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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.

 

 
Aug 06
poem 2 comments challenge: Left Out

The People I'd Rather Not Be


The people who know what to say.
The people who say what they mean every time.
The people who talk, talk behind others backs--it makes them cool.
The people who are loved by everyone.
The people who get the inside jokes.
The people who want to be in the circle,
and The people who are...

I am not these people.
When everyone's talking,
I'm not.
I'm listening,
until I say something.
And then those people go quiet.
You could hear a pin drop.
Because what I say is not what they want to hear.
They want the funny.
The teasing.
The flirting.
They want the right thing every time.
But I'm not those people.
I don't have the right words to give...
But then, they smirk.
Almost turn away,
but not quite.
Inviting me in, kinda.
Almost daring me to make a comment again.
Just so they can smirk at me.
Jul 18

perspectives

Sometimes I forget
That my vases,
Porcelain and decorated with intricate cerulean details,
The result of years of hard work and sweat,
The ones that are now shattered, jagged, and ruined,
Scattered on the marble floor in shards,
Appear merely as wooden blocks to the passersby.

To them, it was once a sturdy tower
And it will be again, as if time had waited.

To them, my problems appear small and ordinary,
Easily fixable.

I wish I had known this earlier.

(author's note: basically the previous poem, but with some edits and also I recorded me reading it.)

 
Jul 04

Bloody Freedom


Dear America,
What would have happened if we never stole this land?
Never polluted it with our cold superiority,
our ships swarming with sickly death,
our flashing bullets thirsting for blood.

If the people native to this land,
who tended it as a arboreous, continental garden,
were allowed to remain, 
in entirety?

Rather than as the scattered splinters
of the last tree standing
in a sacred forest,
burned to the ground
by the unquenchable flames of greed.
 

Dear Europe,
how do you feel that your reckless descendants
have polluted The New World
worse than the old?

That they have crushed it beneath 
hundreds, thousands, 6.5 million pairs
of heeled boots and polished dress shoes,
stilettos and Nikes,

Toppling the refuge of ancient forests,
Soiling the clear waters with the mud caking their soles,
Jun 23

Proud to Be



I wrote it on a flag.
His flag that flew from here to Florida and then home
With him.
I will miss you more than I even know yet,
I wrote.
 My blue permanent maker letters
Bled into the white nylon stripes.
Yes, I filled two of them;
Wordiness runs in my genes, in my ink,
And apparently on nylon, too.

I skipped the red stripe so that my message matched everyone else's.
Jun 19

Civil Rights Speech (Verbal)

Throughout history we have been fighting for equal rights. Either for our own or someone else's. Women’s Rights. African American Rights. LGBT Rights.

We recognize these movements as we see them happening all around us. We oppose or support them. We rarely stand in the middle.

As we watch these movements barrel downhill we watch people trying to spear these movements to stop them.

Destroy them before they reach the point of no return. Their criticizing comments hold us back from taking all the steps we need too.

This is why racism and sexism and homophobia and all other hate still exist.

We have heard the speeches, the comments, the subtle rebellion. We have seen all that has been done to stop these movements.

I have seen the movements. I have heard the hate. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream, and I have mine.
Jun 11

To the Girl I Know as Strong


To the girl I know as strong,
I'm here for you, my dear,
Whether it be through light and happiness,
Or treachery and fear.

As long as the sun rises in the morning,
And sets in the dusky night,
As long as the mountains stand tall,
And the ponds shimmer light.

Whether it's when life gets tough,
Or a heart bleeds rougher, 
Some tears run dry,
Or there isn't any suffer.

Whether it be huge,
Or maybe just small,
May our ideas grow big,
Or we have none at all.

Darling, maybe they won't understand,
Or maybe they can,
But it won't really matter,
Because together we stand.

To the girl I know as strong,
I'm here for you my dear,
For whatever you may need me,
I will always be right here.


 

 
Jun 06

Again & Again

Jun 04

Works of Art

Jun 03

Blame


Somewhere in the woods,
On a dreary night,
At the dreariest hour,
Diana stood on a stump,
Her hair loose;
Pale as flour. 

The pine surrounding her,
In its ominous moans,
Sang to her in their dark,
Terribly ominous,
And far deep,
Yet calming tones.

"Hark!"
They begin to shout.

"Cease, must it be! 
We still stand,
But only for this land,
and not for your false harmony!"

And there Diana stood,
Unbothered by it all.
She had heard their plea,
And answered their call.
If not them,
Then who shall fall?

"Humanity! 
Dreadful!
Just to speak it is a shame!
There is not us,
Or our mother, Diana,
To blame!

It is them!
They have filthied us,
Drenched us in their rotten nature!
There is nothing natural about this,
Nothing good in this danger!

We have shouted and burned,
May 30

Glow

May 20

Quadratic Formula Poem

Quadratic Formula Poem

X marks the spot,
Where,
If you pessimistically encounter a bee,
You should contribute something to it’s existence,
Or, perhaps,
Take the same something.

I’ve heard,
You know,
That bees,
On their birthdaays,
Appreciate a gift that is square in shape,
But rooted in thoughtfulness.

Yes,
A gift containing bubbles or bobbles or babbles or blubber,
Nibbles or cobbles or pebbles or rubber,
From which you have removed a quadruplet of aces.
This,
My dear friends,
Is how to cover your bases.

Go,
Enter every best-birthday-gift-for-a-bee competition.
I promise,
You’ll be boasting first places.


Author's note: the spelling of "birthdaay" is intentional
#Nature9
#NatureNine
May 18

Fun & Games

May 16

May

May 15

How to Lose Your Name

You lose your name
in a language that gives
your name vowels like
curdled milk.

You lose your name 
after hearing
all the variations
that are not your name.

You lose your name
in the eyes of new teachers
or substitutes, in that moment
they cringe when they 
see your name at 
the top of the list.

You lose your name
when you meet new people 
and your heart falls because
you don't even care to 
explain to them how to say it
anymore.

You lose your name
when everybody calls you 
by the other name, the wrong
name, that haunts you all
day long, lurking even in
the shadows until you want to shout:
That's not my name!
 
You lose your name
when your friends 
correct the substitutes because
you don't even care enough 
to correct them
anymore.

You lose your name
May 10

Night Swimming


1.
Today I listened to the wind. 
The kind of listening that takes over
all senses.
It washed me away. 

2.
Overwhelming. The way it starts to breathe for you.
As. If. You. Might. Drown. 

3. 
You look like you might have been swimming. 
But you never admit to loving the river enough to skip school.
I ask to join you next time. 

4. 
You don't respond.

5. 
I know you laugh like the sun. 
It's hard not to notice. 
"Wishing for unforgiving things is sometimes dangerous." 

I told you
how much it means to me, living with the tides.

6.
I know it's like you said the first night I swam in the dark
"Darkness is only a by-product
of something too sunken to name."
I wish I could tell you
I knew what that meant. 

7. 
I wish I could tell
you 
I know the difference
between darkness and water. 

May 05

Canyon


We walk together again through Coyote Gulch,
sisters, side by side,
seven years of separation since our last excursion. 
The water is so shallow now;
my legs sprouted while I wasn't watching,
like the winter-battered trees will have sprouted
hopeful green buds upon my return.

We were always exactly the same height,
down to the wire,
competitive about it--
growing together but not in alignment. 
By the time I won,
Apr 26
Mozzerelli's picture

me and my pal anxiety

i fall asleep, maybe when i wake up i’ll feel different 
i wake up at 6 tired, maybe this life isn’t for me 
i roll out of bed at 630 
i drag myself to and fro
from the closet
to the mirror 
back to the closet
i cast aside each article of clothing as they fail 
to turn my torso into an hourglass 
make my ass so fat all the home boys want to hit it 
i tug and pull the clothing around my figure 
each shift of fabric reminds me that 
perhaps it will take more than something pretty
to make me someone pretty. 
my hands wade through the waves of my hair 
frantic, i gaze at the clock
715 
time keeps flying past 
The anxiety that was sleeping in chest 
Has awoken in full throttle 
A raging storm, lighting piercing my stomach
My knees are weak
As i shrug into my clothing and gaze 
Too long in the mirror 
Apr 09

Why I don't Play Sports

   I know that some people love sports. They watch it, play it, basically do anything to get involved with it.
   I am not one of those people.
   The first time I really tried to play a sport was when I was about nine. My homeschooling group had set up a soccer team, and I arrived with new shin-guards and an eager outlook. I was so sure I'd be great! Simple enough, right? Kick the ball into a net, don't use your hands. 
   About three minutes into the game, I discovered I had an uncanny talent for being hit with the ball. Even more amazing, I had the talent to be hit square in the face with it and not even come away with a nosebleed. What did the coach do?
   He put me in a defensive position. Don't get me wrong- he's a really nice guy. It's just that he thought my misfortune was untrained talent.
Mar 30
nikki.crouse's picture

A House With No Windows


No way for anyone to look in,
to tell if it was light or dark inside.
No way to tell if things were quiet and still,
or if the house was about to explode.

If one wanted to see inside, they could,
but only if they had a key.
And that key, of course,
came from the owner.

And she was picky,
some would say too picky.
But why would anyone allow someone inside their house?
When they feared what those someones would think of it.

Those who were allowed inside may still have been tricked,
by the decoration adorning the house.
Lovely furniture disguised the warped floors,
and beautiful paintings covered deep cracks in its walls.

It was an old and tired house.
It had stood through many storms,
survived floods and earthquakes,
but that didn’t matter if it didn’t look nice.

And that’s all the visitors seemed to notice,
the pretty things,
Mar 26

Remembering You

What I remember of you is very little.
I was young when you passed.
I remember when you gave me,
a five year old,
four lollipops.
Your reasoning?
"two in each hand
so you don't lose balance 
and fall over"

I remember you at your husband's wake.
You cried over his casket
it was "the worst day of your life"
as you said.
It was soon forgotten.

I remember visiting you.
You offered us icecream and I felt
uncomfortable- but that's not your fault.
You didn't know that Grampy
wouldn't be coming home today.
You didn't know he'd been gone so long.
We let you live
in your ignorant bliss.

I remember that you didn't look the same,
you laid expressionless,
your face was too flat,
instead of round, plump, and smiling.
They had your hair just right,
blonde ringlets framing your face,
as you slept under the orchids.