Poetry Book

Western International High School

Poems from Oceans In Our Pens, v.1, (2016)


The Ghosts Behind

In the city ghosts hide behind flowers
on every street corner. They caress Teddy Bears
and envy the living that walk by.

The lost search for hope blending
crystal stars into their blood
breathing sleep in their dreams.

In the city touch has no love in it
so it burns innocence. The sun turns its back
so there is no witness.

In my chest there are blue flames,
burnt tissue, red gasoline rags,
and silent earthquakes collapsing everything.

Put your ear to my pulse
and hear her breath bending grass
under the willow.

Put your ear to my pulse
and hear a still pond
with sunlight on its skin.

Listen to hope in my pulse,
in your ear, hope screaming inside a cage
and the rattling of chains.

In my fist light pours through my fingers
trying to fight the dark. Her hand is in my fist
pulling me from this empty home.

Vanessa Yates


Detroit Is A Trojan Horse

Although I am shaped like a Trojan Horse
I am just the opposite.
Outsiders see me as a threat, a weed.
But my natives see deeper than my garbage filled streets
and abandoned buildings.
They can see beyond my rough edges.
And they understand that even dandelions have bright petals
after they grow.
Until then, I am only pretty from afar.
As my seeds drift in the wind,
I hope for a new beginning.

Hannah Luszcynski


I Want

I want the ground to swallow
my father to where only his head
is left just so he can see how small
I feel when he spits cigarette butts
into my heart.

I want a brick to hit my sister’s window
so the glass will break and the pieces
will land on her skin
to bring the love she lost
back to her sandpaper skin.

Nayle Hernandez


Where I’m From

I’m from loud hip-hop, blasting down the street,
and running through the dirt.
From 3 a.m. late nights and burnt popcorn.
I am from video games and new game shopping.
I am from, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “Stay in a child’s place.”
I am from loud sirens and yellow police tape.
From playing outside and “Stop running in and out.”
I am from rough, white walls and old hardwood floors.
I am from the can of old grease after Thanksgiving dinner.
From the late night hustle and the smell of barbecue at 3 a.m.

Tylicia Ross


My Real Name

Yesterday my name was Limp Spaghetti.
Today my name is Glass Prism, projecting
that mellow blue or fiery red.

Sometime I’m a Bottomless Pit, bursting with the brutal thoughts
of another day that came on in the same uniform way.

People don’t know I am a Book with a Blank Cover, an old
Antique, Movement in the hips, bottom and feet,
or Activist that the public hasn’t had the chance to meet.

My real name is a secret, but I’ll tell you –
Dark Corner, night and day, Blowing Wind,
whistling in the evening breeze.

Tomorrow I’ll take off.
I’ll be the Sunrise and Clouds that soar above danger.
I’ll be a Vibration.

Israel Mills


I Saw Lightning

go through the girl’s eyes
as she danced in the rain at night.

The feather was drifting slowly
above the newborn and it landed

on her nose filling the child with laughter.
I saw a class of Malawian women singing

so loudly it thundered in my ears and made
me drop everything else going on in my life.

I saw lightning go through the girl’s eyes
as she danced in the rain at night.

Lucy Arias