awkward and easily misunderstood,
he only eats fried food.
hates exercise with a vengeance,
"you're gonna die before me", i always tell him.

he weaves something out of nothing,
in him i found what i was lacking.
pushing through stress, pain and fear,
with pvc, glue, pen and paper.

while the world dreams he's awake,
structures, rhythms, games he creates.
even when he sleeps his eyes are half-open,
his heart in the stars and his mind full of wonder.

to the you who constantly creates,
even when darkness inhibits;
i'm proud of what you've done and made.
you with your weird blue chinese jacket,
unkempt hair and dark eye bags;
constantly tinkering,
shining from within.

Randy Johnson Jan 12

Let me tell you about a neighbor of mine.
He had been my neighbor since 1979.
He had a loving wife and two children.
He has died but we will see him again.
His death is hard for his friends and family to face.
He's in Heaven now which is a far better place.
It's tragic because his life came to an end.
He was a great neighbor and a friend.
When I learned that he died, it was very sad.
But now he's in Heaven with my mom and dad.

Dedicated to Charles Strange who died of cancer at the age of 62 on January 9, 2018.
girl diffused Jan 11

The friendship isn't glitter and gold
It's not fairytale happiness
Not all the time
Wasn't built on a happy-ever-after foundation

It's real and genuine
It's two-peas-in-a-pod
It's all confessions about crushes

Confessions about first loves
Confessions about almost loves
And broken unions and never-was ones

Our soul-baring crying over the phone
Crosslegged, seated on the floor of a Barnes&Noble
Temporary residents of the poetry aisle
Readings of Rupi Kaur, Lang Leav, and the classic poets

Literature bonding
Bonding through the smell of books
Hours long conversations

Our friendship evolves, shifts, and strengthens through the seasons
And I expect..
The malleability will change and harden overtime
Harden like steel, solidify like obsidian stone.

Our friendship is weathered storms
Hurricane hearts turned
Temperate climates

A calm sea
A blue cloudless sky

The nature of a year long friendship with one of my good friends and confidants. This is her early birthday present. I hope she loves it.
Nasuha Zakariah Dec 2017

My heart is a place you write your poetry.

A poem you strum for me
A melody to your remedy
You sang in my heart so passionately
You’ll keep yourself afloat

Sweetheart, my heart is a place you write your poetry.

A place you’d bleed and let fears be the reason you gather the strength within you

A place you will fill with tears, not buckets but oceans of withering waves scalloping your dreams and still be able to breathe

A place you let go of your mere self and tell your broken pieces you’re whole, you’re only hungry for love and more, never enough

A place you will go to often, without thinking, they’re familiar, so comfortable with life uncertainties, you’re oblivious but that’s okay

A place you seek for yourself from yourself to have a better view of who you really are, your reflection and this mirror, fragile and strong

A place you share your hopes and dreams and giving up will never be a part of this

A place you fall and fight; your ups and downs they compliment, and you can stand on your own because you believe,
you’re homed.

Kelsey Chupp Dec 2017

it is not the height of which a plant has grown
that makes it important,
or even its beauty,
but rather
the love
and dedication
that made it grow
-k.j.c

Nick Huber Dec 2017

I can't count the number of times, the wind stopped me in my tracks.
The length of night that stretched out of my heart.
The number of times, I could not say goodbye.
I counted on so many things to signal your return.
Each time, the signs dwindled down, to what they are today.
It was never, the way you described; I found out,
unintentionally.
You'd call on a whim,
And miraculously, I'd be there.
Like the worn down music-box my grandmother kept.
My motor was wound, and I laid,
Always ready.

Even if I were blind,
I'd know you from the gentler notes.
The rate of your breath, the sound of your voice, the scent of your hair...
I didn't have the heart, to stay far enough away.
I wasn't a slave,
But, I couldn't call this freedom.

I was a poet, with a few words,
and a jar full of tears.
I'd carry them to town: every morning negotiating a fair price,
to those who'd pay.
They'd pay me in flowers, in kisses, and large bellowing laughs.
But my pockets were empty, my lips parched, my voice hoarse.
But I did have a smile. It spread from cheek to cheek.

My eyes would receive the light, and transpose it into something else.
Faces molded by a Gutenberg Press. Antiquarian, but lovely either way.
After a day or so, the ink would fade at an alarming rate.
Once red lips, now chapped and anguished.

Their arms, could not hold me.
I was already, very far away.
Now, I watched as tears fell, from eyes that weren't my own.
I watched, and felt a pain in my stomach.
Not the gut turning pain of guilt.
I was hungry!

But my pockets were still empty.
I spent it all (out of concern for my health), on a fake smile and an empty glass. But don't think it was all that sudden.
I was cold, I was alone, and I was drifting through a town I didn't know. I went back and forth with the angel in my heart, and the devil in my loins for a whole 30 seconds, accepting the shame I knew you wouldn't feel.

Now, now, I know what you're thinking. This story deteriorated into one about me. But it hasn't. It's still about you. 100%.
So, I'm sure, one day, you'll read this letter.
You'll file it away with all the postcards I sent.
Maybe even loosely bind it in a folder, held together with rubber bands, stables and tape. Not with the notation "beautiful poems," nor "inspiring messages," and definitely not
"everlasting love."
You'll put a post-it note on top, and label it "Deranged, Obsessive Ramblings."
It'll float around, bouncing in between the chasm of your perfectly sculpted head, till one day you realize: "It couldn't be about 'Him'."

You see, my life had none of the adornments I mentioned.
It had no flowers, no kisses, and assuredly, no bellowing laughs.
But I can say,
I was really, quite hungry.

                                               The End.

For Mayra
Randy Johnson Dec 2017

Jim Nabors always said "Shazam", that was his catchphrase.
Because of his contribution to television, he deserves praise.
It was hard for him to watch the opening credits of Gomer Pyle because many of those Marines died in Vietnam.
We always know that he's on Gomer Pyle or the Andy Griffith Show when we hear him say "Shazam".
We also remember him yelling "Citizen's Arrest".
All of his fans are sad and they're also depressed.
He also starred in some movies, two of which were Cannonball Run 2 and Stroker Ace.
His friends, fans and family have to say goodbye, his death is hard for them to face.

Dedicated to Jim Nabors who died at the age of 87 on November 30, 2017.
Randy Johnson Dec 2017

Six Christmases ago, you were still alive.
The Christmas of 2012 was your last Christmas because you didn't survive.
That was the last Christmas that I was able to spend with you and Dad.
You died nearly three months later because the situation was so bad.

In 2012, you said it might be your last Christmas and sadly, you were right.
You shined like a star but that star faded, a star that shined so bright.
I thought you'd see more Christmases but I didn't know what the future had in store.
If I had known that it would be your last Christmas, I would've appreciated it more.

This will be the fifth Christmas that I'll be spending without you.
You always made Christmas better and that is certainly true.
The Christmas of 2012 was the last Christmas when you were still alive.
Merry Christmas Mom, I still carry you in my heart as Christmas of 2017 arrives.

Dedicated to Agnes Johnson (1948-2013) who passed away on March 6, 2013.
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