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 IHRAF Publishes - Youth

Uma Menon, EDITOR

Call for Submissions

SUBMIT TO IHRAFPUBLISHES@GMAIL.COM

IHRAF Publishes-Youth is new platform initiated by IHRAF Youth Fellow Uma Menon for writers under the age of 21 to submit poetry, creative nonfiction, short fiction, essays or any other format that comes from the heart, and focuses on social and activist themes. We base our work on the values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement, and hope that these will be reflected in the submissions!

If you would like to be included on our platform, please submit writing to the Editor, Uma Menon, at ihrafpublishes@gmail.com, and make certain that you note in the subject line “Youth Submission.” There is currently no pay for publication, but all successful entries will be promoted on our Facebook page (3000+ followers), via our monthly Mailchimp newsletter (2500+ recipients) and will be considered for print publication when we anthologize our best work.


Humanity Greatness

Given Maleka  is an author of greatness in the senses of humanity written. He is seventeen of age knocking into his 18, in his last high school year. A creation brought and raised by touch and hand of difference, if not a world of it’s own uniqueness bound. A character destined upon equality, value, respect and dignity to humanity set in oughts of differences. To tell the beginning, this is where the story begins, behind his evidence of greatness

Given Maleka is an author of greatness in the senses of humanity written. He is seventeen of age knocking into his 18, in his last high school year. A creation brought and raised by touch and hand of difference, if not a world of it’s own uniqueness bound. A character destined upon equality, value, respect and dignity to humanity set in oughts of differences. To tell the beginning, this is where the story begins, behind his evidence of greatness

by given maleka

The greatest hope of humanity lies beneath the depths of our differences.

How long we suffer to differ, and the pain we encounter when we don’t respect uniqueness. What makes us proud of our nature and difference, our old golden grey and white from the pureness of life and age.  What makes our natures and our shallow spans that we incite in our deepest acrimonies to widen and defeat our waves and roots of stigmas to prior means of common myths.

It is all acknowledgements from genres and curiosities we have inherited from our upcoming. Like one root, the philosophy of upcoming has spanned the differences of uniqueness onto overflowing nerves.  We genuinely establish fronts apart from the common core. 

But what had to enrich the pain of creation and birth, had to be creation that healed the pain of being.  At least a creation different from common and usual creations.  A creation buttered in the likeness of the mother of creation. 

Our nature sometimes causes pain and places shame on the little creations who had no choice to the kind of butter they received.  Making them only miserable of being less important and wrong and unjustified as themselves.  Due to our violations to other differences and sometimes our inferior views. 

We tend to forget that we also never had the chance to choose our differences and how we become.  It was all the process and purpose of the life-giver. Although we often fail ourselves to some realities and although we fail to entertain their questions and meaning unto humanity, we wonder what would happen if only we had been different from the form we have inherited.  Whether we would be the same.

What equity and equality would we desire?  What norms and stigmas would we want to change and even eliminate in our lives?

No humanity is a curse to human greatness, composed of all our differences.  Rather, the greatness we enlist and proclaim every day is the very greatness enriched upon our sorts through uniqueness.  Every being and difference fulfils greatness, even though we sometimes ignore the worth of certain aspects that we have acquired. 

We fail to see that our differences are only what we had to become. Like a bread buttered to be flavoured. No matter white or brown, colour is only an aspect of appearance. We are all made from flour and yeast. We all possess the same hope, the same life, and the same human greatness.

But what makes human value and humanity great is filling the shoes of others. To do unto others like we expect and appreciate - that’s the greatest law of humanity.

Difference or uniqueness aside, we all ought to live while upholding our greatest desires and fulfilling our maximal capabilities. Despite how our societies and our past defined us, and despite how our past might have crucially distorted a part of humanity. 

We ought to appreciate the present, our differences, and our being. Our natures which we do not choose and our uniqueness which embraces our abilities, purposes, and capabilities. My uniqueness is what makes me different. We ought to recite this to younger generations of humanity. Humanity of one kind and flock.

That’s the spirit of humanity that we proudly dwell upon. Together, holding our hands, we give our differences a chance, our greatness bound. With common equality, value, respect, and love. 

We are all equal. We are all human. We are all of one humanity.

Meena Rakasi  is a high school senior from California. Her work has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the city of San Jose, and can be found scattered around the internet (including on her website,  meenarats.wordpress.com ). She hopes to eventually become a public policy researcher or journalist, but until then, she spends her days working on experiments in the school science rooms, mining for good music on YouTube, and crying over her statistics homework.

Meena Rakasi is a high school senior from California. Her work has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and the city of San Jose, and can be found scattered around the internet (including on her website, meenarats.wordpress.com). She hopes to eventually become a public policy researcher or journalist, but until then, she spends her days working on experiments in the school science rooms, mining for good music on YouTube, and crying over her statistics homework.

Skeletal Complex

by Meena rakasi

Bone is living tissue: think of calcium 

phosphate as apartment for collagen and 

osteocytes and whatever else needs a mother. 

What supports me is alive, and so am I 

because of it. Staticity was never meant for us: 

picture chondroblasts in ceaseless migration, 

decay, a constant nipping at their heels. It takes 

both hands to count the number of houses I’ve 

lived in, none to count those where I’ve felt at home.

Bone doesn’t ask for much: dictated by childhood:

milk and oranges, both easy to find, harder to 

keep. Mine only peek, maroon crust and pale white, 

from under flesh and skin when malnourished.

When the sunlight is nowhere to be found.

Displayed as a vestigial scar of humanity,

shouting what it means to be alive. Extracellular

as outside me, including you; including this

sweet-smelling grass and sun-scorched

sweat, and loam as darkly lavish as the skin

that walks upon it. To call it loving might be a

stretch, but sanctuary may just work.

Magen Darling  is a junior in high school from Central New York. She has been writing since I was ten years old. She enjoys creative activities like writing, painting, ceramics, and photography. On her free time, she likes hanging out with my friends, watching scary movies, reading books, and shopping at the mall.

Magen Darling is a junior in high school from Central New York. She has been writing since I was ten years old. She enjoys creative activities like writing, painting, ceramics, and photography. On her free time, she likes hanging out with my friends, watching scary movies, reading books, and shopping at the mall.

Our World

By Magen Darling

We live in a world,

Filled with fear,

Filled with pain,

Filled with hurt,

Filled with hate.

We need to change the way we live,

The way we act,

The way we react.

Girls can play sports,

Girls can be in positions of power.

Boys can wear makeup,

Boys can cry.

Girls can love girls,

Boys can love boys.

They should no longer be taboo.

We shouldn’t be afraid to love,

We shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves.

We shouldn’t be hiding in the dark.

We have fear in our eyes,

Pain in our brain,

Hurt in our heart,

And hate all around us.

This is our world.

Originally from Seattle, Ana Chen is a freshman at Stanford University. Her writing has been recognized at international and national levels by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The Adroit Journal, the Claremont Review, Polyphony Literary Magazine, the New York Pitch Conference, and others. In 2019, she founded It’s Real ( https://www.itsrealmagazine.org/ ), an online magazine seeking to destigmatize mental health issues in Asian American communities, followed by Punderings ( https://www.pxnderings.com/ ), a blog discussing art and activism, womanhood, college, and teenage angst.

Originally from Seattle, Ana Chen is a freshman at Stanford University. Her writing has been recognized at international and national levels by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The Adroit Journal, the Claremont Review, Polyphony Literary Magazine, the New York Pitch Conference, and others. In 2019, she founded It’s Real (https://www.itsrealmagazine.org/), an online magazine seeking to destigmatize mental health issues in Asian American communities, followed by Punderings (https://www.pxnderings.com/), a blog discussing art and activism, womanhood, college, and teenage angst.

love languages & other tongues

by Ana Chen

I. first kiss: badly-vented bathrooms

teeth – a sinner would do no better than you against

these nails & winter fangs, phlegm in your hands or

is that blood? thighs webbed with

shame & womanhood, map of a land

neither house nor home. silent shrieks – 

II. wedding veils: dolled bedrooms/ripped jeans/bikinis/other blades

& so goes the silk: torn, slits

up each hip, erasure art

embroidery. you can’t even call it

a travesty of a tapestry –

& the curtain is up. mama used

to sew your qipaos. tears & breath

heavy in your hands. 

III. honeymoon: some stage or another

low moans of cello on

tea sets, cheap paint over

dollar-store iron. & when

they purr at you perform girl you

do it slowly, let your pores loiter

in sweaty palms, pour hair through

salivating gazes. behind the gauze you

tremble. try to cleave the tongues

from your breasts, try

to count your dignity on fingers

perfumed gold. 

IV. within: gardens/solitude

& heat suffocates you so you

find beauty in the cold: the

monochrome glitter of ice, the

sticky snare of electric music. you once

buried yourself in the snow. watched

your skin shimmer blue, baptized yourself,

licked &; serenaded your sins to sleep. &

when their skins slap yours, swell

your stomach putrid with fruit & fish,

you close your eyes, chant to remember

that in this world heat

is so small against

the cold.

Ariana Arroyo is an emerging writer who lives in New York. She hopes to publish a book and aspires to become a news anchor. Ariana considers writing a form of self-expression and activism. She is concerned about human and animal rights and utilizes writing to raise awareness about these issues. When she is not writing, Ariana enjoys expressing herself creatively in other ways.

Ariana Arroyo is an emerging writer who lives in New York. She hopes to publish a book and aspires to become a news anchor. Ariana considers writing a form of self-expression and activism. She is concerned about human and animal rights and utilizes writing to raise awareness about these issues. When she is not writing, Ariana enjoys expressing herself creatively in other ways.

The Sound of War

by Ariana Arroyo

I wake up to 

The sound of war

I awake to the sound of agony

And solid steel doors

I'm trapped inside 

The narrow confines

Of this old town 

Where nothing lives, but everything dies

        

I watch the bombs 

Bursting in air 

And hear the silence     

As the world watches without a care

Everything crashes down

I see it with my eyes

I watch the world that is cursed

Where my fate lies