The Package

Stephanie Bennett-Henry – Feeling a way through dark

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Maybe unwell describes me too mildly, sounds too pretty like a lie fluffed up, pretending to be a reality, and we know that’s not me. Let’s be honest and describe it more accurately. Throw out the pretty packaging that covers me, open that plain old box of truth and man, sometimes it’s ugly. Bat-shit crazy, go ahead and say it, off the fucking rocker mad, lost my shit, I’m no longer rocking, somewhere along the way time stood still, the lights went out and never came back. I lost track. Monday or Friday, it’s all the same to me. The sun threw a shadow to cover its eyes when I wished for the dark to teach me a lesson, and that’s the one wish that decided to come true, so I’m learning it. Feeling my way through the dark, thinking about wishing for amnesia to wipe away my thoughts before…

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Thrift Store Special

TheFeatheredSleep – Discarded, but only just almost forgetable



If I hung in a storefront

I’d have no label

It was torn off in the wash

The store owner lied

Trying to cover a great crime

I’m not gentle cycle, nor wash below 30c

I don’t fluff up well in dryer

Or need ironing on low heat

I’m a thrift store special

Good for a gander, then better cast off

Stuffed in the back of your closet

Forgotten until you move house

When you hold me to the light

Exclaiming; where did I buy this?

A little wistful, a little disgust

Just like a spare thread can run

Through any knit and mar its form

I was shrunk on hot and stretched in cold

Long before you grabbed me out of the lucky dip bin

It was the elongation of my experience

Like wool is malformed turning huge in water

Expanding and reducing, I am the sheared sheep who…

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Pins and Needles

Christine Ray – Memories knocking on their prison doors

Brave & Reckless

Thunder has been rumbling for the last few weeks under my skin
hair standing up on the back of my neck
my arms
a storm has been brewing
I am edgy, uncomfortable
reality keeps twisting into a Dali landscape
I keep ending up in the lost and found bin
unable to account for all my minutes
all my hours
They say that our brains are remarkable at protecting us from trauma
from what we are not ready to consciously face
My brain and I are having a difference of opinion on just how ready I am for sensoroma film clips to come bubbling up to my surface right now
I remember. . .
keeps echoing in my head
I don’t know that I really wanted to remember any more than I already do
I hope to find humor yet about it happening during the middle of an…

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What Judaism and Christianity teach me about perseverance

Beth Caplin – Complications and consolations of two religions

Sarahbeth Caplin


While Judaism made me aware that everyone suffers, and Christianity taught me how to persevere through suffering, most of the time I really don’t suffer—I’m just uncomfortable. And the things that cause this discomfort are really kind of silly.

When my stomach starts growling only an hour after breakfast, for example, both faiths remind me to be grateful that at least I know when my next meal is coming. I appreciate that both religions share a tenet of gratefulness and appreciation for what we have over longing for what we don’t have.

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I Knew My Name- Christine Ray

Christine Ray – A rose by any other name? Beware the thorns of the rose that chooses its own name.

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my name
when grown men
called me ‘honey’
fondled my braids
and pulled my
10-year old body
stiff with resistance
onto their hard laps

I knew my name
when the male high school teacher
called me “sweetie”
and told me not to worry about
the 70 on my exam
because girls don’t need
an A in chemistry
to be a good wife and mother

I knew my name
when the teenage boys
called me ‘ice queen’
‘cock tease’
when I didn’t want their
sloppy tongues down my throat
their rough hands
on my budding breasts

I knew my name
when men followed me
down the street
called me ‘bitch’
‘fucking dyke’
when I wouldn’t smile
or say thank you
to their declarations
of lewd things
they would do to me
once we were alone

I knew my name
when my children
called me ‘mommy’
389 times a day

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Unheard Incantations: A Collaborative Poem

Poets, building together verse by verse.

Brave & Reckless

The words we cannot say
Will be wept
Into silence between us (CER)

Breathe deep, dear love;
Be still with me
Listen to my heartstrings
A song meant just for you (KMA)

Each tear
An eloquent elegy
To tortured truths (AP)

Each note played
On a hand carved lute
Strung with strips
Of my soul (JWL)

Your breathless aura
Beats in time
Undulating ululation
With my exhaled psyche (AP)

Intertwined, tangled,
Unified: whole
Healed. (JWL)

Yet with hearts torn open
Bleeding out the notes of our song
You turned from me (ME)

I am fire
In desire
I beg
Save me (1W-W)

Fetch me an instrument,
For the untrained ear
Is soothed by that
Which it cannot comprehend. (LEL)

Not everything is black and white.
For even the eclipsed moon
Is not without a little light. (SD)

Whispers through the distance
I remember
As you reach for my…

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Jan Malique – A song to and of the mother ocean


SuperPhoto_180710215525~2 © Jan Malique, 2018

Where is my harbour, place of heart and home?

So sing the sailors adrift on paths alone,

Memories spill and so bathe the decks,

Spirits fall and spirits rise,

Eyes scan horizons and mouths sigh,

 As watery abyss beckons but cannot tempt further,

‘Hush now and wipe your tears’ calls a voice so familiar,

And not so far.

SuperPhoto_180710215417~2© Jan Malique, 2018

Eyes rise from contemplating feet battle worn,

Ears strain for words softly spoken,

So rises the Mother of All,

Embracing within bosom of calm,

And holding safe and warm.

The Sea calls and the Sea holds,

The children of Her womb, the children of her breath,

Hears their plaintive cries and tear drenched hearts.

‘Hush now and wipe your tears’ calls a voice so familiar,

And not so far.


‘Here is your harbour, place of heart and home,’

Her voice answers true, lifts…

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Redefining freedom.

LuckyOtter examines the control of the meanings of words.

Lucky Otters Haven


Despots and dictators throughout history know how powerful language can be, and they know that by changing the definitions of words, without people realizing it, they can change the way people think and what they believe.   Without language and the words that comprise it, propaganda and revisionist history (changing commonly held historical beliefs in order to fit a desired political or religious narrative) would become impossible, or at least a lot more difficult.

George Orwell described the insidious process of changing the meanings of words in order to change public attitudes in his classic dystopian novel, “1984.”    He called this process “Newspeak.”   It is a form of mind control commonly used by cult leaders and dictators to get people to abandon their previous ways of thinking and accept a lie as the truth (repetition of the lie is another way they get people to accept it).    Sometimes the…

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The deconversion of a Trump troll.

LuckyOtter has found a true story of a Trump supporter changing.

Lucky Otters Haven


You may remember a few weeks ago I asked readers to let me know if they knew of anyone who had finally turned on Trump.   I wanted to write a blog post describing the journey of such a person.

I got no responses to my question, and personally, I don’t know anyone who supported Trump who has changed their mind.   I gave up finding such a person.

But they do exist!   Granted, they’re rare as snow in Mississippi, but they are out there.  Yesterday I came upon an article written for Forward (an online magazine focusing on issues related to Judaism and Jews) by a New Yorker named David Weissman.

He colorfully describes his days as a hardcore Trump supporter and Internet troll.  Everything you might expect, he did it or said it.  He was all-in on bullying liberals and  Democrats (and RINOs — “Republicans in Name Only”).   He mainlined…

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