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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In another life

In Another Life

By Nikki C Mercer

In another life 
we walk the streets in daylight 
side by side holding hands

In another life
we celebrate our love
every waking moment we can

In another life
I am your woman
you are my man 

In another life
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/f0903-img_4198.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Nikki C Mercer
Nikki C Mercer

Nikki C Mercer is a wordsmith residing in Adelaide Australia. She manages a family, a financial career and a passion for creative writing.

Nikki’s pursuits include endurance running, eating way too much sugar and experiencing the depth of life.  Nikki is co-author of The Thing Between Us and is published in a number of anthologies worldwide.
 Connect with Nikki on Instagram by searching for handle: ImagineExploreCreate

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A Birthday Gift

A Birthday Gift

By Joyasmita Ghosh

It is not the day that seems special,
But the people who make it so.
For it is just another day;
The same sun, the same sky
And the same universe that guides the pass.
But you speak of it as a day of remembrance
And insist it be celebrated.

But is a day worth celebrating Life?
And given you, given your love,
Celebration and gratitude are an enormity.
Life and Death are a game of scores;
Each second that brings us closer adds on to Life
And each moment that pulls us apart add on to Death.
You ask for my choice of gift,
But I already have you.
What could be more dear, than a heart which beats in a rhythm similar?
A soul that bows in prayer for Eternal togetherness,
And happiness that unleashes at the smile that brings the dawn to your day.

You urge, and I finally ask you for a gift
And you instinctively say yes.
Don’t, for this may hurt,
promising a thing prior knowing its price.
And I go on to tell you:
If ever a lonely soul you stumble upon,
A shoreless sailor, with all hope gone,
Promise me you’ll hold her hand
And be the loveliest roses on her barren land.
For a heart that is dilapidated,
Life happens not in worldly dreams,
But in a feather-touch that brings joy untold
And shuts out one’s inner screams.

Thus begins the celebration of the heartbeat, knowing that
Gone is the chasm of bitterness;
A life awaits anew.
I say this, for I have once been a shoreless sailor.
Give you such a life, know that our love lives then
As the Heavens doth forever.

Tis my birthday today, and you can’t refuse me.
All I ask for someone, just like me, is a reason to celebrate;
Not just a day, but a life;
A life that gives glories, a life that gives pain,
But above all, a life that brings you home
And prepares you to set sail again.
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/78fef-20190927_154829.png&quot; alt="<strong>Joyasmita Ghosh
Joyasmita Ghosh

Joyasmita is from West Bengal, India.
Current job: pursuing Graduation course in Mathematics.

Hobbies: Sleeping, watching cartoons, sky-gazing and muser. A hardcore bibliophile and a music lover.
Instagram handle: read_andrelate
Focus for writing: A break from everything boring.

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Poetry by Noor

Poetry by Noor

My Muse, My Dearest Friend

By Noor Alzaghal

Fear, oh fear

Fear of the paper they say
Fear of a blank page

Yet fear is present
But the pale sheet isn't

Oh mother, I've got a fear so fatal
I cannot rid of it in the rivers
Oh father, I've got a fear so lethal
I cannot rid of it in the skies
Oh, this fear
It's got its claws clasped into my skin
Penetrated deep enough to reach my soul

My soul, my soul, my soul!
Tell me of your hiding place
Let me in on that secret space
Is it close by or up so high?
Tell me it's in space
Right outside the milky way
Tell me it's chill and nice
Tell me it rains and hails
Tell me joy is there
Tell me a lie

Cloistered soul,
I know you long to be set free
I know you wish to breathe
But breathing is condemned a sin
A sin so horrific
I cannot behold its magnitude

No eye must see you
Not even a tiny glimpse
For walls keep you safe
Even during a hurricane

Oh pure soul,
I'll feed you for sure
I'll read you letters
And I'll mold them into sounds
Smooth as a cat's fur

They'll serve as a catalyst
To your deepest desires
They'll beg you to yell
They'll beg you to scream
They'll beg for their freedom
With fisted balms and glaring eyes

Oh mother, let me spell it all
Oh father, let me cry it out
Oh, oh, oh, let me let me let me live

My fear's source is them
They cannot know the truth
They cannot know it all
They must not know me
Else I might become published
In between their balms
Right beneath their fingertips
In front of their eyes
In front of their glaring soul
In front of them

My Muse, My dearest friend,
When I die,
Look through my notebooks
Set my words free
Give them wings
And let them fly
But for now
I'll howl into the night sky
Hoping Ginsberg replies

My Morning Play

By Noor Alzaghal

Subdued lighting melts through the curtains
Marking dawn
As the hushed blue fills up my four walls
Birds chirp their way up to the highest sky
Tranquil silence fills the empty pockets of the day
And soon my dear
Soon my Eyelids will become the main actors of this beautiful play.
A Romeo and a Juliette aching to reunite.
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/58cfc-noor.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Noor Alzaghal
Noor Alzaghal

Noor Alzaghal is a 19-years-old Palestinian young woman with a burning passion for arts of all sorts. She is mainly a writer of poetry and fiction, but she also likes to dip her fingers into some photography and drama from time to time. Although unpublished, she is in the process of writing a novel as well as publishing a collection of poems hopefully soon. At the moment, she is a full time English Language and Literature student at An-Najah National University, and she is the founder of Englitopia; A Creative Writing and Drama Group , which aims to provide a safe space for students to find and express themselves through art.

You can find her on Facebook and Instagram where she shares most of her work. Instagram: @noor_poetry    
Facebook Page: @Noor.Flicker  ( https://fb.me/Noor.Flicker )

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Inner Child

By Jacklyn Ruth

It’s what we build thick walls to hide.
We wake up every day and put on our armor.
It’s the small child inside us.
It’s that feeling you get when the power goes out and all you have is a flashlight.
We are our own bodyguard, our own vault.
Trying to stash away what others could use against us.
That’s no way to live… Is it?
To live is to take chances, to make mistakes, to get a little messy.
And sometimes, let people get to that soft spot, that child.
Because not everyone is out there to hurt you.
Because some people are worth the risk.
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/d2070-florian-klauer-mk7d-4ucfmg-unsplash.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Jacklyn Ruth
Jacklyn Ruth

My name is Jacklyn and I’m from Maryland. During the day, I work in Communications but every evening I take to the chair and write poetry, read a book, listen to relaxing Celtic music or play a video game. Writing has been a hobby of mine since childhood. But recently, my ultimate goal has been to have a book of my poems published. I write hoping my words make my readers feel something and that they take something away from my poetry.
Social Media: @jacklynmae.poetry

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Broken Pieces

By Natalia Imran

You're just a little broken
But darling, aren't we all?
You might be just so tired
But darling, aren't we all?

Tired of living the life
Of some human you're not
Thinking of what might come
The second this all stops

You're just a little broken
But darling, aren't we all?
You might just be so tired
But darling, aren't we all?

Worried of what people may think
When they find out the things
That you hide away every night
Under your bed, in that small box

You're just a little broken
But darling, aren't we all?
You might be just so tired
But darling, aren't we all?

Scared of the backstabs
That will come with the truth
Of your life
Which concerns no one but you

You're just a little broken
But darling, aren't we all?
You might be just so tired
But darling, aren't we all?

This part that's broken of you
This part is what shines the most
This part that's broken of you
That's how the light gets in

You're just a little broken
But darling, aren't we all?
You might be just so tired
But darling, aren't we all?
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/aff05-author-photo-female.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Natalia Imran
Natalia Imran

I am Natalia Imran from Pakistan. My hobbies include writing poetry and articles. I also like to paint and draw sometimes or make dies. I am a student.

The focus of my writing is to deliver positivity, hope and clarity through my poetry. It is not just a hobby; it’s a passion. I take my writing seriously and wish to have a book published one day. 

Instagram account: @absolute_felicity
Twitter account: @Natalia_Imran

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Smile by Lamya

Smile by Lamya

Smile, a poem by Lamya Rassiwala

When the glowing ambers of the day melt into darkness,
And the quietness of the eve casts a spell on my heart.

When your presence is all that I need, but your absence is all that I have.

I look up to the sky and smile and you always smile back.

When I collapse under the weight of the day,
And my grief threatens to overshadow my spirit.

When loneliness embraces me the way you used to,
And nothing else matters accept a kind word from you.

I look up to the sky and smile and you always smile back.

My surprised eyes cry in the middle of the day.
Unaware that my heart has been hurting all day.

When a shadow falls on your picture on the wall,
And darkens the tattered corners of my soul.

I look up to the sky and smile and you always smile back.

When I get tired of pretending
That all is fine.
And get exhausted from fighting the pain inside.
When the fragile pieces of my heart,
Desperately search for a new start.
I look up to the sky and smile and you always smile back.

Perhaps this is how we go on.
You and I from now on,
Day after day, night after night,
I keep looking up and you keep smiling back.

Cause nor the night or the sky
Nor destiny or time,
Can stop your smile from meeting mine.
<img class="wp-block-coblocks-author__avatar-img" src="https://evepoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/bc79d-lamya.jpg&quot; alt="<strong>Lamya "Minaaz" Rassiwala
Lamya “Minaaz” Rassiwala

Lamya Rassiwala is from Mumbai, in India. She has been a content writer and editor for the last 15 years, but her first love has always been poetry. She writes in English, Hindi and Urdu. Her other most cherished interest is her love for travel, and she wishes to start a dedicated blog for it.

Her favourite thing to do is perform at various spoken poetry events in the city. You can follow her on Instagram:  @lamyaminaaz where she posts poetry and interesting travel pictures.

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Poetry by Alicia Thompson

Eleanor by Alicia Thompson

Hair woven tightly knit,
Stretching the corners of the lenses,
Brown polka dots,
On the bridge above the white picket fence smile.

Body taunt, upright,
Arms reaching out and extending tight,
Tummy tucked, breath in,
Skirt flittering at the bottom of the rim.

Pointed toes, angular and rigid,
Foot flexed, legs strong,
At attention the parts are ready,
For the sweetness of the song.

Notes flutter through the air,
Striking out and inspiring the motion,
Head high, body bound,
Fair hair bounces up at the notion.

Floating through the sky,
The skirt abounds unlimited in flight,
The strength is freed into the light,
As the smile is suspended in height.

Her inner steel weighs nothing down,
It makes her apt to launch above the crowd,
Unfettered and suspended above,
Defying physics, my metal dove.

Untethered by Alicia Thompson

The vessel floats next to the dock,
A rope haphazardly connecting the two,
Waters touching the bow and pile,
All seemingly separate, yet the same too.

The sailboat begins to rock and hit up against the dock,
Bumping and now bruised the bow and the pile,
Tides lapping on the side,
Causing the clash of elements that will not subside.

The haphazard rope that now seems like an afterthought,
Has no chance at resolving the dispute,
As the sideboard crashes into the dock,
Binding, frayed and worn, gives irresolute.

The boat tithers to and fro,
Hanging low, the mast leans towards the waves,
Nothing and no one guiding the way,
Cast into the disheveled and roaring waters.

The rope drags behind flailing about,
It reaches and screams for the piles in the distance,
Unanchored and adrift, serving no particular purpose,
A failure from the outset, no chance to begin with.

But then the rope’s knot is lodged in the rocks, 
Catching a break that could not have been foreseen,
Now wrought, the vessel standing at attention,
Swinging and swaying, tethered again.

The jagged black rock,
Connected to the distant fray,
Mast, pile, rope, and dock,
All seemingly separate, yet proven the same.

About the Author

Alicia E. Thompson

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I spent most of my childhood playing in the woods and the fields surrounding my home with my neighbors, siblings, and my cousins.  When I was a sophomore in high school, I moved to Columbia, South Carolina and was introduced to a new life in the South. Although I traveled back to my home state of Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in History at Penn State University and later to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend Tulane University Law School, I landed in the low country of South Carolina to be closer to my extended family.  Myrtle Beach is now home; I am a partner at a southeastern based law firm where I focus on real estate matters, I am married to my husband Greg, and we have 3 children.  

Poetry in a new outlet for me.  While juggling motherhood and practicing law for the past 12 years, I prioritized work and family above self.  Struggling with the daily grind and trying to find quiet time, writing poems helps me tune into the outer world and to be present and grateful for the everyday life.  My poems focus on my children, nature, coping with work stress, and my travels. Eleanor is about my 5-year-old daughter who is enamored with ballet.  Her strong will juxtaposes her ability to glide through life, like the juxtaposition of the strength and grace of a ballerina. In my spare time, I enjoy the beautiful South Carolina coast, yoga and meditation, organizing a book club with other professional women, and spending time with my family.

 You can follow me on Instagram at @aethompso and on AllPoetry.com @EleanorT.

Alicia Thompson, Poet. With her family.
Alicia and her family.

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Glass Girl by Amber Jasinski

Chapter 1

Girl of glass has a heart that beats so softly it doesn’t make a sound
She swells with each breath but becomes more fragile 
She swallows her feelings and they slip into the hollow shell of her
Girl of glass stands still in a crowded room, too easy to break to risk moving
She stares with doll eyes watching as people look right through her 
She feels full of emptiness and shatters 
Girl of glass is swept under the rug
She has no worth if she can’t hold things 
She is too many sharp pieces to risk stepping on

Chapter 2

Her mind jagged shards with a sharp tongue 
Her body a one-way mirror 
She sees out, and no one sees in 
Twisted thoughts carving deep cracks
Lining them with gold only makes her more beautiful 
That’s why...
They love her so much more broken. 
Breaths as fragile as blown glass
Heavy heart beats in a hollow chest
Her sadness echoes deep within her

About the Poet

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

Lost at Sea

By Deanna Ramirez

It is though in those years⠀
I was lost at sea⠀

Longed hard for love’s arms ⠀
to wrap warmth around me⠀

Instead glacial glares ⠀
Frost dealt cold as ice⠀

Left to tread frigid dread⠀
Just so you would play nice

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