March 18, 2013 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION











The days get longer, the sun shines  brighter and we say goodbye to the winter blues with the help of talented poets Elizabeth Stelling, Naureen Amjad, Ben Naga, Melissa Fry Beasley and Christeena Willams



13 Years of Surviving


Elizabeth Stelling


Have you lost a child? And I don’t mean at the mall, or on the playground

full of bustling playmates, and certainly not losing sight

of who they are when puberty hits. Remember, when their music

was turned up ten octaves louder than allowed and the whole neighborhood

could hear. How they tied up the home phone night after night as the cord

twisted and twisted across the room and around the door frame, and

around their young innocent fingers before cell phones

and when conversations could be monitored more closely.

Months after a child’s spirit leaves the body and begins roaming the house

insomnia infused out of the body experiences still seem fresh;

turn on the computer, use their password to see if anyone wants

to talk (longer story), and discover a whole other side of them. Thoughts

cross the mind– if they had lived, would a world be more intolerable. Fighting

off fear seems to be the worst part of grieving. A living child, surviving, has

to deal with parents who watch their every move, and with kid gloves.

How does a parent survive?

It is an off button, a switch that was removed

when they made this model of the human experience.













Ghosts of an Earlier Time


Elizabeth Stelling


There is a world of difference between my home state of Texas and my transplant home of New Jersey, one of them being history; it is dotted almost at every corner you turn. Texas is a much younger state and lacks the scenic river system you find here. I like history. I like taking a drive and reflecting on what took place in its waiting space. I love rivers, and bridges. I especially love writing while sitting and reflecting the history as a beautiful river flows by.

            They are like ghosts of an earlier time. Many northeast rivers and covered bridges are some of my favorite spots to photograph while I am out exploring the past. I have written many poems alongside these beautiful spots. Zooks Bridge just over the state line in Pennsylvania is a great example, because down the entire road are spots of history which have become subjects of my stories, poems and artwork.

Also, bridges usually mean a river or creek flows beneath it. I love water, no matter its form, but rivers are really special. As a young girl I was raised around manmade lakes and overflow dams while my family was fishing, and rivers usually were not far away. Some of the best fish swim in those bodies of water. So it is natural I want to spend some time pondering my youth and watch as the water flows past.

            We do not always have control over natural acts such as rivers. Man can try to dam them up and contain them, but with time as we’ve seen with many in torrential storms, they show us whose boss and that they were meant to be wild. This can be said about many things in this life. Losing a child is not so far off from this concept. As parents we do not want to naturally think of our children as wild, but they can be on many occasion.

However, in undue circumstances a long awaited child can be born with congenital heart disease, and in my case we find there is no quick fix. It can be temporarily transposed by doctors and surgeons, but in the end life takes back what is only borrowed.

            My first born daughter, Anelisa was lent to me for fourteen years. She was my big river. She was as artistic as me in poetry and drawing. She also loved water. Anelisa was my chance to change the world, and as in many parents moment of greatness a chance to start over and do things right. I watched her grow, slow down around life’s many curves, and speed back up again as things went downhill easy at times. But like some rivers I was told she would one day soon dry up.

            There are times when you sit by the water reflecting life. I saw my reflection in her body of crystal clear liquid. Realizing I could not build any kind of dam to contain it forever I enjoyed it while it lasted. Before she left this world I built a bridge from one side to the other- one board at a time over fourteen years, and sometimes with old and worn out pieces. I told as many people about my river, and offered they should stop and sit with me. Many took the opportunity to reflect upon what was and could have been, but were told to never to lose sight of how beautiful it all is. There were times when my bridge was shaky, but family and friends helped reinforce it as time went by.

            After my river disappeared in its earthly form I realized all rivers are the same and I could stop at any one of them and still have my river beside me. My tears might have started a whole other river, but with time and her memory and poetry my daughter brought such beauty back into my life. Children like Anelisa have brought poetry and art to life in such a strong way for many others who remember them. She taught this human being how to build bridges with my hands, my heart, and with my words. It is one of the reasons I survive loss today.

            There are many bridges which still survive, and are waiting for others to cross and reflect the waters that flow underneath. If you happen to see someone walking or sitting along the dry blanks, don’t lose sight of the fact that it could be you one day, and the river might be gone around the next turn. Take a moment to reflect on ghosts of an earlier time.

 In Memorium: Anelisa Diane Dillion, B: March 1st, 1986 D: July 14th, 2000

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  1. June Sciortino March 23, at 09:58

    I lost my daughter 30th June 2008. She was 32 and the most kindest, intelligent and caring person I have ever had in my life. I cope by writing lots of poetry about her. It was a priveledge to have been her mother and I have so many marvellous memories tp keep me going. I will never stop grieving but I honestly feel she is always with me. Natascia Rita thank you for being my daughter, thank you for all the love you gave me, A big comfort hug to you Elizabeth.


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