The Song of a Grateful Soul

The Song of a Grateful Soul by Daisy Davis

What more is my life but a journey!
A journey back to You, the One who made me.
Through the countless doors of my worldly being,
With arms stretched out, my soul breaks out! Oh, ever so freeing!

Many tears You shed, Your loving heart bled,
As I wandered off, wading into the trench.
Yet back to you, fled my parched soul to quench
This thirst, insatiable. In Your mercy, I drenched!

Though I ventured into lands far and unknown,
Your voice reached out, rising over my own.
Through the mist of my thoughts, vain and worn,
Your light sought my soul, beyond skin and bone.

Thank You enough, I never truly can,
For Your mercy on me, and all that You planned.
Where would I be, if it weren’t for Your hand
Lifting me up, making sure I could stand!

It is at Your feet, I deserve to be.
Yet here You are, watching over me,
Calling me Your own, gently soothing me.
Worthy of such love – can I ever be?

Oh! What more is my life but a hymn, a song!
A song of love, of where I truly belong.
Plucking the strings of my heart, all day long,
My soul hums on and on, how could I not!

I shall forever dance to the rhythm of Your love,
Embrace Your gift, I’m much unworthy of,
Spread this peace and calm, this joy, so buoyant!
For what more is my life, but that it is Yours!

<strong>Daisy Davis</strong>
Daisy Davis

Besides working as a Solutions Architect at Akamai for Media clients like NBC, Disney, HBO, etc., Daisy aspires to be a writer and ardently desires to read as many books as possible. Her life is deeply rooted in faith and prayer. She is extremely passionate about Bharatnatyam (an Indian classical dance form) and cannot imagine a life without music!

She also loves drawing, traveling, trying out new things, exploring different cultures and cuisines, non-profit volunteering, cooking and playing badminton. 

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Reapers

Reapers

Reapers by Teodor Nihtianov

Reapers

Aren’t her eyes
like a faded picture.
An old soul
in a young creature.

Dresses like her favorite singer.
Eyebrows frayed at the edge.
Tongue like a bee’s stinger.

And in this dream
we float forever.
Thinking we are both
so clever.

<strong>Teodor Nihtianov</strong>
Teodor Nihtianov

28-year-old Bulgarian living in Philadelphia. Writing has been the most consistent hobby in my life.

I like to keep things as simple as possible in terms of the words I write, the words I read and the things I do.

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E’er Do I Dwell

E’er Do I Dwell by Michael Dreher

E’er do I dwell ‘neath yawning sun
When young we were, to antic run
A frolic through the scratching grass
And barley sway in our trespass,
To lie frames lithe aside the lake
That glinted churn’d by thrashing drake,
Where dripp’d and darted dragonflies
The rippl’d glass to scrutinise
Refracted flutt’ring Admiral
Aside the lucent bursts of wool
That ache the bough of old-man’s-beard.
These moments now are disappeared
As in our paths did yearning tides
To sep’rate dest’nies cleave our strides.
But e’er, beneath the willow bower
That drips to banks some solemn hour,
Do you think of those free days
When, by the stream with hearts ablaze,
We loved, and lived as lovers do
Beneath the endless welkin blue?
In the dawnburst flutt’ring streams
Of slate-grey half-awaking dreams,
Does my face to mem’ry tumble
As some distant joyous rumble?
Do you e’er with morning dew
Think of me as I oft do you?

<strong>Michael Dreher</strong>
Michael Dreher

Michael Dreher is a poet and short story writer from England. He has self-published two poetry collections: Fazakerley Sickbeds (2019) and Bloombursts Liminal (2020), and will publish a novella and a short story collection later this year. 

Dreher was grown from a thresh of words in the Leicestershire countryside, and then tarnished with an arts degree and a rattle of heartbeats in Liverpool, where he lives to this day.

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No Direction Home

No Direction Home by Riya Sharma

No direction home

We were in my favorite record shop
and a Bob Dylan classic was playing
when you said,
I’m like that song you knew you’d like
before even hearing it.
We later put neon bands around our
wrists, attended crowded concerts,
consumed free slurpies and danced
to the bands we didn’t know the name of.
You pretended to like my dance moves
and I acted like I didn’t notice your eyes
on me the whole time.
We grabbed hamburgers and argued
if human misery were to take up space
would this world be big enough to store it.
Spoiler alert, it won’t.

You practically had to kiss me when I
couldn’t stop blabbering about how
holding a paintbrush in-between your
fingers felt more beautiful than holding
a half-lit Marlboro.
I’m glad I noticed that nicotine patch
on your left arm.
Your eyes resemble one of the many
marbles I owned as a child.
Maybe that’s why my mom thinks I’m
obsessed with you.
We spent the rest of the night quoting Tolstoy
and Dostoevsky
under a streetlight that kept flickering
like it’s doing that
on purpose.
But neither of us were in a hurry, were we?

That record shop at the end of the street
has been shut down
and I’m too old for concerts now.
Your Instagram feed with your lover
is so much prettier than the old
Polaroids I have of us stored in the attic.
How could I have ruined something that
was so meant to be.
Maybe even the best of songs
ultimately just end.

<strong>Riya Sharma</strong>
Riya Sharma

I’m Riya and I’m 20 years old. I believe we’re all poems, with stories of our own. I exist in metaphors and laugh in rhyme schemes, which is to say I’ve a really weird laugh.

I love creating art and I’d love to read all the books ever written on this planet, basically I want to live forever, haha.

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Melanin Mama’s

Melanin Mama’s by Lourd.knows

She with skin the color of love
Her, the one who’s been chosen by the sun
Lips of plum
Warrior tongue
With a complexion that tells a story of where we all came from
Woman of fire
Because She can take and create the heat
Brown baby
Thankful to a lady that wouldn’t give up her seat
Yes, Rosa parks to spark up the convo
And Audre Lorde knew before her “your silence won’t protect you”
let this ignite your soul
Ida B Wells said, “the way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon it.”
Be bold
Shine bright
Live in your roots
Galvanize them so no one can claim they are colorblind anymore
you see me?
This is the color of love
The color of strength
The color of brave
Our shades differ
But we are one
And the sun knows it
so our skin glows with it.

<strong>Lourd.knows</strong>
Lourd.knows

I am a writer/poet, a native New Yorker who resides in Pennsylvania. My writing focuses on my life experiences with racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, addiction, love, loss, self-discovery and motherhood.

Follow my poetic journey on Instagram (@lourd.knows), for “taboo” topics.

In my piece, Melanin Mama’s, read the way I rhythmically talk about the beauty of women of color and the importance of our voices. The poems I write are what I consider poetic justice stories. 

I hope to continue writing and maybe publish a poetry book. We shall see what the universe has in store for me.

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I Want to be the Sun

I Want to be the Sun by Berly

a red rose drops its petals
a yellow birch loses its leaves
a baby bird leaves the only home it knows
—the sun still rises

I spend the day under white cotton sheets
I let the shadows stay in my room
I decorate my vanity with decayed petals
—the sun still rose

can I be this unfazed?

<strong>Berly</strong>
Berly

My name is Berly a 23-year old Puerto Rican poet raised in New Jersey and now call Massachusetts home. I am a libra sun and in graduate school pursuing an MA in Public Policy and Administration. 

I began writing intently in 2019 and started my poetry account about two months ago after deciding that I wanted my words to exist some place besides my notes app. Writing has been a way for me to bring whatever brews inside my chest forward in the hopes that it will free me, in essence, I write to free myself. 

I have enjoyed writing every day and a lot of my poems center around unpacking trauma, love, endings, beginnings, nature, sexuality, and relationships. 

Besides writing I enjoy reading poetry (my favorite poets are Nayyirah Waheed, Olivia Gatwood, Rupi Kaur, Mary Oliver, & Blythe Baird), journaling, shopping, sitting under the sun, and trying to find the best strawberry lemonade. 

I hope to continue writing and maybe publish a poetry book. We shall see what the universe has in store for me.

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Hawkeye

Hawkeye by John Mungiello

Their wings spread, stretched, confident—

Catching kisses from a breath blown

By lips invisible. To them, every day is an anniversary,

The hawk, its own God, above us

Surveying its property, with

Knived vision choosing

Which one of us to swoop up. Against its prey,

The only prejudice is

The limp in my right leg. Their judgment based on necessity only,

Unlike the angels who fly through—above—

Underneath—careless, were they?

Yes. Leave me to the hawk instead

I prefer their judgment, a little less bitter.

Let them take me up

Their talons in

Open up lung—open up

I-don’t-mind-the-pain-the-pain-I-don’t-mind

Because maybe then,

Just before the end,

Just once

I could feel

Just once

What it would be like

To be above this virus, loved.

My first word.

Talk To Me by John Mungiello

Little mouths pucker.

Little mouths open.

Ready to speak,

I ask them,

“Will you kiss her hand?”

They respond with a gust…

Soft as cotton. But their answer is clear;

With what little they have left

They open a centimeter,

Giving her their water

Whistling their music. 

Little white bells ring

In my head, ring

Little white bells,

Not church bells—

There are no churches

Here anymore, at least not

Made by bricks or mortar…

No.

Those bells were all

Torn down by his orders. But these,

These little white bells

Continue to ring…

Continue to ring… 

With every cool push of wind,

They swing

Away from the plagued air,

Which in the past,

Carried them back. 

<strong>John Mungiello</strong>
John Mungiello

John Mungiello is the author of Streamlining Oblivion, available on amazon. His poems have appeared in Lucky Jefferson Magazine, Capsule Stories Magazine, and PSPOETS.

Currently, he is working on a new book of poems and short stories. He works as a high school art and special education teacher and lives in New Jersey with his wife and dog, Shelly.

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Behind the Shadows of Freedom

Behind the Shadows of Freedom by Marie Anais Tessa L’Etang

Behind the shadows of freedom

Vandalism as some might say
Free gallery of expression to others
These art works on the walls
Each screaming something
Only a few can feel

In the shadows of equality
Many are victims because of their religion, colour and gender
Humans treated as objects to rapers and human traffickers
Slavery still lingering in the dark

Many risking their lives simply to get their message to the world
A message to expose what they are going through
A message in hope of saving those in the future
A message for others to finally be able to build up courage and stand up for their lives

While some are hiding behind screens trying to express themselves
Others are cutting themselves
Seen as a suicide mission to some
But as relief to others

Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves
But not all are understood or even heard
Many go unnoticed
Stuck in the dark
Left in the shadows of this free world

Notice me!!!

Screams, tears, tantrums and silence
Each yelling something
Wanting to be heard
Yet, no matter how loud or silent we seem to be
We are never noticed nor healed

It is our right to be free
to show who we truly are
And we are criticized because of our religion
Restricted by our gender or colour

Petitions right and left
Many joining the fight
In hope of change and acceptance
In hope of being noticed
Still not much is done to help

Violence taking over
Victims are the only ones noticed
what about the victimizers, they were once victims, but no one noticed
They are screaming for help through these acts
no one bothers to hear them out

Many unable to express themselves freely
Wrote their hearts out on paper
While they hang from the ceiling
Only to stop the hurt
At least they will be heard and noticed now

<strong>Marie Anais Tessa L'Etang</strong>
Marie Anais Tessa L’Etang

I am a Mauritian who loves to write. Writing poems has been an important part of my life since very little. I usually just write on paper or in my notebook and only allow some people to read them but I am trying to get rid of that timid side and break free starting with eve poetry and now an Instagram page @words.on.sleeve.

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Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom by Tyree Storey

The kitchen is doused in plumes of flour.

Petals for the worktop, in offering

Something sweet from the fridge,

it spills. Down my fingers echoes of our years.

In every cradle and every note of Leon Bridges spinning.

Coming Home, do you recall it? Our candied summer. In London

bedrooms. Sweat on my brow as we made love. I see cherry-blossom

float through my open window.

<strong>Tyree Storey</strong>
Tyree Storey

Poetry was never on my radar as a kid, but now I seem to find some form of expression and peace in writing.
I do so from North Leeds, UK and its leafy-green suburbs. I nestle somewhere between the bustling student bars and a slightly more distinguished commuter-belt. Perhaps there’s something of myself in that.
 
I can be found on @atari_poetry on Instagram, where I post my other work if you feel so inclined to stop on by.

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I’m Lost

I'm Lost

I’m Lost by Aafia Muhammad Amin

I’m lost in my own world
In my own scars
With my own hallucinations

Lost in my soul
That no more sighs
In my strength through

Lost is my heart
That no longer beats
The same way it was

Lost are my words
In my scars
In my flaws

I am lost
In my own words
I own

<strong>Aafia Muhammad Amin</strong>
Aafia Muhammad Amin

Aafia Muhammad Amin is a born Writer, an emerging Artist, pursuing Pharm-D.

She wrote her first poem when she was 10 but started her writing carrier 4 years ago. She started writing in her National language ( Urdu), competed in some contests and the results resulted in this pen power. She then tried to write in English too and gained much confidence.

Her inspiration is the world around, broken dreams, physical and mental sufferings and the silent struggle one bears. She believes that they are the words that can treat one, make one and break one.  

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