best of elementia 1-15


m.A.A.d. City Man

By Annie Barry

This summer I took some chances while listening to Chance the Rapper because I liked the beat
But listened to Kendrick when I wanted some street poetry
Some urban poetry
From poets who grew up in suburban towns with an urban state of mind

The Wish Garden: an excerpt

By Andie Davidson

A mindless leaf fluttered out of nowhere and perched on my sandaled foot. In the distance, a disorganized medley of birdsong made up an unrehearsed orchestra. Idyllic as it was, I was in the middle of a fairly typical snapshot of spring.

Screaming Secrets : A view from

By Jillian Beyer

She fell on top of me, burrowed her face in my fluff, hands smacking the down inside of me, legs kicking, wriggling, growing restless at the foot. Every night I gave her comfort, she told me her secrets, whispered in the meekest of voices of the taunts and the teases and the tortures of the day.

Love Like a Two-Dollar Bill

By Zoë Christianson

when I offered you a heart full of love
you answered,
like this woman in a toy store
when I tried to spend a two-dollar bill
a relative had given me
years ago, when I was young . . .
Keep it. It may be worth something someday.

Bodies Revealed: A Non-Linear Essay

By Candice Ladd

“I am going on a diet,” she announced.
“But McKenzie, you're only six! Besides, you’re beautiful!” I shot back.
“But,” she insisted, “I need to lose weight.
“No, you do not. I’m your nanny, I know these things. Now eat your lunch.”

Being Cosmic Dancers: because what else would we be?

By Jaden Gragg

We live on our floating planet,
this hunk, this rock,
we are so small. 


By Sarah Rekab

The sea shimmers as if
a child,
has poured glitter in its
soft blue path.
Mountains linger over such water
and are outlined
by a china blue sky.
The sun dances across the water,
casting this magical scene.
A fisherman casts his line

Hot Blood Underground

By Ayah Abdul-Rauf

He is anchored to the cold room’s center
By metallic, unused fetters
Reluctance is his parapet and it’s likely to collapse
He lies amidst rusted traps
He is the first catch.

Choosing to Hurt

By Jessica Sutter

He leaves his shoes on the doorstep. Size twelve and a half, wearing through the toes and curling with wrinkles of use. He stopped working at the orchard in November, but red Oklahoma mud still caulks the crevices and holes, stains the laces.

Living Redwood

By Angela Clem

A Giant
A Living Freak of Nature
A Redwood.
Tall, upstanding, huge, strong, ancient
At least
 2,400 years old
People look at it in wonder.
“Wow! Amazing!” They say
And I agree
But I don’t
I think it’s unbelievable and amazing too

Hang a Crooked Star (excerpt)

By Brooke Shippee

I awoke from the dream, still somewhat fatigued and ravenously hungry. The wheels beneath me stammered over the open road, bumping along like Morse code in tune to the music of the teenager seated beside me.

Peace: a 21st century Anachronism

By Alicia Dressman

Five dozen shouting.
All mouths open vocalizing hatred for hate –
some to be cool, others to get it out –
shouting loud,
looking left and right for the movement.
Where’s it going?
Never looking from where it came;

Cherry Lies

By Abby Harrison

The people in my world are all for free speech
so long as it’s not mine.
Stemmed from a mind of national concern,
it hardly counts as an emergency
when I try to dig my nails into the glass
separating me from the world
and tear them apart.


By Maddie Jones

like amorphous chunks of metal
they rest on a shelf in my brain
and beg to be molded

I long to hold them in the
fire of my skull
till they are soft and malleable

An Open Letter to Joseph Conrad

By Jess Holmes

Dear Mr. Uber-Goth,

I don’t pretend to understand the intricacies within the mind of any literary genius, but I’ve got to let it out...your endless pessimism is bringing me down.

Losing Lila

By Jessica Sutter

It looked a bit like Lila, but it wasn’t Lila. I don’t know why people say that when someone dies they look like they’re sleeping. Her skin was dull grey and colder than ice. Her long body lay limp and heavy on the stainless steel table. Her clothes were dirty and rumpled.

A Spectacular View

By Leslie Goodwin

A cool breeze shuffled my hair, causing deep chestnut strands to tangle in my eye lashes. As my purse swung loosely at my hip, I slowly lifted my hand to shield my defenseless eyes against the brilliant sun. I exhaled deeply, letting the awe and amazement settle in the pit of my stomach.

Waiting to be Struck

By Matthew Morefield Tanzer

Sometimes I just sit there,
waiting to be struck,
with one poetic thought.
Other times I am struck,
with a line to my poem,
and I have nowhere,
to write it down.
Inspiration comes from,
nature and the world.
It comes from the people,


By Brooke Stanley

Bumping the van, our holey road twists
onto the dark side of each mountain,
drawing us into night and the nervousness
of a stranger at the wheel in an unfamiliar place.
The stars are swallowed, the moon gone
from the rough highway and jagged peaks.


By Rachel Franklin

I. Blue chamber 
Take my hand, feel for flesh
beneath the glove, the mask
Catch the notes slipping through
the air (your fingers)
Dance until we die and await the
Listen closely.
We will come alive again


By Jaden Gragg

There is so much beneath the surface
of what we are being told,
like cream rising to the top of milk,
like layers in the ocean,
like light filtering in only through the top.
The rest is inky darkness,
so much life and truth swirling beneath the surface.

Lichtenburg Love

By Rachel Franklin

I used to tread over damp ground
yet seek shelter from the rain.
Those wilted lives, half-truths
fed to half-lovers, are gone.
The hollows of your cheeks
are cracked like parched earth
from years wasted needing me to kiss you.

The Mistake Girl

By Portia Miller

The mistake girl is in the corner,
Facing the wall,
Counting how many cracks are in the cheap,
Thinning plaster.
Trying desperately and
Failing to block out her mother’s voice.
Setting a price.

Poor Great-Great-Grandmother

By Calla Hinderks

A creaking windowpane,
Pelted with snow,
Reflecting light onto the dusty, deep brown floor.
The rooms seems to sigh, pained with age,
Abandoned; left waiting,
The cold is kept at bay by a single lamp,
Filling the small space with warmth.

The Parasite Lives and Grows

By Rachel Franklin

Once upon a time Goliath fell.
They built buildings on his body
and David walked away without looking back
didn’t know his victory
until he moved
opened the door
to have his pebble drop at his feet
looked up and his apartment was

The Difference Between Simile and Self

By Rachel Franklin

I have problems
and I’ll swap mine with you like trading cards.
Long lovely disorders go over the lips like chocolate
but honey, we’ve been writing about these pits of darkness
long before shrinks slapped name tags on them.


By JDC Resident

Used and abused
Still standing strong
You are the one I lean on
Who knows how to turn it around
With me through thick and thin
No matter what, where, or when
The pain of being without you
Day by day, I’m deteriorating

The Climbing Tree

By Ann E. Mclean

The Ponderosa Pines hunched ponderously,
Their convoluted gestures frozen
With dry, rasping limbs in stages of vexation
And narrow forearms lifted high
In savored moments of exalted epiphany.
My brother and I climbed the questions
They grew,