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Podium Journal 8: Visions of Modern Youth


You Know the Truth of Our Love, The Roots of All Love

Ny’rul Jones

Huguenot High School

Spoken words that I never imagined could be said,

a voice so sweet, it cleared all madness in my head.

As the pounding thump of a heartbeat grows,

it seems as though the whole world starts to slow.

But I don’t want my feelings to show.

Because my emotions tend to hold me back from a world I wanna know.

At times we collide,

but the truth we still hide.

Whether in search, or right beside,

you still try to discover things

you already know.

If it reaches your mind, heart, or soul

you swear they’ll never know.

But I can’t help but think in mind

that feelings will show over time,

or wonder if you want me to be that way

with you to be by your side,

if I touch your heart, or if you keep me inside.


Jonae Crump

Richmond Community High School

Nikhi was born a minute behind Mufusi, but over the years he was treated as the lesser child. Mufusi was bigger and excelled at everything. Poor Nikhi would always fail in anything compared to Musufi, so Musufi got all the glory from their parents and never shared the light. When Nikhi was 9-years-old, he ran off into the great canyon. Little did he know that hyenas watched him. Zousha, his attendant, swooped down and tried to warn Nikhi, but the hyenas were already on his heels. He ran, but he was too slow.

The hyenas grabbed his legs. They left him for dead, barely breathing. Mufusi was supposed to walk with him, but he left to meet a girl instead. After that day, Nikhi vowed to himself that he would never again trust his traitor of a brother. When he returned to the Rock, he looked in the drinking hole at his reflection. A scar formed, a new namesake. A reminder for the rest of his days.

The Rise of Gun Violence

Desiree Green

Richmond Community High School

I don’t like feeling scared,

scared to do everyday tasks.

Whenever I simply ask to go to the car at night to get something I left,

Or even to go for a job on the neighborhood trail.

Paranoid thoughts flood my mind. The Islamic State is everywhere.

And how I will be so helpless at their attacks,

that not even prayers will help.

I have yet to see Mockingjay Part II.

But, apart from schools and black churches,

movie theaters are the most at risk.

Instead of feeling safe in church,

I theorize how all churches and schools should keep guns,

so they won’t be sitting-ducks when they’re

inevitably attacked.

The media makes us live in fear.

Instead of feeling protected, we feel completely vulnerable.

Vulnerable to the point that we surrender our freedoms.

Parents begin telling their children not to go outside,

while politicians advise that the only way to stop crime

is to give up means of protection.

To sit helpless, unable to fight back.

Six Word Story

Elizabeth Salinas

Armstrong High School

My songs,

My notes,

My voice.

Worth It

Toby Weaver

Open High School

It starts with a dollar,

Then two,

Then three,

Suddenly you’re a millionaire.

Sacrifice a stranger,

Sacrifice a life,

Sacrifice a love,

You’re a billionaire now.

You’re almost there,

CEO of your own business.

But why stop there?

Con the economy.

Four trillion dollars.

Sacrifice a nation

Be CEO of the world

With molten gold in your throat.

Dear Mom

Demitrice Morgan

Armstrong High School

Mom, if only you were here,

if only your face were near.

Only so I could hear

you screaming in my ear,

“Wash the dishes, wash the dishes!”

Why can’t I hear?

I know why: because you aren’t near.

Your voice is hard to remember

‘cause you’ve been gone since December.


Solomon Smith

John Marshall High School


Why did I do it?

I could’ve walked away.

But, no, I didn’t.

So what then?

What made me do it?

Was it the fact that he threatened me,

or was it that I didn’t like him?

It was my fault. I let it happen.

I shouldn’t have done that.

Even if he was a lowlife, he deserved better.

People will start to wonder where he could be, how fun will that be?

Having to deal with the complaints and the pleas, the bribes and threats.

I can only take so much. Should I just dismiss them and forget about it?

No. I can’t. No way I could ever forget something like this. This’ll be burned in my hollowed-out brain forever.

The ambulance is almost here. I can hear the sirens.

My radio on my shoulder is going off like it’s on fire.


How am I going to explain to the chief that I killed another kid?

Until, I realized how bored

I became; closed off like the old days.

And now, we have fun without the flaws.

I Believe

Joelle-Marie Obi

Huguenot High School

I believe that there’s magic in her voice.

I believe that she speaks with her eyes.

I believe that if you look closely,

Oh, if you just get close enough,

her tired eyes hold an image of the seven suns as they rise.

I believe her hips are as wide as the galaxy, so she occasionally excuses herself

if she happens to bump you into your side.

I believe she is a lion,

not a lioness;

she takes orders from no one.

Don’t believe me?

Put her to the test,

she knows her worth,

and it doesn’t need to be shown with a million dollar crown.

I believe that you’ll never catch her with a frown.

Her lips perfect and round.

I believe she loves nature and the great outdoors,

La terre is where she is from,

And her skin is café au lait,

Fawn and bronzed.

I believe on her face you may see oppression,

But depress this in your skull:

Her braids are tight, and it’s nothing but a mug.

I believe she’s stronger than she looks,

And they underestimate her because of her good looks.

I believe she is a mystery.

I believe she’s a black woman, far from mystery.




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Podium Journal 8: Visions of Modern Youth

Founded in 2008, Podium RVA gives Richmond middle and high school youth the opportunity to explore their passion for literary arts while also improving upon essential writing and communication skills. This collection reflects the most poignant, clever, and insightful writing produced by such youth on their own time, and in structured workshops provided by our non-profit organization. For more information, visit our website at www.thepodiumfoundation.org, or on social media @podiumRVA.

  • ISBN: 9781370362905
  • Author: PodiumRVA
  • Published: 2017-01-25 20:35:11
  • Words: 8786
Podium Journal 8: Visions of Modern Youth Podium Journal 8: Visions of Modern Youth