One Truth

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Contributor: Stacy J Maddox

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I was the one to love her then
As long as she was here
Holding her close, touching her skin
For all those lonesome years

I tried to show the many ways
She made my life whole again
Even on the darkest of days
She was my love, my best friend

But when Fall came back around
She said she was just too tired
There was no more love to be found
I wasn't the man she now desired

I still remember the look in her eyes
When she finally told me the truth
Standing in the doorway, saying goodbye
I was sure this time we were through

There was only sadness, written without pen
No tears were shed to slip down her face
Leaving rivers where a smile should have been
I saw then, my heart no longer had a place.


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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 40 books, print and online magazines and websites.

Honeyed Words

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Contributor: Evana Christopher

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She was fourteen
Sweet as fresh clementines
Straight A’s and Honor Roll
She had too much faith
In people she barely knew

He whispered honeyed words in her ear
She now choked on menthol smoke clouds
Strawberry Smirnoff rushed through her veins
The backseat of his white Pontiac
Became a sudden safe haven
He gave her absolutely everything
That she didn’t need

Her body became an instrument she let others play
In hopes of forgetting he left her
The closest feeling to the taste of him
Was when she kissed the lips of a red solo cup
Longing for the terrible sting of his cheap cologne
She once hated

She tried to forget him
But at fourteen he left her hopeless
With nothing else to remember


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Sudden Screeches

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Contributor: Jake Newton

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On the night of April 14, 1912,

a man sat in a silk stitched chair

staring at the suspended ice in his glass of scotch,

waiting for business to come out of a colleague’s mouth.

While men talk about money,

women stare into the dark, icy waters

laughing at their drunken friends

kicking the block of ice on the deck.
In the cabins below the thick layers of metal,

warm mothers tuck their kids into rented sheets

calming the children of their fears of drowning in the dark.

Immigrants sit in the ballroom dreaming of New York,

dreaming of a new and better life!

The perfect evening, just as the one prior!

The speaker in every room let out sudden screeches,

stopping every laugh,

waking every body,
Injecting icy fear into every heart.


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Sleep Paralysis

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Contributor: Danielle Shafer

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They whisper my name twice
into my right ear
waking me into terror
two presences at the foot of my bed
watch me, paralyze me,
my neck strains to turn
my throat strains to scream
through the paralysis
but nothing comes.

Released, my heart beats
like the pounding of my footsteps
I’ve stopped looking for them
throughout my house, intruders
of my mind, the house empty
except for my searching.

With each mention to a friend,
explanation to a parent,
the presences arrive more often,
seizing my body, cementing the questions
in my mouth. My heart beats harder
every time and I am almost convinced
that we will explode.


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YOU AND I

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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You and I will have our dreams together
See the world as pink and green together
Knowing that we’ll always be together
Feel the morning, rise upon us
Hold the feeling, all wet with dew.

You and I will spend our days together
Moving right on through the maze together
Playing games and making plays together
Happy endings, ever after
Like a story, we’ll spend our lives.

With time for holding you
And time for loving you
We’ll make our dreams come true
You and I.


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Bruce Levine is a native Manhattanite who lives with his wife, actress Lydia Franklin, and their dog Daisy. He’s spent his life as a writer and a music and theatre professional. His shows have been produced in New York and around the country and his writings have been published widely including in Brimfield Publications, Heuer Publishing, Rodale Press, Every Writer, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Friday Flash Fiction, Visitant, Grey Sparrow Journal, WestWard Quarterly, Leaves of Ink, Eskimo Pie, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Bookends Review and Literally Stories.

We Invisible

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Contributor: Rhonda Johnson-Saunders

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Love
should be
more than
invisible
weak
like a dying wind
once a rush
tangible
robust
then gone

skin alive
warmed
by beams of
smiley-faced sun,
too happy
me flowing
into you
(my skin now stings
in wounded night)
soft stroke
caress of moon
arms like wings
open
adventurous spirits
risen
heights feared
love feared

history
we dare not repeat
on worn pages
crumbling
like this us
dying to be seen
eyes fixed
lost like a kiss
of summer breeze
in September

our love
dead from lips
to fingertips
failing
fading
and yet
we believed
felt motion
inside
unified
cocooned
in our selfish design

we swept
in stormy gusts
carried
weightless
lifted to
diamond-carved stars
then struck
spiraling
from highest altitudes
clouded turmoil
ashes smolder
at crash site
broken hearts
dug our graves
buried pain
in shallows

memories loosened
tuck easily into pockets
of washed-out blues
and smudged-gray days
never shared again,
we invisible


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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders is a lifetime lover of reading and writing poetry. She enjoys writing all types of poetry, especially free verse and haiku and has been published in The Heron's Nest. When not writing, Rhonda enjoys music, genealogy, travel and best of all, being a mom to her two young sons.

Six Haiku

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Contributor: Theresa A. Cancro

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magnolia bud
curled against the window
a Siamese kitten


our breaths
crossing above the path --
a meteor shower


apricot jam
on a fresh croissant --
the shop door's bell


purple martins
returning to roost –
my long to-do list


blind date –
the mosquito and I share
a Bloody Mary


cotton candy
sticks to my fingers –
summer's end


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Theresa A. Cancro writes poetry, especially haiku and related short forms, as well as short fiction and nonfiction. Her work has appeared worldwide in dozens of publications.

Seamus and the Rest of Us

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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After Reading 'Blackberry-Picking' Again

For many years
Seamus Heaney wrote
while the rest of us typed

none of us striking
keys as grand as those
in "Blackberry-Picking."

Not a sour syllable
nor bruised word
in any verse.

"Blackberry-Picking" tells
the rest of us to keep typing.
Excellence never dies

although it may not be ours.
We will hear poems
Seamus is writing now

when we sneak into heaven
and Seamus gives them to
the Seraphim to sing.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

August

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Contributor: Stacy Maddox

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This August summer's eve closed
Quickly sinking to the West
With the slanted shades swinging
In a blast of turbulent vent air
Sun peeking through the holes
Casting light shapes on the walls
Like dancing fireflies in night

Outside a whitewashed window
Dry cornfields wait for harvesting
Dust runs in circles over rock
Jumping and swirling, twisting
Like small tornadoes in a storm
Leaving behind lazy, buzzing locusts
To call to the Moon's beams.


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Stacy Maddox is a varied hobbyist & 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.

Naked

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Contributor: Gary Thomas Hubbard

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Naked we are born and naked we will die
Shame is taught and I don’t know why
Children will run free outside in the buff
They laugh and they play they can’t get enough
People are told they must keep their clothes on
Hide yourself from sight until everyone is gone
Man and woman walk this path through life
Modesty and shame as you walk on the blade of a knife
It would be nice if some day we all could be free
That would be nice, if the choice was up to you and me
Covering our bodies for someone else's shame
Doesn’t seem fair when it’s their modesty that is to blame
If child-like abandon was what we all suffered from
Then casting off our clothing would not seem so dumb
Naked we are born and naked we will die
Shame is taught and I don’t know why


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He was born and raised in Ohio, and now lives in Florida. He is married and has two children. Most important he is a Papa. He has over 20 poems on this site and one printed in "Stormcloud Poets second anthology".

THE VILLAIN IN CHARGE

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Contributor: John Grey

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She can feel the dread
of the growing tumor.
Damnable tyrant,
it assumes its throne
at the bottom of her lungs,
from there consumes.

First gingerly felt
like a pin-prick
now there is no sensation
that does not report back
to that malevolent lump for orders.

How long I watch,
await the inevitable takeover
of the body.
The self, at least,
will not buckle under
to this bully of her breathing.
Her memories seek sanctuary in her smile.

She takes my hand.
Life fights back
even when its armies are limited.
The villain is within her walls,
looting and ravaging,
By the time it's done,
it will have everything
but her.


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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Lilith's Return

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Contributor: Monica Rose

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I’ll do anything to prove to him
that I am the wickedest witch of them all.

I sensed his intentions from the start,
I had already begun to plot my revenge,

I didn’t even give you the chance
to hurt me yet...


How did I end up in the same time,
at a different place,
with a different person?
This clash to ache,
maybe I let the ghosts linger
for too long?

Karma...
I could feel her weighing heavy
on both of our ends.
She revealed our biggest wounds to each other,
and made us believe we could never be able to stop the cause of our bleeding.

Only this time feels different from the first time.
I now know you’ll keep arriving
in forms I didn’t know
I could make manifest.

That time will come
when I have completely shed this skin,
when my downfalls fall humbly.
When my ancestors give me the okay,
“you have made it right for us, too.”


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Sometimes here, sometimes there. Psychology major with an art history minor at the University of California, Riverside. Rekindling my passion for poetry one heartache at a time.

Chromatic

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Contributor: Grace Li

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The colors of childhood:
the bright yellow sunshine,
the vivid green forests.
the vibrant blue sky,
Soon faded into lackluster gray fog.
No longer in the Scheinwelt
of childish innocence,
with the herd nowhere to be found
beneath a cold, colorless sky,

I journeyed on.
Today,
the colors have become:
the radiant yellow of joy,
the deep green of ambition,
the poignant blue of sorrow.
A spectrum shifting with time.

Tomorrow,
I may see new hues
and those will be the ones
I won’t want to forget.


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Grace Li spends her summers battling mosquitoes in the mountains. She is persistent in her attempts to set the world record for eating the most muffins. At a young age she proved to be an animal whisperer when she miraculously convinced three cats to follow her home.

Six Haiku

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Contributor: Sean Lynch

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birds mate early
among wooden pillars
encircled by steel

hail mother of grass
virgin soil saturates
with cloud tears

fresh leaves mask the brown
underneath green small softness
below brittle death

the ancient tree bends
and belies a solid core
myself in reverse

the pure poet leaves
cicadas chirp in trees
in this vacant city

no memories now
umber skies and charcoal clouds
consume nostalgia


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Sean Lynch is a poet and editor who lives in South Philadelphia. You can find his work at swlynch.com

The Parish Carnival

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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That's Bernie's wife on the carousel
laughing and waving her arms.
Once again she won't get off
even though Bernie is yelling
next to the concession stand
jumping around in his wheel chair.
He's finished his cotton candy
and wants to go home.
He probably has to pee.
He never goes anywhere
except to the parish carnival.
He loves the cotton candy.
He says it's the same as when
he was a kid years ago
before he fell out of the tree.
He needs Stella more than ever now
to push his wheel chair and she does
except when she comes to the carnival
and gives old Bernie a big plume
of cotton candy and hops on the carousel
laughing and waving her arms
once a summer every year.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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