FIREFLIES (A SONNET)

by Powell Franklin

 

Shall we go chasing fireflies tonight?

I’m sure there’s nothing I would rather do

Nostalgia fuses with a fresh delight

When I share memories with you.

 

On not so distant evenings ago

When I looked at at the world through younger eyes

The seasons moved serene and very slow

And I myself went chasing fireflies.

 

The twilight’s come, the dew is on the grass

You run across the yard in just one shoe

How quickly now the seasons seem to pass

I cherish chasing fireflies with you.

 

The jasmine blooms, the evening looms and then

Tomorrow we’ll chase fireflies again.

TARNISHED CROWNS AND DESOLATE THRONES

by Hannah Pickering

How heavy your tarnished crown must be, Your Majesty.

I remember when it shined like the rays of light cascading down from the heavens.

Did the burdens of your people become too much for your head to bear?

How small you are; you;re practically folded in on yourself, Your Highness.

I remember tall, proud shoulders.

Did the weight of the worlds become too much for your shoulders to bear?

Come now, I know that headpiece is cumbersome but isn’t it polite to greet your guest by looking them in the eyes?

Ah, there we go, grasp that last bit of fleeting pride and grit and look upon me.

How sunken and dark your eyes are, Your Grace.

I remember bright orbs that shined with unbridled passion and innocence.

Did the gravity of your sins become too much for your eyes to bear?

Your Majesty, Your Highness, Your Grace.

You are none of these.

You are a nothing who was ruled far past his prime and your reign ends here.

So, crumble skeleton.

Crumble into the dust of that you formed from.

The new King has arrived to take his place.

 

MAYBE

by Desirae Costigan

 

Maybe if I was better for you.  If I could bat my eyelashes and stare into your eyes deceitfully I would have you tagging in my wake.  Maybe if I gave false hope to fill up the void in your heart till you were overflowing, spilling in at the seams.  If I could crack that million dollar smile or pout my lips softly, I could keep your love.  But, my dear, for you I cannot flutter my lashes, for I have trouble in the seconds we don’t share a gaze.  False hope has never meant much in my reality, and I know oh so well that it will not fill a hole for long without spilling and seeping through the cracks.  My love, my smile is far from perfection but it bares my tongue, that is where my words are forged.  And if I were to pout, tell me, would the innocence portrayed be real?  If I am not enough for you, then at least I have offered all that I know.

COME ON IN, STAY A SPELL

by Rob Howell

Winter. Oh, how I love winter.  The feeling of the warm and cool fighting for dominance and me not caring who is victorious.  Just watching the snow fall outside.  Feeling the cold radiating from the glass.  Seeing the frost on the window.  Walkign outside in the dead of night and feeling the freezing concrete on my bare feet.  The smell of Winter Lodge burning in the air.   The taste of the salty winter ham or the sweet pumpkin pie.  The bright reflection of the sun’s light against the white ground.  Cuddling the one you love and watching a film.  The sound of the snow crunching under both of your feet as you take a stroll through the park.  That is why I love winter.

To the Girl Who Lived

by Tyler Marberry

 

To the girl who lived,
Who taught lessons great
And who taught lessons small.
Whose fire burned bright,
her presence a squall.
May she know always to believe
in self, in dreams, in can and will be’s.
May her stance be a mountain
unbreaking and tall.
Her spirit ever rising
And may she never fall

MY HANDS

by Amanda Pugh

 

My hands are

Average sized

Fingers slightly longer

Than usual; a piano player’s fingers

One might say

But I play clarinet

At least I did

Once upon a time

Coaxing some semblance of music

With these graceful fingers

From a long black tube

Covered in silver keys

That I haven’t played

In years now.

Now these fingers coax words

From a computer keyboard

Or a pen

Or a pencil

Whatever’s handy when the mood hits me

They create art.

What’s your superpower?

Untitled, by Erik Wilbanks

After Markus was kicked out by his mother, he started walking down the road. While walking, he heard barking coming from somebody’s yard and was about to run when he saw a small dog come out of the shadows. Markus was a tall skinny guy who was not afraid of anyone, but as a child he had had a bad experience with big dogs.

A few days later, just as he was trying to get to sleep, a family that was driving by saw Markus lying in a box and stopped their vehicle to talk to him. When the car pulled to the side of the road, Markus thought he was in trouble and started packing his things. Just as he was starting to walk away, the family got out of the car and one of them said, “Hey bud, what are you doing out here?”

Markus responded, “I’m just trying to sleep so I can wake up and try to find a job.”

Another family member said, “We have room at our house if you’d like to come stay and….”

But Markus interrupted: “Honestly, I would love to, but I can’t take advantage of your family after I just got kicked out.”

The father told his wife and his son to go sit in the car. Then he said to Markus, “Whatever happened to you that got you kicked out, that would get fixed in our household. We want to help you, but you have to want to help yourself first.”

Markus stood there, staring at the father with a small smirk. Then he said “First, thank you for that. Second, I’ll take your offer!”

After a few months with the family, Markus now has a job doing construction and is enrolled in school. As well, the family decided to adopt him — even though he is eighteen years old. Without the new family, Markus would have stayed on drugs and would have gone on to more hardcore drugs. If the family hadn’t stopped, Markus’s life would have gotten much, much worse.

MI AMOR

by Kaylyn Weddle

 

My sun kissed Love

a smooth golden brown

whose radiant beams bring life and laughter

 

My Love, washed by the waves

Cleansed of the world’s contaminants,

revitalized youth with its invigorating waters

 

My Love, softened by the sand

Leaves behind the sweetest heart,

the wisest mind, and the dearest soul

ANOTHER ONE

by Sean Reid

 

Another one

Another one down, another one gone.

People tapping away, expressing what’s wrong.

Hashtag this and hashtag that.

A man was shot today, and guess what?! He was black.

“How long must we suffer?”

“Until we lose a father, a sister, or brother?”

“We must stomp our feet and protest!”

“Maybe then that narcissist will hear us from the Oval Office!”

“We’re going to…’hashtag#BlackLivesMatter’ ”

… And what exactly is the result after?

Another murderer set loose on the streets?

Which will then lead to one of us slaughtered in their backseat?”

“No, let’s post our thoughts and they’ll see how we’re really feeling!”

“That will certainly stop all this killing!”

“Nah that ain’t it.  We have a hero who’s kneeling!”

“That’s smart, peaceful, and appealing!”

Another one down, another one gone.

People still expressing what’s wrong.

In the middle of this catastrophe,

There’s been a cracked door to end this agony.

Yet and still, we’re not going to change our mentality.

A man once said, “If you want to hide something from a black man…put it in a book.”

Unfortunately this is true because that’s the one place we do not want to look.

If we choose the path of self improvement,

Then our peers will look at us in confusion.

Because we’re selecting the path that’s the best solution.

We left slavery, but slavery hasn’t left us.

Viewing someone as better will weigh heavy on our conscious.

Another one down, another one gone.

Nothing’s going to change if we keep singing the same old song.

 

TO CLAY

by Naomi Duron

 

You carried the weight of the world on your shoulders

Your back is heavily scarred, and deeply wounded.

With your burdens you easily held my world.

And from your wounds grew precious impervious flora.

and over time your spine grew crooked, after carrying each burden.

Despite the trauma the world and your burdens gave you, you graciously carried my world anyway.