Mar 10
lorenyoung's picture

Emerald Ash Borer

The ash tree is a very important tree in Vermont’s landscape.  Ash have beautiful diamond-shaped bark patterns and they stand out in a forest due to their tall and straight lines. 

To me, ash trees are iconic. They make the Green Mountains green in the spring and summer, and turn to vivid orange hues in the fall. My dad and I find morel mushrooms growing in the nitrogen-rich soil at the base of our ash trees. They are known for having great, full tops, and bring good value in the timber market. Birds love ash trees because they are high enough to keep away predators, and deer rely on ash trees as they eat the buds off the young tops in the winter. 
Oct 18
joseph.deffner's picture

A Quiet Winter Day

The snow crunches softly beneath my boots as I trudge up the hill. Small delicate snowflakes land on my fuzzy hat. I tilt my head back to catch them in my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, a male cardinal dashes from tree to tree, his red feathers bright against the white snow. When I get to the top of the hill, I pause to look around at the snow covered trees, and listen to how peaceful it is. Dropping my sled on the wet snow, I climb on and slide down the hill, going down easily on top of the smooth and icy snow. The cool wind blowing in my face, smiling to myself. Winter makes me feel serene and content.
Jun 05
Kittykatruff's picture


Every headline
every day
Stabs me
in another way

All the love
vs. all the hate
why do we 
still play this game

Can't fathom
the reasoning
behind the

Darkness, darkness
pouring down,
stand alone
and we will drown

Humans build
but can't work out

Please stand with us
they call out,
has let them down

They've shared with us
stories, sorrows,
learn today, then
act tomorrow

Darkness, darkness
pouring down,
hope is when
a light is found

Please stand with us
they call out
this time, please don't
let them down

Darkness, darkness
all around,
only love drives
darkness out

love is where
the light is found.

Jun 02
Kittykatruff's picture

Ballad of June, 2020

On the protests against police brutality in late April and June, 2020
(a modern take on Dudley Randall's "Ballad of Birmingham")

"Mama, why are people marching
and saying we're not free?
Isn't America celebrated for
treating everyone equally?"

"Yes, baby, that is what they say
as we work for and love our country,
But no matter how much we pledge and give,
we're treated differently."

"But mama, what is it about us
that makes people turn colder?
Like when kids don't want to play with me,
And you're scared when we're pulled over."

"I don't know why, baby, I don't know
why they only see in color.
I wish the world was different, so you'd
not cry for it as you grow older."

They saw the protestors march by,
with masks, signs, cameras, phones,
A next-door-neighbor offered a sign,
and said, "You don't stand alone."
Jun 01
poem 0 comments challenge: Ocean
Liam_Patterson214's picture

Free to the Sea

Wandering the path down to the sea.
Free to do as you please in the great big ocean.

Take some friends to the beach and surf some waves.
Take yourself into the water, and enjoy the bliss and vastness of the ocean.
Dive down into uncharted water, and explore the ocean floor and its many wonders.

Hop onto a boat and fish for crabs.
Enjoy the sunset by the sea, the best sunset you can witness.
The ocean is a peaceful place, a place to escape to.
A place to enjoy the calm waters, and watch as the waves overlap each other,
As they reach the start of the sand.

Go out there and experience the many wonders of the ocean.
Jun 01

Hell's Breath

The world crumbles around me and I get to watch it fall –
The world turns to hell and I get to watch it burn –

I might plant a tree in the spring.
I'll water it, 
nurture it,
watch it grow.
It'll have shades of green when the world has turned red and brown –
It might be the last thing I plant –
The soil may not even let it grow taller than me,
But I'll still love it –
Because it will listen.
It will listen while the world screams in pain.

The worst thing about being kind is that you expect everyone else to be kind,
and when they're not –
you feel sad and disappointed.
Disappointed because you had faith they would be kind too,
Disappointed because they took your kindness for naïvety,
Sad because they probably hurt someone else even more.

I don't expect everyone on this earth to see eye to eye.
In fact,
that's what makes people so interesting,
May 15
poem 1 comment challenge: General
joseph.deffner's picture

I saw a man today

I saw a man today

He had 

Confederate flags 

On his

Red truck


He had

A shotgun

In his hand

His face 

Didn’t portray anger

But to have 

Confederate flags 

On his




And to 

Be carrying 

a gun

He had to 

Be past the point of anger

His feelings turned to 



I feel it sometimes

Sometimes I want to slip into

The depths and


But I know 

That is dangerous

Because hate

Is dangerous

Like playing with fire

I might burn myself

At any moment

This man

With the 


And the


And the 

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...
May 08
poem 1 comment challenge: Disaster
Max L.'s picture



A great wall of sorrow

Engulfing all in its path,

Rising from the earthquake of pain

Deep below the surface
A surface normally calm,

Broken only on occasion by

The rough seas of discontent

And the great storms of rage

Fueled by the high winds of stress
At last the great wave breaks,

Leaving naught but a swath of regret

In its massive wake.

May 08
poem 0 comments challenge: Disaster
livhastingss's picture

The Wave

Their feared upon,

They don’t fear anything.

Except themselves.

Although big and mighty like the biggest wave,

Deep down they are small and worthless.

Although radiate a confident stride, 

They shrink after a while. 

They put up a picture to hide their true colors,

Only after dying down do they show those hidden colors. 

They are confident and brave,

But show deeper personality on the inside. 

One that not many can see,

But everyone knows about it. 

May 06

Drifting clouds

My dearest friend,

The one who has been through it all

Along my side. 

Together, as we rest on the beaten grass of my childhood home,

We lie gazing at the drifting clouds.

As we listen to the soft sound of the wind in the trees,

You begin to speak aloud.

You speak in a gentle whisper,

Unveiling the truth you’ve never told anyone before.

The warm feeling of honor from your truth washes over me, 

Engulfing my body in its warm embrace.

As the faint breeze slows to a still,

The distant sound of traffic fades away.

With the silent new bond evident in the space between us,

We continue to lie in the delicate grass of our childhood.
May 01
poem 0 comments challenge: Ocean
Mary's picture

The Puppet Master

Waves crash against the sea rocks,
Barnacle covered boulders lapped by the water.
Their surfaces worn smooth,
From the years of the sea carving them away. 
In out and out the sea goes, in and out.  

In the night hours, the moon looks down upon the sea,
Her subject.
Her bright reflection ripples through the darkness.
Her beams pierce through the water, 
Lending her night time glow to the creatures of the deep. 

All through the night she pulls,
Pulls the sea.
Like strings on a puppet,
She pulls,
And eventually,
Lets go. 

The waves get smaller, 
And bigger once more. 
She makes the sea sway.
She makes the sea Crash. 
Without her,
It would only stand still.
May 01
poem 1 comment challenge: Ocean
Max L.'s picture

Sand castle

A lonely sand castle sits on the beach,

The fruit of an unknown child’s labors.

The moisture in its gritty spires slowly evaporating

In the scorching heat of the afternoon sun.

The seashells adorning its sides

Occasionally being swept away

By the waves lapping at its feet.
But soon the tide comes in,

Wiping this little speck of beauty of the face of the earth.

The next day the child returns,

Only to find a vague lump where its masterpiece once was.

But by now it has forgotten of the castle’s existence,

And it joyfully plays in the very waves

That harmed its creation so.

May 01
poem 0 comments challenge: Ocean
Jessica S.'s picture

Sitting by the Sea

The little cottage by the sea,
is where you can find me. 
Where the waves crash,
and the seagulls roam free.

The sun shines bright,
and it warms the sand.
I lie in my chair,
a cold drink in hand.

Hair blowing in the wind, 
and salt in the air.
I sit by the water,
without a care.
Apr 21

The Four Elements

Destructive but beautiful
Painful to touch
Mesmerizing to see
Fire draws me in
Daring me to be a little dangerous
The smell of burning wood calms me
Brings me back to a time of tranquility
To a time of leisure and bliss
Something so primitive
Yet I never want to look away
Feeling the earth
Beneath my feet
Or laying in the grass all day
The ground is home
I’ve grown up with dirt not concrete
I can’t live without it
It feels cool
And smells like spring
The earth is my solid
Grounding me when I need it
Breathing in
Breathing out
Feeling the air travel into my lungs
I take it for granted too often
But the days I do remember are the best
I spend more time using my senses
Just breathing
Focusing on everything around
Nights are the best to stand outside
And look up at an infinite sky
I’ve always longed for water
Apr 21
poem 0 comments challenge: SHELTER


Under the shelter of my roof,
the rain drips steadily, 
drip, drop, 
drip, drop

gravity pulling precipitation 
from the heavy clouds 
to the 
thirsty ground below.
drip, drop, 
drip, drop

Silent eyes peer through
the mesh screen 
of my door,
watching the weather
in the sky.
drip, drop,
drip, drop

And the humidity
hangs in the air,
dense, warm, and comforting,
like a thick blanket on a
brisk, midwinter night.
drip, drop
A puddle of new rain
pools on the
concrete steps
under my sheltering roof.
drip. drop
The eyes gaze into 
the newly formed puddle,
searching the depths
for an answer.
The rain drizzles to a stop,
leaving behind only
a foggy haze.
she calls,
Will this one be our home?
Apr 19

Feeling Betrayed...Again

First you close my high school.
Now you’re trying to close my college.
I have to tell my story on this.
My name is Marina Sprague and I live in Chelsea, Vermont. I’m a high school senior in the early college VAST program at Vermont Technical College. (the Randolph campus)
Apr 10
Grace._.'s picture


In the hush of the night there was a beautiful sight

A big black Babaloo dancing in the moonlight
She was hopping and skipping and jumping with glee

Until she saw something up in the tree
It was a Elaquail 

And you know what they say, 

An elaquail will sting you any time, any day.
It zipped through the night, a stinger on its butt

And it hit the Babaloo right in the gut.
“OW!” she cried, “What was that for?”

The elaquail laughed and went off to explore.
This made the Babaloo sad, so there she sat

Feeling bad about herself all because of some little gnat.
The sound of footsteps emerged from a tree

It was boy named Matt who was no more than three
He grabbed the Babaloos hand 

He might have been tiny, but the gesture was grand
The Babaloo was happy

She had made a friend
Apr 05
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture


There is a divine soul deep, deep, deep iniside my core. She is sprouting. Through practice, she is growing stronger and learning to show and spread herself to other parts of my body at their request. 
She is stable though. She is grounded. She holds herself and listens to herself. She is wise. She asks questions.
She is where the warmth of love lives.
She is where the whole of gratitude lives.
She is my truth.
She is what I'm learning to embrace.
Apr 02

All The Small Things

During this pandemic
While doing all classes online
Being with family all day
Stuck at home

It’s the small things
That keep me from breaking down
From the anger and sadness and frustration

A cup of tea to warm my soul
Cooking a meal with my mother
Getting a text from a friend I haven’t talked to in a while
Watching my tortoise explore my house
Reading a book for hours

Creating a painting of a sun
Because that is what my town is doing
We are in this together spreading sunshine
Despite being indoors
More and more suns are made everyday
Put on houses and shared online

It’s all the small things
That are keeping a smile on my face