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a polkadotted
napkin
full of problems
tied to a stick
slung across
my shoulder

strutting
stubbornly
from one place
to another

never questioning
why I bother
meandering
all over

a runaway
to sunny beaches
gloomy cities
far off reaches
of far earth

with stars poured
in my eyes
and hard-earned
pennies in
my purse

hoping that
this time will
be different

it couldn't
be worse

?


©2018 Adelaide Heathfield
Ever the escapist. Seeing new places with rose-colored glasses. Believing that everything will be better "over there". But forgetting to deal with my problems before I leave.
 435° 
Justin Case
I don't usually push this hard.
In fact, I'm almost scared that I'll push you away.
But I don't have time for this waiting game.
I can't play hard to get.
I'm running out of time.
I must fight for every second I can get.

In a few weeks I'll be gone,
Never to see you again.
Can you blame me for trying?
Is it possible to fit a lifetime in such a short period of time?

I don't mean to push you away,
I just want to spend time with you.
You're the sun to my flower.
Without you I cannot exist.

I'm a battery that can only be charged by you,
And I'm headed to a place without any power sources.
I shall soon be no more.
Please allow me to live while I still have the means.
 415° 
Srijani Sarkar
I am thinking
right now how
wrecked I'll feel
if my friend
dies but she
hasn't died yet.
I am a bad person. A very bad person.
 410° 
Mercedes
To the Grocery Store Boy,

your smile was seen all the way from the fruit section.
You walked with a hop of joy in your step, making you even more admirable.
 
I went into this emotion of "love at first sight" as you took the lemons off the cart, and put them into the lemon display.
You held each one with a tight grip,
but not tight enough to where you disturbed the lemon.
Each one was placed with careful fingertips,
showing the tenderness of you.

Suddenly, my heart was playing soccer within my chest.
My mom, she started walking over to where you were standing,
and although my smile was breaking down of happiness,
my heart couldn't handle you.

Soon,
I was within inches from you.
Soon,
I was standing right beside you.

My mom, she had bumped into the lemon display.
You smiled, oh boy did you smile.
Sudden eye contact was made with me, and I couldn't help but smile at the grace of your smile,
then words fell from your lips.
"I saw that",
and that was all it took.
For me to suddenly fall in love with the boy at the grocery store.
 324° 
elsa angelica
I'd drown me
Deep in your heart
And live there
Forever
In your love
If you only  loved me
Unrequited love
 300° 
Paul Hansford
I received a message from you
but when I clicked on Reply
my predictive text
trying to be helpful
offered me a choice
of three words
to start with

I  You  The

not an impressive option
you might think
but on reflection
"I"
had "You"
in the centre of my mind
and for a robot
guessing
what I wanted to say
two out of three wasn’t bad
And if the stars collide,
My heart will sing for you....
Will you try to  hold me
like the Dandelions in the wind?
 240° 
Brittany Smith
Have you ever sat and listened,
To the hatred in the world,
Envy and greed are all that’s spoke,
Not things we’re grateful for,
We don’t care for one another,
Since it’s easy to turn our backs,
That when our needs are desperate,
No one has time for that,
Words are our biggest weapon,
Yet we’ve all failed to see,
Violence does not start with guns,
It starts with you and me.
 230° 
April
Inhale,
Exhale,
Take in the cold,
Let it deep into your lungs,
Feel the mist against your skin,
A new flurry of feelings,
Your arms tingle,
With each breath more heat rose in puffs of white vapor
The frigid wind pokes you like icy fingers and wraps around you like a shawl woven from the snow itself,
The tip of your nose is no longer there,
The laughing wind creeps up to you,
following you up the mountains,
hissing at the warmth of your body,
The wind whistles and snow sings as it falls,
The wolves howl and the bears snore,
The leaves crunch and the branches snap,
They all come together yo create the beautiful song of winter,
But alas, only you can hear
It’s seems as if my mind always returns to nature.
 205° 
humdrum
chewing on barbed wire
falling up the stairs
running out of milk before cereal
wet shoelaces
my dead car battery
spiders in the bed
She stands where the river blows her hair wild

no youth and no favor for her
no hands to clean the salt licks on her skin
her palms are dreams wrinkled dry
yet craving an offer.

You come from a distant land, she says,
heavens bless you.

I got no small change, I respond,
my mind drifts to ponder,

a small change, I need that too,
always hungered for
and faltered through
like I missed the vessel narrowly
to be on the river's other side.

Maybe when I come back,
I turn toward her.

She was gone.
Harwood Point, Dec 5, 2017
An abortive river trip, a chance encounter
 178° 
Farooq Ansari
Once upon a time,
there was a town by the eastern sea
where all the roads and rivers
led to the cathedral

not so long ago,
sheltered underneath the dome
we caressed the walls, the ceilings
with our hands dreched in colour,
the visions of Eden

all was right, all was well
we danced when we took rest
we sang after our feet had bled
a chorus that echoed beyond the sea

then on a fateful day
an oasis peered beyond the waves
calling us to be one with the divine,
the trees, streams and cascade
our visions of Eden

with paint still wet on our hands
the oars were held with passion
and curiosity flooded in
where once was devotion

we saw upon reaching the shore,
the trees, vines and bushes
wrapped around its inhabitants
servings of precious fruits and reveries
and them being ecstatic in constraints

so we sailed for the harbor
the one where we strayed from,
we took to the streets of our town
but the roads wouldn't lead us home.
 138° 
Ryoka Fontaine
I find joy in beads of blood
Like crystals gleaming
Or the reflections in a flood
The wounds they sting and burn
But despite the pain
To feel, I yearn
I lost myself today
In darkness I staggered
And I sliced my skin the same old way
The crimson gathered slowly
Seeping from my sorrow
Like vultures to death, lowly
Do emotions ever end?
If I cry to the heavens
Perhaps an angel they'll send
 116° 
Danial John
Oh man, I can't stop seeing bad omens.
Flowing, from the empty spaces... pouring.
The blood in my ears is roaring.
I must make clear these notions.

The world whispers and murmurs.
I must be put on earth for a purpose.
Blessing and curses.
Still, I feel worthless.

I listen with the ear of my heart.
See with the eyes of my soul.
Getting closer, yet falling apart.
Will not stop until I achieve my goal.

Yet still I listen, transition and complete my mission.
Fate leads me into the ultimate competition.
Wrists twisted, wits missing, the clock ticking.
You must understand that if I don't try I'll never know what I'm missing.

And for the 5th quatrain, I plead the 5th.
My thoughts cannot be shared directly.
Read the omens with me and see pain's lithe.
Please bear with, I hope you don't wish you'd never met me.
Is all around you, just look and listen.
 111° 
Her
if you take advantage
of someone's weaknesses

that is
n o t
love
 103° 
Sam
To feel numb, and nothing at all -

or

To feel everything, all at once -
and be pulled under
by your complete inability
to laugh. or even smile?
 95° 
Amanda
Grip tightened on me,
Strangers falling in love now,
is it not over?
 88° 
Ollie
If I had a time machine
I’d probably go back and tell myself not to worry about the pitter patter of the rain on the roof of our apartment building
‘Cause rain is gonna help her sleep when she’s just a few months older
And the dreams she has now are a lot better than the ones she’ll have later on
There’s only so much you can tell a little kid
And maybe I should tell her that she’s not going to find her best friends until she’s 11
And they don’t go to this school they live in Florida and Southwest Missouri so don’t bother looking quite yet
You will do okay without them
I’d tell her Missouri doesn’t mean Misery so don’t bother running away when you’re twelve
You’ll regret it but the woman who finds you at the gas station will ask you 10 times if you want a hot chocolate
You’ll have to give in so just go with it
And maybe if she was older I’d tell her to stop expecting her daddy to show up at her birthday but she’s not gonna know what that means til she’s bolder so I’ll let the kid sleep until she’s a little older
Maybe I’d tell her “mental” and “illness” are two words she doesn’t know separately, but put together she’ll know them like her heartbeats
And how mental illness is the kind of person in your head you talk to
And it follows you when you walk around having conversations
It’s the kind of thing you pick up around your friends
Cause they teach you what the words mean and how leeches suck the blood out of you
Not that you’re covered in leeches just patches and rashes all over your brain that suck the life out of you
But maybe she wouldn’t listen
Kids are headstrong and I know that better than anyone
I’m the kind of person she’d be told to avoid on the street, now
Not that I’m bad just the clothes I wear scare some half to death I like the color black
Like coal
But I’d tell her she has a heart of gold
And she always will
I’d tell her, “He wants to dye his hair green. Don’t judge him for it.”
Or maybe, “The first time you ever yell in class will be to a kid wearing glasses. That’s your first clue.”
I’d tell her, don’t follow the smoke back home because if you give it time the fire will seek you out and it will say, “you smell like cinnamon.”
And that you can’t save everyone from the fire, they’re already pulling back and forth on their wires and making it electric
The most you can do sometimes is unplug the system before it gets bad
She’s gonna lose some people but maybe little kids aren’t meant to hear that so I will reach and leer through the window, blocking the rain for her
I’ll tell her to eat her pizza crusts, because in a few years she’ll have trouble eating anything
And that the stuffed bear your uncle gave you is going to be your advisor when your eyes hurt and you can’t keep them closed at night
Get used to holding him tight
I’d walk back into my time machine
You can only talk to yourself so long each night
Maybe I don’t have a time machine but if I did I’d probably lock it up
Because nobody gave me a warning for everything
It’s supposed to hit you in the chest
Up where you breathe because sometimes getting the wind knocked out of you is exhaling all of your air so you do not choke on your own amazement
Lord I’ve realized feelings don’t come from your heart
They say that in slam poetry, you’re supposed to pour your “heart” out onto the stage
But to the girl many years ago, it’s not pouring out there
It’s pitter-pattering
I think I’ll tell her to appreciate it, because I should know out of all people
This kid has a big storm coming
a slam poem i wrote for a tournament next saturday. if anyone’s ever competed in that, feedback would be incredible.
 70° 
Justin Parks
If we're so close
I'd no longer stare at photographs
No longer read between lines
I could just touch your face
Look into your eyes
And finally know my place.
We could either play pool
Or sit at the park
I'd hear your stories
While you are looking afar.
Then slowly, I'd take each chance
To watch you from your side
And wish for myself
That I could call you mine.
But the first thing I should wish
Is that we'd be so close
I'd no longer have to stare at photographs.
 69° 
Her
the moment a poet
falls in love with you

is the moment
you live

f o r e v e r
 63° 
exst
You transformed my darkness
Into light

You taught me
The meaning of life

You accepted me
When I could not

You listened
When I forgot
 54° 
The Willow
(There are two characters in this particular story:
Him and You.)

He never thought of me as a poet, though I have written more poetry about Him than anyone else before.
I wrote a poem about him, spent hours on it, hummed it on a stage,
I got so close to the mic for comfort
I felt I was supporting myself on His secondhand drunken breath.
I once read it out loud to him, and it got lost in His head,
and I am unsure if He was ever aware of poetry He dismissed.

But You. You considered me a poet almost from the start,
I could see it in the way Your eyes were trying to tell Your mouth the words it needed to adore me, but Your mouth fell blank,
and so chose into kissing instead.
At least, that's how it went in my head.
You were upset with me at how little poetry I had written about You,
and even to this day, though we are apart for three years,
You still read my words.

Why?
Why do you still read?
Is it to make up for the words You skipped over in my eyes when You were close enough to read my irises?
 52° 
Kimber
I keep throwing gasoline on my already burning problems.

I'm addicted to the pain.
 49° 
Lyda M Sourne
"How can you make this world a better place?"

They ask.

She smiles sweetly and says,

"A world without me in it."
 49° 
mollie
sitting underneath the stairs, i realized suddenly:
i could die here.

i could die here,
and would anyone know?
i could die here, under the dirty staircase,
and nothing would change.

a friend of mine came for me eventually;

someone i don't know too well,
but well enough.

and she squeezed my hand and told me,
"you're not alone."

as my breathing grew ragged and my chest constricted and my eyes ached, i belatedly realized that was the most terrifying prospect of all.
only thing worse than feeling alone is knowing that so many others feel alone... hope everyone out there is feeling loved
 49° 
mydarkfairytale
If a girl is hopelessly crying in a forest and no one is around to hear her, did she actually cry?

All that you’ve heard about Rapunzel is pure lies.
She had jet black hair, that was darker than the midnight sky.
Entirely broken inside, waiting to end her life.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you what really happened tonight
Grab a delicious treat and something sweet to drink.
Before I wish you a goodnight’s sleep.

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Rapunzel
Since the age of ten she had been locked away in a monstrous tower.
Kept in chains by her demons all day.
They liked to play games with her mental state.

One of the games included, Simon Says.
Simon Says, cut a blade through your wrist.
Simon Says, bang your head against the brick wall,
Until you begin bleeding and start to fall.
She hated Simon Says,
But she always obeyed what they said.

Mother Gothel was an antagonist; a myth.
Rapunzel made her up in her mind to have someone to blame,
For all the wretched pain which she endured everyday.

Loneliness became her closest friend
As she sat alone in a cobwebbed den.
Listening to the clock ‘tick tock’ in her head
Over again like a broken record.
Making her want to rip her hair out to shreds.

The voices screaming in her head made her psychotic.
No one cared about this depressive girl,
More than they did about summer rain.
They all couldn’t see her suffering, so it didn’t matter.
Instead they threw her in a tower, an architect built.
So her mind could rot in tiny pieces, lying still.

One day a boy named Flynn came into the mix.
He loved her with all his heart; they could never be apart.
When he was around, her eyes light up.
Forgetting the misery that came after dark

Tomorrow came along.

Rapunzel was found sobbing in her fragile pale hands.
“Leave me alone!”, she screamed in terror with her eyes closed shut.
Shaking uncontrollably, while the rain and tears flowed as one.
Just like the river she wanted to drown herself in.

Flynn gently helped her to her feet in panic.
The electricity still flowing through her entire body.
“I love you.” he softly whispered into her ear.
“I love you!” he says with passion and honesty.
Her breathing slowly came to a halt, after hearing him speak.
He made her believe that life had some meaning.

Her soul now feels at peace
She looks at him with pure sincerity  
He whips her tears away, “I’ll never leave you”.
A promise he can never keep.
“I love you too”, she says with ease.
Their eyes meet together, as they laugh in unison.
Lips softly meet as one; the night has just began.
This is the happiest Rapunzel has ever been in years,
Too bad it will all suddenly disappear.



It was all an illusion.
Rapunzel suffered from Schizophrenia.
Flynn was a figment of her imagination.
An escape from her cruel reality she faced.
The townspeople didn’t want to deal with her mental illness.
So they washed her away, to be left astray.

People hate what they don’t understand,
So everyday for eight years she sat freezing in sorrow.
While her demons devoured her spirit.
Incapable of love and affection.
With a hollow chest where her heart should be.

In order to cope with the ‘life’ she was living,
Her mind made up Flynn.
Though they were madly in love; he was a fairytale.
As years went by depression ate her whole.
She died alone, in a pitch black room.
No light seeping in, with nobody to love and hold her.
To tell her everything will be okay,
And keep her heart beating in place.

If a girl dies alone in a tower, where everyone hates her, and no one is around to witness her death: did she actually exist?
The End.
I dedicate this poem to my childhood self. You deserved and deserve better. For all the sunny days people shattered with grey clouds.

I hope this poem means as much to you as it does to me. Don't stop until your reach "The End". I promise you won't regret it. I swear.
 47° 
Coraline Hatter
when I die

turn my body into ashes

and

spread it over the ocean

so I can go home

after a lifetime of feeling

homesick
Inspired by Amanda Lovelace's book "the princess saves herself in this one"
- a mermaid escapist
 47° 
BJ Donovan
I feel the familiar itch, the need to express.
There's no shortage of injustices or love
misplaced or just plain fuck it.
I just don't think I can do it tonight.
I'm sorry,
for the times I speak like a riddle
for when you speak love, I reply with calculus words
this solitude man's got wisdumb  
without a pause I speak sporadic thoughts when all you want is a kiss

I'm perfectly flawed
blinded by logic but starring at love
but You still hold this logic board with the tightest grip,
and wear me like a robe on your lip

still,
you stand in this rain
like a leafy green tree.
  
                                   - Ola Bajo
 46° 
Jude
I despise myself for not being someone you could love.
 45° 
Eric the Red
The truth about poets
Is
They’re not all alike
Some are derelicts
Scalawags
Lovers
Sisters
Some say they’re writers
Instead of Poet
For they know what that puts
Into the minds of others
Romantic
Lethargic
Gypsy
Some will never write novels
Poems are their Ulysses
Their ‘Love in the Time Of Cholera
Some are sad
Withdrawn
Choose to live there
While some poets
Use their words
To claw their way out
Some have fallen out of love
&
Want someone
ANYONE
to listen
While some have fallen in
the deepest ocean
&
Want to tell the world
What this man
This woman
Means to them

Most write their verses
Alone
Some at midnight
Some at sunrise
Some with coffee
Most with bottles

Most will never see the reaction
Of many
Will never hear
‘I like that...’

And most don’t want to be famous
Or sometimes heard
We
Just want to be
Ourselves
 44° 
alexa
you will never be forgotten.
ever.
your name twisted into metaphors and colors and distractions will forever
be painted across pages and pages of her favorite brand of notebook,
no matter how many she burns
there will always be one she forgot,
and she will only find it once she had almost forgotten you.
she will find the one Papyrus notebook
and all of your metaphors and colors and disractions will come flooding back,
just like how the ocean in your eyes
flooded her heart all those years ago.
 43° 
angela
she had not a care in the world
a shameless weekend soldier
naked as the earth is cruel
she’s got my heart in her
treasure box
asking me to come back and open it

come get me out these clothes
don’t listen to them other girls
you’ve been creeping with
why me tho

edit: i paid 15 dollars for this lmao
 42° 
Vale Luna
(read forward, then backward, line by line)

I ran.
Not knowing what else to do
There was so much blood on my hands
It was mine
The kitchen knife
Caught in my chest
Guilt
Consumed by
Fear
I was heightened by
Adrenaline
But running on
Wasn’t enough
While trying to stay calm,
Losing control
It was me that would end up
Dead. Because
He was
In front of me
The whole time
It was too late
Trapped
I found myself
Locked in chains
My fate was
Death.
Forward: from the victims perspective.
Backward: from the murderers perspective.

This TOOK ME FOREVER TO WRITE
 40° 
James Floss
I sometimes circle around again
Longing, growing
My story is old
And cold

I’m a gravity accident
We all fall down
Collected star-dust
Diamond, coal, rust

Periodicity reciprocity
Gravely glancing sunward
Circle around
Then outward bound
 39° 
Eric the Red
On some days it won’t
Need tending to
We can watch the smoke
Billow & Reach
To the sky
Embers mixed with night

Other days it’ll be at the end
Of our wick
And it’ll seem like it’s dying
Just a whisper of light
We won’t like those days
But we’ll get through them
We always do

And some days will have
Blindness
Darkness
And we’ll need to feel it
Each other
Closer
‘Come warm yourself...’

But the best days
Will be when it seems
Like the world is alight
By our love
&
I’ll kiss every inch of your
Cindered
Skin
Wanting to be burnt
Alongside you

And hell won’t be of any surprise
Because I’d have been
With you...
 38° 
Charlotte
I,
have spent  
the last  
three hours  
crying.

My eyes sting
and my entire
face feels like
this dull yet
numb pain
that I couldn’t
compare to anything
other than a gunshot wound.  

Each time my  
heart beats without you it
sounds like a loud
boom.

Maybe because
there’s a
hole in my heart
that I try to fill
with memories of
things that I did for you,
all the compassion
and trust you placed in me.

All the times
I got to hold you,
feel your heartbeat against mine,
see you take each breath and
relax into me.

There are
memories we
have that I  
will never forget.
Each memory
placed in a tear
which I’ll keep
in a little glass bottle
with your name written on it.

I wish your
last memories
were never filled with pain
that you could have been  
graced with dignity not
suffering - I
wish I could have helped you.

Maybe if I looked  
into the warning signs,
read a little more online,
maybe if I looked you and
cared for you just
a little bit more -

I wouldn’t
have to carve your  
name  
into
a stone.
my bunny died and I was just really sad ya know
 35° 
RebelGirl
the hate
the hurt
the mistakes

the life
the choice
the challenge

my challenges
my choices
my life

my hurt
my hate
my mistakes

my life is what i make it
i dont need clones to make it for me
 34° 
bumbleberries
the code red alarm rings
echoing in the halls
we drop to the floor
almost in unison
is this the end?

the teacher
the one who we trust
to protect us
is just another sheep
in this herd
of fear

nobody is safe
nor are we above
anyone else
we are equal

we are shaking
as we hug the ground
waiting

waiting
to be slain
waiting to be saved
but still
waiting

i am lucky to say
it was only a drill

but for those
across the country
they weren't that lucky

they were shot at
they were killed
they watched
their loved ones
die

we live in a country
where guns
matter more than
our kids

where an AR-15
can be purchased
by anyone

but when tragedy strikes
people act shocked
they send their prayers
their thoughts

fuck that.

prayers and thoughts
don't do anything

they don't bring back
those we have lost
they don't take
the grief away from us

things won't change
until we start a riot
until we can really make a change

we are the home
of mass shootings

we need to change that
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