POETRY

Eli Conner

A Place So Great to Be

Walking in the woods on a trail,

A place so great to be.

Hearing the birds and insects sing their different tunes,

And seeing the smoke I would breathe in the cold morning.

The sun is lost in the morning,

And the fog forms an orb all around you.

The drops of water on the leaves rain in slow motion,

And the ground beneath me crunches due to frost.

The morning air is fresh and clean,

And I hear a small stream flow in the distance.

I smell peppermint in the leaves,

And feel the soft scaly bark of evergreen trees beneath my fingertips.

I feel relaxed and relieved on this trail,

And don’t have anything else to do today.

So I’ll just walk in these woods on a trail,

A place so great to be.

-Top-

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Clients

In my dreams

I combine clients

especially women with tattoos

I awake

There’s a red neon sign outside my window

My head is close to her chest

She has beautiful breasts

and above them a string of skulls

in homage to the Indian goddess

Shiva

There’s a Satanic verse tattooed there

but the motion of her breathing makes it

hard to read

I get closer and closer

until my face is pressed between her

beautiful soft breasts

and then I give up my attempts

to decipher the language there

to decipher any language at all

-Top-

Krysten Lipp

Recovering from Death


 

recovering from death is hard

one must try and get the lock off the coffin

open up the top and breath in fresh air even when

the body is decaying

dried roses between your fingers

burry and forget

because grieving is not allowed

the dead are not coming back

the living must recover from death

advice being thrown at my head

catch it with my bare hands

not realizing that my hands are bleeding

because the advice was a glass ball

that shattered against my touch  

I do not feel the pain

since one does not feel pain

when recovering from death

emotions only at the burial

tears for the one who got their wings clipped

you burry your emotions there

the grieving period had a time limit

the expiration date is stamped on the coffin

yet I must be an oddity

because she visits me in my dreams

she hugged me the other day

she did not have wings

maybe I am not recovered

I have smashed the lock

I have opened the coffin

yet I cannot breath in the fresh air

it feels like poison

burning my lungs  

even though I feel nothing

my heart is pushing the decaying poison through my veins

not yet fine

not yet better

not yet recovered

I had just flown in.

I had her on her new mattress,

in her new town,

new state,

North Carolina.

 

Grandmother

wrinkled face
 

the lines of sunshine

adventures

that I have not begun

to understand

 

boney hands

 

that felt the dirt

of the cemetery

held the hand of

a daughter

 

frail body
 

never breakable

too many funerals too count

three best friends

waiting for her
 

smile

 

fell in love with a boy

two years younger then her

twenty years

he has been in the ground

 

green eyes

 

still bright

full of hope

full of happiness

full of life

-Top-

Catherine Moscatt

Hospital

It was the dead of night 

When she arrived 

Exhausted, tired 

With no fight 

Left within her
 

The hospital issued gown 

Was draped 

Across one shoulder 

Exposing her back 

Showing her shape 

And her black 

Bra straps  
 

There was no signal  

On the phone 

She sat there  

Alone 

Visiting hours 

Were over
 

Shut up in here 

There is only pain 

There is no sun 

She’s forgotten the feeling 

Of rain  

On her face  

 

The halls  

Were quiet 

The doctors  

Did rounds 

The only sound 

Was the occasional  

Sob 

Breaking the silence  
 

This is the place 

Where hope comes 

To die 

Though you may try 

You will not make it 

Out the same  

 

-Top-

Jean Ann Owens

Little African Girl

Little African girl 

Where are you going  

Somewhere you’ve never 

Seen before  

In a fantasy world 

In America 

Little African girl 

Why are you crying 

I don’t want 

To go to America 

Because 

I was born 

 

In Africa 

In Africa
 

I want to stay 

Where my features blend 

My skin color matches 

Where my people stand prideful 

Where we speak 

Our languages 

And play 

Our music 

And do 

 
Our dance 

Then all of us 

Stay together 

In Africa 

 

-Top-

Emeka Ojukwu

Switched Hearts

Grab hold of my hand.

Intricate fingers laced together in holy union.

Place your feelings on your heart

And transplant it into my being.

 

Teach me about you.

From goals, mistakes, joys, and fears,

Destroy the blurry image I have of you,

With the HD reality of your true self.

 

Let not my past transgressions,

Define our progression,

From this very moment in time,

As intimacy becomes the sole thing on our minds.

 

Eyes locked on eyes,

Hearts switched, but still beating,

Hands lost in each other’s,

And minds probing the essence of the beings before us.

 

Canvas

This is my canvas.

This blank piece of paper becomes my

Clean slate in which to instill my wisdom upon.

The pen is my paintbrush

And the words are my colors.

 

They ink out from my brain,

Itch their way to my arm,

Suppress the motors of my hand,

Fulfilling their possession.

Getting pen to paper becomes their obsession

As they begin their confession

To the faithful readers of these words.

 

With piece complete

The words retreat

Waiting for their chance to repeat

Their defeat

Of another unsuspecting blank canvas.

 

Insurmountable Pressure

Swift winds pile increasing pressure on the troubles already on my back.

Thick mean words of disillusionment continue to freeze my feet in its tracks.

The steady diet of fear of failure twirls my stomach in knots.

Depressed ideas are my only thoughts.

 

The willingness to connect loses its spark,

Day by day,

Clouds of sadness keep the warm sunlight at bay.

Keeper of souls traps mine within its jars,

And swoops out of reach,

Retreating far away into the stars

 

With soul gone and pain in my heart,

I write this simple poem,

A final letter to loved ones before I depart.

Take heed of my words and please shed no tears

A brave step I must take, my destiny now is clear.

 

As I step onto the plane and contemplate a possible return,

The pain is too much; I must set fire to bad memories,

Breath painlessly, relax, and watch it all burn.

-Top- 

Jennifer Saunders

Birth

When I was 8, I became a poet
It was dead winter in the trailer park

Sidewalks slick with sheen
Snow piled to the top of every tin roof

I made a snow man with my 4 year old sister
He was a fat, beady eyed mother fucker with a rotten carrot nose

We made dirty snow angels side by side in the muddy driveway
that never saw a car

Her screams came out of nowhere
and cut the frosty air like shards of glass
Stabbing my my eardrums over and over
The sound muffled only slightly by our puffy earmuffs

I grabbed sis by the hood of her yellow winter jacket
and dragged her inside
She looked like a baby chick
We left our snow encrusteted boots
at the front door

SHE was in trouble again
Her screams were louder in the wooden porch
off the kitchenette where we stood
Frozen

I tried to hide sis behind the blazing wood furnace
Yellow flames licking the top of the iron grate
would protect her delicate eyes
so she wouldn't see the blood

The river of red life pouring from mama’s head
HER hysterical screams getting louder
Blood gushing from the side of her head as fast
as hot tears pounded my cold cheeks

Sis didn't need to see this
thick oozing gooey liquid in a pool on broken linoleum-
mama's life
viscous and wet

Seeping through cracks in the floor
injecting itself into every crease and crevice
like junk into hungry veins
 

My dad ripped my mom's left ear off the day I became a poet
The air smelled like copper and cold

-Top-