Below is the 8th installment of The Prism Pages that was featured in the July + August “Green” Issue. Original poetry by the talented Leion De Haro, Salamander Brandy and Ray Rico. Enjoy!

The Young Decade

BY: Ray Rico

In shadows cast upon familiar walls,
A decade’s worth of stories now recall.
Where time’s hands danced with every stride,
In the office space where dreams reside.

Through countless days, we toiled as one,
Our hearts ablaze, a collective hum.
A tapestry woven with laughter and tears,
Memories cherished, etched through the years.

But the winds of change blew fierce and bold,
An office left behind, a story untold.
From bustling halls to a virtual embrace,
We embarked on a journey, a different space.

Oh, the bittersweet taste of farewell’s sigh,
Leaving behind a piece of soul, oh my!
The desk we called ours, the walls that knew,
Now echoes fade, bidding us adieu.

Yet, let not melancholy darken the skies,
For a new chapter unfolds, hope in our eyes.
Remote horizons await, vast and unknown,
With freedom’s wings, we’re no longer alone.

In the realm of pixels, our worlds align,
Boundaries erased, the distance we redefine.
The office within us, forever resides,
As we navigate the virtual tides.

Embrace the change; let it be your guide,
For transformation calls from deep inside.
Find solace in the moments yet to come,
A symphony of possibility, yet unsung.

With every keystroke, a story unfolds,
Unveiling chapters, as life gracefully molds.
Let your spirit soar, be bold and true,
For within you lies the power to renew.

Though office walls may fade from sight,
The memories held within, forever ignite.
Through virtual realms, our spirits mend,
Embracing change is a journey without end.

So, fear not, dear friend, for you are strong,
Adapting, evolving, where you belong.
In this new chapter, let your vision shine,
And seize the reins of destiny as yours align.

For life’s tapestry is woven anew,
With every step, the courage in you.
Embrace the remote, the freedom it bestows,
And let your heart’s desires truly transpose.

This poem was written as a form of closure and looking forward after closing the brick-and-mortar building which housed the Focus LGBT magazine offices after a decade on Young Avenue in Memphis, TN and moving to a fully remote business model.

The Wax


The wax that wanes from steady burn
Has yet to truly reach what it yearns
So much beauty and so much light
A true beauty for smell and sight
Is this wax everlasting?
2, 4, 7, 8, how many candles have been made
from this tiny little flame?
The scent has started to wear thin again

Who was the wax and who was the stem?
The wax knows not the question within

Leion is an indigenous, two spirited man and abstract artist — native to the land, but not any single place. They believe that life is full of exciting challenges that bloom from the reality you make. They go by the personal philosophy, “There’s no such thing as a low point, only a new mountain to climb.”



Another child dies and the sky cries,

Po’ baby being left outside.
Heaven gonna be feelin’ dis heat,
right before Juneteenth.

Send help–rain relief,

We need help in a city where even God cried–
She weeps, “O sweet lord have mercy
for the people of Memphis.”

Salamander Brandy is the Executive Director of the Path of the Holy Hands church, the co-chair of the Memphis-MidSouth DSA, a member of Black Lives Matter Memphis and the New Black Panther party. She was born and raised in the city of Memphis and is the descendent of Elwood Higginbottom, a hero who was lynched by the city of Oxford, Mississippi for trying to start a union for sharecroppers. She is on a mission to spread peace on planet Earth and to get justice for her family. Until she completes her mission, she won’t stop even after her last breath.