United States Air Force Academy

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Whether it’s free verse or rhymed couplets, shaped poetry on the page or spoken word, poetry offers us a way of deconstructing and constructing language, as well as building lasting images, metaphors, and scenes that speak to the emotions and experiences that inform every aspect of our human lives.

  • Daniel Huntsman
    A Lonesome Traveler

    A Lonesome Traveler i seem to be
    My happiness has deserted me
    For a year we traveled, You and i
    And the sun smiled brightly in Our sky
    Until a crossroads We did reach
    A fork in the path one for each
    i travelled on straight and true
    With the thought i’d always have you
    But like a vagabond with no home
    i suddenly found myself all alone
    It brought my heart a tortuous pain
    As shock and betrayal scorched my veins
    For though Our paths diverged in this wood
    You said We’d cross them when We could
    And that as We wandered beneath Our sun
    We would someday meld them into One
    Alas they have crossed but not entwined
    That was Your choice and not mine
    So a Lonesome Traveler I shall be
    Until I find happiness that will not leave
    And then on a different road you’ll see
    The mistake you made when you left Me
    For this Lonesome Traveler who stayed true
    Found He never needed you

  • Samuel Krebs
    Memories Made

    Memories made, moments shared, a path of stepping stones into our past.
    Circumstances rearranged what we had and seasons changed,
    but the feeling enkindled from that first night wanted to last.
    And I walk the path along my mind, the trail through time unwinds like these lines inscribed
    upon this page,
    words etched on my notebook heart, my lyrics for the loss of our former days.
    While inside my soul there’s a flame, and the fires rage,
    I hope a spark from the interior will light a twilight blaze.
    Under an autumn sunset I wait for fate to allow me to escape from a landscape of indecision,
    but description is eclipsed by the dark moon’s hidden vision,
    and the shadows that cover what remains call out the voices of derision.
    I cast lots in the hopes of being in semblance with you: salt and light,
    but as the shooting star passed I looked back and turned to a pillar of salt standing still as
    Lot’s wife;
    your absence a recess of bitter empty strife, twisted like a knife
    into my pierced heart, still beating in my chest, the life dripped cataclysmically into the
    chasm of what’s
    But I think back once more to times together beneath amber skies,
    when the dusk on the cusp reflected off your eyes
    and dispersed the sands in the hourglass that threatened our time;
    time irrelevant, I never will forget,
    and until you’re back in my arms,
    I’ll walk the road that you made on my heart
    in the dark.



    So it seems that I’ve longed for the warmth of your fire, for the blinding of your light that by its essence can melt away the hardness of my heart and knock me off my steed of false isolation, removing the scales upon my pupils to give me clarity and


    So it seems I was lulled into false senses of security to expose myself in vulnerability to the oceans of deep mystery upon which my ship was battered by waves and the strings of my heart were frayed by the spray of tossing seas, as the ropes which moor the sail to the mast become tangled in terrifying gusts and the stability that guided me was assaulted and tattered, lost to Poseidon’s striking fury


    So it seems I would lie awake, tossing and turning, too tired to sleep, too tepid to dream, imagining a future that was yet unforeseen, with your heart and mind and body and soul pristine and pure, your existence my medicine, your presence my cure, the pearls of your gaze fixed upon mine secure


    So it seems I searched with my eyes and wandered through my mind on a journey without a map, no surety of navigation without starlight or sextant, destination upon dark waters unknown but with the notion of home a guiding light on a midnight escapade in a vessel unfettered; until the glow of your shores called out and beckoned on a horizon encapsulated by the dawn blush of a new day and I set a course for you

    And it seemed that the closer my ship to the sanctity of your harbor, the harder the labor, the heavier the ardor of my heart beat with the waves, and the light of your security was all that I craved and at last on arrival after forever, so it seemed, my weary wandering battered barque was settled, my anchored heart was set free
    And now we’re together
    And all we have is


  • Anna Little

    She made a fire in the fireplace.
    He made a bonfire in the backyard
    With sticks, twigs, and sawdust to fill the space
    And logs that still can burn, already charred.
    I knew not which of these two was warmer
    So I sat down evenly in between.
    I spent my time mostly at the former,
    Some at the latter, though it was less keen.
    While both the fires were busy burning
    I stood still staring stunned up at the sky
    As billowing clouds anxiously churning
    Appeared and felt more like smoke in my eye.
    Those fires burn distant, and even yet
    The familiar and constant make me fret.

  • Savannah Petty
    For Starters...

    There’s a First and a Last for everything.
    The first word of a sentence,
    The last breath of a note.
    The first kiss on the lips,
    The last dance of the night.
    Everything, and Everyone
    Will always meet their Beginning and End.
    Approaching an End is nothing to be afraid of,
    For it was predestined once begun.
    Once you understand that to begin also means to end,
    You’ll enjoy the journey between each point.
    And in that alone, the Beginning and End become seamless.

  • Desiree' L. Reed
    Burning Sustenance

    A fleeting moment of heat in the barn
    I treaded about the fields
    And discovered the light so bleak
    Like this Sunday’s church service
    I did not stir, but winked
    And the clouds were fine as they were
    It was the stars that caused me to burn

  • Daniil Tourashev
    Not All Doctors Are the Same

    He picks without feeling of shame.
    They go to him right from the train.
    He says who lives or burns in flames.
    Who could think it was just a game?
    An intense sound of falling rain.
    He picks without feeling of shame.

    Old and weak are whom he will claim.
    There isn’t enough time to explain.
    He says who lives or burns in flames.

    No need to obtain their first name
    As there is nothing they can gain.
    He picks without feeling of shame.

    They scream for help, but it’s just pain.
    It is now useless to complain.
    He says who lives or burns in flames.

    As in the end, he is to blame
    For shooting them right in the brain.
    He picks without feeling of shame.
    He says who lives or burns in flames

  • Rachel Werner
    The Creativity of Gods

    You scrawl your own gods on lined paper
    Endless, flawed infinity resting on the page
    They haven’t made new gods in a long time
    Although they forgot to tell you how those old gods were made, didn’t they?
    Shrouded them in myth, immortalized them in legend after legend.
    Tried to hide that they were just
    Bloody explanations spilled out on parchment scrolls
    And they are scared that you can, that you dare, here
    Beneath the half-finished math problems and forgotten history lessons
    There is no blood there, but that doesn’t make them any less
    Was this not what Icarus was struck down for?
    For reaching too high, for daring, for dreaming?
    The gods (one God, they tell you) can drown you too,
    Clip your wings tipped with leaden stories until you are crushed in the depths of the sea
    But darling
    First they must reach you
    And tear you from your own ink stained hands
    You have made your own gods to save you
    —And they think they are not up to the competition.

    A Prayer Scratched Into the Side of the Church on the Corner

    Congregation of one, see them there
    Kneeling in the front pew
    Or maybe at your feet, bent not
    Humbly, but broken. Bathed in the
    Kaleidoscope of what Man
    Thinks is your Grace.
    The shattered shapes of hollow eyes and open hands.

    This place has so many bright
    Colors. They should be lively. They should be
    As vibrant as the lilies, heavy and sweet and thick,
    The roses bending, the carnations reaching down,
    Their lovely kisses pressing to your neck
    Unfeeling. Numb.

    Their face twists, says
    I am suffocating here
    Without you. Their hands say
    Send me an angel
    The one covering its face
    With golden, glittering wings.
    The one with sharp hands and broken glass
    For eyes, bleeding, refracting impossible
    Divine light.
    The one with a dozen faces all
    Weeping, snarling, choking
    the Side of the Church on the Corner
    Sand filled chests, spilling from their mouths.
    Lips touched with
    Eternal, ephemeral, empty

    So, singular witness of the unspeakable,
    Enter barefoot this lifeless room.
    Kneel in the back. Listen.
    Do not sing—
    Let the dying candles speak.