Cypress Branches Literary Journal - Lamar State College-Orange

lsco.edu

Cypress Branches Literary Journal - Lamar State College-Orange

The Literary Journal

of Lamar State College-Orange

Spring 2009

LSC­O is a member of the Texas State University System


Student Winners

Prose

First Place

Two Sides of the River ..........................................................................Md Rajibul Hasan

Second Place

The Storm................................................................................................ Rachel Suire

Third Place

A Troubled Mind.................................................................................... Kristen Clark

Honorable Mention

Emergency Situation ............................................................................... Derek Borel

Poetry

First Place

My Trip............................................................................................... Kyle Thompson

Second Place

Woman, Woman ................................................................................. Kyle Thompson

Third Place

Subtle Chaos....................................................................................... Kyle Thompson

Honorable Mention

Keep in Touch .........................................................................................Barbara Ball

Photography

First Place

Game Face ...........................................................................................Alexa Humble

Second Place

Alien Flower........................................................................................ Shanita Maceda

Third Place

Curious Simba......................................................................................Geneva Adams

Honorable Mention

Summer Showers...................................................................................Tyler Derouen

3


Two Dimensional Art

First Place (Grand Prize: Cover Art)

Splash of Color...................................................................................... Ashley Daniel

Second Place

Blooming Beauty.................................................................................... Ashley Daniel

Third Place

Passing By ............................................................................................. Ashley Daniel

Honorable Mention

Forest Watch ....................................................................................... Andrea Haynes

Three-Dimensional Art

First Place

Celestia Millenia..............................................................................Christopher Fields

Second Place

Music as a Thread............................................................................. Jessica Ferguson

Third Place

Great Power............................................................................................Scott Laudano

Honorable Mention

Paper Clip Madness..................................................................................Ashley Bray

Special Category: Analyzing Art

First Place

The Gentleman..................................................................................................Brett Heil

Faculty and Staff Contributions

Dr. Matt McClure..................................................................................... Cartoon strip

Pam Hardin ........................................................................................................ Poetry

Randy Ford ...................................................................................................... Poetry

Carolyn Mello .................................................................................................. Poetry

Bonnie Dorman ....................................................................................... Photography

Joan Stinehart.....................................................................Art, Prose and Photography

Bobbi Miller............................................................................................................ Art

4


Table of Contents

Art

Two-Dimensional

Splash of Color by Ashley Daniel ................................................................................ 10

Blooming Beauty by Ashley Daniel .............................................................................. 11

Passing By by Ashley Daniel ........................................................................................ 12

Forest Watch by Andrea Haynes................................................................................... 13

Three-Dimensional

Celestia Millenia by Christopher Fields ....................................................................... 14

Music as a Thread by Jessica Ferguson ...................................................................... 15

Great Power by Scott Laudano ..................................................................................... 16

Paper Clip Madness by Ashley Bray ........................................................................... 17

Prose

Two Sides of the River by Md Rajibul Hasan................................................................ 20

The Storm by Rachel Suire ........................................................................................... 21

A Troubled Mind by Kristen Clark .............................................................................. 22

Emergency Situation by Derek Borel ........................................................................... 23

Photography

Game Face by Alexa Humble ....................................................................................... 26

Alien Flower by Shanita Maceda.................................................................................. 27

Curious Simba by Geneva Adams................................................................................. 28

Summer Showers by Tyler Derouen ............................................................................ 29

Poetry

My Trip by Kyle Thompson........................................................................................... 32

Woman, Woman by Kyle Thompson ............................................................................. 33

Subtle Chaos by Kyle Thompson................................................................................... 34

Keep in Touch by Barbara Ball .................................................................................... 35

Special Category Analyzing Art

The Gentleman by Brett Heil ....................................................................................... 38

5


Faculty and Staff Contribution

Cypress Man IV by Dr. Matt McClure.......................................................................... 42

Trust Again by Pamela K. Hardin ............................................................................... 46

Dark Side of Love by Pamela K. Hardin...................................................................... 47

Kissing in the Rain by Randy Ford............................................................................... 48

Two Lane Terror by Carolyn Mello.............................................................................. 49

Lament by Carolyn Mello ............................................................................................ 50

French Fudge by Carolyn Mello ................................................................................. 52

Milk by Carolyn Mello ................................................................................................. 53

Butterfly: Brittney by Bonnie Dorman ......................................................................... 54

Freestyle: Alex by Bonnie Dorman ............................................................................. 55

Up Close and Eye to Eye by Joan Stinehart .................................................................. 56

Drying Off After a Trip to the River by Joan Stinehart................................................. 57

Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rockies by Joan Stinehart........................................... 58

Grazing in the Lazy Days of Summer by Joan Stinehart............................................... 59

Born to be Wild and Free by Joan Stinehart................................................................. 60

Tracking Across the Tundra by Joan Stinehart ............................................................ 61

Wildlife’s Precious Young Ones by Joan Stinehart...................................................... 62

The Colorful Beauty of Birds by Joan Stinehart........................................................... 63

A Bird and a Bear by Joan Stinehart ........................................................................... 64

The Grizzly Bear by Joan Stinehart .............................................................................. 65

The Great White Heron by Joan Stinehart.................................................................... 67

Dreamcatcher by Bobbi Miller .................................................................................... 70

6


Submitting Student Artists and Author

Alexa Humble

Andrea Haynes

Andrew Tsuchiya

Ashley Bray

Ashley L. Daniel

Aubry Ellis

Barbara Ball

Bradley Manchack

Branden Gauthier

Brett Heil

Brooke Friedeck

Byron Ellis

Carley Gautier

Chelsea Mires

Cheri Abbott

Christopher Fields

Cyrus Victoria

Derek Borel

Devren Cormier

Diana Tutas

Emily Mangham

Eric Swanson

Geneva Adams

Georgina Chandler

Jennifer Viator

Jeremy Crowell

Jessica Ferguson

Jordan Walker

Josh Russell

Justin Granger

Kassey Humberson

Katie M. Dial

Krista Golemon

Kristen Clark

Kyle Thompson

Matthew Cooper

Md Hasan

Melanie Williams

Minh­Nhat Duong

Mitchell Wyatt

Nettia Beatty

Phillip Key

Priscilla Walker

Rachel Suire

Sandra Gomez

Scott Laudano

Shanita Maceda

Shelbi McQuary

Tonia Gann

Tyler Derouen

Wade Estes

Thank you for your submissions to this project!

7


Art

9


Two-Dimensional Art – First Place

Splash of Color

Ashley

10


Two-Dimensional Art – Second Place

Blooming Beauty

Ashley Daniel

11


Two-Dimensional Art – Third Place

Passing By

Ashley Daniel

12


Two-Dimensional Art – Honorable Mention

Forest Watch

Andrea Haynes

13


Three-Dimensional Art – First Place

Celestia Millenia

Christopher Fields

14


Three-Dimensional Art – Second Place

Music as a Thread

Jessica Ferguson

15


Three-Dimensional Art – Third Place

Great Power

Scott Laudano

16


Three-Dimensional Art – Honorable Mention

Paper Clip Madness

Ashley Bray

17


Prose

19


Prose – First Place

Two Sides of the River

Md Rajibul Hasan

Most people know the phrase “like father, like son,” which means children often follow their

parents and learn from them. As a child, I wanted to become like my father. However, no human can be

totally perfect. Although my father remains a strong influence in my life, in some cases we are completely

different, like the two banks of the river which never can mix. While we both value money, we manage it

in completely opposite ways. Therefore, in considering money, the three major differences between my

father and me include lending practices, bargaining skills, and budgeting awareness.

First, my father is more generous than I, especially in lending money. He lends relatives and

friends money with open hands whenever they ask him, without considering whether they will pay it back

or not. As an example, my father lent half of his yearly income to my uncle without any collateral contract

or repayment schedule. As a cunning person, my uncle took advantage of my father’s trust and has yet to

pay the money back. Still, my father let my uncle borrow money from him this year. On the contrary, I do

not like to lend anyone money without assurance of repayment. Moreover, I keep a proof so they cannot

cheat me. One time, my cousin borrowed money from me to buy a motorbike, but I kept his diamond ring

as collateral.

Similarly, my father cannot bargain for merchandises as well as I can. I came from Bangladesh, a

developing country, where we need good bargaining skills to purchase products. The salesman may ask

double or more for the products, but we must negotiate with him for a reasonable price. Otherwise, we

lose money. My father never wins in this bargaining game; rather, he loses his money by paying extra.

Once, my dad went to market to buy a blanket and paid 1,500 taka, approximately $22, when he could

have bought it for 600 taka. He also buys the goods he sees first without comparing their prices with other

products. On the other hand, I try to bargain with the seller to lower the price as much I can. One day, I

went to buy a pair of shoes, and the merchant demanded $20. With my persuasive skills, I bought the

shoes, paying just $6. Additionally, I compare the prices of the products and purchase the best value.

Finally, my father does not manage a budget as effectively as I do. My father, a police officer,

earns good money, though he rarely spends it properly. Consequently, at the end of the month he falls

short of money. For instance, we went to market with my father for shopping, and he spent his entire pay.

He did not think about how he would manage the rest of the month. Likewise, he has no savings for

unexpected problems. A long time ago, my mother was sick, and he did not have sufficient money to

admit her to a required clinic. In contrast, I always plan my budget. I maintain a list which contains my

monthly spending, such as home rent, electric bill, car insurance, and others. This list insures that I will

have enough money to last all month. Surely, I have savings for my future in case of emergencies.

Without doubt, my father and I differ completely in lending practices, bargaining skills, and

budgeting awareness. Following my father’s guidance throughout my childhood, I learned how to manage

money. In time, I realized that my father handles finances without proper care. Thus, I changed my ways

of managing money. Indeed, children learn from their parents, but they shape those ideas in their own

ways when they mature.

20


Prose – Second Place

The Storm

Rachel Suire

The weather reports warned us. The mayor urged the town to evacuate. We did not listen. This

hurricane was compared to Carla. That did not scare us. The people of Galveston faced certain death if

they stayed. They lived on the coast; we did not. A hurricane had not hit our area head­on in years. Why

should we leave? Even though dangerous hurricanes tend to miss our area, because of the wind, water,

and aftermath, a person should still evacuate.

I remember the wind gathered strength first. It was Thursday. The hurricane was not expected

until late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The wind started out nice and breezy, only to become a

steady gust by the night. When I woke up on Friday morning, I heard the wind howling through the trees.

Some of the older branches broke off and flew across my yard. By Friday evening the clouds burst with

rain, and the wind blew even stronger. Larger branches blew across like tumbleweeds, and the tops of

trees swayed like a large crowd in a concert. The wind sounded like it was telling us something, almost

like a warning of the upcoming storm. I fell asleep Friday night to the sound of the rain beat on our roof

and the wind howling all around me.

The next thing I knew, my mom was frantically shaking me awake saying, “Rachel, get up! The

water is coming into the house!” I felt so groggy that I could not fully comprehend what she said. I

rolled out of bed and placed my feet on the floor. My toes felt the water first; it was a little cold from the

rain. My cat meowed a scared little meow that I could barely hear over the thunder and lightning outside.

I picked her up then ran to my parents in the living room. Both of my parents held flashlights in their

hands. I saw scared looks planted on their faces. “The water is going to keep rising. We have to get in

the attic,” my dad ordered. We followed him up to the attic only to watch the water continue to rise and

destroy everything in our house.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, light peeked through the house. My dad climbed down

to see if the rain had stopped enough for us to come out of the house. Luckily, the rain had become a light

drizzle, so my mom and I followed him down the ladder, sw leaving my sleeping cat snuggled in a corner.

As I climbed down the ladder, I saw how much water our house actually received. When I stepped off the

ladder, the chilly salt water had reached my shoulders. Before following my dad out of the house, I took a

look around. The couch floated into the kitchen, the TV looked like a drowning child face­down in the

water, and fish brushed against my leg as they swam throughout my house. After looking around, I

followed my parents out into the flooded yard. My dad had already jumped in our boat, ready to start it

up. My mom held out her hand to help me into the boat and out of the sea water. Slowly we rode through

our neighborhood, taking in the damage. We stopped to pick up our neighbors who had stayed—only to

end up on the tops of their roofs. We rode around until we reached the bridge leading out of Bridge City.

The survivors sat there for hours waiting for someone to come for us, while my dad and neighbor

continued to rescue other members of our town who made the same mistake of staying. “Mom, maybe we

should have evacuated when the mayor said to,” I whispered.

The weather reports warned us. They said the wind was coming; they were right. The mayor told

us to leave. He said the water was on its way; he was right. The people of Galveston faced certain death if

they stayed; so did we. A hurricane had not directly hit our area in years. Why should we leave? We

should have left because of the wind, water, and the scary aftermath. We should have left because we

were ordered to leave.

21


Prose – Third Place

A Troubled Mind

Kristen Clark

Lost in anguished thoughts, I rest on a shaded bench, naked and cold. The wasted metropolis

around me creaks and groans, also ready to abandon hope. Memories of my children’s smiling faces melt

away as the four horsemen approach. My life has changed but has not ended.

Engulfed within an economic crisis, our noble country, the USA , cut off all trades to other

nations. With our entire lives revolved around natural gas, our new main source of power, we had no need

for foreign goods during our second Great Depression. The Middle Eastern countries, also having

economic issues due to their depletion of crude oil deposits, centered their rage on the USA. On the

morning of June 25, 2020, a number of Iraqi bombs simultaneously devastated our major cities and

industries. The nation panicked. Threats of a nuclear war became more intense as more countries entered

the conflict. Eventually, in September 2027, the first nuclear bomb was dropped, initiating a chain of

retaliation. The USA was left in ruins. Few people remained and began the cleanup. Bodies were so

numerous, new diseases developed and wiped out most of what was left. I, however, survived, trapped

alone on this desolate planet.

It is winter now, and shelter is hard to find. I have taken refuge in what resembles a warehouse of

some sort. During the warmer daylight hours, I search for the necessary resources. Clothing has been my

biggest challenge because most was lost in the flames. Therefore, I sit naked on a small green bench,

hoping for my body to magically adapt to the harsh environment. My skin crawls with goose bumps as a

small gust of Arctic wind brushes past my bare arms. I glance upward, into the darkness and see my wife

cheerfully playing with my children. My heart swells, but tears seep into my eyes as the room creaks,

breaking my concentration. I bow my head and weakly rest my elbows on my scarred knees. My

forehead wrinkles, and my lips purse as another rush of memories sneak into my head. Callused hands

clasp together, creating a dry rubbing sound. I sigh, tasting the cold. A new, stronger burst of wind

breaks my balance, causing a train of cracks emitted from my joints. “I have nothing….,” I accidentally

speak aloud. “What reason do I have to remain on this dead Earth? Suicide enters my thoughts, giving

me a quick hope of relief. The broken glass scattering the floor is appealing. I reach for it but stop midair

as a yellowed beam of light flashes across my face. I jerk upwards. My pupils dilate and eyes squint in

disbelief. A growing sound of enormous flapping wings emerges. I recognize it quickly as a helicopter.

I have been found.

A team of armored men wordlessly begin wrapping me with woolen blankets and various clothes.

The soft materials smell like unusual spices unknown to me. The sound of the helicopter engulfs my

senses as the men lead me outside. I focus on the rapidly spinning blades, dizzying myself, but my heroes

stop my fall. Tears once again flow down my cheeks. My life has changed but has not ended.

22


Prose – Honorable Mention

Emergency Situation

Derek Borel

One of my most memorable emergency situations is the time I accidentally hit my little cousin in

the head with a golf club. This unfortunate event was caused primarily because of my carelessness and

lack of awareness. Being careful around small children is especially important because they do not have

the same level of awareness as others.

On an early fall morning, I woke up in my grandparents’ old rigid house in Echo. I was a thin,

lanky, dirty blond boy of about eight years. My young restless age often left me stir crazy, particularly in

the complete absence of others. I was bored to the extent of tearing something to shreds. I was often

considerably bored more often in the morning than in the afternoons. I looked about my grandfather’s

large and dingy pack­rat infested building. Everything was piled to the limits of the sky. I gazed at

several objects, plotting potential courses of action, but nothing caught my attention enough to act upon—

yet. I searched the first floor—nothing. I searched the second floor—nothing. Then, on my way out, an

old grotesque bag of tall stature caught my eye. This bag immediately brought stars to my eyes and

exuberant ideas to my head as I stared at its worn brown leather trim. This was a bag full of golf clubs

that my dad had left in here for one uncared for reason or another. I ran out with the clubs and my ideas

to threaten the small world. I looked all around my open atmosphere of blue sky and tree lines to find a

perfect spot to start my chaos. I was going to start around the back of the house but figured I would

potentially lose too many balls on the water. I then ran to the front of the yard closer to the edge of the

road. I found a perfect open range of about a hundred yards from the front of the house to the tree line

beyond the highway. This would be the place, I thought.

I then pulled a club from the bag and assumed my position with the cold dense metal rod beneath

my small slender fingers. Then all of a sudden, thoughts ceased when I realized I didn’t have a golf ball. I

turned around looking towards the house and left my club of choice propped up against the large stump of

rotten wood. I then ran wildly looking for my missing puzzle piece. I looked high and low, far and wide,

until I finally found the ugliest burnt yellow golf balls I have even seen. I then stomped into my position

and tested my strength. I hit one over the orange trees, one behind me, and one over the road. My little

cousin, who was about four, came from the house. Redheaded, with pale complexion and beefy body, he

stared at me. He stood back, as I had urged him to. Then he scooted a little closer. I told him to go closer

to the large stump of rotten wood. He did as I told him and started playing with a bent sick behind me,

imitating my every move. Now he was a little closer to the left behind me. I then set him a distinct area

and marked it off for him to watch, so there would not be any confusion as I continued.

After my anxious little cousin became bored with the stick, he asked me if he could play. I figured

it couldn’t hurt anything, so I set him up. I showed him how to hold the club and how to stand. I also

showed him how to watch the ball, He was doing well for his young age, hitting the ball a few yards and

gaining distance. We switched back and forth, and I generally let him have a couple of extra whacks on

his turn. I noticed with a longer break between swings I could hit the ball considerably further. When we

switched, my cousin went behind me, and I told him, “Go back a little further.” Periodically, I looked

back to see where he was. I decided I would make one more grand slam and penetrate the tree line across

the road. I took a long time to fix my position, and I told him to go way back. Assuming he did, I clutched

the rod of steel firmly, drew back over my right shoulder, and swung with all my might over my left.

When the club went over my left shoulder, it made an abrupt stop, and I heard the voice of my cousin in

23


distress as he shouted, “Ohhhhh!” The club had stuck into the left side of his fragile head and caused lifethreatening

damage. I took the proper course of action in this situation; I ran for help. Luckily for us both,

he came out of brain surgery okay.

No matter what the situation, one can never be too careful around small children. My emergency

situation did not end terribly, but it could have been deadly. All it takes is one small misjudgment with a

child who’s unaware, and he could be gone instantly.

24


Photography

25


Photography – First Place

Game Face

Alexa Humble

26


Photography – Second Place

Alien Flower

Shanita Maceda

27


Photography – Third Place

Curious Simba

Geneva Adams

28


Photography – Honorable Mention

Summer Showers

Tyler Derouen

29


Poetry

31


Poetry – First Place

My Trip

Kyle Thompson

I took a trip to the end of the earth

To find out what my life and love was worth.

I found a man eating a feast and drinking wine.

He motioned for me to come sit with him and dine.

So I followed his hand and pulled up a chair.

His beard was long and white, and he ate without care.

Then suddenly he stopped eating and looked me in the eye.

And the words that he spoke almost made me cry.

He said, “Life is a dream, and when you awake,

You’ll find that all your possessions are just as fake.

So be true to yourself, your family and friends.

You’ll miss them the most when everything ends.”

Then he stood up and headed on his way.

But he turned around when I yelled, “Hey!”

As he stood there with a blank stare on his face,

My throat tightened, and my heart began to race.

I looked down at my feet then back up at him.

His blank stare now turned to a grin.

A million thoughts raced through my head.

I didn’t ask him a question, just remained silent instead.

“Yes, love is real,” is all he said.

As soon as I got home, I grabbed some paper and a pen.

And I made myself a note that I read every now and then.

And this is what it says:

“Life is a dream, and when you awake,

You’ll find that all your possessions are just as fake.

So be true to yourself, your family and friends.

You’ll miss them the most when everything ends.”

32


Poetry – Second Place

You have filled up my ashtrays.

You have broken my heart.

You kiss me on the lips,

And then you depart.

You always call back after you say goodbye.

And the only word I murmur is, “Why?”

You curse when you’re happy

And smile when you’re sad.

You cry on your birthday

And laugh when you’re mad.

You have buckets full of bones

That have filled up over the years.

You have closets full of heroes

So you can find their greatest fear.

Woman, woman, I hate you so much.

But, damn, you drive me crazy

Every time that we touch.

Woman, Woman

Kyle Thompson

33


Poetry – Third Place

Subtle Chaos

Kyle Thompson

Your legs wrapped around me with beauty and grace,

Sweat rolling down my chest and my face.

Claw marks on my back from where you drew your lines

My eyes looking at yours, and yours looking at mine.

Locked hands, locked lips, locked doors, locked hips.

Sweaty palms on the mattress, not losing their grip.

This subtle chaos I’ve been waiting for

With your hair all a mess and our clothes on the floor.

34


Poetry – Honorable Mention

Keep in Touch

Barbara Ball

Roses are red, and violets are blue.

I sent you a letter and heard nothing from you.

My mailbox is empty; my phone does not ring.

Even my e­mail displays a blank screen.

So where are you? How are you? What do you know?

Please get it touch, and I’d appreciate it so.

I know we’re all busy with our day­to­day.

But texting takes seconds, so what do you say?

We’re doing fine, as well as can be.

We have our health, our home, and our family.

These are the things I am most thankful for.

To hear you’re okay I’d be thankful even more.

So roses may be red, but I’m the one who’s blue

Simply because I haven’t heard from you.

Take care of yourself. I hope you are fine.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you in sweet time.

35


Special

Category:

Analysis

of Art

In connection with a display of Steve Hodges’ paintings at the

Ron E. Lewis Library, entries in this category focused on any one of

those works. The winning essay analyzed Hodges’ painting Self Portrait.

37


Winner

The Gentleman

Brett Heil

The gentleman is portrayed as an abstract figure. His body and surroundings are sketched with

distortion. The artist, Steve Hodges, develops this amiable gentleman on the canvas, but with distortion

and colors of sadness. He appears to be dressed in casual attire, with a suit. A circular object is apparent

on his left pant leg. From the waistline up, he is smeared diagonally to the right. A draft may be blowing

through an open window, or a powerful force may have struck him. The gentleman and table with

contents are sketched with sloppy marks and random colors. The colors pastel purple, yellow, tan, green,

orange, red, and blue are plotted on the man and table. The man has enough color to be considered a

rainbow. An orange X rests on the man’s head, as if he were a target. An assassination attempt may have

commenced on this important gentleman. The wrinkles on his face may signify wisdom and age. The

wordless word bubble could be a conversation he would have had if he weren’t assassinated. The man

speaks, yet no words are articulated.

It would sound like the whooshing of a mid spring’s breeze. Since the gentleman may have been shot,

the sound of the gun going off could be heard. If the man were still alive, or before his death, a

conversation or speech might have been heard. Being a gentleman, polite and complimentary words could

have been spoken. The sound of surrounding people could be heard. They could be listening and

watching while whispering to each other.

The texture of the portrait is sculpted with smoothness and tiny ridges. I can feel the rush of wind or

whatever force is escaping through the gentleman. The uneven table with note and glass feel like normal

everyday objects. I would feel like a two dimensional figure in a poorly detailed portrait. I would feel

like a misplaced cartoon in an abstract painting. I feel the gentleman’s neatly ironed suit of elegant silk.

Touching the gentleman’s withered face would feel like a dried out rag. I touch his cold, bony hands and

feel death’s presence.

The rush of air smells like roses from a garden, freshly picked. I can smell his expensive cologne he

recently doused himself in. His blue hair smells of Head and Shoulders. The gentleman’s breath smells of

minty freshness as he speaks. The aroma of an office, with fresh paper, ink, and workers’ lounge, can be

smelled. I smell recently brewed tea in the glass on the table. I can smell the death of the gentleman’s

rotting corpse. I can smell blood as it seeps through the gentleman’s head.

The taste of the portrait itself may not be so pleasant. Tasting paint doesn’t seem too healthy. Inside

the picture, I can taste the fresh tea. With the fresh brew, it warmly fills my taste bud sensation. Steve

Hodges’ application of random dark colors, abstract work and vague imagery create a mystery, with him

knowing the only answer.

38


Winners’ Biographies

Alexa Humble is a co­enrolled Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School senior. She is the daughter of

Pam Piper and Jim Humble.

Andrea Haynes is a 2008 graduate of Buna High School majoring in medical transcription. She is the

daughter of John K. Haynes and works at Fausto’s Fried Chicken.

Ashley Bray is a 2008 graduate of Deweyville High School. She is majoring in education and plans to

become a teacher. Her parents are Amy and Derrell Bray. Ashley is employed at Lamar State College­

Orange.

Ashley Daniel was a winner in several Cypress Branches categories in the past two years, including a

grand prize for cover art. Her previous honors include second place for patriotic art in the Orange Ladies

Auxiliary of VFW Post 2775 and first place in the Shorkey Center Art Contest. She also received a

superior rating in the Sonatina Piano Festival. She was home schooled through high school. Ashley is the

daughter of Wade and Ramona Daniel. She is majoring in business management.

Barbara Ball is majoring in nursing. She is married to Tony and has three children: Kelsea, 15; Logan,

13; and Courtney, 6.

Brett Heil is a co­enrolled Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School student who enjoys playing soccer.

Christopher Fields is a graduate of Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School. He is majoring in

psychology and plans a career in adolescent counseling. His previous awards include UIL solo ensemble.

He was named best English student at LC­M in 2004. His hobbies are Quiz Bowl, writing, gaming,

reading and music. Chris is a member of the Human Rights Campaign and of Parents and Friends of

Lesbians and Gays. He has competed in Piano Federation, Piano Guild, and won the Sonatina Festival’s

Ten­Year Award. The son of Don and Lucy Fields, Chris works at Red Lobster.

Derek Borel lives in Orange.

Geneva Adams is a 1991 graduate of Nederland High School majoring in information technology

support specialist. She has been on President’s List and is president of the LSC­O chapter of the

Association of Information Technology Professionals. Geneva is the daughter of Paulette Broussard and

Tom and Debi Bagley. She is married to Steve Adams.

Jessica Ferguson was graduated from Bridge City High School in 2008. An English major who plans a

teaching career, Jessica enjoys singing. She is the daughter of Bobby and Regina Ferguson and works at

Chase Bank.

Kristen Clark is a co­enrolled Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School student.

Kyle Thompson is majoring in general studies. He plans to teach history or become a

counselor/psychologist. Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing the guitar. He is the son of Don and

Toni Thompson and works at Spanky’s.

39


Md Hasan graduated from high school in 2005. He is majoring in natural science and plans to become a

chemical engineer. His hobbies are reading, playing soccer, and fishing. Md works at Lamar State

College­Orange.

Rachel Suire is a communication major who plans a career in public relations.

Scott Laudano lives in Call.

Shanita Maceda, daughter of Moises and Shana Madeda, is a 2008 graduate of Bridge City High School

who is majoring in radiology.

Tyler Derouen is a co­enrolled Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School student. He is the son of Scott

and Kellie Derouen.

40


Faculty

and

Staff

41


42

Cypress Man

Dr. Matt McClure – Faculty


Trust Again

Pamela K. Hardin – Staff

Listening to your words of trust lost and past

Betrayals in your face, so much pain

My heart­breaking eyes filling with tears falling like rain

Watching you guard your heart with so much courage and care

It is almost too much to bear

I’m falling in love with you

Look into my eyes and know I’m true

Trust is only a breath away

Breathe in; if you want me, I am here to stay

I pray one day in your eyes I see

The trust you lost found in me

Copyright 2009 Pamela K. Hardin

46


Dark Side of Love

Pamela K. Hardin – Staff

Love is a whirlwind caught up in laughter fantasies of hope

breaking heart dying in the mist of dreams

Love is scattered pictures sweet memories

floating translucent haunting among the moon beams

Love is your soul spiraling down the abyss

desperately grasping for a lifesaving rope

Love is hunger pain and desire intertwined

twisted knotted vines in the throes of growth

Copyright 2009 Pamela K. Hardin

47


Kissing in the Rain

Randy Ford – Faculty

Under my shoulder’s wing she draws near.

She cuddles kittenish cuddle to my side.

Her sweet voice is like the running water at our feet.

My heart sounds a salvo of unyielding love for her.

As her body rises to meet mine and I kiss her lips

The rain lightly flows down our trail of tears.

It saturates her tendrils of honey­red hair.

Slowly she looks up at me, closes her eyes and sighs.

And we are forever kissing in the rain.

48


Two­Lane Terror

Carolyn Mello – Faculty

Old friend, I remember you! You used to be in one piece. What happened?

You now have construction everywhere.

The former two lanes in each direction with grass on both sides and through

the middle, at least that’s how I’d like to remember you,

are only a broken memory.

Concrete walls lining both sides narrow as my speed increases.

From Interstate 10 to the Corridor of Death—

You have affected a name change, not official, yet still changed.

Once a cyclone fence separated the east and west bound lanes,

now just concrete.

Whose decision was it to tear up the entire roadway between Orange

and Beaumont at the same time?

As travelers cross the Sabine driving west, heed the sign,

“Construction next 879 miles to El Paso.”

I used to drive to Beaumont just to amuse myself, not now. I dread each trip

and every mile marker. Warnings line the corridor, scrapes and gouges in

the concrete barriers serve as sentinels, warnings posted by other drivers:

Pay attention!

Slow down!

Stay alert!

Remember the two second rule? Make that ten!

Still, we ignore the messages. I see the electronic sign, posting illegal MPH,

78 in the 50, 85, even worse.

I hope to live to see the day when my Interstate is safe to drive again.

The big brother­in­law curve in Vidor, the hard left turn where the trucks

roll over. The road would have bypassed the engineer’s brother­in­law’s

service station had the road been straighter.

Ladies, and gentlemen, start your engines—

The race is just beginning.

No one asked for our opinion. Perspective is what we need.

Ask yourself who will out wit, out play, out last, and out drive—

the Interstate or me?

49


Lament

Carolyn Mello – Faculty

Is this what he thought?

Nothing to live for

angels a callin’

I don’t worry about what I don’t know.

I don’t know ‘bout anybody else, but I want to die.

I love control.

Like jumping in a river…fast forward outta control

no rewind,

no undo,

and no miles to go before I sleep.

Rain on a sunny day, sudden darkness, silence in my mind…breakin’ me.

I’m saying’good­bye.

I have no sure sunrise, no more lonely boy bummin’ around.

Soon it will end.

I’ll just get numb.

Somehow…

Hate the stuff I put off:

It’s got me spinnin’.

Reflections…one day bottom just dropped out.

Guess I lost at the game of life.

Rescue me before I fall.

SOS to the world

Made myself a solemn…promi­­…

No more tryin’ to prove I won.

No thrill to be gone.

Head cradled in my hand,

I have no choice.

Sayin’ good­bye and nobody’s worryin’ ‘bout me ‘cause

I always disagree…

Ain’t life a mystery?

Makin’ up my mind while I’m in the mood.

Just send a revelation.

I’ve got my wisdom together.

Ready to die.

I shoulda done whole lotta livin’ while doin’ nothin’.

As the world spins,

I fall one step behind.

No suction cups to hold me to the earth this time.

50


It’s too late to learn how to pray.

Nothing will ever move me…

Just livin’ to die.

I got the blues and nothin’ to carry me through.

No more mask to hide the pain, the fear. Anything.

Nothing to do and nothing to occupy me.

Pills and cocaine…

My heart is screwed with emotions.

Now I’m walkin’ with both feet on the ground,

rememberin’…I’m my momma’s only son.

No longer runnin’ from what I used to be,

Now I’m runnin’ out on a second chance.

Needed to find a life to suit ME,

I think I’ve paid my dues.

The still movement in the middle of a storm,

God made his plan; it wasn’t my day says my resonating mind.

Deeper meanings with reasons for living.

Did I win a single battle but not the war?

No longer defeated, no more hand in head.

All those dark thoughts in my head.

I wanted to be someone’s one and only…

Nobody was never gonna find someone like me

or at least I kept tellin’ myself,

Kept remindin’ myself.

At that time I thought, I’m gonna get a good break…

Never did find love.

Good Gawd Almighty!

Here’s what I thought:

Son, you’re drivin’ me crazy.

You’re like gum on the bottom of my shoe on a hot July day…

annoying me in so many ways.

The words aren’t hard to find, and I’m going to tell you anyway.

Outcome:

50 Amatriptaline. He lived.

He didn’t die, except for a small piece inside…

for this I don’t know why.

51


French Fudge

Carolyn Mello – Faculty

1 can sweetened condensed milk,

One bag semi­sweet chocolate chips, 12 ounces

1 tablespoon vanilla

Pour everything into a glass bowl. Warm in microwave one minute; stir; place in plastic lined bowl.

Chill to room temperature. Cut and eat.

Candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

candy

pepto

52


Love is Like Milk

Carolyn Mello – Faculty

Milk does a body good, so does love.

Milk comes with an expiration date printed right on the carton.

Milk is drinkable on the expiration date,

even a couple of days later all is good.

Ever taste spoiled milk?

Tastes just like spoiled love, makes ya spew, spit, and curse.

53


54

Butterfly: Brittney

Bonnie Dorman – Faculty


Freestyle: Alex

Bonnie Dorman – Faculty

55


56

Up Close and Eye to Eye

Joan Stinehart – Faculty


Drying off After a Trip to the River

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

57


58

Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rockies

Joan Stinehart – Faculty


Grazing in the Lazy Days of Summer

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

59


60

Born to be Wild and Free

Joan Stinehart – Faculty


Tracking Across the Tundra

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

61


62

Wildlife’s Precious Young Ones

Joan Stinehart – Faculty


Yellow Songbird

Hummingbird

The Colorful Beauty of Birds

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

63


A Bird and a Bear

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

This is my story. It is about a great awakening in my inner soul, how I rediscovered myself and

my youthful passion in what I was meant to be before the human world set in and told me what I was

supposed to be. Life is a wonderful journey, full of new forks in the road along the way. The changes in

course can be the best things if you stop, listen, and learn.

I was born a child of the city who longed for the lakes and the woods. I was raised in Los Angeles.

My parents had a summer home at Lake Arrowhead in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Southern

California. It was my personal paradise. I loved adventure and wildlife. I loved to roam in the forest. I

loved to swim in the lake. At the age of ten, I got my own little putt­putt boat. I drove it all over the lake. I

knew every inch of the shore. I loved to explore it with my friends. Most of the time, my parents didn’t

know where I was. I would come home at the end of the day.

As a young child, I was always fascinated with animals and the wilderness. I loved the beauty of

the mountains. I loved to climb trees. I was much too active for the classroom. I would get bored, and my

mind would wander in the world of make believe. I drew pictures instead of listening to my teachers. I

had a vivid imagination. I loved sports. I loved the world of Disneyland and all the cartoon characters. My

heroes were Davy Crockett, “King of the Wild Frontier” and “Tarzan of the Jungle.” My favorite toy was

a Davy Crockett outfit complete with a coonskin hat, musket, and gun­powder pouch. My favorite

movies were Old Yeller and High Noon.

My best adventure was a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my family. I was only four years old. We

were driving through the park in a station wagon. It was early in the morning. We were having breakfast

in the car. In the back seat of the station wagon, my brother and I were eating cereal. I was eating out of a

green plastic bowl with a yellow picture of three baby bears. Then a black bear pushed her cubs out onto

the road to stop traffic and beg for food. In those days, you were allowed to feed the bears. We stopped.

My father was in the front passenger’s seat. He rolled down the window to get some pictures.

Something happened to his camera, and he bent forward to fix it. The mother bear came up to the car and

put her paw through the open window, towards the back of my father’s head. My brother and I were

jumping up and down in the back seat yelling at our dad. He was concentrating on his camera and ignored

us. Mom was in the driver’s seat. She looked over and saw the bear. Then she saved the day by throwing

a sweet roll out the other window. The bear removed her paw and went around the front of the car to

retrieve her prize. I will always cherish the thrill and excitement of that special day.

Then I grew up, went to college, and started my business career. I left the mountains and the lakes

behind me. Before I knew it, I had two master’s degrees in business and accounting. I had twenty­five

years of experience, climbing the corporate ladder and breaking the glass ceiling. I had recently gone

back to college to study art and photography, just for fun. Then I had changed careers from a corporate

financial officer in Southern California to a college professor in Southeast Texas so that my summers

would be free.

Then two significant things happened that opened new doors. I would become what I never

imagined that I could be. My inspiration would come not from humans, but from two wild animals. The

first was an encounter with a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park in June 1997. The second was an

encounter with a Great White Heron in the Everglades of Southern Florida. It was during the last few days

of the millennium, December 1999.

64


The Grizzly Bear

Joan Stinehart – Faculty

It was my first summer as a professor. I could do anything that I pleased. I opted for a great

adventure. It would be a fulfillment of my childhood dreams. I would go to Alaska, the heart of the

remaining wilderness, the last frontier. I would travel by myself in a mini­motor home with my camera

and two cats by my side. I would visit the national parks in North America and Canada as I made my way

northwest and back. The trip took three months and covered over 10,000 miles. I took the inside waterway

up through Alaska on ferry boats. I camped out on the various islands. I took in all the beautiful scenery

and photographed wildlife and wilderness.

On the first leg, I drove north into the Colorado Rockies and then west to the Grand Tetons and

Yellowstone National Park. At first, the trip was a bit intimidating. I was all alone, traveling through

high mountains and wilderness areas. There were closed roads and snow still on the ground. I had no cell

phone or way to communicate on the open highways.

Three weeks into the trip, I reached Yellowstone National Park, the land of my childhood dreams.

I took wonderful pictures of the Grand Tetons, Old Faithful and the wildlife—everything, that is, except

the bears. Park authorities had decided the bears were too dangerous, and feeding them was prohibited..

The park rangers closely monitored any bears that ventured near the roads. They controlled the crowds

who stopped their cars. There were no more begging bears stopping traffic with their cubs. I had returned

to the land of my childhood and found the best part gone. I reflected on life’s realities: You can never go

back again.

Then, on the last day in the park, I got much more than I had bargained for. It was approaching 9

p.m. but still daylight that far north. Most visitors had returned to their campsites or hotels. Few were still

driving on the narrow park roads. Then, all of a sudden, I saw a car stopped in front of me. Looking out of

my window, I saw a grizzly bear in the woods. The bear was traveling quickly and seemed nervous. You

could feel the fear in the air.

I grabbed my camera to get a good shot. The bear was moving too quickly for me to take a picture

from the window. I had a decision to make. Would I stay in my van and be left with only a tale to tell, or

would I risk my life to get that picture? I got out of the van and took some quick shots. Then I looked up

and saw why the grizzly was so nervous. She had two small, precious cubs at her side. The three bears

stopped and stared at me, and I looked back at them. The young cubs had white stars on their chests. The

mother was protecting them from dangers on the road. I instantly fell in love with the cubs. All fear

vanished.. I wanted to protect them too.

I started to take their picture. Then I saw the mother coming right at me. I quickly got my shot and

retreated into the car. The grizzly was only seconds away. She let me live. She only wanted to get her

cubs safely across the road. As I stood in the road, I had showed her a safe way to cross, and she took it.

All I needed to do was get out of the way.

I had faced my fear and trusted my instincts. I had communicated with body language. I meant the

bears no harm. They were just like the pets that I love. I have always had a way with animals. Now, I too

was wild and free, at home in the wilderness. It was the place where I was meant to be.

65


66

The Grizzly Bear


The Great White Heron

On my winter break in 1999, my plan was to visit and photograph the beauty and wildlife in the

Florida Everglades when the mosquitoes are few and the birds are plentiful. I chose an RV resort

overlooking an open bay dotted with small islands, full of mangrove trees and birds.

Most resort guests had either fishing or speed boats. I had an inflatable canoe to paddle around.

During restful evening hours, sitting outside a snack shop, I met a special bird. He was the Great White

Heron, whom I named Charlie. According to bird books, the male heron is very territorial. He establishes

and defends his own turf. Uniquely, the Great White Heron is found only in Southern Florida, unlike the

Blue Heron which is common throughout the land.

Charlie was obviously a male because he patrolled the marina dock will all the due diligence of a

security guard. He walked in long­legged, pigeon­toed fashion on top of, around, and underneath the

dock. Like clockwork, Charlie strolled along the shoreline under the dock in front of the snack shop as I

ate. He checked out and took bird­naps on the docked boats, moving reluctantly when humans got in his

way. After the first day, I brought my camera to photograph his daily routine.

Next to the snack shop was a boat ramp area with a counter and sink to clean fish. One afternoon, I

found Charlie standing in the shallow waters. He stood between a half­dozen pelicans and fishermen who

were cleaning their catch for the day. Charlie was determined to keep those pelicans at bay. He wouldn’t

let them near the sink/counter area. Those fish scraps were his! This was his turf. I loved observing

Charlie and his tactics.

Then it dawned on me. My wildlife photography should be more than just taking pictures. Just like

humans, every animal has a story to tell. Charlie changed my perspective on what I could be. I would no

longer be just a photographer and wildlife artist. I could become writer and storybook teller. I would go

back to the North American wilderness. Only this time, I would take more time to observe individual

animals. I would find stories that the animals had to tell.

67


68

Great White Heron


Epilogue

Nine years later, I am about to retire. I have written accounting textbooks and a photo­safari book

of my African adventures. Now I want to devote full time to being a wildlife artist, writer and

photographer. I came full circle in my journey through life, back to my childhood dreams.

As a youth, I was taught that life’s journey was a straight line with given goals and common

interests. You grew up, went to college, met a mate who could make a good living, got married, had

children, and grew old together. It was a man’s world. A woman’s place was by his side. However, things

didn’t turn out that way. Deep inside, that was never what I wanted.

As a child, those were not my dreams. I wanted a world full of adventure and independence. I

wanted to be wild and free. I loved the great outdoors and craved a little danger. I loved animals more

than people. I loved to draw. I loved to daydream and play make believe.

In the end, I got all my wishes. I learned that life can be a wonderful journey of new discoveries,

love, learning and growth. The secret to happiness is to become what God meant you to be. It is to search

and find your own uniqueness, your talents and your strengths. To live life to its fullest means to never

grow old, only wiser.

69


70

Dreamcatcher

Bobbi Miller – Faculty


Judges

Two­Dimensional Art

Dr. Matt McClure, LSC­O professor of biology, whose cartoons have been published in tropical fish

magazines

Three­Dimensional Art

Joan Stinehart, LSC­O assistant professor of accounting and an artist/photographer

Photography

Carol Abshire, LSC­O laboratory technician III and a photographer

Poetry

Carolyn Mello, LSC­O instructor of English

Prose

Kathryn Rector, LSC­O instructor of speech

Special category: Analysis of art

Steve Hodges, retired Lamar University professor of art

Proofreaders

Christopher Fields, winner of Little Cypress­Mauriceville High School’s 2004 “Best English Student”

award;

and Ashley Bray and Adam Granger, English 1302 students.

“Although not all entries can be published, LSC­O appreciates the many contributions of talented

students, faculty and staff. Without your literary and artistic work, this journal would not be possible.

Thanks also to Bobbie Burgess, vice president for student services and auxiliary enterprises; Dr. Sheila

Joyner, vice president for instruction; Carla Dando, dean of instruction; and Mike McNair, chair of the

arts and sciences division, For supporting Cypress Branches.

­­Dr. Arlene Turkel, Faculty Coordinator

Lamar State College­Orange, a member of the

Texas State University System and an equal opportunity

affirmative action educational institution and employer.

71

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines