Paul and Shawn, Eric and me,
had dreams that we would go far.
We used to eat in restaurant,
in the basement below a bar.

We drifted apart, we went our own way
each one followed his star,
until one day we met again.
In the basement below a bar.

I did not think they would have changed
Could they have strayed very far,
from the friends who laughed and dreamed
in the basement below a bar?

I was the same as I had been.
For them to change would have been bizarre.
They sat right where I saw them last.
In the basement below the bar.

It turns out that we were not the same.
Time had touched and left a scar
on all of the friends that met to eat
in the basement below a bar.

Joe Conger

Wholesome day
Friends gathered playing
baseball, watching the home-
team win.  The gym full of noise.
Childhood sounds, puppies 
And friends, gathered
growl, no bark, “NO!” Bite! 
No puppy, pain, sounds of child-
hood gone.  Pink and black colors 
of pain. No more sounds of child-
hood, pain everlasting, child
indeed. CHILDHOOD:

HOLE-some day.

 David T. Fletcher


She comes in smiling, reads the machine, turns to leave...

        "Is everything all right?"

        "Everything's fine," she reports.

The room is nice, yet I am certain it has gotten smaller since this morning.

   What will he look like? Will he know my voice?

The door opens again, this time she is followed by a nervous man in a long white coat.

        "Will it be much longer?"

        "It should be soon, everything looks good," 
          the man softly reassures.

Yet panic's grip begins to tighten.

   This room is too dark; it's too cold in here. 

   Too many things could go wrong; God's too far away.

        My wife's gentle hand calms me,

        fills my soul with peace, my heart with hope.

The opening door disrupts my moment of comfort,

the team is ready, the time has come.

An explosion of light forces my eyes closed. 

        God, I know I don't deserve it, but please...

a sweet cry interrupts my prayer,

I quickly turn to see God's answer.

Clay DaMitz


cold concrete beneath us,
five heads gaze at memories 
filling the sky: guess-who
tournaments, road trips,
Stampy's remains. 

unfamiliar roads ahead,
tears hug embraces.
one last dance to the 
stars melodious silence,
clouds drift on. 

Andrea Penland



Haven't found a box to hold my life 
Yet, I found a box to live in

Ancient feet shuffle
Stranded on boardwalk

Alcohol is a sweet escape
Reality's odor is too sour

Layered, urine-soaked clothing
Fading, pain-crusted body

My investment portfolio--drunken begging
External stupor, internal tantrums

    I could have been much more

Two boys bring bread
Hold my hand as if I were grandma

Jake Lawrence


Are we Villains
Standing on this stage
Of hypocrisy to quench the rage
In the hearts of men with words of age
So old

Or are we Saints
Set on scaffold
To feed the souls
Of young and old
Who listen. . .

Matt Richards


The word that devastates lives
What will we do?
Where will we go?
How do we tell our son?

Our son has only us for now
What will we do?
Where will we go?
Will he love us as he loved her?

We don’t see her every day
But the tumor is gone – for now
Our son still has her, but he loves us even more
Because our family created a new path
And we discovered a new life

Christie Anderson


Armed with just a beaded bracelet and our own spirits given by the Most High.

A stone circle where the students spoke English, outside,

full of wonder and full of questions,

most came and went.

Some stayed, and stole my heart.

Terri Ward


When Sabbath follows the Word,
His bride is filled with praise.
An aged voice distinguished
Sores the conscience of my soul.

Paper programs shuffled between hands
As they passed kisses upon cheeks.
Ushered saints to wooden places,
Regards of love for every entrance.

But a Sabbath opened with no regard,
No one stood where he stood so long.
Felt no kiss nor a touch nor a program
That could tell me the reason for this.

Dusk arrived with affliction of a heart,
Delayed his life, snatching a few years.
Stumbled trying to hear his voice again,
But heaven took him before dawn could.

I did not reach before the Lord did,
And now from his voice stirs my pain.
From a shroud his regards have ceased,
And no wrinkled kiss with my entrance.

Amalia Baca


Aching touch
Desiring love

On call


Tabitha Lankford


Butterflies inside are impossible to suppress.
I cannot concentrate--a goal at hand.
Crisp vibration builds stronger and stronger.
A battle so intense to require perfection.

Looking, others, 
Starring them down, eye to eye.
I am the better man, twisting my hand,
Popping my clutch, with more efficient manner.

Containing excitement ready to burst, before
Finally dropping the gate.
The electric atmosphere 
Cracks through our souls. 

Jeremiah Baer


Being a Titan's fan on the day of the Super Bowl,
When the player stretched with all his might for the goal,
At the last second picturing how the game would be told,
With the Championship title on the line,
My team was on the roll,
To becoming the National champions of their time,
But, right at the last second, the Titans would fold.

Stephen L. Burse Jr.


Sweat drips from the steering wheel.
Tears torture.
My heart screams “Turn around! Turn around!”
But, it is too late.
My body aches for my mother’s touch.
My soul longs for my daddy’s arms.
My entire being shutters.
I fight to wake up from this nightmare.
Students rush to the truck.
They unload my life without the slightest hesitation.
Who gave them the right?
It is no use; the truck is empty.
The door swings open.
Bare walls shriek a song of emptiness.
This can’t be a home.
It is prison.
My sister squeezes.
My mother shakes.
My father trembles.

Sara Drake

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