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These pieces are selected for publication by YWP Staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact Susan Reid.

 

 
Mar 04
poem 2 comments challenge: Invasive

If a tree falls in the forest...

I am 237 years old today,
the oldest tree in this forest. I am
a living measurement of time, a history book in
its most natural form. Wizened by decades of observation
witness to catastrophes and wonders you will never know
but there is one tragedy I will tell you. One of every twelve
trees in Vermont are ash trees like me and their wails in the wind warn
of imminent death in the form of an emerald beetle. Their larvae grow under
our bark, feed on our flesh, blocking our transportation of water and
nutrients until our skin becomes brittle and splits, our crowns of
foliage fall and we die of thirst and starvation. These invasive
aliens won't stop until we've all collapsed, returning
 to the earth we once arose from. You may
be thinking "It's just
trees, why should
we care?" Our lives
are more entwined
than you realize.
We take your exhales
Aug 17

Oh, The Places We'll Go

1.    The crash of waves on a hidden beach somewhere lost in France. The cliffs rising high around us, so much so they appear to touch the clouds. The sky clear, a mirror of the forever ocean in front of us. The waves taste of salt and possibility, and the air smells fresh and sweet. And fishy.

2.    A rocky scrabble. A final climb to the top of Africa. A pounding in my veins, of the altitude and the oxygen. A bead of sweat, stealthy climbing down your forehead. We stand straight, for the first time in hours. Still. Swaying like the grasses so far below, and the waves on a hidden beach. Our breathing slows. And the world goes on. And on.
Aug 05
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture

My Desires

Here is what I know:
When I feel something personal and meaningful,
my belly bubbles up inside
My mind begins to expand
and explore,
pondering future possibilities.
I become ensure of what to do with the swirling
and my flushed cheeks––
all my past knowings are turned to
grains of salt
and I begin to consider all of the other perspectives.

That is how I want to feel every day.

I want my perceived ideas to be challenged
and my ideals to be questioned.
I want to wonder why I think what I think
and why you think what you think.

I should be curious about all things:
How the happenings in my small community reflect those of a larger state.
Why certain pigments look so incredibly pleasing together.
Why the vision of the earth which nurtures all life is so surreal.
Why I have been conditioned to view unnatural even harmful things as beautiful.
Aug 03
poem 1 comment challenge: Legacy

the persistence of memory

legacy.

on my notebook, nestled in the corner
among glued-on stars, are the words
second law of thermodynamics.

it means, literally, that entropy always increases.
it implies that one day, the very last star will run out of
nuclear fuel and everything, anything,
will cease to exist.

i chose to have those words there as a
reminder of my impermanence.
that simple scientific law
turns the pages back to sun-drinking trees in my hands, my
hands back to dust.

what i’m trying to say is i don’t need a legacy.

i don’t need my name up in lights.
but i would like it in the wind and seasalt and dandelions, so
burn me when i die.

i don’t need my name to go down in history.
the infinity before and the infinity after anyone said it
will all be the same to me.

legacy.
what a distracting concept.
Jul 29

Tear yourself apart

Tell her that she’s beautiful, 
and watch her smile before 
she devours the compliment up 
lapping at every last honey drop 
at her fingers because she’s 
been starved for so long, 
and what is a girl without 
other people to tell her  
the value that she has? 

Tell her that she’s skinny 
and she will beam before 
looking in the mirror and tracing 
the outline of her ribs with 
her paper fingers, half human 
half ghost, so thin she’s almost gone
hunger was never beautiful, 
this animal eating her up from inside. 

Tell her that she’s hot and 
look at her short skirt like it’s 
the only part of her that matters and she’ll 
shoot you a grin before tugging down 
her dress as a sense of anxiety creeps 
in her mind because everyone knows 
what happens to girls with too-short dresses
walking alone at night, 
grips her keys between her fingers and 
Jul 25

Montana

This place is absolutely beautiful. 
Our rental house is right next to the Yellowstone river. :)

P.S.  
why would anyone use explosives to procure fish???
Takes all the fun out of it.
Jul 24

Monochrome Photos

I explored black and white photography today! 
 
Jul 20
serenamae2020's picture

Monopoly

Happy. 
When everyone is on an equal playing field. 
The same amount of money is around the board,
all of the properties belong to the bank, 
and the only thing holding you back 
is a roll of the dice. 

Excited. 
You start to move around the board. 
People start to buy a place or two,  
chance cards are read, 
it's less equal but who cares 
because you're having fun? 

Competitive. 
Someone has a property you want, 
and you go to the edge of the earth
to get it because
you NEED that last orange
to start building your empire. 

Agitated. 
You keep landing on the only hotel on the board, 
and the owner is getting cocky, 
flush with money, 
and the $900 you spent on houses
just isn't panning out like you hoped. 

Desperate. 
In a last-ditch effort to save yourself, 
you try to make a deal for extra cash
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,
Jul 06
sophie.d's picture

The Good Thoughts Project

Hi YWP writers! I’m Sophie Dauerman (sophie.d on YWP). I started the initiative Good Thoughts, which is a project supported by Young Writers Project and designed to share your inspiring words with the Vermont community.
Jul 04

Depth

Jun 18

Don't forget

some days I feel like a painting
flung against the wall.
sometimes I forget my worth and
feel like nothing at all.
but we all have our ups and downs,
we all have our rainy days,
the times that we feel lonely and
the sun is covered in haze.
but do not forget your patience,
do not forget your home,
do not forget to free yourself and
let your confidence roam.
so do not forget your passions,
do not forget your heart,
do not forget your ending and
you'll always know where to start.
Jun 17

Proud to Be a Muslim Woman

Judge us, because we're Muslim.
Call us "terrorists," because we're Muslim.
Think we dress like clowns, because we're Muslim.
Scared of us, because we're Muslim.
Treat us like animals, because we're Muslim.
Think we are violent, because we're Muslim.

But all of these negative thoughts and hate won't destroy us --
because we are faithful, strong, and loving.

Don't judge us because we're Muslim.
We are not "terrorists" because we're Muslim.
We dress beautifully because we're Muslim.
We are not scary because we're Muslim.
We are not animals because we're Muslim.
We are peaceful because we're Muslim.

I'm proud to be a Muslim woman.

- Dalya Almogalli, Edmunds Middle School
 
May 30
seriously.sharp's picture

Time Travel

    Some people have dreamt up ways to travel into the past or future. In movies and books we see people using cars, phone booths, and Time-Turners, to name a few. Others are actively looking for a way. They appeal to science and magic, hoping that they will find ways to transport our bodies to events that took place long ago, so that we can witness (and maybe even change) the course of history.

    Some people think that time-travel is impossible. But I know a way—a way that is quick and accessible, ready for me almost anytime and anywhere. By accident I have discovered that the simple power of a song can catapult me into the past. I’ll be scrolling through lists of songs in the search of an old favorite, and suddenly, without warning, I am flung into the projects, the classes, the places and the feelings of the past as if I’d never left that time, that place, that moment…
May 27

Maine

May 25

Second Home

May 21

Water

A clink and splash 
From a full glass of water
Gets my senses started.
I watch the
Big glass with green stripes
Around it 
Avidly
Wondering and 
Knowing
Why a simple glass can get me tingling.
I know why.
Water. 
At the very thought of this word
I'm pulled 
First to the ocean
Crashing
Melodic waves
Lap the shore
Reminding me of warm 
Sand
And cool
Water. Floating among the salty, open sea
I feel more mysefl than ever. 
Zip... and I'm in 
The above ground pool 
With flecks of grass in it
Splashing
Swimming like
A seal, smooth
Like cream. 
Again, a change 
And I have been transported 
To the lake
The cold tingling
The slide off the dock
The shouts of ectasy.
The pool again
Then, the ocean
Back to the lake
And then with a whoosh...... 
I'm staring at the 
May 08

Master of the Beach

She wore her hair short - short like mine, and like most of the women close to me in my family. My Mom, Mor Mor, and Nana all wear this style, too. We like to think of ourselves as trendsetters. When I cut my hair, I could see the pride glistening in Nana’s eyes. The non-traditional tradition carries on. Her hair is a mix of gray and black, “salt and pepper,” as she calls it. I can see why. Unlike hers, mine shines yellow like the rays on a summer day.
May 08

Have you ever heard toads singing?

Have You Ever Heard Toads Singing?
May 06

Do You Ever Feel Like A Flower In The Sun?

Do you ever feel like a flower in the sun?
You’re sitting in water, your leaves soaked,
your face is to the sky, and your petals stretch.
You feel it on your face like a warm kiss
and let it hit you like rain falling from a cloud.
Does it ever occur to you that there’s dust
sitting on your desk back at home?
Did you ever realize that the paint is chipped?
Does it bother you that life is a hole
that keeps going further and further
and darker and darker
until you hit the bottom?
Did you ever notice that the bottom,
that unbreakable, cold, and dark ground,
is not the end of everything?
While you may be tempted to look down
and scratch at the bottom like a cat
scratching at the front door for a welcoming,
your life is up there waiting for you
and there’s always a rope around you,
leading you back up,
keeping you steady,
and all you have to do is give it a tug,