Silent Forest – by Rachael Ikins

Prelude:
I’ve had the rending grief,
chopped-off hair, bloody scratches.
Nausea, insomnia. Yes.
I have visited that forest.
This one is silent.

1.
Grief is a young woman on her horse. Shadowing me through trees. No matter how fast I snap my head around, I cannot see her.

Yoked to Summer, garden weeds, pests, harvest, I plod through July.
Huzzah each blossom—bud to husk. My heart isn’t in it.
I flinch beneath sun’s
relentless brilliance.

I want Autumn, leaf piles to hush highway’s yawn as it stretches and pops, Monday mornings.
Leave me alone
in the woods
to listen for those muffled hoofbeats.

I want cold and snow, a trail to follow early evenings.
When I can sneak out of the house, into birdless quiet.

Snow, so I can find those footprints,
See her profile, shout some soundless plea. “Go away!”
See

her turn her head.
She says, “I haven’t
forgotten you.”

2.
My kettle screams,
the dogs bark at squirrels.
Rush-hour streams the highway. Grief is a shadow,
a girl, her horse,
following
me.

Copyright Rachael Ikins. 2019. Read more by Rachael here

Rachael Ikins is a powerhouse of creativity as well as Associate Editor at Clare Songbirds Publishing House in Auburn NY https://www.claresongbirdspub.com/shop/featured-authors/rachael-ikins/2018 Ikins is an Independent Book Award winner (poetry), 2013, 2018 CNY Book Award nominee, 2016, 2018 Pushcart nominee

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Just You- Dee (Yass Queen) Jackson

IMG_0026.JPG

Anxiety the axe.
Hacking hearts
And minds
With a blade forged of fear and regret
Even breathing takes special skill
When overcome by the battling swords of stress
Your strength is your love.
Your crown is empathy.
Septer outta peace.
Jewels dug from humble mountains.
things don’t make real kings
Power isn’t derived from monetary earnings
Thrown into a lonely hole
The lowly king is no different than the proud pauper
It’s just you and your demons
The demons that come from within
Name thy demon and escape your cave
devil derived from what you think you lack
What you lack in fact is lack
Comfort in nothingness
Removes you from the less than civil society
Reverse the evil and live
Oh, just a letter away from love.

Dee (Yass Queen) Jackson started writing poetry as therapy. She always wanted to be a novelist and then realized she had absolutely no fondness for grammar or punctuation or sentences or what’s a fragment?  Her love for writing poems was born. She has a profound interest and love for philosophy, French music, laughing through the tears and she makes an exceptionally decent veggie chili.

Spoken Word: Gestalt/OldePunk

Grasping convolutions

anything will do really

corrugated steel rictus

pulls at corners

a shadow play

in ritual dusk

down another

glass of slow derision

at the nearest

watering hole

wondering how and why

I am unholy

reconcile I’m alone

with the pictures

we both inhabit

I could not hold

the fire

so now I choke

on smoke

and bathe in ashes

my breath stinks

of rebellion

my words are heavy

and low, lo

unto tomorrow

riveting the compunction

to depart the now

the how and when of it

matter little

respond to extinguish

the embers

of my love, of

your ruin

I absolve myself

of any wrongdoing

It’s stern

your reflection

I return

to the objection

and babe

it’s all gone down

it’s all your fault

it’s not the noun

it’s not this town

the fade of gestalt

that I caught

standing outside

looking in at

your origins

I am spread too thin

and I know I will

not win

impart the devolution

of the anatomy

of we

I am left alone

with the memories

that we both inhabit

I still wonder why you

left-handed

the wave goodbye

but would not look

in my way

I am disinterested

with what comes next

or the aftermath

of my part, apart

I am full to the brim

of empty

I know I haven’t the strength

to begin, again.

Think I will take

a walk down to the ocean

and see if

a baptism in the cold

salt of seas

can free me

from the loss

of the pictures

we both inhabit

image courtesy of Google Images and K. Layton

Voice recording courtesy of Christine Ray, Brave and Reckless


He is also a managing editor at Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Just You-Introducing Dee (Yass Queen) Jackson

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Anxiety the axe.
Hacking hearts
And minds
With a blade forged of fear and regret
Even breathing takes special skill
When overcome by the battling swords of stress
Your strength is your love.
Your crown is empathy.
Septer outta peace.
Jewels dug from humble mountains.
things don’t make real kings
Power isn’t derived from monetary earnings
Thrown into a lonely hole
The lowly king is no different than the proud pauper
It’s just you and your demons
The demons that come from within
Name thy demon and escape your cave
devil derived from what you think you lack
What you lack in fact is lack
Comfort in nothingness
Removes you from the less than civil society
Reverse the evil and live
Oh, just a letter away from love.

[Dee (Yass Queen) Jackson started writing poetry as therapy. She always wanted to be a novelist and then realized she had absolutely no fondness for grammar or punctuation or sentences or what’s a fragment?  Her love for writing poems was born. She has a profound interest and love for philosophy, French music, laughing through the tears and she makes an exceptionally decent veggie chili.]