2020 New Year

2020 New Year

It’s official! 2020, A New Year.

Last New Year I shared my resolutions with everyone. I listed five things I wished to accomplish in 2019. I’ll break each down and share how I did.

Resolution 1: Read my poetry in front of an audience.

When I wrote this I had already practiced reading poetry on Instagram Live. It was my practice ground for the real event – a live audience. People in a crowd staring back at me – a scary thought for most people. Me included.

Luckily, I live in Portland, which proves to be a GREAT location to live for a writer. Portland has amazing resources and groups dedicated to supporting writers and the art form of writing – whether it be poetry, short stories, novels – it’s all covered in PDX.

In downtown Portland, Literary Arts hosts workshops, runs the Portland Book Festival, and they also host Slamlandia once a month. The first event I attended at Literary Arts was a Slamlandia Open Mic.

I attended the Poetry Slam intending only to get a feel for it. Figured I would watch and it would warm me up to getting up one day when I felt ready. I sat down, then something inside urged me to get up and add my name to the list to read something.

2020 New Year
2019 New Year Resolutions shared on Instagram

I’m so glad I did! That small tug to get up came from knowing myself. That if I only attended this first time, I may never get up and read. I envisioned myself settling into a habit of staying in my comfort zone as an audience member and knew I needed to rip off the blanket right out of the gate.

Reading and breaking through the fear I had to read my work in front of a live audience was empowering in all the best ways. I highly recommend it. The validation by fellow peers, the relief from the fact that you don’t spontaneously combust when you speak in front of a crowd of strangers, all of it leaves you feeling a sense of satisfaction you can only understand when you get up and read for yourself.

If you’re reading this and haven’t attended an open mic yet – and you’re a poet – I challenge you to add it to your 2020 New Year Resolution list! If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area and wish to attend an open mic- let me know when you go and I’ll try to attend with you!

Resolution 2: Start a group for writers.

Another gold star for me! Yay! I began the Facebook writing group in January 2019 and shortly thereafter started the Eve Poetry Group Instagram account.

Because of limitations on time – that there just isn’t enough hours in the day – I focused much of my effort on the Instagram group. The Facebook group exists and continues to grow, but has yet to receive the attention it deserves.

My goal for 2020 is to delegate the workload to the writing group members and empower them to create challenges, contests and other fun activities for the Facebook group. The group format on Facebook provides easier ways for people to interact and work together.

So if you’re reading this and have an interest in helping with Writers and Poets’ Cafe, please let me know!

Resolution 3: Finish my first book.

Done and done. I wrote my first novel and completed the publication of the first poetry anthology for Eve Poetry Magazine! Woot!

Publishing the poetry anthology was a huge learning experience. I made some mistakes though, like accidentally excluding a writer who I meant to include in the book! Ack! I appreciate your continued patience with me as I learn and grow.

That said, I’m pleased with the finished product. My hope for the next one is to include short stories and more writers, making it a bigger book. I’ll release Volume Two’s theme in February 2020.

Silver Linings Anthology

Silver Linings… By Eve Poetry Magazine

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Resolution 4: Make plans with close friends & family more often.

Wish I could say I achieved success on this one. However, resolutions one through three consumed my free time, so this resolution remains on my list for 2020.

Resolution 5: Leave room in each day to breathe.

Well, at least I’m 3 for 5! Three successful New Year Resolutions. Two that move to the top of the list for 2020.

My 2020 New Year Resolutions

I’m keeping my list concise. It consists only of two items: Make plans with close friends & family more often and leave room in each day to breathe.

Not to say I won’t have professional goals. There are many things I wish to accomplish in 2020 with writing, etc. They just need to move down in priority.

My principal goal in 2020 must be for self-care and reminding myself to breathe. Allowing myself downtime to clear my head, to rest more, and give myself permission to recharge and be still. I failed miserably at this in 2019. Took on too much.  Wore myself down.  Felt guilty when I became overwhelmed. 

That’s just not healthy. Our health is foundational to everything else. It must come first. Duh, Deanna! **smacks forehead**

Hand-in-hand with self-care are the close relationship we [should] cherish. When we rush around, too busy to nurture relationships that matter, we lose touch with ourselves. In 2020, I aim to prioritize my time for my children, husband, and making plans with family – my sisters, brother, cousins, and close friends.  

Last night, at my Grandfather’s celebration of life, I saw family members for the first time in YEARS. Many of them live only five or ten minutes away. It’s a shame to waste time this way.

What are your 2020 New Year Resolutions?

Please comment and share! I’d love to hear yours!

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Tantrums of Life

Tantrums of Life

Tantrums of Life by Navya Sharma

My words weave poetry 
making it the frontier of my agony.
These warm days won’t 
make these winters go
that have settled in me 
just like the rust making
the metal weak.
These stars wont be 
my remedy anymore
for it reminds me of you.
These poetries won’t help me anymore
for you are not meant to
be written
in between these lines.
You are boundless
that even 26 syllables
Fall short for you.
This sky is not the same anymore
for I am not sharing
it with you.
My heart ask for days
when it will shed all these heartaches 
and summers will be back again,
when you and I
Will meet again.

<strong>Navya Sharma</strong>
Navya Sharma

I am Navya, an 18-year-old daydreamer from Delhi, India. I am an occasional Narcissist and Jane Austen enthusiast.  I love playing with metaphors. My hobbies include writing poems and reading books. 

Honestly, writing is very important for me because it helps me to express myself. For me, writing is that gentle wave of ocean that soothes the seashore. My Instagram is @ely.nav

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The Truth About Relationships

the truth about relationships

The Truth About Relationships by Laurie Sage

We give advice

to those we love,

but we don’t listen

to the words we offer.

We lose touch in the

space between, fighting

the unknown and

ignoring the words

left unspoken.

Bonds will break,

connections will fail.

Love is often lost.

Love often fails.

<strong>Laurie Sage</strong>
Laurie Sage

My name is Laurie and I’m a student from the Midwestern US. I love photography, watercolors, hiking, and traveling.

Poetry has been my passion for over six years. I have a continuously growing collection of mugs and classic poetry volumes. My favorite author is Jane Austen, and my favorite poet is Pádraig Ó Tuama. 

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What the Stars Sing About

What the Stars Sing About

What the Stars Sing About by Julie Onoh

A choir of gentle gods and giants
Shimmer lovingly across the night sky
What do the stars sing about?
A question that needs no answer
As its twinkling lights
Testify of wonders unknown
and treasures undiscovered

<strong>Julie Onoh</strong>
Julie Onoh

Julie Onoh is an author from Nigeria whose love for books stemmed from her early childhood. So, it came as no surprise to her family and friends when she began to create her own stories and poetry. A firm believer that writers can make a positive difference in the world through words, she loves happy endings and is passionate about the welfare of the girl child. 

You’ll find Julie’s work published with Love Africa Press, the Poetry Marathon Anthology (2019), The Kalahari Review and also involved in a host of projects among others.

When she’s not rediscovering the joys of childhood with kids or weaving tales of lost kingdoms in her head, you can find her writing poetry for her Instagram page @julieonohwrites

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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Daughter – A Blessing

Daughter - A Blessing

Daughter – A Blessing by Swati Sethi

Being a daughter is a blessing of God,
When little, her feet are considered footprints of the Lord,
With her chirps sounding as the music from the chord,
She tries to roam around her parents like a flexible cord.
Truly, being a daughter is a blessing of God.

When grown up, she gets to be the best friend to her mother.
Taunting and scolding him, she holds the golden chance to be her father’s mother,
She guards her family like a sharpened sword.
Truly, being a daughter is a blessing of God.

She is gifted with the power of reading her parents’ heart,
Knowing when they need care and when they are hurt,
Her heart beats for them and prays for their wellbeing from the Lord,
Truly, being a daughter is a blessing of God
.

However, there is always a pain hidden in her heart,
That she always tries to keep apart,
Who will love her parents without the greed of any reward,
Truly, being a daughter is a blessing of God.

Thinking who will listen to her parent’s unspoken words,
She feels afraid to fly away from them like the birds,
She is empowered to be utter emotional yet firm as a rod,
Truly, being a daughter is a blessing of God.

<strong>Swati Sethi</strong>
Swati Sethi

Swati works as a Senior QA Consultant in Gurgaon, India. Swati writes poems based on her personal experiences and feelings. Although writing poetry started as a way to express her emotions, she took her writing to the next level by exposing her work to the public via Instagram and Facebook.

Besides writing, Swati loves to dance and listen to music. You can find her work on Insta and Facebook by searching: missSSethipoetry

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The Journey by Korina Koci

The Journey by Korina Koci

The Journey by Korina Koci

I set on a journey that was thousands of miles long
Setting sail to get through hundreds miles filled with fog
Somebody once promised me that there would be better days to come along

For years I stayed at the shore
Watching my life unfold, oh how it was just a bore

They promised me clear skies but all I see is fear
Crippling me to the bone
Have me wishing that the end was near
As I was standing at the sail on my own

Below me, the vast blue open ocean
Watched me with a hunger
That made me ponder how many souls it claimed over the years
Pondering how many times it was a martyr of people’s tears
And suddenly this was where fear disappeared

For once I was strong enough to bear my troubles on my own
For once I was not scared of the unknown
I welcomed fear and all that it may bring
The courage stained my skin just as if it was made of ink

Because after all, it is only under pressure that diamonds can be made.

<strong>Korina Koci</strong>
Korina Koci

Korina Koci is a writer originally from Greece, currently residing in Columbia, South Carolina.  Her love for writing short stories and poems started at the age of 6 when she was asked to submit poems for her class anthology book. After her move to the United States at 13, she stopped writing and abandoned her hobby altogether. 

Her passion for writing poetry resurfaced years later, as she found inspiration from her past experiences as well as the culture differences between Greece and the United States. In addition, her educational background in Philosophy and Public Health made her more aware, and passionate about mental health issues, and this later set the stage for her poetry themes. 

She uses her writing as a means to unwind after a long day at work, and in the future she hopes for her work to be published. Her writings are centered towards putting in words the feelings of those who battle depression, anxiety, and other times she attempts to motivate others by trying to fictionally relate to them through symbolisms, and allegories. 

When she is not working, she is an avid gym-goer, and frequently tries to connect with friends and family that live far away. She also enjoys hiking, as she finds more inspiration through adventures alone or with others. You can find more of Korina’s work on her Instagram account @modernsinners.

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Shadows of My Past

Shadows of My Past

Shadows of My Past by Marie Anaïs Tessa L’Etang

It kept on following me
No matter how long or how fast I ran
Pinched myself a thousand times
In hope of waking up from this nightmare
They were out to get me
I could feel the darkness caving in
Soon it was cold, I was out of breath
It caught me, it wanted to kill me
I have been running from the shadows of my past for years
I was finally realising my dream
but the light made the shadows reappear
I was made to remain in the dark,left hopeless and walked upon
That was the message my shadows told me
While stripping myself of all dreams, hopes and life
<strong>Marie Anaïs Tessa L'Etang </strong>
Marie Anaïs Tessa L’Etang

I am from Mauritius.  I’m still in high school, so school and tuitions and studying leave little time for a job or for many hobbies but I write and read every day. Since I was small, writing fascinated me.  It has only been an everyday hobby but I hope one day I can publish a book with poems. Instagram: anais.tessa

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Watercolor for the Soul

Watercolor for the Soul

Watercolor for the Soul by Victoria Oliver

Can I just write
About something beautiful
Not educational or earth-shattering
Just a smattering
Of word paint
Watercolor for the soul
Like a sunset or fruit bowl
The sound of nothingness
While looking at the stars
Or the deafening roar of a waterfall
Drowning out the dark

How the soothing sound of crickets chirping
Brings me back to being ten
Sleeping in the basement of my grandparents’ again
I just floated away from my complicated life
And was someone else for a while
Loved and valued just for being a child

I used to walk forever under the almond trees
Make my way to the edge of the Tuolumne
I’d walk out to the bridge
And watch the clear water swirl by
And then row in the aluminum boat
And feel strong and light

My grandparents’ stories of the past
Mingled with my dreams for the future
And now I wish I could go there
For one last great adventure

I’m so glad I got to go there with you
Before time buried the memories from view
Reflection sometimes makes rose-colored glasses
And even more, as time passes
But that’s ok with me
Give me the almond tree

Come away with me
To the whisper of the river
The echo of the cliffs
The stillness of the blue towering sky
Hot, fragrant grass fields slowly sun-dried
To the old bungalow and it’s storage tower
Beckoning us to rummage hour after hour
To the dredge camp and all its history
Stories shaded in the overgrown trails
Weathered remains of cabins speak veiled
And now that you’ve shared this with me
We’ll keep it alive in our memories
<strong>Victoria Oliver</strong>
Victoria Oliver

I was born near Santa Cruz, California, and grew up in Spokane, Washington. Many of my childhood summers were spent exploring California’s Central Valley (especially Yosemite) with my grandparents. I made my way to beautiful Portland, Oregon sixteen years ago and soon met my wonderful husband. We have two amazing, creative tween daughters together. There’s never a dull moment at our house!

When I’m not writing or spending time with my family, I enjoy playing around on the piano, singing, photography, walking, knitting, and reading.

I’ve been writing poems and songs since I was nine years old as a way to process my thoughts and emotions. I’ve always loved rap, the sound of spoken word rhymes, and learning other languages. I take poetry seriously, but if I try too hard, nothing flows.

I’ve just started sharing my writing on Instagram at @word_awakening. I’d love to someday do poetry readings and compile a book of poetry to share.

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The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence

The Gift of Presence by Terra Vagus

My anxieties are always chasing the future.

Frustration grows as I know
I will never leave the present.

I’ll seclude myself from you
to include myself with me.

Nothing exists when I am alone.

I stop time.
contemplate existence.

Nothing exists when I am alone.

But my skin still falls ever so slightly with each thought passing me by.

A cruel reminder that I am wrong.

Even when my clock stops
the world clock tick-tocks.

As I relentlessly obsess over what comes next
I abandon the present.

I abandon the future.

I am stuck in a construct of my own lifeline.

I’m unsure how to see outside this frame of mind.

My ego is my enemy.
My only security.

The present comes packaged with a ribbon
that I don’t have the guts to undo.
Terra Vagus
Terra Vagus


Terra Vagus is an introverted 20-something who resides in the Pacific Northwest. When they aren’t writing, they either have their nose in a book or they are out scouring abandoned and creepy places for anything paranormal.

Terra Vagus is a lover of animals, literature, ghosts and the Earth. 

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Gravity and Unrequited Love

Gravity and Unrequited Love

Gravity and Unrequited Love by Amber Jasinski

Depersonalization is the feeling of being disconnected from one’s physicality.
My body is here but my mind is wherever you are.
I ache for you like a phantom limb...
acutely aware of your absence.
I searched, but was unable to find a word that describes what it is to feel present in my body only when it is in close proximity to yours.
My mind wages a constant assault against any thought that crosses through that does not pertain to you.
I manifest a life with you through daydreams.
Derealization is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal.
How I only feel like my truest self when I’m with you; But I’m never really ‘with’ you...
Just a deep visceral longing.
When you’re gone I feel this immense emptiness where you should be.
Like the infinite density of a black hole.
If it weren’t for gravity, we wouldn’t even know black holes exist.
You’re my gravity.
And I’m slowly collapsing in on myself like a dying star to become nothing and everything all at the same time.
Amber Jasinski
Amber Jasinski

Amber Jasinski has been writing poetry about the human experience and mental illness for the past several years. She has an undergraduate degree in nursing and works full time as a Registered Nurse. 

Amber is a wife and mother and lives in a full house with her husband, 3 daughters, 2 young grandchildren, her younger brother, and 2 awesome dogs! She enjoys writing as an avenue to explore her own journey with mental illness and to promote mental health advocacy. 

Amber writes under the name ajblueorion on social media where you’ll find her “lost somewhere between the words and melancholy madness.”

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