Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Ode to Chuck

Light upon a new day

Arrives with the

Forcefulness of none.

My dear friends,

Twice a drink

On Budweiser beer

Has rendered me

A hapless fool.

Yet beautiful poetry,

You say? Well, I Say

This in sincere response:

The man you

Doth not know

Also does know

The world for

Its cruel paths.


Zane Bell is a junior studying History and English Literature at Lindenwood University. He originally hails from the small town of Washington, Missouri, where his parents taught him various lessons, including how to hunt and shoot. In his spare time, he enjoys entertainment media and discussions of culture and history.

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Kings and Queens

We were kings and queens

Once upon a time in Africa, the motherland

Black skin was our pride and we had power in our hand

We walked freely on our native land, breathing pure air into our lungs

We built kingdoms that were spoken to life with our native tongues

We had great power over our area and the many beast,

We were the baddest around to say the least

We were kings and queens

We remained one but always competitive between our tribes

This went beyond thought when we took the white man’s bribes

A conquered tribe for ten thousand pieces of gold

And it was done, the ones with our skin had been sold

Packed tight onto a boat to go far across the sea,

The beginning of oppression and slavery, a fate we could not foresee

We were kings and queens

Our people were enslaved for over 200 years,

We built life for the whites with our blood, sweat and tears

From picking cotton, and raisins their babies we did it all

With tortuous beatings and suffering, God was all we could call

We survived years of following the white man’s doctrination,

To finally being freed by the Emancipation Proclamation

That led to share cropping, separate but equal,

Jim Crow laws, or should I say “slavery’s sequel”

We were kings and queens

Things were separate, but not equal, so we opposed with civil rights

A movement led with words, protesting and spiritual fights

From pure ignorance the lives of our young they would steal,

This is shown through the brutal deaths of the four little church girls and Emmit Till

We fought for education because that was considered a crime,

Our first chance of that came with the integration of the little rock nine

Don’t forget about Ms. Rosa Parks who fought for the right of her seat,

It may sound simple, but as blacks these were obstacles that we had to defeat.

And never forget about our great hero reverend Martin Luther King,

His words were reminisced as the words that let freedom rings

We fought and we marched on as far as the rising sun,

It took time but the civil rights era is a battle that we won

We were kings and queens

Now people with different skin may live together as a nation

We have rights, freedom of speech and education

Gabby Douglas, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, all black people that dominated in the Olympics

We don’t only dominate in sports but in education, check the statistics

We cannot forget about Barack Obama, the beloved President who showed melanin is intelligent,

He made it evident

And now we are so much more

We are teachers, leaders, doctors, poets, physicians, CEO’s, preachers, writers, actors, lawyers,

Mechanics, inventionalist,

We are anything we put our minds to

We are kings and queens   


 Jasmine Tanui Who is she? Everyone within a grasp of her writings wonders who she might be. Her scripts lift the dullness of the reader, leaving the people who have read it wanting more. She writes to please herself but the words on the paper are never selfish. Reading her poetry is like knowing her. You know her greatest fears and her roots of happiness all from the letters she forms into words. You feel her sadness and celebration. Her writings make her indestructible. She is Jasmine Tanui, sometimes known as Jemutai, her native name. She is a 19-year-old, African American girl with Kenyan roots.                                                                         

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

I want to…

I want to see

the people I love,

to hug them without gloves,

and devour the world

with my beloved.

I want to smile with

my mouth uncovered,

without feeling smothered.

I want to take the hand of my lover,

to feel that I hover,

forgetting the suffer,

and to go out on the street

detaching myself

from my bed cover.

I want the night

with its old attributions,

that in the air

dance the illusion,

disappearing the reclusion.

I want the world

to trust again and

turn without spreading pain.


Fernanda Poblete is a junior English Literature- Creative writing student with a minor in History. Her first novel was inspired by the Covid pandemic. One of her pieces was published in 2020 in Lindenwood’s Creepy Campfire Stories. Fernanda is from Chile and came to Lindenwood thanks to a tennis scholarship.

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Execution for a Rose

For once I wish for time to pass

Just to heal the waiting that seems to last

I yearn to grow wiser so that I can feel the sweet wind

Because to be young and know of too much is promiscuous sin

I have broken commandments in the past, but this one is grand

Stepped over, past the ocean, and sucken deep into hot sand

Yet this warm burning seems to chill me

Keeps me alive and never kills me

An old thorned rose has plucked me from the soil with its bare paw

It poked me but never drew blood,  yet it opposes the law

I don’t concept why, I tell you this rose is different! It is bizarre

O’ you’ll never find another like it, trust I’ve searched near and far

This rose makes me open vile black poison to drink that fills my white womb

Yet I never die, the fumes of its petals awaken and lift me from my bleak tomb

This rose makes me grip the sharpest dagger and twist it into my broken heart

Yet I never die or hurt, but the thorns of its stem makes my heart one from its parts

This rose makes me hike to the highest cliff and step off, a million feet I fall

Yet I never die or hurt or crash, the roots of the rose pull me back up, I fly, I am tall

But for an unknown problem, it is forbidden to deal with a rose

No one will have to be executed if no one knows

For i possess secrets that stay hidden under the sun above

People wonder and ask but I’ll never tell, that I carry forbidden love


Jasmine Tanui Who is she? Everyone within a grasp of her writings wonders who she might be. Her scripts lift the dullness of the reader, leaving the people who have read it wanting more. She writes to please herself but the words on the paper are never selfish. Reading her poetry is like knowing her. You know her greatest fears and her roots of happiness all from the letters she forms into words. You feel her sadness and celebration. Her writings make her indestructible. She is Jasmine Tanui, sometimes known as Jemutai, her native name. She is a 19-year-old, African American girl with Kenyan roots.

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

why I didn’t make a #metoo post

CONTENT WARNING – Sexual assault

I’m sorry. I love you. He’s sorry. He gets like that.

He feels really bad for putting you in that situation

I’ve talked to him about it

He keeps like, sobbing on my bed

That’s a really strong word

You can’t take it back.

Maybe don’t use that word

If he’d done something like, really wrong, I’d leave him

But you know, it wasn’t like that bad

Try to forgive him.  He’s sorry

He wants to apologize

I’ll keep him away from you

But you should talk to him

I want to understand

Did you tell him no?

I know you have trouble saying no to people

Were you drunk? Were you high?

You shouldn’t have gotten into the car with him

If that’s not what you wanted

You got a motel room with him?

Well of course that’s what he thought was going to happen

This is why we got you pepper spray

It doesn’t matter how well you know him

Doesn’t matter how nice he is.

Doesn’t matter how he talks to you.

Boys only have one thing on their mind

I taught you that

I can’t believe I failed you like this

No, don’t go to the cops

They’ll ruin his life

No, don’t go to the cops

They won’t believe you

No, don’t go to the cops

All cops are bastards, anyway.

No, don’t go to the cops

They’ll laugh

And drag you through the mud

Tell everyone to cool down about it.

It’s not fair to him

Why are you still so angry?

He said he’s sorry he’s sorry he’s

sorry.


Emerson Gray, a disabled genderqueer creator living in Saint Louis, Missouri, has been previously published in the Eunoia Review and Neon Mariposa Magazine. His piece “Life of an Ophelian Girl”, as seen in Crabfat Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He can be contacted on Twitter @Emerson_Gray_

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Jayber’s Poem, Inspired by Wendell Berry’s novel Jayber Crow

To those about to deconstruct or analyze

Their wisp of life on earth:

Take heed,

Lest ye interpret your self

As something understandable.

To you I say:

What do you make

Of love

That floats, unspoken

That settles between

Old friends

That stands at the threshold,

But never takes a chair?

Have you met the irony

Of a death bed

In a living room?

See how souls are carried away,

How the grain has turned silver,

Heads speckled by the sun:

Squeamish boys

Now dignified men—

Their laughing eyes

Sober,

Accepting,

Resigned.

They drop dollars on the tobacco box

On their way

To the grave:

‘A clean cut,’ they say

To the Death Barber.

Speak, if you have understanding:

Is the river youthful,

Or is it an ‘other,’

An old man like me?

Is the water new,

Or does it recall

What was borrowed in the floods?

If the water is old,

Does it carry inside it

The memory of the ground it bore away

To make room for its younger self?

For I remember what I have borne away,

And that makes me think

That there can only be

The one river.

Look into my face,

At the husk

That holds me together.

Can you measure a life

In lines and freckles?

Do my eyes still tell the

Old

Familiar

Story

Of a lamb without sight

Who wandered in the valley

Til he collapsed in the rain

And had to be carried

The rest of the way

Home?

I’ve felt Love,

And it’s carried me to the

               Edge

                                             of

                                                                           the

                                                                                                         world.

I do dishonor to this Beauty,

For I fail to love it as I would

And it breaks me.

And yet I’d not abandon this post

For anything,

For the brokenness of my own heart

Is a small price to pay

That Love might go on in this world.

Analyze my life, if you can—

Take my years in your hands

And clench;

But know that I’ve already

Sought understanding

Of myself,

And that I know this man less

Now

At the end of the road.

My life has been Love.

And Loneliness.

I hope to be around

When I die.

To lie still,

To become one more piece of furniture

That folk can say,

‘Oh, that was lost in the flood.’

But I won’t be lost,

Just buried

‘Neath the ripples of time;

And when the waters still, maybe you’ll see me,

Drifting by in the new old river

Which will carry me

To the edge of the world,

Where Love lives.

What do you make of my life?

What do you make

Of yours?


Gia Mesz is a Lindenwood senior, a storywriter, and a constant daydreamer, pursuing a Creative Writing degree and a certificate in Intercultural Fluency. Her writing voice is tender and playful, appealing to the imagination and speaking purposively to the childlike soul within every reader. (Don’t tell anyone, but she’s also a mermaid.)

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Die Well, Like Trees

Everyone I know

Is learning to let go

Of something

Or someone

They love.

Hope becomes unclear,

And then it reappears.

Life is sweet

And out of control.

Like trees we’re stretched over ourselves,

Love inscribed in our cells.

We’re falling,

Leaving our rings to those left behind.

We’re trying to die well.

Teach us all that that means:

To see things of eternal weight,

To glimpse joy in the in-between;

To take life as it comes—

The beauty and the misery.

Then, on our dying days,

May we and the trees sing praise

For how you taught our lifetime

To be a song.


Gia Mesz is a Lindenwood senior, a storywriter, and a constant daydreamer, pursuing a Creative Writing degree and a certificate in Intercultural Fluency. Her writing voice is tender and playful, appealing to the imagination and speaking purposively to the childlike soul within every reader. (Don’t tell anyone, but she’s also a mermaid.)

Categories
Poetry - 13th Edition

Ocean

Night broke against the sky,

Sunlight twinkled across the horizon.

Disco balls and dancing teens,

There were flutters of attraction.

Laughter fluttered lightly in the air, 

Circling and grasping attention. 

The sound of crashing waves amplified,

Whispering, wondering, waving.

I bolted to the ocean, my feet slapping and spraying sand.

My clothes fell off as I approached the water, slipping and sliding down.

I leapt into the crystal abyss, 

Immediately caught in a cradling wave that swept me into a sweet embrace.

For a moment, I was cherished.

Waves of thought spiraled and swirled.

I was sucked, pulled, and dancing.

Laughing sprinkled and the crystals floated through the air.

The next, I was spat out, slammed back onto the sand.

I tried to sit up, but I could not stand.

The ocean vomited debris,

It sloshed back into the void, scurrying away from me.

I screamed! The sky, gathering in large dark clouds, lightning flashed.

The waves struck again, throwing me on my ass.

Horrified and hurt, I cowered from the sky.

I slid back on my clothes

Didn’t wave the ocean goodbye.


Arianna Amann is a junior at Lindenwood who is majoring in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. When she is not writing or reading, she spends her time eating at different restaurants in the greater Saint Louis area. Someday, after Arianna graduates university, she wants to own a bookstore.