Photography by Silja Pietilä, 17, Finland
Photography by Safia Henniche, 16, Boston
Dear Readers and Contributors,
I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank you all for the continuous love and support, especially through the pandemic. In just under 6 months, we’ve come so far; the magazine has been featured on Publish YOUth Writing and Poets & Writers, and the editorial team reached a whooping milestone of 400+ Advice Articles written! As we continue grow our global outreach, we’ve published over 280 creators from 25 U.S. States, 25 countries, and 6 continents across the world!
It’s been a pleasure growing this community over the past three years, so I know I speak for the entire editorial board when I say we hold this magazine and our contributors close to our heart. It takes a tremendous amount of research and effort to manage the magazine, which is why we're so thankful for all of your support. We encourage you to share our publications and Advice Articles to help our other young creators who may be interested in pursuing their craft.
Founder, Nonfiction Editor in Chief
The Elysian Muse Youth Literary Magazine
Written by Faith McKinnon
"Because dreams that bear the mark of love / are dreams that never die"
Colony House. “Moving Forward.” When I Was Younger, RCA Records, 2014.
do you have any dreams that bear the mark of love, darling?
dreams are elusive
like a mischievous faerie, or a pixie that beckons for you
just around the bend
but you reach the clearing where it promised to wait
you are left with only the babbling brook for company
not that you mind, usually—she's quite friendly, saves you the need to reply as she chatters on
but that dream promised.
where did it go?
you call for it to return
so that you may seek to turn it into more than a dream
so that you may go from dreaming to doing
but as you peer around the bend and leave the brook behind
endless hills greet you
and no pixie or faerie in sight.
the dream has escaped once more,
into the recesses of your cavernous and gorgeous mind.
days of summer whisper as they pass by
you hear music in hues of gold
flute shimmers like the lavender dusk at sunset
percussion pounds in all its vivid beats
saxophone croons in rich and twisting colors—you're never quite sure what color it may be
acoustic guitar paints in pastels
piano notes sing in shades of gray
from the dramatic charcoal to a sorrowful dove-gray
and as the last note lingers on once-summer air
you hear the little laugh like clinking glass
of your ever-disappearing dream.
but this time, you pause. inhale deeply. smile at the sky and thank the world for its beauty.
you listen to the laughter like clinking glass
and the music in hues of gold,
and gratitude floods you.
summer seeps into sepia days
and you chase, chase, chase the dream.
this time—oh, this time—
you shall never relent in your pursuit.
but now, you know to be gentle yet firm; unyielding but compassionate
and then the day comes when—
when you arrive at that clearing,
and there stands your dream.
it waits for you to approach, to ask it
it smiles and tosses its head, letting the dying sun catch it in fiery hands.
"the mark of love, my dear," it replies.
"what is 'the mark of love?'" you ask, but your dream merely smiles
with a knowing look in its luminous eyes.
suddenly, the dying sun catches you in it fiery hands, and you
have never felt
as if light itself
runs through your veins
as if the sun itself has bequeathed
viscous gold to your soul.
"is this the mark of love?" you breathe, basking in the purity.
you watch your dream—it nods—and you start to understand.
"all these days i spent chasing you, you were only waiting for me," you begin. "waiting for me to realize that you did not bear my mark of love. i was selfish. you had to wait for me to bestow upon you the mark of love in order for me to catch you."
"yes. i must thank you for saving me," says your dream. "for making me a dream marked by love."
at last, you have peace.
Faith McKinnon is a 15 year old chocolate-lover, athletic nerd, artist, and a passionate Christian. She lives in far northern California, where she enjoys soaking up sunshine and life. She loves both wild dreaming and careful planning, playing competitive sports and curling up with a book, and calls herself an introverted extrovert. She feels too diverse to be explained in a few sentences, will always overwrite and talk too much, and can be found on Write the World at "hold on to the memories."