The Garden of My Heart, Savanna Snead

The Garden of My Heart

Once you were as rain,
Splick splock splatting to the beat of my heart,
Falling to land on rose petals and vines of ivy.
But now my garden grows in the desert
And it has learned to live
Without you.

Once you were the may sun
And you shown down upon my garden
So that the flowers bloomed and reached up to greet your rays.
But now my garden grows in the darkness
And it has learned to live
Without you.

Once you were the soil
Upon which virulent red poppies, golden chrysanthemums and lily-colored tulips grew from.
But now I find that my garden grows from stone
And it has learned to live
Without you.

You, who helped sow the seeds of this garden,
Helped me bury and water them with dirt-stained hands
So that flowers would bloom in this desolate world.
You, who plucked the weeds from this garden and pruned overgrown branches, twisting into the sky,
So that beauty would grow in this world.
But though you have gone, I have found that my garden still grows,
Not from your hand but from mine.
I have found that my flowers bloom ever onwards
From the light that I give it,
From the water that I sprinkle,
From the soil that I have become.
And my garden grows not because of you,
But without you.


A Visit To My Mind, Savanna Snead

A Visit to My Mind

Savanna Snead

I once paid a hypnotist so that he could trick me to stop smoking
And when he took out his magic pendulum, lulling me to sleep,
I fell into a black void and a voice told me that I was in my mind.
There were avalanches of chocolate brown hair, collapsing into purple goo that spun like a whirlpool
And old thoughts that spontaneously combusted.
I was joined by my old imaginary friend, Jim,
Who had grown a beard like a raggedy hipster in a rock band,
Wearing a Che Guevara shirt and converse sneakers.
He told me he wasn’t mad at me for telling my mom he ate the chocolate chip cookies she baked
But could I at least have saved him one?
I ditched him at the Theatre of Dreams and skipped onto the yellow brick road,
Which broke apart as I stepped on it, shooting me into the black sky,
Where I saw ideas glowing like the sun, running on idealism instead of hydrogen.
I tossed and turned like an insomniac
Waiting for the shotgun blasts of an owl, screeching hoot-hoot-hoot into the night
Before being spit out into a storage room where old thoughts and ideas were filed into categories
Like Dangerous, Way Too Stupid and Forgotten.
My stomach growled so I went over to a restaurant
Where nothing but baked potatoes and apples were served.
So I ordered from an oompa loompa, took directions from a pirate, and went to see the Great Guide,
Who turned out to be a GPS system with the voice of my mom,
Saying “Hi, I’m Sharon. Where would you like to go?”
And I typed in a phrase and shot through a cannon over to my unconscious,
Who was busy watching id and ego fight
While super-ego shrieked, “Why can’t we just get along?”.
I watched ego lay a Muhammad Ali on id, who Mike Tysoned the hell out of him back
And I walked back to the Theater of Dreams, just in time to see a sneak preview of tonight’s dream
Where I met up with Jim again. He led me to the Hall of Memories,
Where all my achievements were lined up like trophies and my failures were stashed in a back room
So they wouldn’t have to be seen.
He took me to a special screening room
Where I watched myself win a free gift card, lose my keys, and have my first kiss.
And when I was done, the  inhabitants of my mind wished me farewell
With a slow song until I floated out of my mind and into my body again,
feeling like I’d gone through a car wreck.
Now I don’t have to smoke anymore
But I wake up thinking about Jim, who asks me, “Why did you leave me?”
And see my id and ego laying blow after blow on each other
While the ideas from the Forgotten cabinet turn to dust
And I say I’ll take better care of my mind,
Maybe do some spring cleaning or hire a decorator
And I’ll feel better about the things I’ve left behind
And the thoughts that I will never visit again.

Daughter, Nicole Blackman

One day I’ll give birth to a tiny baby girl
and when she’s born she’ll scream and I’ll make sure
she never stops.

I will kiss her before I lay her down
and will tell her a story so she knows
how it is and how it must be for her to survive.

I’ll tell her about the power of water
the seduction of paper
the promise of gasoline
and the hope of blood.

I’ll teach her to shave her eyebrows and
mark her skin.
I’ll teach her that her body is her greatest work of art.

I’ll tell her to light things on fire
and keep them burning.
I’ll teach her that the fire will not consume her,
that she must take it and use it.

I’ll tell her to be tri-sexual to try anything,
to sleep with, fight with, pray with anyone,
just as long as she feels something.

I’ll help her to do her best work when it rains.
I’ll tell her to reinvent herself every 28 days.

I’ll teach her to develop all of her selves,
the courageous ones,
the smart ones,
the dreaming ones,
the fast ones.
I’ll teach her that she has an army inside her
that can save her life.

I’ll tell her to say Fuck like other people say the word The
and when people are shocked
to ask them why they so fear a small quartet
of letters.

I’ll make sure she always carries a pen
so she can take down the evidence.
If she has no paper, I’ll teach her to
write everything down on her tongue,
write it on her thighs.

I’ll help her to see that she will not find God
or salvation in a dark-brick building
built by dead men.

I’ll explain to her it’s better to regret the things
she has done than the things she hasn’t.

I’ll teach her to write her manifestos
on cocktail napkins.

I’ll say she should make men lick her enterprise.
I’ll teach her to talk hard.
I’ll tell her that her skin is the
most beautiful dress she will ever wear.

I’ll tell her that people must earn the right
to use her nickname,
that forced intimacy is an ugly thing.

I’ll make her understand that she is worth more
with her clothes on.

I’ll tell her that when the words finally flow too fast
and she has no use for a pen
that she must quit her job
run out of the house in her bathrobe,
heaving the door open.
I’ll teach her to follow the words.

I’ll tell her to stand up
and head for the door
after she makes love.
When he asks her
to stay she’ll say
she’s got to

I’ll tell her that when she firsts bleeds
when she is a woman,
to go up to the roof at midnight,
reach her hands up to the sky and, scream.

I’ll teach her to be whole, to be holy,
to be so much that she doesn’t even
need me anymore.

I’ll tell her to go quickly and never come back
I will make her stronger than me.

I’ll say to her never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember

never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember

never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember.

A Life Lived Full; A Poem by Savanna Snead

Cherub-shaped girl, growing into
Woman and Crone. Creation more
Serene than the CRACK! of plates
shifting angrily beneath all, forming
mountain and volcano from chaos.

as a Girl, running wild
in an eternal summer, cuddling
a tattered and loved bear,
She sucks a thumb that
still tastes of dirt and
adventure. Laughter as She caught
a frog by the creek,
how it wriggled through her
fingers and bounced away. Licking
sticky sweet syrup from her fingers.

in Adolescence, She finds warmth
in four eyes connecting, crinkling
in wry smiles, shy kisses
on the porch, embraces in
the dark, togetherness in legs,
tongues and hands moving to
a primal beat as they
danced around the fire of
their passion. And when winter
came, dimming the sun, twisting
vines came to annihilate the
red-brick walls of the
dream they’d hidden themselves in.
She found the emptiness of
sorrow – red-rimmed eyes accusing
all, wailing in the night,
unfiltered despair as potent as arsenic.

in Womanhood, She learned joy-
mouth opening wide as tinkling
laughter spills out, a disease
to all that hear it.
She learns to love kneading
dough, dressed in a cloak
of flour, knitting thick woolen
sweaters, digging up turnips, coaxing
life out of the earth, to
love the man who wears
the mangled red sweater and
eats handfuls of burnt bread,
professing that it’s his favorite.
He slips an arm around
her waist and they dance
to a symphony heard only by their ears.

Motherhood begins with spring, bringing
two fetuses, floating idly in
her lifeblood. She hums as
she runs fingers over the
enlarged belly, baffled by creation.
Time comes to her dressed
in a soft breeze, tickling
her cheek as she slumbers,
bringing two girls – one soft-spoken,
the other tall and proud.
summer colored days pass, full of love.

She embraces Old Age. Back grows
crooked and formerly limber parts
ache. Wrinkles form in the
soft skin, etched into the
body like tattoos of time.
the end comes,
like decaying roses-red-in
an autumn wasteland. There
is a soft whisper of
a breath, exhaled, then gone into the air.

Jeffrey McDaniel: Poet II

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.



The Badger is the thirteenth astrological sign.
My sign. The one the other signs evicted: unanimously.

So what? ! Think I want to read about my future
in the newspaper next to the comics?

My third grade teacher told me I had no future.
I run through snow and turn around
just to make sure I’ve got a past.

My life’s a chandelier dropped from an airplane.
I graduated first in my class from alibi school.

There ought to be a healthy family cage at the zoo,
or an open field, where I can lose my mother
as many times as I need.

When I get bored, I call the cops, tell them
there’s a pervert peeking in my window!
then I slip on a flimsy nightgown, go outside,
press my face against the glass and wait…

This makes me proud to be an American

where drunk drivers ought to wear necklaces
made from the spines of children they’ve run over.

I remember my face being invented
through a windshield.

All the wounds stitched with horsehair
So the scars galloped across my forehead.

I remember the hymns cherubs sang
in my bloodstream. The way even my shadow ached
when the chubby infants stopped.

I remember wishing I could be boiled like water
and made pure again. Desire
so real it could be outlined in chalk.

My eyes were the color of palm trees
in a hurricane. I’d wake up
and my id would start the day without me.

Somewhere a junkie fixes the hole in his arm
and a racing car zips around my halo.

A good God is hard to find.

Each morning I look in the mirror
and say promise me something
don’t do the things I’ve done.


Jeffrey McDaniel: Poet

Being a citizen of the US is like being a spoiled child of a Colombian drug lord. We live in a big house with a gate. We see our Daddy go off to work each morning in a suit, in a limousine. He brings us back presents. But we don’t really know what he does for a living.


A Poem Written By A Great Friend

This is a poem from one of my greatest friends. She wrote it for me because I’m currently grappelling with depression and anxiety. I’ve been have panic attacks and I’ve missed classes because of them for a week. She texted it to me by my mom’s phone. Her poem made me cry. She even put the “anna says smile” which is my username for everything and what she has me under for her phone. Here it is:

Anna says smile
so why can’t she?
filled with passion,
wrapped with smarts,

She’s got our hearts;
and when she’s falling apart,
she need only call,
we’ll be there,

For her,
through it all,
my crazy friend
as crazy as me,

We could’ve been sisters,
couldn’t we?
if I can do anything,
so can you!

We’ll go together,
face the unknown
but never alone.

If you’re reading this Tia, know that you’re the best friend a girl could have. ♥