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These pieces are selected for publication by YWP Staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact Susan Reid.


Jan 21

Dying World

The world is dying,
the people crying,
as if they weren't the ones
who held the guns. 

Put that oil in the water,
atmosphere getting hotter,
millions of trees hit the ground,
a world-wide nervous breakdown.

All we care about is a selfie,
who looks the most like Barbie,
whose teeth are whiter,
whose dress is tighter.

Just say it will be fine. 
Pretend we aren't running out of time.
Watch your TV and drink your expresso,
kill the polar bears but feed your calico.

Don't think about the guy
who went overseas to die,
gave his life so you could be alive
to type your documents on Google Drive.

No you can't come into America.
Why not? You might have zika.
No, it's really because you aren't white.
Trump says that means you must have dynamite.

Grab a woman and build a wall, 
he thinks he has it all.
Jan 15
eulusivepurplepanda's picture

Acceptable- an open letter to the president

Dear Mr. Trump, 

​Well, here we are again! I've come to complain. A white, middle class, teenage girl. Writing to you: An orange, 1%, seventy-year-old man who also happens to be my President. 
​Here we go. 

George Washington owned slaves. He was publicly excused because he helped found the country and was a gentleman. 
Though I, and most others are still mad about the slaves, we still study him in school.
Abraham Lincoln signed an act to imprison Civil War protesters. That was excused because he ended slavery.
John F. Kennedy authorized, then blotched the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. That was excused because he died a martyr.

​But you sir, are neither a gentleman, a founder, nor have you done anything to liberate anyone. 
​You gave a woman hush money to stay silent about a private love affair. 
Dec 02


Nov 28

interest in the pig snorts

you think my hair is strange,
just because it isn’t straight and regular.
you think my nose is too wide,
and long,
and not proportioned in any direction it goes.
you think my eyes are plain
and not interesting,
not in the slightest.
you think
that my laugh sounds like a pig snorting.
but I think that my hair is good hair.
I think that my nose isn’t too wide or long.
I don’t think my eyes are plain.
they’re not stunning,
but that doesn’t mean they’re ugly.
and I don’t care if I sometimes snort when I laugh,
because at least I’m enjoying myself when I’m laughing.
and you may never take the slightest bit of interest in me,
might always think I’m butt-ugly,
might always think of me as
the girl who has too much confidence.
but I could stop investing my time in you,
faster than a quick snap of the fingers.
and you sure don’t seem
to need me in your life.
Audio download:
Nov 06
Kittykatruff's picture

The Beautiful Inevitable

How beautifully the brush of existence
Sweeps across the broad canvas of the sky,
Leaving streaks of colors
in compliance
With the whispered wish of watching eyes.
Raising a harmonious symphony,
The birds cradle joy and sadness in song;
As ink-black darkness spreads infinitely,
Light slips from the sky, but not for too long—
I catch my reflection in the window,
And watch the twinkling stars dance in my eyes;
I can't stay for long—I wish I could, though,
For I know all too soon the sun will rise.
I slip into a dreamworld of a kind,
As shadows and light weave all through my mind.

Oct 25


I can't seem to find
the name for this feeling,
it's somewhere between
melancholy and nostalgia.

I know that you and I
are not similar enough
to stay the way we were,
and I don't really want to be
constantly by your side anymore.

But I miss the way we were
and I wish we could
go back to then
when we were inseparable.

We'd go on adventures
through the woods,
pretend there were people
chasing us and we'd have
to run and hide and laugh,
and we'd eventually defeat them.
We were witches and fairies
and spies and a family.
Two sisters sometimes,
two mothers others.

I know we can't get that back,
we've both changed
we've stopped playing pretend
we've grown and matured.
You seem to have left
your imagination in the past,
I can't seem to get over
my insecurities that always
multiply around you.
Oct 20
poem 1 comment challenge: Rain
emilytrage's picture

One Stormy Eve

The hour presents itself in shades of grey
Rusted leaves replacing the blossoms of May
My footsteps crunch against gravel and stone
As I tiredly wend my way home.

The rain wastes no time in tumbling down
Collecting on flowers and soaking the town
Clinging to shoes, then socks, then barefeet
As I follow the lonely street.

I watch in wonder as the river swells
And fat droplets sing like tinkling bells
The sky darkens fast and I quicken my pace
Through pastures of Queen Anne’s lace.

But sadly, all good things must come to an end
And I audibly sigh as I come round the bend
I peer through the haze—my house is in sight
A reprieve from this stormy night.

I rejoice in the last few drops of the rain
Quite out of breath, but surely still sane
I stumble onto the sunken wood porch
Before lightning strikes like a torch.
Audio download:
One Stormy Eve.m4a
Oct 20

Good Morning

6:00 a.m.
My eyelids split open;
The sticky sleep,
Peeling slowly off me.  
My eyes adjusted
To the damp darkness.

6:06 a.m.
I found myself
Exiting my bed.
Scooping up my
Pile of school clothes
Off the ground.
I stood up,
And slammed my head
On the edge of my dresser.

6:08 a.m.
The dull throbbing
In my head
Finally quelled.
I hoped the
Red curse words
That flew from my lips
Did not find their way
To the ears of my
Sleeping kin.

6:10 a.m.
Through the darkness
I found the bathroom,
The lights flashed on
And burned my eyes.

6:11 a.m.
My eyes adjusted
And I caught sight
Of myself in the mirror
Good morning
My reflection hummed,
I hope you have a horrible day.
That’s what you deserve after all.
Another horrible day.

Oct 17


Editor's Note: This piece is featured on 

9:50 pm
a starlit city on the
dawn of october,
burned red with bar signs
and stop lights.

on this night in Sin City
steam rose from the
floor of the concrete jungle.
predators prowled, prey lurked.
metal vines swung from construction sites,
sun and moon peered between buildings to cast
light on the animals on the street.

the air was aromatic
and unapologetic.
in the wake of
spilled beer, cigarette smoke,
and the stench of sweat wafted
from underneath
sewage grates and
into the noses of passers by,
residing in the back of their

fear was absent.
no one feasted their noses on
that metallic stink of blood.
to me it always smelled like cheap rings
Oct 01
earleyg's picture

Names (Audio Version)

What's in a name? Your identity, what ties you to your family, and yourself. For as long as I can remember, I have been dissatisfied with my own name. It's too religious and its adjective, it's just not me. Names are supposed to be defining of you. They should feel good when someone calls your name and they should define you. My name is way too delicate, too dainty for the kind of person I am. I do not want to be seen as someone who is careful and tidy and neat. For as long as I can remember, I have been the neighborhood tomboy, the person who has skydiving on her bucket list and loves zip lining at ArborTrek.
Sep 20

Casual Racism With a Side of Language Based Angst

In an attempt to delete an audio recording that I wasn't satisfied with, I ended up deleting the post as whole thinking it meant deleting the changes I had made previously.  My bad.  This is just a repost, where nothing has changed from the original.  My apologies for causing any confusion.

I was sitting among tiny green blades of grass,
listening to a chaotic symphony
of loudspeakers
and bubbling voices.

I was sitting under a rosy sky
with golden light,
carefully separating the fluffy cotton clouds.

My twisted fingers picked at the green
and tore it apart,
watching its string split
and fall under my harsh grip.

I heard you.
I heard you speak in your best worst English.
I heard you.

I was right there.
I was right there when I heard you speak in your best worst Egnlish.
I was right there.

I know you didn't think much at the time

Sep 16

Toad in a Hole

The toad was in a hole.

"Why are you in a hole?" asked the spider-man.

"I am in a hole because I want to be in a hole," responded the toad.

"Oh," said the spider-man. "That's cool."

"It is," said the toad. "But I have a question for you."

The spider-man smiled.

"Why am I an egg?" asked the toad.

"Well," said the spider-man, "I am not sure. I think it is because your parents named you an egg."

"Hmm," said the toad. "I think you must be right. ... What did your parents name you?"

"They named me Ezra," said the spider-man.

"Why did they name you Ezra?" asked the toad. "You're not an Ezra."

"I know," said the spider-man. "But you're not an egg."
Sep 11

Break Through

When I was maybe eight or so
​I had a recurring dream
​That I could push off from the ground,
Break through the restraining layer of gravity
​To swim a few feet above the grass.

The dreams were so concrete
​That when I was pulled from their comfort,
​I would secretly try to jump into flight;
​Soar beyond the smothering fabric.
​Part of me still wants to.

I think this was my imaginitive mind
Trying to leave behind my fear.

When I was little I was extremely shy:
​Terrified-to-order-my-own-food shy.

​I was also (like many people) terrified of the unknown.
​I was petrified of meeting new people,
​Especially if they looked different to those I was used to.
I once hid from someone just because they had long hair
(I feel really bad about that now).

​And if you couldn't tell already
Sep 01

Queen of Denial

I blink myself into conciousness most mornings.
It's slow to the point that I don't know it's happening until its effects are irreversible,
like when you start writing on unlined paper
and don't notice that your words are slanting
until it's too late.
And then I'm awake,
in the loosest sense of the word,
and my alarm is a jumble in my ears,
and my body is heavier than it's ever been,
and I play the game where I weigh the pros and cons
of rising to face the world
versuses hitting snooze and rolling over like it revolves around me. 
I've never hit the snooze button.
It doesn't necessarily mean I don't still think I'm the sun.

I know that I'm supposed to get all bent out of shape
when someone announces that I've never actually seen what I look like
(pictures and reflections don't count)
but the thought doesn't scare me the way it's supposed to. 
Audio download:
Queen of Denial.m4a
Aug 27
Icarus Blackmore's picture

End of Summer Poem

Gold stains the green leaves,
The summer sun whispers goodbye,
As the birds sing their farewells,
And shadows creep over the yard

They beckon forth the days of cold.
Their shapes sinister and strange,
They are reminders of short evenings,
And the mountains of school work I am to face.

I long for summer’s empty warmth,
The unkeepable promise of never ending days,
Only accentuated by the starry night,
With those unreachable dreams of an infinite freedom

From the safety of warm blankets I reach,
Towards those glistening stars in the nights of impossible dreams.
But you can never truly see the stars
Until you stand outside on a cold and bitter night.

So I will throw off the warm comforter of summer and it’s promises,
And step out into the cold starlight.

Aug 20

Dear Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,
I heard
we all did and I hope you're okay.
I know you aren't 
you can't be
not after all that's happened.

Dear Charlotte,
I offer my shoulder to cry on
and I'll cry with you,
because this should be over and long past
but I guess equality is eternally fought for.

Dear Charlotte,
please remember that you're one of us
and we stand by you.
We stand by you when men with
fire in their eyes, in their hands, and on their tongues
declare that they want their freedom,
but what they really want is free reign.

Dear Charlotte,
we want the freedom to live
not the freedom to hate.
Aug 01
Mackenzie 101's picture

The Laughing Man

I walk down the street.
It’s evening,
The sun is still out,
The grass is glowing,
And my face is probably burning.
I slip on my sunglasses and see
The world through a different lense,
As I turn the corner I almost run over two girls.
They both have ice cream in their hands,
They both have pigtails,
They both are living life to the fullest,
And they’re both laughing.
As I continue walking,
I watch as a woman with dogs
Starts laughing at the conversation on her phone.
Her laugh gives me hope.
I’m tired at this point and
Decide it’s time for a little rest.
I find a bench and sit down next to an old man,
He’s reading the newspaper.
So I pull out my phone to
Check for missed messages when all of the
Sudden, the man bursts into a bubble of laughter.
So I laugh too,
You only live once right?
I’ve got nothing to lose in the moment,
Jul 31

English Slang-guage

Words are meant to express, to impress, to convey,
to describe how we feel and respond in our own way
but now most teens settle for "idk"

"Idk"? you won't even spell out "I don't' know"?
the English language has stooped to an all-time low.

Instead of "How are you?" or "What's going on?" they type "wyd"
how much more lazy and careless can they possibly be?

They could at least use their own voice & mind to send something different,
instead of meaningless gibberish they could say something significant.

Every message, every sentence contains at least one bad word,
and they text so cryptically their true intentions are blurred.

Have THOUGHTful talks, listen to each other speak,
sure their "selfie game is strong" but their conversations are weak. 

Jul 18

Searching Eyes

Alone on the beach, she watched the waves and longed for their salty kisses on her bare feet. The woman wore a deep blue dress of soft, flowing cotton. Her bright eyes were hidden behind black sunglasses and her chin rested on the top of her closed hand. Her elbow pressed into the arm of her chair. The woman's feet rested upon the sand, the criss-crossing pattern from her vacant sandals burned onto the tops of her feet in tan. Just the natural tan from spending so much time outdoors. It was not a tan the woman had worked or paid for. It was one that grew as she soaked up the sun on hikes and inhaled cool, sea-sprayed air on the coast.

The woman's hands were home to several rings, silver and light gold ones that she'd worn since high school. On her wrist, a light gold rimmed watch on a small white leather band-- also worn since her teenage years.