Keep Moving

Keep Moving by Shantae Gray

‘’Keep moving’’ God says. ‘’An ear to the ground,
your feet on dirt; keep moving.‘’

Like pilgrims in barren lands.
Like camels in deserts.
Like sea-bound turtles.
Like moles burrowing holes.

Keep your feet on dirt
and an ear to the ground; keep moving.

Like makeshift sailboats in a backyard’s pond of hope.
Like ambitious kites hoping to touch the sky.
Like boys hoping to plaster kisses on the cheeks of girls.

Keep your feet on dirt
and an ear to the ground; keep moving! ‘’

-talks with God

Growth: To all the crushes I thought I’d love by Shantae Gray

i
‘’Love can be fickle as it can be strange.’’
I spent most of my days
trying to uncover its face.
I spent most of my time,
digging for its gems
hoping to fumble on its gold
mine.

ii.
‘’Love is fickle as it is strange’’
To the crushes, I thought
I’d love; I thought I’d marry.
I must report, you were just
conjured fragments of my
inability to love and my
misunderstanding thereof.

iii.
‘’Love is fickle. Love is strange.’’
It is the unsettling feeling in the pit
of my stomach that unravels from my womanhood the ‘’truest’’ me.
It is the piece of me that tells me
“I am enough and I am of God.”

iv.
‘’Love is fickle. Love is strange yet ever so kind’’ My worth is not tethered to the
men I thought I’d love,
the men I thought I’d marry. It is tethered to me and the woman I chose to be.’’

v.
Growth is a wonderful thing.

<strong>Shantae Gray</strong>
Shantae Gray

My name is Shantae Gray.
I am full of life and love.
I’ve come a long way.
I’ve been writing all my life but found my pen and voice back in the summer of 2018.
I’ve been writing with purpose ever since.
I am currently working on my first chapbook.

I am so excited to have started the journey and determined to have it published. You can find more of my pieces on Instagram, @taestruth. Be kind always and full of love.

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Half Bottles in the Night

Half Bottles in the Night by William Bolyard

Clock flashes 1 A.M.
I stare out the window
Wondering where I am
The record scratches
Against its self
Sometimes I feel like I’m in hell
Not with demons
Or odd entities
Just myself
And words on pages
The liquor only helps
Sort through thoughts
Like a bookshelf
Against the rot
I’d write all night
And live all day
To fill the bottle
With what I have to say

The Weight of Love by William Bolyard

We are inevitably
Like black holes
Or broken glass
Pulling each other in
To predetermined ports
Just destine souls
On the journey of life
How lucky we are to share it together
The weight of love is like gravity
It’s heavy and light
At the same time
Pulls you in
Yet gives you the chance to float
Pull me in love

<strong>William Bolyard</strong>
William Bolyard

William Bolyard is a rough-around-the-edges writer who enjoys drinking, gambling, and exploring the grittiest places in the world. His favorite poets are Yusef Komunyakaa, Leo Jenkins, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski. 

He has published one book. Titled, “Sober Man’s Thoughts”. 

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If I Were

If I Were by Maria Teresa Practico-Swanson

If I were the wind I would carry your imagination to a faraway place, like whispers so often do upon the breeze through the trees.

If I were the rain I would wash away all your worries and fears so you could only see the beauty that this world has to offer.

If I were the sky I would open myself up wide and invite you to fly wherever your heart desires.

If I were the Earth I would plant you firmly into roots grounded in love and compassion.

If I were fire I would crackle and burn passionately inside of a pit, smoldering like in the core of your being that’s yearning to express every color you can dream.

If I were the Sun I would shine brightly through darkness reminding you to never give up or let go of hope.

If I were the Moon I would glow like a candle guiding your way back home to my arms.

If I were a rainbow I would always appear when you need to be uplifted and be reminded how precious, cherished, adored, and loved you truly are.

If only I could be all of these and everything…..would you believe in yourself like I always have, giving you nothing but love. Always and Forever❤

Looking Up by Maria Teresa Practico-Swanson

The Light of love shines like a beacon in the night sky
Directing my heart to open wider than my mind’s eye
Ever cared to dream of life with fearlessness and fire
Burning brilliance of desire sets my soul’s flight higher
Reaching for the stars that echo images so clear
Strength within grows while shared wisdom does sear
Soul imprints of ancient times, purpose unwraps the gift
Life forever is
Divine love blessed beyond imagination grants the wish
Seeing the infinite essence, true magic sending shivers
Oh how your love for me, God is timeless as it delivers
Wrap me in its entirety and promises of what will be
Bowing my head, I carry on open to whatever will dawn

Pain of Letting You Go by Maria Teresa Practico-Swanson

Loving you has haunted me like an offbeat rhythm
Giving my heart by forgetting goodbye
You are standing still as I wave to your memory
Stuck in past hurts, your warmth so sensory
Heartaches beyond what can be endured
Letting you go scares me, feelings turn to insecure
Keeping me bound tightly in dreams
Releasing the hold of our connection so bold
Colors fade to gray, the end is near
How will I go on to face this fear?
Shockwaves vibrate throughout my system
Nothing is right as pain drowns every sensation
Head underwater as darkness turns to static on every station
Believing the thoughts that invade my mind
Cursing myself for succumbing to their insidious rhyme
Nothingness overflowing and consumes every crevice
Monitoring alertness, awareness is my nemesis
Turn the dial or flip the switch to the OFF position
Anything to guide me out of this difficult transition
Words fly and swirl around, none feel profound
At times like this, I don’t want to hear their sound
Take me down, but don’t let me fall
The pain of letting you go makes me feel so small

<strong>Maria Teresa Practico-Swanson</strong>
Maria Teresa Practico-Swanson

My name is Maria Teresa Pratico-Swanson. I’m a woman walking this journey of life in truth as a creative force. I am a certified master shaman and practicing the art of shamanism has transformed my life, liberated my authentic spirit, awakened and freed my soul. I use my sensibilities as superpowers and the power of my love fuels my magic as a shamanic healer.

My creativity is my soul’s purpose and I’m committed to my practice of healing from the human experience as an awakened soul. I believe I am here to help heal humanity one heart at a time. I offer shamanic healing sessions, have written 4 books of poetry available on Amazon. “Emotional Musings” “My Soul’s Language” “My Heart’s Song” and “My Soul’s Light For more detailed information follow the link: https://linktr.ee/Emotionalmusings

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Apatheia

Apatheia by Aakriti Bhardwaj Singh

The storm in me has come to a standstill,
a whistling wind paused the play.
Is it contentment or mere indifference?
I’m not lifeless, but it seems
my heart has become a cavity.
It’s not nirvana but apatheia,
a feeling of blocking your feelings for everything.

Nostalgia by Aakriti Bhardwaj Singh

Woven in the tapestry of recollections,
folded and tucked away for a rainy day.
when the void is difficult to fill,
memories become
bridges by the river
in moonlight kisses.
Souvenirs of time
beckoning to bask in a blissful familiarity.

Sky / She by Aakriti Bhardwaj Singh

The sky gleams with different shades,
an indifferent pale-white flames up in burnt orange blending into shades of raging reds.
At times the ribbons of pink kiss the velvety purple and pirouette into pigments of midnight hue.
Yet when we paint the sky
all we think of is a cerulean blue.
As if she is only expected to be calm and subdued.
A gamut of colours adorn her every day,
but her destiny of a perceived undertone seems frivolous.

<strong>Aakriti Bhardwaj Singh</strong>
Aakriti Bhardwaj Singh

My name is Aakriti and I am from India. I started writing at a very young age and have worked as a features writer for the lifestyle section of a news weekly. I write poetry about things close to my heart like love, heartache, feminism, mental health, and the little light at the end of a long dark tunnel. My poems have featured in two anthologies – Poets and Poverty and Unvoiced Words. I aspire to make a difference in society, support women, educate girls, and do something for the environment to reduce our carbon footprint. Writing for me is not just therapeutic, it helps me find my true self and express myself.

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Sharks

Sharks by AGNA

Deep down the colourless liquid lies aquatic life,
battles for survival and the crown of war
Like those inhabitants of terrain,
there too lies big perfect cartilaginous skeleton having swords in mouth to crush everyone…. sharks
They too feast on the small ones.

In odourless liquid everything is the color of night
when these creatures move with thrilling silence,
there are drops of lifelessness on aquatics
unmoved small skeletons lying peacefully,
pumping through the four ends of this net,
Flaked black almonds tell the history of red soil’s heritage,
Reminding it’s better to be lying…. better to be dead.

Traits finely similar to varmints of land,
having arable shape with devil’s mind where blood becomes the harbour of life,
And riot of minds is the definition of grassland life;
Horizons coincide having sharks of their own,
rhythm of slaughtering boats and cars lulled small ones to sleep forever,
Massacre spared few that always sat on the shark’s tail and worshipped them with the drool of their mouth,
and sharks became the ruler of upcoming Dynasty.

The Smile by AGNA

I shivered along my skirted wobbly legs,
head thrown back, crinkles in secret,
breathed in puzzle with hands on my leafy neck,
My summer heart blazed along frosty winter castle,
soaked lines of broken lips whispering
‘hey stranger’ to the
biting pebbles settled against my Asian skin
while trying to
smile
smile
and smile
In the midst of a full known crowd of strangers, welcoming waiting for an unknown old friend.

<strong>AGNA</strong>
AGNA

AGNA is just another human walking on the face of Earth who’s always looking for some volunteering opportunities and adventures.


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Soft Cut

Soft Cut by De-sun

You left, your smile,
Still mistreats my thoughts.
Burning in my head,
Like a violent flame.

I still dream of you,
Write sad love poems,
On my pillows.
During my darkest days,
I watched our favorite movie,
Until it ended.

Everyday,
I want to see that soft cut,
On my smooth face.
You left behind that connection,
My soul to yours.

You Are Mine by De-sun

From the day of our independence
In 1847,
My heart has been longing for you,
Like the flowing cavalla.

At the twinkle of the light,
Which rises from the south of Monrovia,
My heart thirsts for you.

You’re beautiful, like the Sapo National park.
How I long for more of your sweetness,
That rises beyond the surface of Mountain Wologisi.

Oh! Beauty of the Lorma tribe,
You are my oxygen.
The air my lungs inhales
Exhale on the bedrocks of Cape Mount.

Where your love smokes my heart like dried fish,
Our village parent’s prepared for evening dinner.
Come let’s build the palace of love.

In my veins,
In the veins of the body of a Grebo boy.

We’ll sign a promise on the hills of Ducor,
Where the breeze from the Atlantic clamps on my soul.
To press the vow of agreement
that “You are mine.”

<strong>Sunny Eddie Crawford</strong>
Sunny Eddie Crawford

Sunny Eddie Crawford writes from Monrovia, Liberia. His works have been forthcoming in: Ducor Review, Love from home (Chapbook published by the Liberian Poet Society), Ngagi Review, Spillwords, Orange blog Africa, and the We Write Liberia website.

Sunny writes under the pen name: De-sun

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Distorted Glass

Silhouette of hand against distorted glass with geometric shapes. black and white color.

Distorted Glass by Serena Morrigan

Today I am full of love for my friends
Who think better of me than I do
My mind is a vicious place, you don’t
Want to look outside these eyes
The mirror is distorted glass
Showing the demons inside my skull
Exactly what they want to see
Am I worthy to be called a friend
When I feel like I’m constantly on fire?
Why can’t I be kind for once
To the person carrying these bones?
I hear them whispering again…
You don’t deserve it
No, you don’t deserve it

Smoke of Remorse by Serena Morrigan

Bewildered, I watch the heavy smoke rise
As the midnight sun dissolves into the black
Flickering sparks sprinkle the night sky
It would have been a beautiful sight to see
If only it weren’t for these demons inside
Bubbling to the surface merely to destroy
Again, I’m left with the ashes of my attempts
At something resembling friendship

<strong>Serena Morrigan</strong>
Serena Morrigan

Serena started writing poetry in high school as a means to deal with bullying. She only recently started writing again after a traumatic experience. By openly talking about mental health issues, she hopes to end the stigma and help people feel less alone with their struggles.

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Melody of Rain

Melody of Rain by Cheryll Patras

The melody of rain, today, sings a song to my old soul
I listen to my heart dancing to it all cheerfully
This takes me to a rainforest I’ve never seen before
I walk past the wet trees of fancies
Dripping cold raindrops on my morning face
Nostalgia? —- that’s yet to be known
Maybe it doesn’t exist in my memories
Maybe —– this is nothing but my free spirit
Travels along with the euphony of this day’s rain
The cool breeze caresses my skin
The damp scent arouses my senses
The light and shadows in the woods are bewitching
My old soul flies my young heart to nature’s core
I owe my fascinating journey to the melody of rain today.

Utopia by Cheryll Patras

It is startling to watch the daybreak;
how the sol shows up with its full
gleaming rays every day —
the way the sun smiles upon each
rooftop without assessing nuances.

It would be a generational utopia to
wish this glorious altruism and
munificence for my generation
to exhibit towards its fellows
and teach its heirs the same.

<strong>Cheryll Patras</strong>
Cheryll Patras

Cheryll Patras is a Business student from Pakistan who’s currently working as a Nonprofit Manager at a US-based nonprofit. She’s a poet at heart, and her work revolves around a variety of topics.

Cheryll writes to uplift people and shares her opinions, emotions, personal experiences, and, sometimes, what she sees happening around her. Her long-term vision is to write to bring people closer to God. Cheryll plans to publish an uplifting collection of poetry that revolves around a unified subject. You can read more of her poems on Instagram @cheryll_patras.

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The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree by Louise Senderowich

The days are long,
but the years are short.
The worries lay heavy,
whilst the laughter is light.
The racing makes us faster,
not quicker in response to our needs.
The baskets are full
with empty promises,
The checklists point us inwards,
the self-berating is cyclical,
the raging is inevitable.
Such that we miss the sign posts
of beauty,
under the watchful eye of the oak tree,
standing steady,
waiting for you to blossom
and discover your way home.

<strong>Louise Senderowich</strong>
Louise Senderowich

Louise lives in Manchester, UK with her husband and 2 boys. She has been writing poetry since she was a child and loves reading modern literature and poetry.

She enjoys writing about motherhood, being a woman in the modern age and social injustice. She aspires to publish her own poetry anthology one day.

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Sojourner

Sojourner by Katerina Canyon

Truth is where I found you

In the cusp high over ultraviolet waves

Between your time as a slave and mine

Fighting off the results of bondage.

You were a woman who accepted no

Excuses for the lack of rights

For our mothers and daughters,

Demanded more for those who followed.

I am a woman who accepts that most

White men are fixed on one idea

As to how the world should be,

And it is on me to change their minds

Through words, or actions, but never

Through guns or swords, white bonnet

Wrapped on my head as I push

Away racial insults and profanity.

You never forgot to say who a woman

Could be, what a Black woman could do

When we eschewed weakness and misogyny.

No one helped you. You just carved the trail.

No one helps me either. That’s what I learned

It means to be a Black woman.

To be strong, to plough, to plant, to raise barns.

That’s what you did. I do that metaphorically.

Now, I raise children, plough through journals

With my pen. I always remember to never

Pin my tongue for fear of other’s thoughts

This is the way you walked.

I try to get my half measure full,

But I think it is a little less

Difficult for me as it was

For you. Thank you for the

Quarter you earned.

It took us a long way, but

Today, the world is still

Turned upside down

And we are working

Hand by hand to

Flip it

Right side up

Sojourner is an excerpt from Katerina Canyon’s latest poetry collection, Surviving Home. ‘Surviving Home’ will be released in December 2021, published by Kelsay Books. Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse.

<strong>Katerina Canyon</strong>
Katerina Canyon

Katerina Canyon is an Award Winning Poet, Best Selling Author, civil rights activist, and essayist. She will be releasing her new poetry book ‘Surviving Home’ in December 2021, published by Kelsay Books.

Surviving Home is a reflection on African American heritage and up-bringing, racism, and abuse. To learn more, go to https://www.poetickat.com/

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