Water Grave

The ocean

Can you hear it

Silently calling you

Luring you closer

The sound of the sea

Flashes of memory

The calm before the storm

Lightning rips the sky

Footprints on the sand

Lolling waves pulling me in

A frightened voice in my head

Rotted driftwood

My only awakening

A barnacle-covered net

Shouts of fright

“Man overboard”

Screams in my head

Heart pounding

Chills succumbing

Heading stabbing

Wool blanket

My only source of heat

More flashes

Grand staircase submerged

Pearls ripped from my hands

Hard frozen lifeboat

A too-tight lifejacket

Nothing will quiet

My sister

Perished from disaster

Whispering in my ear

Beckoning forth

Her and the sea

Are one



By: Kaitlin Grosh

When I Was Little

When I was little my dad let me sit on his lap when he mowed.

When I was little I threw my fish behind my dresser. (I never got it out from behind there.)

When I was little I fell through the pool when it had the tarp on and I could have drowned.

When I was little my mom told me that I climbed the fridge. She referred to me as a terror on legs.

When I was little I would go down the main road on my own.

When I was little we would throw our carved pumpkins across the road down to the railroad tracks.

When I was little I would dress to match my sister on purpose. (She hated me for it.)

When I was little I would dream about my build-a-bear rudolph shooting my dad.

When I was little I would be downstairs in the pantry before my dad went to work in the mornings.

When I was little I slept with my parents in their bed.

When I was little everything was different…

By: Jakie Houser

Second Ascent

Bound in Ice, With howling winds

The slaughter of our beloved begins

Our sanity is broken, our love purged

We were approached and urged,

By the lords of this land,

To quietly listen

As they approached the throngs,

the Human seas.

They brokered us a message, to give to those we love

“We wish to inform you that tomorrow,

We will be killed with our families”

Our home it is Ice bound,

So without our consent,

After rising up this mountain,

We shall die in the cold

Up to Heaven, Our second Ascent.

Chapter 3: The Watcher from the Past


I followed Edward outside, deciding that spending some time with our daughter proved to be a good distraction for everyone. We played catch with Renesmee; watching her collect the plastic ball with great speed, even at her preteen age. Jasper and Alice sat in the grass playing chess, but we all knew Alice would win. She could see every move he made, and you could see the annoyance crossed on Jasper’s face by this. Rosalie argued with Emmett over mechanics as Rosalie tinkered with the engine of her Red BMW M3 Convertible. You could hear Rosalie’s usual bitchiness shine through as she threw a wrench a Emmett, followed by a hissed, fuck off. Esme and Carlisle laughed at the scene, as did everyone else. But our laughter was cut short when we all heard a commotion sounding not far from us in the surrounding woods. Continue reading

The Walls

they are

the love that

wraps you in

the smile on your face.

they give you

the feeling of

knowing you’re in

your place

the definite knowing

the details are showing

you know you’re safe.

you’re you

shines through

the place knows who you are

no matter who comes in

or who comes out

it pays no mind

to your drunken nights

your late wishes

the anger that smashes your dishes

your weak-heart-cries

your hobbies that stay

and don’t stay

it doesn’t judge you

for that spur of the moment

new paint

or those free sidewalk couches.

it sees you without your makeup

your fancy clothes

your calculated choices

or your anything fake.

it only sees your




first layer.

and it loves you all

the same.

it loves your

bare feet

your morning breath

your knotty hair

your tears.

your tee shirts

your holey sweats

your plastic plates

your fears.

your late night wines

your dear john movies

your shower singing

your coffee-induced grooves.

your baby blankets

your best friends

your fitted sheet “folding”

your obsession with online buying of shoes.

it even loves your conversations

with yourself

because really

its like conversations

with them.

they listen

they smell

they feel

they observe

they know

and not only you.

but don’t worry.

the walls don’t talk.

By: Elise Klingaman

Things That Happen At Summer Camp

One time back in 2006 when I was 9 years old I went to the summer camp that was located near the mountain lake called Issik-Kyl in Kyrgyzstan. I had a fun time there with my friends swimming, dancing, playing games, having talent shows and other competitions, but one story from that camp will always bring back a smile, and it’s a story about my friend Lola. Every time that we had time free from activities she would always go on her phone and text her friends. One time she met a cute guy at the beach that asked her for her number and naturally as a girl would she hypnotized the phone and carried it everywhere she could until the guy had called her. My friends and I all laughed at her silly paranoia but she was serious. She went to the bathroom while me and my friends were hanging out in our rooms, and in couple of seconds we hear a loud scream: “ My phone!…..” we didn’t have to hear anything because we knew exactly what happened. As we ran in we saw a girl with the eyes the size of bowling as she exclaimed: “ Call the counselor”. We ran to our counselor who was a man of simple mind that was ready to help anytime he was asked to. He approached us with confusion: “What is happening?” He said so, because he could read  excitement on our faces. We told him what was going on and without informing us on his further actions he commanded the lunch lady to equip him with rubber gloves. When he got them the whole camp ran to the sewerage. Boys and girls were gathered around that nasty place that they couldn’t bare smelling, but our brave counselor dug in the pile of waste in hope of finding that little Samsung that caused all the hysteria. As unbelievable as it sounds after half an hour digging through that pile we heard a familiar to us all ringtone “ I feel good”. Lola had mixed emotions of sadness and embarrassment, but she was happy to see her die hard phone. Yes she did throw away the phone, and yes we did smell like poop the whole day, but that day we learned a lot of lessons that we would never forget, and one of them is don’t bring your phone to the bathroom.

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 11: The Eyeball

“Did that figure just take the eagle’s eyeball?” Jason asked.

Everybody stood in shock. Brent nodded. “I think it did…” Brent said. “But… why would anyone need an eyeball, especially from an eagle?”ll

Jason answered. “I don’t know… but we’re about to find out.”

“Jason… I don’t think this is a smart idea,” Issac said.

“Oh, but attacking a Raydien is?” Jason asked, already knowing the answer. Continue reading

True Farming

Many people believe that farmers are just hicks, rednecks, and FFA and 4-H kids.  They think that we all have cows and that we just grow corn.  Not once do they think about what the world would be like if there was no farming.   Without farmers there would be no food.  I know it is a shock.  Your food doesn’t start at Kellogg’s or Jimmy Dean.  It starts on the farm.  It is tended and nurtured to grow right from the ground if it is a crop.  If it is the animal the farmers raise it from the time that it was born.  We don’t abuse or hurt them, we just care for them.  We work from the first rays of light until it is completely dark.  We don’t just sit on a tractor and back up the roads.  We work with our hands and do a lot of physical work.  We work to put the food on your table.  So dont sit there with your mouth full and tell me farming is worthless and that we are all the same.  We are all different but we all have similarities.  Believe it or not we are similar to you too.  We aren’t our own species.  We are human just like you and we make a difference in the world.

Spring Time Dreams

When the snow is finally gone, and the flowers are blooming again: I am looking forward to being able to walk and take pictures, and sit on my deck reading. I will go down to the creek and wade in the water and feel the fish brush against my ankles and swim around without a care in the world. I will stay out late at night with my friends, sitting in our yards watching the stars, and walk up the yellow lines on the road close to midnight. It will the fun of last year, but better. With stronger and new friendships. Until then though, these will only be Spring Time Dreams in my wintery night slumber.




He gone.

Silence all around

Fake smiles instead of real frowns.

Sleeping alone

Its different.

Without his scent

Feeling depressed.

Rolling over to nothing

Empty inside.

Waking up a lot

His smell has vanished.

Not seeing him every day

Odd without him always around.

Missing him so much

There’s no one better than him.

Hearing his voice every once and awhile

Seeing his name pop up across my screen.

My heart does a little jump

Whenever i think of him.

He may not have much to offer

But happiness is all that I wish for.

And he is all it takes to make that happiness come out

So to me he is the perfect man.

I miss his smile that no one sees any more

I miss his hugs that I don’t get any more.

I miss everything about him

The good and the bad.

Without him my happiness is gone

Without him, my body is consumed in sadness.


Behind the Den Door by Lizzie McIlhenney

Every family has their stories, the legends and the myths, the sad stories and the ones that everyone laughs at an annual dinner after the wine has been cracked open. But there are some that no one dares breathe a word about, and everyone wishes or is demanded that they forget. Every family has them, and they can strengthen or break the bonds between loved ones.

I’m older now, I’m a grandmother with my oldest grandchild engaged to be married this summer, but there is one memory that will forever be branded into my mind.

           My father was a World War II veteran, and my two uncles served as well. My uncle Andy survived, my uncle Thom, however, was shot down early in the war, and is honored to this day with a ribbon in my window. The war affected my father in ways that I could not possibly understand when I was a young girl in the late 40s and the early 50s. Not even the post war understood what affected and changed our soldiers, with what we now understand are extreme cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a serious psychological problem. Back when the war ended, our boys were sent home and counseled to push the bad memories away, and not to talk about it to anyone, except maybe other veterans.

           The men returned home changed, not quite the same as their wives remembered from before. Each man dealt with the emotional scarring differently, ranging from looking for answers at the bottom of a whisky bottle to going insane. My father chose to completely shut his emotions out. I remember the late nights when he would sit in his chair and stare blankly into space, his eyes glazed over and wide, until I heard my mother gently pull him out of his chair and lead him to bed. I remember watching their shadows in the hall from my little twin bed, and hearing my mother whisper to my father and the shuffling of his slippers on the carpet hallway as they slowly made their way to bed.

           My father was a good man. Honest and kind, and a loving father and husband. However, there were nights when he would stay in his den, and keep the door closed, a sign that we were forbidden to enter. Sometimes we wouldn’t see him for a full day. Sometimes, when my uncle and his family would come on Sundays for dinner, after the meal, my father and my uncle would slip into the den while my mother and my aunt cleaned up and we children would play in the family room.

           Finally, one night when I was around ten years old, my curiosity got the better of me. I told my cousins I was going somewhere, probably the bathroom, and I stood and listened at the keyhole of the den door, and I got my first glimpse of my father’s experience and horrible memories.

           As I stood crouched, listening, careful of my breathing, I heard crying. A tingle ran down my spine. I had never seen or heard my father show any emotion like this, and to hear him heave for breath like so was alarming to my young ears. I strained to hear more.

           “My God, Jerry! What is it?” I heard my uncle exclaim.

           “It’s just those damn dreams again! I can’t shake the images from my mind…”

           There was silence for a moment, and I heard my uncle sigh, “I know, I know…”

           “How many years is it now? Over ten? And the memories are just as vivid as they were. The screaming rings in my ears like they did when we marched… I dreamt about Henry again last night, do you remember when I told you about him? We trained together, fought together, were captured together… Until we were a day away from O’Donnell. We were marching right next to each other, happy to be alive still, when so many were dropping around us. Then, Henry fell, and the guard who was behind us slashed his head off with a samurai before he had even completely hit the ground. I tried to stop him, but another guard bayoneted me until I was within an inch of my life. It was a miracle that I was still standing, let alone marching. But what I remember most his having to march past his dead body, and know that his family would never see him again. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can see the flash of the sword, hear it swishing in the air, and hear him crumple to the ground…”

           Horrified, I couldn’t listen anymore. I remember running away from the door, down the stairs, and through the kitchen doors to where my mother and my aunt were laughing and drying plates. Mother turned around and eyed me with alarm, “Are you alright, sweetie? You’re white as a sheet!”

           I blinked, and couldn’t open my mouth to reveal what I had heard, the visions in my mind playing over and over like a talkie. It took me a moment to gather my composure and smile and nod, saying that I had come in for a glass of water.


Years later, when my siblings and myself were going through his belongings, packing them up when we were moving Dad into a smaller condo when Mom died, I discovered an old journal in a box in the attic. It had fallen out of a musty old blanket that was bundled up in his trunk. Dumbstruck, I realized what this was as I flipped through the yellowed pages. It was my father’s diary that he kept during the war. I held in my hands piece of history that I never knew had existed. The last entry is what haunted me the most.

   We once studied this poem by Thomas Hardy, in school when I was young, and there is a line that has been running through my head ever since I started serving.

But ranged as infantry,

And staring face to face,

I shot at him as he at me,

And killed him in his place.

“I shot him dead because —

Because he was my foe,

Just so: my foe of course he was;

That’s clear enough; although

“He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,

Off-hand like — just as I —

Was out of work — had sold his traps —

No other reason why.

  I didn’t understand it then, but it made sense to me as I entered the battlefield the first time. These men we’re being sent out to shoot and kill, we are no different. We’re both human, maybe we would have been friends if the circumstances were different. The man at the other side of my bullet may be a father to be, or he may have a young daughter or son at home, as I do. He could have a sweetheart or a wife at home, praying to God for his safety, as I do. And the possibility that the man or boy at the other end of my gun could be so similar to myself, hangs over me like a dark cloud as I harden my heart and pull the trigger.


           For years I would remember that night, and when I researched the details I found that my father had survived the Bataan Death March. That was the only time I had heard about my father’s experience through his own lips. I never told him what I had overheard, but when I was nearly thirty and pregnant with my first child, I asked my father if he had marched in Bataan. He was quiet, until he swallowed and confirmed that he was, not asking how I knew. After a long period of silence, he lifted himself out of his chair and lifted the back of his shirt, where I could see several nasty scars where the Japanese soldiers had bayoneted him. After a moment, he pulled his shirt back down and lowered back into his rocker. Then he changes the subject to my unborn baby, asking if we had any names in mind for the child.

           I smiled to myself and replied, “Henry.”

Quick Message From The Editor

Hey guys, it’s 128271. I just wanted to say real fast that those last two poems beneath this message, the ones that made me have to stop and re-read them to make sure my mind didn’t just trick me into thinking such an amazing work of writing just appeared on my screen, were done by a person by the name of “Toby Holsinger”.

She needs your help. She managed to get into a competition called the “Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award 2014″. Her book, called “This I Know”, is in the running to win this award. If you could take sometime and help her out, go to “http://www.christianpublishers.net/14votes“, and vote for her book. It’s about halfway down the page and has a green cover. You don’t have to vote for anything else if you don’t want too, but to vote you must provide a name and email address as well as what best describes you at the top of the page, just to make sure you are a real person.

That’s all I wanted to say, and thanks for taking the time to read this.



I am From

I am from blocks and sidewalks to farms and fields.

I am from Lakemont and Delgrosso’s to Farmer’s Fair and The Pickle Drop.

I am from Washington Jefferson to Northern and from Northern to Marticville.

I am from Altoona to Dillsburg and from Dillsburg to Conestoga.

I am from two new beginnings. Continue reading