Poem #15

Caffeine patrols, 
Sugar rush
Guilty as charged
We keep marchin' on.

A brand new world 
awaits me today
Imagination is on the loose 
and creativity re-fueled. 

Let's paint this town red.

-Janice Raquela Mendonca

image by Ronaldo Arthur Vidal

Prompt #14

“The land knows you, even when you are lost.”
Rich and Raw 
Unblemished and pure 
Wild and free
Mother Nature 

The earth runs in my veins
her soil feeds my hunger
affinity divine
kinship and familiarity, 
You give unto me. 
Nurture so sublime.

A perfect balance 
Harmony of a kind
You provide
We thrive upon 
your providence.
Sustenance dependence

Mother nature is the 
gift that keeps giving, 

-Janice Raquela Mendonca
image Gabriel Jimenez

Prompt #13 Sonder

People are complex and sophisticated 
though hopeless and helpless 
when left to their own devices.
I thought I was the only one 
trapped in the endless circle
complexities of life decisions 
and consequences. 
Carrying around this weight 
I just couldn't shake off.

It refused to leave
I kept running away 
and kept postponing my plans 
for dealing with it. 
It only grew heavier.
Not acknowledging it and 
addressing it 
only made things harder.

Everyone has their own share 
of devils to deal with at any given time.
You have no idea what the person 
sitting next to you is going through.
Could be completely broken or defeated.

I guess in a way I take comfort in the fact 
that I am not the only one stuck 
the reassurance itself is enough..
it's comforting to know
'I am not alone.'
It gives me the strength to carry on...
when I don't want to.

-Janice Raquela Mendonca  

image Rita Vicari


image unknown

Prompt #11 Letter To My Former Self

Dear 20 year old Janice, 

Not much has changed huh?
Insecurities still going strong.

This letter is going to be a mix of everything, 
regrets, advice, hopes and aspirations..

I hope you remember to smile often, 
And practice Kindness..
Be kind to yourself as well as towards others.
You are doing a good job. 
You are such a strong and brave young woman. 
You inspire me. 
I haven't been as strong as I was when I was 20. 
Fighting for your life, 
Hanging onto a very thin thread, 
and the unpredictability of your health condition.
You handled it gracefully and the best you could.

Sure you missed out on a great deal 
of normal things kids at 20 do, but, 
that's okay. Looking back I recall it 
being an adventure of a lifetime. 

I wish you could have appreciated 
your parents and acknowledged 
the sacrifices mum pulled in for you. 
Dad worked tirelessly to pay 
the surmounting hospital bills and 
Wendy grew up without any assistance.

Have a little patience, 
It's okay to fail,
Love yourself.
Believe in yourself. 
Stay true to yourself. 

The future is bright 
and all of this will be 
over you, just be patient, 
Hang on,
the struggle isn't over,
There's more struggle coming along...
you still got fight left in you
give it your best shot. 

Don't worry, 
Let go, 
You don't need to be in control of every situation. 

Not everyone is going to agree with you and like you
but that's okay.
Not everyone is going to understand you, 
that's fine. 
Don't sell yourself short
Never ever compromise on your self worth.
Remember some people are assholes 
there's not much you can do about that.

Love from the future.

-Janice Raquela Mendonca  
IMAGE BY Motoki Tonn

Prompt #10

Damn...That night was extra ordinary, 
A stunning thick blanket
of stars....

The night called in a hush 
A somber reverie,
A settling fog that intended to stay. 

Moonbeam poured a pale milky white ray 
like lights of pearls 
accompanying the stars.

I cradled my warm coffee 
I knew not which way led to my destination
my heart only followed the docks. 
And the fir trees that lined my horizon in the distance. 

-Janice Raquela Mendonca
img by eberhard grossgasteiger

Prompt #9

Our lives are terribly tiny.
raise your glass in honor,
to celebrate
every human emotion, and flaw,
every achievement and failure.
Such a human condition,

The essence of a person’s life can
be merely encapsulated in a few
simple and humble words.
Describing with accuracy the complications
of our intertwined lives.

-Janice Raquela Mendonca

Prompt #7 Rolling hills (song prompt)

Rolling Hills 
and cedar trees.

that's our meeting place, 
where we dance with abandon, 
running towards each other frantically.

Rolling down over rolling hills
Dancing naked around bonfires
you strum your guitar  
and utter my name 
and it sounds like a song.

The sweetest lie
the hardest truth 
both meet here in this moment.
I'm almost afraid to admit 
I'm falling for you. 

Our hearts beat wild 
breaking free from our rib cages 
with just a touch and a glance. 
You light up the fire in my heart. 
You carve a place for yourself in my soul.

You intoxicate my senses.
You hold me close
look straight into my eyes
bashful and unapologetic
Talk is cheap and...
baby we're better than that. 

You skip the small talk 
jump straight for the hard questions. 
that's when I fell in love with you. 

-Janice Raquela Mendonca 


Prompt #6 Rock Bottom

It tastes like grit against your teeth
and ash upon your tongue.
It feels a lot like broken bones 
and torn muscles from a boxing fight.
endless agony,
and a learning curve

Feels like being stuck 
with no way to make a way.
So you grovel in your existence. 

 You start building a house
and making yourself comfortable. 


If there's a rebel within you,
start a revolution.  
Shout out to the stars 
asking for help 
to provide you with direction, 
To help make things clearer and easier.

All your power and advantage
is used against you, 
Rewiring you to think and act differently.

But, the thing that gets me the most is
we as humans are designed to be a superior 
creation, so our problems are not simple. 
and the solutions are often complicated and not complied.

But, still despite it all,
we cling to our hopes, 
we define ourselves 
by the amount of successes 
and trophies that decorate our shelves.

How come we don't define ourselves 
and measure our worth based on how many 
lessons we learned from the countless failures 
we accumulate but, 
never seem to acknowledge their existence.

It's the mentality that needs to change
our attitude
our perception.

Only then can we unstuck ourselves 
from rock bottom, moving upwards. 
to be better versions of ourselves.

I believe so long as each one of us are living 
we are bound to make mistakes, 
we must learn from them. 

We must ornate our shelves with 
the lessons we have learned, 
from the mistakes we have made. 

The day you die 
the lesson is over.
Life itself is the biggest lesson. 

It teaches you everything 
you were destined to learn in your crazy lifetime.

-Janice Raquela Mendonca

pic by Ayush Sharma