2005 - Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

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2005 - Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

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Southern VoicesTable of ContentsStaffEditorWillow NeroAssistant EditorElizabeth WayneArt EditorKristin KlaskalaStaff MembersQuinnon TaylorEmily WilliamsAdvisorEmma RichardsonCover DesignKristin KlaskalaArt Contest CoordinatorAngie JonesVolume XVIISpring 2005In MemoriamJudith Anne Morris1942-2005JudgesArt and Photography JudgeShawn DickeyAssistant Professor of ArtDivision of Fine and Performing ArtsMississippi University for WomenPoetry JudgeJames EverettRené and John Grisham FellowMaster of Fine Arts ProgramUniversity of MississippiShort Story and Essay JudgeJonathan OdellAuthor of:The View from Delphi(MacAdam/Cage, 2004)“And gladly would she learn, and gladly teach.”Le Debut, Watercolor Cassandre Man-BourdonShort StoriesEssaysAshley JefcoatDear Boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Addie LeakBeautiful . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Farshad ChowdhuryHint of Frugality . . . . . . . . . . . . 42Rebekah GarrisonDinner Table Church Service . 36Trey LyonsPlayin for the Sanctified . . . . . 46Ashley MackaySimple Rain-walk . . . . . . . . . . . 27Slip Slidin’ Away . . . . . . . . . . . . 34Rodney MorganA Closed MouthDon’t Get Fed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Poems Laura ChairesSweet Nothings . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Larry Hawkins1+1=1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Kristin KlaskalaCotton Picker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Addie LeakLes Yeux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Ashley MackayMarch of Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Waterfall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Hayley MaxwellDauphin Island, Alabama . . . . 16On Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38Bess McCaffertyCore of theContemporary Character . . . . 22Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Elizabeth WayneMaking Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Caitlin WolfeEnds of Goodbye . . . . . . . . . . . 31Willow NeroThe Longest Road to Home . . 40Klint PeeblesFeline Philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Khadijah RansomThe Blues Is Alright . . . . . . . . . 29Elizabeth WayneHair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Emily WilliamsEating Balled Chickenon a Boht . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Jimmy Williams“Give It To Me, Son…” . . . . . . 45Willow NeroSarah May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38The Last Lamentof the Little Mermaid . . . . . . . .39Passion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44Funeral of a Wave . . . . . . . . . . . 47Klint PeeblesEchoes From the Lake . . . . . . . 26Quinnon TaylorStains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28One Once Again . . . . . . . . . . . . 44Elizabeth WayneYellow House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Emily WilliamsSister (after Ray Young Bear) . 39Broken Nets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47Jacie WilliamsOn A Summer’s Day— . . . . . . . 8Caitlin WolfeBroken Seal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7


Making WavesArtAmanda DewCocker Spaniel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Kristin KlaskalaThe Hunter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Elizabeth WayneJonathan DuPontA Desert Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35A Reflection on Taj Mahal . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Rebekah GarrisonA Certain Shade of Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Starman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22a lip-gloss boost in your America . . . . . . . 27Andy GuanFaith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Marilyn Feeling Sexy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44Clarence HolmesCar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Photography Hannah BruceRover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Bee on Flattened Coneflower . . . . . . . . . . 24Bumblebee on Shiny Flower . . . . . . . . . . . 24Buzz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24View through the Stone Window . . . . . . . 24Popsicle Sticks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Christy DyessCrowded Beauty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Away from Here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Abandoned Chic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Bleeding with Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Ecstasy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Reaching for Roots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Sturdy Erosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Addie LeakThe Merits of a Long Hike . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Water Babies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Summer on the Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Laura Beth MooreMemory Lane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Addie LeakSpirit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Madison LaFleurElisabeth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Cassandre Man-BourdonLe Debut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Front CoverDesert Star . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back CoverReflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23Patches of Reason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Missie SmithGeometric Shapes Still Life . . . . . . . . . . . . 47Katrina VizziniThe Blue Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Willow NeroFall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Green Oranges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24The Cows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41Amanda NovotnyCalifornia Waterfall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Half-dome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37Ashlee OliverFord Daisy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Flower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Grapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Pansy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Violet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Jennifer SloanThe Serene Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Oblique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Clandestine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Ryder TaffA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7The clock strikes 7:30 a.m. as Charleneturns on the neon “Open” light illuminatingthe space around the window of the NewImage Beauty Salon. It won’t be long beforeRhonda comes—her first customer of the day.Charlene grabs a mirror hanging from a nailnear the door and checks her hair and makeup.“No one wants their hair done by a womanwho looks as if she’s been through the stormand back now, do they?” She looks down atTrudy, her collie who whimpers at her feet.After a few adjustments to the scarf tiedaround her neck, Charlene takes the broom intoher arms and sweeps the linoleum floor of hershop, removing the discarded hair from the daybefore. With motherly care, Charlene tidies theneutralizing shampoos,scented conditioners, rattrailcombs, curling irons,oil sprays, and styling gelsthat clutter her hair station.She uses the last of the windowcleaner on the largemirror hanging in her stalland makes a mental note tobuy more. Noticing theirdull appearance, Charlenemoves across the room andwipes all three of her dryersuntil they glisten. Though the dryers are oldand tearing, she doubts any of the newer modelswould be as trustworthy. Next to the dryersis a wooden door with the word “Bathroom”stickered on it in fancy calligraphy. Charleneducks her head in to make sure there is enoughtoilet paper and liquid soap. Seeing that thereis, decides to water the plants that hang in thefront of her shop. Last, she plugs in her mostprized possession: a motion panorama of abeach scene which, whenever she plugs it in,makes soothing noises as the animated oceansplashes onto the shore. Charlene wants the[ ]“ ‘The worldwould be a betterplace if we alljust made waves,Charlene, notstorms.’ ”First Place, Short Story CompetitionThe Chris Read Award for Fictionpanorama to be the first thing her customers seewhen they walk into her shop. Mesmerizingwaves. It had been six years since she boughther own hair salon, and though it is modest, shecouldn’t have loved it more.Charlene always wanted to do hair eversince she was little. She remembered those visitsto the hair salon as a child and how excitedshe was to see her beautician, Sherry. Sherrywas a mystery. She was slender with long wavyhair that fell like fluffed flapcakes well belowher back—a trait she got from her mother whowas a Choctaw Indian. But that was all anyonereally knew about her. A few of the townsfolksaid that Sherry once saved a boy from drowningby letting him hold onto her hair while shepulled him to safety—though Sherry herself wouldnever talk about it. She justwalked to and from hersalon, stopping at the grocerystore for canned goodsor extra conditioner.Charlene hadadmired Sherry from themoment she met her. Sheloved the way Sherrystrummed through her hairand washed it with herfavorite scented shampoo. Ocean Breeze. Thenit made Charlene giggle when Sherry dried herhair off with a towel and let it droop over hereyes so she couldn’t see. Charlene felt so safeonce Sherry began talking that it didn’t hurtwhen she combed the tangles out of her naturallykinky hair. Sherry seemed to possess apower of mind, as if by combing hair she freedCharlene from her deepest of fears.Charlene even visited Sherry when she wasn’tdoing her hair. She helped Sherry aroundher shop, sweeping the floors and bringingmagazines to her customers while they waited.3


Then after hours, Sherry told stories whileCharlene listened intently. There was rarely asilent moment between them.But Charlene remembered one occasionwhen Sherry was unusually silent. There wereno giggles or towels drooping over her eyesthat day, only the sound of Sherry’s comb plowingthrough Charlene’s hair. Charlene grewfidgety but was too afraid to say anything.Finally Sherry spoke.“Do you know how tides are formed?”Sherry asked. There were few lakes in NeshobaCounty, Mississippi, let alone an ocean.Charlene had only read about tides in her sciencebook.But Sherry had seen the ocean. When shewas twelve years old, she said her family hadwon a radio contest, and as a prize they’d spentfour weeks rent-free in a beach house on theMississippi Coast.The house looked as if it were cut out of aHouse and Garden magazine, then magnified andpasted into the middle of the street. It was ablinding white beach house balanced by fourequally white ten-foot stilts that came with twobathrooms, four bedrooms, and friendly neighbors.The front yard was alive from the bladedgrass to the yellow sunflowers that lined thesidewalk leading to the stairs of the front door.What Sherry liked best about the beach housewas the backyard which was an open stretch ofsand and ocean.Despite the glamour, the Utopian getawaycouldn’t mask her parents’ unhappiness,Sherry told Charlene. Sherry never understoodwhy they were so angry at each other.Perhaps it was from the alcohol which theyalways drank before they started yelling. Atany rate, Sherry retreated to the ocean wheneverthey drank, spending hours making sandcastles and letting the water tickle her sunburnedtoes.Charlene sat quietly, listening to Sherry’swords. She didn’t care much about tides butlonged to break the silence.“Well, as it turns out, the Sky and theOcean are brother and sister,” Sherry, had said,still combing Charlene’s hair. “That’s right.Sky is big brother and Ocean is little sister.Now, Sky and Ocean are attention-seekers andhate to be outdone by the other, especiallywhen it comes to getting attention from ushumans. So they fight like pirates over a goldwrappedchocolate bar. Now how silly is that!”THE CHRIS READ AWARD FOR FICTIONThe Chris Read Award for Fiction, instituted with the 1994 issue of Southern Voices, honorsa member of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science’s Class of 1991.Christopher David Read was an active leader at MSMS as a member of Emissaries, the DebateClub, and the Southern Voices staff. Chris’s first love, however, was writing. Southern style.Chris often wove his Southern tales late at night. Chris would compose either on the computeror on (his favorite) the old, brown Royal typewriter he had bought from the pawn shopdown 13th Street South. Faking sleep, I would watch the grin on Chris’s face as he workedout the next great story. When he finished, Chris would always “wake me” and excitedly readhis new story to me. He never knew that I had been hiding, watching his creative processwith admiration. I was not the only one to admire Chris’s work. This award stands as testimonyto the admiration that we all held for Chris and his work and as a memorial to theSouthern writing tradition which Chris loved.Chris had the potential to become a great writer. Unfortunately, Chris never reached thispotential: he was killed in a car wreck on January 17, 1993. Though Chris will never attain hisdream of writing a great novel, all of those who loved and respected Chris hope that therecipient of this Award, as well as all the other aspiring writers at MSMS, will achieve theirdreams.Michael D. GoggansClass of 1991The Serene Disturbance, Photograph Jennifer SloanSherry laughed at her own joke and thenbecame solemn again.“Sometimes Sky was winning. That’s whenOcean was away from the shore, away from ushumans.”Sherry had parted Charlene’s hair andbegan to French braid her hair row by row untilher head looked like a field of cornstalks.Sherry called them “cornrows.” “Then Oceanthrew a fit and told Earth, their mother. Now,Mother Earth was no one to mess with! She sentone of her Earthquakes to reprimand Sky. Skywas so upset that he carelessly pushed his sisterback, causing her to rush onto the shore. That’sa hurricane. For weeks, people were afraid tocome outside. Needless to say, neither one ofthem were happy.”Sherry had stopped mid-braid, and thencontinued. “So then, they made a truce. Suredid. They said, ‘Why don’t we share the attention?’And you know what they made?” Shehad looked intensely at Charlene. “Waves. Nicewaves that soothed your whole body and madeyou feel all warm inside. The world would be abetter place if we all just made waves, Charlene,not storms.”The shop bell rang, startling Charlene backto the present. Rhonda bustles through the shopdoor, bringing her children along with her.“Hey, Ms. Charlene, how ya’ doin’?” Sheslumps into the nearest chair while three figuresfly past her to sit on the spinning chairs.“I’m fine,” Charlene says, still thinkingabout her long-ago conversation with Sherry.After chastising her children, Rhonda directsher comments to Charlene. “I hope ya’ don’mind I’m a lil’ late, but I’m exhausted! I beenworking all day every day, and Willie ain’t hada job since that last downsize.” She eyes herkids. “And they won’t act right. Put thatdown!” Rhonda’s boys hide Charlene’s hotcurlers which they’ve been using as swordsbehind their backs. Rhonda looks back atCharlene and puts her head into her hands. “Ijust wish I knew what to do.”Thoughtful, Charlene motions Rhonda to sitat her station and begins combing her hair.“How about waves?”45


Dear BoyAshley JefcoatSecond Place, Short Story CompetitionDear Boy,I thought you’d like a letter.Your girlfriend hates you, and you won’tpick up your cell phone because it’s pulsepulse-pulsingat you in a rhythm that means“Yes, I hate you, come get your clothes.” Youhaven’t heard the message I left you, the invitationto a walk, a hug, a friend, but I didn’texpect a quick reply. You’re afraid to check thecaller ID, because the responsible part of youwill make you return the calls. As long as youdon’t know, you’re safe, and your ignorancewill protect your carefully constructed frame ofmind.The ignorance reflected in that soft smileand careful body language is interrupted byyour absent eyes. You are my inspiration.Did you know that for every star you’restaring at, every twinkle white, there are a millionmoons and a thousand planets, but our littleEarth is the only one with you? I want togive them to you, those solar system babies,and show you why they aren’t so great, thatyou should look at me from time to time andstop staring out the window. Most of those starscould be gone, flashed out of existence a millionyears ago, but I’m right here and so are you. Ifyou want to watch a blinking (something that’snot your cell phone), then there are fireflies flyunder the moon and they’re doing a matingdance just for you. I’ll give you them too, if youwant, and a jar and a smile.I don’t want you to be afraid to answeryour cell phone. I don’t want you to come getyour clothes. I want to give you the earth, andlet you rule if it would so please you. It breaksmy heart when you cry, because I watched yougather yourself before class, and I’ll watch youpull yourself apart afterwards.I’m afraid of this inspiration, and I’m afraidof you, but I don’t know anything else to bebesides in love with you, and I’m scared of that,too. I’m scared of love and kisses but if I getthem, if you give me, maybe I won’t be sofrightened, and I can be happy and make youlikewise. I want to give you the heavensbecause you deserve to be a god among them.Just thought you should know.A, Photograph Ryder TaffBroken SealAt first a pretty packageFrozen in cellophaneUntouched; untainted; untarnishedDefenselessBut you broke the sealAnd got less than expectedDisappointed I’m not perfectYou try to wipe off the grimeIs it so hard to believe in stains?In scars?Instead of radiant diamondYou got a cheap crystal ballOut the window, flying, fallingShatteringI hope the shards of my heartGive you a flat tireCaitlin WolfeFord Daisy, Silver Gelatin Print, Second Place Photograph, Art Competition Ashlee Oliver67


Cotton PickerFeline Philosophy8On ASummer’sDay—Flowers BloomUp out of the ground theypushIn the sunJacie WilliamsCrowded Beauty, Photograph Christy DyessMy fingers bleedAnd the cotton king—Keeps pushin’ us on, But my fingersAin’t nothin’Compared to my beatin’sSo I’s ignore the pain—And keep my back bent overAnd my face—from the sunI can only stand straight in churchEven then—my dress’ll pullOn my beatin’sMy fingers bleed—And the cotton king—Keeps pushin’ us onLong white bags I wear…like a wedding dressThat I ain’t never had—The bags get caught in ol’ cotton stems—And snags and tugs, like my chilrin’shandsMy chilrin’s faces—what keep me goin’Keep me goin’ every dayI put up with the manAnd pick his cottonIn the sun-the heatI’d die out hereIf it weren’t for my chilrin’—So I ignores the painCuz I serve—the cotton kingKristin Klaskala“Fancy Feast! Fancy Feast!” I announce,and a dozen purring felines suddenlydart out of the woodwork. Pouring thick, slicedbeef and gravy from a tiny round can, I noticeeach furry tail quiver with excitement. I spoonthe delicacy into tiny bowls stamped with catfaces on the bottoms as each of my cats fights tolick the dribbling gravy from my fingers. MySiamese, Sam, lunges at the waiting meat as if itwere a prize from one of his nightly prowls. Anorange ball of fur, Pumpkin, quietly chews eachdelicious morsel, making certain to savor everybite before another sly feline gulps it down.Taking note of each individual personality withinall of my unique pets, I marvel at the puzzledexpressions on each whiskered face while utteringnonsense as I clean the mess left by theempty can of Fancy Feast.Although language is considered to beunique to the human race, it is definitely a realityin the world of cats as well. Gleefullysinging, “Punkin’ Skunkin’,” to the tune of anunknown melody, Pumpkin gazes at me withsharp, penetrating green eyes, no doubt hearingthe nickname with distaste, and focuses onceagain on his lunch. Frosty, a beautiful whiteferal cat rescued from a nearby hospital, casts aquick glance at me and then to the sink whilechiming a soft “mew,” telling me that he wantswater, or that the water already in the dish isn’tquite up to his standards. With a swift swish ofa tail or a chorus of meows, I immediatelybecome a makeshift butler, serving the needs ofmy pets in response to their ability to speak.Nevertheless, through all of the chorescrammed into each day caring for my charges, Inever tire of the labor, enjoying the company ofa cat on my lap as I read a French history with arhythmic purr in the background. Sometimes,however, my cats can be quite frank in theirwishes. As I play Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag,Tiger saunters to the base of the piano. As hehisses an aggravated meow, I know to cease mymusic so he may sleep peacefully. Although thisKlint Peeblesescapade may sound peculiar, probably absurd,it indeed pays off in the long run when he leapsonto the piano stool, nestling beside me while Iplay Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in the lateevening.Bounding onto my bed in the early morning,Tiger once again meows into my ear whilepawing at my hair under a fluffy pillow.Despite his attempts to wake me from my sleep,I simply roll over onto my stomach and drift offto my dreams. Finally, Tiger’s efforts fulfill theirpurpose, and I get out of bed only to be trippedby another cat weaving in and out of my legs asI try to walk. Through Tiger’s meows, I obtain awealth of information about the status of breakfast,cleanliness of the litter boxes, and anassessment of how many strokes on the back ofthe neck I owe to each cat to fulfill my dailyquota. In many cases, I hear more talking frommy pets than I do at the local hair salon or fromfriends at school. Even though I may not understandall of the distinctive phrases voiced bymy cats, the unique language of my felines doesnot go unnoticed. Finding myself murmuringwords I wouldn’t normally speak, eachencounter with my pets turns into an interesting,and often awkward, situation. Through mysteadfast, furry friends, I learn about everythingin life: from death and sickness to joy and thereasons for existing on Earth. Owing more thancatnip and a devotion to animal welfare to mycats, I learn more from them than many individualsglean in a lifetime from sources outsideof the animal world.Removing the shiny metal top from yetanother can of Fancy Feast, the resounding echoof breakfast attracts each cat to his own dish.With a broad smile and a throbbing heart, I lookdown at the herd in front of me, grateful to be apart of their antics and daily surprises. Later,during a fascinating history class at school, Iglance at my shirt sleeve and notice a solitaryclump of fur. Suddenly, I can’t wait to go home.9


1+ 1 = 1The intensityof the connectionof being intertwinedto one entityyet separationcontinually loomingover the entire situationmakes onecontemplate…the severity of losinganotheryet the same,the half thatmakes wholethe void unfilledfor an eternitythat when finallysupplied with the moldof the perfect combination,the attraction…so intensefulfilling the needthe want of both beingsperhaps being too muchblindly consumingthe unmatched strengthof the mergingof the two into onewhere maturation was sohastily foundhastily appliedhastily usedthat separationcould be the completedemolition ofthe minds that wereconnected by chance and…brought together forthe complete alterationof them both…Larry HawkinsAway from Here, Photograph Christy DyessLes YeuxCrazy curls hiding glasses, hiding eyes—Brown eyes, kind eyesThe strength of a thousand yearsBuried in a measured glanceSomeday—When I have lived as much,Loved as longAs my mama—I want eyes like hers.Addie LeakHairElizabeth WayneThird Place, Essay CompetitionIspent many tearful Saturday nights as ayoung girl while my mother combed myhair. On those dreadful nights she would washmy hair and afterwards use her sturdiest combto untangle my matted hair, then plait it whilemy hair was still wet. I was a tender-headedsoul, and pain went through my head at eachyank. Most times, however, I was lifted by thecomb. Other times, Momma’s comb wouldbreak from the tension, but unfortunately forme, she carried extras. It hurt so much that Ibegged and pleaded for my Momma to cut offall of my hair. But she only said, “Now youdon’t want to do that! Besides, there are onlythree more to go.” I sighed, knowing the onlyrelief would be whenever she finished. Then thenext day she decorated my plaits with oddshapedberets that matched the itchy, uncomfortableseven-layer dress that she also pickedout for me to wear to church that Sunday. I feltlike one of those dolls people put on display.Worse than washing and combing my hairwas when Momma would press it. Starting atfive o’clock in the morning, Momma led me tothe kitchen where two chairs set near thestove. She lit one eye on the stove and placed ametal comb on it, allowing it to heat. My stomachsank from watching vapors rise from thecomb. Terrified, I watched her pick up thecomb and wave the comb in the air. Although Iknew she meant no harm, she reminded me oflion tamer. Blowing on the comb, she ran itthrough my hair, turning my natural kinksinto straight strands. I was afraid for dear life,Elisabeth,Pen and InkMadisonLaFleur1011


squinting my eyes and hunching my shoulderswhenever I sensed the intense heat fromthe comb on my head. Despite my Mom’s confidenttones, I crossed my fingers whenevershe came close to eyes or the back of my headwhere I couldn’t be guaranteedof her movements. Toease my fears, she told storiesabout when she wasyounger and her motherpressed her hair. This onlymade things worse seeing asone of her stories was abouthow a pressing comb hit hereye and made her legallyblind. After an hour and a half of pressing,Momma would be finished and I would besafe for another week.When I was older, my mother finally decidedI could get a perm, something that wouldpermanently make my hair straight. By then,my only question was would it hurt or involve[ ]heat. It didn’t. In fact, it was one of the mostpainless hair procedures I’d ever experienced. Iremember looking in the mirror and instead ofseeing the familiar mass of wool on my head,my hair hung loose, straight and free. I jumpedfor joy at the thought of no“…a pressingcomb hit her eyeand made herlegally blind.”Rover, Photograph Hannah Brucemore nights of untanglingand hot combs. What mymother neglected to tell mewas the constant upkeepthat it required. I foundmyself spending hours sittingunder an uncomfortablehair dryer. My hairalways did have a mind ofits own.Over the years, I have grown an appreciationfor my hair. Though it has been a greattask to keep it in order, I have grown fond ofthe memories that are connected with my hair. Ionly hope that one day, I have a little girl withunruly hair too.Beautiful“So what do ya think about The Returnof the King? Pretty nifty, huh?”It was a deceptively sunny afternoon. Asporadic breeze whipped through the bittercold and ruffled the long, brown hair of therosy-cheeked girl who strode casually alongthe cracked sidewalk next to Main Street.“Yep. I liked it.” Her companion, a tall,solidly built boy, nodded bemusedly. “Not asgood as the book, of course...”“Well, of course, but that OrlandoBloom— whoo!”George laughed, and Tess smiled. Sheliked making him laugh.“Yeah...”They were only friends, but to look atthem, one would never guess. George wasextremely shy; Tess was one of the few closefriends he had, and those friends he had, hetreated with the utmost care. He was alwaystelling Tess how wonderful she was. It botheredher sometimes; she didn’t think he likedher—she certainly didn’t want him to, so shedeterminedly ignored it.He looked over at her, his gentle blue eyeshidden behind the glare on his thick glasses.“Legolas. Right? That’s what Mom and Jensaid. I had to listen to them through the wholemovie.” He grinned. “Every time he cameonscreen they’d sigh dramatically. Katie isstarting to do it, too. I guess even ten-year oldgirls aren’t immune to crushes on moviestars.”Tess giggled. “Right. I remember thewhole Harry Potter thing. And the Ron thing.And the Ewan McGregor thing.”Addie LeakHonorable Mention, Short Story Competition“Mhm. She’s quite the little romantic.” Hepaused and nervously flattened his thick,curly, dark brown hair. “Now—I have a questionfor you.”“What’s that?”“What about this—”Tess waved at a passing car, beaming.“Huh?” she asked absentmindedly, still lookingafter the car as it turned a corner.He tried again. “...the situation withTristan—are you okay?”There was a pause, and Tess’s face darkenedwith hurt. She jammed her hands intothe pockets of her pink woolen trenchcoat. “Idon’t know. I guess—well, he still hasn’t reallyspoken to me. I’m trying so hard to forgethim. I’m just so tired of feeling used.”“I’m sorry,” George grimaced. “Youshouldn’t have had to go through all this.”Tess nodded sadly. “I wonder sometimes ifmaybe he doesn’t like me anymore becauseI’ve gained weight. I hate myself for thinkingSpirit, Encaustic Addie Leak1213


it, but—I can’t help but wonder. Is there somethingI did that made him change his mindabout me? Am I not pretty in his eyes anymore?”George frowned and glared at the sidewalkas they walked, finally looking up at herwith frustration in his eyes. “That’s why I’m soupset with the boy. He is manipulative, Tess.Even if he wasn’t an irresponsible party animal,I’d worry about your getting involvedwith him. He twists your thoughts; he’d windup hurting you. Dangit—he is hurting you.Look at me.” He reached over to pull Tess’chin up. “You are beautiful. And don’t you everthink otherwise, okay?”Tess stepped back onto the grass, dislodgingherself from his grip, and shoved awayirritation. “Okay...” What else can you say tothat, really, she wondered. She’d always beenable to talk about guy problemswith George, but in thepast few months, he’dbecome a lot moodier. Shethought there was some familystuff going on that hemight be worried about, butsurely—whatever it was—wasn’t that big a deal. Sheshrugged it off and changedthe subject. “So how aboutcollege?”“How about it? You mean,where should you go?”“Well, yeah.” She rolled her eyes. “It’sonly six more months till I graduate.”“I don’t know, Tess.” Suddenly he soundedvery tired. “Wherever you want to, I suppose.”“Hmmm... Maybe Dartmouth. Or MIT.”She turned to him, playful again—not noticinghis lack of enthusiasm. “Whatcha think? Ibet I could do it!” She rubbed her nose with amittened hand. It had lost almost all feeling; itwas definitely about time to start headingback to someplace with central heating.George shrugged indifferently. “Why notMIT? You have a 4.0, better than I could sayfor me...”“Oh, but you never had to worry about it,did you—just a year at the community college.You’re not even in school this comingsemester.”“I might be going back next fall.” Heglanced at her, his blue eyes cool.“Really?” There was something in hisvoice that made her pause.“My parents’ divorce will be finalized bythen. Mom, Jen, Katie, and I are moving toPasadena. I’m going to start at CalTech as asophomore in August.”Tess’s insides felt as numb as hernose. “I didn’t know yourparents were getting adivorce.”He looked at her for along time, his expressionunreadable. “I told you.”Tess stopped walkingabruptly, and there wasanother awkward pause asshe digested this information.“Oh.” She didn’t knowwhat to say. She felt horrible;how could she have forgottensomething like that? And how could he beleaving? She’d always expected that he’d stillbe at home when she came back to visit. Itwas bad enough that all her other friendswere leaving for college too. “I’m—I’m sorry,George…”“It’s okay. You’ve been… preoccupied.”There was only a slight tinge of bitterness inhis voice. “You don’t need to worry with myproblems; you have your own.”[ ]“ ‘You don’tneed to worrywith myproblems; youhave yourown.’ ”She felt as though she’d just been pinched—hard. She did have her own problems, but didthat mean she shouldn’t care about her friend’s?George’s jaw softened a little when he sawthe expression on her face, and he spokeagain, “But really... Don’t worry about it. I’msure everything will be okay. I can write youfrom Pasadena. Just focus on getting into thecollege of your dreams, okay?” He took adeep breath and smiled for her. “I know you’llmake a fantastic chemical engineer.”Tess’ gaze wandered to the weathervaneon a nearby roof, and she stared blankly at itfor a moment, lost in thought. What wouldshe do without George? He was the one whoalways made it to her math tournaments, theone who always volunteered to babysit for herwhen she double-booked dating and a job. Hewould never take any money for it, either; shedidn’t know anyone else who would do thatfor her. He was the one who had sent her acarnation that year Valentine’s Day camewithout a boyfriend for her; the card attachedhad called her “Evenstar.” He knew she’d befeeling lonely; and that flower, more than anything,had cheered her up. But what had shecontributed to their friendship?George let her think for a moment. Heshoved his hands in his pockets, and stoodsilent, watching the cars crawl by. Finally, hespoke again, impulsively: “I love you.”Tess whipped her head back around, startledand slightly panicked. Now was not thetime for mushy romantic revelations!He didn’t mean it that way, though; shecould tell immediately. She gave him a shakysmile; maybe she should quit being so paranoidabout whether he liked her or not. Shedidn’t deserve a friend like him. To be perfectlyhonest, she’d probably never find someoneto marry that would treat her as well as hedid. Maybe life was like that, though.“I love you, too...”FaithOilSecond PlacePainting, ArtCompetitionAndy Guan1415


Eating BalledChicken on a BohtAbandoned Chic, Photograph Christy DyessDauphin Island, Alabamarigid wood 2x4’s, likely of the staunchswanky Trees, born ‘neath loose soil, shelland sand, latent with moistureon cycle. Now, conceal, or attemptTo—this Mother earth. As my hooker bootsare caught in the cracks. Windshowl, as if to laugh, cunning, tho’playful. My legs are crossed, jeans pressedhairgone to frizz by this…Ocean.I’ve given up in pursuit! Locals, goiterssand soaked Skin, scrawny limbs anddialect more British than Southern.Distinctive in talk. Acting with tender precisionand lack of haste. They rock whileTearing crab cakes, breaking lobster digits;could ever I take comfort—in the earthly, humble Arms of coastalscalawags, pirates by my weak Eye—Verses, well fed Bible-belt rednecks, withtheir gurgling truck pipes and smug,boiling Testosterone?Hayley MaxwellHave you ever eaten “balled chicken?”What about a “veggietabel?” Or perhapstaken a ride on a “boht?” Do you say,“Yes, sir,” even when your dad is being a painin the neck? If you answered yes to all of thesequestions, you are hereby declared mentallyunstable and will be immediately transferredto a secure facility with soft white rooms on atiny island in the middle of the AntarcticCircle. Well, maybe not, but you would beclose enough: you would be a member of myfamily.Only my family members outside ofMississippi have identifiable accents. All ofmy Mississippian family lives on the developedGulf Coast, so we do not have much ofan accent. We do, however,find certain words orphrases that are unique toone or two members of thefamily. One such phrase is“balled chicken.” UncleWilliam, my mom’s cousin,was visiting from theCaribbean island GrandCayman and heard Dadtalk about the food he was preparing. Hethen asked incredulously, “What is this balledchicken? Do you ball it up? Or is it bald chicken,and you cook it without any feathers?But all chicken that‘s being cooked wouldn‘thave any feathers…. Do you cook it without[seasonings]?” For a moment, everyone wasconfused; his Caymanian accent had madethe “balled chicken” comment even moreEmily WilliamsHonorable Mention, Essay Competitionindiscernible. Suddenly it hit me, and I washolding onto the countertop for supportwhile laughing. I managed to gasp out,“Uncle William, he’s saying boiled chicken.”Of course, Uncle William is not withouthis own strange pronunciation. People fromthe Cayman Islands have quite an unusualaccent: British mixed with Jamaican. Healways asks about eating some “balled chicken”whenever he calls, but we just reply byasking about “deh boht.” This is his way ofsaying the boat. He says “Machew” when callingfor his son Matthew, and his oldest son,Willie the Third, is “Willie da Tud.”My grandmother is also from GrandCayman, but she has lost most of her accent.Even so, she is particularin her pronunciation ofcertain words. She sayssquirrel as “squirr-ehl” andenunciates every syllableof vegetable, making itsound like “veggietabel.”She also makes up herown words to songs whenshe cannot remember thereal lyrics, which is most of the time. I rememberonce when we were playing old songs onher record player, she sang about “Sister Ritasmarter-than-you”instead of “Sister Berthabetter-than-you”and that she was “hooked ona meaning” instead of “hooked on a feeling.”My sister also has a tendency to do this; sheused to “play for Him on ‘flat’ tambourines”instead of glad tambourines in an often-sung[ ]“What is thisballed chicken?Do you ballit up?”1617


“A Closed MouthDon’t Get Fed”church hymn. Of course, neither will admitthat she is wrong in her choice of words.Aunt Diane’s parents moved to Michiganwhen she was young, and her children aregrowing up there now. While I was visiting inthe summertime, I met my cousin’s friends.They were all between sixteen and nineteenyears of age, my generation, and found my lackof a Southern accent highly unusual. After afew hours, they became used to the phenomenon,only to lose composure again when I finallysaid “y’all.” They were even more incredulouswhen they heard me talking with my dadbecause I kept saying, “Yes, sir,” and, “No, sir.”They asked if he was very strict. I blinked atthem dazedly for a few moments before I finallyrealized what they were talking about, and Itold them that manners had been drilled intome since I could talk, as with most people in theSouth. I believe to this day that they still haveno clue what I was talking about.The way people speak can reveal a greatdeal about their lives, whether it is by thewords they say or how they say them. Thespoken word can reveal much about personalityand culture. From the Caribbean Sea to theGreat Lakes, my family exhibits a lot of both.Car, Stipple/Ink, Second Place Drawing, Art Competition Clarence HolmesMy throat was swelling and it was gettingharder to breathe. My visionblurred as I fought away the tears of shame; Iheard the mocking laughter. This wasn’t a newexperience. Shame and low self-worth alwaysfollowed my chronic stuttering. Being called onto speak in class was the greatest fear in theworld, because before the words could penetratethe bottom of my esophagus, my tonguewould stall and vibrate in the middle of mymouth as it struggled to produce a coherentsound.My mother made it a habit to enroll me inany speech therapy program that she couldfind. I hated going to those sessions. It made mefeel as if I had a disease that needed to be curedor a severe physical handicap.During those longsessions I was shown“mouth drills” andlearned somewhat helpfultips on how to control myidling tongue. My problemwas mostly wordsthat began with R’s andS’s. The word drills and rolling tongue exercisesnever truly helped. It was spontaneity thatcaused the stutter to occur; during the sessions Iwas constantly prepared and ready to speak. Itwas in the classroom that I couldn’t say myown name. As the words slurred I would try tobreathe, and my name didn’t come out as“Rodney” but as “r-r-hod-ney.” The best adviceI was given was to clench my hands as tightlyas I could and concentrate on looking into theperson’s eyes. This proved helpful once I actuallystarted to talk to people.The greatest antagonist to my stutter wasmy brother, who lived with our grandmother.He somehow found time in his busy scheduleof pulling ladies, ditching school, and causing[ ]“…my name didn’tcome out as‘Rodney’ but as‘r-r-hod-ney.’ ”Rodney MorganSecond Place, Essay Competitiontrouble to laugh heartily as I would attempt totalk to him. He would then try to make me feelbetter by saying that he had once stuttered andthat I would grow out of it. I never was the typeof person to put my faith in false hope. Eventhe constant speech programs and exercises Iwas thrown into did little good. Since I was theonly child in my household and didn’t havemany friends, I mostly kept to myself.Compound my isolation with a chronic stutter,and you get a shy, scared-of-the-world little boywho never speaks to anyone.As he and I both grew older, however, mybrother started to take me places with him. Healways noticed when I would find an out-ofthe-wayplace and hang my head low to avoidany verbal interaction withanyone. If I talked to people,then they would surelyfind out my terriblesecret and make sounds ofsputtering cars and stallingengines to humiliate me.My brother would thenhave to run in and play therole of the protective big brother. After onesuch occasion he decided to share some of hisvast knowledge with me: “A closed mouthdon’t get fed, Rodney,” he said to me, “andyou can’t learn to talk good by not talking.Like anything, getting rid of a stutter takestime and practice.”It took a while for this concept to soak intomy mind, but I soon decided to drop myshroud of self-pity and fear. In class I volunteeredfor every question, joined in every conversation,and refused to keep my mouthclosed, so much so that I was soon sent homewith reports of talking too much. My motherdidn’t care; she was just happy that I had decidedto speak at all.1819


Yellow HouseYears later, I no longer attend any speechprograms and have managed to stay in a socialcircle. Talking to people without fear has beenhard, but I continue the fight and can truly say Ihave won more battles than I’ve lost. “A closedmouth don’t get fed,” so I make sure that I getplenty of food. I attend the Mississippi Schoolfor Mathematics and Science, where conversingwith others plays a pivotal role in life; in fact,gaining invitation to the school entailed a personalinterview which I got through withoutincident. Delivering presentations is also a keycomponent to most of the MSMS classes. Thesepresentations are graded not only on the materialbeing delivered but also on how the informationis given to the audience. Fluent andproper pronunciation of words is a must to givinga presentation. I have discovered that movingmy hands and arms as I speak makes thewords flow smoother, as well as clenching myhands together. I visualize that my words arebeing wrapped around my arms as I speakthem, and then I give them to my audience.During my younger years I was afraid to askfor help from a teacher, fearing that I wouldstutter too much. Now that I am at MSMS I seethat learning depends on conversing with theteachers. Whenever I need help I do not hesitateto make an appointment with a teacher to discussthe day’s lesson. As my tongue continuesto pester me, I try to grin and bear it, but Irefuse to keep my mouth closed and deny thefulfilling nourishment that I deserve.With her hands, she built a houseNail by nail,Board against boardUntil all was finished, nothing left but paintShe chose yellow,“So the sun will never set on us,” she said.With her knees, she bent,Cleaning Mrs. Christine’s clothesThen leaving through the back door to cook atMr. Washington’sNever complaining, only prayingWith her heart, she loved her seventeen children,Helped them grow, become strongWith her voice, she commanded life intoThe family garden,The mailman,The neighbors,Even the animalsCocker Spaniel, Pen and InkAmanda DewWith time, she aged,Her steps slowed,The yellow paint began to chip awayHer knees sank—couldn’t bendHer heart, though patient,Had been hurt many times;Her voice craved a tall drink of waterBut with her mind,She willed those around her to go on,Gave security in her wisdomOblique, Photograph Jennifer SloanWith her last steps, she died,Burning in the yellow house built so long agoOn the day when the sunGave way to nightFallThird Place Photograph, Art CompetitionWillow NeroElizabeth Wayne2021


A Certain Shade of Green, AcrylicThird Place Painting, Art CompetitionRebekah GarrisonCore of theContemporaryCharacter“All we need is love,” the astute voices sing,So we’re busy reading Playboy magazines.Undiscovered is Solomon’s lovely Song,We replace lust for love we immensely long.All the pretty flowers wither in the sun,Despite the diversions of all the great fun.Proverbs from Great Kings of Ancient Golden Times,Come after fortune cookies and nursery rhymes.Just remember to take your pill every day,Don’t trip really hard, just slowly waste away.Speak poorly of your sisters to heal the pain,That comes from your jealous pursuits, all in vain.Let the shallowness sink ever so deeply,Though the birds and the bees call out so sweetly.Beautiful children, their smiles soon fade away,They cry at night and remain quiet at day.Bess McCaffertyStarman, AcrylicRebekah GarrisonSweet Nothingswhisperyou hypnotize me, ParisI love you at duskyour starry, luxurious, prickly rainthe bells of Notre Dame,my Quasimodoand I am Esmereldayou deceive me, loveI kiss you at sunriseyour wind in my hairI feel your grass between my toesand I am fallingyou are ruthless in your silenceyou glitteryou are my infinity, darling ParisI vanish sweetlyand I am twirling in your armsI am coming back to you, Parisyou are my Sacre Coeuryou pulse never-endinglyalong the banks of the Seineand I am floatingalwaysI am your indigoLaura ChairesMexicoGrassy mountains hold me inWith the valleys of cool fruits,Burros and dark-skinned children,Happiness—no earthly cause.Illogical, I forgetThe paved American streets,For the golden barriosWith deeply broken windows.Realizing my beautyBecause of the complimentsOf handsome, hard-working menWho smile in the pick-up trucksAnd find time every SundayTo worship the Lord at Mass.I’m filled with humility—Finally, I’m finding timeFor Sagrada Biblia.Using Miguel’s guitara,I sing sweet Spanish praises.Bess McCaffertyHonorable Mention, Poetry CompetitionReflectionsWatercolor,First Place Painting,Art CompetitionCassandreMan-Bourdon22The Hunter, Acrylic Kristin Klaskala23


March of Wavestorrents of tiny escapes of airclear and bluegreybluegreenfinger-like protrusionswith their frothy white collarscreeping upthe rough sand hillsstealing the golden flashand leavinga dull brown lineextending shakilyacross stretches —- stretchesof seaweed littered landAshley Mackay“Natural Color”Page Designer,Kristin KlaskalaPhotographs from left corner,continuingclockwise:Ashlee OliverGrapesHannah BruceBee on FlattenedConeflowerWaterfallHannah BruceView through theStone WindowAshlee OliverFlowerWillow NeroGreen OrangesChristy DyessEcstasyJennifer SloanClandestinebehind a curtain of waterlacysprayshining diamond drops materializethe sunblindsthrough hisalmost crystalmagnifiersdazzling punchesof lightroardeafened blindedsoaked evening cavesare safe cocoons of rapturebehind liquid doorsworlds liecalm poolscomplimentinghissingeternity dripsdash!ingsplashblunt knives echo (ping)echo (ping)onto surprised cheekturning lakesHannah BruceBuzzHannah BruceBumblebee on ShinyFlowersAddie LeakThe Merits of a LongHikeHannah BruceSpringChristy DyessBleeding with SeasonAshlee OliverVioletAshlee OliverPansyLaura BethMooreMemory LaneAddie LeakWater BabiesChristy DyessReaching for Roots24chaosexhilarating intomermaid (siren lullabies)of calmAshley MackayCalifornia WaterfallFirst Place Photograph, Art CompetitionAmanda Novotny25


Summer on the Lake, PhotographAddie LeakSimple Rain-walkEchoes from the LakeThe eerie song of the loon,Drifts across the black expanse.Silent waves echo back to my heart,Weeping willows caress the violet sky.And the song of the loonFills the night air.A compact boat—wooden and strong,Breaks the perfect rhythm of the water.Clouds overhead are full,Reeds sway in the moist, thick air.The thump of a beaver in the distance—Trees collapse and disturb the marsh.A loon can still be heard,Its family diving under the water.My dreams glide atop a glassy surface,As Sobek’s shimmering reflection appears.Dew gathers in whimsical clusters.Croaks are heard for miles.A chorus of natureCelebrates another passing of twilight.Re’s chariot escorts the sun,Silence overcomes exhausted life.The loons fade into the golden rays.And my heart waits for dusk.Klint PeeblesThird Place, Poetry CompetitionStreets shine and shimmering pools collectin the gutters. Rain dances to thetune spun by itself in a world veiled in mistygrey, and I walk slowly spinning, drinking in asymphony of images and half-forgotten memories.Family and friends slip before my mind’seye, tripping eagerly, helping the parade of meshapingmemories along.The Mississippi air hangs heavy, drippingtropically from the leaves reminding me of footballgames in 100 percent wool band uniformsand soccer tournaments where you have toswim through the air.I slip out of my flip-flops and childishlysplash through the chilling puddles, purposefullyignoring all I know about bacteria, becausein simple pleasures ignorance is definitely bliss.My mind wanders, meandering through the sciencesas I realize the hold they have on my life,bacteria being only a small portion of it.Physics’ grip is especially strong with free-fallevident in the rain and force displayed by thewind. The natural world is not subtle about itsphysics applications. Once again, football memoriescrowd in reminding me of when I tried tofigure out the distance traveled by the footballas it was kicked at a certain angle with a set initialvelocity before I realized what a nerd I wasbeing. Now though, the memory brings a goldenmoment.As I slide back into my shoes, the colorsshift—a kaleidoscope of rainbow images. Therain becomes a prism. Mental pictures float byof a New Orleans jazz ensemble trip. The citywas its own pinwheel of color. Sights andsounds meshed together to form a whole cityalive with music and electric with jazz. Jazzcompetition for our little band was exhilaratingAshley Mackayand my hands never stopped shaking as theyheld the trombone. The audience was alive andwe responded to their enthusiasm. We learnedso much walking those New Orleans streets.Jazz came to life before our eyes from the powdersugar-clouded air of Café du Monde to ourlast glimpse of a saxophonist in front of thegreat Mississippi, silhouetted against an orangesky.Soft, plunking raindrops bring me backfrom New Orleans and I realize the poetry allaround me. There are soft lines written bynature evident in the slim birch lines ahead ofme, the lone joyous voice of the songbird, andthe depth of the surrounding forest. Fragmentsof e. e. cummings and my own unfinished originalsfight for attention in my cluttered mind.Feelings accompany each remembered line.“pity this busy monster, manunkind,” cummingsreminds me. I’m never too busy to walkin the rain. Alone, my thoughts accompany me.Zephyrs whistle through the collection of rain,and I walk on.Popsicle Sticks, PhotographHannah Brucea lip-gloss boost in your America, AcrylicRebekah Garrison2627


StainsThe clouds were my eyesOn that rainy August morningDropping waterOn my perfect black suit and my heartPiercedBy the acceptance of the fact that he was goneAs he lay asleepSurrounded by family and friendsCovered by the grief stained Star SpangledBanner he fought forI remembered how true of a soldier he wasFor his country and the LordSo I smiled and kissed him goodbyeForever staining his cheek with my memory…The BluesIs AlrightKhadijah Ransom28Quinnon TaylorPatches of Reason, Watercolor Cassandre Man-BourdonThe Blue Girl, Acrylic Katrina VizziniIt’s 7:20 a.m. on a Saturday morning andall I can hear is the ear-piercing musictraveling from my daddy’s radio. At first listen,it sounds like “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King;but when my ears fully awaken, I realize thatit’s really “Soul Heaven” by Johnnie Taylor.Why must playing the blues as loud as his earscan stand be my daddy’sSaturday morning routine,when all I want to do is burymyself deeper into my bed ofcotton? I get out of bed to seeif my momma knows aboutthis craziness, only to findthat my parents are bothdancing blissfully away inthe kitchen. I stand watchingthem twirl, and I wonder ifthe Mississippi Blues willhave such a profound effecton me someday, but once Ifeel my foot involuntarily keeping pace withthe beat, I realize that it already has.I have been listening to the blues ever sinceI could wobble on my own two feet. Every nowand then I even have flashbacks where I can seemyself as a little girl dancing to Bobby BlueBland’s “Member’s Only.” I am outside standingin the soft Delta dirt with my arms flailingcrazily around me. It has just begun to rain butas long as the music plays, I dance. I can hearmy momma yelling, “Come on in the house,Spank, before you catch a cold.” Knowing thatI’m usually a very mindful child, she only saysit once believing that I will listen; but somethingin the music seems to run away with my souland I am too weak to fight it, that is until thebloodthirsty mosquitoes attack my caramel-coloredskin and I have nochoice but to run inside.A Kodak moment ofmy momma and me jukingat the B.B. KingHomecoming Festival isalso permanently engravedin my head. We are surroundedby this hugecrowd of people, many ofwhom are under the influenceof Budweiser,Michelob, or Corona. Mymomma tries to shield myvirgin eyes, but I know that these drunken peopleare just as much a part of the B.B. King Festas we are. Since I was eight years old, I canremember them being here, drinking, juking,and just having a dirty good time. I wonderwhy momma drags me out to see B.B. King,who I simply think of as this old fat black manwho got bored and decided to name his guitarone day. I remember saying to her, “Momma, Igive my dolls and teddy bears a name all the[ ]“It’s the bluesthat makes mewilling to bake inthe hot sun justto get a plate offresh catfish orcrawfish with anice cold Coke.”29


Ends of Goodbyetime. Why ain’t I famous for it?” I didn’t understandwhy a grown man who played someraggedy guitar was so famous.It wasn’t until I became a teenager that Iwas finally able to relate to the MississippiBlues. It was the weekend of my seventeenthbirthday, which was the first birthday I hadever spent away from my family while living atthe Mississippi School for Mathematics andScience. I can remember feeling sad, angry, andlonely. I was sad because I missed home whereall my family and friends were. I was angrybecause my roommate and I weren’t gettingalong, and I was lonely because my closestMSMS friends had all gone home for the weekend.Drops of grief began to roll down my face.So I decided to call my momma; I knew shecould make me feel better even if she was morethan 175 miles away.“Hey, Spank! Happy Birthday! How youdoin?” my momma said. “I’m fine,” I lied. I justcouldn’t bring myself to tell her about my problems,but being my mom for seventeen years,she knew that something was wrong just by thetone of my voice. “You don’t sound like you’reokay. Let me play a song for you. Now I knowyou don’t like the blues much, but just listen tothe words,” she said as she turned the radio on.“Hang on, to me baby. Everything’s gonna bealright girl. Just wait and pray. If you just hangon . . . ” I heard the song say as it blasted frommy daddy’s radio. My momma was right, I didn’treally like the blues, but there was somethingabout that particular song that upliftedmy spirit and made me feel like my old selfagain. I could relate to its words and its tonewas so comforting that I felt like I was nolonger miles away, but right there at home withmy momma dancing and having fun.It is at that moment that I could finallyunderstand why people love the blues so much.It isn’t because its artists name their instruments,but it’s because the blues simply makespeople feel better when they’ve hit rock bottomand can go no lower. The blues is deeply rootedinto every part of my Delta culture more thanI’ve ever realized. The blues can help me see thesun through the lonely clouds, or a friendly facein a room full of strangers. It’s the blues thatmakes me willing to bake in the hot sun just toget a plate of fresh catfish or crawfish with anice cold Coke. It’s the blues that makes me forgetabout the West Nile diseased mosquitoeswhen I sit out on the porch with my schoolbuddies to see the sun set. It’s the blues thatkeeps me out all Saturday night so that I can’tgo to church on Sunday morning. Some peoplerefer to it as the Devil’s music, but we who haveseen its true beauty and power know that it’sinnocent, which is why I’m proud to say thatnow when I listen to the blues, my foot voluntarilykeeps pace with the beat, and that hasmade all the difference.“Iwon’t be in until noon. See you then.” Iclapped the phone down.Wrapped in black, I stepped outside intothe lonely gray morning. The shrouded sunbegan to glance over the trees and the frozendew glittered and danced among the grass. Icranked the car and the heat blasted my frigidlegs. I hated cold weather, but even more Ihated being alone. Though, I should havebeen used to it by now.Solitude sent my mind drifting...back deepinto my memory, my life playing over in myhead like a dream it did no good to run awayfrom.The house I lived in when I was five wasnot very big at all, but perfect for a family ofthree. And to me, at that young, imaginativeage, the backyard to that house was myworld. It was an oasis, a gorgeous escape fromeveryday. The small garden was littered withliving flares of scattered paint; the wornwooden fence was ancient and mysterious toa child that could not grasp the concept oftime. And the jewel of this haven was ourwooden swing. There, I would chatter onabout the most important things to a five yearold—losing a toy, finding a dime, inhaling achocolate smothered sundae. My father wouldsit, quietly encouraging me, and earnestlyworking at his latest masterpiece in the spiralbound sketchpad my mother and I hadbought for him; he could draw anything Iwanted him to. We would sit in that swing forhours, I pointing out things for him to drawand he scribbling them down in penciled perfection.After my sixth birthday, I never saw thatswing again. My parents divorced; my fathersaid his goodbyes and moved out. Two yearslater, he remarried.I hated red lights; I hated waiting. I felt aknot of anxiety growing in my stomach withevery passing moment.Caitlin WolfeThird Place, Short Story CompetitionMy life seemed very confusing from thenon. This man that had left me seemed to careat times, and others, to not even exist. For mysixth birthday, after my parents had split up,my father mailed me the last drawing fromour backyard afternoons, the only one I stillhad. Now it was old and crinkled, the pencilsmudged in places. The swirl of markings createdan image of the swing in our backyard,cradling a father and daughter, like I rememberedit once had.Stop sign. More waiting.At first, I spent every other weekend withmy father. Then it became every month or so,then just holidays and birthdays. Then funerals.My father and stepmother’s house wassmall and cramped; I stayed in the guest bedroomwhen I visited. My stepmother wouldhave nothing to do with me, while my fatherwas usually too busy. The weekend woulddrag on as I sat around, watching TV, waitingfor Sunday night to roll around and bring merelief. More than frequently, my stepmotherwould chastise me for some minor indiscretion:smacking my gum, getting her sofa dirty,putting my elbows on the table; while myfather would get it even worse. With my stepmother’snagging voice rising in the background,I would step out the sliding backdoor and take in the smell of the sweet pinesand crape myrtles with my eyes closed, hopingthat when I opened them I would be fiveagain.The funeral home came into sight. A fewmourners were dragging themselves from theblack parking lot into the building. As Iparked the car, I paused. The knot in mystomach deepened. I could leave before anyonesaw me, but I had promised I wouldcome. I got out of the car and walked inside.The casket lay open at the front of theroom with a line of friends and family tricklingby on their way into the chapel. My3031


On DisplayNeon lights, they give Yourlavish mirror a circus, sideshow effectbeforeGrandmother’s bureau,survived WWII France—A postmodern ordeal at Hand.toes curled and shoulders slumped,you pretentious Thing—staring through the faceseemingly Just, property, of thosewho Made you.…by this, time, naked Cheekshave likely moistened thatrolling stool, and Mascara—rivers burn your naïve,Barbed neck of Rose, in turning.thick Panes and a manicuredLawn separate my Frank wisdom…of too few Years,and your aching Fleshcome Be sandpaper, I steady.It rains, Not a worry—Vintage boots and a lack ofTouch up, thick, unhamperedHair can take the rain—my Gaze may be Fixateda loyal, perhaps I’ve beenThe Only loyal confidant.I am your Mother,Sister, I comprehend your Daughter-I look at You…Hayley MaxwellSarah MayOh, Sarah May,Head lice queenOf the second grade,You wearThat stainedYellow party dressTo school every day.Your show-and-tellsAre so exquisite:Barbie who’s lostThree appendages,A monster truckSmashed in two,A jeweled braceletThat your dog chews.Why isn’t your hairTied back in braids?Mrs. MelbourneGives you clothes.You never wear them.Your father is too proud,And your mother,You say,Is in heaven.Willow NeroSecond Place, Poetry CompetitionSister(after Ray Young Bear)If I were to seeHer doing back handsprings from a mile awayI would so quicklyRecognize the lithe form to be her.The long tan legsAnd the blonde ponytail.If I feltArms around my waist,I’d know she was lookingFor supportAnd comfort.If I heardA voiceSinging the wrong wordsI would chastise herAnd attemptTo teach her the correct lyrics,But I was ignored likePinocchio did to poorJiminy Cricket.Emily WilliamsThe Last Lament ofthe Little MermaidFloating in by sea breezeEncircling your bed,I watchThe brideStir in her sleep.You twitch, you sigh.The princess, whose hairIs not auburn in the sunset,And whose voiceDoes not reach the heavens,Moves a throbbing toeTowards you,But her feet do not ache.You lie awake,Hand across her breast,Eyes turned to the ceiling;Asking, wanting,For what I hopeWords cannot tell.One deciding nightI loved you.Did you love me not?I could not sink the daggerSo now the ocean it severs:A bloodless red tide.But tonight you searchAs I wipe awayWeights of misery.Instead acceptingWhat you have taken.And biding my time,Waiting for the soulYou could have given.Willow NeroFirst Place, Poetry Competition38Sturdy ErosionPhotographChristy Dyess39


The LongestRoad to HomeHighway 45 is the first road I take to drivehome from school, and it’s the first in aseries of gateways to the earth’s arterial highwaywherein my heart lies. Lined with scarletclover and creeping kudzu vines all summerand a more leisurely vine of kudzu in wintermonths, the highway runs straight through theMississippi Delta, only bulging to accommodatefour lanes instead of two at parts. That highwayis the most difficult to drive with its repetitivelandscape. Northern Mississippi has “rollinghills” which can’t be more than inverted dentsin the earth, and the alltoo-famouscotton fieldsare few and far betweenon 45; however, I find theworst atrocity to be theway the trees cling to thesky. On Highway 45, thetree line, no matter howsickly and dead, alwayshangs onto the clouds, as ifpulling them from the sky.The trees just won’t let goof the sun or the moon, but cling to them likebored children to a favorite uncle’s legs. Thesky is never whole and complete, but desperatelylacking, unsatisfying; a gap and a question.The sky’s intentions are unclear and hidden;my mind just doesn’t function on 45—theonly direction in my mind is away, as fast aspossible.As I drive Highway 45 I’m always afraidthat I’ll run out of gas or find myself lostbeyond hope. My cell phone roams in and outof service just as I pass a cemetery on the side ofa church badly in need of new paint. For me,this cemetery marks the point of no return;from here on out it’s straight shooting toMeridian. The gravestones are turned everywhich way on the hillside. They remind me ofmy second cousins from South Carolina. I oncerode with them from Uncle Tony’s in Alabamato Aunt Mary’s trailer on Christmas Eve. In thecar they counted the horses and cows on eachside of the road. Whoever had the most animalson their side at the end of the trip won, but if acemetery was on your side of the road, all ofyour animals died. I didn’t expect to see anycemeteries on the way toAunt Mary’s, but therewere plenty. The cemeterieswe passed on that cartrip look just like this one.On the coast, our cemeteriesare large and centrallylocated. Little cemeteriesare the mark of theboonies. My Aunt Mary’sdoublewide was on theside of a hill in Nowhere,Alabama. When it rained,the orange clay got so thick and sticky that shecouldn’t get downhill. Aunt Mary worked athome so she didn’t care, but I didn’t want to getstuck in Nowhere, Mississippi.Highway 59 South from Meridian does littleto break the monotony of 45, but approachingLaurel the landscape starts to feel more likehome. Tall Southern pines shoot up from theground, skinny and sap-filled, fuller than thedead sticks of Macon and Scooba. Their branchesdon’t pull the sky down, but add to its mystery.On nice days the blanched clouds flow[ ]“…my mind justdoesn’t function on45—the onlydirection in mymind is away, asfast as possible.”Willow Nerothrough pine boulevards mimickingthe highways below. Alas, as I passthrough Laurel on the last of the s-curves, I pity the chickens, wonderinghow anyone can be so cruel tosit them by the highway like that.They huddle together, packed intotiny wire boxes stacked high onsemi-trucks with fans blowing theirfeathers out onto the asphalt parkinglot. The chicken owners might aswell just get rid of the fans. There’sno point in cooling down thescrawny birds that will become nuggets withinthe next few days. This is not my highway; thequestion of the sky’s end lingers. The chickenssymbolize a dead end. Nothing so uncertaincan continue so far without conclusion.And so, I meet Highway 603, the windingtwo-lane wonder that releases my soul andreturns to me the ocean, the point at which thesky meets its equal—that relentless stretch ofopen life. Six-oh-three boasts of Brett Favrefrom the Kiln, pronounced “the Kill” by thenatives. The country drivers cruise around inrusty pickups to Dolly’s Quick Stop or theBroke Spoke for a cold one, but their unrefinedcommand of the wheel or “Pray for me, I drive603” bumper stickers cannot scare me now. I’mnearly home, nearly to my ocean.On the open water everything inside of mefeels utterly completed. I have no loose ends,only endless beginnings. Looking out at thebeach’s infinite reach always fills me with agreat optimism whether the sky is pleasant orscornful. Some days children fly kites from theLong Beach Yacht Club. Their fleet of brightlycolored belligerents matches the spinnakers ofFlying Scots racing out on the water. In Biloxiit’s always easy to pick out the pitiful touristsfending off indecent seagulls from their homegrownshrimp po-boys. On days when the skypours out rain, the heavens are the most magnificent.Every cloud can be made out, withvarying shades of mauve, amethyst, and indigo.They swirl and dance with the wind, partingto show a smiling sun and closing in againto meet the raging seas that reach up in hopesof touching the marshmallow puffs; yet theocean can never pull the sky down to the earth.The sky is free and open on the water. Eachparamount dreamscape meets the ocean in acalm agreement, finishing off the perfect photograph.The ocean thus becomes the longest, mostcomplete highway of highways. It reacheswithout bound across the earth, charting pathwaysfollowed countless times. The wind fillsthe sails of my Sunfish sailboat and pushes mefrom the Bay of St. Louis to the MississippiSound, into the Gulf of Mexico, and to the barrierislands and beyond. The sea’s changingsong lifts my spirits and pulls me in to its side.I can drive west on Highway 90 or BeachBoulevard into the setting sun. The ocean hasno mileage, and so my car drives on.I grew up with this freedom of the ocean,and it calls me home from whatever endeavorsI happen to pursue. When I am living in mylandlocked dormitory in Columbus,Mississippi, the ocean beckons my return. Thetrees mar my perfect vision of a sky and tug atthe clouds as if to take them from me. Nothingcan compare to the open nothingness of a pureblack sky spattered with teeny pinholes ofstars. No trees close in on this picture from thelazy life of Cat Island. No dams or rivers canreplace the long, silent scream of the wind asmy body melts into the sea on the underside ofthe Ulman Avenue pier. Every road leads to theocean and the ocean calls me to its side, makingme complete.The CowsPhotographWillowNero4041


Hint of FrugalityTraveling two hours from the airport inJackson, Nana glides over rolling kudzucoveredhills until they flatten into the greatpancake that is my home: the Mississippi Delta.I picture his gleaming eyes tracing the cottonfields to where they kiss the sky. I see his thinframe sitting erect, legs crossed, in the front seatof our car. I hear his brilliant voice, surprisinglypowerful for a man so gentle. I feel my grandfather’swarm hug and push-broom mustachebefore he even sets foot in the door.Nana has come half way around the worldto Greenwood, my hometown. Surrounded bycotton fields, I doubt that it has changed muchsince my grandfather’s last visit. As far back asI can remember, Nana has never arrived emptyhanded.Rather, he always brings a token scentedwith frugality. This time he brings my brotherand me two imposing paperbacks, each onewrapped in a makeshift dustcover he fashionedfrom plastic wrap. To my parents he presents anentire box of plums and apricots from myuncle’s trees; I imagine it is as much a gesture ofkindness as it is a means of saving preciousfruit from going to waste.My grandfather also brings with him a freneticaura that both energizes and exasperatesmy family. The air vibrates with frenzied energyas he scours our house in search of scrap paperto recycle into bookmarks and post-it notes. Hesurveys each room, making an anguished noteof every unread book and dust-covered magazine.After somehow finding their way into hisFarshad ChowdhuryFirst Place, Essay Competitionroom, the treasures return with creased spinesand fulfilled purpose. His simple presence frazzlesmy mother into nourisher extraordinaireand sends her into powder frenzy. Curry powder,chili powder, cumin powder, all flyingthrough the air, magically coalesce into a delectableBengali dinner. At the meal table, too,Nana has his quirks. He carefully takes equalportions of the fragrant jasmine rice, the smoothlentil daal, the thick eggplant bhorta, and thesweet chicken korma, and neatly layers each onhis plate. Then he finishes it all, down to the lastgrain of rice, before even considering gettingmore.My brother and I have learned to live with agrandfather who wastes nothing and finds ause for everything. Years before, on a visit toBangladesh, our newest toys had been shellsfrom a coconut that Nana had picked fordessert. When we wanted a new sketch book,my grandfather sat down on his cold terrazzofloor and made us one, complete with handstitchedbinding. When we ached for somethingfun to do, my grandfather sent us around thehouse collecting melted candle wax to recastand reuse.So it doesn’t surprise me at all when Nanadecries driving and decides that we shouldwalk through the Delta heat to Taco Bell.Wearing an old cap (his only submission to mymother’s longwinded protests), he leads theway. I watch him, his thin shadow glidingsmoothly over hot concrete, thinking of howthis street might not be so different from onehalf a world away. There, too, the humidity isso thick that it traps the mosquitoes. There, too,my grandfather tradesmodern convenience forsatisfying struggle. Nowalmost straining to keepup, I suddenly ask himwhy he needs to read itall, make it all, reuse it all.Without missing abrisk step, he questions inreply, “Why should Iwaste anything? If I canlight fire to the same waxagain and again, whyshould I touch flame to avirgin candle?” And, afteran uncharacteristic stammer,he adds, “Whyshouldn’t I show you allthat I have? I can neverknow when I will see younext.”Suddenly his perpetualmessage becomesclear to me: nothing, from a God-given gift toan earthly moment of time, should ever bewasted. He has passed on to me his decades ofexperience. His worldview has been shaped byBritish rule and its discrimination, Pakistaniinequity and its culmination in civil war, andAmerican freedom with its opportunity; I findthat his breadth of perspective mirrors my own.As we round the last corner, I think of how[ ]grateful I am that in return I’ve given him reasonto be proud. He’s found satisfaction in mygrades and my awards, my red belt and mysaxophone, my volunteerhours andmy clubs. I have anuncanny feeling,though, that he ismost pleased whenhe sees that I utilizeboth sides of a sheetof paper, instead ofjust one.I watchNana as he placeshis order. My mothersays that his faceis etched with yearsof wear and illness,but it still looks thesame to me. Maybehis glasses are a littlethicker still, and hismustache isn’t theprickly push-broomit used to be, but Istill think of my grandfather leaping up thestairs and holding the door for me, comfortingme when no one else knows I am hurting, andseeing my reflection in his sparkling eyes as hegives thousands of years of history new lifewith his booming voice. When it comes myturn to order, I decide against the Super HugeDrink; a regular sized one will do just fine.“His simple presencefrazzles my motherinto nourisher extraordinaireand sends herinto powder frenzy.Curry powder, chilipowder, cumin powder,all flying through theair, magically coalesceinto a delectableBengali dinner.”A Reflection onTaj Mahal,Stipple/InkJonathanDuPont4243


One Once AgainPassion44(after Ray Young Bear)If I were to seeThe golden glow of a goddessI’d know so quicklyThat it was youThe girl that everybody wants to beBut nobody has the patience to beIf I felt yourSoft hands caress my faceAnd wipe my pain awayI’d remember why I never wanted to leave youIf I heardOr even saw your name on paperI’d immediately be swept away into youYour presence, your soulAnd we would be one once againQuinnon TaylorThe sweet flow of red inkOn white copy paper—Underline, slash, rehash.The pen lifts itselfAnd cries out, “horrors.”It drifts across the pageHighlighting errors in its wake.Left unguided by any hand,It works alone in red.The veined marks spew forth.Edits breathe life.The comments pour,Pointing to the glaring errors:An arrow hitting bull’s-eye,A knife straight to the heart.Direct hits; those marksWeep from the page,A million battered woundsCrying out for Band-Aids.Willow NeroHonorable Mention,Poetry CompetitionMarilyn Feeling Sexy, OilAndy Guan“Give ItTo Me, Son…”As I steady myself vertically after leaningagainst the tractor tire, I see my papa’shand extended, asking me for the piece ofpaper on which I’ve written down the size ofthe tire. Looking at my grandfather, I see manyyears of wisdom, wisdom he could have onlyaccumulated through the rigors of hard labor ofmany years. Staring at my papa’s hand, I canonly think of one thing that has accumulated inmy mind for over a year now: Thank you.Growing up on a farm, I have beenacquainted with labor my entire life. From theage of five, I have worked with my father on hismany jobs, from carpentry, to landscaping, andeven maintaining his trailer park. My childhoodyears were not devoid of work, and now Iappreciate every single day I have spent workingby my daddy’s side. Now I have the “bestof both worlds”; I have my “brains and mybrawn,” as my father and grandfather describeme to their acquaintances who ask them howthe “Smart Kid” is doing.About a year and a half ago, I had a reallyhard decision to make, but it was not a decisionthat would not only affect me, but one whichwould also affect the very people I love. When Iwas accepted to the Mississippi School forMathematics and Science, I was happy, but atthe same time, if at all possible, I was upset; Iknew that I would be leaving the home I havelived in my entire life, and I would be leavingthe people who kept house there as well. I hada lot of trouble deciding, but my papa had a lotof inspirational guidance for me to follow.My grandfather’s words to me were, “Justpromise me one thing, don’t end up like me.”To most people, this might not be a quotation toJimmy Williamsremember, but for me, it compensated for thepassword needed to open my heart and mymind, to decide what I thought was best for meto do. Papa feels as though he is dumb, butwhat I cannot get him to understand is that hehas a wisdom that only a man who did not goto school could have. He had to quit school inthe third grade and go work on the family farmbecause his father couldn’t afford to hire handsto help bring in harvest or hay; so he never gotto learn what most people would at that age.Now that he is seventy years old, he has gottento the point that he can read numbers and writehis name, but he can’t do much more than that.That is why he calls upon me to help him in hisendeavors, at least the ones that require mathematicalassistance. I am always obliged to helpmy papa, for the simple fact that I love him andthat I would do anything I possibly could tohelp him.Now, as I look at Papa holding out hishand, I feel a deep and complete sense of thankfulness,because I am looking at the very inspirationthat helped me to become the person thatI am standing here, by this tractor tire, holdingthis piece of paper upon which I have writtenthe very information my grandfather could not.With the deep and caring voice, my grandfatherlooks at me and says, “Give it to me, son,” andas those words fall upon my ear, I simply say tohim, “If you ever need me, Papa, I’m here to dowhatever I can to help.” I hand him the piece ofpaper with the measurements on it and webegin to walk back to the house. Walking back,I can only think of one thing to say to him:“Thanks, Papa.”45


Playin forthe Sanctified“Now it ain’t hard to see that this cat comingin to play with us ain’t exactly likeeverybody else! But he’s gonna play his heartout for you though, so please give your undividedattention and love to Trey Lyons!” wasthe last thing I wanted to hear Willie say as Itrudged down the center aisle of the HavenAcres Sanctified Church with nothing but mybest Sunday suit and an oversized guitar case tospeak for me. As I reached the front pew, I setmy case down, pulled out my guitar, andstrapped it on, only to hear Willie cry out,“Come on, brother! These beautiful peoplewanna hear us play!”By drawing attention to the fact that I waslate and holding everyone up in this congregationof a little over 400, Willie only amplifiedthe tension running through my blood thatmade me realize, “You are the only white guyhere.” As I plugged in my guitar the tensionfinally climaxed and I found myself hoping andpraying that the gates of hell would open upand swallow me whole right then and there.Amazingly enough though, they didn’t and thedrummer started up.I started by fiddling around meekly, playingonly the simplest riffs (those of which I wasmost sure). Then, the tension just seemed toease up a bit. Little by little the nervousnesswas melting off of me, and I was becoming theguitar player I am sitting alone in my bedroom.Trey LyonsBy the time our last tune was almost over,I was playing my hottest licks and shakingmy hips (ever so subtly considering the situation).At last we were finished and to thehouse we could go. We took our bows andeveryone clapped as we walked down andout of the same trail of tears I had trekkedearlier.Willie approached me after we were completelyclear of the masses. He looked at mesmiling, shaking my hand, and said, “Man,you looked like you were playing the firefrom out of that guitar, but you weren’tcomin’ through the mix. We checked at theend of the set and it looked like you forgot toturn your amp on.” The rug had been jerkedfrom beneath my feet. I worked myself up to anervous mess and slowly overcame my nervewrenchingfears, only to stand in the way ofmy own accomplishments by forgetting to dosomething as simple as reach down and turnmy amp on.I walked away with a sense of pride andhumility that day, though. I felt proud because Ihad channeled my self–conjured tension andpressure into something productive and upliftingwhile at the same time making the mostjuvenile of mistakes by forgetting to do somethingthat could easily be seen as the most basicstep of any performance.Funeral of a WaveWaves die at the shore.Harmonious lullabies breakDistant squawkingAs the sky whispers black.Crackling jars the calm.Spatters hit the water.Their slow drone carries upThe fog from cooled swells.A pair of feet shuffle,Murmuring across wet sand.Willow NeroHonorable Mention,Poetry CompetitionBroken NetsBright blue posts glare in the sunlight,Their broken nets swaying.The five munchkinsBounce up and downAnd up and downUntil a voice calls,“One at a time!”Omniscient Mom: 1376Munchkins: 0“Maa” draws their attention,And Peek-a-Boo Fred pokes his headThrough the electric fence.The little abandoned goat is hungry;He needs to be hand-fed.The broken nets now sway in the windInstead of in time to jumping munchkins.They have been abandoned for a crying babygoat.I’d feel broken too.Emily WilliamsGeometric Shapes Still Life, Graphite, First Place Drawing, Art Competition Missie Smith4647


Contributors’NotesDesert Star, Watercolor Cassandre Man-BourdonHannah Bruce (Saltillo)Hannah will attend the Universityof Missouri—Rolla with a major inenvironmental engineering. “Myfavorite time to take pictures is atthe change of seasons… Nature isart itself.”Laura Chaires (Jackson)Laura’s favorite writers are SylviaPlath and e.e. cummings. “Ducksand geese are foolish things andmust be looked after, but girls cantake care of themselves."— Washington IrvingFarshad Chowdhury (Greenwood)Farshad plans to attendDartmouth College with a major inneuroscience and internationalaffairs. “Be who you are and saywhat you feel, because those whodon’t mind don’t matter and thosewho don’t matter don’t mind.”— Dr. SeussAmanda Dew (Charleston)Amanda plans to attendMississippi State University with amajor in pre-med/chemistry.“Stand for something or you’ll fallfor nothing.”Jonathon DuPont (Wiggins)Jonathon plans to attend TheUniversity of Mississippi with amajor in mathematics and physics.His work has been influenced by“North by East,” H.G. Wells’ TheMan in the Moon, and Jules Verne’sJourney to the Center of the Earth.Christy Dyess (Bassfield)Christy plans to attend TheUniversity of Southern Mississippiwith a major in psychology andcriminal justice. “Learn fromme…how dangerous is theacquirement of knowledge, andhow much happier that man iswho believes his native town to bethe world, than he who aspires tobecome greater than his naturewill allow. — FrankensteinRebekah Garrison (Summerland)Rebekah’s favorite writers areMadeleine L’Engle and OrsonScott Card, and her favorite artistis Walter Anderson. Her work hasbeen influenced by MadeleineL’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light.Andy Guan (Ridgeland)Andy wants to major in graphicdesign and mathematics. Hisfavorite artists are Van Gogh andNorman Rockwell; Rockwell’sworks have influenced his own.Larry Hawkins (Pascagoula)Larry’s writing has been influencedby his life experiences. “Nomatter how many trials you experiencein your life, unless youlearned the lesson they presented,you’ll never be able to advance.”Clarence Holmes (Cleveland)Clarence plans to attend HamptonUniversity with a major in marinebiology. His favorite writer is DanBrown, whose book The Da VinciCode has influenced his own work.Ashley Jefcoat (Quitman)Ashley’s favorite authors are NeilGaimon, Mercedes Lackey, and e.e.cummings. “Say goodbye to thewhole wide world / We’re headingoff as far away as we can.”— Gackt’s “Another World”Kristin Klaskala (Starkville)Kristin will attend MississippiUniversity for Women in the fallwith a major in graphic design.Her favorite writer is John J.Nance, and her favorite artist isWilliam Adolf Bouguereau.Madison LaFleur (Gulfport)Madison will attendSoutheastern LouisianaUniversity in the fall with amajor in environmental science.“Savor every happy moment.”Addie Leak (Woodville)Addie will attend BelhavenCollege with a major in creativewriting. Her work has beeninfluenced by the Redwall seriesby Brian Jacques and Monet’s“The Houses of Parliament.”Trey Lyons (Mooreville)Trey’s favorite writer is WaltWhitman, and his favorite artistis Michael Jackson. He willattend Millsaps College in thefall with a major in biochemistryand medicine.Ashley Mackay (Columbus)Ashley plans to attend BrighamYoung University. Her favoritewriters are William Butler Yeats,e.e. cummings, Ralph WaldoEmerson, and Jack Kerouac.Cassandre Man-Bourdon(Ridgeland)Cassandre’s favorite artists areWalter Anderson and LeonardoDa Vinci. “Life has been yourart. You have set yourself tomusic.”Hayley Maxwell (Grenada)Hayley plans to attendRandolph-Macon Woman’sCollege in Lynchburg, Virginia,with a major in anthropologyand an emphasis on biolinguistics.“Our thoughts, the cakewhich sustains us — our actions,the icing which translates us.”Bess McCafferty (Jackson)Bess will attend St. John’sUniversity in Queens, New York,with a major in internationalrelations and Spanish and Italian.Her experience at MSMS isdescribed in Lauryn Hill’s “TheFinal Hour.”Laura Beth Moore (Ridgeland)Laura Beth formerly attendedTupelo High School and willattend The University ofSouthern Mississippi in the fall.Rodney Morgan (Verona)“’Cause ever since I tried tryingnot to find / Every little meaningin my life / It’s been fine / I’vebeen cool / With my new goldenrule.” — “New Deep” by JohnMayer. Rodney’s favorite writersare Langston Hughes and WaltWhitman.Willow Nero (Bay St. Louis)Willow will attend TheUniversity of Mississippi with amajor in creative writing andjournalism. “We do not writebecause we want to; we writebecause we have to.”— W. Somerset MaughamAmanda Novotny (Starkville)Amanda plans to attend PurdueUniversity with a major in civilengineering. Michelangelo’s arthas influenced her own. “BetterIs One Day” best describes herMSMS experience.Ashlee Oliver (Senatobia)Ashlee’s personal philosophy is“God made this beautiful world;I merely capture pieces of it onfilm.” Her favorite artist is DonPaulson, and his works “CallaLily,” “Magnolia Blossom,” and“Mossbrae Falls” have influencedher own work.Klint Peebles (Philadelphia)Klint’s favorite writers areHarper Lee, Edgar Allan Poe,William Shakespeare, and FrankMcCourt. “Either write somethingworth reading or do somethingworth writing.”— Benjamin FranklinKhadijah Ransom (Indianola)Khadijah will attend DillardUniversity, New Orleans, with amajor in pharmacy. “Good, better,best. Never let it rest, untilyour good is your better, andyour better is your best.”Jennifer Sloan (Starkville)To Jennifer, the song describingher MSMS experience is“Tequila” by The Champs“because it has no words and isvery jumpy and crazy. Just likethe MSMS experience….”Missie Smith (Columbus)Missie plans to attendMississippi State University witha major in chemical engineering.Her favorite writer is JaneAusten. “Never let anyone stopyou from doing your best.”Ryder Taff (Jackson)Ryder plans to attend TheUniversity of Georgia. Hisfavorite photographer is Korda,whose photograph of CheGuevera has influenced Ryder’sart.Quinnon-Rashad Taylor(Greenville)Quinnon’s favorite artists areAaliyah, Madonna, John Mayer,and Beyonce. “Creativity is a lotlike love. Every time you thinkto define it, you change your definitionin some way.”— MadonnaKatrina Vizzini (Starkville)Katrina’s favorite author is NeilGaimon, and Dave McKean isher favorite artist. Her experienceat MSMS is described in“Wind” by Akeboshi: “Don’t tryto live so wise. / Don’t cry ’causeyou’re so right. / Don’t dry withfakes or fears, / ’Cause you willhate yourself in the end.”Elizabeth Wayne (Crystal Springs)Elizabeth’s favorite authors areC.S. Lewis and Jane Austen, andbooks that have influenced herwriting are Pride and Prejudiceand Thomas and Beulah. “Don’texpect a great day; make one.”Emily Williams (Ocean Springs)Emily’s favorite writers are SirArthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells,Charles Dickens, and NatsukiTakaya. “The brain is a wonderfulorgan. It starts working themoment you get up and does notstop until you get to school.”Jacie Williams (Iuka)Jacie will attend Mississippi StateUniversity with a major in engineering.Her favorite authors areWilliam Shakespeare, Anne Rice,and Carl Higasen. “If you don’twant anyone to know about it,don’t do it!”Jimmy Williams (Myrtle)Jimmy will attend MississippiState University in the fall with amajor in chemical engineering.His favorite author is WaltWhitman, and he enjoys the playHamlet.Caitlin Wolfe (Jackson)Caitlin’s favorite authors are RayBradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, JaneAusten, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R.Tolkien. “Wait until it is nightbefore saying it has been a fineday.” — a fortune cookie48

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