Scholastic Writing Gold Key Award Winners

A Pirate’s Sestina

On our way, running, to the open sea,
Hoping, hiding under cover of night,
That possible our frightful journey be,
And far be oppressive, imposing might.
Should power divine hear our desperate plea,
That it would deign to enable our flight.
We follow birds who are silent in flight,
Reminiscent of our last, only plea,
To escape in the darkness of the night.
All that we hope is to get to the sea,
Hiding from what claims to be righteous might.
Damned we are and damned we’ll be.
Forever hunting us like dogs they’ll be,
And so we pray they lose us in the night.
That’s why we’re running to the distant sea;
Before they reach us, we will be in flight.
To power above we extend that plea,
And yet, prepare our own foreboding might.
Follow all seabirds and sailors we might.
Our chances will be renewed at the sea,
On wings of wood and canvas we’ll take flight;
Free from the likes of heroes we will be,
Free to befriend the danger of the night,
For freedom, our freedom, we make this plea.
Liberate us from the righteous, we plea
That God in lapse of judgment gives us flight.
And if he does, tomorrow gone we’ll be.
If not, against good we’ll employ our might,
For we are bad, and belong on the sea,
For we are bad, and we thrive in the night.
To sand and salt we run in the deep night,
Giddy and wicked are we on the sea,
Drunk of our freedom, and drunk of our might.
God has turned His cheek for our baneful plea,
And granted us our wondrous, baleful flight.
Perchance wicked our gracious God be.
Or truly wicked be that righteous might,
And truly good be our plea for safe flight,
And truly holy be the sea and night.

- Allison Blythe '17

Change In Destination

Tell everyone I’m still alive,
That it was just a mere bump in the road.
I had fallen so deep,
But I can see clearly now.
Tell them that I care now,
About it all.
His voice came to me in a dream,
And there I saw the gates of Hell
Ready to engulf me into their beguiling carcass.
I wanted to go,
At least that’s what I had told myself for so long.
My GPS was set for the dark side,
But that voice steered me off course
Through a windy road the size of a single doorframe
And into a black hole.
I was lost there
Still tempted to go back
But that’s when fate called me forward and showed me the way.
It said I had to give up everything I had been fighting for
That it was all worthless and meaningless in the long run
That all the feelings I once had were blinding me from reality
That the eyes peering at me through the window behind those gates
Wanted to see me stoop down and reach for him.
Tell everyone that I’m reaching back to the past
Until the darkness can take me again;
The darkness that still haunts me with its gaze of longing
The same darkness that had opened me up to the new possibilities of ne-
The same darkness that had made me fe-
The same darkness that-
Well, it doesn’t matter anymore
Tell everyone that the old me is still here, would ya
And while you’re at it bring me my iced frappucino.

- Rita Pisegna '17
Windward School is a 7-12, co-educational, independent day school in Los Angeles, California.