Before I Melt

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


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Small

Written by Ciah Fannin

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Prom dresses
Lexuses
Nails painted white

Hair fried
Kentucky pride
Perfume stays on all night

Lucky winner
Buy me dinner
Take me home at dawn

Take off your jacket
Everyone does it
There ain’t nothin wrong

Tell me i’m pretty
Never liked the city
Couldn’t see through the glow

When you got all this
You’re on everyone’s list
Why would you ever go?


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Untitled

Written by Mike Davies

Duality.jpg

If a man carries no burdens,

Is he not still heavy laden?

If he shows no fear,

Does he not quiver inside ?

If a man shows no emotion,

Is he still allowed to weep?

If he shows almighty strength,

Is he able to show weakness?

If a man shows confidence, 

Does it mean he's not shy?

If he shows love for others,

Is he able to love himself?


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Married with a Baby on the Way

Written by Ramona Thompson

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Made up my mind and I'm sticking to it
A commitment not so long I made
Regardless of what promises I may have made you Rest assured it was only a temporary passion talking I love my wife and always will
Either we go on as is or we can part ways now
Don't see any other way now that she's having my baby

Why act and look so stunned?
I'm trying to be straight up here
The truth is what you wanted isn't it?
How can you act like this, so angry?

As if we were some kinda true love thing

Believe me when I say it was simply sex
A family man is all I am and shall remain
Best not to get too carried away with your silly illusions
You'll only be disappointed in the end

Ok maybe I'm a dog to treat you this way
No way you really thought I'd ever leave her, did you?

That's just too much!
How could a grown woman be so native?
Every time we got together did't I tell you it was only a limited thing with us?

Way too crazy for all this drama!
And I'm thinking maybe we should't go on after all
You could do me one favour before you go, could't you?

Could you give me the phone number of your hot friend?
After all I'm only a married man with a baby on the way

It's not like I'm dead!


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Hate Up! I'm Happy

Written by Ramona Thompson

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Seduction?
Is that what you had in mind?
Just now when I'm free
To love and be happy again
I don't think so
Lover boy
Time for you
To get long past gone
Cause we're never going back to
The way we were before

You'll find no surrender here
No way you can break us up
Or cause a scandal
A rendezvous
I'll leave unfulfilled
Meeting you nowhere
No time soon
Not even if Hell freezes over
I'm done
Living that reckless
Dangerous kind of life
Thanks to your last deception
Whatever I once felt
You murdered

Desire now
Only for him
My husband to be
My second chance
So go crawl on back
Back to the bed of your mistress
You remember?
My ex best?
The one you were so hot to trot for?
Or has she lost her appeal?
Her mystique for you?

Shut up!
I'm happy!
Don't miss you
Don't need you
It's done
We're over
And your game I'm leaving far behind
For a better, new life
With a hotter, better man
Stirs my heart
My soul
With romance and passion
Hot
Where once you left me
Cold
Oh so cold
So goodbye lover boy
Goodbye
See you in Hell!


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All I See is You

Written by Natalie Cabo

Eyes.jpeg

To the boy with the eyes of wonder and the smile of comfort:

When I look into your eyes, I finally see the world in colour.

When you smile, I’m overwhelmed by forbidden possibilities.

When I look into your eyes, you transform my nothing into everything.

When you smile, I discover a reason to love myself.

When I look into your eyes, I experience the sensation of living.

 

If it wasn’t for your smile or your piercing blue eyes, I wouldn’t be me.


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Relax

Written by Ashley O’Hare

Photograph by   Luca Bravo

Photograph by Luca Bravo

Your silhouette in the moonlight,

our laughter blending into a perfect harmony.

This is what it’s meant to be like -

our joy prevailing over our stress.

The world is at our fingertips.

Nothing can hold us back.

Nothing can dissuade us from pursuing an enjoyable weekend.

You and I,

we don’t need to be rich to live.

So let’s lie in the crisp grass,

my front yard coming alive with every breeze.

Let’s follow our hearts

and rest our heads a while.

By day, we cloud watch.

By night, the stars have our attention.


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Digital Captivity

Written by Ashley O’Hare

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You were the blue screen that illuminated my dull life.

I didn’t think you could send so much damage.

Looking into your eyes burned my pupils.

Speaking to you made me deaf to the warning alerts

incessantly trying to stop me from falling for you.

Finally, I revised my actions and found my error.

I tried to delete you from my life,

but that didn’t work.

You came back on various other platforms.

I tried to turn off our connection,

but you found out how to hack yourself back into my heart

and clicked it back on.

I wish I only knew the cheat code

to reverse the past.

You made yourself a key -

something essential to keeping my keyboard whole and functional.

I tried to fix it.

I tried

I tried

and I tried -

Until I gave up

and logged off

and stood up

and finally started living.


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Weep for Me

Written by Rachel Hubbard

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Weep for me and all the others

Who are cast down among the earth

Where bodies lie within the mud

And yet our actions carry on to truth


There is some part of us still there

A breathing in the heart of land

Though we lie here beneath the feet 

And are not one but one of many


We do not count for our beliefs

But the orders we carried out

There is no heart, no soul in here

But blood and sweat and toil


The hands above us paved the way

For those who’ve yet to come

Perhaps the ones who've fallen here

Will leave some sons to see tomorrow 


And if a new tomorrow comes

And wakens with the morning sun

Think now what light it wants to shed

And pause for a moment for the dead. 

It's Been One Year

Written by Jill Paton

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It’s been one year

A tear in the fabric of time, for it could have been a week

A week since I last saw your face

Swam in the blue of your eyes

My lips melted into yours

My body drowned in the shape of you

But it could have been three years

Three years since I last heard the song that was your laugh

Felt your breath on my neck

Buried my face in your shirt

Drifted to sleep knowing your arms would never let me go               

But they did let me go

I let you go

I suppose it doesn’t really matter how many years have passed

It only matters that they’re not coming back

You’re not coming back

And no amount of time will change the guilt I feel

That since you left this earth

Though flames devoured my world

Now the ashes have fallen, along with me, into the arms of another


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The Night you said “Night”

Hope’s Expiry Date

There’s a Voice in my Head


Are you Okay?

Written by Jill Paton

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“Are you okay?” They ask

Am I okay?

Well I’m still breathing if that’s what they mean

Blood still pumps around my veins, carrying the air that is forced in and out of my lungs, pushed around by my still-beating heart

See my body still works, which I suppose is some sort of poetic irony

Considering I am completely broken

 

I wonder if one day I will turn to dust

When the tears streaming like rivers down my cheeks run dry

And the ocean inside me becomes a lifeless desert

A broken watch lying in the sand stuck on quarter to 6

A crack on the face, just like the crack in my heart that might as well have stopped beating when yours did

 

Half of me died with you that day, and the other half is drowning along with it

Gasping for breath as I struggle to stay above the surface

Tell me, how can I stay afloat when my life jacket turned into an anchor?

A chain wrapped around that fourth finger like a wedding band

Dragging me into the dark depths of the water to a place where I no longer recognise myself

 

All I know how to do is cut deeper wounds

I’ve never known how to heal

And I know truly that nothing will ever ease this ache

Maybe a bridge or a train but that only furthers the cycle of pain

And no more

No more

 

“Are you okay?” They ask

Am I okay?

“I’m fine”


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Untitled

Lost

Vulnerable


You're Not All Bark

Written by Christopher Hales

Photograph by   Charles Deluvio

Photograph by Charles Deluvio

The darkness is clouded,

Your eyes aren’t all black.


You appear as a bite,

A knife ready to cut through

The vein in my mind that creates happiness.

The fear you radiate is blinding

To those who do not uncover the smile you

Scratch off in private.

The night isn’t your friend,

It is your enemy.

The future won’t tell us,

The past said enough,

But always we remember the truth behind the scowl.

Untitled

Controlled

Identity

Here Stands a Gay Man

Written by Ramona Thompson

Photograph by  Elvin Ruiz

Photograph by Elvin Ruiz

Here stands a gay man
Here stands your only son
Longing only to be
Loved and accepted
His choices understood
Embraced not with hate
But with a father's love
A father's joy
At last
His boy knows who and what
He wants to be
Can we bridge that gap?
Can we come together?
Father and son?
Man to man
The truth no longer
Hidden away in shame
The veil lifted
To reveal
The greatest gift
The gift of forgiveness
Healing of all wounds
So we may begin again
This time
With no regrets or harsh judgements
Just two men

Just us
A father and his son
Learning
What matters most of all is family
That's what's I ask of you, Sir
Standing here before you
A gay man
But still always your son
No matter what else may come


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Controlled

A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

Can Words Heal?


When will the Bullying Stop?

Written by Ramona Thompson

Photograph by   Kat J

Photograph by Kat J

When will enough be enough?
How long can we blame it on the excuse of mental illness?
Every day pushed closer to the edge
No one to care or listen until it's too late
Why can't we find more compassion to prevent something tragic?
It's gone too far when someone feels they have no other choice
Lingering resentments should never be allowed to boil over to murder
Letting someone hurt so much they feel they have no other recourse is unacceptable
The time is now to make a change
However hard it may be
Everything must be done that is in our power to stop the relentless merry go round
Better some hurt feelings than one more massacre
Until some respondability for our actions is taken none of us can feel 100 percent safe
Life is not a game nor a reality tv show fighting for ratings
Life is doing unto others as you would have done unto you
You have a choice everyday how to treat your fellow human being
It's the only way
No more mean or cruel words to cut down a soul in despair
God knows the buck has to stop somewhere
So not why not let it stop with us?
The answer to the end of the violence is right in front of us
One by one we must accept it or I'm afraid worse may be yet to come
Please can't we all stop and listen before it's too late?
2018 Ramona Thompson
Hate Is Its Own Mental Illness
By Ramona Thompson
How cruel it consumes
All without reason
The monster feeds
Enjoying the terror and heartache left in its aftermath

It is the worse of the worse inside us all
Savoring the day we are pushed too far and it is released

It is the beast in the night slowly eating a human soul alive
Taking whatever it wishes and throwing aside the rest
Shocking in its depraved patience to rule us all

One can never quite escape the shadow that walks always beside us
What excuse have you or I for it?
None, no none at all

Maybe we are the fools to let so easy into our lives
Everyday coming that much closer to losing the fight
Never stopping to think it could be our fault we cannot be stronger
Truth swallows lies as we slip ever deeper into the abyss
Allowing our worse fears to guide and control us
Love has no place in our modern lives or so it seems

If only we could see the shadows for the lies they are
Lingering and festering
No more please!
Enough is enough!
Somehow this terrible thing must end
Somehow, someway we must learn to get along

Before the monster takes his moment of
Complete and total victory

Pints and Balls

Written by Christopher Hales

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The stairway down,

The smell of Budweiser on the teeth,

The yellow gaze on my

eyes. Noise after noise of ‘the lads’ chanting

The sing song on match day

Thickens and thickens,

My ear drums ready to go the

Way of the bomb.

The blue and white scarfs

Waving like outside Buckingham Palace.

Lads, lads.

The sinking of pint after pint.

It never ends.

I spiral further down the hole.The stairway down,

Shadow Self

Written by Geena Lorenzo Brown 

Photograph by   Roberto Delgado Webb

Photograph by Roberto Delgado Webb

There's something you Know
In the depths of your soul,
Buried fast beneath the brush
Just moments ago.
I saw it quiver,
(Like an arrow, whose archer is Hungry
And lost in the Wood),
And slip away unnoticed
Following a "hush",
Hand drawn to your lips.
Stake now your campsite
If this is where you'd sooner break bread;
Just know that
A few meters below your head
Lies everything you've ever dreamt of Doing; Being;
And Seeing.
Grab a shovel, dear,
It's time to start digging.

Childlike

Written by Geena Lorenzo Brown 

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Restless mind

Longing to Create

Don't you realize

This is your Pain?

To live a life of safety,

Soreness from sitting

Bones cracking

Underneath the Rubble of latency

Yet Rise you must

Above complacency

Let your Heart move

Within your Body again;

Remove the trappings;

Stretch your legs.

Before dark nights

That lasted 'till morning

There was an Everlasting dawn

(I and I remember it well),

You Opened your eyes

and never closed them

Except for to sleep.