Category: Poetry

A Love Poem By Elijah Rokos

A Love Poem By Elijah Rokos

A mouthful of wildflowers
a mind full of tea leaves,


Sun brewed tea
lavender and lemon,
ice cubes in the swimming
pool, the bird’s song pecking,
off key and off beat.


An open sail
billowing in the breeze
of the Chesapeake Bay,
the smell, the smell,
the salt and the sting.

A mouthful of hornets
a mind full of poison ivy,


Elijah Rokos is an English major. He enjoys tea, gardening, and reading.

Take a Sip By Elijah Rokos

Take a Sip By Elijah Rokos

Each grey tree

a sharpened claw to gouge the sun,

every wall of the mountains a brittle
and black paycheck.


     The bears rendezvous

in the dumpster, snouts stuffed
in carry-out, and they don’t close

their eyes anymore.


The elk departed

in the road, too sudden to avoid,
is pummeled by tentative tires

and feverish tears.


Somewhere in the gnarled roots

of the ponderosa pines,
there lies the Fountain of Youth

and someone has pissed in it.


Elijah Rokos is an English major. He enjoys tea, gardening, and reading.


Wind-full Thinking By Emily Waclawski

Wind-full Thinking By Emily Waclawski

The wind does not speak

It listens.

The wind can hear every whisper,

Every scream.

The wind can hear every thought,

Every secret.

It listens.

The wind witnesses every heart-felt memory,

Every heartbreak.

It sees.

The wind witnesses every sweet embrace,

Every slam.

It sees.

The wind can hear everything.

And for that reason:

The wind does not speak.

It listens.


Emily Waclawski is a 20-year-old English major at HCC. She has been an active writer and poet since she was 12. Other than writing, Emily enjoys playing guitar and ukulele, singing, and enjoys playing with her two cats: Mabel and Perseus.

After Later By Michael Holland

After Later By Michael Holland

Breeze blows coolly in through the window

Black morning sun as dim as streetlights’ glow

Air never tastes this good, eyelids never fight this hard to close


The sun at its zenith is like CSPAN

Shade makes life livable again

Night seeps down into your hands


Skeletal trees perch on piles of leaves in the rain

While the sun makes its descent over the landscape

Painting the clouds and everything around brilliant vermilion shades


The urgency of temperatures below freezing

Can be so pleasing

And fire makes us hold onto the moment completely


The moon is always waiting, patiently watching

At just the right time you can see it’s a sphere, it’s awkward

The moon is always turning, spinning, and falling


Michael Holland is a veteran and a graduate. His favorite book is Replay, and he’s an amateur electronic athlete.

As the Leaves Turn By Rebecca Embly

As the Leaves Turn By Rebecca Embly

The leaves are just beginning to turn,

Yellow, orange, red, brown,

A reminder of the infinite cycle of life.


Dew rests cold on the tips of dying grass,

Worms wiggle on the wet pavement

And the birds chirp at first light.


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

The air feels brisk and our hair hangs,

Free in our face as the temperature drops.


And we fill our bellies at a constant rate,

With hot drinks,

Tea and cocoa warming our insides.


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And we hear our feet scuff against pavement,

And the wind seems more familiar.


The wind rustles the leaves,

And whistles through cracked windows,

Whispering softly in our ears.


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And we start listening,

Sounds speak louder.


The leaves and dew and worms and birds,

And hot drinks and wind and rain,

It seems, you’ve just appeared!


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And we stop to think for a second,

Realizing that life is constant but irregular, too.


These things aren’t seasonal, as we believe,

They are present and welcome all year round,

Why just now do we notice?


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And we know now,

That intensity grows for all things in the fall.


The colors and sounds prick our senses,

And whisper in our ears,

The secret of life everlasting.


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And we want to stay like this forever,

A year is too long to wait.


But what about a day?

Today the leaves are turning,

And tomorrow they will too.


The leaves are just beginning to turn,

And our self-awareness grows,

We know not just our life, but life around us, too.


Life can be blue and grey, low and dim,

But it can be beautiful and lively and colorful,

Yellow, orange, red, and brown.


When the leaves begin to turn.


Greensogreen By Buffy Shutt

Greensogreen By Buffy Shutt

Afraid of the pet-store bird who died.

Her sister retrieves the greensogreen


From her bedroom window perch, she watches her sister bury it,

Her father’s shovel from the hook in the garage packs it in.

She sees for the first time, their backyard is a cemetery.

Bones rest in soft shallow graves, a friendly intersection like

Young girls sharing beds at a sleepover,

Tingeing her suburb with loss.

Then life goes silently off track.

Spent, though surely unknown to her

Making up for it.

Trying to get the birds to forgive her

Not the death so much. The fear

Of them, of the greensogreen, of

Her sister.


Buffy lives in Los Angeles where she writes short stories and poems now that her time marketing films is up. In 2017, she was a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Award.

Rock Piles By Ed Ahern

Rock Piles By Ed Ahern

When I used to hunt for deer

I’d park on a gravel road

and hike in a half mile

on a rusty railroad track.

At a leaning swamp oak

I’d veer into the woods and

brush burrow over a ridge,

to where two deer trails

meandered across each other.



I’d set my folding stool

between two large boulders

with a tree obscured view

of the intersection

and wait.

The deer paths cut through

a long-abandoned farmstead.

A toppling chimney and stone fences

were all that remained.

Most of the stones had

found their way

back to earth

but the pattern abided.



The deer never came.

I’d spent several evenings

watching the light wane

on a monument

that carried no recollection.

The aching hand work,

gathering and stacking rocks

to clear a spot to plow

was for abandoned purpose.

And I’d been relieved

that my presence was transient

and that when I left

there would be no evidence.


Ed resumed writing after forty years in foreign intelligence and international sales. Ed now works on the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories. So far, Ed has had over 200 stories and poems published, as well as three books.

Come Autumn By Brittney Deaton

Come Autumn By Brittney Deaton

The first crisp days of autumn, give them to me:

a brisk breeze making you finally reach for a jacket.


Give me the adornment of it: deep orange, rich golds,

trees losing their yearly cloaks, the sounds of birds growing more faint.


To hear the tractor start up again, it’s harvest time.

Apples, grapes, potatoes and pumpkins. The foods of the season.


I’ll take all of it, Father of Winter, the days darkening

as the sun is seen for fewer hours and night falls faster than before.


The first morning frosts, causing you to scrape the windshield

of your car, numbing your fingers until they feel nothing at all.


You see the clouds of fog as you speak and feel the twinges

of pain on your reddened and chilled cheeks. You don your


first sweater, gloves, boots, and a scarf for good measure,

sipping your cider as you carry on through the day as normal.


Now there are Friday night football games and the sounds

of the marching band. Everyone stands and cheers.


It is a season of change and togetherness as we step

into the impending ceaseless dark, keeping close to stay warm.



Brittney is a recent graduate of Central Washington University, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English: Professional and Creative Writing. She currently lives is Washington State, where she is a substitute teacher.

The Trees of the Talmud by Jacqueline Jules

The Trees of the Talmud by Jacqueline Jules

“If you have a sapling in your hand and someone tells you the
Messiah has arrived, first plant the sapling and then go out to
welcome the Messiah.” – Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai

Talmud sages
cite the old man
cheerfully planting
a carob tree, unbothered
by the seventy year wait
for the chewy pods
fondly recalled from youth.
Nevermind that a carob tree
yields in seven years, not seventy—
the Talmud and the Torah
don’t offer logical numbers.
Only advice to plant first
and welcome the Messiah later.
To put every sapling in the ground
without counting how many years
before you or your children taste fruit.

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line
Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner
of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in
numerous publications including Cider Press Review, Potomac Review, Inkwell, Hospital Drive,
and Imitation Fruit. She is also the author of 40 books for young readers. Visit

From the Heart By Matthew Longerbeam

From the Heart By Matthew Longerbeam

her parting kiss

fell soft upon my lips

and with no hesitation

although I knew the separation

to be of short and temporary nature

a frosting covered my heart

as though a spring blossom was suddenly

withered within a February chill

my soul cried and I………………



She kissed me goodbye

And that feeling

That certain lousy feeling

It hit me


And there’s no name for it


It is that feeling a western hero

would feel

Should he draw down upon

an evil foe

Only to find his holster filled

with emptiness


The sensation that would

befall an astronaut


and with no remaining

means of  navigation


And I have yet to find a word

that truly fits it


But whatever one may call it

It is a lousy feeling

Making one aware that

a part,


the most important part

of you

is missing

and that’s

the way I feel

every time

she kisses me


Matthew Longerbeam is a native of Maryland. He was a victim of violent crime in the 1990s and has spent most of his adult life in recovery. Matthew is currently working on a degree in Human Services at HCC and lives in Williamsport, Md with his wife Tabby and his cat Hobo.