When the cold winter passes away And the snow thaws; And the spring brings new things And the broken hearts are warmed By the summer sun, I will find you again.
Inside old books, In the photo cards, In the coffee shop, And that queer park.
I will find you again and again In the cosmos. Maybe not today or tomorrow. Not this year or the next. But maybe in another lifetime, I will find you again.
Sayoshri is 19 years old and from India. She likes anything that has coffee in it. Sayoshri listens to songs and doodles in her free time. She believes that art is the only thing that can move people in ways no one can imagine.
“Writing is the only way for me to express myself. However, I still have a lot to improve and learn.”
TNEMOM Remember this. This second, this minute. Savour the smoothness of the air you inhale.
Enjoy this. The fluid feel of the pen in your hand as your emotions melt to ink and stain the canvas of your notepad to create a masterpiece displayed only in the gallery of the corner of your bedroom.
Answer this. The numerous calls your brain puts through to you embrace the ring of the migraine. Puff a smoke with your spirit.
Harmonize this. The melody of the air as it leaves your lungs, the medley made by instruments you never knew existed, every tune every perfectly timed beat of your weary heart, Live it. Satisfy your thirst for a purpose.
Entertain your will to live.
Project your consciousness to a reality fictional to everyone except you. Fuel your desire, Smile for the flash, embrace her, hold her hand, close your eyes, laugh, cry, die, enjoy the euphoria of being alive. Spin life in her red dress, slow motion. Waltz, two step. Kiss her unrealistically soft lips. Never let go.
Abiola-Awe Oluwatise is a 17-year-old writer, poet, and art enthusiast from Lagos, Nigeria. He is a 2nd year student studying Biochemistry at Covenant University.
Abiola-Awe is an avid reader, enjoys being with family and friends along with fellowship in church and has always had a passion for writing since the age of 6. He takes writing serious as it is a career he would eventually love to pursue. He has a manuscript pending for his book titled “Teenage Mind Penitentiary”.
He has a dream to change the world with words, one piece at a time, and says writing is something he wants to do for the rest of his life. Or at least till astigmatism from old age kicks in.
All in all he‘s just a young boy with dreams who enjoys the warmth of family and friends, heading to change the world, by God’s grace.
to cross the yellow lane to predetermined destination
but I shall wait for the crowd to die down
and let my heart do the choosing that the feet found hard
carrying a bag of hope that this travel shall take me
soon to that forgotten station that belongs to you and me.
Aira Marie Fullon
I am a graduate of BS Education Major in English and am now teaching in High School in the Philippines. As an old soul, I have always been fascinated with nature. This curiosity of mine has inspired me to write about them asking myself every time, ” What would they tell us if they can speak?”
As a daydream, my mind switches to travel mode to a faraway land right after I get off work. Writing will always be a home I can always go to, the sweetest escape that I am so privileged of having right now.
A couple of anthologies published my work, namely Train River Poetry: Winter 2019 and Misplaced Devotion.
There is no better reward for me than to know that my words resonate with the souls who need it the most. You can follow me on Instagram @dearlittleredlines
A Reflection: Making Myself Available To Difficult People by Meghan McAllister
My pastor finished a sermon series titled, God With Us. One of the main ideas was, sometimes, human beings withhold themselves from others by not extending the good they have to offer. They close themselves and make themselves unavailable to people in generosity, kindness, etc. He encouraged us to make ourselves more available to others and to trust God as our source, so we can give without anxiety in words and/or deeds.
This prompted me to think about making myself available to difficult people. Difficult people aren’t very pleasant and are hard to understand. Sometimes circumstances may dictate that I am better off shutting my doors, and we go our separate ways.
Difficult people are still people even though that is hard to see. They have their own lives, struggles, and issues. I don’t have a full view of their life, so I can’t write or read their story. I can only write mine.
However, making myself available to jerks is a bit—well, difficult. My reasoning is simple: They are not good to me. They deserve my judgment and cold shoulder but don’t deserve my acceptance, kindness, or forgiveness.
And maybe they don’t.
Maybe they do not deserve it, at least not from me, and that’s fine. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Let someone who likes them make themselves available. However, they are people, and people aren’t impervious. They are vulnerable to hurt, but they are also vulnerable to kindness.
Get it. “Kill them with kindness.”
Side Thought: Life will hand everyone a difficult person at some point because life is a bitch. Ain’t it great!
I knew a woman who wasn’t very kind to me, and I think she took pleasure in making me upset by putting me down every chance she had. A friend of mine once said, “Some people just love knowing they bother you.” I believe she was definitely one of those people. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the skills or resources to protect myself. She knew that and took advantage, and that’s a shame. The hurt was deep, and I’m working to overcome that hurt.
Don’t feel too bad for me though because when I got the opportunity, I wasn’t very nice to her either.
However, for Christmas one year, I gave her a present. I don’t know why, but I felt led to, and she really liked the gift. That day, we got along unusually well, and I believe I saw something genuinely good in her. However, that only lasted a day, and then it was business as usual.
Occasionally, my mind goes back to that Christmas season. That memory is like a crack in the hardening of myself towards her. I believe with time that crack will grow and that hardness will shatter. Since nothing was lost that can’t be replaced in time and in season then I say—
let it break.
There was value in making myself available to a person even though I never wanted to see that person again. The value was being able to appreciate a side of that person I wouldn’t normally see for whatever reason. Furthermore, I think the gift gave her joy, and perhaps her life has been a bit stingy with that. All in all, I was just glad to see her happy. Well, at least for that day.
Meghan McAllister is a graduate student at Campbell University pursuing her MA in Mental Health Counseling. She is originally from the crystal coast of North Carolina. She loves the beach, artwork, writing, and dance. Her cat’s name is Myra, and she approves this story.
I remember staring at him from across the room wondering how I could love him more than he loved me. How could any God in this universe allow that? I remember how I unzipped my chest and took out my bloody, naïve heart and handed it to him… while he lounged on the sofa and counted ceiling tiles.
My 20-year-old self needed a prince, a knight, or at least a man who just would tell me how enchanting I was. I wanted him to burn down buildings and then walk through the fire to rescue me. I wanted him to see me in slow motion… to be his muse and his motivation for breathing. He should shed his masculinity but still, be a man. I thought I needed him to take me to rooftops and compare my eyes to stare. Or tell me that all the magic in the world is contained in the small space found between his palms and mine.
Love was matching tattoos and anniversaries of trivial firsts. Love was catching me off guard, taking my picture, and remembering me this young forever. Love was walking away just to feel the crushing devastation of missing each other.
I didn’t get that love. I didn’t get that man.
I discovered that love isn’t made of expectations or time lines. Love isn’t a cheap postcard. Love isn’t a heart….. love is a backbone.
Instead, I got a man who sat near my hospital bed counting the seconds until I woke. A man who could list all my medications like ingredients in a recipe. A man who knows I am broken but never tries to fix me; only discovers a more delicate way to hold me. A man who isn’t afraid of words like cancer or recurrence because we take each day as its own. One day at a time… sometimes one minute at a time.
What I got was a man who lets me unfold myself into his arms when I’m having a bad day and celebrates the major achievement of having a good day. And I realized that rooftops and sad songs and romantic ideals Do Not Matter.
All the magic in the world is really contained in his hands as they hold my face and he looks into my tired eyes to whisper, “It’s you and me.”
The Beginning of Ugly
Written by Kristi Jeansonne
Here I am. I sit here in the dark curtains drawn together tightly with the edges tacked with clear plastic pins shoved almost horizontally into the drywall. I run to lock my door and in a panic; I tuck a blanket into the tiny gap under the door. No light is to breakthrough.
The pain is coming. Sitting on the floor isn’t enough. I must be more hidden, more isolated. I need to crawl into the closet and shut the door behind me. My back is against the wall and my head in my hands. This is where the pain comes. This is where the pain lives…. here in my hands.
I remember the first time I thought about taking my own life. I was 8 years old and under my bed, at the bottom of the heavy bedpost, I carved ‘I want to die.’
The words were simplistic; the writing was primitive, and mostly, the statement was powerful. I had no concept of death and dying, of beating hearts or failing organs. I had no conceptual ideas of heaven and hell. I didn’t realize the extreme permanence of making my words into actions. What I did know is that dying meant disappearing. And above all, I wanted to vanish.
I can’t remember the first time I was insulted or the first time I was hit. But I do know where ugly begins. I know where ugly lives, right here in the palms of my hands.
I used to feel heartbroken until I realized that my heart was fine. It’s my mind that’s broken. In this closet, in this darkness, I begin to release the victim inside of me. victim. victim. victim. victim. ugly. ugly. ugly. The words must be said to begin letting go. Say the words with me—victim. ugly. Repeat the word, write the word, stare at the word. The more you say it, the more you see it, the more foreign it feels.
Cradling back and forth, I can think. I’m unable to hear or see. All is numb except for the intense pain in the pit of my gut. The pain crawls from the center of me, up through my aching heart and erupts out through my eyes. The pain carries my memories through this well-worn path.
The wave of emotion knocks me down and washes over me. This closet is like the ocean. I’m drowning in this salty, polluted water while the broken, sandy ground below me does little to help. My body is aching, and my soul is crying out to return to dry land. I can do this: I can save myself. I can stand up and save myself from drowning. Then, I manage to pull myself up and gasp for air.
Breathe. Focus. Walk three steps. Collapse.
Falling onto the wooden floor grasping at splinters and following the worn-in, destructive path of hard times. This is who I am. A broken person, sick with some sort of mental pain. Violently drunk with desperation, my eyelids crush together to force out tears and mildly ease my blurred vision.
I see a glass atop my desk. In a reversed-crippled fashion, I stumble upwards to tower over my cluttered belongings. In one massive sweep, I clear all from my sight, revealing an ivory desktop smeared with ink and makeup stains.
I needed to hear the crash. I took a breath of relief as I felt some anxiety waning. With the tears still streaming, I flash over to the mess below, neighboring my bare feet.
With zero hesitation, I fall to my knees and dig my palms into the millions of shards of glass. My hands and mind all ache with relief.
The sight of blood soothes my mental state as if I tricked myself into believing this was why I was flooding myself in tears in the first place. With trembling fingers, I scoop the salty puddles from between my lips. I prop my limp bag of blood and bones against the wall and begin to feel peace.
It’s as if I was at war with my imaginary self and reluctantly I won. I curl my blood-soaked fingers together and tighten my fist. It’ll soon be time for my hands to open wide and expose this pain once again.
Kristi is a mother of two, a two time cancer survivor, and no-nonsense kind of gal from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is an avid coffee drinker, counts frequent eye rolling as cardio, and loves a comfy cardigan.
She also loves to write about deeply personal experiences and uses writing as therapy. If you’d like to read more writing, you can check out her Instagram page @yellow.house.artandpoetry
You’ve been burning fire for far too long, my dear Aren’t you afraid of what this will do? What you thought would keep the hurt out Is growing inside while slowly killing you
Is your heart not scorched by those raging flames You feel compelled to emit lately? Does your skin not recoil in disgust and fear When being kissed by a thousand suns daily?
Has the smoke clouded your wild eyes To create the appearance of illusions? Or did you truly destroy every good thing As your final act of retribution?
Your birthright is not this agony you bear But you feel like that’s all you’ll ever know You’ll find the strength to quench your flames And plant new seeds to help you grow
Remove those ashes that colored your starry eyes So you can walk to your rightful place Because when a true queen has fallen down She rises again with dignity and grace
Light By Christina Adepoju
I hope I’ll be bold enough one day To share my secrets and share my pain So that I will no longer feel heavy Maybe the day I share my pain Is the day the sea will hold my hand Not to punish me but to drown my sorrows And wash the old away One day, I’ll arise anew and let go of the sea’s hand So that I can walk with Happiness instead Make this heart of stone soft-river its way to freedom Because all I dream to be is light
Meet the Fire and Light poet:
My name is Christina and I’m a native of Florida. When I’m not writing, you can catch me reading some of my favorite books, binge-watching Netflix or practicing my calligraphy.
I’ve been writing since I was 11 years old and my love for it has only expanded as I’ve grown over the years. Right now, writing is just a fun hobby for me, but I would love to publish my own poetry book one day. You can follow me @wordsofawhisperer.
Awake once more. Shuddering, frightened, Another distressing eve. Only a stuttering prayer Repeated over and over Can ease the fear, And let me rest.
Born February 17, 1935 at New York, New York. BA and MA from Seton Hall University, So. Orange, NJ.
Served as a high school teacher and administrator for thirty-eight years. Retired and work part time in adult education and as a mentor to new teachers. Married with six children and seven grandchildren.
Have been writing poetry and nonfiction since 1998.
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My hands have been wrinkled since before I was born. A baby holding all of history before I could even hold up my head.
Palms of love and hate and deserts and forests. of Churches and oceans and avenues. of pastel buildings stained by the sun. of revolution. of house plants and electrical storms. of murder and theatrics and cartwheels on wet concrete. of presidents and politicians and promises and soft fruit. of terror and garden centers and over-sized newspapers. of high tides and low-lives.
But this is a poem so this isn’t really about my hands. it’s about other things. all things, really. All things born in us and of us and everything that we are and contain and will be. and can be.
Despite their worldliness, I wish they were smooth. youthful, playful, full of promise. Not topography. Trekking ground for the brave.
Sometimes I sleep in creamy gloves. The damp hold reminds me of when I was a newt or slug or low-bellied lizard. In the morning these past lives too are marked on my ragged hands. And as I crunch and un-crinkle them I smile to myself.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul but really the hands are the tell. so I bunch them down, deep into my pockets, and keep my secrets still.
The Fear by Laura Mackennon
Ask more questions than you answer, and I can, until the purple stains my teeth.
Know me, manically. Here is everything in a pile.
Hide in the morning, a tent of tainted sheets. Warm my bones and tell me I am loved. still.
Laura Mackennon writes poetry to capture that open-field feeling within a painfully-specific moment. She hopes it makes you say things like: “oh”, “ummm” and “eh?”.
Lawyer by day and a poet by night, she was born and raised in London but has designs to relocate somewhere mountainous and romantic.
She is currently working on her first anthology entitled High tides and lowlifes.