St Stephen's School: A selection of work from Moira Egan's Creative Writing Classes, 2016-17.
**Winner of the 2017 Keats-Shelley House Poetry Prize**
Cristina Rizzo (grade 11)
after Wilfred Owen
Spleens are thrust on the ground,
While legs squelch through
Lakes of cardinal red.
Rough metals clank and cut
Through clumps of contracting
Blades taste like ice
On the shivering skins
Who’ve feebly fought
Which few will
Fail to satisfy
While, out will come others,
Not braver men,
But perhaps on better terms with chance,
Who’ll lie, alive, in luscious,
Luxurious praises and gains
But whose minds will have broken.
Therefore I give these words
To whoever lies in the mud,
Both in the body and in the mind.
Eveline Mol (grade 11)
The night breathes in their frigid whispers.They face each other, his eyes cold as ice. The person she used to love, once a calm lake who sent ripples through her, now frozen over, menacingly weak. She cares not for the others he speaks of, she barely cares about him or his words.
Tears roll down her cheek.
His words do not break her heart;
The pitter-patter does.
Estefania Hugo (grade 12)
I see the Moon in her full grandeur.
She wears her shiny apron of diamonds.
Daylight - I imagine her watching you,
Keeping you company on summer nights.
She sometimes shares whispers
Of your quiet whereabouts.
And you on the other side.
I see the Sun in his full splendour.
He shows his golden mane at the blue skies.
Nightfall - I imagine him caressing you,
Keeping you warm in winter time.
He sometimes keeps secrets
Of your lively going-outs.
Heartache is frequent.
He visits you on the other side.
Michelangelo Ferrazza (grade 12)
from Shadows of the Lords
…Upon remembering her, his mind overflowing with bitter thoughts, he decided that he’d reminisced long enough. He quickly shook the thoughts from his head and focused. He grasped one of the straps of his backpack. He had everything he would need: flashlight for the darkest areas, glowsticks to mark his path, spray paint, which he used to leave his signature, if it seemed appropriate — an O with an X through it, but in desperate situations, he could also use it to leave a trail —some water, and a gasmask in case of mold spores. He pulled up his black hood, adjusted his backpack, and headed into the unknown. Mt. Ariandel Asylum awaited him. He had heard the legends, he had come, and now that the abyss was calling him more than ever, it was time to answer.
Laura Rizzo (grade 10)
There, on the highest point in Oia, the cloudless sky reflected all its spotless perfection onto the water, but in little time, the celeste shifted into shades of tangerine and coral that dominated the sky, expanding slowly and, at last, hiding behind the Aegean, leaving shades of indigo illuminated by small crystals. The stars were so clear compared to the ones back in Rome, untouched by clouds, smog or buildings; every speck was evident, even the smallest. They were closer that way, the stars,
almost as if you
could raise a finger, and watch
it sink into the soothing blue-violet.
Federico Salvati (grade 10)
An Acoustic Paradise
They say the gate clangs when you open it
And screeches when you force it.
The birds chirp.
You stutter and stand there stunned,
As beauty banishes all that is abominable.
But then a sudden scream strikes your subtle stance…
They say you can’t escape the eternal ethical chant that
Some say is dreadful, others say is delicate as a dove drifting on
A deep sea while admiring his Dactylotheca.
Priscilla Pigozzi Garofalo (grade 12)
The Swell of the Seasons
Cold stalks through the layers of fabric to settle blissfully atop the skin, petulantly perched before commencing its descent through the layers of the epidermis. The air quiets and stills. Numbness pervades the environment, plunging the fluttering vibrancy of pines in reluctant slumber. Bark bristles in opposition before succumbing with a growl. Gravel crunches resentfully under rubber soles, whilst air parts ceremoniously to admit words to its ranks.
Bites shredding the skin,
turning it rosy and numb.
Stilling the senses.
Georgia Smith (SSS Boarding Student, 2016-17)
The roots grab hold.
They sprout around our lungs.
Their pollen, we’re assured will make us bold.
The things we used to think, so delicately hung.
Suddenly this growth inside,
Reveals the morals to which we’d clung.
The rules by which we thought we should abide.
Of course, they now seem naive and dumb.
The saplings are our future, yet we sit still and chide.
But how are they to know what’s to come?
Soon trunks will grow tight around their hearts.
The same songs of change we had sung
Will bubble out of them; surprise them with its spark.
Then maybe our flowers will be born forth from our bark.
Sophie Potin (grade 10)
It’s intriguing and scary, deep and empty, then bright and overbounding.
I will never understand that I saw the universe clearly for the first time outside a cottage in cold, dark Iceland. I couldn’t bear the child in me staring with fear at the northern lights, painting the sky with stories we’d never heard before. As I leaned back, I let the colors wash over my soul, painting new dreams.
The colors fought
For freedom in
The inky blackness
Virginia Testa (Grade 10)
The road was completely dark and sinister. We just kept walking, illuminating the streets with our portable torches. Fallen leaves scattered on the asphalt. We kept calm and collected, walking ahead, not sure of where we were headed. Not making any kind of sound. When we reached the cemetery, we all went in, still quiet. Some of us were whispering to each other, probably questioning what kind of place this was. I looked back and saw
Leaves were falling
Onto the bare, cold ground
Like buried bodies
Lucas Zehner (Grade 12)
from The Beginning of the End
… The sea was enclosed by two large walls of ice, hundreds of feet tall, encasing the great bay in its solid grip. They formed a rough arch shape, which met with the black stone of the mountains protruding from either side of the bay into the dark blue water. The walls never met in the centre, but a slim crevasse separated the two massive, icy entities. The bay was serene; there were no waves to be seen in the distance and the jagged ice sheets had all drifted to the shores.
St Stephen's School, Via Aventina 3, tel. 065750605, website.
Published in the September 2017 edition of Wanted in Rome magazine.
WANTED IN ROME JUNIOR: For young writers and artists
Wanted in Rome is accepting creative contributions from students in all international schools in Rome. Articles on topics related to either the student’s life in Rome or their school projects can be submitted by their class teachers. The work should be no more than 1,000 words and all contributions should contain the name, age and school of the student. We also accept illustrations. Any class teachers who would like to propose a project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.