The Austin Bat Cave is a nonprofit organization offering writing workshops, in-school programming and volunteer-led tutoring to K-12 students throughout the city. Every year, they lead class projects that culminate in a published anthology; last month, they celebrated the release of Hand & Wing, which features works from several schools.
Students at the Texas Empowerment Academy contributed their own fairy tales, Kealing Middle School's AVID program spent the year working on graphic novels and playwriting, Austin High School came up with creative business proposals (complete with illustrations) and Anderson High School students got to work on an especially exciting project: dreaming up song lyrics, poems and album art to create I Don't Have A Mane, a CD that features local bands (like Ringo Deathstarr, Ghostland Observatory's Aaron Behrens, Western Ghost House and more) putting their words to music.
CultureMap is excited to present songs from the album alongside the poems that inspired them, with introductions from the student authors themselves. Enjoy!
The author says: My name is Jenny Leggins, I'm 14 years old. I'm from Eureka, California. I moved to Austin during the summer. I live with my sister because my parents are still in California. I like it here but miss my friends a lot. Friends and family mean the world to me and I take happiness every chance I can get.
I miss you
Never thought I'd say that
But it's very terribly true
I miss your crisp ocean air,
the faint smell of fish.
How it was a celebration when a day
over 70 degrees came along,
yeah, I miss that.
I love the coziness of you,
how there's always a blanket covering the whole town,
protecting us from harms of the outside world.
When I left you, I was on an adventure
ready to get out of this town.
But I realized
realized that this outside world I'm in
isn't so exciting
I wanna go back to you and climb
under the blanket
That protected me all those years.
in a way...
I'm glad I left
but only because I realized
realized how much I miss you.
The author says: I'm 17 years old and a musician. Music is my life and my passion. I've played piano since age 6 and started singing at an even younger age.
I open my eyes
Feeling heaven's hellish flames
I look for soothing shade
In this barren grassland
Hunger hovers while sleep fades.
I stretch, I retract
Tasting the glorious perfumes around me
Luring me to my morning's gift.
I am quiet, listening to the stillness
of this purgatory.
The time is coming
My heart is pounding
I inhale all fear and let out my roar.
Morning's gift is far from reach.
The world behind me is gone in a flash
I seek the gift
Now it's time to feast.
The author says: My name is Chris and I like to party. 16 years old rocking in the world at everything, firmly believing in unicorns and trying to find any adventure that comes my way.
Sparkle Sparkle Bling Bling
Dancing through the candy cane forest
I play and laugh with the gingerbread men
I'm so cute so fierce
But no one understands
My need to be near rainbows all day
To laugh in the sun
But what I have to say
Is don't take me for granted
With my sparkly horn so firmly planted
In the center of my head
But when I'm mad you'll dread
The day you take my for granted
And with that same horn so firmly planted
Will be through your chest without the wink of my eye
It's penetration will cause you to surely die
And I will feel no remorse
Because of course
You would have deserved such a fatal end
So let's not pretend
Like unicorns are all smiles and fun
'Cause blood drips the slowest in the sun
and unicorns know what that means
So let the carcass dry and drip itself clean.
To learn more about the Austin Bat Cave's programming, events and volunteer opportunities, visit austinbatcave.org