Madeleine Moreland, Age 17
the union of women and water
we’ll have an underwater wedding.
barefoot, sand on our gentle toes,
sea foam on your tongue.
the wind eats up your long mermaid hair
as we walk out. water is cold, saltwater colder
the only warmth lingers between our fastened hands
fingers laced in each other, protective.
flower petal dress floats up our legs, scars,
a graceful tulip’s morning stretch.
skin is a goose-bump medley, hills and valleys,
as we wade out into the singing tide
and soon, it’s up to the neck.
breathe in, discover the atmosphere here
is easily inhaled. under, the world is now so clear
I see your face through a cloud of aquamarine tresses,
aimlessly billowing. seastars are magnets
to your pale willow arms, and fish are the gliding blanket
to the pillowing stillness. at last.
peace, serenity, silence – is all beautiful.
bubbles are tumbling from your mouth
your lips are an oyster’s shell.
where is the ground? we are in the
fifth dimension; a zero gravity fantasy
we can exhale together.
there are no directions. sinking is flying
the abyss is an embrace.
I don’t let go of your hand. it is easy to drift.
our lips find each other amongst deeper currents
and I never want to let you go.
kissing you through a saline haze,
dissipating in the ocean blue,
how curious it is to be the wife of the sea.
Molly Maynard, Age 8
So pompous he is
with his handsome throat.
Yet, when he’s mistaken
he tries to ignore
the weapon of words
with bad meanings.
But they shout more.
He tries to stand tall, tall and regal.
Yet, the worrisome words
make him turn like stone.
His shoulders slump, he is scared to hop.
He might just fall, he must just break.
But a wonderful thought enters his mind.
He will call a dance,
so much glorious fun
would surely be better.
When the sky was a watercolor,
the glowing bugs came
dancing over the pond.
While the bullfrog sang with his friends.
Abd Y. Lafi, Age 66
The Republic of Fred Meyer
my child was three
attending child care
in Corvallis high
A girl from abroad
in her teen
was a new student
in that school
she took care of him
as part of her child care class
With accent like mine, she said:
“I feel I love your kid;
he is nice,
but I was surprised
when I asked him:
What country are you from?’”
His answer was:
‘from Fred Meyer’
So she asked me, his father
“can you please show me
where Fred Meyer is?”
“This is a map of the world”
We do not need a map, I said
It’s a few hundred feet
from this spot; it’s right over there.
His country is full of candy bars
full of what he needs
go yourself and see!
Now let his father ask:
Don’t we elder need
innocence like his
to break the dividing walls forever
to cleanse our souls
and live with peace together
The Laws of Thermodynamics
Look, there are three suns in our sky.
There are natural laws that trump human denials.
Fossil fuel is concentrated energy.
And when burned, all its energy
Floats free and is trapped by our planet.
It does not escape.
It does not vanish.
It stays right here.
Working changes upon changes upon our earth.
Each day of burning fossil fuel frees the fierce
sunshine of ten thousand days from hundreds of
millions of years ago.
Each day – every day.
Look, there are four suns in our sky.
Christopher Mikkelson, Age 26
Call the Captain
That which I will, I do not.
That which I will not, I do.
I must be a stowaway,
and the captain remains below deck.
I feel I should tell him
he’s missing a spectacular shipwreck,
but I doubt he’d care for the aesthetic.
Dare I take the helm?
No, does not
the officer’s hat come with it,
and grim lionesque jaw?
I prefer the din of anarchy
than to hear my voice speak law.
If a signal flies
that I could be more,
I’ll scratch my head, and pretend
I never learned semaphore.
I will go down with this ship,
claiming a lack
of title and deed,
therefore lacking need
to avert my submersion
At the risk
of my conversion.