Seeking

Written by Vincent Zulawski

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From one line to the next

I hear crows in a murder outside

Embodying my thoughts as I chase them away

They grow silent.

A mirage is but this life, and perhaps the next…

Must give us pause,

For what to do with the time at hand,

Shall reveal itself as right

Check, check, checking those boxes

Those houses, we inhabit,

And whether a burglar or a bandit

Written in tongues of Latin or Sanskrit

We seek refuge in comfort and in sepulcher.

 

Without which a void is made

The etchings on our tombs may

Diminish into unimportance, fading like ink

Written on a plastic womb.

The Giant's Causeway

Written by Drew Gripe

 Photograph by  Jeff White

Photograph by Jeff White


This poem was written in response to Ireland's Civil War, "The Troubles


Hexagonal rocks
jut out from the shore

cracks within the earth
inspire games of war.

Blood black masks surround them,
terror from the friend,

all to join the cause,
so trying for an end.

All forever fleeting,

blood to make more blood,

and every time retreating

to what they wish was mud.

Some say this past is over
with big bomb fires gone out,

but drugs within the clover
make sadness scream and shout.

To end abomination
politics comes in,

saying: "peace within you people"
with its comfortable greedy grin,

and now the say so peace
is welcomed to our door

while silent masks still scream
crying for the war.

 

Untitled

Written by Rebecca Liu

 Photograph by   Dmitry Bayer

Photograph by Dmitry Bayer

Beaming lights
from the soul into the night
thoughts crisp so mercilessly
without reason necessary
tiny eggs shed from the skin
released in the air
growing in your despair
flowing between each of your hairs

ask for reasons
reasons are questions
the higher authority
the higher imagination
the higher realm
the name you soak your reason in
might keep its means of existence
or play its mocking truth

your hands are fire
they burn what they reach
it's out of your league
go back to sleep

 

Appropriated

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Photograph by   Jake Melara

Photograph by Jake Melara

Life so sedated

Yet, you infiltrated

Conversation that escalated

Decisions accelerated

Intentions activated

My will dominated

Defenseless and subjugated

 

Those hands, never to be located.

Personified Love

Written by Natalie Cabo

 Photograph by   Montse Monmo

Photograph by Montse Monmo

I love you. More than anything in the entire universe. More than my own well-being. Use me until I can no longer be of use. Encapsulate me until I am completely consumed. Let me lose myself through you, and yet, let me find myself within you. You define me. You complete me. There is no me if you cease to be.

Campfire Cannibals

Written by Melissa Booey

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Back home in the Tarzan junkyards

football stars are still swinging from car horns

proudly hunting out the next varsity rape while

crying over already spilled milk...

around the dumpster decorated corners

Friday-night hometown gang-bangs guarantee success.

I left you there cowboy, ever impatiently

with a gun full of gin rejection and a tin can between your teeth

all the while

you spat chewing tobacco on my retreat and I caught bullets of rum

right in the stomach because your boys

                                MY boys

no longer cared to man the whorehouse door…

Does it still swing open

                   back and

                        forth?

A beckoning saloon disguising apocalyptic old surrender, famous bad

habits and a one horse escape to and from this

backwards, backyard paradise…

they still send me letters about your efforts

twisting emblems barely suffered between well-lined paper palms

proclaiming: there is no sunset dreamland! no purple people eater!

driving bandwagons full of accidental opportunity

Hope packed up and avoided the sandstorm- you remember!

the one we were all warned about? but we kept camp up anyway

                                            WHY DID WE KEEP UP CAMP

(was it just to watch it burn?

        was it just to watch it go up in flames?

            just to hope we’d learn that in the end

                we are all the same

                     that in the end

                         we are all to

                              blame)

His Crime was the Color of his Skin

Written by Njeri Thomas

 Courtesy of  Voice of Detroit

Courtesy of Voice of Detroit

His crime was the color of his skin

The darkness that made up who he was

Those pale faces held fear within

So much that they created a cause

A reason to destroy

A reason to hurt

Those pale faces struck the poor boy

Until he ended up face down in the dirt

His crime was the color of his skin

Forced with the end of a gun

Those pale faces put him to work

Sometimes a bigger threat ensues

And his blood will ooze

Those pale faces showed no mercy

The crime was the color of his skin

With one nod they grinned

Those pale faces hung him up

So he could sway with the wind

Untitled

Written by Caroline Cassidy 

 Photograph by  Thomas Richter

Photograph by Thomas Richter

And Here.
In the hands of free floating
Anxiety.
Wrapped in sudden heat.
A blanket,
A don’t-touch-me-
My heart just might crack.

I fly above sparse clouds
On this overbooked plane.
Why is it that
Extra leg roomed passengers
Who agree to save us all if we go down
Have the driest sense of humor?

Is it because the thought of death is so distant
Or because it has always been so close?

The Clever Squirrel

Written by Ercie Berwick

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I saw a squirrel sitting

High in our oak tree.

"Come down," I yelled,

"Come down, I say,

Come down and play with me!" 

 

He looked at me,

He turned away,

Then looked at me some more.

"I don't want to play with you,

Humans are a bore."

 

"What's this?" I asked, 'A bore,' you say?

What do you mean by that?"

He quickly scrambled to the ground,

Looked up at me, then sat.

 

He stared and stared for quite a while

With his beady little eyes.

I felt that he was planning

A very big surprise.

 

He twitched his tail,

And then he spoke

With a curious little sound.

"If you want to play with me,

Follow me around."

 

I hastened after him because

He traveled very fast.

He ran and ran, and I ran, too,

And then he stopped at last.

 

I saw acorns in a yard,

They were scattered everywhere.

"Start picking," he commanded,

"Then we'll go over there."

 

He pointed to a great big tree

With his swishy, fancy tail.

There were so many acorns,

I should have brought a pail.

 

I filled both my pockets

With all that they could hold.

I turned around, and there he was,

Looking very bold.

 

My squirrel friend was eating lunch

In a little picnic spot.

He never did a lick of work,

While I did quite a lot.

 

I gathered all the acorns,

There weren't any more.

Then my friend the squirrel said, 
"Now they're mine to store."

 

So I followed once again

Where he was leading me,

And finally he stopped in front

Of a gigantic tree.

 

"This is where I live," he said,

And he sounded very proud.

The way he looked at me and smiled,

I nearly laughed out loud.

 

"I'd like to invite you in," said he,

"I really, truly would.

You could try to squeeze inside,

But I don't think you should."

 

"Just hand me all the acorns,

One by one of course,"

And so I did as I was told,

There were enough to choke a horse!

 

After they were stored away,

And there weren't any more,

"Thanks, my human friend," he said,

And he quickly shut the door.

 

Untitled

Written by Asa McCoy

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Time has it that memories fade

   but feelings stay.

It's hard to remember your hand

Striking my face, though I understood

   that you love me.

As cloudy as fire is puerile 

are the images of our laying upon 

the greenest weeds, gazing past our galaxy,

You telling me I'm hateful, though I listened 

   to the rhythm of your anger. 

 

I wept. You knew. I weep still.

 

I can seldom recall

the coldness of the night

You called me stupid, but

I lamented over not taking out the trash

five minutes earlier, for that might've saved you

   the trouble of your heartache.

 

No longer can I recognize time,

   just pain,

and its beauty burns hollow

for I know I will continue to forget.

Victim of My Page

Written by Lucky Jackson

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Lay low love like life lingered last place in my lap
Struggle strong serious sorrows sit silently in the back
Attention grabbing angles aiming at another night of togetherness
Face painted on my chest rain stained the glass of the lengthy nights I'll forever miss
Walk while waiting watching worlds collide in a peaceful grip
Speak suprising sounds and smile at every piece of it
Please her person for pleasure personal reasons are mixed
Greed slowly growing holding at the need of a kiss
Disappear in your appearance and agree with a twist
Left alone and lonely breathing every word on this list

Before I Melt Away

Written by Ciah Fannin

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I’m a child led astray
Haven’t seen my friends all day
They’re hiding from the love I have I’d quickly give away

And before I dream I pray
And ask God that I may
Figure out just what to do before I melt away

Before I melt away

 

We of All the Little Worlds

Written by Justin Hoffman 

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We, of all the little worlds
spinning 'round like clouds through the night sky
the man in the moon
our mystic guide
through this ocean of reality and sin

Do you think you're the only one?
The lonely lamb grazing in the vast beyond?
Stop.
Think.
Question.
How significant is insignificance?

Well destiny is a sad, sad, tale
and fate? A passing craze
But in the end-
its all we have to lead our souls to eternal bliss

As I sit, I ponder
Do you think?
Do you wonder?
Do you open up your mind?

Comfort has become to luxurious an institution
And creativity has suffered
Suffered more as if it were a burden than a blessing
This collage called life-
an apparatus for the soul
A shell to walk in until time calls out your name

Fate...destiny...time...
all are one, and one are all
for we are the puppets of this play
We, (looking up) of all those little worlds

Corridors

Written by Mike Davies 

 Photograph by  Jamison Riley

Photograph by Jamison Riley

Empty corridors with empty walls, 

Devoid of colour, lacking emotion, 

Lonely corridors, no life within, 

Insects devouring the crumbling plaster

 

Walls that once had scenes of beauty, 

Now lost in the undergrowth of life, 

Locked doors now line the walls, 

Keys rusted and redundant. 

 

Ghosts of better days wander aimlessly, 

Trying to paint the past back to life, 

But the walls appear too far gone, 

After years of layer upon layer. 

 

Empty corridors with empty walls, 

Corridors that last forever, drawing you in

Never ending scenes of nothing, 

Ghosts of better days just out of reach.

Orlando

Written by Tybirius Scott

When do we say enough?

Is it when there's nothing left to fight for

Or is it when there nothing left to die for

It has nothing to do with sex, gender, race, culture, or religion

Theses demons have demonized

What we call the idea of freedom

And if you haven't realize

There's an attack on individuality

I repeat there's an attack on individuality

This so call idea of self

This so call peace

This so call need to BE

Is slipping away so effortlessly

Without warning

Without cause

Without a fight

So I repeat

What are we dying for?

What are we crying for?

As they say أنا أثق بالله (in God we trust )

This tragedy of death

This pent up terror

This moment of stillness

That has left us with the faint whisper of

( what is next?) 

Who is next?

Are we not safe anymore

Were we ever safe to begin with

This illusion of equilibrium

This illusion of inclusion

So I ask you

Who will fight for freedom

Who will fight for love

WHO WILL FIGHT FOR LOVE

Like Stanley, Amanda, Oscar, Antonio, Darryl, Angel, Juan, Luis, Cory, Tevin, Deonka, Simon, Leroy, Mercedez, Peter, Paul, Frank, Miguel, Javier, Jason, Eddie, Anthony, Christopher, Alejandro and Shane

Amongst theses falling warriors

Who will pick up where they left off

Who will be the change that this time is beckoning for

Who will say YES I WILL FIGHT

While other will say NO

WHO WILL SAY YES? WHILE OTHERS WILL SAY NO

How many more victims? 

How many more people will give Dominion of themselves to the powerless ones

How many more

So I repeat

What are we dying for? 

Love Letter to a Stranger - Part VIII

Written by Arlee Francis

 Photograph by  Aaron Burden

Photograph by Aaron Burden

Dear Stranger,

I did not write you a letter.

Instead, you wrote one to yourself.

On a locket, on a bridge, in the middle of Paris I read your declaration of love.

How brave, I thought, to love yourself more than anyone else.

But then, I thought.

This is my home, how could I not love this strange, soft little world?

- I’m sorry,

         A

(i should’ve realised sooner)

Love Letter to a Stranger - Part VII

Written by Arlee Francis

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Dear Stranger,

I can see the pearls of your spine,

                running like a necklace

down the plane of your back.

I wonder, as your eyes flash emeralds at me, what other gems have you buried beneath your sweater?

Let me crack open your ivory ribs, Stranger.

- Love,

    A

(let me find that diamond of a heart)

You Call me Friend

Written by Katie Page 

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As I walk through life I am yet to understand why people choose to
hurt the one's they love to get themselves ahead.
What is it worth in the end without the one's you love.
Who's going to be there in the end when the money runs out and
all you need is a friend.

Written with Nature II

Written by Caselka 

 Photograph by   Andrew Preble

Photograph by Andrew Preble

We strip our feet bare

Cross our legs,

Breathe

& begin to stare.

the cool air swims to our lungs

as we become conscious of our body parts

heads, hands, eyes & even our tongues.

we hold our bodies close on this forest floor

giving each other our skin,

 our love continues to pour

as a time-lapse overlays by,

the world watches

from their bedroom windows,

skyscraper high.

they feel relaxed

& calm,

whilst they hold their phones

at the end of their arm

but we lay here

on this forest floor,

smiling at each other

& loving our flaws .

Written with Nature I

Written by Caselka

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Bells chime in my head,

Syncing with birds of the forest above our heads.

Like a choir full of expertise

The nature in this world,

Our world

Sings to me

A sea of voice

A forest of songs

A humming mantra that holds

Me tightly

In bliss.

You fill me with life,

One would say

But that isn’t true.

Your smile is a light switch

To the globe in my soul

That you see through.

You don’t fill me with life

You simply bring me to life,

Simply complex I say.

Only you know how to wake my joy

My lovely wife.

So we are roaming in the forest

With bells, birds

& Conscious words

We travel with our minds

Ahead of our feet

In the forest,

For some reason,

 We kneel in defeat.