#44 – “THEY SAY”

My body is a statement
The idea that I can love it is anathema
For something in me must be broken

They say

My choices are a statement
Daring to change for my health and my happiness
Is a crime against their God

So they say

Even a trip to the bathroom is a statement
It does not matter the man I am becoming
I should join the women in the ladies

So they say

The clothes I put on are a statement
I can try all I want
But I won’t be real until I pass

So they say

Enough of what they say!
My life is not something to be bandied on stage
Laughed off as a joke, or phrased as a debate

That is what I say

People who never walked in my shoes
Arguing for and against my right to be
A simple man, living his life is wrong

That is what I say

It is hard to stand tall in a life where
I am denied at every turn, where I know
My neighbors would happily see me burn, oh well

That is what I say

How difficult is it to accept that
The person living this life might
Know it better than you?

That is what I say

This hard skin won’t crack
Developed from years of being
Forced to hide in plain sight

That is what I say

Trying to live as best I know how, hearing
A damned politician pat himself on the back for
Allowing me the treatment I need, is wrong

That is what I say

They say this choice will lead me to burn
Their God does not make mistakes, but my only choice
Was to live a truth, or die from the lie

Hear what I have to say.

Submitted by Xander Hargreaves

#40 – “I’M BI”

I’m bi
But I don’t tell people from fear of rejection
I’m bi
But I don’t tell men from fear of the questions
I’m bi
But I’m invisible because I lean towards men
I’m bi
But I’m not out, to make it easier on them
I’m bi
But I’ve never had a proper girlfriend
I’m bi
But I’ll always have a boyfriend
I’m bi
But my family doesn’t know
I’m bi
And not one of these makes me any less than what I am
Submitted by Anonymous

#33 – “THROUGH THE DEATHLY MIST”

Our hearts entwined
Your spirit mine
Merged together
Like grapes in wine

Our journey grand
Through lovers’ land
But darkness came
And took your hand

My dear, do not struggle
My mind I shall juggle
My one true love
The dark shall not smuggle

A plan I shall make
To find you and take
Back the only thing
That keeps my soul awake

I’ll brave the sharp rods
And staffs of the Gods
I’ll barter with Hades
Two forces, at odds

I’ll swim the fiery lake
Whippings I will take
Be cut, be beaten, bled
Or devoured by a snake

Through the deathly mist
I shall grab your wrist
Pull you close
And share a kiss

For every realm, it’s true
Knows of my love for you
A power so strong
Death itself cannot skew

If alas, I happen to fail
All will still be well
For I’ll stay with you, my love
Wherever you do dwell

Our world means
Very little, it seems,
Without you my dear
It’s a world of machines

If we cannot depart
We shall stay with the dark
For without you I die
Now our end is the start

Submitted by Kyle Kepner, UK

#31 – “LOVE LIKE CIGARETTES”

Love? What is love? Like the flesh-weak heart from which it stems, it pumps, it warms, it circulates, it makes dreams real, inspires hope, moves us smiling from one day to the next, infectious, consuming, until such time the delicate mechanisms no longer work. And then they grind and shudder like a great and weary clock,
pheromones, hormones, inclinations all conspiring to end their streaming.

Love grows cold, snow and ice, the mind no longer caring, the eyes no longer seeing, blind to vivid colour and to gentle touch. Love like cigarettes enjoyed until the lungs turn black. Addictive, love as a stone weighs heavy on the chest and mind, torturing the cupid fool until his skin begins to burn and blister, backed into a corner like an animal for slaughter, afraid, unsure, not knowing what will come and remembering not what came before, thinking to himself, my harp, my wings, my fortune withers on the vine, pounds become pennies and pennies dwindle to a poverty of broken soul, my soul.

What is this clinging film that conspires with atmosphere to storm the barricades, to bring down the love-lost soldier, love-smacked, love-torn? Love like a war photo fades to sepia brown: forgotten moments, staring out of Time like so many dead men looking for their bones.

Submitted by Andrew Hinkinson

#29 – “WHERE AM I FROM?”

Oh, where am I from?
The place that pulsed like a beating drum
The place I grew up in, I will never escape
Nor would I wish to, in any case
 
There- oh there, the river flows
Near to the hills where I used to play and grow
Bare feet on bare Earth, to feel the mother’s pulse
Peeking through the thick boughs
 
Of the trees, those pine trees that held up the sky
Swinging from the branches, the best I could fly
Joining the squirrels in their home
They welcomed me into their abode
 
And scamper off I would
Running any which way I could
Over to the sandy plains
On which grew the ever present sage
 
The smell of which still brings me back
To a simpler time, before I felt under attack
From all the harsh truths that face the adult
Oh, to go back and indulge!
 
Submitted by Xander Hargreaves, USA

#25 – “OH DEAR MOTHER”

Oh dear Mother,
How I feel your breath dances
Upon my skin,
Placing me in a trance,
We are all your kin.

Oh dear Mother,
I see your light,
Shining through the trees.
It warms my soul, so bright.
Places the world at ease.

Oh dear Mother,
How we have distressed you!
The green is brown!
What will we do?
Is this why you frown?

Oh dear Mother,
You used to shine,
You used to keep us so safe.
Now all we do is cut down every pine.
For you, how do we save?

Oh dear children,
Band with me now!
Save our mother!
Let our love sound!
For Gaia, we have no other!

Submitted by Ava