The Manitou Muse

MSHS's Literary Magazine



“Summer’s Youth” by Tyler J.

Summer’s Youth” by Tyler J.

For Ray Bradbury


  This childhood’s Eve,

the firebugs chirrup

       on the windowsill;


       I lay listening in

       white foam sheets,

       like an air-tuft amid

       the ocean’s wake,


       and I lay listening,

       my ears turned inside-out,

       watching the full trees

       dance with the maiden wind,


       as all around my head

       goblin-shadows gather

       with  heat-forks and



       and I lay listening,

       thinking, “There is no

       such thing as oldness;


       it’s all an adult-lie,

       a trick Mom-Dad use

       get me to eat my broccoli.”

“A Portrait of Time,” by Tyler J.

A Portrait of Time” by Tyler J.

        relics of unseen


        litter the sands—

        i have acquitted


        of time’s charges—

        give me the flame

        to light

        these shrunken halls:

“Eye and Hand,” by Tyler J.

Eye and Hand,” by Tyler J.


       Without your eyes

       to guide my mind,

       I trample blind;


       at pitch-night

       I cannot find out

       the stars anymore,


       and without your hand

       to blush my heart,

       I cry dead:


       As ghosts live

       in breathless shadows,

       I walk among the wastes.

“When Sky Falls,” by Tyler J.

When Sky Falls,” by Tyler J.

The hushed smell of the rain

       reaches out with shiny hands

       and pats gently at the windowpane.

       God has been divorced.


       I listen on to the world

       slowly turning itself into

       amorphous puzzle pieces,

       and I only wonder how


       I’ll put it all back together,

       before the stars collapse

       and the Moon burns herself out.

       God has left us all to drown.

“Farewell,” by Tyler J.

Farewell,” by Tyler J.


Dedicated to all those melancholic folks

who have fishhooks in their hearts,

and to Time, who heals all.


       Goodbye forever, and farewell.

       The tides have changed and my boat

       has caught the wrong wave.


I see you there upon the shore,

       dressed in this kindred starlight,

       as the waters below us chuckle

       and the moon above us cries.


I raise my hand in parting,

       hoping that the sadness will not come, —

       but as certain as the distance between us,

       with inevitability he comes and I bleed tears, —

       and as the last wave comes and goes with my heartbeat,

       before the waters close and I lose you for all of time’s song,

       I send away the words, like broken doves, on the wind:

       “Goodbye forever, my dear, and farewell.”

“Whoever I Please,” by Téa S.

Whoever I Please,” by Téa S.

I am not a whore

I am a woman

A man

Whoever I want to be

In clothes that make me feel good

Clothes that I think look good

And clothes that I enjoy

I was not raised with the idea that:

If you wear short shorts

You’re a skank

Because trust me, honey

The only one in bed with me is



And I

“this moment” by Iris

this moment” by Iris


Sometimes it’s only a moment

Of when I’m away from the rest of the world

That I have that epiphany;

The thought that took years to unfold,

For me to grasp, to understand,

To thank God for.

Everything that has ever happened in my life,

Every rise and fall,

Every consequence for every mistake,

Every fix for what has had to break,

What has broken down to build me back up again,

Has led me to this moment.

This moment is where I thank the universe;

Where I say goodnight to the dreams that fell asleep

And say good morning to the ones that have awakened me.

I want to thank the stars and the moon for being so bright when I couldn’t be,

Thank the trees and the flowers for being so beautiful when I refused,

To believe I could be,

Thank the sunset for showing us all the grace

Of it being alright to shrink away,

Along with the strength, the power of coming back again

With a brighter shine

I thank graciousness that I got out of the situation

That made me question my emotions, because

My emotions are the strongest god-blessed thing about me;

We shouldn’t doubt ourselves

When someone else is doubting themselves,

They’re taking it out on us,

And that’s called projecting

If anyone wants a go at me,

I’ll just say “I can take this”;

If you mess with me now, I can’t,

I won’t let you take me for granted, 

Unlike the days that other people put their crises in my face

I’m too happy I let them walk away,

To feel empty about it

My love for the world and the beat in my heart is faster;

Because today I’m stronger,

Today I work harder,

Today I think deeper,

Today I love louder,

Today I look better,

Today I feel better,

Today I feel good and tomorrow I’ll feel greater.

No one is going to stop me

From going where I’m headed,

If you start running after me,

I’ll just run faster. 

Who I was a year ago

Would have been so grateful for the hurdles I’ve dodged

To get here, stand here,

Feel the cold breeze grace my shoulders

Surround myself in a sudden moment of deep thought

A mere moment to take it all in,

Breathe it all out,

Start over again.

“These Rooms,” by Tyler J.

These Rooms,” by Tyler J.


Listen to the sound of the waves

     as they billow against the cliffs,

     and, with the wind in our hair,

     follow me into the house of memory…

Continue reading ““These Rooms,” by Tyler J.”

“guardian angel” by Iris

guardian angel” by Iris

There’s a guardian angel out there who loves me
Because she knows as soon as I let you open my mouth
My inner demons will come rolling out
In forms of clinging, long-awaited affection
“Perfection”; I need you most
If only the words I spoke had no doubt.
It’s hard being small,
Because despite that, I fight shrinking into myself
Like a black hole, I’m so cold
Yet never so bold as to ask the universe
Why did he make my fingertips burn
And why do I deserve the heart that hurts?
How do shadows of our lives still linger
Even though he had me wrapped around his finger?
Still must I remind myself that it all happened months ago,
That I have the worst sense of time perception
But I can’t help myself from gnawing on my own bones,
Watching the time pass and having to let go,
Letting go, falling down, down, further
Into a memory where I am stripped of clear sight;
Sometimes I see your smile
It makes me believe that I’m in heaven
But how could that be, all along when
You made me think I was a savage;
I guess I was, for creating all this damage,
Irreparably broken
Inexpensively I bought his trust
I turned it into dust and watched as it blew away
How many times will I feel the same situation replay Continue reading ““guardian angel” by Iris”

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