New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

8 poems by our runner up, Maud Washington

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The Human

My only wish
Of this life was
To be free.

The earth never
Felt threatened
until it saw me run,

Nature itself had
Even commanded
Its features to halt.

Take note of a breathtaking sight.



The Sun

The sun deserves more than a glance of your attention,
So before it begins to hibernate,
It burns an aggravated orange.
You are then mesmerized by it,
And even against your will—you give it your time.



The Moon

When the night is quiet enough
I walk outside and stare at the moon.

If I stare long enough,
A blue rim will appear around its border.

If it may turn out to be a trick, a form of deceit from my eyes,
I hope they never muster up enough strength to show me the truth.




Life has bent me, repositioned my mind, but I am still here.
Maybe I’ve been quite withered,
On the very edge of a break
But not broken.

You see my leaves never fade.
God has been with my bark, for it never ruins.

Maybe my branches have been revised,
Indeed shaped without my permission,
But do not expect me to uproot.

You see how well I continue to hold my poise.
Survival, my friend was always the plan.



The Wind

We should love the same way we accept the wind.

We cannot see the wind but we feel it.
It dries us,
Cools us down on hot days,
Relieves us when we are weary,
Pushes us in the right direction.

It waits for us.

Subconsciously, we fight with it.
Try to keep it all to ourselves,
But it escapes us as soon as we exhale.

We cannot smother it.
It has enough to give us all.

We should love the same way we accept the wind,
Without question.



The Storm

When it rains, I brace myself for thunder,
Ready my ears for its vibrations.
When it hails,
I focus on the uneven fragments as they fall.

But I am more afraid of the calm before the storm.
It is purposely sly.

Although it sees the storm approaching,
It is careless in warning.




I am not fooled by water.
It has many faces.
It can replenish,
And it can also diminish.

It has many emotions.
One day still,
The next angry.




The humans have tried to change fire,
Taming it to simmer.
But it wants, desires to heat.

Nothing can soften it.
It is inane and simple minded
Because it cannot see past the urge to burn.




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