The Four Horsemen

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Contributor: Iana Delapaz

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One rides, bow in hand
and a crown upon his head,
his aim to conquer.

Another appears,
with the power to wage war
and a fiery steed.

Yet a third comes by,
a pair of scales in his grip;
hunger plagues the earth.

Atop a pale horse,
the last rider approaches,
and Death is his name.

- - -
Iana Delapaz is a lover of all things hamster and is the owner of one named Sachi. Her favorite color is blue but she owns a lot of pink items. To combat boredom, she enjoys doodling and singing while playing her ukulele.

Monks in the Orchard Picking Peaches

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Young monk
and old monk
in the orchard
picking peaches,
sunny and plump,
ready for canning.

Carrying bushels
to the wagon cart,
the young monk
asks the old monk
what to look out for
when growing old.

The old monk
pauses and says
not much.
Life stays the same
for the most part.
Monks work and pray
but an old monk
works slower and
prays faster.

But not to worry,
the old monk advises.
He admits he's
going deaf
but that's just
an inconvenience
since God uses
sign language.
Peaches like these
have no need to talk.

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


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Contributor: Claire

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Growing up, I loved the color of seafoam green-defined as:
the color of water, except in a visible form.

The beautiful, Pacific waves and the memories made
in the ocean, brings me nostalgia of the fun times I had.

I was raised up with water, it became my third parent
always with me, and my second sibling.

Seafoam green reminds me of the first few times I went swimming
and I pretended to have powers like Poseidon;

Reminds me of when I was still scared of drowning, and placed
all my faith in the lifeguard jackets that helped me stay afloat.

Reminds me of the times I spent, sportively spraying water-guns
with my neighborhood friends in the hot, summer afternoons.

Or when I helped my anxious three year-old preschool students
slide down miniature water slides at church.

Or when my mother, sister and I
dunked our cold feet in a tub of hot water.

Or when my family visited Zion National Park, to rest our feet
in the refreshing rivers, and where I realized the environmentalist in me.

Growing up, I loved the color of my choice, seafoam green,
which was influenced through my interconnection with water.

- - -
Claire finds joy in actively voicing her opinions that challenge the societal norm. Mother nature never ceases to leave Claire breathless. She wishes most for time to stop when she spends time with her friends.

Five Haikus

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Contributor: Janea Dominique

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New Holiday

We put up the tree
cheer gives way to a silence-
but our star is gone.


A small fluffy brush,
brown colors blend and sparkle-
one finished eye pops.


Unwanted tears fall,
the cold air bites at my cheek-
its warm in her arms.

Camp Counselor

Tomato red skin
kids running through the sprinklers,
nothing beats my job.


Salty, soft and pink,
came so far on your journey-
don’t die young salmon.

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Janea Dominique is an adrenaline junkie who sneaks into abandoned asylums and rides dirt bikes in the desert. She also is a homebody, often curled up on the couch with a cup of tea in her lap and a Disney film playing on the TV.


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Contributor: Christie Kim

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How many times must you be reminded to hurry up?
Mom’s car is gone.
She drove off,
without you.
Don’t you dare make that pouty face.
She doesn’t hate you.
Yes, your sister is with her;
don’t read into it.
She doesn’t love her more.
She doesn’t hate you.
Calm yourself and dial your mother now,
there’s a reason she gave you that phone.
She just forgot you.
Although you’re baffled,
don’t show your tears
because there are bigger things in life,
to cry about.
Just let it pass;
it’ll become a moment to laugh about,
later on.
What are you waiting for?
Quit stalling and call mom,
I promise,
she doesn’t hate you.

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Christie Kim thinks that the sun will make her taller. She stands outside hoping for inches, but only comes home as red as a tomato. She needs to realize that photosynthesis isn’t her forte.


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Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

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the time when cars pause longer at stop signs
cats are a glide of shadow by the fence
and I wait wait for darkness

in which I can hunt new wisdoms
that rise and drift into knowledge
become words I will try out over coffee
next morning and wonder if what I learned
during the half-light of yesterday
is truth or imagination to be painted on canvas
or written into a poem though I would lose
the inflow of mist and the half-seen owl that blinks
while I pass as a spectre among street lights

- - -
JOANNA M. WESTON. Has had poetry etc. published for twenty-plus years. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes', published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications, 2016.

Hope and Mr. Neery

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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I saw Mr. Neery,
ninety if a day,
wobbly on his walker

on his way to Sunday Mass.
He won't accept a ride,
insists on walking.

He's easy to spot,
a St. Louis Cardinals fan
in a bright red jacket

and a Cardinals cap
that halts a hurricane
of snowy hair.

It's his first Mass
since burying his wife
a month ago when

someone lent him
a black suit to wear.
Now he's in red again,

a sign of hope,
even if he's bent over,
his humped back a

question mark growing.
But he's no different now
than he was before.

He still comes to Mass
like everyone else
looking for the answer

and to pray for the Cardinals
who play the Mets
at 1 o'clock this afternoon.

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

Sweet Sorrow

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Contributor: Patricia Santillan

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I am a midnight blue of the lost hour,
a company to those that can’t sleep.

I am a sunny yellow of the afternoon,
the energy for those that need it.

Arms that are used for close embraces with another
can also push them far away.

Ears that are used for listening to the beauty of songs
can also hear the terrifying screams of anger.

Eyes that are opened wide to look for wonder
can also be closed to stop cries.

Just like Pandora’s Box, I keep my evils locked away.
However, someone will eventually open them up.

A person who is calm and collected
can also be an irrational radical.

A person who is full of innocence
can also be corrupted by sin.

I am a midnight blue of the found hour,
helping the sleepless into their slumber.

I am a sunny yellow of the afternoon,
burning those under my rays.

- - -
Patricia Santillan speaks multiple languages. She is a lover of Greek mythology because there has to be more than what she learned in Catholic school. Her last publication can be found in the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans from when she was nine.

In The Quiet Moments

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Contributor: Stacy Maddox

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In the quiet moments
Buried in the depths of darkness
You are right there beside me
Surrounding my every sense
Whispering your truths from lover's lips

My soul is at peace with yours
Reassured of the promises made
From the man who cradles this heart
Never to let it slip away and break
I have needed you for so long

You speak my very name
It is the sweetest sound
Of love I have ever known
A fire burning so brightly
The beacon to call home

One with you, in harmony
Feeling your presence on the wind
Taking me higher and higher
I close my eyes and I am there
Wrapped inside your golden wings

You are all that I know
Taking me to those places
That only dreamers have seen
A song playing low and slow
Collected in the memories of our story

In the quiet moments...

- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams, tends her gardens and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS, USA. Indulging her time in the outdoors, connecting with nature, walking the Kansas River trails and discovering new photo opportunities, is one of her greatest pleasures in life. Stacy has been published in over 25 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Leave Me

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Contributor: Shawn Chang

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With a jar of feathers and tar in the lorn lands, the farthest star,
Thou the sick and sinful thief count thy so many a captur’d heart.
Running about with brine and knife, salting deep wounds and steering strife,
Bringing Death to those still in life by tearing their souls apart.
Turn to me not, I impart.
Leave. Depart.
We part.
Should have done so at the start.

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Shawn Chang is a 16-year-old writer. His poems have appeared in several anthologies. A horror story of his is set to be published on Hallowe'en.


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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

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The sun will always die
whenever faith in its light is lost

and now I have gone blind
without the vision of love
that left a beam in my eye

As the smoke from my cigarette
drifts through the air
I am reminded
how all things in life
eventually disperse

including the love
that once carried
promises of eternity

- - -
Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and books can be found.

Pushed Aside

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Contributor: Carolyn Morales

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I am sunshine yellow,
only focusing on the bright side.
What else can I do,
when I’m always shoved to the side.

I never get the spotlight,
no matter how hard I try.
My dream is to be
as known as Leonardo DiCaprio.

It’s not easy being a twin,
especially when I’m always the runner-up.
I am a yellow rose,
that refuses to stand behind.
I won’t stand behind the red roses
my mom gives my sister.

I shine in my own way,
it’s just never good enough.
I’m proud of being different.
There can only be one winner.

When we were younger,
we tickled, teased, and tackled each other.
Now that we are older,
we shun, shout, and shut each other up.

I love her but the longer I’m in her shade,
the more I want to shine in my own sunshine yellow.

- - -
Carolyn Morales enjoys spending her afternoons with her neighborhood cats. During her free time she likes baking cookies with her identical twin sister.

The Island

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Contributor: Michael Serrano

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My mind is an island,
Separated from continents by a sea
so treacherous that only a few can cross.

Inhabited by haunting hatred,
hiding from the world,
the Island stands alone.

During the day a storm rages,
battering the bitter earth below,
but at night, calm surrounds.

Searching for connection.
Searching for peace.
Searching for hope.

The land, desolate and dead,
like the fallout from a nuclear explosion,
broken buildings, broken boats.

As if it were the city of Atlantis,
lost, the cost too great for those who wish to stop,
feeding the constant feeling of abandoning.

Maybe one day a raft can be built.

- - -
Michael Serrano has been to nine countries that are not his home, such as Mexico and Slovenia. When he isn’t cruising the globe, he can be found playing games with friends or battling with family for the last slice of cake. An avid sports fan, he never misses any Anaheim Ducks games, attempting to get tickets however he can.

Stage 3

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Contributor: Ariana Gonzalez

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Stage 3

Don’t try to save your abuelito.
In eighth grade he will move in with you.
Mom will try to downplay the situation.

Your family will try to leave you in the unknown,
yet that isn't for long because you find out abuelito has stage 3 cancer.
The hospital will be your school after school.

After two years of surgeries and doctor visits you will spend winter break with him in Mexico.
On January 4, 2014, you will experience the worst pain ever imaginable.

One day he will suddenly collapse, you won't know what is going on until you see abuelita burst out into tears.
In that moment you realize abuelito is dying.

Numerous failed attempts will result from you trying to open the oxygen tank.
Don’t try it, your mind will be blocked.

Eventually you give up, but it won’t matter anymore.
Sit by your abuelito and ease him into a better place.
The tears he will shed when you say you love him will be heartbreaking.

For years you will feel guilty everyday of your life.
Thinking that you could have saved him.
Deep down you know his passing was inevitable.

Don’t try to save abuelito, don’t feel guilty for his passing, and cherish every memory.
Most of all don't be sad, he is looking over you from heaven.

- - -
Ariana Gonzalez was born with six fingers and ever since has known her right hand from her left. When she isn't learning the anatomy of the human body, she is putting together the complex pieces of puzzles. One of her obsessions include binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.


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Contributor: Sophia Virdi

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Don’t mistake his smile
for a suicide note.
You are traumatized
by the passing of a former classmate.
You now believe every smile
is owned by someone that
practices tying knots
in their free time.
You now believe that
it’s your job to be
the light at the end of everyone’s tunnel.
You can’t carry that weight though.
Back away from the computer
and don’t write that letter to his sister.
It will only end in an angry
drunk text from him
and you crying yourself to sleep.
Pick up the phone
and talk to him.
You will find that his smile
is very much alive.

- - -

It All Just Happened

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Contributor: Samantha Serrano

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She was just a friend
yet became so much more.
Sit back and wonder;
if she will be with you again,
if she will finally leave you,
or if you will finally walk out of her life.

A fickle young thing,
playing hard to get has never been her strength.
She wants everything on her own terms.
Ambitions and work hide her
perhaps purposefully and perhaps not.

You hope one day she becomes
What you know she can be,
And yet you dread that very moment
for it means you won't be in her life.

- - -


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Contributor: Joanna M. Weston

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this complete alphabet
from ankle to zygoma
lacks but one letter
contains hand quadriceps
liver and xiphoid process
with everything between

my anatomy embraces
any turn of phrase
until all is said
except the question

that important missing y

which signs its way
into my life story
complete with spine & head

- - -
JOANNA M. WESTON. Has had poetry etc. published for twenty-plus years. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes', published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications, 2016.

Transcended Enigma

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Contributor: Brittany Liu

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The salty breeze evokes the happiest memories.
Reminiscing to when the sand and sun sang to me.

Like Poseidon, I rule over the depths of sea-
a sea of memories, thoughts, and dreams.

My heart a pastel cloud
and my mind a neon sky,
with dreams only attainable with Jacob’s ladder.

My wayward walk renders me wrothful like an obstinate wave.
Clear ocean waters make up seventy-two percent of me.

I am the sun
I am the sand.
I am walking water.

As I stroll on the shores of a sparkling sea,
I speculate about my future and what I aspire to be.

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Brittany Liu fears tomatoes. When she has free time, she builds dog houses for homeless dogs or she is at the beach with her own dog.


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Contributor: Stacy Maddox

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Please be mine and set me free
Let truth fall, from whispering lips
Unveil the way you covet solely me
In a caress of longing fingertips

Keep me close with the awakening of dawn
Murmur dark secrets, kiss me with fire
Weaken my senses, until I am gone
Tantalize my needs with every ounce of desire

Blazon my dewy skin with a slow hand
Leave a burning trail where bliss explores
Your pleasure is only my greatest demand
Falling as a feather, suspended over the floor

Tempt me over and over, from my liquid dreams
Tangled in white linen and gossamer pillowslip
Dancing languidly between slanted moonbeams
Quivering breathlessly where passions drip

Seduce me...

- - -
Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist and artist, living in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS USA. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the water rush over her feet while spending time with her family and friends. Stacy has been published in over 20 books, print magazines and websites.

My Scars and Ashes

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Contributor: Jupe Odom

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Through time and night
my hands have lined
cut and scarred
with all the shards
of all the futures
I tried to build
all the dreams
that shattered
while I held them
so delicately
so delicately.

All I have is ashes
wrists seized in chains
I took on willingly
I could do no better
I could never do better
no matter how hard
I dream.

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French Fries, Tater Tots, Potato Chips

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Contributor: Jahnavi Shah

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My mother holds out a potato,
freshly washed.
I grab it from her,
and feel the various curves
that remind me of myself.

The shade of the potato,
is similar to that of my skin tone.
The individual peels
Resemble each wild curl on my head.

I grab a knife and slice the potato.
The long strips,
hint at my height.

I grab a handful and dump them into the oil.
Immediately, they change into crisp chips.
The versatility of this valuable vegetable,
implies my astonishing ability to adapt.

- - -
Jahnavi Shah’s perspective is generally influenced by the ocean and summer weather due to her residence in sunny California. She is a swimmer because the ocean flows through her veins. In her free time, Jahnavi enjoys traveling and cliff jumping.

Language of the Xylophone

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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If a man lives
with a woman
long enough
it doesn't matter
what she says.
She can say anything
and she may,
barring chronic

What matters is
the xylophone she plays
when she says it.
Tones can range
from dulcet to
depending on her goal.

Tones can tell him
if the sun
shines on him at
the moment or if
Hurricane Jane is
swirling toward him
from across the table

so every man
must learn
the language of
the xylophone.
But above all
every man
must never marry
any woman who
plays the tuba.

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

A Call to Action

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Contributor: Jared Wun

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Power comes to those
Whose will burns brighter than fire
Like lightning, it strikes

Strength is then showcased
Impressing those around them
Solely for self gain

Then tragedy comes
Bringing with it destiny
A call to action

Risen from despair
A man searches for justice
A hero is born

- - -
Jared is an aspiring rapper and Hip-Hop artist who enjoys writing the occasional poem. When he is not spending time writing or producing music, he reads comic books and doodles on Post-It notes. He dreams of one day receiving a Grammy nomination/award for Best Rap Album.

Five Funny Haikus

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Contributor: Dev Bhatia

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Read the news just now.
Said it was going to rain.
I forgot my coat.

Light travels faster
than sound. Don’t judge until they
open their big mouth.

It’s not rocket science.
Just read all the instructions.
I threw them away.

I cough and sniff now.
I get the flu pretty soon.
But, ice cream I eat.

Scream and shout out loud.
People look at you with disgust.
It’s a library.

- - -
Dev Bhatia is a science fiction fanboy and “We need to go to Mars” ambassador. Also a basketball card collector, his memorabilia ranges from the golden Jordan Era to new school rookie cards. When not writing, he enjoys making robots and cheering on his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Constant Dinosaur

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Some day soon
Wall Street giants
will walk on their hands

never sit or sleep.
They will eat
with their feet

as nostrils drip
and neckties droop.
With toilets extinct

they will launch
missiles that blot out
the sun and moon

while in the dark
the constant dinosaur
of greed will roam

the avenue and eat
the little people
one chomp at a time.

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

No Ordinary Rose

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Contributor: Gina Grace Huh

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My father was the first man to give me a red rose,
a small bud with thorns.
He told me, this is his love.

The deep crimson shade will always be
the unknowns and the mysteries love has stored.

The young rose will always be
who I am to him, his little girl.
The small but sharp thorns will always be
the imperfection and pain that comes with love.

But through the years, he clipped each and every thorn off
reminding me his love was perfect and pure.
Slowly but surely, the rose soon stood upon a stripped stem.

The thornless rose continued to grow
because of my one and only protector.
He told me, this is his love.

- - -
Gina Huh is a tireless homebody who often loses track of time getting lost in new books. She loves to go on hikes and take in the beauty of SoCal.

Broken Branches

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Contributor: Patriz Daroy

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Potted and cared for
The small seedling germinates
Nurtured as a bud

Watered, protected
But given room to mature
Bolstered by its roots

Small, colorful leaves
Attracting devil’s insects
Harming the tree’s health

Dead limbs are pruned off
Making more room to blossom
Growing with its faults

- - -
Patriz Daroy has never stepped out of the country but is an avid travel enthusiast through her Pinterest travel board. When she isn’t updating the latest version of her recent coding applications, she is at her local coffee shop customizing rudimentary objects with her hand lettering. She loves munching on a bag of Hot Cheetos as an award for her morning jog.


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