Gen-Z Poetry

A Haunt Remains [TW: implications of abuse]

By: Maggie Salinas

 

A faint brush against my skin.

I'm the canvas in a gallery.

Soft pecks executing dopamine.

I'm a string in your symphony. 

 

Tear-stained, 

Silenced by the wall, by the cold, by your palm.

Chest bruised, 

Severed by the love and your, “just be calm.”

 

Rosy pink flowers wilt as you pass,

Flood them with water and claim they will last.

 

Unsteady arms clawing my sides,

My eyelashes press against my cheekbones.

Tied by affirmation, validation, sedation.

The years tick by yet nothing subsides.

Stifle my plea, paint me maroon and amethyst tones.

Words die at the base of my tongue, I refuse attention.

 

You stole my reflection, my love for sensation.

I see the outlines of your hands piercing my skin.

You stole my love for affection.

I feel a disturbing warm breath against my nape.

 

Eyelids shut, I refuse to rest and your haunt remains.

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Who are you?

By: Lebohang Masukela

Who are you,

boy in the dark?

With a soul that yearns for peace,

and eyes that see the light in the darkest of places.

Who are you,

boy in the dark?

With a smile that never falters, but a heart

that has endured an insufferable amount of pain

Who are you,

boy in the dark?

Who holds everyone in high regards, 

except for himself.

Who are you, boy in the dark?

In the Name of Love, In The Name Of Thee

By: Arushi Neravetla

The howling cries pierce the illuminated night so everlasting. That the luscious red petals hold its tears, that tears the word existence itself apart.

The world of meadows held my hand, her white dress draped with pearls of gold and blue. Adorned with a laurel and pinecone crown, firmly sewn under her brown curly locks, with silver jewels covering her milky white skin.

She brought the dawn of existence under her knees, cupped her hands till her eyes grew brown and green. She gave me her hand, tears overflown in mercy till I gasp for air, but alas she left me in a brisk of fear.

The silence was eerie, all life but me stood still. The petal that I held dear has fallen to the ground, just like my heart broken into a mirage of no subtle joy. Thou be still for love is the fool that I made myself thee, the broken whispers tell me that my mistakes shall grow, till nothing is left, under the marigold tree.

I left her for my pride, the growing essence that surrounded me, ripped away that left me in sorrow and despondency. The cursed twists and turns of a maze are the life I follow, like breadcrumbs tossed by the old man to the birds that savor and devour.

I sat near the shadows; the meadows long gone to find someone to console. The light that once lived now was absorbed into fearless night with crows that caw in laughter at my state.

The erupt of strings that pull me apart like a puppet, leads me to wonder, do the lives of others lead a sonder? The Elysium waits for her, let her dance in the summer’s gales and in the tunes of the songbirds that perch under the hallow hoplar grove.

Leave me in the dust, as the maroon violin plucks the strings for a last song of the memories that are shed what I got left of her and me.

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The Man and His Eyes- Fated Crossroads with No Endings

By: Arushi Neravelta

The sanguine darkness is wide awake. The looming clouds cross swords with the desolate mountains. Where lived a man with fine taste.

The arduous journey to the summit, where a curvy Juniper tree stood in the middle. The heavy roots holding it firm, just like my eternal soul that inhabits this body which it calls “home”.

The man stood near the tree, held out his hand to me, calling my name so heavenly, for silence has no meaning just like the name that was assigned to this body.

The awakened nature solemnly stood still. The lull atmosphere led the man grew weary, as he slowly hides behind the Juniper tree. The sea was churning with its mighty force, the darkness weaved in with the tides, that lashed out its greatest pride. The man then came out from his spot, hovering over me.

 

He held my face so closely, his soulless eyes that held 2 worlds in each one. One black and one white, like the dual line I walk upon. He takes a step back; his bones and body start to crumble. Sinking into who we call our mother. The eyes were all its left, staring at me, for its master is now gone.

Waiting to be collected and be perched onto a set of sockets.

It entered inside of me; where black and white have collided. Leaving me to walk upon to the crossroads that have no beginnings just ends. Alas why do the visions of others are blinded with soulless attempts?

 

With no answers but sacrifices that come with a burden and cost at the end?

Let Go of The Broken Shard

By: Arushi Neravetla

 

Empty and sullen, cracks venture deeper, till a broken mirage is visible but illustrious to an unknown eye or peeper.They feed on blood, lust, and desire, till nothing is left but a single tear.

A tear shredded is worth words and memories, hard to deliberate or remember in one’s mind of their own. A twisted, endless night hinders my sleep, the wind soothes me in lulls, until I catch a twisted remark or a curl of a lip in smithers. 

 

 Nothing lasts forever, like the shards of a broken glass that scatter all over. A wisp of a smile forms and I heave a sigh as I lay still in the cot to linger in the unbreakable silence. 

 

I reminisce about the moments I want to remember, a tear that’s worth shedding. Is it worth remembering a memory, a memory that can't ease my tempestuous mind, a thought that can’t be forgotten?

 

Letting it go can be alluring, a pond full of petals, in lush red where the scarlet touches, the ripples invoking a lost soul. A soul is eternal, breathing with life, leaving a body, embers of golden, and flame in the flesh.

 

They rise and they depart, leaving it all, can’t the bad ones be erased, from our minds at all? The thought could be momentous, and my wounds start to mend, thread, and get sewn.

 

All there was left now was the soul of my own.

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Girl

By: Disha Satwani

She sat still, gazing the fresh green grass with a frown covered smile from the window near her school ground. She could see a handful of girls kicking the football around with smiles of joy and amusement. A few girls cheered in glee as the girl kicked the ball through the goal post. She just sat still. She was invited too
you know but didn't join them... it was 'that time of the month'

 

From using the first ever made pad in 1919 by Woolworths, Chicago to the 21st century of menstrual cups and tampons ,women have come a long way of PMS, cravings, chocolates, painkillers, overnight pad belt, homemade pads of cloth... covering this all up so that no one can see this-the beauty she
projects, the beauty her blood projects, all under the period shame.


The girl who burned like fire, spreading it and burning up all those who try to stop her, burning up all the clowns and liars and lightening up the world. The 13 year old now a quite girl who obeys everyone and everything, driven under the darkness
by her mother of orthodox thinking who said to her "Shh! Don't speak of your period out loud." but the father of the other 13 year old said "Here take some extra pads, in case the flow is too much."


The girl stood there crying, clutching a large jacket to her chest. The women in front of her said "You shouldn't dress like this. This dress is too inviting." 'Was it too much for her to dress in a red blouse and a jeans set?' The girl questioned herself.


Dr. Rani Bang in her "Putting Women First: Women And Health In Rural Community" notes that women in rural communities have very little knowledge about menstrual health. She says, "Cultural perceptions such as color of the menstrual blood govern their perception of what is normal and abnormal. They resist using sanitary napkin because it is difficult to dispose them off. They fear it might fall into the hands of someone who can use Jadu tona (black magic) against them." .The cultural norms and sayings have affected the minds and thinking of people greatly. The effects on the biological side of the human mind has led people prone to the psychological and neurological damages. The brain is attacked immensely by various hormones, giving rise to various anxiety disorders – people thinking they are not worthy or impure, low self confidence level, panic attacks in such thinking. This is one of the most graved side effects of all. Menstruation is a
biological period of cleansing of the body. Viewing this they are often laid to rules and regulations by the society, one such being the Kerala High Court restriction of 1991 which denied women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 entry in
the Sabarimala Temple. This restriction was lifted on Sept 28 2018 by the Supreme Court Of India saying that the discrimination against women on any grounds, even
religious, is unconstitutional.


The girl adolescent population of 80 million - many fears the society, many fears the blood, many wanting to speak up but are suppressed under the period and dressing shame. Today we may have risen to the greatness of human glory but the
women are still suppressed under the darkness of realms of shame and embarrassment just because we chose to revel our erotic world.


The current attitudes as viewed by us towards menstruation, childbirth, pregnancy and fertility reflect a porn education gaze that suppresses disgust by indulging the
illusion of a purely erotic world. Female fertility is shocking precisely because it turns women from sexual to maternal and from erotic to maturing. The child is the ultimate rupture to the porn world. Menstruation and female fertility is socially suppressed and largely silenced. The porn-graphic education that turned these parts of sex into unnatural interruptions of sexuality, ruined that vision of genital organs
as solely erotic arousing organs.


You might say that this world is a men world but then its factual too that each and every birth is vaginal.

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In The Dark Where We Creep

By: Dasani Bapiste

It was then and there I realize what was happening
The fake conscience you had in your mind that was going to drive me to ruin


The torment had already started a painter painting hearts until they were broken 
The canvas was blood red, slowly bleeding, 
my body laying naked, your paintbrush you kept stroking.  
 
Your deceit in the works was a masterpiece,
The devil controlling your hands till you could not breathe 
From a rigger to a stencil you painted me, 
Feelings of needles and doggers slowing entering.

You knew just how to manipulate the canvas 
Your blending and shading hid all the hurting and chaos 
 
For me it was pain, it was suffering, 
pretending to be artistic when really it was nothing 
no love, no hope, no caring
an art piece with a null story and null emotions 

The light never seems to appear when you need it 
stuck in the dark making it stronger as you feed it 
it's never as it seems or as you perceive it 
I internally bleed but you don’t see it 

As you continue to paint me to death 
I hope your soul doesn’t wrinkle with regrets 
The light comes in the day, don’t you forget 
But in the dark where we creep, our life quickly burns down like cigarettes.

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No Helen, Of No Troy

By: Janhavi Munde

How to be an academic, an advocate,
A revolutionary, a human, or simply just humane,
When we are tied to choices
even monarchs couldn’t make?
When we are so young, only just thrown into the world,
And we are already at war.
For we know that these decisions
Will decide the future which we will own
And it is ours, solely.
The future is only mine, and only yours, and
Only ours.


The tragedies we marveled at in our youth
Have come alive, trudging through their graves of fantasy,
And gnaw at us, eat us alive, and fester us so,
That the only other choice is ignorance.
But we have learned, that Ignorance is not bliss,
It is lethal, deadly, dangerous,
the worst kind of poison.
Because we are not Icarus,
We are not the Olympians in their silence.
We are voices, turned Artemis, turned Athena, turned
Hippolyta, turned Otrera.


And we must adapt, and you have forced our hand, and turned
us Brutus,
So Brutus we will be.
We wear his robe, we stab with his sword, into your back,
into your back, into your back,
Twisting, tears in our eyes, Wretched laughs tearing their
way out of our throats,


Shouting, Shouting, Crying: “Liberation!", and “Freedom is
Ours!”..
And so it will stain us, taint our conscience,
And stay with us forever.


“Et tu?” You ask,


Yes. Us too. Us only. Us ultimately.
I am not the face of this war.

My fallen, brothers, sisters,
Those who have it fires worse than me.
Are perhaps, Those who you muted.
And they, who have no voice,
they who bear only their heads high.
So if I must speak for them, I will,
I will shout, cry, yell, scream, until mine is gone as well,
And another takes my place.


We can only hope to be better than you.
Only hope that the murder of our conscience,
Saved the next from that fate.
We hope that t h e y will have Rome, Completely.
For we can only fight for it.
In name of No Helen, of No Troy.

A Home I Found- A Rise to The World
By: Arushi Neravetla


Homeless yet alive, dead but he is inside.
Inside his tent, let him stay, why?
I cannot say.

The smooth wrinkles that cover his unkempt hands. 
Makes us wonder what world he is living as. 
The home he belongs, cannot shelter his needs. 

For his lost touch does not come to us as a burden, but as a story to tell others. 
Every fire he has built, he has built such a world.

Plain and unspoken-
Isolated from the paths that cannot give the lost answers. 

Let him rise, let him live-
A mark of his footprint, a curious blossom.

For which the ocean who dances to their subjects
Where we all conform and belong, like the mighty roars of the sea.

Rise from the ashes, find a voice to let you live.
Do not follow those who follow behind you.
Search the future-
That will let you see the eyes of the making as you please.

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Mother Nature Finally Has Her Revenge

By: Milonee

When the sky turns red
And the hopes are dead

When the scorching sun
burns us down

When the last leaf falls
and the ocean waves are tall

When the black air,
chokes us down

Promise me,
that the world won't end

When mother nature finally
has her revenge.

Strong Men Cry Too

By: Samantha Webb

​I didn’t see a boy really cry until a few months ago. I hadn’t seen a boy show symptoms of anxiety of depression until I was almost an adult. For a long time I was convinced that perhaps men were just supposed to always appear secure, powerful, and in control. 


But the truth is society, strong men cry too and its time to amplify the conversation about social norms, when it comes to masculinity. 

A study commissioned by The Priory in 2015 uncovered the most common reasons why men don’t talk about their mental health. The top 5 were as follows:
“I’ve learnt to deal with it”
“I’m too embarrassed”
“I don’t want to appear weak”
“I don’t want to be a burden to anyone”
“There’s a negative stigma around this”

Furthermore, a startling 22 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t even feel comfortable to speak to a professional in fear that it would waste their time.  

It is evident today, that society is uncomfortable with a boy who cries. Society is unsettled to see a man curled up in bed, exhausted from constantly trying to hide the darkness that exists in his head.  


For too long, society has told men to “man up”, instilling fear in them for being “too sensitive” or “too dramatic”.

The toxic stereotype of “lad culture” arising in the early 1990s has caused men to walk around with their emotions trapped inside like a ticking time bomb. It’s toxic that men are afraid of receiving support and love in case they are viewed as weak. It’s toxic that the majority of men fear basic human treatment, in case they are disowned by society. What a terrifying fact to understand.

Society shouts in the faces of men “be someone different, don’t be such a girl”


Society screams a thousand other ways that men don’t feel because… they’re men.

But here’s the wonderful, beautiful thing, society. Real men do cry. Real men do feel. Real men talk and grieve and accept an emotional soul instead of an imprisoned one.


Real men do not hide behind a mask of strength. 

You cannot be strong if you never embrace being weak.

Maybe one day, we will see a brave new world where men can stand with an emotional vocabulary and aren’t afraid to use it. Where men can appreciate the beauty of receiving help for their worries. Where men can ask for support without fearing the wrath of society.

Where men can be real men, and with strength they will cry. 

The Man and His Eyes- The Fated Crossroads with No Endings

By: Arushi Neravetla


The sanguine darkness is wide awake.
The looming clouds cross swords with the desolate mountains.
Where lived a man with fine taste. 


The arduous journey to the summit, where a curvy Juniper tree stood in the middle.
The heavy roots holding it firm, just like my eternal soul that inhabits this body which it calls “home”.


The man stood near the tree, held out his hand to me, calling my name so heavenly,
For silence has no meaning just like the name that was assigned to this body.
The awakened nature solemnly stood still. 


The lull atmosphere led the man grew weary, as he slowly hides behind the Juniper tree.
The sea was churning with its mighty force, the darkness weaved in with the tides, that lashed out its greatest pride.


The man then came out from his spot, hovering over me.
He held my face so closely, his soulless eyes that held 2 worlds in each one.


One black and one white, like the dual line I walk upon.
He takes a step back; his bones and body start to crumble.
Sinking into who we call our mother.


The eyes were all its left, staring at me, for its master is now gone.


Waiting to be collected and be perched onto a set of sockets.
It entered inside of me; where black and white have collided.


Leaving me to walk upon to the crossroads that have no beginnings just ends.


Alas why do the visions of others are blinded with soulless attempts?


With no answers but sacrifices that come with a burden and cost at the end?

Wellness Club

By: Chloe Hull

On a pale spring day
Up on a trail 
When the wind was soft
And I was forever younger
In that inconsistent spring 
Past the footsteps left before them
Met your Wellness club
As orchids bloomed quietly
And the forests creatures just stirring
When I was still doe eyed 
Men met in your woods
 
Bikers
And I on your screen
They'll wrap me in ribbons 

Not the kind who wore there rags 
Or sped by my apartment in droves
From some patronage to Ocean Beach
Not the ones in the pill stores
Not the ones that I like at all  

Your bikers
Your wise old men
Staring down at a video

They were fathers
And brothers
Teachers
Maybe 
That rode with you 

I made a dance for you on film
Something washed in pink
soft pictures
Ribbons in my hair
My mouth still slightly open

I gave you the film
Unwisely in that spring 
Rolling Boudoir pictures 
The arch of a back
The birds singing in that forest 


It played for days on their screens
For what is  yours is always theirs

Pastel creatures
Silent in that forest
Gentle men 
Who held the rule
Unspoken to “their” women

Your bike ride continued 
Reels in their heads 
Pink lipped fool 
And your spring went on 

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