AVATAR 2016-2017 Avatar


Shawnee High School Art & Literary Magazine

Thank you to all that submitted their works to the AVATAR. The 2017 edition of AVATAR is the first digitally produced. Every year we are amazed at the talent that we get to witness at Shawnee High School. Our purpose is not only to recognize our hardworking and talented art students, but also to inspire all and create a deeper appreciation for the arts within our community. We hope our magazine motivates you to keep dreaming, imagining, and creating!

Congratulations Adaleigh Staley

Adaleigh Staley's short poem PSA was selected by the AVATAR staff as the "Best Of" the 2017 publication.

Phenomenal Woman, That's Me. by Abby Pennington


Distance makes the heart grow fonder

But that doesn't mean that it doesn't suck

Everyday the miles make us stronger

Fate just didn't give good luck

Hours away but together everyday

Tears always come when I think how far you are

And I'll give up anything to hear you say

Something happened and now you aren't so far

But still at 2am I wish you were here

and I still hurt to think I can't see you

And next time that we are both near

There won't be anything I wouldn't do

Just to spend some time with my other half

Like the sky and sun go hand in hand

My day is always brightened by your laugh

With you I will always forever stand

We may be hours apart

And miles always pile

But I will never change my heart

And will always make you smile

There may be days I cry for you to be here

And days it hurts to know how much longer

And it sucks to not be with you year after year

But no matter what you always make me fonder

I know you're just one call away

All I have to say is one secret code

And you're there to save the day

I'll always help you carry the load

And be here to listen to your stories

And be here to hear your day

I love our nights of stupid movies

And you always know what to say

Our trees may not be the same

But our branches still got stuck together

We may not share a last name

But our branches grow the same in harsh weather

- Ambyr Strickland

Photo by Alex Rudzinski

Take 'Em All

Take all prisoners

People say, ‘take no prisoners,’

Like they are adventurous

Isn’t leaving prisoners behind the less adventurous way to go?

Instead of liabilities, make them opportunities

To grow, even in the pitfalls

We all go through seasons

Phases of the good and bad

So keep your prisoners,

Hold them close

And no matter what happens,

Always take every. last. prisoner.

- Helen Beerline

Photo by Arianna Smedley


Everyday, I'm your first thought

Everyday, “are you okay?”

Everyday, you remember how much I've fought

Everyday, you speak louder than words can say

Everyday, you're my first thought

Everyday, I cherish your love

Everyday, I acknowledge how much light you've brought

Everyday, I know there's nothing we can't soar above

Everyday, we talk for hours

Everyday, the distance is pain

Everyday, someone doesn't understand a bond like ours

Everyday, we count down until we can see each other again

Everyday, you're my best friend

Everyday, your happiness is my mission

Everyday, you have a hand to lend

Everyday, you always listen

Everyday, you're the reason I move on

Everyday, you give me a reason to breathe

Everyday, you're the comfort in a favorite song

Everyday, you're the leaves that are on trees

Everyday, you're the wind that blows

Everyday, I ask “why”

Everyday, you say “who knows”

Everyday, you always know what to say

Everyday, you're never alone

Everyday, you're light in my day

Everyday, all you have to do is call my phone

Everyday, you're the best of my heart

Everyday, I'm the loving voice in your head

Everyday, you're there from the start

Everyday, you're there until I go to bed

-Ambyr Strickland

Photo by Arianna Smedley

Haves and Have Nots

This marvelous world

is but a merciless place

carelessly filled with

haves and have nots.

I am a have

in all regards

but one,

And to have not love

is to have not anything

at all.

A life without requited love

is otherwise


Or my heart tells me so.

Alas, I am like you,

poets and hopeless romantics-

Trying ever so futilely

to keep the torch ignited

that within

this despairing world

are the slings and arrows

that befall Man,

barring no one,

thereby dousing the flame,

But I say unto you,

Carry on

like all haves and have nots

of this fated planet


Oh, carry on,

disheartened wanderers,


like all lovers,

you will die


- Dylan Elmer

Photo by Celine Doute

Intellectual Hearts

Come with me and we'll go

Where no one knows

But not here to lie lifeless

Not where it is lightest

But to the world.

No souls kinder than we

To fight hunger, or unhappiness, or for freedom

We must be.

Ambitious and able

Much beyond capable-

To have hearts and use them too,

To know that heart to love is courage to shoe,

But still let it beat and believe it's vitality anew.

That metaphor may meet reluctant reality

And live with peaceable adieu.

That my thoughts may cross yours,

And leave ideas and not pain.

That you may contemplate the life which I drew

And partially understand, comprehend what I knew.

- Adaleigh Staley

Photo by Arianna Smedley

I Am What I Am

I am what I am.

I am outgoing and I am quiet.

I am boring and I am full of surprises.

I am joyful and I am sad because I have learned to laugh in life's lows.

I am what I am.

I am an older sister and an unexpected daughter.

I am a blessing and I am a burden.

I am an enemy. I am a best friend.

I am what I am.

I am a believer in love but I believe that love can break your heart.

I am a second chance, I am a first choice.

I am ambitious.

I am what I am.

I am doubtful.

I am successful because I learn from my failures.

I am excited to see what my future holds.

But more than all of that, I am beautiful because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am loved by Jesus Christ.

I am what I am.

- Trystin Johns

Drawing by Maggie Bice

I was what I was

I was what I was.

I was the purple, fragrant buds on your tree in the spring.

The warm, sudsy water on little hands clean.

I was a tiny girl on a blue plastic chair,

Stirring steamy pasta water, with my small feet bare.

I was your long, quiet walk in the whispering trees,

The towhead with bruises always up to her knees.

I was the tidier of rooms who loved organized ease.

The opener of windows to feel a cool breeze.

I was the baker of cookies and popper of corn.

So we could sit inside and watch a rainstorm.

I was the curled-up, warm, sleepy thing on your lap,

Listening to you read before we'd take a good nap.

I was the red cheeks and nose in the bitter cold night,

To look through our telescope in the clear twilight.

I was the slender neck that tried on your ties,

And looked up to you with big, blue eyes.

I was what I was.

- Marley Evans

Photo by Arianna Smedley

Laced With Words:

I write of a love I've never felt

A sting

A warmth

A kind embrace

I write of men made of stone,

Or the pliant branches of willow trees

Girls made of ice, and marble,

And light

I write of a sadness that has never burned

My skin

These are not words of love

But the words I want

These are the words I desire

The oil that keeps my lamp lit

So I thread each desire, dream,

And pretty word into my poems

With the hope it sounds like love.

- Abbigayle Gillen

Photo by Hailey Sims

The Wisdom of Ignorance

Said the Prince to the servant,

"Don't you dream to be me?

My life is of privilege and fine luxury."

"Young fool," replied the servant.

"You've no need to affront,

why brag when you can't afford what I most want?"

"Nonsense!" objected the Prince.

"I've all there's to wish for,

riches, fame, nobility, what's to want more?"

The servant said to the Prince,

"Narrowed, are your own eyes,

distracted by greed, your virtues are but wise."

"If," continued the servant,

"I'd receive just one wish,

I would not want money or objects of swish,

though I am but a servant.

I would wish for more time

because letting it waste, to me, is a crime.

Once was I just like you, Prince,

for the world did I crave,

and I searched for so long I'm now near the grave.

No wish to live like a prince

from me, rather, I'd choose

to wisely live again the life I did lose."

- Gabe Williams

Drawing by Haley Mulcahy

Wonderful Man

I wonder what's inside of a man's heart,

Could he be tainted with sin from the start?

Or perhaps, the man is slowly conditioned,

And learns hate in this world is greatly commissioned.

I wonder what's in front of these men's eyes.

Discontent, corruption, all normalized.

How can a man be possibly good,

If evil is applauded from boyhood.

It isn't a secret, it's hard to be kind,

When a hunger for lucre controls your mind.

How can one expect a man of decency,

When society demands him to act so greedily?

I wonder if man can see these flaws,

And feel this innate longing that gnaws.

But if this is true, why can't we wake up?

Join hands and say enough is enough?

We can't. It's too late. We're too far gone.

Luxury over charity, we'll always be drawn.

The only way this might possibly end,

Is if we start loving more than we spend.

- Marley Evans

Water color by Brianna Stech


Have you ever seen the way

an addict's hands shake,

as they drink the last drop

or take another quick break?

Have ever seen that look

in a friend or mother's face?

The look of desperation

in their system- always a trace.

They need one,

not that they'll admit

and they'll take another drag

of the cigarette they lit

and you'll open the window more

though everything reeks of it.

Always one more drag, one more sip

just one more time, just a little bit

and it's killing them

drawing their life force.

Fun, freedom, happiness

all gone, you know the source.

It's terrifying, the blunder.

A bad habit never breaks.

You watch your loved one knowing

everything it takes.

So maybe they were right,

they'll die of cancer, or poison or hate

but you'll be clean forever

but that's less give, and more take

Have you ever seen the way

an addict's hands shake?

It's unforgettable

the way porcelain hands quake.

- Adaleigh Staley

Photo by Arianna Smedley

I Knew Him:

In this hallowed hall

All the golden angels fall

Fallen brethren with broken wings

Yet church bells still seem to ring.

I walked one night between the holy pews

Blood dripping from my shoes

My eyes searched the small crowd

But all their heads were silently bowed.

People begging for money or fame

No one really knew his name

He sat there with hands on the noose

But he only lived because the ties were loose.

So take a break and say your prayer

But always be well and aware

God is not who you choose

He might just have blood on his shoes.

- Abbigayle Gillen

Water color by Brianna Stech


Friends are like stars

You don't see but know they're there

They can be near or far

You can't always be everywhere

But at least you're always in their mind

Once you know the pain of distance

In the end you always find

The farthest is the one that best listens

You cherish every moment and memory

You relive it over and over

Because the best ones don't come quickly

But more like a four leaf clover

- Ambyr Strickland

Photo by Celine Doute

The Drive

Another angry day of school

Another questionable test

I knew I had to keep my cool

I had to try my very best

I get into my ruby red car

Get out my keys and ignite the V-Six

Oh, how I wish Ruby could take me far

But instead I just pump up my best mix

I feel the speakers pumping

The music takes me away

It always makes me feel like jumping

And in this parked spot I will no longer stay

Throughout everyday, I just think

The bad just keeps tearing me down

I feel like a ship that is about to sink

And I know that to some I look like a clown

I decide to take the long way home

I’ve got time and gas to spend

I would rather just be free and roam

Be careless and not worry about the end

I had to learn to grow up real quick

I got all dressed up, but for the wrong occasion

The color yellow now makes me sick

That day, my demons launched an all out invasion

I’m driving through the countryside

Windows down, sun shining, wind blowing

This is where I come to hide

When the passion and rage is overflowing

Not many things make me happy anymore

Except for when I see her

Blonde hair and blue eyes that any guy could adore

And as mysterious as a stranger’s whisper

I’m cruising at sixty, wide open road

Sunglasses on, and I feel a sense of joy

I can partially relieve my shoulders of this load

And feel like I am, once again, just a joyous boy

I wish I could have my best friend back

And just tell him about my day

But instead, that one fall night hit like a heart attack

And I was lead astray

I’m coming up to seventy, gripping the wheel

I can hear and feel the engine roaring

I’m glad it can make me feel

As if I am an eagle that is soaring

My mind drifts back to her

And how I long to see her smile

Even if it may cause my world to blur

For her I would walk mile after mile

I’m up to eighty, running out of road fast

And I don’t want to stop

Nothing good comes out of thinking of the past

I realize I will never be on top

My mind jumps back and forth

Always in a constant fight

My compass no longer has a North

But I must resist with all my might

There is always something to fight for

Something to make me stand tall

There is always another open door

Even when everything seems to fall

I pull into my driveway and put Ruby in park

I let the last song fade away

The world around slowly fades to dark

But I am always here to stay

- Nick Azzarello

Photo by Arianna Smedley

Sunbeam, Moonlight

The sun shines down and

I am cold.

The sun smiles and I smile back.

It does not reach my eyes, I am cold.

The World is bright...looks bright....bright gray.

The sun shines and is hidden by clouds.

There is more gray and I am cold.

The sun smiles despite the clouds and

I am cold amid gray that hurts.

The sun leaves slowly, still smiling.

The clouds are gray, dark, light, slate, gray of

every value in the sunset.

The sun is gone, the gray remains, darker.

I am cold.

The moon shines down and

I am cold… yet this is different.

I am cold amid dark gray that heals.

I am cold and I see purple and blue and silver.

The moon smiles and I smile back.

- Arianna Smedley

Photo by Hailey Sims

I Need a Map

Does anybody have a map?

I want to take the right path,

but I’m going in blind and

I don’t know how to slow down.

I’m afraid to choose at the Fork in

the Road; I’m no Frost.

I don’t know where to go.

I’m worried about forks I haven’t reached,

might never reach, will never reach.

I stare at the signs at the Fork in the Road,

only it’s a Web more than a Fork.

Which route will be better? Safer? Effective?

What if I misstep? Change course?

How much Time will I waste taking the

Wrong path?

How much Time have I wasted already?

- Arianna Smedley

Photo by Alex Rudzinski

You Cannot Break

You can't break a diamond unless with another,

You can’t break that which you don’t know,

You can't break a tree if you don't know where to start,

You can’t break winter if you’ve never seen snow,

we all are made of bulletproof glass,

We know you can't break a heart if you don’t know the mind,

So we take out glue and make it last,

And that's what we use to try fix and to bind,

But a cannon can break even diamonds apart,

They make not be done, but they still shatter,

And words are the cannons that hit the heart,

Shattering that which is unbreakable,

You cannot break that which you do not know,

But glue dries clear, and is hard to show

- Ambyr Strickland

Grinding Metal, Photograph by Victoria Haycock

Dolphins- A Sonnet

The Dashing Dolphin dozed in her domain-

She occupied the blue, opal oval-

The little life-form lapped without a chain-

Her Purpose had no prior proposal.

Until her heart did hear of his promise-

Which included illicit illusion-

But in nothing did she take a notice-

And this Damned Dolphin drowned in delusion.

The ocean did not her her one outcry

To leave, limp, out of her legal chain link-

But her pure power perished and ran dry:

Her harsh home had ended, in one eye blink.

In this immoral issue of abuse,

For them, we should not nominate nor choose.

-Daniel Patricio-Agosto

Dolphin Steak - A Limerick

The Dolphin was riding the wake,

She waved and she winded the lake,

But she could not see,

The blade in the sea,

And now she's a Dolphin meat steak.

-Daniel Patricio-Agosto

Created By
brian krawetzke

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