cover image - winter 3 by leo kolnberger
Rt. 2 Haiku
(honorary submission from Will Miller, a teacher at the Academy at Charlemont)
Wild geese downriver
As trucks barrel down Rt. 2
Honk honk... honk honk honk!
rt 2 haiku - will miller
first frosty morning - paloma hsiao-shelton
photographic lamentations in magenta - lyla storey-wein
from the receiving end of your radio - chanina kosovske
spicy cheeto poem - garland salloom
untitled - beck gritzner and arlo dube-hooker
magpie and magpie, reprise - anonymous
squiggle horseshoe crab - cosmina "coco" gamsey-boudier
lunar eclipse - fallon paxton
hagebutten 2 - leo kolnberger
水墨画 - jonathan schmidt
sirkus - adella catanzaro
free bird - jonah pollock
a blink of nature - leo kolnberger
winner - anonymous
valtatie taivaaseen - johanna määttänen
coming home - monique hadley
sugarplum fairy - lyla storey-wein
you were always into god - emma dornburgh
untitled - graham mcquade-sharleville
candle-wax vendetta - rachel friedman
magic for royalty: chapter 1 - jack palmer
squiggle horse - cosmina "coco" gamsey-boudier
first frosty morning
Cows grazing on the sheer hillside
On the edge of the shadows
In the sun
Standing in the grey zone
Where the grass is neither
Bright chartreuse nor
Robins egg blue
Where the light has not melted
The ice crystals from each blade
But the suns rays have touched
from the receiving end of your radio
I was crushed.
I think I always knew, in the back
of my mind, in that
little part of my brain that whispers
You’re not good enough
I try to push it away back
behind a wall of self doubting
But hearing it aloud Hits different, Hits
like a bullet, Hits
like a Hot metal sheet of an Iron rod, Hits
like a stabbing pain,
over and over again, every time
I think back to that moment, and wonder
what could have been.
photographic lamentations in magenta
spicy cheeto poem
Your spice a disappointment, your name a lie, me, for I am just like you. Your crunch unbearable
Your cheese a small flavor. But alas I cannot stop you are an addiction that I cannot break, your cheese on my fingers your texture on my tongue for it is never ending.
beck gritzner and arlo dube-hooker
squiggle horseshoe crab
cosmina "coco" gamsey-boudier
magpie and magpie, reprise
Patience is the hours
put to scheming, planning
each move, each rumor
on maps stained with time.
Pride is the approval of the masses
while a blood-stained crown
adorns the new king’s head.
Confusion is freezing
in a blizzard, when the gods
don’t want the people’s hero dead.
“Heroes” are invincible.
Satisfaction is snow
covering the body
of a man who thought
he could take on the world.
And the birds sing.
They cackle and sway
over the cities of ash
the sunken, scorched boats,
the blood-stained streets,
the unmarked graves,
the fatherless children.
And the bones.
They sing over the bones.
The cold, frostbitten skeleton
whose owner faded from memory
and succumbed to the elements.
No one would think that it belonged
to someone who thought himself
Maybe one day, years in the future,
someone will find the lichen-covered
skull, overgrown and anonymous.
But today the world forgets that man,
and the birds sing, satisfied,
over a lump of snow
that covers the bones of a man
who thought he could take on the world.
curate a list of favorite words-
sordid, effervescent, 心爱,aces
curate a list of beautiful things-
thin lines of ash and scars
ink paintings of simulated landscapes
in approaching realism we abandon what we see
photograph eyes, the fingertips almost Caravaggio
the canvas tears when i push
a desert rose isn’t a rose at all
a desert rose can kill you
a desert rose is my favorite flower
running hands across the scrollwork engravings
the moon breaks into five colors in my recollection
the doors of
elegant coral castles
elaborating, et cetera and so on
going through the motions
calligraphy, apropos of nothing
ink wash from someone else’s hands
carefully constructed walls of someone else’s art
my own personal labyrinth
dancing down the ice-crusted switchbacks
say what i mean, deceitfully
i wake up for the third time this morning
remember what it is that you hold in your empty hands
meandering across the side of a tombstone
pleading to the sky
a blink of nature
i watched you drink up the pain of others,
lavish in their compelling ways.
you got drunk off of their tears,
you were high off of their fear,
you were a master at your game.
and somehow even though you cheated
because the games, you created
you still were ecstatic with your victories.
i want to peel back the flesh of time.
ripping off the layers of muscle,
until the marrow of bones are left crumbling.
dig your fingernails into my skin,
make it tear and blister.
scribbling the dust i see behind your eyes,
is my catharsis.
nothing is beautiful to me anymore.
nothing except for the elusive images perfectly on display,
the way things used to be.
it is my heart worm.
and trying to fuel the parasite,
feeling like a bumper sticker
a ticket meant to be teared
only enjoyed for a short amount of time
then disposed of
a box of chocolates
a bouquet of tiger lilies
an insect with the lifespan of a day
a cup of tea
a love letter
so quiet it pierced the stillness
the car slowly floating
onward to its destination
looking out expecting the trees
the greenery and wildlife
the houses and streets that i knew like the back of my hand.
at this time of year everyone would be preparing --
preparing for halloween and long held traditions.
my smile slowly fades
as i take in the charred black stumps of trees
the lonesome house next to piles and piles of
brick red sticking out
grey and sadness in the air
smokey and harsh on the lungs
my childhood reduced to ashes
seared timber, rock
lifeless trees and bushes.
i had dreamed of the moment i could finally see
my childhood, my cherished and beloved hometown
sitting just the way it had when i left.
now i see families begging for homes
tired mothers with no place to lay their child at night
lost and confused
the tears of mothers and fathers knowing their home is gone
stolen unrightfully from them
disoriented and scared.
as the car moves it repeats block after block
street after street
a track stuck on a scratch.
slowly, silence was filled with laughter and joy
families and friends came together
my church family helping everyone in need
giving food and prayers to the hopeless
rebuilding and returning small pieces of home
everyone smiled, tears of joy streamed down faces
as we prepared our own new version
you were always into god
i have never been religious
but you were
so i’m sitting here, clutching a cross
hoping that maybe
if i hold it you’ll answer me
i saw you in my dream again last night
and you were reading a magazine
you looked the way you had
right before things got bad
that week we scratched lottery tickets,
and you were skeletal
but i ignored it
it was my last birthday.
i have never been religious
but if believing in a higher power means
that you’re watching
then i’ll worship on my knees
until they ache
and my fingers are locked around each other.
but i don’t understand why a god that “loved us all”
would ever do that to you
maybe you just always did things your way.
i miss you a lot these days
and it’s not helping
that everytime you visit
all you do is stare and last night
was the first time you had spoken to me
but you didn’t even say you miss me
it’s gutting because all i do is miss you
and you just want me to leave in my conditioner longer
after 2 months.
today is the 2 month anniversary
and i’m wearing the ring you gave me
that only fits my pinky
that carries more belief than the bible
that weighed a million pounds in the hall by your room
i remember sleeping in that room
after your husband died i felt watched in that room
i don’t think he ever left you
i remember sleeping in the pink room
waking up to the smell of eggs and bacon
to go and watch the thanksgiving parade in the living room
i remember sleeping in the blue room
drinking chocolate milk after you went to bed
and forgetting about how scared i was to start school
because i would be all alone.
i remember the way you clung to chairs that last year
you couldn’t hold yourself up much
i could see all your veins
i hate the way that year
overshadows all the time before
all i want to remember is the before.
i’m calling you from the ground
bare feet in the cold dirt
hoping you’ll answer me
i’ve never been religious
but you always wanted to take me to church
you told me
and i was eating ice cream in the backseat
why do you keep staring at me
i’m always the only one who sees you
but you never say anything
i have never felt guiltier for not calling
but if i had called that morning
i wouldn’t have heard your voice
if i called that morning
you wouldn’t have heard mine
because i can barely hear myself now
and you’ve been gone 2 months
i’ve never been religious
but if believing in god
would bring you back,
i’d get on my knees in a church
and taste the being of christ
and pray until my throat was hoarse
if it meant i’d wake up to see you alive
i don’t know if there’s anything worse
than knowing you’re completely gone
and it’s eating me alive.
and i hated your funeral
because all i did was cry
and people kept hugging me
when the only thing i possibly wanted was to not be staring at a picture of you
and that box with stained glass
i want to go back
back to baking cakes in your kitchen
back to shopping for quinn’s birthday
back to playing mario kart while you watched Days Of Our Lives, season 1,000 or whatever
back to awkward calls ending in promises of time together
back to saving you a seat so you could watch my play
back to playing surgeon games on my kindle on your couch that first summer
back to being caught taking a big spoon of cookie dough from the fridge
back to basement renovations
back to bikes down the driveway
back to walks to the post office
back to whatever i wanted for christmas because i think i was your favorite even now
back to stewart’s coffee
back to when you could breathe on your own
back to when i didn’t have to go to sleep to see your face.
while the blood rushes down your cheeks
red from the snow
a cold, hard winter’s
Pride and joy
the cracked window pane glints golden across
portraits engraved on their surfaces from
Footsteps of ghosts and those alive
who are solely ghosts to
moonbeams, fainter as the clouds
drown out your savior
whisper the tragedy of that room and that autobiography
that is Written in those bloody
tears of anguish
on the old newspaper clippings that spare
the loneliness of being alone
but the flames dance your truth and
vainly seek out their reflections
in the pained pools of your eyes
Frost creeping delicately over the threshold
forced back by the beautiful wrath of your friends
Who are not really friends
but merely enamored with the way
sorrow seeps out of you
spilling down your face and leaving
a blush so breathtaking
No one would ever know
it was born of death
but their grace entrances your eyes and you begin to dance
Partners: the burned and the burning
the ground creaking underneath bare feet
Grimaces of the ghastly faces painted underneath
you scuff away and when you wake it will be raw again
but you know invitations were sent out to adorn it anew
cosmina "coco" gamsey-boudier
magic for royalty: chapter 1
"once upon an orphan"
Once upon a time there was an orphanage that held the loneliest, most dumbest children ever known to man. But one day, there was a mistake in the process of life. There was one child that was . . . Let’s just say that he did not “fit in” at that orphanage. He thought that he belonged in Harvard. And people called him Will. And he was the only person in the orphanage that even thought about the outside world. One day, he made the mistake of reading one of the newspapers that was sitting inside the orphanage mailbox. The only reason he even THOUGHT about reading the newspaper, was that he was the only one in the entire orphanage that knew how to read. And he was GOOD at it. He thought that he had read every book in the world. From the moment that his eyes touched the bold letters of the front page, to the moment that finished the page, he knew that his life had changed forever.