Happy February, everyone! We'll make it through 2019 somehow! Let's savor our last beautiful Vermont winter weeks. . .until the dreaded mud season. Has anyone been celebrating those fun little holidays? ;) See the last newsletter for a list of them.

Skip this next part if you're a YWP newsletter regular.

Welcome to the YWP Newsletter! These weekly newsletters are curated and created by a team of Community Leaders, who, along with many others, recommend work for publication, create challenges, give feedback, and do some writing of our own! This newsletter is a highlight of our favorite work from each week, creative, insightful, entertaining, sometimes focusing on a certain theme... we aim for variety in our collection each week to reflect and engage that of the many writers, artists, photographers and musicians of YWP. We, as the editors, hope to give the creators of YWP a wider audience, provide the busy members a taste of each week's pieces, and share some that we particularly loved with you. Please become a returning reader: check out the other newsletters, and share the link with many others who may enjoy it!

This week's featured authors and photographers are: fran.cescaRovva, beautiful, mythicalquill, adalet, abartell, irishjayne, Love to Write, hmseymour, and InezL

YWP Happenings:

Coming up! Writing on the Roof Workshops!! 3rd workshop: "Exploring Poetry" with Alexandra Contreras-Montesano! Febuary 23rd, 10:00 - 11:30 am, rooftop conference room, Karma Bird House, 47 Maple Street, Burlington. Learn more and SIGN UP workshop #3 here.

Next month- YWP's SoundCheck!! Explore social justice on Thursday, March 21 from 6-8 pm at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St., Burlington, VT!

Read YWP's digital magazine, The Voice!

Honey, All The Kids Are Robots
by Rovva

I am not a robot.
You would believe the opposite,
but I devour the humanity you leave behind.
The world outside of our cages is cruel
and condescending.
Mom and Dad don't know how to tell their kids
that we won't live forever,
so they make us feel as though we are invincible
even though our fragile minds are defeated with repetition
again and again
and again...and again...
Ah, tell me about it.
They tell us that one day,
we’ll become just as great,
but we don’t want to become great,
we just want to become something.
Many want to become anything other than Mom and Dad
and that’s the sad truth.
They’re supposed to set a prime example,
But their artificial minds have been permanently wired.
There’s no change in circuit.
It’s just the same old dialogue.
Our brains are being ground by the media
and the program is forced down our throats.
We are given half-truths
and if not that,
then lies piled onto a spoon and chugga-chugga-choo-choo!
Here comes the lie train!
Open wide!
We gobble it down because we're all just children
and we are the children of children.
How could any of us know better
when our young minds are taught by those feeding us
who are the better liars
and those that criticize us
who are the better judgement?
We are programmed like robots
to do what we were born to do;
make money,
follow the rules,
stay in line,
make a change,
but keep your mouth shut,
wear a tie if you’re a boy,
wear a skirt if you’re a girl,
and if you’re a boy, pull up your sleeves.
if you’re a girl, pull up your stockings.
Don’t show your legs too much.
You look like a hooker.
Don’t wear makeup.
You look like a girl.
Our parents scowl when they see us
because they keep thinking we’re caught on overdrive,
but how could we be okay?
Our metal minds are melding
and we’re beginning to think that it’s all wrong.
The system is corrupted
and we’ve been told to just fall in line,
but we know so well that it won’t change for us.
We know what you did.
There's an error in your data,
but you have chosen corruption
over correction.
We are surrounded by machines driving machines.
Oh, the disbelief and horror,
but they leave it to us to repair ourselves.
How can we know better
when they refuse to let us know
and their regrets are passed down
through their most deadly lie,
What kind of love is so unempathetic?
Could it really be unconditional
when the children of children
are playing in a dollhouse together
and the moment one steps out from behind the plastic doors,
the other shuts them in.
I’m not a robot.
I’m as close to a human as I want to be.
I may not be fully mature,
but I know what I want.
I would rather live in blood and flesh
than be tangled in wires and code,
so I implore you,
check ‘yes’ if you’re not a robot.
Metal hearts may be durable,
but can they really ache?

(Photo credit: beautiful)
The Edge of Nowhere
Writing and art by mythicalquill

Colin’s jacket is dark, heavy, sturdy—although there’s barely a hint of a chill in the thick summer’s night air. Its many pockets are full, almost as jam-packed as the tattered suitcase that lays beside him on the dented metal bench. But despite his preparedness, his head echoes with the taunting notion that something has been forgotten, something left behind unnoticed in his rush to leave home that morning. Reaching into his jeans, he grabs the remains of a dry granola bar, half-eaten on a bus ride that seems ages ago.

Whatever it was he’d forgotten, it’s not snacks.

Munching away, Colin scruffs his boot against the grainy concrete as the music in his ears attempts to soothe his nervous, tapping fingers. The last bus has long since come and gone from this stop, the streetlamp to his left flickering tiredly against the sky. The moon, like his mind and his pockets, is full—it does much more to light the fields around him than its synthetic counterpart.

With its help, the earth is visible for miles. But his eyes are fixed at the horizon, where the sky is still painted a slowly deepening shade of violet. It’s there that the faint silhouette of a secluded city is visible, its tiny lit windows up in arms against the darkness and surrounding nothingness.

“The edge of nowhere’s such a beautiful place,” croons the melody in his ears, and as he picks up his case and takes his first steps away from familiarity, Colin can’t help but agree.
by adalet

why do we romanticize dependency,
obsession, feeling incomplete?
why not celebrate
strength, independence,
being there for yourself?

is it because
our idea of the perfect romance
relies on insecurity?

if everyone believed
that they're enough,
that they don't need
someone else to complete them,
how many multi-million dollar
industries would collapse?

why does our world
revolve around insecurity?

will we ever be
satisfied with ourselves?

will we ever be enough? 

(Photo credit: abartell, art credit Katelyn Brown)
Ten things that made me want to cry today
by irishjayne

(ode to wednesday mornings)

I wake up at
six o’clock
and the sun hits my ceiling
and clings to my
so hard I have to blink it away

I stand in the majesty
of the same sun
streaming through the bathroom window
and it is
better, less of a sadness
and more of a heavy appreciation
as I spit foamy mint in the sink
let myself remember
you are in pajamas
the house is quiet
school is hours
and you miss your mother

an odd feeling of
towards little piggy/little simon
and their unfortunately youthful faces
with the milkweed hair of
and the impending sense of doom
that surrounds them
reminding me why I hate movies
(lord of the flies)

a glowing
reward far off in the distance
the setting sun
of a western movie
after the battle is over/bandits stopped/conflicts resolved
and 3 days in nyc is this reward
playing music
and we can’t make it work
my heart sinks like a stone

music that rubs
salve into my aching heart
the majesty of wednesday mornings fades
into biology homework
an empty stomach
unwanted responsibilities and a torn sense of self

I wasn’t here friday
I have no idea what we’re doing
as I’m torn from my pedestal
torn away from preparedness
less like crying, more like I’m going to be sick.
I cover it well

going to get a cough drop from the
nurse as my sickness lingers
in the back of my throat
and a friend makes me hold his posters/water-bottle/tape
when he sees me
I’m not mad,
just hurt,
but not hurt anymore
I say
but why didn’t I get invited to your
new year’s party?
and I’m a liar because it still hurts
because it’s confirmation of my suspicion
because it’s just. so. different.
and the explanation
makes sense in the way
geometry makes sense to me
I put the work in and ask for help and practice until it’s clear

working working working
being alone in class again
I don’t normally mind
I have acquaintances/4 volumes of poetry/my writing
to keep me company.
but I’m still feeling raw.

play rehearsal and the theatre company
after school
two hours/30 minutes
I sing amazing grace and then leave.

school still in session, and the sky is clear.
tomorrow is thursday, and
thursdays don’t hold the same
promise/pain of wednesdays
(today did)
nothing is cancelled,
nothing is delayed.
I would appreciate a pause, a respite.
I would appreciate waking up on thursday to the same feeling of wednesday.

(Photo credit: Love to Write)

Tiny Writes

silence is deafening in a creative mind.

one small act of kindness, like saying hello to a stranger on the street, can change someone's day, It can change their lives. So try little random acts of kindness whenever you get the chance.