The world is like a library, a huge, sprawling archive of every word ever written, and we are the books that line its endless shelves. Everyone has their own personal differences, and no two people can ever be exactly alike.
Dreams become actions
impossible becomes possible
it’s what I love to do
becoming focused on my goals
reaching those limits
passing the bar
once I get a new idea
I go with it
I don’t give up
I would like to change the world
I smile when people ask if I’m all right
But inside I’m screaming and aching
I feel as if my world is an act
I act my smiling when
I want to kick and thrash everything around me
I act my laughing when I want to cry
The rustic smell and the crisp turn of the pages let me live out my dreams. They inspire me. They are the fairy tales, and let me escape from life. Then I finish them. And I am devastated. But they complete me, and interest me.
Who feels…like nothing is impossible when you try hard enough. Like dreams are never just dreams. Like life is a blank sheet of paper and, everyone writes their own story.Who wants…To do something that goes beyond herself.
When I think of Iowa,
I think of cattle,
I think of the rattle under the road,
driving by humble abodes.
I imagine cornfields,
I imagine barns,
driving by the farms,
I hear the rumble of tractors,
the thunder in the sky during summertime,
Marina Green had always been the epitome of normal. She got good grades, but they were nothing phenomenal. She was pretty enough, but no great beauty. She had friends (did one count?), but was nowhere near a social butterfly.
I have been told
I am genuine
By my teachers
By my friends
By my family
When I was younger I wanted a different word
Humorous, pretty, or courageous
Now that I am older
I have realized
The word genuine means
There was once a bright, new, shiny car
with a big engine and all a child’s wildest dreams within.
This noble stallion would speed through all the others,
roaring by them like a lion chasing its prey
through its black-floored, circular jungle.
In my poem “Out of this World,” I explore the theme of oppression and the ways in which Leonard Peltier’s Prison Writings and Rachel Zucker’s “Paying Down the Debt: Happiness” evidence this central theme.
she could live in the sunny, tropical Bahamian world for a summer
she could experience the ear-popping adventure
on an airplane
going place to place
visiting the breathtaking sights around planet Earth
To create new and innovative objects
For the joy of finding a new building block of the universe
To write the published wonder that will spread throughout the world
To smell the delicious food in front of me, soon to be in cookbooks everywhere
I wonder who the person I’ll become in twenty years will be.
I wonder if I’ll be helping someone in desperate time of need,
or saving someone’s life on an empty street.
I wonder if the mountains I climb
lightly sunkissed skin and bright grey blue eyes
sympathetic, funny, crazy
daughter of a caring, loving mom named Carmen
making new memories
gaining more friends
laughing so hard my stomach hurts
Of all the questions,
one stands out.
Who do you want to be?
I want to be someone whose life is overflowing with adventure.
I want to travel and explore.
It would be great to see monuments as bold as stars.
This issue of elementia is dedicated to author Laurie Halse Anderson, and to the theme of identity. The editors took inspiration from a quote of Anderson’s published in the issue, “This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you’ve never dared look at before.”
The editorial committee for this issue includes teen selectors Rebecca Abraham, Michelle Chan, and Emma Fernhout; library staff selectors Leslie Goodwin and Vanessa Schneider, and library staff editors Angel Tucker and Kate McNair. Published in 2014, this issue includes 57 pieces of writing and 14 pieces of art.