Silver sparkles
Lost in a sea of purple fabric
Hair singed straight
Face painted
Laces stealing my breath away

Bittersweet, the hug
From an oft-absent father
The sinking feeling, unsatisfied
Without a clue as to why
Dread mounting, anxiety shouting

“You’ll be the prettiest girl at Prom”

Matte black
Broken by a silver bowtie
Hair combed back
Neat and orderly, obscuring
The sea of butterflies I hide

Euphoric, the hug
From the lady I’ll escort
Bright flashes in my eyes
Thumps of congratulations, I am 
The lucky man to take the prettiest girl to the ball

“May I have this dance?”

Submitted by Xander Hargreaves, USA

#19 – “SPECTRUM”

It takes time to comprehend
the spectrum of the soul,
the instances and insanities
that make up the person within.
The existence and depth is much debated
but not by me.
While not tangible
our words make it real enough,
from the corners to the darkness,
between our hearts and our minds,
there is something that is
at the very centre of our being,
from pure white to jet black,
across the spectrum we walk.
Submitted by r.l.w, UK


Integrate, disintegrate.
The tune’s the same, the substance not so.
Time wrinkles past my stumbling youth,
Bereft of speech,
Bereft of other life.

Tiny form dancing past the wind,
The gale behind the monster’s forceful gaze,
Listen closer:
Energy repels from you like joy does.

You did not devise it
As you did fictitious safe-keeping.

Foolish figure screaming past the sea,
Listen closer: 
You are exhaling as you drown,
Burning as you fail to breathe,
Life force cascading anywhere but to you.

Struck dumb, you falter;
Fragile as candlelight,
Stubborn as your shadows.
You have failed;
The deadline creeps up, ticking:

What line dies?
The tightrope of a life line
You have swung from like jungle vines
And dived distantly from,
Like a boulder hitting the pacific sea.

No-one watches over you
As heat runs from your veins,
And broken melodies reach inward,
Strangling their own sound
As you suffocate promise.

Connection, reflection;
Both devoid of life.
Ghostly child, come closer
To become further
From light.

No other choice remains for you;
You intertwine only with empty hollows.

No buoyancy can further your expectancy;
You intertwine only with deficiency.

Submitted by Rebecca Stenlake, UK


I’m better with words
than I am with music,
better with boys
than I am with girls,
more practice
despite the attraction.

It’s easier to wrap a man
around a body
than a mind,
but the closeness
is stifling.

It’s no different
the days or the weather.

I’m better with moments
than I am miles,
just better with pictures
than time.

Submitted by r.l.w, UK

#4 – “REBIRTH”

The stars are shining bright tonight
I’m falling faster, screaming harder
Shaking in my fierce delight
Making my way home

Tangled up inside this light
Shadows drifting, calling to me
Wake me up and take my side
The road will take me home

Soft and sweet I kiss the breeze
Lifting, loving, cool, caressing
Fade away the broken dreams
I’m finally coming home

Submitted by Robin Arsenault, Canada

Robin says: “If anyone is curious how this relates to LGBT+ folk, read it in the context that I just got my referral for Cross Hormone Therapy and decided to go for it.”