Monday, July 31, 2017

A Ride With You

A Ride With You
By: Audrey Margolies

A Ride With You

You were a car addict.
You got your kicks
on the smell of
burnt rubber,
and dark leather.
And I would joke
that you loved
your beloved red mustang
more than I.
you were too
too wrapped up
in your fantasies,
to make your fake laughter

I was drawn to you
the way moths
are drawn
electrical fires.
I was drawn to you
I could enjoy your fantasy
as my own.
What was your fantasy?
Your fantasy
was that
your beloved mustang
was a real, alive and kicking horse.
A red stallion
that would ride the black earth
so fast
it could fly.
How beautiful and numerous
the fantasy of flying is!
My god!
Wouldn't it be so
darkly satisfying
to just fly away?
is that idea?
To fly away from your problems
that are bound
by chain and ball
to the black earth?
To forget
that we are all bound

I delved deep
the riptide that was your fantasies,
the constant feeling

of swift, delirious, and mindless motion


A pantoum poem has a set pattern of repetitive lines. Project Write campers created pantoums using overheard bits of conversations, plaques and signs around the park.

By: Abigail Harris

Who died to give you liberty
In honor of America’s first war heroes
A big golden retriever begs for a belly rub every chance he gets
“He’s so cute!”

In honor of America’s first war heroes
“Alright, do you guys want to play soccer?”
“He’s so cute!”
“Not serious. Smile.”

“Alright, do you guys want to play soccer?”
The graves of the soldiers, perhaps 2,000
“Not serious. Smile.”
A child clumsily walks his own empty stroller past me

The graves of the soldiers, perhaps 2,000
A big golden retriever begs for a belly rub every chance he gets
A child clumsily walks his own empty stroller past me
Who died to give you liberty

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Powerful Dream

My Powerful Dream
By: Kenya Chestnut

I have many dreams. Whether it is attending Stanford on a full scholarship or even becoming the second African American president, I am a big dreamer. One dream in particular  has been the same for the past three years. Being a professional soccer player. I started playing soccer after being mesmerized by the 2014 world cup. Even though the United States was obviously not the best team, I was fascinated by their passion. It was passion that I had lost for baseball and basketball, despite being good at both. I was also fascinated with the passing, movements and tactics that were involved, there is a reason why people call it the beautiful game. Since then my dream has been to play soccer professionally. It is the reason why I can get up at 6 and go outside to kick my USA soccer ball against the wall. It is the reason why I can run three miles on a treadmill at ten miles per hour. This dream is powerful. Sometimes I struggle between going after it or more realistic or educational dreams. My mom is a principal and my dad is a lawyer. There is so much pressure for me to do well educationally that I often find myself focusing on going to that great college or becoming a lawyer just like my dad. There’s only one problem, my soccer dream is more powerful. It is something that I believe in and I find joy when working for it. There is a feeling that I get for soccer that I have never had for anything else. It’s scary. It’s scary knowing that millions of people have the same dream like mine. It’s scary knowing that the most competition to make it is in this sport because it is the world’s most popular sport. There is a saying though. If your dreams don’t scare you, then they are not big enough. My dream is big, and it is hopeful, but I will put in everything I can to make it a reality.

Coward's Way

Coward's Way
By: Oliver Griffin

Turn to the dark when the 
light hurts your eyes
but don't turn back until
the dark starts to die.

Don't fight for the sale
until it's at it's lowest price
Don't risk exposure
And never vie twice.

Befriend the Lions and Tigers
No matter how dim or naive
Never stray from the pack
Believe what they believe.

Strive for the gold
but don't get too black-and-blue
You're not really in the game,
But you don't have a clue.

A free ride to the top
Wealth from the helpful unknown
Like an undercover spy,
You're cover will never be blown.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Flowers in Washington Square Park

By: Jaila Price

Pantoum Poem

A pantoum poem has a set pattern of repetitive lines. Project Write campers created pantoums using overheard bits of conversations, plaques and signs around the park.

Pantoum Poem
By: Julianna Reidell
Written in and Inspired by Washington Square Park, Philadelphia

Hold on to the sliver of peace.
Now it’s hard, but-
Our souls are connected forever.
I didn’t really feel like I was a friend.

Now it’s hard, but-
Wind-tossed seeds blow through my hair.
I didn’t feel like I was really a friend.
No Dogs or People Allowed In Fountain.

Wind-tossed seeds blow through my hair.
The Society of Little Gardens.
No Dogs or People Allowed in Fountain.
Do you understand that, my friends?

The Society of Little Gardens.
Our souls are connected forever.
Do you understand that, my friends?
Hold on to the sliver of peace.

Killer Thoughts

Killer thoughts on Killer Kids
By: Simone Daniels
   One day after not being able to find anything on TV I turned to Killer Kids out of curiosity. I thought that the show was absolutely cringe worthy at first but, as it went in I found myself becoming more and more intrigued by it. Many of the kids had seemingly perfect lives so when they lashed out and murdered someone no one could fathom what would make then do something so heinous. The detectives would go through the process of solving the case and sometimes they would find undetected mental illnesses. They come to understand the harsh reality that without the illness being detected there is no way anyone could have seen this coming. Killer kids is a twisted show about twisted tales of twisted kids. Imagine being a parent of one of these kids. What would be going through your mind?


By: Faith Chung

I am a present.
Special, treasured, cherished.
Received with loving arms.
Filled with worth and significance.
But I am not a second-handed thing.
Owned, stuck, trapped.
To be passed through generations like an heirloom.
To be thrown away after all my use is gone.
I am a person.
Living, valued, respected.
To be judged by my morals not my skin.
To birth innocent children without shackles and chains.
I am no longer a present.
For I am free.

Oney Mare Judge Stains

Oney Mare Judge Stains
By: Amara Oklngwu

Leaving for Liberty
Taking her chance
Realized her fate,
And took in her hands.
All along, she knew she was enslaved…
But-had to ask-was it really that way?
Proper clothes, and a place in the house
Little she knew she was as oppressed as a trapped mouse!
She’s reassured she has value, and that makes sense…
The question is “is is sentimental or five pounds, and sixpence?”
“No you would never be sold!
...But given as a gift.”
But she begs to differ…”what’s the difference?”
Still objectified and treated as a pet
Couldn’t imagine if she and her deliverance had never met
No longer a materialistic present, she slips into the night,

With liberty already sooo close, the old life is nowhere in sight...

The Disparity of Reality

An excerpt from my essay, “The Disparity of Reality”
By: Paul Stowell

The issues Kafka presents in his novel [the Metamorphosis] are certainly alive today, in a world marked by heartbreak, utter disappointment, shattered hopes and fragmentized dreams. I have found undeniable evidence for the prior claims within my own life, as I have recently become a victim to the common human tragedy that is separating ways with a significant other. Consequently, I have given way to a doleful existence for the majority of the time that has passed since the decision was made. This decision, made after over a year and a half of venturing through the undulations of life together, was an unanticipated source of dejection and misery; two responses to reality that grew in magnitude as more emotionally tolling situations surfaced in the wake of our separation. Similar to the individual brought to life within Kafka’s imaginative novella, I have suffered immensely from my own disillusionment; a disillusionment that fastened its roots onto the seemingly unshatterable friendship shared between my once significant other and I, along with my own impractical ideology that this individual, who once possessed the most prominent position in my heart, was immune to the possibility of causing me suffering. In conclusion, my own personal experience has the ability to not only showcase the verisimilitude of Kafka’s writing, but also to exist as a substantial piece of evidence further proving the common occurrence of unanticipated pain within our human reality.

Ode to Restless Nights

Ode to Restless Nights
By: Shaylyn Westmoreland

Ode to restless nights

Was trapped in a web of dreams,
I am then brought to an uneased resting place,
gasping for a second of shut eyes and motionless mind trains I,
hope that the next night would be better
It seems the moon rests, and the sky falls to it’s resting place

But my mind never skips along clouds of quietude, why do I adore when

Emotions pick the worse time to start a fuse,
Then smoke rises and cloud my thoughts,
Scrambling to put out a fire just to save my sunset eyes
The back of my mind is the lion I can’t contain
And eats up my resting time
My thoughts weighs a ton, and there is not enough
time in one night to solve the world's problems

The silent hum of midnight approaching teases me
I love the uncertainty that comes with each night
Hearing the sounds of nothingness, and being surrounded by one
One’s problems, one’s thoughts, one’s uncertainties
Enough to drive one to insanity or to the completion of a night
Watching the sunrise, with weary eyes and still, not a thought out mind


By: Abigail Harris

I see you amongst fluffy lace and flowers
Eyelids shut and lips closed
Your hair is as curly as it is in the photos
But they got your skin tone wrong
You’re much darker than you should be
Like someone tried to take the pale out of your face

You’re surrounded by people
There is talking, chuckles, maybe a laugh
And mumbles, whimpers, and the occasional sob

It’s not too serious, the collages have small stickers of Avengers characters
But you only see them if you stare at it for a while
There is a portrait of you as hulk
But this is solemn, so Chris-Hulk is made of flowers

The pictures from a plain, impactful slideshow remind me of my own family
Pictures of eating ice cream messily
Grinning at some family reunion with a great view behind them
Lots of smiling and laughing
He has a large space between his front two teeth, like me
But he is more similar to my brother, with wide, adorable smiles and big brown eyes

I see his mother giving out more support than she is taking in
Even though she’s the one who needs support
She reminds me of my mother
Always a social butterfly, there for anyone to lean on

The similarities should encourage me to sympathize more with the family
And it does
But it also scares me
Many times I could be in Chris’s shoes, or my brother
The only difference between the two families seems unimportant, until it is
Poor Chris
Losing everything over something so trivial
Not knowing how
To swim.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Simone Manuel

Simone Manuel
By: Zion Patterson-Lyles

Simone Manuel is 2016's first African-American woman to be a gold and silver medalist in the Olympics. Simone is a strong, smart and powerful woman. She never gives up. When she wants to win she tries and tries until she wins. Simone Manuel goes to Stanford University on a swimming scholarship and that is what I hope to do some day.

Ode to Vietnam

Ode to Vietnam
By: McKenna Matus

A boy wakes up on his 18th birthday to a cloud of thick grey smoke. With heavy and tense breath, he blows out his flaming candle of life to a dull, cowering ember.

We dance the war and sorrow away.

Fire friendly, they say. If you don't hit, you miss. But friendly fire sends loyal comrades into a solemn abyss.

We dance the war and sorrow away.

Jungle vines tangle the legs and arms and minds of foot soldiers. One false step and their minds and arms and legs become one with the roots of trees.

We dance the war and sorrow away.

Battalions approach villages lined with rows of dismal children. Blinded by their ability to see, their pity does not reward them. The enemy emerges like crocs from pools of innocence and attack like the spitting boa.

We dance the war and sorrow away.

The lucky ones live to see the light of day at home with the darkest posters; IS THIS THE AMERICAN WAY? Scream for peace to combat the whispers of deceitful foreign diplomacy.

We dance the war and sorrow away.

Homeward bound. Finally, at last.  Seeking new refuge from the terror of the past. But which hurts worse; a dagger in your gut or daggering stares of disapproval and shame?

We dance the war and sorrow away.

A fan spins in a motel etched with filthy, musty green. Our general, our valiant leader, bangs his head and trembles with horror. The chopping of choppers, the blading of blades. These sounds, to him, they resonate.

We dance the war and sorrow away.


By: Avi Cantor

Throughout my many years of existence, I have seen the thousands of ways that humans interact with the concept of my being. I’d compare my job to that of a parent pushing his son or daughter on a swing. I give you the push of attraction, but it’s your job to continue and strengthen that initial attraction or, in the swing’s case, you swinging momentum. But, similar to your parent who is pushing you, Nostalgia, Sex and I continue to be a large part of your relationship, giving you pushes here and there (some people enjoy an overwhelming amount of my sister) to help your relationship gain strength. I enjoy my job because I get to see all of the different fruits of my labor. I’ve created every flavor of Love that you’ve ever tasted. Oops, sorry. I have to go to attend my next job. I’ll bring you with me.
I arrived at a bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. O’Leary’s. I glided through the front door. The bar was a dive, to say the least, but a good kind of dive. The kind that everyone loves. Sure, the patrons know the beer is terrible, the toilets have so much vomit that you’d think they’d quit their job, and the pub is stained with the smell of stale cigarettes, pool chalk and alcoholic burps. But there’s no better place to hang out at on a Friday night than O’Leary’s pub. Playing pool against a fifty-some-year-old slightly hunchbacked regular to O’Leary’s, is a young man with wavy brown hair. He has friendly brown eyes, a slightly downturned nose, and a razor sharp jaw. I sat down behind the man with the wavy hair as he shoots an all black ball with the number 8 on it into one of the small sack looking things on the table.

“And Jeremiah wins another game,” the hunchbacked man announces flatly, as if it happens all too regularly. I quite like his name. Jeremiah. After his victory, he starts to take notice of a woman that sits on an old swivel chair at the bar. I softly tickle his spine with my three longest fingers. As soon as I touch his warm back, sweat starts to trickle slightly from his armpits and the tiny hairs raise on his arms.


By: Julianna Reidell

it wasn’t always like this,
She says,
for that’s all she can remember.

it wasn’t always like this.

she can feel the exhaustion creep,
Leaden, through her veins-
but the iron stains her lips.
soon, the wastebasket overflows with napkins, tissues-
all remnants of her attempts to scour, to sweep away
what ought not to leave a mark.

it is strong,
She thinks,
but she forgets, day after day, night after night,
to take her medicine.

she knows it will improve.
she knows it’s not permanent,
and it’s bittersweet, for, she realizes,
slowly, painfully,
that nothing’s ever set,
or certain,
just a passing dream,
in a long and fretful night.

a teenage year.

i’m okay, She says.
but she knows that’s a lie.

she is lost.
She is so very, very tired.

but someone comes,
Day after day, night after night.
And gathers all the shattered things up, for a moment, into a warm
An embrace.

“if they aren’t now, they will be”

and that,

She is ready to believe.

Monday, July 24, 2017


By: Henry Ziegler

The Peacock sits in his lavish nest,
Preening his feathers, grooming his crest,
Convincing himself that we all like his tail,
Which truthfully looks rather mangy and pale,

Though he rules all the birds, he often forgets,
That the same rules apply to him as the rest,
He may think that he's better, but still he remains,
Skittish of character, lacking of brains,

The Peacock still sits in his limited nest,
He may look to the right, but never the left,
He believes what he wants, to win he will cheat,
He sits low in his nest, as he