Aili Miller

Little Did I Know

How was I supposed to know the eagle had a mouse in its beak? How was I supposed to know that I couldn’t shoot it with my slingshot? How was I supposed to know that the eagle would swoop down on me, try to pick me up like I was a weak, useless, little rat? How was I supposed to know that its claws were sharp? But what I did know was that it couldn’t hold me and the mouse at the same time. So I saved a mouse today.

woman, wearing, black, coat, girl, eagle, female, wild, CC0 ...

The Moon Made Her a Halo

By Naomi Horner

 

moonlight

streamed

through the open

window,

 

casting

silver glow

upon the

liquid

keys

of the piano

 

the 

black

and 

white 

so

stark

in fluorescent

lighting,

were now

softened

by the night

 

a breeze blew

into the room,

 

magnolia petals and

green leaves

riding the wind

as if returning

home

from a

long journey

 

and her?

the still figure

silhouetted

against

the stars?

 

the child

slept

there upon the

windowsill

leaning against

the wall

 

as if

keeping a quiet

vigilance

that even in rest

she couldn’t bear

to break

 

and the full moon

watched her,

and decided to make her

a crown

 

a halo of silver

entwined in her hair

as if to remind any who

saw

the still form

 

that serenity

should

never

be taken

for granted

 

Riptide

By Annie Fitch

 

The salty, ice-cold, New England water grazed her feet

Staring into the wide Atlantic in disbelief

What had been a month, felt like a year 

Her extreme sadness over her brother’s accident 

led her to the point of despair 

that fateful summer day when her brother

 was swept away by the wave 

her tears floated away into the darkness of the water

He was gone

Disregarded like a piece of plastic

The world which once had a meaning

now seemed as empty as the wind that gave her chills 

She couldn’t bear it anymore 

The absence of laughter, 

the secrets that she had to keep to herself 

All of it led her to that desolate beach in October

The tears, the screams, and the loneliness 

Just sixty seconds later and he would be here

If it wasn’t for that riptide, 

She would be a happier sister

 

Bittersweet Being

By Diana Melgar

 

Oh Loud Joy

Mariachi and reggaeton

The beat and rhythm they bring

Instruments, played quick and strong 

Dancing with all those around

Loud laughter replacing embarrassment

Bodies turning and swinging

The cheers and yells of those sitting

Resting till the next song 

 

Running away as pop-its hit near my feet

Birds singing proudly in the morning

Strong wind rustling leaves and hair 

Dogs barking, robust and playful

The slap of a soccer ball being kicked

The flow and strength of Spanish 

Words confidently spoken

Sung in music never ending

 

Oh Deep Afflictions 

 

Rifts in my family 

Fights and conversation I have yet to understand

Silent words screaming in my mind

the stickiness of barley dried tears

Losing a home to flames and heat

Witnessing the slow breaking of a person

Hearing their weeps and sobs

Comforting wails of regret and apologies 

 

Being a cause of lament

Anger and frustration of wrong doings

A sickening smell of alcohol

The counterfeit of  righting wrongs

Going back and forth, one parent to another 

Not knowing why I cry or feel so low

Taking for granted everything I have

 

Oh Quiet Bliss

 

A very specific sweet scent of light pink roses

A red muddy color and roughness of bricks

Creaky stairs, floors, and doors 

Cozy and close feel of the rooms

The smell of new and old books 

Sunlight from my mother’s window 

The largeness of her bed

The orange and red of a setting sun 

 

Long car rides in a packed car

From Texas to New York

Resting heads on another’s shoulder

Quiet nights of blissful sleep 

Beauty proudly beaming at night  

The cool air and the shining lights

Warm embraces overflowing with love 

Quiet laughter following uncontrolled howling

 

Oh Bittersweet Being

 

Reflections of memories, of feelings, and sensation 

All I have felt, thought, done, and seen

A collection always growing in my mind

Loud joy, deep afflictions, quiet bliss

All I am 

Such bittersweet being 

 

Riot

Katherine Butler

Is love bigger?
Because now when the
men in charge
lock up my right
to love and live,
when companies only
acknowledge me to
make a profit off of my identity
just to forget I exist
as soon as the month ends,
when I get criticized
and called broken
for not giving men what they
want,
when I get told to
“pick a side”
because it’s greedy to have both,
I think that love may be bigger,
but hate is louder.
And when those men in charge
decide to scream their hatred
at us, then I think it’s time
to remind them that
the first Pride was a riot.

Untitled

By Wynter Cox
I conclude this whole life
is one of those miracles
that never seem to matter
until the minute streams burn
and turn to steam
and I begin to dream
of purple moss and
inescapable meetings.
At night, the cicadas recite
stories about how the Earth
was born and will someday die.
One by one, the moths throw
themselves into the sun
and flit between beacons
of fading starlight
in modest white dress
despite certain death.
They speak with such grace,
such warmth beneath a
stark linen canvas.
In a realized subconscious,
I translate Morse code from
beating wings, hold my breath
where the air is water.
I take notice of the trees’ stillness
and runes carved into branches—
the woodpecker’s inscription.
To awaken is to be
reborn into a world restricted.
I listen for the metal breath
of fingers against bars, magnified
only to my ears.
The woodpecker pulls the
raw flesh of the cherry tree
out from inside itself, as if
it knows how to pinpoint
the sensitive topics
for rabid consumption.
Engravings on river stones
prophesied that I would finally
stray into the lesser miracle
of reality, condemning the
wonders of the night to
be extinguished by the
flame of day.

Departure

Wyn Cox

 

I conclude this whole life

is one of those miracles

that never seem to matter

until the minute streams burn

and turn to steam

and I begin to dream

of purple moss and

inescapable meetings.

 

At night, the cicadas recite

stories about how the Earth

was born and will someday die.

One by one, the moths throw

themselves into the sun

and flit between beacons

of fading starlight

in modest white dress

despite certain death.

They speak with such grace,

such warmth beneath a

stark linen canvas.

 

In a realized subconscious,

I translate Morse code from

beating wings, hold my breath

where the air is water and glistens.

I take notice of the trees’ stillness

and runes carved into branches—

the woodpecker’s inscription.

 

To awaken is to be

reborn into a world restricted.

I listen for the metal breath

of fingers against bars, magnified

only to my ears.

The woodpecker pulls the

raw flesh of the cherry tree

out from inside itself, as if

it knows how to pinpoint

the sensitive topics

for rabid consumption.

 

Engravings on river stones

prophesied that I would finally

stray into the lesser miracle

of reality, condemning the

wonders of the night to

be extinguished by the

flame of day.

The Mischievous Gold Sandals

By Michelle Gorner

They touch the streets of every city

their owner travels to.

They collect a single piece of every journey,

and hold on to it; a memory.

The sandals allow their owner to remember

the past but change little details.

Not letting the owner remember everything.

For the sandals want memories of their own.

 

The large flower in the center is the brain,

the mind of the sandals.

Keeping the memories so the shoes can learn,

to become their own being.

So one day,

the sandals can walk on their own.

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Someday, We’ll Fly Away

Harper Poole

Someday, We’ll Fly Away

And we will live with the distant scribble of stars.

And we won’t need telescopes because the glorious galaxies are now our radiant sky.

Because Someday, We’ll Fly Away.

Lonely nights and midnight frights and all sorts of scares are no longer.

Swimming in starlight seas and sipping meteor teas

are now activities I ponder.

Because Someday, We’ll Fly Away.

Swaying trees and bumblebees are now distant memories

And as I sit and wait each day

Why Now Can’t We Fly Away?

Unanswered questions and poignant predicaments are supposed to

disappear in this galactic sea,

But know I know it’s not where you are,

It’s Who You Want To Be.

Happiness is a blessing, but addiction to it is a curse

In order to experience true joy,

You Must Have Sadness First!

Although I know this, true to be,

I’d still love to float freely

In a Place of Peaceful Serenity

Some say it’s not the destination,

It’s the journey

But the Journey Never Ends

We’re always experiencing

new and confusing universes

Wherever We’re Sent

I know that it won’t

happen today

But Someday,

We Will Fly Away