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By Alex Moschella 

''One final word,
Placed gently like leaves devoid of jubilance,
Spiny and exact it drills like the weevil,
Take heed to its girth, it may swallow your breath.

One day on its side, it wheezes out pained laughter,
Infectious and hollow, guarded marshes of Panama,
Cutting through to your sea, it lives amongst the reeds,
Deadly, bloody maws, convert regality to soil.''

Click here to
Alex Moschella's poetry in pdf format

A Heart Song for You
By Mitchell Waldman

Writing simple as I do
nothing esoteric
nothing from the cosmos
or beyond
just listen:
I feel lost
when you're not around.
Simple, to the point,
the truth.
Heart feeling heavy
when you're not there,
at night
reach in the dark
in the silence
just want to wrap my arms
around the place you would be,
where you were,
hear you whisper in my ear,
feel your breath on my cheek,
lay your head on my chest,
stroke your hair,
hold you forever
in my arms

the heart of the man knows
what his head doesn't
you said once
but now it knows

want to feel you warm against me
no space between
want to share the air that you breathe
drink in that first kiss
tell you I love you
watch your eyes consume the words
know that it's true
want to get back to that place

feel your heart magnet love
beating against the walls of mine
two hearts echoing as one
feel our tears intermingling
a salty sea of birth,

want to get back
back to that place like no other
your small hand in mine
my hand on your hip
your eyes on mine
your lips, tongue, on mine
carry you
hold you
skin to skin
dance with you
at midnight
and say
there has never been a time
a day
a night
there has never been a love
like there is

Click here to
Mitchell Waldman's poetry in pdf format

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Guarding Shakespeare
Quintin Peterson
Nobody alive knows the Folger Shakespeare Library better than Special Police Officer Lt. Norman Blalock. That's why he is the perfect candidate to pull off an inside job and heist a priceless artifact that can rock the foundation of English Literature?/font>

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Here Goes Nothing
by Nathaniel Jones
Here Goes Nothing, the highly anticipated first collection from Nathaniel is one that comes to the reader with great labor. Each poem takes you into the mind of this budding writer, getting deeper as the pages turn. With this collection, Nathaniel hopes to inspire those who are afraid to step out on a limb and be free. With the influence of his Father and Grandfather guiding him, Nathaniel takes pieces of them and transforms them into this brilliant work of art. Available at Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Mylk"n"honee publishing

By Star LaBranche 

His words were so matter-of-fact
An inevitable conclusion which any
Sane human being would have come to
The smell of sanitizer hung heavy in the air
Of the hospital room as he explained

I was too dull, too boring for him
He had given me a chance and all we
Had done was watch DVDs on his
Silver Macbook. I wasn't nearly
Interested enough for a man like him

My breath caught in my throat as my
worst fear played out before my eyes.
I had been found out. He knew I
Was this gentle, unassuming impostor
And he would stand for it no longer

I looked around the room; my only thought
To vacate the place where I was
So thoroughly unwanted. Before I could collect
My thoughts or my belongings or wits, he crashed
My laptop. A final farewell.

Click here to
Star LaBranche's poetry in pdf format

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Pleasant Hill 
by Driskill B Horton III
In early 1864, after two-and-a-half years of fighting back East, Major David Hawkins returns to his small farm outside of Shreveport, Louisiana to find the fresh grave of his loving young wife Emily. Facing an empty future, Hawkins recalls a promise he made and rides south to Pleasant Hill looking for Johnny McRay, the son of the man who died saving his life at the Battle of Shiloh. Pleasant Hill is a hauntingly poignant tale of love, loss and adventure of a Confederate officer struggling to keep his honor and find his purpose in a lost cause, and the endeavors of a troubled young boy seeking retribution on his path to destiny.

Stray Cat Caf?/B>
By Dean Meredith 

On a dreary day too poor for a name,
He dragged himself down to the little caf?
Flat white and a paper, always the same,
He fumbled for coins and something to say,
His hand struck silver, but his mind no gold,
The coffee machine frothed a mocking hiss,
His soft fingers touched the counter so cold,
And there she was, a sunny shining miss,
All glowing with life and lighter than air,
Pink lemonade cheeks and strawberry lips,
A chef's hat hiding her blonde wistful hair,
Uniform jealously guarding her hips,
As soon as she smiled, his fears departed,
And that praise God was how it all started.

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A New Orchid Myth  
by Helene Pilibosian
A New Orchid Myth is a fantasy-reality tale explores the possibility of a different kind of breitling replica civilization on the planet Tome from which Mr. and Mrs. Everydream descend to Earth. They find life in New York City puzzling, but extensive travel within the states gives them a broader landscape. Look for the magic of flowers and for the story with an unlikely ending. From Ohan Press, or from Amazon.com.

By Gershia Mahabir

My heart belongs to the moon
And you belong to your mother.

With her pained knees
And I like silence
To be at home
alone naked
And you, run to religion
To pacify your emptiness

Justify your lack with
metal and gadgets
I don't own my furniture
You tell me, you want to travel and
I think we can fly together
Make love in the ocean

But your phone rings and you
Cling to wooden houses
And patterns, born
Of dysfunction
And I'm pushed out
Locked out

In the darkness of the night
I howl at my moon.

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Get Serious: New and Selected Poems
by Jefferson Carter
"So much depends upon Jefferson Carter, Hero of the Humiliated, Mensch of the Unmentionable. No longer can we shun the rumor that he is indeed the long-awaited love child of Rimbaud, Jim Morrison, and Sarah Silverman, such is this poet's unerring irreverence."-William Pitt Root. Jefferson Carter's Get Serious: New and Selected Poems has been selected as a 2013 Southwest Best Book by the Tucson/Pima County Public Library.

The Hero of this Saga
(Rewritten for Robin)
By Niko Rylee 

The Hero of this Saga's very strong;
he'd have to be to carry all that weight.
If you think you could've handled it you're wrong!

Though signs said stop, he solely struggled on
his quest. He grappled, bent and fell to fate,
and through it all he's been so very strong.

You probably wouldn't make it half as long.
That ideal smile, it's proof you can't relate!
I bet you think you've suffered more-you're wrong!

He combs his fragile hair and sings a song
to give it hope. The guilt he feels and hate
he holds fill his voice and makes it very strong!

He's found his ways to cope-to get along,
but some ways have stopped working as of late.
You think you could've fix it? Well...you're wrong!

He's gone now-to the sea where he belongs;
he lived where he could not. Don't dare berate
the Hero of this Saga. He was strong!

I know you think you could've saved him

you're wrong.

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The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray 
by Jason Tanamor
Shady Gray's family is dysfunctional to say the least. When his sister gets pregnant their father kicks her out of the house. When his mother takes her resentment into another man's arms, Shady's father starts a fight. When Shady's mother fights back, she kills his father out of self-defense. But is it really self-defense? Shady Gray wants nothing more than to rolex replica fit into the world. He questions life, God and everything in between on a number of occasions. Everything in Shady's life is a disappointment. That is until he meets Jessica, a physically scarred girl who teaches Shady how to enjoy life. With Jessica's help, Shady realizes that instead of fitting into the world, he is destined to stand out. The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray is a fictional young adult/coming of age story.

The Way
By Ananya S. Guha 

this is the way road spurns death
in the sun, in the moon.in wildflowers
that rest on brooks of sedentary
colour. the way that eternity holds
in cowering ways of stuttering solitude.
First way is always the last, triumphal
ogre eyed, gasping for life that never
knows pell mell of living, cascading into
torrents that were the seas into, spectral
dust ashes. dust can only wither the ways
the first teethering way. break the hardened
rock, cover it with fistful of laughter and tears.
Throw mounds of mud at faces which are
still looking at ways that are first, last, death.
In seas, oblivion cease, in seas desperate birds
drown, and animals shriek.
They have learnt the winding way,
the first way.
Last. Amen.

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The New Now
by Ava Bird
The New Now is an exploration of the Feminine. This compelling, yet sensitive book of poetry and prose will not only shock you, but also tempt you to lament for the unspoken voice that rises up within you. Ava Bird's prose consists of honesty flavored with cries of injustice, the language used is not for the weak-hearted. Her targeted rants are obsessed with blatant Feminism, while allowing shadows of vulnerability (mixed with rage) to flicker throughout. As you follow the replica watches path, you are carried off to the absurd, twisted with humor. At the same time, you witness tinges of sadness. Ava Bird scoffs at the man-made system set before us to follow. However, we are left smirking from her amusing observations of sexism and the decay of society.

By Anca Mihaela Bruma 

I found a clandestine translation
between our hearts...
with coagulated rhythms
of thick lines of Reality...

You and Me...
no more conjugated by a verb,
no more nouns
pleaded to be sung,
no more chorus
to fill the empty line...

My wings cannot fit,
into your story,
and my eyes stopped
describing the sound
of your body...

All you needed
was to conjugate
my 17 syllables...
so, your shadow
will not grow
under my shadow...

Click on the cover to order from SPD

Immortal Medusa  
by Barbara Louise Ungar
Immortal Medusa is a book of elegies-for father, friends, animals, weather-enlivened by humor and always accessible poetry. It considers both what passes away and what remains: the title poem, "Immortal Medusa," describes a jellyfish that can actually grow younger and theoretically live forever, which becomes an emblem for the enduring life force. The cover is a collage by Joseph Cornell, the great assemblage artist.

Conspicuous Capricorns
By Maryann Gestwicki 

We are dreamers.
We are believers.
We soak from our minds with open eyes.
We feel from our hearts with common desires.
We will fight.
We will explore.
We will fight for human rights.
We will change our disastrous planet.
We will dream.
We will discover.
Bring Earth back to life.
Watch the globe's enduring light.
We will endure the unknown.
Acknowledge our failures.
Succeed with structure.
Two minds that think alike.
Two hearts that beat apart.
If only you could see me.
Deep inside your dreams.
If only you could feel me.
Deep inside your heart.
If only you could hear me.
Deep inside your mind.
If only you could reach for me.
From west side of Malibu.
Across state borderlines.
From East side of Ohio.
Meet me in the center.
Would be a surprise.
Even thou, you are far apart.
You will forever be close to my heart.
Never will we suffer.
Never will we fear.
We will embrace our reality.
We will face our fatality.
Conspicuous Capricorns we are.
Conspiring underneath a blanket of stars.

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Unrequited Love  
by Maryann Gestwicki
Unrequited Love: Have you ever been rejected,ignored, by a crush and couldn't resist an wanted temptation but you couldn't reach out because you were shy, scared, unavailable? This is a collection of poetry that is in 4 chapters that reflect love, lust, Insync harmony & Idolatry withdrawal & the heartache that comes with it. These poems are inspired & influenced by the men I had & have a crush on.

Everything's Darker At Night
By Abby Tiska 

I was never an insomniac
but I've never had a good night's sleep-
maybe it's thanks to that damned goodwill
mattress we bought last summer.
I don't know, my
lines blur between dreams and reality and
all I want is your hands in my hair and
our legs intertwined.
I'm feeling fine it's just that
I like when you keep me up.
Now you're keeping someone else awake
but I'm still not asleep, still just trying to
reap what you sowed.
I'm still alone and nothing remains
but the stains

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Airborne: An Anthology of the Real
by Christine Stoddard (Editor), Julie Dinisio (Editor)
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, The Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts, history, folklore, and other oddities through a variety of fiction and non-fiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite essays and articles from 2010-2012.


By Lily Tierney 

She felt it once
it consumed her
till she no longer

It wandered off into
the demise of

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A Gospel of Light 
by Alisa Velaj
Blessed with incredible talent, Alisa Velaj writes a poetry so subtle and so personal that reading it one feels almost as invading her privacy, and yet at the same time one is not able to stop from reading, poem after poem. Nature plays a very strong part in her art, if as metaphor, if as partner to dialogue, if as part of her own being, her wording relates in few sentences stories that would take entire chapters to tell, her variety of hues and tones is incredible. Reading one poem never prepares you for the next one to come ?all are unique, different, all are amazing. Alisaయetry is mostly written in her native Albanian, and still we are able to enjoy it fully due to the outstanding quality of translation into English professed by the distinguished Mr. Uk?Zenel Bu簡paj.

River Ink
By Shannon Laws 

Went to the river looking for a poem
I found my familiar trail
Winding woods that hug the bank
Whatcom Creek in August
Bushes high and
Full of berries,
Birds and spiders webs.

Grass sways underwater
Moving in sync with the river
Is this what peace looks like,
Melted into movement?

Tree branch dips over the drink
Desiring more of plenty
Is water from the root not good enough?
Do you cool your leaves in the noon sun?

Down by the edge there's a place to sit
Two dead trees have slumped across
I dip a stick into the stream
Like pen into ink
To write my name on the sun bleached wood.

The sun grabs my letters
Throws them in the air
Birds ride the upward current
Did I just disappear?

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Night and the Texas Sky 
by Travis G. Baker
A grunge rock gut punch. Dark things slither around in the heat under all the Night and the Texas Sky. Set in Houston just before Nirvana conquered the world, it is about a band and the four messed up young people who must negotiate the collective horrors that haunt them all.

In a Cage of Brief Nomadic Sequences
By Raymond Farr 

Rowdy boys raving
In our underwear

We have this thing
About blowing up

Mountains in the distance
But with copious love

& mindful that
Nothing we say

Is as we'd have it said
We communicate in tropes

Of brief nomadic sequences
We wind up cutting out

The sweet kiwi fruit
Of our own tongues

With a thought
With a notion the poem

Can be better
Whole fathomless stanzas

Of cold breath
Of spilt soda

Redacted from reality
Disappearing into

Animal existences
Meaning we've arrived

Half blind
At the gates

Where people enter
Not knowing the city

It's as though eyes
Are what this poem

Is all about & how
Perfectly they adjust

To dust in the light
& it's like it's 12/26

On the earth again-
A supper of kippers

& asparagus
Of cuckoo Xmas

Radio waves
& I have only

Minutes left to tell you
There are carols

In the amazing dust bin
& frozen in the surf

Of our own laughter
Our hearts are made

Of sleeves at the elbows
& light flows from us

Like green ribbon
Into the bright winter air

Where drivers slow
& look up

& shoot off their guns
In celebration

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The Nest: An Anthology of the Unreal
by Jade Miller (Editor), Julie DiNisio (Editor), Christine Stoddard (Editor)
Imaginary. Nostalgic. Otherworldly. These are the words that inspire the creators of Quail Bell Magazine every day. Since 2010, The Quail Bell Crew has explored the arts,history, folklore, and other oddities through a variety of fiction and non-fiction forms. This anthology represents a sampling of their favorite essays and articles from 2010-2012.

By Michael Estabrook 

her room was messy
I was surprised about that
she was such
a tiny girl, neat and pretty

I returned with her there
after we had
some wine only a glass or two
she had a roommate too
not her husband Danny
which surprised me even more

she fell promptly to sleep
in a fetal position on top of her messy bed
but I didn't want to sleep
I wanted to kiss her
but I didn't
I'm married and so is she
I only stood there watching her
as she slept smiling
so pretty so sweet so innocent so pure
just like she was back in high school

I left to go to
The Tower where Danny worked
fixing stuff up high
he wasn't afraid of heights
but I needed to
hug the walls and cling to the railings
like a frightened lizard

I had to tell him
about wanting to kiss Rita
he laughed and said yes of course
we all want to kiss Rita
especially when she sleeps
she's so beautiful then, exquisite
when she sleeps

yes, yes she is

then we made it to the top of The Tower
bursting outside into the cool air
the night closing in
and all this
because I became Facebook Friends
with Rita
even though I never knew her
all that well back in high school

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Gymee's Quest(ion) 
by Michael Philip Kashgarian
This is the story of a boy in search of meaning - of the f-word. It's an endearing story of adventure, coming of age, humor, relationships, suspense and collective lexistigmatosis. Guaranteed to entertain or your freedom back. Ordering information: This book is available for free through Smashwords, Barnes &Noble, and Kobo.

Rewards of a Farmer's Life
By Bradley LeBlanc 

The sun's rising high over the fields
It's so bright today; the air is crisp and clean.
For me, another magnificent workday has long begun
And, Lord, if I may, I'd like to offer you my morning prayers

What may I ask of you today, my Lord?
What more might this humble farmer wish?
I have coffee and a breakfast fit for a King.
Vast fields, good weather, good soil, and hopefully a good harvest

I've planted acres of wheat, corn, beans, and milo.
The wheat and corn already taller than I imagined
These harvests are offered up to you my Lord.
Many of the vast rewards of a farmer's rich life

Several generations ago my ancestors
Pursued a safe haven in this promising new home
Lord, you guided them with hope and assurance to this unseen land.
Giving them the courage and strength to meet each obstacle along the way

So dear Lord, what more may this humble farmer ask of you?
I've got good soil, good crops, and good weather
My family, my friends, and my good health
And, you my Lord, who hears my prayers and gives me strength

Working these rich fields day after day is an honor my Lord
And so it is my sincere wish, if I may ask it of You,
Lord, when you need another worker to tend to Heaven's fertile lands
You call me Home to continue the rewards of a farmer's rich life

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Slices of Life
by Bob Smith
Enough already with the superheroes, superstars, and supernatural characters! Most of us are ordinary people, leading regular lives.  But we are all the heroes of our own existence and that isn't unexciting. In this collection of short stories, there is no one with X-ray vision, no Hollywood idol, no vampire.  Instead, there is a man who reluctantly attends a memorial service for an unremarkable colleague and discovers he wasn't so ordinary after all.  A girl whose mother recently died reconnects with her father who is lost in grief.  A woman discovers support from school friends who seem to have grown apart as adults. Positive and optimistic, these stories affirm the strength, creativity, and thoughtfulness we all have. It is available for order at ottbookstore.com  and as an ebook at many online stores.

Coal Cough Morning
By Andrew Scott 

Every morning starts with a heavy cough,
blackened phlegm follows more and more now.
When this first started there was a little hackle
that no one cared to notice but me.

When it started over a decade ago
I knew what it was
and that it would never go away.
The little black dots that grew slowly
taking my left lung and then my right lung.

I knew my future when the doctor found it.
I have seen many before whither away
in this coal mining town.
Never thought it would happen to me.

The mines have gotten safer
with up to date equipment and masks.
I have racked my brain for when
the time I breathed in too much.
Thought that I was so careful
until I found out I was not.

In these hills the mines
were the only place
to support yourself and a family.
This is if a person stays
and according to all the familiar faces
we all stay here.

When I was told about the spots
I knew I was going to die
but kept it to myself
to keep my job and benefits.
The insurance will support
my leftover family
or I hope it will.

Counting my days now
but have been for a long time.
It is closer, I can feel it
with each harsh coal cough morning.

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The Boulevard Trial
by Stephanie Laterza
The Boulevard Trial is the story of three women who face a guilty past during a New York prostitution case. It is a story of lawyers and clients, mothers and daughters and the redeeming power of unconditional love. When attorney Helena's Partner boss discovers a secret from her law school days, she realizes she may lose her job or worse. Before then, she will continue defending prostitute Francesca after a police raid. When Helena's adversary Alexandra, a powerhouse prosecutor, hints that she also knows Helena's secret, Helena must decide whether to expose Alexandra's German, post-war past to save her client and herself.

By Goirick Brahmachari 

Hang me at the gates of dawn
for the road is long, a million miles
and the rivers are all wary
and the workers are all in town,
fighting, hallucinating,
making faces at the mirror
defying their existential gong;
for many suns to be munched
like burgers, with extra cheese
on hot summer mornings,
when we bleed like a fish
in greedy green salads
rotten inside a bin
for memory to rain
over unpleasant smells,
nonlinear like time-

and the future is a ghost,
and love  a dead ant
for all the truths of this world
to uncover unprecedentedly
on a broken Sunday evening
inside a big, black garbage bag.
Click on the cover to order from Joseph Musso's website

I was never Cool
by Joseph Musso
In this charming journey through a life filled with weirdness as well as wisdom, a man is caught between letting in and pushing away the people he needs most. Odd roommates, old girlfriends, family relationships, a trumpet, a mystery, and friends both disturbingly sane and profoundly crazed crowd a crooked but coherent path from, and back to, the heart. This book is easy to read and hard to put down. Read it and join the rest of us who care more about being ourselves than being cool.

Unlike The Best Minds
By G. Louis Heath 

of my generation, I never smoked
marijuana. So, it took a long time
for my muse to grow up. I ate
scrambled eggs while other young
men wrote great poems, potted out
of their minds.

Scrambled eggs do not grow a muse
any more than those tuna sandwiches
I ate for lunch throughout college. But
living those safe square years did elongate
my life till, suddenly, I turned 55 and
drew a pension. The fear draped
over my life lifted an important inch and enough
light found me so I could write poems.

The aesthetic miracle has happened.
The poetical beams pattern themselves
over my gray matter where little flowers have
begun to grow. These are not strange little,
weird little flowers. They are just little flowers,
mostly peonies and alyssum, neatly tended in a
bed of potting soil along the side of my home.

Dying 4 Dinero
By Mark Antony Rossi

Show me a man who wants understanding and I will show you a man with no guts.
I'll show you a man who will let his family starve lest he break some bastard's precious principle. I'll show you a man who stopped being a man the very moment he started fighting fair and stopped fighting for that face in the mirror.

Today is your darkest day destined to dart back and forth in a long loop of lost potential residing deep in rusty cavity that once stored your eternal soul.

Don't be impressed--- any fool can be honest.
Don't be jubilant--- any jerk can be loyal.

But don't back yourself in a corner by limiting how you can obtain the coin of the realm.

No hunger for the fearless. No guilt for the profane. The rape of regret will not touch your masculine frame if you just lift your tattooed hand against the sacred cows that dare graze on your plateau while you are dying 4 dinero.

Stop dying and start justifying that beating heart. Start right now. 

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The Shattering
by T. Pearl Joynz
The Shattering is an honest, inspiring response to one of life's greatest devastations. It provides a critical look at "the other woman" and the "woman scorned." If you've ever been cheated on or if you've ever cheated, you will want to read this book! It can be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

God's Masterpiece
By T. Pearl Joynz 

I am God's masterpiece
A precious piece of art
A lump of clay
In his skillful hands
When the world tears me apart

I have every tool in the universe
Available to me
His tool bag is fully stocked
He's the master carpenter
Ready to repair
Every crack in my life he sees

I know the master architect
The creator of earth and sky
Who works on my design
And takes great steps
To make me beautiful
From birth until I die

He doesn't use builder's grade
Or discount products off the shelf
He spares no expense
When it comes to me
He gives till there's nothing left

He is the hammer in my life
Precise with every blow
Anchoring me in his loving arms
Guiding my feet
Where they should go

I am God's masterpiece
A precious piece of art
A lump of clay
In his skillful hands
When the world tears me apart

There have been many requests to
bring back WritingRaw's cult classic

"really BAD Shakespeare"

So, without further ado, let's start at the beginning...
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Falling Water: Stories & Poetry
Blaine Coleman
A unique gathering of stories and poetry that offers an insightful look at life in all of its highs and its lows, its joys and grief.
The poems were compiled especially for this book from handwritten journals I've kept over the years. They balance the stories and help explore the realities of life we all face, from hope and happiness to the inevitable suffering that must accompany the good. These are tales of love, and loss, hope, strength, acceptance and the courage to carry on, with a greater understanding and appreciation for the good in life. There is sadness in these vignettes, but woven through them all is hope in the redeeming goodness of life. Wander into this book and you're sure to find something you forgot, something you care about.