Help! It’s My Eye! It’s Gone!

by The Cowl Editor on April 8, 2022


by Max Gilman ’25

watercolor of an eye
Photo courtesy of

How do you fix a broken eye?

There must be some way to mend the deteriorating oculi,

In the time we live, there must be a way. There must be a way to fix my broken eye.

Without an eye,

it’s easy to spite and spit

with no direction.

With an eye,

I could scowl at those I hate,

but now I row through limbo aimless, directionless,


What if the eye was tampered before birth?

Can you then muster the tools to find out?

Do you have the strength, the courage, the intellect?


as those leaders were before me.

How long did it take ME to notice my bottled vision?

If you take Yourself

Out of the Equation, You’ll find They keep Moving with, Or without You.

Or, more so…

Harboring these shores of ill contentment…

At a certain Point, one Must realize, No-one will Care for your Failing eye. Those “people” Will rip

Your tongue out, for good measure.

You, a puzzle piece,

Society, a corrupted card match.

How long have I known?

Oh goodness! My eye! Both of my eyes?! Help! Please, it’s my eyes! I can’t see! Hey! Help, please! I…I hear you there, Hello!? HEY! HELP ME! PLEASE, I can’t see…goodness…I can’t see.. please please, please, PLEASE, I can still hear all of you pass me, please, oh God, please HELP ME SOMEONE

Am I going mad or simply blind?

Where’s the difference, the line?

How many questions can I ask before I have left all of myself a-front a tabletop?

I would beg you to play me in a game of cards,

but I’m blind now, and I have given up on any solution.

Why must I void? Why do you yearn more?

We’re not playing their game.

We once tried piecing together a puzzle and calling it a city, but when we invested ourselves to the task of the puzzle, we found out we weren’t playing their game.

We found the truth,

the dead birds and unturned stones, the lions and their murderous gain, the telephone poles painted white, the men and their weapons.

We found playing cards,

all double-sided and duplicated.

We found blood and a broken puzzle set,

a puzzle set,

devoid of any fitting piece we have sickly become.

Songs the Lonely Sing

by The Cowl Editor on April 8, 2022


by Madison Palmieri ’22

two birds with music notes
Photo courtesy of

They are the ruffled wings of a little bird in flight,

The muffled songs the lonely sing as day turns to night.

The gentle tides ebb and, in turn, flow,

The crashing of the waves, with which their secrets go.

They are the aches and pains,

The jealousies and vanities,

They are love, tried and true,

The cascades of the ocean blue.

They are lullabies that’ve just begun

The madman’s murmurings heard by no one.

The shift of season, wind and rain,

As winter ends, spring begins again.

They are the times we feel we’ve won,

The day’s end marked by the setting sun.

They began when time was set to begin:

The mysteries of the universe, found within.

The Writer

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021



When I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some weathered notebook tucked away

Behind the dusty novels. My childhood reads

These words—these words my childhood shapes

From airy nothing into lines and scenes.

With ballpoint tip to page, with blue ink running dry,

I scratch and dot my i’s and cross my t’s,

Letters becoming words, words brought to life.

And think, these stories, inscribed on every page—

Reflections of my mind, blurred photographs—

Implore to be preserved eternally.

So let my work’s life last beyond my age,

Let it be more than just my epitaph—

My fount of youth, my immortality.





The Voice

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021




Can’t See the flow of the colors 

Stopped Feeling the breath of the wind 

Hollowness calling your name 

Do you fall back in? 


Come to me 


Looking around no one’s there  

So back to the grind instead 

Put pencil to paper and write beautiful words 

But the creative voice can’t be heard 


He’s not here 


You hear it again, but no one’s around 

So put on some music to drown it out 

And maybe in the songs 

There’s some inspiration to be found 


Not so fast 


Sweating profusely, droplets falling on loose leaf 

Hearing voices when you’re home alone 

Thinking about picking up the phone 

But you don’t, at the risk of sounding crazy  


Good Idea, they won’t believe you 


The voice has started booming 

The walls beginning to close in  

Drowning you in insecurities 

Thinking, “Am I really such a bad human?” 


Yes, you are 


Crying uncontrollably  

Wondering how he got a hold of you 

This feeling, who let him through 

Thought he only belonged to the old you 


Nah, me and you, we’re forever




When Your Body Was a Token

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2021




I was fifteen years old when I decided I could handle the weight of being “sexy” for their love. 

I could put on the right clothes, give the right looks, say just the right things––– 

until they couldn’t get enough of me, trapping them in my prose.  


I was fifteen years old when I convinced myself I was ready to bare it all for their love. 

They looked at me like I was pure Mayan gold, shiny new treasure they could break in, they could treat me like I deserved because I did not know the value of my body. 


I was fifteen years old when they reached inside and took all that I had to offer them, 

their hands were tainted red, blood trickling the sheets, blood trickling our time,  

I tried to keep the noises down, the moaning––the pain, this was love, love, love.  


I was fifteen years old when there was nothing left to keep us tethered.  

There was something wrong––the only place they still told me they loved me was when we were entangled in red sheets and I was in the act of proving that this was love, love, love.  


I can still feel the bruises on me.  

The pain of fingers gripping onto flesh, 

scraping walls, tearing walls, wounding walls.  

But that was love, love, love.  


I’m twenty now and I don’t know how to be “sexy” for any love.  

I don’t know how to move my body––oh, how I hate to hate my body!  

There are no right clothes, no right looks, no more sticky prose.  


When your body was a token––a ticket to someone’s love, 

it’s hard to remember how to be anything else.  

It’s been so long.  

I wish I could remember.  



Full Circle

by The Cowl Editor on August 31, 2017


Photo courtesy of

by Marisa DelFarno, ’18

Portfolio Staff


What comes full circle?

A raindrop descending into the ocean.

Ice meeting heat’s devotion.

The caged electric flow in a closed circuit.

The sour workings of karma’s service.

We all obey this motion

like the path has been previously woven,

but, does deviation have any purpose?

Well, maybe there is a fixed design,

and trust has to be settled on something unseen;

a route that is inescapable, curved, and never-ending,

and everything is harmonized, intertwined,

blending like the ripples in the sea;

a flow that we are all attending.