Amidst Silence

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Contributor: Jared Ninfa Kelly

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Give me a reason
Give me a word
Give me a sign
A snatch of lyrics
So precise
Exactly what you feel
Exactly what you want
Rendered in words
Sung by other lips
Set in music and motion
So precise
So precise
But something,
Something still.

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Hi, I'm Jared. I live in New York and beatbox on the street corner for fun and profit.

Finding an Eternal Place

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Contributor: Reed Venrick

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Go to nature's place
go where nothing's been invented
by the hand or mind of human
no power lines, no paved roads
no soda cans or plastic bags
no cars or tractors or planes or trains

go where earth was and will be
after humans have passed
and flown on to another planet
or another dimension space

go where your shadow stands
lean as the bamboo, swim naked
in the sea, or ride a horse bareback
while wearing, if you must, a pig's skin
put aside the the clothes squeezed
from sweaty shops

or just lean against a sturdy oak
and watch the show of passing clouds
the first meditation of evolving minds
before the full moon was created

feel the knotty log that Cicero sat
tasting an apricot and red wine
feel the same fire that Di Vinci
warmed his fingers before he picked
up the brush and began

hear the breeze whine in the pines
and the flutter of maple leaves
as Kant did on his daily walk

swim in the water as easily
as Jesus floated in the Dead Sea
and catch a fish as tasty as sushi is

and remember what we always knew
we are they, they are we
when the senses are perceiving
we'll find again time and space
the greatest illusions

after all, we don't have to die
to find eternity in a universal space--
there it is a natural place.

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R Venrick lives in Florida,
writes and photographs
abstracted nature.


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Contributor: Nikhil Nath

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Can you catch
a rainbow
in the incubator
and silence
that voice screaming
on the mobile
without burning calories
biting Saturday
inside the cockpit
of a Boeing full of jealousy.

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Nikhil has been writing poetry for eighteen years. He has been published in various magazines in India, the USA and the UK. Nikhil Nath is his pen name. He lives and works from Kolkata, India. "Write rubbish, but write", said Virginia Woolf. This is Nikhil's maxim for writing. His poems have been accepted in Allegro, Aji, Ink sweat and tears, Ithica lit., Germ, Leaves of Ink, Ehanom among others.

Sweetness and Smoke

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Contributor: Brian Baumgarn

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He remembered the Ohio of his youth.
Winters of pure, glistening snow. His parents
taking him on wagon rides over the deep,
winding trails of naked woodlands.
Swooping great horned owl, fog-breathed
whitetail deer, and string-like clouds flirting
with a cool, pearlescent cup of moon.

At trail's end, wagons emptying.
Families standing and sitting around a
great, crackling bonfire. Smoke-laden
breath from burning hickory, maple, and ash
stinging his eyes and lungs. Aromatic.
People singing. Warm cider and cinnamon.
Cookies and treats.
The plush fragrance of steaming coffee
that he was still too young to share.
It was all splendid adventure. Afterward,
falling into a dreamless, hibernal sleep
before getting halfway home.

Later in winter. People drawing the
blood of the maple trees into buckets.
He had seen it drip from miniscule
tap-wounds in the bark. As the tree was
alive, he pondered if this hurt?
Workers hauling the sap-laden buckets
toward slat sided shacks hidden deep
within the forest.
The maple's lifeblood being rendered
into the most savory syrup
and maple sugar candy.
Sweet treats and a delicacy
for pancakes and waffles.
Ambrosia, his mother and father called it.

Life was all sweetness and smoke.
Crisp, clear, untried.
His mother and father were so right.

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A 65 year old working with developmentally disabled men. Became interested in writing again after the passing of my mother and father in successive years.


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Contributor: Wyn Sharp

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Blood runs cold from
jagged wine bottles
used to pierce my fragile skin.

Fists beat mercilessly
to semi-consciousness,
my dried blood beneath his nails.

He leaves with a shovel—
to prepare my grave in the peach orchard.

He said I’d make
fine fertilizer for his fruit trees.

The clock ticks;
There is little time.

A mirror reflects a new image
of cropped black hair
that matches my shadows and scars.

There is strength and courage in departure.

He will return and wonder
How I had the courage to flee.

Cracked wine bottles on the floor
will rip at the flesh of his feet.

I will wear flaming red lipstick.

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Born in MS and raised in TN, Wyn graduated from UNCW in Wilmington, NC in the fall of 2013. She's written poetry and fiction from a early age and can be found on Word Press, Twitter, and other media sites.

I Still Believe

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Contributor: Butahn Mirabba

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I know you can feel it
When I think of you.
When I put my wings around you
When I reach out to you
Send you
All the light I have in me.

I know you're hurting
I know you don't believe
I know you're trying
Not to think of me
To forget me

Tell me
The bond between us
Between you and me
Was never meant to be.

Tell me
And I'll stand here
I'll refute it
With open arms
Because I still believe
Because I need you
And I still believe
You need me.

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Contributor: John Ogden

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Five years with the first wife
Five children with the last
Five stabs at solace
Thank God the fifth one
Finally worked out.

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John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

Open Arms

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Contributor: Jorhan Bivlibny

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You run
In my own way, I chase
You cut at the bonds
I stitch the wounds
You flash your blade
You bear your claws
But I offer only open hands
Open heart, open soul.
Cut me, Tiger.
Make me bleed
I'll wear the scars
I'll show them openly
I've been through the fire
I've been burned so many times
I can weather this
I can weather the worst of you.

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