UpRoar Senior Spotlight Maddy Chriest


In my dreams I see a girl. She sparkles like the ocean, laughs like the waves. Whenever I close my eyes and meet her, she’s poised beneath a weeping tree. As the tree sways her hair is carried by the breeze. Her smile is soft, and sunlight steals through the trees to dance on her skin.

And suddenly, in this dream, she turns to me. Her lips curl gently, her eyes grow a little wider as she looks at me. My heart stops. And she tilts her head ever so slightly, her face filled with a sultry curiosity. And like a tidal wave, she comes. She takes my breath away, she drowns me beneath her waves. And under the ocean’s surface, it’s quiet. Quiet except for my singing heart. It’s only her and I, her hand in mine, our bodies intertwined. I’m locked in her undertow, but the ocean seems like home.

And then we’re back beneath the weeping tree, our hair swaying in the wind. Smiles basking in the sunlight. And it’s just like in the books and the movies, where she looks so beautiful you could just kiss her –

She leans in close, and suddenly her lips are on mine. They’re salty and sweet, and she smells like the sea. I reach out to hold her, but then her lips are gone. Her smile is replaced by a streak of sunlight. Only the weeping tree sways in the breeze.

I open my eyes. I wonder where she’s gone. Though, I know a girl should never dream about another girl’s smile, and especially not her lips.


A Home Without Time

If I were to live

in a home without Time

would I live all alone?

Would I meet all the faces I read of?

All the poems I dream of?

Would I find myself here,

in this home without Time?

Old and molded

or young and unfolded,

waiting to unravel?

Perhaps by the hands of a lover

or the demands of a passion.

Would I converse with the songs of stories

or kiss the lips of life?

Would I find the passing of pain

or the start of suffering?

The question is not what I could do without Time.

It is not what I would be or see

or feel or reveal

about the nature of the universe.

Without Time I would not be.

He is the ground I am bound to,

that we all were founded through.

Without Time,

there would be no home for all that existed.

All that was birthed and born

and grew by days

and took a final breath,

maybe muttering a phrase of thanks

or crying a chorus of compunction.

Or, is Time the one without a home to call his own?

He’s everything that has existed

and every moment that is to come

and each breath of mine on a running breeze.

He doesn’t wait

and he doesn’t stop

and he doesn’t freeze for anyone but speed.

He’d rather exist without the matter

but the matter

of the fact is he wouldn’t matter

if it were not for this matter

of life that we respire upon.

Time isn’t patient.

He nudges you forward

or tugs you along with a pull of your sleeve

until you can run no more with him.

With his infinite breaths

and infinite seas, he’s always to ride

the current a bit faster than you’d please.

The moment we are born

we are born in Time’s arms.

He blesses us with a clock face

and we all wander around brisk paced,

glancing at another’s ticks of Time

told by the wrinkles of his face

or the color in her cheeks.

We curse Time for not treating us equally

when we all run from the same end plastered on our faces

and written in our paces

around and around the brim of him.

We think we can keep up with Time,

while he stretches on in a linear infinity

we are planted as seeds along his spine

growing and spurting

until the soil of his bones soils

and the rayed sons of the sun run out

and we can thrive no more.

It’s not that there is not enough time.

It is that I will never live inside its entirety.


I wish to live as that sea

that pours along the span of the future

like a hope on the breeze.

I wish to be a conscious entity without matter.

To run without the pull of gravity

or the limits of physicality.

I wish to be one with Time.

I wish to whisper to him as he makes the Earth form,

watch as he runs past the death of the sun,

witness his strides along the faults of humanity until he

–with the sweep of his hand –

brushes them all from his tracks

and confides in me the affliction

that comes with his sovereignty.

And I do wonder still how it feels to be a sea.

To be tasked with the filling up

of what was once empty

and making it whole.

To hold every life that has lived in your depths

down to the deepest trenches.

To fill and to fall all at the same time.

To never once still.

I wonder how it feels

to be a wave that never stops crashing

and a sea that never stops rippling.

I wonder how it feels

to grow but never get bigger.


I wonder most remorsefully,

how he does it all on his own.

It must be lonely,

to fill a nothing all alone.

Maybe we are more like Time

than this time

we have will ever let us know.



One day

My lips were leased

To someone else


My tongue was tied

To my teeth.

I would

Ache like heartbreak

Over what I lost –

Or what I had

Rejected and neglected

For so long

It gave up on me.

I would scream

Through locked lips,

Ripping hair from my head


Tears tearing

Down my cheeks.

I would bleed rivers

For people

Who preferred oceans,

Pour poems

For people

Who pined for prose.

My muffled cries

Are forever


Among a sea

Of screamers swallowing

The silence.


Love Lies

“Don’t worry, I don’t bite.”

Says Love, taking my hand.

“Then why does it always hurt

So bad when you leave?”