Dear Me

girl-1721392_1920

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

writing-923882_1280

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

glasses-2564550_1280

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

cute-1701897_1280

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.

Unconditional

hugging-571076_1280

By Toni G.

(Originally published November 16, 2019.)

He wrapped his arms around me then
his cheek resting heavy on the top of my head
as he hugged me in a kind of embrace
that were he to let me go
my entire being would spill out onto the floor
like rice grains falling from a ripped plastic bag
That was when
I knew
that I
his sinful son
was loved unconditionally
no matter what the vice president thought
about boys like me.

         
Toni G. writes because there’s just so much that needs to be said.

The Heartbeat is Not Earned

peace-of-mind-349815_1280

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

dog-1533715_1280

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.

Eleven Days

allef-vinicius-uF8VQcbq-RE-unsplash

By Paul Germano

He quit his drinking for her; she did the same for him. A frantic decision, made in a heartbeat, by two thirtysomethings desperate to keep their hearts beating. Their faces are haggard, their minds slightly numb, but still they persist. Eleven days and counting, with no guarantees they’ll make it to the twelfth day. They lean on each other as best as they can, taking it day by day and drinking lots and lots and lots of Ginger Ale and desperately fumbling around to find something, anything at all, that they still might have in common.

           
Paul Germano’s fiction has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, The Fictional Café, Foliate Oak, Microfiction Monday, Vestal Review and Voices in Italian Americana.

Of Artistic Temperament

artistic-2695492_1280

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.

11/9, America

statue-731237_1920

By Anonymous
(Originally published 11.9.2016)

I envy
my fellow countrymen, violently so,
these disenfranchised, war-less warriors with a meanness forged in faith
and hammered rock hard by life’s insults, delighting
in the shock—the horror—
of watching
the stinking black abstraction they created,
The “Other,”
made nothing
with nothing:
An amputee scratching at limbs
that are no longer there.

This morning a cold, strange voice
whispered in my ear
Liberty fell last night,
it said,
Broke
her hip, died in the ambulance
of a heart attack.

We thought
you should know.

––––––––––
“(I wrote this) to process my disbelief.” – the poet