The Gleaming by Jeremiah Sater

Jeremiah Sater


The Gleaming

Gleaming grandeur attracts the many,

drawing them into a forever trap.

Possibility of escape is rare,

though can be found when all is lost.

When escape is seen,

they often turn back,

never knowing life without

that gleaming grandeur.

Held tightly within its grasp,

at first they may have resisted,

while accepting the fate,

but now resting comfortably.

The gleaming grandeur holds them in awe,

blinding them from the things around them,

never knowing what truly should be seen,

trapped with the grasp.

They hold onto it,

serving it, rather than it serving them,

forgetting what should control what,

living forever in its grasp.

Forgetting their past,

and those outside the light of the grandeur,

they walk with the blind,

the blind leading the blind.

But can those blinded find the sight filled?

impossible is not impossible,

but first they must look past the blinding gleam,

to see that there is life beyond it.

The gleaming grandeur only controls

what the heart allows in,

bringing reality to perspective,

the grandeur loses its hold.

The gleaming grandeur will always remain,

near the heart,

waiting to enter,

to fade out reality, slowly regaining control.

Extremes by Patty Apostolides

Patty Apostolides



No man is an island
or an oasis.
Although at times he feels
maybe through lack of understanding
or by choice,
or by unexpected circumstances,
there are always others to
prompt and nudge him along,
to remind him that life is more than
just his little world.

No man is an ocean,
all encompassing, forever moving,
never at rest,
even though appearing calm on the surface,
underwater currents flow
from seething schools of fish.

Although at times he feels
by constant juggling of events
or by waves of circumstances that
flow into one stress or another;
there are always others to
slow him down, to bring him peace,
to remind him that life can be lived,
one moment at a time.

To find balance requires a pacing of the self,
particularly when we witness
a time to grow and a time to rest,
a time to laugh and a time to mourn,
a time to cry and a time to heal,
a time to create and a time to appreciate,
a time to live and a time to die.

Life is a mixture of extremes that
can be chaotic if man dares not make choices
to find the inner balance of his soul –
where there is no time –
and learns to be one with his Creator.

Beauty Is Pain by Katherine Mazzola

Katherine Mazzola

Beauty Is Pain          


As the straps embedded themselves deeper into my skin, I continued to ask myself why. “Why am I doing this to myself?” The slightest movement would drive the wire deeper into my ribcage. The minute I saw my reflection, the heavens opened. Pushed up and perky, my breasts looked great!

Temptation by Chelsea Kershner

Chelsea Kershner


My heart fights your advances,

but my body yearns to be yours.

Smoldering stares left me paralyzed.

Every bone within my body

is no longer my own to control.

Left to crumble without your command,

I stand in my own skin,

begging for the words hanging from your lips

 to speak my name.

My spine aches for your touch.

Your ice cold fingertips,

are the only craving I need satisfied.

The veins in my body

are wired to light with the growl in your voice,

and my fragile neck is connected to be broken at your will.

The fight for control of my own body

has left me ragged and drained.

I have surrendered control of every inch

and yet I feel I have not surrendered enough.

A Wish on Replay by Taryn Owens

Taryn Owens

A Wish on Replay

The silk of her voice floats
on the air around me
her voice deep blue, lovely purple
and elegant black

There is a whirlpool of passion I am caught in
as I close my eyes and allow
the emotion to carry me to a place
only God could have created

The rush of this colorful tornado takes
the hues from her voice and
paints them across my imperfect body
transforming me into an angel

And the shadows that had made
obvious my imperfections are
drowned in this beauty of an invisible voice

A protecting voice that warns
the shadows that made me unbeautiful
the vibrant paint becomes my clothing
my defenses and fear fall away
from this color that is music
that is voice, that is passion
that is love

Without warning the whirpool escapes
from the air that surrounded me
into a place I could never hope to touch
the finality of the end
replaces the tornado in the air
for a few breathless seconds

And then I smile

Only a hint of the angel
that her voice created in me

I walk over to the CD player

And hit replay

The Fields of Time Lords by Cambria Puffenberger

Cambria Puffenberger

The Fields of Time Lords

Here in the Festival of Time

In which we mortals cannot chime

The early morning glistening

Of dewdrops among the bustling

Fields of Lords and Ladies rare

Gathered in the fresh crisp air

Alone for centuries, each one

Scarce be the time for fun

No one can count the years between

Their decisions to convene

Banished then are thoughts

Of loneliness in draughts

Stilled are the souls of those

Restless in this life they chose

Music, dancing, bright colors and moods

Easily overcomes the shadowed broods

The old and weary faces shed away

Replaced by smiles of the gay

As one who pried a glancing look

Upon the fields of Time Lords took

I saw life in stories that ancients had spoken

This beautiful race of Time unbroken

Beginnings by Joseph Sturm

Joseph Sturm


Your love is life wrenched from your ribs and eyes,

and torn from sighs that move and whisper to,

the Earth, the ground, around, may die and lies,

a fitting memory of what you knew.

And in that pregnant apple you are mad,

wherein resides the bitter taste of flesh,

the blush directs the compass to the lad.

Conjoined, they are a thread within the mesh.

And from these seeds two seeds are sprung: they sang.

They sang of times and works and spoke of more,

yet green were eyes that ripped the voice and tongue,

a man who took your heart and nothing more.

So throw the rain upon the ground

and listen to its never-ending sound.

A Mother’s Grief by Jone Thurmond

Jone Thurmond

A Mother’s Grief

My dear children:

Never in my wildest thoughts would I have guessed that your brash, incredible injustice would cut so deeply a wound in my soul. Your actions against your own flesh and blood are more than any mother should want to bear. And here it is, that I must suffer and know the true meaning of your selfish actions. The injustice you bestow on others to justify your greed is beyond comprehension and your insensitivity toward others is evident by your total lack of compassion.

You each believe that you, and only you, have solutions to problems, that your actions will bring about your wanted results. It is not so. A selfish mind brings sadness that captures every movement. Malicious actions do hound forever and ever, as memories do not fade easily. So, if your capability for thinking were clear and bright, a twisted knot would never tighten around your mind. You demonstrate to me, your mother, that I am of little worth or respect, and that your madness will kill me. Well, I am not dead yet. You clamor to make my legacy a farce. I know that each of you believe that only you are right because it seems to works for you. Well, all lives are different, and no one should judge the actions of others, especially when their own actions are not worth substance.

It is with such grief that I find inner strength to write my feelings. You all are spoiled on my account and I find it greatly sad. To place a burden in my heart, that I am no longer viable or respected, is truly a tale of contempt. Within your heart and soul the deeds you perform herein show that character and love are not within your being.

I will not permit a child of mine to be deprived of livelihood. The unscrupulous intention to control and manage a life that is not your own is malicious and full of hypocrisy. Living a life as an insensitive person has many flaws, as only you can know. Do not judge; it takes skills that none of our family possess.

There is a future apart from your selfish souls, if only you could care and share. Behaviors are mirrored in your actions. They cannot be hidden. I will not pity careless actions that are destined to harm and hurt, and I will not condone your self-righteous traits. I cry in disbelief that such hatred exists within your souls, and surely if life were worth living, you would find comfort in being kind.

Fairness comes with generosity, and to my grief I see my children quibbling over how much is really theirs. Sadly, I see that each has nothing, nothing in this world to share. What is a life without caring and sharing? An unhealthy life may be one answer. I am ashamed, and I regret that I must be your mother.

Bob by Star Dodson

Star Dodson


I remembered it as if it were yesterday. I was sitting at the table with my arms crossed, and my back slouched in the chair. I was there for some time just staring at this bizarre man sitting across from me. He had a calm demeanor and seemed content just twirling the tips of his hair through his fingers. He kept his legs crossed and seemed to make an oink sound over and over that reminded me of a pig. He held two packs of Marlboro Light cigarettes next to him on the table and repeatedly stated the fact that he had them, as if I couldn’t hear him or something. He would stare back at me like he was a champion of a staring contest, without any expression at all. He was a grown man acting like a child. I was only twelve, and wasn’t so sure I liked him.

My mother sat down with me and with a very compassionate voice started rambling on about life and how this may be hard but he needed us. She told me that his name was Bob, he was 35 years old and had Down’s Syndrome. I found out that his parents had passed away and that he had to live in a home for people with disabilities. She said that he would never grow up, kind of like Peter Pan. I thought that was kind of cool! She told me he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and that he only had about a year to live if someone didn’t help him. The doctors told her that it was amazing that he had lived this long. They didn’t believe the treatment would work and wanted to just let him go. She told me that he didn’t have anyone to stand up for him and that she wanted to help. At this time people with disabilities were cared for at home or went to special schools, so I was never around someone so very different from me. I was confused about him but understood how important it was to my mother. I was soon not going to care too much about his disability, just about him.

It was only a few days before I realized that this guy was a lot of fun! He would chase me through the house with his bandanna wrapped around his face like a cowboy, shooting me with his toy guns. He loved watching all my cartoons with me and I liked that we both enjoyed agitating my mother. He always asked me if I wanted a knuckle sandwich, then he would raise his fist and ask if I wanted to fight. I would always say yes and we would both start laughing and tickling each other. He loved to play karate chop and pretend he was the lion from the Wizard of Oz. He had bookcases full of tractor books and had ten etch a sketch’s. I would come in the room and he would be bent over with his face two inches away from a spiral notebook in his lap. He would fill an entire page of scribble and then explain the adventure he drew about. He had short brown hair that stood straight up in the front from twirling it all the time. He was short and only wore blue jeans and tee shirts with a brown belt. Bob and I settled in together nicely. My mom took him to a new doctor and his cancer treatment began very soon after. All his hair fell out and he didn’t even care except that he kept trying to twirl his fingers through his hair that was already gone. He didn’t even act sick or complain the whole time he received his treatments. His illness seemed to drain my mother quite a bit at first, but after he was able to beat the cancer, we were all home free.

Time seemed to fly and before I knew it I was eighteen and moving out. At times I wished he would have grown up with me but at the same time I was glad that he was able to stay fun and carefree. I got married and had three kids of my own. Bob loved it when they came to visit. Soon he was chasing the girls around the house and having a good time with them like we used to. The kids would ask him what sound a dog makes and he would meow or moo and make chicken sounds. Everyone who met Bob loved him and couldn’t get enough time with him. It reminded me so much of our time together. Soon my girls were getting bigger and once again, Bob was left as a child, as everyone grew up around him.

His mind never aged but unfortunately, his body did. As Bob aged, his health began to decline and my mother was no longer able to care for him. He was wheelchair bound and needed total care. As much as it killed her to admit it, she couldn’t physically lift him any longer. After time my mom agreed for him to come live with me, but we both knew it would be hard for her and Bob. It was an adjustment for my family also, but there were never any complaints. We all worked hard but his cheerful attitude and precious smile was worth every moment! I soon stopped complaining about the little things in life and tried to see life from his eyes. He was inspirational and showed me that there is so much more to life than what I give life credit for. He never lost his sense of humor no matter how bad things got. I would go into his room in the morning to get him out of bed and he would tell me I was fired. I would beg for my job back and he would laugh the whole time. He was my brother, maybe not by blood, but more importantly by love. Almost twenty years had passed and my life was changing all the time and his remained the same.

Eventually we had to call in a hospice nurse to help us. He was on oxygen and we were spoon-feeding him baby food. He was dropping weight every day. He was fifty-four now and it was rare at the time for someone with Down’s Syndrome to live past their thirties so we were lucky, but it didn’t seem that way. It was a long few months and we all knew the time was coming but we didn’t talk much about it. I was getting ready for bed one night when the nurse called me upstairs. She said Bob was having trouble breathing, that she was going to give him medicine to help him relax, and that we should call the family because things didn’t seem good. I couldn’t believe it. He had a great day, better than most. I asked my husband to call the family and went to be with Bob. I grabbed his hand and started to rub his fingers.

“Bob, can you hear me honey?” I could see his chest rising slowly trying to take a breath. He didn’t reply but I could see it in his eyes. He was scared and I needed to make him feel safe. I picked him up as if he would break into pieces if I made one wrong move. I sat on his bed and held his weak and famished body in my arms like he was a child. He leaned his head to the side and rested it on my shoulder. I could feel his last breaths flowing across my neck. As we sat together, I held tighter to his body, praying that he wasn’t in pain. My tears were flowing uncontrollably but I didn’t dare make a sound in fear that he could hear me crying and get frightened. I was ashamed of breathing as I felt him take his last breath. He was gone and I was lost. His nurse walked out and shut the door. I gently laid his lifeless body down and covered him up as if he was just going to bed. What I would give to hear him laugh just one more time. I leaned down, kissed him on his head and spoke.

“I love you buddy”