Quetzal | University of Waterloo’s Online Arts Magazine2019-11-17T16:01:16-05:00


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Poetry & Prose



by Amy Zi-Xuan Liou

with the heart of a boy,

Virility travels the open road,

My tranquil depression

Hastened your heat,

Appealed to my eroding goals.

I don’t want this to be sure,

We rode up and smiled like friends,

My utter devotion

To lone wolf souls,

Brewed false hope in a reckless

Love is a generous feeling,

So what’s this tunnel you drove

Crimes don’t just occur,

We drove a car on fire

’Til it burned the wall we broke

I must have made wrong signals,

But waved flag on flag in the air.

When I became game,

There grew hunger in your eyes

When my push met a stronger tear.

I won’t tell you to stop no more,

Paid the price to the feelings
I froze.

My safety worth a cent,

If we ever met up again,

I swear you wouldn’t let me go.

If I Had A Wish

If I Had A Wish

by Abbas Safdari

If i had a wish

by a genie in a lamp

or an orb that stands
or just out of an imaginary friend

In any case:

I would wish for peace

Peace in the world now

and that which is yet to come

a peace without conflict

As wars are fought

In the name of peace

As peace is war's bane

and not it's initiate

But one thing is vital to mention

As man lives, peace sits in detention

so, i guess peace isn't really my mission

and let's discard this intuition

OH NO! i haven't used alliteration!

but i may have used some personification

For oft even we humans

Act like animals with no education

for we contrive creative retaliations

and blatantly gloat our strengths

but fail to ungarble one mystery

and that is….


In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter

by Ian-Jyzel Gallardo

Diamond Promises

Diamond Promises

by Khadeeja Sajid

My Dear,

“I promise I’ll change,”

is a diamond promise.

And I wonder if you know

that diamonds can be found

in abundance.

There are many myths about diamonds:

that they are the most valuable gem;

that they are precious, rare;

that they are the most refractive.

No. The only true thing

about this gem is that

it is the hardest on our earth.

So, when you make 

your diamond promises,

remember that I’ve seen this promise before.

The world has seen it in abundance,

the promise is not sacred,

nor special, nor healing.

No. Unfortunately,

the only thing this promise is,

is hard.

Begin Again

Begin Again

Shruti Pankaj Bagmar



by Amy Zi-Xuan Liou

She dwelled on a lower frequency.

Tuned into the media and heard the voices of crying children. She couldn’t sleep.

The remorse replayed over and over like a haunted serenade.

She took her moody attitude to work the next day.

At night she glared at the excess fat hanging from her waist.

Pretended like somehow it would fly away.

Her reputation fell like a shooting star once so dazzling,

And her parents couldn’t understand the way she was acting.

Then it was screaming inside out with no control,

And a wave of confusion followed by intervals of sorrow.

She looked up into the sky and cried to understand the truth.`

And the universe offered no pleasure,

Because she only gave whatever resonated in her.

So when she began tuning to a higher frequency

Her misery and fears grew feathers and were set free.

The world flourished with life and love to all,

At work she didn’t miss a single call.

Laughing with her friends and surely having fun,

Got home and went on a run.

Now there’s no more restricting calories.

She anticipates the life tomorrow brings.

So at night by her window she felt an overwhelming wave of hope

And her cheeks radiated an effortless glow..

For the universe smiled at the child she could never hurt,

She would forever give her whatever resonated in her.

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Visual Arts

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Short Stories

Summer in the Suburbs

Summer in the Suburbs by Erin Taylor I‘m on my leadoff from second base when a girl shows up and leans against our dugout fence. I pause, trying to make out who it is, before I hear the scuffle of the backcatcher's shin guards as she jumps up and my coach screams, "Morris! Down!" So I dive face-first under the sweeping glove and slap the tips of my fingers on the bag. Our cleanup batter brings me home. Coach Jen hesitates, tells me to look, then run. She knows I have a good slide. I scoop up the bat and hustle back to the dugout, grinning and dusting off my batting gloves on my shorts. Annette is standing on the other side of the fence, behind my teammates, the fingers of her left hand hooked in the chain links. I shriek and jump on the bench. There’s a commotion by third and my teammates all rise. I reach her through the fence. I’m shouting, "You're back!" She’s laughing and nodding, and then she looks over my shoulder. "They need you out there, Sarah." I look back. Everyone has taken the field. "Can you stay?" "I'll be here." [...]

A Spoken Word

A Spoken Word by Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer Hey My name is Muhammad Zaid Bin Amer. You may have heard of me And to be quite frank I’m not always 100% sure I’m spelling Muhammad right. Is it M u, M o, I don't know- it's confusing. I was born on June 21st 1999, in some ghetto army base within Peshawar, a small city in Pakistan. This is widely been regarded as a terrible idea Now see the reason I wasn’t born in a regular hospital is that we were on the way to the airport, leaving Pakistan as refugees because of some bad business my parents have never went into because they just love keeping secrets This just goes to show, people wanted me dead even before I was born I’m often terrible at staying quiet, being loud and shattering the solid silence, I mean what can I say I was born sleeping and have been messed up ever since I like coca-cola Alot I go to The University of Waterloo I’m in first year and I still don't have my drivers license And for as long as I can remember I’ve loved cheap food... and bad [...]

One Dance

One Dance by Ian-Jyzel Gallardo She’s fucking Alexander, Theo reminded himself. He was standing by the bar, waiting to order a rye and coke. His gaze was directed towards the dance floor where he spotted Lily and Emma in the crowd. The rest of the crew seemed to have disappeared into the pulsing array of flesh, the other guys each on their own personal mission to get some. Usually, Theo would be on his own personal mission to get some, but whenever Lily came out with them, he couldn’t help but not care. For some reason, he just wanted to be around her. He didn’t want to think about it too deeply beyond that and he made sure to remind himself every now and then that she was sleeping with one of his closest friends. Theo finally inched his way to the front of the line. The busty bartender gave him a sultry smile and asked, “What can I get for you, sweetie?” “I’ll have a shot of whiskey and rye and coke...make it a double,” Theo replied. She punched in his order on the register. She poured the shot of whiskey and handed it to him. [...]

Understand Me

Understand Me By Eunice Adubea Owusu Amoah Was he dead? Or was he alive? His skin felt warm and flushed all over. Was he dying? Or was he still in love? Something warm and sticky was in his hand. Blood. His? Hers? A face appeared before him. Someone screaming his name. Or maybe just screaming. Screeches of fear. Or pain. Or surprise. Was it her? Was she beside him? Screaming for him to stay alive? Or screaming at him to just die? He didn’t deserve to die, he thought. She was the one who broke him. He thought of the day they met. “Boo,” she whispered. He quickly spun around to face her. His chin brushed against her short, wet, spiky hair. He looked down at her and she looked up at him. Two complete strangers who had fatefully met in a cemetery on a rainy night.   There was an ambulance. His thoughts begged for the siren to be shut. He was trying to remember. What had she been wearing? Had she smiled? No. She’d laughed though. Yes she’d- The siren. The stupid siren. Too fucking loud. She’d laughed. He’d stared at her in that beautiful [...]

Confessions of A Creative Woman

Confessions of a Creative Woman by Tasnia Nasar It’s the top skill discussed in an interview, the ability most highlighted in my resume, and the characteristic I’m most known for by my friends and family. I laugh at my own Instagram captions and marvel at how witty my tweets are. I take an extra 20 minutes to make my meals look presentable only to eat it a few seconds later. The stationary section at Chapters is like my Disneyland and overpriced lattes are my chardonnay. If I just told your life story, you my friend, are creative. We’re often misunderstood. We’re often ‘self-employed’. But we’re also a lot of other things. So it’s time I sat down and confessed why we are– the way we are. Our life is an organized chaos I have a laptop case in my purse without a laptop in it. I have a wallet too, but my debit and credit cards are usually in the side pockets. When I’m hungry, I indulge in the smell of gum wrappers and dig through to find a few tangerines…at least that’s what they used to be.  Give me a ring while my phone is in [...]

New Beginnings

 New Beginnings by Edward Liu It was a troubling time. Seventeen years into life; too many left until the end of my days. “Too many indeed.” What was that voice? “It’s me! You’ve known me for awhile now.” What were those thoughts I didn’t want circulating through my head? “I have feelings too, you know?” What were those disheartening memories? “She only broke up with you a few months ago! You couldn’t have already forgotten.” I hadn’t forgotten, but I had tried to. “I miss her.” I missed her too, but I could not afford to miss her. I could not afford to think about her any longer. “That’s impossible. We will practically see her everyday. With him.” It didn’t matter. I had to work my way around it. I willed myself to, “Yeah, okay. Good luck with that.” I had to somehow make it through my final year of high school with two unwanted parties tagging along with me, holding me back. It was a difficult task, and I attempted to accomplish it through willpower alone for a small while. “You tried your best for two months. It just wasn’t meant to be.” Two months was approximately [...]

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