Volume 40 ~ 2017
The warm dew of sweat builds
under the aide-de-camp’s uniform.
His back aches from riding
on horseback for several hard miles.
Trees bow over the road,
protecting him from the cruel sunlight.
The young soldier’s harsh breath
hurts his swollen throat, thick with sickness.
He can see the tents of
camp, but the horse does not.
He kicks at his steed’s side,
but it will not yield to his command.
There’s an old tube slide abandoned
in the field by my house. At night,
the neighborhood kids sneak off to
the realm, writing their names on dark
green walls. My sister and I so
badly want our names on the
sacred piece of plastic.
We wait for years to grow old enough;
For our names to hang out with “Benny,”
and “Ryan,” written in black letters.
Now, we creep to the field with sharpies
and write our names. The moonlight is
our spotlight and it seems all our dreams
have come true.
Where people tear away at each other
like rabid dogs, stomachs aching
from hunger, ravaging through the
forgotten mounds of trash.
Where the leaders of society are
no longer seen as role models,
but we are compelled to listen
because they are our voice.
Where veterans are left out on the streets;
starving, suffering, and those who
don’t work for their freedom, flaunt it
like there was no price paid.
Melted ice cream cones and fried egg sidewalks
bubble in bustling cities. Skylines
bully trees into shriveling shadows.
Green lines pockets more than playgrounds. Metal
stampedes roam across nature’s former turf.
Grocery bag jellyfish and plastic
plankton invade the high seas, ringing out
the rag of the ocean into hungry
mouths. Coral reefs fade into skeletons
and soda rings strangle swimming harp seals.
Children need masks to breathe chemical air
and can’t see stars through the fog of progress.
The world withers because of us. Nature
cries, but remains faithfully at our sides.
You only listen to me when
I’ve got tears in my eyes and sighs
in my heart and slashes on thighs.
I don’t want to be dramatic,
but I’ll throw full blown hysteria
to have your attention. I’ll bleed
my wrists raw if you will notice
the hurt in my heart and the shame
in my soul. I will swallow pills
if you can perceive my ‘not-so
perfect’ life. I shouldn’t need to.
Something wafts through the halls
like thick sacred smoke,
it dives into your lungs
while you gasp for air.
Aching for oxygen,
you forget what it
feels like to breathe something
besides toxic truth.
The poison will follow you
when you leave. You open doors
watching as tree trunks crack and
splinter under forceful flames
With every scorched step,
a part of you is left.
Ashes dust the pavement
blowing away with embers.
Phantoms haunt fields once filled with life.
They remind me of death coming
for me and you. I wandered down
crossroads; looked in all directions.
No great skyscrapers or trees blocked
my view of the horizon. All
we’ve made will diminish into
rubble. The things we love will die.
What remains are empty spirits
that plague all crossroads and the dread
left with the dead.
Everyone likes the girl
who is blond and skinny.
The girl with a lot of
friends who everyone thinks is nice.
She is nice to an extent.
Popularity can rule
over even the nicest people.
But what about the lone girl,
that is in the shadows.
She doesn’t wear short skirts
to try to make others like her.
She lives in her own world, away
from all of the stereotypical teens
She is not who they think she is.
Behind a dead oak, I hide.
I rest my face in my hands,
scared to talk to the pretty
girls, afraid of their laughter.
Behind a dead oak, I’m safe.
I hold onto the branches
and watch the pretty girls sneer
at the girl with pink pigtails,
the girl with pigtails, like mine.
Through the sea the boat sails and then it comes to shore.
On the shore, the train travels making the grass tremble.
In a halt the train dies and the plane takes over.
When the plane crashes and the car emerges.
Slowly the car drives down asphalt.
It awaits the day for something to wreck it.
Over the cliff which drops into darkness,
a lone blue flower rests on a vast ledge.
The flower sways in the soft breeze.
I stare down into the dark trench.
Oh, beauty is everywhere. Smiling,
I thank the flower and walk away.
Humans hide in a dim cave,
it protects them from the truth.
Eroded rock shields the world:
walls keep out unwanted things.
In time, stones crumble and crash.
Air slaps the faces of man.
Everyone scrambles for help,
crying, Stop! Please, make it stop!
Truth floods their innocent minds,
and nobody can save them.