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Poems submitted in 2021

Atlas

by Anonymous, 2021

I’ve been sitting here for a long time

So long I can hardly remember a time where I was not

(Sitting, that is)

And I’m sure my leg will be cramped when I stand up

And I’m sure my eyes will droop and beg for sleep soon

But how could I bear to move?

There are castles being built around me

And then torn down

And then built again

And then torn down again

A vicious, fascinating cycle

That goes round and round like a carousel

Kings and Queens are dancing and delegating and declaring war

War over stolen sheep and sugar taxes

And they keep replacing each other one by one

Living in their castles of stone and marble and glass

And bricks and sticks and grass

And still I sit and watch

 

There are flowers growing around me

And then being drowned

And then growing again

And then being drowned again

The torrential rains must have lasted for years now

And I almost long for the castles

(Almost, but not quite)

On the good days bees will buzz and hummingbirds hum

And on the bad ones lightning hits a little too close

Buzzing and humming

Much more rudely than I got from bees and hummingbirds

I haven’t seen anyone in a long time

Not since the last castle was torn down

And the flood is up to my ears now

But how could I bear to move?

 

There are soldiers shooting around me

And then getting shot

And then shooting again

And then getting shot again

I wonder if what comes next is a graveyard

This time I do long for the flowers

But I see faces and skin and lockets with pictures of faraway lovers

And on some selfish days I’m just happy I’m not alone

I wonder what they’re fighting about

But none of them take the time to stop and tell me

And I never take the time to stop them and ask

But I bet there’s a history teacher, one hundred years in the future, who knows

So all I can hope is one day he’ll walk past where I sit

And lean in and tell me every secret these men keep close to their chest

Their chests that spill open far too often

I can barely bear it

And still I sit and watch

 

There are sunbeams circling around me

And then fading into moonbeams

And then rising with the sun again

And then fading into moonbeams again

And they’re tinted red and orange and yellow and green and blue and purple

From the stained glass windows that soar floor to ceiling

Ornaments of the walls I’m enclosed in

A cathedral, now

Named after one saint or another

And I’ve spent so many years watching sinners come to beg to the stars

I wonder if one day I’ll go to Hell

Then the light hits, just right, and a strawberry flavored light washes over me

Tinting my world with rosy retrospection

I wonder if I know too much

If I’d forget it all if I just stood up and walked out the front door

Or maybe the back one that the alter boys used to use to sneak in

After slipping out mid sermon for a smoke

Maybe the world is gentler when you don’t see so much of it

But how could I bear to move?

 

There are crowds of people rushing around me

And then falling asleep

And then rushing again

And then falling asleep again

It seems silly to me to spend all that time asleep

When they could get where they’re going twice as fast if they just kept moving

Since it appears they’re already in such a mad rush to get there

It tastes like chaos and smells like fear

They’re calling to one another with their arms outreached

And I once again finding myself wondering what comes next

It’s obvious they’re desperate to get out of here

Which, historically, has never meant good things for those who stay

(Which, historically, has been me)

And for the first time in many many many many many years

I feel a minute flicker of a wish, a hope, a plea

That someone will call to me

With their arms outreached

And take me with them, somewhere far away from here

But the flicker is extinguished as soon as my mind travels to that faraway place

I’ve never been there

And I’ve always been here

So how could I bear to move?

 

The people become faster

The people become less

I watch the back of every departing human

A miniature figure running into a vast unknown

It’s not so much that I long to leave

More that I long for someone to offer me their hand

Entangle their fingers with mine

And whisk me away

For the dark is all-encompassing

The stars are distant

I am solitary

Yet still I sit and watch.

Don’t Be Discouraged

by Vin Robert Laurice, 2021

Don’t be discouraged, don’t be malnourished

Accept what you have and don’t be bad

There is always hope

Believe in the pope

Always peruse

Because God is there for you.

Tiny Poems Series (A “Tiny Poem” = 12 words)

by Anne Kelly-Edmunds, 2021

Protection
Cold crocus close tight
purple petals touch
like hands folded in prayer
Daffodils
Trumpets crowned
with golden petals
play on a hillside,
sway with rhythm
Weathering the Storm
Valiant tulips
brave torrents of rain
blasts of wind,
buds ever upward
Peerless Pansies
Possibly purple
Phenomenal
Pert
Perky
Peppy
Preening
Potted
Planted
Picked
Peachy keen
This Morning’s Surprise
In the bathroom sink
orange, yellow, green, blue
a slice of rainbow

The Dawn Wall

by Sally Gliganic, 2021

The Dawn Wall

Rays of gold 

Beam upon the top of the world

Climbing higher and higher

Each pitch will aspire

Gravity dragging all hope

Life belayed by a single rope

All sense of thought floats away

The golden skies soon turn grey

Fingertips

Never satisfied with the minuscule grips

Falling 

Moment of endless pain

Falling 

The problem that overuses my brain

Falling 

Degrading after each fall

Falling 

Finally Rising above the unforgiving wall

Endless sky’s above,

The world awaits below

New dreams begin to grow.

Spring Has Come Once More

by Sophia Arredondo, 2021

The birds chirp with glee

As the sun rises from below.

Their nest deep inside the tree

Where they watch the flowers grow.

This isn’t any normal day,

For it’s the first day of Spring.

The rain has gone away

And the birds begin to sing.

They hum a little tune

To wake the world up.

And nature begins to bloom

While the dog has her little pup.

Soft colors paint the sky,

The sun in everyone’s view,

And the birds begin to fly

With the wind as it blew.

All the animals crawl out

From the confined space they hid in before.

They all watch the butterflies soar.

For spring has come once more.

Ode to the Sky

by Anonymous, 2021

Dear Sky,

You are full of endless possibilities.

Filled with billions of things,

The Sun,

the Moon,

the Stars,

You are glorious and I thank you.

You’re home to the sunrise and sunset,

And without you,

Nothing would be the same.

You shine and hold the light,

You, the sky, are like heaven.

Even with striking lightning and roaring thunder,

You remain beautiful and majestic.

Dear Sky,

You are a never ending fascination.

You are a waterfall,

Everlasting, unstoppable, and complete.

As planes go by,

And birds fly,

I will always look up at you, the sky.

Anonymous

Grateful

by Yvette Malavet-Blum, 2021

I am grateful for the artists who inspires me to write
For the poet who ends her stanza with words of love
For Bruce who walks and talks and moves in poetry and song
Adele who reminds me that growing older makes a person reckless
For the spirit of my son who reaches into my heart and reminds me of my ability to create
And the song that emerges from my mind swinging and moving into being
I am grateful for the artists who paints and leaves me breathless
For the day that I can walk into a museum and find myself inside an artist’s brush work
I am grateful for the love that keeps me breathing and living and singing and moving
And honoring my passion
And recognizing that it is truly mine
My song
My dreams
My love story
My life
My time on earth
My touch so unique and special that I can touch another soul and feel it tremble
Someone of like mind like Bruce and Adele
Thank you for the artists that writes with beauty and leaving me
Writing
About Gratitude

My Sunshine

by A.K., 2021

Mom,
You are the light to my heart,
which makes you so smart.
You help me with every problem,
just to make me solve them.
You are the rose to my garden,
so shiny and bright.
I love you,
with all of my might.

Words

by Holly Grieve, 2021

Ways to capture feelings, opinions, wistful or delightful thoughts into one.
Which can describe beautiful tulips blooming at dawn then day. The core of sweet songs, and meaningful advice.
But now only seems like threats, insults, and pleads. How could words be a simple sound for one.
But an inconsiderate offense in the eyes of another?
Nothing but a joke people say.
Until you’re the one holding everything inside.
Holding in so many feelings and thoughts of all kinds. That you cannot even put into words.
It feels like you’re holding your breath until everything is about to burst. Until you realize you are actually holding your breath.
To stop the noises you are making. That this time is not words but whimpers.
As sobs rip through your lips.
A wave of realization shocks through you.
Insults are to feelings as what a knife is to skin. Maybe you cannot control other people’s words.
But you have full control over your own. Words can be used as an ambush.
Or can be used as a defense. The choice is yours.

Friends

by Julian Pingo, 2021

Friends
Friends are supposed to be close
They’re supposed to care for each other
They’re supposed to
They’re supposed to
They’re supposed to
I’m sorry that I’ve been this way to you
That I haven’t been much help to you
That you give me more than I deserve
That I don’t really care that you’re hurt
That you’ve been working yourself into the dirt
But I don’t deserve it
I call you my friend, but do I really care?
Even a little bit?
Are we really that close?
Am I cruel?
What do I do?
They’re supposed to
They’re supposed to
They’re supposed to
But what am I supposed to do?