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I drive the screwdriver through my own heart and
Stuff the open wound with my fist and
Swaddle myself in threadbare cloth and
Get to work,
Gathering up the pins to
Try and stitch my skin back together again.
worse, each time
a shimmering lightness
of white rolls playfully
across the tips of
slender bladed greenery
the delicate dancing of
that yet-to-be-mown grass
grown long beyond
what building aesthetics
          should permit
a gentle play of
low-lying sun
glanced upon frosted
and thawed alike
the cold breath of wind
ruminating between
a delicate breeze or
          those chilling gusts
harsh yet homely
while blanketed in
the warmth of
this merino wool
even the bitterest of
winter mornings will
feel nothing but
that i am willing
to sit through this
suffering discomfort
and awkwardness
repeatedly and
of my own volition
must be a testament
to something
i am just not clear
whether it should
be taken as a positive
         or negative
it might show courage
could merely be folly
a sign of resilience perhaps
or remnants of my naivety
it could be inspirational
belief in oneself or
simply a case of conceit
let's be honest
it could be any of those
or it could be none
yet more than likely
i am overthinking
everything again
Noelle Matthews Dec 2023
gardening has taught me a gentleness that no parent ever could.
the way my hands work roots apart to make space for new dirt
shows me that i have the capacity to be soft, even when
the world has given me an exoskeleton of impenetrable emotion.

i have days where i can’t imagine doing anything except laying in the dark, but my plants need the sun just as much as i do.

there’s this appreciation of small things that comes with gardening, this ability to notice even the tiniest changes.
cheering on the little new leaf of a plant that hadn’t grown anything in months. flowers blooming to prove you’ve done a good job.

the world is dissolving but they just keep on growing.

there are snapdragons outside my window and though the cold weather killed the rest of my garden, they are thriving. pushing out the brightest colors i’ve seen all season.
nothing will work for every plant, the care i provide is vastly different even among two that sit next to each other on the shelf.
nothing will work for every person.

the gentleness i’ve learned keeps my hands soft towards others, like when i put bandaids over scratches or zip up dresses or intertwine our fingers.

we could all stand to learn something from nature. how forgiving it can be, how gracious, how bright. flowers are what we wish on, representations of the best and worst moments of our lives. our successes, our losses.

nothing is forever, but god does nature sure last a while.
Melody Mann Dec 2023
looking up looks good on you,

you weren’t of this world,

your heart was beyond the realms of reason,

a ray of sunshine returns to its source today,

continuing to shower her light on life as she did for 84 years.

Looking up looks good on you,

you make mortality beautiful with such celestial hues,

bringing peace to the plants you tended,

solace to the animals you fed,

and warmth to the hearts you touched.

looking up looks good on you.

Watching her as the last breath had already left her grasp… to see a light cease… was a conflicted reality. She was there — but gone. Finally freed from the cycle of samsara. Touching her face, seeing the color wash away the pains of yesterday, and feeling her body chill to a gruesome cold… it was in that moment I realized she won’t complain i’m cold anymore. She will warm and light up the sky with her smiles now.

Mortality is but a fickle yet omnipresent reminder to cherish each moment as it scatters past our horizons. It is but a gentle reminder to hold onto hugs a minute longer, savor a conversation a sentence deeper, and sit in the sunshine till dusk greets our departures. It is in the everyday we remain rooted in the reality of what lies hidden in the inevitable. Thus, in the moments mortality beacons at our doorstep — sending the gruesome chill of conclusion up your spine — cherish the warmth that radiates within your waking breath. It is in the inhale and exhale we seldom forget the gift of today that is bestowed on our conscious.

The ability to create, to debate, to deliberate on the topics that itch our fascination lies within mere moments of the now. She taught us to immerse ourselves in the ravishing splendor that life is because the inevitable looms above us all. Such a kindred spirit was she, a woman with a heart of gold. A soul that radiated in a light blind to the common eye. She held onto a glow that constellations graced — a burning light in of herself.

looking up looks good on you.
journal musings from the morning after your departure; an ode to my grandmother.
Chelsea Lyons Nov 2023
Sometimes the war wounds on my mind can
**** up all the oxygen in a room
And suffocate all bystanders in its perimeter
But I’ll also drain my own lungs if it meant
The people I love won’t starve for air
I’ll fight in their battles even if it costs me my war
I know my heart takes patience
And time to get your bearings
But I also know I’m worth it.
Because my scars never grazed my ability to light up a night sky with nothing but a smile
My kindness and warmth towards even total strangers could never be squandered
My cleverness, my humor,
My unyielding resilience
The way I’m unapologetically myself
Without a care in the world of others’ perceptions
These are feats that shouldn’t be wasted on
someone who only looks at
my faults and shortcomings
And sees me as a walking inconvenience
Broken beyond repair
When I could be cherished by someone who
won’t bolt at the first dull rumble of thunder
But who will weather stormy days with me
And knows it’s worthwhile once the sun’s radiant beams peek through the clouds
Someone who deserves me
Not who deserves to lose me.
Chelsea Lyons Nov 2023
I am not a laundry list of symptoms
Brought on by endless assaults of a developing mind
I am not the carnage left behind by all the people who have failed me
The complications in my brain in no way lower the scale of my worthiness
And I in no way deserve to feel as if my resilience has morphed me into
a burden to love
Because I have survived far too much in my quarter life
And I’ve been forced to become a warrior in a lifelong battle that I never wanted any part of
But I’ve never let the battlefield turn me into a pit of boundless bitterness
Instead here I still stand a beacon of light
A lighthouse in an unrelenting storm
Now the lights can flicker on occasion
But I always find a way to shine back through the sea of dark pewter sky and into my
ocean of optimistic empathy
And my light deserves to be more than tolerated
It deserves to be seen.
Vira Nov 2023
I exist
No matter what...

I exist
Claiming my space in the universe
I exist...because
And I cant be anything else other than ME.
This is a reminder to myself when I seek external validation in order to feel worthy of living. Also to remind ourselves of our inner strength in times of distress.
Malia Oct 2023
In the past
People used my past to control me
But I’m past that so I smack back  
What they told me.
Try to hold me back
But you can’t tack a label
On a fable, I’m a legend
Even if you say I’m unstable.
If in competition, they done lost to me
Take a shot at me, you intelligence apostasy.

Mockingly, they call me an oddity
Probably a product of my comedy
Step back, laugh, then step on me,
See, free entertainment for the public glee!
“Gee, why the negativity?” they say to me
But I am not listening, glistening
In my eyes, but it ain’t tears
Fears, I forgot ‘em, buried ‘em last year.
Originally a rap, but poetic enough to put on here
Joshua Phelps Sep 2023
God knows I've tried
to give my all.

All I wanted was to
find love, but every
brush with reality

turned into a shattered

I ask myself why
do I even try,

When I end up
searching for love,

I just get myself
hurt every time.

I keep wondering why
I even try at all.

I remember the pain
Of heartbreak under
My sleeve,

a year of turmoil,
that leaves me

If I will find love
at all.

There were lessons
I have learned, and

God knows I've tried
to give my all.

All I can say is:

I'm trying my best to
stay strong.
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