Feb 08

The Voice- February 2018

Jan 16

The Voice - January 2018

Dec 05

Nov/Dec 2017 Issue

Apr 01

Duet

The cover of the old piano spatters a cloud of dust into the old theater air
as it creaks on its hinges and settles loudly atop the black and white antique.
A shuffle of papers, the screech of the stool across the aged wooden floor,
as the young man sits down and prepares to create 
the canvas for the girl to paint upon with her voice. 
He lifts a single finger, places it on a low note.
The deep vibrato echoes through the empty space of the abandoned hall,
bounces and reflects in the dark void like a ripple of water. 
The man keeps pressing the key, making a steady beat 
as the skeleton of their lullaby.
Slowly, slowly, slowly,
his fingers hit different notes,
jumping about the piano like rabbits in a field.
And slowly, the song begins.
Weaving throughout the room resembling a river of melodies,
sweet, soft patters of harmonies move together as one.
Apr 01

Canoe Trip Portage


step after the step
I can only think about moving forward
the oppressive weight of a wooden canoe
pushing down on my back
threatening to make me fall
a constant reminder of my goal
and my purpose
I must reach the end, so I can release this burden
squinting ahead
the trees blur into a green veil
sweat pours of my neck
dripping into my eyes
mosquitoes crawl on my flesh
too tired to swat them
I let them have their meal
an annoyance
that no longer bothers me
step after step
my foot sinks into muddy soil
and comes out with a squelch
dripping with moist muck.
rocks, obstacles in my path
I will not fall
the pain of the boat
balanced on my shoulders
is constantly there
I just want release
dwelling on the pain makes it worse
I must think about other things
Scattered thoughts zoom through my brain
I search for images to grab on to
Mar 30

Half-Finished

How many half-finished pieces
I've written.
My pencil slipping across the paper,
my fingers staining the blue lines.
Words echoing into oblivion,
thoughts tumbling away.

How many half-finished pieces
I've written.
Forgetting what I've said,
remembering what I was trying to say.
Looking at other's bits and trying to see
where their's line up with mine--even a little.

How many half-finished pieces
I've written.
Later awake than I should be,
rubbing at my eyes, blinking away the light.
Watching a cursor move as squiggles
take shape.

How many half-finished pieces
I've written.
Enough to fill another
with maybe an ounce of meaning.
Mar 30
Mozzerelli's picture

poem #2

i sat there in the garden
the air was sweet and gentle
wrapping itself around me
with its warmth
each inhale
took me away into some type of paradise
each exhale
brought me back to earth .

i could feel the dry dirt
on the soles of my feet
a thin layer scattered over the brick
beneath me

the sunshine kissed the top of my head
my face, each freckle on the curves of my cheek bones
her rays danced over my shoulders
caressing each petal of the sunflowers behind me

next she blessed the little garden beds to my right
her song was soft, and beautiful
she sang a tune for the tomato’s
and one for the peas
each little plant felt the sunshine on its open surfaces so warm and complete

i gazed ahead of me
there, a broken gate sat,
half hinged
swaying slightly with the breeze

beyond that stretched rolling hills
Mar 30

Good Music

There are some concerts where the music becomes the background; you can hear it but you’re not listening to it. The bassoonist is playing some insane solo but you’re only thinking about the project that’s due the next day or how you might have bombed the test that you took earlier in the day. While the bassoonist is passing the melody to the French horn player, you’re thinking about how to tackle the project - where to start, what topic to choose, how long it will take, how to split it up into smaller and more manageable tasks. And by the time you have everything for the project figured out, the entire piece is over and everyone is standing up to give a standing ovation.

This concert, however, was different.
Mar 29

Charming

You're not charming.
Your laugh is throaty
and fades into silence if you laugh too hard.
Your hair sticks up in crazy cowlicks
and refuses to stay down.
Your words are sloppy
and you always backtrack to explain.

And that's okay.
Because my fondest memories
are you and I,
side by side,
us laughing so hard
we fall silent
and shake.
I remember the light
and your hair,
forming a golden halo
and your goofy grin.

You said something
and I think the way I looked at you
made you scared.
It didn't offend me,
but you became red in the face,
head shaking back and forth
as you blubbered over how sorry you were.
I laughed
because I was thinking of how
"you"
it was.

You're not charming.
And that's where your charms are.
 
Mar 26

Why I marched


On Saturday March 24,
I marched in Montpelier 
with at least a thousand other people.

I marched.

I marched for 
the little boy 
deep in innercity Chicago
surrounded by guns
knowing someday
its inevitable 
that he's gonna get shot 
for the color of his skin.

I marched for 
my sister,
nine years old and 
she is the most happy
and playful 
person i know,
so she can grow without guns
in her future.

I marched for
the lost lives
little first graders
holding on so tightly 
to life with their gap-toothed smiles
and light up sneakers,
just to be shot down 
where they were 
supposed to learn.

I marched for 
the pride of 
a club named 
the orlando pulse
for the dancers who thought
gunshots were just
the beat of a song
in the one place they were 
supposed to be safe,
Mar 26

Miscellaneous

My father stores photos online.
He has them in folders,
labelled neatly by the year and the month,
and sometimes a title.
More often than not, it's just
"Misc"
plain, but fitting.

The memories are miscellaneous,
scattered like pine needles
from sawed off trees,
decorated in shiny bulbs.
They're fleeting,
darting off into the horizon line
like our dogs with a dropped leash.

There is a folder with my name on it,
2008-02 Lonna.
I'm in Tae Kwon Do,
testing for my green belt.
My hair is the same bob it is now,
although it has passed through several phases.
She has the same smile,
tight lipped and shiny eyed.

Something about the coloring screams nostalgia.
It might be the whiter whites,
or the glossy overexposures,
because sometimes I'm convinced
life has passed me by in a flash
and the pale brights emphasize that.
The warm tones
Mar 24

What I Remember

I remember
six years ago
sitting at the dinner table
staring wide eyed at my parents
who were telling me that today,
20 kids my age
had been shot and killed.
At school.
And I remember
walking into school the next day,
glancing at the classroom door every so often
in half hearted anticipation
of a man bursting in with a gun.
I was in second grade.

I remember
three years ago
kneeling on the carpet in my classroom
fear pumping through my veins
as my teacher told our class what to do
if a shooter broke in.
I remember her words,
telling us that if we were in the bathroom during an alarm,
to stand on the toilet
so they couldn’t see our feet.
And I remember
avoiding the bathroom
and nearly wetting my pants every day
because I was absolutely terrified
of getting stuck in there alone.
I was in fourth grade.
Mar 21

Why I March

I know that
hunting is a way of life,
but semi-automatic weapons
are made with the intentions to hunt humans.
They spray bullets without a second thought,
and kill.
That killing machine,
hulking and deadly,
is worthless in a game of sport,
but makes all the difference in a battlefield.
In a school of screaming children,
fearing for their lives in the corners of locked rooms.

How many more of us must scream
bloody murder
to save our lives?
How many more of us must scream
because our lives depend on it?
How many more of us
will be buried six feet under
until something happens?

We are murdered in pristine white school hallways.
We worry about making it out alive
when we are kids
who should be worrying about our next test.
We worry about telling our family we love them
because what if it's the last time.
We worry about the nearest escape route
Mar 20
Kittykatruff's picture

Spring

The water drips

                             d
                      
                         o
                            
                               w
                           
                            n

    

the        w          i           n
     
             d          o          w
   
             p          a           ne,



                                        and 
                   I hear      
                                                                                  b
                                   a                                    o                 i
                                                                r 
                                                                                  n



                           sing for joy;

Mar 18
Kiran's picture

The Youth Are Mobilizing

This commentary was aired on Vermont Public Radio.


Historically young people haven’t had the best reputation: Teens have often been characterized as too busy texting and tweeting to be aware of or to engage in current events.

However, despite this stereotype, youth have been organizing, most recently around gun reform.

Students in Parkland and around the country, including our own Vermont, are showing that young people are aware and ready to act.

We’ve met with legislators, given testimonies, spoken at press conferences, and organized national walkouts.

In addition, on March 24, we’ll be marching nationwide in Washington, D.C., as well as in Rutland and Montpelier. And youth involvement won’t end here nor is it limited to high school students. Youth of all ages from eight to 18 are interested in making the change they want to see.

And here are some ways adults can help:
Mar 18

Fernweh

I haven't spoken Chinese in three months.
I left the restaurant
so using it hasn't been an immediate need.

I try to say hello
and ask if they have eaten
whenever I go in
but my tongue is too thick
and too slow
to properly enunciate.
I've forgotten the intricate rise and fall in tones
and the phonetics.
I couldn't write it if I tried.
Pinyin is over accented in my head
and characters aren't making sense.

"The cooks miss you."
my boss says.
She misses me the most, I think.
Or maybe she misses my work ethic,
eager to please
and too quiet to defend myself.

I think the cooks miss my face.
I couldn't say much to them
other than broken orders,
hello,
I love you,
and common greetings.
The only fun thing I knew
was a single insult,
and it was idiot.

I don't think they miss me.
I think they miss the idea of me.
Mar 18

Puebla

Puebla is chocolate dipped, syrupy
as I spoon it out of the close knit towns surrounding Mexico City.
I just want to gulp it down,
suck the marrow from the cattle that get leaner every year.

It smells good, being home.
Or being in a place that was once home.
I can’t help but hold my breath,
abducting it in my lungs as if the wind here
is a different flavor then the wind there.

I thought the thing I missed most was the heat,
the sizzle your bare feet make against
the packed dirt of the evening road.
But I was wrong because I am intoxicated by
the way my grandma clasps my hands to her heart,
like I never left.

Puebla tastes salty,
as I lick it from my top lip,
brushing it from the corners of my eyes,
letting it fall, absorb into my skin.

I know I can’t come back until the next
thunderstorm season.
The lightning hides my guilt on the tarmac,
Mar 15

kindred

when i walk into the library
my body is tense, my fingers sore from scrambling over my keyboard
i find a table, much too central for my liking
and settle in
already feeling irritation take its seat beside me
reminding me of deadlines and long essays waiting to be written

i do not notice the elderly woman 
bending over the shelf of children's books behind my chair 
her hair is stringy and white
knotted in two buns on each side of her head
she is missing several teeth 
and the ones she has intact tell me of her age

but i do not notice these details until she pulls back the 
other chair at my table
i smile quickly, not taking my fingers from the keyboard
somehow, i glance down and see the books she has in her bony hands

"tasha tudor: around the year"
"tasha tudor: pumpkin moonshine"
and many more
Mar 15

patchwork reparations

i hate the crackle of the intercom
and the way a painfully familiar hush
washes over a room full of people.
rooms havent failed to go silent since the incident.
our breaths all hitch
in some horrifying unison
as we remember
and shake.

the day after
i nearly cried when announcements came over speakers,
a familiar voice trying to reassure
as i struggled to suppress.
it was a class meeting
to discuss the situation.

there was frustration
and anger,
class meetings spilling over,
and when it was our turn to speak,
we kept going and going.

"if city hall wasnt safe yesterday
when will it ever be safe?
students were turned away
because they dont ride the bus
or they don't have a car.
what will you do in a real emergency?"

i didnt get my answer.

nobody got their answer.

i hate the crackle of the intercom
Mar 13

Girls Who Walk Alone At Night

Church street is lit up tonight,
it's only a few blocks to where dad said he parked the car...

I tell myself.
I wave goodbye to my friends still eating ice cream inside;
the sugar haze of happiness has begun to wear off. 

Is that the rustle of my backpack on my shoulders, or is someone behind me?
It's just my backpack. 
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Everyone knows girls shouldn't walk alone at night. 

I pass strange men in coats,
my eyes downcast.
Every time I pass another girl:
How far away will she have to be to not hear me scream?
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I should have asked a friend to walk me.


I take my phone out, pretend to text someone.
Look, I could call 911 in a second.
It's dead.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I should have borrowed a charger. 


Someone is yelling far away,