Poetry

Sunrise

the night

 

she sleeps

deep in meaningless dream

 

a strange sensation

waking up in the deep crimson heartbeat

that is the dawn

 

throwing open the door to let in the world

light floods the room

only knowing the sun’s death

the night owl is entranced by the sun’s rebirth

 

running, now, to the edge of the mighty lake

the sun cuts a bright path on the water

she longs to skip on this road

to the sun

and in this instant she believes there are miracles

 

her mother and father join her in celebration

as the new day is etched in pure gold

she reaches up and cups the newborn sun

in her hand

 

the moment passes

voices break the magical silence

the smell of coffee and pancakes

 

she feels the bubbly secret

of witnessing the miracle of

 

the day

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Poetry

Sonnet

The city glistens in the morning light

that shines upon the people moving fast.

A little girl, pigtails tied up with bright

bubblegum colored ribbons hurries past.

She pauses by the vender stalls to think

and run her quiv’ring fingers through her hair.

Her darting eyes catch sight of red and pink

and rest upon the flowers lying there.

“Here is your daily flower,” says a boy.

The vender hands the girl a sturdy rose.

“Roses are beauties!” the girl says with joy.

She skips along, as love inside her grows.

She brings the rose to stony gardens blue

and sets it on a headstone there. For you.

 

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Poetry

The Taste of Water

cool

smooth

fresh

the whistling wind in autumn leaves

kneeling

nose to the ground

breathing in the musty scent

leaves rustle

life moves

the world hums

peaceful

fresh

smooth

cool

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Poetry

Words, Words

birds flit

flutter, fly

but never will they

rattle or howl

to daintly flit

across the sky

instead of a purr

a yap or a prowl

 

a flit-flutter

pitter-patter

tip-toe tapping

jumpy jiggle

a noise, a sound

what does it matter

if it is

a snort or a giggle?

 

a honk or a beep

a weary sigh

a swish or a splash

an inch or a mile

don’t know about you

but I think that I

would rather grin

than smirk or smile

 

to be mischievous

and have joy

instead of a prankster

and be happy

which is the better

to be quiet or coy

emotional

or sappy?

 

you might argue

hey, these are the same

the synonyms are easy

to see

but, like a religion

a belief or a name

words matter

to me

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Poetry

Navigating the Dark

I’m getting good

at navigating the dark

without a light to guide me,

and I guess I don’t need one

when it’s easy to find your way deeper

without guidance.

 

I’m getting good

at navigating the dark

because I’m not afraid of it anymore,

not afraid of the monsters

that lurk in its depths

or the harm they might bring.

I’m not afraid of them

because I’m no longer afraid of death,

because I cannot fear

a monster I crave.

I no longer fear them

because I have walked through the darkness

in the dead of night

to speak to the worst of them.

 

I no longer run

from the monsters that lurk in the dark.

Instead, I look deep

into their shining yellow and red eyes

and I smile,

and they smile back

and let me pass,

because they know I’m becoming

just like them.

 

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Poetry

Calling to Me, Remember

But there was comfort there

In the pain

In the hurt

A struggle to keep breathing

When you felt you couldn’t move

The triumph of looking back

Of seeing yourself working

Loving

Living

While struggling to break free

Fighting against your thoughts

 

I was broken

But I was a warrior

The pills took that fight away

They replaced my ocean with a lake

They took the sinking sand around me

And placed me on concrete floors

Somehow

I feel more alive

And less myself

 

Sometimes I fear those pills

I’m scared they took away my ability to think

My ability to create

My will to struggle

 

If there is nothing stopping me from going forwards

Nothing in my way pushing me back

What reason is there for me to do it

 

After living a life

With impossible obstacles

After wandering through deserted woods

The paved road is uninviting

And tempts me to return

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4
Poetry

How to Create Art

Editor's Note:

Lack of punctuation and capitalization is intentional.

first you must open your eyes

and watch the world

see time crawl

see it whiz by

see the colors hidden in shadows

see the heat from the sun

see soft

see rough

see the slope of the earth

see joy

see pain

see the creatures in the trees

see young

see old

see the sun’s rebirth

see light

see dark

see the leaves in the breeze

see all that the world has to offer

then

create

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Poetry

ocean shores.

Editor's Note: 

The lack of capitalization is intentional. Enjoy!

the crest of her lips

is the tide by which

you fall. gulls sing

your praise as you

reach, fingers grasping,

for a love never there.

 

you dash yourself on her

rocks. worn cold, bloody as

you are, you are helpless to

the curve of her claws as they

dig heartbreak into the already

empty chasm of your chest.

 

the sand is cold and strewn with

the bodies of others you thought you

could outlast. you ache, nevertheless,

for the gentle red of her legs stretched

around you, the quiet hum of her heart.

you taste sand, and it tastes like her.

 

she is eternal, like the ocean,

and every bit as beautiful,

and vindictive.

 

 

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Poetry

Burning Like Lava

Like a teapot I boil,

Like a volcano I explode.

There is no in between

When it comes to my anger mode.

 

It bubbles in the cauldron

Deep in my heart,

Waiting for just that little something

To make the flaming rain start.

 

A barrage of words I never use,

Evil laced with venom on my tongue,

I scream and cry and refuse

That I could possibly be wrong.

 

I can’t just say ‘I’m angry’

I always hide when I’m sad,

Because pain isn’t something you share, is it?

Yet why do I hide that it feels so bad?

 

I cry out because I’m angry,

And being angry gives me pain-

As if my heart is about to burst

Into a bath of bloody rain…

 

Listen well, if you might

And if nothing else, remember this:

It’s best to be honest from the start.

Instead of at war, you’d surely feel bliss.

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21
Short Stories

To Haunt Or Not To Haunt

I scoff at my friend. It’s Halloween, and he just dared me to go into the haunted Roxbee Manor and stay there until midnight. Everyone knows that it’s decorated especially for Halloween every year. It’s not really haunted.

I grin at him and head towards the house. Through the wrought iron gates and up the gravel driveway, I feel a slight shiver down my spine as I step onto the porch and the steps groan under me, but I brush it aside. Still, I slip a hand in my pocket to reassure myself that my knife is there. In case I get bored and decide to whittle, I tell myself.

I push the door open and stifle a yell at the sight of the ghastly green figure looming in front of me. Psssh, it’s just a trick with gas and lights. I grit my teeth and walk right through it, and it fades away with a keening wail. Just a trick with gas and lights, I tell myself, feeling smug.

The Roxbee Manor is huge, so I decide I might as well explore. Where to start? Well, if I’m going to do this logically, it makes sense to do the downstairs and then go upstairs. So I close the door most of the way, making sure to wedge a brick in it so it can’t close on me. I’m not an idiot, after all.

There’s another ghost in the entryway and I walk right through it as well, and again there’s a wail as it evaporates. I try the doors that line the paneled hall and find that the first eight are locked, but the ninth is not. I shrug and go in.

A swarm of hornets buzz angrily, and fly in a tornado shaped mass around the room. I drop to the floor and slither across the room, jump up and open the window. A rush of frigid October air comes in, and within a few minutes, the hornets are flying to the floor, too chilled to fly. I smirk as I shut the window and walk out of the room, careful to shut the door behind me.

The next unlocked door opens to the kitchen. A couple skeletons are merrily salting and peppering a pot on the huge old wood fire, and when I go over and peer in, I’m horrified to see a little kid struggling in the water. It’s just starting to get hot. The skeletons ignore me until I go to lift the kid out. Then, they rattle their bones angrily and jab me in the ribs with their spoons. One of them grabs a knife. I back away, hands raised, and look at the room. I have to do something, but what? The skeletons rattle their bones again and go back to seasoning the pot, and it dawns on me. Bone. You can burn bone.

I go to the woodstove and open the door that feeds the firebox. The skeletons ignore me, and the kid is starting to cry. I grab the skeleton closest to the knife, and shake it hard so it falls into a few pieces, then I scoop the bones up and stuff it into the firebox. Rinse and repeat with the second, slam the door, and grab the kid out of the pot. As soon as I set him on the table and take my hands off him so I can take off my hoodie and wrap him up, he disappears. There’s a whisper in the room, a little kid’s voice saying, “Thank you, Mister.”

“You’re welcome.” I find myself saying, then facepalm. It’s all just a bunch of tricks. Nothing here is real.

I look around the kitchen, but everything seems in order, so I leave. The last door leads to the back lawn and I decide to check that out later.

Back down the hall to the entry I go. Yet another ghost. “Come on, guys. This is getting boring.” I roll my eyes and walk through it, and up the stairs.

The stairs creak on every tread, no matter where I set my foot. I set my teeth and just go up.

There’s a suit of armor at the top of the stairs, and as I walk by, it swings the huge battle ax at me. I duck away and kick it in the back of the knee, and it wobbles, tumbles down the stairs and lands with a crash at the bottom. “Take that.” I scoff, brushing a cobweb off my shoulder.

The upstairs rooms are mostly open. The first couple are bedrooms, empty except for ghosts. I walk through the ghosts, just for the heck of it. This is actually kinda fun. I just have to remind myself that nothing is real, it’s all just tricks, and then it’s easy.

I enter another room and it’s a library. Huge. It smells dusty, and a bit like mildew. I groan, and then I freeze, because a creature has just walked into a beam of moonlight coming through the window. Half man, half wolf, and rapidly becoming more like a wolf. It snarls and growls, and I grab my knife and clutch it tightly. It hasn’t seen me yet. I slip into the shadows and lean against the bookshelf to catch my breath and breathe quietly, and the shelf tips, books slide off, and it lands with a heavy thud. The werewolf howls and I realize that the bookshelf has landed on it. I get up and run out of the room, through a ghost, slam the door, and run down the hall to the next room.

It’s nearly midnight, I realize, as I stare at the clock on the wall. That’s all there is in this room. A clock.

Ticking.

Ticking.

Ticking.

Ticking.

I can’t stand it anymore and I turn to leave, just as the clock strikes midnight. In front of me, blocking the door, are a dozen ghosts, a swarm of hornets in the shape of a curvy woman, two skeletons and a little boy, a werewolf, and a suit of armor with it’s helmet on backwards. I shudder, then I grab tighter onto reality and remind myself that it’s just a trick. I reach out and turn the helmet around so it’s on straight.

The visor clicks open and I’m staring into angry green eyes that slowly calm. “Thank you, sir.” It bows and walks past me, towards the clock. The clock grows larger and the suit of armor just walks into it and disappears. The ghosts are next, each one solidifying into a woman in a maid’s uniform. They curtsy and go past me, into the clock and disappear, one by one.

The hornets morph into a richly dressed woman with sharp features. She gives me a curt nod. “Thank you. I am glad to be released.” She stalks past me and into the clock. The skeletons grow flesh and skin and take on the form of a couple in cook’s uniforms, and they take the little boy’s hands and walk by, smiling at me. The little boy giggles at me.

The werewolf is the last. He shifts to a man with gray hair, and nods to me. “Thank you.”

I nod back. “You’re welcome. I think. What was that all about?”

He sighs. “We were trapped in the forms that we really are. I am – was – a werewolf, attractive on the outside and a monster on the inside. My wife was bitter and angry like a nest of hornets. The maids were absent and neglectful of their duties and the cook and his wife did not love their son. The butler was too strict and cold. It has taken one hundred and sixty four years for us to learn the lesson and now we are freed. Thank you.” He nods again and walks to the clock, and disappears.

The clock shrinks back to normal size and resumes ticking. It’s 12:01. I go downstairs slowly and outside, down the gravel driveway and out the wrought iron gates, past my friend, and home.

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11