Torn

I’m feeling lost on this open road for the first time in my life.

The journey used to fill the empty spaces of my heart, 

But travel won’t fill this newfound void–

A void that runs as deep as the canyons outside my passenger seat window.

Old memories replay in my mind,

And I’m hesitant to make new memories,

Worried that they’ll build up & bury the moments I don’t want to forget.

We wander so very far down this highway.

As time goes on,

I drift further & further away from those beautiful times of the past,

I drift further away from the meaningful connections that I didn’t want to break.

Drifting into the darkness once again.

I now daydream longingly as I watch the scenery outside my window rapidly changing.

Lately, my mind is always a step behind the present time.

The here & now passes me by so quickly,

And I cannot keep up.

With all these forks in the road,

My indecisiveness so often takes the reins.

Either path I choose I still feel unsettled,

And I can’t help but feel like I’m abandoning something that should have been–

It’s so hard to move on from a thing that feels so right.

With every decision I make,

With every sudden change of course,

I feel as though I gain a new part of me, yet I lose an even bigger part of me at the same time.

It’s a constant push & pull of my heartstrings.

I wish all the answers were clear.

At least I can find comfort in knowing that I tried my best,

And I will cherish every experience & bond I had the pleasure of developing.

But the feelings I felt & the people I met were so worth being vulnerable for,

And I despise the empty absence of the beautiful flurry of it all–

I so badly miss the things I left behind.

I guess I have to go through these tireless waves.

I must feel the ups & downs,

To fathom the good & the bad,

To process all these changes,

And to grasp the uncertainty of my life.

Numb

Panic stricken in the wrong place,

There’s no escape.

As fast as I can, I run away,

Yet, as I run, I crave a slower pace,

My beating heart, I feel it race & race.

I need clarity, I need space.

 

Anxious mind, numb & nervous-

Blind to purpose.

Overloaded & worthless.

Emotions I’m unable to harness.

The hidden feelings come to surface-

Creeping out from the darkness.

 

Too many sounds,

Too many people around.

My lungs seethe, my head pounds.

I am drowning in everything that surrounds.

I wish I could be swallowed up by the ground.

Why can’t I just consume life, in small amounts?

 

Instead, it comes in waves,

To these feelings, I am a slave.

I cannot find the peace I crave.

In a way, I’m digging my own grave.

Hidden away in my cave,

Wishing I wasn’t seen as weak, but as brave.

 

Expectations everywhere I turn,

They make my stomach churn,

I cannot deal with oppression, disguised as concern.

If there’s any pressure, I cannot learn.

I feel like I’m stuck here, watching myself burn.

Can’t stop myself from dumping my own ashes in my urn.

 

There’s no joy in things that used to make me happy.

Everything I once enjoyed is now daunting & scary.

A small task becomes an unbearable weight to carry.

Lost in darkness, I grope for relief, aimlessly.

I’m losing sight of who I used to be,

And I can’t remember what it’s like to be me.

 

This is the steepest hill I’ve yet encountered,

And I just sit here at the bottom, frozen like a coward.

I’m paralyzed & numb as I’m being devoured.

I am weak & overpowered.

People don’t notice the struggle when your pain isn’t outward.

If your wounds aren’t skin deep, people can’t see that your heart is fractured.

 

Small changes I try to make,

But what already feels like a drop in the bucket,

instead feels like a drop in a lake.

I’m on the edge, I shiver & shake.

Even a feather could make me fall & break.

My mind is foggy & it’s hard to stay awake–

Yet at the same time, I cannot fall asleep because of the ache.

 

It’s no longer black & white, as they say.

Now, when I close my eyes, all I see is grey.

And when I open them, life is still colorless, to my dismay.

These swells used to be something I could keep at bay,

But, the riptide soon began to drag me further away, day after day.

And I do not have the strength to swim out of the way.

 

Everything is lukewarm–

It’s never a balance of sun & storm,

Just dull & stone-cold as more clouds form.

Before the emptiness, I was never warned.

There’s hardly any meaning, when it’s all routine & uniform.

Life is vacant & still in the center of the swarm.

 

I do not know exactly why I am hurting,

I tried to explain its strange complexities in simple wording.

I cannot justify the deep darkness that’s lingering–

For there was no way of knowing,

And I realize I still have some learning & growing,

But my pain is real & I am still healing & coping.

Author’s Note: This poem takes on many different meanings for me & I don’t often like to give much of an explanation behind my poems, because I’d rather the reader have to dig a little deeper & feel it. Yet, I felt that this one may warrant a little bit of clarification. I wrote this poem during a particularly dark bout of depression & anxiety. Like I said in the poem, I can never exactly justify the reasons why these feelings come because nothing ever directly triggers them; it just happens. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to speak to those of you who have dealt with or are dealing with depression, anxiety, or anything along those lines. You are not alone. Your pain is valid. Your pain is real. And finally…your best is good enough. I know these sayings may be overstated, but in all honesty, it’s those little reminders that get us through…and it’s those special people around us with the empathy & courage to give us these little reminders & stick by our sides that make the weight that much easier to carry. Remember, friends, you never know who around you is going through a similar situation. It is so healing to be received with a helping hand when we reach out and it’s equally as healing when we offer a helping hand in return. The power to heal lies within our willingness to connect. Keep on keeping on, everybody. You’ve got this! 💕

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.

When The Strings Attached Begin To Fray

People are stitched to memories & memories are stitched to places.

In our minds, those memories of people & places leave their traces.

What happens when those people leave? 

What happens when those people turn cold & deceive? 

The memories become tainted & tepid

And those places the memories were made are no longer poetic, but leaded.

I cannot find pleasure in this beautiful place anymore. 

It makes me angry & heartbroken to be reminded of times before.

I’ve drifted away from those happy times,

And I can’t even find solace in my rhymes.

I guess the fading away happened on both ends,

Like how stars in a constellation grow dim when the sun transcends.

Now my place in this part of the sky has become dull & muted.

All of a sudden the charted stars must be rerouted.

I have to dance with these shifts & changes–

Make new memories in new places with new faces.

I must be free to discover myself again,

Without all these reminders of who I was back then.

I can no longer glow in this group of stars,

So I will find another constellation to shine in, despite my old scars.

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.

Waves

I miss the sound & sight,
Of the ocean’s undulations in the moonlight.
Misty mornings with the eagle & the osprey,
Quilted fog blanketing the quiescent bay.
The first snow dusted atop the evergreens,
And the first wild poppy setting spring’s scene.
The humble breathe of autumn upon my skin,
And the smell of saltwater as summer begins.
Sweet days in our pocket of sunshine,
My peaceful place, my sanctuary, my shrine.
I miss dancing with the tide,
In those cresting waves I would confide.
The familiar push & pull,
The run away & the chase– lulled my soul.
In that place I spawned connections as deep as that sea,
With friends, family, & even with me.
There is where I blossomed & bloomed,
And I discovered a side of me I never knew,
I found myself in nature’s intricacies,
It taught me to observe, to take the time to truly see,
I learned not to focus on doing, but to simply focus on being–
To take note of every little thing.
These lessons have stayed with me, but my mind is in a different place,
I look in the mirror & there’s an unfamiliarity to my face.
Again, I feel myself changing & searching for who I am.
Yet, this time I feel like I was pulled into the water, without ever having swam.
Now each night I fall asleep to the rainfall.
And I wake to the fox call,
These days, I dance with the wind in the trees,
Tucked away in this forested alley.
I am trying to learn once more from nature’s ways,
But it’s hard to connect, as much as I did with the waves.