Sunshine by Liza Rose

Sunshine by Liza Rose

Sunshine by Liza Rose

Her life began in a beige and green grass field. A headfirst tumble into existence. A soft thud as the earth accepted the weight of her. A soft sound from my mouth as the wait for her ended. Then silence.

Nine months of carrying life in my swollen stomach lead to this moment: her, a tangle of dark limbs in the grass; me, a tangle of every emotion beneath the summer sky. What more was there to do? What was there to say? Me, just standing. Me, a deer in headlights. Warm sun above. Big dark eyes below. A baby. Sunshine. 

I wanted to apologize. Wanted to kneel down and tell her how sorry I was. I’m sorry that you exist. I had no choice. But she didn’t speak the language that lied like thick milk on my tongue. She spoke only the language that exists between mother and child. The language of milk and mouth. A hungry cry. A clumsy attempt to nurse. Me still sorry, but trying to give her what I could.

I was one of the lucky ones, they said. Some aren’t so lucky. Some don’t even get to see the baby.They put her head in a cage, I heard. Kept her eyes straight ahead. I heard the baby was born male. Poor mother, poor baby. Up the road, they tie their necks to posts. That’s a little better, I guess. Do you think you’ll get to see your baby? 

I spent days watching the sun rise and fall. Waiting. Waiting for them to take her. But soon she was walking. Soon the leaves were changing and crunching beneath her clumsy steps. We walked together along the fence, stopping here and there to watch the horses through the slats. She tried to talk to them sometimes like I did when I was young.

In the Spring of one exceptionally wet year in my youth, I watched a boy race around on a great white horse. It had been raining that morning, and I could feel the slickness of the earth beneath my own body. So it was no surprise when the horse crashed onto its side, taking the boy with it. Both let out primal screams. A gray-haired man scooped the child up in his arms. The horse, however, stayed there on its side for two days, grunting. Then, on that second day, the man came out into the field again. I watched him watch the creature. Run his long fingers over its snout. Pull something shiny from his waist. Watched the way it fit against his skin like an extension of the human hand. Boom. A sound like a quick bolt of lightning striking a tree. A soft echo. Silence.

I told her this, my baby, so she would know of both acts of kindness and of cruelty and how sometimes they had to overlap. I loved her, despite not wanting to. I loved her, and that’s why I did what I did. The night they pierced her ear, I knew that time was running out. I knew her future was approaching, the one I had lived, the one my mother had lived, one of chronic pregnancy and pain and babies being taken from you just to live in the same purgatory. Until death. And so I fell asleep on top of her.

Her life ended in a beige and green grass field, and I was alone again. Soon, I was growing another inside of me. I felt so empty for such a swollen creature. The spring was cold and wet, and I missed the feeling of sunshine upon my skin, of the warmth of a baby next to me. But I didn’t wish to feel it again.

I wished that a wolf had found us that day in the field. Wished that he would have torn her throat out. Because a wolf knows no cruelty, just survival. Humans are worse. I hope that they tie my neck to a post when I give birth to the life growing inside of me now. It would be an act of kindness. I can’t raise another and feel what I feel now. And they can’t even see my sorrow, hear my cries. All because I have four legs and hooves. Because I was born a cow. Because my baby was, too. 

I Bare My Teeth

by Liza Rose

I am fighting 
to feel, 
fighting 
to not feel 
as much.

I long to be 
a house cat
content 
in watching birds 
through a dusty window;
content 
in finding a patch of sunlight 
whose heat I can curl up in;
content 
in sinking my claws into carpeting,
yawning, flicking my tail,
stretching my back
to the crescent moon.

I long to be 
a house cat.
I long to be 
content.

But I am not. 

I am fighting 
to feel, 
fighting 
to not feel 
as much.

I am an animal
blessed with intelligence,
cursed with intelligence.
blessed with emotion.
cursed with awareness.

My self defense
lies not in claws or jaws 
but in pretending.

And so
I bare my teeth
in the form 
of a smile
and pretend
to be 
content.

<strong>Liza Rose</strong>
Liza Rose

Liza Rose is a student at The Pennsylvania State University studying English. We can find her work in the poetry anthologies “War Crimes Against the Uterus” by Wide Eyes Publishing, and “Foraging” by Globalage Poetry. 

She enjoys tennis, coffee, horror films, poetry, and everything else that makes her feel utterly alive.
Connect with her on Instagram @Lizarosepoetry & @Liza.lies.alot!

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Do Not F*ck with My Wife

Do Not F*ck with My Wife

Do Not Fuck with My Wife by Ty Brack

Do Not Fuck with My Wife

I mean, not in that seedy-dive-bar-dude-in-flannel-leers-at-my-wife-
but-I-have-a-bigger-truck-with-heavier-duty-suspension-
and-a-louder-engine-so-I’m-gonna-spit-my-chew-on-dude’s-Romeo’s
kind of way.
No, no, no, I mean: Do Not Fuck With My Wife.

For instance,
standing in the security line at the Chris Rock show, dude and his wife are clearly agitated by the fact Chris Rock is having everyone place their cell phones in a secured, locked pouch because, Lord have mercy, an artist wants to protect their intellectual property. So dude says to the security person, “This is fucking retarded.” And I’m shaking my head like, “Uh-oh, dude, you just fucked with my wife.” My wife says to dude, “You know, I work with incredible students and young adults with disabilities, and they certainly do not deserve to be reduced to your selfish pain.” Now dude is really trying to save his masculinity, “Whatever, you’re in the wrong place, going to a Chris Rock show and getting offended by the word retarded.” My wife looks at her ticket and says, “Hmm, my ticket doesn’t say I’m here to see Unnecessarily Angry White Man perform.” People in line laugh. His wife is trying to hide. I’m standing with pride because it’s obvious now to this dude that you do not fuck with my wife.

I mean, not in that
trendy-bar-SoCal-meathead-who-thinks-he’s-a-MMA-fighter-
bumps-into-my-wife-and-spills-her-Vodka-soda-
but-I’m-also-on-steroids-so-I-turn-the-bar-into-the-Octagon
kind of way.
No, no, no, I mean: Do Not Fuck With My Wife.

For instance,
walking down Bourbon Street, Old Testament white lady is bringing down the wrath on a young Planned Parenthood street canvasser, “God has promised to strike you down with all those baby-killing whores.” I’m like, “Jeez, lady, you just fucked with my wife.” I turn to see my wife using PBIS restraint strategies to move Old Testament white lady up the street while saying, “Yeah, yeah, lady, why don’t you take God’s promise and lock it up with all his other broken ones? Your time’s up!” Old Testament white lady turns and disappears up the street, still shouting to the sky. My wife walks back, signs the petition, donates $10, and says, “Honey, we should get some po’ boys.” I look at the Planned Parenthood canvasser, he looks at me, and we shrug like, Do not fuck with my wife.

I mean, not in that
I-own-her-so-I-call-her- “my wife” -to-prove-that-she’s-mine
kind of way.
No, no, no, I really mean: DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

For instance,
her bosses target strong-willed women who present threats to their authority. A hostile work environment is created. Her co-workers quit or transfer. My wife blows the whistle. She’s attacked, harassed, slandered, “Aggressive.” She keeps blowing the whistle. She’s threatened, accused, libeled, “Insubordinate.” She’s still blowing the whistle. She’s investigated, violated, defamed, “Bitch.” Finally, someone hears her whistle. Her bosses’ time is up. DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

For instance,
she’s recovering from that trauma. Her new boss forces his frail masculinity onto her. She survives. She reports. She’s doubted. She’s coerced. She survives. She’s minimalized. She attacks his pocket. She survives. His time’s up too. DO. NOT. FUCK. WITH. MY. WIFE.

And I mean this in that
I’m-just-a-husband-smirking-proudly-in-the-background-at-the-fact-that-I-am-in-love-with-
this-powerful-woman-who-does-what’s-right-when-it-needs-to-be-done-while-I-just-write-
poems-about-it-so-actually-go-ahead-and-fuck-with-my-wife-at-your-own-risk
kind of way.

Ty Brack
Ty Brack

Ty Brack is a poet, Hip hop artist, teacher, and youth organizer from the outskirts of Portland, OR. His poetry has been published in Northwest Passage and is set to be published in Writers Resist. 

He can be seen performing his poetry from time-to-time at the wonderful Portland poetry events, Slamlandia, Portland Poetry Slam, and WordLights, and his music is available on all major digital streaming platforms. 

Ty Brack also organizes youth poetry jams in his community, providing young poets the opportunity to increase their social-emotional health through creative expression. You can follow @ty.brack.poetry on Instagram

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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.

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here.

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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. 

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here.

I Would Watch My Father

I Would Watch My Father

I Would Watch My Father by Caleb Eriksson

When direction was questionable
And my eyes still impressionable
When porridge
Cemented in grey splodges
to my favourite
Rugrats shirt
I learnt a lesson
I would watch my father
Watch himself
In his three buttoned blazer
He shone as well
As any knight
Pressed and dressed
He would chant to himself
Smoothing out the lapels
His eyes unwavering
His smooth, strong hands
Securing the Adam’s-apple knot in the tie
Strangling with confidence
there wouldn’t be a single wrinkle
Of self-doubt
In his suit
And I thought that was a man.
Do a simple sum
Of a few leaves wilted
And a few flowers bloomed
My direction still questionable
My eyes still susceptible
Over the deafening earbuds
Of adolescence
I learnt a lesson
I would watch my father
Watch himself
With eyes that were deep
Perennial tunnels
His smooth hands calloused
And uncaring to the wrinkles
Plaguing his paint flecked jacket
And the only smile
He could muster
Crunched like a bird’s wing breaking
And I could tell he thought about
The height from which he had fallen
But still stooped to somewhere low
He would lace his steel-capped boots
With an unfaltering integrity
And I thought again
That was a man.
<strong>Caleb Eriksson</strong>
Caleb Eriksson

Caleb Eriksson is a reader, writer, and soon-to-be-librarian. He has had several poems and short stories printed and aspires to have novels published. 

Caleb enjoys the works of Australian authors, especially Candice Fox and Markus Zusak. He currently resides on the tropical east coast of Australia with his beautiful, newlywed wife. 

You can follow more of his updates and brevity poetry @poeticflashcards on Instagram. 

Tempest by Teodor Nihtianov

Tempest by Teodor Nihtianov

Tempest by Teodor Nihtianov

She had fire in her gut
and not the decent kind.
Not the romantic kind.
Not the one that allows her
to overcome.

It was cataclysmic.
Napalm.
Eight gallons of gasoline and a Zippo.
Meteors grinding the atmosphere.

She left no prisoners,
no bystanders
and scorched away all potential
for rebirth.
Teodor Nihtianov
Teodor Nihtianov

I’m originally from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria but have lived in the USA for the last 19 years.
Writing is something automatic for me, I have to do it or my head will hurt. In fact, I’d pay to do it if it came down to it. 

That being said, my other major hobby is reading. Poetry, graphic novels, short stories, novels and everything in between. In fact, I just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante and am now reading Klaus, a graphic novel about the origin of Santa Claus. Traveling is #3 on the list, I like being nomadic and lost.

Writing is an integral part of me, more than a hobby, but unfortunately I don’t possess the right word for it. It’s pretty much an extra limb I carry with me. I have plans to release a short story/poetry book soon.

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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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We Are Blessed by Hamza Waleed

We Are Blessed by Hamza Waleed

We Are Blessed by Hamza Waleed

 Looking at the silver lining in the sky,
My heart whispered to gear up, and fly.
Of all the morning's bliss, on us, it showers,
That gentle breeze of air, embellished with flowers....
Seeing those marvelous clouds, fascinates from within,
And heavenward mountains drove the heart towards them....
See!there's a bunch of birds flying in joy,
And singing in a charming, melodious way.....
Those soft rain drops, falling on the ground,
Enrapturing the beauty of everything, all around...
The glorious sun, slowly, in gorgeous majesty retires,
Flooding the fields with the reflection of his golden fires..
Those twinkling stars, in the sky, so gleam,
Guarding the portal of mind to the world of dreams....
Looking at these pearls and when they wink,
The eye become their slave, and never even blink...
After the unruffled night, the dawn breaks n brightens the day,
Bewitched heart yearns to seize the beauty without any delay......
All these wonders seems to be far away,
But, No! they're right here, where our heart stay.....
Of all the beauty and loveliness, the earth bears,
Is like a symphony, by the Marvel, to his dears.....
Witnessing all these splendid beauties,
The heart, ultimately confessed,
Be thankful to the Almighty,
For We are blessed.

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers by Hamza Waleed

 These are the soldiers of our glorious motherland,
Who faced all the hardships and still withstand.
Leaving behind the beloved, back at home,
They walk through deserts and barren comb.
Calling up those good times, they possess,
They miss those afar, but never express.
Living in the battlefield,
They cope with those awful sights,
But their courage never shatters,
And they stand together to fight.
They never shed a tear,
And put their wounds behind,
They forget the pain,
And put their memories to blind.
Surviving the field of honour,
Holding hands in hands,
Just like a thread,
Woven into a strand.
A brother shedding his blood,
Falls beside them,
But they shouldn't worry,
For in heaven, he'll gleam like a Gem.
They embrace the death,
With a grin on their face,
For in it lies,
Their soul's grace.
Those fearless defenders,
May have different mothers,
But they always stand together,
Like a "band of brothers".
They served with dignity,
And they served well,
For the pride of their land,
They chose to go through hell.
We are proud to have these lion hearts,
And shall remember those we lost,
For the freedom we have today,
They paid the awful cost.
Hamza Waleed
Hamza Waleed

My full name is Hamza Waleed. I am from Pakistan. I live here with my family, and I am a student of BS Physics. 

I’m an entrepreneur and just started writing poems. I write to manifest the feelings of my heart and soul. It’s so soothing to put your feelings in words. No books written yet.  My hobbies are book reading, travelling, and writing. 

Instagram: hamzakhattak567

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Augustine Oak Bound by Palm

Augustine Oak Bound by Palm

Augustine Oak Bound by Palm by Alicia Thompson

Solid oak, rooted deep,
like the tree in Augustine,
twisted branches reaching high,
verdant abundance towards the sky.

The palm grows gently 'round the oak,
symbiotic progress preserves her yolk,
leans in to his trunk so stout,
with support, fans fly free about.

The pair dance spirals towards the rays,
each perfect alone, a match to praise,
like the singular gator tone alabaster,
the palm and oak together uniquely master.

Sun’s Study of the One #1,657,000,000,000

By Alicia Thompson

Sun, she is the artist extraordinaire,
each day, painting the sky with flare,
studies of me, you, us, the one,
1,657,000,000 renditions of God.

Before the orb rises above the plain,
she sends light dancing in pink and grey,
crescent king hangs low to greet her,
their daily kiss, a Picasso piece without the painter.

Salute rises high in the midday stretch,
blinded by her brilliance, we almost wept,
another gallery, another showing,
the portrait she paints, the one, all knowing.

Prism in the cloud,
rainbow foamy waves on sky blue canvas,
colored icing, in a sea of white,
portal drawn to another world or love or life.

Our star, sustenance, survival,
brushes red, pink, blue, and yellow,
mirror image in the stream down below,
masterpiece moves, weeping eye and open channel.
Alicia E. Thompson
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 family and neighbors.  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 is a new outlet.  Struggling with the daily grind and trying to find quiet time, writing poems helps me tune into the world around me and to be present and grateful for everyday life. 

My poems focus on my family, nature, and my travels. 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 AllPoetry.com @EleanorT.

This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising/referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, with no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little magazine afloat. Thanks for your support. Read full disclosure here.

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