– yet –

at the point between day and the quaking, cold night
when the sun has turned to lavender
and the moon is a part of the clouds

i stand in the dim glory of being completely alone
falling swift and silent into orange skies
my heartbeat stuck still and – yet – loud


dream up a silver wood

Two journal entries from a character that I’ve been developing – Ronnie Jay Beckham, age 14:
-undated, early in the year-

I had a dream that I was wandering silver woods.  The branches tore at my ragged skin and the metallic mist clung to my bones until I stepped in time to its whispering beat.

I walked past the edge of the earth, and nothing could pull me back.  My thinning courage was nothing in the face of the wild dark; not when it pushed and dug into my backbone and my feet refused to obey me.  Hidden eyes and lips hissed words that I can’t remember, and broken branches cringed beneath my feet.

I remember feeling a haunting swell in my chest, a tingling in my toes, and I knew that I was walking into the devil’s lair.  Shackled and gagged, I was forced to watch helpless as spirits suffered for the satisfaction of a gray angel.

Faces surrounded me – faces I knew; gentle, shattered eyes, downturned lips, and shaking hands.  I knew them – I remember this – but names and images have faded away as consciousness grips me and pulls me out of my illusions.

But all I can think is that I might not be enough to protect them.

-five days after previous entry-

I had that dream again.

Only this time, as the lonely mist enveloped me, I could hear voices – voices whispering, but mostly voices crying, voices screaming, voices begging.  And once again, I knew them.  The pain of the voices followed me everywhere I turned, but I could never reach them, could never save them.

I remember breaking down in the dream, feeling nearly as they did – knowing that I could never protect them enough.

And here I come to the definite conculsion: this is not the life I want for them.

Hearts burn and rust from spiteful words and neglect and I feel drowned in their silent tears.  I wish – more than anything – that those I care about would know what I’d do to keep them safe.  I’m small and I’m weak and I’m absolutely afraid, but I’ll be strong for the hearts at stake.

I’ll be strong for the hearts – the hearts burning at the stake.

Because they deserve more than that.

When I finally woke up from that dream – the names and faces drifting away the same as the mist that had enveloped me – I was shaking, and tears were streaming down my face.  I don’t quite remember who I saw there – who was crying, who was screaming – but I will protect them as fiercely as a terrified weakling can.

I sat curled up on the couch for the rest of the night.

“What made you an alley cat scratching me?
You dig deep with your nails and flash your teeth
And run off to where your next big meal could be
What made you an alley cat scratching me?
You dig deep with your nails and flash your teeth
And run off because you must be tired of me
Run off because you must be tired of me”

– Alleycat, by Sherwood

Favorite Things

“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”

My red friend, turned pink and now gray, has those eyes that look like pain but feel like love.  Sometimes when he stares at you, right in the eye, you feel as if he’s the only person in the world that understands your hurt.  But the fact remains: he doesn’t see you at all and he doesn’t understand a thing.  He doesn’t give you butterflies – hasn’t in years – so you thought you were both fine to smile and listen and just be friends, but sometimes you don’t know when someone you care about doesn’t give one fig about you.

I suppose I shouldn’t be making judgements, but his half-formed smile tears me apart just as a dog’s fangs clinging to my heart.

And the honeybee, with his sweet disposition, still can sting.

It’s fine and all, reassuring myself that I still have so much left to be thankful for – my favorite things – until I remember that the only things that I had in the first place that were worth living for were my faithful dog and my sweet honeybee.

Not Shy

Shy is not the word that most people would use to describe me.  Perhaps awkward or strange or weird or even crazy, but not shy.  My hands don’t shake, my lips don’t quiver, and my smile seems as genuine as can be, but inside…oh, inside, my blood is fire and ice, my stomach is pulsing in my toes, and my heart is leaping about in my chest.  I’m as cool as a cucumber, I sing like a lark, I’m a little friendly talk-a-lot.  But with you, I feel my confidence falter and I become, heaven forbid, shy.

Good Riddance

“Mik, I am trying my best to be nice, but I swear, if you say another word or so much as move an inch, I will tear you apart!”  My voice shook as I spoke, and I held my pencil as if I would stab him with it.  Mik laughed a little, like he always did, probably thinking I was joking.  My face turned hot with anger and the pencil snapped.  Mik’s laughter stopped in an instant.

The air seemed to be thicker than pudding.  There were a few moments of silence as I glared at him, the two halves of the pencil digging into my palm, and he stared right back, wide eyed.  Perhaps he was thinking of all the times that I had been angry with him and he had passed it off for a well-played joke.  Or, more likely, he was completely and utterly surprised and confused at my apparently sudden anger.  No doubt he was the only one who didn’t see it coming.

Mik sighed dramatically, rolled his eyes a little, and took a single step closer to me.  Immediately, the alarm bells went off in my brain.  Too close, too close, too close.  I didn’t like to be touched.  The blood in my arms and hands felt as if they were burning my insides.  The pressure was too much and he was too close.  I screamed through my teeth, threw the broken pencil pieces at him, and stormed out of the room.  I was done with all this.  I was done with Mik, and trying not to hurt something, and my reluctancy to climb over the walls in my way for fear of hurting their feelings.  I was done.

And good riddance.

We’ll Always Be Broken If Not A Word Is Spoken

Someday I will find this secret
buried in the sand
It breaks my heart to see your secret
how you hold it in your hand
I may not know what you are going through
but one day I will get through to you
You fall in your heart in the pit thereof
I fall with my heart when I’m falling in love
Now we both fall,
we both crawl.
And we never speak a word
Just struggling against the world
You can see
trying to flee
And I knew
would always stay true
But these questions, these answers, they tear us apart
and the fairy kisses that remain in your heart
Are escaping to me
Just set them free
and tell me
what you need
to sing.

Like A Tomato

I am like a tomato, an acquired taste
When left alone, I rot.
One wrong move and I am destroyed
Crushed and thrown
Used against people who
May be like me –
Forgotten, judged, lost, scared
I am like a tomato, even I don’t like me
Easily ruined
The foolish man took me up
And threw me at the wise man
The wise man took a knife to my skin
And the pain meant nothing
I was put to good use
That was everything
I have no control, but it’s for the better
The trash can is where I belong
Sometimes I like to make a fool out of people
Splatter my red insides all over them
Smother them
I am quick to annoy, quick to stain
I am a tomato
All my efforts are efforts in vain

The Dream I Have Never Forgotten

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t terrified of space.  That black curtain of nothingness, the cold and merciless void.  It surrounds the life that we have created here, a foreboding warning to all those who dream of something more than this earth.  There is nothing out there but death.  Nothing by empty space.

The most memorable dream I ever had, and also the most terrifying, was the beginning spark to my unwavering fear of space.  It seemed to be a normal dream at the time.  In the dream, my family and I were flying to the moon in a space ship.  My siblings and I were all young at the time, my youngest brother Matthew hardly a toddler.

We arrived at the moon, and everyone was excited to get out and see the gray dust and black sky.  It was an adventure.  The doors flung open and we stepped outside, jumping so high we thought we might float away.  But the moment we turned and saw little Matthew stumble out the door like the clumsy little boy that he was, we shouted in alarm.

That instant, Matthew turned his helmetless face up in shock, and without another warning, his head exploded.  His eyes popped out of their sockets, his skin bloated and bulged into lumps, and then he blew up, bits of his flesh flinging about and sticking to the glass of our helmets.  I screamed.

I woke crying, still unaware that I’d been caught in a dream.  I flung myself from my bed, stumbled outside my bedroom, and collapsed against the wall beneath the intercom.  The house was silent, and it took several minutes of sobbing to convince myself that it wasn’t real, that it was fine, he was fine, I was fine.

Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep alone comfortably for weeks, and I have never forgotten that dream.

The Perfect Year

The Perfect Year (A Poem)
by Jesyca Bosley

Well, the root is destroyed in a wave of light
The angel isn’t disturbed, but holds me tight
I forget what I’ve seen, but not what I’ve learned
And the only fires left are the bridges I’ve burned
Nothing has failed but hiding the truth
And I sing so loud that it’s heard through the roof
Happy, they leave me but flowers will stay
With me forever until my last day
The questions are answered and intent, they listen
Loyalty blinding us when my eyes glisten
I’ve traded the worst of me, the ugly and bad
For strength to be gentle when old friends are sad
The feeling of spirit shakes the core of my bones
Never once do I roll my eyes or stifle a groan
The turkey is cold and the oven is broken
And all my regrets are finally spoken
I was living a lie, under spells that I cast
But I’m safe from myself, I am free from the past.