ENDEAVOR TO SUCCESS

by Stacie Ramirez

I used to think I could find happiness 

By sacrificing my own 
I always thought getting away would be fun 

But I always miss home 
I never thought I would overcome the hurt 

But it has molded me into a sturdy vase
I have become more understanding 

By presenting myself an empty slate 
Oh how I dwell on things in my past 

And oh how they linger and haunt 
But I have seized the day

Do you know the joy accomplishment has brought? 
I say farewell I open this page 
I write vigorously about my life 

And talk about the hurt I’ve famously caged
I water myself with wisdom

 And encourage others with deep vitality
But how does the person that has it all together sleep? 
Does he or she clinch their fist as they continuously weep? 
The mentor longs for something 

Oh it aches! 
The simplest of disappointments 

Has haunted them for a decade

LITTLE THINGS

by Emily Elizabeth Allen

Brown roofs on golden

Homes with small, green terraces.

Peaceful little things.

Medieval structures

Surrounded by sweet vineyards.

Drunken little things.

Luxury and art

Blending fast at the bridges.

Vibrant little things.

Five cities so small

With beaches white and seas blue.

Stunning little things.

Crowds come to see the

Tower slant and baptistry.

Leaning little things.

Antiquity stands

Its ground against fast-paced change.

Timeless little things.

Food, art, and lifestyle

Claim this renaissance birthplace.

Cultured little things.

ABIDE

by Eric Morris

I cannot tell you of my fears

Won’t let you see me drown in tears

That’s just not the man that you need me to be

Got to keep it all within

Hide my sorrow, force a grin

Keep my demons appeased, hope that you never see

The darkness in me

I can’t abide

By this feeling inside

Because if I did you wouldn’t see me the same

So I’ll continue to hide

Watch as my innocence dies

You’ll thank me later ’cause my loss is your gain

My life is pain

I try to keep it locked away

Do what I must to make you stay

But I can’t hold back the darkness anymore

I’ve lost sight of what is true

I swear I did it all for you

But you’re closing the door, what was it all for?

Love nevermore

I can’t abide

By this feeling inside

Because if I did you wouldn’t see me the same

So I’ll continue the lie

Don’t know why I even try

You’ll hate me later, and I’ll take all the blame

My life is shame

My thoughts are locked inside this cage

Your life has turned another page

There is no reason you should ever think of me

I’ve fallen deep inside my mind

Emotions dead, consciousness blind

Pray to God set me free, these devils won’t let me be

Too late for me

I can’t abide

By this feeling inside

Because if I did you wouldn’t see me the same

I couldn’t deny

The lure of my foolish pride

You’ll find out later, my life is lived in chains

‘Twas all in vain

A NOTE FROM JEFFREY

by Eric Morris

Everyone says that my

Personality is one that

Starts fires in souls,

Tickles the conversation,

Ends the darkness, and

Invokes the memory of

Nobility long forgotten.

Do I not, then,

Inspire the same for myself?

Does no one see the

Nothingness, the

Torment of my loneliness?

Kicking and screaming,

I beg for a

Love to ease the

Longing that aches in me.

How can one such as

I, mired in the

Madness of

Solitude, discover

Even one who is also

Looking for a life

Free of emptiness?

A FOOL’S DREAM

by Eric Morris

My search for fortune led me to a place

Where golden rocks lay in the riverbed;

A wondrous paradise for greed unbound

Awaited my arrival with a lust,

A hunger for my soul unmatched by men.

I dove into the water without pause,

Before my conscience had its chance to speak;

My eyes were blind to anything but wealth,

An ache for power only money buys,

A need to sin but free from consequence.

The pyrite in the river lost its shine;

The water tasted stale and reeked of death.

I knew I’d erred and tried to swim for shore,

My only wish to breathe clean air again,

But I was held in place by bony hands.

The corpses of the fools who’d come before

Were pulling at my body from all sides.

They beckoned me to join them in the deep.

I struggled to break free and cried to God,

“Oh, save this mortal wretch from certain death!”

I looked about, but there was no escape;

The riverbank was gone, as was the floor,

And in its stead, a chasm dark as night,

An endless grave as wide as it was deep.

The devil’s creatures swam into my view,

Their tortured faces singing my demise

As Satan’s endless laughter filled my ears,

And darkness overtook my will to fight.

I lost all hope as I began to sink,

And water filled my lungs; I closed my eyes.

I suddenly awoke from restless sleep

And pierced the void with screams of utter fright;

It dawned on me that I was safely home,

And death had not yet overtaken me.

A nightmare, to be sure, but over now;

I stumbled to the kitchen for a drink.

When I turned on the tap I was amazed

By floating flecks of gold inside my glass.

I vividly remembered Satan’s laugh;

Maybe a warning, maybe prophecy.

THE CURE

by Eric Morris

I know what you’re telling me,

That I’m broken, my mind is ailing me.

But the treatment you’re selling me?

It’s not curing me,

It’s killing me…

The pain helps me thrive.

Destroy myself to create,

Create just to stay alive.

The spirituality of my reality

Is a demon of duality,

An angel’s smile

Hides linguistic brutality.

This sanctified evil

Is quite a curious mentality.

And you’re the cat

That would kill the curiosity

As you offer me

My daily chance at normalcy,

150mg of time-release sanity,

A pill to kill the ill

And restore the humanity.

I don’t want it!!

You say I need it.

The disease must be treated,

The beast must be defeated,

The cure must be completed.

I can fit the world’s aesthetic

And keep it copacetic,

Only slightly (a)pathetic.

That’s not me.

My personality

Isn’t free,

It’s been caged by an MD

Who’s blind to what he can’t see.

How can I willingly

Deform what’s inside of me

For only an opportunity

To be acceptable to society?

This is my choice.

I have a voice

That will not be silenced

By your fear of verbal violence.

To medicate

Is to saturate

My riot with a quiet,

To know salvation and deny it.

A prescription pill diet?

You’re trying to sell it

But I won’t buy it.

FOLLOWING BEAUTY

by Victoria Edwards

I stay still and calm as the warm bright crimson washes over me.

Its warmth strengthens me as I follow all day long.

I am planted into the ground ready to learn from his mist of righteousness.

My golden petals fall with the wind that keepeth me straying.

I look to the sky to find my shining hope for direction.

As I lose track of my daily design,

My bright crimson Sun never fades,

He stays in continuous motion to show us the way of beauty.

I will be glad to see His shining glare of hope and grace one day

Whenever it’s time for me to depart.

I am grateful to have met the peaceful sounds of the waves,

That they showed me the correct path to follow.

The shining crimson Sun of hope and grace that I now follow as my King.

I am in their debt for saving me, I only wish I could repay them

For all the things they have done.

February 24, 2020

A SILENT PLEA

by Victoria Edwards

I sink into the sand alone and cold underneath the silent starry sky.

I waited desperately to hear a word from them.

But time grows slow with the emits of despair.

Alas, the weary stars will not speak to me, as I follow an uncertain

Path that lies before me. I wish I could have asked my last faithful plea, as I fall

Deeper in the cold unforgiving unknown.

I should have known this day would come, as I sink ever farther into the ground.

I could hear peaceful sounds of waves coming closer to grasp ahold of me,

To save me from what is to come.

I follow its kind relaxing voice showing me where to go.

With a weary uncertainty, I closed my eyes and listened.

I followed their words of hope and found myself above the sand

Not sinking into despair.

From a kindness that saved me from a terrible mistake, I now walk with open eyes.

I found myself looking up at the starry sky once again, smiling with a mist of joy.

Finally hearing them speak for the very first time.

TO THE WOMAN WHO SAVED MY LIFE

by Jennifer Dennison

7 days ago, I looked into a mirror and a Stranger was looking back,

7 days ago, the life I had been living had become only clothes in a sack.

7 days ago, my head was confused, everything was a blur,

7 days ago a voice inside my heart screamed out for help, and was very clearly heard.

7 days ago, I surrendered it all, and with tears in my eyes, I made that life-changing call.

7 days ago, I was terrified, ashamed and lost.

7 days ago, I realized what had become the ultimate cost.

7 days ago, I stepped through those doors, gave up that devastating demon, and said No More!

7 days ago, I heard other stories of regret and remorse.

7 days ago I found the path, others on the same journey, and I began to learn the tools to help me stay on course.

7 days ago, I opened my heart and cried in front of complete strangers, I told them about my disease, my mistakes and my anger.

7 days ago, I gave it all up and took it all in, No one judged, criticized, or condemned.

7 days ago, I faced my shame and my strife.

So today, 7 days later, I want to say Thank You to YOU, the woman that saved my life!

*This poem was written at the end of my 7-day detox treatment. I want to dedicate it to all of you that are finding yourselves and staying sober!*

Jennifer D.

WITHOUT YOU

by Sheema Dotson

My love was beautiful, but your love gave me pain,

I put so much into us, but it was all in vain.

Some days the way you made me feel would knock me off my feet at times,

Then it hits me that you are no longer mine.

The wounds are fresh and too deep to heal,

Cause the love I had for you was real.

They tell me to stop thinking about you and to just move on,

but the more I try to fight it the more I want you home.

Days, weeks, and months have passed by and I still sit around

and think about you and that’s no lie.

I feel as if I am drowning, I cant stay afloat,

They throwing life jackets out to save me but I cant get on the boat.

I am stuck to put the pieces of my life together but this time by myself,

I feel all alone as if I have no one left.

I got to pull myself together,

I pray one day it will get better.

I got to face the truth that I am better off without you,

Yeah it hurts and it is killing me but reality,

You and I wasn’t never meant to be.