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The Optimistic Candle (Louis Toliver Jr - Swartz, LA)

Knifed in the back countless times. I still get up everyday. I face what is wrong with this screwed up world, making things right, shining a little light.I refuse to live in fear.I choose to live in love.Through the darkness of humanity, I am an optimistic candle.Sometimes, when I am laying alone at night in my bed I reach behind my back and I am shocked to find my blood on my hands and the pain that goes along with it.If stab wounds were truth, I’d be dead by now.However, that ‘truth’ is just a lie because it is caused by fear.I am an optimistic candle and if I must bleed to death then I shall do it.
Have you ever been in a dark room during a storm and the lights go out? How relieved are we when we get a candle lit and it brings light to our eyes? But have you ever used one candle to light other candles and the light grows?The room seems safe because the shadows disappear and the door is visible.It takes just one candle to light a room, how many candles to light a city? I’m not reall…
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Untitled (Joseph Michael Benoit - Iowa, LA)

Even if I gave you the attention that you crave still, still, still, this is how you would behave Even if I let you bury me in a deep, dark cave still, still, still, it would not be my grave. Even if I told you to change the way that you act nothing would ever change fact, fact, fact

Folly's Poem (Blake Bumpus - Lafaytte, LA)

Folly’s Poem Written by Emperor Talimai’s Fool  in the year 15 T.R.

Oh thy sweet city
built upon hills,
built upon stones and bones,
release me into the throes
of succulent bitterness
which dives and weeps upon man’s
betrothed courier
who sends messages from the moon of Zaradar,
the moon of an eternally embracing planet
circling lazily upon its star.

This land seeks to be what it shan’t be.
The empire weeps tears that aren’t forthwith,
she was laid, ripped and splayed
like a urchin ne’er do well
with honey tipped fingers.

An assassin lays waste
to those important
(thought safe)

Some are lying headless
upon amber thrones
as the whole Union shimmers
and quivers,
retching up volatile cries of retribution,

But who seeks the assassin?
Only the river hunters
of the deepest carnal forests.
They go forth with their blades,
willing their kind to slow immaculate corrosion.

a muse thrusts a knife
into the woody ashen dusk.
A young boy tries to hold her hand

Sisters (Annette Redmond Walters - Lafayette, LA)

Two little girls sitting up at night, Whispering secrets under the moon, Watching shadows in candlelight, Inhaling scents of a southern June.
Two young ladies walking in the sun, Sharing promises only they know, Chatting and laughing, making fun, Comforting each other as they grow.
Two grown women living far apart, Learning and struggling to be on their own; Each one holding the other in her heart, Both of them feeling very alone.
Two best friends home to reunite, Excitedly sharing stories of the past, Kneeling hand in hand by the firelight, Enjoying the love and making it last.

Why We Suffer (Louis Toliver Jr - Swart,z, LA)

1 A boy was waiting for his father to pick him up from school. Once again. And once again it seemed his father had forgotten all about the boy. It was raining this time. And the boy has been waiting two hours. Sad. Soaked. On the verge of tears. Hoping and imagining his daddy was a superhero ready to rescue him. How many times does a little boy’s heart have to break? Its not easy being daddy’s second choice. Especially when the first choice is a drop of alcohol. The boy has run out of faith. His daddy will never be Superman.
Now when his daddy speaks, All his promises turn into lies And they both suffer.
2 A couple at the end of their marriage has one more hurdle. Attending a counseling session. They’ve been waiting eight years to be in sync. Pour couple.

They are just too exhausted to care. So, much fighting, not enough listening
They could go at the world together, But they rather choose to go at it alone And they both suffer.
3 Just think.
If we didn’t suffer, We could build spaceships to new planets Live the…

First Word (Barry Sons - Berwick, LA)

His first word was EE-TA; The second was DADDY He had set his way of dos. So I fed him well, And he grew strong To withstand the darkest blues.
He may falter, But he leans to the wind, Triumph wills his moves.
Oh, my son With heart so tender Will win ore all his brood.
For love is the stuff That keeps us strong, And love was his very first food.

parTy's over (Louis Toliver Jr - Swartz, LA)

The curTains are closed The moTel room is Trashed i’m naked and shivering my large pupils are Tiring i could push my misery longer buT dawn jusT goT here.
iT’s Time To go inTo The lighT all The ice has melTed away and I no longer want To be cold Tina almosT fucked my hearT away my sorrow can longer add up.
alone, always alone Tina left me Tweaking in The dark baTTling The fears in my mind i would ofTen hear The police creeping ouTside the door paranoia had me Thinking, “if i wenT To jail, would she come to visiT?”
The really fucked up Thing: i wanTed her back again and again Though everyThing she Touched evaporaTed like smoke i craved her, my imaginary parTner my sTubborness had me Tripping Through life.
now, all The crysTals are gone, glamour conTinually leading inTo despair so many acquainTances have lefT my life so many of The wrong paThs i’ve Taken. i’ve had enough. i can’T live like This. I haTe the parTy lifesTyle!
The sun is Trying to shine on me Tina won’T Trap my spiriT inside a moTel hell I m…