Let Her Bloom

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The first time a man meets her,
his lids flicker,
an appropriate reaction.

The first time a woman meets her,
her eyes pop out and coil on her forehead,
another appropriate reaction.

Who can blame either?
Today, who buys the canard
about the true, the good, the beautiful

in theory or in a woman?
Let them watch her as I did.
Let them frisk her for flaws

that will allow them to live
as they are, as they were,
as I was when I met her.

Till then, let her bloom
with my children
while I wonder, I try.

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

Tidal Vibes

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Contributor: Ken W Simpson

- -
Bouncing around
Getting a kick out of sound
Who was that?
No one knows
The shape of disdain
An unkind sight
The infatuation of a dream
Scenes that disappear
Boats on the beach
Water flowing
Gracefully sliding
Beneath a bridge
A deceptive theme
Bequeathed to posterity
The dawn of another day
Go away.

- - -
An Australian poet whose latest collection, Patterns of Perception, was published by Augur Press (UK) last January. He lives with his family in the state of Victoria.

A Flower From My Land

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Contributor: Kevin M. Tenny

- -
There it stands in
A sun-soaked poise.
Radiating feelings of joy
And gaiety heart.

This – This flower
So pithy in stature
And so robust
In strength. Firmly
Holding root in a soil
Of thorns and stone.

Yet, reverently it
Resists – defending with
Light. Even the darkest
Dearth of life cannot
Extinguish its message:

There it stands and
There it grows. Giving
To viewers, galvanizing

Never faltering.
Never yielding.
Glowing on and on.

- - -
I am an undergraduate engineering student seeking right brain stimulation.

Morning Dew

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

- -
Lights that sparkle on the morning dew
Reminds me of the light that shines in you
When it twinkles, your eyes turn blue
Light that brightens everyday brand new


Watching the new sun on the rise
Will you catch the liar when he lies
A new mother listens as the baby cries
She will naturely know which action is wise


Embrace with warmth a heart you love
Missed loved ones watch from up above
Handle all feelings with a kid glove
Be careful not to confuse loneliness with love


Finding it's easier to love then hate
Embrace those closest, before it's too late
Kiss the little ones, please don't wait
Life is shortened by searching for an unknown fate

- - -
I was born and raised in Ohio and now I live in Florida. I'm married and we have two children. Most important, I'm a Papa. There are a dozen poems on this site and I have a poem printed in "Stormcloud Poets second anthology".

Farther Stars Than These

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Contributor: Ramona Thompson

- -
Don't you know
No matter how far away
I will never leave you
In memory or in deed
I am there always
A part of you
Traveling the distance of time and space
To find you
To comfort and to hold you
Forever more

Though the beasts have tried
Time and time again
To come between us
It will not be
As long as my soul roams
This vast solar system
Never will you be alone
Nor afraid
For I will be there between
A barrier to hold back the damning waters
They push on you
To drown you with
In waves of lonely despair

You fight
I fight
As one
We never back down
From the forces of evil that threaten
Our love stronger by far than their hate
Never quite far enough
To catch and entrap us
We share the bonds that shall never break
No matter what they do
This interstellar love will survive

- - -
Bio-Readers/fans may find Ramona on facebook or e-mail her reddstar111@gmail.com. She has appeared in Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, Howl and many more.

Spirit of Generosity

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Contributor: Ben Riddle

- -
The spirit of generosity
came as a surprise
to my beloved

Distant as he had become
from the words
that made us
into angels;

as he had been made;
stripped of his wings,
restrained by pain;

Forgotten by everyone he’d loved;
save for God and I.

- - -
A fourth year student of Political Science and English at the University of Western Australia, Ben is a founding member of the Said Poets Society.


| Filed under

Contributor: Justin DeFerbrache

- -
You're gone.
I see that now.
You're gone.
The sun is burning me inside,
it burns to consume.
Even though it won't
I wish it would.
I'm crying.
Not because it helps
but because
there is nothing else to do.
You're gone.
I'm crying
and burning.

- - -
Justin DeFerbrache studied English Literature at a small liberal arts college in Indiana. For the past three years, he has been working as a TESOL teacher in China and exploring the Asian continent one bit at a time. He writes poetry and short fiction on the side.

The Last Unwanted Charge Of Love

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Into my chest she runs
then out the other side.
She nearly made it that time
she almost stayed inside.
But I really can’t be bothered
with bastard love and romance.
I’ve had my times of stupidity
I’ve left the idiot’s dance.
I loved so very much once
heart bigger than battleship.
But her selfish submarine
sunk our doomed relationship.
As she shuddered in laughter
I crawled off in disgrace.
Leaving pieces of a broken heart
as my only visible trace.
I hid within a cave
the cave within my soul.
Until the pain was bearable
until my mind was whole.
I came back badly stained
yet, stronger than before.
As love’s last unwanted charge
came crashing through my door.
So here I am now standing
waiting for her second try.
I fill myself with hatred
let her choke herself and die.

- - -
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.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036

Heat Wave

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Contributor: Linda B. Gamble

- -
The day cracks open
its yellow yolk, bleeds
heat to simmering earth below.

Grass crackles, prickly
brown on bare feet,
dew a distant memory.
Sky pushes down,
squeezes lungs, hangs
heavy upon our shoulders.

A finch dips to bathe, splashes
flashing golden wings, takes flight
to raspberries’ crimson crest
warbles breakfast invitations.

Midday, light show splits
the sky, rumbles resonate
with false bravado, a


sizzles -

earth sighs.

- - -

On The Other Side

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
I see the ghost of my father
Browsing through a used book store
His dead hands caressing the pages
Of a volume of timeless love poems

And I see the ghost of my mother
Travelling around the world
To places she could never visit
After her mind turned against her

And I see the ghost of my sister
Building a dollhouse of dreams
With a family that’s always happy
As if sorrow is an empty shadow

And I see the ghost of myself
Staring back at me from a mirror
To tell me that death is a doorway
To the things you longed for in life

- - -
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.

A White Dove

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Contributor: Jason Constantine Ford

- -
In early hours of a morning just begun,
A form of freedom reigns without a single speck.
From out of clouds, a dove appears below the sun
Transcending worthless values creatures wreck.
Although shadows of vice are spread across the land,
A single dove remains immune to what is bland
Or what is false as she is passing through
The air of human lies as fading residue.
Not a single word of hate can penetrate
The flight of wings resisting falsity
As she aligns herself with values straight
Across a path imbued with clarity.
High above the world, she avoids the stain
Of lies which plague the creatures who are vain.

- - -
Jason Constantine Ford is from Perth in Australia. He writes Poetry and Fiction and has over a hundred publications in magazines, ezines and journals from around the world.

I Can Buy

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Contributor: Nikhil Nath

- -
I can buy
a word of rain
I can buy
an island of blush
I can buy
a Porsche full of colors
I can buy
a window full of Alps
what I cannot buy, is
your frown changing into a smile.

- - -
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.
Allegro, Aji, Ink salt and Tears, Laughing Dog (Poem of the Month),Ehanom, Ithica Lit, Germ Magazine Leaves of Ink, Creat a poem have recently accepted his work.

My Land

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Contributor: Kevin M. Tenny

- -
I live in my own Land.
A Land aberrant to those
Of mankind, equivalent
Only to nature.

In my Land, pragmatism
Is illuminated and adored at
The commencement of the mornings rays –
Never altering, never yield,
Constantly shining.

In my Land, romanticism
Drips from the mouths
Like honey. Seeking the touch
Of another suckled lip and pining
For another breath to speak
Its sweet words.

In my Land, dreams
Of an eternal embodiment run
In abundance. Each link
A transient moment of wonder
And awe, forming a quilt
That caresses the moon and
Envies only the stars.

This is my Land.

- - -
Undergraduate engineering student seeking more than just left brain stimulation.

We Wolves

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Contributor: Jody Yoder MacMillian

- -
Maybe it's just that we wolves
Can't understand dragons
Or the ways of the efreet
Or the whispers of twitching tiger tails.

Maybe it's just that we wolves
Are meant to roam alone
Never lingering long
Never stopping for more
Than a sniff of a trail
A moment of looking back
A silent fantasy
Of what was
What might have been
Softly carried on the wind.

- - -

A Dwelling of Spirits

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Contributor: James Robert Rudolph

- -
Setting suns
turning mountains
the colors of apples,
watermelon, and
the blood of Christ.

Shadow and light
heart breakingly limned,
a painter’s aching heart.

Light so clear
you can see before, back
to the ancient ones,
the Anasazi.

The sun so warm
it can raise the dead.
The wind here is
soft with ghosts.

Jemez mountains,
made of pink clay
an aerie of hawks and thunder gods,
and the air
the tang of piñon
and yellowing aspen.

The cold, snow-melt rivers
flow through me unslowed;
dust devils twirl me
like a square dance;
my skin browning, I become
as unseen as a lizard.

For I am
the high desert of
my father, my grandmother,
the blue sky,
dry, white bones, and
rosy mud
of this place.

- - -

So Say the Dead

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Contributor: Justin DeFerbrache

- -
The road goes ever forward, it does not bend or wind.
The idle drudge of labor only pains an active mind.
When life is merely shadows of what's lost or never been
one learns to embrace the machine and kill the ghost within.
So on we press, our damned parade, machines to the machine,
the wheels must keep turning as our souls are crushed between.
Only in the darkness do we find our fast relief
but the sun is unrelenting and makes the night so brief.
Then one day, we wake to find the journey's gone halfway;
how can a road that never bends lead one so far astray?
Is there no salvation, then, no key to all our toil?
No more to us than blood and sweat to feed the threshers oil?
When the race is at an end, what will be our reward
except to know the ploughshare kills as surely as the sword?
Would damnation wait for me if I should seek release?
My feet are tired, my soul is spent, am I not due my peace?

"You say eternal torments lie beyond your mortal coil
and yet you now condemn yourself while still on earthly soil.
You feel the pool grow shallow from which you draw your breath
but those who mourn their faded youth are those who fear their death.
We do not grow weary, we have no cause for fright,
the blessed darkness hides us from the terror of the light.
The plough is driven for us, the landlord wants no tax.
The living are our servants and bare us on their backs!
And if upon that final day we rise to stand our trial
at least we will have had our peace and rested for a while.
So sleep if you are tired. If you're weary, rest your head,"
so say the dead.

One midnight, as I wandered on, the moon grew dim and black.
I came into an unknown glen that held a railroad track.
I stood beside that iron path that led I knew not where
but if there was another way, I thought, I'd find it there.
Yet as I peered into the dark, my living blood ran cold
to think upon the truths I'd find, were I to take that road.
I started back the way I came, now anxious for my bed
when all at once, the screaming of a whistle filled my head.
The night became as daylight and I cowered at what came:
a ghostly locomotive engulfed in hellish flame!
Its chimney gasping wretched smoke, its boiler fully shattered,
its side bore Shakamaxon upon a metal placard.
From the blazing carriage, a soul came, charred and black.
He begged me pardon the delay and idly waved me back.
The bare planks of the first three cars were all a burning pyre
where heads and arms hung from the ledge, made fleshless by the fire.
The souls that rode behind them yet maintained their human frame
but limbs all singed and broken, they had perished just the same.
They bid me climb aboard the train and join their company;
half the riders had survived, so I could sit for free.
"What is your destination, where does the railroad lead?"
They thought so on my question that their wounds began to bleed.
"What do you know of Heaven, where do the damned reside?"
But they could tell me nothing, except the way they died.

"We know that for the living, hope is the surest diet
and those who don't walk Heaven's way must learn to walk beside it.
We met infernal fire when we turned that fatal bend
and what we did before it made no difference in the end.
We have not stopped riding since that day upon Camp Hill,
our journey has not reached its end and likely never will.
Of the damned and of the blessed, we still have never learned,
though some of us were good, some bad, all of us were burned.
We feel no pain, we know no grief, nor are we satisfied,
we do not have the answer, still you'd better take a ride
for the path is unforgiving, and the road is hard to tread,"
so say the dead.

Our course is but a single stretch that goes from birth to grave,
time holds us in its shackles and we are all its slave.
Now the day is ending, I have nearly run my race;
the pushers take some pity and I move a slower pace.
The sun, though harsh, transfigures all: the sky and on the ground.
The rain refreshes and I find some comfort in its sound.
I never took my final leave, I did not ride the train,
I trudged the road, though often I felt lonesome in my pain.
But there were always shoulders there to grasp when I was weak;
they bore the hardships with me, my path was not unique.
Although I toiled endlessly to finish bent and poor,
I now pay heed to those around who suffer even more.
I am worn and tired, but as air yet fills my lungs,
I shall shoulder who I can in trials still to come.

"We do not bear a burden, we know no chore but sleep.
When our loved ones mourn for us, we do not cry or weep.
Our limbs are cold and useless, to whom could we bring help
except perhaps the crows and worms that feast upon our scalp?
Now we see the journey was a grind, but not so long
and when there was another there, it helped us to be strong.
We are not troubled anymore, but nor do we feel bliss;
there's nothing here to fear or find and nothing you would miss.
The grave will come and claim you, at last it shall succeed
so do not rally to it while the living are in need.
If death is but an option, I'd rather live instead."
so say the dead.

- - -
Justin DeFerbrache studied English Literature at a small liberal arts college in Indiana. For the past three years, he has been working as a TESOL teacher in China and exploring the Asian continent one bit at a time. He writes poetry and short fiction on the side.

Lady Goulds

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Moving from Chicago to Missouri wasn't easy
but breeding Lady Goulds kept me sane
for many years--well, almost.

I was writing then to make a living.
All day I'd rearrange other people's words.
I needed Lady Goulds to look at

in the evening and most weekends.
Otherwise I might have married
some nice lady for the wrong reason.

Right now, a canary helps me dance
away the years or days or hours
I have to face before

I take on a cane or walker.
The canary calls the dawn with glee.
Lady Goulds, you see, don't sing.

They don't have to.
All they have to do is sit there
as if Mondrian painted them

or God lifted a pinkie on the 7th day.
The beauty of the Lady Gould,
some say, is the result of evolution.

There was no grand designer,
most scientists maintain.
The Lady Gould is one big accident

that happened eons ago.
I find it comforting to stare at them
and know otherwise.

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

Fear Itself

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

- -
Is a man standing
On the edge of a cliff
At the mercy of the wind

Is a cat in a cage
Being taken to a place
With the stench of death

Is a tree hearing
The growl of a chainsaw
As it bites into its bark

Is a patient waiting
For his surgeon to call
To schedule the operation

Is a child running
From an angry dog
That keeps getting closer

Is a flower wondering
If it will wither in the sun
Or be drowned by the rain

- - -
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.

Empyrean Emporium

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Contributor: Ben Riddle

- -
he turns away
to face the mountains
where cold holds sway;

Lie like an artist –
raise your voice,
be who you are
make your own choice.

Just don’t change the world
and don’t make a name,
forget all your children
they’re all dead and lame;

Escape into art; run into the light
an empyrean emporium
hidden from sight.

- - -
A fourth year student of Political Science and English at the University of Western Australia, Ben is a founding member of the Said Poets Society.

Still Singing

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Contributor: E.S. Wynn

- -
Cling to the image of a moment
When the one I need
Will only be
Another she
Needing me
Another face
Another place
My heart once went
Another begging beauty
In need of bolstering
Another soul to stitch up
Send back into the struggle
Sword sharpened
Still singing.

- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of over sixty books in print and is the chief editor of Thunderune Publishing.

Someday Soon

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Someday I'll be something
Other than the outsider
Other than the one
Always coming back
Always defeated
Always shamed
Always wishing
For something more
Than a foothold
Than a moment
Clinging to nothing
Clinging to ephemera
Clinging to each vain hope
Until it crumbles to dust
Casts me back
Into swirling void.

Someday I'll be something
To all those staring souls
Trying to smile
Even as they see me
Swept away
Swept away
By currents I cannot control.

I'll find my shore
I'll find my sun
I'll find my smile
I'll find a place to stand
To come back to
To want to come back to
And I'll live
And I'll grow
And nothing will keep me
From my dream of stability
Ever again.

- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Courage up the Sleeve

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

- -
Blissed out under the sun
with a new wave forming in the distance
Ready to catch the tide
and return to the conscious space of pure thankfulness

Thankful for the flow and the flux
the highs and the lows
Happy to have survived the fallout
because the grass is now getting greener

I sold my soul cheap
but was able to earn it back
through humility and surrender
to a power much greater
than any dark force or worldly institution

I gave into the desires of the flesh
thinking that vices could bring me joy
but then was shown that virtues
of the heart, mind, and soul
can always trump any negative hand on the table

Building back up after being beaten down
and looking forward to the next challenge
because it is the tests which life brings on
that help us become the best person possible
if we only are willing to face them head on with courage
and allow the lessons to truly sink in deep

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar survived both the fire and the flood...barely. Now he dances with the waves of the Tao River and laughs it all away.

In Certain Matters of the Heart

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
It's a matter of the heart,
the doctor says,
and he can fix it
with catheter ablation.
"It works miracles," he says,
"in certain matters of the heart."

He's been a cardiologist for years.
"Take my word for it," he says.
"You'll be sedated. Won't feel a thing."

No excavation in my chest, either.
Instead, he'll make little holes
in my groin and snake tiny wires
to the surface of my heart
and kill the current that makes

my heart race like a hare
at times and mope
like a turtle other times.
He's never lost a patient.
"You'll be fine," he says.
"Trust me."

Nine out of 10 ablations work.
I'll save hundreds a month, he says,
on medications. No more Multaq.
No more Cardizem. And I'll never
have to wear a heart monitor again.

"Shall we give it a try?" he asks.
"I've got an opening
two weeks from Monday.
It's an outpatient procedure.
You'll go home the same day,
rest for a week and then resume
your usual activities, even bowling.
Do you like bowling? My nurses do.
I prefer woodcarving."

"Okay, Doc," I tell him.
"I'll give it a try, but tell me,
where were you 40 years ago
when the kids were small
and I was young, like a bull,
and a different matter of the heart
dropped me like a bullet.
Are you sure my heart's still ticking?
Where's your stethoscope?
I haven't felt a thing in years."

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

Butterfly Collection In A Glass Top Table

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Contributor: Joyce Joslin Lorenson

- -
Soft bodies transfixed,
eyes forever staring
towards a cloudless sky,
the trickle of an unseen tear,
like shimmering gems
chromatic filmy wings
motionless in putrid air
without perfume or petal,
stricture of glossy veins,
a flit stationary,
fluttering only in memory
unwarmed by slanting sunlight,
lifeless yet
below the glass
death is beautiful.

- - -

A Guiding Hand

| Filed under

Contributor: Jason Constantine Ford

- -
Her hand is upon mine with power no other hand can evoke
As she instills a sense of smoothness which I acquaint
With the kind of genius existing in a master brushstroke
From an artist who is empowered to rule with paint.
The feel of her gentle touch is pulsating through each vein
As creative strands are emerging inside my brain.
Her hand endows me with the skill to form the trunk of a tree
With diverse strokes of brown color which blend in harmony.

As I mix blue and yellow to form the color green,
Her hand is leading mine back to the canvas as a guide.
The sight of leaves sprouting up is beauty most serene
Complimented by a set of branches which spread out wide.
With Beauty’s touch endowing me with skill I apply
Upon diverse parts of a canvas, I begin to paint the sky.
From out of a cloudless blue, the sun has now emerged
Upon a masterpiece where strands of Beauty have converged.

- - -
Jason Constantine Ford is from Perth in Australia. He writes Poetry and Fiction and has over a hundred publications in magazines, ezines and journals from around the world.

Best This Way

| Filed under

Contributor: James Robert Rudolph

- -
We are bees
careening in blossoms,
ecstatic as Sufi dancers.
Narcotically we thrust ourselves
through pink and red and blue cups,
lissome as Achilles.

We are high summer,
there’s time,
and we are an afternoon in June.

But it’s September now,
it’s late, the sun suspiciously
low--I noticed that. But
the sky is still blue enough,
for today, tomorrow too.

In a gust
harsh and surprising,
that’s how it will happen, quick,
and we’ll be moving on.

- - -

The Art of Killing Time

| Filed under

Contributor: Neil Fulwood

- -
Shuffle papers. Jot meaningfully on a blotter
or notepad - a quick flurry of words
punctuated by long thoughtful pauses.

Have several browsers open like the panels
in a triptych; flip between them.
Minimise and restore them in different orders.

Pull files from cabinets. Riffle through them
at length. Jot meaningfully. Take your time
putting them back. Be methodical. Be slow.

Go back through reports from previous quarters.
Shuffle papers. Pull files and compare something
with something else not remotely connected.

Dial internal numbers that don't exist. Sigh
and tut and tap a biro top on the tip of your teeth
as it takes forever for no-one to answer. Hang up.

Research something. Make use of the internet.
Have several browsers open. Toss off a comment
about time management. Take screencaps.

Jot meaningfully. Shuffle papers. Punctuate
with long thoughtful pauses. Dial internal numbers
that don't exist. Hope nobody answers.

- - -
Neil Fulwood is the author of the film studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. His poetry has appeared in various print and online journals. He's married, holds down a day job and spends his free time at the pub or the cinema.


| Filed under

Contributor: Jocelyn Mosman

- -
You are every stretch of tendon,
wrist flexed, then relaxed,
the curvature of a hand,
steady and bent.

You are brain stem activity,
words and pain both flowing
down your spinal cord
until it is too hard to write.

You are mouth and throat,
soft spoken and fragile,
swallowing blood,
choking back heart.

You rely on the body:
hand to write,
spine to stand,
mouth to speak.

As you collapse inward
like a burning house,
all I can do is hold sound
the walls,

resist the destruction,
or flee.

I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.

I will guide your hand,
until words flow past
unspeakable pain
onto open page.

I will stand tall beside you,
become sturdy,
lumbar vertebrae,
help you climb and stretch.

I will give your voice legacy,
as student, as friend,
next generation of oral tradition
passed hand-to-hand like communion,

but when the house smolders,
the skeleton screams,
the joints crack.
I smell smoke.

As body relies on body,
I rely on you.

I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.

- - -
Jocelyn Mosman is a junior at Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Politics and English, but she will be attending the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK this fall. She will be competing in the National Poetry Slam this August in Oakland, CA. She has also published two volumes of poetry and is currently working on her third.


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