Take the Universe For Yourself

Stephanie Bennett-Henry – To one who would not run

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

I said, “I need help. I am not making it. I am not okay.”

You said, “I don’t know how to help you, but I want to… I want to. What can I do?”

I don’t know. But this isn’t living. This is dying and all I can do is watch, sit back and wait. And I hate the way it feels. I hate the way it looks. I hate the way I just can’t stop it anymore. I didn’t mean to give up, you see.. it’s like someone else has the wheel and I forgot how to drive. I can’t remember when it was good. None of it. And I don’t know anything anymore, only that it hurts. For no reason, for every reason, every rhyme, and I’m out of time. It just is. It is what it always was, what it never was and everything it will never…

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But You Don’t LOOK Sick: Battles we fight with invisible illness – an Anthology

A reminder of this request for sumbissions

Brave & Reckless

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is accepting submissions for an anthology about the lived experience of chronic, invisible medical illness. If you have been diagnosed with such an illness (for example lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, migraine headache, etc.) or are a caretaker for someone who has, share your truth with us. We believe that creative expression can enlighten, connect, support, and heal.

Writers and artists can submit up to three pieces of creative work (poetry, prose, essay, and/or original Artwork.)  Pieces of writing should be limited in length (under 1,000 words.)   Using a pen name or publishing anonymously is acceptable.  You will be asked to provide a brief biography (75 words or less) to be included in the anthology.

You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual…

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Its shining watch

TheFeatheredSleep – A reflection of, on, a love


Then make me a tree

that I may reach through earth

lengthening root

climb up, take form

gather again, that moment shook

from memory never

where moon was twice its natural size

reflected in your angry eyes

sitting in idling car

my sticky throated youth

your still punching vigor

movement then, as taught immemorial

of lovers who are not yet.

watchful of your thin wrist

flickering just before touch

warm air, window down

languid stroke of time

painting all these years hence

something you have

absented from, like unpicked fruit

in turning, strange and unfamiliar

I dial that feeling

quite often

not fantasy, no

something real

painted over

turned to shellac, too hard to prize

open again

I watch her in time

the girl I was

wondering at her thoughts

as I know them almost

unformed and loose

like her hair, thicker and tumbling than now

the auburn…

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TheFeatheredSleep – An old photo, contemplated


(inspired by finding an old photograph of a fancy-dress party I attended at University that I hadn’t seen in years)

One of them is me

but which holds the key? Later perhaps we

shall know our fruiting journey through

maze of youth

and slow pull of stocking

for kind of touch best found

in satiny afternoon glow

outside I hear my dim-eyed neighbor

mowing lawns until he aches silver

because his wife has turned away

nobody touches him anymore with

the dreams of yesteryear

so we sprint toward each

invisible finish line

with emptiness in our hearts

filled with busy distraction

nothing lasting, nothing to

endure or sate cold claim

of climbing into bed

unwanted or alone

the feel of darkness, our shroud

from terrible disappointment

and then

then I had it all and didn’t know

standing on the precipice

we laughed at our indomitable

facility to thrive

not yet…

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At the dog park.

LuckyOtter – Lucky dogs on a nice day

Lucky Otters Haven

The weather was pretty today (the first true springlike day we’ve had) and  my daughter wanted to take my ex’s dog, Dexter, to the dog park.

As you can see, we’ve had lots and lots of rain.    The dog park was basically a mud pit, but it seemed like every dog in town was there, and they were having the time of their lives, especially this hilarious guy digging in a mud puddle and barking at it.

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Trump signing Bibles makes a mockery of faith.

LuckyOtter – The disgusting spectacle of Trump signing Bibles

Lucky Otters Haven


Just as ripping babies from their mothers at the border and throwing them in cages makes a mockery of America’s legacy of compassion for immigrants, and Trump’s tax breaks for the rich and endless fruitless investigations into people he considers his enemies make a mockery of democracy, Trump signing Bibles for Alabama tornado victims yesterday makes a mockery of Christianity, and even faith itself.

Trump’s faked empathy for people in a red state like Alabama, while victims of the California wildfires and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico got nothing but disdain from this president, says more about Trump’s narcissism and the fact that the people in Alabama are much more likely to be part of his base (and therefore vote for him in 2020) than people in California.   And of course, as far as Trump is concerned, Puerto Rico isn’t even part of the United States, but a “shithole country”…

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Climate change has turned our farms into lakes.

LuckyOtter – Water, water, everywhere.

Lucky Otters Haven

floodwaters Floodwaters in Henderson County, NC

For the past three or four years, I’ve been noticing drastic changes in our climate that can’t be explained by temporary freakish weather conditions or other passing factors.  These are enduring, permanent changes that have affected the climate in the mountainous regions of North Carolina (Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains)  and have actually raised us up a notch on the Plant Hardiness Growing Map so that plants that were once not viable here (due to it being too cold) can now be grown.    Soon I expect to start seeing palmetto trees!

Forgive the gallows humor, because it really is no joke.

In spite of occasional blasts of severe winter weather and single digit temperatures, for the most part, the past three or four winters have been extremely warm, some days so warm you can go without a jacket or sweater.  I remember Christmas Day…

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From Indieblu, a clarification of the request for submissions


Many of you have reached out to us to see if it acceptable to submit your writing and art about depression, anxiety, and PTSD to But You Don’t LOOK Sick: Battles we fight with invisible illness – an Anthology.  Although these are important, and often poorly understood invisible illnesses, our goal with But You Don’t LOOK Sick is to focus on the lived experiences of those diagnosed with chronic medical illness such as lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic migraine, MS, chronic Lyme, etc.

As writers and artists living with chronic, invisible medical illnesses, we want to feel represented.  To be visible.  To be understood.  Although depression, anxiety, and PTSD are often closely linked with chronic, medical illness, we could not possibly do all of these themes the justice they deserve in a single volume. 

We hear your eagerness and need to express yourself creatively about your lived experience with mood and…

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Call For Submissions But You Don’t LOOK Sick: Battles we fight with invisible illness – an Anthology

Brave And Reckless seeks submissions for an anthology on chronic invisible illness.

Brave & Reckless

Indie Blu(e), the publisher of We Will Not Be Silenced, is now accepting submissions for an anthology of writers and artists who live with a chronic but invisible illness, or who care for someone else who does. The focus of this anthology is revealing the honest experience of living with invisible illness. We want it all: your humor, anger, grief, your survival stories, coping strategies, and your journey to carve out a new life after such a life-changing diagnosis (if you are lucky enough to get one!). We know so many artists who struggle with chronic illnesses that are poorly understood and we believe that your creative expressions can enlighten, connect, support, and heal.

All interested writers and artists can submit up to three pieces of creative work. Submissions can include Poetry, Prose, Essay, Short Fiction, and/or original Artwork. Pieces of writing should be limited in length (under 1,000 words.)…

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