Time To Fly – Nishi U 8-7

Heavy heart, thumps like a drum,

Tightly clenched; four fingers, one thumb;

Beads of sweat trickle down like falls,

Ominous winds shadow me like walls.

 

Yet I know I must go on.

To find myself; but I look upon

The winding paths ahead of me.

I shy away, but something tells me

 

This is the way, I’m soon to see

How this brand new route will help me.

I’ll love, I’ll laugh, and I’ll be proved wrong.

It’s new, it’s a challenge, but I’ll stay strong.

 

A new beginning is calling to me,

Across seven lands and seven seas.

A life of adventure, but as I depart,

I feel a sadness in my heart.

 

For deep within me, I’ll always know

When I leave home I will feel sorrow.

But my old life is never lost forever:

So in my new one, I shall endeavour.

Changes – A Poem by Lucy W 9-4

The moon is smudged,
Like a jewel on blotting paper,
And the rushing sky
Riven with cloud so it mirrors the sea,
Is the blood of a fractured pen,
There’s music which soundtracks your departure
But the rippling rhythm is not enough to settle the riff in your stomach.
Phantom headlights ignore you as they pass
And you can’t help but look over your shoulder
at the chasing memories
But they’re fading fast on the unheeding horizon,
The road ahead is unfathomable,
Your parents won’t take your eyes from it,
you begrudge their insolence,
Their torrential downpour,
The view from the windscreen is beautiful,
How rude,
How spiteful of it to be so vivid,
So vibrant,
Compared to the back,
You never see the hopeful looks
Or inspiring countenance of the stage,
The sky is too blue
Though it’s the same as the one you’ve always been under,
The road is too long
Though you had to take it to get to the start,
The front is too big,
Too different,
And it changes.

Until Death Do Us Part – Anisha M 10-7

It was after curfew. I knew they would shoot if they saw me. Knew, but didn’t understand. I only understood one thing: I would save her. Against the wilting world of weeds because she was a blossom worth saving.
Yet, here I am, the walls tightly packed as the alley was when they captured me. Slim body still shrunk and waves of shivers drowning my petals.
A better world, a new beginning, a revolution. It will start today. With me.
Then the inevitable finally arrives. Echoing off the walls like the dreaded shackles of a prisoner. Footsteps.
It has been a while since I had heard the marching that distinctly. That was when I was vulnerable. A coward.
Pain and grief heave my heart, slowing it down.
My world used to fit together like a king and his crown. It didn’t last long…but it was strong. It’s only a matter of time until I tear his world down,too.
Blood red uniformed soldiers were just as I remembered. Motionless machines following orders. My path out becomes barricaded, and this time…I’m ready.
But, as my shoulders square and  I swing out the cell, my heart falters as I look around with scorn. How many times do I have to only look around me to reveal poverty – stricken cobbled alleys. How many times do I have to witness innocents begging their innocence but get dragged away, brutally slaughtered like nothing but a shrimp to a shark? How many times can I stand by and helplessly watch his murderous eyes shine with glee? I can’t.
I won’t.
It’s time to pull the trigger. With the dictator bound between ropes I scowl, focusing all my energy towards him.
These robots, were easy to control. In fact, I didn’t even have to do much. Just…end this. Once and for all.
Searing hatreds, soaring passions, burning secrets, darkest mysteries… Everything I have ever had, everything I have, everything I will have and everyone I have lost. A current, so intense it threatens pull me in, channels towards him. Pulsating, palpitating, pinching yet pacifying. My mind flows with the energy, entangling me in the roaring calmness and I idly drift towards the dictator. Captivating the dictator in this thirst-filled  power. Faster and faster. Tighter and tighter.
I don’t stop until his eyes fade. Despite his brutality, I still feel guilty. It has to be done. I told myself over and over again.
Then she comes in, my mother, her face, still shining but blooming with surprise. She looks towards me, towards the corpse of a  king, dictator, then back again.
My mother  races towards me “Years ago I was in hiding” she gulps, eyes shimmering with tears begging to be released. “I… took you. I thought I was protecting you, but the dictator realised you were missing… he tried to eliminate everyone similar to you. She clears her throat and answers my confused look in a meek, regretful whisper. “You’re the dictator’s daughter”.
Her tears break, becoming shards of broken bottle and my heart’s anger and determination shatters too.
Then I remembered, remembered why he murdered. For me.
I thought it was fueled by my father’s anger, but I was wrong. It’s the dictator’s anger. And the same anger that murdered the innocent. The vulnerable.
He’s no father of mine.
For the second time today, my heart tightens, contracting without beating. Gripping my throat and leaving me breathless.
Cries choke out of my own strangled throat; but the tears don’t come. “I was the first one to know, but I didn’t tell anyone,” she weeps. Now I understood. She’s wasn’t my real mother. But now… I love her more than ever.
I bite my lip and sigh, joining her in a tight embrace: those that are gone, are gone. Those that are here, are here.
So I let go. All my sorrows and hatreds crumble, the wall I built around myself falls. The floor I was trapped under, crashes.
My heart can open.
And I’m free.

Untitled – Anaa M 11-1

There’s something about looking at water that gives you a desire to reflect, and not just because you can see your reflection.
She stood at the edge of a miniature finite ocean – otherwise known as a puddle – and stared down at her gently rippling face in the fallen sky tears. It was strange, she decided, how studying your features on the surface of a liquid could change your perspective.
As she watched her face distort and return to normal once again, she found her mind wandering back to last week, last month, and last year. Each and every time she’d looked into a puddle, she’d been a separate person, whether that was a change in her hair, a different emotion playing on her face, or the reason why she’d chosen water over a mirror in the first place. But in that moment, as she stood over the tiny ocean on a pavement, she decided enough was enough.
She jumped into the puddle, her eyes squeezed shut, and felt the water splashing against gravity.
She didn’t mind the feeling of ice-cold water attempting to soak her clothes but, rather, she relished in it, the cool sensation making a much-needed contrast to the frenzy roaring in her relentlessly whirling mind.
A strange sense of tranquillity flooded her senses as she opened her eyes once again but she turned the calm into adrenaline, not particularly caring whether that should be biologically possible or not. She smiled to herself, brushed tiny droplets of water off her coat, and stepped forward, a newfound spark of confidence clearing her frantic mind. Without even a hint of hesitation, she starting walking, walking along the same path she’d always walked on but walking that path as a different person, as someone new.
As her tired shoes quietly echoed on the tessellated pavement, she let herself embrace her decision. She let herself be free of doubt. She let herself open her mind to new doorways. She let herself change…
Even though most people wouldn’t be able to physically see the change, it would still exist. That’s all that mattered to her as she turned back to check her reflection in the puddle for what she hoped would be the last time. She thought she could see a difference in herself and maybe that was only because she could feel one and subconsciously wanted to see it but, either way, she felt changed and she was more than happy with that.
It was time for a new chapter in her life, a new era of her existence, a new beginning.

Reflections and New Beginnings

Ah December, the month of festivities and family. 2017 is coming to a close (finally, what a great year) and as T.S. Eliot once said:

“for last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

So, that brings us to the theme of this issue – Reflections and New Beginnings. We thought it would be fitting considering this is the debut of our magazine, The Green Light.

This issue features works submitted by various members of our school, so stay tuned!

Author talk – Sungju Lee

Every Falling Star, Sungju LeeInspirational author Sungju Lee is visiting AGGS on Friday 14th October. He is a North Korean defector and a young man with a moving and fascinating story to tell about the journey he has travelled in his short life. He is based in the UK and is touring talking to school children, book shops, and festivals throughout the Autumn. He will be speaking at the Manchester Literature Festival on Saturday 15th October and but we have been given the amazing opportunity for him to visit a school on Friday 14th.

Sungju is a truly inspiring speaker and gives a fascinating insight into how harsh life in North Korea is, one of the most isolated countries on earth. He is now 29 and a Chevening Scholar studying for a master’s degree in International Relations at Warwick University. He recently gave a talk at the Houses of Parliament to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea.

Sungju was forced at age twelve to live on the streets of North Korea and fend for himself. In order to survive, he joined a gang and lived by stealing, fighting, begging, and finding shelter in railway tunnels.

Please see a review below.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/13/every-falling-star-review-teens-learn-theres-more-to-north-korea-than-memes

If anyone would like to hear him speak he will be talking to Year 9 Period 3 on Friday 14th October. He will also be selling/signing copies of his book for £6.99 (RRP 7.99)