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What’s Up? Magazine is a publication for teens by teens who have been residents at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.” -Lord Byron Writing and reading can be very therapeutic and fulfilling. Releasing confusing teenage thoughts and concerns onto paper helps us to understand ourselves better and seek solutions to the issues we face. Reading the problems and conditions that our peers are facing will aid in our understanding that we are not alone, that others have pushed through and so can we! This publication was designed and compiled by The Library System of Lancaster County’s “What’s Up with the Library?” Program. The staff travels to the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center twice a month to encourage young residents to read, write, and enjoy the free services the public library has to offer. Thank you to all who have participated in this publication! -Laura and Joan, ”What’s Up with the Library?” Staff
Issue 1 Table of Contents
Poems Getting Creative True stories Words of wisdom About the Authors 2-7 3, 8 9-10 11 12
See the back cover for important information on submitting YOUR creative work in future What’s Up? Magazines! February 4, 2009
The Person in the Mirror “Who are you?” What’s Up with the Library? I say as I look at the reflection. This person who looks at me, but Books that go from A to Z He also mimics everything I do. Always as far as the eye can see Why? Books about fantasy and space I wonder, does he know me To if they rid the world of the human race Better then I know myself? From drama to books one day about Obama Could he tell me why my life There’s sometimes music and videos Is like an everlasting rollercoaster? To books about TV shows Why does he abstain or resist From funny stories to comic books The information I want to know. To books about terrible crooks I want to say “Who are you?” From fact to fiction and one in the same But I’m self-conscious. But are there books that have no name? I don’t want anyone to think If so, are there books that are the same? I’m crazy, so I reconsider. For this we have no one to blame. You tell me, do YOU know There’s sometimes late fees, that’s no good The person in the mirror? That’s for those who don’t return them when they should Where I spend most of my time Joshua, 17 Is on computers online Playing computer games to watching from satellites These are modern-day delights Steven
10 Reasons not to go to school… To hang out with Friends 2. So I can sleep in more 3. So I can go to my job if I want 4. To play video games 5. Didn’t do my homework 6. Because I don’t feel like going 7. Maybe I will get in trouble 8. Maybe I don’t like someone in school 9. Too tired to get up 10. Maybe I don’t like my teachers
Untitled It was her 18th birthday, but she didn’t know it would be her last, For she didn’t know her life was about to be passed. She grabbed her car keys and rushed out the door, While her mother lay on the couch very sore. Sure she felt guilty and wanted to say bye, But she knew her mom was in pain and hated to see her cry. As she hopped in her car to the party that already was in place, She speeded down the highway at a fast pace. Not really looking and eager to make it there, She didn’t realize that she would face a nightmare. She slammed on her brakes, but by then it was too late, For she knew that this was all by fate. “Somebody, call 911, I think we’ve got a dead one” No, she said to herself, not me, I’m too young. She soon realized she was gone and numb. Her mom got to the hospital so she could go and see. They told her, “Dead on the scene, she crashed into a tree.” “No! My baby! Just take me instead!” “It’s too late, Mary, she’s already dead.” Devastated and defeated she didn’t know what to do. She decided to go home and thought about killing herself too. No, mommy, please. You’re stronger than that. “I know, baby, but you’re gone; and I need you, that’s a fact.” Do it for me, mommy. You’ll be here soon. Now is not your time, listen to His tune. Mary sobbed and sobbed and decided not to take her life. She did it for her daughter, but of course it would be a hard strife. Anya, 16
Frozen Time I think I died today. Beams of sunlight Shining gray, The sky is crying thunder As the flowers rot away. The bright green grass grows brown. I picture your face As my heart molds a solid frown. My body lays numb As my soul remains hollow. Dreading every second you’re away, I yearn for you more Each and every day. Debris from my crushed and broken soul Continuously reminds me this is real.
It’s a spit in the face from destiny, A slap in the mouth from reality, A proven mental note Nothing can be erased There are too many things to replace. My heart beats a forbidden melody And now time freezes. My life fast-forwards And each emotion stays the same. Now I realize… things will never change, Like a horror movie, time repeats itself for eternity. My pulse is lost In the footsteps of my pride And now I can’t fall deeper. Heather-Renee
Lost—Hope I’m not really sure what to do anymore. I feel like I’m living in a life that’s not mine. Always wondering what’s going on but I never find out. Hoping for the best when I know the worst is coming. Life is just a daze. Time is just passing by. All I can do is sit around Waiting for what I already know Confused as to how all this is happening How no matter what, nothing helps Everything just goes from bad to worse. But I can’t give up hope Hope is all I have left Hope is all I’m holding on to I’m nearly gone Lost forever! Not much is left At least not for me. I keep wondering what else I can do Yet I never find an answer. I wish I could turn back time But what’s done is done. Now and for what seems like an eternity to come All I do is sit and wait Confused. Lost! (Continued on page 7…)
(“Lost—Hope” continued from page 6…) I still have hope though Things are bleak and dark. But I won’t give up. Anything can happen. Nothing is ever completely over Just delayed until another day, Hopefully a better day. Although I can’t sleep And some days I can’t eat I have to try to keep my strength, My faith, and belief That in the end, everything will work out Maybe not now or even for awhile But what’s meant to be will be And there is always hope. Giving up will only hurt me. Giving in will only ruin me. So the struggle continues. I will do what I can Because it’s all I can. All I know All I’ve learned is There is always And there will always be Hope! Even when I’m lost I still have hope. Robert, 18
10 Reasons not to go to school… To hang out with friends 2. To sleep in 3. To go to work 4. To play video games 5. You don’t feel good 6. Didn’t do your homework 7. You don’t feel like it 8. No clean clothes 9. Not in a good mood 10. You don’t like your teachers
Regret A thing I would like to have not done is to commit crimes and come to the Y.I.C. Committing crimes has ruined my juvenile life and it takes me away from my freedom, family, and friends. I started at like 10 years old and I regret ever doing it. Since then I’ve been in the system as a criminal. Cops in my town all know me. The judges know me. I’m on and off probation and in and out of detention centers and residential treatments. If I could, I would take it all back. I would have never broken the law. Vince, 16 What I Miss… What I miss is my mother cooking and just being able to have freedom. I miss the fresh cut grass. I miss my brother making me laugh. I miss being with my mother and telling her that everything is going to be all right. I miss holding my mother and saying that I love her. I miss hanging out with my friends and thinking about the good life that I was living. I miss my aunt that passed away a month ago on the New Jersey turnpike. I miss going to work at 10:00 am. I miss holding my baby brother. I miss my dad and every chance I get to write him a letter. I miss being with my family and having good moments. I miss lying down on my bed and looking at the different tiles on my wall. I miss wearing my shoes and just waking up when I want to. I wish that I can take everything back that I did in my life that I regret. I miss being with my mother and holding her and telling her that I love her. I wish that I can take the stress that she feels right now. I feel like crying but I can’t. I hope I get out in 10 days so I can turn my life around and go to work, go to school, and live my life to the fullest. Samantha, 16
I remember when you took control of me. You took my innocence. You knew what my weakness was. You know you were wrong. You let me get high so you could do this to me. I can’t sleep; I can’t eat cuz I can’t deal with all the hurt pain you put me through. It keeps playing over and over again. I shouldn’t have listened. But, you know what? I trusted you. And for you to take advantage of me like I was some hoe. You thought wrong. Why me for? Not like I want you to do this to anybody else. Yo. Why did you have to be disrespect? I had respect for you. I thought you were cool, giving me clothes and ****. But, if I knew you would get down to that level, best believe I wouldn’t have taken the gifts. But now I have to suffer. Only God knows how many others you did this to before me. I hate you. I’m scared for my life. Yo. How would you feel if someone did this to your little girl? But I guess you don’t really give a ****. I pray to God you burn in Hell for what you have done. Shakara
from the residents...
Prove people wrong. ~Joshua, 17 Never take for granted what you have in life. Even the smallest things matter. But be careful, because it can be gone in an instant. ~Robert, 18
Make every decision a good one and don’t let the past bite you in the butt. Keep going and never give up. —Ryan, 19
Don’t do the crime if ya can’t do the time, ya dig? —Vince, 16
Keep your head up and don’t be afraid to write what you feel. —Samantha, 16
I’ve just been writing and it’s like my getaway. – Joshua, 17 I’m enlisted in the military. I made a few mistakes. Now, I’m just trying to fix it. – Robert, 18 I love my family. I like my freedom. I’m a chill kind of guy. – Vince, 16 I’m nineteen. I dropped out of school which was a big mistake, but I’m making it work for me and I have met the love of my life. – Ryan, 19 I like to draw. I like to play volleyball. I like to watch the show Lincoln Heights. My favorite foods are rice and beans and pork. – Samantha, 16 I love to write poems, anything that comes to mind. I published a poem called “Living Life If There Was No Tomorrow” and now I can’t stop. – Anya, 16
My life is worth more than sleeping with men for a place to sleep for the night. My life is worth more than staying out late drinking and getting high. My life is more than putting myself through pain and tears. My life is worth more than fighting and acting a fool like it’s a big deal. Because I’m a smart, beautiful mixed girl whose mind is just not right. I struggle day to day being in denial and not believing in myself. I dream about being a good wife and mother and not a ***** who gets slapped around. My life is as crazy as it gets. My life is worth being strong and being a healthy woman. So please don’t judge me. Listen. I’m more than who you think I am. Shakara
Facilitated by the “What’s Up with the Library?” program at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center
Submit your writing and art! The next issue of What’s Up? Magazine will be published on May 6, 2009. Residents at the Youth Intervention Center are encouraged to submit their writing or art for the next issue! Be sure to fill out a sign-up form, located in the YIC library, and submit it with your writing by April 15, 2009. Material should be submitted in the designated YIC Publication Submission Box or to: Bryan Hubbard, a member of the YIC staff, or a member of the “What’s Up with the Library?” Staff. Won’t be around? Material may also be mailed to: Attention: Laura Cheney Library System of Lancaster County 1866 Colonial Village Lane, Suite 107 Lancaster, PA 17601 Also, visit us online and submit your work through our blog at: http://whatsupwiththelibrary.blogspot.com We look forward to enjoying your unique work!
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