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.
Sep 06
poem 0 comments challenge: Risk

The Beginning

Jump in. 
I look at the churning water beneath me, the waves cresting just inches below my toes. 
Jump in.
My mind yells, but my body ignores. Fear runs rampant in my veins, rooting me to the spot. To the rock. To safety. 
But this isn’t safety. 
Speckles of water spray me in the face. My limbs are shaking, from the cold, from the adrenaline. 
I clench my fists and dig my fingernails into my skin. The pain is my anchor, bringing me back to reality.
Jump in.
Taking a deep breath, I fill my lungs with the salty air, hold it, and with the oxygen still trapped inside, I jump
Suspended in the air, in time, in nothing at all except a state of weightlessness and exhilaration. It’s almost like I’m flying. 
I wish I was. 
But then gravity pulls me down, pulls my dream from my head and throws it into the air far above me, letting me watch as I hit the waves and sink.
Sep 05
Kittykatruff's picture


Do you ever feel
that your eyes could close
and you linger upon the same thought
for a moment too long
Then you're suddenly fast asleep;

your mind works overtime 
to juggle the daily happenings,
with a soothing buzz in the background
behind your train of thought,
a lovely image
of a cup of cocoa,
curling up on a couch,
letting Dreams take you 
somewhere else for awhile.

I think I'll lay my pen down now
and let these words melt into
taking me far beyond my room,
the spice-scented pines,
the rolling green hills
and rocky shores on the coast,
and leave behind the worries of today,
and leaving Tomorrow to its course;

My eyes are closed, yet
now I see all the world
in a million undiscovered colors.

Let me dream awhile, if you please.
Let Tomorrow wake me up
after a good night's sleep!
Sep 05
poem 4 comments challenge: Colors

Color Circus

Colors popping,
Bursting every second,
Like a busy carnival circus
Do they jump and play.
Look, there's Summer Lilac,
and Winter Evergreen.
Oh, look at that;
Sandy Beaches Beige;
Rainy Day Blue,
Mustang Red,
Bumblebee Yellow,
Witching Hour Black...
Aug 27

Brand New Friend

I always have trouble talking to a stranger
It's something that's just not in my nature
But this is a new school and new year
Might as well try, I have nothing to fear
So I got the courage to ask him his name
Then I saw the book in his hand and knew we were the same
We shared our interests on various books and stories
finding out that we love the same categories
And before I could think and comprehend
I ended up having a brand new friend
Aug 17
Alaina.J_27's picture

Pain vs. Hope

*Read from beginning to end, then end to beginning*

Pain will always win out.
How stupid it is to believe
That love is always around.
For it is always guaranteed,
Hate and anger are more powerful,
And I will never be convinced,
Love can be stronger.
Despite the darkness that seeps into the stars,
Everyone stows a secret hope, and a secret wish.
But I know the truth,
And it is difficult to cope.
The deepest fears lurk in the coldest shadows,
Some people may think,
I can escape,
But I can't.
Giving in is the only choice,
As the waves of life throw me down,
I refuse to believe,
There is a hope out there for me.

*Now read from the end to the beginning*
Aug 16
poem 1 comment challenge: Reach


The universe is ever expanding.
But what is it expanding into?
Nothing, you’ll say,
But even nothing is something.

I wonder if it was peaceful
Before the universes’ collision?
Were the stars welcomed as light?
Or did they burn the Nothing as fire?

I’ll keep trying to reach those stars.
If only I could reach a little farther...

Aug 09
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture


All winter she has been waiting.
Waiting for the light to come; for the colors to fill her eyes.
She has dreamed of this moment,
heard stories, built subconscious expectations,
daydreamed about the day she would fall in love with her surroundings.
She has set goals for herself, compiled an itinerary for the season.
Spent countless hours preparing herself 
for what she imagines to be a beautiful birth
of the earth that has been subdued by the white sheets.

Though, now that she can smell the sweet air,
she finds herself in fear.
She is afraid of the knowledge she will cultivate.

How odd it is that the birth of so many colors can act as a mirror–– a mirror that defines only the
dark blues and violets within us.

She listened to her sorrows play their melody in her head,
Like merciless rulers, and she, a helpless peasant against her restless mind.

Trees turned into flowers, 
Aug 05
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture


They don’t understand
how my small body and developing mind
can hold so many leaves

How my feet go through suppression
yet hold the trunk that is my body
they assume my toes are given space, my heels are moisture-filled, and my soles hold strong as roots

They fail to understand 
the fact that my legs are 
constantly in insurrection
they assume my knees willingly follow my energetic calves and 
my heavy thighs do not burden my every step

They cannot fathom the drumbeat in my belly 
as I come near
nor do they understand the scars my back will never let go of
They do not understand the tickle underneath my arms that guide me
nor the fixated position of my collar bones

They assume the rain does not bother me, 
the burn of the breeze does not set aflame.

They find it hard to truly comprehend
the cracks in the skin on my neck,
the bumps behind my ears,
Jul 31

A Single Moment

Not a sound
can be heard
like time has stopped to marvel at this moment

Hovering above
I can feel its warmth
ever so gently on the surface of my hand

Its scent
fills the room
smelling of cool air on a summer night

A single candle
burns on the table
Its light dancing upon every surface
Jul 31
poem 1 comment challenge: Cafeteria

Remembering The Years

Kindergarten smelled like plastic and looked like chaos. I remember playing with lots of toys.
First grade smelled like chalk and looked like confusion. I remember the chalkboards filled with small words.
Second grade smelled like nature and looked like recess. I remember running around the playground no matter the sun, rain, or snow. 
Third grade smelled like something new and looked like exhaustion. I remember climbing the extra steps to get to my new classroom.
Forth grade smelled like scented pencils and looked like books. I remember everyone had one of those pencils while I had books.
Fifth grade smelled like paper and looked like Pokemon cards. I remember having lots of homework and even more cards to trade.
Sixth grade smelled like rubber and looked like a long hallway. Middle school was terrifying with high schoolers a few feet away. 
Jul 11
Monster_T_02's picture

My Soul Is Returning

I know I may not be the best,
Nor is my mind the greatest,
But I do know my heart still beats,
With the  purest of intent.

My mind may still weep,
My soul may still cry,
But I will not allow myself,
To lay down,
And die.

My hope is slowly returning,
My garden I will replant,
Self love I am still learning,
And strengthening like an ant.

My path is very shaky,
And monsters still jump out,
But seven years is all I need,
to clean my skeltons out.

Seven year in cells,
I will be a new being,
And my body will be cleansed,
From all their wrongdoings.

Your body is renewed,
After seven years,
Every cell is replaced;
The thought brings me to tears.

One day they will not touch me,
My body will not be their's,
I will be a new person,
Without all these trivial fears.

My mind my still be shifts,
Jun 12
Kittykatruff's picture

Yellow Butterflies

Pretty yellow butterflies
Flit over the grass,
Wingtips barely missing
Flowers, twigs, amber tree sap.

I gaze into the darkened sky
And feel a certain blue;
the kind that weighs your shoulders down
and reveals brutal truths;

A little yellow butterfly
lands on my fingertip,
the sun shines through the clouds
and then I'm flying up to it—

My laughs rings out a thousand bells
and floats silvery-like through the air;
a million yellow butterflies
Dancing everywhere—

Pretty yellow butterflies
float into the field,
I can't help smiling, though they don't know
the joy they make me feel.

May 19
Kittykatruff's picture


One of my greatest fears
is being lonely.
To have no one 
who understands me,
or to listen as I 
ponder my deepest thoughts.
I am lucky. 
My friends know me.
even if they do not understand
my words, they're always there
to listen.
the dark has always
made me feel alone.
It's so isolating,
s e p a r a t i n g  people,
leaving them wondering blindly
where the world went.
One of my worst nightmares 
is being trapped in a dark room,
with no sound but the deafening silence
surrounding me.
The walls close in.
I struggle to breath,
drowning in the darkness—
my fingertips grab desperately
in open air,
and I yearn to make a sound,
any sound, 
to bring sweet relief to my ears,
yet the darkness is too overpowering
and whisks my words away
as soon as they form.
Please don't misunderstand me
and conclude that I'm afraid
May 12

Why I Write

I’ve always had trouble with words.

My whole life, they have gotten stuck in my throat,
my mind whispering to shove them back down,
where they get locked in my heart,
never to be heard.

I don’t know why my mind does it,
why it has trained me to think that
no one wants to hear my words,
my thoughts and opinions.

The only time that the lock is opened
is when I write. For whatever reason,
once I have a pencil and a piece of paper,
all those words are set free.

From there, they spill out, dance along the page,
poured from my inner self until they are their
own being. They roam where they wish,
and my heart is finally light once more.

This is my reason for writing.
I cannot speak and be who I am
without my ability to write.
What is your reason?
May 03
Nora.F's picture


A vacation away from all of this sounds like a great idea. My sister and I just get up and leave. Noone talking to me for days. Just my sister and I traveling to the Bahamas. The smell of the salty ocean waters blowing in our faces. The sway of the palm trees blowing in the winds. The warm sand beneath our feet. The sunny blue skies and the blue ocean waters offering a new scene.

No more muddy rides home. No more squishy lawns. No more surprise snow. Just us and the coconuts. The sunblock and the sunglasses. A vacation in the Bahamas with my sister and relaxation is my dream vacation.

May 03
poem 2 comments challenge: Senses

Ode to The Rain

My footsteps gently patter on the sidewalk
But I do not hear them because I have my headphones on.
I pause for a moment, taking off my headphones and they rest around my neck.
I adjust my glasses and look around.
The sky is a solid, pale grey color
Matching the gloominess of the day.
There is not much to look at
Besides the damp trees and the dew-covered grass
And the occasional car going by.
Raindrops softly land on my hoodie.
It is not raining much, but it is still cold and wet.
I pull my hood up and study my surroundings.
Still not much to see.
Not many people are around.
The gloominess has kept them inside.
It truly seems like a sad day.
Everyone is plagued with that little nag in their chest
The feeling of gloominess even if they’re happy.
It’s one of those days that make you feel like you’ve lost your best friend.
For some, that truly is the case.
I see a few cars drive by.
Apr 30
poem 0 comments challenge: General
joseph.deffner's picture

The Beach-A Tanka

Flip-flops in the sand.

Simple shells in cool water.

Big waves crashing down.

Seagulls swooping down, catching fish.

Swaying palm trees, good times.
Apr 29
poem 1 comment challenge: General
joseph.deffner's picture


Loss is a hard emotion to process

Doesn't matter what you’re losing

Be it a phone, a loved one, or in my case, a dog

You might feel guilty about your decisions that led to loss

Or want to give up on everything

My dog was an important part of my life

And she always will be- even if she's not here

Most people believe that when you die, your gone,

I believe that even if I can’t  see her, though, Kelly is there

She’d follow my mom about, keeping her company

And lick my face, telling me about her day

And in the real world, I would strain

Strain against the divide,  trying to see my dear friend

And even if I won't ever see you again

You'll stay with me and I will stay with you,

Until the end.