The Writing Garden ~ Issue Seven


Cover Image ~ Snowy Path
Karen Gadient ~ Society6/Redbubble

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Uncertainty

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Winter Waltz by justeline

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Each day is a chance
to grab onto life’s raft
The ride that just keeps moving
Through all the darkest moments
And the greatest joys,
It just keeps plowing on
Moving through thickened winter ice
Breaking into small pieces
Steadily, slowly, keeping on.
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Be with me
it sings into the ice filled air.
I am never full, there is always room for you
I am your journey that pulls you into each day
Or leaves you far behind upon the shore
And yet I come for you each day
Gently beckoning you to take the ride.
Join me sweet child.
Feeling all there is to feel,
Loving all the different kinds of weather
Beaming love into each port.

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It is a light filled raft
An open boat unto the sun
My skin is singed and torched with your love
An ever present moment of feeling
That I am not alone
In this sea of nothingness
In this air of not knowing
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Linda Strickland ~ naturerestoresme.wordpress.com
Image ~ justeline

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Subtleties In Love

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toegether by ntscha

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Morning rituals make you rush
But someone gets up earlier than you
You never get the chance to be first
Ah, there’s a wet towel on the sofa…again!
The tiny water puddles on the floor leading to the bedroom…

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The kettle is whistling now
You bump onto each other in your haste
And you both stop…..to look at each other
Eyes brighten up….slowly give out beamish smiles.

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There’s toast and jam on the table
Steaming instant coffee is ready, but first,
You make a cup of fresh brew, hand it to him
His eyes squint, while he sips his hot tea,
You sit, eat, without much talk…just looking,
Like, looking at each other, and what would follow,
Would suffice to complete the hours of the day…
But, you’re both dressed up… all set for work…so
You start your day….he starts his…you always leave ahead…

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In the office, you remembered:
“What’s the matter with me?”
You forgot to charge your cellphone and ipad last night
So you look for the charger
Only to find out, both are fully charged…
Your eyes sparkle…with much longing
Ahh, you wish for time to fly
So you could head for home, fast!

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He’s usually very hungry when he arrives
You hurry…chicken afritada, it will be…
Wait…the frozen chicken has been thawed…gone!
Hey!
You see a pot of chicken adobo…you salivate!
You surmise, he must’ve done this after you left this morning,
You look up…thank God for this angel He has given you,
And for microwave ovens, too!…you tell yourself,
“Okay, okay….I’ll do the dishes tonight! …and the coming nights!”

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Life is perfect with its mix of the sweet and the bitter
Blockbuster moments and flops…together…apart
Uncontrollable smiles, frowns… tickles, tears
Even the coming….and passing of life
Days don’t always end up on a high note…yet, now,
You sit, and recall all that had happened this morning
And the past mornings, evenings, weekends…
All that he did….does for you each day
All that you did…do for him everyday
All the chats you share before bedtime…until he snores,
All these combined efforts are much better ways, better proofs…
He rarely says those three words most often said by lovers,
But, you soar to Heaven, when before falling asleep,
He puts your head on his chest, and whispers to you:
“You mean the world to me.”

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Sally Bayan ~ HelloPoetry
Image ~ ntscha

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The Spanish Steps

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There are one hundred and thirty eight of them,
someone counted.
This must mean something, I think,
one hundred and thirty eight
rise and falls of
burdened feet on cold stone
Where writers and almost-writers and
Others before them

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Wrote,

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and became,
and bled on paper
which waved in air
whose speed was stolen by the form of
The Spanish Steps
and given instead
as life to a crumpled poem

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Grace C. Bennett ~ draft-journal.tumblr.com
Image ~ Layla Fanucci

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When Heaven Arrives Here

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https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1431440869543-efaf3388c585?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=80&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&s=9748b55cc33bbff3ca1e6119a0b37a1a

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I beg you
don’t leave the sky

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when dark clouds billow in the south
the weary winged hurry home

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overhead on the dead blue
jupiter and venus are born anew

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the wind slows to silence
trees loom night’s shadowy ghost

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nocturnal birds sing on their new day
you feel your breath as they fall

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the clouds spread across the sky
cracked by the lightning

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a drop lands on your stretched palm
soothes all the burns in you

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you melt in love
by the torrents falling from above.

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don’t leave for shelter
I beg you
when heaven arrives here.
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Pradip Chattopadhyay ~ Hello Poetry

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The Silence

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the_silence_of_the_lambs_by_ineedchemicalx-d5oo88h

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The stillness screams
in the agony of anticipation.
Quiet creeps
up your spine and chills your core.
Sound can often go unheard.
But silence-
Silence can invade your soul.

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Allison Nicole ~ peoplethingsandlife.wordpress.com
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook
Image ~ iNeedChemicalX

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The Gift

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The Crow by nairafee

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The bird landed on the window ledge and began tapping with its beak against the glass. From inside the room I could hear but couldn’t see it. I moved closer and was strangely unperturbed by the fact that it was invisible. I was surprised, yes, but it was fleeting at best and I was much more concerned about what kind of bird it might be. Judging by the sound of the flapping of its wings and the squawking it was big. Probably one of the fearsome looking crows that scavenge alongside the dual-carriageway.
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It was obviously in distress and I was convinced that what I was hearing were its death throes. I didn’t need to see it; I could quite easily picture it in my head – bloody and broken and writhing in agony. And I wondered if at some point during the course of its dying it would reappear and if I had been chosen in order to witness this.
I hoped I was wrong. I didn’t want to have to deal with the remains. A dead thing out there on the patio, a bloody mess of feathers. I wasn’t even sure that I could cope.  But the bird was still alive and I couldn’t abandon it. Very, very carefully I opened the window, just a little, and determined I stood and I listened.
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Amidst the flapping and the beating, the bird’s fractured cawing had a strange sort of rhythm, a cadence that almost resembled speech. And I realised then that it was in fact talking. It struck me also that this was the cause of its pain, of its suffering. That the effort for it to do so was so great and that every word it managed to form was taking its toll. And if the bird was dying, and I still believed it was, then it was because of the words.
I wondered how long it would take and how many more words the bird could manage to make. I abandoned it, just for a moment, searching for pen and notepad and returning I started to write, to transcribe.
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The bird was flailing violently, beating its head and beak against the glass and contorting itself and out of each twisted shriek another word emerged.
I could have ended it, I should have put the bird out of its misery. I could so easily have fetched a towel, a heavy bath towel and smothered it. But I didn’t, I wanted so badly to know, to hear, what it had to say.

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Mark Renney ~ markrenney1.wordpress.com
Image ~ nairafee

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Promises Made In Despair

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Little bear in a tree by theloudestsilencexo

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she couldn’t find her stuffed bear
anywhere
except for the places
she was too afraid to look
beneath her bed
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a trap door led to a stairwell
introducing a network of caverns
anywhere that poor bear
could be hiding
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could be hiding anywhere
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climbing up a tree
barely
out of reach
from
her bedroom window
someone picks crabapples
and gets ever so sleepy
dreaming of floating on air
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down below a little girl
dressed in a onesie and
tears in her eyes
shouts through her funneled hands
wake up
wake up
wake up and jump
I promise I’ll never lose you again

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listen_button

J Matthew Waters ~ jdubqca.com/Twitter
Image ~ theloudestsilencexo

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Writing On A Blog

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Woman, Working, Bed, Laptop, Typing, Female

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Some read and cheer in silence
no approval or a heart
just moving eyes balls back and forth
numb from the overflow
as the steady stream of words
goes on, one after the other

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it’s all good
if they’re your words
and how you feel,
don’t judge but relish
like fine art,
writing has an acquired taste…

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Lauren Zlabinger ~ lzlabs.tumblr.com
Imagestokpic

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A Ruse

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KT - Kite no watermark

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You come and go
lightly
like a firefly in the garden
on a soft summer night
when sweet scents
keep company
with a whiskey moon
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there is a history
perhaps
or maybe just a memory
playing tricks
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You come and go
lightly
and I scarce recall
if you were the wind
or the kite
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maybe just a memory
playing tricks

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Kim Talon ~ talonted.blogspot.co.uk/Twitter/Mundania Press
Image ~ (Kim Talon) ~ kimtalon.com

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Sleeping With Her

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Sleep by Andres-san

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One of my first boyhood crushes was a girl named Susan, whom I used to see frequently at the local skating rink.  She wore leggings with those fake skating skirts that fluttered in the wind when she skated, and I thought she was the most fabulous figure skater.  When the slow songs came on we were always together, skate over skate, hand in hand, around and around, over and over, weekend after weekend.  We skated like birds flying about stupidly performing some primitive mating ritual, even though we didn’t know what mating was.
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That was the extend of our friendship.  I never kissed her, but it was my wildest dream to sleep with her, and I mean to really sleep with her.  I had always heard about people sleeping together and I thought it must be something exceptional, to be able to curl up next to someone and just go to sleep.  I had no concept of sex yet.  What could be so special about catching some Z’s together?
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In the winter I began taking two hour bus rides to weekend ski trips in the mountains. During the ride I listened to music or slept.  It dawned on me that it would be the most perfect date.  I could take Susan skiing and we could sleep together on the bus!  My idea was so perfect, I even bought a splitter for my head phones and made a music selection to share with her.  Skiing was an added benefit, all I really wanted to do was sleep with Susan on that bus.  I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, what miraculous thing would suddenly reveal itself when she closed her eyes and fell asleep on my shoulder?  Would I join some club like The Mile High Club?  That’s the one you join when you sleep together on airplanes, right?
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Such thoughts were the fantasies of naive boys who didn’t understand sex. It was such an innocent age, just infatuation and kind moments shared together, exploring our budding sexuality.  But, I never managed to get Susan on that bus.  Decades later I met someone special.  The same day we met, without any planning, she curled up next to me and fell asleep, so easily.  I didn’t have any music prepared, no headphone splitter, nothing.  All I had to offer was innocent kindness and my warmth, while she quietly slept pressed against me.  I watched the minutes tick away while listening to the clock in the background, then I dozed off too.  Before I knew it, that miraculous “thing” that would suddenly reveal itself to me, finally did.  It was something unexpected between us.  If I had to label it with words, I would pick these two… vulnerability and trust.
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Actually sleeping together was such a trivial thing to do, but the bond of safety, born from the shared vulnerability and trust created in that moment, is something we’ve looked back on and smiled about together.  I think, a trust like the one we found is perhaps best created when actions are undertaken innocently.  Things like that can’t be planned, I think they just happen between the right people.

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thesealivesinme.tumblr.com
Image ~ Andres-san

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Something For The Cold

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Within me grows a tree, the branches closely hug.. by AnnaO-Photography

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If you wanted we could
take out the scissors and stay up all night
creating paper cutouts of the Real Thing
We could crinkle and rustle
right along with the wind
We could fool everyone
I could tear you from my notebook
recklessly
You could smooth out my wrinkles
on your bended knee

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Maybe we are pulp
from the same felled tree
I’ve been looking for someone
to read my scarred bark
like a bedtime story
I’ve been feeling the wind,
especially harsh,
on the raw nerves of my phantom limbs

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I think you have, too

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Did the moon
strip you of your heavy cloak tonight?
Does the dark paint shadows on your skin?
Are there furrows
where the rain has collected
in the spots that are still too soft
to keep out this world?

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I have that problem, too

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When there is too much dew
on the ground to keep my feelings dry –
When I am hollowed out
like an oak’s legacy –
When even the butterflies
won’t land on my lashes –

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Maybe you could be my piece of sky

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Hold me through the winter –
or at least the coldest days
And maybe by spring
we’ll each be sturdy enough
to gently step away

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am0ngthewildfl0wers.wordpress.com
Image ~ AnnaO-Photography

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Living A Lie

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Suffering in Silence by al0neArt

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Constantly trying but quietly drowning
as I act my parts so well,
going for an Oscar,
I wait for the applause
guarding my façade.
Hating every minute with a smile on my face
as I live the lie.
Coming up for air in a sea of emotions
as I try not to lose grip
of my identity,
only to be pushed back under
by the hands of society
forcing me to conform.
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On the edge, slowly being buried alive,
standing on the outside looking in,
never feeling part of anything,
watching from the fringes
as I try to fit the slot.
Hating every minute with a smile on my face
as I live the lie.
Stifled, I claw my way out of the earth,
mud in my mouth, I spit it out,
try to speak,
but I am silenced, as they only hear
what they want to hear,
they just want me to conform.
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Jacqueline Nash ~ jacquelinenashpoetry.wordpress.com/Facebook
Twitter/jcnashpoems.wordpress.com
Imageal0neArt

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You Said Baby

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556763343

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You said one day baby we’ll grow old, baby we’ll grow old,
but I wondered where my wrinkles would grow on your face,
which side of the couch you would sit
and as I looked down at our linking fingers like swan necks
the air suddenly escaped,
and my palms couldn’t breathe.
You said, baby we’ll grow old and I
thought of statistics,
saw that one plus one made two
but wasn’t sure how to separate the space
like running water so there was enough room
to plant enough trees
without taking each others oxygen,
without fighting for that last biscuit and finding the strength to say
OK…. you can have it.
It’s like the moment just before you decide
whether to let the other person see you cry,
because you know like the heat of unprotected sex
you can’t change your mind afterwards.
You said baby we’ll grow old and I wanted to,
tilted my head back for you to cup my chin and kiss me,
but we knew that my skin could only be touched for so long
without needing elastic for my bones,
because you said baby we’ll grow old
and in that moment,
I saw our goodbyes

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Melissa McDonald melissamcdonaldpoetry.wordpress.com/Facebook 

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Mind Keening

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Child Yelling 17321551 by StockProject1

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“But I want ice cream!” Shelby tugged at her mother’s pant leg, smearing the remnants of chocolate cookies and green cotton candy on the fabric.
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Sighing, Shelby’s mother shook her head.  “I think you’ve had enough sweets for today.”
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Shelby clenched her sticky fists together, her cherubic belly quaking as the whine reached critical mass.  Helpless, her mother glanced around them while murmuring what she hoped was soothing words, but couldn’t be heard above the child’s indignation.  She was just about to give in when a man wearing a bright green tarboosh swooped in, turned the child by the shoulders to face him and shoved his fingers in her face, covering mouth as if he were scooping up her scream.  He pulled off his cap, turned it over and pretended to sprinkle the child’s outburst into the bowl of his hat before putting it back on his head.

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Shelby’s mother grabbed her child, eliciting another scream and the man repeated his actions.  Twice more this happened until the woman appeared ready to shout, but stopped when she saw the man’s fingers twitching in her direction.

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“What are you doing?”  Her calm was forced.

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He pointed to the silent child.  “You didn’t want her to scream.  I made her stop.”

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They both looked to Shelby who was making grunting noises then sticking her fingers in her mouth, mimicking the man.  Her mother blinked.  “Neat trick. But the next time she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll just howl and you won’t be around to play magic.”

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The man finally looked the woman in the eye.  “I can make it permanent.  If you like.”  He placed his hand on Shelby’s shoulder, his fingers browsing her skin.

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“I wa-wa-want ice cre-cream.”  The child’s flushed cheeks indicated the whine might have reached wailing proportions, but the man stuffed it in his hat again.

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Blinking, Shelby poked at her own throat.  Her mother’s gaze shifted back and forth between the man and girl.

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“How much does it cost?”

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Umber eyes glinted.  “Nothing. Nothing at all.”  He moved Shelby’s pudgy fingers aside, replacing them with his own.  He pulled at an invisible string while the girl gurgled.  Her mother seemed inclined to call halt, but hesitated.

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He winked as he backed away, bowing low and tipping his hat.  Shelby pointed to his head.  There was a gaping hole at the crown.  Just before he replaced the tarboosh, Shelby’s mother could have sworn she heard her daughter’s scream—but her child’s mouth was closed.

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Laura Thiessen ~ pomegranatepithos.tumblr.com
pomegranatepithos.wordpress.com
ImageStockProject1

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To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark-01.

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20150827_174357-001-medium-cropped1st-birthday-cake-clip-art-the-art-mad-wallpapers
Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a good start to 2016!  What is the meaning of a cupcake – you may wonder?!!  It’s celebration time….The Writing Garden is now officially one year old! 😀

If you’ve never seen The Writing Garden before, make yourself a pot of tea, get out the cupcakes, ensure you are sitting comfortably, enjoy the read….you have a whole years worth of brilliant talent to enjoy.

It’s been very enjoyable publishing other writers work, and I’m sure I’m going to find a whole lot more wonderful literary material to complete another year of issues.  But, why wait for me to find you?  If you’ve stumbled across this magazine today, and you write poetry, short stories, essays about real life, or you’re a spoken word artist, please send me a link to your website on the submit page.

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own literary magazine, but never got round to it….what are you waiting for?  All you need to get started is a website, an eager eye for a good piece of written work, a few organizational skills ( I don’t have that many!) and enough spare time to get those issues published.  Yes, the down side is, it takes quite a bit of time.  It’s very rewarding though, and I don’t think you can have enough literary magazines spreading the word about good writing.

The gorgeous snowy scene for the January cover has been specially created by my lovely talented artistic friend Karen Gadient.  Karen loves art and regularly publishes some really colourful digital and traditional art on her blog.  In the last year I have purchased three items of her artwork, and they are even more attractive and striking in real life as they appear on screen.  So, if any of that appeals to you please take a look at her website or check out her art products at Society6 or Redbubble.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported this magazine in the last year with likes, comments and shares in various places….and of course, reading it!  It’s so encouraging to know others enjoy it too.

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If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in March, please see Submit A Link.

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9 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Seven

    • Hello again Glyn!! And thank you so much for the compliment! Haha…I don’t know how to answer that really! 😀 A good poem just catches my eye. I think I’ve got so quick at spotting them now I know if it’s good just by a quick glance, it’s a useful ability….saves a lot of time!! 😉 Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

    • Hello Roland!! Haha….must have been an absorbing read for you, I hope you had tea and cake eventually! At least with reading on a computer (no holding the book) so hands free to for the tea cup! 😀

    • Thank you, yes…a whole year already!! I’m thrilled to have one of your art pieces Karen, beautiful and perfectly wintry!! Any time you have an idea let me know, I can always find poetry to compliment, instead of the other way round. Will be great to feature your art again some time! 🙂

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