Author of the month
August’s Author of the Month is Junaynah R.! Junayah started writing with 826NYC in 2022. Thomas’s advice to writers: “Do not worry too much about making it perfect on the first try, and instead, enjoy the process—you can always edit later!”Read More
The Burning Tree
The Burning Tree In the night, I awake. Fractured earth beneath the soles of my feet. Desolate. Barren. In the distance, a tree stands, reaching its arms out to God. Marvelous rays of amber and scarlet illuminate the dark void it lives in, shining out into the great expanse as if calling to me. I close my eyes and place my palm against the cracked bark, tracing my fingers across its grooves and indents. Raging flames dance among the branches. Incandescent and warm against my face. I know what is to come, and I know I stand no chance. I bend at the feet of the beauty before me, burying my hands in the dirt, grasping at its roots. “Please,” I say, “Please,” Ash rains down on me. the soft amber light falters, then dies. The morning birds do not sing. They have spread their wings and disappeared into enchanted kingdoms. Swallowed by the soft yolk of dawn. And my heart has frozen over, my soul heavy and venomous with silence.
A Plants vs. Zombies Book
This is Plants vs. Zombies Better Homes and Gardens. It is about the two main characters finding a new way of stopping the zombies from getting into the houses of Neighborville. The idea is to put plants in the houses. Then the leader of the zombies, Zomboss, gets an idea to make the people go into houses and drive themselves to Zomboss. But then the plants see him do that, so they report the news to Cravy Dave and the two main characters. So, Cravy Dave makes a better house so people want his instead of the zombies’ houses. Then Zomboss makes a giant robot house that he can use to scoop up people. He has a fist that can launch a new hair blower for his three hairs and a music speaker that zombies keep putting on bad music. Cravy Dave also made a giant robot that has a mowing alley, a twice cream and a thrice cream dispenser, a giant disco ball, a rocket launcher, and a flying ball full of plants. They start fighting the ball full of plants, and then the plants see that Zomboss forgot to make his robot rust-proof. So, Cravy Dave uses a water gun. Then it starts to rust. Then Zomboss’ giant robot explodes. As a treat, they got ice cream. Then Zomboss comes and squishes one of the main characters’ toes.
The Dogs and Cats
Chapter 1 Book 1Once upon a time, there was a boy named Jamar. He was a messenger that told everyone up-to-date news. He lived with his dog, Thomas, in the Valley of the DogCat Empire, an empire of cats and dogs. One day, the evil D.C. of a nearby kingdom of evil cats and dogs invaded the DogCat Empire. In just 1-2 months, the DogCat empire was victorious in the war, and the evil D.C. was gone. The muskets and colonial war ended.
Chapter 2But Thomas thought the victory over the evil D.C. wasn’t enough, so Thomas raised his Empire and expanded. Thomas and his empire got North and South America, Africa, and Europe. One day Jamar told Thomas that there was another evil army in Ohio because Thomas forgot to take Ohio. The new empire was the DogCatVé Commonwealth. The DogCatVé Commonwealth was weak. Thomas led his DogCat army into Ohio. Then the conquest of Columbus, Ohio, came. The DogCat Empire won! After the war, Jamar and Thomas went to a mountain, and Jamar gave Thomas a treat.
In this two-voice poem, the plain text is by Ashley and the text in italics is by Naydelees.I am a child of an Indian and a Dominican Snakes in my hand I am half Indian and a 100% Dominican I was born in water I am a child of hot weather My dog was born in my hands I am full of boxing and punk rock Mango is my middle name On Saturdays you can find me playing my electric guitar Red and black are my eyes I come from an island of mangos and rice Cherries are like a melody to my ears I am a child of many places—Guyana, Dominican Republic, New York Tikitoki is in my blood Dancing bachata is my culture Summer is the medicine for my body Snow is my hair My flag is reflecting my skin Guyana and Dominican Republic water my pools brown my skin, brown my eyes Indian music is my life We are the opposite but the same
The Five Branches of Greatness
Sometimes when my eyes are red, I gaze off my roof. My own little world. Streets I’ve ran, blocks I’ve explored. Lying in the dark My thoughts lift up like the city. New York, the city of dreams and dreamers. Walking down Broadway, taxi horns screaming. See the rats in the subway, not the sandwich spot. New York, best city in the world. Grab the mic, Eat the bite like Iron Mike. New York home of the greatest, New York.
Weird is in the Same Ballpark…
Once, there was a group of friends, two girls and one boy. And it was June 28, the first day of summer vacation! The name of the boy was John, and the names of the two girls were Maria and Mia. John had red hair and brown eyes with the red hair faded into brown. Maria was half white and half black with hair that she dyed black but faded into purple. Mia had short brown hair. She also had green eyes and puffy hair. The friends were all in grade 3 and planning a play-date. Their parents decided that Thursday, the 30th, would be fine. Mia was the most excited because it was at her house. Maria and John had never been to Mia’s house. And Mia’s house was huge: three bathrooms, five bedrooms, a backyard at least eighteen feet long, and more! Once it was Wednesday night, she could barely sleep. The second before she fell asleep, she heard someone whisper, “Mia . . . ” Mia was too tired to think anything of it. She barely even noticed it. She just heard it like Pringles dropping on the floor. She heard someone again saying “Mia . . . Mia!” She got scared for a second, but realized that it was just her mother calling her for breakfast. “Your friends are coming in thirty minutes!” she yelled. Mia scrambled out of bed and ran to her closet to get dressed. When she was done getting dressed, she ran up the twenty-three stairs for breakfast. When she was done with her breakfast, she cleaned her room, and when she went to the front door, her friend John and his mom were already there. “Hello,” he said. “Hi,” Mia said, panting a little. Mia’s mom and John’s mom chatted with her while John waited for Maria. They were about to play hide and seek when they heard a knock. Mia’s mom went to open the door, but no one was there. She closed the door, but they heard another knock, so her mom opened it. This time it was Maria! “Elou,” they said. “Let’s go downstairs,” Mia said excitedly. They all ran down the stairs to her room, but midway, she tried to move, then stopped trying, because she couldn’t control herself. “C-o-m-e . . .” a voice said that wasn’t any of the three kids. Then, what looked like Mia but didn’t sound like Mia, went into a door that was never there. Once they all walked in the door, they disappeared, and the kids were never seen again until ten years later. That house is now considered haunted. The End.
Inspired by the painting Untitled (Head) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1981
To be me
To be me is To be *Gay* To fall for girls way too fast and way too hard To speak two languages To speak Hebrew at home To have all my family in Israel To have a great-grandma who escaped from a concentration camp To be a reader I want to read all the books I want to take all the feelings and feel them I want the book to hug me tight and not let go I want to understand To have school friends Neighborhood friends Israel friends And family friends To be impatient To hate too many people But to truly love the people I love To wish on 11:11 To say if I make this shot she’ll like me back To wish on a dandelion’s puff in the wind To have a cat that died To have a cat who meant more than anything else And she’s gone And she won’t come back And you want to cry To doodle everything on anything People, eyes, cats, abstract To draw hearts with my eraser To be creative To love myself To be able to be Me
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