Poem Exchange – Lenana Girls High School and Vancouver, WA
Lift the Lid is connecting young writers in order to foster talent, bridge cultures, and share experiences. Meet Purity and Ariel!
Purity Momanyi, fourteen years old and a student at Lenana Girls High School in Kitale, Kenya, writes about an overeager father who dreams of riches from his middle daughter’s good looks in her poem “Restlessness.”
THANK YOU to both Purity and Ariel for sharing their writing and a selected verse from the Bible. You can read “Restlessness” and “Goodnight, World” below:
Purity comes from a family of three siblings, and she is youngest. Her father sells firewood, and her mother sells vegetables. They work very hard to keep Purity and her older brother and sister in school. Each of them have had to drop out of school at different times to find work. Purity loves to read, listen to music, and dance. Her favorite subject is science because she wants to study medicine when she gets older, and her favorite colors are pink and sky blue. Her goals are to get an A in the National Exam, to help her family grow food, and to make more friends.
Well, now Purity has a friend in Washington . . .
Ariel J from Vancouver, Washington is a 15 year-old home school student and young poet, whose work “Goodnight, World” is about a girl tempted to give up on life and God’s unconditional love and eternal light.
Ariel comes from a family of nine kids, and she would never have it any other way! She is also in love with all things music; singing is her passion and Jesus is her life. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her wonderful friends and family, writing, sketching/drawing, playing basketball, watching football and of course—singing. Aside from that, she loves the color blue and making people smile!
“Goodnight, world,” she says, as she closes her eyes.
But the Dark whispers back through the moonlit skies:
“The day has not passed; it has only begun.
“You’ve blocked out my truth, yet still, I have won.
“What is your worth? Tell me, what do they see?
“You shatter your mirrors, yet scream you are free.”
She shuts off her conscience and swallows her fear.
She speaks in defense, though her soul cannot hear.
“Go away, Little Voice! The world loves my disguise.
“They accept me in costume and believe in my lies . . .”
Her mind longs for slumber, but there is no peace
For the Dark has not rested and its smile has not ceased.
“Tell me, dear heart, are you fooling this crowd?
“Your mouth speaks in silence, but your shame cries aloud.”
She faces the mirror; her hands touch the glass.
She caresses her smile then peels off her mask.
The reflection has shifted; contentment has gone—
Now inside she wears anguish yet still aches to be strong.
A tear burns her cheek as she whispers in fear,
“I was free, Little Voice . . . How could my chains now appear?”
The Dark scoffs at her courage, then raises its voice,
“You are brave, my dear heart. Still, my knives are your toys.”
She trembles in weakness; she cannot plead her case,
So The Dark fills the silence and gives her no place.
“Look at your scars, then tell me I’m wrong!
“You say you have victory, but they are your song.”
Her heart shrieks in torture as she turns up her wrist—
Twelve cuts lined in sequence, each screaming for bliss.
“Here, Little Voice, now you have won.”
“Not yet,” the Dark whispers. “I still see the sun.”
It holds out a gift that will play with her mind:
A barrel in front and a trigger behind.
“Your freedom, my dear,” the Dark smiles in spite.
“Here is your ticket. Surrender this fight.”
She smoothes down her hair and picks up the gift.
“Thank you,” she whispers, for hope starts to drift.
The night opens a hand so she puts hers inside.
Her lips kiss the bullet, the Dark smiles with pride.
“Okay, Little Voice, your work here is done.
“Goodnight, world,” she says as she fingers the gun.
The night wraps in silence; it waits for her cry
But a voice breaks the stillness and gives a reply:
“This is My Child, loved and adored.
“She’s been kissed with deception by the rust of your sword.”
His voice burns with power, the words touch her soul,
She throws down the weapon; her fear starts to dull.
The Dark screams in denial, but cannot veil its fright,
For the presence of Hope beams a radiant light.
“Death, you have no victory. O’ Death, you have no sting.
“For I have overcome you. She is a child of The King.”
The Light turns to His daughter, but she cannot meet His eyes,
For shame holds her captive; still her mind drips with lies.
“You cannot accept me!” she screams to The Light
“My cuts shriek in vulgar. I am scarred by the fight.”
She chokes back her tears as she flashes her wrist
“Look at them, God! In their shame I exist.”
“No, My dear child, you look at my scars:
“The flesh that bore nails holds the moon and the stars.
“Look at my palms. Feel the wounds in my hand
“I consider your heart yet I number the sand.”
She touches the wounds. Her eyes fog in tears
For the scars in His hands have shattered her fears.
“In total surrender I lay at your feet.
“The Dark has no triumph; it falls in defeat.”
The air fills with song and it rings from above.
For her soul has found rest in the peace of His love.
The Light takes her hand, then tucks her to bed.
She closes her eyes. “Goodnight, world,” she says.
“Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12