The Best Words*

You know, it really doesn’t matter

what the media write

as long as you have a young,

and beautiful, piece of –


As everyone knows,

but the haters and losers

refuse to acknowledge, my hair

may not be perfect,

but it’s mine – My fingers

are long and beautiful, as are various parts

of my body. The beauty of me

is that I’m very rich – it’s tangible,

it’s solid, it’s beautiful, it’s artistic,

and, from my standpoint, I just love

real estate.


My friends say,

I have the best words –

Whenever I’m making

a creative choice, I step back

and remember

my first shallow reaction. The day

I realized

it can be smart to be shallow

was, for me, a deep experience.


Good people

don’t go into government –

Sometimes by losing a battle

you find a new way

to win the war.


* Poem composed of Donald Trump quotes



The sum of a life in a flash of painful wisps,

a collection of shattered memories splinter the soul,

haunting memories you’d rather forget.


Where there is life, there must also be darkness,

and where there is joy, there is pain.


The sounds, the smells, the last words scar;

the ignorant beeping of a heartless monitor,

the touch of cold skin in a silent room.


Last moments, small and simple at the time.

Just another day.

Yet the mind yells in anguish, pleading to stop-

warning of incoming danger disguised with a lie.


I’m fine, she smiles, her airy laugh forcing me

to fake a smile as well.

Last impressions- we had the same haircut,

disobeying the doctor’s orders

as she leaned forward and shook hers around playfully.


False hope, misunderstood messages-

The surgery went well, a surge of relief

that would soon crash down,

drown us all, and we would welcome it.

Life support, they call it,

when it’s time to say goodbye. No hope,

no laughter, just silence as the air pumps out one

last time.

The loss cuts deep and leaves its scars,

but at least it’s over, as life moves on for some.


One year later, a cell phone rings-

and it is from then on I fear

its shrill cry, whispers of incoming doom,

as I hold my breath and wait for bad news.


What? mother answers- she’s talking to dad,

I know her expressions and her every tone. Her face changes,

causing my heart to still and anxiety to pound  

a beat in my skull.

Bullshit. She rolls her eyes,

and mutters Jackass,

convinced my dad is fooling around.

But her face falls again,

and she sets the phone aside.

Pa had a heart attack-

she finally comes out with it,

but I had already known

the expression of loss.


And this time, it’s worse,

so much worse-

no false hope, no goodbyes,

just a blink and he’s gone.


It’s better that you didn’t see him,

you can remember him as he was.


Sure, it’s better- now I can pretend:

he’s Up North, with Auntie,

and I’m left here,

with the ghosts etched on my skin.


Ring of gold,

Worn with age.

Heirloom of a past

flame of unity.

obituary of love, a

remembrance of history.

elegant silver casting

vibrant shining gleams,

eternal and everlasting, it

restores forgotten memories.

Destiny’s greatest endeavor, a

Legacy of love, their

Bond lasts forever.


To a Little Bird Named Phil

Dear Phil,

as you flutter around,

I wanted to thank you

for sticking around.

Though the nights held a chill,

and the wind kept you down,

You stayed by my porch,

and circled the seed on the ground.

Now even though I’m far

from that l’il pile of seed,

I can still hear in my heart,

your little “Chickedee-dee-dee-dee”

Meaning or no meaning

Simple or a maze of riddles

Imagination or reality

A sea of words or very little.

Note to self: Never grow up

3050452Yep, that’s me; adorable, smooth-rolling two-year-old me. I guess I was a pretty cool kid, at least that’s what they tell me. You have to rely on your friends and family to really know what you were like back in the day where you could barely walk or talk. Life was about perspective. If the grown-ups said something was bad, it was bad. If they said you were cute, you were cute. Of course, the validity of that statement depended on whether the adult was being honest or just didn’t want to have to deal with an outburst of waterworks. 

When I was young, I depended on my parents to make my decisions. I couldn’t know what was right or wrong, I wasn’t big and smart yet. However, I knew one thing: I wanted to be. I wanted to be as tall as my dad, as smart as my mom. I wanted to be able to go where I wanted, when I wanted. I was determined to be a grown-up, my Barney firmly pulled along for the ride. 

I look back at mini me, and I can’t help but wish to be able to tell myself just one thing: slow down. Being a grown-up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; mom and dad were just playing a role, putting on a façade to make it through the day. Being a grown-up requires responsibility, matureness, and a lot of hard work. Being a grown-up requires part of your soul to die. 

I miss the days where I could waddle around to my little heart’s delight, not having a worry or care in the world. I’d eat when mom fed me, sleep when mom told me, and play until mom took me in. As I approach the end of my senior year, college looming in the near future like an ominous storm waiting to be unleashed, I know that my days of childhood are coming to an end and the time is nearing when I’ll have to be a mature, responsible adult.

Having approached the end of high school, I feel I’ve finally accepted the ultimate demise of my childhood. I’ve made adulthood out to be a horror, a nightmarish creature that preys on little boys and girls, dragging them out of their cribs in the middle of the night and forcing them to take desk jobs. In reality, being a grown-up isn’t completely bad. There’s the upside of independence that makes it worthwhile. Adults wield the power. They can go out with their friends whenever they choose. They can eat what they want when they want. The glorious privileges of adulthood would seem like heaven to a little child, but still I dream I could have a conversation with my younger self. If I could go back in time, I’d write myself a note, warning of the dangers and tricks of adulthood. It’d read:

“Amber Lee, I know the world seems big and scary. I know you want to be big, too. You want to be grown-up like mommy and daddy, and you want to take that second cookie from the cookie jar without them telling you to wait for dinner. It may not seem fair that daddy can go wherever he wants while you’re stuck in the stroller. But trust me, I’ve had a taste of being a grown-up, and I’ve found some shocking secrets. It’s not acceptable to play with Barney. In fact, that trend ends well before middle school, so you better get playing. Imaginary tea parties are so unimaginable that even an imaginary detective couldn’t find them with an imaginary microscope. Also, please stop complaining about naps, they’re the bee’s knees, and virtually inexistent in the future. Childhood goes fast, and adulthood is inevitable. Enjoy it.”

I’d hope she’d read it and go slow, enjoying childhood while it lasts. Well, someone might have to read it for her. She’s only a kid, after all.

YouTube Comments and Why You Should Avoid Them at All Costs

YouTube_generation_900_450_90_s_c1_smart_scaleAn addiction that I have long since accepted and embraced is my obsession with YouTube. You can find my editorial on why I love YouTube here, but that is not the reason I have gathered you here today. I have another habit that I wish I could abolish myself of altogether- reading YouTube comments. Maybe it’s just the human race’s penchant for drama getting to me, or maybe I’m just attracted to the horrendous mutilation of the English language. Either way, it’s a habit that’s caused me too much pain already and needs to stop.

While the Comment Section of YouTube is a useful tool to leave constructive criticism or praise for a video, it has been recently overrun with spam, self promotion, and “haters.” The rare comment offering helpful advice or tips for improvement is easily lost within the muddle of inappropriate remarks and immature degrading of the content and/or the content provider. The Comment Section has turned into a vicious battling ground, with incessant hater posed against fervent supporter. Regardless of which side you’re on, there will be casualties.

The Comment Section serves as a distraction to the rest of the video, dragging attention away from the YouTuber and to the next brilliant insult or crude remark. When enjoying YouTube on my phone, I find myself scrolling down to read the comments and zoning out the video, hopelessly lost in the sea of horrific indecencies and immature prattle.

To my fellow YouTube Fanatics out there on the interweb, I propose we cut all ties with the Comment Section, choke the weed at the core. Without a source fueling the debauchery, all motivation to stir up chaos will be lost. Without an audience, the disaster that is the Comment Section will be ceased.

“But, Amber! I want to show my support!”

That’s great! Click like or subscribe. Leaving a rating is a helpful way to show the video creator that his work is being appreciated. Additionally, even viewing the video once increases its views. A YouTuber is able to tell that his or her video is popular by the number of views it attains. If you can’t stop watching a video over and over again, those views will be recorded for the YouTuber to squeal over. If you have the urge to leave more specific advice, social media can be your expressive outlet.

Many a brave soul have attempted to right what has gone wrong in the Comment Section, either by defending  the creator or fighting against the haters, but I’m here to tell you that you’re valiant efforts are best suited elsewhere. The trolls have breached the Comment Section, and any sort of argumentation sparks their fire and breaths into them new life. By ignoring the Comment Section as a whole, the haters that plague the inter-depths will retreat to a mere memory, a Throwback Thursday in the wind.

I beg you, for your own sake, do not scroll further. Do not be drawn in to the devil’s snare of hatred and conspiracy. Do not get distracted from the reason you clicked on the video in the first place. And, for Heaven’s sake, do not click for all comments. You’ll regret it.

Playing an instrument can boost your health

Howell Main Four

unnamed-8By Managing Editor: Amber Lee Carnahan

Music has, in the past, been shown to have a beneficial effect on the musician; however what those effects actually are isn’t as clear. It takes a lot of patience and practice to learn an instrument, but it is worth it in the long run for many reasons. In an age of abundant social media and distracting technology, taking a break from the world to attempt to learn at least one instrument could positively boost your wellbeing and change your life.

“When I’m playing my instrument I’m happy, I feel free, because I get the chance to make something beautiful,” says Anne Potts, a senior at Howell High School and a member of the band.

For many teenagers, a daily battle they must face is struggling with lowering self-esteem. Playing an instrument offers an opportunity to feel pride. Though the instrument most likely won’t…

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Exercising for the inexperienced

An article I wrote for the Main Four about exercising for beginners. If you like what you read, please feel free to like or share the story!

Howell Main Four

By Managing Editor: Amber Lee Carnahanimages

When it comes to exercising, there is always something else that takes priorities. You have too much homework to do, you don’t have enough time, you’re too tired. Daily life is full of hurdles that makes it difficult to set aside time for exercising, and merely thinking of working out may seem a bit daunting. However, the most difficult hurdle is easing into the exercise world for the first time. With a limited knowledge of the proper way to ‘work-out,’ exercising can seem a little scary. But hopefully with a little time and effort, the mythical world of fitness won’t seem as foreboding.

Start slow. 

There are an unlimited amount of reasons to start exercising. If sports are your interest, then hours spent exercising and getting in shape will be in your future. Maybe you’ve heard from your fitness-fanatic friends that working-out is the…

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