Camano Island


BY ERIN LAVERY

Photo by Steve Douglas on Unsplash

I wake before the sun.
The warmth of the covers leave my body and I walk into the cold and the dark.
My hands wrap around my mug and it fills with hot coffee.
If I had woken when I had planned, the steam would be rising from the cup,
But it’s not.
For a moment, it’s just me in the silence and the cold and the dark-
reminding myself that it’s almost morning.

Then, I hear my son’s feet touch the wooden floor three rooms down.
He loves the morning in a way I can’t understand.
For years, I have tried to wake early enough to get a head start on day
Before others are awake and need me.
He, in his innocence, has taken this as an invitation to spend quiet moments with me.
He lays in his bed, listening for my own feet to touch the ground so he can come and find me.

Some mornings, when I am bold enough to stay asleep longer than usual,
I wake to the sound of gentle knocking.
Then, a small voice breaks through the sound of his tiny fist against the door.
“Mom, you slept in on accident.”
It’s never an accident.

But in spite of my longing for a quiet
That belongs to only me,
perhaps these days are the best I’ll ever know.
These days are without any moments to wonder whether
I am making good use of this very short
Window of time I have on this planet.
Instead, it is just me and the cold and the dark

And the little man who loves me more
Than the warmth of his bed.

He sits at the table beside me now, pulling out the marshmallow bits from the cereal box.
I pretend not to notice, gazing to my right
Through the wall of windows overlooking Livingston Bay.
The sun is rising in the distance-
Running toward our sky to join us.

By Erin Lavery

Love Cats


BY LIAM FLANAGAN

Photo by Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash

Meow you say to let me know you are on your way
Movement sleek and elegant
Claws retracted reserved for going in for the kill
A silent assassin with teeth as sharp as blades
Kept in good order
For the hunt and the tearing of flesh
On the look out for a bird preparing to soar
He must come from a good family
A turned up nose to a chicken and ham slice
Preference is for the taste of mice
Purr to express contentment and satisfaction
A feline who bides his time before jumping in to action!

By Liam Flanagan

Not Alone


Photo by Christopher Beloch on Unsplash

In a world of no margin

we can feel very alone

struggling against the world

ever increasingly stressful

But what if I told you

that a single word or deed

of kindness towards another

could mean survival

So many are on the precipice

of giving up hope

giving up their lives

giving in to sadness and grief

Loss of normalcy

isolation

death of life

as they knew it

One word one deed

of true kindness to another

just to show

they are not alone

Tired


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

So tired these days

in so many ways

in body, in spirit, in mind

peace is hard to find

So much pressing in

spreading me thin

another task on the pile

just want to rest awhile

So much noise all around

hate and division abound

everyone feels out of control

can I just crawl into a hole

So many clients seen every week

my voice tired so hard to speak

try to help them feel stronger

not sure I can any longer

So tired every day

in every conceivable way

hoping for something to lighten the load

to keep on walking down this road

Constant Change


Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

We fight against it
fear all phases
worry about outcomes
want to control

Resistance is futile
change continues always
ever constant
always present

We push back harder
hoping to avoid
wanting to keep
what we think we need

Universe pushes back
we struggle to stop it
afraid of what we
may become

Universe knows better
all life
all growth
needs change

Be calm
accept what is
let go of what was
become new

Frustration


Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Like sandpaper
everything feels rough
little bits being shaved off
under constant frustration

Grating changes
lack of control
nothing is normal
feeling untethered

Constant exposure
whether we know it
or not
to possible infection

Affecting home
work school
relationships
entire lives

Everyday more
grating and grinding
pushing towards explosions
repetitive frustration

It’s Quite Mental Really


By Robin McNamara

Photo by hesam jr on Unsplash

By Robin McNamara

Like a depressed version of 
Rodan’s Sculpture, the Thinker-

I’m hunched up with an unfolding 
Mind. Out escaped everything. 

Fears, anxiety and phobias, 
All scattered everywhere. 

I almost tripped over my
Arachnophobia in haste to

Escape my coulrophobhia.
It’s no joke really-

That… film, I can’t watch IT.
And that song 99 Red Balloons? 

Definitely can’t listen to that.
I tried to take a walk but-

My Agoraphobia said,
“I’m back bitch.”

So the black dog started 
To whine incessantly,

Inside my head.
And yep, you’ve guessed it-

My phobia: cynophobia did
Not help matters at all.

Now I’ve gone barking mad.

Mimosa


A story of lingering

Photo by zj Deng on Unsplash

Haunting scent
hangs heavy in heat
memories of forgotten evil
moonlight bathes pieces of alabaster
all that remains now
a-da-na-ta soul no more
souls so we may live 
souls that live to serve
a-da-nv-do spirit unseen
we move in the scent 
of mimosa

A poem based on the first short novel I self-published in 2013, Mimosa, on the ancient lines of protector and taker in the land of the Cherokee.

Retrograde


retrograde

Retrograde
backwards
mistakes
delays

Or is it a pause?

Time given for reflection
correction
planning
communication

Or is it for truth telling?

Unwinding the lies
from ourselves
from others
digging deeper

Or is it preparation?

Rebuilding strength
gaining clarity
managing emotion
sitting in it

Retrograde
acknowledgement
understanding
truth telling

Truth


truth
Another of my Poetry Club poems:

I never tell the truth
and I care too much what people think
writing makes me sick
and reading is only a chore

I don’t believe in love
or that forever can exist
that you only live once
and life is just a bore

I don’t wish to be happy
and I never think I can succeed
but if you believe any of this poem
a mental readjustment is what you need

(The prompt for this poem was to write a poem about yourself in which nothing is true)

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