I wrote your name on an empty page and
suddenly it seemed full.
Our memories fill in the blank spaces when my words aren’t enough.
They never are.
Yet you hold onto them the way you held my heart
when it was too heavy for me to carry.
You are home. You are
tear stained ink on pages of poetry for quiet nights.
You are the words I seek but never find.
You made us beautiful to read about.
– Samihah Pargas
– IG: Shadesofherink
I try to swallow the pain
Before it eats me up.
The sharpness of it cuts my throat
Its bitterness makes me gag and choke
It digs deeper into my body
And attempts to venture into the depths of my soul.
But it hits my intestines,
Comes back up forcefully and
I projectile vomit it across the room.
My body rejects its presence,
But my mind welcomes it.
And I try to swallow the pain again.
I want to taste
His honeyed brown skin
Get lost in the strong musk smell
Feel the gentle power that permeates
I want to envelop myself
In his masculinity,
And his passion.
I want us to meet each other’s desires
In a primitive and heated way.
Losing all self-control
In our luscious lovemaking.
I want to hear him whisper sensual, desirable things
He wants to do to my body.
I want to taste his yearning in my mouth
Savoring every succulent flavor.
I want him.
Soft to the touch,
Salty to taste.
Enchanting to see,
The melanin is perfection. Continue reading my skin.
Emptiness echoes throughout the room.
Silence slides up the wall.
Pain swirls in the air.
Anguish blows from the window.
It surrounds the young girl.
Choking the life out of her.
Maa makes a salan for each son
because they like different things
but the beti needs to learn to make her own food
kyun ki uski age pe shaadi aur bachey hotey hain
larka jaan per be jaiy, jaise bi rai
maa ankh band karke osko kabi kuch boley gi nahi
beti aik galti kare
uski izzat zaban per aja ti hai
the sons can go out and party get a girl pregnant
but they’ll still be able to move on and find a good girl to marry
the girl stays out a bit later than 8 pm
might wear a t-shirt,
and the whole mohalla is calling her a slut, saying she’s no longer a virgin
we don’t love our girls as much as our sons
you have failed us girls
us girls are tired of walking on eggshells
of being thrown around, walked all over
and expected to have sabr
kehte hain betiyaan sab se bari rehmat hain
toh aaj hum ko kyun torey ho
Picture Credit: @thepakistanimarthastewart
Now I find myself dancing
to the frantic beat of my heart
at the threshold of judgment
desperate for a figment of
something positive, warm
but realise that I’m shackled
by cynical negations, galore.
Here demons wear masks
of noblemen and kings
and brandish their swords
Continue reading A dance in the dark
“Pull yourself together,”
an abstract of red hues
and beet purple
crept from my neck, Continue reading Blush by Heather Matthews
I’m as guilty as the next person, I’ve used them, lots of times, it’s hard not to. Those apps that remove every line, every blemish, every scar….but to what extent do we become someone we’re not? We can’t be 20, we can’t just never get crows feet, or laugh lines, we age, we all do, why has it become a trend to hide it? Continue reading Reflections
The road between society and I have grown far apart
I’ve gotten lost more than once on my journey
On this path that has hills and trick pathways
Hills too steep for my strength and pathways that have lead me to unknown places
; sometimes good, sometimes bad
Continue reading Road by Jess Saunders
O birds of hope
don’t flock to migrate
a less hurried gait
Let’s pick our crops
soft and mellow
Before joys rust
and turn to yellow
We’ll gather grins,
plum and ripen
No squandered tears,
ample dreams brighten
Our diligent pursuit,
we’re creatures awake
For when life’s frost bites,
Let’s tap and dance
in a feast of harvest
while the scarlet disc
gives in to darkness
The sun shall tilt
dropping her last golden locks
The mist will fill
to chill empty docks
Perched larks of glee,
chirp for me till dawn
Sweet songs to echo
through a season forlorn.
By Rania D.
I have tumbleweeds stuck to my lips.
Do you taste them?
They scrape and scratch my skin with
every new name.
Continue reading Desert Disease by Angelina Valdez
The way things work,
the way they are now,
and society in general,
operate in an almost perversely, twisted
machine that is hell-bent
on our destruction.
I survived an earthquake
and my soul is still shaking inside
my heart beating too fast
what if I just trapped myself into a bigger mess
I survived an earthquake
I fought the earth
and the stars
I changed my way
I saved myself
and yet here I am
with hope hiding behind me
hoping to not be taken away
from the monstrous beast
depression that keeps
you were never meant to be happy
you were never meant to
have love that treated you right
and I don’t think I have it in me
to stand up again
to fight back
so I just whisper
I just whisper to myself
nahi nahi nahi
and someday I might
hold my self together
sew my self back up
but for now, I just whisper nahi
Come view works by Jaelen Isis at Woodland Pattern BookCenter on February 24th, 2018, 6-9pm.
I am a watercolor painter located in Chicago. I specializing in portraiture and mixed media. Watercolor brings forth an emotion to the eye; whatever the piece of art may be, the observer instantly feels a connection as an effect to the natural movements of the paint. The versatility of watercolor contributes to the color, detail, and movement of my pieces.
In my paintings, I portray men, women, young people, people of color, etc. in relation to the stereotypes frequently attached to them. Using mixed media (if you look closely) you see illustrations hidden within the colors and lines of the background and foreground of each piece. Continue reading Featured Artist: Jaelen Isis
Creativity isn’t always beautiful. There is a desire in us as artists to share what we feel inside with the world; how can we do so when we can’t find the words ourselves? There isn’t always an easy road with which to release my emotions to words. It can be quite painful. That doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
“There are days when words and feelings pour out of me like a volcano. Aggressive and fierce, I stab through the lines on the page and rip it apart like my brain is ripping me. Then there are days when I can do nothing, My creative juices are dried up- I am breathing in coarse sand, I cough up ideas but also blood. It lines the paper all the same.”
follow me on instagram @victimlessrhymes
Rarely, do we understand the strength of the words we use. Continue reading What we say and what we mean
Read other work by Roomana at:
Meri chittiyaan kaliyaan ve, oh baby meri chitiyaan kaliyaan ve….*
Aisha rolled her eyes as she stared at the huge tv screen in front of her while waiting for Asma to get her eyebrows done. Continue reading Top 10 Posts of 2017—No. 6
What is Poetry? Part 1
by Chris Eyes
Read other work by Chris at:
What is Poetry? Part 1
Poetry is the expanse of
the imagination that lies,
dormant though brooding
until it manifests itself in a bloom.
Poetry is a womb,
obsessed with itself
but self-aware enough
to know that it is bound for a tomb.
Poetry is a wound,
heartache expressed in words,
the reaction to how it hurts,
feeling how pain works,
like peeling back layers of a scab.
Poetry is a drab day,
suddenly lit by the sun’s rays,
bursting through gray cloud,
and splaying out, proud
to have finally beaten the gloom
and touching as much as it can.