PEACE…

begins in one’s dream,
is fed by one’s heart;
it reaches one’s mind
and passes outward
through one’s hands,
eyes,
words,
and deeds
to be shared with mankind.

Must peace remain but a dream?

Unless nourished with love
and given in truth,
peace will remain but a word
upon lips of the dumb

—Shelley Evans

Shelley Evans

Shelley Evans has been writing poetry most of her life. It was destiny, as she was named after the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Many of her poems are inspired by the beach and are often written with her feet in the sand at Pismo. One of Shelley’s favorite activities is rhyming her way through life. Shelley has two poems published in the 2018 anthology, Writing Flora, Writing Fauna, A Collection of Poems from the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

Haiku

Red summer sunsets
A large yellow star rages
against the darkness

—Cyn Bermudez

Cyn Bermudez

Cyn Bermudez is a writer, nerd, and coffee addict. She is the author of the forthcoming middle-grade fiction novel, Taken Away. October 1, 2018, Book 1 of the Brothers series. She attended college in Santa Barbara, California, where she studied physics, film, and creative writing. Her work can be found in the anthologies such as Building Red: Mission Mars, The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal (2014), and more. Her fiction and poetry can also found in Middle Planet, Perihelion SF, Strangelet, Mirror Dance, 805 Literary and Art Journal, among others. For more information about Cyn, visit her website at cynbermudez.com.

Epiphany at Open Mic

Still, quiet, pensive,
Through two hours of our
reflections and readings
he sat.

Leaning forward, knees and hands together as if in prayer
Then tentatively pages came out of pockets.
Unfolded, a furtive glance, refolded
precious bits of self taken out for examination
and judgment.

A pause,
an invitation
And then with great apologies
for the unfinished nature of his poem,
he read.

The heavens
shuddered and sighed
as one more brave soul
opened and shared
his authentic, imperfect voice
in the chorus of life.
Alleluia! Amen!

—Rose Lester

Rose Lester

Rose Lester is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice. As a true renaissance woman, she aspires to all things creative and is at home in a variety of creative mediums from song writing and singing, to playing her violin and guitar, to painting and sculpting, or writing poems about life and transformation. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and online websites. She volunteers for the Art for Healing program at Mercy Hospital and helps lead the Threshold Choir that sings at the bedside of those in need of comfort and peace.

We Heard Your Voice Today

We heard your voice today.

Low, rumbling, gravelly.

A voice of kindness, love, acceptance.

We knew it wasn’t you, because we saw

you in the coffin so many years ago.

But it was your voice…

We were little again, wrapped in your warm arms,

Resting against you and feeling your heart beat.

We smelled the wood smoke from your stove,

The kerosene from your lamp,

Your lavender toilet water.

We felt safe, cared for, loved.

The troubles, fear, pain all disappeared.

One little girl nestled in the arms of

one old, tired black woman that let us just be with her.

Oh, how we love and miss you Jewell!

Oh, how we treasure that love and safety!

You gave us the gift of you.

Forever and for always.

–Judy Kukuruza

We Heard Your Voice Today

We heard your voice today.

Low, rumbling, gravelly.

A voice of kindness, love, acceptance.

We knew it wasn’t you, because we saw

you in the coffin so many years ago.

But it was your voice…

We were little again, wrapped in your warm arms,

Resting against you and feeling your heart beat.

We smelled the wood smoke from your stove,

The kerosene from your lamp,

Your lavender toilet water.

We felt safe, cared for, loved.

The troubles, fear, pain all disappeared.

One little girl nestled in the arms of

one old, tired black woman that let us just be with her.

Oh, how we love and miss you Jewell!

Oh, how we treasure that love and safety!

You gave us the gift of you.

Forever and for always.

—Judy Kukuruza

Judy Kukuruza

Judy Kukuruza is a retired college instructor, continual student of others and bleeding heart peace lover. She has written since she learned to write. Her memoir, One Body, Many Souls, was published in 2018.

The Warrior’s Dance

She walked into the room where
Everyone was crying.
She cried louder than them all.

She met the man
With the club
And they danced the warrior’s dance.

She saw the children suffer,
So she cast off their tormenters
With ease.

She looked after the widows
And quenched their parched lips,
So they honored her
With memories of her kindness forevermore.

The children danced around her feet
As she crowned them with priceless jewels.
They went out and saved the world.

She looked upon the man with the club
And saw his heart.
He put down his club.

Then she looked around the room and heard
No one crying.
She then found herself,
In the silence.
–Lily Hobbs

Recently retired, Lily is a late-blooming independent writer, just getting her feet wet. As a member of the Writers of Kern in Bakersfield, California, she’s getting the support, encouragement and guidance needed. In addition to her love of non-fiction and all things Spiritual – both reading and writing – she discovered a love for poetry through an interview with Mary Oliver by On Being Studios. For the first time in her life, Lily began hearing life in poetic lyrics and occasionally tries her hand at it. Find out more about Lily at www.justonething.site.