GOLDFISH by LILY WANG (United States)
for two cents, the man
answering will reach into the ocean
open another sail & draw
4AM BRITISH SUMMER TIME by BETHANY ADDO-SMITH (United Kingdom)
I drink the elderflower air,
poured by the 4am sky,
untouched by eyes.
JEEPNEY SMOKE by CHRIS LIM (The Philippines)
Jeepney smoke seeps through the iron rail
to keep him bloodshot. He burrows in the neck
of his shirt, already coughing.
IMMIGRANT GOES BACK by NEERAJA KUMAR (India)
Why does the sky appear black from the airplane
even though it’s sweltering noon on the ground?
POCKETS OF CITY by TIFFANY LEONG (United States)
I knew Chinatown best on Saturdays,
the November kind:
FADED MEMORY by AALIYAH JALEEL (Canada)
That sun-kissed evening in 1914,
The sky met the horizon melting blue and green.
AMONG THE MEADOWS by ROSIE JONES (Wales)
Below/ the cherry blossom clouds—amongst the bowing heads—of daisies and—the beat of bees
LIBRARY by LAUREN TEH (United Arab Emirates)
Soft sliding susurrations, light lift of page,
A sigh, a huff, a breath, murmurs in the murky quiet,
Rustling, shuffling, low thunder of a rolling ladder.
THAT'S WHAT THE TUI SAID by OLIVIA GOLDSMITH (New Zealand)
"Quark querk arck erk"
That’s what the tui* said.
PATTER TO PETRICHOR by SASINDIE SUBASINGHE (Sri Lanka)
It begins with patter, like the impatient tap
of painted nails, the rain thrums on the roof.
ODE TO A CURTAIN by NURA OROOJI (South Africa)
Waterfalls of cream and white
with leafy laced foam,
how you flutter in the breeze with not a sound or a moan.
MEMORIES THAT NEVER HAPPENED by ARI (United States)
In the jungles of Aklan stands a statue of a man I've never met.
Stands a monument to a face I've never seen.
GREEN IS GREED AND GREED IS POWER by RUTH PORT (United Kingdom)
Green are the strands of the winner's laurel;
green is the step of his podium as he stares over the crowd;
DESTINY by TEREN LEE (Malaysia)
Can the pearl headlands,
with their striped cliff-side rock,
understand that their life is one that will end?
NEWLY STAR by IZRAHMAE SUICO (Philippines)
It is like a curl of smoke
Crowning the feral embers
From when it danced the night before –
LEMONS AND JUSTICE by TAZ HANCOCK (Hong Kong)
I believe in lemons,
plucked with fissured hands
MILWAUKEE by ADDISON RAHMLOW (United States)
A pulse dwells in these glass towers, beating, breathing,
slates of transparency basking in clean air, clear air.
MEN WAITING FOR A TRAIN by LOIS BELOVED (Australia)
At first they stand, orphaned, like a line of birds,
First on one foot, then the other, in unison
DON'T TRY TO BE BLACK ATLAS by CARISSA CEASOR (United States)
Shirk your sense of responsibility.
Leave your guilt at the door of progress.
MY WORDS ARE NOT MINE ALONE by AKSHITHA UPADYAYULA (India)
My words can provide a sense of comfort, a feeling of being understood, a thought, an awakening, an escape, a reason to fight back.
MATHEMATICS: TRY AND CALCULATE ME by NAZEEFA AHMED (Canada)
you look at me and see someone to solve, to prove, to sketch, and
you try to classify my incongruities
HOMESICKNESS by YASMINE BOLDEN (United States)
You have never known those shores or those people or those
words that sound like a memory your heart can retell
but your mind cannot.
RED AND GOLD by VIVIAN ZHI (Canada)
I am from the streets of Chinatown,
Where in a small apartment south of Dundas and west of Spadina,
A Chinese couple is raising their newborn son.
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE FROM ALABAMA by LEE GAINES
you cannot escape the South.
you may leave it, but it never leaves you.
DON'T YOU SWAT AT A FLY by ARIA MALLARE (United States)
Don't you swat at a fly.
Don't you mindlessly shoot that harmless creature to the ground,
And don't you carelessly sweep its soul into the trash.
HIMALAYAS IN JALANDHAR by NEERAJA KUMAR (India)
On top of us all loomed a shadow
veiled 30 years ago, my grandmother says.
WHEN NOBODY'S LOOKING by MARIANA SANTIBAÑEZ (Mexico)
Spring shoots out of a flock of robins,
even when nobody's looking.
MY PARENTS CONSIDER WHAT THEY'LL DO WITH THEIR REMAINS by OTTAVIA PALUCH(Canada)
We're just ash and dirt.
Whatever wasn't wished upon a star.
CHANGE by LYAT MELESE (United States)
Change is unexpected.
Like the day I was told we were moving to America.
7 BILLION PEOPLE by LIORA SCOP (South Africa)
The world is silent in anticipation
the rivers have returned
the water lulls peacefully in wait.
SPOKEN by HANNAH LING (Malaysia)
I believe words are awake,
with agency to take on a new life
of their own after our lips give them birth.
STARS AND CEREAL by ANNA O'CONNOR (Ireland)
I do not see the stars from where I stand
but I know they are there.
THE ARMOURY by AMALIA COSTA (United Kingdom)
We come in droves, frothing at the mouth and baying for blood.
Our enemy invisible, stretched across the world like the taut skin of a drum,
A global shroud signalling the newest apocalypse.
A MEXICAN TWIN / GEMELO MEXICANO by ASHTON PERFECTO (United States)
I am an American boy
with a Mexican twin
WALTZ ANOTHER NIGHT AWAY by AIKA ADAMSON (United States)
The night comes with a special kind of softness,
where the music swells and carries itself through the hall
CANBERRA OCEAN by ENLING LIAO (Australia)
Suddenly—thirty-two nights without seeing a star
Bright shining, good luck, good luck for me.
DISLOCATE by KATE GARDNER (United States)
And the sea has many teeth, far more than I. But if we are one
then I have all the same teeth as the sea, then it has all the same teeth
HIM by ARIELLE LINN (Myanmar)
In the thousand faceless poems I've read
the moon has never been named a “him.”
INFINITY (COLLAPSED) by CAROLINE DINH (United States)
Sometimes I like to collapse infinity
into a single point in time I label “now.”
RETURN TO MY TREES by ELEANOR LEWIS (Wales)
i have come back
to the village i swore i would never see again.
REFUGEE by AFREH SHEKH (India)
the first missile tears through the skin;
skinning the embers of
a quenched country
SMALL FAREWELL IN THE HISTORY OF SUMMERS by TING LIN (China)
I look at you for decades and your words
melt in this subtropical heat.
INVISIBLE PARKS by MAY ZHENG (United States)
Air sticks to my skin,
like honey. mosquitos circle my ankles and wrists
THE FISHER QUEEN by DANIEL SHARPE (Northern Ireland)
Sweet Erin you lay far from me,
In soils toiled by blight and blood.
BECAUSE YOU'RE WORTH IT by KIANA JACKSON (Australia)
Your deplorable, horrible, despicable, ignorable.
You reiterate, evaluate, desiccate, and exacerbate.
Can’t you accept the way you look?
WOOD AND WATER by ENLING LIAO (Australia)
I never knew a whisper, soft and sweet, could sing
In tranquil lapse.
SWALLOWS by ROSIE JONES (United Kingdom)
A poem is when a scattering of swallows suddenly form a perfect v.
A poem is the angle which makes dew on a rose petal look like diamonds.
PEOPLE PLACES by SAMANTHA WAGNER (United States)
I believe in
A Place for every Person to
HEARTBEATS by MAI MCGAW (United States)
On a frosty October morning, I walk to a field
And lie flat on my back in the dewy grass.
BREAKING THE SILENCE by BRITNEY PHAM (Australia)
The silence can be eerie
Dark, damp and cold