(I am) Illumined Identity

angel wings

She, Her, Me
by Rosemarie Wilson

I am the creator’s daughter,
a spiritual being
blessed with a keen third eye functioning as her voice of reason;
a child of the atmosphere
bearing blood of her people that spilled throughout the land.
I am hope,
patiently waiting for comforting chords sung in harmony by every creature that has breath,
tickled pink by peace filling the void left by chaos.
I am bilingual,
fluent in several dialects known to man,
well versed in the native tongue of our ancestors.
I am
family in every sense of the word
the sister who nags her siblings,
first, second and third cousin holding her kin down,
the aunt standing in for mom.
I am Fort Knox,
a confidant that knows but won’t tell;
the friend who won’t violate the code
or give up the key.
I am a girl playing hopscotch,
a woman doing Double Dutch;
a lady held in high regard–
the sweetheart
who became lover,
soon thereafter declared wife.
Mother of gifted stars,
companion to the world,
I am queen;
a bread winner,
head of the household
yet submissive when Mister takes charge.
I am tough
the weight of earth lifted by these hands,
its burdens
buried beneath my smile
then carried across continents on these shoulders.
A frugal spend thrift wearing size 10 kicks,
stepping lively in the name of decency,
I am a heroine;
clumsily graceful,
yet beautifully built because I said so.
I am confidence deprived of arrogance
wading with humility;
love surrounded by hate,
and pain
when the sun shines
or if it rains.
I am forgiveness with compassion for our souls
housing not one insidious bone
inside a frame that fails to turn green with envy.
I am she,
who loves her
because we
can only be


Rosemarie Wilson a.k.a. One Single RoseTM is an award winning poet, spoken word artist, singer, actress and playwright who has self-published three poetry collections, two chapbooks and two spoken word cds. She performs nationally and internationally and is the host of the “Spotlight,” an award willing open mic poetry series at Manila Bay Café, 4731 Grand River in Detroit, Michigan every 1st and 3rd Friday. For more information on One Single Rose, please visit http://www.onesinglerose.com.

The Call of Caged Changes


A bogus nation.
by Daniel Wetter

That’s known to throw the faces,

that they don’t like
inside the lowest places.

Prisons and graves overflowed with
Mental forces undergo no changes.

If we don’t like it,
then we fight with rage.

In exchange for our freedom
we might die today.

The sun always comes out on a brighter day.

Ignited is the spark that inspires flames.

The fire is alive and your minds ablaze.

It’s hard to feel alive,
when your life is caged

Released and unleashed this is my domain.

My disdain for you is unkind but hey,
we’re living on a globe where hope became,
worse than smoking dope
or slanging cane.

But thats the way she goes,
nope I won’t complain.

But I can kill the giant
and overthrow the slain.


I’m Daniel Wetter and a I’m current student,video editor, and writer in Chicago. I feel like the film and video experience I have had, growing up on rap and hip-hop, as well as life experiences, have concocted themselves into the flow, delivery, and soul that my poems continue to have.

Shards of Flat Scribbles


Give In, and Join The Crowd!
by Ryan Hardgrove

I fill up these notebooks
with all these words
but what’s the use?

the sky is blue
and everyone knows it
sometimes it’s gray
and everyone knows that too

deep into the night
saddled at the bar
the autumn crowd
is typically a bit more boisterous
it’s easier to lie to yourself
when the weather is pleasant

a barroom pal
lands the stool next to mine
mumbles something about a dart game
and too many 50 cent tacos
he drops a couple pills
into my cramped pen hand
I toss them into my mouth
without inspecting them
and bite down hard once
before swallowing the bitter shards
with a mouth full of flat beer

after the pills kick in
and enough beer is swallowed
the barroom gets real easy to accept
all the faces seem happy with me
at first they were wary of my pen
and head-down-scribbles
but now they seem to recognize me
as one of their own

they all know it’s no use
all these notebooks full of words
they know just as well as I do

but it’s easy
to look around the barroom
when the windows turn black
with autumn night blankness
and we are all roasting inside
amidst endless golden taps
and warm purring neons

it’s easy to forget
about the notebook and the pen

I think I’ll hunt down my barroom pal
for some more of those pills
maybe order a few tacos


Ryan Hardgrove is currently wading through his late twenties as a feckless bartender and responsible father. He is also a writer and a musician. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his common law wife and their son.

The Shoulders of Ponies


Cheryl A. Rice

He said they have a chip on their shoulder,
like midgets, and I wonder
how many midgets my father
has known in real life.
I wonder where a pony’s shoulders are,
and whether or not perhaps
they have a good reason for their
nasty attitude, to be skittish.
In college I knew a girl named Beth,
a very little person in body,
and she was tough, but from Poughkeepsie,
and her brother owned a terrific bar right
across the street from Vassar.
She wanted to go into Special Ed.
For her, defensiveness was a virtue, survival.
For ponies, well, shouldn’t they be
cautious about the bigger boys, about us?
Shouldn’t they nip at us?
My cousins who lived down the block
had a pony named Poco,
Spanish for, “a little”,
and he was a little.
They built a little corral in their backyard
for him, and his own little barn.
We were warned about his attitude,
but my cousins, all boys,
managed him well enough,
adjusted his attitude when necessary
with a rap on the nose, easier with a pony
than a full size horse.
Ponies are good practice for keeping horses.
Sometimes with any horse it’s all about attitude,
tugging the reins to get their attention,
jamming spurs into their sides when they forget to go,
reminding them who holds the scoop,
who opens the bale and gives out the hay,
where apples come from.
My sister collects miniature horses,
small as dogs, and they love her
like all animals love her,
as their source of sweet feed and
generous brushings.
They trot like charms around the
bracelet of the fence,
cream and cocoa and honey-colored.
The apples they eat are small.
The fertilizer they make is small,
almost good for house plants.
but their attitudes are pleasant, shy, indifferent.
Maybe they know it’s a lost cause.
Maybe they know they exist
not to work but to amuse.
They are better crafted than any amusement park
robot, no jug band bears,
no tiny Israelis, Poles, Eskimos to distract
from the natural glamour of minis.
Poco would have been a giant among them,
and the only one that could carry the boys home.
Not one cousin could have climbed
on the back of a mini
without some horrible consequence.
Attitude can only take one so far.
Backbone’s required for the rest of the trail.


Founder and host of the Sylvia Plath Bake-Off, Cheryl A. Rice has run her RANDOM WRITING workshops throughout the Hudson Valley. Rice has lived there for over 30 years, after growing up on Long Island. Her poetry blog, Flying Monkey Productions, is at http://flyingmonkeyprods.blogspot.com/.

These Mundane Tortures


by Jared A. Carnie

when you see photos of yourself
that remind you of
trying to smile

when you can’t quite sleep
and the dog’s next to you
already snoring

when you’re so excited about connecting
to novel, film, song
you can’t focus on the rest

when solitude gives you
and nothing to do

when you regret paying for something
by the time
you’ve got it home

when you want them so much
you can’t do anything
that helps you have them

those friction lines
between touching things
and touching things

that’s where sparks, depression

begin the mundane tortures
that keep us going
that stop us stopping


Jared A. Carnie recently returned from the Outer Hebrides. In August he featured at the Inverness Book Festival. He can be found at prettyneet.wordpress.com