zebrastripes

United States

Published Work

1 am

a luminescent glow shadows my face
as the silence of the night quakes 
in a small room stuffed with posters and knick nacks
littered with homework needed to be packed
And the buzz of a fan to shield from sweltering heat 
Follows the rhythm of my very own heartbeat
a yawn escapes and lids start to close 
until dreams form when I finally doze

tattoos

it’s tattooed in my brain
blood from ink gone astray
makes me remember 
the sweet memory of december 
the very last time
we were a you and i 
before our shared happiness had died

I get so angry.

I get so angry.
The first time it happened 
I was halfway through middle school
I thought the world was all chill and cool,
But was solely disappointed when the person
I thought would never be chosen  
Became president of me and maybe even you. 
Adults overlooking the bigotry, misogyny, and racism he spread,
Ignoring the degrading words he had said,
Exclaiming it was a lie and a mistake,
Even though he was caught on live recorded tape.
He continued for four years 
And I was so angry.

The next time I was barely thirteen,
Couldn’t even drive,
And I was scared for my life. 
I saw the news on the tv 
Thought it was a guarantee 
That justice would be served;
People would know what’s good and right,
But I learned I was wrong all this time.
A reality check a girl always gets;
That a man in power is always “okay”
Even though he’s accused of many bad...

The 4th

The crackles pound through my chest
As my heart beats in rhythm
With the snaps and the pops 
That could be heard from the 
Bright colors and 
The glittering lights 
Exploding through the red smoked sky.
Cheers and claps echo in the park
With the aroma of roasted nuts 
From street vendors selling their luck.
Cars and throngs of people fill the streets
Frozen to watch the show as tiny drops 
Of rain descend from the clouds. 
Cameras and clicks aimed at 
The celebration of red, white, and blue   
As the finale starts.
And just as it began 
It ends just as quick.
Honks and beeps return to the streets
As cars and city-goers start to move once more,
Returning back to their own lives.  
A united moment of shared awe ends 
As they walk through the night
Waiting the next year for it 
To all happen again.

Chosen

The clouds were gray wisps hovering around the dark sky. Smoke rose like fireworks, sudden and urgent. A cloaked figure perched atop a cliff overlooking the destruction.
Distressed, she cried out, “Why is this happening! I am the chosen one, I just don’t understand!”

She watched the buildings, brick by brick, begin to tumble. Cries for help carried through the wind and fires cackled. Her grief became too much; tears began to droop down her curt lips and land on the dry dirt. Her nose reddened from sniffles and her knees gave out, causing her to crash to the ground. Hands were on her face instantly, and the soft tears transformed into weeps.

An older woman beside her, a mentor of sorts, softly answered the plead, “You never asked, though, what you were chosen for.”
The girl, whispered through a cracked voice, “What do you mean? I was meant to save the world. Look around me. Look! Look at...

Disappointment

When I was younger I thought of you as the hero
But now you are just kind of morally grey 
You used to promise the world
But now it faded away

You knew the poison but still took it anyway
Leaving you with: 
A self-induced slumber
Half-hearted apologies in a grumble 
Broken oaths that outnumber 

You swear you’ll change
But in a blink of an eye 
You’ve done again the very next day
Now I don’t see you as anything other 
Than someone I can’t trust 
A person who caused a heart to crush
An invisible wound bled to cut 

But I know I’m not a damsel in distress
Waiting for a knight to make this life afresh 
I’ll roll up my sleeves and do what was promised to be done
Because in the end of the day I’ve got no one but me
To ensure that my story has begun

Pan

    All children, except one, grow up. As little boys and girls, we all get taller and gain lines across our smooth faces. Our once-thriving imaginations slowly disintegrate into mundane, repetitive work schedules. Time which was once thought of as long-lasting speeds up until one day when we open our eyes, we discover our childhoods missing and forgotten. We turn into adults never knowing the magic we once experienced as wonderstruck kids. This happens to all of us except one lonely, cursed boy. His name was Peter
    When you first see him among a rustling crowd, nothing will draw your attention to him, apart from his eyes. With scrawny elbows and messy strawberry hair, his mischievous emerald eyes will sparkle through the layers of mud and dust. But, if you look closer, through the layers of dirt and his trickster facade, you will see wrinkles crinkling around his lids, serious set eyebrows, and a curt frown displayed. You will discover...

Pan

    All children, except one, grow up. As little boys and girls, we all get taller and gain lines across our smooth faces. Our once-thriving imaginations slowly disintegrate into mundane, repetitive work schedules. Time which was once thought of as long-lasting speeds up until one day when we open our eyes, we discover our childhoods missing and forgotten. We turn into adults never knowing the magic we once experienced as wonderstruck kids. This happens to all of us except one lonely, cursed boy. His name was Peter
    When you first see him among a rustling crowd, nothing will draw your attention to him, apart from his eyes. With scrawny elbows and messy strawberry hair, his mischievous emerald eyes will sparkle through the layers of mud and dust. But, if you look closer, through the layers of dirt and his trickster facade, you will see wrinkles crinkling around his lids, serious set eyebrows, and a curt frown displayed. You will discover...

Forward Backward

Live

Almost impossible but here you are 
Your birth beat the 1 in 400 trillionth odds
Named a miracle everyday 
Look around in awe 
Embrace the simple marvels of the world 
Flowers that bloom in early may 
The luminescent floating stars
The crisp wind on a sunny day
Melodic notes drifting from a worn guitar
Strong promises that won't become astray 
A loving family to hold
Life is beautiful 
Seen through eyes new and old 

The Earthquake

The sky turned gray and the ground started to quiver slightly.
I walked down the stairs and saw two figures sitting at the dining room table.
Glasses on the pantry began to tremble, 
And teacups rattled from the cupboards.
Gestured over by a quiet “Honey, I think we need to talk”, I settled across from them.
The wind howled, releasing a tortured wail that echoed through the streets.
Lamppost lights flickered and the sun disappeared.
Their long faces were stern but sad.
“What?” I asked softly.
Tree branches thrashed against the window sills. 
Photograph frames jumped to the floor from the tan-chipped walls.
Books tumbled from their shelves and china plates shattered.
“There’s no easy way to say this but your mom and I are getting a divorce.”
The house came crashing down.
Speechless, I stared at them wide-eyed, hoping that I misheard. 
All that remained were rubbles and ruins with no hope for repair.

Fated Among the Stars

We didn't know anything,
But we thought we learned it all.
It took only seconds until 
We experienced the fall.
We had our hands joined together,
Like a prayer to the saints,
There our hearts began to tether 
With a pilgrims kiss that was faint.

The sun and moon were our protectors,
The only ones aware of the truth,
About our secret torn letters
From a Capulet to a Montague.

We gathered below their children;
The earth-treading stars,
Soft smile on both our faces,
To celebrate the love we've kept from afar.

We had snuck in the windows at night.
Between dusk and dawn, 
We had the best moments of our life.
Spoke our farewells with tired eyes and a yawn,
But didn't know it was the last time
We would see the other alive.

It was a race against the clock
Holding our breaths with a forlorn sigh.
What we discovered was a misguided shock,
But it was too...

History Textbook

It was glaring at me from the walnut coffee table
Messily sat near an empty mug and an army of pencils.
Its red face taunting me, 
Baring its crispy white teeth,
And puffing out its chest 
With a prideful spine. 
I knew what it was doing:
Goading me,
Challenging me, 
Mocking me,
As I sat a few feet away
Slouched, swallowed in pillows
As I tried my best to avoid its eyes 
But I knew it was a losing fight.
The educated enemy, 
Swimming in words that I needed to know.
With a sigh, I accepted defeat,
Waving the invisible white flag of surrender
as I picked it up with reluctance
And began to read

Song Writing Competition 2021

Without a Goodbye

It was dark out when you first saw her 
Everything else turned into a blur
When you looked up and spotted those eyes
I knew you were a goner from the very first time
It didn’t take long until you learned her name
But with a crooked grin, you didn’t know 
You would never be the same

You fell for her in just one moment
Without fear and a heart that was open
Cause for tonight it was her and you
Dancing in the rain until you turned blue
The moon speckled across her face 
And you took one tiny little taste
You found your new favorite desert
But you didn’t know the inevitable hurt

She left without a goodbye
Packed her things at night
And drove till the pink turned sky
Never gave a backwards glance
Never gave a second chance
Dismissing all you had in time
She left without a goodbye
It took just one single day
Leaving...

Song Writing Competition 2021

Without a Goodbye

It was dark out when you first saw her 
Everything else turned into a blur
When you looked up and spotted those eyes
I knew you were a goner from the very first time
It didn’t take long until you learned her name
But with a crooked grin, you didn’t know 
you would never be the same

You fell for her in just one moment
Without fear and a heart that was open
Cause for tonight it was her and you
Dancing in the rain until you turned blue
The moon speckled across her face 
And you took one tiny little taste
You found your new favorite desert
But you didn’t know the inevitable hurt

She left without a goodbye
Packed her things at night
And drove till the pink turned sky
Never gave a backwards glance
Never gave a second chance
Dismissing all you had in time
She left without a goodbye
It took just one single day
Leaving...

birthday party

i had my birthday party last week
everyone was happy except for me.
as I blew out my candles on the chocolate cake, 
i wished something even though I knew 
would never come true
which was you.

every year I get older
while you stay the same. 
no where to cry on a shoulder,
no one to share my pain.
everyday I look in the mirror
i see your face, 
but it always hurts harder 
on this special day.

getting presents used to be my favorite activity,
but now I try to sit through it all with an absentee,
remembering the only gifts you will receive 
are flowers on a grave and rain on a cloudy day.

confetti, balloons,
family in view.
oh how I miss you,
truly I do.
recalling the times
that we were all fine
all together happy and better, 

but now every year I get older
while you stay the same. 
no where to cry on...

History Books

Known figures of the past,
But with history that didn’t last;
Hamilton was never satisfied,
Antoinette was dead before forty five,
Joan of Arc burned alive.

In the history books,
They’ll pity us
Like we used to pity them 
About the great things we never did.
Gone too soon they’ll say,
Before moving on with their day.

the person in the mirror

when you look in those eyes,
you remember those lies,
compliments in "disguise"

there's a scar on the cheek,
a pimple that won't leave in peace,
and a smile that feels so weak.

there's a slant in the nose,
a terrible taste in those cloths;
a whole disaster to expose

a shimmer of light glimmers on the view
reminding those of the barrier between the two.
both wanting to not pass through
acting like the sight before is taboo,
but what else is new?
for that person in the mirror is you.

you remember all that you despise 
even though you try so hard to hide.
it takes willpower not to realize
that changes can't be made to pacify.

don't compare and contrast
with photos from the past,
with friends that won't last,
or actors in a movie cast.

loving somebody is a hard thing to do
especially if that thing is loving you,
but one needs to learn the...

the girl who walked these halls

there was once a girl 
who walked these halls
everyone thought she had it all
but they didn’t know
the truths that grow 
lies that turn into stone
they imagined her perfect persona
while she thought of herself as a supernova 
a dying star
that people would watch from afar
slowly she feared
she would fade away 
and no one would know 
what to say
for they thought she had it all
the girl who walked these halls 
but the reality 
she led them to believe
was nothing more than a fantasy

Pandemic Memoir

words

Oxymoron of emotions I didn't want.

New Year's Eve

The Christmas tree is still up
A Santa Clause tattoo on my knee
The last small remnants of 2020 

Walking at night to collect the mail 
A crispness in the air 
Follows the smell of a fire in the clear
The last memories till the new year 

Sitting on the couch 
With a tin foil headband in my hair 
It’s the eve of the unknown 
Waiting for the future to be grown
In the era of twenty-twenty one
Where the expectations are none

L.A.

She was a lost soul
From New York City,
He was a stranger
From New Orleans,
Both coming together
To fulfill their dreams
In the land of L.A.
With the angels 
And the greats,
But also with 
Predators hunting prey,
They were both hoping
To make it out okay.

Unrequited

She plunged
Like Alice in the rabbit hole
Entering the big, wide
Unknown 
As she lands, she discovers 
The truth when she stands
Gains cuts and fractured bones
For she fell one way:
Alone
There was no one to catch her
She expected a happily ever after
But had gotten shattered pieces instead
For her heart was in dire need of some thread

 

It'll Forever Be August

Summer begins
But no ones got a clue
That the girl so excited
Will be taken away too soon.
Lying on a hospital bed
With dwindled hope,
A will to stay, 
No cure on the way,
But she's ensuring everyone
That she'll be okay,
But whispering: 

It'll forever be August
With grass dressed in dew
Days that begin anew
The sky always blue 
It'll forever be August
With memories of me and you 


When September comes
She'll be gone,
Saying her final goodbyes,
Closing her eyes
For the very last time,
But she'll be resting, 
Whispering: 

It'll forever be August
With grass dressed in dew
Days that begin anew
The sky always blue 
It'll forever be August
With memories of me and you 


Months past,
Everyone's in black,
In a chapel of gloom
To put away the tomb.
Tears are down their cheeks,
But they should know
She's at peace,
Hovering above
With so much love
She's echoing:

I'm in...

Forever August

It'll forever be August
With grass dressed in dew
Days that begin anew
The sky always blue
It'll forever be August 
With memories of me and you 

All Talk

11 PM First Impressions

Hello? Is someone out here? Oh, wait you!
Uh... me?
Yes you! Do you see anyone else around? Come here!
Umm... hi? ... Do you want something?
Well... you see, I seem to be in a little bit of a situation.
Oh, how so?
Really, you don't know? Can't figure anything out?
I appreciate the sarcasm, but when I see you- a girl wearing a chicken costume lying in a kiddie tunnel at a park in the middle of the night- I just assume that it's a life choice.
Ha ha ha, very funny, Smart Aleck. Can you help me? I'm apparently stuck.
I will eventually. But first I want to know how you got here in the first place.
Ok, fine. So it started out with a dare from my friends.
What was the dare?
To wear a chicken costume at school for a day, of course.
Oh, of course because that's totally normal... so then how did you...

Why I Write

I Write...

I write to understand
My feelings when words are warped in my head.
My thoughts as they swirl around too fast-paced to comprehend.

I write to reflect
Pivotal moments that shape who I am as a person.
The questions I give and the answers that worsen.

I write to relieve
The emotions contained in my chest.
The secrets and lies that I keep suppressed.

I write to address
All these and more
Giving me hope and peace which I didn't have before.
 

Why is That?

I was recently reminded from a movie I watched that most fairytales were written by male authors. That while women are damsels in distress the knights and writers made them so.

Why is that? 

In school all the books I’ve read for my English curriculum were yet again written by male authors.The only exception was the novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The book displayed women as evil temptresses to stay away from.

Why is that? 

I learned this year that only one Disney movie, a franchise founded by men, had a character ask for consent. The film, Frozen, was only made seven years ago.

Why is that?

Why is creepy behavior like a “hero” whose a stranger kissing an unconscious maiden normalized in childhood? 
Why am I learning the “evils” of women through literature at my school in the 21st century? 
Why am I only noticing this all now? 
And why aren’t we discussing any of it? 

Why is...

A Fresh Beginning

Dew settles in the 
morning with the sunlight to 
start the day anew

Memory Drives

Sinking our brains 
Into memory drives
Hoping that we don't forget 
About our lives.
365 days a year
But soon there's a fear
That we'll forget the people we meet
And the places we've seen
Because the future is 
No absolute guarantee.
We take photos, videos, and more
to gain evidence for 
history to prove that we existed after our corpse
And ambitions to give generations our lore.
But it can all warp our sense of purpose
and make selfish needs that greatly disservice.
 

That's What Happened to Us

I know we haven't talked in forever.
Haven't see each other face to face in a while.
Slowly drifting away until we're strangers across the street
Because months can turn into years
Even though I'll miss you close and near.
I've been losing sleep of messages never sent
And reliving the memories that we have spent.

Remember the good times where we would laugh and we could cry?
Remember the sad life where we would support the other and sigh?

What's happening to us?
We used to be so close and now we're not. 
Using time as an excuse to cover up that hurtful bruise,
But we know the truth
That we have to choose
Either to stay 
Or to lose,
But not admitting the final news.
What's happening to us?

It's been a decade now
When I see you in a passing coffee shop.
Your heads bent over a laptop when my heart suddenly stops.
A smile graces my...

Dressed in White

A girl dressed in white
Surrounded in a sea of black,
Rain falls down the cheeks
As one looks upon the scene.
With the final goodbye to the end of time,
Her bed is lowed six feet under,
Makes everyone wonder
If she's okay above the stars
Knowing that's she's too far
To reach.
Hoping that she is at peace
Like mellow waves on a beach.
Earth showers down on her
As one can hear the wail of the wind
And a mother crying for her daughter.
To young to meet this tragic doom,
People start to walk away from the tomb

Rest in peace little one,
All is good and done.

 

Chased

lacing up my nikes,
rushing out the door.
sprinting away from my problems
before they explode even more.

the clock is moving fast,
time is speeding up,
and no matter how far i run
it is never long enough.

slow motion pause
help me face the future as it was.
slow motion rise
help fix the terror in my eyes.
slow motion rewind

checking over my shoulder,
spotting the demons come close.
sweat is dripping from my eyebrows
as i think about my decisions i chose

pain with every step,
blood dripping down my knees,
still attempting to escape,
despite knowing i will never succeed

slow motion pause
help me confront the teeth and the claws. 
slow motion rise
help me drown out the cries.
slow motion rewind

finally turning around,
facing it all head on,
sporting a brave face,
and waiting for the fear to be gone.

still mostly afraid,
the chase won't resume.
i've got to confront my...

one thing

the worlds falling apart
i don't think i have the heart
to see it shatter from above
or below
or between so and so.
why can't everyone get along?
why don't we learn how to love?
it's a messed up place,
no matter whose our saving grace.
pray to get better with the generations ahead
but the same mistakes are made over and over again.
so, don't think about when,
think about now,
be the change we hope to see.
we just need to start with one thing: belief

That's What Happened to Us

I know we haven't talked in forever.
Haven't see each other face to face in a while.
Slowly drifting away until we're strangers across the street
Because months can turn into years
Even though I'll miss you close and near.
I've been losing sleep of messages never sent
And reliving the memories that we have spent.

Remember the good times where we would laugh and we could cry?
Remember the sad life where we would support the other and sigh?

What's happening to us?
We used to be so close and now we're not. 
Using time as an excuse to cover up that hurtful bruise,
But we know the truth
That we have to choose
Either to stay 
Or to lose,
But not admitting the final news.
What's happening to us?

It's been a decade now
When I see you in a passing coffee shop.
Your heads bent over a laptop when my heart suddenly stops.
A smile graces my...

That's What Happened to Us

I know we haven't talked in forever.
Haven't see each other face to face in a while.
Slowly drifting away until we're strangers across the street
Because months can turn into years
Even though I'll miss you close and near.
I've been losing sleep of messages never sent
And reliving the memories that we have spent.

Remember the good times where we would laugh and we could cry.
Remember the sad life where we would support the other and sigh;

What's happening to us?
We used to be so close and now we're not. 
Using time as an excuse to cover up that hurtful bruise,
But we know the truth
That we have to choose
Either to stay 
Or to lose,
But not admitting the final news.
What's happening to us?

It's been a decade now
When I see you when passing a coffee shop.
Your heads bent over a laptop when my heart suddenly stops.
A smile graces my...

That's What Happened to Us

I know we haven't talked in forever.
Haven't see each other face to face in a while.
Slowly drifting away until we're strangers across the street
Because months can turn into years
Even though I'll miss you close and near.
I've been losing sleep of messages never sent
And reliving the memories that we have spent.

Remember the good times where we would laugh and we could cry.
Remember the sad life where we would support the other and sigh;

What's happening to us?
We used to be so close and now we're not. 
Using time as an excuse to cover up that hurtful bruise,
but we know the truth
that we have to choose
either to stay 
or to lose,
but not admitting the final news.
what's happening to us?

It's been a decade now
when I see you when passing a coffee shop.
Your heads bent over a laptop when my heart suddenly stops.
A smile graces my...

Masked Truths

We're not picture perfect
Just a jumbled puzzle of broken sharp edges
We hide behind our Chesire grins
And disguise with sunglasses paper-thin
So one does not see the tears that slip
between our red-rimmed eyes
And with that, they can imagine
We're in a beautiful paradise

We have the facade held strong
And the walls built tall
Became masters in our own game
But we still feel out of control 
With only our name

Under the mask holds the truth 
Can only be discovered by
an impossible sleuth
We feel alone in a crowded room
And feel suffocated
like a mummy in a tomb

Sugary words escape our lips
As more mistakes may slip
But they believe every one of our lies
Even when we are not doing fine
We cry a silent plea
Because we just want to be seen 
But we're only a grain of sand
lost in a tremendous sea

What The King Knew

It's been raining for days now
Could see the storm in one's eyes.
Water falling down the cheeks 
Because it's too late to say goodbye.

Warriors flood the once deserted parks,
Homemade signs are waved around, 
But now the chants are altered into barks,
And violence has come to town.

The wheels are turning
As the fire keeps burning
With glass shattered everywhere.

The economy is crashing
As people keep lashing out
With weapons thrown in the air.

The cameras are shaking 
As people keep taking
With greediness and no care.

The streets are filled with 
dark-colored clothes and neon green suits.
Two different sides of the opposition
But all want justice for the truth.

This is the wrong way to do it though,
Like a dove transformed into a vulture.
Think of what the king taught you to know,
Take the peaceful route and go.

Sunlight

I've learned the truth too late
Now he's left me with a heartache
Surviving on my own with the pain
Trying to walk through all the rain
Cause
After every storm, the sun comes up
Melts the feelings of when I've gone numb.
Looking in the future, I see myself grow
Letting all the hurt I've gained go
Cause
When I've hit rock bottom 
And wished I would have brought him
down with me
I will see the clarity of him as an absentee
But right now, I'll have to go day by day
Until the tears in my eyes fade away
Just waiting for that sunlight to come and stay

Future

We talk about the future as if we knew where it would be
Making choices like we had any guarantees.

Starting early with all this planning,
As if we had answers that were enchanting.

But we don’t,
We’re clueless as before,
Naive as we hope that our dreams will soar.

We’re winging it every day
creating mistakes along the way.

It’s like looking through a foggy window with dread.
It’s scary that we don’t know what lies ahead.

But we have to trust that life will turn up just right.
Fingers crossed, eyes closed, that our fate is bright.

Todays

Sometimes I just can't deal with todays.
Even though, I know they aren't
The worse of the worse
No matter how hard I try,
They still hurt. 
But I always find a reason to stay
While there are so many that say to walk away.

During those sleepless nights in bed,
Going over all that I have said,
Worries and insecurities crash down
Making me feel like I'm gonna fall to the ground.
These whole emotions going to my head
When I just need a breather instead.

Cause sometimes I can't deal with todays
And forget what people can say.
 

Remember

Remember the times you bleed
From the open wounds that run down deep.
Remember the times you will cry
Long enough until your face turns dry.
From sadness to victorious, 
These are the moments that define us.
Because history is in the past 
And these events won’t ever last.  
Memorize the bumpy rollercoaster of your life
Even if it cuts you like a knife.
This is all for your sake,
No matter how long it’ll take.
Cause
The more you hurt,
The more you ache,
Helps you learn from your mistakes.

Lost at Sea

Sometimes I feel like I’m lost at sea
There’s nowhere to go and I cannot breathe
I’m sitting in a lifeboat with waves crashing down
There’s nothing around me except a lot of clouds

A storms approaching fast
I don’t know how much longer I can last 
Send me some help
Send me some hope
Show me the light when I cannot cope

When times get tough and I think I had enough
I’ll remember the newfound beliefs that have found me
Even if I am dreadfully lost at sea

Song Writing Competition 2019

Revolution

Get past the bigotry
Get past the bias
Get past the variety
And show some kindness

Shift the views of society
No matter the diversity

Cause 
We need a revolution
We need a change
A chance to be more open minded
And broaden our range 

Change the world 
Change the mind
No more division
Just listen
It might be worth the time

Shift the views of society
No matter the diversity

Cause 
We need a revolution
We need a change
A chance to be more open minded
And broaden our range 

Come together 
Everyone’s invited
Stand as one 
We can all be united 

Shift the views of society
No matter the diversity

Cause 
We need a revolution
We need a change
A chance to be more open minded
And broaden our range 

Cause 
We need a revolution
We need a change
A chance to be more open minded
And broaden our range 

Cause we need a revolution today