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A B Perales Apr 2022
The Harbor freeway was without the congestion and the gridlock that made this highway famous.
Empty freeways demand speed and in Los Angeles everyone's in a hurry with somewhere to go.

It was a rare sight in a city full of men and their machines
A rare sight that was quietly becoming normal.

The lack of cars made the otherwise thick layer of ***** brown smog become a minor smear on an otherwise beautiful blue Southern California day.
With the changing of the guard the nameless planes with their exaggerated white lines across our skies magically returned.

There's more of us noticing things today than any other time before.

To the far West Venice is dying and the beach has become a refugee camp full of tents and blue tarps all wasting in the wind.
Handball courts now occupied by old bikes, tents and an array of useless garbage someone calls their property.
And the California girls' no longer come here to tan.

The girls on Figueroa stand half naked on 64th street waving like debutants at the lonely men as they window shop for *** from the safety of their vehicles.
The girls here never tell you their real name and all the men are called John.

The Gang members in the Hoods on the West side and in the Varrios and the Projects on the East all use Graffiti as a way to convey their threats to one another.
The Taggers bright, bold pieces bring colors to the otherwise grey concrete freeways.

Downtown is nowhere you want to be without a million dollars or a side arm and a reason.
They gave Skid Row up to the people and the graffiti then watched in horror as it grew into what it has become today.

South Central continues to bleed red, brown, blue and black.
Curbside motive candles dot the city corners like mile markers along the highway.
There's been far too much death to ever mention peace here.

Hollywood is slowly dying and Melrose is at 50% capacity with robberies happening almost everyday on Rodeo.

The Cranes along the Harbor stand like giant monuments to a God no one prays to anymore.
And there's a lot less Cargo trucks on the road today then any other time before.

Yet we are told to "Stay home ,we'll pay you to do so".
While outside our city is dying and there is no where to spend the money we're given anyway.
never again
Atop the ladder twenty-twenty,
I was enjoying the view.
Care Home visits a plenty,
Faces old and new.
Singing songs to raise a smile,
And vacant minds re-awoken,
Music to boost morale,
Mending souls once broken.
Frail voices murmured approval,
For favourite singers of their day.
“That was lovely! - Just wonderful!
Have a tea! - Please stay!”
Then, we talked all afternoon,
For little did we know,
What was around the corner,
The invisible foe.

And just like that, we were separated.
Back down the ladder I’d go.
Down there at the bottom,
The flowers would not grow.
The rays that kissed my cheek,
Were hidden from my gaze,
A tortured isolation,
As we entered a new phase.
Yet in your darkest hour,
I wished to shine a light,
So I worked to find new ways,
Tirelessly through the night.

Springtime and summer,
Brought with it a new hope:
Outdoor shows, joy and laughter,
(Needed to help us cope.)
My feet were on the ladder,
And life was on the up,
But slipping on the rain,
I fell back in the muck.

Atop the ladder twenty-twenty,
Now that seems long ago,
Through all the loss and tears,
I did the only thing I know.
Which was to carry on,
With a stiff upper lip.
I’d see you all again,
Once I regained my grip.

Twenty-twenty one flew by,
Just like the year before.
With notes of heartfelt lyrics,
Hidden in my drawer.
What awaits atop the ladder
For twenty-two, who knows?
But I’ll never forget,
When I helped them through their woes.
Winner of the 'Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022' poetry competition, 18+ category - Serendipity Gift Shop
©️ Joshua Reece Wylie 2022
Jodie-Elaine Jan 2022
Our          mistakes
mask   themselves
like                     me
outside of

Lockdown poetry from my very, very soon impending collection: 'Haven't the Foggiest'.

... actually more of a Lidl gal these days
Nylee Jan 2022
In a matter of time
I've been losing my mind
the heat rises, and the ice melts

we've suffered enough
or was the last year, just a trailer
to what is to come more

escaping it ain't easy
it is driving me dizzy
thinking about it

Simply, there are no answers
To the times unknown
and the life that are gone

do we refuse to look up still
Or are we so used to the drill
this is no more surreal.
Lucy Schofield Nov 2021
Fingers tapping, one, two, three,
A slow rhythm drums in my chest.
The words on my screen blur and fade before me.
The world slows as we are put to the test.

The streets, barren and eerily silent,
Darkened windows, chairs on tables.
Places once filled with noise now absent.
Are we now living in one of God's fables?

Perhaps, then, we must stop and listen,
Listen to the lessons He is teaching us all.
These drastic measures, so brazen,
Yet we are close to the edge, were we to fall?

See kindness and beauty,
See all that is good,
As Mother Nature breathes freely,
Tired from all She withstood.

Laughter and bored games,
Brought together by distance,
Whilst the air, the water, She reclaims,
No more waiting, no more patience.

Yes, waters clear as emissions drop;
A truly beautiful consequence.
But we must not forget - take the time to stop,
Extend our minds to at whose expense.

Unemployment creeps ever higher,
Many lives are lost.
For those a dark and terrible chapter,
Enduring such a saddening cost.

The good that lies within,
The beauty of humankind,
Rainbows, clapping, togetherness underpin,
Our world, our people, our priorities realigned.

So listen we must,
To our animals, our rivers, our Earth.
Look to your nearest and dearest,
Use this time to recognise their full worth.
Salvador Kent Sep 2021
Wind. Walk outside.
You went again today.
Wood. Familiar landscape.

Blue. You're infatuated by the colour
For some reason or other.
Sad really. Sometimes blue takes over

Your mind so much you can't sleep.
Not that you sleep anyway.
Hilarious really. Two in the morning.

Why are you this way nowadays?
Did something happen? Must have
Because that would explain it all.

Funny thing. How time slipped away
Feels like March slipped to May
Slipped to now. You're staring at a pen and

There's nothing else to do.
Why are you crying now?
Did something happen?

You've been so blue recently.
You're always so blue.
Why are you always blue?
April 2020
Elizabethanne Jul 2021
I have seen friends tie themselves up to the bedposts of lovers
who would never give them a second thought
If all their pretty untouched skin wasn’t right there
To bruise and taste at their convenience
we have been told there is no other way for us
to hold any value as a person unless someone wants us
I have seen friends cry so hard they puked
as they untied themselves from those bedposts
their wrists had been rubbed raw
and they still left their heart behind in hopes
he would return it with his own in tow
I have seen friends make themselves
names in a little black book
A faceless body  
They will let you treat anyway
you want because it’s better than alone
I have seen friends
Break themselves for this twisted messed up version
of love that’s being sold to us

- Who taught us how to do that to ourselves
- Everyone, everyone, everyone
Broadsky Jul 2021
light my fuse on fire and set me aflame
watch as you singlehandedly set me ablaze

what is it like to watch me burn, baby?
I'm no better than cinder, ashes in an urn.

lately I feel just like charcoal residue,
remember when I was sweet and wet like honeydew?
do you remember when I was good to you?

how much longer can we pretend?
that we know when this war will end,
I can't express how badly I miss my best friend.

charging towards each other from opposing ends of a battlefield,
no matter how much I beg,
your sword you will not yield.

pull out your guitar and play a chord
I don’t know how much longer I can afford
to run around on this chessboard

moving pawns and rooks
when we should be swimming in ponds,
and reading books.

thoroughly covered in brambles
I‘ll wait as you amble

who knew we could get so tangled in something we thought we could handle?

we’re filled with pride and jealousy,
resentment and envy too

how can we come back from this?

what did we lose?
sketching with graphite
I don’t want to fight
just take me back to that campsite
on that hot July night.
Juneau Jul 2020
One column.
Two Sentences.
You choose the headline.
Deplatform and silence.
Coerce and align.

One month,
Two calamities.
Refresh and it's gone.
Nothing remains
in focus for long.

Digest the digests;
digests of every kind.
Fruitless echo-chambers
self-censoring the mind.

Theaters, Airplanes,
Public transit; Empty seats.
Next weekend two protests.
Let me hear you in the streets.

Gamma correct the pores
off the very face of life.
Featureless perfection.
Expression goes under the knife.

Flowers now grow upon flowers
instead of good rain and black loam.
Flowers feeding off fireworks;
Their roots' refusal to go home.

If I am to meet my fate
by my expressions in the past.
Let these words here written
be my very last:

Towards thee I roll.
Thou all-destroying but unconquering whale;
To the last, I grapple thee;
From hell's heart I stab at thee;
For hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
With broken haul and tattered sail
torn to pieces while still chasing thee.
Sink forever into the violent sea.
Though my fate is now tied to thee.
Thou ****** and acursed whale!
Sixty-six maybe
July 26, 2020

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I stole some lines from Moby ****
And Fahrenheit 451
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