It was Christeen Woods' dream to publish a book, so for her senior project at Sunnyside High School, that's just what she did.
Woods said the idea occurred to her in April last year, when she started to think about what to do for a senior project. She found the task to be slightly more daunting than expected.
It took her 32 hours of work, 25 of those hours just to revise the 30 poems she selected for the book. The remainder of the time was taken up by researching how to publish, formatting the poems and uploading the materials for the book to the publishing website.
Woods said she's been writing poetry since she was in sixth grade. It's resulted in a collection of 130 poems, about a third of which were written in the last year or two. She chose the best to put into the collection.
The book is now available for purchase at lulu.com. The best way to find it is to search for the author's name, but the title of the book is "In Your Face," the result of a comment from her mentor.
"There was a day my mentor pointed out that all my poems said, 'I hate you... oh, I'm sorry I said that," Woods said. "He said, 'I want the words to hit me in the face.'"
She removed the apologies and found her work was stronger for it. So she used that crucial piece of advice as the title of the collection.
Woods goal in life is to become a psychologist and help children with the change from childhood to adolescence. She'll be attending Heritage University after graduating.
She presented the project last week, earning 18.9 out of a possible 20 points. She said it was a relief because of the emotional stress involved in putting the work together.
"In January a poem affected me so emotionally it stopped the project for a month," Woods said. "This is my heart."
The project did help her overcome her shyness and allowed her to discuss personal issues in an open way.
"I know who my friends and family are," she said. "And that's all that matters."
Ode To Small
I feel like a little ghost no one can see
I'm only a small child that no one wants to hear.
I feel like a lost kitten wandering in fear.
Looking for a family to accept me.
I'm only a baby bird, who's flying
to find herself in a dream
but to wake as a snake from a scream,
the dream was constantly lying.
I feel like a mouse with only a tiny
voice that yearns to be heard.
but only able to squawk like a bird.
Oh how I wish I could be shiny.
I have such an amazing personality
but I just can't seem to fit in completely.
All over this earth,
There is only an out of tune love.
Compared to your descending dove.
No matter how out of tune we are
You're still the guardian over our lives,
Full of love and compassion.
Oh dove, I love you.
Our souls are beaten and broken,
But you have the right healing touch,
No matter the task, dove, you never leave.
You have the almighty power to judge us.
Dove, only with you
Am I released from my chains.
Only with your love,
I can finally see
Your strong arms are wide open,
Constantly, steadily, and continually
Waiting, for me to permanently relish
Your warm, loving embrace.
Your immovable heart beat, the rhythm
Is invariably within me,
Dove, I'm so blissful that you've given me
Such an amazing life.
If your creations could only see and feel
The rhythms and love you possess,
We would be, finally, in tune with you.
Just Let Go
I feel blue,
You are the fix,
Mixed in crossed feelings,
Healing my broken heart.
Screaming at the top of my lungs,
I feel the fear,
Tears leaking down my face,
Pacing the living room,
Believing you're going to come back.
Hung up on this feeling,
I am screaming,
You are leaving,
We are pleading...
I feel the depression,
Suppression of these dreams,
Teams of white and red,
Dead battles between the lost and broken...
Can't see the end,
I feel the curiosity,
Proximity of your bond,
Beyond my wall of peace,
Release my soul.
Are you there?
Repair these broken fragments...
Just let go.....