Friday, December 12, 2008

What the Dust Seems to be Saying - Claire Jackson

What the Dust Seems to be Saying

She sits in the house alone.
The sun trickles in, but she's always in a dark room.
Her eyes have long spent all the tears in her body.
A pain so deep her bones are weak and hurt to the touch.
A chill runs through the house and through her body,
but it doesn't matter -- she's always cold now.
She slowly closes her eyes and thinks back--
Back to a time when she smiled.
Back when the house was beautiful
and smelled of lavender and Pinesol.
Nothing was dull. Everything was in its place,
shiny and clean. Fresh flowers always on the table.
Something always baking in the kitchen
for when he'd get home.
But now -- all light, hope, and love is gone. Done.
Or at least that's what the dust seems to be saying.

The Silent Storm Inside My Arms - Ben Hedges

The Silent Storm Inside My Arms

Don't smile,
You haven't won.
My will is not dominated,
My resolve is not weakened.

You struck first,
My back now against a wall.
A cup, tipped over,
But not all of the liquid has escaped.

I pick myself up.
There is a silent storm inside my arms.
You shoved me, I should break you.
It's push come to punch in my own mind.

But I won't, because I care.

I care for the people I love,
there now, resisting my intent.

I care for my environment,
And the negative effects that would be brought upon it.

But mostly I care for you.

I have been trained many years of my life,
in ways of doing harm.
And though you have mistakenly judged this book by its cover,
it's merely a story I want you to read.
Though I am confident that your hurt would be greater than mine,
I will let your territorial pissings hold.
But don't smile,
Because I have won.

What Dead Birds Listen For - Peter Seiler

What Dead Birds Listen For

In the silence, the cold silence,
A glazed eye begins staring,
The shallow moon reflects,
Making the black pool seem alive.

There was a song before,
It went something like:
I want to live today,
For the sun is shining.

The eye can seemingly see,
But cannot possibly hear
The song that before was sung
And what dead birds listen for.

The Way the Sky Would Like to Touch the Snow - Ruth Patrick

The Way the Sky Would Like to Touch the Snow

Falling away, frozen, I think that's how it feels
sort of like your heart, I guess
when you gave up on me
last year

but I drifted down slowly, light and geometric,
scattering on the winds swirling eddies
trying, hoping against hope
to climb back up into your frozen grace

My tears
froze into spider web rainbows
on the face of the clock which counts down the time
between then and now

and now
white winter rages again
but your rage has never cooled
cold as your soul, cold as the tears I cried
when they from into frost ferns on the windshields of my eyes
rendering my sight
barred and smoky like jail room shadows
thawing slowly
in the warmth of the ashes that fall
from my cigarette's ember
like pale soft snow, swirling in my warm breath
as I blow them
away from the pages of my book.

They rise, reluctantly,
fall heavy and soft
the way the sky
would like to touch the snow
and I finally realize it really was already over
even then.

Death Trap - Cynthia Gomez

Death Trap

Can I add a minute to this day?
I've worried enough to create molecules of time.
They grow with each thing I can't control.
Reproducing faster with each debt I must pay.
They diminish with each carefree moment I have,
And keep me still from taking risks.
What Death wears,
His cloak drenched in minutes gone by
By people like me who beg for more
Let me add a minute to this day.
It will blur and slow down time
I will slowly blur down time.

What I Thought to Myself on a Dark Interstate Between One Home and the Next - Robert Tippin

What I Thought to Myself on a Dark Interstate Between One Home and the Next

In fourteen years I will be old.
I do not know what the future will hold,
When I am old,
In fourteen years.

Come find me and tell me
What it was like to be young.
But I won't remember,
For I will be old.

I am horrified,
And bitterly cold;
For in fourteen years from today,
I will be old.

The Concealed Weapon in a Smile - Mike Hodge

The Concealed Weapon in a Smile

The one that was there for you since day one,
just wanting to know,
and be helpful in every situation possible.
Grasping life at every
moment just to let it go.
Yeah, you talk a good talk but
can you walk a good walk?
Your kindness is a syndrome with no cure.
As good as you can make a person's day
It makes me realize that you have a
concealed weapon in a smile.
It has been used in many murders
but the cases always ran cold.
Trust me. I know.
The games you play will no longer exist
and I will win this battle.

In Death's Library - Cassandra Kaul

In Death's Library

There is a stillness about the room
as sunlight attempts to cut
through the layers of dust
covering books that outline
the births of nations
and the fall of empires.

It's a quiet place that holds
the secrets and stories of humanity's lifetime.
The light shifts as a cloud blocks
out the sun and there is a change
to something far more sinister. The library
becomes a macabre display of history
shrouded in pain. A table in the corner
is revealed by shadows peeling away
to show its secret.

Lying innocently on the blood red
table is a book containing a delicate
script describing the lives
and death of humanity. Each page
is a temptation, a desire to know
the end of the next life.
As the shadow steals back its prize,
the light penetrates and the haze recedes
into another library with a book lying
innocently in the corner,
in death's library.

My Heart's Narcotic - Hayley Darpel

My Heart's Narcotic

After the third or fourth break
your return slowly sickened me.
I knew you weren't the answer
but the past's relentless achings
told me otherwise.

I was young and love was
How many time would we
hurt each other before it would end?
Then you'd come back, oh so sweet,
my heart's narcotic.

I needed nothing more
with you around.
And when I
left you in the end,
our very end,
the pain couldn't be dulled.

For you made me crave you.
I thought I needed
your love to have love at all.

There are times when
I yearn for you.
But then I remind myself,
the side effects are far more
brutal than the love I got
from my heart's narcotic.

the silent storm inside my arms - Alyssa Reeves

the silent storm inside my arms

The lightning struck where thunder failed to give warning:
a harsh blow in springtime afternoons.
We are all left
with smoking trees
and towers
and TV antennas.

Where tall cliffs once stood straight and strong,
the rocks now rest in a crumbling pile.

The clouds stooped low and blinded out the sun,
so I embraced the tempest as it mutely raged.

Steaming geysers release hot streams over rolling hills;
cold rain falls on even the most beautiful of roses.
The distant quake erupts without a sound,
a shudder detectable only when you hold your breath
and feel the shifting in the gentle breeze.

The breaking heart is still the beating heart.
We’ll pray on these tears for years,
and I’ll hold tight
to the silent storm inside my arms.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How Do You Spell Love? - Mike Hodge

How Do You Spell Love?

Throughout life I always
wanted 2 know the answer
2 this question. I sometimes ask myself, "Do
people actually know how
2 spell this word?" I gave it a lot
of thought and it took me
4-ever 2 realize that,
it's not as hard as it seems.
To you it's spelled L-O-V-E. To me,
and throughout the struggles
that I have seemed to overcome,
it's spelled T-I-M-E. That's all I ever
wanted from you, and you never
gave it to me. I sometimes think about the ways
you say you loved me,
but did you actually mean it?
In today's society you must show love to get love.
The pressures that I face and
the daily struggle of your presence frightens me.
Will it ever change? I think not because
Through my whole life
the way YOU spelled love . . . was wrong!

A Day Lost - Michael Hemmer

A Day Lost

The winds break against the glass
with a soft, screeching whistle.
The glass responds with a low moan
as it flexes from the strain.
I feel a slow cold creep in
as the air filters through.
My gaze is set.
The white mess
still fills the air outside,
no end in sight.
This blessing turned curse.
A sip from the spiked drink,
a whisper in my head,
I am stuck.

Heaven's Relief - Hayley Darpel

Heaven's Relief

Snuggle's off-brand breezed my nostrils
as the last clean shirt left stroked my hair
and bounced over my nose.
8 am is too brutal for the tranquility of Saturdays
but Mom and Lance chose to paint
outside my basement window that morning.

Turning to pick up my basket of laundry,
the brown pillowcase veiling the small view
I had to the world saved me
from seeing more than I could manage.

Metal ladder rungs
as my heart
plunged into my stomach.
The scaffolding,
my step dad,
shadow silhouettes forebode
dark and doom.

"Oh, God, help! Help,
God, help!" His voice rang
behind the crash. My legs
functioned so fast
I can't remember screaming,

A dozen stairs were few to none;
the front door made of foam.
His body lay
Fresh blood
shook my body hard with fear.

Mom ran to his side
slowly speaking sagacity to my shuddering.
As I grabbed flustered, frightened,
my brothers waked
and their tired eyes tried
to make sense of the scene.

Time held destiny
as the screaming sirens calmed me.
But they took so long and the bleeding
went on. He moaned and neighbors
watched like museum spectators.

When trucks matched the shrieks
and lights brought all forms of relief,
the traumatic flash-back
brought comfort through panic
as his stifled cries stung my strength.

"Oh, God, help!"

Then I knew whose tender hands
would calm his trembling fingers.

The Language of Poetry

1. Pick one of the phrases below and write a poem in which:
a) the phrase you’ve picked is the poem’s title
b) the phrase you’ve picked occurs at least once in the body of the poem
2. The poem should not be end-rhymed, but it should observe the basic conventions of free-verse prosody.
3. The poem should be less than 30 lines in length
4. In addition to using the phrase you’ve selected, the poem should try to coin at least one truly memorable epigrammatical statement: a statement which is:
a) rich in metaphorical meaning
b) has the ring of wisdom yet is fresh, not hackneyed
c) is abstract (which has the breadth of a generalization) yet has a concrete “feel” to it
5. Although the poem should be in the riddling, epigrammatical language of poetry, it should have an air of authority; it should make a kind of sense yet not be easily paraphrasable or interpreted. In other words, it should have “poetic meaning.”

1. The long odds in the evening
2. The heart’s rust
3. Cold bacon, cold eggs, cold potatoes
4. The left-handed daydreams of the missing ski (shoes, hat, etc.)
5. The slow kiss the spider gives the fly
6. The way the sky would like to touch the snow
7. The thief who is also the locksmith
8. At Death’s picnic (funeral, party, etc.)
9. At the starling’s wild parties
10. In Death’s library
11. What Death has for breakfast
12. The silent storm inside my arms
13. The patient ambushes of the shadows
14. The habits of the clouds (stones, grass, etc.)
15. Mr. Joy (Mr. Fear, etc.)
16. What the dead birds listen for
17. What the dust seems to be saying
18. Why (how) the moon divorced the earth (the sun), (the ocean divorced the land, the sky divorced the ground, etc.)
19. The heart’s hot climate
20. The franchise of the night (the moon, autumn, etc.)
21. The concealed weapon in a smile
22. The secret that wears an old suit
23. What Death (Time, Boredom, etc.) wears
24. The erratic weather reports of the heart
25. The metaphysics of cockroaches and kings
26. The moon’s white shares we (I, you, etc.) own
27. Dragging the sea for your shadow
28. Bribing the river
29. On the right side of the sun
30. The blameless life, complete in its white package

Seasons - Cassandra Kaul


As the temperature drops,
her leaves turn.
It is time for change.

A quiet descent brushes
along her face in a delicate
whisper. It is time to slow down.

The snow blankets
her limbs as she begins
to yield under the pressure.
It is time to stop, just for a moment.

When the cold and darkness
seems eternal, the sun
emerges and warms her.
It is time to grow.

Swish - Kaela McWherter


After forty minutes of pure
Energy-draining commitment
A few seconds is all that is left to endure
As the ball bounds
From the shooter’s hand
Through the net
And to the floor with ease.
All that is left
Is the sweet sound
Of the soft shifting
Of the net
In the aftermath of that final shot;
Leaving one team ecstatic
While the other devastated.

rebel's resignation - Ruth Patrick

rebel’s resignation

you ask for sound and sense
but there is no sense and thus the sound is all
nothing for nothing
nothing is all I have sometimes, it’s what you acquire
by having too much, no true desire
I give you sound in randomness
so I’ll scrabble together this random mess
as I float smooth and light like a thistledown
down ragged raging torrents that tumble down
and around and drown my sorrow in salty spray
shattered then spattered and flung too far
far away
tearing my heart apart
to acquire in this dark sweet release forbidden to me in
days dark depth, drawn too dense to see
these humble sounds as I stumble down dizzy
and death defying, crying and dying and not really trying
reporting resorting, in sport or in sorting my sins
and the fringes I fail to relate to
raise rabble and laughter and shatter the soul of
my hope blending blameless as blood
in passive pools, plain in pale plaintive puddle of pain upon pitiful paths
paved like grave graves’ graven images
fallen in flames
and remains as an after taste
shaded and jaded and faded inane and insane
say the way will be clear
clearly I’ll never escape
but my soul still shatters
in patterns
in fragments
in fractures of cracks in the blackness
in beads on a string all in order and order begins
to assemble again

lost at sea - Alyssa Reeves

lost at sea

the pounding waves explode
over my deaf ears and
salt dumps into my veins.
a frantic impulse invades my limbs
when the surface fails to break
and I am lost in the tide,
hidden deep beneath the sparkling blue:
death disguised as paradise.
the sharp sea erupts in my lungs
and slices without mercy through fragile fibers.
up above, the heavens split
as ambition slides beneath the swell.

Below a Christmas Snow - Robert Tippin

Below a Christmas Snow

A lonely road through scattered leaves,
The forest darker than you please,
Snow that falls will ever play
With nature’s lows and shorter days.

A mother’s child may sled with ease
Upon that hill, upon the leaves,
That scattered but a month ago,
Are covered now with Christmas snow.

But far below,
Down deep below,
The snow so dripping wet,
Lie leaves
Once covered in winter snow
That we, so soon forget,
That we so soon forget,
That we so soon forget.