The Voice, YWP's Premiere Publication



Each month, Young Writers Project publishes the best work -- words, images and sound -- of this community. This premiere publication features writing from community members from all over the world and reaches 15,000 individual IP addresses a month, a good deal more than 15,000 humans who spend a lot of time reading AND they come back to finish! Help us get more readers! Spread the word -- and the link: https://youngwritersproject.org/thevoice -- on social media, on your email signature, in emails to friends!

The selections for this magazine are made by YWP staff, volunteer professionals, mentors and Community Leaders on the site. If you'd like to participate, contact Susan Reid. 

Feel free to add sound and images to your posts! That will make this magazine even better.  To view it, click here.





 


 
Sep 03

I Once Killed a Butter Fish

The time was ten,
the sun bright, cruel-almost terrifying.

The light wasn't silver or gold,
the light wasn't blue or jade,
it was only a sharp, clear air that
somehow blinded me through each thickened cloud.

The time was ten one.
Ten two,
ten three and four,
ten five,
ten eight, ten thirteen...
The time was soon to be ten twenty,
and inevitably to be ten fifty.

What we called "butter fish"
would fly up in the air when we kicked
at their piles.
Their dead, colorful piles.

The butter fish were red and green,
they drifted with incredible grace and control
all the way to our tiny feet.

The brown ones didn't fly.
The brown ones would melt
into the earth if you stepped on them too hard.
The brown ones were weak and rotting,
dead and dry...

The butter fish, though beautiful,
were fragile in many ways.
Sep 03
poem 0 comments challenge: Portrait

1.5 Million Things

I am not just human, I am 1.5 million things.
I am just like a bird, free, but no wings. 

So no I don't fly, but I can see the clouds.
But despite my high spirit, I am definitely not a crowd.

Yes, I am shy, like a squirrel or bug.
But usually, I get over it with a smile and a shrug.

I don't have many friends, only one or two.
I swear people would like me if only they knew..

I am decently bright, but not as much as the sun.
I am genuine, kind-hearted, and pretty much fun. 

I am a fast rapid river, and I go with the flow.
But growing for me, was just a no-go.

I am a stump, five foot, four and a half.
But it's cool to be short, so it's fine, I just laugh.

My eyes and hair are soft and bright.
The colour of chocolate, that I sneak in at night,

But I prefer vanilla, with reeses chunks.
Love showing off my cheeks of a big chipmunk.

Sep 01
Maisie N's picture

The Architect

The city stands on strong foundation
While your heart beats soft and slow
Hurricanes tear through your imagination
Skyscrapers lost to rain and snow
As the world takes back it's former station
Wonder only nature can know
Architects watch in fascination
Know there is no way to manufacture the world.

To create would be incredible
Yet your hands and voice work overtime
To make what is inconceivable
To bring what is empty to life
To say whe you mean because it is meaningful
To let the world turn without passing you by
To know that you are capable
In your spirit, body and mind

And I could never be a builder
As I stand before you, the architect
Visions of ivory ballustrades
Swimming and glittering through your head
I stand in awe of your creativity
In unprecedented fear and fascination
Of what you can bring to life, make to be
Admiration and aspiration.
Aug 26

My Hummingbird Companion

With their rapid beating hearts and tiny wings,
they flutter around like stars in my own universe.
Swirling tones of a green and yellow storm they sing
their sweet, silent songs of melodical verse.

“What is it like to be a human being?”
the birds ask with their unvoiced inquiry.
“To have a body like yours must be freeing,
instead of our bones, so fragile and wiry.”

Should I tell them the truth to their question,
or let them live on in their peaceful naiveté?
My lips part to give them the hurtful confession,
although something inside me kept it at bay.

“You wish for a human body like mine,
but blessings don’t come without a price.
While I long to fly above the clouds and the pines,
being earthbound is my yielded sacrifice.”

I continue on with sustained vigor,
"Everyone wishes for what they don’t have,
yet they don’t see the crucial figures.
Aug 21

Summer Succulents :)

Taken at Sung Harbor Nursey in Kennebunk, Maine.
 
Aug 20

i love you out of necessity, i couldnt choose to love you anymore than i could choose not to

your fingers are willow tree branches,
trace latitude and longitude lines
across my body.
map my scars as rivers, my curves as 
mountain ranges. 
kiss me with dandelion breath and
hold me like i’m your sweet september breeze. 
you got me in a honey bee haze, you are my 
cool purple nights and the fresh yellow days.
with your vanilla skin on mine, i want to meet your mind. 

can i turn our fingers into friendship bracelet string?
blue over green over blue over you over me
over
us

sleep isnt easy without you.



 
Aug 14

Wild Blackberries for Early August


There were thorns involved
and so with careful fingers 
the firm, deep purple berries
were pulled off stalks,
held in palms,
and eaten.

It reminded her of birds 
when they delicately land
on thorn bushes.
Tiny toes splayed,
balancing the sharp mountains
in between skin.

Blackberry picking was a slow, methodical process, one that could last hours
if let alone.  

And she was alone;
reaching with night-stained fingers, 
for another jewel 
draping towards the ground,
adding it to the collection of savored
things from summer afternoons.

Cool ponds,
tiny caterpillars,
dirty calloused feet. 

They were simple and achievable 
and are the things she remembers 
20 years from now. 

Blackberry picking 
in early August. 



 
Aug 14
poem 2 comments challenge: General
Lynnez's picture

Day Dreaming

Aug 12

Abandoned Robin egg + nest

Two robins recently moved out. The other eggs (three I think) hatched fine. We don't know what happened with this one.
Aug 10

49 flames.

It is sometimes that i realize how much 

I love him

Like when I am supposed to be 

Sleeping; 

But instead i am lying awake listening

To him bustle about 

The kitchen underneath 

Me

And i catch 

A small smile 

Tugging at me 

As he hums—

albeit off key—

a tune that i once sung to him. 

Or when i am in the car and 

I can feel his voice vibrating in

The leather seats as 

We swerve down the road. 

(his hands never were steady.) 

it comes to me when i embrace him, 

inhaling the smell of coffee beans and lost sleep lingering on his cotton shirt. 

It’s when i daydream of when i used to beg to ride on his shoulders, and when i cry silently when he seems lost in his own 

Hopelessness

Stress

Dedicated. 
Aug 09

17-year-old Thoughts on a Thursday Morning


I'm making jam at 8:30 in the morning,
a humid, rainy morning. 

I wonder if this isn't Vermont,
and instead, everyone's been fooling me;
I must be in Florida. 

I look over my shoulder and
see a hummingbird drinking from that fake red flower we put up
and worry if the fox is near the chickens,
who cluck blissfully in their pen. 

I wonder if next year I'll be New York City,
grabbing coffee in a crowded bakery with steamy windows. 

Or taking a stroll around the quiet streets of Santa Barbara, 
my hair getting lighter the longer I stay in the sun.

Or watching the leaves slowly turn gold,
as I take a bus into Boston for an escape of theater and gardens.

Or maybe I'll be in Colorado,
skiing...which I haven't done in years. 

I could be anywhere.

It's an exciting time to be alive, isn't it?







 
Aug 01
poem 1 comment challenge: Elephants

The little girl

Once there was a little girl
who had an elephant.

it is not clear how it came about,
but she loved it.

one day she decided that she wanted
to go to the house up the street,

where the humans were,
for she lived with others,

people she had created out of ink and paper,
enchanted and kind, but untouchable.

she came up to the door,
and read the sign that hung on the door.

STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS
read the sign in the big bold letters.

she looked at her elephant,
with eyes made of rain and chocolate,

and sat on the stoop and began to think,
grabbing a pen and paper.

the people inside the house read the little girl's paper,
the paper that was stuck on the door,

some began to weep for what they had lost
to get into the house.

some began to long, long for the outside world
Jul 24
poem 0 comments challenge: Stairs
Kittykatruff's picture

Ice

Suddenly, I'm awake.
I'm not 
where I fell asleep.
I'm not
in my bed, 
in my room,
at home.
I'm at a place
I never thought 
I'd see again,
Or want
to see again.
Yet 
here I was, am.
The rain pours down,
half-sleet, half-water,
pitter-pattering on the roof
of my old school.
It's not frozen enough
to do any real damage,
Yet
it feels colder 
and sharper
than their words had,
Slicing
through my confidence
and Hope
and heart—
so I ran.
I ran to the stairs
and sat,
nearly oblivious 
To the puddle 
I was sitting in,
to the kid staring
At me
through the window of a
passing car.
I now walk 
to that girl
Sitting on the stairs,
the girl I used to be,
The girl I gave up on.
I know what happens next,
And I don't want to watch.
Yet I do.
My eyes are frozen
Jul 22
poem 0 comments challenge: Silence
Icarus Blackmore's picture

The Silence of Noise

Burned Down-
An old motel lay,
Just a pile of
Ashes and soot.

Kids clambered
To the windows.
In such a hurry,
They forgot smoke drifts.
It slipped in,
Stinging eyes and throats.

Still, kids clambered,
Eager to see,
What lay before them.
Sirens cried out,
As the bus drove away,
From the smoldering remains,
And the smoke that danced above.

Quiet Reigned-
Code Red Drill.
Words we’d all
Heard before.

Kids silent,
Except for a cough,
Or a stifled laugh.
They sat ears and eyes clear.

This was the norm after all,
No need to clammer,
No need to cry out,
As the principal stepped away.
From the smoldering remains,
Of a ruined foundation,
And the smoke that danced above.

For us, tragedy is as normal,
As the motel standing,
While hope has become,
A spectacle akin to fire.
Jul 21

Flamingo

Sagging

the age-old yet new

flamingo would be half dead

if it was alive

dug into the half live

ground, it is the end

of beach ball

and a deflated

summer

or maybe inflated winter

it is hard to tell falling

through sideways

history. I stood on the tattered

concrete and the painted over grass

of old England or new Florida

wondering if any young Alice

wielded the queen’s

mallet when the lawn was croquette

trimmed enough to

put through, cut through

the maze of white and red and black

blood dried up, wondering if any old

Alice is sat inside desiccating,

pouring emptiness

into a tea cup stained

by the dregs of

evaporated mercury

as everything here is

plastic sagging
Audio download:
Flamingo.mp3
Jul 19
poem 0 comments challenge: Silence
GabriellaF's picture

The Quiet

The quiet comes
like a cat stalking prey

It sits hanging in the air
reminding of loneliness and pain.
Traping, suffocating, killing
with its emptiness
Jul 12
sophie.d's picture

Little toes

I stood in the sea
little toes mushing into
waterlogged sand. 

Deep gray waves
crisscross crashed 
under the charcoal blanket
woven of clouds.

The tide pulled at my
blue tinted ankle bones
and the wind whipped
a hair cloud around my face.

Raindrops began to pla plunk 
into white tipped water
which blossomed with
overlapping ripples 

Black clouds tightened 
around my head
and the wind edged me
towards the hungry sea.

I wondered
What did the universe do
to anger the earth
into this howling fashion? 

The sand trembled
shaking seaweed out
of its mineral pores
And the water danced
frenzied spirals
through my little toes.

Here I am
in the middle of the sea
catching the sky's sorrow.

 
Jul 11

The Weeping Willow



The wind blows ever,
gently,
beneath the weeping willow.
The grass is ever,
green,
beneath the weeping willow.
The strings of life,
hang,
beneath the weeping willow.
Such things unseen,
seen,
beneath the weeping willow.

The ghosts walk ever,
quietly,
beneath the weeping willow.
The children sing ever,
softly,
beneath the weeping willow.
Love lives ever,
lively,
beneath the weeping willow.
Death comes ever,
looming,
beneath the weeping willow.

A cast of moving shadows,
dance,
in cheer and sorrowful,
cries,
in calming hallow winds,
weeping,
with long quivering eyes.

Nothing stirs ever,
alive,
beneath the weeping willow.
All who pass soon,
die,
beneath the weeping willow.

Weep,
the willow,
weep.