The powdery snow
gloves the fingers of maple forest
protecting barren bark
with the expectation
of rose tipped bloom.
A meeting point
between pristine innocence and
the veiled promise of spring ripening.
Each trunk and limb
mirroring the action of man
Reaching, arching, swaying, creating aisles
of church-like splendor,
where the virginal may walk
toward communion with their God.
toward the birth of faith
toward the wedgwood sky
in celestial sight.
My sweet little Teddy Bear...
Mommy gave 'YOU' to me.
Now I never sleep alone at night.
The comfort you gave, when God's sunny eyes ran out of light.
You are my sweet little teddy bear...
You kept me company throughout the years.
I hugged you, when my eyes were full of tears.
Loving you, squeezing you.
We both express many joyful dance of cheers.
Together we sang lullabies, without you singing one single word.
We drank from the same teacup, whispered about the pretty birds.
Now listen, as I mumble extra words into your ear.
My sweet Teddy Bear, you are always here.
We snuggled every night staring at the star frame window.
"You held my hand every-time I was lost in my own imaginary limbo.
My sweet little Teddy Bear...
I'm 11 now, and my mother loves me dearly.
Sadly she felt it's time to find me a daddy.
Little does she knows, my daddy visits every night in my dreams.
Now her boyfriend visits my room and tells me not to scream.
Little Teddy bear, I never showed you fear before I fell asleep.
Little Teddy bear, tonight I do not want to count sheep.
Teddy bear, now I hold you closer, and tighter than before.
Little Teddy Bear let me cover your ears, from the screeching door.
Little Teddy Bear, he said he will hurt mommy If I tell anyone.
Little Teddy Bear, I know you see and hear everything!!!
You're A Little Kid Again (contest)
The View of an 11 year old
Walls of silence hold,
The child held within,
Cries out for release.
Relative solitude comforts,
Not the tortured soul,
Inward coiling withdrawing,
Shedding its outer skins,
Layer thus preserving its,
Innocents shroud lies in ruins.
Gentle spirit, cast aside wings,
The fallen angel kneels in,
Shadows before mankind.
Unanswered prays rest upon,
Muted sobs, echo on stilled,
Hardening to stone, the
Reflects frozen repose.
Forgotten amongst mine own,
Childhood symbolizes a betrayed,
Small fragile hands reach out,
Hollow space grasping into,
Chained shackles twist,
Imaginations warped view,
Somber tones cloud troubled,
Amidst life's trials, I'm aimlessly,
Without any form of stability.
I, alone remain shambles,
Displaced and damaged,
A broken doll thrown away,
By those who should have,
Cared for her the most.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Sitting on the window sill with the wind in my hair
I gaze up into the stars, pondering the great unknown.
Thinking back of that night, when I heard your first cry
tears of joy filled my heart as we carried you home.
Nervous and excited, a mother I had just become,
you were my angel, my being, my son.
You were all that I dreamt of, from my lungs, pure breath.
In the cradle I rocked you, before going to bed.
With gurgles and babbles you have filled up our lives.
With first footsteps, first mouthfuls, with sweet little rhymes
With first schooldays, first friendships, first free little moves,
Like doing your homework, and tying your own shoes
We followed your shadow from a distance not far,
giving you your wings, yet knowing where you are
The time has passed by, in a blink of an eye,
Soon you'll be leaving, making this mother cry.
Co-written by Charmaine Chircop & Tim Smith
October 18, 2014
I carry my mother
like a rock in my pocket
that I just can’t seem to throw away
It serves me
it just weighs me down
When I first found it,
when I first picked it up
and started carrying it with me,
I thought it so beautiful –
I could look at it for hours
But, like my mother,
it never looked back at me,
never grew warm under my loving gaze
For the longest, I was blind to that,
Blind to anything but the beauty,
blind to the cold, hard,
beyond-remote nature of the rock,
of my mother,
I carry my mother,
a thought without weight
And she’s heavier
and she’s colder
than all the stones
By the time I recognized her
immutable, emotional unavailability,
I had run out of joy,
felt depleted of hope –
But I could not,
for the life of me,
stop seeking a beauty, a warmth,
inside her heart
Could not stop
that one day this stone,
deep inside my pocket,
Might just become
its own opposite –
Change from hard to fluid,
from cold to warm
But my rock, my hard burden,
will only turn to water
When my mother
I walk along the old familiar path in the wood of my childhood -
the place that I willingly abandoned
for the lure of new friends and activities
that carried me ever farther from my simple carefree days.
Nothing here is quite the same,
and all that once was large to my child’s eyes
has grown small.
How can it be?
The houses on the fringe of this old wood
are the same houses we always came upon as children
as we ran - exuberant wild Indians of our enchanted forest -
away from our foes and into the safety of “clearings” -
those back yards of neighbors
whom we never really knew.
Our small legs ran so quickly down that well-worn long-ago path
in the days when we were soldiers hastening to secure our forts.
Other times we searched for treasures in the wood's crevices,
finding - one day - bed springs, metal pieces, and old mattresses
and converting them into contraptions for jumping.
I tread slowly, noticing how many spots along my way
are now overrun with weeds and tangled vines.
How did I ever not notice there were vines here at all?
They must have been well hidden off our path.
Perhaps a kindly neighbor kept the pathway clear of them
out of consideration for all us kids.
I cannot know. . . It was so long ago.
I glimpse the raspberry bushes we used to happily discover
each summer when fuzzy berries showed brightly red and plump.
And there’s old man Miller’s house, whose fence we used to climb
so we might quickly steal the juicy apples fallen from his tree.
Sadness tugs at my heart.
The tree has vanished, and in the place of old man Miller’s shed
now sits a swing set looking barely used.
I head toward the center of this miniature forest
recalling how it used to hold such grandness in my young imagination.
The pond where we used to skate in winter
has disappeared as well.
In its place is a broad high pile of dirt,
and at the north outer edge in the distance I can see
diverse machines used for excavation.
Maybe soon the wood will be cut down.
Though small, this place was once so wondrous!
I think back to our Christmas vacations,
looking for the perfect little hill to drag our sleds up-
and the thrill of barely missing trees as we slid back down.
Everything was magical, crisp and clean.
Suddenly I trip on tangled vines I’ve failed to see.
The vines are stumbling blocks that have blotted out
the utter charm this locale once held for me.
You’d think that being smaller to my grown-up eyes,
the wood would seem even simpler now.
But no, it’s lost the grace of my simple and easy childhood days;
It’s become a labyrinth of too lush plant life.
I think how - like my complicated life -
this old familiar place is decaying
and is overwhelmed with all these obnoxious vines
and how one day -
like the pond and Mr. Miller’s apple tree -
this dear wood
inspired by events of my childhood
and the contest of Constance la France
and now for Caleb Smith's In the Woods Poetry Contest
As I sit by the window and look out towards the sun,
A half of me says stay, while the other half says run.
I know it's part of life, to grow older with each day,
but the older that I get, the more I want to run away.
All the stress and hard decisions that I'm left to ponder,
only makes me crazier, as now I'm left to wander.
Like a never ending clock, the days and nights will pass,
so I'll hold on to my memories, for only they will last.
And I can use them anytime, to make me laugh or smile,
or just to sort of drift away, and daydream for a while.
Although life seems so hard, I thank the Lord each night,
for blessing me with all the things He's put here in my life.
So as I grow in my time of youth, I tell myself one thing,
Never regret ,or you'll lose out, on the things that life may bring.
If people suffer in truth at our hands
with ill education and manners
Then we turn on them spitting words
casting stones of hate
blame them as a menace unto society
corrupted from childhood
what chance do they have
Living below means
defined by their status not born to privilege
Then punish them for the crimes committed
inside which their first education exposed them too
what stands above is created in this society
it holds the key through poverty
Turning a blind eye we punish them
what does that make us
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
Down where I sleep,
You hold me, embrace my every way
The Marks up on my skin
You caress, taking away from the ugliness
Watching the simple breath, when I breathe
Breaking the ice, soothing my inner peace
A sweet spray across the paleness in my limbs
Holding the warmth, I've been loved throughout my life.
From picking up sticks to the walking stick
My loving dear I know you will always be there
A few wheel chairs, when broken bones mend
You know my every cure*
Walk with me across the hall
Through the oldness, and the boldness of every color in the sky
Thank you for taking me as I am
A light twinkle' every time I feel the colors of the rainbow drip
Now a newborn takes his form
In you I find the strength to stretch my arms and reach for every star
When happy moments fail,
I embraced the colors I found in you
I make out every tree, and wonder why and how?
I close my eyes to imagine the fun of chasing fireflies
Tonight I'm keeping my prayers simple, cute, and innocent
I will count sheep and search for sweet lullaby dreams
Smiling like a 3 year old this very moment,
You think I'm having "Baby Blues."
My loving dear, thanks for having patience,
Painting my way down a toddlers sky
Every time "P M S" hits
In the drawer
Behind all the white t-shirts
Packed away in the corner where
It is safe, I keep you.
You are hidden
No one knows you're there,
I take you out to see your
Smiling yet depressed face.
I realize the trouble you went through
Just to make sure I live a better life
Than you did.
Here you hold your baby one last time
Before sending him off to a
Life without poverty.
He doesn't say goodbye because
He is so small and innocent.
You give him a little kiss and say
Goodbye my sweet child.
So I thank you
Sweet, sweet, lady.
I'll put you back
In that safe little place,
So that when the time comes
For me to meet you,
I will find you before
You find me.
A labyrinth….an internal tangle
A skein of glass prisms
A complex web…intricate and divided
inside a muscle thought too fragile
to withstand the breakage
Beneath…always what lay there
was tattered coils
Starkness overwhelms the blue light
and the tender is a bit shattered
Yet surviving with the indomitable will
of a thousand
Iron strength and steel resolve
is what will govern the web
A quick shot of whiskey burns
and vodka strikes the throat
in torpid moments
a bit of mangle and sorrow
Beyond the surface of what seems to be
is the actuality of the puzzle
(pieces of truth)
Rage against the torpedo
The twists of time ticking timeless
(stealing missed moments)
Find the reason….
(illumination with clarity)
and let the wind catch your sails
setting you free…..
Released from the chains of ignorance
and no longer held prisoner
by the hands that ripped your soul
Freedom is letting go of a smoke mirage
and embracing the cold concrete
The air is thick with memory -
A fog of reminiscence.
Or is it simply mist
Rolling through the window?
I feel the wind and taste the salt,
Hear the distant pulse of waves
Keeping time, skipping beats
With my haunted heart.
The wind chimes sway and croon
From their place above the sill,
Where sand dollars still form a row
Among crumbs of sand.
And there, on the bedside table -
Speckled stones arranged just so.
And if I lift them, I know
I'll find dustless circles,
Halos from the past.
My vision blurs.
Then I see her in the doorway -
The ghost of childhood,
Twirling in a cloud of skirts,
Strings of seashells draped like gems
Around her fragile neck.
I blink -
And she's gone.
But through the mist I hear
The patter of bare feet
Down the empty hallway.
He lay outside on the cellar door one day
Lazy gazing at the sky
A child a dutiful child
Before he knew clouds move or why
Those scattered billows grey fringed hung high
It was late afternoon with ghostly moon
The lively honey bees some suspended sip then buzzzzzzz zip!
He's heard from experienced older folk
The earth years from the sun goes round
Dreamy following eyes go round and round
On carousel astride mind's steed he's off the ground
Gently rocking lifting on that waving sea
This quite a vital sort of primal ecstasy
Clouds and festivals Picassoette surreal
That music in the air nature's breath infects the skin the veins
Ah those few moments so rare so hauntingly spare........
When the screen door creaks open he shivers!
Mother calls him in to dinner
You lie in a heap outside
The safe-guard of social
With skin the same colour
As your thoughts. You
Bleed into the gutter.
-How Did You Lose Your Grace?-
Multitudes of People Blur
Passed You, You Wish It
Was peaceful Here.
You Held Your Face and
Cried as I Raped You,
Now you're all Grown.
-When did You Fall From Grace?-
You've Forfeit Flight,
Your Wax Has Melted.
You're Drownin' Boy...
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.
A precious gift! Joy unimagined fills my heart
She smiles! My heart races, leaping!
And like a butterfly in spring, gliding,
It dips among new blossoms
Like a sweet melody playing softly
in the cool of the evening, I soar!
My baby, my first, like an angel sleeps
Soft, warm and brown
I stare in awe of this most perfect gift from God!
Tiny almond-shaped eyes, sparkle- searching
Nothing as beautiful have I ever seen!
She cries and her teardrops like crystal daggers
Pierce, my joyful heart!
And like a wounded sparrow it plummets
Free-falling, and I am left puzzled...confused
Nervous, I gently hold her close to my breast
I am sure she can feel my heart beating..
Suddenly our faces brush... she turns-
Our eyes lock, and smiles ripple!
My first born--all is well in my world.
Come and gone like small twister
like the cloud of debris he’s left.
Echoes of Charlie Brown’s buddy Pigpen
blow through the cobwebs in memory.
Left over coffee cups replacing
Transformers still dumped in the attic.
Reams of knarley skateboards, wheel-less,
lay in piles like so much unburnable refuse.
The obligatory hugs and peck, over and done
the never paid chauffeur collapses…
Ah, to have him always near,
So, each kiss was not quite so dear.
The last fair maid on parade has wandered across
the home front, wondering about her predecessor,
still tacked with magnets to the fridge,
still part of my heart and his…
Sons…they say, do not cause such angst.
Couldn’t prove it by this mother.
This maternal blimp of unused helium
was not permitted a girl child.
One did come and fleetingly leave before formed.
We’ll never know the sweetness of her.
Let the image of his manly self disperse, this son..
into the mist as his Father’s has…
to be remembered again, only in times of need, his need,
for to do anything else, would be to rub salt
in an open wound.
Poet: D. Guzzi
*the day after Christmas
A giant snowball in springtime
From twenty yards out the sound and smell
Closer now; breathing her numbing scent
Listening to the drowsy hum
of greedy and jealous bees
forced to share her bounty
with Tiger and Zebra Swallowtails
School will be out soon...
Memorizing every branch within reach
Her limbs are just low enough
for a boy to scramble up quickly
fleeing imaginary monsters
still lurking and prowling below
Taking ignorant and blissful advantage
of this daughter of the wild; his protector
His big sister to run to...
Shiny and slippery black bark
that oozes burgundy sap
which dries in animal shapes
Summer twilight is coming
Bats twittering overhead
chasing nasty mosquitoes
A noise echoing from far off
A door slamming maybe...
Tucked safely away in his favorite pew
(Naughty boy, eating during church!)
sampling her forbidden fruit
sweet and sour...half is seed
Thieving Blue Jays get the most
Screaming and scolding arrogantly
yet flying away unpunished
Grannny will make jelly...
Oh everlasting Father, creator of all things
He knows that heaven is far beyond the grasp
of a feeble and fumbling mortal mind
But when You decide to send Your beloved Son
back to rule the earth for one thousand years
If he is judged worthy to be in that count
May one humble servant say if it's like this
that would be just fine...
Split apart your ribcage,
Open up the corridor, and let me come in
Uneasiness instantly strikes through me
Let me sway away...
Let me flutter away...
Like a butterfly out of its cocoon
I'm trapped!Let me depart
Split apart your ribcage,
Unwrap me, let me go!
Believe me...reflect on me
Let me sway away...flutter away
Let us both seek the sun,
So we can grow together once more
Glass and fractured imaginings are trite
Upon his blameless feet
Even as he dance and play about them
Toxic and perilous smoke are authority
Outside his naive lungs
While he freely breathes to ensure laughter
Blood sprinkles and routine metal shards
Within his innocent hands
Presently, as he claps to the street’s tune
Mordant activities be forever present
Before his youthful eyes
Just before the gleams therein make hearts sway
The resilience and spirit of youth
Strewn by knitted spines and a tail
with ribbons on its hair, bright flowing
visions float along an azure sky. Gracefully,
the flight takes a diamond shape as if to roam
away in some twirling glide. And as it slowly faded
from sight, the little boy on the beach giggled
and tugged the braided loop calling his paper wing,
“ Come back; I’ll have to pull you in.” But it waved on
like an entranced sail kissing the clouds; till near dusk
marked the rising moon…quietly, he rested on the sand
to gaze at the breezy sky again; this time a bit aware
the kite he handmade and loved won’t come back…
for it is up above where its home belongs.
Gwendolyn Rix's Let's Fly a Kite
and PD's Poem Under 15 Lines
by nette onclaud
Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am sad.
Sometime I sing, sometimes I stammer
Sometimes I dance on the music of my soul, Sometimes I dance on the fingers of
one single person
Sometimes I expect so much from others; sometime I myself can’t meet my own
Sometime I make fun of others and feel bad later, sometimes life makes fun of me
and I smile
Sometime I win and sometimes I lose, sometimes I don’t even understand whether I
won or lost.
Sometimes I laugh as if whole world is with me,
Sometimes I cry as if I am alone wandering in a strange land
Sometimes I give up so easily
Sometimes I work so hard that no one can stop me to achieve what I want
Sometimes I am dynamic person, who wants to change the world,
And sometimes I am a kid who expects anyone to embrace him tightly.
Sometimes I feel happy about the achievement of my enemy
Sometime I feel dejected with my own success.
Sometimes I help others and show them the right path
Sometimes I feel totally helpless and don’t know where to go
Sometimes I ask god to please give my past back
Sometimes I pray to show me the way forward
Life is composed of SOMETIMES and I just flow with that.
U admit or not but you are also sailing on the same boat.
So join me and enjoy it EVERYTIME as SOMETIMES life is very short!
I remember you
cartoon smile and egg-shaped head.
Do you remember
how the rainbow formed on the water,
how the neon lights flickered,
or the scent of nectarines on your forehead?
They were happy to see for the first time
behind glass window,
between speaker box voices --
untouched collector’s item,
you shiny new contraption,
star of the play,
hero of the hour,
flavor of the season.
Seed of your father,
soil of your mother.
Fruit of love,
fruit of conflict.
Are you accident,
Bough in the river,
wrenched in the current.
Hand reaching for hand,
hand holding your own.
Bedlam baby with the guilty smile
do you remember
how you would not fracture the mullioned frame,
how you could not shatter porcelain,
or how you hid in changing alleys?
I will save you
you will save me.
My hand in yours.
I am the boat
you are the journey.
I balance on a tightrope. Surrounded by
lovers and dreamers, I teeter above a raging sea.
I admire their glossy smiles and envy
their bright-eyed confidence; envy is a sin, I know.
Please forgive me; a lie would carry more guilt.
The waves crash in dark shades of gray, still they smile.
Their laughter from all around pierces the thin air.
I teeter alone; I may or may not fall.
My fate is undetermined, in my own hands;
the tragedy today may be tomorrow's comedy.
Their laughter echoes...
On a day like today, the fresh tears sting.
If only I could wake from the nightmare,
pry open the windows of my tortured soul.
If only I could charm the feral...if only.
Oh, the skeletal monsters we are bequeathed!
Yes, I understand the meaning of loyalty.
A fool believes the wicked will fall.
A fool believes the merciless will change.
Can a hollow chest develop a beating heart?
I chisel stone walls, searching for a glimmer of hope,
a flicker of humanity behind steel beams.
Could you spare a token of remorse?
I dare to drop a coin in a fountain of wishes.
A pocketful of coins jingle as my wishes sink
to the bottom of the venomous waters.
I am patient as I teeter on the tightrope.
The audience cheers taking pleasure in my pain.
Blood pulsates through my veins, yet I feel cold winds
penetrate my soul. I refuse to cower or
live in contention...
Blood is thicker than ink.
I find my balance in the written word, a gift of life!
Words sometimes spill from a bleeding heart.
I beseech the ghosts of the past to end their haunting.
Their breath is the frigid wind. I find shelter...
Tempered is the skin of the wounded. Who knows
what may lie beneath the flesh. In the mirror,
you may find a frightened child in need of love.
Most find the strength to balance and stand.
Every step brings me closer to solid ground...
I am reaching for you. Please take my hand.