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January

This month’s theme is loneliness and isolation.

“Deer in the City” by Katie Elmer

Graceful legs wander the cold concrete

Delicate ears flick to sounds on the street

A splash of brown in a grey city dream

Isolated on pavement full of roaring machines

Surrounded by screaming life but alone as could be

Away from the whispering rustle of leaves

Here was where it realized that loneliness came

In loudest places all the same

But most importantly it learned never to forsake

The fellowship that comes from a quiet place

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“Its changing faces” by Madi McCoun

 Loneliness is a predator.

It primps and preens and waits

for tired, weary, wandering souls

to make its sorry prey.

 

Loneliness is a poison.

The prickly,stinging,sharp kind

that settles in the veins

too often self applied.

 

Loneliness is an anesthetic.

That mind numbing substance administered

while fear and pain cut through,

you don’t even feel alive.

 

Loneliness is a mirror

The corrupt, vile, abhorrent sort

that reflects what you can’t run from

the truth, that loneliness is you.


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“SELVES” by Grace Walker

This road is walked by selves.

Selfish silly selves

Selve’s and me’s and my’s and I’s

The road is filled by tight-shut eyes.

Listen,

They whisper, they laugh

But listen?

No, they don’t do that.

They’re people.

What do you expect?

They’re people.

That peculiar sect

The kind that get together

And together, they’re alone.

The kind that talks and talks and talks

And talks their endless mindless drone.

talk, blabber, empty jabber.

Spewing lips and sinking souls

Leaking emptier than holes.

But eyes, dull eyes, fakes lens of glass

Stare into those each other has

Yes, it seems, into each other

But really, they see no other.

What do you expect?

They’re just silly

little

selves.

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“Isolation’s Honed Edge” by Brandon Nguyen

Here she rises with the twilight glow.

Here she falls and lingers as fog.

Here her song treads dreaded below

As you writhe within the flowing chords.

Sightless eyes dream in vain

For a time, for someone you might have known.

These waking hours claim the mind;

These waking hours rend the soul

Flightless in the hateful rain,

The eldritch music turns in kind-

Only to break once more;

And return you to your pain.

Family mine, I see your strife

You suffer, burn and tear against your own

Know I pray for a better life

This I pray, give you sight



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“ballerina music box” by Sophia Rozzi

She is sitting at her desk

Solemnly sighing still

Frigid hands hug her knees in tight

And her eyes are sat like rocks

Still

In her head


The ballerina music box

Plays its refrain over

And over

The soft chimes echo off of

Her walls

And through her body


She tells herself that it will

Never get better

She tells herself that

There is no where for her to go

She tells herself that she simply

Has no way out


The ballerina music box

Continues to play.

Its song drags on

And on

And on

And on


She wants to tell herself that

she is a God

But her happiness is hollow

That godly feeling has run out

Now all she can say is

I have never felt so alone


The ballerina music box

Spins on

and on

and on

Playing its refrain until

Freedom’s Last Breath .

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“God Forgive Me” by Levi Rogers

Growing up in the 1940s, life, as well as one would expect, was

nothing like nowadays. Those times were much simpler; I can still

remember playing marbles in the street, and listening to Louis

Armstrong’s When the Saints booming in my head. My father was a

preacher until he was drafted into the war. He wasn’t the

brightest man so he was enlisted as infantry and there he died

in the Battle of the Kasserine Pass. Times got really tough for

me and momma. I felt extremely alone; mom was gone all the time

working her life away. Moving to a lower income home I lost all

my friends. One thing stayed with me and that was daddy’s old

fashion preaching. I’ve been a Christian all my life, I’ve known

nothing else and, that’s the way I liked it me, momma and Jesus.

Continuing my fathers' path, I enlisted into Vietnam in 1965. I

was 25 years old. I took the job of infantry to honor my father

whom I loved. Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion in the 16th

Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division; that was my home and

that was my family. During the day me and my company often ran

the search and destroy missions and at night ambushes. Search

and destroy simply meant we were deployed into a heavily

contested area and eliminated the enemy. Often we would be away

from base, up to two weeks at a time, relying heavily on c rations.

Life there was rough and dreadful. I watched close friends die

in my arms. The things we had to do were unspeakable things that

none of us are proud of, things that will follow us to the grave.

Their ghosts still haunt me today, friend and foe.

May 3rd. While

on base I was in my barrack reading a letter from back home

informing me that my mother had a heart attack and was currently

in the hospital. I requested leave and was scheduled two weeks out

for a one week leave. I received another letter a few days before

I was scheduled to leave. I didn’t make it; she died in the

hospital alone. At that moment all I could feel was anger. How

could God let her die? She was the best woman to walk this earth,

she worked her life away for me and she had to suffer and die

early. It wasn’t fair. I decided to pick myself up and go to

honor my great mother, so I attended the funeral. It was a lovely

service held in our home church with the preacher that replaced

my father all those years ago. Her nurse was there and gave me a

letter she wrote moments before she died. I never knew my momma

had such a beautiful way of writing. That night I walked around

the small town and thought about life before my father died. I

thought back to when life was perfect.

May 25th. My first day back we continued with our daily routine and

it was almost as if nothing happened. Exactly one month later I

took a bullet to the neck while running a search and destroy

mission. I don’t remember anything after that, just darkness and

loneliness. I was sent home on disability. I was lucky, I healed

and began my own life. I fell in love, got a good job as an

accountant and bought a home and an automobile. Life was good

until 2005 when I suffered a brain stem stroke apparently due to

that cursed bullet that grazed it all those years ago. From this

seizure, I contracted Locked-In syndrome, in other words,

awareness, mental functions, and eyes were not affected but my

whole body was shut down. I cursed God out of my life. If he

loved me so why did he give me this life full of death and

disappointment? Now I was truly alone.

So my life as a vegetable began, my mind trapped in a useless

body with no way to express myself and forced to live on. My dear

wife did everything for me: fed me, (through tubes of

course), changed me, wiped me, and spoke for me. She was living my life,

she was living two lives; what a strong woman. She knew I heard

her, and she knew I could understand but I just couldn’t express myself

like I wanted to. Every time we went anywhere people bombarded

me and apologized to my wife and pitied me, unaware I knew

everything they were saying. My wife knew better than to feed

their curiosity and walked on. The ghosts tortured me, they knew

I was trapped in my mind. I saw them everywhere; friends and

enemies when I slept, when I was out with my wife, everywhere the

ghosts followed, and unable to escape their cursed grasp I felt like

I was losing my mind. But that was all I had left in this life so

I built a wall within it. My mind was my home and my eyes were

the windows. I watched everyone living their mediocre lives and if

only they knew they wouldn’t complain, and they’d live their life

one day they could be like me and then they’d realize you don’t

know what you have till it’s gone. I loved my wife and I

appreciated what she did for my day in and day out, but I decided

I’d live in my mind. She would always be with me and of course, I

would always be watching her beauty, but this world had no more

to offer me. In my mind I was not alone; in my mind my father was

there, my mother was there, all the friends from my childhood,

and all the friends I made in the war who were now dead and

buried, but they were alive in my mind. Their life was perfect.

This is what heaven must be like I thought to myself.

I got to know myself through this sickness, being “locked-in”

wasn’t that bad. What if we all lived a little more in our heads?

What a world we would have if we took that life and made it

happen? Oh what a wonderful life it would be. Everyone looked at

me as if I was alone within my body but they had no clue what a

journey I was having; there no one died and no one was sick, and everyone

was nice. It was perfect. Once again I thought of heaven and

decided if it’s as good as this I want to go. That night I asked

God to Forgive me and he did. That night I passed away

and left for glory. I guess you could say I didn’t escape

daddy’s preaching and I’m so glad. If I could have told

everyone I could I would’ve to have them a message before I

died. That message would’ve gone something like this.

Life was meant to be lived, not to be a casual walk. Your mind

was meant to be explored; you were given those thoughts for a

reason, so express them before you no longer can make the world

around you better. Life was meant to be lived alone. Don’t be

scared by death, honor them and love them forever but don’t dwell

because that’s when you begin to die yourself. There is so much my life

could teach and there is so much I missed, but know I have lived

my best life. I’ve lost friends and I’ve lost family but oh what a

life I’ve lived. I found out the secret of life; what will you do

with yours? Of course, no one will ever know my story, it will

die with me, I am of course stuck in my mind, but it’s nice to

imagine what it would be like if everyone could read this. Oh,

the things you can do in your mind and if we just all took a

trip there once in awhile we could change this world of

isolation for the best. I experienced heaven before death and

the world could have it now but it’s an effort. I wish I could

tell you all this but I can’t so I’m going on to live my next

life, I’m going out marching like a saint like that old song we

used to listen to by Louis Armstrong all those years ago.