Intrinsic Worth

Okay….I’m not trying to be sappy (not that fear of being sappy has ever stopped me before)…but at this particular moment, I’m feeling very blessed & I’m going to take this opportunity to express that.
First of all, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my parents (featured on this poem’s theme photo) & my beautiful sister, Ava; all of whom taught me that you can’t get by in life acting like you’re too cool to care. Thank you for being wonderful examples of true empathy, love, respect, & kindness. Ava & I are so blessed to have you as our parents.
Second, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my extended family, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., for being further examples of those same qualities…and for just being who you are. You all helped me grow & learn (and you’re helping me do so, *still*).
Third, I’d like to dedicate this poem to my darling, Jesse. Who has rekindled a fire & passion in me that was starting to dwindle. Thank you, sunshine.
And last (certainly not least), I’d like to dedicate this poem to the beautiful, loving Team Sawyer & all the other people who’ve supported me this whole time. Your encouragement, kindness, & friendship means the world to me. I could never ever thank you enough.
I love you all, to the moon & back.
Now, moving on to the poem:

People are mean,

Life is confusing,

And lately, I can’t tell if I’m losing myself or finding myself.

Constantly being hurt, misunderstood, & overlooked by disinterested misanthropists who are afraid of vulnerability,

Because everyone is too scared of the shallow judgements & stigmas that come with caring.

True bravery radiates from the ones who are strong enough to give a damn.

True maturity isn’t just checking off the silly list of expected responsibilities or social ranks.

It’s not just doing the usual things that people praise you for, to get recognition.

It’s not just doing things for outward appearance.

It’s doing the little things that make you a stronger, kinder person,

The things that only the important people notice.

It’s choosing to boldly be yourself, while also staying humble,

And knowing how to love yourself,

Not feel sorry for yourself.

It’s disposing of self pity & stubbornness,

And never pigeon-holing yourself into one way of thinking or living for the rest of your life.

It’s taking hold of every opportunity that comes your way,

It’s learning to accept that you may not agree with something that someone else does.

And knowing that you have to respect other people’s decisions, instead of trying to convince them otherwise.

It’s being understanding when someone reaches out to you.

It’s being intuitive enough to pick up on people’s feelings & know when they really aren’t “fine”.

It’s not belittling people for being tender-hearted & sensitive, & learning how to be sensitive yourself.

It’s knowing when to say thank you & I’m sorry,

Knowing when to say I love you.

It’s learning how to make people comfortable & going out of your way to do that.

It’s walking into a cold, stale room, & knowing how to make it softer & warmer.

It’s seeing someone crying on a public bench & being the one person in the world who stops to ask if they’re okay.

It’s seeing someone who loves you, crying right there in front of you & taking the higher road by choosing to be gentle in response.

It’s laying bear your soul to the ones who matter,

It’s being altruistic enough to accept changes & want to better yourself, not only for yourself, but for others,

It’s knowing that sometimes you have to journey deep within your own mind to face your biggest fears & solve your worst problems.

It’s learning to forgive & forget, but also knowing when to walk away from toxic situations.

It’s taking the time to be genuinely interested in others’ passions & concerns.

It’s learning how to be uplifting & upbuilding instead of making fun of someone for just being who they are,

It’s knowing how to embrace diversity, instead of avoiding or judging things because their different.

It’s going a step further to encourage someone’s unique vocations & characteristics even when they are hard to relate to.

It’s learning how to try to make everybody feel like a somebody.

It’s learning how to break the controlling, constricting ties of unrealistic expectations,

It’s learning how to respect yourself, but never bring others down in doing so.

It’s learning how to love freely.

It’s learning how to release yourself from the fear of being judged.

It’s learning how to tread ever onwards with purpose & good intentions.

It’s learning how to care.

It’s learning how to let go.

It’s learning to be real,

Learning to be human.

It’s learning to live, not just survive.

It’s living to learn.

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Pigment Of My Imagination 

Sleepy breath getting softer,

Warm thoughts disperse like watercolor paint on damp paper.

Tones & hues move with ease on the blank page,

Like how honey soaked sentiments flow naturally from crooked smiles.

Lovely memories replay in ultraviolet hyperdrive.

Everything gets a little bit brighter,

Until it all shines like marquee lights & shooting stars.

Looking gently through the blushing blue,

Squinting tired eyes, trying to make out the dancing shapes behind the sunset tinted haze of the morning–

Like watching a shadow puppet show through indigo dyed sheets,

Watching for the shadows of feet under the door–

Listening for a velveteen step down the hallway.

The buttery bliss of detaching, catching you off guard,

Like catching the faint fragrance of lilac blossoms in the springtime breeze.

Graced & comforted by the serenity of effervescent feelings for a fading moment.

Yet, it’s all a means to an end,

Until the dawn kidnaps you from that dreamy landscape,

Waking you from the lush gardens of your mind,

Pulling you back into the simplicity of the ordinary.

Grow Closer

Author’s Note: This poem is about the wonderful, but rare feeling of getting to know someone naturally & comfortably. 

Blooming souls aglow

While the watercolor evening brushes the fields golden honey–

Sweet, slow-moving, & healing.

The fleeting present moment,

Is the only thing that matters.

Silent & taciturn, but the words flow.

Saying the important things,

Without speaking.

Guarded hearts begin to share,

Unlocking their innermost cells.

Open minds like open meadows,

A pleasant pasture where wild thoughts grow,

Free & uncontrolled.

Raw & real.

Unfiltered truths, dusted effortlessly like pollen spores on cottonwood flowers.

Fingertips magnetized to elicit a fellow sense of touch,

Brushing softly against skin, is the sparkling dew dampened blades of grass,

Dripping drops of mutual understanding deep into our pores–

Touching our cores.

Tender expressions strike a chord & echo in harmony,

Like the birds’ sweet songs.

Dusk dawns,

Humble hearts are full.

Tiptoe, barefoot 

Through milky moon beams

Shining on the dirt path

That winds through shadowed hills 

Winding like our thoughts on this introspective night-

Winding & intertwining with the ancient trees’ climbing branches…

Climbing branches to be closer to the sky.

To be closer to the cosmos,

To be closer to the deeper things–

To grow closer to you.

Falling (Poetry Recitation)

Undeveloped mind wanders off a cliff, alone.

The sky turns a rare shade of gold,

As the air cradles the falling thoughts.

Falling– like stars from the heavens.

Glowing, burning, but weightless & free.

Too much, too fast!

Under the pressure of freedom & gravity,

Directions surround.

With too many choices, where does one turn?

Which way does this star fall?

Up?

Down?

Or far away into the horizon?

Choices…

A plethora of options,

Yet, you’re stuck in suspended animation.

Stuck with no place to turn

Forever falling,

Nowhere.

Well…I’m a little nervous sharing this poem… because it’s completely raw & unedited. I decided to challenge myself & do something called “speed writing”. It’s when you set a timer & write whatever comes to mind until the timer stops. I set my timer for five minutes & let the words flow without a second thought. I don’t necessarily know where the inspiration for this poem came from, but I do know that I felt it very deeply, as I was writing it & I’m happy with the result. Since this writing shaped into a free verse piece, I felt the need to express it in spoken word to convey the emotions more. Below is an old video I took of an inspiring sunrise, with an audio recording of me reading this poem dubbed over it. I have never posted a poetry recitation before, so please bear with me. I’m learning the value of being vulnerable for the sake of art & human connection. I hope you enjoy! As always, thank you all so much for reading!!

 

Let No One Take Away Your Brilliance 

I held my light in the palm of my hand.

Hidden within my clutch, it shone with radiance.

I kept it to myself, grasped it tightly-

Always afraid it would burn out if it were set free.

For I knew the darkness of the world could quickly consume. 

I cherished it, until I thought I had found someone deserving.

As per usual, my light became too bright too soon,

Its beams shined through my clutching hands,

And I naively let my fire dance & burn, unguarded.

Sad to say, I was right to hesitate,

My worries & fears became premonitions,

And my premonitions became lucid. 

I innocently assumed the position of the bright veneer to your dark soul.

You began to dim my shining beacon to illuminate your charcoal filled tomb–

Finding a fascination with my purity,

Infatuated with my phosphorescent mystique.

Blinded by, but dependent on my omnipresent light.

You dragged down my brightly burning star to pull yourself out of your black hole.

Sacrificing my most valuable virtue to escape your perpetual darkness.

Leaving me vulnerable & empty,

But I could not be your eternal flame,

To be coddled or shrouded.

I could not shine from your detrimental pedestal,

Only to be veiled by your lonely shadows. 

I refused to let you quell my precious flame,

For without my light, I would be exactly like you–

I would be nothing but darkness.

Where East Meets West

Author’s Note: This poem is very special to me. It was inspired by my life & the travels I’ve been on with my family. I was raised by parents who’s relationship would have never existed if it wasn’t for travel. 

My dad was born & raised in New Hampshire. When he was 22 he moved all the way across the country to southeastern Idaho, where my mom was living at the time. She came from a long line of gypsy souls & had moved around most of her life. They soon fell in love & the rest is history. 

Together they’ve lived in many places on both coasts; finding the beauty in all surroundings & learning to be comfortable in different environments. They were constantly torn between the east & west, because they found peace & satisfaction in both places for different reasons. 

My sister & I experience this same feeling because we’ve grown up visiting & living in various states. We’ve encountered different levels of happiness & comfort, unique to each place. Our list of places we want to live when we’re older grows by the day. 

We’ve been taught to believe that home is where the heart is. And the truth is, I’ve left little pieces of my heart in places too numerous to count. Therefore, I’ve made everywhere we’ve roamed my home. The world as a whole is where I feel comfortable & free. 

That is the feeling I wanted to capture in this poem. I hope you enjoy this, for it is about the very foundation of who I am– it is a piece of my heart. 💕 
—Elise 


~

I soar further into the night,
Abandoning the light.
I go where autumn leaves paint rolling hills,
I go where the granite ridges run across the land.
I go where you can see for miles around,
I go where the winter has deep chills.
I go where the fields are speckled with wildflowers.
I go where the sun rises with the waves.
I go where life is rich with history.
I go to the place I grew up visiting in my youth.

I soar back towards the light,
Running away from the night.
Back to where mountain tops touch the sky,
Back to where the winding rivers lead to warmer oceans.
Back to where glacier peaks split the earth.
Back to where trees are ever-green.
Back to where the sun sets over the sea.
Back to where life is still fresh & new.
Back to the wild west.
Back to the place I call home.

From coast to coast,
I leave behind little pieces of my heart everywhere I go,
And I forever carry the memories I make.
Family in the east,
Family in the west,
Split between the two, all my life.
I guess I’m bound to be a traveler,
Spending my days crossing borderlines.

For father followed the sun to find my mother,
And mother chased the moon to reach my father.
I am a child of both horizons.
A product of the sun’s rays & the moon’s beams,
With Atlantic eyes & a Pacific smile.
Appalachian bones & Cascadian skin.
A maple soul & a cedar spirit.
A girl with an eastern mind & a western heart,
Living a gypsy dream.

Seasons of Life

I can see through your eyes, 
The newly blooming wildflowers.
I can hear through your ears,
The rushing water of the melting ice.
I can feel your new beginning,
And I know your happiness 
When you see the world in a new light.

I can see through your eyes,
The clear summer skies.
I can hear through your ears,
The flying birds’ song.
I feel the warmth of the unobstructed rays. 
And I know your bliss
When the fruits of your labor finally ripen.

I can see through your eyes,
The dying autumn leaves.
I can hear through your ears,
The crisp winds start to blow.
I can feel your serene sadness as the clouds roll in.
And I know the bittersweet feeling
When you see everything around you begin to change.

I can see through your eyes,
The bare branches of the trees.
I can hear through your ears,
The deafening silence in this barren white terrain.
I can feel the chill numbing your shuddering body.
And I know the feeling of suffering,
Through more days of darkness & fewer days of light.

I can see through your eyes,
All the passing seasons of your life,
I can hear through your ears,
All the laughs & all the cries.
I can feel your sunshine & feel your storms,
And I know all the weather that moves through your skies.