Apr 28
poem challenge: Love Poem
bronwyn.allabastro's picture

The gum tree

Under the gum tree 
We laugh and play
Wasting away hot summer days

Under the gum tree
We sit apart
Saying everything but what's in our hearts

Under the gum tree
We eat at dusk
Nervously laughing, wondering if there'll be an us

Under the gum tree
Staring up at the blue
I turn, smile, say "I love you"

Under the gum tree
I get down on one knee
Pull out a ring and ask "Marry me?"

Under the gum tree
Wearing white and blue
We exchange our vows, I say "I do"

Under the gum tree
We sit old and grey
Holding hands, we greet the day

Under the gum tree
She lays wasting away
I hold her hand, wishing she'd stay

Under the gum tree
I too leave this place
I close my eyes with a smile on my face

Above the gum tree
We join hands once again
Together and ready for the journey ahead
Jan 20
poem challenge: Lifeline
Amica's picture

Long Live the Queen

1st Place, Golden Birch Award

We steal Her land, exploit Her wealth
And claim it as our own.
We build cities, we sever trees,
Destroying our own home.

We do nothing to rebuild
The ruin we create.
We do nothing but watch
As She cries, She burns, and breaks.

We lie to faces, wipe out races,
Deny these lies and genocide.
The truth cannot be silenced.
We divide, we war, we side. 

Ourselves will be the death of us,
Burned in a fire we made.
There will not be a second Ark.
This time we can’t be saved.

Not one creature will mourn us
Not one tree, ant, or swan.
They’ll find freedom and happiness
In a world with humans gone.

We thought we were the kings
But oh, we were such fools.
It was never our kingdom.
The Queen of Nature rules.

Oct 04
clarkclark's picture

Fleeting Dreams

In my dreams the blades of grass under my feet are the waves of an ocean, and I am a ship, sailing the sea. The sea is a glass of water that I am drinking in a field, the leaves reaching up above my head into the stars, becoming the hair of a great beast, old and ancient.
Oct 03

Goodbye Season

I don't think we realize as humans how hard goodbye season is
Not only for those who are leaving
But for the people who will still be here when they're gone
We forget that with every goodbye
They may or may not be another hello.
So consequently, you're stuck in their rearview mirror
Watching with teary eyes as they leave
Because they might not come back
Or when they do come back, they won't be the same person who left.
So we stay here
And turn into ghosts
Who haunt the wrong houses
Because the people who leave are rarely superstitious.
So we have to accept the phase we're in
Of knowing it's no longer going to happen
But holding onto the hope that it might
Because things like this seldom make it past goodbye season.
Oct 02

Sweet Mischief

Growing up is being given things–
Memories, most typically recounted by your mother as she finishes cooking dinner

About how much you loved playing on the roadside,
blackened-by-exhaust piles of snow when you were four

          I thought you’d knock your baby teeth out. You never could stay still.

These memories are almost always said slowly. Laden with thought and caution, and care

Unfolded with a gentle hand.
Her back is turned to you, who quietly sits, waiting at the table for dinner and to feel whole.

She adds the last handful of sumac to the cast iron pan, and her voice becomes obscured by the vent
That fills the house with the heavy, unmistakable aroma.

Mujadara, now steaming from under its lid 

Sometimes you don’t know what to say
When you hear these stories,
Years of your life you hardly know

And you have no such stories to tell. 
Oct 01

Heart taking root. (Soul in flight)

Each year I set out, with spirits so high;
with a smile on my face, a not-yet-weary sigh,
to wrestle the earth and make love to the sky,
and revel in all that is living.

The long trail, it beckons, its promises sweet,
and I’m nearly bewitched, yet held back by my feet,
who remind me again of the pain, and the heat,
for nature can be unforgiving.

But still I forge on, with my trailmates in tow,
for such an endeavor is no fun alone,
and we bicker and banter and quarrel and groan,
but the love underneath; it is brimming.

We’re eight weathered souls, and our mission’s begun:
to shorten the gap between us and the sun,
to lose rational thought in the rush of the run,
And find joy in the rivers we swim in.

it’s how I escape, year after year,
how I blend with the world and relinquish my fear,
and how just for a moment, the sky is so near..
Sep 29
rant challenge: Great Artists
fitzgerg's picture

My ode to nature

When I am in nature, I realize how small and insignificant I am, and that my struggles today will not affect me in the long term. I cannot waste my life away inside my head and miss all the beauty that stands in this moment. When I am away from my reality, I am a lover of nature; a poet. I have spent the happiest moments of my life outdoors, shaded by a pine. I have even spent the days where I feel as if my world is crumbling around me outside, taking a midwinter walk. I seek out nature when I feel down, and I find myself already in nature during my joy.
Sep 29
Grumbi's picture

Tree of life

We walked for what felt like days, until the glowing faded hue of purple was finally seen glimmering through the thick undergrowth of lines and trees, the small dew droplets that covered the rainforest lit up with the purple hue.

With a couple slashes of vine and ferns, I stepped into an opening and in the middle of that opening stood a large tree, vines the size of your forearms hanging down seeming to reach out to you and snatch you up if you wandered too close.

The faded purple hue of before had now turned into a bright and beautiful lavender, the light poured out from an opening in the tree.

Finally we made it to the tree of life.

Sep 29


i don't think you know this,
but i always brought her bread
before school.

just one slice,
whatever was fresh. 

i always wrapped it in wax paper,
tied it with blue string,
and tucked it into my lunch box
under the apple slices. 

always under the apple slices.

i know she loved it.
she told me every day.

but now she's gone,
and you're here.

instead of her. 
i like you quite a bit,
        but not as much as her.
i'll never love anyone
as much 
as i love her.

yet for some reason,
Sep 27

Fall Reading List


The leaves are changing and there’s a chill in the air: time to cozy up with a good book! And share your own reviews on the YWP Book Club!
Sep 26

yesterday, from the perspective of tomorrow

after today, there'll 
be no tomorrow, so try to 
count the seconds that 
drain away 
ebbing through the cracks in your 
fingers. time is not 
gained, it's only lost, 
hold what you have tight until 
it's gone 
just hold on until you can't, like a 
knife you hold by the blade 
like igniting 
nothing and everything and it all 
opens up again, unseamed, 
purpose made perfect made 
question marks wrapped in 
russian dolls holding your 
secret in the hollow under 
the open mouth, 
until you learn how to keep 
violence behind your teeth. 
wake up. 
xenoliths do not belong to 
you. wake up. the 
zeroes turn into ones turn into today. 
Sep 25
Crow's picture


I observe him as he stirs the big pot, murmuring to himself. The smell of sausages and red sauce wafts out into the air, making the whole house smell like home.

His voice carries through the air lightly, as though it does not dare disturb the space around him. He chooses his words carefully, taking his time to analyze if it’s actually important to say, to put out into the world. He moves in smooth and calculated motions, muscle memory helping him along.

In these moments, our words are only for the two of us. We are each other's safes, open to getting but oh so hesitant to give. We can talk about everything or nothing, a weight is lifted, just knowing that we have that option.The hands that are always wrapped around my throat, keeping me from sharing too much, release and I feel I can breathe again.
Sep 24
Lucylemon's picture

old gum

Dodie and Fletcher,
the orange dream catcher,
Unopened messages, 
Cinderella's transforming carriage.
Crying in the shower,
all I want is flowers!
Buttons on my shirt,
Can I get any more hurt?
Pictures bleached by the sun,
I didn't think it was done.
Beads on my shoelaces,
who's supposed to fill those empty spaces?
Bread crumbs, 
Old chewed-up gum,
stuck to the bottom of my chair,
I don't think that's fair.
Sep 22


and i'm counting out fallen stars in a jar 
to store the memories of when 
constellations were still in my grasp 
silver stories told in photons 
and if there's ever been a love letter 
a ghost story 
then it's the kind of map traced 
in the shape of these galaxies 
in the shape of your grandmother's mouth 
as she tells you again 
the kind of stories 
her own grandma 
told her 
about counting stars in a jar. 
Sep 21

Empty oysters

Someone tell the pearl diver—
            that the sea is dead.
That the sea robins and dogfish swam away
            days ago.
That the coral once
has bleached.

Whiter than a wedding dress.
Whiter than a pale, stone-cold stillborn 
            gripped so tightly
like a small,
Sep 21
Starrina's picture

Ghost Girl

If you squint your eyes just enough
you should be able to see
A younger girl on this bench
Sitting right next to me

Don't point out her dress
With all the rips and dirt
Because even though she isn't real
Being nice doesn't hurt

When I first saw her
I was flooded with fear
But now I don't really mind
I'd really rather her be here

Even though she's dead
Just a ghost of the past
She is a friend
One that's made to last

So on this park bench
When you see her gray blur
Don't you dare laugh
I truly need her

Sep 20
poem challenge: Great Poets


Evergreen sprigs line
The path I took 
Down the river
And past the old saw mill

Here birds sing in shrill cacophony
And my heart beats in tune
To each whistle

Faster, faster
My thick skinned feet sing
And urge me forward
Faster, faster

I’ve come to the water
To silence all that you have left
Lying desolate inside my head

Your voice haunts my dreams, lover
And your face follows me through my days
I’ve come to the water
To silence all that you have left

O lover, there is an empty space
One no amount of filling
Can ever fix

It lies gaping inside of me
Swallowing up all it can
O lover mine, you left it here
And hungry it gnaws deeper

These evergreen trees
So green amidst winter's unforgiving sleet
Watch me flounder through the snowfall

I do not keep growing
And I eye them with greenest envy
Sep 18
poem challenge: School

In hopes of clinging to Monday

Sitting alone, typing away, at 7 p.m. 
This is the most perfect way
to spend a Sunday night. 
The air outside grows colder,
whipping away,
to me. 
The wind tells me to write,
the wind tells me
not to feel down,
on the day leading me,
leaving me,
to Monday. 
the start of everything,
the start of a trek
from one side of the globe
to the other. 
From one side of life,
to the other. 
So many things
can happen
starting on Monday.
But when I finally,
finally make my way to Friday,
dragging feet and twitching eyes,
I look back and I wonder,
what happened to Monday?
I thought it was behind me
all this time. 
The days start to mix,
and a week,
seems to me as just one day. 
Where has all the time gone?
And so I sit here, alone,
Sep 16

Fall, the season of life

Some may see autumn as the season of death and decay, winter the results of her wrath, spring as the awakening of dormant nature, and summer the calm before the storm.
But I see fall as the season of life, the days when the cold is born.
There is life in the way that the hues of yellow, orange, and red blossom like a flower and spread like a wildfire across the landscape.
I see life in the way the once green grass uses the frost as a cape to hide itself beneath the icy winds.
There is beautiful, glorious life in the way the children stroll through the streets, life in their laughs as their mother feigns fear of the ghost that they embody in their white sheet with two windows to the outside world.
I see the life that one can bring to a pile of leaves if only they were to jump into it.
I see the life in the golden apples that are plucked from a tree to be baked into a fresh warm pie.
Sep 15

Midnight epiphanies

I plug my nose during my baptism, release my grip once I am dunked in the holy water of existential academics, letting it flood me. Water seeps through the crevices of my brain and tattoos the inside of my skin. I know I will need to go up for air, but some people drown in shallow water. 

Who gets to decide when the beginning is? A carousel with decorative horses spins continuously, I’m starting to forget when I even got on. I waltzed through fourth grade, toting a lunch bag with a peanut butter jelly sandwich. Freshman year, and the peanut butter has outweighed the jelly by a lot.  

Subconsciously, my thoughts stream out. My fingerprints on the keyboard, but I branded my hand on the pen. I cannot wait for the ink to dry, my life contorted with smokey smudged clouds.