Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry

Growing up surrounded by nature, Jolie was inspired to search for the deeper meanings to life through literature. Since elementary school, Jolie always felt a special connection to the literary realm and was drawn to paper and pen to express her ideas and feelings. Although most of her time is spent focused on poetry, she also has a devout love for creative nonfiction essay writing, as well as a passion for writing fictious short stories. Jolie has been recognized by the Alabama Writer's Forum for both poetry and ficticious short story writing and hopes to continue following her passions throughout college. In fall of 2022, Jolie will be attending Auburn Univerity as an animal sciences major with a minor in creative writing. Her goal is to demonstate the symbiotic relationship between the arts and sciences and to ultimately become a published writer focused around veterinary medicine.


Tell me that I will be okay.

Bundle me in blankets

of love and contentment. 

Tell me that you need me. 

Remind me that I’m unforgettable.

Paint me a picture of paradise. 

Open a door of new beginnings

and ignore the life that you’re leaving behind.

Feel the warmth of pure happiness against your skin. 

Forget the songs of suffering. 

Drop your worries like pedals off a sunflower. 

Polish the medals of memories past.

Uncover the hidden meanings of life.

Share stories of what you find. 

Pretend like this life will last forever. 


I sit in quiet desperation 

Whispering to voices 

That haven’t yet escaped thought 

In a dark room 

Surrounded by light 

Oh – how I am afraid of such darkness. 

Two hundred days I have been left 

To my own vices

Two hundred more to settle 

Whatever is left to quarrel for. 

In my quiet desperation, I watch as leaves 

Turn diminishing shades of brown

Slowly falling, forgotten, 

Leaving a frothy path 

For children to play, 

For travelers to wander, 

Hiding relics beneath the mulching ambers. 

In my lonesome, 

Natural abilities of human connection 

Seem foreign

As if I am a different being 

Only imitating human form. 

My only partner lives

Without a face

In the depths of 

Inner-dimensional domains 

Tapping on the moldings 

Of my headspace,

Chipping off the delicate

Etchings of my design. 

Never enough to harm 

Always plenty to notice.   

They speak to me when 

I am an outlier 

Yet steal words from my mouth 

Like a cat with baby’s breath

In times of extroversion. 

I know the fragility of life

All too well 

Yet take strides to test the tension. 

I beg for silence. 

I long for the gift of speech. 

For now, I shall continue this inner monologue 

Until they pilfer those words from me as well.

Being a Boy

I wish that I could

Be a boy for a day.

The immediate bliss

I would receive would be



I would no longer have to

Carry a slim vial of

Poison on my hip,

That my mother gifted me.

My father could teach me

How fire pistols

For the thrill,

and not for my life.


I would reach into the

Endless pockets of my

Loosely fit jeans

And pull out a wallet,

Falling apart,

Keys, upon a small ring,

And nothing more.

It would be a miracle

To have pockets

Like canyons.


Never again would I

Have to fish through

A deep-chested

Backpack in search of

The last crinkling, pink

Envelope or be forced

To pay a Stamp

Tax on those magenta



For twenty-four hours

I would feel no

Inside person thrashing,

Slowly, intentionally.

I could wear white

If I wanted to.


I would not be weary

Or ashamed of the duty

That had been designated

To me.


At the end of the day,

I would walk wistfully

Around careless corners,

With no fear in the world.

I would step into my car,

Without searching for visitors

Underneath the wheels.


I would climb into my bed,

With ten minutes to spare,

From not scrubbing scales

Of new skin and darkened

Lashes off first,

Only to wake up the next day,

Burdened, yet again. 

In Search of a Cosmos

This world is so empty. 

I truly believe there is 

No way up from the depths 

Where I stand. 

People are shouting in my ear,

But I can’t hear them.

Demons are crawling on me, 

But I don’t fear them. 

I see voices, 

Their vibrations rattle inside.

I see the words of dead authors,

Who have wandered in voids such as I.

I often wonder if God can hear me,

Or if I am just too far away.

My calls seem to dangle in time

As they climb up to reach Him. 

This must be a nightmare 

Of my own design.

One that is uncontrollably controlled.

Alone in the universe

That drowns me until I am breathing,

Burns me until I am freezing,

And holds me until I’m fleeing. 

I want to run away

Into my new emptiness,

In search of a cosmos. 


They are scurrying 

Across the floor and through 

Isles of sickening white 

Lights that seep into every 

Corner of the room 

Denying any escape or comfort 

While roaming from wall to 

Wall in desperate desire to 

Satisfy their hunger 

To satisfy their need. 

Sound blares from above 

As a reminder to the modern 


As a reminder to the masses. 

Come – Come along and see 

The wonders of human nature. 

Watch them bicker and flicker 

And lunge from door to door 

Swirling in the chaos of 

Slight inconvenience. 

The sound is unbearable. 

Please free me from this 

Prison made to sustain 

Me for the rest of my days 

Please bring them peace 

And slow their scurrying 

For they have touched my 

Ears one too many times. 

Please, please maintence 

You are needed for 

Clean up on 

Isle Twelve. 


I plan to take every 

Switch and every wheel 

Out of every clock 

To stop time 

And remain here with you 


Timeless equilibrium 

In a world 

Where only we exist. 

I am begging

Please stay in this reality 

Adrift in spellbound delight, 

Engulfed in this fragmented 


Only when I return, 

With every switch 

And every wheel 

From every clock 

Will you escape from

My grasp again. 

Final Moments

By her side, in those last 


I was there, 

Hugging her close 

As final preparations

Were made. 


I promise she was not alone. 


It was an honor to be 

One of the last

Who showed her the love 

Of ten thousand, 

For I knew her 

Longer than any could have 



I was designed to be a 

Vessel of love, 

Pouring out morsels 

Of teal tears

Onto invisible wounds,

Unrecognizable to the 

Naked eye. 


When I laid my eyes 

Upon her 

I felt the pain in her 


The cancer in her chest, 

The aching of her bones. 

She was prepared for a 

Life without pain, 

I can promise 

You that. 


1 ~Editor's Note~2The Dragon's Toe3George's 4Exotic Flavor5Paper Cutter 6Masked , Big Fish , A Plant , and Pass, Hit, Set 7The Stories of Colors 8The Lightning Monster9The Rainy Life of the Weather Named Stormy 10Tables, Reflection , Arachnid , and Distant Forest 11Discovery 12Etched Blossoms , Owl, City Scape , and Puppy 13Superior Species 14Those Butterfly Wings , Converse , Tunnel Vison, and A Cloud 15A Sea of Red 16Nebula Metro17Life of a Diary 18Flowers , Swan , Waves , and Grass 19The Dragon's Tooth 20The Girl in a Dress 21Burning Out , Blue Dot , A Southern Feminist's Manifesto , and Silhouette 22The Fire Kindling: Chapter 1 23The Perfect Student , Social Pressures , and The Perfect Student 2 24Patina Nightmare25Eventide26Creative Shutdown, Eye's Through A Looking Glass , Head on Collision , and Writer's Block 27The Road to the Championship 28Reconnecting With Nature , Eos , you were a summer thunderstorm , and Reconnecting With Self 29Senior Spotlight: Ava Muller, Photography, The Landing , Tranquil , One-eyed Flyer , Grief , Dreamer , Fractured , Breakin', Lost Lives , and Lilypads 30Senior Spotlight: Maggie Huffman, Digital Illustration , Nice to Meet You!, Exploration of "Circe", Surfs Up! , The Return of Morales , Companionship , Mandalorian , Ambush , Just Hangin', and The High Priestess 31Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry , Don't, Muse, Being a Boy , In Search of a Cosmos, Overstimulation , Wheels , and Final Moments32Playing Time Struggles, Head in the Game , Sky High , and Moment of Glory 33Pollination , Azure Afternoon , Creator of Color, and Elegant Emu 34One , Fido , Heart Handles , and Early Birds35Dedication: Katherine Berdy