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Contributor: Isabella Vasquez

- -
Her hair is hazel wisps of wind
splayed across her cheek.
Her last attempt to wear shoes forgotten
sitting on the curb with bare feet
bare souls, no words needed.
Between the lines we drew
there were collected moments of wonder.
Our smiles cracked liked thunder
The sky rumbled and poured,
we spun in harmony.
Our laughter mixed into the rain's melody
a secret language between us.
I stared into her brown, golden eyes
like a face-up lucky penny.
That day only returns to us
In our dreams.

- - -
Isabella Vasquez lives with her three dogs in Los Angeles, who she writes short stories for. She likes to surf and explore the world on her free time.

The Traveler

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Contributor: Monica M. Reed

- -
Willingly, stepping foot
onto new territories.
Breathing in
unfamiliar air.
Falling in love
with the non-negotiable
Attracted to
every crack
on the sidewalk
that I don’t dare to
step on.
Adoring the
candles, lanterns,
and light posts.
Every form
of stars
that’s there.
the sight
of the single
tiny crevices
that lie
in all the
Wanting to leave my
on what I
can’t keep
with me.
Wanting to
how I felt.
To be reminded
again and again.
My sanctuaries
aren’t merely
a soul.
They are
the combination
of many living
organisms intertwined.
Managing to
touch me
without having
a single dust
lay on
my exterior.

- - -
Monica M. Reed is a germaphobe who is living with anxiety. So far, she has fainted in two countries. In her leisure, she enjoys having teatime with her beloved goldfish, Mr. Bubbles

That Drunken Nest

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
The silver coal bucket reflects your beer
as you sit there cocained off your tits.
In a friends house in the countryside
next to a log fire spitting amber bits.
Your left elbow rests in a full ashtray
and your right foot looks too far away.
As you contemplate the coming morning
you stop and let your mind elsewhere stray.
The Damned are playing on the stereo again,
there’s a brass gong hanging on the wall.
The fireplace is a granite Stonehenge
not waiting for a magical druid to call.
Slowly the dawn seeps through the windows,
your friends they rise up from their rest.
A coffee and cooked breakfast for everyone
then again a search for that drunken nest.

- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Dead Reckoning

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Contributor: Richard Hartwell

- -
Waking each morning, still-life, still asleep.

Slowly, agonizingly, massaging it,
drawing blood of day back to the surface.

Tingles of self-satisfaction indicate
the Big Sleep has not yet arrived.

Creeping pain waxes throughout
emotional nerve endings as ebbs the
intoxicating numbness of night.

Dead leaves swim across the surface of the pond
obscuring red, gold and cream flashes;
flecks radiate from unseen mossy depths,
break cover, snatch insect mouthfuls, then sink
beneath the safety of parti-colored leaf flotsam, patiently.

Ahoy! Decadent Rimbaud’s drunken boat sails again,
joy comes to those on the quay who salute adieu,
but you, lunatic-tocking away, still wait for sun.

Steep waters heaped high above,
deep thoughts beckon from far below,
fair wind lost and family mates cast asunder,
only prey now for the family few left lashed tight,
daring piratical advisors let go their night moorings.

- - -
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.

Whinny and Spit

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
When a man’s young,
this work is hard
but it pays well
and he can feed
the wife and kids.
In the morning
he throws crates off trucks,
and after lunch
throws crates again
till five or six o’clock.
But as he grows older,
and some say
ready to retire,
he has to stop
in the late afternoon,
mount his throne of skids,
let his legs drip over the side,
toss his head, inhale,
whinny and spit.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

My Winner

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Contributor: Alyssa Jackson

- -
Before every meet,
Nauseous feelings of nervousness
Flush through his stomach quick.

He wins every race
Yet, he still gets nervous.
I admire that.

My poster in hand
Kissing him before he runs
Ready to cheer.

Always so humble
First place as I run screaming,
I'm so proud of you!

- - -
Black and Filipino descendent but has been a Polynesian dancer for over 10 years. Currently involved in the dance group named Nonosina which has a dance focus of ori Tahiti.

Seasonal Regret

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Contributor: Michelle Tolentino

- -
It began in spring
When branches began blooming
Purple and yellow

Then along came fall
Another leaf on the street
Stepped on and beaten

The end of winter
Frozen and in shock at who
This boy had become

Finally summer
Free and on break from him and
his abusive bonds

The cycle restarts
Comes spring, fall, winter, summer
And we stayed over

- - -
Cerritos High School.


| Filed under

Contributor: Jonathan Kim

- -
You taught me that I shouldn't hide.
That I shouldn't be ashamed,
that I need to be proud.

When I am with you
all I can do is smile,
because your presence is enough for me.
When it's just the two of us,
the world disappears.
When you talk,
nothing else matters.

You tell me your troubles and worries
and I tell you mine.
Your laugh is all I need to hear
to know the day will be fine.

I tell you everything, except one thing.
I love you.
I'm too scared to tell you,
Scared of what you'll say.
If I told you how I felt, how would you react?
I hate not knowing but I love wondering.

Some day I will have the courage to confess
But until then, I will love in silence and wait.

- - -
After his fight with cancer, Jonathan Kim looks for new hobbies to enjoy life. He has been writing short stories and poems for almost a year now.

Questions and Colors

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Contributor: Lydia Law

- -
I want to know if you prefer coffee or tea,
beach or forest,
rain or shine,
or what your favorite color is.
You ask these questions to show your interest

So I start with the simple stuff ,
"Do you understand the homework assignment" ?
It’s all I can mutter.
I know I'm not going anywhere with you,
if I can't ask you these simple things.

When I strike the nerve to ask your favorite color,
you say blue.
Blue is so you,
never bland.

You asked why I asked this question,
and I couldn't reply, because
when I think of colors I think about your lips
and how they are like the perfect arch of a rainbow.
I imagine your rainbow arched lips colliding with mine
sending shivers and shades down my blank body.

You haven't asked me what my favorite color is
but I know what my answer would be.

- - -
Lydia Law was left on a park bench in China as a baby and adopted so she now lives in Southern California. She enjoys real strawberry lemonade and colored skies.

Father’s Day

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
In this house
even the bathroom’s
a place of no peace.

I huddle there Sundays
enthroned with whatever
they’ve left of the paper.

Off the door, the great blitz:
rubber balls, little fists,
soles of bare feet.

Unamused, still perusing,
I sit there refusing
to vacate my sanctum.

Blitz your bare feet!

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Machu Picchu

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Contributor: Isabella Vasquez

- -
I look down at my sky blue sneakers
on the ancient steps of Machu Picchu.
The stones pile high covering the sun
Like a dark cloud.

The river runs along the edge of the cliff
as If it were a part of a dream.
There's an energy that vibrates from the rocks to me,
Resting in my bones, whispering secrets from the past.
A past that chose a lone traveler,
The intricate ruins that once were homes
Make my heart beat like a ritual drum.

The mountain's shadow rests on my shoulders,
mist rolls in.
A city that once was a secret
becomes hidden again.

- - -
Isabella Vasquez lives with her three dogs in Los Angeles, who she writes short stories for. She likes to surf and explore the world on her free time.


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Contributor: Alexis Avila

- -
Our love is out of tune like an old piano
but it plays a wonderful melody.
The way our broken hearts came together
to make a beautiful mosaic
is something I will never forget.
I can feel your big brown eyes
on my body
when I’m not even looking at you.
The way your heartbeat feels
when you lay next to me
sends shivers throughout my whole body.
You smell like the ocean breeze
on the night you first kissed me.
I still remember the way you looked at me
as if you were looking at the world.
I could see the stars in your eyes
and the flush in your cheeks.
And sometimes I sit and wonder
just how we came to be
so I replay it all over again
and it’s even better than
the first time.

- - -
Alexis Avila has seven cats and collects greeting cards. She loves the sound of rain and violins. She can be contacted at


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Contributor: Sami Leung

- -
You transport me.

To other dreams, other planets,
other places of existing that I didn’t know existed;
you show me all the wonders of worlds of fantasy and reality,
I travel there with you, and we adventure together.

You transport me.

I love the way you fit in my palms,
how you just open up when I stroke your spine,
and how your tales and style can bring up my mood from depressed to euphoric,
Or from confused to delighted, and leave me wanting more.

You transport me.

I daydream about those silent, stolen times,
when we huddle together in a corner, me finding an escape from life in you,
secret getaways that we hide from our peers and parents,
I love those moments; they are the best moments in all the best ways.

You transport me.

Sometimes you put up a cover, a façade,
but that is just another part of you that I adore;
I am not daunted. I find your true worth and meaning behind
the summarizing words people try to drape on you.

You transport me.

The comforting weight of you in my backpack is a reminder
of the alone time we’ll spend together when I reach home;
your flat, slender figure rests on my desk like an invitation
to dive into your pages and plots and personalities.

You transport me.

When I’m with you, my imagination has no limits,
Each of your beautifully inked words race through my brain,
Opening paths to strange new lands and entrancing landscapes
Putting you down is the hardest part of our story.

You transport me.

- - -
Sami Leung lives in Cerritos, CA with her pet snake named Elvis who she is trying to teach how to sing.


| Filed under

Contributor: Nathan Thumwanit

- -
Three hundred and fifty degrees
is how hot you have to make me
Eight minutes in the oven
is all it will take to finish me up
The white cold icing on me
was just unnecessary
an insult to injury
Did all that work
to make myself appetizing
I presented myself to her
She walked up to me
pulled out a razor sharp fork
started to stab at me slowly
The first bite
she took a slice of me
Stab, Eat, Repeat
She did this slowly
until she ate me up whole
In the end I was the one consumed.

- - -
A professional daydreamer. In his free time, he enjoys baking for anyone. Aspiring dancer.


| Filed under

Contributor: Alyssa Jackson

- -
Polynesian word,
Universal meaning:
"The fire within."
The true depth of all the islands
are belittled in admiration.
To truly appreciate the culture,
one must go beyond the surface.
Not just learning how to dance,
but why dancing is an important part
of the culture.
Recognizing how it's not
just a performance but a way to tell a story.
A way to pass to stories
from one generation to the next.
Knowing the difference between
Hula and Ori.
Anyone can dance to drum beats,
Lyrics, or recite chants,
but to feel the mana,
you have to relate to the story
you are telling.
Understand the story
you are portraying.
Becoming one with the beat,
as if your heart
beats with the music.
Feeling as if you are the gods and goddesses
you are dancing to represent.
Picking the style of costume
not to look attractive,
but to embrace the subject.
The culture is beautiful,
not only the appearance of it
but the history behind it.

- - -
Black and Filipino descendent but has been a Polynesian dancer for over 10 years. Currently involved in the dance group named Nonosina which has a dance focus of ori Tahiti.

Spin As If It's The End

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Contributor: Wendy Gonzalez

- -
The music starts, and
something begins to flow through me.
The way it feels,
the adrenaline rushing through me.
The toss spinning in the air,
the perfect five rotations of my rifle.
Catching it solid,
the crowd cheers.
Yes, I think.

Making my way to my flag,
it’s as if time slows down.
Grabbing my flag,
I begin to be one with the music.
It’s no longer just colorguard and an activity,
it’s the oxygen to my lungs.
I become one with my equipment,
then, the song comes to an end.
I smile at the crowd,
breathing heavy, mouth dry
as if I walked through a desert.
The audience roars,
the gym shakes,
I breathe it all in.

- - -
Wendy Gonzalez will be graduating this year with her work featured on Eskimo Pie. Her hobbies consist of eating, shopping, and colorguard.

Coming Back

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Contributor: Kasey Cordova

- -
We move in,
removing you,
taking advantage of you,
destroying you.

But here,
in the vast green expanse
of a concrete river,
grass and trees
retaking their place.

You fight back.
Taking over buildings,
pulling down bridges,
reclaiming what’s yours.

You inch back,
creeping into places not touched
in weeks, months, years.

Once again,
we can know
the beauty of nature.

- - -
Kasey Cordova lives in Cerritos, California where she enjoys imagining her life as a movie flashback. Her work has also been featured on

The Copyreader

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
for Ulrich, Copy Chief
The Chicago Sun-Times

I have been here a month,
sitting in a circle with others,
reading copy and writing heads.
Today I'm convinced
crime in the streets
will never stop
as long as
someone can write
and someone can read.
I spell "ukulele" for Ulrich
and a strange continent of sweat
breaks out
on the back of my shirt.
"It's as big as Australia,"
says Ulrich.
At that moment I know
I'm letting another July
die in Chicago.
reading copy and writing heads.

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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Contributor: Brittney Freeman

- -
I love you
for all the small things.

For all the times I've watch you spray perfume upon your wrists,
and you rub them onto your beautifully
sculpted collar bones,
the sweet aroma of sugar apples enlighten my senses each morning.

For every ending of a volleyball game that you race down the bleachers,
to latch your slim arms around my torso
and say "good game", win or lose.

For all the countless mornings you come into my room
and cuddle up behind me.
The way you lightly tug your cold finger tips at my earlobes
till I wake up,
bringing chills to my body,
something that annoys me deeply but I would miss terribly.

For every time I become terrified of the surroundings of the world,
I again am your scared little girl,
and helplessly clutch onto the back pockets of your Levi Strauss denim.

Your the person there
to caress me and cry with me,
through every heartbreak.
You're the person who
dances around your room every morning
listening to Rod Stewart's
"This Old Heart" as you get ready for work.
Your the person who will
never manage to lose a place in my heart.

I love you
for all the small things.

- - -
Brittney Freeman lives in Cerritos, California where she writes poems and short fiction. When she is not writing, you can find her at the beach playing volleyball. Her work appears in Eskimo Pie.


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Contributor: Krystian Bagunu

- -
I remember when you took
your first shot. It hit you like a
bullet straight to the chest and
you coughed and cringed and
chugged down two more.

You laughed and looked at
me like the world was on fire.
My lips met yours and it was you
that set my body

I remember when I told you
I’m broken. I said it jokingly
but meant every word and
you smiled and laughed and
said, “I’ll fix you.”

You tried but there were
too many pieces and too little
time and I guess you got tired
so you went home and
called it a day.

I haven’t heard from you since.

- - -
Krystian Bagunu is a movie fanatic working at his local movie theater. When he's not making popcorn, he's writing poetry or hanging out with his friends.


| Filed under

Contributor: Taylor Harrison

- -
I hunger for understanding,
I am left starving.
Strong, barely controllable,
desire for wisdom is heavy on the mind.
How was this created?
Who did it?
Unanswered questions are seared onto a restless brain.

Knowledge loves to taunt at 2 a.m.
leaving me with tired eyes and strained hopes.
Information is tangible,
living in books, experiences, talks.
But without comprehension
I am left in the same state.

Intellectual conversations spark my mind,
mysteries of the world awe and perplex me.
My mind craves to know the Universe’s secrets.
As much as I want to know
all I am allowed to do is sit,
appreciating the beauty bestowed unto this world.

- - -
Taylor Harrison attends CSULB next fall. When she is not journaling, sleeping, or eating she is making homemade beauty products in her kitchen in hopes to one day become a holistic dermatologist.

A Work of Art

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Contributor: Gia Razo

- -
bet your mother still remembers
molding you in her womb,
giving you the thick devil brows,
that lifts when you witness
another man taking a glance at me.
she puts you together, like a mosaic
of her past lovers’ limbs, but only of Bobby’s,
she plasters a broad smile on your face
on top of a sturdy physique with brawny arms
that gives me the comfort I yearn for.
and those deep brown dough eyes so divine,
who see nothing but good in me.
she created a masterpiece.

- - -
Gia Razo is a writer that hopes to major in Kinesiology and become a Sports Medicine Doctors for the National Football League. She loves to serve seniors their cup of coffee and tea after school at multiple senior homes and listen to their stories. She's a humble person, with a smiling face. She can be contacted at

Northward, (Not So) Thrilling

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Contributor: Steve Isaak

- -
itchy creepy caressing
arachnid draglines
fell from night black thread-cocoon trees:
spiders, subtle bites
on a fatigued trek:
hour three
won’t hire an expensive dread-of-night cab
miles to go
till shower, bed
spider nightmare dawn
the soft flesh tickle of quick-scurry legs

- - -
Steve Isaak, a.k.a. Nikki Isaak and Chuck Lovepoe, is the author of several poetry anthologies.

Elements of a Lost Love

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Contributor: James Arrington

- -
I need some water
for the cracked and thirsty lips
you've left high and dry.

Your kiss was like fire:
warming, comforting at first,
but now I'm left scorched

by dreams of the wind
your breath left across my neck
when you said good bye.

The earth we once shared
is now nothing but old rocks
aged like our lost love.

- - -


| Filed under

Contributor: Penelope Yagake

- -
There you were,
a place of hope and opportunities
amidst my sea of fear and loneliness.
You lent a hand to take off the luggage
weighing me down into the depths,
and you saved me.

You led me
amidst rocky roads and fragrant flowers,
through winding paths that crossed forests and deserts.
You showed me who you are.

I was encompassed and captivated
by your voice,
your native song,
singing in the air.

You’re the one I put my trust into
like a sailor who depends on his ship
or a passenger on a plane
or a person sitting in his house

There is no need to be afraid
of rough, violent waters,
or overbearing storm clouds.
To me, there is no better place to be
than here.

With you, I’ll always say,
“I’m home.”

- - -
Penelope Yagake writes poetry and short stories from her home where she lives with her beloved cat. When she is not writing, she draws and creates digital art. Her work has appeared in Eskimo Pie and Fifty Word Stories.

Our Keeper

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Contributor: Jasmine Wilson

- -
Passion has vivacity in Death,
and Death resonates in passion.
She is a considerate woman,
beholding gifts for everyone.
They are treasures
that Life could never offer.

She is upon all of us,
arriving in the form of an angel.
Her wings are pitching black
in the youth of night.
She murmurs lullabies
of a better life, and
her velvet wings deliver us from evil.

Death is a persistent goddess,
it is impossible, unfeasible to resist her conquest.
She is absolute.
Our souls will remain with her,
becoming the jewels in her crown.
Her kiss is inevitable,
an enticing craft that captivates our simplistic minds.
We will never be worthy of her touch.

She is a time-warden,
jingling the keys to our destiny,
and she is passionate enough to dwell
in our caskets along with us.
When we are buried,
she keeps us warm,
as the cold ground swallows our remains.

- - -
Jasmine Wilson loves running through the woods with animals, as an animal. She is a lone wolf. She is an artsy city girl who tries her hardest to withdraw from reality, and her addictive personality drags her closer towards abstracts and daydreaming.
Jasmine has a desire for digital arts and animation, somewhere in that field. She is searching for colleges and hopes to get help in college-prep in order to achieve greatness. Jasmine will continue to write tiny novels to pass the time.


| Filed under

Contributor: Natalie Wallace

- -
My veins are paths of fire,
ignited by rushing blood.
My chest is a pounding beat,
the unsteady rhythm of you and me.

We twist, we turn,
we fuse, we mesh.
A tangle of limbs,
and gasps for breath.
Greedy hands,
pushing and pulling,
I’m left wanting more.

Little by little,
pieces of me are gone,
broken off and shoved away.
But I am filled again,
with his jagged edges,
pierced in my arms, in my chest,
and past my trembling lips.

- - -
Natalie Wallace's work has appeared on Eskimo Pie. She is a cheerful spirit who enjoys reading, writing, and drinking Jasmine tea. If there is a place with good music, you’ll most likely find her there.

Seeds and Stumps

| Filed under

Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
The days fade away
Like remote stars
Lost in diminishing orbits

Whose brilliance decays
As if they were light bulbs
Born to burn out without warning

I see it in the eyes
Of children who believe
They will live forever

Who in too brief a time
Become bent and bitter
As their candles battle the wind

And as scholars debate
Whether the story of the world
Will end in victory or defeat

Flowers wither and fall
From too little rain
Or maybe from too much

- - -
Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.


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