When I was a child I only ever wanted to be strong.
I wanted to be able to compete with the boys
and when I foot raced them at recess I won every time.
They called me ‘She Hulk’ because of my muscular frame
and from the way I only ever wore soccer t-shirts and sweat pants.
After that nickname was implanted into my brain like a growing weed,
I’ve only ever wanted to be feminine.
I started wearing skirts and dresses
and in middle school they shrieked at the site of my makeup and done up hair.
But that weed inside of my mind only grew, and grew, and grew
until I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part anorexic and two parts lonely,
because I thought that the definition of feminine began with the word frail.
No one ever realizes how greatly words affect us,
how a simple nickname can turn a pretty girl into a skeleton.
I stood at five foot two weighing seventy nine pounds,
so cold and frozen,
yet I still considered myself a ‘She Hulk.’
You could see my ribcage through my t-shirt
and my spinal cord protruded loudly through my weathered skin,
as if somehow my bones were dirty knives
just trying to cut through the flesh of judgment.
As I grew older I became the girl that was never enough.
Not good enough to speak poetry.
Not good enough to lay paint on a canvas.
Not good enough.
Not tall enough.
Not big enough boobs for them.
Not primped to perfection.
Not undeniably straight.
Not smart enough.
Not dumb enough.
Not ditsy enough.
Not cool enough or fun enough.
And I began to believe, too, that I wasn’t enough.
I never told my mother that I had been in madly in love with a girl.
I never told anyone about the night we first kissed
because I was too vulnerable for the judgment.
And parents always justify saying that ‘kids will be kids’
But when we are kids our brains are still growing
and the smallest of seeds that get planted will one day bloom
into one giant regret,
will one day affect the choices that we make,
will one day influence us about the clothes that we wear,
will one day shape us into the person who we thought we would never be.
I only ever wanted to be strong,
and as a child I thought strength was only about being able
to lift a bar stool above your head.
I thought that strength was only about being able
to beat the boys in bare foot running races.
I was told that strength was something only
a man could have.
But as I’ve grown older I’ve realized that strength
isn’t about muscle at all,
but it’s about weakness,
and the ability to overcome the social anxiousness.
It’s about carrying around a lifetime of baggage
on your broken back
because the ones that kicked you when you were down
are going to be the ones that were ultimately wrong.
I thought that the definition of woman
began with the word disappointment.
And I became a mixed drink cocktail
with one part freedom
and two parts Sailor Jerry
because every girl needs a stiff drink once and awhile.
We are not disappointments.
We will never be the ones who gave up on hope.
We will never be the ones who gave up on each other,
or our mothers.
We will always be enough;
enough for the ones who shunned us
enough for the ones that cursed us
enough for the ones the hurt us
and destroyed us
and beat us when we were covered in bruises.
But you see, bruises fade
and the scars of our flesh are only stories
things we have overcame
and there are things out there that we will overcome.
When I was a child, I only ever wanted to be strong.
I hid my vulnerability.
I hid the parts of me that were true.
I never told my mother about my girlfriend
because I was afraid she wouldn’t understand,
kind of like all those people who never understood
just how much words effect us.
I can’t say that I can beat the boys at foot races anymore,
because, well, I smoke cigarettes now.
And I can’t say that the nickname of my childhood didn’t affect me.
But I take that name now and embrace it.
Because I am strong.
I am the ‘she hulk’.
I am a mixed drink cocktail
with three parts greatful.
Copyright © Katie Pukash
Love was in the air when he laid eyes on her.
Childhood; elementary and even high school with her.
Walking towards her, he greeted her.
Anxiety spiraled as he hugged her.
Conversation grew deeper as he sat with her.
Wanting to get closer because he was falling for her.
Another woman called pausing the time he was having with her.
Knowing he had to answer; he stepped away and spoke to her.
She stated that something wasn't quite right with her.
She said that her stomach had been bothering her.
Now he's thinking back if he came inside her.
Thinking if she lied to him about her tubes being tied within her.
Does he blame himself for listening to her?
Knowing right from wrong and yet he can't blame her.
Does he blame the devil for allowing him to be intimate with her?
Is he not a human that makes mistakes just like her?
Begging God to make a way for him and her.
Asking God to forgive him for committing the sin with her.
God said, "relax my son, you were only dreaming of her."
Copyright © Pace INK-U-SCRIPT
I hold three magic rocks, in my hand. Rolling them over and over and over. Leaving this
reality behind, far behind I stepped into the magic mirror and there I was back in 1959. It
was the same month, November. I looked around and it was the same as I remember it had
been then. Mom looked so young and beautiful and said, "The school bus will be here in a
few minutes." I looked at the calendar and saw that it was November 25th, the day before
Thanksgiving. I said, "But mom, I haven't been in school in forty years." I got this strange
look from her but she didn't say anything. Walking toward the door I caught a reflection of
myself in the hall mirror. I was so young. My hand immediately went to my face and I
stopped and stared at myself for a few minutes. I said, "Mom, can I stay home and be with
you today?" Again I got that strange look from her, then she smiled and said, "Sure, it's
your last day before Thanksgiving anyway, why not?" She and I sit down and talked for
hours. Then I said, "Do you mind if we go next door and visit with Maw Maw and Paw Paw?
I haven't seen them in so long and I've missed them terribly!" Again another strange look
from mom. Next door I saw Maw Maw and Paw Paw as they had been in 1959. I wept and
they all looked at me so strangely. I hugged them and kissed them all and we talked for
hours. Dad finally came home from work and I ran and hugged him so hard. "Dad why did
you have to leave us in June?" Again I got strange looks from everyone. My tears were
falling. I saw Aunt Frances and Uncle Bill who lived beside Maw Maw and Paw Paw. "I've
missed you both for so long." Strange looks again! They didn't understand because to them,
it was just another day in 1959. The day grew late and I knew my time was soon ending. I
got near the magic mirror and mom and dad were standing there so young and healthy. I
said, "Mom I'll see you on the other side of the mirror, but dad, I'll see you another time,
another place." They didn't understand. I stepped back through and my reflection was as it
had been before. Mom was sitting in her chair at age 84. I said, "Mom, do you remember
the day before Thanksgiving, 1959, when I stayed home from school and we spent the day
together?" She said, "Yes, it was so strange that you could never remember anything about
it. It was as though you had amnesia.
Copyright © Marty Owens
Inhale an envious mask upon your castrated
and prompt this necessary illusion to commence.
Bathe yourself in ego-filled waters till you feel superior
to the gavel, and exit without caution from this perfect
prison called home.
The audience of youthful flattery awaits you, and those
who you hunt,
Anticipate your roar, and contemplate a permanent
Masquerade around the elementary wheels of
transportation, and make sure your crown has no opposition.
Be seated in the rear levels of mischief, and target those
who sit angelically, in frontal silence.
Remember to grin until your devilish smile has a
And act without tears, your greatest show without
Be ignorant to punctual chimes that sing, and lean on
absent temptation for comfort.
Show patience for the perfectly weak; allow them their
steps upon the wax floors,
Give them their fairy tale of safety.
For they are dreamers, and you are their scheduled
Enter classrooms initially through the minds of prey.
Let them introduce the beast without forethought,
Observe their careful whispers among the intellectual
And standby till their guard sleeps.
Lastly, steal the eyes of misery from your contemporaries
as you walk in, and sit among the walls of miseducation.
For knowledge is not the vocation you seek.
Only the beauty of suffering can compensate your lust.
Begin by insulting the eager minds that roam
brilliantly in the front row.
Shout high praises from hell, belittle their flawless
And bear no breaks of mercy until tears fall.
Now shift your heinous gears toward the everlasting
prom queen, your unrequited distraction.
She does not lean towards you, therefore you must
harm her pedestal as well.
Do not hesitate to disarm this glow that will never
infiltrate your surroundings.
Confirm that your motions are approved, by the
council of expulsion,
And give them infamous leeway to imitate in your
Reminisce joyfully over sin that will never turn pure,
as you return home.
Remove the wool from your eyes, and follow sorrow
till it wants no hint of you any longer,
A similar thought entertained by parents you forever
Lastly, if you urge beyond repair, and accept that the
sheep you threaten everyday will never turn,
Despite your purpose,
Then feel free to act as those that previously harmed,
And contemplate a permanent departure.
May god bless these faithful carriers of misery.
Copyright © Jiril Clemons
Primose path leads to the slaughter of American
dream delete pause proficiency with internetty
webbegone after thoughts of yahoo googleyed
interred intracacises that shed benign capsules of
mom entary apple pie delquiences cooling
the soul shopping for the next alias avenue of
pointless me procurement mauling an ongoing
onerous dildodate vis a vie meme.com/me in
an engaging omnipresence of sextext no tact
spell ckeck chicshicshakplak no sense tic tac.
Talk? Walk? Balk? Chalk? Sue? Sulk?
Dinosaur diligence posse with the senior
gestages gestulating, we r forevre 21 and ying yang
dung. Yes, good f ing luck with that!! Look at your
petridish parents and see what box u check to lid close
and abscond with the lost liberal leftovers. That
is you in reverse in a few carnal years after Hilter youth
children decide to screw us as the new
generation which skewer post present parental postulates
to the oldster outhouse outlets so u can be "youf" free. Little
do they notknow as they cumulatively co opulate
that they set the stooge stage for no thanx ahole actions.
The DOS does'nt fall from the Apple tree. Leave it,
love it, learn it while ye may, the kid crisp cosmos of
offspring social dicktates are biting at your heartbeatbit
empty elmo enterprises. Pause parenatal prenatal
preferences prepearing perinatal persons pretasking
postnatal practices, in which you have veno papa preparation.
Think before you For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Analyze
your ass-incarnate initiate. Borrow berofe u basterdize,
condomize before u copu culminate, decide before
u dicktate, envision before u envy, fail before u foil,
grasp before u germinate, halt before u hinder,
illuminate before u illerate, jump before u jinx,
kill before u keep, love before u lay, meaning before
moaning, neutralize before u now, obilerate before
u ooops! presence before predicament, quit before
quake, resilience before ridiculous, sanity before
sexusensuality, thinkth before u thumpth, utilize
before u unionize, victory before victimization, we
before want, xx nor xy, zen before zeal. Pocket
passion files fly in the face of ruined reason residules
to the point of pronounced perplextion plagued
prominantly with no recall references to problematic
protocals for near north normalicies in my buckeye
life measures of simpatico silly symbiosis sublime
of mini me monophile mucous made misdemeanor
milktoast memories. Pass go, collect $200.
Copyright © Dave Collins
Dimly lit, I sit
in a Mexican kitchen
near the Tropic of Cancer.
A TV is tuned
to inane noises;
dogs at my feet,
oranges in a bowl
on a table:
a specific place and time.
And I am dreaming --
dreaming of Louisiana
in twilight hours --
dreaming of short winter days and
summer's green, bright mornings.
Country time, mostly empty,
was quiet, seldom interrupted
by human utterance;
but my busy brain
was full of fantasy
The world was new, was big,
was yet to be explored;
possibilities seemed endless.
Oak and cypress,
willows, pines -- and magnolias --
were all around, and cane fields
stretched for miles.
The bayous that had always been there
were there still.
Change was slow in coming
and childhood lasted long.
I dream now of Louisiana:
poignant vignettes... dreamy glimpses...
and all those slowly fading
of the past...
Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore
We had missed five days in
The last two weeks
Due to the ice and snow.
Roads and streets had been impassable—
Freezing rain, blowing snow and black ice.
We started the day late at 10 am.
I greeted them at the doors—
Worried about attendance.
But, ninety-five percent made it.
They were wrapped in hooded jackets
And wore toboggans with rainbow colors.
Mothers had stuffed them with oatmeal,
Hotcakes and sausage.
One carried chocolate milk
And powdered sugar donuts,
Along with tousled hair and a big smile.
I was glad they made it.
We didn’t need to lose another
Day of instruction.
The day went smoothly, too.
In spite of the frigid cold that pushed
The mercury down to two degrees.
Frozen feet tracked salted snow
Onto brightly buffed tiles.
One carried an icicle two foot long—
I convinced him it would keep outside.
Then came lunch.
The short day was ready made for
Corn dogs and sloppy Joes—
A menu that might have been invented
But they hardly touched either one.
Today they served
Golden Meadow Orange Dream Bars—
A dessert that was surely made in Heaven.
Ice cream on the coldest day of the year.
And the February freeze was forgotten.
The orange circled smiles of kinders
Beamed a warmth from within,
Making the remainder of the day brighter,
Marking an end to winter.
Copyright © Ray Dillard
I first saw the hen as she flew
Up to the raised bed in front of the school.
I thought it was odd she was there,
With so much activity at the entrance.
The second time I saw her,
I decided to see what she was up to.
Imagine my surprise when I found
A cleverly hidden nest containing ten eggs.
I questioned her choice of location,
But, what do I know about building a nest?
I watched closely from the window for a week.
But now, so did others.
The kids were bright, and nosey.
Soon, several knew the secret.
When I came to school on Monday,
I found the eggs had been thrown
About the drive and against the brick.
The efforts of the expectant hen and drake
Had been spoiled by someone.
I could almost understand if it had
Been a skunk or possum that
Needed the eggs for survival.
But to be wasted…was senseless!
If you know anything about school and kids,
You know that someone came to me with a name.
And that person gave me another name.
Soon, I had three kids in my office.
And a choice to make…
Should I break them like the eggs
They had strewn and spoiled?
Or, should I protect them and watch
Them grow as I would the duckling
Had they hatched?
And then, on cue, the pair flew down
From the nest and waddled away
From their loss.
I watched with the children,
And after a few moments,
Made an observation.
“They’re just like parents… walking away
From the spot where they lost their
Entire family…Every child…
Imagine how they must feel!”
Their eyes filled with tears.
They left my office with compassion,
And, a newly acquired appreciation of nature…
The nest was not a total loss.
Copyright © Ray Dillard
Under her guidance, we stood at attention
forming a row for the national anthem
"Oh Say, Can You See?"...those familiar old words
We would sing, not in unison
but with avid enthusiasm
out of tune, out of rhythm
with our childish delusions
that we were quite good!
As we stood in the room
she would move down the line
with a frown in the lines
of her brow, then would bow
till her ear matched our voice
and her hand would be poised
with two fingers ensued
keeping time with the tune.
She would grit all her teeth
bite the inside of cheeks
Such a serious task!
it was all that she asked
that we please..do our best
When we mastered, at last
She would gasp, then exclaim
as we sang each refrain
Mixed with tears, she would clap
I remember it now...
Here I stand in this row
with my hand on my heart
as the first strain imparts
Yes, I know those old words...
they'll remain part of me
'til the day that I die
"O Say, Can You See?"...still familiar to me
But no..............I can't see....
There are tears in my eyes...
For the Project UFO Contest: Sponsored by Robert Heemstra
Copyright © Carrie Richards
the ice cream truck
do you remember in fourth grade when it was the end of the school year?
kids running around in class, volunteer parents planning for field day events, teachers grading tests.
a year's worth of crafts and colorful displays filled the walls like wallpaper.
you can hear singing from the kids in room 4b, ms. mcdonald's class.
the weather outside was a balmy 80 on this june day.
text books, paint brushes, and the obligatory pre-chewed bubble gum filled the desk cavity.
the assistant principle announces something inaudible on the speaker system.
and we are fast approaching the anticipated summer break.
summer. that's when spring lovers finally kiss and the butterflies leave their cocoon.
birds singing and the flowers are saturated with their red, blue, and pink hues.
the last day of school is finally here and the children ride the bus for the last time.
vacations. swimming pools. ocean city. the smell of hot dogs, grass and humidity.
jersey summers are hot. really hot where i grew up. you sweat just by looking out the window.
then one day, the familiar sound of circus-like music faintly approaches town.
louder and louder until everyone knows its the ice cream truck turning the street corner.
the famous mr. softee, or good humor truck, or some local self employed bearded man.
whatever it was, ice cream in all kinds, flavors, colors, and shapes was 25 yards and 25 cents away.
the music kept playing as children seemingly sprayed out of their homes in rapid succession.
a gathering soon followed with parents and children standing all against that delicious truck.
chocolate. peanut butter. vanilla. strawberry. cookies and cream. cookie dough.
sandwiches. bowls. cones. smoothies. sundays. sprinkles. nuts. oh so yummy!
i miss that ice cream truck. i miss those days...
...and i miss you just as much.
Copyright © Joey Foto
In one clasps of our hands
Suddenly the murmurings
Are becoming warm and intense
As boldness left behind dumbness
As together now we sing melodious
Songs, caressing. kissing, and playfully dance
Till the wee hours which greatly inspired us.
Even the dawning sun it seems
It was kept at bay
And the stars twinkling and clapping
Witnessing how sweet we have shared
A blissful contrast of a newlyweds honeymooning
A balikbayan to waiting gentle hand
Though jittery they stood together to a
Now, shall we let it go
Vis a vis the doldrums
Of yesteryears which we didn't denied
After the high school years
Autographs, roses and chocolates
Were fads of the late 60's yet to a funny fan
Bestows to a man's erudite love for poetry.
The more it comes straight from the hearts
The constancy of exchange writings of messages and poems
Have become part of life's spontaneity
Even at the middle of the night, we are awaken
Laptops connected, phone conversation
Every little sweet words reverberating through!
Term: balikbayan: Overseas Filipino Worker
Copyright © Dalila Agtani
It was 1999
2000 green mustang
My sis, always beside her
Landed the same job
Only Mexican restaurant in town
Put gas in our car
Kept our wheels going round
All dolled up
Kissed our parents goodnight
Pretend to go to bed
Cruising feeling right
Idiots with wheels
License to drive
Dr. Pepper and cigarettes
Never felt so alive
Introduced to Mary Jane
She was a silly lady
Laying on the hood of our car
Listening to Slim Shady
Hungry for boys
Just a tease
Looking fly in our prime
The birds and the bees
The dawning of 2000
Life as we knew it, about to end
Eyes met at 12:01
We both began to grin
Cheers to a good year
Twice as old as I was then
Thinking of my sis today
Missing my best friend
Copyright © Anna Hopper
YOU’RE THE WEAK ONE
You’re the weak one, you’re a bully. The weak one is definitely
The bully is always the weak one, but your weakness you can’t
seem to see.
So, I’m going to try to shed a little light on your weak and inappropriate ways.
Your weakness began on your first bullying day.
Your false sense of power is not strength at all; it is a cry for help desperately trying to break through.
I actually feel a little sorry for you.
Weak kids like you always seek to find other kids they can dominate.
Bullies do this with vicious words, inappropriate actions, and misguided hate.
Is being a weak bully the banner you want to carry for the rest of your life?
Get rid of the bully banner forever; take up a banner that shows respect,
understanding, and tolerance for others, and always hold that one very high.
Copyright © Al Johnson
She sat by me in class
She wore glasses
She was beautiful
She crossed her legs
I dropped a piece of paper
I leaned over to move closer
I touched her foot with my leg
I did not move my leg
She did not move her foot
She blushed and pressed it close
She had sweat on her brow
She had a boyfriend
Who asked her to go steady
Who gave her a ring
Who married her
Who will never know…
Copyright © Tim Ryerson
you pick on the innocent
pray on the weak
leave the unwanted in your dust
harming all in your path
they go home
bruised and beaten
filled with tears
a lump in their throats
still a love in their hearts
yet they have more strength
than you ever will
Copyright © courtney webb
I am the wind
as it heavenly sings.
I am the single rose
sitting in a barren land.
I am the the lions voice,
and the partridge voice as they
I am the beam of light
penetrating the vastness
of the worlds darkness.
The secret power is
no secret,the secret
power is me.
I am the secret power revealed
and concealed in greatness.
I am the suns majestic flames.
The clarity of rain drops,
the zest ,to the minds
bland thoughts of boredom.
I am entertainment.
I am the wood pecker,
soaring steadily in the
balmy winds picking at success.
I am the eagles soaring over
sweet allysum, capturing the sent.
Stupendous I am,
Preening my mind with knowledge,
a pen rigged with wisdom,
wisdom speaks beyond paper
as it leaks from the pore of my quill.
I am the potion full of devotion.
My pen rigged with morphine,
killing I hope the pain of my readers
You are no longer lugubrious,
lugubrious you are not.
Healed and fixed upon the first dosage.
I am ,I am ,
I am the poetic doctor,wooing medicine
from the green pastures,
to robe my pen with healing secrets.
I am the nectarines of peach orchards
basting the mouth of pages with sweet words.
Sweet splash sweet splash. I am the sweet taste.
I am the revival of a sun baked raisin, the
revival to a corps laying beneath circling
vultures of the Arabian dessert.
I am the fragments of light circling your heart,a campfire,
the supplier of its poetic aspire.
I am the fridge for poetic dreams,
preventing from expire, raising
heat of poetry soup higher and higher.
Ill never retire until my face
wrinkled and my hair grey wire.
My pen aiming for a writing desire.
On icy roads I keep traction with
hot ink and mental snow tires.
I am a poet wrobed with
creative ink and sapphire.
I am safe gaurding the gates
of a dying world of poetry.
looked upon as a fool why should I stop,
because kids from high school saide iam not cool,
what is their some rule that makes it uncool.
It must be april fools ,safe guarding
your desire is a golden rule.
I am the hope, iam poetrys stool fueling
it with my hand tool full of ink iam the talisman of poetrys gates.
I know who I am and this inspires ME!!!
By: Elliott Bowe
Copyright © Elliott Bowe THe DrUnKeN POeT
Maybe it’s unacceptable
Live a life capable of a true fable
True friends never end
But take you back to where it all began
But hey misery gave us something to believe in
Stress became a greater award as we achieved sin
What could I say? Our savior died on a cross tough as pig skin
Never once cried over the loss
Forbidden fruit, Eden garden
Excuse me, my lord, I beg your pardon
And so what if these medics carry life in a carton
But I ain’t trippin
Simply because this is me until my dying day
Please stop crying, you know I can’t stay
I’m going to be the same until my dying day
Over in that casket is where I’m trying to lay
That’s right until my dying day
True lost souls from the dark side
Forever, we as mortals ride
Peace is nothing, I fend for quiet time
Rebels in riot lines
Previous high school graduates
Symbols of an adjective running toward fate
True personality suffer the privilege of inmates
How could you hesitate to ask
There’s no stranger under this mask
Lonely and unholy, who’s there to console me?
I want to get away, forever restless
You can see my similarities with the ocean
I’m stress less
Because this is me until my dying day
Please stop crying, you know I can’t stay
I’m going to be the same until my dying day
Over in that casket is where I’m trying to lay
My son, my friend
We are but pieces of eternity
Mesh on, mesh off
Even at our best times we’re soft
Who’s to say I’d regret my decision
To lead a sinners life without God’s supervision
On a one man mission
And I know I don’t come around much
Got my palms in reality
Searching for something softer to touch
Whisper in my ear, death makes me blush
And Hell only flatters me
One and one, through matter the winds scatter me
I ain’t trippin, baby girl get off your knees
You’re in the arms of a future me
And I can’t see heaven from a distance
Fire me over clouds like a piston
Marching through blood
But it’s all mud and water to Darkhouse
Stand still let me mark my spouse
Live my life as an outcast
How could you even picture me at my last?
Dear lord show some mercy on my followers
Bless those that swallow dust to follow us
No need to borrow sympathy
Unforgiving sorrow made my enemies envy me
Copyright © Jerry Golden
Ankle wrapped, lipstick gleams
Music is heard in the backbeats of faint rhythms
This is just me, and myself
There are people there Lollypop prima donnas
Modern dance bare feet rebelrinas, SpicySalsa Latina Coke Bottles
Loud and HERE hip-hop mamas
Just me, and myself, here
Girls surround the mirror, preening like ugly hens for a rooster
That only sees himself
Lycra glittering tightly stretched, no imperfections allowed In these bodies,
messing up is no longer an option, it never was a option
Just look at the pretty picture they are painting
Dancing, speaking without voices of their own
poetry in motion, they call it
"I just want them to look at me", she says.
Right.. go ahead and dance to the beat of everyone else
Feet fretfully practicing [Fake]French with an American accent
Jeté, pas, Chaîné
S'il vous plaît danser votre coeur hors
Get It Shawty
This is the very last time
Just me, and myself
Lost in whispers of melodies, movement strains and scents of
Righting lefts, lefting wrongs, up and downs to my
very own song
Stage right, upper wing,
Open up the Curtains
Cue and a one, two, three
Spotlight flashes in the eyes to hide all cynical opinions, judgments are blinded
this is my stage, don’t lie to me, this is my stage
There are no lies here
Four, five, six, seven, eight, and a
And All I Wanna Do
Is just slip away
Into my own
Copyright © Bella Cardenas
We've brought him back again, where in the corners lie
the shadows of his youth, a world that passed on by
I watch him walk the floors, that he had walked before
Old planks that creaked, with hurried, carefree steps
once sang with youth, ...now whine with sad regret
Again, the out-of-doors has let itself be clipped
to window images, of which he had recalled
where fond thoughts of youth returned, each spring, and every fall
Framed pictures of windy branches in the sun
We could hardly tell, at first, if the mountains slumbered by
The same old way, as days when he was young
for branches, grown, had crowded open skies
And yet, he smiles, recalling all too soon
how the dust motes, fill the afternoon
with chalkboard clouds, and ink well stains
with musty thoughts, and childhood's sweet perfume
Again, the out-of-doors has let itself be clipped
To window images, of which he can't forget
Carrie Richards 1/30/14 "Historical"
Copyright © Carrie Richards
I can already hear the whispers
Before I open the door
Walking down the corridor
Fluorescent lights beam down
Illuminating, my faults
“Look at her, she think she’s bad, doesn’t she?”
High heels clicking on linoleum tiles
Hips waving regardless of assaults
Lips uncurled into a blank expression
"How the hell am i going to get through this hall
without slappingone of them?"
Head up, eyes open but unseeing the ugliness of it all
It happens everyday
“I can’t believe all those guys like her, what the hell do they see in her?”
“She’s just another whore”
“I heard she’s not as smart as they say she is”
“I knowww, she probably slept with the teacher to get into the A.P classes”
“Yeah, that’s the only way, there’s not possibility of her having a brain,"
"she’s too cute”
“She’s not that cute you know”
“she’s probably just easy, all of those pretty girls are”
“I wonder where she got all her clothes, probably from the 99cent store”
“nah, too good for the 99Cent store, she probably stole it, stupid Mexican”
“Haha, I know, she’s so poor, I bet she stole that purse too, it’s too nice for her”
“She’s so straight-edge, tree-hugging, boy-friend stealing, attention hog..”
“Stupid ugly slut”
Oh PLEASE, they don't even know me
Lord, spare me from these Barbie clones
That spawn over generations
Bleach blonde hair
With purses as big as their bodies
Hollow heads with a button nose
These, Sharks, beady eyed, immense jaws yawning
Try to eat victims alive
In a single gulp
Flock together like vultures mercilessly to consume
Girls worthy of attention
I laugh when I hear them whispering
Are bent on bending
Twisting reflections in the mirror
When really, it’s beautiful
Inside and Out
I know what I am and could care less
About what they think
Keep talking about me, your making me Famous
Movie Star Status, I have what they Want
I let them feed on my inner glow
It’s what attracts them, you know
Until they get so full of me
Copyright © Bella Cardenas
How the years seem to flow
More quickly with each passing one
And less, it seems that we get done
With what years we’ve now left
Let this not, though,
Be our shame
Let us use each year the same
As we would use our waning breath
Until at last our earthly death
Does come, one final
by Donna Golden
May 23, 2005 (A few months before my twenty year high school reunion!)
Copyright © Donna Golden
Who would have thought the girl with the bright smile and joy enflamed in her eyes
Sits' in the corner crying herself to sleep every night
Who would have thought the boy walking the halls always giving a hand
Wishs' that when he sleeps the gentle light may seep him off his feet
Would would have thought the girl that ended her own life
Was raped, beaten and bullied at both home and school
Who would have thought our childrens children
Have sought to use weapons and let eragancy become them making them a fool
Who would have thought that no matter how we try for peace
We show our children war is the answer
Who would have thought that our guidence
Has be clouded and no longer is pure
Who would have thought teenage life is harder
When your getting bullied or picked on in school
Who would have thought that a person couldn't walk out of their house
With out fear of being raped, shot, or stabed and death is finally at your door
Who would have thought in life know a day's
Death is more near to our lives then ever before
Who Would Have Thought
Copyright © Nicole Arvizu
Ever since the flames licked
my fair pink burning flesh,
nothing in my life has remained the same.
I had to go back in to
save my little brother Chris.
Life without him would kill me,
besides myself I would forever blame.
Even though it’s been ten years,
my face still feels the pain.
Having to go through high school
with a scarred face is just lame.
I’ve got the body of a goddess;
I must admit I’m beautiful from the neck down,
but the hideous burn scars
on my face have remained.
Months after the accident
weeks before school started,
a knock at my door came.
An anonymous donor sent a box
full of beautifully hand decorated
Mardi Gras masks made for only the fairest lady,
that’s the day I got my new name.
Each month a new box of masks
would arrive and I would wear everyone.
I became known as the royal shapely, disfigured lady.
Mardi Gras was my fame.
One night a mysterious white box appeared,
inside rested the most unique and intricately
adorned mask of all. It was a pure white mask adorned
with a delicate French ivory lace, fluffy pure white
dove feathers and shiny white pearls outlined the mask.
White is normally considered lame
but this was breathtaking, nothing plain.
Inside the box was also an
invitation, asking me to attend
the prom with "Masked Bandit" Lane.
I couldn’t believe it! All along it was
my handsome next door neighbor and
Chris' best friend, who had been sending
the ornate masks to me. He was my hero now,
my enthusiasm could hardly be tamed..
Lane had always adored my brother Chris and seemed
to like me too. I always knew he had
a crush on me, but I never knew to what extent.
I rushed over to his house where he was playing
with my brother Chris a heated basketball game.
I hugged him and told him that
I would love to go with him to the prom.
Just between you and me,
Lane and I will always be the
masked King and Queen of Mardi Gras
and forever in love we will reign.
Copyright © Marie Harrison
I am free to: Love,
Never stop untill I achivemy goal's,
Have the will not to hate,
Never give up,
Go down the wrong path,
To choose the right one,
To worship you, Lord!
Copyright © Emily Kroeger
Saving a memory
because laughter splatters
across the room
splashed smiles savored
with bursts of flavors
rolled along the tongue
Learning takes place
better when there is
laughter and smiles
eyes and teeth participating
who what questions
answers accents, soliloquies, duets
trios and groupwork
Sets of co-operative
blessing the room
where we learn
Copyright © Rhea Daniel Dear
The images plucked from a full soft drive like over blown berries
threatening to fall……blasted to the humus. Swing chains creak.
The high-backed, heart carved, chalk white, front porch swing sways;
to the kicking of your feet. Beside me, you sit in spankin’ new school clothes singing.
Together wrapped like pretzel dough, we warble, annoying the sparrows.
The bumble bee yellow and black stripped school bus is late.
The dreamy cottage bungalows’ screen porch perches like a tree house ledge
over the four story drop off. Hundred year old sentinel pines tower still above us,
limbs house hug. The occasional cone drop ricochets down the trunk
to a soft needle landing, and a bouncing roll before falling off the retaining wall
We own the world. King and Queen of the Mountain are we. I sing “Ducky Duddle” to you.
You laugh. All the joy in the world in such a small sound. Oh, how I loved to make you happy.
Two short years before, even your name was new to you..my boy, Jamie.
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi
my school colors
brooks brothers navy blue
and establishment gold
were God-awful choices
for Catholic girls
being educated beyond
their parents' means.
seventeen, out of high school
ready for life
I was prime
for the times
about life loving and living
twelve years of stateliness
and I was ready
for a tie-dyed change of mind
in a California cotillion
formal dress not required.
I left the "Beach Party"
two piece red-checked
belly-button cover-up behind
and never looked back.
Copyright © maggie flanaganwilkie
These chains of deceit that bind me to this hardwood seat.
I bend and break the bars that confine, but they remain, like the haughty, jagged grin of an eroded skull.
Such good times as these are even visited by dark slips of the gut from thoughts of tortures past.
It was a massive structure, swathed in a meagerly regal indigo, lined in placid silver.
In this place I did not cry of neglect. I was no dark horse, puffing promises of vengeance
for the cruelty and nonchalance of my lords.
They catered to me well, forever willing to stir into my cauldron their own lazily construed dogmas.
But O, so long as I gazed upon the faces of my peers, eyes starried with anticipation of knowledge
and fantastic visions of other world intrigue, I could not lead the expected life of indifference. Intrigue
of the kind that I confusedly examined, reaching deep into the dark, conceptual pit of the unknown, and unproven.
Exhausted, I came to my knees, deep in the cave, to rest, to wait for all the promised realities to reveal themselves.
I waited so very long for such things. Drew and blew irreplaceable breaths
awaiting the truth of falsehood to at last burst forth, at the final moment, to redeem itself.
Copyright © Samuel Durant
Tired of being treated
being stared at
and hiding my braces
under the camouflage
of my colored
with mascara and
as they make
and people are
But where is it?
In my dreams?
I wouldn't know
I don't sleep
I gotta explain
my braces all
and I will
until I die
and I'm tired
and so I'll stop talking
and fall asleep
and wake up
the next day,
Copyright © Gabrielle Zeger
It’s not fair
But then it never is
All the teachers
All the learning that they got
It couldn't prepare them
It couldn't stop it
Or halt it
Or even control it?
The whirlwind that is I
All the promises and
All the lies
It was all too much
It was never enough
The whispers behind my back
The taunts, and jeers;
Even the teachers
Who are supposed to protect
and keep order;
Just walk away
Just ignore her
She’ll go away
Yes Mrs. Mother
Well stop it
She has coodies
No one likes you
No one wants’ to play with a lesbian like you
It would be so much better if she were gone
I wish she would just leave forever
I never showed my face
But you still;
What did I ever do to you?
What could I have done to you?
I was only ten
Just barely out of childhood really
But I can't really blame you...can i?
No I can't
My only option left
Did it make you happy?
Did you smile?
Was all that work
All that cruelty
All that heartache;
Was it worth it?
Did it finally make you feel better?
Like you were better,
Who was your next victim?
Not like it matters
They didn't help them either
You can't see
You refuse to see
Just like the teachers
They all failed
Not only me
I hope you all are proud.
Copyright © Rayne Thomas