January 2017 Issue Snow

Contents:

[Untitled] – Eleanor Bennett (age 20; Manchester, England)
The Changing Snow – Peyton Vernon (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Snow – Henry Russell (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Painting – Xanthe McElroy (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Snow filled – Hazel Harris (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Memories – Mel Leatherland (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Clouds – Sophie Yu (age 18; Auckland, New Zealand)
Snow – William Foulds (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
fox with fear – Bella Rose (age 14; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Snow story – Lizzie Jessep (age 11; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Super Snowdog – Sophie McKague (age 09; Canada)
The Leaving Of Snow – Emma Cawood (age 11; New Zealand)
Ice – Sophie Yu (age 18; Auckland, New Zealand)
[Untitled] Fergus Barnard (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Snow in Spain – Emma Espino (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Where have all the children gone? – Erica Taylor (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)
My friend is melting – Imogen Twiss (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
no eyes – Ryan Tuzyk (age 26; Toronto, Canada)
Snow – Sophie Yu (age 18; Auckland, New Zealand)
Snow – Frances Stanley (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Snow Fisher – Joshua Persico (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)

[Untitled] – Eleanor Bennett

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Eleanor Bennett is twenty years old. She lives in Manchester, England.


The Changing Snow – Peyton Vernon

On a cold night,
Where the world never speaks
And when you dream
You always seem
To fade into a nightmare
The only shadows there are ran away, never found
Cold is cold,
Like stones, smashing you down
But then there is change,
Snowman, sleighs, snowball fights, ice skating
Which make you smile
A warm smile
And laugh.

Peyton Vernon is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Snow – Henry Russell

I come from a world no one else lives in
I’m stranded in the thick snow no one in sight
Nothing to see but long white clouds of snow
It’s like I’m a boat in the middle of the ocean
Nowhere to go
But to just slowly melt with the snow
And wave goodbye to the world I was in
Now I’m back
In my house
Snuggling close to the fire
Remembering the wonderful world I was in

Henry Russell is thirteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Painting – Xanthe McElroy

The blue strokes danced across the canvas
Spots of yellow swam through the deep blue
Reflections swayed in the milky water
The boat was thrust along the rough harbour
Snow fell around their steps hiding them under layers
They huddled close and dragged their tired feet along the cold icy ground
The once awake city slept under watch of the lights above
All frozen in the interpretation of an artist

Xanthe McElroy is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Snow filled – Hazel Harris

Seeing
snow-mountains
outside my window
where we danced
in the garden
all afternoon.
then the look
of wonder
filled her eyes
the light snow
filled her arms
a wide smile
grew across her face
now I just
sit staring
at snow

Hazel Harris is thirteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Memories – Mel Leatherland

I sit in front of the cliff
My old wooden house behind me
I remember when my parents were here
How happy they were with me
How the weather used to change so quickly to hail
I remember we all ran and dodged the snow
I sit with the eagle
As sad as ever
As black as the eagle’s eye

Mel Leatherland is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Clouds – Sophie Yu

clouds

Sophie Yu is eighteen years old. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Snow – William Foulds

I see snow out the window on this isolated mountain.
I would go skiing but the winds are rough and thick.
Snow piles up foot by foot to make an abominable snowman.
It clatters on the door and all the pots fall down in a bang.
I get a bat and open the door and swish, he breaks into thousands of pieces.
I stare out the window and see the sun, I think I’m wanting to go skiing.

William Foulds is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


fox with fear – Bella Rose

long grass
once covered the land
no longer seen
hot nights, sunny days
were once a dream
winter nights are now a reality
a fox creeps through ancient trees
which stand above
the forest floor like burning rocks
the fox who is not wanting to touch danger
dodging bullets as the fox climbs
over trees avoiding evil
dead, broken trunks which have
fallen on the harsh ground are pathways
to freedom
they don’t go forever, they face the end
stuck
lost
his footprints now
thick sheets of snow

Bella Rose is fourteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Snow story – Lizzie Jessep

The snow falls softly in the blue sky
As the snowman
Dreams of a warm day.
The sun shining bright
And the glistening grass
With little water droplets
Shimmering
The snowman opens his eyes
And cries but they turn into ice
Plink plink plink
Then he sees the soft cold snow
So delicate
So beautiful
He realises that winter is a time for
Fun, warmth and love
And winter is done.

Lizzie Jessep is eleven years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Super Snowdog – Sophie McKague

It is a cold snowy day and all the snowdogs are playing outside in the snow. Snowflakes the snowdog is building a snowman with his mate Frost. Everyone is having fun. After some time, Snowflakes gets cold and decides to go inside. So he leaves Frost alone to play in the snow and heads into the den. Snowflakes has no idea what is about to happen.
Just then disaster strikes. A snowstorm has come out of nowhere. All the snowdogs run inside to the safety of the den except one – Frost! As Frost stays to play in the snow a little bit longer the snowstorm gets closer…and closer… until…Ahh! Frost is covered in snow.
Snowflakes hears Frost call and dashes out into the pearl-white snow. The snow becomes deeper and feels colder. Snowflakes cannot find Frost. Frost is buried under the snow. Frost breathes in the crisp air, shivering.With the last of his energy Frost shouts ‘Help!’ Snowflakes’ ears perk up as he reaches to grab his friend. The two friends return home safe and sound. They cuddle up to the fire to have some hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Sophie McKague is nine years old. She lives in Canada.


The Leaving Of Snow – Emma Cawood

The hissing of wind
as it threw the snow into the air.
The crackling fire
as it spread throughout the house
lay only in a broken picture frame.
The burning sun now reflects off the broken glass.
The heat now covers the earth banishing any snow.
The only snow left trickles out of a crack in the picture frame.

Emma Cawood is eleven years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Ice – Sophie Yu

ice

Sophie Yu is eighteen years old. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


[Untitled] – Fergus Barnard

Light snowflakes falling
Raging snowballs flying
Stiff glaciers crumbling

Fergus Barnard is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Snow in Spain – Emma Espino

It’s Christmas time
Snow is falling
It is cold in Spain
The Olentzero is coming
To all the good kids
The hidden toy cake and the devil cakes are on the table
Waiting to be eaten
Everyone is playing outside
Making snowmen
Making angels
Time to come in,
Let’s have some hot chocolate!!

Emma Espino is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Where have all the children gone? – Erica Taylor

Alone in an abandoned park,
Whispers of the past behind me, tickling my ears.
The future calling me,
Cold, damp, crying, concrete.
Memories flicker in my eyes,
Bars, Ladder, Slide,
Sleety raindrops start falling,
And the children slowly come back from the shadows,
Their smiles cause a chain reaction in everyone around.
Blizzarding down, the snow stealing the children.
Until only I am left,
And my smile fades into the white coat,
The quiescent surroundings bringing peace to me.

Erica Taylor is thirteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


My friend is melting – Imogen Twiss

She is ashamed to admit
she puts butter and icing sugar
on her popcorn
her breath blows avalanches
she hides in the clouds
she makes
she is my flower
etiolated
she cowers in the shadows
of broad oaks
she is my early crocus
purple, blooming out beneath her eyes
over her skim milk face
her winter cheeks
too thin, too fat
she is melting away from this world
I see her through cataracts
like frosted glass
too quiet
taunting
dancing at the corners of my eyes
she appears, disappears
my arctic fox in the tundra
she lies in the mist
I think I missed
her life is spilling from her mouth
her throat is burning
she is dripping away
like an icicle in the sun
she is destroyed
my friend, why don’t you know
you are beautiful
you are my snow angel

Imogen Twiss is fifteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


no eyes – Ryan Tuzyk

you have no eyes
snow eyes, waterfalls
tangled in, uncover you
always a brother, you
hid it, gave it, took it
i read your book, but only pages
you have no arms
bare skin, thin lines
torn skin, broken bones
soft spoken, paper folded
i couldn’t wait, i
never did it right
i used to watch fireworks
then we started getting tense
i used to go to the beach
used to flow to it
scars heal
words freeze and thaw
the next time it snows
i’ll go, i’ll say i’m sorry
tongue out, catch the glistens
hope you listen

Ryan Tuzyk is twenty-six years old. He lives in Toronto, Canada.


Snow – Sophie Yu

snow

Sophie Yu is eighteen years old. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Snow – Frances Stanley

The sun is rising
And white crystals are everywhere
My boots crunch on the ground
This time it is snow, not leaves
Now all I can see is a layer of white, inches tall
Painting the valleys of crops and grass
White.

Frances Stanley is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Snow Fisher – Joshua Persico

The leaves collapse.
The first snowflakes cling onto my oars.
The thick smell of a salty sea comforts me.
My line twitches.
Behind me a flax kete with two blue cod.
Pacific
Ocean
Sunset
Reflection
Shells
The waves collapse.
The clouds start to soften.
Snow is the promise of water.

Joshua Persico is twelve years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Fingers comma Toes Logo Final

August 2016 Issue Rust

Contents:

Memento Mori – Sophie Yu (age 17; New Zealand)
The Trophy Has Rusted – Maddy Horton (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Harry Knight (age 11; Christchurch, New Zealand)
the night – Lottie Heywood (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)
I’ll Be Watching You – Jana Heise (age 11; Lamu, Kenya)
Rusty – Maya Wylie (age 08; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Daisy Aaron (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Ant – Maia Cardew (age 10; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States)
Summer Freckles – Kristine Brown (age 25; United States)
Piano – Monica Koster (age 14; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Rust Maker – Hugh Ryan (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Xanthe McElroy (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Millie Murray (age 04; Mount Maunganui, New Zealand)
Rust flower – Amelien Fox (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
A Night in Madrid – Ellarose Riddle (age 14; Maryland, United States)
The Ladder – Jana Heise (age 11; Lamu, Kenya)
Sunflowers – Sophie Yu (age 17; New Zealand)
To a Broken Sky – Russell Boey (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
He Digs with a Suit – E Wen Wong (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)

Memento Mori – Sophie Yu

01 - Sophie Yu - Memento Mori

Sophie Yu is seventeen years old. She lives in New Zealand.


The Trophy Has Rusted – Maddy Horton

Squeak said the mouse
Squeak said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
the moon has turned blue!
Use fire said the mouse
Use water said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
the dog said meow!
Wash the rust said the mouse
colour the moon green said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
a statue came to life!
So they talked and they whispered,
and they shouted and they yelled.
The trophy has rusted
and we know what to do!
So they all took the trophy
and said the secret words,
and the trophy became silver
shining red and gold.
Now the trophy stands
proud and tall
until…
Squeak said the mouse
Squeak said the cheese.

Maddy Horton is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Rust – Harry Knight

My old house was as neglected
as a wheel barrow outside in the rain
the colour of burnt toast
like a bronze Olympic medal
smelted like old golden syrup
rusty, rickety crumbly bricks

Harry Knight is eleven years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


the night – Lottie Heywood

the vivid outline of the fascinating moon
strengthens the hope around me
the misty night sends some thoughts
shuddering down my spine
the wall between reality and dreams
never opening
the black cat creeps on the rusty board
the light of this magnificent moon
blinds me
as strong as it will ever be
the black cat creeps on the rusty board
the rusty surge comes whispering
the piercing water eddies and swirls
the black cat creeps on the rusty board

Lottie Heywood is twelve years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


I’ll Be Watching You – Jana Heise

I'll Be Watching You

Jana Heise is eleven years old. She lives in Lamu, Kenya.


Rusty – Maya Wylie

Rust covers the window sill
Blocking the view of the whale.
The dog scratches at the door,
I open it.
The cold air brushes my hair
I see the whale stranded
His eye is rusty blood.
His back, hot and dry,
Burning in the sun.
I have a wish
On all stars falling
May the world of whales
Stay safe.

Maya Wylie is eight years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Rust – Daisy Aaron

Today is my 9th birthday!!! And I got… oh. A
screwdriver. I’ll leave it in the garage. To be old, to be
forgotten, to be nothing.
Today is my 10th birthday! My dad told me to look in
the garage for my present!!! I got a new bike and—oh. A
rusty screwdriver. I find some sandpaper. I scrape the
rust off and it falls like morning rain. Underneath, the
screwdriver is gold. Solid gold.

Daisy Aaron is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Ant – Maia Cardew

My instincts tell me not to move,
But I find myself under hoof.
While tigers, grizzlies, and polar bears
Find their bodies sold at fairs,
I tumble forever on the ground,
My body spinning, ‘round and ‘round.
I’m just a silly, blank, old bug,
To humans unworthy of a rug.
Eventually, I’m ground to dust
My destiny to die in rust.

Maia Cardew is ten years old. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.


Summer Freckles – Kristine Brown

Summer Freckles - Kristine Brown

Kristine Brown is twenty-five years old. She lives in the United States.


Piano – Monica Koster

rustic music
___glides from yellowed keys
crooked legs sway to the beat
____pedals clunk, burnt stardust sifted
___________over metallic shapes
paint peels, plastering
___the ground with shards of age
a legato lullaby drifts… a melodic trill,
___a few staccato riffs
___________TWANG
_______________THUNK
my fingers fumble,
frustration
the piano is rusty,
and so am I

Monica Koster is fourteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Rust Maker – Hugh Ryan

A clear blue sea making grains of solid rust,
a gold for fools,
a sign of intelligence and age.
A wise rusty anchor,
a rusty pipe,
the skeleton of a sunken ship.

Hugh Ryan is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Rust – Xanthe McElroy

like a painting
dancing upon the old metal car
complaining as the engine tried
to put itself to use
like the one that must decide
when something is too old
when something must be forgotten
the rust enjoys taking over
eating up the goodness
until it simply has destroyed
and taken all beauty

Xanthe McElroy is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Rust – Millie Murray

RUST_A3_LowRes

Millie Murray is four years old. She lives in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.


Rust flower – Amelien Fox

The land where the water flows in rusty shades of brown
the trees sing whispers to the once green leaves
the galloping horse’s shining brown back
glowing in the light of the sun
the forest of the copper winged birds
there falls the night sky where the stars don’t shine
the bodies of the fallen
the colour of the world is lost
rust grows over the remains
except for the red poppy that brings hope

Amelien Fox is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


A Night in Madrid – Performed by Ellarose Riddle

Ellarose Riddle is fourteen years old. She lives in Maryland, United States.


The Ladder – Jana Heise

——I am not of the hard scales and fire of dragons, nor the soft, tough armor of a fish.
——I am not of the shiny, hard metal of a flashy watch, nor the over polished chrome on a power boat, hardly used.
——I still feel myself dissolve and melt in the arms of the not-so-blue salty water that chips away all my defenses. My muscles unclench, spin out and stretch. And then they seem to disappear, and I feel like exhaling. I want to sink, deeper, deeper, deeper, then below the sand and rock and coral, dead just because we like the flavor of king prawns and caviar. I will become one with it all. I will be like the ladder on the raft. The one that turned red, and flaked over the holey wood planks and then finally gave out, falling into the water, slipping down, coming to settle in the mud.
——I am not iron. Steel? Nope. Just me. A human, capable of rusting, capable of recovering, capable of disappearing beneath the waves when the water finally distorts me to the point of failing. To the point where fingers can’t cling to the surface, where lungs can’t generate enough to float, where eyelids can’t open, where no amount of WD-40 will breathe movement back into my stiff joints.
——I will reach that point. And then exceed it.

Jana Heise is eleven years old. She lives in Lamu, Kenya.


Sunflowers – Sophie Yu

Sophie Yu - Rust [Photograph; Untitled]

Sophie Yu is seventeen years old. She lives in New Zealand.


To a Broken Sky – Russell Boey

There was deathliness in the air.
This was not so simple as the stench of rot, or the colour of blood. This was a deathliness of a darker kind, one which originated from absence rather than destruction, one spawned from a vast abyss that seemed to cover this land. Ashe sighed. This was air that would chill the blood, more than any cold of the Long Night.
He stepped forward, holding his lantern high. It felt remarkably clumsy, traversing the junk with only one hand. One false step would bury him in a rain of bronzed iron. He was not built for such terrain – this was a place meant for the lithe and the fearless, not for one scrawny and exhausted.
His lantern illuminated great heaps of rubbish all around him – metal pipes, astrolabes, telescopes – all cast away in hatred or frustration. The only thing that seemed relatively stable was a toppled statue of some saint, his crossed shield providing some sort of footing for Ashe’s feet. He made for it, clambering up until he reached its melted face. One jump took him over, skidding down with the clattering harmony of iron as his accompaniment.
She certainly would not fail to notice him now.
Having crossed over the initial barriers, Ashe took a moment to look around himself. This place was not at all pleasant – the miasma that hung over it seemed stronger now that he was within. But at least some kind of pathway existed, lined by the remnants of rusted solar systems. He threw a bronze Earth away from his feet into the piles around him, listening to it clatter in steady rhythm until it struck the ground.
“Knock, knock,” a voice breathed beside him.
Ashe whirled around, hand at the dagger that was never far from him. But he did not draw it as he saw the speaker.
Nothing about her had changed, it seemed, but her voice, now hoarser – she still wore her girlish innocence, so out of place against her strangely sad eyes. “Finally decided to pay me a visit, Ashe? I’ve been brilliant, thanks. So why are you here?”
Ashe watched his old friend sadly. Perhaps something of her had changed after all. “You were not always so direct, Raina.”
“Well, I appear to have tired of you already,” she retorted. “Why are you here?”
Ashe sighed. No point in arguing with her – he had never won any of those before. “I thought you ought to hear something.”
“Did you? Out with it, then.”
“Must we remain on such bad terms—”
“Really?” she interrupted. “After all this time, you want to try to befriend me again?”
“No. But I would prefer not to tell this to a girl who hates me.”
“Just get on with it,” she hissed, and he would not argue with that voice.
“Ari’s dead.” The words fell out of his mouth with strange simplicity – her voice had surpassed all the emotions that came with saying them.
For a moment Raina stared at him blankly. He did not break the gaze.
Finally, she shook her head. “Damned fool,” she said, but her voice did not contain any vehemence. “He and you both. Idiots. Goodbye, Ashe.”
She turned, and he did not bother to call for her. She would not even pretend to act as if she cared.
He sighed again, and turned away, but for a moment his dead friend’s words played once more in his ear. My sister is not as strong as she seems.
He paused, looking back, and then up towards the heavens. The stars were out for now, taunting as ever. But all seemed safe.
“You will torment me even in death,” he muttered, and followed Raina’s trail.
For all the torment you caused me in life, he seemed to reply, laughing.
She seemed to notice him at some point, turning. “I don’t need comfort from you, Ashe!” she yelled across the plain.
Stubborn girl. He ignored her, following after her swift silhouette. Where had that girl who had run along the shores with him gone?
He supposed that no one had remained, really, after the Long Night.
A few more steps, and she had disappeared from sight. Still he stepped forward – she was no ghost, and she could not simply vanish.
His lantern was guttering. Too late to turn back now, whatever else.
But his search proved fruitless – only the dirt greeted him every step of the way. The lantern turned black.
Finally, a little fear set in. If he had only one flaw, he decided, that would have been it. Fear found its way to him far too late for it to be of any use.
Still he walked, until his legs ached and he had to sit. He had failed Ari in all else – he would ——-not fail him in this. Even if it was only for the sake of a forgotten friendship.
He could not deny that he missed their days of running in the sand.
A small smile crossed his face. The three of them had made good children together. Yet one of them lay forgotten in the dust, and Ashe seemed soon to join him. There would be no more light – morning was as far away as it had ever been, despite his best efforts. Raina was right – he was a fool, more so for bringing another into his foolery.
“God, you really are persistent.”
Ashe jumped again, but still treasured the little relief in his heart. How the girl could see him in this darkness was a mystery, but one that he did not need an answer to.
“I won’t have you and my brother both dead. Come on.” Her voice was frigid as it had ever been, but at least there was no underlying fury now. Perhaps grief had driven it away.
She was moving again, but loudly enough for him to hear. He hastened to his feet.
“How can you stand it here?” he called out, as much for her location as the answer. “It is so—”
“Deathly, I know. You get used to it. Do you know why?”
“It is empty,” he replied with little thought.
“But why is that?” At his silence, she continued. “It is failure, Ashe.” He heard her stop, and could imagine her face – tragic, in that way it had been when he had first met her. “The legacy of man lies dead here.”
They walked on in silence for a while longer, until at last a flickering light came into view. Ashe marvelled as he drew closer – it was electric, no doubt. It had been years since he had seen anything of the like.
“You’ve done well for yourself,” he commented. “Surviving here for three years.”
“Well, we both know that I can handle myself. And there are a few treasures here. More than anywhere else on this half, I think.”
As she ducked beneath the bulb, her hair was the brilliant red that it had been when they were children, and the sun had still shone. He could not stem the stream of memories that that sheen brought back, but only one among the torrent appeared in all vividness – a smaller girl, then, carried in the arms of her bloodied brother.
Her abode was similar to the rest of this place, albeit a little more structured. The walls were even, but no roof existed – though it was not as if one was needed anymore. She sat down, leaning against the old metal with a quiet sigh. “Why did you do it, Ashe, really?”
“What?” He stood uncertainly, fidgeting under her gaze.
“Come on. You’re not an idiot. When the world gets ripped in half, you begin to realise that there’s nothing much to do about it.”
“There was.”
“Temporary, we all knew that, and ridiculously dangerous. You knew that someone would die.”
“But to give up on all hope—”
“The stars themselves tore the world in two!” she cried, with a passion that she had hidden for years. Even their parting had not been so violent, despite him ignoring all that she had implored. “If there is a god in heaven, Ashe, then you are trying to fight against him. When the Earth gets halved and refuses to spin, you begin to realise that some things are beyond man.”
“You were not always so cynical,” he said.
“The world was not always like this. Sit down.”
Cautiously, he did. “How did he die?” she asked, after a moment.
“Fell. Struck the burning rocks.” Ashe laughed sadly. “How else do our kind die?”
“Our kind?” Raina sounded as if she had failed to even smile for a long time when she laughed at his words. “Do you consider yourself something different to me?”
“Noble, first. And foolish. You are right. One does not fight against gravity.”
Raina nodded, as if such a thing had never been in question. But at the sadness in his voice, she spoke. “Hell, Ashe. If you weren’t so noble, I might’ve died as a child.”
“If I weren’t so noble, your brother would be alive now.”
She changed the subject. “So why do you carry that dagger? I’ve never seen you use it before, and I doubt it would help against the Earth’s molten core.”
“Your brother gave it to me. For luck. Because he wanted to keep me safe, repay me for what he thought he owed, or something. I see that now – no one ever believed in hope but me.”
Ashe bowed his head. He’d already shed tears for this death, well and long, but the grief did not stop. It was his doing, after all – his mistake.
“I hope you are wiser now,” Raina said. “Ashe, you ought to have listened to me. That was what hurt most of all, you know – after everything, you still thought that I did not have your best in mind.”
Ashe leaned his head against the wall. “I never doubted you had my best. Only that my best was not enough.”
“Nothing’s enough, Ashe,” she replied. “You’ve travelled far to get here. You must be tired.”
“Are you trying to be rid of me?”
“No. Go to sleep. There is no point in blaming you for this.”
“Then you forgive me?”
“No. But I’m not angry with you, not anymore. Just go to sleep.”
As he lay down, he realised that his eyes had been yearning to close ever since he had stepped within. And it was safe here. Far away from the broken edge of space, from the wild, unfathomable gravity that drew them day by day further from the sun, and from the memories of his dead friend.
In a moment the sun shone in the sky above him, and he squinted against its glare. Raina’s hair glowed red in the light, as she dashed down the beach and yelled out for her brother to join her in the waves. Ari smiled his cockish smile, pushing his windswept brown hair out of his eyes as he turned to Ashe.
“I appreciate this, you know,” he said.
Ashe smiled up at him. “You do what you can, don’t you?”
His eyes followed Raina’s wild path across the sea. Hard to believe that only a few days ago he and Ari had carried her limp form to a doctor – she seemed as well as any other child.
“I don’t want to go back home,” Ari said suddenly, watching her. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to help her next time.”
Ashe grinned a little and punched him on the shoulder. “Well, you know where to find me.”
Ari watched him severely. “Do you mean that?”
“Of course,” Ashe replied.
Ari turned around with a disbelieving shake of his head. “Perhaps the world has some hope after all.”
When he awoke, Raina stood with her back to him, head bowed low.
The ground at her feet was wet, and Ashe made no comment on it as he rolled up. He was fairly sure of what he would see, but it still jarred him to see his friend’s corpse. The fall had distorted his face terribly, so that only a sliver of his brown hair still existed, and all else was unrecognisable. But Raina’s tears were confirmation enough.
“I was waiting for you,” she said, as she hefted something from the ground. He did not bother asking how she had got all this so fast – she had her own ways, now, ways far beyond him.
It was the shield, he realised, which he had clambered on earlier. The cross emblazoned on it was red with rust.
She thrust it hard into the ground above Ari’s head, her hands shaking as she released it.
“Do you have a shovel?” Ashe asked.
“Don’t need one,” she muttered. “It does not do, for him to be like this.”
So saying, she withdrew a flask of oil. This scrapyard truly seemed to hold everything. Pouring it over the corpse quietly, she turned her forlorn gaze to Ashe. “Don’t you dare go back,” she said. “I hated my parents, but then you know that well. In all my life I cared only for my brother and my dearest friend, and I won’t lose both of you.”
She raised her glass high, in some sort of mad toast. “To a broken sky and an endless night.”
Ashe looked at her blankly. “You know that I can’t agree with that.”
“Even now?” She wrapped her hand in cloth. “Don’t you see that there is no way to end them? Let it be, Ashe. We won’t be the ones to die.”
She grabbed the lightbulb, still hot.
“When your brother met me,” Ashe said, “he told me that the world still had some hope in it.”
Raina laughed. “Lot of good that did you two.” She hurled the bulb towards the corpse. It went alight in spectacular fashion as she came to stand by him.
“Raina, I—”
“Just watch,” she said.
And he did. The smoke filled the air, but he did not turn aside from the smell. Instead, he watched it rise, deep into the starry sky, far from the failed legacy of man.

Russell Boey is fifteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


He Digs With a Suit – E Wen Wong

He digs with a rusting spade
its face coated in cinnamon,
playing its card
as the cosmic tree of life.
He digs out a crimson heart
speckled with beads of sand,
playing its card
as hope, warmth and light.
He digs out a shard
of raw, tinted glass,
Replacing a stolen diamond
A club will follow suit.

E Wen Wong is thirteen years old, and lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Fingers comma Toes Logo Final

2016 January – Blue – Inaugural Issue

Contents:

Goody Goody – Vanessa Choo (age 04; Singapore)
The Second Full Moon Is Blue – Ella Stephens (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Auhora – Hugh Ryan (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Dreaming Cat – Sofia Verina (age 10; North Carolina, United States)
The Hunters – Finn Pearce (age 08; Christchurch, New Zealand)
where the ice met the sea – Lucy Jessep (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Buxton Apothecary – Eleanor Bennett (age 19; Manchester, England)
Offscreen – Ryan Tuzyk (age 25; Toronto, Canada)
Arm Doodles – Samantha Jory-Smart (age 14; New Zealand)
Blue Tiger – Cameron Doherty (age 11; Auckland, New Zealand)
Space – Lachlan Merriman (age 08; Auckland, New Zealand)
Ocean Eyes – Imogen Twiss (age 14; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Blue Fish – Alanah Peters (age 07; Bluff City, Tennessee, United States)
Blue Duck – Joshua Dillon (age 14; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Autumn – Gray Hackett (age 07; Larchmont, New York, United States)
Seated Drive – Eleanor Bennett (age 19; Manchester, England)
Hungry – Judith Jewell (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Brothers – Ralph Clink (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Flurry of Bonfire Night – Eleanor Bennett (age 19; Manchester, England)
Blue Butterfly – Bryson Chen (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
I Start at Blue – Georgina Scott (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)
[Untitled] – Zelle Logan (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Penguins – Jeannie Hird (age 09; Wanganui, New Zealand)

Goody Goody – Vanessa Choo

01 - Vanessa Choo - Goody Goody

Vanessa Choo is four years old. She lives in Singapore.


The Second Full Moon Is Blue – Ella Stephens

the boy
and the lamb
hidden behind
the blue tarpaulin
a world that is their own
the sea
reflects
the sky
grasps
the second full moon
a ladder leans against
the blue cottage
a china tea set is blue
untouched
the kettle whistles
they hide
out of reach of truth
behind reality
they live in
a world that is their own
nothing
but a blue tarpaulin

Ella Stephens is thirteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Auhora – Hugh Ryan

The Auhora
Slowly crosses the horizon a minute before dawn
As cars get driven and chainsaws get used
The CO2 makes the boat rise
On the melting ice
Of the Arctic
Up and up
It goes until the world is flooded
And all that is left is the boat

Hugh Ryan is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Dreaming Cat – Sofia Verina

04 - Sofia Verina - Dreaming Cat

Sofia Verina is ten years old. She lives in North Carolina, United States.


The Hunters – Finn Pearce

A seagull sloping
down towards the waves
Froth parting the arrow
in the wing

Finn Pearce is eight years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


where the ice met the sea – Lucy Jessep

between the frost
and the sea
a figure stood
half crystallised frost,
formed from a single breath
on a moonlit day
half wild sea foam,
shaped from murky depths
dark and distant
she would climb onto a sleigh
pulled by deep blue horses
and ride towards the moon.
she wondered what
the sea would look
like if it froze
sheets of ice
stretched tightly
over the ocean
like a glass cover,
the ocean whipping it,
forming spider-web cracks
in a frozen wasteland

Lucy Jessep is twelve years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Buxton Apothecary – Eleanor Bennett

07 - Eleanor Bennett - Buxton Apothecary

Eleanor Bennett is nineteen years old. She lives in Manchester, England.


Offscreen – Ryan Tuzyk

I’m the chief scientist on an exploration class starship, and I’m also a robot. Or at least I’m pretending to be.
Robots speak in a steady, measured cadence, because there are no emotions to distract them. I keep my voice neutral as I impart life-saving information to the crew.
“Captain,” I say, “Quorium readings are dangerously high.”
The director yells cut.
When I get home there’s a note on the door. I’m going to live with my sister, it says. The children are coming with me.
I go inside and open the newspaper, because I haven’t read it yet.

Ryan Tuzyk is twenty-five years old. He lives in Toronto, Canada.


Arm Doodles – Samantha Jory-Smart

Blue pen-ink
blots my skin
and spreads till it
entwines my veins
swirls adorn the moon
and seep into my arm
in wobbly blotches
of midnight
twenty stars tingle
on each of my
fingers and toes
an owl hoots
from my other wrist
I collect
memories of the night too,
you know.

Samantha Jory-Smart is fourteen years old. She lives in New Zealand.


Blue Tiger – Cameron Doherty

10 - Cameron Doherty - Blue Tiger

Cameron Doherty is eleven years old. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Space – Lachlan Merriman

I’m floating in an infinite world
High over the earth so beautiful and blue
I can see the stars and they look like glitter spread over the sky
I’m in a sea of tranquillity.

Lachlan Merriman is eight years old. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Ocean Eyes – Imogen Twiss

I see them
I don’t hear.
Muffled voices collecting in a haze
their timbre is dead, monotonous
a dull globe of noise, thudding
Indistinguishable sound pollution
I am in the center
but no one acknowledges me
my life goes on, long walks in the park
I see no colour
except
blue.
I see sadness, I see being alone.
But it is only me in my loneliness
The blue is others’ happiness through a filter
that is my eyes
They are normal, I am the odd one out
I look in the mirror
And I see blue
My blood runs cold, always
There is a sinking sphere
Lead in my chest
It pulls me down, so that everyone else
Is above me
Superior
They laugh, but not at me
They are looking elsewhere, happy
They do not notice my pain
They do not notice me
Their lives are fulfilled
I am invisible
I am the one who sees blue
Blue is all I see
Everything is blue
I’m drowning
I’m seeing my whole life before my eyes
My life has always been blue
I was born and put in baby blue
When I wanted pink
When they laughed, at me, this time
I saw everything through ocean eyes
Cried cerulean tears
Now
I’m falling down, the bridge called to me
I watch the shimmering surface of the waves, undulating
The lead where my heart is, pulling me under
Drifting to meet the sea floor
A cold bed
But I’m not seeing blue anymore
I see purple
Now red
My blood is being drawn from my lungs before me
And now I see black

Imogen Twiss is fourteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Blue Fish – Alanah Peters

13 - Alanah Peters - [Untitled]

Alanah Peters is seven years old, and created this artwork at the age of six. She lives in Bluff City, Tennessee, United States.


Blue Duck – Joshua Dillon

She swooped down onto the crescent shaped rock, her brown, wrinkled, webbed feet planting on the granite, made smooth by decades of swift currents. She lowered her head delicately, and came back up with a beak full of crystal clear water, leaving behind a pulsating ripple. She straightened her neck, droplets falling from the end of her beak, and shook her feathers. This was her favourite spot, far enough away to not be disturbed by her brothers, let alone those tall creatures with big shiny machines, always making noise.
She was majestic, candy for the eye, nature’s finest. Her feathers were of a glorious array of blue and green that stood out perfectly against the background. Her soft furry underbelly was snow white, peppered with dots of cherry. Her feet were so intricately designed, with seemingly hundreds of layers and textures. She rubbed the top of her head on her underbelly, trying to sooth the irritated skin around her deep scar. It was engrained in her memory.
After cleaning herself, she took off in search of her brothers. Surely they had found a tasty morsel to gobble, or else she would go starving. Her wings flapped in a monotonous beat as she soared through the air, with a bird’s eye view of the snaking, blue and white river, cutting through the land. Then she saw it. Something out of the corner of the eye, out of focus, but there. She turned her head as she saw the tall creatures, holding long shafts, looking up at the sky. She turned her gaze back to the river, confused. The next moment, she heard a loud BANG and her feathers parted, as the hot sharp object tore through her skin and pierced her heart. She dropped like a stone, and splashed hard down into the water.
The blue duck sank to the river floor, one of the last of its kind, taken for granted. A waste. The charm of her blue enigma was lost for good. The hypocrisy of mankind.

Joshua Dillon is fourteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Autumn – Gray Hackett

Fall leaves are many colors
Flying from the trees
Flags waving in the wind—slow

Gray Hackett is seven years old. He lives in Larchmont, New York, United States.


Seated Drive – Eleanor Bennett

16 - Eleanor Bennett - Seated Drive

Eleanor Bennet is nineteen years old. She lives in Manchester, England.


Hungry – Judith Jewell

I look down at my beef. Cold. Blue. I look up at my daddy. Cold. Blue. His coldness is driven by an eternal storm of violence, but no one else sees it. Coldness of the beef is driven by a lazy cook. I wonder if the cook has a storm as well, and pray he doesn’t. It’s a shame my few spots of sunshine can barely hold up the rain my daddy hails down on me. Cold. Blue. It’s a shame my bruises always show up blue against my pale skin, so I yet again come up with excuses as to why my pale flesh is constantly interrupted by fields of damaged nerves that insist on sharing my secret. Daddy’s little secret, he says while tapping the side of his nose, the same nose that constantly drips little bundles of snot. Cold. Blue.
I look down at my beef, and begin to eat. I tear apart the blueness, tear apart the storm with my sunshine. I laugh with confidence in my voice.
My beef is gone, and I like it that way.

Judith Jewell is fifteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Brothers – Ralph Clink

The coffins fall from the clouded sky
Jump, or burn, jump or burn!
Pale arms, reaching for the surface
Legs still, hearts still
The coffins fall from the other side
No longer stars and stripes
Jump, or burn, jump or burn!
Tanned arms, reaching for the surface
Legs still, hearts still
No longer enemies
Yet not allies
But brothers
Brothers of the sea
Blue cares not for colour
For it encompasses all

Ralph Clink is fifteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The Flurry of Bonfire Night – Eleanor Bennett

19 - Eleanor Bennett - The Flurry of Bonfire Night

Eleanor Bennet is nineteen years old. She lives in England.


Blue Butterfly – Bryson Chen

The butterfly flapped its wings,
Sending shockwaves through the air.
She exhaled,
Her blue breath clouding the sky,
Swirling like an icy dragon.
The dragon cried,
Shaking the air with its new-found powers.
Another flap of the butterfly’s wings,
And the dragon’s inferno was extinguished.
Forming from the smoke,
A tree grew.
A tree
As wise as the owl that perched on
The branches of navy.
Strong and sturdy,
Caring for the dragon infants
That rested on it.
The butterfly stopped flapping its wings
And a dire axe appeared.
Without any hesitation,
It slammed into the trunk of the tree.
Down and down, it
Fell.
It was silent.
No more breath.

Bryson Chen is fifteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


I Start at Blue – Georgina Scott

Numb lips
Frost bites
Cold hair
Dead eyes
Sunken ocean
Ships fading
Winds hoarse
Balloons empty
Icy walking
Iceberg melting
Colors frozen
Pendants hanging
Elbows, knees
Time frozen
Grief ridden
With Blue

Georgina Scott is twelve years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


[Untitled] – Zelle Logan

22 - Zelle Logan - [Untitled]

Zelle Logan is twelve years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Penguins – Jeannie Hird

They waddle cutely
across the ice
Their bodies slide too.
So free when they swim
I know who they are
and hope you do too
They are…the penguins.

Jeannie Hird is nine years old. She lives in Wanganui, New Zealand. She is the first person ever to submit to fingers comma toes.


Fingers comma Toes Logo Final