My Russian Dolls
My first layer is painted yellow,
A bright yellow, like the vibrant petals of a sunflower.
My outer layer too is like a sunflower:
Unfurled and facing the Sun,
Tall, lanky, and climbing,
A bit frayed around the edges, with imperfect cuts.
My second layer is painted grey,
The kind you find in seafoam on the crests of surging waves.
Waves that worry the beach constantly,
Weathering the rocks,
Pinching the sand.
It comes from the vast sea of blues and greens,
Where the water runs for hundreds of miles, without
The Sea is vast, limitless, immortal.
It coats the globe as my sea coats my world,
I feel it’s strength and suffocation,
But I also feel it’s liquidity.
Another shell in and you find indigo,
A shade one might use to paint the
Midnight sky in the background of a
More lit, lively cityscape.
The color lays easily overlooked on the painting,
Partially covered by the more eye-catching,
Irritable oil paints
At the foreground of the artwork.
This rich color is melodic and gentle,
It’s voice rolls over you like a warm breeze on a
Cold fall night,
The temporary, timeless calm in
Prolonged moments of anxiety.
My final layer is green.
Green like the scent of fresh-cut grass.
Green like the edges of my mother’s eyes.
Green like the first buds of infant leaves in the spring.
This layer is the most powerful of all my shells.
It is solid, unlike the previous hollow ones.
It is the core of my existence,
Like the iron center of a burning star.
It is dense,
Dense like the canopies in the lush rainforest,
Dense like the thick volumes I read so greedily in my youth,
Dense like my biggest dreams, with their same weights of
My past, present, and future
Are expressed in these hypnotic swirls of green.
Onlookers would see different shapes and edges
In my rounded doll,
As they would connect differently to my experiences.
This minuscule piece of my collection is special this way,
Iridescent to separate souls, and the
Eyes that enclose them.
This centerpiece is painted green,
The serene shade of life.
It is my core,
It is my heart,
And I will protect it with my life.
So if I should lose it,
As others have lost theirs,
I will lose myself as well;
And what is the point of living if I become someone unrecognizable?
What is life but the test of someone’s self-truth?
By Lyssa Lashus
7th – 12th grade Slam Poetry Workshop
They bring you out of your self-condemned
Mind-prison that was
Filled with the distractions and worries of the world.
The droplets fall, small and light,
Veiling the upcoming streets and houses that you walk towards
In a translucent sheet of white,
Bringing shrouded mystery into the otherwise
Your skin is kissed by the water from Heaven,
And as the corners of your mouth are
Graced by the presence of these drops,
The corners of your mouth
Grace your face with a carefree smile,
The most genuine you’ve had in months.
The smell of rain alone brings a feeling of contentment,
You inhale and recognize the scent without hesitation or doubt,
It’s just one of those things in life that you know by heart;
Like the scent of freshly baked cookies or the salty ocean wind.
You can identify the unique earthiness of rain on a deeper level than sight.
The sound is magical as well,
The birds and insects quiet,
And the faster-falling raindrops baptize the Earth,
Momentarily cleansing the wake of humans in a rhythmic river of
Patters and pitters,
Like the bare-footed running of happy children.
Just as the water washes away pooling gasoline on the asphalt,
It washes the tension from your mind and thoughts,
Leaving you abnormally clear-headed and joyous.
“If the sky can run free, I can too.”
You slip your slick flip flops off and
Sprint down the asphalt with a spring in your step as the raindrops
Gain speed and size.
You’re headed home, in more ways than one.
7th – 12th grade Slam Poetry Workshop
A giant volcano,
Perhaps the largest yet.
We came to face this disaster
Like a vulnerable prey
In front of the vicious predator.
Our lives were forced to a “new normal”,
Hanging on to purell like crazy for every step we take.
Vocation was thrown behind centuries ago,
And meeting friends became a luxury.
The disaster is also the thing that made us all equal,
No matter what schools you went to,
Everybody was going to “online school,”
No matter where you went for vacation,
All you can travel now is to your own kitchen.
The most terrible unfortunate in history,
Was also the thing that united us all.
It is the perfect time for us to all hold hands,
And walk through the storm,