Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School

Poems from Sifting Daylight, v.1, (2017)



Under my shirt is my skin and under my skin is my heart.
Under my heart is a vessel and not the kind that transports
through my body. No, this vessel pulls emotions. The ones
I don’t pay attention to, so I dig deeper until I see this bright
substance which ends up being joy. Joy that I have for my team
and all their happiness makes me happy, too. Under joy are
memories, these are the memories of my family. Times when
I was comforted, times when I felt as though they didn’t
understand me. Under my memories is loneliness. I feel this
the most and I am distracted by its dim light, as though
others would continue to dig, not even noticing it. I inspect
this feeling more, uncovering reasons for its sadness.
Under it, I find comfort. I find confusion. I find warmth.
It reminds me of all the other substances fusing together.
This, I hold tight and wear it as a new shirt every day.

Jaylyn Jones


Music In My Head

My mind is a piano
that never stops.
A prison to the sweet
music it makes.
My mind amuses me
like the piano’s
audience. Calm as
the soft finger hovering
above the black keys.

Alyssa Thorn


My Sister Is A Piano

My sister
is a piano
whose buttons
I push to see
her strike
the keys.

Tyrone Hill Jr.



At my old home, my grandfather taught me
how to ride my bike while the shining sun
was burning hot. The smell of flowers and grass
as I hit the pavement. We went to the store
every day for him to play lottery while I’d get
a snack. Everyday my grandfather took me
to school. He took me to the beauty supply
whenever I wanted. That was before––
Now, that neighborhood is gone along with
those memories. Now, I’m in a new house
trying to create new memories to hold.

Kendall Puckett


Silence Is An Absence

Silence is a great blue bell
swinging and ringing. It measures
pleasure and in the supple symmetry
of the immense soaring wings,
glinting against blue radiance.

Jalasia Willis


Silence Is An Absence

You see old people walking outside
or sitting patiently on their porch.

You see old men trying to fix old cars,
talking to friends with cans of beer.

You see groups of kids on bicycles
in the big streets until night.

You see the steam rising from good
soul food, smoke from cigarettes.

You see the ambulance lights
flashing frantically down the street.

You see kids waiting in line to
visit the Candy Lady’s house.

You see that one big dog eager
to chase any kid that it sees.

You see the barbecues in summer,
radios talking into the night.

Kya Maton-Keelen