The World is Wide and Wild

The walker feels both known and unknown.

The world is wide and wild.
When traipsing through the trees,
echos of the beyond often filter
through the underbrush. 
The walker feels both known and unknown.

Birds call, squirrels rustle.
The canopies above let just enough light
trickle down to the ground level
where twigs may crack under bootsteps.
Humans are often seen in these woods
but only along this path.
That is just the way
things are now.

The walker matters little
to their surroundings.
This is how things should be.
Leave no trace, make no impact
except for on yourself.
The wild is meant for memories,
not imprints.

The walker’s mind is open.
They hear the noises.
They see the sights.
They think the questions:

Who am I? 
From where did I come? 
And, most importantly,
where would I like to go?

The forest answers gently.

Photo by Darius Krause from Pexels

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Roles on Rolls on Roles

On rolls on roles on rolls

Image by adamkontor from Pixabay

This weekend, I made some changes to my blog. I have been noticing that my website is incredibly difficult to navigate and having all of my poems listed on a page was just 1. hard to remember to update and 2. not cutting it anymore from the reader’s end due to the sheer number of posts I now have. I wanted to have a spot where I could place the categories that my blog posts could belong to, and there was not a very good spot for that in my old theme. That theme served me well, but it was time for it to go.

I changed it to my favorite theme I could find that includes a sidebar where I can put widgets. The one downside of this new theme is that it does funky things to the top of the post if an excerpt was including in the post settings, so I fixed that by just going through and removing all of the excerpts from all of my posts. I’m sure that there are other fixes, but I couldn’t find one quickly, and there were a few other things that I wanted to change in some of my posts, so I didn’t mind going through them one by one.

Sushi rolls
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

While I was looking at all of these old posts, I found a few that just didn’t match my website anymore or that I was no longer happy with. I kept a few of them listed, but reverted a few others to drafts, so if you were über-dedicated, you would notice that my post celebrating my 100th post is no longer my 100th post.

All of this took time, but not an insanely long amount of time. Nevertheless, it made me think about all the roles that I have on this website. Much like most of the people probably reading this, I am the author, editor, occasional photographer and graphic designer, and administrator of my website. I also am the one who reads and answers my comments and emails (at a very slow rate, sorry!) and the one who reads, likes, and comments on posts from other bloggers.

Dice rolls
Photo by Armando Are from Pexels

I like having all of these roles because of the amount of control it allows me to possess, but I definitely prefer some over others. I primarily think of myself as the writer of this blog and a reader of other blogs. Everything else that I do is just extra.

That said, I think I would have a really hard time passing those other roles off to other people. This blog has been mine and mine alone since its first day. It has had my fingerprints all over every aspect of it, and that makes me very happy.

Egg rolls
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I am nowhere near considering changing this from a one-woman-show, so those fingerprints will continue to be seen all over the site, but if I ever do decide to take on other team members, I think the first thing I will give up is the editing. I know for a fact that I miss things when I edit them myself because I have gone back to old posts that I read through many, many times before publishing them and found spelling and grammar errors that I did not catch. After that, I would probably look for someone with far more coding knowledge than me to customize the site layout more.

What are your preferred roles for your blog? Are there any that you would gladly pass off if you had the opportunity?

Roller skates
Photo by Laura Stanley from Pexels

National Poetry Month Update 5

I etch my name into the table
to save myself a seat

Here is my final round up of posts for National Poetry Month:


April 26th

And You Know I’d be Wearing a Dress (on this blog)


April 27th


April 28th


April 29th


April 30th

Houseplants (on this blog)

National Poetry Month Update 4

A crimson carnation has its stem
threaded through the button
hole of a black jacket.

Hi guys!

We’re nearing the end of National Poetry Month, and I don’t know how I feel about that. To be fair, February and March were actually my crazy busy writing months because I wanted to have as much as possible prepared. Still, the act of finalizing pieces and posting them has been incredibly fulfilling, even if it has taken up a large portion of my not-so-abundant spare time in April so far.

Here are my posts from the past week:


April 19th

Daisy Chains, Or Lackadaisicality (on this blog)


April 20th


April 21st


April 22nd


April 23rd


April 24th

L’Hiver de la tristesse (on this blog)


April 25th

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100th Post

Thank you!

Welcome to The Yellow Brick Ave! We are now 100 steps down the road!

Image added as an update after this post initially went up!

I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Whether you have followed this blog from its beginning or you have only just found me, I truly appreciate the time that you have taken to read the words that I write. I went into this experience with very few expectations (I didn’t even have a plan in mind for what type of content I would be creating), but I have been absolutely blown away by the community that I have found here. Your guys are so kind and welcoming! I can only hope that some of you might feel the same way about me.

To tack on a few other milestones that will not get their own dedicated blogposts, I have been writing on this blog for over a year, I recently purchased a domain, and I am nearly at 400 followers.

More important than all of those, I have met so many people through this creative endeavor that I never would have otherwise. I have interacted with poets and other writers whose work I admire deeply. I have received encouragement to keep going even when putting out new content is tricky. I’m still not in a place where I can guarantee any sort of consistency, but knowing that people want to read more of my writing is a great cause of working toward that consistency.

And just so you know, since it has not been until lately that I’ve started really sharing this, I do have an Instagram account where I post separate poems from here. I don’t think I’m as good at micropoetry as I am at the macro stuff, so I don’t advertise it often, but it does exist if you want to check it out.

To end, I would like to express my gratitude once more. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Every view, like, and comment brightens my day more than I could have ever imagined when I made the decision to start this blog. I hope that my words now, in the past, and in the future may brighten yours, too.

Until next time, peace out!
Joy

Top photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Hygge (A collaborative poem)

Hygge is not complacency–
It is instead a steady, thrumming heartbeat

Dear everyone, Joy and I wrote this fourth collaborative poem called Hygge. Her writing is in italic and mine is bold.


Hygge tell thee, how is thine comfort zone
Hygge is a personification but a word of name
He tells thee, my comfort zone is empty
For I travel out of it, and never return to it
I am
[…]

Hygge (A collaborative poem)

Go check out this collaboration between me and Ismael Mansoor of This Engrained Heart!

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Heart or mind? Why?
Mind. It keeps the heart in check.

I would like to thank NeuroDevotion for nominating me for this award! Their blog consists of both poetry and longer form blog posts about inspiration and motivation. Go check it out!

Rules

1. Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
2. Answer their questions.
3. Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
4. Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.
5. List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
6. Provide the link to the Award creator, as Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog (It’s all about Inspiration).

Questions

1. What is the best compliment that you have got from a blogger?

I kept typing and deleting, typing and deleting, typing and deleting my answer to this question. It makes me feel uncomfortable because I can’t figure out a way to write it that doesn’t come across as conceited. Instead, I’ll just put a screenshot of the comment.

If y’all like reading haiku, tanka, and other forms of poetry or want to learn more about meditation and yoga, go check out Genie Akano’s blog! She’s wonderful!

2. What are the three things that you want to learn?

Swing dancing, how to properly cook Indian cuisine, and programming

3. What is the one thing that you want to confess?

For much of my life, I really disliked poetry. I especially disliked “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, which is now actually one of my favorite poems and was the inspiration for my own poem “Galaxies, Or Regarding Poor Prufrock.”

4. Heart or mind? Why?

Mind. It keeps the heart in check.

5. What is your favorite food?

Potato wedges. Yum!

My Nominees

My nominees are any of my readers who would like to participate!

My Questions

I loved these questions and had to think deeply to answer many of them, so my questions are the same ones!


I have one more nomination left to go before I take a break from awards and tags for a little while. Once again, thank you to everyone who has nominated me, whether I was able to accept or not. Your support means so much!

The resource today for laughing and learning is White Savior: The Movie Trailer from Late Night with Seth Meyers. It’s a super funny video, and it points our a major and pervasive problem in Hollywood.

Wanna Know You Better!

What kind of a “dream home” you dream about?
I doubt this will ever happen, but I would love to have a big, full house. I want to have lots of space for friends and family to live in or visit. I also want a big garden where I can grow a lot of my own food.

I was nominated for this tag by Era from The Hidden Soul. Thank you so much, Era! Her blog is full of articles, poetry, and awards. Please go check her out!

“Wanna Know You Better” was created by Riya from World of My Thoughts. Go check out her blog if you want to read some of those thoughts. Thank you for creating the tag, Riya!

Rules:

  • Title the blog post as “Wanna know you better!!”
  • Describe Riya’s blog and a put link to her post.
  • Describe and thank the one who nominated you.
  • Copy all the questions and answer them one by one.
  • You may create your own questions for your targets
  • Pass the game as a challenge to any of your favorite bloggers and mention them in your post.
  • Add a link to your post in the comment section of the Host and nominees below so that they would come to know about you.
  • State the steps.

Era’s Questions

Q.1 Have you ever been foolhardy? When? Why? Describe briefly.
I can’t think of any specific examples, but I definitely have said and done things in the heat of the moment that I thought were brave but regretted later. For the most part, though, I am very reserved. It takes me a while to make decisions because I like to weigh all of my options.

Q.2 How do you prefer the curtains, drawn or pulled apart?
Every morning, I think that I prefer the curtains drawn, but, the truth is, I feel so much better when they’re pulled apart.

Q.3 What kind of a “dream home” you dream about?
I doubt this will ever happen, but I would love to have a big, full house. I want to have lots of space for friends and family to live in or visit. I also want a big garden where I can grow a lot of my own food.

Q.4 If you had the power to transfigure into an animal/bird/insect as per your will what would you’ve chosen? Why? (Only one allowed!)
I’ve always wanted to become a dolphin. They’re smart, they do things for fun, and they get to stay in the water all the time.

Q.5 If I offer you Watermelon or a Chocolate ice-cream during summer what will you choose? Why?
If the chocolate ice cream is vegan, I would choose that. Otherwise, I’d choose the watermelon.

Q.6 In your home what’s your favorite inanimate object and tell me the reason behind that?
There is a puzzle that was gifted to me on my 20th birthday. During quarantine, I broke it out of storage and redid it. It is missing a piece because the person who gave it to me took that piece as a keepsake. The timing of that gift and the person who gave it to me are both really special, so the puzzle itself is also really special.

Q.7 If you had got an opportunity to make somebody else’s blog (except mine) yours which blog would you’ve swapped with?  (Take it as a compulsion. I know we all love our own creations and couldn’t dream of exchange! I just want to know your favorite blog)
Up until fairly recently in my blogging journey, I probably would have been able to come up with an answer to this question, but currently, I am so in love with my blog and its content that I wouldn’t dare trade it. A recent favorite blog of mine, though, has been The_tenth_zodiac by Nima Mohan.

Q.8 Which is/was your favorites swing in the park?
I was lucky enough to have a swing set in my backyard while I was growing up, so those swings were my favorite.

Q.9 Anything you would like to suggest to me to become better? (You can’t answer Nothing)
I love learning more about you through your tags and awards, Era, but my favorite parts of your blog are the poems and other creative writings. I would love to see more of those!

Q.10 How do you feel about God? (I know you can write a novel on this but just tell me in less than 100 words)
My feelings about and experiences with religion have varied quite a lot over the years. As of right now, I believe in love, and the Bible says that God is love, so I believe in God.

My Questions/Nominees

I nominate anyone reading this who would like to participate! My questions are the same as the ones I was asked.


Today’s resource of love and understanding is this zine by MPD 150 that answers FAQs about abolishing the police. “Abolish the police” is a shocking and seemingly radical statement, but this resource shows what people really mean when they say it (ex: such a change could not happen overnight, and we would still have a division of people who are well-trained and able to respond to violent crimes). Even if you disagree with these ideas, it’s good to have more information to prevent falling for the straw man fallacy when debating the concept.

And that’s all for today. Peace out!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Are you, so far, proud and satisfied with your blog’s progress? 
I look at my statistics and get teary-eyed sometimes. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve so much support, but I am exceptionally grateful for all of it. So in short, absolutely, yes.

Hi all! This is going to be a long acceptance, but I implore you to check out the bottom of this post that I marked with an asterisk* where you will find my social justice resource for today. It’s about an issue that is not getting the support or the coverage it deserves because so many other worthy causes are in the news right now. Now, onto the award!

I recently had the privilege of receiving a nomination for The Sunshine Blogger Award from 3 different bloggers. I’m going to combine all of their nominations into this one acceptance post, but I encourage you to go and check out each of their blogs.

Firstly, there is Silver Stone from The Bored Side of the Phone who creates artwork, shares deep thoughts, and creates a ton of light, enjoyable posts.

Then, there is Jirah from Writings by JM. She is just as lovely to talk to as her blog would make you believe. And her illustrations are incredible!

Last but not least, I was also nominated by Era from The Hidden Soul. Her fantastic blog is full of poetry and awards.

Again, please do check all of them out.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your blog post.

Silver Stone’s and Era’s Questions

  1. Do you think your name is cute?
    Yes, I love the name Joy!
  2. If you had a chance to name yourself, which name would you choose and why?
    Joy is actually my middle name, but I decided to go by it for my blog because it’s the name that I would choose if I could rename myself irl.
  3. Do you have any hobbies other than writing?
    I like cooking and hiking, I watch a ton of YouTube, and I really love learning about linguistics and languages!
  4. Be it books or movies, if given chance,which character’s life would you choose to live and why?
    All of my favorite fictional characters have profoundly tough lives. I guess I’d probably want to be a character from a rom-com, but I don’t watch a ton of those, so I don’t know who to choose.
  5. If you have a job now, are you happy with it? If you could change it now, which one would you choose?
    I do really enjoy my current job.
  6. Do you like to cook ?
    I love cooking!
  7. Which is your Zodiac sign?
    I’m a Scorpio. Do you guys think I seem like a Scorpio?
  8. Do you believe in predictions made for your zodiac sign?
    They can be fun, but no, I do not believe in them.
  9. Are you, so far, proud and satisfied with your blog’s progress? 
    I look at my statistics and get teary-eyed sometimes. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve so much support, but I am exceptionally grateful for all of it. So in short, absolutely, yes.
  10. What’s the most useless piece of knowledge you know?
    That starfish swim backward and sideways, not forward. I learned this fact in a magazine more than a decade ago when one of the Cheetah Girls (I believe it was Kiely Williams) was asked a very similar question.
  11. Which is your favourite work from your blog? Leave a link so everyone can enjoy.
    I think most of my followers have seen the best of my recent poems, but I also really like The Mountain Doesn’t Sing.

Jirah’s Questions

  1. Can you give an uplifting message to your readers?
    There is still a lot of work to be done, but child mortality has dropped drastically in the past few decades thanks to a variety of interventions (in some regions, by more than half). When humans work together to improve things, we can truly make a difference. It gives me hope that similar progress will be made for other causes.
  2. What is your favorite quote?
    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” –a paraphrase of an essay by Victor Hugo, often misattributed to Winston Churchill.
  3. Do you have indoor plants or succulents?
    Yes! I have a pothos named Germaine, a spider plant named Terrence, and a succulent named Elphaba.
  4. Would you rather own a bird or a bunny?
    I don’t want a pet, not because I don’t like animals, but because I feel weird about owning a sentient creature. In the wild, though, I find bunnies marginally cuter than birds.
  5. What is your favorite movie?
    Fargo
  6. Have you watched The Black Mirror? If so, what is your favorite episode and why?
    I’ve seen a few episodes of Black Mirror and my favorite out of those is “San Junipero.”
  7. What has quarantine taught you the most?
    Quarantine has taught me the importance of consistency.
  8. Would you ever want to study philosophy?
    I’m happy with the college major that I had, but I’ve done some independent study of philosophy, and I’d love to learn more!
  9. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?
    I just took two tests because I couldn’t remember, and I got INFP-T on one and INTJ on the other. If I had to judge myself, I would say that I am an ENTP. (I’m changing the I to an E because I do get energy from social situations and I don’t like being alone, even though I am rather shy.)
  10. What is your zodiac sign?
    Scorpio
  11. Who is someone you look up to and why?
    I look up to Kristen Bell because she’s lived a full and diverse life and she uses her platform to support a lot of good causes.

My Nominees

I’d like to nominate all my readers! Feel free to participate if you want to.

My Questions

If you accept this award, feel free to pick and choose 11 questions from the 21 (one was a repeat) up above!


Lovely readers, I have just a few more award nomination posts to get to, but I want to announce that I won’t be accepting any more awards going forward. I am truly humbled and flattered by the number of people who have thought that I am deserving of these awards, and I truly appreciate each of you who takes time out of your day to read my blog. I’ve been trying to maintain a balance between spacing out the awards so that my blog still consists mostly of poetry and not waiting too long to get to any of my nominations, but that balance has become difficult. If you were thinking of nominating me, I suggest that you spread the love to someone else who is equally deserving of your support. Again, if you have messaged me before now with an award nomination, it is coming, but I will not be accepting any more going forward.


*The social justice resource for today revolves around the Anti-Terrorism Act in the Philippines. Though innocuous-sounding, this bill has the potential to do a lot of harm to anyone in the Philippines, especially those who speak up against injustices. If you want to learn more, Human Rights Watch did an article about it, and Jirah has a post on her blog about it. You can also visit this carrd to find ways to help. I urge you to at least sign the petition that you can find through that carrd.

Peace out!

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

I write for a myriad of reasons. I write to make people laugh. I write to make people feel better. I write to convey information or a story. Mainly, though, I write because it is the way that I best express myself.

I was nominated for this award by Ismael Mansoor from This Engrained Heart. Ismael is a good friend and a phenomenal poet. His poetry deals with the topics of religion, emotion, and his experiences as a Deaf person. He also has videos of some of his poems in SASL. Please go check him out! Thank you, Ismael, for this nomination!

RULES:

1. Thank the person who have nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.

2. Answer their questions.

3. Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.

4. Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.

5. List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.

6. Provide the link of the Award creator of ideal inspiration blogger award as Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog 

Ismael’s Questions

  1. Why do you write?
    I write for a myriad of reasons. I write to make people laugh. I write to make people feel better. I write to convey information or a story. Mainly, though, I write because it is the way that I best express myself.
  2. You have explained why you write, so what do you expect from us readers?
    The only thing I expect from my readers is that they let me know when they disagree with me. If I write something that seems wrong or harmful, tell me, especially in posts where I make scientific claims or speculate on the experiences of others. I’ve always been afraid of being in an echo chamber, and I want to make sure that I do not cultivate one on my blog. Outside of that, I hope that my readers enjoy my work and use it to reflect on their own experiences.
  3. I am sure that you know that I am Deaf, but what would you say to any Deaf person when you see them?
    I would say hi and introduce myself. I am from the U.S., and I know a little bit of ASL, so if the Deaf person I met primarily communicates using ASL, I would be able to do that using their primary language. I’m not nearly fluent; I only know the alphabet, a few common phrases, and an eclectic smattering of words from “pride” to “day” to “Christmas”, but I’m learning. If you are also from a country where ASL is spoken and you would also like to learn ASL, I have some resources for you. Lifeprint.com is an amazing ASL dictionary, and Dr. Bill Vicars who runs it also has a great YouTube channel where you can learn along with his students. If you’d prefer to learn by immersion, I love the Sign Duo YouTube channel, where Ellen and Ryan vlog in ASL and Ryan answers questions about his experience as a Deaf American.
  4. What is your strength?
    My strength is finding connections between my experiences, and those connections provide the inspiration for my life and my writing. I find that experiences with my friends and family are especially meaningful and allow me to learn and grow and connect the most.
  5. What is your advice to every writer and reader?
    My biggest piece of advice to everyone is to look at everything (yourself, others, and the planet) with compassion. It can be difficult to do sometimes, but it is worth the effort.

My Questions

  1. What is an uncommon fact you know that you wish other people would know, too?
  2. What is one skill that you would like to improve?
  3. Describe yourself using 3 movie titles.
  4. What is your earliest memory of writing?
  5. Where do you go when you are in need of inspiration?

My Nominees

I nominate all of my readers! If you’d like to participate, just leave me a comment.

Peace out!