Styx & Stones
The heartbeat is an ashtray of blazes,
Kindling smoke and collecting dust on lips –
Blooming in the cold, forgotten places:
Smelling of city stench and old outstrips.
A failed rewrite of caskets and cases,
The heart is a sea-morgue of wayward ships.
Wrapped in cotton whites and ghostly laces:
Blackened out, a sun during the eclipse.
An immortal organ, rhythm of ages,
Human devotion seeps out red and drips:
The stain of dark mahogany angels,
Washed away down the long black river Styx.
(Angelina Chartrand is a student at Lindenwood University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Studies with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Having developed a passion for writing ever since she was very young, Angelina has found a love and admiration of short stories to convey her creative ideas.)
Path of Wisdom
The tempest of heat in full swing
Has yet to dampen my aspirations.
Since I learned to live in hot and cold,
I imbibe the pleasures of both.
Life is not a cakewalk for most,
But mined with splinters of glass.
Though it encounters harm and afflictions,
Still, the brave spirit never perishes.
The paths converging and diverging
Are passages intrinsic to a man’s life.
If he cannot reconcile the twists,
The battle is lost before even waged.
Life does not stream the same way.
Outlooks to life mature as a tree grows –
Tenderness blooms into strength
That no passing wind can sway.
Tormented are the minds of many men.
Equanimity is present in men of wisdom.
Compassion is the path to embark on
To revive contentment in heat and cold.
(Pramod Rastogi is an Emeritus Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award. He is also a guest Professor at the IIT Gandhinagar, India.)
To the child hiding in your heart:
I know you are burnt and broken
You are torn and tethered
You fear when the leaf flutters
You fear the first rain-drop
It makes too much noise
And then the whole sky seems like
A terrible plot to pull you down
You fear the grown-ups when they say hello
You fear your play-mates
Whether on your team on theirs
But friend, you are not alone
Your voice is with you to guide you
Through the clouds, one by one
And bring you right here
In the sunlight
(Dr. Shailja Sharma (Ph.D.) is a psychologist and an author, practicing in Texas, USA. Apart from her scholarly publication, Dr. Sharma’s poetry has been nationally and internationally published in peer-reviewed journals, literary magazines, and radio shows. Some of her recently published work appeared in Setu: Bilingual Journal of Arts from Pittsburgh, Spillwords, Literary Heist, Piker Press (forthcoming), Life in 10 Literary Mag, Literary Yard, The Indian Periodical, Inkspire, and elsewhere. She was awarded a special literary honor for her poetry featured in an anthology of foreign language poems).
Dark, Light, Mind, Thought
We are too late for the darkness,
Too early for the light,
Too late for it to mind,
And too early for thought
Darkening never reaches the light
As the mind never reaches thoughts
Thoughts come to mind
(Anthony David Vernon, is a Cuban-American writer and a master's level philosophy student at the University of New Mexico. Some his publishing credits include A Great Fire (2020 Cabinet of Heed),
The Beautiful Space-