Gray November sky,
What wraps me calmly
is only you.
Even in scorching darkness,
your eyes become a lantern,
your breeze caresses my cheeks,
and your colors plant a hope
in my empty space.
Summer lingered long, never took.
Light spilled, sat easy, asked for a truce.
Now, laughter darkens, learns to wait.
A season peels off trees in golden ochre, bloodred, rust.
Eyes roll, all colours whisper, no intention of remaining.
‘Hear me’, the caught leaf sings, pinched between two fingers.
I close my fist.
The faintest heartbeat stops.
When I die, Don’t cover my grave with stones or epitaph.
Let me feel the seasons on my skin.
Don’t tend it everyday—let life take over.
Let weeds grow—wildflowers of every colour,
So, you’d think of me in death as in life–
A splash of wild colour in a bleak world.
When I die, Don’t bring fresh flowers everyday.
I won’t meet you, anyway.
I’ll be somewhere sitting in a sunny nook,
Thinking of a lost song or an old book.
So, you, too, better move on—let life take over.
It’s likely I’m in Autumn. The leaves reflect the glint
of the sun — lower in the sky though still creating
a schism in the heavens — golden light among
yellow and red foliage. I hang a bit lower these days.
Maybe I even glow a bit less bright — dimmed
over the years though still resolved in my journey —
silver hair replacing livelier colors.
I aged without consent, unsure how to ask the sun
to find a new pastime — one that doesn’t revolve around
changing seasons and forcing cheese into mold.
Purple streaks across the sky,
oranges and reds,
set the autumn sun
over prairie grasses,
tan and yellow blowing,
waving under wind.
Any wonder why
I love this world
hover around my summer.
They draw pictures
full of sorrow and gleam,
and fill my memories
with cool healing.
I leave my skin to the misty dream,
then, fall asleep.
I had always been like that–
For dead butterflies,
With the freshest flowers.
You had been like that too,
Loving me for little things,
Until you grew up
And I didn’t.
Shaily Agrawal is a small-town Indian and a working mother. Her skewed perspective is apparent through her stories on her blog: https://fishinthetrees.home.blog/ You can read her first short story collection, The Forest Bed on Amazon Kindle.
my mirror shines back
a beautiful butterfly
I escape my silk cocoon
spread my freckled wings
and soar into new heights
Tova Beck-Friedman is a visual artist, filmmaker, writer and poet.
In recent work she fuses poetry and moving images to create cine-poems.
Her work has been shown internationally in film festivals, museums, galleries and on television.
a rainy balloon drifted into sight
I looked out from this cloudy train
all my wings taken flight
left over sorrow and pain
transient, a mere passer-by
my reflection, a rusty butterfly.
Angela (she/her) was born and lives in rural North Wales, UK, she studied English and American Literature at Aberystwyth University and has returned to poetry after many years. She considers poetry an art of pure freedom. Angela was recently published in ‘Ink Drinkers’ Magazine and is currently compiling her work for her first poetry collection