“Atonement” by Jillian Swope

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broken_mirror

When you lay in bed at night

Tracing the scars on your skin

From the wars you’ve been forced to fight

Debating if you really did win,

Then you can say leave it behind.

If the flesh doesn’t fully heal how can the mind?

I have come to learn this wound won’t be the last,

You can cease telling me to leave it in the past.

If there’s a God he knows I’m bleeding but I’m alive,

As I know it’s now the only way to survive.

All the scars I made with you

Stay with the blood stained memories I leave behind too.

I wish I didn’t really cut what’s in the mirror,

What you masqueraded as heaven became my horror.

One day when you’re alone and you open up your heart

Scrambling to justify molding me in your dark art,

You’ll see everything’s out of place like a broken doll.

If you even have a heart at all.

Then you will realize you can’t atone for your sin.

I hope it cuts up your soul deeper than I ever cut my skin.

“We Are Warriors” by Jordan Frazier

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warriors_esu

We are Warriors

Proud and true

By every struggle

We will pass the torch of hope

We are Warriors

Greed may hold it sway

To those few holding us in despair

But we will join the cavalry charge

We are Warriors

The jaws of death close in

Ice and snow come forth

But the dawn is coming

We are Warriors

Songs usher forth changes with the seasons

Storms gather with the fire rising

Owls step forth from the shadows

We are Warriors

Through every hardship

Our strength grows tenfold

No iron hog will stop us now

We are Warriors

Hellfire may flourish among us

But we stand united

As the Empyrean waits

We are Warriors

We will overcome

We will overcome

We will overcome

Hope is with us

We are East Stroudsburg University

Lonely Poetry

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 By Lindsay Ricken

Click the image to read Poems of Being Lonely While Lying Next to Your Lover

Lindsay is a junior as ESU, working toward her BA in English. She is a growing poet, and creative writer. She loves expressing herself in any artistic way, and loves the outdoors. She has a creative, loving personality and hopes to help others with her writing.

One by One

By Nathanael Torres

Nathanael Torres is an English writing major at East Stroudsburg University. His interests include creative writing, grammar, and tutoring. Though most of his writing is dark, he believes that is the best place to see the light. 

Dysthymia

By Nathanael Torres

*This poem is to inspire those struggling with mental illness

Nathanael Torres is an English writing major at East Stroudsburg University. His interests include creative writing, grammar, and tutoring. Though most of his writing is dark, he believes that is the best place to see the light. 

Our Massive World

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By Lobynn Cha

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mammoth Lakes, CA

ESU

ESU

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Twin Lakes (Mammoth Lakes) CA

Twin Lakes (Mammoth Lakes) CA

Off Trail, Mammoth Lakes

Off Trail, Mammoth Lakes

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Rothenburg, Germany: The town that inspired Pinocchio's background setting

Rothenburg, Germany: The town that inspired Pinocchio’s background setting

Bordering Italy

Bordering Italy

Heidi Village, Switzerland. One of the most memorable visits for my mother. She grew up reading Heidi's stories. She promised herself as a little girl growing up in South Korea she will visit the exact house and see where Heidi, the film, was shot. After 45 years, she fulfilled the promise.

Heidi Village, Switzerland. One of the most memorable visits for my mother. She grew up reading Heidi’s stories. She promised herself as a little girl growing up in South Korea she will visit the exact house and see where Heidi, the film, was shot. After 45 years, she fulfilled the promise.

Lonely slug, lost in the middle of the road in Jungfrau, Switzerland

Lonely slug, lost in the middle of the road in Jungfrau, Switzerland

Emmental, Switzerland. Where the original Swiss Cheese is made. The whole area smells like pleasant feet.

Emmental, Switzerland. Where the original Swiss Cheese is made. The whole area smells like pleasant feet.

Jungfrau, Switzerland

Jungfrau, Switzerland

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Peak of Twin Lakes, CA

Peak of Twin Lakes, CA

Descending from Mono Pass

Descending from Mono Pass

All photos were taken by an iPhone 4 or a Nikon D5100.
Lobynn Cha is a wanderer; she loves to hike off trails, talk to strangers on the streets, and laugh for no reason. She is studying Chemistry and Spanish at ESU.

Professional Procrastinator

By Joseph Fontanazza

The afternoon sun shines through my cheap white shades to awaken me from my drunken slumber. The digital clock reads 3:47 pm as I jump out of my sky-scraping bed. The fridge is a welcoming sight for an empty stomach. I argue with myself if it is still socially acceptable to make breakfast. My happiness quickly turns to dismay. No eggs or milk, two slices of cheese and a single meatball in a borrowed container are my company. I guess a meatball is my brunch for today. As I eat the boiling hot-on-the-outside, but cold-on-the-inside meatball, some questions arise in my head. Why do I constantly get calls from my drunken friends, knowing fully well that I don’t have a car, and Why do I torture my neurotransmitters with malt liquor? Through my hungover daze, I remember that I have an article and a paper due. “Whatever, I’ll get it done later,” I confidently say in my mind. I have so much more important things to do, like play Madden. The first game I play ends with me scoring 70 points on the feeble computer opposition. The win proves two things: I’m good at this game, and I have way too much time on my hands.

My phone shows that it is 5:00 pm; I should watch Netflix instead of doing my work. Pokémon is in the queue, so I must watch them all. Because it’s been 11 years since I last watched the show, I start to notice things that I didn’t in the past. Brock was the originator of the “friend zone” and Ash didn’t need to be that dramatic every time he threw a Poké Ball. After three hours of nostalgia, I decided to do my laundry. There is no better time for me to do laundry that I’ve waited over a week to clean than this very second. My paper can wait because I need clean clothes above all else, but I’ll probably wear the same Nike hoodie I always do.

My phone now reads 10:00 pm, and finally a rush of ambition enters my clouded thoughts. I need inspirational music, so I quickly type YouTube in the search box. “Dream Chasers” by Meek Mill is the song I chose to play. I don’t know why, but a song about rising up the ranks as a drug dealer really makes me want to improve as a writer.

Eventually, I open up Microsoft Word to write my story for Professor Broun. The thoughts of a story formulate in my head but nothing stands out. I try the quick writing exercise that Dr. McKay once taught me, but starting the piece with “Once upon a time” or “It was a dark and stormy night” were the only words that crept into my brain. I pace through my apartment looking for some inspiration, but all I see is a stack of dishes that have piled up throughout the weekend. Even though I know there is nothing in my fridge, I keep looking, hoping that food will manifest.

I might as well wash the dishes while I have the chance. The dish soap has a sweet lemony smell as I clean my roommate’s mess. My hands wash with the dishes but my mind desperately tries to brainstorm. Still my vacant mind leads to frustration. I get back to my writing, and I try to think of something meaningful. Maybe something that would change somebody’s perspective on life. Who am I kidding? I have enough trouble getting something down on paper. Maybe I can write something about war, perhaps the great stories of the Trojans, or the movie “300”. Again, who am I kidding? There are streets in Philadelphia that I’m still not allowed to go to and I’m thinking about writing a story of the bravest men in history. Also, I don’t have enough fake blood, naked women, or cameras to make anything remotely like “300”. This is not happening. A love story perhaps. Now that’s hilarious. I wouldn’t know love if it slapped me across the face. I could write something about sports. I spend most of my time writing about sports, but I’m tired of it. I have already heard the last six reruns of “SportsCenter” in the background.  Maybe something funny, but there is one fundamental flaw with that: I’m not funny. I could really use some time on the punching bag, but with how things are going, I’ll probably break my hand. This work is never getting done.

Joseph Fontanazza is a Junior at ESU studying English with a concentration in Professional Writing. His hobbies include trying to learn how to write, obsessing over sports’ statistics, and humming Ja Rule’s greatest hits.

 

The Symphony

By Sarah Rock

I’ve never felt something so illuminating, so electrifying, and so horrifically perfect. It gave me such a strength, it was enough to pick the entire world up between my fingertips and do whatever I pleased. It coursed through my veins, churning and twisting through every face it could. Eventually, it swirled its way directly to my heart. Suddenly and all at once. It was overwhelming; my lungs began to collapse, my legs shook, my fingers cringed, and my head pounded. How could the sweetness of your soft lips resting on mine create such a symphony of emotions and send my body through shock?

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