the hill

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the hill

is his place of comfort

its plush green grass provides a seat unlike any other




it is all that he needs it to be


from this spot he watches


he watches as the sun slowly starts to hide itself

vibrant green leaves change to red

before falling into piles that dampen your foot

or crunch with every step you take

he watches as the snow fall blankets his world

and covers the tops of the buildings in the city below


he watches children chase each other

sprinting ahead at the last minute


he watches as traffic stalls in the city

horns blaring and beeping

echoing through the sky


when he’s on the hill

he acts as a sponge

soaking in the world around him

continuing to grow

learning how to get by in the world around him


each day he descends from the hill is stronger

a better version of himself

and he tries not to let that fade

as he joins the masses on the streets


he feels


until the heavy wood door clunks behind him

whisking up an aroma of aged wood and fresh bread

and he feels once again what it is like to breath


the rolling hills of the pavement

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the rolling hills of the pavement


the surface appears flat

smooth even

but the flying splash

as spheres of water collide into the ground

lets me know the holes are still there


though strong

the water is not enough to create a surface that will hold

as I cross the street

made even drearier from the clouds in the sky

the old brick of the buildings that surround me

darker than normal

with no sun to radiate the multiple shades

of red and orange

that are normally bright

my feet create waves in the road

water shooting off in 360 degrees


the water and I become the same

as it runs down me

from head to toe

and splashes under my feet


do we not try to fill the gaps in our own lives

with substances that will not hold the weight

of our current situations

substances that can give under pressure

why else can rain affect our mood

making us feel as dreary as the sky

and long for the sun to shine through the sky

bring light to our lives

warm us


maybe the rain is helping us grow

much as it does nature

reminding us of what we should do differently

maybe this is why I like the rain

and welcome it

I was raised where two rivers collide

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I was raised where two rivers collide

where the waters of my last name

blur with the nature that surrounds me

beauty a daily occurrence

that restores in me a passion and joy

sometimes lost throughout the day


I was raised in a small town that shares the name of a not so small town

“where are you from?”


“California? That’s cooo…..”

“no, Washington”

“where’s that?”


I sometimes change my answer

a simple Tri-Cities will do


I was raised in southeastern Washington

sagebrush meets mountains meets rolling fields of wheat

hot summers and cold winters

city meets country


I was raised in a place filled with beauty all around

my home

hidden somewhere behind the gray of the sky

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hidden somewhere behind the gray of the sky

is the sun

it’s golden hue no longer emitted

a dreary bleakness replaces it


most trees have lost their leaves

and with no sun to strike the yellows and reds of those that are left

their beauty may seem to have disappeared

overtaken by a thin layer of gray

reminiscent of the sun


the clouds continue to darken

shifting slightly closer with each second


but does this truly make nature any less beautiful?


the sky

with no sun to capture all the attention

seems endless

beauty lingers in the darkening shades of the leaves

and the layers of darkening clouds

are a mass of colors not seen every day

the day is peaceful

less hectic

First Attempt at a Lyrical Essay

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Here is my first attempt at a lyrical essay (assignment for one of my classes):

The River

My home town is nestled on the outskirts of the Tri-Cities, located right where the Snake runs into the Columbia. I used to think this was cool. In 8th grade they made a point to teach us this. Teachers made it seem really cool and important. In many ways it is. The Columbia is a vast river and important piece in the history of the Northwest. The Snake is 1078 miles long. And we sit at its end. I was always astonished at this thought. I still am. Whenever we drove over the bridge into town, I could see clearly where these two rivers joined. It is something much greater than us. Yet so simple. And something that can easily be overlooked as important.

I remember when I was little how much I loved looking out the window at the Columbia. Nothing blocked our view of it, save for the fields of sagebrush on the other side of the road that grow downhill, over the railroad tracks, and push up against the swamps, surrounded by cattails and a variety of trees. Because my house faces the west, I often enjoy watching the sunset. Even now, when I go home, I look forward to this. The beauty of nature. The calmness of a family watching the river, year after year.

In many ways, aren’t we (people) just like rivers? Throughout our lives we flow, we learn, we give ourselves to other people. We are used for fun, transportation, food. We also intertwine. New rivers and tributaries spring from us through our relationships and networks with others. We can form lakes. A place where recreation happens and people typically come together as families. And at some point, we join forces. We flow into another river, adding our water to it. And carrying on in that manner until we eventually flow into the ocean. When we combine forces, we become a part of something bigger. Something better.

I’d like to pause for a moment on lakes. Several great memories from my childhood happened at a lake. When I was little, my family would go camping with grandparents. There is a portion of the Blue Mountains in South Eastern Washington referred to as the Tucannon. The Tucannon River flows through this valley. It empties into several lakes, both man made and natural. I loved our family camping trips. My grandpa used to let me tend the fire, which I thought was awesome because I was around eight at the time. Each day we were there, we would fish in the morning and the evening. It was a great experience and I learned a lot from them. Not only about fishing, but also about life. These are memories that I will never forget.

The river, as you can see, is still important to me. Anyone who looks at my phone will see several images I have taken from the end of my driveway of the sunset. Sometimes it disappears quickly; in a split second, even taking two pictures in a row, the sun can go from being over halfway visible to just a glow emitting from the top of the hills on the horizon. To me, there is nothing better to look at. It’s home. This summer I went fishing with my cousin on his boat. Although I had been on the Snake before, and even other parts of the Columbia, this was the first time I had been on the portion of the Columbia directly in front of my house. It was a surreal moment. It was as if I was the river looking at a vast amount of land that ran along my edges. I could see my house, the trees in our front yard, the town’s water tower. And that’s when I realized how small we all are. Rivers are not the largest bodies of water. Their width and depth can vary. Where they end can vary. Just like we can. But the world around them is so vast, so large. We, as people, have the capabilities to do whatever we want.

I stare at the river

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I stare at the river

its lucid waters flowing gently downstream

the rocks that edge its current are round, beveled even

but unlike so many rivers

these rocks are not slippery

for this river

unlike those that flow through cities

is clean


it is small in comparison

more of a mountain stream

weaving its way through tree covered hills


a fish swims by quickly

the dazzling sun finding its scales

creating a fast moving rainbow

in the shallow depths of the water


up ahead

where the river curves

a spot covered fawn

walks quietly through the brush

its beige fur radiating against the greens of the forest

its long legs carry it awkwardly to the water’s edge

and it dips its inferior head to drink from the precious water

completely unaware

that I’m watching


the river plays a pivotal role

knowing how to provide to those that rely on it

both creatures and plants



entangled in its seemingly omniscient character

I cannot help but be perplexed at its perfection

the leaves fell from the trees like rain

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the leaves fell from the trees like rain

showering me in reds and yellows


like many fall mornings

a dreary and gray backdrop floated above me


the sun

whose warmth was long gone

tried desperately to reach me

but the little glow emanating from it

stayed distant


I looked for its warmth

in what held the same colors

could the leaves replace the sun?


the reds and yellows swirled around me

brightening the gloom

letting me know

that I don’t need the sun

to feel