Published on  
May 18, 2021

Life-Long Companion 

Ainsley Hughes

Cream fur


From being washed and dragged around

Still soft

Orange-brown bow tie

Sewn under his chin 

Now a strip of fabric 

Hanging on by a thread  


Big round eyes

8 inches apart

More pupil than brown iris

Thin black smile

Drawn under his rounded triangle nose

Almost genuine

As if it were real

Petals by Kappy Perry

Sun Flowers

Deion Lewis

Sunny Side Lake

Deion Lewis

Into the Void by Aiden Pell

Head First

Keegan Imami

I tried to

catch a falling

star, for my

incessant love for

you is merely

from afar. My

palm is where

he lies, flickering

edge and sleeping


breathless now fleeting

sighs. On a 

day I gift

her with a

blush and this,

and in return

‘twas my lips

she then kissed.

USA by Luke Wilson

Leaf Front Flips - Nov 2nd 2014

Brady Neighbors

All the leaves come down off the large oak trees,

they come in all shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown.

They fill the yards and lay on the edges of streets,

and crumple and crinkle as they wave in the wind.

All my friends come out:

Alex, Zac, Josh, and Dan.

We all go down to Dan’s house:

The second house on the right of Haleigh Terrace.

All of us go to the back of his one door two car garage.

Looking through all the tools we find a few rakes.

We took them to Alex’s front yard across the street.

It is somewhat flat and has plenty of leaves for us to rake.

All the leaves sit there waiting for us to rake.

We take turns using the rakes, 

switching between who had the good ones

and who had to use their hands.

All the leaves were gathered

into one large pile in the front of the yard.

Together they all made up

the biggest leaf pile I had ever seen.

All of us one by one jumped in,

each of us doing a front flip.

Happily and sadly destroying our creation,

we watched as the leaves crinkled apart and the pile was no more.


Oracal aka Charlie Green

Wartime Vapor  

Mr. Slaten

An unwelcome regiment of clouds

has come to occupy our mountain,

smothering visions 

     of green valleys below,

muting the sun’s song 

     that once roused rocky stars

     to shimmer in the Carolina dirt,

blowing smoke and repeating, 

      “The world as you see it

       is the world as it is.”

swallowing with fog 

      vast families of trees-

             each one appearing 

                       more and more 


Plate by Lucy Veal

Fish Tin by Riley Martin

Forest Illumination

Josh Green

Imaginary Friend by Knox Thompson

A Walk in the Woods

Talitha Lubben

It was the early summer of my sixteenth year that my dad got that new job in Washington. We moved up there just he and I in our little red Honda that stuttered and stopped when it pleased. It would probably do better in a junkyard than on the road, with its chipped paint and rusted hood. It was just another one of those halfway to the trash objects that my dad got out of the divorce. I knew it wouldn’t survive one winter up in Washington, but dad just didn’t want to let it go. Of course I didn’t know just how cold our little home would be in a nowhere town in Washington, a place I had never dreamed of going. I had no idea how the windows would freeze up and how the snow would stack up around the front door. I’d lived in Louisiana for most of my life, where the schools would shut down when the temperature dipped below the freezing point. 

Then our little Honda took an abrupt turn to the right and came to a screeching halt, not the kind that could ever be performed by the slowly dying engine alone. I took a peek out the window to spy a beige house with mustard yellow lining looming over us. After prying open the stubborn passenger side door, I took my first steps out into the wondrous world of Washington. And without a doubt in my mind at that moment, I knew I was gonna hate it here. 

It was half way through June when my dad told me to go take a walk. I suppose after a month of being shut up in my room he finally got some sense and kicked me out until dinner. I didn’t even know where to begin; I wasn’t really the walk taking type. As my feet started carrying me down the street, I began to veer to the left. My child-like instinct was starting to get to me, and at that moment, all I wanted to do was run into the forest and lose myself to time. By the time I had come home, grilled cheese was sizzling on the stove, and I was covered in dirt and bramble.


It was late July when my dad kicked me out of the house again. I guess my childlike instincts just didn’t stick like they used to, and I felt no urge to play explorer without a strong push from the authorities. I found myself back in the woods before I knew it. The tall oaks peered down at me from their sky high views, and the little forest creatures scampered along the ground. Time drifted away as I just walked by a stream, through the brush, and along the lining of a foxes den. Though my memories of it are quite fuzzy, I believe it was about then that I first heard the laughter. One of those ones with a higher octave, like a kid on Christmas who just got his first bike. And even though every cell in my body told me scram, it drew me in, and that’s when I first saw him. There, in the clearing, of the woods in my backyard. 

It was early August when I saw him again, I named him forest boy for my entertainment. The child in me wanted to call him an elf, but the more reasonable side of me shut that thought down and soon as it appeared. But I’m sure if you had shown him to a group of elementary kids, that’s what he would have been deemed. He always wore the same outfit, the baggy shirt with the flowers embroidered around the color, with the loose beige pants that he cuffed at the bottom. His boots were a fading black much like his belt, and to top off the whole look, he wore a crown of flowers atop his head. Truly the only thing that ever seemed to not fit the elf profile was his hair, even though it was long and wavy, was the dark black that his boots and belt must have once been. I suppose if he had been a plain everyday boy, I would have never given him a second glance. But it was the sheer mystery of him that drew me to the woods day after day. But despite my fascination, I never did anything more than watch. 


It was early September when I found my ways to the woods again. School had started once more and I had no time for a leisurely stroll in the forest. Work and frustration filled my free time until I had had enough, and I snuck out of my bedroom window that very night. Into the woods I went, not knowing what I wanted to find. As I reached the clearing it became obvious to me that it was empty, and I assume I shouldn’t have expected otherwise. It was then the chill in the air started to get to me, and I began to full body shiver without the warmth of a shelter. Sticking my hands into the frayed pockets of my winter jacket, I took one last glance around the clearing. 

My frantic shivering was startled to a stop by the shadows that had become clear among the trees on the farside. A soft whimpering could be heard, and all I could do was stand frozen where I stood. It was the forest boy, that much was for sure, his hair fell down around his face as he hugged his knees to his chest. I wanted to go up to him, and hold him like an old childhood friend. But I was already crashing through the woods by the time the thought had occurred. I ran without looking back and without hesitation. I had seen his pale green eyes flash up for a brief moment, and I knew he must have seen me make my getaway. 

It was mid September when the new kid showed up in my math class. I didn’t pay him much mind, that is until my algebra teacher caught me on the way out the door. She wanted me to give him a tour of the school. A tour, how funny, she asks the new kid to give another one a tour of the school. I suppose she just wanted us both to make some friends. I slang my bag over my shoulders and reluctantly sauntered over to the back of the classroom where he still sat. I gave him a quick look over, and the first glance didn’t reveal much. He wore the usual boys uniform, with the usual black pants and unbearably wrinkly white button up. With the grey tennis shoes and the crisp brown belt, he looked like every other boy that you would ever meet in the hallway. His hair was a murky shade of brown that was cut cleanly around his ears, and his eyes were-

It only took a moment for my brain to comprehend enough to push him up against the wall. This new kid with the friendly smile and shy wave, was now panic stricken as he was held captive against the wall of our algebra room. Why was his hair cut short, his hair brown, his clothes so, so, so-

By the look on his face I know I must have been screaming.

It was early October before my dad left me home alone again. At that point I was only half way through my school suspension, but we couldn’t live off of dad’s meager savings anymore. So off he went to work, and there I stayed in our empty little house. 

I hadn’t much to do with the house so empty. I fancy that’s why my dad locked the windows and doors, he wanted me bored, he wanted me to think. And I did think, I thought and thought until my brain grew senseless. I sat and thought for every day of my suspension, because that’s what my school counselor told my dad I should do. I needed to think about my actions and my wrong doings. But despite all my required thinking, I felt nothing but a lingering numbness in the back of my mind. I had come to the realization that the boy had been right, when I held him captive against that wall. I didn’t know him. I screamed and I lashed out at him with words that were meant to cut him deep. But how could they? He was right when he screamed back, tears in his eyes. He was right when he told me that he didn’t know me. He was right to call me a creep.

This boy had caught me in my fantasy, and that’s what hurt the most. 

It was the last week of October when my dad found me crying after dinner. It was the little things that had built up that had got to me. I had begun crying during my most recent thinking session and had come to the realization that forest boy’s hair had always been brown. A murky shade easily indistinguishable during late twilight, but still, brown. I was disgusted with myself that I had never noticed, and for the reason why. I wanted him to be interesting, I wanted him to be something more than just a boy that I happened to see playing soldier in the woods of my backyard. I wanted him to be more than a boy named Jackson who sat in my math class with his wrinkled white shirt and worn tennis shoes. I wanted him to be something, mean something, because something was interesting and nothing was not. He was a daydream for me to project on, a piece of a fantasy to entertain me in my boredom. 

Perhaps my childlike instinct isn’t as dead as I once thought, perhaps, it has driven me mad. I had spent five months in Washington, and I still hated it there. 

Need you

Chris Bagby

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