May 30

The Loss of My Culture

Growing up in America, I faced the burden that is losing my culture.
I lost my culture when I stopped calling my mother in public, because I didn't want people to stare as foreign words slipped from my tongue. 
I lost my culture when I began saying nothing while people claimed they "could never visit a dangerous place" like the one my family is from. 
I lost my culture when I was no longer proud of the curls that sprung from my head after I showered. 
I lost my culture when I began sitting silently as people mocked the accents of immigrants, people that gave up everything to come here. 
I lost my culture when I no longer followed the religious traditions that I had once held so closely to my heart. 

These were the first signals of losing my culture.
I didn't think it mattered; it seemed much better to fit in as an American than to fit in with a culture that no longer surrounded me.
In a twist of events, it did matter. 

May 30

The Change That We Demand

I have never felt such disgust to be an American as I have this last week.
I have never been so ashamed of this nation, a nation that I once thought was one of the best in the world.
I feel nauseous when I see the names of the lives that we have lost; innocent lives. 
I have heard names and stories of people like Ahmaud Arbery, stories of black people who aren't with us anymore.
I have always been devastated when I see the name of a new black person on the news; a black person who is no longer among the living.
Nothing I have ever seen or heard in my lifetime could've prepared me for the video that I watched earlier this week; the video of George Floyd.
I know that black people have been murdered by the police; it happens so outrageously often to the point where it's not surprising anymore.
George Floyd was different; I witnessed the video in which he died.
I watched his eyes shut, and never reopen.

May 28

trying to enjoy

It feels like the flowers just came out, 
like the snow just melted,
and the ice crystals disappeared from trees' branches, 
like the mud just came, 
but yet, 
it's all gone already. 

There was no time to go stomp around
in little red rainboots, 
getting your clothes so filthy, 
that you will have to scrub them for hours
before your mom lets them go in the wash. 

There was no time for your little siblings to make mud pies, 
or cover themselves in the wet dirt, 
until they are nothing more than a giggling brown heap. 

No, because spring came and went like that. 

Now the dirt is as dry 
as sand in the desert, 
and the humidity has my hair going in all different directions at once. 

And the heat, heat, heat!
How is it that it is only May, 
and yet it feels like the middle of July? 

But oh well. 
May 27

To All The Basketball Players

Stay.
Act like no one is watching.
Focus on the rim.
Don't let it out of your sight.
Watch it, with every inch of your body.
Grip the ball.
Firmly, strongly.
Tune out the crowd, 
Bring the ball up.
Square yourself to the net.
Shoot.
Let it swish.
Like no one is watching.
Tune back in, as the crowd cheers your name.
As your teammates clap you on the back. 
Hold the ball, grip it tight.
Just like it's you and the basket.
Pass it.
Let them catch it.
They shoot.
It bounces off the rim.
Box out.
Grab the ball.
Dribble.
Pound it on the floor.
Dribble low,
Cross it over,
Keep dribbling. 
Don't watch the ball,
Watch the defender.
Put your hand out in front of the ball.
Take it,
Grab it,
Shoot it.
Swish.
Now do it again.
May 26

The London Scene

“Adelaide, we need to leave now.”
“No! We have to stay to-”
“I’m sorry, Adelaide. A grown man just punched you in the face, we need to go.”
“But-”
"Your mother is going to boil me alive as it is, if we stay she’ll boil you too.”
“Edwin, I don’t want to go, this is the first time I’ve been to the city, and I’ll probably never get to go again!”
“I’ll take you some other time.”
“Really?”
“Promise. But we have to leave now. Come on.” He took her hand and led through the rambunctious crowd, barely escaping the fists and elbows that were flying about near their heads. Adelaide ran a few steps until she had caught up with Edwin.
“This is horrible,” she whispered, in awe of the sheer anger that had consumed the square. 
“I know.” He squeezed her hand even tighter, staring straight ahead. They continued barreling across the square until they reached a side street. 
“Where…” wheezed Edwin, his hands on his knees.
May 25
E.B. Pointy-Pen's picture

Flying Solo

Once upon a time it was perfect...

We had no illness holding us back
no one was checking the news to see how many people the stupid virus had killed that day
everyone was hanging out and having gatherings of friends.
No one was too scared to enter a building because they weren't wearing a mask.
For once I felt like my class had become a family...
But now, though the world is still working together to fight Covid, I feel as if I'm flying solo, and my plane could crash at any moment.
So, if it does, I'll take my time
to rest
to breathe
to let all of the happy feelings resurface.
And then I will be ready to start building my plane again...
And soon it'll be time for take off.
I will fly high over the earth and observe what must change, and what should stay the same.
I will sore through the sky and at some point, hopefully, I will meet my friends and we will fly together to a safe landing.
May 24
poem 1 comment challenge: General
jwu1's picture

Empty Promises

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,
May 23
poem 1 comment challenge: Fearless

Fearless

it looms above my head
it weighs upon my shoulders
it squirms inside my chest

constantly in motion
my hands twisting at my hair
my leg bouncing quickly
everything quivering

I ball my hands into fists
trying to hold myself together
as if this would keep me
from bursting apart

I am full of fear
it flows through my veins
I am saturated in it

if I could just let it go
unclench my fists
and burst apart

the fear would leave me
dripping from my pores
trickling away
forever

then maybe I could stand
on the edge of the cliff
and stare downwards
without trembling

maybe I could write 
with complete confidence
and not erase my words
a thousand times

maybe I could be heard
when I shouted
instead of 
shutting up

the day I figure out
how to stop being afraid of failure
May 22
lilnoreault's picture

8th grade graduation speech

I have missed so much planned
The days go by and I think I could have 
smiled more
laughed more
but we can't take back our actions
We will live on 
we cannot dwell
in the past 
but we can hope for the future to be better
to get through the world together
Make a change 
Everyone has a great mind and
can conquer the world
just with one action 
one dream
a single touch
I am glad to call you all friends 
Have a good year
and a wonderful summer
May 21

Decisions

My dog stands
at the top of the stairs,
unsure.
Does he stay up here or leave
for the floor below? He
doesn’t know,
won’t budge,
so many reasons
for why he should stay,
just as many
for why he should go.

How many people
are like him?
Fork in the road,
no way to choose
either way
a loss,
either way
missing something?
How many people are
afraid to make the wrong choice,
equally afraid to make the right one?

He settles down
two stairs from the top,
neither up nor down,
lying there,
not very comfortable,
still knowing he’ll have to choose.
Upstairs or down?

How many people
wish they could be both,
two things at once,
leaving neither behind, taking the
best of both worlds?
How many people
wish decisions
didn’t exist,
wish it wasn’t so hard
to choose?

Finally, my dog
May 20
Rubyred127's picture

Hope

Hope
You hope you make it home at night. 
You hope the plane lands, the car slows, and
The guns hold fire.

You hope your children are safe from the universe,
 when the universe doesn’t want them to be. 
You hope the water comes and the fire stops.
You hope us people help the world that we say we care about.
You hope the seagulls get unbound from plastic bags. And the turtles
 don’t drown in this suffocating world.

We hope the leaders of the world don’t cut us and stomp us down,
 like we're the ones that are ruining the world when we’re 
the ones that are trying to fix it.
You’re the ones that vote.
We’re the ones that act.

You hope I speak out, and gather my fellow seeds that are yet to grow up 
but still have a flower that will be strong when you give it light and believe.
May 19

i failed.

But you know what?
At least I failed epicly
so spectacularly
that the best he could say is
"At least you played the notes right"

they were not in tune
nor to any rhythm
Does this make me a failure?
Perhaps

I don't care though
because I'm just relieved
it's done
although I suppose it was over
the moment I thought
"I'M DOOMED"

when I could finally let go of the breath
the stale hopes
I was holding onto so tightly
until my palms were slick with liquid fear

Laughing at myself
in advance
at the voice inside who calls me
a loser

batting at the incessant fly
constantly hovering by my ear
incessantly buzzing that I am not enough
I am a disappointment

But you know what?
These knees have seen the ground
more times than you can count
and all I can do
is dust off the scrapes
May 17
Madison C's picture

What I've Learned from Coronavirus

Even the bells at my high school seem to long for normalcy. I thought I imagined the familiar chime when I walked past the other day, and strangely enough, the sounds of a lost year persist. They ring announcing to no one when each class would have ended. They eerily echo through an empty school. Marking the things we’ve lost and the time we will never get back.

For the past two months, it’s felt like I’ve been missing out on my own life…
May 17
poem 8 comments challenge: Go
ADeadkraken24's picture

Alone

I just want to go alone
Without others judging and watching my every move
Without dealing with the burden of friends
Without falling in love with any but my own thoughts

I just want to live by myself
WIth my own thoughts to accompany me
Without having people question me
Or question the worlds I create

I just want to live in my world
With the people I create
And stories that I make
Including the facts of my life

I just want to go alone
Without depending on anyone but myself
As fantasies are created
In my mind.

I just want to create without judgment
Forget without regrets
Live without limits
In my own head.

I just want to go alone
Listening to songs
As I type my worlds onto paper
So they live forever

I just want to go alone.
May 16
poem, humor 0 comments challenge: Go

A Message To The Aliens

I just want to go to the Moon,
be able to know what they mean when they say, “It's a small world after all!” 
Watch the stars with no noises or distractions.
I would go up at night -
wait -
Who am I kidding?
It’s practically night up there all the time!
Unless… 
you get too close to the Sun!
But we're talking about the Moon!
I’ll fly up in a red rocket ship from NASA and jump down in a heavy astronaut suit and helmet
And I’ll put a flag
right next to the American one saying,
“Hey, aliens! If you know how to read - well you do if you’re reading this - but, go to YWP and check out my POEMS!” 
 
May 15
Kittykatruff's picture

Spring Storm in New Hampshire

I'm sitting in the living room,
stroking my dozing dog, then suddenly:
a flash of light in my peripheral vision,
so quick I might have imagined it.
Then I hear it:
Thunder crashes overhead, a canon shot
in the fading light,
signaling war.
The towering pines sway ominously,
as if possessed by some strange urge to dance wildly,
haphazardly, subject to the winds;
Rain pelts the windows, streaming down in a 
never-ending sheet, distorting the images I watch
through the glass;
Such terrifying beauty--I know not whether to
scream, or laugh, or run out into the rain
and join the frenzied dance, letting the water rush down my face;
yet I stay sitting there, entranced, gazing at the sky
(and it's probably for the better).
Then lightning blinds the world again,
illuminating the figures of puppet trees
flung about by the wind, then
the world is dark again...
Suddenly--
May 14

Covid Anthem

Our world is on repeat
until everything is better

Our lives are going to be the same
until everything is better

The same frequency over and over again
lulling us to sleep.

Endless nightshifts and worries
until everything is better

Millions of us deep underground
until everything is better

When people are dying left and right
and still some are blind.

Spitting mouths and violent eyes
until everything is better

Policemen, just trying to keep the hate at bay
until everything is better

Misplaced beliefs filling our heads
wrapping like chains around us

Families, living in fear
until everything is better

children and elderly, knowing any breath could be their last
until everything is better

Thanks to the ones who would risk everything
for some who don't even care.
May 13

Another day

another day
another dollar
another sigh
for this day of quarantine
has begun

another fresh wave
of panic
and anxiety
about the coming times

another moment
to hug the ones you love
and remain close
to your friends
(well, not too close.)

another day
another chance
to be gratefull
and to keep on hoping
 
May 11
lschwetlick's picture

A Crazy World

In this world, trapped by our homes,
Imprisoned in the places we used to think of as a sanctuary,
Closed to our friends,
Plans to travel, explore, and experience decay,
Celebrations canceled, awards postponed,
In this world of people dying and dead,
Ignorant people hurting those who are at risk
For their own personal gain,
In this crazy world,
I have a rock, an anchor,
Not the calm before the storm but the calm during the storm
To hold, to hug,
To laugh and to cry.
In good times and bad
We stand together
In this crazy world.
We are anchored by love.
It can stretch across the world
Or only across the hallway.
It stands strong through winds of rage and storms of grief.
It grows in rays of laughter.
This love keeps us together,
Pulls us from the raging sea of the world
And keeps us not afloat but floating
And flying.

 
May 11
pearl45's picture

Seasons this year

Summer.
Summer is tank tops, wet with hose water from a fake fight.
Summer is bare feet, 
Dirty, 
Smelly, 
And happy.
Summer is loose hair and iced tea, and tan smiles. 
Summer comes just before fall:

Fall. 
Fall is crunchy leaves just after being jumped in. 
Fall is that first snow that you get all excited for, 
Only to find that it’s gone when you wake up. 
Fall is a thousand back to school pictures     
Really mom? Every year?
Fall comes just before winter:

Winter.
Winter is the frost that rests on my window, 
that freezes my fingers when I try to wipe it away. 
Winter is the ice that carries the dancers on thin blades. 
Winter is the hot chocolate that follows extreme sledding. 
Winter comes just before spring:

Spring.
Spring is the best. 
Spring is walking to school without (finally!!) a heavy jacket.