Fearless | By Grace H

I see bravery in the most unexpected of places.
I see it in a child, barely eleven years old, crouching in the playground, hand outstretched,
reaching out to a girl lying red and tearstained on the ground.
I see it in the boy who sits at the back of the classroom. His classmates mock him and throw things. It’s sometimes hard to tell what hurts him more;
the sharp sting of pencil lead piercing his flesh or
the harsh words that make his feeble frame tremble like a thumping heart.
Fearlessness comes in other forms too; 
a man in khakis leaning down to kiss his children on their heads, not knowing if this is the last time he’ll look into their eyes.
a teenage girl crumpled on her bed like a broken doll, mascara running down her face in a wave of black. She bites her lip, clutching her phone so tightly her knuckles turn white.
then she takes a breath,
then another
and another
and gets up, scrubbing her face with a dirty sleeve.
With fearlessness often comes defiance, 
like in the two girls who walk down the street, grasping each other’s sweaty hands.
Their fear is almost tangible, but they lift their chins and look directly into the
eyes of the world, 
daring it to speak.
Across the world, a child is crying.
Its mother is trying desperately to silence it, but nothing will stop the terrified wails wavering from the depths of a worn blanket.
She is only young, and the baby was not her choice, but the moment he opened his eyes, she knew
she would trade her life for him in an instant.
And she might have to, if his cries are heard by the soldiers swarming the street like ants over rotting fruit,
sucking the life and wealth from the earth.
Still, she closes her eyes, 
and rocks him in her arms.
The shouts of the soldiers get closer, 
and she murmurs a prayer under her breath.
But the fearlessness that surprises me most is in those at the end of their journey.
The frail,
the old,
the sick,
the weak.
They know that they are nearing the end, and
yet they lean back and close their eyes,
like they are only sleeping,
swap smiles with their loved ones,
share a last word of wisdom
or wit.
Humankind is, on the whole, a cowardly race,
too prone to fighting wars 
over petty problems, 
naming themselves warriors and kings, 
smothering themselves in glory like bears with fresh honey,
boasting bravery and courage and strength.
But those who walk upstream,
pushing against the ebb and flow,
turning the tide 
drip by drip,
are the true warriors.
And have fearlessness inside them that makes them kings and queens
a thousand times over.
Bravery is found in the most unexpected of places.

Image Link: https://static.tumblr.com/3b4bb816333744ab722073b1b2c7b8ba/8yho6gu/hSkpu6ull/tumblr_static_tumblr_static__focused_v3.jpg (03/05/21)

You Don’t Have to be Fearless | Rukaiya S

Help me feel at home. In a world where I am a stranger. At home. Relaxed. At ease in my mind, help me feel at peace. In a world where I am a traveller. A plane in the sky, help me feel free. In a world where I am an angel. Help me stay alive. In a place where I am able, help me. Gain power, a tycoon in a tower, help. Me stretch my knowledge, help me. In a fairground where I am an adult. Help me find my ride, in the sea. Where I am drowning, help. My mind, in a mixture, a confusion. Help me in a plan. In a time. Help. My tears. The help. Me in. Where I. No not. In a flame. Burning. Burning. Burnt in a world. Where I am alone.
Help me feel at home.

For I Am Fearless | Jess G

A trail of sins chained to me, 
I search for thee in my call to repent, 
Towards the chapel - my hand the key 
To inner awareness I’ve ascent. 
What lies ahead in the unknown abyss, 
Apprehension drawn from my body as I am blessed, 
I look to you - am I ready for this? 
You urge me to follow and continue the quest 

For father, thou art my saviour, 
Through times of uncertainty, secure as monarch to throne 
And like a soldier decorated in armour, 
You’ll fight for my freedom until your gravestone.  
In your presence I am fearless, 
For I know I may be weak - yet you make me strong 
As even through times of loss or illness, 
You shelter me from the storm and empower me to belong. 
Eternally you are by my side, 
Every hidden sacrifice, 
Through it all you stride bravely and guide 
Me to safer shores that thou deem shall suffice. 
	 'He will never leave you, nor forsake you’ 
As true as deuteronomy speaks 
‘do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ 
For he shall protect those that seek. 
In your presence I am fearless, 
For through all weathers I have known 
I am not alone in the vast orbiting stillness, 
as thou shall nurture and teach me until I am grown. 
Each year I light a candle to your ascension 
And closely watch the warmth of the flame fill the room, 
Its body’s lively allegro catching attention 
Alike the risen from the tomb. 
After eighteen years I vow to thee, 
From my family one is now parted 
For you loosened the chains guiding me, 
Now I shall disembark courageous and stout-hearted. 
In your presence I am fearless, 
Yet in your absence thou art still with me 
For in every step I see your faithfulness 
And know it is time to be set free.  
In your presence I am fearless, 
For through the years you have taught your vower. 
In your absence I shall be fearless, 
For you have given me a spirit of power. 

Grief Carries Bluebells in his Pocket | Holly B

The snow falls like an afterthought.
Church shoes struggle for grip on frozen ground and
Crimson lips stand bold against ashen faces.
Grief has donned a thick black coat and a pair of red rimmed eyes.
He takes his place among the mourners,
Standing to attention in the slow procession.
The air around him tastes like ashes.
Chapped fingers curl inside thin gloves,
A memory falls loose from their grip.
The battered black box is a weight on grieving shoulders.
New hands will take this from them,
Pushing back the veil of winter
And seal with a summer’s kiss.
The bell will toll.
The casket carried, the burden buried.
Weak sun will wash the tear stains from their faces.
And soon,
There will be nothing left of the one they buried
‘Side the bluebells that grow at his feet.

Image Link: https://64.media.tumblr.com/7ab385895f5d706e017e9a8c22b06a79/82aa4a32a4c82493-bb/s1280x1920/c72d2b8268be5aa190aced6ae09f6890de8cd1db.png (03/04/21)

Her Blank Canvas | Katie N

A painter creates her life upon her canvas  
she has no secrets, for they are all laid out  
in swirls of arching colours  
gracefully blossoming across the paper 
Untouchable beauty  
and scenes of happiness 
Preserved within paper  
That complete her 
Through paintbrush she feels  
Laughter and tears  
And all in-between  
Created, built and left to dry 
Each day she feels  
Filling her life with meaning 
Paint and memories 
A life fulfilled 
And she is finished  
Paintbrushes banished  
locked in their boxes  
For creating life- another day 
But the picture will stand there  
Years on untouched  
Fading at the corners  
alone gathering dust  
A painter leaves her life upon her canvas  
she has no secrets left to lay out-  
Turns her back on the colours  
Thoughtlessly floating back to her life
of grey

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1b/57/98/1b5798ab8dd89ac7883a3da10df1e3cb.png (20/02/21)

Musings of a Wide Open Space | Ruby H

These moments are now laced with a longing  
For more of the same old. And in these barren winds sway, 
The wild grasses of a month without sun. 
Over the moors lay your absence, 
Rolling under horizon after horizon. 
With these hands I could christen you, 
But the sunsets churn out shadows, 
And each one holds me and asks for a dance. 
Until my hands bear the mark 
Of arching waltzes dissolved in rain, 
Because I’m dancing around the sun rays, 
Chasing these soulful nights.
Over the hill stands a flower. 
Dropping hours through its hourglass.
And gently, the winds pluck it away, 
Slip away petal by petal. 
Sway through the sun. 
Dance into the grasses. 
Pull apart the seconds.

Help me weave these moments, 
Into reeds by a lake. 
And watch me as I wade through shallows, 
Towards the emptiness of the sky’s flaws. 
Watch the petals cry into the water. 
Lean away from this echoed longing.  

Watch the grasses linger in sorrow.

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/474x/9e/f9/f1/9ef9f1dc4d56a15e398cef1804a779b8.jpg (13/02/21)

 

The End | Ruby H

Can you let me hold your hand,

as I step over this threshold?

And will you promise to walk beside me

while I knit apart my skin from these scraps of thought?

When the only memory that this world has of me is stone,

will you wash the moss from my grave?

And if I return someday,

will you be there?

Will you still sing my song to the birds,

still water my sunflowers,

still sew my horizons to the night?

If I am blind and weak,

would you carry me through the pain,

would you carry me until I can breathe?

Once my bones have scattered in circles,

do I have your word that you’ll rescue my soul from the ashes?

Do I have your word that you’ll stand as the last pillar,

the last smile in the flames,

the last beat of time,

and hold me?

Remember me?

Image Link: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/c1/fc/69c1fcb5103ea5500476232ee995fbe9.jpg (21/01/21)

The Reflection | Anonymous

Every morning. Every single morning. The girl would stand before the mirror, from Monday to Friday she spent this time combing her hair or straightening her tie, she would tuck in her shirt and make sure her uniform looked presentable. On the weekends she may have admired the outfit she had on, or maybe she just sat there, anxiously checking the dark circles under her eyes after getting little to no sleep the night before. The girl spent a lot of her time in front of the mirror; it was where she tried out the makeup tutorials she saw online, it was where she got ready in the morning, and tried on different outfits after a shopping spree. Of course, the reflection loved these times; she loved it whenever the girl came to visit her, and she always greeted the girl with a smile and a wave. However the girl never greeted the reflection, she simply stood there with a blank expression on her face, and then continued with her day as if the reflection didn’t exist at all. Of course this hurt the reflection, and eventually, she grew sour. The reflection started to only greet the girl with a scowl, however the girl still refused to acknowledge her.

After some days, weeks, months of this, in a moment of anger, the reflection broke the mirror. The shards of broken glass stung her hands, and the reflection stared at the girl, maybe hoping for some subtle sign of recognition. But there wasn’t one. The girl simply stared straight through the reflection, at the broken mirror where so many of her days had been spent. It was then that the reflection knew that there would be consequences to her actions. Ever since that day, whenever you were near the girl you could sometimes briefly see the reflection. In puddles and in windows. Trapped. Forced to mimic the actions of this girl she’d grown to hate so much. With an appearance to match that of her worst enemy, even looking at herself made her sick. As the years passed by she found more permanent residences; fragmented glimpses in the diamond ring the girl wore as a symbol of her marriage, or a faint silhouette in the glasses of the girl’s eldest daughter. Then finally in the eyes of those who gathered around the girl’s body at her funeral, right before the coffin closed, when both the girl and the reflection were seen for the last time.

Image Link: https://64.media.tumblr.com/47d655623c95c28efc0d7edcf46956f8/tumblr_poh6e8dEVZ1vehqeko1_1280.jpg (29/01/21)

Space | by Rukaiya

Give me space.
Give me the life I always wanted.
The river running dry in my throat. Shutting down.
Give me a reason. To run from you and your imperfections. The warmth turned cold. Shut the gate from terrors.
Give me health. The fruit, the fig, the fall.
Walk away. Everlasting crimson cascading down my hair as the sky bleeds in mourning. Of us.
Guide me. My path unmeasured, unruly with tales of fear and promises of fortune.
Give me prayer. The words of a mother, the feel of another. Forever in your debt I am to be. A missive of heartache.

In the end, give me love.
I don’t want space.