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Apr 11
abartell's picture

What a Night Like Tonight

Mar 27

What is a right?

Daylight swims in puddled rain
Milking Sunday afternoons with pain
Shattering the weakest segment of chain.  
Daylight questions dreamers' answers
Dogs of hellfire, moonlit dancers
Feet pounding the Earthlight into cancer.

We've dug our hands into the dirt
Of society, planted our children there,
Letting grow into this corporate disease;
Is our future of weeds? 
We've grown ourselves off of so much hurt
So will anyone care
Mar 18

To all the people who hate Muslims

To all the people who hate Muslims.

Do I scare you? They call it Islamophobia after all.

Do I scare you? Does my family scare you?

Let me give you a summary of us, in case you didn’t really know us all that well.

Standing at about 5 foot 2 inches,
With big, bushy, fuzzy hair
And a penchant for zoning out and
Always having graphite-stained fingers.

My sister,
10 years old, who once made
Her own little snack dispenser
Out of a cardboard box and some tape.

My father,
Who makes us pancakes in the mornings,
Who loves gardening and prides himself
On making food out of our own vegetables
In the summers.

My mother,
Who drinks more tea than seems humanly possible
who’s just finishing up her dissertation now,
And loves dancing to any song, anywhere.

Are you scared of us? Because that seems a little silly at this point, doesn’t it?
Feb 26
Deleonaa's picture

Beautifully Heartbreaking.

Pick up a book and start to read
close your eyes and let yourself feel
let the story take you through it all
be encompassed in the bliss of love 
get lost in the fantasy that is fiction
feel as the tears spill down your cheeks
smile as butterflies swim through your stomach 
watch yourself be torn between feelings of love and hate
feel the words sinking into your skin 
let yourself be broken
put the book down and pace the room
let your thoughts spin you in circles
pick up the book again
savor each page as it is the last
when you reach the final page, smile
you have done something great
you have let yourself feel all the feelings
all the feelings we try to suppress
you have done something beautiful
beautifully heartbreaking.

Feb 12
abartell's picture

Night Sky

Feb 03


They say that
He was the water
And she was the fire
But his riptides overcame her
And buried her flame.
She was caught in his wild storms
And tossed around like a rag doll.
She used to be fierce 
But now she is soggy
And flexible like a rubber band.
He scattered her ashes
Like seed to a starving bird,
His dark eyes flashing with a thousand storms.
He was the water
And she was the fire
But then she grabbed hold of the wind
And whisked him away.

Jan 12
sophie.d's picture

For Summer

My skin yearns for the sideways kiss
Of morning sun for
Lake droplets lifted
Off my skin by balmy,
Dandelion air.

And my laughter
Waits for dock picnics
Green mountain tops
And crowded swimming pools. 

Nose searching for
Watermelon slices
Garden herbs
Almost tasting
Backyard barbeque.
I await summer's joyous greeting.

But when it comes,
I will reminisce over  
Red-tipped noses  
Too rich hot chocolate
Cross country skis
And silver flurries. 

Wait for crisp air
Warm socks and sweaters
For soup and fireplaces. 
So is the seasons' curse.

Don't wait for summer
For snow
For red leaves 
Or flowers sprouting.

Venture out and discover
The unique season
That is today. 
Jan 08
poem 0 comments challenge: Memory
Laura hi101's picture


Happiness is the faded memory
of tiny cross country skis
next to your father’s tall ones.
Of climbing the snowy hill
sideways, or else you will fall back down.
Happiness is the sight of a frozen pond
next to an open field.
The swish-swish of skis
penetrating the still, quiet air.
Happiness is a beautiful old house,
nestled in the evergreen trees,
sagging with the weight
of the sparkling snow.
This was a time of an innocent mind
not yet troubled with the weight of the world.

Audio download:
Jan 07

I Believe In Us

The first time I heard of the wave of school shootings streaking across our nation, I was shaken to the core of my being.

The second time, I was scared but not shocked.

By the third time, I was used to getting alerts about students being shot in one of the few places they should feel safe. And that’s not a sentence anyone should ever have been able to say.

I read the stories online. I read the obituaries of the students, who had opportunities awaiting them they would never be able to take. Acceptances into college, internships, places on sports teams that were robbed from them in a single bullet.

I read the stories of the survivors as well.
Audio download:
This I Believe.m4a
Jan 06

A knock on society's door

Everyone gets a chance to knock,
only some are let in.
When it is my turn,
I knock once.
Once for the one individual each of us can be.
I knock twice.
Twice for the two genders that society tries to define us with.
I knock six times.
Six times for the six races society tries to judge us by.
I knock seventeen times.
Seventeen times for the teachers and students that were slaughtered in Florida for wanting an education.
I knock nineteen times.
Nineteen times for the amendment that allows me to put forth a vote that represents my country.
I knock one last time.
One last time so that they know I will come back.
And I will never stop knocking.
Dec 13

The New Nature Center

Dec 12

A day in the Life of a drop.

Our story begins in the bare forests of Vermont, with me. One water molecule among hundreds of others, formed together as a snowflake that is lighter than a feather. It is a wind forsaken day, and the leaf I sit upon doesn’t stir, though it is dipped low to the ground with the weight of many others like myself. Snow covers the landscape in a never ending blanket. And then slowly, as if in a dream, we watch as white turns to green, bringing with it the melty warmth of spring. The nearby river swells with runoff, and as I drop to the ground, now unfrozen and swift, I feel certain I will be joining it soon. But wait! In front of me.. Something white.. I’m stuck to its sides and become slowly absorbed. Roots. As I travel through the plant, other collected molecules beside me are turned into nutrients, but I find my way to the pores at the top of the leaf, and begin transpiring to the sky above.
Audio download:
Dec 11

A moment of quiet in the locker room

One shoe off
then the other.

Quiet besides the
rhythmic replacement of clothing
fabric against my skin.
The lights don’t buzz
the sink doesn’t drip
for once
my day is quiet as
nights on Inis Mor
I the only one awake
Good Will Hunting was over
and we in our corner room were tucked in.
Me, climbing out of bed
socked feet padding
to the window
and the breeze was
Cape Cod
my grandmother
my childhood
cookies from boxed mix
and books from eight cousins.

I existed in many places suddenly
in the picture frame on my mantle
in the surf at the bay
in that quiet little room
in my sister’s heart
in the empty locker room after class
in my memories
as I unmade 
and then
myself again
taking off one version to
be another. 

One shoe
then the other.
Dec 07
Dubz's picture

light finder

I traveled
deep into the earth
foraging my way
to the devils hearth
on the gravely stones 
taking in the faded bones
in that hellish place I saw 
an unholy,
demons maw 
and as I looked
down that yellowish throat

I found the light inside myself
Dec 06
lana.W's picture

That Wall

Do you ever feel 
like life is written for you?
You ever feel like your thoughts aren’t your own.
You ever feel like some sixteen-year-old theatre geek
is sitting in front of a computer,
writing about how you feel.
You ever wanna just… 

reach out.

Push on that wall over there.
No, not that wall!
This one.
You know, 
the one marked, “Do not push.”
What would happen?

Hey you, I asked you a question.
Yeah, you.
What would I see?

A god?
A writer?
A cartoonist?
A director holding his camera?

There’s got to be more than this.
Nov 27
poem 0 comments challenge: Fourth

This Is Not A Story

Hello reader! This is not a story.
There are no heroes with powers, or evil witches in towers.
So you can leave. Go. Shoo.
There is nothing here for you.

No damsels telling tales of woe, or knights riding, ladies in tow.
There are no frogs to become princes, or a huge crab that pinces.
No matter how hard ou wish, there will be no magical dish.

The dragons aren't here, no funky boats out on the pier.
You are still here?
Still around?
My, your stubborness does astound.

But there is nothing waiting for you, no secret treasure, not even a shoe.
I am tired, go away.
I wish to rest for the day.

What's that you say?
Do not delay!
For you have got a story to tell.
Nov 24


The snow swirls around me
Covering up my footprints,
Leaving me stranded in the colorless blizzard.
The cold bites at my bare skin
Turning it to a rosy red.
Trying to take me over,
But my heart stays beating like drums
To a wild rhythm,
The wind whistles like flutes
A mini orchestra sings in my ears.
Keeping me walking
Keeping me alive.
My journey continues
My fight persists
My destination?
For all of the world to take in.
Nov 22
Maisie N's picture

The Pianist

Play me something new and sweet
I need a bit more than deep, blue nothing
A cleansing, colorful melody
That smells and tastes of cherry wine
To ease the pain in my dancing feet
To buy myself a bit more time
Play me something more than a memory
I am tired of the sounds of black and white.

My mind does not work the way it is supposed to
You tell me that's okay. Artists' minds never do.
So why is that when you play, all I see is blue?
All I feel is pain and all I smell is vermouth?
Synesthesia, so they say, because I could not tell you
The difference between a harmony and a hue
Nor the taste of wine and feel of a corkscrew
Nor why, when when you're away, I so miss you. 

So let me take you where no one will hear
As I tell you everything with my eyes
I am no musician, so I will just have to show
What exactly is on my mind
How strange the courage to speak the truth
Nov 16
Sydney's picture

A Blackberry Pie

Nov 10
audio 0 comments challenge: General
Layjmo's picture

I'm Sorry, But...

I'm Sorry, But...

I’m sorry, but...
What are we teaching the kids these days?
Are we teaching them to go along with whatever the most dominant person says?
Don’t have opinions, just move on, avoid distress.

I’m sorry, but…
That’s not going to work for me.
Why is it considered bad when someone states they have a side?
When they want to do or be one thing over another?
Saying “I don’t care,” “whatever,” “it doesn’t matter to me...”
Makes you a better person, the desired person, more so than the one who actually knows what they want?

I’m sorry, but …
That just doesn’t seem right to me.
Why is it good not to have a preference?
I’m always told that I care too much.
I always try not to care.

I’m sorry, but...
Remind me again why I don’t want to care?
Why is that wrong, and bad, and strange, and different?