Monday, November 30, 2009


photo by Victoria Kharitonenko
group poem by Viktoriya Tsygipalo, Sergei Kuzmych, and Andrey,
age 15

Birthplace of my group and I
A year for me
Nine for him
Eleven for the other
Passing through the world on a long road trip trail.
Looking back to the place we called our home.
Looking back to the memories that we slowly left behind
Ghetto corners, silent houses, or a neighborhood
like a family get-together.
The nights are deadly to step into.
Wanted figures wander in the alleys,
breathing smoke and waiting for a pray to catch.
Yet, the glowing days are cheerful.
Laughter, loving couples and little smiles.
Dogs, cats, children scattered in the alleys,
running all around, waiting for a play.
Strict, smart talks like shooting bullets,
leaving stains on one another.
While closely loved ones grow
out of their home nests leaving only
three goodbyes.
It's Ukraine
Birthplace of my group and I.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My neighborhood is a really nice place to live

by Azbuka Academy student V.Z.
art by Tanya P.

My neighborhood's a really nice place to live.

What's cool is by my house there is
a shop where you can see the best cars ever.
Body kits and doors open up really nice.

One thing I like is I have a pool table in
my hood where me and my friends always go
and play team against team.
Always after the game we have to fight each other
who wins the most and who loses.
And I have a small park in my hood where
we always go with friends and play cards
and soccer.

We love to play soccer, we are good at that sport,
it's a really good game to play
when you have nothing to do.

I really love my hood.
It's a really nice place to

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am me

group poem by Adela Berkavich, Tanya Kulikova and Irina Sadovnik, age 15

I am me
A kid breaking to grow up
Waiting for teenage years to come
Enjoying the freedom while I can
I am from those moments
A snowflake falls from the sky
This time, only the strength of the branches can hold me
I am from the brown walls of my grandma's kitchen
I am from my mom's side of the family
I'm from the woods and the creek behind my fence
Starfish and crashing waves beneath my feet
I am from the know-it-alls
and pass-it-ons
Talk shit
"And what?" Get hit!
What you got...
is what you get...
We all go to school
acting like fools
but it's all cool
I am from those moments I'm kissing
but then I'm missing
I am me, the voice you can hear from a mile away
I am me...
I understand that we all have to die some day
I say that there's hope for the future
I dream of being on the big screen
I try my best to make good grades
I hope to graduate high school with many scholarships
Even though there's tough times
There's always a way out
I hope for the best!

We Are From......

group poem by Gennadiy S., age 19, and Artem S., age 17

We are from the Hills of Minsk and Odessa
We were Communists and Democrats at the same time
Soviet Union is the country where we were made
We are from the country which had the great wars in the past

We are from the places where sunflower seeds are grown and we eat them
We are from the Soviet Union with hot seas and cold winters
We are from the Russian songs and dances

I remember school in Ukraine
I remember the foods in Ukraine
I remember nature in Ukraine

We are from the song "Kalinka Malinka Malinka Moya”
We are from the Hills of Communism
We are from the churches of Cupola, beautiful and amazing architecture
We are from Stalin's mean and ruthless leadership
We are from Pushkin's great poetry and life
A life that is good and full

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Neighborhood

art and writing by Ekaterina Eskova, age 17

My neighborhood reminds me of myself.

It's also a place I always can come back to no matter what I do or what I did.

I will never forget those awesome days that I used to spend there till the darkness of the skies would attach itself to the roots of my hair.

I remember every morning I used to wake up, remembering those smells of the fresh meals and cookies with the still warm milk that my mom made for me and also the sounds of the morning birds who would sing for me a morning song.

But what I loved the most was the laugh and loud noises of little kids playing outside which would wake me up all the time when I was trying to take a nap. It was distracting, but I loved it though anyways.

The winter time was nice too. Very,very cold. The cold would go through your skin so deep that it made you feel like you want to stay somewhere inside.

I miss it all a lot. What can I say.

My neighborhood was where I spent the greatest times of my younger years.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am from living without regrets

by Bogdan Blashishin, age 17
photo by Liliya Khylchuk

I am from dancing at a rave with crazy teens I don't really know
the beats that Dj Tiesto and East Clubbers bring

and 2Pac getting put 6 feet under for the way he made rap music today.

I am from “Superstars” by Ya Boy and from Lil Jon yelling, "Yeah, yeah!" and "What!"

But the one place that turns my crazy from normal to outrageous
is shopping at Lion Logo for a line called Express.

I am from watching my family make a life for all of us

coming to a new place in 1997
from where we were living hard when my sister died.
It was hard knowing she was there
on my birth in 1992, raising me from a little boy.

I am from growing up shooting hoops with my best friends to getting older
and using those skills for shooting beer pong.

Now I'm back in school, getting my
childhood skills and putting them in the game.

I am from humans living like humans and not fighting like beasts.

From living by the Bible, for it makes a person's life the way it is,
where parents know what's good from what's bad.
From living hard with my dad around
and mama giving us the best she had
with little time to watch me grow up.
I always had my brother and sister to keep me out of stuff.

I am from enjoying a walk to church,

knowing that it's gonna be boring, from not
being patient enough for the sun to set,

knowing Saturday nights are the best.

When I was born my mama taught me
to do my best and taught me life's all about
the qualities that make a person great.

I am from moments of laughter to moments of tears,

from scary dreams
I was living, hoping I would awake from.

Where loved ones, like my baby
cousin Serj, were living a hard life

and no one helping them out. From where
running next to him with a case of beer,

I say: Bro, that was really fun.

My neighborhood is cool

by Azbuka Academy high school student, photo by Liliya Khylchuk

My neighborhood is cool because it's always clean. In my neighborhood, you will see rusted stop signs. I always hear dogs barking. If you go there, you'll taste fresh air because there's a lot of trees. You can smell good food when someone is cooking something. The neighborhood is cool, because when you touch something, it's guaranteed to be clean. I've always been wondering what my neighbors' problem is. They always argue. And the cars are terrible. They always drive by on our street and it's hard to sleep.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ghetto Neighborhood

by Andrey German
photo by Liliya Khylchuk

I hear gunshots that sound scary and
I hear my family's arguments,
I see people playing soccer at the park,
I hear the train going by my house,
I see my neighbors smoking,
I hear music in my ears,
I hear the thunder and rain when I'm in my house,
I hear kids crying
in my house.