Capstone: Chapter Three

The Red Cup
by Jackson Smith
The dishes are washed and heated,
in a routine the dishwasher knows best.
The red cup, along with the microwavable plates,
the rusty spoons, and the chipped knives,
are treated the same. They are all abused by the power,
of the rapid water deteriorating their skin.
What would Grandmother think of this?
The red cup, lasting through war, sickness, and death,
just to be attacked by this unconscious machine.
But this machine only knows how to spray, to clean, to attack.
It cannot be blamed for the treatment of the red cup.

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He’s Gone
by Jed Straessle
I have become,
that which.
I feared most,
— indifferent.
Both to laughter,
and to sadness.
Although,
I doubt…
That I stand here.
Alone.
In the wake of the woeful world,
I know…
It is
Loneliness
that has spread
like a plague.
But,
It is not fear.
which drives me mad,
or even the sullen silence of suburban streets,
those once bustling with amicable sounds;
it’s the feeling,
that one day.
in the midst of all this chaos,
I will not only forget feeling,
but I will also,
forget myself.

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The Unknown Contents of a Box
by Jose Vargas
No one will ever truly understand what you are going through,
But that doesn’t mean your best option is to go through your burden alone.
The contents of a box don’t need to be known for someone to help carry.
What is your life, a burden?
Although your path’s uncertain,
All of your pain, it’s hurting,
“Will there ever be a change?”
“Will my heart stay the same?”

A heart continues beating,
Even if joy, it’s leaving,
Trapped in an unraveled maze,
Setting my mind ablaze.
Excessive overthinking,
It murders our existence,
We must show resistance.
For the kids of the fairy tales,
Who have not ceased from believing because they,
Make no mistake, us believers, yeah, we’re not leaving,
I’m a guide for your sheep,
Yeah, I’ll guide the masses,
And I’ll tend to the flock.
And teach them to pray the same way we learned to count,
Starting with, one for the true God,
Two for them and their lover,
Three for their stability,
Four for the seasons time will race,
Five for forgiving grace,
Six for the evil they’ll face,
Seven for the perfectionist they’ll make.
It’s who the imaginative seem to be,
Stuck in their head, pushing people away who they need.
To release yourself from a burden, set your heart free
Or at the very least, let someone help carry.

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Good Morning
by Carson McKay
I feel happy,
With the sky still darkened. There’s something about this morning—and I’m not disheartened.
I feel happy.
I feel confident.
As I clutch a cup of coffee
And it slowly thaws my thoughts—And my weariness,I feel confident.
I feel proud.
With my hand on my steering wheel. And all noises drowned out—just me and my thoughts.
I feel proud.
And as I listen to my teenage music, In my teenage car,
With my teenage shoes,
And my teenage heart—
The world seems…a little less dark. Even with the sun still hiding.

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Tsunami
by Cason McKay
Ripple, ripple, ripple,
The Northern River down trickles,
Through the valleys and the towns,
A simple calming sound,
That simple, ripple, ripple.
Its rushing power cripples, the strongest force a boy can feel,
The rush of a cool water’s cleanse, A nimble rush that heals,
That simple, nimble, Ripple.
Ripple, ripple, ripple,
The cool mist filters,
A fickle fool around each bend,
It swirls a pool and off again,
That fickle, Ripple, Ripple.
It’s a mind of its own,
Down the river goes,
Unpredictable and unknown,
As it flows and flows and flows,
That fickle, unpredictable, Ripple.
Ripple, ripple, ripple, Into the ocean it will trickle,
With waters of recent rivers, sympathetically now uncrippled,
That sympathetic, Ripple, Ripple.
It’s clean, it is simple,
From the time that it has filtered,
No more rush it used to give me, just a ripple lost at sea,
That simple, simple ripple.

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The Fine 79​
by Carson McKay
I walked my lonesome self to the edge of the dock.
A rail free, wood walkway, stretching about fifteen feet inward the pond.
The sky was dark, the trees were shadowed, but the water was a deep, murky black, darker
than coal and the ash in the fireplace back at the house.
I hugged my dog as we sat. My legs hung over the edge, above the water, in the cold
rapping wind. She ran along inside and I was left there alone. The only light over our 79 acres
came from that white, glowing semi-circle above the fields. It had a foggy vail around its edges,

extending farther than you’d expect. I do not know what it was, but something deep within me
compelled me to stand up. I walked over to the table back on land and set my bowie on top of it.
I looked down the bank, into the darkness. My lonesome self started down the bank.
I felt defenseless without my blade but that was alright. Vulnerable and peaceably, I
walked out of the protection of the house’s light behind me. It was lost in the trees. I raised my
buff over my face against the dry, splitting gusts. I was nervous trodding into the darkness and I
heard weird noises. After about 45 yards of travel, I turned back around to go back home;
assuming I need not go further with my own safety in mind. After about ten steps towards the
dock, something in my brain whispered, “Why?” This time, compelled by nothing more than my
own willingness, curiosity, and nerve, I turned back to the darkness and walked all the way to
the first corner of the pond.
I entered a clearing and felt safe off of the muddy, unstable path. I stood on a hard
patch of dirt with wilderness diagonally at my left and right. I figured that that ought to be enough
exploration for one night. I had been gone nearly twenty minutes. As expected, I turned around
once more. After a few paces I stopped in my tracks when I heard a noise behind me. Instead of
continuing my journey back to the house, I turned back around into the darkness, where the
noise came from. I forgot about the noise that hence caused my detour and continued into the
darkness. A bass hit top water sending a jolt of adrenaline through my body. My nerves, already
hot, became a blaze inside my bones.
I was about halfway down the north side of the pond now. Geese honked and clucked
their songs of roost in the fields behind me. I shivered in my camouflage coat and my legs were
tired. My boots had become heavy with mud. My discomforts ceased my mind as I gazed over
the north end of the pond. I continued my journey to the opposite side. I decided to turn around
at the next corner. I saw the house through the trees from where I stood. I saw my dad looking
out the window, or so I presumed. I trudged back to the dock. After many minutes of walking
while staring at my feet, I arrived at my previous starting position. I approached the table on
which my bowie still laid. I unsheathed it and looked at it. I put it back and stuffed it into my
coat’s pocket. I went back to the edge of the dock as if saying farewell to a new friend. I wanted
to stay but 4:45 a.m. would soon come. I looked at the landscape and took it in once more. The
moon’s reflection off the water like a small, snow covered mountain range, stretched from the
west end all the way to my feet. It resembled a red carpet in my mind. I felt like I could walk
across it and get to the other side.
Unfortunately, I did not muster the courage to walk on the waters’ carpet that night. I
turned around to tread home and walked towards the warmth of the house against my will.

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Metacognition
by Elias Found
Have you ever just thought? Pondered? Wondered? Contemplated? Considered? What do you
think about?
Birth? Death? That wacky stuff in between? I’ll go out on a limb and presume you do this kinda
stuff every now and again.
Now, and go with me on this, ya ever just think bout your thinking?
It’s an interesting type of enigma. The demented scholar’s form of thinking.

A concept that compels you to consider your own considering.
A way of thinking that feeds off of itself.
So what do you call this idea of ideas?
Metacognition.
An alluring form of thinking upon thinking.
So, how does one put this counterintuitive thinking into words?
Well, consider your voice.
Your voice is your own.
It’s tune is set to yours alone.
It’s a distinct sort of song, similar and foreign to the rest.
Now consider how it sounds in your own way.
If you’d like, think about its place in your head.
See all angles of its edge.
All edges of its point.
Every point of its angles.
And throw it all out.
‘Cos truth be told, it’s different to everyone.
A conceptual reality only unto You.
An image unable to be replicated.
A song unclear to anyone.
Similarly, you can think of metacognition this way too:
As a colour being described to the blind.
Or as a sensation being told to the callous.
Or maybe even as a feeling, an emotion, presented to the apathetic.
Your voice, more so, Your version of your voice, is unable to be described to anyone.
Sure, you can devote your life to mapping finite details of your voice,
But eons upon eons will never get you close enough to explaining the complexity of your voice.
No matter how long you take,
How much effort you pour out,
How numerous your years may be,
You can never reach that truest definition of your voice.
Now this work isn’t meant to undermine your ability to describe your voice,
It’s purpose is to make you consider, contemplate, wonder, ponder, and-
To think (and I mean really think),
About thinking.
And the unending, ever expanding, unrelenting mystery that we call:
Thinking about Thinking.

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What is this Thing that lingers in the mind?
by Aiden Echols-Joyce
What is this Thing that lingers in the mind?
What is this Thing that latches in the core?
This Thing corrupts your thoughts, it leaves you blind;

It plants a seed of woe. In years of yore,
When times were gay, this Beast did not prevail.
This Beast was not a beast, but was a spark
That pranced and danced with verve—but glee is frail.
The ache of life had quenched this glint to dark.
This thing—this Sore—was born of good and joy,
That spread its wings and soared, but flew too high.
What once was bright and pure—a little boy,
Is now an empty shell, a whispered sigh.
But life can take another path! Resist,
The Beast, bring back that joyful boy, persist!

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I never thought I would miss my school
by Zachary Hinkle
I never thought I would miss my school.
Waking up early to get there on time.
Always following the get ready rule.
Shower and shampoo to remove the grime.
Packing my backpack with paper and pen.
Homework all done. Checked over and over.
English book, history book, math book all in.
Dressed and wearing a tie green as a clover.
Scrambled eggs, toast, and some crispy bacon.
Some milk and juice and some homemade jelly.
When my mom cooks breakfast, she ain’t fakin’!
I’m headed to school with a full belly.
How I long for those CHS days!
I bet this missing school is just a phase.

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The sad glare in his eyes is motionless
by Alex Mendez
The sad glare in his eyes is motionless,
through wonders in past lives, some black and grey.
A tear descending down in hopelessness,
Scared and weak, both in darkness and waylay.
Addictions and procrastinations form,
puzzled in pain, seeking a soul to keep.
Standing alone under the stars unwarm,
Exhausted and in grief ready to sleep.
Her image haunts him, striving him ahead.

He glances at her in love and passion.
The emptiness fell upon his deathbed,
Covered in everlasting attraction.
They stand together again, as lovers,
Drifting up with no regrets or shudders.

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Our Salvation
by Essa Kassissieh
King of the cosmos buffeted with blows.
He was scourged and whipped with a lead-tipped strip;
Crowned with thorns and dressed in mock purple clothes;
Carrying his cross on the dreadful trip.
The Logos was suspended on the Tree.
Christ cried out in agony to Heaven;
Breathing His last breath and gave us the key
To eternal life with Him in Heaven.
The Son of God was placed in a tomb clean,
Sealed with a stone for safety with guards too.
Maybe one day the Lord will not be seen,
But He will come again with something new.
His disciples forgot the projection,
Show us your glorious Resurrection!

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Change
by Owen Fraley
Bound here, where green meets the azure decay,
Of sunset as dusk envelops the day,
I hear those repeated songs that betray
The presence of birds. The same as always.
Lights pure innocence gives way to black,
But night is too, in a sense, beautiful.
The cool wind’s gentle eloquence holds back
Thoughts of return. Change is immutable.
Whether we like it or not. Are we just trapped
In the lifeless cycle we’re enduring?
Do we live in a world or are we strapped
To a pole? True free will is alluring.
Try to stop it, but the sun will still set.
All we can do is make the best of it.

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Old Crimson Rose
by Owen Fraley
An old crimson rose,
Petals flutter from the top,
Bleeding to the grass.

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Dark as the sad skies on a stormy night
by Evan Richard
Dark as the sad skies on a stormy night,
Till the light shine upon the gleaming nest,
Where awakened bright clouds you do first sight;
When time has come to take you from your rest,
Now night becomes day and life doesn’t stop,
To fly is your goal and “It” you fly for;
Move, move, move your mind will persist to shout,
Spread your wings, hear the skies eternal lore.
Bright as the flowing sun pounding the beach,
Under and over clouds magnificent rings,
High and where nothing else will ever reach.
Till no longer you hear jealous birds sing.
Fly far little one; always remember,
Make sure you’re the bird they will remember.

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“Soul-diers”
by Bauer Lee
Left, left, left, right!
Go grab your gun!
Let’s have some fun!
We’ll shoot whatever moves!
Look down the sight.
Now aim, ignite.
Might over right approves!
Left, left, left, right!
March on you fools;
You useless tools.
Fear not what lies ahead!

You can not think.
Just sip your drink;
For soon you will be dead!
Left, left, left, right!
Rush into battle,
You mindless cattle,
Who left your souls behind.
First slaughter awaits,
And then, open gates;
One fair, but one unkind.
Left, left, left, right,
Into the sky.
Now, say goodbye.
To everyone in hell.
Consumed by flames.
And who’s to blame?
The souls who chose the cell.
Or left, left, left, right,
Down in the ground.
There to be bound,
For the rest of all time.
Somewhere above,
Beautiful doves,
And perfect sounding chimes.

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Live Presently
by Bauer Lee
How often we lie,
Thinking of our pasts,
And all our mistakes and regrets.
We think about what we would reverse,
And what we would’ve done differently.
Sometimes, when we’re lucky,
We think of the good times;
And, although it’s rare,
We’re so satisfied.
And how often we sit,
Looking to the future,
Hoping our lives will change.

We’re impatient for the great times ahead;
And we grow anxious of the unknown.
Nothing is certain for what is to come.
No one is fully prepared.
Whatever comes next,
Make sure it defines you well.
But never do we stand,
And live our lives in the present.
We are not slaves to our pasts,
And our futures serve us.
The past is gone and will not return;
And the future is inevitable.
So worry not about what you can’t control,
And take charge of what you can.
The present belongs to you, now own it.

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Lunch
by Joshua Hester
Now,
Is when,
I can heat,
Up a frozen pizza,
For lunch because restaurants closed.

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The ocean rises
by Joshua Hester
The ocean rises,
And the waves crash back down too,
Clouds form in the sky.

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Golf balls
by Joshua Hester
I grab the large mesh bag from the bottom shelf. I stop and admire the array of different
golf balls I see before me. They vary in color, label, and even cleanliness, and yet I cannot be
more thrilled to have them.
For these recycled balls have seen some amazing things. All have been fished out of
lakes and water traps from golf courses around the world. This one could have belonged to a
professional golfer. This one could have been used at one of the top courses in the country. And
yet here they are. Right before my eyes. Resting in a bag filled with other used golf balls. And I
couldn’t be more thrilled to have them.

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Past
by Joshua Hester
The pain of the past,

Can still hurt today.
Learning from the pain,
Is the only way.

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