Image by: Sharon Xu
Image by: Sharon Xu
I'll never be free by Erin Frank
With just a glance I am consumed by thoughts of you
Hopes of what might have been
Memories of how we ended
But with the sweet press of your lips to mine I fall even deeper than before
You have control of me
You take me away with the delicate whispers you sing in my ear
And hold my power captive
Break me in every possible way
Your voice still dances through my mind
And I will always come back for you
Burn by Braelyn Cheer
Closer. Closer. The torch was so close. It brushed against the oil soaked kindling, and the wood burst into flames. The fire licked greedily at the logs, dancing around Lydia’s bound feet. Her clothes began to smoke, her face twisted in pain as she struggled against the ropes that held her.
“Burn the witch!” someone bellowed from the crowd.
“Down with the she-devil!” More voices joined in, a jumbled mix of shouts and jeers, taunts and insults. Rotten vegetables flew through the air, landing at the foot of the stake to which the girl was bound.
At the back of the crowd, hidden in the shadows, Brenna closed her eyes. It should have been her on that platform, tied up and burning at the stake.
Broken Friend by Alecia Winchester
I guess in a way I wasn’t meant to be
I am nothing and nothing is me
My tongue is metal, I start to choke
My heart was blooming, my head was broke
My wiring was pulled and covered in dust
They poured through my sockets, leaking with rust
My eyes were missing just under the table
My brain was static but perfectly stable
My ribs were plastic, bending with heat
Fingers elastic, at least at the seams
I pull my rib from out it’s place
And tear it out, with a new metal taste
I reach inside my broken parts
And pull out a rose, one of my hearts
And give it to someone like you and again
Expect them to love a broken friend
Two Horsemen by Logan Webster
Two horsemen on a bridge
Above a chasmal valley
Equally skilled, equally clad
Fifty feet apart, they stand
Leering and judging the other
Both perfectly calm
For such a mortally dependant encounter
...A stone is dropped from the bridge
It falls silently into the river below
Plop, plop, plop…
The eerie echoes ring through the air
Seconds later, perfect silence
The air, thick with tension
A raven glides by
And perches on a nearby branch
The stark bird is glaring
The silence is ended in a single moment
Go the bridles of the horses
The riders buckle down
Lances in hand, they meet
This had been a mere test
The opponents continue to opposite sides
The evaluating and judging never ceasing
Ready to end it
They face each other and prepare
The horses charge again
Lances are brandished
The final moments
Who will be overpowered?
Dawn by Emma Breton
the world keeps turning without you
there will always be a new dawn
bringing new triumphs
and to crash down on you, new hurt
dawn is painful
bringing all your downfalls you the light
forcing you to face yourself
your instincts tell you to run
to cocoon yourself in your bed
to retreat into your darkness
we’re powerless against the dawn
nothing can be done to prevent it or slow it down
the dawn must come
will you rise to face the light
or let the world beat you down
because the dawn will always come
Save the Earth by Liam Jones
Where the power goes by Wesley Massey
The calls, the cries, the pleas, I hear
Though strength comes not as told, I fear
Do forgive my mouth for its screams
To hold it back would muffle the song
So press these words right to your ear
And come now, dance along.
Forgive these eyes for their dryness
They’ve been blocked down to the sinus
Their doors barred, forever it seems
And I haven’t the courage to knock
Oh, press these words to your eyelids
And come now, up we’ll lock
Forgive these ears for their catches
They’ve been better at detaches
Their awareness, lessens they’d deem
And I haven’t the will to fix them
Oh, press these words to your patches
And come now, nip the stem
Forgive these wrinkles for their sag
They’ve seen days worse come out to drag
Their crooked forms enact their own schemes
And I haven’t the force to push back
Oh, press these words against your flag
And come now, cut to black
And oh, how I know myself too well
Intimate with every nook and cranny
Knowing me, an area you shan’t excel
It’s best this way, buy this that I sell
Oh, press this knowledge to your heart
Let my power go here and the rest fall apart.
brandon by Ella Pegan
look at brandon go!
he drank his respecting women juice, and now he can fly!
he’s a superhero!
be like brandon!
Cat and Mouse by Heidi Elder
They’re back. I knew they would be, but it’s just my luck that these guys never seem to forget about me. I hope they brought guns this time. Guns are always easier to handle. Don’t get me wrong, they still hurt like hell but getting every single one of your fingers chopped off again and again isn’t any picnic either. I wonder where they’re hiding this time; they always manage to find a new hiding spot, and it’s always where I least expect it.
I turn down another aisle and the sound of gunfire engulfs the used book store. So much for a place of peace and quiet… Each bullet that manages to hit me stings and then the pain moves outwards until each wound has extended its limbs to join together into one massive headache.
My foot drags and I stumble forward, bracing myself on a bookshelf. They see me coming and they all scatter like rats. At this point, the most I can do is shake my fist at them and hope it sends a strong enough message. Everything around me seems duller because they got my left eye and ear, probably with the same shot to tell you the truth.
I grit my teeth as my ear pops when it regenerates itself. Gee, you would think after all this time, they would think to bring something stronger than shotguns and pistols. Of course, maybe they aren’t even trying to kill me… I haven’t considered that one before. Maybe they enjoy this little game we play: cat and mouse. I take in the damage they inflicted. It’s going to take me months to replace all the books they so graciously took the liberty of abridging for me. Guns, knives, hatred and revenge; that’s all this is right now but I guess it’s partly my fault for keeping this going. It wouldn’t be so outrageous to even go so far as to say that I enjoy it in the sense that it keeps me busy.
I lurch sideways as my left eye pops back; the explosion in my head nearly making me sick. Honestly, this would be so much more enjoyable if they stopped aiming at my face— at this rate it might scar. Oh dear. I pick up a ruined book from the ground. Cat and mouse, huh? Then I suppose it’s my turn to be the cat. Let’s see how much they like an immortal predator.
painted by Edward Hopper (1927)
Automat by Jocelyn Van Hees
She sat with her legs crossed, right atop the left. Her hand curled around the handle for grip as she patiently waited for her date. The automat was quiet, save for the busboy, carrying the slop covered plates from empty tables to the bubbly sink in the back kitchen. With her gloved hand on the saucer, she lifted the bitter earl gray tea to her lips. She hates tea. Her mere grasp on the cold cup was all that contained her heartache. This was the second time she was stood up by George. The silence was palpable. She fretted, what if this night foreshadowed the rest of her life? How would her fragile heart withstand such a fate? Suddenly, the bell chimed signalling a new customer about to enter. Her doubts slipped away. She immediately shifted into a more sophisticated poise. With the grace of a ballerina, she carefully adjusted her freshly coiffed curls, open to the possibility that George would save the evening after all. Her eyes were full of hope as she gazed over her shoulder, beaming coquettishly, only for her smile to droop along with her curls. A man with a small moustache and a receding hairline announced, “Last call, time to go.” staring directly at her. While collecting herself, she stood from her chair and dropped a fist-full of coins from her coat pocket onto the table. She avoided what she perceived as a bitter gaze from the owner of the automat as she awkwardly left.
The wind from the cool, moonless night hit her squarely in the face. She tightly hugged her vermillion green coat to protect herself against the bite of the wind. She reflected on the evening and realized George's power. How easily George had assumed power over her. The thought struck her numb, how easily she had permitted George to assume control over her.
Untitled by Lillian Johnson
No grave can contain me, no death can close my eyes.
I will be here long after you have crumbled to dust and the skin melts off your bones.
When the last tree has fallen and the sun takes a bite out of the earth.
I will push up, up and away from the place you call home.
And while you are fumbling through oblivion, I am endless.
The Powers of the Word by Kate-Lynn McGowan
Negotiations, war, and peace
Brings political standards
Wrong, traditional, and popular.
Great anger and soaring happiness
To do unbelievable things
Either wrong or right.
Raw, untameable elements
Brings destruction and calm
Water, wind, fire, earth.
Chaotic, yet controlled with fear
To do unimaginable things
Slaughtering the helpless, creating suffering.
Gentle words, smiles, and encouragement
Brings help and reassurance
Changing humans’ lives for the better.
Your own power
Beliefs, insecurities, and confidence
To do what you set your heart and mind to
Strong, defiant, and determined.
Many powers are at play
In a world so large and dangerous
Let your spirit guide you
To the one that holds your say.
fairyfairyfairy by Liam Jones
Fight for Power by Olivia Ersil
The world is ending,
And all I can do is watch.
With mass hysteria comes chaos.
And brings with it much worse.
Scared faces peer through sterilized windows,
As people’s inner demons come to light.
They’ve overridden any logic,
And reckless beings fearfully emerge.
The ones in fear
Are the cause of their own pain.
And as they hide behind towers of food and money,
The nightmares inside of them take control.
They fight for power,
With bloodied fists,
They put on a horrible show,
As they struggle to take things,
That will never be theirs.
So yes, the world may be ending,
But at least I can watch.
Untitled by Hailey Laliberté
We hold the power.
We weave the spider’s web.
We tell the stories, we write the books, we make our own history.
And then the web starts to decay.
A new player has entered the game.
Something unexpected, something powerful.
Ah, the web was a web of lies.
We didn’t hold the power.
We were simply the caretakers of power,
Weaving desperately to hold it intact,
Denying any vulnerability.
Something that shouldn’t be.
Something begins to unravel our web of lies,
Leaving all the poor, unfortunate liars hanging, helpless.
Truth is a pitiless conqueror.
Lack Thereof by Rebecca Kempe
You can’t talk about power without mentioning its absence. Because power is a construct. It’s a construct we created to organize ourselves when things are going well. The people in charge have access to more knowledge and more resources and in turn, they keep systems running so we don’t have to. When things go well, they go better for those in power than for those who aren’t. And when things go bad, they typically go worse for those who aren’t in power. But that’s not the problem right now, is it? No one, not even the people in power, has any knowledge right now. No one has any idea what to do. And guess what? We’re all getting screwed over this time. And pretty badly, too.
Koi by Sharon Xu
The power of a smile by Brynn Duggan
A smile has the power to
make someone’s day
A sweet message
has the power to
Save a life
A long hug
has the power to
Make someone happy to be alive
A kind word
A shared laugh
An open door
A dollar left on the road
A gift given
All have the power to
Make someone’s life better
An evil glare
has the power to
Ruin someone’s day
A rude message
has the power to
End a life
A push away
has the power to
Make someone wish they were dead
Laughs behind backs
A door slammed shut
A dollar stolen
A gift taken away
All have the power to
Make someone’s life worse
We, each and everyone of us
The power to ruin or save a life.
It’s up to you.
Sunflowers by Liam Jones
Hidden Within by Charlotte Rasmussen
I hide in the shadows. Only talking when talked to and only leaving when dismissed. I do as they say, never stepping out of line, waiting until the perfect moment to fight back. At night, when no one is watching, I practice. I practice exercising the gift my family has passed down for generations, a gift that no one but I know about. I strengthen my powers and will continue strengthening them until I feel I am strong enough to win the upcoming battle. I will one day be free to be my own master. They do not know what is to come, for they underestimate my power within.
Untitled by Newt Randall
The fields were quiet. No breeze ruffled the leaves, and no creatures stirred in the tall grass. It was as if the world knew to bow down in respect for him. He sat atop a steed, not a horse or mule, but a creature with scales rough as rock and breath hot like the sun. Her mighty claws sent loose dirt adrift in plumes of dust when she walked.
On the path, something crept away from the safety of the grass into plain view. A rat, maybe a large mouse. It disrespected him. It mocked him. How dare such a pitiful creature stand in his way. He dismounted the dragon, and gestured at the insolent beast on his path.
Powerless. by Oonagh Calkin
I can give someone the power over me
But I am never powerful
I make mistakes and those mistakes empower others
But I am never empowered
They tell me kind lies, sweet nothings,
And so they receive the power that comes with being loved
But I never get anything in return
They hurt me,
Sometimes I let them and sometimes I fail to stop them
Either way, it gives them power
Power to hurt me again, to hurt others
Through it all, I remain powerless.
Affirmations by Ella Wade
Every morning I get up, look in the mirror, and tell myself:
“I am awesome.”
“I am beautiful.”
“I am enough.”
“I do not care what anyone thinks of me.”
“I do not murder people in my backyard.”
“I do not feel like someone’s watching me 24/7.”
“And I am a strong, powerful, independent woman, who can do anything she puts her mind to!”
I will say this until I believe it.
Power of the pretty by Tara Fitzgerald
You hold the power.
The power to help, to heal,
The power to save the world.
But what do you do with your power?
With your perfect hair, perfect eyes, perfect body,
You strut down the halls like you own planet earth,
Like everyone will bow at your feet,
And they will.
Hundreds upon thousands of likes,
The friend groups,
You have it all. Yet you still have the audacity to complain about how you look?
Everyone you know and don't know is in love with you,
You get any guy you want,
Anyone will do anything for you,
And it doesn't matter how nice you are about it,
Because you're pretty.
You're mean, and vile and a nuisance.
But no one cares,
Because the only thing they see is your beauty.
Yet you still complain about how hard it is,
Being so loved.
You tell your made up tales of woe,
And everyone sheds their tears, for you.
But you have no idea what it's like not being a part of the upper part of our society.
You don't know what it's like to not be beautiful.
You don't know what it's like to live as most do, as I do.
But go on, do what you want.
Because try as I may if there's one thing I've learned,
It's that things will never change.
Power of the pretty will forever be how the world functions.
Long live the queen.
Can He Regret by Jenna Mihalchan
He looked down on her from his throne, the glint in his eyes amplified the feeling of his being above her. Above her in status, wealth, power. Ludo knelt before him, just below the steps which lead up to the throne. The usurper, she could hardly call him a King, laughed at the state of her clothes.
She wore a dress that had been ripped and smeared in dirt because of her attempted escape. Ludo gazed up at him; observing his demeanour, Keisan appeared amused. The golden cape he wore covered the back of the throne and dragged down to the bottom of the steps. An equally golden crown which rested crookedly on his head much suited his look of smugness.
Keisan looked down at her one final time and spoke, “Well, let’s get this over with shall we.” He raised his hand and Ludo rose with it. Keisan telekinetically crushed her windpipe, rendering her unable to scream out. She was now 15 feet above the ground, her legs flailing but she never stopped glaring at him.
“Sorry it had to be like this Ludovica.” With that, he squeezed harder until she could no longer breathe. Until she blacked out.
Keisan regarded the ashes scattered across the floor. He wouldn’t forget her face. The face she made the moment he squeezed so hard she burst apart. It was a face of pure hatred.
Power by Rose Basu
We all fight for it. We will go to extreme measures for a title, for money, for our reputation. The streets will teach you a lot about power. Low income bodies working their way up the food chain only to be knocked down by the system. Loyalty and hustling are said to take people to the top. Once the top has been reached, you feel indestructible. Toxic God complex. It can get you killed.
Seaside by Liam Jones
Power deception by Hannah Blauer
The door opens and a tall scrawny man comes into the room. Facing him is another man inviting him to sit down on the opposite side of the table where he is sitting.
Kev: Hey, Ted, thanks for coming, please sit down. Could I give you a small hypothetical scenario and you tell me what you think about it?
Kev: Ok here it goes. What if a girl sat in a corner down the hall with a group of friends surrounding her. She was talking about how much homework she had, and how all her teachers hate her. She passed her hand through her straight golden hair and laughed. Would this be an example of a powerless person?
Ted: No power? What do you mean? Of course she’s powerful! Look at her. She has friends, she's laughing, gossiping, she’s got nice hair, she’s having a great time, she’s popular… Why wouldn't she have any power?
Whitehorse, 2019 by Liam Jones
This is how it felt to be alone, in Whitehorse. There’s a thing about the North. It isolates you. The power of the arctic circle. It’s rhythmic. It’s in the air. Mother Earth, her body is the hills, and the sand, and the wind, and all.
I remember this loneliness comes in waves. It pulsates through me and through you, and it's a cycle. A cycle of life, a cycle of love. In this loneliness, I am reminded of my life. Grounds me to our earth. We love it because it reminds us we are here, by God, breathing the breaths we breathe and being blessed enough to experience the rise and fall of ribs, and the heaving of a heart, and the jitters of the brain, the blisters of the skin, and the spit in my mouth… the salt of the land. Until, in some 80 years, I dissolve. And in some 100 years more, the last fragments of my skull are swallowed by the earth, into the womb I originated from, and I become all, again. I am never alone here.
Heavenroad by Liam Jones