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: -- 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.


Jul 11

The Weeping Willow

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

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

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

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

the willow,
Jul 11
poem 1 comment challenge: Random
nolans's picture


I would like to include this poem; this letter
A national treasure
Like fine wine with dinner
Wait, let me clarify
words tell a story just like a battleground
and each sword is a chaptor

Jul 11
poem 1 comment challenge: Crowd

The Train Station

The train isn't coming fast enough, 
what do you mean you didn't pay the bills?

Now, now, girl, settle down,
you'll meet your grandfather soon.

I just put your hair up, and you go and ruin it?
I can't work today, my girl's sick. Sorry, boss.

Thank you for taking me here, I enjoyed it very much
This bread is old and rotten!

Watch out, there's a dog!
Don't sneeze on me!

That annoying bell is going to make my ears bleed,
do you have a tissue?

Mama, mama! There's a bird!
Yes, dear, I know. 

Kids these days don't know respect.
Who do you think you're looking at!?

Can you turn off your music, sir?
Of course, ma'am, I'm sorry if it's too loud.

Jul 10
poem 0 comments challenge: Random

over the summit


i straighten my mask
the one of pleasantries
and polite remarks
the one that has an illuminous smile
and i turn my back
fight against the roaring current
that tries
to pull me over the summit


the others 
they run to my side
they see i need help
they see i need aid
but yet
they too
turn against my current
the one that threatens again and again
to pull me over

it leaves me bait
promises of happily-ever-afters
but i say to it
"how can i fly if i'm bound in your chains?"


i turn away
and i replace the mask
Jul 06
Kittykatruff's picture

"If Only"—She Could've Been Saved

If only golden
Rays of sun
Were tangible.
Alas, they weren't.
She watched them slip
Through her fingers
As she remembered
Empty wallets,
Empty stomachs,
Empty hearts of those
Who walked by,
Not caring to 
Even listen
To the whispered wishes
Of those who could not
Hold on
Much longer.
If only promises 
Were tangible,
Unlike the money
And food
She dreamed of.
If only dreams
Were promises,
Promises that would
Surely come true,
Promises as real
And easy to grasp
And hold tight
As the rare paper bill
Or unlucky penny
Found in the streets.
If only words
Held their meanings,
Clinging to them
So children living on the streets
Would not have 
To cling onto
Their little siblings,
Their lives.
If only the words
Which need to be
Heard the most
Would not be blocked
Jul 04

thoughts on a rainy afternoon

the sky is shy some days.
the clouds prefer not to share
their dazed thoughts
and broken hopes and dreams.

the stars don't often contribute
with their speculations of the world below.

sometimes silence sits still in the night air
and holds us.

but in other stolen moments,
the sky opens up.

the rain falls in reflection
of all the things the world above us
doesn't know how to say.

a whisper in a drizzle
a cry in a downpour

sometimes the world
is willing
to give it all a chance

Jul 03
Kittykatruff's picture

Summer Sunset

How radiantly a summer sunset
Shines last rays over the land,
Pinks merging with golden orange,
And yellows soft and bold.

Reflecting in sparkling streams
Igniting the ocean,
Fiery hues, streaks of soothing blue,
A painting too lovely to be hidden, contained;

The birds sing sweetly, serenading evening,
My eyes hold onto the final glimpse
Of the beauty Nature so selflessly shares
With us, and all her wilderness.

Last lingering rays slowly tuck creatures in,
Nimbly unfolding the blanket of Night
Over the world, scattering stars as small lights
To reassure everyone they are safe and all is right.

Only I lay awake, still seeing the sunset
So brilliant and beautiful in my mind,
I don't want to sleep and lose this masterpiece,
But I eventually slip into a dreamworld of a kind.

And so night passes after every summer sunset,
Jul 03
Kittykatruff's picture

A Drop of Rain

How can so much depend
On a single

When it finally falls
Down from the sky

A leaf may bend, an
Ant might fall, all
Any Sound,

When I ponder why,
My thoughts are washed
Away by these
Of Rain.

Jul 02
Tanvi Nagar's picture


My heart aches for another breeze to brush by me gently,
My road of life is shaped by the curvaceous path of destiny,
My dwelling is in every creek, in every cave by the mountain side,
I don’t have a solitary who keeps my secrets, in whom I confide,
I am not garlanded by pearls, I am adorned by the solar systems’s star dust,
I keep one foot after the other, inspired by my soul’s own wanderlust.

My heart aches for the dingy forests and scent of the fresh roses,
I do not regret over the roads in life I have left behind, unchosen,
I am enchanted by this stupendous world, by every blue river and stream,
I seek pleasure in the untruthfulness of my illusionistic dreams,
I do not wish to bear the weight of the finest of silk nor purest gold,
I only yearn that mysteries of this world, with my wanderlust, I can unfold.

When my heart aches for the magic of nature, the brilliant shades of rainbows,
Jul 02

The World Within

I have always worn glasses. Whenever I took them off, the world would double, triple, quadruple; everything would blur and jump around, and I would hastily cram my “second sight” back on. Therefore, as soon as I woke up, I would ram my glasses up my nose before even opening my eyes.

One perfectly normal morning, I woke up to the persistent crowing of Mr. Whitney, the king of our left-hand neighbor’s chicken flock. The steady hum of the kitchen toaster sent out an invitation to breakfast. To the right, a lawnmower was already making progress around a yard, spilling sweet grass clippings over the cropped lawn.

My fingers fumbled the bedside table for my glasses. Nothing. I continued to search, sliding my hand over the bed, lamp stand, and even the Bonsai pot. Guessing they had rolled off the table, I shook myself awake and opened my eyes.
Jul 01


Musty muggy Washington June evening:
A bedraggled begging man is sitting
on the side of the road, styrofoam cup
in hand, bgging for a way out of his life,
following the people passing by with eyes
like a flyaway receipt caught
in the wake of a speeding taxi.

My sister and I brought over our Mediterranean
leftovers, handed it to him with a smile, expecting a heartfelt
yet hasty thank-you, but no. He met my gaze
with unwavering veracity and crammed
60 years of his history into the minute I stood to listen.

I’m a retired alcoholic (good for you),
but didn’t play my rent this week (oh), it’s alright
but looking to get rid of my possessions, take
this baseball hat, original wizards’ cap (thank you very
muich sir, are you sure-?) yes yes no problem-
er, do you have a dollar for the subway?-
you see, I’m a poet, write for the local paper, I
have a copy, hang on, yes, here-
Jun 30

Painting with Explosives

I don't know what I'm writing anymore,
I used to build poems like carefully layered paintings,
each brushstroke of the perfect hue,
placed just so.

Now each timeI pick up the brush,
my feelings and thoughts come toppling down 
in a cascade of experiences,
building like a crescendo
resonating through the fibres of my being
shaking the core of my consciousness
the air thrumming with ideas
radioactive particles
all invisible.

Notebook paper is poor armor in a flood.

I've never been able to rationalize my emotions in that way,
abstractify yes,
but not distill into simple,
straight forward language.

You can't right instructions for life.
People have tried,
they always sound at least mildly ridiculous.

Take Self-Help books:
some one else is vicariously showing you how to help yourself.
It's an oxymoron.

Jun 30
fiction 3 comments challenge: Genie

The cat's true wishes

Ally the cat was walking around content with her life, humans all to willing to scratch her back or cuddle her. How to avoid them you ask? Show the butt. To face ones butt towards the lowly humans, one asserts dominance and shows control in the relationship. Except there was a problem. The one time that Ally truly needed the humans though, they weren't there. The nerve! She was willing to cuddle them to get scratched and they had left the house. So Ally went on an expedition to find the perfect object to rub against. She used to have a vase that hit her back perfectly, but then one day she got bored. Let's just say that the fireplace was a lot higher than Ally thought. Check in the bedroom. Nothing. Bathroom. No, the toothbrushes weren't out today. Ally almost gave up hope, but then she saw a gleam out of the corner of her eye. Sitting perfectly on the windowsill, a nice lamp!
Jun 27

Once Again

Emotions are hard to convey.
I guess I learned that the hard way

I would rather not say what I've been through,
Even if it means you'll go through it too

I can tell you it hurts in different ways
And to heal it can take days

But do not fear the future, my dear
Cause love and good memories will always appear

So Farewell, my dear friends, I'll see you again,
When summer has finally come to an end

Jun 27
poem 4 comments challenge: Random
iski23's picture

Night Light

The world is a shadow hidden amoung the quiet
Stars guide us around the dark
They are the light we look to see
Through the dark we look up to the unusaul advice they give

The moon switches time, opens up a new vision for us to see
Gives us a chance to rest
As we doze the sky swaps from night to a dewy morning

Pastel colors rain from the sky creating a picture melting into the morning sunrise
Between the mountains a vehicle passes into the light
The fog rises up on the cow pasture
Jun 26
poem 1 comment challenge: Out
Allycorn's picture

Is This the End

I was running,
Running through the icy terrain
Rain droplets splatting on the ground
On my cold face and wet hair too
The surface under me, crumbling
Soon, there would be no more life in this world
Only myself and the dark world around me
My eyes saw something floating in the distance
As I ran closer, I knew what it was
The key to stop all this chaos
The key to bring back brightness
My heart, beating inside my chest
What used to be full of life and love
Was slowly losing its life and love
I could only remember the week before
Before any of this had started
The sun was shining down on us
And the flowers, they bloomed with beauty
Until... Until the lightning struck
Until the thunder sounded
Until the storm...
Covering the sun with its thick, dark clouds
As soon as there was no light, nature drooped, dead and sad
Our world became frozen by a layer of ice
Jun 26
poem 5 comments challenge: Random


I called you.
You spoke in fire.
I spoke through falling rain.
You told me you saw a plastic mess and left it.
I told you I grew tree roots from my hands.
You informed me of broken china.
I informed you I was stuck to the wall with super glue.
You notified me through eight books.
I notified you through nine,
but then you switched to ten.
You stomped across your telephone,
while I muddled by mine.
You gulped oxygen,
while I telescoped the window.
The sky was lightning.
We were the burning meadow below it.
You concluded that I never talk.
I ended with you never looked.
But if you had been the wanderer I thought you were,
you would have known
my eyes are books
and your ears are broken.

Jun 20

for summer:

it’s the heavy air
the parched grass’s thirst 
the dog napping sprawled on a weathered deck

it’s dirt collecting on calloused bare feet
it’s slivers on your palm and pollen in your nose 

the whine of insects and the distant chuckle of farm equipment

senses melded together because,
which one is which?

i’m stuck in the lull of it. 
and i wouldn’t change a thing
May 27

social ladder

She clings
to her rung, 
never looking at
those below her,
always gazing up
to where they all want to be;
the rungs that hold
the rich
thin things.
The popular ones.

Her rung is crowded
with all her "friends" clinging to it
to her.

All they want is to move
They tell themselves they will
be happy there,
at the top.
If they looked, they could see that isn't true.

And she spends 
all her energy
trying to climb,
but as soon as she takes a hand off
to reach the next rung,
the whole
and she puts it back on.

don't climb, they whisper to her, you won't make it, you could fall.
But you can't stay here, 
they whisper to her, you'll never be happy, you can only be happy at the top.
need to be at the top.

And she tries;
May 25

the monster that hid beneath his skin

her father was killed by monsters before her birth,
or at least that’s what her mother always said.

sometimes her mother would find herself begging
her daughter to sleep beside her in order to
fill the empty space to the left of her in bed.
her mother often whispered stories of her father
when the daughter was supposed to be asleep,
the daughter would hold her eyes closed and her ears open,
she would feel her mother settle down on the side of her bed,
barely disturbing the sheets and begin to use her
satin voice to explain in the only way she knew how,
what happened to her father.

sometimes her mother spoke of the raw hands
with fingers as long as tree branches
that grabbed him in the middle of the night,
packed up all of his things
and took him,
without a sound.

sometimes her mother would whisper,
and explain that her father was strangled,