Penelope

By Robina Rader

Penelope was here again yesterday;
we had a lovely time –
Penelope and Penelope.

We reminisced about our childhood,
school days, and old friends
who never knew we were us.

There was another Penelope;
she disappeared after our husband died.
Poor Penelope. She was crushed.

We had to let her go, but
Penelope and I miss her sometimes;
we were thinking of her yesterday.

Now there are noises in the hall;
it’s time to go to lunch.
We shall pull myself together
and try to remember we must be I
for now.

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“I write to express facets of personality not easy to articulate in other ways.” – the writer

Heart Strings

By Arinda duPont

Pull the reins a little on my heart strings.
Wind my love song back into key.

A little strain is not a bad thing.
A loose cord won’t play the melody.

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“I write for the same reason people smoke cigarettes. It’s not because it’s healthy. It might be because I think it looks cool. Mostly it’s because it’s cathartic, like exhaling with full lungs.” – the writer

a word means its past and more

By Zeyneb Kaya

we burden words as we speak them,
with the weight of a million more
they carry like stones in every curve of their pockets
and they feel heavy in the strings of my throat

that’s why I whisper them, so they shout into the
sky and echo a million more
this word is not mine. I have only placed
a single pebble of my own

but I feel afraid. of
words. they deceive.
I bleed and bruise, invisible scars of unsaid
please, I ask him, be gentle, careful.
these Words are powerful.

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Zeyneb Kaya is a student who sees writing as a way to challenge our views and share new perspectives and stories.

Civil (re)Engineering

By Ron. Lavalette

We should hand everybody a mirror,
tell them to have a good long look,
ask if that’s who they really want to be.

We should offer everybody a rifle,
see who’s interested in having one,
and hand them the mirror again instead.

We should give everyone a photo album
with photos of everyone else’s family.

We should build a planetary dinner table.

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Ron. Lavalette writes to overcome his stir-craziness up on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. His debut chapbook, Fallen Away (Finishing Line Press), is out now.

Dog Poem

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By Juanita Rey

I have a dog.
He whines for walks,
for me to toss a ball
so he can fetch.
He doesn’t beg for sex
or sympathy
like the guy he replaced.
Being needed has taken
a turn for the better.

           
“I write because it helps me to understand my life in this new country.” – the poet

Tides Don’t Move if There Isn’t a Moon to Sway Them

By Alyson Tait

I breathe faux oxygen, eat plant-based fish, and swim in a weightless aquarium.
I survive.
Much like a lonely dolphin performing tricks in a pool.
When captivity threatens my ability to keep my eyes open, I settle back and watch the universe travel across the window of my tank.
Planets swirl in the darkness with water, grass, and funny little moons. My tank has no moons. It has no orbit.
Only lasers.
For safety.
Sunlight travels across the planets, and I imagine living under clouds instead of heat lamps.
When that threatens my will to breathe – I swim back underwater.

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“I write to get the voices out of my head, and maybe spook someone along the way.” – the writer

Right

By Allison Thung

And though she knows
it always takes a left turn
for slumber to grace,
each night she still
attempts to begin the
descend to sleep
lying on her right.
This same obstinacy
what fuels her desire to
seek him in all the places
he will never be—
between the covers of
Heaney’s Field Work,
behind the resonance of
his Córdoba’s nylons,
on the broken step
between then and now,
and in the empty
space to her right.

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“(I write) because I must.” – the poet

Moss

By Frederick Pollack

A week of rain has left a scruff
of green on trees, on the edges
of driveways, on walls that,
like the people within, conceal
porosity. It reassures:
Something like me
was here, it brought you your first air
when there was none. There will be time,
once you’re gone, for me to start again,
to help. Kneel and stroke me;
even after all these years,
a living shade and touch are
a surprise.

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“The individual and history (which is part of nature) reflect each other. Once I understood that, I couldn’t let it go.” – the poet

Mother’s Weeping Willow

By Dianne Moritz

Mother snipped a sprig from a friend’s tree,
rooted it in water on the kitchen window sill.

We marveled as it sprouted, and leaves
budded, unfurling like baby fists, in sunlight.

Sometime later, Mother planted the thriving spray
in the rich, fertile Iowa soil by our backyard fence.

We watched in wonder as it grew, doubting
its survival through the bitter days of winter.

But we learned that Old Mother Nature is shrewd.
Our tree grew quickly: strong, straight and tall.

We loved that tree! We’d hide beneath its boughs …
Our favorite spot to plot our childhood adventures.

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“I write to capture indelible moments in time.” – the writer

Not in the Vicinity!

By Vandana Kumar

It rained somewhere
It was not here
Or there
Or anyplace
Close by
Not even in cities
You loved
No! Not even where a loved one lived

It rained somewhere
You wondered where?
As you held on to globe
Size of a palm
Touched places
That seemed dry
Covered a lot of ground
As you hopped from city
To province
To country

How strange the world feels
More deserts
Than water bodies
Lovers who wait
With
Or without umbrellas
To romance the rains

Poets
Whose odes to the monsoon, Failed
Once again!

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Vandana Kumar is a French teacher and poet in New Delhi, India. “Poetry for me is just an ongoing search for truth,” she says.