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A basket of oranges - Amy Bright

A basket sits on a table. Filled with oranges.

The sun travels across the floorboards and bleeds onto the table. The oranges light on fire, they glow in the heat.

The sun moves and the fire is gone, leaving oranges once again.


 A basket sits on a table, filled with oranges.

The moon travels across the floorboards and climbs onto the table. The oranges turn to stone, they shimer in the darkness.

The moon moves and the rocks are gone, leaving oranges once again.


 A basket sits on a table, filled with oranges.

A single fly sits on the table. It can smell the oranges.

It climbs onto the orange fruits and turns it into a meal. After a guzzle and a half, it leaves.

The fly scurries away and the meal is gone, leaving oranges once again.


 A basket sits on a table, filled with oranges.

The sun comes back and lights the oranges on fire. It leaves and the fire follows.

The moon comes back and turns the oranges to stone. It too leaves and the oranges are back.

The fly comes back and brings a friend.


They make it a meal.

Her Guarded Secrets - Zazie Taylor

The world is a curious place. It is unknown, quick-witted, and cunning in ways even the fox will never understand. We may travel throughout life feeling that we are in control however once enlightened in such darkness we know as death, one can understand.

Across nations, worlds, wind blows as normal, murmuring to trees, leaving me out of their conversations. Asphalt shimmers with morning dew, grass as though it has been licked by the shaggy dog that is the sky, and, though I hate the cliche term as much as anything ‘ is rippling in the morning gales.’

What is reality? I ask you now. Is it the way tree dandruff floats slowly downward, trailing from the towering junipers adorned branches? That if you fall, the ground will always be there to catch you and force you upright once more?

How do you measure it, when it runs out what will happen, and is a pinch really enough to begin again?

Reality is a strict teacher, with diligent students. She shows no weakness, a deception that everything is fine, for if she did, the reliable can become tainted, strange, and mix to make alluring, unruly blends of imitation and truth. Bent and warped like inky tears of a sodden photograph.

What if everything we know is incorrect, just like time and conscience and ethics, this world, totality and the universe itself is but a concept strung along by generations of ignorance.


Red Rocks - Laura Vale

This cliff, below my footprints wind

on broken beachfront see alone

through mist and grey commit to mind

so found my blood and lost my bone

and lost is home for what I've made

in which a world lies still unknown

and human me grows up afraid

of monsters in my mind have grown


and human me is fears become

let loose my borders crossed my line

and under bleak my words are numb

this space between sea's eyes, and mine

The Caged Lion - Marlena Trotter

Back and forth, back and forth, over the stinking bones, flies swarming over the bits of meat I couldn't reach with my teeth. Over my own excrement, some of it dried out on the floor. Only iron bars separate me from the rest of the world, a padlocked door the only way out, not that I have a key.

“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I give you….. The amazing Milo!”

Little do they know about what goes on behind that candy cane striped tent. There’s no joyful capering about the ring, there’s no “dancing” on my front paws. There’s only the crack and sting of whips, so hard I can’t stand up. So hard that I fight not to roar in pain with each lash. The sun sinks down over the distant purple hills, the light showing off my shaggy mane, and scarred back, a crisscrossed map of wounds, some faded, others brand new.

I close my eyes, try to block out the new stinging strip of red on my shoulder. Try to block out all the shouting from other cages as more and more animals are forced to do tricks they don’t want to do. And think back to the savannah. The days I spent running in the tall grass with my mother and sister, when the sky was almost always blue, except for the rainy season. Where we spent all day outside, only running back to our shady tree as the stars came out. When our mother always came home with food. When I really was happy.

When I didn’t have “Milo” as my name.

When I was Luan.

But that feels like a million years ago already. A past life even. No sky in these fields is blue. Blue, even pale blue, is as rare as a diamond. There’s only rain that pounds on the top of my cage, clouds like strange unidentified lumps, even smoke, still smelling even though it comes from miles away.

What I would give to be back there. Before Mother didn’t come home. Before my sister and I looked all over for her. Before the blasts of the guns. Before I was dragged away from the bloody scene, struggling for freedom while mewling for them. Not that they could help me.

Without warning, hands drag me out by the chain around my neck and into the tent. A new crowd roars.

Time to continue on with this charade, that I don’t think I’ll ever break free from.

- Matilda Livesey

Who disregarded her parents' wisdom,
and perished as a result

Clarisse devotes her life to fruit,

She keeps her spares within her boot

Her parents warned her not to eat

The crunchy seeds within the treat


Alas, one day, she disobeyed,

And set their lives to disarray

The doctors tried the best they could

although they were so very good,

A little seed is hard to find

And very slowly she declined


A little seed can start to grow

And mould her body like it's dough

And so she turned into a tree

Short and stout for all to see.

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