Lynn White – Love Starts With You

Washed Away

Cool cleansing water running over me,

washing away my sins, my impurities,

Cleaning me up, getting rid of the villainy

and lack of chastity.

Absolving me.

But who’s to say they should be washed away

like the scruffiness of childhood innocence.

Who should judge these scents and tastes and sweats 

of a life cleanly and clearly remembered.

What sins, what villainy?

I wished they could remain unwashed and pure 

retaining their essence within my reach.

Hanging about me in my lived in face.

A testament to my life, an affirmation.

It didn’t take much water to remove them.

But I was already clean.

I can remember.

First published in Snapdragon “Your Wild And Precious Life”, September 2015


I am not sure how I did it,

how I survived

a lucky chance


but here I am




against the wind,

the hot, hot wind

which has turned the soil

into rippling sand

the rippling sand 

of the unwashed desert.

I am not sure how I did it

and I am not sure how long

I can stay here



in the rippling sand

of the unwashed desert.

First published in The Beautiful Space, August 2019

Check Out This Artist:

Lynn White

Linda M. Crate – Love Starts With You

the only home i’ll know

i learned to love myself,
but it wasn’t easy;
first i had to let go of
everything they told me i was
and learn to define myself—

i had a beauty and a power
all my own, always;
but i had to reclaim my voice and my magic

once more before i could call
myself mine—

jealous and petty mean spirited people
have mocked me all my life,
they told me i was stupid or ugly and fat;
and i believed them—

i didn’t realize there was value in being me
until a guidance counselor insisted if i were
more normal i would fit in,
and i decided then and there that i would never
strive to fit in when i was born to stand out;
that i would be proud of myself and my weird

because the only person i can ever be is me,
and since i am the only one that will always
be there for me; i need to accept myself for
my flaws and my scars and i have—

i love myself because i am the only home i’ll ever know.

remind the heart to dream

self-care isn’t always
retail therapy
or bubble baths or
isolating from the world

sometimes self-care
is letting the tears flower
like blossoms in the spring
until your soul is purged
of the heaviness it is feeling,

and sometimes it is talking to
friends and releasing all the pent up
steam you’ve been holding onto;

even a nap or a simple shower
can be an act of self-care in a world
that sometimes feels full of nightmares
sometimes its necessary to remind
the heart to dream.

learned to say no

i had to teach myself no
because it felt like a swear word
and i always hated to let people down;
but i learned the hard way
you cannot please everyone and trying
only displeases everyone especially yourself—
so i stopped trying to please people,
and started doing what i could
only if i felt like helping or being or doing
was i there;
and some people got angry and some people
walked away from me
but i figure that’s the price of being authentic
to yourself
not everyone is going to understand or be there
on every leg of your journey
so you have to clap and be proud of yourself—
you cannot pour from an empty cup
so if you feel depleted,
it is okay to say no;
and if you are tired it is all right to let someone down
because life is too short to make our souls miserable—
you have to take care of yourself because
no one else will.

don’t hate myself anymore

i used to hate myself,
and wonder what she had
that i didn’t;
what made you love her and not me—

in the end, it doesn’t matter;
because i am beautiful and i have worth
all my own even if you will never recognize it

i am magical, powerful, and beautiful;
with meanings and roots deeper than the ocean—

i thought i needed you once-upon-a-time
but it turns out i only wanted you,
and i am doing better for myself now that you are gone;

sometimes the heart wants the exact opposite
of what it needs—

i am not afraid of being alone, i am not afraid of the darkness;
because i know i am strong enough to defend myself and rise
from the ashes of any death given me thanks to you.

picked myself back up and learned to love me

i love myself now
like i didn’t

you wouldn’t recogize me now,

but i’ve grown from that spot
where you left me to die;

there was a woman
behind the glass that grabbed my hand
she led me to a future where
you didn’t stand and showed me of sunsets
i had yet to witness and moonbeams
that yet had to sing against my skin—

so i fell in love with flowers,
the wild, and the seas all over again;
i fell in love with wise old trees
and redcapped mushrooms and orange fallen leaves

i recognized there is worth to a crow song,
and found love even for myself;

to you i may not have been worth it but i am wild
not everyone can hold a flame but the person
who can appreciate my mountains and my oceans,
my fires and my trees, my fangs and my wings;
i welcome them into my tribe

even if sometimes my only hand to grasp is my own.

Check Out This Artist:

Linda M. Crate

Ndaba Sibanda – Love Starts With

To Set Her Heart On Fire

to set the much-needed dialogue in motion
there had to be poetry & poetry & devotion
she didn’t mince her words at all, she hit it
she demanded & desired to see nothing short of it:
she called for an ecstatic expression of emotions
a freely & furiously lively ,lovely exhibition of yens
a river filled with an explosion of verve and verse
and that was her basis for an engagement, a discourse

The Rhythm Of Africa

Its dishes are rich in culture

Servings of fresh injera & tibs

Shiro, doro wot, what a capture

Vegies, spiced butter, meat like ribs!

Kenya ,a taste of maize meal, a taste of ugali

Menus to suit all palates, religious dietary needs

Potatoes, corn, beans, cassava, yam, pumpkins in Kigali

African music echoes across all colours, countries & creeds

Whirling In The Open In Bulawayo

Outdoors in one worthy season

Barbequed meat and all- served

Babies crying, smoke one reason

But their feasting moms unnerved

Beautiful happy souls hooked on meat

Roasted to perfection, what a delicacy

Without Afro-music the party is incomplete

Bulawayo, a fabulous food haunt and fantasy

Enchanted And Eloped

she was short and slender

her voice vivid and tender

it beamed an invisible smile

infectious even from a mile

she was a blessing to her patients

as she treated them like her parents

she told them high blood was manageable

with diet and lifestyle changes—all was doable

one day one foreign suitor charmed away the adorable

the one doctor whose services poor elders found invaluable

A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndabas poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndabas works are found or forthcoming in Page & Spine, Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review ,Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine, The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press.

Sibandas forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies ,Contradictions And Indoctrinations was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndabas other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.
Sibandas other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward. Ndaba blogs here: Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda -

Love Starts With You

Welcome to February, dear Ponderbots! We have entered the season of love.

This new series is focusing on loving and caring for one’s self. Love is a magical thing, and loving others is some of the greatest magic of all. However, if we don’t put the oxygen mask on first how can we truly give to others? We must first fill ourselves to be able to have something to give to someone else, and I think it’s important to remind ourselves of this.

Love for ourselves can have numerous possibilities. It can be the times we allow ourselves to rest. Or standing up for ourselves to make sure we are being treated with respect. Or it can even be validating our own emotions, allowing it to be felt. There is so much love and self care we can give to ourselves and feel fulfilled whether we are in a relationship or not. Either way, love starts with you.

These upcoming artists have created tender and starry-eyed work for you to view. So, stay tuned for inspiration!

-Mia Savant

Call For Submissions – Love Starts With You

Call For Submissions for my February series, Love Starts With You.

Any form of creativity is welcome! (Poetry, music, paintings, photography, etc.)

Work will be displayed on my blog:

Deadline: February 1st, 2020

This February, my blog is going to be focused on loving one’s self, self care, taking care of oneself first or oxygen-mask-on-first type concepts.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Send your art of any kind (poems, music, drawings, paintings, videos, photography, or any medium of creativity!). Topic should be about loving one’s self, self care, self worth, etc.

2. Include a picture of yourself or any photo that you feel represents yourself as an artist.

3. Include any links to your work or social media sites that you would like to be shared.

4. Email your submission to Mia Savant at with the subject line: Love Starts With You

5. Follow the blog site If you have facebook or Instagram follow there as well @pondersavant.

6. Finally, don’t forget to share on your social media!

Deadline: February 1st, 2020