A Friend

By Florence I.

it creeps along tattered clothes

strewn about your floor,

etching ever closer

as you wish for more,

beyond the wall,

between yourself

and what you want to call

home.

 

however, you don’t notice

as it breathes down your neck.

you’re calling a friend

on the outside deck,

but when you hang up

it sits beside you still,

as you dream of being gifted

a surprise drink and handmade meal.

 

you get ready for bed,

brush your teeth and stare in the mirror.

maybe you would gain a lover,

if your nose was right and your skin was clear.

it is gazing at your reflection with you,

when you spit out your germ-filled insecurities,

saying I’m right here,

but you don’t hear 

 

tucking yourself in for the night,

it silently observes, as it always does.

as your eyelids droop and begin to fall,

you begin to weep because

it sinks into bed with you,

and it finally begins to sink.

you are alone,

or so you think.

 

it encompasses you,

embracing you,

loving you,

and you’ve been ignoring it this whole time.

loneliness isn’t so lonely 

if instead of its presence feeling like grime,

It becomes only

a friend.

what it was like

By Anna K.

I watched as bit by bit 

the light flowed back into me— 

the golden pools of silken honey 

that gleamed and hummed with life. 

cupped hands darted out 

to catch a whisper, to 

taste the sweetness I’d longed for. 

I felt for the empty shell around me, 

felt for the inky darkness 

that had pervaded my soul for years— 

but not a piece, not a drop remained. 

I sighed into the blooming air, 

my breath a cloud of purest gold. 

sitting there underneath the open world, 

I remembered what it was like  

to be full of light,  

what it was like to have substance. 

and there forever I lay, 

shedding sweet tears as I realized 

I remembered what it was like 

to smile. 

 

A Puppet Without Strings

By Nupur L.

With the dictation of her every move,
Her entire life is planned out for her.
A single 'no' is enough to abolish her most desired dreams,
Her goals and accomplishments are decidedly injected into her bloodstream.
"The world is corrupt," they say,
And yet corruption lives in the room beside her;
As they crawl under the skin they've forced her to cover,
Whispering labels that were chosen by others,
She shapeshifts into a member of society that seems socially acceptable.
The cause of her every wince,
Is the fake smile plastered to her skin,
Stiched through every pore and every acne scar she wasn't allowed to cover.
She just wants to be herself
But they shape her into someone she refuses to recognise anymore.

The Day Grandma Died

By Yael

Cold feet and

Slow heart

Quiet voices and

Blurring eyes

 

She was

going

going

going

away

 

Ticking clocks and

Ladder of time

Mournful moonlight and

No more shine

 

She was

going

going

going

away

 

Threadbare clothes and 

Closed eyes

Deep holes and 

Quick goodbyes

 

She was

going

going

going

 

She was gone.

 
 

A Violin's Promise

By Jacqueline W.

Moonbeams illuminate the cedar wood floors 

of the tiny antique shop, 

The only source of light in the darkest hour 

of the night, 

When dreamers dream, with only the bitter cold 

seeping into fatigued bones…. 

Until the horizon turns orange and gold, and the moon hides its face yet again. 

A small girl with red cheeks and raven black hair 

opens the door,  

Holding the weathered hand of father, their breaths 

forming fog in the wintry air, 

For in the depths of the tiny shop lay 

a lone black violin case, 

Out of place like a brick among colorful feathers

 in stark contrast. 

Once, it was apprized by many, carefully handcrafted with the utmost love and care, 

And not a speck of dust dared touch 

its polished varnish then. 

Its warm, rich melodies had sung in many acclaimed concert halls, 

Its timeless, haunting beauty connecting 

the souls of strangers for that one moment, 

Allowing breaths to catch and tears to inevitably fall, 

fulfilling its selfless promise. 

Now, after many long years trapped in the 

steady undulation of the glorious past, 

The violin had forgotten its promise, its concert days 

only a fading dream of youth. 

And the small desperate flicker of hope had 

simmered to a dying flame in its fragile shell, 

Until the girl with the raven black hair, straight like 

the definition, became its owner. 

Yes, I bought the violin that day, 

For it was a joyous freedom for the girl and the violin 

With its warm, rich melodies still ringing in acclaimed concert halls, 

Its timeless, haunting beauty connecting the souls of strangers for that one moment, 

 

Allowing breaths to catch and tears to inevitably fall, 

fulfilling its selfless promise. 

 

Powerless

By Isabella B.

You know that feeling when you know there is no way you can win?

when you know there is nothing you can do to change the outcome?

That is a feeling I know all too well

Powerlessness

Waking up and not being able to move from depression

just sitting there, praying and waiting for it to pass

knowing this is going to keep happening

Hearing voices tell you that if you left today, not a single person would acknowledge it?

Knowing they are wrong, but not knowing what to tell them in response

which only feeds into their egos

Seeing this faces, people, watching you as you sleep

feeling their piercing eyes amidst your dreams

waking up to see them standing there, waiting for you

Powerless against them as they grab you

powerless as you sit and wait it out

feeling you body being jostled back and forth

their searing hands grabbing at whatever flesh in exposed

Powerlessness, a chain only God can break

A feeling only God can lift

But you have to ask

meaning, in the midst of the pain, and anxiety

you need to reach your hands toward heaven and cry out to the one who created the heaven and the earth

Only he can save you from this feeling, this burden

As long as you are a child of God he will never 

leave you nor forsake you

He is always there for you, arms open wide

waiting for

YOU

 
 
 

Invisible Friends

By Aileen K.

They want to drag me down

Hold me underwater and make me drown
Watching in the walls
Seeing all my flaws
I can't sleep because of the monsters under my bed
I can't breathe because of my invisible friends

Who Was I -- Fourth Grade

By AM

We both sat inside working on a writing assignment

My pen wasn’t quite ready to stop 

And my mind wasn’t ready to escape from my own world

She sat on the other side of the room

Writing just as much 

Her pen gliding quickly across the paper

She was from the good part of town 

The part with big new houses 

And fancy stores 

And expensive clothes 

Her parents had good jobs 

Had stable jobs

I was from the bad part of town 

That’s what everyone said at least

We didn’t have fancy houses

Or new stores

We weren’t rich 

But it wasn’t so bad

Because we had a big lake 

And colourful trees

Amazing neighbours 

Homemade popsicles

And our own tree fort 

I guess there is good in everything if you look a little closer

I guess there is bad in everything too if you stare a little longer 

She caught my eye from across the room

Offering a smile 

I smiled back 

As she looked down at her paper

Her long dark brown ponytail fell over her shoulder

I kept writing 

The words flowing out of my fingertips like waterfalls

I finished

She finished 

We handed in our papers and walked out the door for recess

The playground was big 

Complete with structures, slides

And a wooded area 

That was alive with vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges

Autumn  

Do you want to play? she asked

I was surprised that she’d want to play with me 

But I nodded 

We ran towards the trees 

Catching the leaves as they fell 

Laughing

Running 

Smiling 

We disappeared into our fantasy world

Fighting dragons

Helping people

Saving the world 

Everyday we were unstoppable 

Untouchable 

We became best friends 

I knew her favourite colour 

Orange

Her favourite fruit

Kiwi

Her favourite ice cream 

Chocolate

Her full name

Kate Elizabeth Herring 

I knew her 

From her electric green eyes 

To her size 3 purple running shoes 

We became inseparable 

She protected me and I protected her 

From the now fourth grade bullies

Who still liked to pick on me 

Around her I talked

It’s like her ears were blind to my sloppy english

Or she didn’t care 

She didn’t judge

She wasn’t like them 

She was different

We planned our future together 

We would be best friends forever

Or so we thought

But friendships can die just like cancer can kill

And as Robert Frost once said 

Nothing gold can stay. 

That Which the Light Touches

By Dessa K.

Dark red light lingers

On dust hiding in corners.

A wooden table squats

In the center of the room.

 

Three men recline

On leather chairs,

Distanced enough

To safely scrutinize each face

From underneath a wide brimmed hat.

 

White shirts attempt to breathe

Beneath black suit coats

And a fireplace’s dark coals

And the shadows that the wan light

Doesn’t dare touch.

 

Long cigars extend from mouths

Grungy from time and lies 

And greed and secrets.

 

None of the men sit at the table.

They fear a hand’s theft underneath its surface

Or a sly poison from a neighbor.

 

They pretend to be friends.

They show their eyes when a joke is made.

They murmur appreciatively

At the latest rumors,

Never telling the ones about each other.

 

They watch the fire,

Pacing just outside its dreamlike trance,

Biding their time.

Shadows of Indifference

By Jacqueline W.

A night, midnight blue, one with no stars

An eye peering through the opening, clouds reflected in gaze

And blank stares, pearly white - drenched in tears

The pendulum’s swinging, completing its endless cycle

Hushed whispers ripple the surface, then back again

An unfathomable abyss and death’s glare upon us with wings of black silk shadowing

A mirror with many faces, broken shards blemishing beauty

A girl, no two. Nameless, shamelessly looking. Dreaming -

As the sweet, soul sucking vortex redeems her again

Walls encroach upon the silent dreamer as she

remembers

Transparent glass walls that cuts us with its sharp frame and protects

Unshackled but made captive, the dragon’s strength wanes from toil- where did dragon from

As two wrongs aren’t made right with Chaos king and darkness spilling

It isn’t tempest from which I hide, or fire that chars my flesh

Nor is it chilled autumn morns, or even emotion in flashing thunder and wet torrents

Or love or hate, illusions conceived by the human mind

No, it’s indifference, rather ignorance in all its selfish forms

Colorless with grey hued skies and shapeless mist delusions to cold eyes; tasteless

Silent as despair, undiscerning as the raven veers towards temporary paradise

Poison dripping from the black tongue that blots and burns

For the fair rose with its delicate shades of pinkIs nothing but deceit.

 
 

All Is Well

By Su E.

This is probably the country where all is well, I used to say,   

For it is absolutely necessary that one such country 

exist  

To feast on the European nations, I offer myself for 

their feast: 

Taste me 

I am a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food

I am infant’s flesh, seasoned with a little 

pepper and salt 

I am a considerable figure at a Lord Mayor’s feast 

Drink me, 

I am the salty tears on your cheek 

I am alcohol absorbed into the bloodstream  

I am the blood-soaked heaps of the dead and dying 

For complete refund of my price and purchase…  

Step     right     up  

I know that we worship God from morning to light   

 Yes sir,      It’s Normal

But even God tears off angels’ wings to feast on them 

You see, this hemisphere is no better than the other!  

Forgive me, I am the product of globalization

We Believe

By Alea V.

We believe in equality 

We believe in being free 

We believe in camaraderie 

hard as it gets 

We believe in hoping for things that just might be 

and we believe that dreams come true somehow someway 

We believe that hard work will take us anyway 

we want to go 

We believe in trying to do the right thing 

We believe that people should be able to declare 

exactly what they think 

even though nobody else has to agree 

 

If you're reading this and thinking "you're giving some people too much credit", 

you're probably correct

But see, here's the thing

I've not lost my faith in humanity just yet 

These what our values are intended to be 

and 

I believe that we still believe

Corner Meeting

By Ryan C.

A corner holds a special place to me

At the intersection of East and Third

We’d first smile, then exchange words

Fifteen minutes before three.

 

There was never a dull moment with you,

Walking beside me as a friend.

However, each day was bittersweet, too,

Knowing eventually it would come to an end.

 

Like waves crashing in from the tide,

The inevitable closed our days.

And now as we go our separate ways,

There’s only one regret in my head.

I kept so much bottled up inside,

There’s more that I should have said.

 
 

Home

By Aadit P.

The walls reek

of old paint

tinted decades ago.  

white

and grey. 

always white and grey. 

gloominess hangs in the air. 

Permanently.  

Dust gathers in the corners,  

settles on the bloody carpet.  

consumes it.  

No one bothers to 

clean it. 

Decayed wooden furniture,  

dead tables and chairs 

devoured by termites,  

eaten alive. 

Stale water,  

drips from the roof  

onto the wet marble floor.  

Old paintings  

of gods and goddesses,  

of folks and cities 

far away 

hang on the walls  

by rusty nails, 

smelling of nostalgia  

and sadness.  

Hanging 

since forever. 

Kitchen shelves

filled with china,  

intricate designs,  

with cracks in the middle.   

Dirty clothes in the cupboard. 

No space for new ones. 

 

Shattered hearts

lie around

like broken vases. 

Irreversibly broken. 

Put together

by glue and tape. 

 

People who live here,  

have lived here  

for centuries.   

Family.  

So different from  

each other.  

So, so different.  

 

Like cut-outs  

from old, musty newspapers,  

glued together

in a cheap collage.  

Like seven different songs,  

playing all at once.  

Like all the colours of a prism

mixed together to form a  

pale, blurry white. 

Family.  

 

they smile at me,  

I smile at them.  

People I call family. 

strangers I call friends.  

 

A broken house I call  

home.

Have We Forgotten?

By Eva G.

We may boast of discovieres
And Of things we invented
We may praise new machineries
And theories just presented

There may be some of us
Who dig deeper into science
Revolutionise the world
And the theory that disproved another

But how could we forget the stars?
Those bright little dots in the sky
That once were responsible
For leading our ancestors away

How could we let the birds fly away
The very same
That used to perch up on our shoulders
And tell us tales of elsewhere?

How can we drift away
From trees so green , They illuminated the paths
And let them be replaced
By blinding , white lights

How did we forget ?
To look up at the sky
And imagine things
Then draw them up with clouds

I wonder , if we didn't
If it's just a matter of time
When someone yet again
Points up at the sky

I wonder if the world
can cherish it yet again
and bring the stars back to the cities
Instead of letting them fade away

I hope we do
One day look up at the sky
And laugh about a silly mouse
We create with the clouds

And I really, really wish
That everyone sees what I do
And point the missing stars
Back into our age of lights

All I hope
Is for the nature to harmonize
A symphony so sweet
That no one can deny

This is the way it should be
Dancing with the birds
Laughing with the crowd
And sleeping with the stars .

Just happiness for eternity
And that same old starry sky
Children admiring the beauty of nature
And not of these devil screens

What I Want to Be

By Devika S.

I aspired to be like the sky

Unpredictable, yet beautiful

Vast and infinite,

Fair and just. 

 

I allowed the wind to caress my face

I took it in, I let it take me on

I wished to be free like it,

I desired to help you move on. 

 

I felt the sand slip away from under my feet

Like the sins from my past lives -

Gone, yet not completely

I wished to be the waves that make you feel alive. 

 

But now somehow, 

I feel the expanse of the sky,

I feel the freedom of the wind

I feel the purity of the sea

I feel power and calm, all at once

And I realise,

I am everything I've ever wanted to be. 

The Path

Ekansh L.

You're on the path you were meant to be 

At times you'll lose sight of your destination 

A crushing defeat, a disheartening situation 

The path comes not without its perils, a tempest 

of agitation 

The path to nirvana, veiled by the mists of temptation 

But no matter how hard it gets to see 

You're on the path you were meant to be 

 

You're on the path you were meant to be 

Beneath this very path, the demons yet to haunt 

you hide 

And the phantoms of your past whom you will 

walk beside 

In this unforgiving darkness, only ambition will be 

your guide 

Even on this cold, dark path, in those tiny moments 

of glee 

You'll see you're on the path that you were meant 

to be 

 

When you tread the path upon which you were meant to be 

It's easy to lose track of all your progress 

Just as easy to delve on all that you've lost 

But remember, the path will stay true in guiding 

you to success 

And no great victory ever came without a cost 

Below Silence

By Sara B.

Silence has arrived--

 

Heavy, it is, heavy, 

it is.   Softly, softly we forget that our tongues were ours

Now the chaos, the tyranny is being covered over with peace

 

Tyranny is growing peaceful, growing

peaceful. Somewhere, Bennix is watching, watching

and weeping. 

O fearless lover, I forsake myself for you, sleeping in prison

unconscious, my life; sleeping with false accusations

 

Heavy, it is, heavy

it is. Couldn't hold father's hand while he was preparing to leave

and left quietly. Cremated, turned to ashes, woe upon my apathy!

when did we lose what is lost

 

what was already lost is not-- felt, or found out. There are the walls and you,

the newspapers and you, the characters and you,

A necklace of the bygone days pricking your neck, and you--

A necklace, not a noose!

A necklace, I say, and you

 

Heavy, it is, heavy

it is. All systems razed down by one illness,

and everyone is weary  No beds, and no work; the pandemic all that is alive, the rest just the stories of madmen

 

Someone comes out on their balcony and says The time has come

to pay. O friend, today our hearts were shaken by injustice and oppression

once again. What judgement? Where the grief of murder resounds

and where there is separation, what redressal? what redressal?

 

Heavy it is, heavy

it is. What a sinner is the heart! It knows how to live for the Self

only. To think, and laugh, and turn blood and sweat 

into one, and leave the rest like lifeless dust, 

only for the Self.

 

The heart does not know how to fetch bread

for the night. Or what misfortune should one hold responsible

for the night. Why get up, why burn again

just for the night? The things that will not hold together must scatter anyway-

 

Heavy it is, heavy

it is. 

We are left with no tongue to speak anymore;

only a raging fire in the veins that keeps 

 

moistening our eyes.

Moving

By Sania B.

It was a cold night,
the drizzle pittering and pattering down the window
I sat down with a cup of coffee in my hand,
wondering when was the last time
I felt this peaceful at night.

A cold breeze swooshed,
making the papers fly.
I looked at them and wondered
why do I even write?

As I searched for answers within me,
lost deep in thought,
letting the bottle burst,
tears sprang and flowed.

My grandma once told me years ago,
letting talent go to waste is like
acting paralysed when you can move.
"I'm moving, grandma," I whispered to myself.

Judge Me

By Nafisa S.

You judge me mercilessly 

You judge me carelessly  

Thinking I am a tool, 

I ignored and kept on being a fool. 

  

You judged me by my shade  

Or by how i was made 

Maybe by my religion or is that just an assumption? 

Maybe by my outfit or is that just a tradition? 

 

Maybe from where I came 

Or just by my name. 

Or maybe by my height 

Or just by my might. 

 

Maybe by my weight  

Or maybe by my clothes' rate. 

Or maybe by various reasons 

Constantly recurring just like seasons. 

 

There are these thoughts that emerge 

Which, I hope would diverge. 

I've gone through sleepless nights 

And crazy fights. 

 

You don't know how it feels 

To be left alone during your meals 

 

 

People glancing at you 

And mocking at you. 

 

For those who are being judged, listen 

You absolutely glisten! 

Others are jealous of your greatness 

Which acts like their weakness 

 

Don't bare! 

And don't care! 

Just live fearlessly 

Because karma will act on them mercilessly. 

 

Let the good vibes overcome you 

Just like the freshness of a dew 

If people ignore you let them be 

After all you just need 'ME' 

The Choice

By Irina S.

I held murder in my hands 

And I couldn't hold on to it 

I felt the cold weapon 

Drench my palms in sweat 

As I noticed the light flicker and my heart skip a beat 

I saw the bullet fire 

And a light blind my eyes

As I pulled the trigger 

Like pulling a bow and arrow I resisted 

But I wasn’t strong enough 

She holds the red plastic cup 

Filled with the colorful fruity yet bitter liquid that makes her cool 

He holds the black metal weapon 

Containing the components an 18-year-old needs to kill 

She takes the shot 

Letting the acid like liquid burn her throat and awaken another side of her He takes the shot 

Letting the bullet fire at an innocent classmate he never longed to speak to 

They took the shots. 

Would you?

Fish

By Soumya R.

I have a fish. 

It has a spot on its head. 

Or is it a blemish? 

It is blue...or maybe red. 

 

I give it food in the morning

I give it food at night. 

It just keeps on swimming

And I forget about it alright. 

Anemone

By Anshuman K.

Red, mauve, pink being it's favourite hues 

Protection against ill wishes is it's best earmark.

Violet, blue, yellow looks like heaven from upside 

Symbolizing true love when given to someone.

 

Anticipating also one of its important attribute 

Attracting butterflies is in her trait! 

Happiness, enjoyment blossomed peacefully 

While hatred, anger removed tranquilly.

 

While rose signifies romance

Sunflower signifies adoration

And daffodil signifies new beginning 

Than anemone signifies shelter against evils. 

I Hoped It Was All A Dream

By Aashna

Sneaked into my room at nine
You crashed your lips onto mine
Not a single soul in site
We kissed under the moonlight.

 

Like a beautiful dream it was
I wanted the time to stop
Dreams don't take much time to change into nightmares
That's how my dream crumbled infront of my eyes.

 

Suddenly your lips became rough
And the kiss became rushed
I told you it was enough
But then also you didn't stop.

 

I stopped pleading and tried to push you away
But still it didn't get to you
After all your fun you went away
And I was left feeling disgusted.

 

It was not the way you treated that hurt
It was those promises you broke that killed
You were meant to save me
But that day it was you that made me more vulnerable.

 

Silent tears and bottled up feelings
It all just burst out and I was once again cutting my self confidence
With new scars and dried up tears
That night I fell into a pit of worst nightmares.

 

I thought it was just a mere imagination
That's nothing but one more hallucination
I thought I made it all in my head
But my bloody imagination proved to be the worst reality upheld.

Just You and Me

By Suhani

I want to go

far with you

Run from this place

to a city new

A Paris Love 

and Finland Happiness

Those Disneyland's ride

and Bali's Chill.

i want this kinda love

of ours

Adventurous,Beautiful

and funny,

A place of just

You and Me

Lives to Be Sustained

By Nilakshi C.

Millions of Futures unsure,

and the arrival of corona has made the survival,

Seem like a war.

 

Poverty, hunger never cured but is this situation even better than before?

Locked birds in cage,

is the new life we are forced to take.

But we antithetical humankind, won’t silently sit and wait.

 

A test to be taken, a mind to awaken .

Don’t worry, we are still running for the victory

Cause there are lives to be sustained and development to take its throne back again.

 

The world is adapting, so are you..

Change for the better is the best thought I can give you!

Problems will arise might too for around you, help if you may or treat them the

best possible way.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Untitled

By Anonymous

​​Sometimes, the truest serendipities turn out to be the worst nightmare;
Heart is laden with the heaviest rue,
As the lost gleam of the eyes gives you the clue.
The conflict between the mind and the heart is instilled,
As the woe running through my veins remains undistilled.
The haloed soul holds the throne,
Leading the lost to the path UNKNOWN.