“Bigger Picture” by L. J. Callis

to be so occupied with
“the bigger picture”
one loses sight of
the little things,
this dismissal of detail
dulls the perception
of life’s craftsmanship,
nature in its entirety
is beautiful
but the smaller aspects of nature
make it so
life in its entirety
is beautiful
but the smaller aspects of life
make it so
trees, flowers, grass
days, moments, memories
beautiful works
are accumulations of
beautiful detail.
Photograph made available by pine watt via Unsplash

“Better Than Dead” by Dalton Palmer

I am on my feet;

boss on my back–

just won’t cut me any slack.

With only few hours of sleep,

Contemplating on taking this leap.

Not sure how I got down this path I was led.

All I know is that it is at least better than dead.

Sometimes I feel as if this hole is too steep.

At the end of the day I get go home–

hug the kids, hug the wife–

a place where I no longer feel alone.

It’s not always easy, yet I still love my life.

We’ve built something great, and it surely is shown.

Everyday, hanging on with all my might.

 

Photograph made available by Matthew Brodeur via Unsplash

“The Sleazy Politician’s Tale (in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer)” by Heather Chamberlain

For years he’s lived in confusion,

unable to escape the delusion

that he doesn’t belong here; he never did.

Despite his efforts, he’s unable to rid

himself of this sour cognition:

that something strange separates him

from the people he’s been with all this time.

Something’s permeated and poisoned his mind.

Whatever it is, it’s gamy and sweet—

replete of exhilarating self-conceit—

that seed of malice born of the core.

Like a user, he yearns for more.

 

From amongst the shadows he emerged one night,

wandering in a dark forest and in quite

a curious predicament he was in—

not knowing where he was or where he’d been,

or who he was. He thought, how odd,

when the ground began to rattle and out of the fog

appeared a circus caravan brilliantly lit,

and they welcomed the drifter—a fellow misfit.

Virtuous people will do all that they can

to lend a fellow man a helping hand,

but ahead, bleak Destiny awaited;

that fearsome Huntress had them all baited.

 

He was as blissful as they of the depth of his nature,

but one’s heart can often be fooled by behavior.

The man’s goodness and honor were surely fictitious,

but his companions never became remotely suspicious

of his mysterious arrival that was quite dismaying.

They all had pasts not worth relaying.

In fact, they found the man extremely enchanting:

young, charismatic, and commanding.

They wanted his leadership and made up their mind.

They devised a plan and in no time

the old ringmaster was executed,

and the disease of power was rooted.

 

Photograph made available by Lukasz Szmigiel via Unsplash

“The Cold Winter Winds” by Luna Neira

The day Alex left, it became autumn

Only grief and sorrow could follow

I thought without her I was at rock bottom

Empty, soulless, above all hollow

 

Was it guilt or regret

I fell for another but was only a kiss

Did it drive me away or was she a threat?

From fiancee to a mere miss

 

But to Emily I am love and joy–

I am a shining beacon in a darkened abyss.

Our time together I’ve come to enjoy,

and now together we are it’s become pure bliss

 

She made me her Luna, her moon,

and somehow, she became my sun, my stars

The night we kissed I could tell that I was swoon

But I was imprisoned in my own bars.

 

But I am free, flying high above the sorrow

just as the leaves flutter down in the wind.

For it seems like winter is but tomorrow,

bringing its chilling winds, snowflakes descend.

 

The cold winter is upon us;

While I’m in love, I must confess my greatest sin:

I seem to be no better than Gus

sickly, ill, and a fool who felt love within.

 

Even if I am her moon

and I have no bars.

It seems no matter how I swoon,

there is a fault in my stars.

 

Photograph made available by David Dibert via Unsplash

 

“Shadow” by Heather Chamberlain

On the ground a familiar shadow is cast;

a scene I recall from a distant past.

Sunlight dances, tree branches sway-

out the window I gaze unto a previous day.

The shadow grows angry, and larger, and still

larger. I lean closer to the window sill.

It looms over a child; overbearing.

Spit erupts from its mouth as the shadow starts swearing.

Its dark fist pumps the air, then it raises its hand,

the little girl cowers; on her cheek it lands,

then again, and again, before the shadow storms away.

The girl remains frozen from her child’s play;

overcome with shame for her crime of the day.

Tears well in my eyes. I look away.

 

Photograph made available by Martino Pietropoli via Unsplash

 

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