• Past Articles

The Anonymous contributor represents a group of people who wish to withhold their full identity. Their work will be identified at the end of their articles using first name and an initial.

Beneath Tears, Sorrow, Frustration & Pain My Sonnet Hides – Cassandra Smith

  Tear soaked eyes blind me, pushing through; I attempt to write a sonnet. My frantically beating heart emits gratitude – Shakespeare isn’t here to witness bleeding bodies run for cover, scatter to the ground falling on it Screaming, mass confusion – festive country music morphing into fear No, love songs are not on my mind, in my head – acrid smoke kills oxygen Police personal – leading frightened people to safety again and again Bullets whizzing overhead hit targets, paying no attention to different dialect A mystery – no racial, cultural, or religious bias – no barriers to deflect Flowers still bloom, birds still fly, carrying olive branches preparing to sing Lady Liberty clutches her heart and waves our flag – Red, White & Blue Apologetic church bells gong, calling out for peace with an earsplitting ring A man, a gun shop, ammunition, automatic rifles, point at him, her,… Continue reading

One of the precious gifts of sobriety is a grandchild who never saw you drunk – By Cassandra Smith

  Precious, Precocious, Lyric Running, rushing, reaching up, giggling & smiling like- an angel Pushing her love in, touching every nook & cranny of my heart  Eyes lighting up like- fireflies sweeping through dark night Clinging, holding on, wrapping chubby arms around my legs  Refusing, daring even mommy- to separate us/pull us apart     * Two years ago, a tiny infant- soft, soft, skin/ baby face pressing against My breast- baby oil & baby powder, intermingling like dancers Drooping eye lids, tiny head falling, jerking up, falling again Dismissing sleep without her music-video music/ only Bruno Mars Playing piano & singing her favorite song “When I Was Your Man.”       * Lyric- sitting like a princess, surrounded by balloons-crown on her Head -eyes roaming /birthday cake, party favors, lots of kids with presents  Eyes sparkling, smiling wider than ever. Singing, “Happy Birthday to me.” Blowing out candles… Continue reading

It Works, It really Does!

Despite my white knuckling, I have somehow managed to get fourteen months free of drinking and drugging under my belt. I went to rehab not knowing anything about A.A or that it would even be a part of my treatment. I still remember my first meeting and the relief I felt at not being alone in my problem. That feeling lasted for a little while. The truth was though, that I wasn’t ready yet for a different life. That fact became apparent after over a year “dry” and in a bad relapse. I believed that by reaching out and asking for help I would be somehow bothering people.  Being in a year-long abusive relationship added to my feelings of unworthiness – an all too familiar reality inside the walls of domestic chaos. Finally I had found a sponsor and was going to at least a meeting a day in addition… Continue reading

Rising Like a Phoenix – By Cassandra Smith

Rising Like a Phoenix ~~~ Pushing, poking, pulling up old memories- Rising from tombs Cutting, clearing, catching bits & piece Time stuck like- a broken clock ~~~ Dreams-squeezing past layers & layers of Denial, despair, can’t do it -regret Pushing, poking, pulling me up Cutting away roadblocks, clearing paths ~~~ Contractions- pain, umbilical cord cut Creating a new birthing- me Throwing off indecision becoming: Poet, writer, author- spilling truth on paper ~~~ Dead dreams reawakening, rising like- A phoenix No more pushing, no more prodding, No more waiting… Continue reading

The Creation Of A Poet – By Cassandra Smith

THE CREATION OF A POET My turbulent childhood molded me into a poet.   Black shadows hiding beneath gray clouds of confusion.   Sculpturing, steaming, forming words throwing them on paper   Living now Putting my past behind unless pulling up or helping others   Avoiding pitfalls, pot holes, poisoning emotions  I’m writing, dreaming, living, loving, hoping, pulling good out of chaos   Caressing paper raising me higher above turbulence Someone said, “The best thing about childhood is that it is over.”    I don’t agree.   Living my childhood molded me into a poet   Using words as tools painting positive pictures on naked canvases   Coloring life- soft white clouds mingling among celestial beings Soft, soft, blue… The Creation of a Poet was published in the 2016 edition of The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) annual publication, Reflections in poetry and prose. Continue reading