Leopard

by Anne Fu

Leopard by Anne Fu copy


Lost Light Found

by Kirtana Krishnakumar

 

They say it’s time to fight,

I back away.

 

They say there is more light,

I will not stay.

 

“Work hard, you’ll get it right.”

 

I work too much,

 

and get it wrong.

 

Stones atop one another,

pulling down with weight,

I struggle to get back up,

 

and fall.

 

Lying there flat,

these words on my face.

I slowly sit up.

 

they’re gone.

 

Getting up, brushing off,

sluicing away the worded residue.

 

I’m not golden, but bronze.

Bronzed with dirt, glowing bronze.

 

it is far more than enough.

 

Running far, not working so hard.

Why? It wasn’t necessary.

 

calm down.

 

Now

 

they say it’s time to fight,

I stand and fight.

 

and win.

 

They say there is more light.

I will stay.

 

Its fire never left me.

Look Back At Me

by Diana Willand

Look Back At Me


What Are We

by Tiffany Chan

 

Like little ants marching in straight lines across my vision,

For function, for organization, for discovery.

A little click with each black speck,

Each holding something,

Transporting, conveying.

 

They can carry the light weight of a puff of snow,

Or the hammer blow of falling hail.

They carry anguish and heavy emotions

And the lifting, lilting laughter.

 

Like little Oreos stacked on a white countertop,

They contain sweetness within darkness.

Each is organized, stacked one on top of the other,

Waiting to be dunked in milk and eaten.

 

They are like little clicks from a metronome,

Each one is coordinated,

Falling at a specific time,

Yet can be manipulated into varying tempos.

 

Like little hammers hitting the strings within a piano,

The next note rarely copies its forerunner.

Each note burgeoning into multiple meanings,

Echoing and repeating again, and again, and again,

Being heard differently each again, anew, afresh.

 

Little ants divided by spaces in straight small sentences,

Carrying such a large varied load across so many turns,

Each being different, but sometimes seeming the same.

It depends on the receiver.

“Resurrection” by Sarika Chawla; painting by Mira Mulgund

unnamed-2

You used to skip across fields of clover

as the summer sun twinkled down on

your smiling face

and mynah birds chirped all around

 

You used to lay on beds of

intertwining blades of grass

that glistened with dewdrops

and look up at the sky

 

Blue reflected in your sparkling eyes

which fluttered closed

as the milky white clouds formed a down blanket upon you

 

But soon the grass started to wither

 

Your woven beds started to unravel

replaced with stiff threads of hospital beds

The clouds began to suffocate you

and smother the sun

as the blue turned to gray

The trees burned as they shed their leaves

as Mother Nature drained them of life

and slowly began to eat away at you too

 

Time went by

and your grass bed became no more than bits of straw lying here and there

 

Gray turned to black

 

The clouds became angry

The trees lost their leaves for good

The sun almost disappeared

holding on for dear life

trying to shine between the clouds

 

You had nearly slipped away

 

But when the blessed spring came

the blue started to reappear

The trees were reborn

The sun returned

The clouds softened their temper

but cried tears of sorrow

tears of rage

anger at what they had done in the winter

 

And as a new grass bed began to weave itself once again

the rains washed away all signs of your old one

unable to hold itself together any longer

 

They washed away every last sign of you too

 

But just like the sun returns each year

and resurrects the trees and the sky

I see your smiling eyes in the rays of light shining through the clouds

every summer

And every summer

I hear your laugh in the mynah’s song

“Water” by Tessali Hogan; “Moana” by Nala Wu

moana-by-nala-wu

nothing like having so much to share

and not being able to share it with you

the stories

laughs

deep contemplations

that flow through me

slip through my fingers

until the glass half full

becomes half empty

and slowly evaporates—

until nothing but the minerals

the dirt

the everything not worth drinking in

or absorbing

is left

 

i could never find this one drop in an ocean

but maybe it will reach you

on its own time

as the cycle continues

“The Underground Man” by Hannah K With Artwork by Julie C

He hides between cold stares

and nonchalant contortions of face

Pretends if you plunged your best kitchen knife

into his flesh

he wouldn’t feel the skin tear

 

He convinces himself

his heartbeat doesn’t crash against his eardrums

He doesn’t feel the spark

swirling up his spine

when his fingers touch hers

He used to declare his emotions to the world

until this thing called growing up

hit him like a tsunami

and he could feel the crushed villages and broken houses

inside of him

The suffering consumed him like fire burns ash

And he never liked the smell of smoke

 

So he decided to camp out in the underground

of his soul

beneath first memories and pigments of a dusty heart

Tucked joy and sorrow into his polished briefcase

and closed it shut

He fell asleep between muscles and nerves

and tried to never wake up

Pretended he didn’t feel the forces of the world

As if there were no gravity

 

But all actions have gravitation

and as much as he calls himself

The Underground Man

He can never forget how to feel.