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Showing most liked content on 04/06/18 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I wrote this for a school project and my teacher wanted me to publish it, so please critique before I do that. Also, I need a title. Thanks! some words need catching not in fishnets for skinning and eating but like butterflies because they are beautiful and we want to pin their wings to the page preserved forever some words need catching because they are mine and we are all greedy i want to tie myself down here keep myself safe i’m afraid to lose any flicker of me and fade to chalk brittle bone some words need catching and displaying on the wall i want everyone to hear me shouting off the paper so my words will live in all their souls and beautiful things will grow there and they will know my words are strong and their souls are good i want them to listen tell them Here I Am! and This Is Me!
  2. 1 point
    Prompt: "Your people have been living on an island for over a million years. There is a supersized volcano in the center, but that’s not a problem. Whenever it begins to erupt, your community sacrifices a virgin to the volcano gods which stops it immediately. Today, the volcano starts to smoke and the ground starts to tremble. Your town starts preparing for eruption. There is only one virgin left in town." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The day she is meant to die is the day she meets the goddess. It is a tradition of sorts; occasionally, the mountain will rumble, and then it will smoke, and then a sacrifice must be given to calm its wrath. And on, and on, but now she is the last sacrifice and after her, the town will have no one left to give. She is frightened, but she will not show it. She inhales deeply, and only the slight tremor of her fingers belies her terror. Her mother is crying. “My baby,” she sobs, running tear-soaked fingers down her cheeks. But the sacrifice does not cry. She closes her eyes and stands tall. This is her duty, after all. She’d always known this day would come. She knows it like she knows that she will be the last, and that after her there will be no more sacrifices because there will be no more need. “It is time,” says the High Priestess as the ground trembles beneath her feet. There are tears on her face, too, and her wrinkles are like canyons in her grim, gray features. The sacrifice nods. She is as ready as she will ever be. The climb up the mountain is a long one. The sacrifice is barefoot and dressed only in a thin, pale slip and she nearly falls several times, but every time she steadies herself and continues. She is a soldier, headed for battle, her home behind her and her eyes ever-fixed on the rim of the mountain. The small group stops a few yards from the edge. The High Priestess reaches out and paints red clay in unwavering lines across the sacrifice’s forehead. The symbol of the volcano gods, etched into her skin, marking her as their prize. She had left her name behind at the base of the mountain but it is here she leaves her identity. The High Priestess sings a long, low prayer to the gods and the earth below their feet trembles. “Go, now,” she says, gesturing to the rim, and her eyes are sad. The sacrifice nods once, taking just a moment to steal herself before turning away, towards the top. She begins to walk again. The ground is warm beneath her bare feet and the rocks are jagged, but she pushes on against the pain. There is no turning back, not now. There is a moment, at the rim, where she looks down into the crater and she looks up at the sky and she wonders why this must be her lot in life. Why this is her fate, her duty; why she hadn’t given up long ago, found a lover and defiled herself from the sacrifice. But, she thinks, she never did find anyone worth that love, and besides, she’d always known that someone must perform this task. If that someone had to be her, than so be it. But no more. She thinks of her sisters, her cousins, and she thinks, no more. “O, Great Gods of the Burning Mountain,” she speaks, voice hoarse and rough and choked with ash. “I beg you to spare my home. In return, I give myself to you, pure and untouched.” The lava below bubbles and belches and gives no answer. The sacrifice squeezes her eyes tight. It is time. “I know it is not my right, but I have one additional request of you. After me, there are no more who are suited for the sacrifice. Those who are untouched are young, far too young, and they are not prepared as I am. So I ask only this; after I am gone, let me be the last. The people of my village have lived quietly by the ocean for centuries and we have only ever given you our respect. Ask what you will of us, be it temples or gold or a piece of our harvest, but please, please spare our children.” The sacrifice turns her eyes to the sky and knows that her piece has been said. She has nothing more to offer, no more reason to stall. And so, wishing that she had at least kissed her mother’s cheek one last time, she steps carefully forward over the rim. There is a hand at her wrist, holding her back, keeping her from falling. It is hot, unbearably so, and her skin blisters and burns at the contact. Unable to stop herself, she turns, eyes wide, and finds herself gazing into the face of a god. “Why, child?” asks the god. The voice is an ancient one, creaking like stones and crackling like flames, and on the god’s forehead is the symbol of the youngest goddess, Itum. “Why give yourself so willingly? Why beg this deed?” The sacrifice trembles. “Great Lady Itum,” she says, voice fragile and afraid. Around her, the world has warped and faded, turning to smoke and sparks and haze. Magic weaves itself through the air, terrible and beautiful, and the sacrifice knows that she now stands in another realm, an ancient one of gods and demons. “Please forgive me. I merely hoped to save my sisters.” Itum watches her, unblinking, eyes of molten rock wholly unreadable. “You are kind of heart,” she says, and lays a burning palm over the sacrifice’s chest. “You have never given yourself to another and yet you are so full of love.” The sacrifice knows, in this moment, that she is going to die, and it compels her to bravery. “My Lady Itum,” she says, and this time her voice does not tremble. “Please grant me my wish. Stop the endless killing of daughter after daughter who never had the chance to love.” “Is that what you really want?” asks the goddess, laughter in her tone. “Or do you wish for freedom? Do you pity your successors because you so strongly desire to be loved?” “It does not matter,” says the sacrifice. “I am the last. The village is empty, and I will soon die. It does not matter whether or not I desire love.” Itum leans in closer, breath singing the sacrifice’s skin. “You are noble,” she says. “And kind. Both are admirable qualities, and I do not wish to see them in vain.” “My lady?” “My brothers,” says Itum, and the magic in the air shifts around them, “would see you dead. It is they who lust for the sacrifice, who send the tremors to demand more and more. My brothers will not grant your request, for they know there are always more of your kind and they know they will always be given whatever is is they may ask. You are proof of this.” “And what is it that you want?” asks the sacrifice, and then curses her own tongue, but the goddess merely laughs. “I am not sure, myself,” admits Itum. “Perhaps, like you, I long for freedom, and for love.” “Then what will you do?” The air is quiet between them as the goddess thinks. The sacrifice is burning with the proximity of the lava, skin blistering and hair turning to smoke. She wishes to cry out in pain, wishes that this would finally end, but she bites down on her tongue and does not make a sound. “Perhaps,” says Itum at long last, “I will break the cycle and free us both.” The sacrifice opens her mouth, perhaps to ask a question, but she does not manage it because in the next moment, the goddess kisses her. It is not a soft kiss, like the touch of her mother’s lips beneath her ear, but a fiery one, passionate and hungry and burning. The sacrifice’s lips sting at the heat but she does not struggle, even when the goddess slips tongue between lips between teeth and tastes of her lungs. When the goddess releases her something has changed. The air around them is thinner, cooler, bits of blue sky breaking through the smoke. “There,” says the goddess, and smiles as she slides an ember-bright thumb over the sacrifice’s lips. “You are no longer undefiled.” The sacrifice stares at her, breathing heavy and words lost to the goddess’ tongue. “My lady?” she whispers, unable to manage any more than that. “You are free now,” says Itum, voice gentle and strong. “The last virgin is no more, and the village is empty. There will be no more sacrifices. The cycle is broken.” The sacrifice closes her eyes. A tear slips free from between ash-flecked lashes and the goddess wipes it away in a puff of steam. “Go, child,” she says, not unkindly. “Go home to your people. Tell them that the sacrifice is no more. Live in freedom and find yourself someone to love.” The young woman, no longer a sacrifice and no longer a girl, nods her head and does not say a word. Itum lets go of her wrists and steps back, and behind her the smoke clears a path to the top of the crater. Numb and in shock and overwhelmed by emotion, the nameless young woman begins to climb away. When she reaches the top, when she sees her village in miniature before the sparkling blue sea, she turns back to the goddess. “My lady,” she says, and her voice breaks. “Thank you.” Itum smiles and then she is gone. The young woman crumples at the mountaintop. She crawls the paces down from the rim, to where she may lean her back against a rock and cry unseen. And cry she does, tears streaming down her cheeks and aching sobs pulling daggers through her lungs. It is over, she thinks. At long last, it is over. There will be no more. She is the last one.
  3. 1 point
    Wind-whipped chaos sweeps across the sand and blue-gray-green waves crash along the seam of the land some find peace in the serenity of natural things—not as I do for its constant motion, tumult, uncertainty, imminent danger is still a constant, despite the chaos— disorder is a reassurance in its consistency so when I stumble into a quiet place off-balanced by the sudden roar of silence in my ears I think about the thunderstorms I've felt and how they pulled me toward the inmost chamber of myself how myself is a chamber of its own, my oyster-shell identity wrapped glimmering around my hidden pearl. to find shelter inside myself from sandstorm winds—grit in my teeth, eyes— is like a welcome inhale of coastal sweetness and salt may be hidden in the sweetness, but then the peace is only made sweeter white noise generators hold the same lullaby of constancy but lord knows mother nature does it best quiet conversation in coffee shops is mirrored in cricket-song and summer wind I find in nature as much pattern as disarray—what charm!— never did I think that chaos would be my home but the silence when it is absent is chaos in itself —chaos as departure from a norm, as deviation from bell-curve existence— chaos is a resting place, a sandy beach, a coral reef— an oasis of bright and different and alive I breathe looking up at all the water completely submerged I feel no pressure in my chest my lungs find new ways to peel themselves back for the openmouthed sun the phytoplankton sing of that sunlight on their tongues, of quiet serenity, and i sink into blissful dark unknown where my eyes don't see but there's a kaleidoscope in my soul and the kaleidoscope is like that one i find in your eyes, like the sinking into pillow-soft dawn and cricket quiet, like the serenity that enfolds me as i gaze up at the sun. this is our oasis. (Contributors: @queenie_flower @Hydra ’Liope @thepensword @catasterism @Apollo's Lover @writeandleft @conradbirdie @O. Captain @drowntown )
  4. 1 point
    Aries: March winds and April showers bring forth unholy powers. Taurus: The floor isn’t actually lava. It’s the walls you need to worry about. Gemini: Your relationship will enter a new and exciting stage this week when your partner presents you with the traditional gift of a silk-wrapped, partially digested moth. Cancer: Follow your dreams, but do so stealthily and at a safe distance so they never know you’re coming until it’s too late. Leo: Your alchemic career will hit a weird note when you somehow manage to transmute gold into a tasteful lead bust of 14th-century monk Nicolas Flamel. Virgo: Aim for the moon. Hit the moon. Field dress the moon. De-bone the moon. Cook the moon. Devour the moon. Libra: A lot of people refer to their partner as their “rock,” but this is actually pretty literal in your case. Scorpio: The hounds are on their way. Sagittarius: Work on your communication skills this week. Not everybody responds positively to sustained unearthly screeching in a range only audible to certain whales. Capricorn: An opportunity to build a new friendship will arise when you complete cytokinesis and divide to create a genetically identical copy of yourself. Aquarius: Yes, that person saw you reading fanfiction on your phone. Pisces: If you can’t become an inspiration to future generations, the next best thing is to become a cautionary tale. images © xenia_ok/Shutterstock.com; painterr//Shutterstock.com
  5. 1 point
    Call me over to you in the dark, Entice me with the molten lava that seeps from your mouth. Your creeping smoke entraps itself inside my lungs. Initiate a slow burn within the veins that continue to force oxygen through me. Until I can no longer move. Turn my body into a mountain. A slowly growing rock formation that is born from the lava that singes my skin I will be immune to the incoming storm Under an umbrella of volcanic ash I am reborn as a stone. Peeking through the tide, I can breathe again.
  6. 1 point
    Why do we march? 1.We march for the right to love. 2.We march because we are all people. 3. We march because we are all different. 4. We march because we are all alike. My heart is no different than yours just because it chooses to love a woman 5. We march because you can't understand that our bodies do not match our spirits. 6. We march because, in your stubbornness, you refuse to believe that the baby you held up at birth could be anything different than the gender you assigned it. 7. We march because the only thing we should be worrying about in school is homework. 8. We march because bulletproof backpack shields are heavy. 9. We march because we refuse to believe that a man living in the sky was able to conceive millions of people (or however that was supposed to work) in a day. 10. We march because you do not speak for our country. 11. We march because we are all family. So why do you stand still?
  7. 1 point
    seattle, concrete-bound pier, your slipknotted sidewalks/city blocks traverse the port. when i was young i never dared set foot into your dense skeleton, all asphalt and stainless steel and sometimes, in the barrios, slumping wood. but one day, after finding myself, after clutching blue bus pass like a shield: you became a vast, unfamiliar home where would I be without your droves of anonymous faces like grapes cascading from a vine and your sky? oh, your sky? framed, always, by the rooftops, enough that ill never see your moon but from those very same rooftops? i had no idea you were so endless. you remind me to be finite. you sleep on the sea like a wayward soap bubble stranded on the surface. it is as if you have come from man's feeble attempts at creating beauty. you are not colorful, a sunken ship, or an edge waiting to slip, neither understood nor incomprehensible. you are as sharp as a canine’s point. you arrive bearing due west, towards the ocean's blue underbelly while your space needle salutes the moon. I have marveled at your gardens, be them of sound, glass, metal, or plants. chihuly begs us to take up landscaping. you’re seattle, the gay city, the starfish in the sand. you are a marvel. just as our flag, you are as vibrant as the midnight sun. you are not warm by any measure, all overcast rainy days, but you are definitely made true by your severity. how fluid you are, and along the highway the boardwalks rock with the winter waves. oh, seattle, you are the worst traffic and the endless night life. without you i would have never heard of the food truck that sells the best bubble tea and chicken wings. with you i find new ways to fall in love. this is why, seattle, you are the embrace i can slip into and lose myself in, why you refuse to let time run the same, why you shock hearts like a defibrillator on the roofs of the strobing nightclubs. i have praised many things, but for me you are more a fever dream than a dance floor of forgotten time. to my eyes, you are an ocean drowning in itself. ((i used the same form as ode to the visible universe but with less improv. heres the template i used from my poetry class: ode template.pdf