From Guest Contributors

Our guest contributors are kindred spirits who also have the writing bug. Some are dear friends and some are writers we admire but don’t know personally. Their bios are included at the end of their individual articles.

People are presents

It was a calm afternoon, when suddenly someone knocked on our door. My younger brother immediately got up and opened the door, thinking that some friends came to visit us. But instead, one unknown man stood there, wearing black jeans and a white T-shirt. We all were looking at him, wondering whether we have ever…

Poetry of the body (performed)

COURAGE AS A FRAGMENT and THE FRAGMENT AS COURAGE (Faith in the fracture – the bravery of ignoring a/the whole) A Performance* of Cowardice (those elusive fragments of bravery) in poetry and of running hard. *Poetry is already a performance of the labor of words and so to add the body to it we have,…

This week, I found my voice

The thing about catalysts is that they aren’t necessarily loud or obvious or explosive or expected. They can arise out of a variety of places and they can change your life without warning or care for your needs. A catalyst causes reaction. It is the mixture of two disparate objects or notions never likely on…

.This is my blood too.

After I broke the vaseAnd the candle in it too My sister said,“This isn’t like you.”   But isn’t it?Isn’t this me too?This unpleasant sideThat grabs for any object it can throw.   Isn’t this me too?Furious.Shattering my lungsWith high-pitched screams And shallow hums.   Isn’t this me too?The broken glass on the carpet that…

Your own brave life

You are the hero of your own BRAVE life. You  may think you have failed. But no. Your supposed failures are, in truth, the little horrors you subject yourself to in order to see more clearly, the heroic failures of others and of yourself, so that you may be able to accept them graciously for…

To the Bibi that I love

She looked after me when I could not look after myself. She was capable to understand the struggles that I was facing without me saying a word. She was never afraid to lend a hand to anyone in need. She was never afraid to stand up for what is right. She put others’ needs before…

Heart explosion

For as long as I can remember, I have deeply desired to become a mama. I was never fearful of those first few days with a baby, but I was afraid of how I would get there… When I was 15 years old, my cycle stopped, so my mom took me to the doctor. A…

My mom, my hero

I am seventeen years old. I am a Pakistani Asylum Seeker. My personal hero is my mother! My mother’s name is Josephine William. She has been my hero since my childhood because she is an extraordinary woman. What makes her extraordinary is, how she smiles, talks, cares, inspires, helps, and positively reacts to her surroundings.…

The hero of my life

A hero is someone who helps people, saves their lives, and risks his life for others. A hero is a person who cares and loves others. Just like Superman, Spiderman, etc. My grandfather, Mushtaq Ahmad, is my inspiration, my hero. Although he died on 27 March 2016, I look at him as my hero, mentor, and my best friend.…

The impossible possibility of leprechauns

A photo of me sits on the corner of my desk, a photo in which my five-year-old self looks smilingly into the sun of some 1960 summer morning, certain that anything was possible. I look at this photo and think that this younger me was right. It has taken decades to return to that truth,…

Possibilities

If you are a human being it is possible that:   you will make a mess of things, multiple times you will find yourself on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro someone you love will break your heart, crush your spirit, and make you forget who you are for awhile you will water ski on perfect, glassy…

Pittsburgh

At night I dream of Pittsburgh. I dream of a small studio apartment with a single jug of milk in the fridge, of a spring mattress and unmade sheets, and of a cat waiting by a half-full water dish. Of shades drawn and flickering shadows cast across the nighttime floor as I stumble through my…

Magnificat

The Opiate Mass is releasing an Easter album. This song is a piece based on the biblical text of Mary in the book of Luke. It’s a sacred piece, full of possibility. Enjoy listening to the song and reading the lyrics below. LYRICS Anima mea magnificat dominum     My soul proclaims your greatness, O…

Now for the LoVeWork

Remember what it was like before you became  Roommates with responsibilities Brother and sister  Bickering under your breath   We can hear you We can see you We hurt for you  And we always LoVe You   I think if you touch one another In more ways than one Physically, emotionally and spiritually (LoVe is…

Dazzling and cruel

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard writes of a patient who was blind since birth but can now see after cataract surgery. There were significant anomalies in their perceptions of space and time. Someone who was trying to learn how to use his new skill would take off one of his boots and throw…

A depressed Sisyphus* watches The Sopranos in bed

*Sisyphus, from the Greek Myth, was a king charged with the eternal punishment of endlessly pushing a boulder uphill, a boulder which would only, once it got to the top, roll all the way back down again. A just keep swimming mantra of old times. Albert Camus, that philosopher of the absurd, imagines Sisyphus not…

When the impossible seems possible

I often doubt myself. Am I smart enough? Am I a good mom? Am I good at my job? Am I a good friend? Am I a good daughter, sister, wife? As trying as this last year was for me, it was a building year: of friendships, family, life, and myself. In July 2018, I…

Hands

It was not old, as trees count years, when it succumbed to disease or gravity or storm. I found it lying on the beach at the base of a cliff, its naked frame silver and black. Worn root stumps reached from the butt, fingers scoured away by surf and time. I spied a stone grasped…

When the light is gone

As a man who walks daily with depression and anxiety, I often find myself in the darkness wondering what happened to my life. Dreams and possibilities seem to have fled into a yawning cavern of disappointment and meaningless loneliness. Reality reverberates with a cacophony of anxious voices echoing despairingly in my soul. It is from…

The last penny

I have always loved presents. As the youngest of four kids and the daughter of a pastor, getting something new—not second-hand, slightly-used, or hand-me-down—delighted me to the core. But as the last of the sibling pack, it was ONLY on my birthday or at Christmas that I didn’t have to fight for what was in…