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Kyra Jul 27
when did i first fall in love with you?

was it under the never ending skies in chicago?
in those cruel winter nights
where only you kept me warm.
or was it amidst the song of crickets and breeze?
in the summers of virginia
where even you would sing along.
Lilli Sutton May 9
That summer in West Virginia:
washing myself clean
with brown water
from the Ohio river.
I saw gar sunning themselves
near the surface: fish with a thousand teeth,
fisherman’s nuisance. Like me:
take the bait and sink.

Matt takes us to the woods
and promises a surprise.
We slash brush for miles,
and I bleed. Thorns cut up and down
my skin. So easy to get lost out here –
multiflora rose so thick you can’t see
the sky. Crawl back to where you came from.
Plants move so slow, but I have patience.

Back when I could tell the birds apart
I held a dead wood thrush
in my hand
and it felt like air.
Eyes closed and tilted to the side –
because of the window, because a bird’s eyes
are not adapted to see glass. I wanted to bury it,
but instead I laid it in the grass.
For the worms: because we are all going.

We find the magnolias. No one is quite sure
how they ended up here, but they look exotic,
different from the pawpaws and oaks
with their shiny leaves and white flowers.
To be a bird in the magnolias – hermit thrush,
singing in a language too old to understand.
Voice of god calling out to say: come home.
If only I knew how to listen.
05.01.19
Lilli Sutton Apr 4
1.
Rolling down to Virginia
in a gray shuttle – the rain
cascades off the windows.
I close my eyes but I can’t sleep.
I don’t know anyone here
well enough to be that kind
of comfortable. We reach the bay bridge
but the fog is so thick it’s like we’re suspended,
or we never left the ground to begin with –
no water beneath this bridge.
It isn’t raining in Wachapreague,
for now, the wind is cold
and it blows the clouds away.
If I shield my eyes to the sun
I can see way out past the tidal creeks
and the salt grass – out to the Atlantic.
Later, rain comes in waves –
we cook dinner and joke about ghosts,
and I wonder how many of my own
I brought here with me.

2.
What a privilege to own a boat –
to be your own captain, or even
just to know the waves. The sun is brilliant
but the wind burns cold – before the end
of the day, my nose and cheeks
are lobster-red. It’s so easy to get lost
in the tidal creeks – just acres and acres
of spartina, flat and brown now
but six feet tall in the summertime.
We dredge up creatures from the bottom –
***** and worms and sea slugs.
We eat lunch on a graveyard of shells –
I find the empty husks of horseshoe *****.
Eagles and oyster catchers watch us pass
sit tight on similar whitewashed mounds
of expired homes. The sun is low
when we reach the mudflats –
here the earth is shallow. Seven ways
to catch a clam, but I only know one –
to look for holes that bubble. I fill
my pockets with the dark misshapen
creatures. Sometimes the holes
rush full of water before I can even see
what I dug up. Soon the tide will come back
and swallow the wet sand again.
I want to stay put, watch the muddy water come
learn to filter through it
like the oysters and the clams.

3.
Early morning on the bayside –
wind, more brutal than yesterday
beats the surface until the waves
are whitecaps, and the skiff pitches.
We go back to the tidal creeks,
where the trees block the wind
and the sun illuminates the muddy water.
We watch an osprey glide and dive for fish.
Back in the lab, isolated in white
I see strange animals. For hours
we look for answers to the simplest
of questions: what is this?
Some creatures we toss back
and some we wrap in clear plastic bags.

4.
The long ride home –
half between sleeping and waking
drenched in sunlight. I’m small,
or trying to be – conserving space
wherever I can. I eat my fill of ****** snaps.
The bay bridge is crystal clear this morning
and it gives me a strange feeling, deep
in my stomach – somewhere between
excitement and dread, a fear
or a nod toward what’s coming –
a mystery, creeping in and unfurling
like when I was a kid, awake too late at night
feeling dumb, for hoping, for wanting,
and most of all, for not yet knowing.
03.24.19.
Crop fields, once
Today tall grass has taken
Vigil on the hills
Named for old dead boys

Grass aplenty (surely
Two, five, ten winters
Steeped in lead, bloodied,
Washed clean in rain
Could feed a generation)

And then the sun
Always beating, Drumming
Sweat before my eyes
My life—flashing— a lark—

Here in this meadow
Mankind came to slaughter for a train yard
Between the mountain passes and the river
And the Run, once dried, is spilling over

With blood, with clay, for
Sons and daughters of
Virginia, these American tales
(Contested, my chains for soil...)

Pass whispered between
Mothers and little ones, the words
A lineage: Captain to farmer,
Farmer’s granddaughter

I witnessed the passing of our story
From one generation
And I stood by
b Oct 2018
ive never been to
virginia, ive never been
to kansas.

just a mirror image
of a dream i had, that
looked so real it
****** me over
for the rest of my life.

i call myself a writer but
i dont write.
i call myself a student but
i stay in bed.
i call myself a good friend but
i am gone.
i call myself a person but
i cant breathe.
Natália Aug 2018
We've grown distant
two lonely lighthouses
in the middle of the ocean
our glow shining away
from each other

Sailors come for safety
little did they know

We are searching for
the light too.
“So that was the Lighthouse, was it? No, the other was also the Lighthouse. For nothing was simply one thing” - Virginia Woolf
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
I live a breath's away from the oldest river in the world.
While I don't take much of nature in it is awe inspiring,
to be sure.
I live within the crook of the oldest mountains in our history.
Not the tallest,
nor the proudest,
but for now these ranges are growing senile within their misery.

The riverrun through it and exposes rock perhaps a billion years old.
Our oral histories, passed on legends,
scary stories and mountaineer folklore accounts for
such a small passage of time.
We built a bridge once.
It was at one time the longest single-span arch in the world.
Now it's the fourth.
Top five, and that's something for which I am proud.
The oldest river, in the world.
The oldest mountains, in the world.
The highest fatal overdose rate, in the States.

There is a beauty to be had here. Somewhat backwards, but
growing up our water was clear.
It's now choked from coal slurry.
The brain drain of young adults leaving, in much hurry,
hurts us as the ones that remain become grey and blurry.
We are living in a permanent winter and we have high roads,
that wind and curve. Dangerous when icy. veins filled with
heavy loads and nodding verve.
I live a breath's away from the oldest river in the entire world.
I can't touch Roman ruins with my hands, or
sift through the Dead Sea and float on salt above sand.
I can't touch the hill where Jesus may have died,
I don't know what it feels like to hold history as pride.
But our trees even when green have a dusty coal darkened sheen.
Summer is overgrowth from the Springtime rains.
The highest fatal overdose rate in the entire United States.

Where once we built bridges to close in the gap of travel.
We unzip black bags with rigs and object with obvious cavil.
Our industry is old, the world is moving on from coal.
For better, to be sure, but in the meantime we grow cold.
Not from lack of heat, we can boil our spoons just fine.
But we need a replacement from shaft or the mountaintop mine.
Let us worry about beauty again,
let us treat addiction with correction instead of levying it as sin.
Remove the pantomiming politician speak
of addicts or the sick as being weak.

Let's find ourselves again, West Virginia. You're the only home I've known.
Childhood summertimes sat beneath canopies of caterpillar home,
the happy baby butterflies eating leaves so more sun could shone.
Walking sticks used to play with me in my yard,
and at nighttime I'd still be outside mouth agape at the stars.
Evening meant lightning bugs and I'd capture a few in the cup of my hands.
There was a whimsy to how nature responded to us,
how bees would bumble and land,
on the dandelions whose seeds I'd spread as I blew on their white
polyp heads.
Maybe it's nostalgia and my memories are tinted rosy.
The smell of wood stoves burning in winter,
the crispness of autumn breezes felt cozy.
There was a trust held in communities, or maybe I was naïve.
Some of my friends made a choice and moved.
Others among us took a more permanent leave.
My brother, too. He himself got in a lot of trouble.
Over the cotton swab boiled to a bubble.
He died when I was young so maybe everybody is right.
It's all sentimentality and a lot of lonely nights.
But does the past being ****** up make the worsening now fine?

I live a breath's away from the oldest river and mountain range.
I live with the highest fatal overdose rate in the United States.
there's much debate as to whether the New River or the Appalachian/Blue Ridge/Allegheny mountains are, in fact, the oldest.
there is, however, no debate as to whether or not West Virginia (WV) holds the highest fatal overdose rate in the US

In 2010 WV held one of the highest fatal overdose rates,
By 2017 much of the country's overdose rates increased
WV's 2010 numbers are higher than 60% of the country's 2017 numbers,
and WV's 2017 are higher than everybody else's.

This is not to meant to take away the pain that's transcended broadly throughout the country. This is not meant to be diminishing, not even remotely, but it is meant to shine a solemn light.

I'm sorry for those of you that may know somebody who has passed on from drugs, or that may be currently struggling with their addictions. Whether it's opiates, alcohol, or prescriptions.
But let's try to remove some of the stigma surrounding addiction.

Forgive some stolen money.
Avoid gossip and rumor.
Reach out to somebody who may have fallen away from the crowd.
I'd much rather live with an addict than haunted by a ghost.

thank you for reading
Jonathan Surname Aug 2018
To the limits!
And the heaves are harmed, in our lungs
and arms. Tendons flexed on their utmost,
and breath at play in the drowned coast.

To the shores!
And the leaves are left as specks of colour,
from the moors.
and vacations left the hinterlands
of the decayed, breathless holler.

For the greater good we stood as imagined heroes,
Yet for happenstance to lend a chance in our woes,
required a great many motifs
to clamour and climb
In glamourous time
to the raised butte
of a finishing sublime.

Modulate the past and harmonize the future.
Together tapestry'd, akin to patchwork suture.

We weren't raised this way.
To remain forever at play, workhorses neigh.
And sawing brilliance and sawdust eyes,
rapier wit with no equal.
But together a two-parter,
to the shores to see the sea quell.

Wildfire lick like lit flame.
Burn it all down and give me the blame.
It's a carried burden worth the worry.

In mountains some exist as prideful barons.
Barring the loss of their barren,
their smiles turn smirks of heathen carrions.
Which is fine, and the motif licks again.
And the motive is sublime; it's only sin.

Cherish the children and their rue of thresher-born,
Thomas Ligotti and his party of philosophy,
but I'm too caught in histrionics to allow the matter
to matter.
Beyond the kicking feet of the mirthful pitter-patter,
pitted against the coming solstice of time saving;
forward and back and ouroboros we may.
Hold on tight to this singular day.
Ignorant of the causes of our own decay.
Lost during summers covered in spittle and seaspray.
Only to mount a return, a loss,
to the area most unaccepting of the cost.

To the mountaintops!
**** what you see, and reap what you sow.
Push the mountains down into the crow,
and call out for the all the denizens below,
"Here's another landslide." As you call; Heave, and **.
Pile them neat and plant a seed,
of a tree that hasn't belonged or had a chirped song
in a placidity.
Awareness for a dying region

https://i.imgur.com/qUkjevo.jpg
b Jun 2018
i am stuck in a
tangerine dream.
a breath of fresh air
or just air
that seems fresh
to me.

red face
quilled with ice cold
water.

there is only beauty
between the cracks
of contrast.

//

i cant call myself
a poet
if i dont tell you
that her lips
look soft.

they could heal me
like a bandaid
and hurt just as much
to peel off.

it doesnt feel like
virginia yet.
maybe only
vermont
or conneticut.

but im ready
to go home
if home feels
like it used to.
stephanie Jun 2018
the roads always take us
back to west virginia.
the hills we climb lead
to impeccable views,
beautiful hidden scenery
only we knew how to find.
highways became one-lane roads
the gravel washing out,
half-a-million potholes
when you drive on a hillside
like that,
the same rush comes
that you get when you look
over the side of a rollercoaster cart.
but when you’re with your best friend,
the rush turns to comfort.
“if we were to fall off the side of this cliff, I’m glad I’m with you.”  

14:23 5/31/2018
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