Pictures from around downtown

by alex walter

In the clouds
13th and Vine Cincinnati

The Ferocity of Love

by laurie howland

It can bear down on you like a storm
With gusts, hail and lightening
It is aggressive at times
Consequently, it can feel brutal
Not because it means to do you harm
No, it is simply fierce with its intensity
A passion that rages
And grips your soul
As it longs for the other
The need, desire so strong
You cannot stray from its path
As it leaves you gasping for air
Your heart races
As it pummels its way in
It is unyielding
As it settles
You are left drenched in its effects
Shaken and in awe
Eventually, you give way to the acceptance
That the mighty gusts of emotions that you feel
Are not to be feared
Or pushed away
Or rejected
No, you realize that
Although the pressure
Was at first too strong
Cause it moved in deep
And wrapped itself around you
Like a blanket
It formed a connection
Of lust
Of love
And for these reasons
You look for the storm to no longer rage
Inside you
But to quiet down
And give you peace
For the ferocity of love
Is in its moving in
Not of its residence
A love that makes your heart whole
A love that pierces your soul

The Cube

by alex walter

One Solution,
Many ways.
Solving me
May Take Days.
I stump some,
But don’t fool others,
Who do I appeal to?
Sisters and their brothers.
Some can solve me,
Others can not.
Place a bet.
But not a lot.
Many try,
But can’t succeed.
Lots of time
Is what you need.
If you can solve me,
That’s quite a feat.
Many have tried,
But I’m hard to beat.

The road in front of me

by laurie howland

The road in front of me seems endless
No end in sight
As I look around, I see vast fields of nothingness
Yet I do not feel alone
No loneliness grips my soul
For I am not frightened, worried or anxious
The journey ahead no longer scares me
For the first time, I can close my eyes
And inhale the air around me then release it with a sense of calm
Exhaling all the worries of the past
The past
I reflect on the road I am on
And briefly turn to the see where I have come from
The same road
That seems to go on forever in the opposite direction
But littered with issues
The pot holes that made the journey difficult and hard to navigate
I see them, accept them even if I do not like them or wish they hadn’t been there
But now I can turn my back to it all 
And look forward
There was no guidance that go to me to this point
And there will be none as I move forward
I wanted to collapse too many times in the past under the gravity of things. 
Of life
But here I am
On a road that I have no idea where it will lead me
Or where I even want to go
But I am okay with that
I am ready for what this adventure of life has in store for me
I am not naïve to assume it will be easy
But it will be easier
Thought there will be more potholes and storms to struggle through
I am for the first time fully aware of who I am
How all the ups and downs, blind turns and off roading my past has given me
Have led me to who I am at my core
And I like her
I understand her
I respect her
So, I am ready to take the road in front of me
And go where ever it may lead me


by alexis walter

The Rainbow

by laurie howland

The rainbow appears luminous in the sky
As it gently arches 
Like an umbrella overhead
Holding back the clouds
Lighting up the coldness of the rain
It is promising of storms that will end
Bringing a sense of calm as we take in its splendid design
Yet other times our rainbow
Can appear quite dull
Lackluster in its saturation
Its sharpness
As if the painter was too tired or too dreary
To brush the sky with the feeling of auspicious times
Or maybe her palette was running low
Or she choose a different one
To reflect her mood
Her intensity
Our rainbow is often painted in hues of brightness
A symbol of peace that is arriving
Ending the storms and returning balance
Other times it is more subdued
For the storm is not quite over
Life has a way of adding its own color
Before you even know the brush is out
Adding a stroke of blue or yellow
Or a gray that covers the whole canvass
If our colors are too dull can there be a rainbow?


Poem by laurie howland Photo by Alex Walter

He follows him like a lost puppy dog
Which he is
His master
His best friend
Grateful to greet him every morning 
But then you see the loss in his eyes 
When his master departs for the day
Sad, almost depressed
It is the loneliness he feels
When the door closes
And his best friend is gone
His tail stops wagging
Head bows down
He releases a soft whimper
His mood shifted
But at the end of the day
Before you even see the truck pull up
You know his master is returning 
By the yelp he releases
Of pure happiness
His tail wags wildly
And he begs to go out
To run to greet his master
His best friend
His mood shifted