Journal 6

The Still Frame House

I remember an adventure began with a full tank of gas,
your mother’s old Subaru and miles of country back roads
that I knew a little and you not at all.
I remember we raced the birds and the clouds
until we found a driveway overgrown
from neglect which belonged to a house falling  in on itself.

I remember holding onto your jacket sleeve like a frightened child
as we crept in through the back door. The floors had rotted, the walls crumbling under the weight of time.
I remember holding my breath because laid out before us In this battered old home was a moment in time captured and preserved: a perfect still of someone’s memory.

I remember there was petrified wonder bread still in the icebox and a cereal box on the counter. All of the kitchen chairs were pulled neatly to the  little wooden table.
I remember there was a stuffed toy bear on the living room floor between a floral print sofa and chair set. Books, papers, and crayon drawings were evidence of of the echo of life.

I remember the floorboard giving out underneath one of my feet,
leaving me with one leg up to my chin like a flamingo, the other buried In the foundation, covered in mud.
I remember your choked laughter as you pulled me up with your left hand while you lit a joint with your right. We stood and passed the spliff between us,  contemplating the scene like TV detectives.

What I remember the most is the photo album. I remember the pictures of the family, the proud and doting parents and their little girl with her stuffed bear. I wonder if you still have those photos, and if you ever remember, too.


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Journal 6- Anaphora

I remember the worst pain was scraping my knee on the sidewalk.

I remember my heart feeling like it was in one piece, and

I remember when you used to carry me on your shoulders.

I remember thinking you would live forever.

I remember everything you seem to be forgetting, but


I want my knees scraped to hell.

I want the heart I had before it needed patches.

I want to look down on the world from your shoulders,

I want you to be immortal with me.

I want you to store everything at the top of your head.


I want what I remember.

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Journal 6

Rules: Each line has the same number of words as its line number (ex. line 1 = 1 word, line 2 = 2 words)

Use an end stop line only on every line divisible by 3.

Dinner in Summer


coals burn

black, red, orange.

The pungent smell of

seared meat singes the hairs

of my nose; sweet, savory bliss.

The steaks can finally be taken from

the grate of that rusted red grill that

has been in our back yard since my birth.

My father cuts the steaks, juices cover the wooden cutting

board.  My mouth waters like a sprinkler on a hot, dry

Summer day.  He gives me the biggest one and I’m so excited!

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Do you feel that?

Do You Feel That?

Matthew Sanders

Do you feel that?

the fear.

the anxiety.

the stress.

Do you feel that?

the mystery.

the confusion.

the speculation.

Do you feel that?

the wind.

the thin air.

the cold dark sky.

Do you feel that?

the calmness.

the bliss.

the embrace of the sunrise.

Do you feel that?

The love.

The warmth.

The happiness.

Do you feel that?

I don’t think you do.

I don’t think you know.

I don’t think you’re real.



Most lines must start with “the.”

Most lines have to do with a certain feeling or emotion

The lines cannot be more than 5 words

“Do you feel that,” must be repeated throughout the poem



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Journal 6

Prompt # 3

We used to drive till we found
a new hiding spot along the York river.
We used your fuzzy blanket
you kept in the back of your car.
We used to pack picnic lunches
of precious Chick-fil-a, laughing wildly.
We used to curl up and wish upon stars
and whisper lovely thoughts into each others ears.

You used to rock me gently
through every piercing panic attack.
You used to bring me Earl Grey
and draw a steaming bubble bath.
You used to hand me a single rose at the beginning of the day
forcing me to carry it sticking out of my backpack for everyone to see.
You used to know that would bring a sweet smile to my face
and would smile knowing that my freckles scrunched because of your actions.

I used to try to knit every stitch of our memories together
to build a foundation for our lives.
I used to think that it wouldn’t unravel
and change into something different.
I used to wonder how you could not see
the unhappiness in my fake smile.
I used to hope that you could hear my pleas
so it wouldn’t come to an end.

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Journal 6

I Remember 

I remember it all.
I remember the good times.
I remember the twinkle in your eyes.
I remember the echo of your laugh,
I used to laugh along.
I used to come alive when I saw your face.
I used to smile at just your name,
I used to feel the same way too.
I want to hold on.
I want to keep trying.
I want to change this.
I want what’s best for both of us too.

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Journal 6

Prompt 2.
Rules: Every stanza begins and ends with the same word (begins with “she” and ends with “leave”). The last stanza breaks this rule for emphasis.




She was what you would call a rebel.
A storm with a rebel heart,
and a gypsy soul,
perfectly conditioned to do,
what she did best. Leave.

She was born with a restlessness,
so deeply embedded in the core of her being,
that sometimes I wonder,
if she could ever be tamed.
Patience is a virtue, and it was her forte.
Just leave.

She was always waiting,
for something.
Time had planted a longing in her,
and that is a weed that never stops growing.
She has to leave.

She always seemed careless.
Her smile was the peak of her bloom,
ând my God,
how rare it is,
to see spectacular flowers blossom,
in the winter cold.
But she left.

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Journal 6: Prompt 2

Rule: One action image per line

The grass blows in the breeze
looking like rolling waves,
as it whispers on the wind
calling out.

The wildflowers glisten
and flourish under the sun’s warmth
spreading pollen for
newer fauna to grow.

The butterfly’s wings flutter
as the wind whistles across the field
pulling it this way and that
begging it to fly higher.

The sun’s rays beat down
filling the world with light
giving light
to hungry nature.

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Journal 6

Prompt 3:

Daddy used to be my hero
Daddy used to swing me on the swings
Daddy used to let me go as high as I could
Daddy used to take me out for ice cream later
Daddy used to hold my hand
Daddy used to look at me and see me

Now Daddy just sips from his bottle
Now Daddy takes naps in the afternoon
Now Daddy forgets my name
Now Daddy stumbles across the house
Now Daddy doesn’t know when I cry
Now Daddy stays in his own blurred world

Daddy used to be my hero
Now Daddy stays in his own blurred world

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Journal 6

Prompt 3


I used to sit on the side of the road with you.

I used to lay into your chest, laughing at the people walking by.

We used to talk about them, you and I.


I used to feel love for you as if you were my brother,

You used to foster our platonic love.

You used to never want me to feel pain or sadness.


We used to walk around Old Town,

We used to giggle secrets into each other’s ears.

You used to always smile when you were with me.


I used to pour my heart out to you.

You used to care.

You used to tell me we would be friends forever.


I used to believe it.


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