Dear Me

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By Anonymous

(Originally published 12.22.16)

You will fall in love with words and writing, and in the process, you’ll hear this a lot: “Don’t write like a victim.”

Don’t listen! Don’t let anyone else tell you how to express your truth.

Someday soon you will come to realize that things will happen that are outside of your control, and some of those things will be painful. Yet, somehow you will make it through, I promise.

I’ve written this because I love you so much, and I don’t want you to ever forget that.

Love,

Your future self

Inspiration

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By D.A. Donaldson

(Originally published July 12, 2018)

“It’s called The Drabble,” she said. “One hundred-word limit.”

He sneered, “And you call that being published?”

“It’s something. It’s a start. It’s better than your Letters to the Editor.”

“At least people read those!”

“Do they? When’s the last time you heard from a reader?”

“Gimme a break,” he swigged his beer, “I don’t see any book deals coming out of your online dribbles.”

“Drabbles,” she corrected. “And my last post got 147 likes. At least I know that someone is reading and enjoying what I write. And you know what else? You just inspired my next submission!”

Learning to Write Poetry Late in Life

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By stevieslaw

Of course it’s magic,
the way the teacher coaxed
me off my easy chair,
where briared and booked,
I planned
to snooze away my twilight.

I find I’m curious again—
that odd peering into things,
I thought I’d
left behind.

Remember
that first poem?
Like a first solo flight—
ground dropping
like Newton’s apples,
the catch of thin breath,
and the wonder
of words.

           
“Sometimes I find the right word. And then I soar.” – the writer

A Lie for My Boy

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By Roy Gomez

(Originally published March 23, 2019.)

I would’ve bet a heart couldn’t ache any more. But I was wrong. There my boy sat, alone, waiting in that silent chapel for someone, anyone, to show up for his dad. Danny gripped flowers. Even wore my favorite tie. The knot was tight, off-center. That too was my fault. I wished I could cry. I was grateful to Bud, though. He was late – almost missed it all – but he came. As shovels of dirt thumped on my coffin, my old cellmate consoled him. Telling whoppers. That hurt worst … my boy feeling proud of his old man and all.

             
R. Gomez has been kicking words around for a while. He lives with his wife and pets on a hillside overlooking Medina Lake directly in the center of the Milky Way.

The Heartbeat is Not Earned

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By Michelle Kinder

(Originally published April 4, 2019)

Stop. Be still. There is nothing for you to do.

The heartbeat is not earned

You are here. They are not.
It’s only right to bear the fruit of their lives and yours.
Be deserving of your unfailing heart

But the heartbeat is not earned

Strive. Achieve. Strive. Achieve.
A carousel of contribution
Persistent drumbeat you didn’t even know was there –
prove.your.worth. prove.your.worth.

Child, rest, the heartbeat is not earned

Feel the sunshine – the breeze dancing on your face
Believe the bird songs – This is enough.

You are enough.

           
Michelle Kinder is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Public Voices Fellow, her writing has appeared in multiple outlets including TIME, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Vita Brevis, and The Huffington Post. She grew up in Guatemala and lives in Dallas with her husband, daughters and dogs.

Lost Dog

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By Holly Day
(Originally published November 21, 2017)

The parts of my childhood I can remember
are disjointed, unsuited for a house
or a school or a world
made of the stable things I read about
all the time in good books.

I got lost. I am, even now, certain that each new home
won’t be comfortable for long,
clinging to the hope
that we are suitable hosts for each other’s misery. I tell you
home is more than the back seat of a car.
Even leaves separate from trees

before curling up to die.

           
Holly Day’s poetry has appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.

Of Artistic Temperament

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By Sophie Flynn

(Originally published December, 29, 2017)

I liked it when you said I had an ‘artistic temperament’ because it covered it all: tears in the carpark, not eating for days, refusal to choose paint for the walls because I just couldn’t look at the colors anymore; and instead made those days when I couldn’t cope, when I pictured cutting out my tongue and ripping off my skin, seem part of something greater to create something worthwhile, rather than days indulging myself. My artistic temperament was such a lovely phrase for what was really: unpleasant, unnerving, unbearable or, as you finally put it as you left, unlovable.

Writing Advice

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By Jamie Thunder

Write about what you know, they said. But when she wrote about the hollow pull of loneliness and the fear she felt when walking alone they said no, no that is self-indulgent, and unfair on the many men who do nothing to warrant fear, even late at night when the bulbs in the streetlights are broken and the shadows run across the pavement like foxes. So she wrote about dragons and magic instead, and they praised her humor, her lyricism, and her vivid imagination.

When You See Me Walk

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By Nayana Nair

When you see me walk toward my grief,
toward my past,
with my head sinking down,
with my hands full of my own pieces,
stop me dear.
Come to me.
Run to me.
Call out to me
even when you think I cannot hear.
Hold me back
even when you think I cannot be stopped.
Promise me
that you will try.

           
Nayana is an engineer and technical writer who also moonlights as an amateur poet. She says, “Writing for me is a process of self realization and an effort to understand what is ever-elusive.”

Partners

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By S.B. Borgersen

Partners were compulsory at primary school: for nature walks, for P.E., and to return to class after playtime.

Partners were picked, most popular first, until there was very little choice left. I, with my missing front teeth and my old black plimsolls, was always a straggler. So were you.

Fifty years later we are still partners. We had so many other things in common.

          
S.B. Borgersen writes because she just cannot help it, she also knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia.