Congratulations to the winners of our latest poetry contest.


Connor McSweeney

Sometimes, when I wake up,
I think to myself,

It's amazing that even in the most crowded of places
I still feel alone

I'm not trying to be anyone at the moment
I'm a little confused
It's taking all of my energy simply to prevent myself from

I have a few problems
Some things that I need to work on
And it's funny to me

I never knew what poetry was,
until I carved it into my wrists


Sometimes I'd whisper
into a fading candle all my
thoughts and secrets no one
and when the candle died
so did my secrets
And they were safe
That was when I tasted freedom
on my tongue
and drew into myself
and lived in my own thoughts
in what some would call a
creative slump
I didn't
I called it an awakening
And that was back when I ran out
of candles
And became unawakened
and went to join the rest of the
And wound up losing myself

Samantha Shea

She sat on the back porch
Her dirty feet dangling off,
As she perched on the railing,
Mimicking the pelican she watched so closely.
The sand stretched out in front of her
And the pelican smiled from the driftwood stump,
That lay on its side near the marshy grass.

She bit deep into an orange slice
And grinned
As she pressed the peel up against her gums
And laughed slightly
As the pelican cocked its head
Watching the tiny girl.

She licked her lips
Sucking off the juicy droplets
That lingered there,
Then flew off the railing
And swooped down at the pelican
As it quickly spread its wings
And took off.

Robert Allen Saunders

the need, when with you,
to drive over a hundred miles

an hour, talking, smiling, laughing,
slowing only to glimpse over,

my eyes sliding over your figure,
while you pretend to not notice,

covering casually your exposed skin
beautifully decorated inch by inch

with red and purple that blend together
on the white canvas of your arm.

the canvas you spend hours on everyday, agonizing,
deliberating, then finally painfully deciding

where to place the next stroke
of your blade. driving

with you I often desire
that we were more than friends


with crayons
Robert Allen Saunders

together, facing
each other,
we sat in the sandbox

with only a coloring
book and crayons
between us,

scribbling our love
over lines and borders.

never noticing
what colors ground
their way into our book,

so long as the blank spaces
of our love filled.

we smiled and laughed
as we wore down,
with friction and force,
the instruments
of our love,

until no crayons were
left and we separated
to find others


My mother lights candles at night
And sits in the living room, smoking the last five of her pack-a-day
She sits there in silence, and cries.
She cries at least four times a week
And if she's lucky, she smiles twice.
My mother stirs two sugars into her tea
when she's not drinking vodka and club soda.
She's honest about most things and hides the rest of her secrets.
She can't spell or calculate division in her head.
She dropped out of high school in the beginning of tenth grade for my
She's picky about her men but she has all the wrong preferences.
When she falls in love, she falls hard into love.
And it hurts, so she cries.
And it aches, so she drinks.
And it's painful, so she yells out of anger
and smokes to calm herself down.
My mother lights candles at night
because her life is so chaotic
She has no other way to rest.

wash away.
Jerome Hurley

won't you wash
me away as quickly
as you purged those stains of dust
living inside my cottonblend shirts so,
noah, flood flood
go ahead;
these typing hands
have the same amount of nothingness
as any other soul-
less mess of atoms borrowing time
in somebody else's universe
-- for my advice to you is
to not listen to any, because
facial scars
and existence
become clearer
only after they've

Seeking James Dean
Shaun D. Hutchinson

I suppose it was a delusion
to think you meant it when
we were next to one another.

It was an easy trap to fall into.
After all, there was the favor of
the kiss that was slow.

My blonde hair slicked, my
blue shirt pressed,
my smile switched on, when

you surely must have wanted darker
and brooding
like your current.

You must kiss him slow, just like
we did, in your car,
with my door open.

He must be quiet
and subtle
and full of James Dean.

And maybe you sleep
on the couch with him,
the shades drawn.

He can still see your eyes,
the very jade of your charm, and
you know it.

He probably pauses between kisses
to look at you with a
fierce fascination, the way

I should have, the way you
would have like me to,

when I smiled at you,
a dog wagging its tail to its trainer
rolling a paper.


here we go again
déjà vu, attempt number two
to resuscitate our
flat-lined conversation
bringing up old news with
small talk, when we both want to walk
away from this
all we know is we can't, we won't
we could've, but we don't
cuz that'll only widen the distance
between us

it's like a silent scene,
from the movie screen
unedited and uncut, but
what you don't see is that
it's stupid and insane
how I have to wrack my brain
for the right thing to say to you,
when, God, we were so close…

i feel the distance when
i stand right next to you
and i think, you feel it too
i hate it and i find more, i
wish it's like before
i think about it and cry, cuz
i always wonder why
it's so damn hard-the lengths i'm leaping
to have another genuine laugh with you

maybe someday
in some way
attempt number three,
between you and me,
won't stop at and dead end when
we can't think of anything to say
and when i stand next
to you
there isn't any distance
because we've both crossed the
endless miles
and found it

So Cool
Megan Skowronek

Plaids and stripes don't go
But they go on you
You make animal skin look good
You make ME look good

You make 9 am mass a cool thing
Never had a summer fling
Perfect, in everyway
Explain it to me
How you can be
So cool, so cool

Red and blue don't go
But they go on you
You make t-shirts look good
You make ME look good

You make fly-fishing totally fab
Never failed a Chem lab
Perfect, in everyway
Explain it to me
How you can be
So cool, so cool

Rainbows and rain clouds don't go
And they don't go on you
That's okay
I still love you anyway
Perfect, in everyway

Jaime Delgrosso

my calculator
tells me it's bored of adding
so i multiply

Mars in Opposition
Olivia Murphy

My father twiddled with a telescope,
my mom held a cat up close,
and whispered to it and my sister.
I sat down,
neck craned back,
in new jeans to match my curves,
socked toes pointed from a year of ballet.
The world paused.
Somewhere someone was making love,
someone was weeping
someone being born
and someone passing on.
Yet while all that happened,
Mars crept nearer,
closer then it had been since days of endless ice and snow.
And I saw it.
another no-one no-one knew,
and I wanted to be more.
Red dust worked magic on my mind,
and astrology came true.