Neemwa - Marengo Community High School District 154



Neemwa - Marengo Community High School District 154
Marengo Community High School Literary and Arts Magazine
Volume 1
Spring 2013
Nayeli Andrade
Nicole Kasin
Leah Hotchkiss
Rodney Rote Jr.
Carrie Nims
Briana Nims
Kristina Lindahl
Neemwa is a Native American word from the Miami-Illinois language, spoken by a tribe once
native to Illinois. The word means “see.” We feel this is relevant to the work of an artist or
author, as creators must “see” the finished product before it can be created. Artists look at
things in life, or imagine abstract qualities in their minds. Writers must watch the world around
them and incorporate what they see into the vast worlds of their imagination. Even musicians,
actors, and graphic designers must see their role, mood, or symbolism before they can come up
with a finished piece. That is why this magazine is called Neemwa, because seeing is an integral
part of a creator’s life. Here have been collected various creations of MCHS students; please
take the time to “see” them, and let their messages reach you.
“Ode to the Sun” – Ayla Lara (Poetry)……………………………………………5
“All Waters Lead to Oceans” – Ayla Lara (Poetry)………………………………6
“I’m Worn” – Danielle Tucker (Nonfiction)………………………………………7
“Butterflies” – Moriah Heien (Drawing)………………………………………….10
“Production” – Anneliese Ayers (Poetry)…………………………………………11
“Death, Help Me” – Coy Szaflarski (Poetry)……………………………………..12
“Laziness” – Kathryn Wilyat (Poetry)…………………………………………….13
“Midnight” – Rodney Rote Jr. (Digital Design)…………………………………..14
“Self Portrait Pen-Ink” – Rodney Rote Jr. (Drawing)…………………………….15
“Dragon” – Nayeli Andrade (Ceramics)………………………………………….16
“Fox” and “Ted” – Nayeli Andrade (Ceramics)…………………………………..17
“Paradise” – Carrie Nims (Poetry)………………………………………………..18
“Because of the Unicorn” – Leah Hotchkiss (Creative Writing)…………………19
“A Life Without You” – Caitlin O’Donoghue (Poetry)…………………………..24
“A Heavy Heart” – Caitlin O’Donoghue (Poetry)………………………………...26
Based off of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” – Anonymous (Poetry)..27
Ode to the Sun
Ayla Lara
Ball of burning
Trees are yearning
For the wondrous might
That is your touch.
Dear Sun,
You kiss the Earth with a
Love that is too much
To contain in one
Long Summer's day.
Your rays, a mother's embrace.
Your yellow hue:
A mother's bright, shining face.
The planets surround you
Like a string of fine pearls.
The stars around you like offspring
running wild.
Your solar flames, a mother's bouncing curls.
With your hold, you took the Earth under your wing,
to guide the once lost child.
Without you, dear Sun in the sky,
we'd see no day, or night.
For if you were not here, my Sun, the moon way up high
could not shine without your light.
So thankful for your life, we are,
you breathe it into us.
The universe surrounds you, Sun,
As you are the most important, shining star.
You should not be nonplussed.
And if you meant to earn our hearts, all of them you've won.
All Waters Lead to Oceans
Ayla Lara
Like a slow trickle
drip, drop
it started slow. I never
meant for it to be like this,
a never ending,
but always wanted struggle
for your love
and for mine.
Like a steady stream
whispering past boulders,
it moved,
it transformed
into something bigger.
Neither of us could have imagined
anything like we found in each other.
But all water leads to oceans
somehow. Now we aren’t trickling,
just wading, farther and farther away.
I, dipping my toe into the Atlantic,
and you, jumping into the Pacific.
I’m Worn
Danielle Tucker
The frayed fur, missing arm and the lonely black marble eye of the stuffed animal has
grown old with the child who once called the teddy bear her friend. The ragged and tattered toys
from our past can always tell a story until the time comes when that bear, dog, or horse has seen
too many years and will soon become unified with the muck and filthiness in the pile of
worthless material that will stay a landfill forever. These stories eventually become nothing
along with the depleted remains of matter from the childhoods and pasts of the great population.
Then we ask ourselves, who cares? What do these stories hold that is so great? The bear is like us.
We go through life and slowly cripple to nothing until we die, fearing what lies after death. We
become worn and lose our fight through challenges we cannot understand. Some people grow to
recognize that everybody faces these challenges and will accept that they cannot pray for the
struggles to stop, but instead the strength to carry on, while others do not.
Being worn is not a description of the boasting, overworked athlete who pitches two
games of baseball in a row with no earned runs. It is not the prideful student that works only on
homework and has enough money to choose not to work a job. It is not the lustful man who has
married more than three times because of his poor decisions of being faithful. It is not the jealous
woman who cannot find work because of her lack of dedication to education but instead her
dedication to finding a man. Being worn describes those with heavy hearts and those who feel
crushed by the weight of the world. It is the people who have lost their faith and will to fight.
From mistakes that they have made, from the scares in their past, or from the battles they have
faced have worn them thin and everything seems hopeless. They wear a smile on their face and
pretend to be superior to hardships, but the truth is, the hardships start before their day begins.
We see thousands of faces in our life, new or old, happy or sad, but we encounter those
who we do not know. We can only brush the surface of the lives of others; we cannot puncture
the walls of the stories of an individual. We cannot understand what emotional or physical
afflictions or discomforts occur in their lives, at least not completely. However, we can
understand that we all become distressed in life, some more than others. Those that are worn
need help. Help is always there, but there is something missing in each person’s life. A universal
longing exists in everybody for the need to have the strength to continue and not give up. This
longing will eventually catch up to these thousands of faces and the climax of the struggles will
finally hit. We hear of deaths on the news every day, whether it is about the troubled man who
grew up with no father that pointed his gun and fired shots at kids playing in the street, letting his
jealousy of the lives of others boil over the top, or it is the woman, labeled a whore, who jumped
off the ledge of a building, leaving her children to fend for themselves in a world of questions
without answers. These are the ones who are worn. These people that we come across every day
are like us. We are all human, and yet their decisions were poor; they lost their will to fight. They
could not rise from their ashes of a broken life, of a hard life.
Then there are those who find God. He is able to mend ailing hearts. The wears and tears
of our struggle to find strength can be lifted by the hands of God. God does not have mercy on
those who believe they are supercilious to others. He has mercy on those who are humble. No
one is ever too far of the path to get back on it. And He reaches out to the ones who are worn but
continue to have faith that there is something more in this strenuous life. If a person says they are
worn out, tired, wearisome, or troubled, it should not be taken lightly. People should learn to
reach out and aid them in every way possible, but it's unfortunate that many do not because of
the superior to others. Being worn is not about the poor decisions we make because we feel sorry
for ourselves, but instead the decisions we make based on what others feel about us. We cannot
help it. Our insecurity or our troubles lead to depression and sadness that we cannot comprehend.
We are told who we are from the influences around us. We grew up to believe what others say to
us or do to us. The pills and anti-depressants that surge through our veins, the words of hate that
travel through our minds like screeching bats, or the physical castigations we receive either from
being guilty or innocent can torment us to become worn. We lose faith in ourselves and allow the
jagged edges of the intruders to our security to rip through the surface of who we are. This is
being worn. Each and every day, we collide with people who are like us, people who are worn
from struggles and fear, and people who cannot find enough time in their day to accomplish the
arduous tasks that dominate their lives.
This defines the word worn. Feeling sorry for ourselves because we have homework or
boy troubles will never be an example of being worn. The buried stories that lie within our past
are important because we all share similar experiences. Two teddy bears can be different colors,
different sizes, or even have a different shape, but they are both teddy bears, and we are all
human. Sometimes we will have the strength, and other times we will not. Therefore, the people
that currently have strength should commit a part of their lives to reaching out a hand for those
who do not because there will come a time in ones’ life where he or she will be falling with few
hands to grab.
Moriah Heien
Anneliese Ayers
Stepping out onto the wooden
Looking out to the velvet
Gazing into the bright
Cloud of powder
A different face
Aching feet
All the days, hours, minutes, seconds
All the work put into this
work of art
Several pairs of
Several pairs of
Each one put on to become
several different people
The curtain goes up
The lights come up
The actors walk out
and begin the show.
Death, Help Me
Coy Szaflarski
Death is the end
of all things I've ever done.
Everything is over then,
I will matter to no one.
Death is medication
for any illnesses I have.
It provides me a way out
of all things that seem bad.
Death is the rocket
that carries my soul from Earth.
Death is nonexistent,
All lives will last forever.
Death is my only wish,
when on Earth I'm out of time.
So I may be in Heaven
with the only God of mine.
Kathryn Wilyat
Laziness is a break that never ended
A snake's skin that never shedded
A disappointing cycle of dreading remorse
A person that refuses to get back on the horse
A ball without an owner
Afraid of getting the cold shoulder
So it hides in the back of the shelf
Waiting for the day when it too can be itself
Waiting for whatever
Any excuse is better than effort
Because effort leads to something better
But better isn’t what laziness wants
Laziness is like an itch in the middle of the back..
It takes work to scratch it.
Rodney Rote Jr.
“Self Portrait Pen-Ink”
Rodney Rote Jr.
Nayeli Andrade
Left: “Fox”
Right: “Ted”
Nayeli Andrade
Carrie Nims
Moonlight streams down through the trees
Leaves wavering in the breeze
Stars sparkle without a care
Creatures run without wear
Morning comes with purple hues
Clouds forming in varied blues
A light rain falls with gentle fingers
Making arcane mists linger
Flowers reach for peaking light
Drinking in sunlight with all their might
Crystal blue streams flow past
Dragonflies race, not wanting to be last
So beautiful it seems,
To be in the sun’s golden beams
We dream for what could be
And pray and plea
Tears and death will be no more
We’ll live without grief, or pain, or war
We’ll all be healthy; we’ll all be free
Residing under peaceful trees
One day we’ll get there
One day we’ll see what’s rare
We’ll breathe in the perfect Earth’s air
And live without any true care
In Paradise
Because of the Unicorn
Leah Hotchkiss
I padded softly through the woods, as silent a huntress as Artemis herself. The doe was my
target, with its subtle limping trail. Trees shuddered as leaves dropped silently in shades of
orange. I breathed in the sharp fall air. Here was where I could forget the world's problems. I
could forget the war that had taken my brother, the war that hadn't ended.
I heard the creature before I saw it: a soft crunching of hooves on leaves. I strung an arrow to
my bow. I expected to see a deer – but it wasn't.
Its great white coat rippled with muscles, the long fine mane shining like silk. Lion tail
twitching, it tossed its great head at me, golden horn flashing like a sword. Bright blue eyes
looked on me with disdain. What is that strange creature, the eyes seemed to say. Is it even
worth my notice?
I could barely breathe. I was staring a real, live unicorn! They were even more beautiful that
the stories proclaimed. Then I remembered what else the stories said: unicorns were vicious
creatures that would as soon as kill you as look at you. They were bound to charge you as soon
as you laid eyes on –
I had barely finished my thought when the unicorn charged. Thrown off by its beauty, I didn't
dive out of the way until the last moment. Pain flared in my shoulder and a scream ripped from
my throat. Something snapped loudly and I wondered if I had broken a bone. Then there were
shouts all around and an angry whinny.
Strong hands gripped my shoulders.
“You all right lassie?” a gruff voice said. “Oh, 'e got you good, didn't 'e?”
“Shoulder,” I said, dazed from the pain.
“Yep, I see that. Looks like 'e got the tip of 'is 'orn stuck in there.”
He dug something from my shoulder and I yelped in pain.
“Feel better, lass?”
It did feel better.
“Can ye stand?”
I did, shakily. He handed me a small pointed stone that looked like a shell.
“The unicorn's horn?” I said.
“Yep. Keep it, lass, as a memento. Ye helped us catch a unicorn today!”
I looked up. The unicorn whinnied angrily, about ten men trying to keep it down with lassos
and ropes. My heart wrenched at the sight of the struggling creature.
“Gorgeous, ain't they?” the man said. “But deadly, and wicked fast.”
“Yes,” I murmured.
“This'll be a great help,” he said, laughing. “With one o' these, this war'll go much faster in
our favor.”
There it was again. The war. I remember how it had began: when our king caught a unicorn
the first time and found its unimaginable powers. Unfortunately, ambassadors from Vizu told
their king, who also wanted a unicorn. It was because of this horrible creature that my brother
was dead.
But I couldn't bear to see it bound. It was like seeing the wildness of a storm or a hurricane
imprisoned. It almost hurt to watch.
“Where are you taking her?” I asked.
“King's court, o' course,” the man said. “Won't get there today, though. We'll probably keep
her in a pen prepared at the village.”
“Will it hold?”
“Certainly! Pure iron, its made of! The beasts can't stand the stuff – won't go near it.”
I wrenched my eyes away from the being, determined not to feel sorry for it. It was a wild
beast, like any other animal. It had tried to kill me. And it was the reason that my brother was
But the piece of unicorn horn in my hand was warm, and I couldn't help but think: it couldn't
help what it was.
“Ree, come on. Why do you want to go see the thing that tried to kill you?”
“Desmond, I just want to see it again, okay?” I snapped.
I was back at the village again, my best friend Desmond following behind.
“It will try to kill you again, and I'll have to save you, and you know I'm no fighter,” he said.
“You won't have to save anyone, Des,” I said. “I can save myself. Besides, it's in an iron pen.”
“Rhea, come on!”
I ignored him, climbing over the hill to the pen. The unicorn lay inside a twelve foot pen of
solid iron. A single tree grew in the center, a golden chain wrapping from it to the great beast's
neck. It lay there, head hanging low and ears back, the picture of despair.
“Whoa,” Desmond murmured.
“Told you.”
Desmond drifted nearer, completely entranced.
“No wonder it got you, Ree. You're normally so alert and fast but this – this would throw
anyone off.”
“I know.”
“Are you sure it's vicious? It's so beautiful.”
“That's what the bug thought about the Venus Fly Trap.”
Desmond shrugged. I couldn't help but drift closer too. The unicorn horn grew warm in my
pocket, and the unicorn's head snapped up. Its eyes found me as it shot to its feet. Instantly it
was charging me again, but quickly stopped by the golden chain. It pawed one hoof and called
out, a lovely flute-like sound that pierced my heart.
“Oh,” Desmond said.
“I know.”
“This war will end tomorrow, the man told me,” I said. “It's that powerful.”
“But they had a unicorn already. Why didn't they use that?”
“It died.”
“From what?”
I shrugged.
Those blue eyes pierced into me again. I couldn't turn away. They pleaded with me.
You tried to kill me.
Why should I?
It couldn't help what it was.
“It's like catching a thunderstorm,” Desmond said. “Beautiful, but dangerous. And sometimes
we wonder: should it even be done?”
A thunderstorm. That's what you are.
I looked towards my home. Houses still needed rebuilding from a looting last month.
Families were broken from this war, people missing from church, more graves in the graveyard.
If we used the unicorn, would even more lives end? Would the war continue anyway? The
unicorn horn grew warm in my pocket.
Some things just shouldn't be imprisoned.
Two weeks later, the war ended. No one could figure out why. Someone told me that
something white appeared in the middle, and everyone suddenly wondered why they were even
fighting anymore. Like a strange sense of calm. A week after that, my brother came home. The
message had been wrong: he hadn't been dead at all, but wounded badly. He told me that an
angel came and healed him. And angel like a horse with a horn. Those men never found out
how the unicorn escaped.
Today in the forest, I thought I saw something white. I found the unicorn again, staring at me
with blue eyes.
I'm still not sorry for stabbing you, they say.
I wouldn't accept your apology anyway.
She turns, then looks back.
Thank you, she says.
I still have the unicorn horn in my pocket.
A Life Without You
Caitlin O’Donoghue
The cruelty of life knows no bounds
Just as I am damned to Hell’s unbroken grounds
All I do is fight and fight
But I am as lost as a bird without flight
This terrible incessant pain
I know shall ne’er yet abstain
And so all I am is damned
To a life without water, without land
O, what more could I do
When damned to a life without you,
I thought our life forward
Ne’er supposed I was but cornered
I ne’er knew what I hath wasted
Our love, our lives, the years abated
O, how I thought we were devoted
Yet in the end, incompetence was noted
Pain was such commonplace
Hidden behind such a common face
I ne’er thought I could lose
WHat hath always been my only muse,
Upon my very own ring finger
Was out greatest Promise to at once linger
O, how sweet the kisses
My heart, all it doth is misses
The closeness of a life now lost
Ne’er realized the tragic cost
Ne’er yet contemplated the pain
That I know shall always remain
To you I hath given my Innocence
It hath remained with thou ever since,
The cruelty of life knows no bounds
Just as I am damned to Hell’s unbroken grounds
All I do is fight and fight
But I am as lost as a bird without flight
This terrible incessant pain
I know shall ne’er yet abstain
And so all I am is damned
To a life without water, without land
O, what more could I do
When damned to a life without you.
A Heavy Heart
Caitline O’Donoghue
A heavy heart I now grant thee
Thou claims it without eyes and cannot see
But the horrid truth of it be well told
And ne’er again shall I think it all gold
For when one thus holds an hourglass full
Think it not, for thou knowest it’s null
Thus comes this boy’s untimely end
Just as thou thought thy heart could mend,
Buried deep within ash and stone
Be this boy, his flight now flown
Granted thus his items of warrant
Given to whom that predicted this bloody torrent
Mourners sullied with thine sorrow
And despise Thy sun, risen on the morrow
So naught doth show its seeming
Simple, complex life, thou hath no meaning,
Not a simple care of mine hath risen
And tho’ seeming such a dungeon prison
Bring about Thy subtle impediment
For I shall now consider it
More than a half-life stolen
Seeming thus a bloody omen
And now Thy tale and heart be won
But alas, mine hath ne’er yet begun.
Based off of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing”
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
The frightened runners singing, their screams filing the air
A mob of curious reporters singing, questions ringing clear,
The police sirens singing, bringing safety to those near
Hospital phone lines singing, the injured crying for help,
The suspects singing, as they try to slip away
People in churches singing, praying for souls that day
Televisions around the world singing, giving details of the terror
Citizens's opinions singing, their hope for justice strong,
Each person singing, it affected us one and all
A day intended for great achievement, ended in anguish still,
Singing with open mouths, their angry bitter songs.

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