A Goddess / A Queen | McKenzie Richardson

When you ate the seed that sealed your fate
did a pomegranate sprout in your stomach
so in the habit of making things grow
or was your new status as Queen enough to let it die?

You struck a deal with the devil, so to speak
the results never turn out quite as planned
still, being ruler of this dark place isn’t so bad
on the bright side, winter is almost over
it’s nearly time for fresh beginnings
spring is coming, sweet Goddess, and we’ve all missed you dearly.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories are featured in Black Hare Press’ drabble anthologies, Hate and Oceans, as well as Dragon Soul Press’ anthology, Reign of Queens, to be published later this year. Her stories and poetry have also been featured in many collections through Dreaming Spirit Press. McKenzie has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way. She is currently working toward a master’s in Library Science.
For more updates, follow her on:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/
Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/08/a-goddess-a-queen-mckenzie-richardson/

new growth | McKenzie Richardson

the sun peeks out through mist and haze
but still it is there
despite what the cold, barren winter sky suggests
its presence is undeniable
its warmth begins to creep into frozen things
the dirt starts to thaw
allowing us to push our way up to greet the sun
to take root
and breath the air we have so longed for
finally, I grow.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories are featured in Black Hare Press’ drabble anthologies, Hate and Oceans, as well as Dragon Soul Press’ anthology, Reign of Queens, to be published later this year. Her stories and poetry have also been featured in many collections through Dreaming Spirit Press. McKenzie has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way. She is currently working toward a master’s in Library Science.
For more updates, follow her on:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/
Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/08/new-growth-mckenzie-richardson/

Rain | McKenzie Richardson

I love it when it rains
wash the hurt away
watch the pain
float down the storm drain
with all of the other unwanted debris.

I love the springtime rain
droplets gathering
as the flow
courses, cleanses, cleans
leaving the world the loveliest shade of green.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories are featured in Black Hare Press’ drabble anthologies, Hate and Oceans, as well as Dragon Soul Press’ anthology, Reign of Queens, to be published later this year. Her stories and poetry have also been featured in many collections through Dreaming Spirit Press. McKenzie has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way. She is currently working toward a master’s in Library Science.
For more updates, follow her on:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/
Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/08/rain-mckenzie-richardson/

Awaken | McKenzie Richardson

Wipe the sleep from your eyes
warm wind whispers hello
straighten out your back
each vertebra cracks
to the sound of melting snow.

Step out of the darkness
squint into splendid sun
let your toes uncurl
your petals unfurl
sensing winter now is done.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories are featured in Black Hare Press’ drabble anthologies, Hate and Oceans, as well as Dragon Soul Press’ anthology, Reign of Queens, to be published later this year. Her stories and poetry have also been featured in many collections through Dreaming Spirit Press. McKenzie has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way. She is currently working toward a master’s in Library Science.
For more updates, follow her on:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/
Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/07/awaken-mckenzie-richardson/

little honeybee | McKenzie Richardson

little honeybee, let me witness your dance,
lead me to those pollen-soaked petals.

little honeybee, help me harness the sunshine,
build a mansion of hexagonal gold.

little honeybee, show me how to live,
share the secret of your sugary feast.

little honeybee, teach me to be free,
sprout wings and fly with the winds.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories are featured in Black Hare Press’ drabble anthologies, Hate and Oceans, as well as Dragon Soul Press’ anthology, Reign of Queens, to be published later this year. Her stories and poetry have also been featured in many collections through Dreaming Spirit Press. McKenzie has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way. She is currently working toward a master’s in Library Science.
For more updates, follow her on:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/
Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/07/little-honeybee-mckenzie-richardson/

True Love | Randi Hoekstra

Sitting at the kitchen table, I felt a little queasy. For the last few days, my hair had been coming out by the hands full.

I could hear the buzzing of the clippers as my husband prepared to cut off the patchy hair that remained. Soon, all traces of my dark curly locks would be gone. My head would be shiny and bald.

The buzzing stopped. As I felt the warmth of his lips touch the top of my naked head, I knew I could survive this cancer. Surgeries, chemo and radiation were no match for true love!


Randi is a 19-year survivor of breast cancer. She attributes her survival to the love of family and friends. This story is her first attempt at flash fiction. Previously, she has written for Press One in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is currently taking her fourth “Life Stories Writing” class at UW Whitewater.

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/07/true-love-randi-hoekstra/

A Mermaid’s Love | McKenzie Richardson

How would you define true love?
Is it swirling down a whirlpool to unknown depths?
Is it relinquishing a life with my father, my sisters, my grandmother?
Is it cutting out my tongue as sacrifice to see your face?
Is it a two-edged sword carving legs from my tail, each step like walking on glass?
Is it saving a man’s life to watch him marry another?
Is it choosing death instead of taking his life, sea foam returning to the sea?

A mermaid has no tears, but if I had, they would fill the deepest ocean
with the saltiest brine that ignites with each imagined kiss.
Yet I would do it all again, for the sake of true love.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her flash fiction is featured in Black Hare Press’ anthologies, Oceans and Hate. She has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration, 433 Lighted Way. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/ | Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/06/a-mermaids-love-mckenzie-richardson/

The Inner Workings of Love | McKenzie Richardson

Each time I fall
I reach for your hand,
using it to pull myself up.

I’m drowning in water
and there you are; my unwilling life preserver.

But that isn’t how love works, is it?
one person clawing their way along;
the other moseying in their own time.

That isn’t how love works,
that’s why I had to walk away.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her flash fiction is featured in Black Hare Press’ anthologies, Oceans and Hate. She has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration, 433 Lighted Way. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/ | Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/06/the-inner-workings-of-love-mckenzie-richardson/

Eternal | McKenzie Richardson

Heart bursts like sunbeams
there’s no going back from here
we’ll run our course, take what is given
and hope we emerge whole on the other side.

Blood flows like raging storms
fierce and strong and deadly
there are no guarantees in life
but I would stake my life on this.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her flash fiction is featured in Black Hare Press’ anthologies, Oceans and Hate. She has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration, 433 Lighted Way. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/ | Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/05/eternal-mckenzie-richardson/

All About Us | McKenzie Richardson

We love like snow powdering the morning;

it’s lovely, but it’s cold and no one wants to go outside.

We love like the sun during a heat advisory;

too much of a good thing kills off everything we worked so hard for.

We love like a fallen tree that once stood so tall;

by that I mean, we live in the past and are too proud to admit our defeats.

We love like a river closing over our heads;

we won’t admit it, but we stopped gasping for breath long ago,

we gave up on this love and have only ourselves to blame.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her flash fiction is featured in Black Hare Press’ anthologies, Oceans and Hate. She has published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, available on Amazon, as well as a poetry collaboration, 433 Lighted Way. McKenzie also runs a crafting blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/ | Wattpad

This post can now be found here: https://whispersandechoesmag.home.blog/2020/05/05/all-about-us-mckenzie-richardson/