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Literature from 2019-20

The Reason

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

I normally write to convey emotions

It’s why I write so many poems

About what I’m going through

And how I feel

Because I have an anxiety disorder

So it’s not easy for me to say how I feel

But it’s also difficult for me to share my poems

It’s easy to write about how I feel

And what I’m thinking

But it’s not easy to share

Also it’s why sometimes I’m not the one sharing my writing

It gets easier to share the poems unless they’re personal

For example, writing about myself and that....

I worry about many things

But I’m trying to be brave

I try to not think about it

And I feel pressure to get things over with

But I don’t like rushing things

So I don’t know why I am

So I’m sorry if I’ve rushed anyone

I never meant to

Everyone deserves to take their time if needed

So that’s the reason

Why I write

Image by malith d karunarathne

Fighting for the Sky

by Victoria Walwork (Tori), 8th Grader

Fighting for the Sky~
As the moon drains the night
As the sun meets its end
The moon songs high
Making the stars shine bright
And the waves dance
As the sun flies up
Savoring the moment
For when the audience turns around
The sun will outshine
And the moon and it’s stars will sigh
As they are forced to hide from the sky
But the waves take pity
As they dance anyway
With a gleam in their eyes
Showing neutrality

Image by Peter Ogilvie


by Bryan Shedden, 8th Grader

Pessimism is a rhythm to which certain people follow 

When they look into the tree of life and find it empty, hollow 

But I say, the chance that the day is being seen 

Is a joy to which every all kids should be keen 

For the billion-to-one chance of simply being born 

The ability to see soaring cliffs and rolling corn 

The chance to touch and lift up human souls 

To have a soul burning brighter than fossil-fuel coals 

To be part of the group simply privileged to be 

What luck! Simply the chance to invoke the word “We” 

All the sperm who turned when you pushed a bit forward 

To survive years of life, to push our marble northward 

To be of the fraction of things filled with drive 

And the blaze of the chance to look out and be alive 

Our universe is filled with things without animacy to spare 

And so it’s a little strange when we hear “I don’t care” 

If, to you, the tree of life has nothing, you’ve found 

Try not to trip on the meaning laying on the ground

Image by Jeremy Bishop

Ropes and Rays

by Victoria Walwork (Tori), 8th Grader

Ropes and Rays~
My body floating down instead of up
An endless abyss some seem to call love
The ropes of the dark pulling  me back
The rays of the light drawing me forwards
This hopeless swim that never should have been started
an endless stride never to be completed
The rays seem to fade
As my strides Linger on
Such insignificance it is to continue along
But the thought of the light pulls me forward
And the thoughts of the dark pull backwards
An unobtainable goal
Never to be achieved
Better to stay hidden than to ever risk it all

My Tribute to Babe

by Victoria Walwork, (Tori) 8th Grader

My Tribute to Babe~

A death came so fast

I couldn’t get past

So, in honor I write

In tribute I just might

Share my stories of fun

 And that of the sun

With age she gained beauty

Every wrinkle told a story

Of her years she became

 A woman whom all knew name

Babe was always great

Even in her late

She touches our hearts

I know she’s in the stars

So up I’ve been looking

 Instead of my moping

With Wendy she floats

Having cocktails and totes

My love is never ending

Her memory never fading

To the matriarch

Whom lived with no patriarch

Ill look up to the skies

As I see the sun rise

She’ll always live on

Even though she is gone


~ Tori~

Poems by Jonathan Miller, 8th Grader

Can't Stop

Why can’t I stop going to this place,

All these bright colors and nice sounds bombarding my face,

I guess I keep coming because I hope I win,

To pay back the extreme debt I'm in,

But I just can’t stop for every night and day,

I always keep coming back to play,

I don’t see a way out I can take,

So amends with myself I can make,

But I'm simply in to deep,

And farther down I continue to seep,

I begin to always be sad,

One of my friends said a way to make me happy they had,

I wanted to be happy so of course I was down,

But my decision in the end made me look like a clown,

When I first tried it and it made me feel good,

I honestly thought my friend was lying I didn’t think it actually would,

When I have it, it makes me so happy I want to sing,

This wonderful substance is my new favorite thing,

I take it every day,

And it makes me feel great in every way,

But as the days go on I need more to get the same feeling, 

But it’s to be happy so of course I'm willing,

But one day after taking my largest amount,

It begins getting hard to count,

I begin to get nauseous,

I should have listened to my friend who said to be cautious,

I fall and it starts goes black,

It starts getting harder to breathe as I lay there on my back,

I should have stopped I should have knew,

Well now my time is up and there is nothing I can do,     

Drip Drop

The sky grows darker as the day goes on,

I look out the window and see a beautiful swan, 

It looks at me lets out a cry and took flight,

It just confirmed that I am right,

My time here is almost done,

Drip Drop Drip Drop,

And now it has begun, 

Drip Drop Drip,

It has started to rain,

Drip Drop Drip,

This falling water is all that keeps me sane,

Drip Drop Drip,

It seems to be getting worse,

Drip Drop Drip,

Though it’s best to let nature take its elegant but sad course,

Drip Drop Drip,

But I have no fear,

Drip Drop Drip,

I'm glad this beautiful sound is the last thing I hear,

Drip Drop Drip,

A flash of light oh so bright,

Drip Drop Rip,

it is suddenly as dark as night,

Drip Drop Drip,

What is this peace I feel,

Drip Drop Drip,

Finally the envelope containing the story of my life is sealed,

Drip Drop Drip,

Since Egypt Fell

by Brayden Andriga, 8th Grader

After Egypt fell

Mr. Roberson wasn’t ever the same

To root for the Florida Gator

To throw out the poor chickens

To give out Gettysburg Addresses

To move onto the Israelites


Mr. Roberson changed after Egypt fell

Poem 123

by Miles Dallara, 8th Grader

Such an innocent child

Only to be defiled

By poppies in the garden

She caused our world to darken

She would ramble when alone

She said we must atone

For trapping her in our lies

By taking away her bright skies

And that night she would leave

And after that day we would grieve

Our little girl taken by sin

The Devil’s mark on her skin

Her beautiful smile

Turned bloody and vile

So, every night we search, and we pray

That she would come back one day

But our efforts were destined to fail

When we found her rotting in jail

Still transfixed by the drug

A deathbed she had dug

And we were told that night

That she would never see daylight

My Secret Garden

by Miles Dallara, 8th Grader

The world seems so far away in my garden

Here the skies never darken

The smiling flowers always greet me

To here I always flee

I come back more and more

But it’s starting to bore

Marks cover my arm

But they cause no harm

My teeth are bleeding

My family misleading

They say my garden is the cause

They say I broke laws

They’re deceiving me I know

My garden told me so

It told me to flee

It said that would make me free

My arms feel like lead

They said I’m in my deathbed

But they lie so I will thieve

Then I will leave

My mouth feels dry

I just might die

All that keeps me alive

Is seeing my garden thrive

The smell of vomit is so strong

Was the garden wrong?

And now in my cell I lay

Indulging in my garden to this day

My vision goes black

Is this the drawback?

I’m not even that old

But my body is cold

Poem 323

by Miles Dallara, 8th Grader

I had grown used to this life

Living on a street filled with strife

It was a life no one wished for

It was a life that would break you to the core

But in the quiet night

I met a girl who became my light

She had run from a broken home

And now these streets she must roam

Bloody teeth

Betrayed the beauty beneath

Sins of her past marked her arm

She was trapped under the poppies charm

But she was my only friend

A person with a hand to lend

When I thought life wasn’t worth it

My hope she relit

She taught me that I mattered

She helped me when I was battered

A friend to always talk to

I person I truly knew

But she was trapped by what she craved

A devilish flower to whom she was enslaved

She was lost in despair

She was stuck in a living nightmare

I couldn’t help no matter how hard I tried

No matter how much it hurt me when she cried

She wanted to leave her mistakes in the past

But her abstinence did not last

And before I knew it, she was gone

Taken to jail at dawn

I never saw her after that day

Maybe she returned to her old driveway

Free from the sins of her past

Free at last

Image by Jay

Pokémon Journeys

by Han Nguyen, 8th Grader

Pokémon Journeys: A Poem of Beginnings

By: Han Nguyen

Long anticipated, the day is soon to come.

Ordinary to outsiders, but revolutionary to some.

The start of a new age in Pokémon,

When the old has not begone.


A phrase said with applause,

“Gotta catch em’ all”.

Twenty-three years, unfulfilled it was.

Soon it will quickly gain speed, with the throw of the Pokéball.


The origins of Pikachu,

Goh joining Ash and you.

New machines of Team Rocket,

You just got to watch it.


In the near future you may see,

A brand new Pokémon Journey.


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

Strumming the strings all day

Singing a million different songs

And all my stress melts away

All my anxiety has disappeared

I’m not thinking about the things or people that hurt me

When I’m playing my ukulele, I’m at peace

I’m sitting there singing to the melody

That I’m playing on my ukulele

Everything is fading away

And soon it’s just me sitting there

No one can hurt me

No one can hate me

No one can hear me

No one is concerned about me

No one can tell me no

No one can control me

No one can bother me

No one can judge me

No one can see me

Most people don’t ever see the real me anyways

But most importantly I don’t need anything

I’m not suffering

No one can make me feel worse

It’s just me sitting there

Me, my voice

And my ukulele

And I can sing a song and it takes me away

Away from the pain

Away from any bad emotions

And away from the real word

The world that has recently been very cruel to me

The world that has put me through so much pain

All my troubles are far away

Nothing and no one can hurt me

I am happy

And at peace

In my heart and mind

When I sing and play

My ukulele



by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

“He’s so cute!”

“Why did you pick this one?”

“He’s so dumb!”

“What’s wrong with him?”

Why do people say these things?

Yeah, he’s cute

What do you mean by why did I pick this one?

True, but it doesn’t matter

What are you talking about, why would you say that?!

“Oh, don’t get defensive over him he’s stupid and small”

So what? He’s great despite that.

“What do you see in that little creature?”

What do I see?

I see so many great things

I see past his different colored eyes,

Orange and green caused by so many concussions

“How do you see so many great things in him?”

You haven’t seen what I’ve been through during this quarantine

But he has

He's been by my side every day

And whenever he does something “dumb” it makes me laugh

He’s right by my side sitting next to me when I’m sad or crying

And he’s the only one

That truly knows what I’m going through

And the only one that’s been by my side the entire time

And yet he never says a word

But I don’t care about him being dumb or clumsy

And I don’t care about him saying nothing

I don’t care about him being small

Pets are treasures

You can count on them when you’re having a bad day

Yes, they probably don’t understand, but so what

Sometimes you don’t need someone to understand

Sometimes you just need someone to listen and know what’s happening

And when pets curl up beside you or sits in your lap it helps you forget about everything hurting you

So, you can’t say all these horrible things about him

Because no one else has been there for me as much as he has

He’s always there no matter what

Whether there are other people there for me too or not

Tom’s the perfect cat

So why does it matter that he’s small?



by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader





Set design





When I’m onstage I feel amazing

One of my favorite things in the world is acting

Putting myself in the shoes of a character who may be almost the same person as me

Or completely different

I love memorizing lines

When I’m onstage I have no fear

I’m happy

I’m at home

And I love to sing my heart out for plays too

I love to figure out blocking

The theater is amazing

And watching plays or listening to musicals is also fun

If you’re a musical theater nerd, you’ll recognize these musicals

Hamilton, Les Mis, Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, The Phantom of the Opera, Heathers, Waitress

And so many more amazing plays

However, the thing that I love the most about being onstage and being an actor

Isn't the bright lights

Or the cheering

Or the crowds

It’s the people that you collaborate with

And the opportunity to express yourself and put so much emotion into one character

And the fact that you can make that character seem so real is amazing

The theater is a place for creativity, family, opportunity and joy

And that’s why I love being on the stage

Image by Alexander Andrews


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

Panic attacks

Anxiety attacks

Anxiety disorder



All things that I have

I worry about so much

And that makes me worry more

And more

And more

I worry that no one cares

Because it seems like I’m the first to do anything

First to text

First to start a conversation

First to apologize even when I don’t need to

Yet it always seems that I’m not the one ending the conversation

I worry that everyone hates me

And that they try to end the conversation as fast as possible

I worry about the bullying that I’ve experienced

And the rumors that I hear about me

Those rumors aren’t even true

But I’m too scared to say anything

I’m too scared to stand up for myself

I worry that none of my friends want to help me

Or talk to me about how I’m feeling

Or what’s been going on in my life

And I worry that they only talk to me because they feel bad for me

And that they truly hate me

Some people say all these nice things about me

But I don’t believe it

I tell myself the opposite

I’m not good at singing

I’m not good at writing

I can’t act

I am so ugly

I’m a horrible person

Why do I have friends, who would want to be friends with me?

Yet I still miss my friends

And I want to talk to them

But I worry that they don’t want to or won’t talk to me

And my anxiety continues to win because I don’t do anything

And no one is there to help

But I really need my friends to help me right now



by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

I have so many wishes

So many dreams

So many things that I want to happen

Unfortunately, sometimes it looks like they won’t

I want to be a Broadway actress

I want to travel around the country

I want people to know how I feel

To see the real me

But it seems like no one notices

People think that I have this plan for my future

But I don’t

I don’t know what will happen in the future

But I can wish

And I can hope

I don’t know what my life will be like

I know who I care about

And I know that funny feeling too

That feeling called love

You know, the Beatles said all you need is love

But I’ve written so much about that

I must wait

Even though I don’t want to

I have to see how things play out

I can hope and wish for it

And I can always dream

And I can always write

My feelings haven’t changed

And that’s ok

I’m going to wait as long as I need to

Because I don’t want to rush things

And I don’t want anyone to feel as stressed as I do

So, for now, I’ll just hope

And I’ll wish on every star in the sky

And hope that around the corner is a dream come true

Image by Matt Nelson


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

It’s feeling like this will never end 

Not just the quarantine but also this feeling 

I’m away from so many people that I care about 

And it feels like I’m drifting further and further away 

I feel like I’m losing myself 

Never to be found again 

April 5th... my birthday, was a good day 

Was the last one I can remember 

And before that it was the first week of Spring break 

To be honest, 

It doesn’t feel like my time 

Despite crashing I have hope 

It doesn’t feel like my time to go is now 

So I won’t try to end me, and I won’t hurt myself 

I think that my time is many, many, many years in the future 

I have so many journeys ahead 

So even though it feels like it will never end well, 

It will, because I won’t give up that easy 

I’m going to feel free and happy someday soon 

I’m going to get to see everyone again 

Despite the horrid memories from 6th, 7th and early 8th grade, 

When I was hurt, when I started crashing, 

I’m staying strong and I’m hopeful 

And to whoever is reading this, if you feel the same don’t give up because even if it doesn’t seem like it, things will get better 

So trust me and stay strong and stay hopeful for a brighter future like I am 


-Keeley Kaplan, 8th grader 

Image by Josh Gordon


A true story by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

Sorry to be that theater kid right now

But there is a song that I can really relate to right now

These lyrics from You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen

“Have you ever felt like nobody was there?

Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?

Have you ever felt like you could disappear?

Like you could fall, and no one would hear?”

That’s how I was feeling.

Then I was told something similar to this by two of my friends

“Well, let that lonely feeling wash away

Maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay

'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand

You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will coming running

And I know, they'll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need a friend to carry you

And when you're broken on the ground

You will be found”

And you guys brought me to the person that I needed to reach out my hand to

I don't know if I would be standing here if you two didn't help me

I couldn't have gotten to the person that I needed to reach out my hand to on my own

I don't know why

I don't know why the world chose them

I wouldn't listen to anyone else for some reason

And I didn't want to listen to them

But I did

For some reason the world knew that they were the person I really needed at that moment

But I didn’t

And I thought that I should push them away

And keep them safe from the truth

I avoided telling them

I didn't want them to know

But they talked about it with me

And they saved me

And the world chose them

But they couldn't have saved me without you two

Without you guys they wouldn't have known

They wouldn't have gotten to me

I would be gone without them

And without you guys

And you deserve to know that

You guys and the person that saved me

And that person may not know who they are

But thank you

Thank you so much

It means a lot that you care also

Thank you

And to the two people-

You guys

You kind of saved me too

You led me to the person that the world chose to save me

I didn’t want to listen to anyone

No matter who it was

And my head and heart said not to do anything

Not to tell my mom

But I did

So, thank you Tori and Ethan R

For helping me reach out to the person

The person I didn't know would help me

The person that helped me out of the darkness

Thank you to the both of you

And the one that saved me

I cannot thank you enough

All three of you

You three mean so much to me

Thank you three so much

For helping me back into the light


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

The people that are always there for you

The people that care about you

That’s a true friend

Fake friends

Pretend they care

Pretend that they are there

But they aren’t

Your friends shouldn’t be the people that make you depressed

They shouldn’t be the people that hurt you

They shouldn’t be the ones that just make the days worse

And more dreadful

Real friends are supposed to lift your spirits

They are the people that make you laugh

They make you smile

They make you happy

Your friends are people that you can trust

They won’t start rumors about you

They won’t spread information and tell others about the crush that you have

They don’t gossip about you

And if real friends do that-

Then what has this society come to?

A real friend will respond

No matter what

Even if it is a couple of days later

A real friend supports you

They don’t put you down

Or throw you under the bus

They don’t cross the line between jokes/roasting and bullying

They genuinely care

And when you’re at your lowest

Or one of your parents is very sick

Or you got hurt badly

Or you were being bullied

Or a family member or pet passed away

Your friend is there to talk to you about it

They’re there to get you through the dark times

They’re there to make you laugh and smile when it’s difficult to

They care

And they know that you do too

That’s what a true friend is

And to all my friends out there

If you don’t already know, I really do care


When I was Younger

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

So little

So happy

So much laughter

A little bit more innocent and naïve

Way shyer than now

I had curly hair

I was so short

But I didn’t know the pains of the world

I only really knew happiness

I didn’t know true frustration

I didn’t know actual sadness

I didn’t know how it feels to be emotionally hurt

I didn’t have to deal with bullying

I didn’t have to deal with the world

It was just me and my family

And a few friends

One of which I’m still friends with to this day

I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now

I didn’t have as much patience as I do now

But I also didn’t have all the people I have now

All my friends

I didn’t have my little sister when I was much, much younger

I still can’t believe

14 years old

I’ve gone through so much-

So much more than I ever experienced when I was younger

So much pain

When I was 3, I never had to deal with loss

And last year, 2019

I lost a family member and a pet

I was bullied

I never had to deal with that when I was 10

But growing up is just a part of life

I miss the laughter and smiles from when I was younger

But I know that it will come back

I look at photos of myself when I was younger

And I remember the things that made me happy

And the things that make me happy now

And when I was younger, I never could’ve imagined this

I never could’ve imagined finding the friends that I have now

I never could’ve imagined that the high school down the street from my elementary school-

Would be the high school that I’m going to next year

And at night I look out my window at the stars

I remember my past

And I manage to smile

When I remember the happiest moments, and-

When I remember when I was younger

When I was Younger.png
Image by Martin Olsen

My Cousin Aoelln

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

The same age as me

Well, almost the same

I was born April 5th

He was born August 6th

We are best friends

My cousin also goes by Nez

My cousin has always been there for me

He and I have both gone through so much

And we’ve both grown as people

We both used to be different

Him more so than me

We tell each other everything

And we trust each other

Aoelln is a true friend

And the best cousin anyone could ask for


I don’t get to see him that often

He lives all the way in New Jersey

I see him one a year at least

And three times a year at most

I wish that I could see Nez more often

But I can’t

And we both have so many future plans

But no matter what

We’re going to be best friends

Because no matter where we are

We’re still cousins

And we’re still the same people

And we’re still best friends

And I don’t see our friendship ever coming to an end

So Aoelln, no matter where you are,

No matter how horrible you feel

No matter the weather

Nez, I’ll be your best friend forever

-For Aoelln (Nez)-

Image by Xan Griffin


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

You can draw all you want

But can you ever really capture someone’s full emotion in one drawing?

If anyone tried to draw the amount of love in my heart

It would never capture the full picture

Words can’t even describe the full picture

Not even the greatest writer or artist could capture how I feel

And the love in my heart

Whenever I write poems about love

I don’t write from the head

I write from the heart

I’ve listened to so many love songs

Sang so many too

I’ve written so much about my feelings

And this is another one

And I’ve seen so much art

Yet nothing ever captures the full picture

Nothing can ever capture how amazing yet painful this feeling is

People talk about like anything else

But it’s different

It’s different from anything else I’ve known

Because it’s not a choice

I have made so many decisions in my life

But this is not a choice

And it’s confusing

And it’s painful

But it’s so amazing and beautiful at the same time

So it’s a shame

That nothing can illustrate love entirely

The Dance.png

What I want You to Know

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

So I told you the truth, you know how I feel

Now all I can do is wait and give you my heart,

And hope that you don’t give it away

But if I’m being honest, I regret telling you that way

I have so many things to say

But I felt like I couldn’t because I was scared

But I’m not anymore

This is my only way to tell you, to say what comes from my heart

1. You’re probably the funniest person I know

2. You’re such a sweet and kind person and you’re so caring

3. You’re ridiculously smart

4. You’re so supportive

5. You’re such a beautiful and amazing person

6. You know how to make someone laugh when they’re having a bad day

I have so many more things to say

But I don’t know how

Because they’re confusing and complicated

And apologies for my awkwardness that’s just me

I care so much about you

When I met you I was in the dark

I had been mistreated by so many people

Which has caused me to develop major trust issues

But you brought the light back into my world

And despite my trust issues, I trust you

And I’m not apologizing for my feelings this time

Because I’ve felt feelings for people before

But I’ve never felt like this

And I can’t apologize because these feelings are out of my control

And that’s what I want you to know

The Dance

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

I had so many plans for the dance

But quarantine ruined them

Maroon dress that goes down to my knees

A song that I wanted to request

Laughing with my friends

…. Asking someone to the dance

But quarantine ruined it

No school

Just sickness and despair

Away from my friends

I don’t get to laugh with them

I don’t get to ask him to the dance

I don’t get to request the song

I don’t get to wear the maroon dress

I don’t even get to say goodbye to my friends

Maybe over the summer

If the quarantine is over

They’ll host the dance for us

And I can laugh with my friends

I can say goodbye

I can request the song

I can ask him to the dance

I can wear the maroon dress

If not,

Then I can wait to wear the dress to homecoming

But that won’t be the same as The dance

Laughing with my friends

Requesting the song

Asking him to the dance

Wearing the maroon dress

At the 8th grade dance

Poem <3

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

Eyes sparkle like the sun in a beautiful Hazel shade

Smile from ear to ear the most beautiful thing

Awkwardness is cute and clumsiness the same

Though your eyes and smile are calm, and I can't help but get lost in it all

Whenever I'm around you, I feel comforted

You support me in every way

Oh, how I wish you were mine someday and here with me always

I get this rush of joy thinking about you

And you're always so kind and sweet

Have I found my match, or will I have to accept defeat?

No matter the weather, I love you and you can count on me forever


by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

The stars shine so bright

In the pitch-black night

The stars are so beautiful, don’t you think?

And they shine so bright

But not as bright as you

Not as wise as you

Not as caring as you

Not as kind as you

Not as amazing as you

Not as funny as you

The stars don’t even compare to you

Your smile can make the dark night brighter than the stars can

You’re more trustworthy than the stars

The stars are far away

But not as far away as you

You’re here in my heart

The stars aren’t

I can’t talk to the stars

But I can talk to you

I can’t trust the stars

But I can trust you

The stars are amazing

But they don’t shine as bright as you

I love the stars

But not as much as you

So even though the stars are outside every night

You've been there for me more than they’ve ever been

The stars are a treasure

But so are you

So always remember

That the stars can’t compare to you

Image by Nghia Le

The Happy Girl

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader




I’ve been called “The Happy Girl”

And I’ve been called that by many people for my entire life

But what if I’m not?

What if everything is falling around me?

The ground is shaking


My hands are shaking

I need to-

I have to-


Put up the act that I am happy!



And not cry

I have to hide my emotions

I have to act like something-

Someone I’m not

I’m not the happy girl

I don’t get that title

I can’t be the happy girl

Or at least the real happy girl

Or the happy girl that I was,

If I’m not happy

I would love joy again

But I don’t know why I don’t feel joy anymore

I don’t know why

I don’t know who I am anymore

I was known as the happy girl

And I miss that part of me

I was doing so well

But it seems that every time I am doing better

I get worse again

I miss being the happy girl

I miss my friends

I miss my real smile

My real laugh

Not this fake smile or fake laugh

I want to talk to my friends, or at least receive texts from them

Reassuring me- saying that they’re here for me

Talking to me about what it going on


If I just get worse every time I get better,

Then am I just a broken record?

The Happy Girl.png

The Underdog

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

She is quiet and shy girl

Her best friends talk so loud

She hides in crowds

Hoping to be seen by no one

Except the guy she’s in love with

And her close friends and family

Those are really the only people she wants to talk to at this point

She walks into school one day expecting a normal day

The same dreadful normal day

Where someone says or does something to take the beautiful light away

She’s been in so much pain

But no one notices

Because she covers her pain with a fake smile

No one notices that she’s been sad for awhile

She goes to math class

It used to be her favorite

But now she hates it

And just her luck, there’s a math competition

She knows that the guy that she loves will do well

He’s so smart

And she thinks she’s the underdog

She thinks that she’s dumb

And that she can’t do anything right

She studies with a heavy heart

Knowing that failure is coming

And the only thing that she can think about is that

She tries her best

And to her surprise she wins

The guy she loves gets second

And one of the other smart kids gets 3rd

She gets congratulated

And for the first time in awhile

People see her for herself

And they see her real smile

The Underdog.png

Day 21

Group Poem, 8th Grade English

It was the day, day 21,

I wasn't having very much fun.

But then the sun came from the clouds,

And I knew I was done,

Their entrails I spun,

Into the image likeness of Thayne,

He broke my heat; I feel so much pain,

Now I cry by myself in sunshine and rain,

And all my friends say is "same."


Celebrity Quotes that are Kinda Inspirational

by Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

“If you love somebody better tell them why they’re here ‘cause they just may run away from you”- Imagine Dragons

“People cry, not because they’re weak. It’s because they’ve been strong for too long”- Johnny Depp

“If you love two people at the same time, choose the second one. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second”- Johnny Depp

“What makes you different or weird- that's your strength”- Meryl Streep

“You can’t stand around and wait to be asked to dance”- Amy Poehler

“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions”- Will Smith

“Every scar that you have is a reminder not just that you were hurt, but that you survived”- Michelle Obama

“Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were”- Leonardo DiCaprio

“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it”- Jennifer Lawrence

“People think you’re crazy if you talk about things they don’t understand”- Elvis Presley

“Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy”- Demi Lovato

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”- Emma Watson

“I don’t go by the rulebook... I lead from the heart not the head”- Princess Diana

“It might not be smart to lead with my heart but that’s how it’s gonna be”- Dove Cameron

6th Grader Poems

6th Grader Poems

Pink Clouds

I see the Sky

By: Rachel Ruffing, 6th Grader

I see the sky too.

And no one believes it but you I see the stars in your eyes,

When I do, I don’t notice your lies,

You say quarantine is not fine,

But that statement I must decline, for I think the situation is quite divine.


The streets are dark,

They will leave a mark,

The shelves are empty,

There is far from plenty,

Houses are full 24/7,

But there is always less than 11,

Is this what you mean by everything is not fine,

Because from the looks of it this is not such a great chime for your ears as it is to mine.


I get to be alone like never before,

I don’t even need to go into a store,

I don’t understand why you wanted to lie,

Because lying makes me want to cry,

Your opinion is not mine,

So why don’t you just keep it to yourself next time,

Maybe they’re 100 reasons why this is bad but they’re also 100 reasons why this is good.


So keep your head up high to see the sky don’t look to the ground even though you could,

Because I see the sky,

And so should you 


Disclaimer: I don’t really like quarantine


The Flower Shop

By: Rachel Ruffing, 6th Grader

“The flower shop”
I need an uplifting sight
Spend one day without a fight
So I walk in to a flower shop
A lady runs up and says “ these flowers- make your eyes pop”
I say “you really think so”
She says “no”

The shops nothing special it’s actually kinda sad
The place is really dark because the lighting’s really bad
But the flowers are Beautiful I cannot deny
I wonder if the owner is kinda shy
That’s what I expect from a tiny little flower shop
I still don’t know why this shop made me want to stop
I simply don’t know could it be a curse
Or even something much worse
I must have been saying this all out loud
Because the lady said “its the smell of the flowers and what’s not to like from a sweet little flower shop it will be sure to to make your hart stop.”

Something happened then and there
That gave me a bad scare
I ran out of the store
I wanted nothing more
It was the smell of the flowers
They must have had powers
Because they did cause my hart to stop
And that caused me to drop
In the middle of the street
And all I know is that night was not so sweet

I laid there for hours without a breath
This is what must have caused my death.....

Misty Forest

The Voices

By: Elliot Curtis, 6th Grader

Everywhere I go they always follow 

Blaring in the back of my mind 

My head they surely hollow 

So loud I might go blind 

Everyday their shouting 

Screaming things I don’t know 

Often time’s you’ll find me pouting 

Try not to let it show 


Today they were loud enough 

I thought everyone heard 

I tried to act tough 

But my thoughts raced like a herd 


I broke down right then and there 

Everyone's eyes landed on me 

I hide my face in my hair 

But I knew I couldn’t flee 


Their words were so loud “What’s wrong?” 

I might as well have been in a tomb  

They all asked again with a fiery long 

I looked up but I was still in an empty room.

Trees in Lake

Flower Crown

By: Elliot Curtis, 6th Grader

The wind blows my flower crown away 

In the wind is where I play 

It’s a beautiful thing 

Though it does make my ears ring 


The dandelions flow in the breeze 

Then the flowers all freeze 

The wind comes to a stop 

I come to a halt mid-hop 


What could it be 

A wind-blocking tree 

No, it’s much different 

So real it feels like rent  


This is dangerous I can tell 

My ears are ringing faster than a bell 

This might be the end oh-no 

I will try to defeat this foe 


I walk to the edge of the forest 

I can’t give it a rest 

My heart in my throat 

I’m being choked on by my coat 


It’s ok to cry  

If you're about to die 

Goodbye dandelion crown 

In the lake, you will drown 

Brick Wall

The Brick Wall

By: Rachel Ruffing, 6th Grader

I walk around every day

I've always had a say

But then came my big brick wall

That blocked me from it all

My voice

My choice

And even more

I wished for days that I could walk through a door

And be on the other side

I soon felt like I had died

But no, I need to find a way

And here I lay

In the 6th grade

I still don't have my life made

The wall is still here 

The other side is near

Because now I have found my window

And I may only be able to see

But some day I will be...

On the other side of the wall

"Even Now" Poems

"Even Now" Poems

Ethan Koh, 8th Grader

Even now,

We can be happy,

But you ask,

How could it be,

To that I would normally respond,

We can somehow,


The inner lowbrow,

From going powwow.


And just now,

I noticed that how that wasn’t very concise,

So, let me elaborate on said point,

If we let the crackdown,

Do said damage as in powwow,

Then you have basically drowned,

Here is the happy part now,

But if you stay optimistic,

And not pessimistic,

And take this as heuristic,

Then you will stay enthusiastic,

And not go ballistic,

Or become fatalistic,

Because I don’t believe that destiny makes the right choices,

I prefer to chart my own course.

Victoria Walwork, 8th Grader

Even now in this time of great need
Even now I’m this quarantine
Together we stay
But apart we must play
Even now in this period of teams

Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

Even now

After all I’ve been through,

I’m staying strong

I won’t let what they said hurt me anymore

I won’t let their actions hurt me

That’s what I tell myself


Even now

After a year

It still hurts

The things they did to me

The hurtful things they said

The lies they spread

It hurt me then

And it hurts me now

But why?

It’s been a year

Why does it still hurt me?

Why do I still think about it?


Despite the hurt and pain

Even now

I’m hoping

For better days

Either tomorrow

In a month

Or in a week or two

Even now

I’m not giving up on my feelings

Even now

The world won’t bring be down

Han Nguyen, 8th Grader

Even now, the sun still shines.

Even now, we still use the law of sines.

Even now, the birds still sing.

Even now, the bells still ring.

Even now, learning has not stopped.

Even now, we have yet to reach the top.

Even now, we have yet to see the end.

Even now, we have not seen all we have to mend.


Even now, we wait and hope our actions were not too late.

52 Days Poem Competition

53 Days Poem Competition

On May 8th, 2020, St Petersburg reached its 53rd day of Social Distancing because of the Coronavirus. To acknowledge that sad milestone, Omni Lit had a live mini-competition, where the Omni Lit club members would write a poem related to the 53rd day theme in 5 minutes. Here are the winners and submissions:

53 days.

53 days without friends or family

53 days of loneliness

53 days of sadness

53 days of wondering when it will end

53 days.

Other Submissions

Jonathan Miller, 8th Grader

Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

53 days and I'm going mad
53 days it's quite sad
That I've been stuck inside for 53 days
So have to entertain myself in many ways
From pretending to be plane
To acting like a lion with a luscious mane
Oh this quarantine has been tough
But thankfully I can eat pillow fluff
Oh to entertain myself in every way
So hopefully I can survive this quarantine for another day
Oh 53 days
To entertain myself I'm still coming up with ways

I’m so lost without my friends

I haven’t seen anyone except for my family in ages

I’m so bored because I’m stuck at home- when will the quarantine be done?

It seems like 53 days since I’ve seen the sun

The quarantine will eventually end

And I’ll get to see my friends

But that day seems far from now

Because people stupid and go outside anyhow

For now, I’ll just play my ukulele

Until the quarantine is over


Miles Dallara, 8th Grader

For 53 days we are kept in this cage

For 53 days, time stood still

We wonder if this may be the end of an age

We wonder if more people it will kill

So here we sit in solitude

Here we sit locked away

Ourselves we must seclude

Or we may never see another day

We may be alone

We may feel sad

But we must stay lest we lose our throne

We must stay and remember when we were glad

So, no matter what you feel

You must be strong

Yourself you must conceal

Or this quarantine we will prolong


Ethan Koh, 8th Grader

53 days, let me repeat, 53 days,

The minutes turn into hours,

And yet I still don't feel the craze,

Beautiful places have been broken,

But they are so far away,

The days blend into each other,

And soon, it’s been WEEKS!!! WEEKS!!!

Yet the entire human race is still stuck,

On drifting spaceships,

In the empty void,

Lonely, alone, and cold.


Now it has been 53 days,

And the effects are really taking hold,

Nothing productive to do,

Nothing to be fun too,



"Prepare for reentry," 

It is almost over,

But stay cautious,

Believe me,

For now, don’t go to the beach,

For now, I beseech,

Keep everyone safe,


As I have told you before,

It’s almost over,

Quarantine 2020.


Hailey Pupo, 8th Grader

Random Word Collection

Keeley Kaplan's Random Word Collection



By: Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

You can’t scream when you’re underwater

But what if you always feel like you’re under water

What if you feel like the world is closing in on you?

Or you feel like there’s too much pressure on you

What if you feel stressed?

Or anxious

Or you’re scared

But you’re underwater

So, you feel like your scream can’t be heard

Your cries for help go unnoticed

You’re just left alone, and you have no one

Because no one listens

It feels like no one understands what it’s like to feel this way

The way I’m feeling

This dark feeling

The kind that hurts you

The kind that could end you

You feel like no one understands

And like you’re the only one in this world

You feel alone

And when you scream for help it feels like no one cares

And people rush to get you help

But what if that can’t help you

What if you just need your friends to tell you that it’s ok

And for them to listen

And it won’t cure you, but it will help the healing process

Your friends supporting you and checking up on you is what you need

Because then you won’t feel alone

And in time you’ll make your way back to shore

And you can feel the breeze that makes you happy and makes you feel free

This is what I need

But don’t worry because I’m not hurting myself physically

But just because I’m not hurting myself physically doesn’t mean that I’m hurt

It doesn’t mean that I’m ok

Because I have feelings and emotions

This quarantine is difficult for me

I smile and laugh

But that doesn’t mean anything

Despite this,

I’m hoping for a bright future

A future of true smiles

A future of true laughter

A future of love

A future of kindness and care

And a future of happiness, freedom and friendship

I have hope

And that makes me smile

So I don’t have to scream

Several Open Books


By: Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

You may be wondering,

Who the heck is Bob?

Honestly, I have no idea

All I know is that Bob has something to do with Miles Dallara

But other than that- nothing

Maybe Bob is just a feeling

But that wouldn’t make sense- would it?

So maybe Bob is a god?

But that doesn’t make sense either

So, what is Bob?

Or who is Bob?

I asked Miles who this Bob is

And it didn’t help me at all

He said “Bob is Bob”

That doesn’t help


Maybe Bob is his lover

That’s not too far-fetched right?

This case is so confusing

There’s nothing here

So, I’m concluding that Bob is Miles’ best friend

Or lover

That no one can see or hear


Maybe Bob is a feeling

Bob is that feeling that you get when you’re with your lover or best friends or crush

Bob is the butterflies in your stomach

Bob is....


This is my conclusion

Bob is that amazing feeling when you love someone not just romantic love but the caring kind

FBI Agent Keeley Kaplan out


By: Keeley Kaplan, 8th Grader

So many years of education

I finished elementary school

I’m two and a half weeks away from finishing middle school

And I’m about to start high school

And college is in a few years

So many frie