There Must be Something Nice I Can Say About You

By John L. Malone

Let me see.
There must be some nice things
I can say about you.
Like I stay indoors more often when you’re around,
get in touch with my inner recluse.
I get to read more,
post six or seven poems a week
rather than the usual four.
Less of a slacker.
Red wine tastes better with you.
So too a good roast.
I get to write haiku again on frosts and ice,
shivery, shivery three liners.
And I get to wear my exotic Mongolian beanie everywhere.
Winter I embrace you.

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“I wrote this on our coldest day since June 1922.” – the writer

Seafarer

By Catherine O’Brien

I am a seafarer. I am also a fraud drawn to disorder above and below deck.

My crewmates have unlearned my deceptions. I’m a talented actor with an elephantine memory for nautical terms. The sea knows though, it knows.

It spits salty accusations in my face launching its attacks from veils of morning fog. I am careful not to retaliate. I will not be goaded into ditching my facade.

Things have gotten ugly on occasion. It trials new vents for its frustration, it churns its wrath and tries to swallow me.

I’m in awe and humbled that it notices me.

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Catherine O’Brien writes “to vanquish the snakes of thought which slither to and fro in her mind.”

Writing is Like a Diet

By Linda Chandanais

My day off – before I’m out of bed I’ve formed a plan. I’ll alternate writing with life in 2-hour chunks to get something done besides writing.

7 am – write.
9 am – laundry, dishes, make beds.
11 am – write.
1 pm – lunch, vacuum, walk the dog.
3 pm – write, timer sounds, reset, write some more.
5 pm – pee, make coffee, write some more.
6 pm – throw a haphazard meal together for the family while listening to a writer’s podcast.
7 pm – leave dishes in the sink, turn the timer off, write.
Midnight – “Yes I’m coming to bed.” Soon.

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“I write for joy.” – the writer

My ADHD Brain

By Alison Ogilvie-Holme

Welcome to my humble cerebrum. Please forgive the mess. It’s late and my meds wore off hours ago. Had you arrived earlier, I might have offered you clarity and foresight, or at least some room in which to think. Once brain fog descends, order is impossible.

Yes, apologies are piled quite high, right next to guilt, and broken promises.

Lazy. Stupid. Selfish. Why can’t you get it together?

Somehow, self-loathing has become more acceptable than honesty. Labels are meant to stick, after all.

No, I’m not making excuses! I mean, not on purpose. And …

I’m sorry. What were we talking about?

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“(I write) as a means of escape and creative expression.” – the writer

Ghosted

By Diana Diamond

I’ve been crumbed like a pigeon
I’ve been simmered into a crisp
I’ve been ghosted so bad
I no longer exist
The backburner; a familiar place
Cook me into perfection
Leave without a trace

I’ve been ignored into oblivion
I’ve been gaslighted into denial
I’ve been unmatched and crossed out
Blocked and deleted;
Oh, you name it!
I’m a one-hit wonder;
You hit me once then leave me wondering

I’m a heavy lifter
Carrying a dead horse
The horse is riding me
And now I am trodden
A fatal encounter
But to you, it’s all forgotten

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“I write because I can.” – the writer

Cataract

By Lynn White

Before the moment when the cloud cleared
I had no idea how blue the sky was,
no idea how silvery the rain
though I’d felt it many times
falling gently
or fierce
as a cataract
after a storm
and I’d searched my memory
and my imagination
to find how they were coloured.
Before the moment when the cloud cleared
from my eyes
and tears spilled
like cataracts,
I had no clear idea.

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“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer

Choose

By Chris Cooper

It starts with picking crayons, cartoons,
interests, and curiosities.
Choosing playmates and hobbies,
eventually a trade and vocation.
And then the choices aren’t so easy, resulting in consequences,
trauma, bliss, or both.
You’ll choose a partner or lose one, maybe.
You might make a decision that sends you to an early grave
or somewhere very much alive, halfway across the world.
You’ll grow complacent or incomplete,
nostalgic or hopeful;
you’ll die alone or with a loved one.
And it’s of uttermost importance,
making choices,
because it’s a series of choosing
that dictates the quality and quantity of life,
so choose.

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“Writing, for me, is one of the most enjoyable existential distractions.” – the writer

Listen to the Hum

By John L. Malone

O
for the ears
of Gilberto Medina,
the 69 year old foreman
of the laundry room
at the Hotel Pierre
who could detect a problem with a machine
by a slight variation
in its hum;
if I could have listened to the hum
of my relationships
like that
I might still have been with my ex,
avoided an eight year trainwreck
moved further along in my profession
become a better poet
but as it is
what can you do?
I’ve always had a tin ear.

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“I read about Gilberto in a recent New Yorker and it inspired this piece about listening.” – the writer

Broken

By Lynn White

The crack became a slash
almost splitting her in two.
She could have sought help,
could have driven to heal it,
But after a while she quite liked it.
It had become part of her
and she felt it became her
and who knew what would emerge
to wriggle
and squeeze
though the gap.

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“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer

“The Size of the Celery”

By Brian Muriel

Sometimes my son sashays
through the living room
stimming about numbers.
If he gets overly excited about
a measurement
or a weight or a
linear sequence of some kind
he’ll hop twice,
twist his wrists,
and smile.

In that microsecond—
when his feet are
off the ground and
he’s ranting about the
height of our dog
or the size of the celery—
I’ll see him joyful.
I seep inside all that bright light
where there are not differences,
or comparisons,
or forebodings.
Within that flash of air between
his feet and floor,
there is just lightness and love.

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“My poetry comes from my life as a husband and father. I have one son with special needs and another one who is neuro-typical; both are brilliant inspirations for me.” – the writer