by Libby Kline



The feeling of winning, even in times of great despair.

Pulling through, even when you think it not to be possible.

Defying all odds, even though you have lost hope.



Getting excited about the competition.

Not knowing the results, but your heart is racing.

Who will win?



The spirit that brought the Philadelphia we know and live to be.

Where would we be without it?

We would be lost, without anything to grab onto.


We won the Revolutionary War, yet we are still struggling through everyday battles.

“Unity is key,” they said.

“Everything will go back to normal”

But they were wrong.


They were so wrong.

We have pulled together as a city many times, and we think that is all we have.

We have more than that.

We have love, compassion, and desire.


As human beings we have the desire to be one with one another.

A desire to be unified.

We embody that spirit.

Even when we don’t know it.

There are so many amazing people from this city, and you are one of them.

We are all part of that union.

Even those who have stumbled down the wrong path.

The question is, which path will you take?


Will you fight the fight for independence?

Will you stand back and watch?

Will you die trying?

You decide.


Many cities are followers.

Not this city.

We will rise up, stronger than ever.


We are Philadelphia.

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was raised in Germantown. While I was living in Germantown, I was surrounded by diversity, which I loved. I enjoy doing ballet and competing in track and field. I have a younger sister and a younger brother, and I love reading.

Internal Conflict

Internal Conflict

by David Smith


The overwhelming, mentally dwelling,

Mind state is overbearing.

Sure, it looks high and mighty externally,

But internally, slowly dying.

Emotions non-complying, trying,

To ward off the thought of a love interest who is in a relationship I shattered,

I took one of the shards,

Stabbed my own heart,

Pain is my art,

I compose like Mozart,

But the vocabulary I got can’t save me.


These sick thoughts in the cranium,

The monster within, in vibranium it’s caged,

Passion lost like digging through a tar pit,

Solidified, looking into my mind.



Humbled feelings broke.,

My heart chokes,

Hatred flowing through my veins,

I maintain on the verge of going insane,

How many songs have I written to diss her in my bitterness,

Man that’s lame when in reality

I miss her.

David Smith is a freshman at Immaculata College.

Car Rides

Car Rides

by Zaayn Beamon


an invisible cloud enters my lungs, i take a deep breath, accepting all that it is

and will be.


it’s unfortunate that the used puffy existence calms me to a certain degree, yet it

also strains and clogs my nose.


it’s the feeling of drowning and never getting air, yet feeling as calm as ever.


two very different feelings. twisting into the air.

taking a hold of me.


car rides.

Zaayn Beamon is a freshman in high school and likes to write poetry. She also likes writing in general and lives with her family of 6 in Philadelphia, PA. She plays 5 instruments and counting.



by Zaayn Beamon


i’m falling

but what can i do?

my body wants to let go of you

not feeling the spark, not feeling the love.

i’m feeling for myself, you’re not in love


you’re gone

but what can i do?

i’ll scream and shout,

i won’t be heard.

i’ll cry and beg,

but that’s being absurd.

i’ll reason and explain

but who’s really to blame?


i hate it

but what can i say?

your love just doesn’t feel the same?

that somewhere along the way,

I started feeling your pain?

wasn’t supporting you,

always a part of you.


i love you

but it hurts.

it’ll stay that way and it burns.

yet time apart will heal the marks

and raise you back from the dead.

Zaayn Beamon is a freshman in high school and likes to write poetry. She also likes writing in general and lives with her family of 6 in Philadelphia, PA. She plays 5 instruments and counting.                

Philadelphia’s Change of Season

Philadelphia’s Change of Season

by Ava Egan


I cannot help but to stop and feel the cool breeze passing us by .

Through Philadelphia in the North, South, East, and West.

How happy are you that the weather is the best?


October, how hard you always try to be born.

I will never forget the unstable summers,

Going here, there, and everywhere.


But instead, fall is here.

As the clock falls back and the night grows longer,

enjoying pumpkins, hayrides, and apple picking, in the near future we will be tricking.


What other night is such a joy being out

In the dark dressed in different things like a cowboy.

Chanting, “Trick or Treat” so we will get something good to eat.


The night is over,

I’m so glad I have so much leftover.

Hiding candy in my drawer, all this long walkin’ has made my feet sore


I look outside and there’s a full moon,

Just think, Christmas will be here soon!

I was born in Philadelphia, PA, and was raised in East Falls. I have made so many friends in my neighborhood which I love. I play basketball, soccer, and lacrosse  for Chestnut Hill which is in Philadelphia. I love writing poetry. I live with my older brother and my parents.

Immigration Experience Poem

Immigration Experience Poem

Kaitlyn Covert


I came from Russia

Three years ago today

I had an interesting journey, along the way

We came on a plane, it was my first time

Never have I ever been so high in the sky.

The clouds looked like marshmallows, they gave me hope

For freedom and that I’d be able to cope

With all the new faces, the trip, and the discrimination to come.

We landed and went to our new home


One week later, I started school.

The kids and teachers were all so cruel.

They talked so fast and bullied me.

They told me I should move to a lower grade

But I kept pushing and trying my best

And now you can’t tell I’m different from the rest.

My name is Kaitlyn Covert. I am 13 years old and I am in 8th grade at the William Penn Charter School. My favorite subjects in school are English, social studies, and art. Outside of school, I participate in competitive all-star cheerleading. I also enjoy reading, writing, shopping, surfing, and hanging out with my friends. In the future, I hope to attend UCLA for college and I want to become a lawyer!

Rainy Soggy Philadelphia

Rainy Soggy Philadelphia

by Rea Lotlikar and Sonali Lotlikar



Off to Philadelphia for a night.

From Downingtown to Downtown on I—95.

Music blaring, GPS tracking, and eyes fixed outside.


We wait in anticipation to catch the first glimpse of the skyline.

Quintessential houses on Schuylkill River slowly float by.

The city of brotherly love emerges magnificent in the shrouded covered fog.

The skyscrapers spires reach high amidst the blanketed clouds.

Twinkling city lights comes in focus and stays in sight.

Almost heaven, ethereal and dream like.


We navigate and maneuver through the narrow sequestered streets.

Spectrum of colors: yellow, red, blue, and green,

reflect on the rain-soaked sidewalks and concrete.

Graffiti murals splashed against the walls,

For each speaks a mystery, a unique story.

Colorfully surreal, I wonder, is it art, vandalism, or just plain disobedience displayed for all?


Beneath the beaten umbrellas, pedestrians rush purposefully.

Homeless loitering and peddling for money.

We hover for a quick second in the warmth of the manhole’s rising steam.

The cacophony of sounds: somnambulant musicians, accelerating cabs, the distant sounds of sirens,

breathes life into this great old city.


We turn right onto Walnut Street, reminding of impressionist oil painting.

Lined with Michelin star restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops.

For its signature dish, the famous Philly cheese steaks, we make a stop.

Bustling with shoppers, trendy stores and boutiques stay open late.

Myriad long lines sprawl around the block, maybe waiting for a parade.


The impatient traffic doesn’t halt.

It evokes an angry holler or remark from pedestrians to slow down.

The rain soon loosens its strength and begins to drizzle and fade.

As the tranquility of night slowly descends.

Surreptitiously the commotion and the clatter silence.


Perched pigeons whired their feathers and settle in the crevices of old buildings.

The cast from a late performormance bid farewell under the illuminated drizzle of street lamps.

A final wink from William Penn atop City Hall heights,

Thank you Philly for the unexpected rainfall.

Rea Lotlikar and Sonali Lotlikar are 14 year old identical twins from Downingtown, PA. We love to dance: Tap, Hip hop. We have been dancing since we were two. We play tennis and we are on the school team. We love to paint and do all sort of arts and crafts. We like science, math and computer programming and recently started our own YouTube channel. This is our first attempt at poetry and a recent visit to Philadelphia inspired us to write this poem.



Guide for Girls Who Walk Alone at Night

Guide for Girls

Who Walk Alone at Night

By Julie Griswold


One: 3,465 steps from home.

Shuffle slowly,

shoulders racked

with nervous confidence.

Don’t look behind you

Don’t smile at strangers.

Who paused under the gaslights,

tinted ochre by sallow rays.


Two: 2,970 steps.

Remember, you must be invisible

another uncertain ghost in this closet,

as dark as the shadows

you knew as a child.

Wriggle and squirm and adjust your dress,

an unwanted beacon.


Three: 2,475 steps.

Smile, damn it!

Smile for the man who slithers

Just a little too close,

A man,who just won’t  go away.


Smile, and maybe, hopefully, oh please,

He’ll disappear like the rest of this city,

consumed by the overbearing crowd.


Four: 1,980 steps.

Strut faster,

clutch your shoulder bag

that echoes

your veins twisting

and the air igniting.

Do not, no, never return

to your apartment

even though,

Sarah left the lights on

and the television screaming.


Five: 1,485 steps.

Instead, stay, dip away,

and duck into a small store

that closes

“In twenty minutes, miss.”

Glance at postcards, t-shirts, keychains.

Pretend to care.


Six: 990 steps.

Catch your breath and

use the $3.99 sunglasses mirror

to check if he’s gone.

Exit swiftly to a chorus of

“Come again!

Have a nice night!”


Seven: 495 steps.

Exhale. Breathe.

Smile. Blink three times.


Eight: Zero steps.

Flutter home.

Julie Griswold lives in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and is a junior at the Tatnall School. She enjoys writing poetry, established her school’s Poetry Club, and co-founded a poetry reading group at Maris Grove Retirement Community. In addition, Julie co-leads her school’s literary magazine and serves on her local library’s Teen Advisory Board. In her free time, Julie enjoys singing, performance poetry, musical theater, tennis, and art.              

The Beast that Follows


My head jerks up. My heart beats faster. I can’t even see five feet in front of me.


The rough bark I’m leaning against feels plastered to my skin through my shirt. I feel so small with my knees folded, my weak arms clutching them to my chest.


My breathing quickens, but I can’t let the creature hear me. I hold the next gulp of air in my throat, praying the monster overlooks me.


It seems to be coming from all directions; I can’t pinpoint just one.


A single tear escapes my eyes, without a sound. It slides down my nose and catches itself in the corner of my mouth. Its saltiness is sticky and uncomfortable. It seems to make breathing much more difficult.


The leaves rustle above me; the ground shakes below me. I dig my fingers into the soil and make a fist in a pathetic attempt to hold everything still.


I bury my face between my knees again and clamp my filthy hands over my ears, indifferent to the caking dirt trapped underneath my fingernails. That splintering break wasn’t the usual twig, no. It was the trunk propping me up. My last support, the beast snapped in two like a toothpick.

“There you are,” it growls. I can hear its teeth forming a sick, twisted grin. “Miss me?”

Its monstrous claw reaches down and scoops me up like the claw machine at the arcade from when I was seven. I can imagine how terrified those innocent stuffed penguins must have been. Their big, frozen, unchanging eyes staring back at their kidnapper, oblivious to what lies ahead of them. I panic and try to escape its grasp but its strength is too much. Even if I could uncurl its rough claws from around my torso, a fall from this height would be detrimental. Not that I would mind, I’d take death over this fate any day.

“How’ve you been?” Its hot breath blows my hair behind my shoulders. I can’t make eye contact.

“How do you always find me?” I try to sound strong, but my voice cracks like thin ice.

Its hearty, sinister laugh makes me tremble. “Please, you tower over every last one of these acres.”

The monster’s jaw unhinges and it raises me to its sharp teeth. Frozen in terror, I peer past those white knives and see the darkness at the end of its throat and my path. All I can hear is my heart beating in my ears and sitting in my throat. The last thing I see is its eyes. Its bright, yet tinted, yellow eyes with black slits in the center. They seem miles deep.

Then, everything is black.

I bolt upright in bed, the sheets soaked with cold sweat. I gasp for air as my eyes dart around the room, trying to decipher why the bowels of the beast’s stomach have Taylor Swift posters hanging on the walls.

“Just a dream,” I breathe, my breathing patterns starting to settle.
But my heart sinks to my stomach when I realize the awful truth. The monster hasn’t left. My anxiety followed me into this world, too.




Sarah Allen loves to write poetry and short stories. She is in the ninth grade and lives just outside of Philadelphia, PA with her parents and two younger brothers. She also loves to bake and ski

A Natural Departure

From you, I grow farther

Falling leaves, as autumn will pass

I’ll rest temporarily, on grass

Wind will remove me

Other places I’ll go

Until eventually I’ll disappear

Covered in snow

Carlo Lingesso is 18 years old and now studying Communications at Rowan College at Gloucester County. His passions include writing poetry and short stories. He writes to relay his thoughts, feelings, and life experiences on paper. In his opinion, the most satisfying reward from writing is hearing somebody’s passionate and genuine response to his work.