Love Me, Leave Me

Please.

Love me lupine;
leave me howling at the moon,
chin up, eyes closed to the stars
that crowd the night sky.

Continue reading “Love Me, Leave Me”

In Pursuit

honeydew lips

They were all made of
orange-blossom scented skin
and eyes like the depths of the ocean
and honeydew lips,
with arms like wings
and a back like a pine trunk.

Told that they were wrong,
they stripped off that skin
and plucked out those eyes
and made up those lips.
They crossed those arms
and covered up their backs.

No one knew
the way they were before.
No one thought to ask.

Photo by Isaque Pereira from Pexels

A Little Love

Love for all

I want to take a Polaroid of every mole and freckle on my body,
the one on my nose and the ones just above each kneecap
and all the rest,
and lay them out on the carpet
to create a constellation
with a beige, shaggy carpet sky as a background,
just to admire the potential for beauty in my “flaws”
because every square inch of me is gorgeous
and I deserve to appreciate that.

I want to buy a picnic basket
and load it up with sandwiches and grapes
and a whole lot of other stereotypical stuff
but still leave room to pack all the snacks you like,
even though they might not go with the aesthetic
because the look of delight on your face
when you see those Oreos
is my aesthetic
and because you deserve to feel special.

I want to write love notes for strangers,
to leave them little reminders
that they are appreciated,
anonymous love notes hastily scrawled on pale yellow post it notes
and left to be found in the least obvious of places,
like under cafe tables and inside of porcelain vases at Target,
because those strangers are loved
by me and by the universe,
even if they don’t recognize it themselves.

Photo by Linda Eller-Shein from Pexels

Just a Walk

through a field

Oh, how the grasses dance,
tickling the legs of those
who pass by on the trail
that scars its way through
the middle of the field.

Oh, how the swallows swoop,
plummeting from up high
and flapping their wings to rise again
into the azure sky
decorated with cottony clouds.

Oh, how the insects hum,
filling the air with their sounds
that hang, just as thick as the humidity,
and allow all to know of their presence
right there, right here, right now.

Photo by Artur Roman from Pexels

How I Write a Poem Step 3: Editing as I Go

A buzz that will awaken the kaleidoscopic,
psychotropic colors and patterns
to cut through the pervasive fog.

A cream-colored mind,
thick and languid
in desperate need of some coffee
deep and gritty caffeine
in order to jazz, to liven.
Perhaps that jolt is all that will be needed
to fill the brain with wondrous things
never before contained.


Hope for A buzz that will awaken the kaleidoscopic,
psychotropic colors and patterns
to cut through the pervasive fog.

Shady palm trees in hues of puce
with their giant spiky elephantine trunks.

The mind is changed
from cream-colored
to utterly without hue.



Key:
wine-colored and with a strikethrough = removed from a previous “draft”
blue, unitalicized, and underlined = added since a previous “draft”
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When I write anything, but especially poetry, I do not end up with a series of distinct drafts. Rather, I make constant changes as I continue the writing process. I never have a “completed draft” that will be heavily edited. I’m not great at murdering my darlings once I feel like I have a draft of a poem that has been fully written. On the rare occasion that I have fully written out where I want the poem to go as a draft, but I feel like some major changes are necessary, I simply scrap the poem. If it is not good enough at that point, the chances that I will be happy with it at the end of some heavy edits are very slim. It’s not worth it to put in the work of slicing apart a full poem if I’m going to hate it by the time I am done with it. I have done it on a few occasions, only to post the poem and later remove it from my blog.

At this point, I am coming to doubt whether there are true “steps” of my poetry writing process. The transition from my Step 1 post to my Step 2 post and from my Step 2 post to this one really just involve the same thing: adding more. Granted, here I did take away a word and replace a phrase with a better one, but those changes are relatively minor. Dividing the work that I will do on this poem from this point forward seems silly because it will just be more of the same; I’ll keep taking a few things away and adding more. Thus, I think my post for Step 4 will be my final one and will showcase the poem in its “finished” state.

I will note is that only 2 days passed between my post about the idea for this poem and my post about expanding on that idea. Nearly a month has now passed since that expansion post in this series. Taking long breaks from poems is very common for me. I did not intend to capture that element of my writing experience within this series, but it happened naturally. Generally, though, once I start to approach the late-middle stage of a poem, the writing process picks up pace, so hopefully you won’t have to wait another month to see the final post in this series.

Peace out!
-Joy

Photo by Fiona Art from Pexels

Childhood Summer

doors creak, opened by
sun-stickied fingers.

a puddle on the sidewalk
shines with a nostalgic glimmer.

——-

the taste of pavement and chalk
so hot an egg could fry.
the oppressive warmth
needs escaping.
doors creak, opened by
sun-stickied fingers.
the air-conditioning inside
smells like fresh water
and feels like an embrace
of ice prickles
leaving bodies punctuated
with goosebumps.

a hose in the backyard
could be a source of hydration
or a toy
while running barefooted
across the grass and clover
trying not to step
on any bees–
the danger only
adding to the fun.

those days pinned down
by sea salt headaches,
leaping from
shade to shade,
erroneously convinced
the best days lay
yet ahead.

Photo by JACK REDGATE from Pexels

Her Aching Thoughts

What do you know about flowers?

“Do you think that flowers know that they’re beautiful?” she asks, in the middle of folding laundry. The bleached white towels stand in contrast to the navy blue comforter on the bed. Her folds are crisp, even, perfect. Her eyes flick up from her work, meet mine, and hold there.

I stand stark still, like prey hoping that its predator will move on. Her eyes continue to pierce into my soul. She will not move on.

“Do you think roses know that they symbolize love or that daisies know that we count their petals to steel ourselves from potential heartbreak?”

The words cling to the air, then expand, filling the whole room with their stifling presence. There’s a moment’s pause as we stand there, eyes locked, surrounding by the agony of her inquiries.

Then she breaks her gaze, looks back down at the towels, and starts to fold once more. “Do you think that when flowers are cut from their plants they know that some of them will end up on top of graves, showing the dead that humans still care?”

“I don’t think so,” I mumble in reply, grabbing a nearby towel and starting to fold, albeit much less expertly than her. “I don’t think so.”

Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels

For Us to Seek

Below the home of brown

It is there for us to seek–
that’s what I thought when I pulled into the driveway
of your brown home.
It is there for us to seek.
I didn’t know what I was looking for,
but I knew we were after the same treasure,
whatever it was.
It was there for us to seek.
I honestly thought we might find it,
you and I.
But we sought and sought,
and it wasn’t there at all.
Because it turns out that it was lost from us
before we ever got the chance to hunt.

Photo by Filippo Peisino from Pexels


Inspired by a search and another search.

How I Write a Poem Step 3 coming soon!