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Luna Del Bufalo, Grade 10

My head spins in a chromatic vortex as I stare into nothingness and my glowing eyes turn black.

I hear the rippling sound of the second dimension, struggling to stay sealed between thick, rusty cages of void, and its heated atoms shiver as they crave to escape.

Shrieking white radiates and echoes off the sheer fibers of lifeless wood, 

the marble underneath fusing and twining with its thorn edges ablur. 

My trembling hands trace its cold silhouettes, silver and jade, as perfumed clouds of lime juice and wine grasp onto the light particles of time and space, climbing their way to the sky.

 

The sky is nothing but crystalline “zero”,

oblivion masked by fog and starry nights.

 

My lips tremble, my nose burns, and my alert ears turn red.

I desire to make something of that nothingness before me- warp its utter shape and give it essence through my essence itself. 

 

“l'Existence précède l'Essence”

Its mere existence has expired

and it now longs for purpose.

 

! ! !

 

We are the only creators of our “destinies”.

 

We are the only ones who can truly decide 

if to turn left or right in the fork of life,

lost in the chasm of the infinite possibilities that shape our humble beings.

 

I stare at the hundreds of thousands of question marks poised before me.

 

I want to eternally stain this blank sheet with intense hues.

I want to splash its hollow veins with life, with shades of cherry red and grassy green and midnight blue; condemn it with the image of the spiraling thoughts wrestling inside my straining mind. 

I want to break its faded heart and tear its feeble limbs apart.

I want to feel the frothing heat against my fingertips ablaze, as I rip its seams and curl its shredded parts.

 

My quivering hand is a magnet’s northern pole, attracted to the luring south of a shiny purple ink.

The impulse is to carve chaotic graphemes sprouting and blooming from my contorted thoughts, and pour my soul into cups of senseless letters.

Dots, curves and oblique lines would dress them- hats, coats and shoes to abstract forms of life, trapped between the cement layers of what is and what is not.

A shimmering droplet of salty water gracefully falls from my left eye, itching with excitement and startling confusion.

I suddenly feel the urge to soak that candid rectangle in gallons of boiling tears;

Force it under the surface and watch it fall to a thousand fragile pieces, bound to dissolve into pools of atomic nullity.

I want to splash it with warm mugs of coffee and frigid cups of fresh iced tea, so to draw an amber halo along its delicate pleats. 

 

As my mother spreads melting butter onto freshly baked wholegrain bread, I yearn to cover the smooth plain with sticky squares of glue and bound it forever to a crystal coffee table, a hardwood chair, a thick strand of hair; press it, suffocate its pores, thrusting it against the wall and breaking its unbreakable barriers with a spiraling nail, hammered deep into its soul; smear it with pomegranate, blueberry, orange and peach, turning it into the canvas for the concrete, sugary art of mellow fruitfulness; crumple our frustration into an unknown, unique, shape: an irregular gem in a world of boxy rocks; and pierce a hole so deep it penetrates air itself, opening its Pandora’s box and freeing the third dimension, hungry for a taste of all

 

° ° °

 

I want to fold the sheet and swallow it,

erasing it from my vision forever.

 

“Forever”, though, doesn’t exist.

Forever is a social construct, a seemingly logic idea created to shape our lives based on an infinite time range, a human invention trying to answer one of the un-answerable questions of being. 

In reality, there is no “time,       

no “space”.

And nothingness casts us into an engulfing state of ecstasy and anguish, fueled by the deepest fear of the unknown. 

 

The human mind can’t possibly fathom what lies within the secrets of essence and life.

My senses awaken and numbness overcomes me as I try to unveil the truth,

truth which cannot be reached by the only available dimensions of ‘present’ and ‘past’. 

The sole purpose of our actions is to shape this oblivious being, 

seeking for solution, and it is ultimately determined by us.

 

Our intellect is the blank sheet

 

As its two dimensions clash to prevail, it awaits our will to be stained, to be written over, drowned and dissolved, crumpled, and freed from its restraining barriers once and forever. 

 

Only so will our essence be fully complete. 

“We live to create” -Maddalena Luberti

Tales will never get old if you don’t read them: a sonnet/haibun

by Luca Di Cicco, Grade 11

Once upon a time, there was the Tree.

He was the monument to life:

His roots were intricated streets

Of thoughts. He was wiser than human minds.

 

Thousands of books you can’t read. Will you resist the call of knowledge? I’m not your conscience nor a temptation. I’m the Numb Beast. I’m your true nature.

 

His branches were endless pages.

The black lymph yearly put gold 

Letters in the ringed-cages.

Everything I described now is old.

 

You just have to cut that trunk. You will be wiser, safer and richer than any other man. I’m not forcing you but think about your family.

 

The silent historian wrote

Down the conclusion of his book.

He was sad. The ink gently drooled. 

 

Do you want to know why is He sad? He didn’t show everyone the beauty of life. You should know that. You’re the wisest man on Earth after all. 

 

The letters were finally free.

However, the Tree’s absence drew 

more attention than its pale content.

 

Since you’re so wise now you’ll realize how foolish you were. It’s a little price to pay to comprehend that you didn’t want the Tree’s knowledge. That became immediately old. You just liked the idea of having it. 

 

That is the difference. 


And everyone lived happily ever after.

Line emission spectrum

by Daisy Joy Halliwell-Woods, Grade 11

A wall of rainbow, 

Speckled by black lines, 

Lines the paper sitting in front of me. 

 

The thick vermillion pours out behind the black surface, 

 and waves at me, 

slowly,

dignified in its seeping,

blood like,

through the black paper. 

 

656nm 

 

Its fleeting companion, 

blue like the icy rooftop of the sea,

shines through the darkness with a thin burst of  an aquatic breeze. 

 

495nm 

 

A darker, 

deeper, 

plunged into the darkness of a midnight sky-- blue, 

peeks out from a mound of speckled darkness. 

its wave shorter, 

faster than the rest, 

beating its rays up at me. 

 

450nm

 

Finally a royal purple bats its eyelashes behind the long wall, 

calling out, 

its voice fleeting.

 

410nm

All that matters

by Maisie Rae Spencer, Grade 9

Dark and grey and tall,

Bricks crawl higher and higher.

Climbing to the clouds.

A new horizon imposed on a blue sky.

 

When the world was young there weren’t many walls,

We didn’t need them.

Now we build them.

To keep us safe, they say.

To protect us from the world?

To protect the world from us?

 

Brown dust is on my shoes.

And in my eyes.

And in my throat.

Lots of walking today.

But now we are here,

And that’s all that matters.

 

Lots was left behind to get to this wall.

Friends deserted.

Family abandoned.

Memories lost.

Lives sacrificed.

 

But now we are here,

And that’s all that matters.

Crystal Indigo Beaches- A Time Capsule

by Emma Cardillo, Grade 9

Tender basil trees.

Grains of rock molded into one 

Guiding us, leading, hands.

Streams of leaflets reach out to cream and cherry butterflies

 

A Memory

 

Warm bread has just been sliced,

The friendly flavor of jam’s bronze shine. 

The gentle knocking of cotton-sew clouds, just awakened at that hour,

The whispers of crimson watercolor on ivory skies.

Peaks reaching out to the cerulean panel,

Yearning for shade.

Waves rolling onto the shore, tickling infant grains of golden sand.

Fresh mountain water, springs of utter quiet.

 

A Reminiscence

 

Abyss cushion, to drop all my pains down at night.

Polished little ladybugs on ornate plants.

Bumblebee paint brush strokes dipped in lemon juice,

Hands joining, owls gathering.

Rustic cheese, reflected,

An iris moon.

Unlit blooming eclipse

Harvest-gold afternoons

The smell of beach salt and rays of sunlit shores

Glazed with summer’s sea breeze,

One last second


Serendipity

the tides of past tunes

by Sofia Peng, Grade 10

Harmonic notes twirl in the nights of middle-ages 

shielded with cobblestones and roughness. 

Darkness, plagues, and famines,

How they’ve described. 

But they don’t know for real.

 

When a breeze fondles our cheeks, 

I glance up at the light pearl of immensity,

as always

it shines along melodies. The stars

blink and smile at me. 

 

Tip, tap, tip, tap...

We hold each other’s curled up fingers,

hand-to-hand

we hum the antiqueness in rhythms. 

Few steps forward, others backward

and merry-go-round; 

Jumps of ballerinas appear in sight. 

 

The musicians tingle the fidula,

(grandfather of the contemporary), 

the sublime of violins 

and the calabash-guitar. Old classicals 

blow along the undulating winds that follow. 

The firm thumps on handmade drums 

sketch rough tones of giggles. 

 

Why define it as ages of darkness, mistakes?

When beauties of such tunes were created.

Roseus Solis Occasum

by Natalie Silver, Grade 10

The woman walked towards the window, her dress sweeping the floor.

Her feet were not visible,

She was floating.

Two slabs of marble jutted out from either side of the window, 

Divided by a small, simply decorated column,

With flutes running down it, and a moustache sitting on top.

She sat down with great difficulty

Her large poofy dress obstructed her from making simple movements

She was used to it now.

She stuck her hand inside an invisible pocket,

Hidden under the layers of fabric.

She felt around, and pulled out a book.

As she opened it, her skin scraped the edge of the parchment.

A drop of scarlet blood fell on the cream-colored pages

It spread in all directions, till it could no more

The page had turned light pink.

She ignored the pain as she began reading

Soon the only thing she was conscious of was the story, 

and the pink hue of the sunset behind her.  

 

I look out the window at the sky above.

Streaks of pink and red paint the sky.

An hour ago, the clouds were on fire.

Now they were almost edible.

I pull out my light pink journal, and start writing

Someone comes and sits across from me.

We write and talk, and laugh

Until the sun goes down,

The delicate notes of the piano,

Still ringing in our ears

Remembered

by Verónica Téllez, Grade 10

As I pack, I try to convince myself that the touch of sand will stick beneath my toes, 

and that my eyes will forever preserve the colors that these sunsets have known to show me before. 

I try to convince myself that the smell of sea breeze will fit in my bag,

and that maybe, 

 

just maybe,

 

my senses can maintain this bliss,

a bliss that has shown me what it means to have a taste of the simplest pleasures in life.

With strength, I wish to maintain this ache that reminds my stomach of how I've laughed, 

and I hope that my cheeks will remain numb, from ever avoiding to hide a smile. 

As I pack, a bitter taste fills my mouth,

but with a  grind I remind myself that this kind of  beauty,

is meant to be remembered for life. 

Ambrosia

by Bianca Todini, Grade 9

Crisp gusts of sharp winds whip my hair in circles

Flushed faces and noses, red from cold.

As I walk home, my eyes linger on a wooden crate of pomegranates:

A guarded gate to the shop behind them

I carefully pick two.

Deep cherry-tinted skin

Unscratched and pure of imperfections.

Cold hands exchange a few coins for the cherry-tinted treasures

I gently place them in my bag, as if they were made of fragile porcelain

And I continue to escape the cold.

Upon arriving home, I sit down and reach for the pomegranates

The sharp knife slices cleanly through the tough skin, as if it were butter

Two sides pulled apart

Drops of blood spills out onto my hands and down my arms

The cherry-tinted skin reveals its yellow underbelly 

As the bloody fruit gets pulled apart to expose its treasure

Shimmering, crimson rubies all stuck together

A conglomerate of wine-colored sweetness

To my pleasure, the jewels release with ease

Persephone's downfall has become my nectarous treasure.

Garnet-stained fingers bring a handful of precious stones to my lips

The fruit bursting in my mouth

I lick my lips, searching for more sweetness remaining from the crimson rubies

My lips are now stained along with my fingertips

Permanent color, equal to the permanent urge for more

Neither recede, even after soap and water douse my garnet-stained hands

 

Nothing can compare to this heavenly fruit

Godly Ambrosia sent down from the clouds 

To bless our lips, and hands, and anything they touch.

On the Way to Torri

by Rachael Lin N Wheeler, Grade 11

Semester Student Visiting from Choate Rosemary Hall

the man leading us pauses 

and tells us about the anatomy 

of the hilled land. This is where 

the wild boar makes his mud bath. 

This is how the cork protects 

the tree from sorry fire. This fern, which 

used to be 20 metres tall, was the first 

to appear on Earth. (But we are not sure 

we believe it really was 20 metres tall.) 

 

In this forest, air that understands 

the nature of breath. Stones that remind us

this land is not our land with every step, 

but that we are still welcome to feel 

the rose quartz’s rough edges along our palms.   

We are meant to remember the rose quartz 

was first rose quartz before the detail 

on the wedding band, and even then, 

it is still just rose quartz. 

 

I wish I love this place did not only mean 

I will be sorry to forget it. I wish how are you 

meant more than how do you feel right now, 

walking here. The wood is not always as forgiving

as we want it to be. Other times, the trees 

know the right moment to drop a leaf 

in someone’s hair, reminding all of us it is fall

and the branches are drying out, becoming bare. 

Remember, dying is not the same as death 

but it is almost the same as living. 

 

//

 

Tell me more about what I think I know about you.

Tell me how many attempts to mend are left

before we all become one heap 

of dust, hand in hand, 

then folded 

into whispers. 

 

I do not want to be a whisper. 

I want to be the foghorn in a forest

that knows how to hum gently. 

 

//

 

Remind me that we are all guests learning how

to host our own bodies while still remembering 

the scars. Remind me that the river can house 

the lives of fish, and can continue to do so after 

the first generation fades away. Remind me that 

the wild boar can still kill the pig despite the fences. 

Remind me, does the cork always work, anyway? 

Do not remind me I will never be 20 metres tall, and 

I’ll remind you that you can still be a body and learn 

how to move through the forest without breaking.

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Environment After CoVid 19
Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Opinion: A New Perspective on the Environment After CoVid-19

There are ducks in the Barcaccia, dolphins inquisitively approaching Italian harbors and weeds colonizing urban spaces where human feet no longer tread: nature reconquering lost spaces is one of the short-term effects of this pandemic.

By Jan Claus Di Blasio, Gardens and Sustainability Coordinator

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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

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Who else has begun to think of their lives as divided into the BC (Before Covid) and DC (During Covid) eras? Oh, those simple things we took for granted: catching some fresh air during a short afternoon walk in the park. Having a coffee at the corner bar. A long, leisurely weekend lunch with a friend. A spontaneous decision to go and see a movie. For that matter, a spontaneous decision merely to go and pick up milk and laundry soap at the grocery store.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

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By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Winners of the Keats-Shelley House Poetry Contest

In May, two St. Stephen’s students, Leila El-Zabri and Isabella Todini, won both of the prizes in the Upper School category of the Keats-Shelley Poetry Contest. This year’s judge was Jackie Kay, award-winning poet, author, and the current Scots Makar (the Scottish Poet Laureate). Ms. Kay was extremely impressed with the technical facility and emotional depth of our students’ work.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Ms. Egan is proud to present work that has been done in her Creative Writing Classes in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Enjoy!

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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Children of the Red Dragon

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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

The Golden Children

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Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

Fall School Trips 2019

Welcome to our interactive Fall trips 2019 photo galleries. Click the albums for a visual journey through our adventures!

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Chapter 3: Short Stories in Italian | Italian language

Viaggio intorno alle nostre camere

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Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

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Chapter 5: Departments | Molecular Genetics

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Chapter 5: Departments | Classics, The Lyceum

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Chapter 5: Departments | International Baccalaureate (IB)

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Chapter 5: Departments | Classics

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By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Student Ambassador Program

Hi, I'm Sofia Peng, and I am a Student Ambassador!

I think that being a Student Ambassador made me grow so much. As a student, I concentrated mainly on my academics, yet I was never a talkative and outgoing person at school because I thought I wasn't a fluent English speaker. As it is not my first language, I have never really managed to speak comfortably around people other than my friends without feeling nervous about being judged. I always had a hard time dealing with my self-esteem and I doubted myself.

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Chapter 6: Student Life | Students Love Tech!

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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, 2020

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Grade 9 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
Grade 10 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 9: Alumni

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Images from St. Stephen's Alumni events across the North East last Fall.

Painting by Cate Whittemore 1972
Chapter 9: Alumni | Class Notes

Class Notes

Welcome to our first-ever digital 'Class Notes.' Enjoy the posts and images collated by Class Ambassadors from their respective years!