Tanvi Kusum

tough girl,
i love how your hair curls
metal circles of carbon dreams,
dear, I want to see whats inside,
behind that mechanised smile.
I don’t know why you seem like sand,
the castle so delicate,
we’ve built you with rashed hands and pain,
 a finger here and a finger there,
i’ll find the right place to break you,
tough girl,
it’s okay,
no one can break you after i’m done,
have you ever heard of anyone crushing sand?
it’s true, man eaters aren’t left with any men.
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Jamie

There are storms inside people we will never see,
People with faces the color of rain and insipid dew.
We find sorrow in ourselves.
Never quite sure if it’s the air that’s killing us,
Or the love we surround ourselves with.

One day we will find ourselves wondering
Why the air tastes like salt just before daylight
Or why the ocean has a voice.
We’ll see faces of strangers in constellations,
And not know why they look so familiar

It’s because we have been here before,
And these are lives we’re forced to live
Over and over again,
Until being alive becomes waves of verbatim

That’s why we fall for people who taste like poison
We call it love: to find someone more damaged than we are,
To steal the scars from skin and wear them as our own
Because the pain makes us feel like we’re living.

In the end, we are all just someone else’s ghosts.

You can find more by this author on- https://vacancyinmind.wordpress.com/

Valentyna Holloway

Read me

I can feel when You read what I write.
My breath holds for a beat.
My heart becomes swollen with love for You.
My hips become tense.
My spine unloosens.
I can feel You, and I think of You.
Communicating through silence,
that You will smile when You read this.
Involuntary.
Like the way my body throbs for You.
You exhale and I inhale, like an
inevitable fissure. On repeat.
The weight of silence between us
causing my ears to ring ~ do You
feel it too?
The things I want to say, but I never
communicate. The things I am so
cryptic about I think only You might
be able to figure them out ~ or
remember. I do too.
I remember the little things, and I
sigh, I imagine You reaching for that
sigh like reaching for a cat. Letting
it curl in Your lap. Stroking it until
it relaxes ~ and I do too.
The way You unfold Your arms, the
way Your body moves, the way You
shift in Your seat at times. My
writing so intense that it causes
tremors to run through You.
Intense, pulsing, throbbing ~
I feel it too. I whisper a wish
I am too frightened to say even
between my words. As the syllables
leave my mouth all I can fathom
is Your mouth on mine, intent,
passionate, burning, sparking that
inferno that rises to crescendo ~
You feel it too. And I wonder if
all we have left in this moment is
the hushed sadness leaving my
lips that I crave You, right now.
Yet I know when I close my eyes
You will be there. And I will be there
for You. Language will turn us inside
out, language will be lost in our embraces,
languages of tongues replacing them for
our arcane history will seep through and
pulse through words until all I can form
is Your name. Nothing else will make sense.
Two in the morning I will unravel like a
ball of twine and I will want You with me,
I won’t want You to leave me, I want You
skin on skin, no space between, just
electricity, just inferno, just the blaze.
And in that all too brief moment, we
will both understand.
This is what eternity feels like.
This is what eternity feels like.
This is what eternity feels like.

You can find more by this author on- https://valentynedreams.wordpress.com/

Tanvi Kusum

You handed me thorns 
And I gladly pushed them into my body,
You were marking your territory, maps on my cells
Killing them one by one,
Flags of your ownership, and my loss,
And I couldn’t feel a thing against my pounding heart. 
I knew you were wrong, I knew you were wrong,
I was in love you know,
Especially with the idea of you inside my head.
Hopelessly romantic, pathetically stupid,
Me.

Your neck against mine, caressing softly,
I forgot about the smoke filled room, 
and my hate for cigarattes.
I see it all, it doesn’t blur, 
But I’m so dizzy in love, it feels so good. 
Make me believe in you, tell me I’m beautiful, 
Tell me your lies and things about stars,
And I’ll gladly become the fool, 
Because oh, it feels so good to be loved.

Himanshu Bhatnagar

The Feast

Sometimes I’ve already written what I can’t write today…..

Tear me apart, limb from limb

You all can have your share….

I looked for love, found hunger; but

That’s neither here nor there.

Eat of my flesh, don’t hesitate

I’m sure it’s to your taste

Clean each fibre off each white bone

Don’t let any go waste

Peck harder to reach my entrails

My liver, lungs, my heart

Savor my organs, bathed in blood

Eat savage, ‘tis no art.

Poke out my eyes, chew on my tongue

Smash in my skull to see

My brain splatter and realize,

There’s no eternity.

You can find more by this author on- https://hbhatnagar.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/the-feast-a-self-repost/

Akriti Jain

Dear Sylvia,

More of me lives away from my existence
Pieces swimming oceans
Burning with forest fires
Roaming naked unlike my caged spirit
Running wild with rage, absolute anarchy
More of me dwells in thunderstorms and hurricanes
That threaten you and the survival of this dusty world
In the hearts of rebels, souls of sycamores and in indefinite shades of art.
I breathe i breathe i breathe.
I’m the high tides of the troubled sea
And the courage in the eyes of lost wanderers
I’m expanding in every direction, I’m infinite.

I’m broken into
A million fragments,
But I’m universe.

H. Bhatnagar

Evenings

The evening shadow curls around

Enveloping me without a sound

I close my eyes and let it seep

Through my chest and in so deep

Slowing my heart to pulses low

Till scarcely can I feel it flow

The bitter ice then cools my throat

In numbness I find myself afloat

The darkening haze then hides from view

Though just for seconds, precious few

All the world I will not see

Space condenses to only me…..

A fiery smoke ignites my breath

in such hours I am fond of death

I call it to take me away

Like believers to gods pray

Just take this hurt, this pain, this strife

This ache, this blood, this breath, this life.

I beg, cajole, and urge, and plead

I cry for what I sorely need

But like your god, death insensate

ignores and leaves me to my fate

Fate, that laughing, taunting beast

When needed most, provides the least

Sees me fall, hovers above

Lets loose its demons, hope and love

And as they chew on me, I cry

“You’ve had your fill! Now let me die!”

But they will not hear my plea

They like the taste too much you see

So they leave me lying here

A wreck for which no one would care

And go as I call out in vain

Tomorrow they will feast again.

You can find more by this author on- https://hbhatnagar.wordpress.com

Tanvi Kusum

I’m like the heavy bulk of a sinking ship
Riding on me is my self esteem
Drowning in the negativity
First bow then stern
Look at me vanish
Let me be home to the fishes now
Let wolves feed on my corpse.

Someone told me that they wished they were there to save Sylvia, it made me smile because really we all wish we were. But it actually wasn’t possible. I can’t say for sure if it was or wasn’t, but for me I think it wasn’t. Not because she was beyond hope, but because you couldn’t see.
Everyday thousands pass us, sad and unhappy, and yet we are helpless, moving with our lives, living our struggle. I see it impossible to say to someone what I really feel, because frankly I don’t know what I feel. One day I’m happy, in the sun, dancing, listening to birds, lying down in the grass, being one of those indomitable ones of nature, and a heart which echoes the unlimited possibilities. And the second day, here I am, lying in my dark room, smelly bed sheets, worse self confidence and bleak prospects. It is not like I don’t have friends, or getting more friends will make it better. I really don’t know what will.
I just know this is how I am, and thousands pass me every day, they not helping me, me not helping them, each stuck in our own storm, quivering in life.

( Image is Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream)
(You can find more by this author on- http://tanvikusum.wordpress.com/)

H Bhatnagar

scream

Efface

If you can’t look life in the face

Then it’s really not a life worth living

I’ve tried to get through it with grace

But I have grown tired of giving

I’m made to feel so out of place

And told the world’s unforgiving

I could vanish without a trace

And nothing would be missing

I’m a waste of useful space I’m tired,

I’m tired of living.

You can find more by this author on- https://hbhatnagar.wordpress.com (The painting is Edvard Munch’s  The Scream)

Tate Viviano

tate

Dreams in a Forest

In the forest the lonely crow caws.

It’s voice echoes in the silence.

I am the only one who hears it’s call.

As I sit next to my fire trying to stay warm.

I hear the foreboding in it’s shrill voice.

I know that loneliness.

I look around searching for the silhouette

of another lost soul.

But I find nothing.

In the forest I hear the yelp of the hungry fox.

I hear the weariness in it’s sobbing.

It’s sly ways have got it nowhere.

I hear the soft pats of its footfall.

I see its shadowy form approaching my pitiful food stores.

I break off what I can spare for the wretched beast.

It’s better to have company on these dark nights.

I hear the crash of a falling tree.

The fox runs in fright.

I am alone again.

I walk to the sight of the dead elder.

I need it’s corpse to keep my fire going.

I threw it’s legs upon the flames and they rose in triumph.

“From ash you came to ash you shall become!” I hear in the crackle of burning wood.

I stay next to the warmth until the sand man takes me away.

In my dreams I see a phantom.

It is blacker than the night I just left.

It follows me as I walk threw the forest of dreams.

I see my companions the Crow and the Fox.

They lay in the belly of a giant ash tree.

The phantom approaches us and beckons me to follow it.

It shows me a scene I’ve seen before.

We walk to a hole six feet deep.

At the bottom there is a door.

It hands me a key and says ” The time has come to leave this place.”

As I put the key into the whole I hear the tumblers fall.

The door begins to creek open and I see…

I see the smoldering remains of my fire in a forest.

I put my bread crust into my pocket and I journey on.

Still haunted by this dream.

When will that time come?

When will I finally see what lies behind the door?

The crow perched on the branch of an ash tree calls out.

“Not yet my friend.”

And I walk on.

You can find more by this author on- https://tateviviano.wordpress.com/

(Photo contributed by author himself)