes like coal in a lifeless fireplace,
Beneath a dark and bony face.

Poor Great-Great-Grandmother

By Calla Hinderks

A creaking windowpane,
Pelted with snow,
Reflecting light onto the dusty, deep brown floor.
The rooms seems to sigh, pained with age,
Abandoned; left waiting,
The cold is kept at bay by a single lamp,
Filling the small space with warmth.

Old Woman

By Greta Pereira

When I look at myself I see
Harlem reflected back at me
A great city with
A great history
When I look at myself, I see the roads I have traveled
To get here, and though they took a while,
In the map of wrinkles in my face

Growing Old

By Hunter Woosley

I used to be young,
Running around Harlem having fun.
But now I grow old,
And the angels are calling.

Time to go home,
Time to go home.