Don’t try to make others fit
Your limited box of expectations.
Take the lid off of the box
And let the fresh air cascade in.

For there is so much more
To treasure in the shimmering depths
Of who one truly is
Beyond a two dimensional label.

Mandy Austin Cook


Something to soothe the storms
In my mind
Calm the waves rippling worry
through my thoughts
A way to put the heaviness down
Dreaming on canvas as vibrantly
As the vivid intensity that awakens me.


  • Mandy Austin Cook

Don’t let your words throw punches

You always think

You’ll have another moment

To erase the pain

left by harsh words

Said without thinking.


It was a silly disagreement

But I left with tears

Caressing my disappointed expression

And your pride didn’t follow me

As I hurriedly walk away.


Neither of us knew

That would be our last discussion



You were my friend.

Your unspoken apology

Whispered to the heavens

With your every day actions.


Every moment is precious.

Don’t let your words throw punches.


Mandy Austin Cook

Cheddar Cheese

Like a wine glass overflowing
Onto the pavement
Or a sunflower slowly opening
To the sun
Grounded like oak
Silly like cheddar cheese
Be open to life’s adventures and fun
Remember to let the pages tell the story
Even though it’s the hardback
Cover they first see
Friendship is a knitting of space and together
And is worth the effort to allow it all
To simply be.

Mandy Austin Cook

The Mirror

How do I honor
The dark eyes staring
back in the mirror?
She gave me those eyes
Painted the shade with the blood
Of her ancestors
Yet her story fades
like tear stained words lifted
from the page.

She was considered curious
for her unconventional ways
Eccentric and unusual
Her puzzle piece didn’t seem to fit
As she carried her culture silently
In her heart.

My grandmother’s grandmother,
All I know of her are stories

Echoes of fond memories faded into the background,
And the deep pools of dark eyes
Staring back at me
In the mirror.

Mandy Austin Cook


Balance and blend
The question answers perfectly
To the desires of the dance
And just like that
The painting is complete
It almost paints itself
Finding wings in the perfection
Of this unexpected rhythm.
How can soaring like this
Surprisingly steady the ground?
Breathlessly catching the whirlwind pace,
Suddenly my two left feet
Have forgotten their awkwardness
As the beating strings

Mandy Austin Cook


“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep” – Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Delving into depths of branch protected tenderness
How did you discover the meadow?

It was well Hidden

Almost too intensely green

A sighing breeze

intoxicating in its comfort

Vulnerable to misunderstanding.

Step gently
for beneath your feet
the ground trembles to the hopeful touch
Of possibility.a

Mandy Austin Cook



Under the sky
Surrounded by the warmth
Of the droplets of miracles
Sparkling prisms of wet light
dancing down my hair.

A cleansing comfort
worries melting into the ground
To be left behind in the arms
of nature.

Barefoot in the freedom of it
I revel in the comfort of the rain
How it awakens a smile
While remembering sunshine.

Mandy Austin Cook

24 “We are the World”

“We are the World” by Mandy Austin Cook

“Lets realize that a change can only come

when we stand together as one.”

it was her solo

and I wanted it.

the first time i remember feeling jealousy

was when she was handed that tune in choir

we were both 10 years old at the time.

but it was a good lesson

because it was someone BELOVED

and it gave me PERSPECTIVE.

I decided to be happy for her

and it was a choice

I chose to love.


Sometimes love is an emotion

But often  love is a DECISION.

Remember to Choose Love.

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