Poetry Book

Lotus Press Prize Winners




The Next Poem I Write

The next poem I write will move
oceans of people, my words will stain
their hearts like red wine. The next poem
I write will bring a mother’s son home
from dark street corners. The next poem
I write will stop bullets in their tracks
and take away the aftermath. The next
poem I write will add up the value
of life and divide it across the world.
The next poem I write will help
someone walk across the stage instead
of crossing over the valley of death.
My poem will dress naked
lies with the fabrics of truth.

Tracey Jones
published in Mumford High School’s The Face Before the Mask, v.1 (2012)
iO Writer-In-Residence: Ben Alfaro


Prisoner of Words

I am a prisoner of words
Constantly on the chopping block
Thrown before my peers
As if I were a prized pig

And yet I am a slave to
My craft like a blacksmith
To iron
I constantly mold and misshape
These lyrics to my liking

Bound to this game by my
Heart and hands
Shackled by rhyme, diction, similes,
And metaphors

I am a prisoner of words
I am a slave to my craft
I am bound by my heart
I am a lyricist.

Jacquelyne Galloway
published in Mumford High School’s Style!, v.22 (2008)
iO Writers-In-Residence: Kim Hunter/Francine Harris


Heart’s Roar

I want the colors of the rainbow
to crawl into my body,
to dance in my soul.

I want the butterflies
to kiss my eyelids
when I am angry.

I want my niece and me
to sit on the moon
fishing for stars.

I want to chill and drink
Kool-Aid till our bellies burst.
I want us to dance

in the intersection of
Dequindre and 7 Mile
to silent music.

I want to waltz
through a persimmon field
with bare feet.

I want to hurl silent poetry
against the walls of my bedroom.
I want to sit in silence

so we can hear
the raindrop get acquainted
with the concrete.

I want to command the locusts
to devour my enemies.
I want to set fire

to the feet
of those who are
afraid to dance.

Marie Wilson
published in Southwestern High School’s Digging Up, v.7 (2005)
iO Writer-In-Residence: Peter Markus