Doubt pulls me into a chasm of dread. Spiraling in darkness. Out of control.
Hope glimmers briefly—but the bonds of anxiety choke it.
Let go. Breathe deep.
Resilience sparks… grows. I grasp a flicker, encourage and feed it.
The glow swells… black shadows recede.
I’ve got this.
Tawnia is an elementary teacher in Ontario who started writing a few years ago. You can find her on Twitter @TawniaCourage.
Anxiety forces another beam of steel through my belly,
apprehension caps my lungs,
and tangles them in wire.
Electricity jolts my chest
yanking a mechanical heart to life.
Oil slicks my throat
choking me into silence.
Perhaps terror stole my voicebox
and only the gears in my brain
Maria copes with stress by listening to Steam Powered Giraffe, and writing strange poetry.
Lights left burning.
No cat or dog to blame,
the son has long gone
to his own lighted place.
No lecture necessary on waste of power.
Just three words,
Lights off, please,
or maybe those other three words
we should be saying more often
in our lighted and darkened places.
Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She taught creative writing and poetry in Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Many of her poetic themes are a result of her working with Southeast Asian refugees for over a decade after the Vietnam War years. She has published one poetry collection (Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press) and two chapbooks (Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press), as well as an ESL reader (The New Arrival, Books 1 & 2, Prentice Hall Publishers). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Contest. She was editor in chief of Blue Muse Magazine and a guest editor of Hunger Mountain Magazine. She has produced documentaries on the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Law, and currently is producing a documentary on the peace process and reintegration of guerrilla soldiers in Colombia. She is the executive producer of an Emmy winning short narrative film, Posthumous. Recently retired, she lives in an endless summer state of mind. See more at lauriekuntz.myportfolio.com
The airlock doors clicked.
She squeezed her elbows into her side. With each mile she climbed into the sky, her heart lightened. Her breath slowed, no longer raggedly keeping up with her heartbeat.
Earphones in. No internet, no phone, no screen. She breathed deeply. The only place she found solace.
Melissa Benn is an aspiring kind human who likes to write on planes.
Paper crinkles as she walks over a mosaic of manila and white envelopes in her hallway – bills, warnings and notices.
Outside, on the way to the bar, she is ambushed by moonlight and reflects that banks, bosses and former lovers will all be obliterated before Neil Armstrong’s bootprints. She smiles.
Andy Hedgecock lives and works in rural Nottinghamshire, UK, close to an Iron Age earthwork, the remains of a Roman fort, a decommissioned coalmine and a disused railway line. It’s a place of scars, erasures and stories.
Sleeping outside, away from the din of the city, they had a window into the glitter of a million worlds, and all it took to blast their minds free of Earth-bound problems was to stare into galaxies just hanging there, waiting for the next trillion years to come and go.
Linda Saldaña is an escaped tech writer now addressing the meaning of life 50 words at a time – or maybe a little more. Recent work can be found in Poydras Review and Every Day Fiction.
When I was little, they tried to teach me to eat spaghetti properly; twist it round and round my fork, then stop. I always froze, mesmerized by the spinning.
Anxiety’s like that, too. They tell you to worry, worry, then cope. But I just get stuck watching my mind whirl.
Maria attends college in the Midwest, and loves that microfiction fits neatly into her study breaks.
I was working my way through the wedding checklist, making sure I had thought of, paid for, and arranged everything.
Cars, reception venue, meal, gifts. I’d cracked it. A job well done… and with days to spare!
Now I just needed to find someone to marry.
Jon is an aspiring writer from the North West of England, currently boring himself to tears working in local government. He is looking forward to getting wed himself in the next month, but fears his own checklist is never ending… You can read more of his ramblings on the new web presence he has finally gotten round to creating at writingsonthewall645.wordpress.com
The waitress squared her shoulders and marched over. “Whatchuwant?” she asked.
He didn’t look up. Thick fingers anguished his thinning hair. “Just pie,” he said, head hung.
Deafjerk didn’t even notice me, she thought, and spit—just a little—on her ex-husband’s slice before the dollop of cream.
Rachel Burns is a current student whose latest writing project is a chapbook collection of flash fiction and poetry.
At my lowest moment, I verbally ripped into an ex, intent on slicing him to visceral gore. Even though he probably wished someone would firebomb the bar rather than listen to another word of venom—
He instinctively leaned over and lit my cigarette.
I stormed away, shaking. Listening for footsteps.
Suzanne Mattaboni has published in Seventeen, Newsday, guideposts.com, Child, and “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” She is the author of the middle grade novel TACO GIRL.