Diet

Composed 11/16/17

the curbing of appetites
to be lean of body and pure of mind
the struggle
of all mankind
we’re cursed
from the moment of birth
to crave what kills and
condemn what cultivates
growth
is still the goal
to teach not manufacture
a herd of perfect automatons
with no ability to become more than an efficient list checker
instead we’re a bowl of swirling emotions
given the capacity to make choices
the potential to become more than
a sack of replacement parts
every moment, every choice defines
priorities and meanings of life
and yet still I justify
poison for pleasure
and pleasure for shortened life
hammering the temple ruins
despite the warning signs

On Top of the Hill

Composed 6/29/17
Description: Busyness has taken me, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It creeps up all at once the future
from textbooks and essays to
apartments and salary
real world responsibilities
duties that are daunting but suddenly achievable
I honestly never thought it was feasible
to walk out and succeed with this much ease
and I’m standing on the hill looking back
at all the paths I’ve taken and the people
I’ve collected on that journey
and how each of them lifted me and how
God has had a hand in guiding things
And I think…
I’ve made my decisions decently
I enjoy this
unique branch of reality in this parallel universe
I look forward and see misty possibilities
I might have found my true calling
I just have to keep moving forward to see

In Vain, Perhaps, I Wait

Composed 4/22/15
Description: For Day 21 of NaPoWriMo.

All I’ve got are roots and stems
Grown in deep though I long to move
A few leaves pop
Practical, survival
There’s a few, small, budding blooms
Yet I fret
Have I watered enough?
Did I even plant in a suitable place?
I try to wait for those buds to bloom
But the frost is coming
So I sigh
And pace
Will I ever see rewards?
Color from the toil of my hands?
I fear the sun will never come
I’ll starve
Or burn

I Laugh at the Past

Composed 4/4/14
Description: (Day 3 of NaPoWriMo)  This is a possible entry for my university’s (second!) literary arts magazine. Its theme is “numinous” — which roughly translates to “a radical shift in perspective.” This was the first thing that came to mind; though I’m hoping to produce a few more poems with this theme! Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I laugh thinking about
How you used to frustrate me
How I’d follow you with my keen, puppy eyes
Praying
Please! God!
Just notice me!

But
Oh
Thank God
You had no interest in that
Sweet, yearning girl
You stuck your nose up and walked away
Toward long hair and slender frames
And 60 grand a year

And every time
Oh
I was heartbroken
But really when you ran away
My heart
Dodged a bullet

Because now I see that
Each man I saw stacked
With a thousand rare virtues
Really consisted
Of an overflowing laundry list
Of red lights and warning signs

You see
I mistook your brilliance for romance
Your arrogance for bravery
And you
I thought your cocked eyebrow and blank stare
Were charming
While really
You just weren’t that smart

But then of course there was
Your redeeming boundless passion
That
Naturally
Had no basis in my mind

And I laugh
Thinking about the future
About the life of bored house wifedom
I could have lived
Never seeing you
Or never loving you

Because now I’m not bound by the chains
That outline the books on failing marriages
I can sleep peacefully each night knowing
I never lost
I’ve never had it
How it’s supposed to be

I could never see how
Girls looked back on those drama laden breakups
With regret
Because they’re blessings now
To me

Purely Me

Composed 3/17/14
Description: This week, WordPress’ Weekly Challenge is called “Power of Names.”  Therefore, the challenge is to write something about what our name means to us, how we were named, etc.

I have always had an interest in this topic (and there was a Daily Prompt about it some time ago), so it’s not surprising that I’ve already written a poem about what my name means to me. Of course, while it would be easy to re-post that same poem, I hate reblogging the same poem multiple times, and I feel like there is more to say about the topic.

My name was chosen through group consensus; though, the greatest credit goes to my grandpa. My mom liked a few similar names, like Karen and Caroline, but everyone else in the family hated them. They also wanted a name that was not already in the family (a plan that ultimately backfired), so that was an added complication. After much debate my grandpa finally said, “How about Kathleen?” And everyone stepped back and said, “Yeah, that sounds good.” And that’s how I was named.

Meanwhile, my middle name was simply a small derivative from my mother’s maiden name. I recently discovered that when you put my whole name together it ultimately translates to “purity brook oak wood” — a pure brook running through the woods.  So unbeknownst to them my parents gave a very elfish name to very hobbity girl! Though, I do love my name because of this meaning.

I’ve always believed that names can go two ways: your name is either fitting or ironic. I’ve always struggled to decide where I fit on this continuum. With all this in mind, here is a poem about this struggle.

I am a pure brook
Sweeping though the
Hills, trees, valleys
Of the expansive woods
But even unchanging
My name changes meanings

My life began with
My name embraced
I bubbled and babbled
Brightly in the sunshine
My water as clear as the
Sky above me

But as I drifted down the hill
My course brought me into the thick shade
Of the forests’ dark center
Sticks and darkness muddled me
And I became
Uncertain
Of my first name
Of purity
So I drudged along in the mud
Feeling a misfit to my own name
An imposter

But as the trees became more sparse
And sunlight filtered in
I realized that purity
Was less a restriction
And more an aim

So I let it inspire me
And I swept through the forest
With fervor
As sticks and mud and leaves fell in
Others flew out as I swept the corners
And even some debris that I acquired
I kept
Because some debris
Some flowers, rocks, and leaves
Made me more beautiful
Than a pure brook
Running through the woods

Slaying Monsters

Composed 2/11/14
Description: Something I put together today, and my last entry to AU’s literary arts magazine for this semester. Got to say, I think I’m the most proud of this one.

At six she hid under pillows and sheets
And let out whimpers building to screams
Her mother, with weary tired grace
Arrived to soothe the crying face
She plucked the monster from her door
And stowed him in her sweater drawer

Sixteen brought parties, boys, and fun
And a punch bowl spiked with too much rum
But a monster crawled from the upstairs bed
And grabbed her wrist til it was red
But her other fist was free to crunch
And with his cool he lost his lunch

At twenty six the doctor called
And posted grim pictures on the wall
With heart on sleeve and urgings great
She prayed to God and all His saints
So He swiped the monster from her chest
And allowed her health and blissful rest

No One Comes of Age

Composed 2/4/14
Description: Sorry for the hiatus. School is, as always, a killer. However, this semester’s literary arts magazine has a deadline soon, so here I am, pumping out hopefuls last minute. The theme for the magazine this semester is Bildungsroman, a German word for “coming of age.” So here is one literary arts mag hopeful. Feedback is always appreciated!

There are no sacred journeys
Or evil beasts to slay
We achieve no mastery over
The movement of our limbs
In rituals
Or tame the lion in our bellies
In holy fasts

Instead we burn our trails
And hide each beast under our bed
Go to sleep
Pretend they’re dead
And gorge ourselves on
The pleasures of babes

Now
We measure age
In cigarettes and alcohol
And the scale keeps on slipping
To sex and rental cars
DUIs and jail time
Marriage, drugs, divorce
And even our children
Never see
A man come of age

Exciting News!

This evening I received an email letting me know that three of my poems were accepted into my university’s literary arts magazine!

Considering I was extremely nervous about submitting my poetry, this makes me pretty ecstatic!  It’s essentially the first official “pat on the back” I’ve gotten specifically for my poetry. And with how crazy school has been lately, I needed this bit of encouragement.

I must say, I have to thank my blog and my followers for this triumph.  It was starting this blog that encouraged me to get into poetry, and the resources, prompts, and likes and comments I’ve received from the blogging community have greatly increased the amount of writing I do. So thank you all for contributing to my growth as a writer! Without this blog encouraging me to continue writing, I doubt I would have had anything to submit and/or the motivation and confidence to write and submit something, especially a poem.

By now I am sure many of you are on the edge of your seat with suspense. What fantastic poems were selected?

The lucky winners are: A Brief Romantic History, Flowers, and How Love Grows.

As you might guess from reading these poems, the topic of this magazine was “Growth.”

 

Wow, as a total coincidence, this is also my 100th post!

Flowers

Composed 10/8/13
Description: Another Lit Arts Mag hopeful.

Born into darkness
A husk of coulds and maybes
With no control over our start
We battle and stretch to gain nourishment
And against all odds we twist
Panting, gasping
Into the light

But that’s not the end
We endure storms, famine, change
One day we bloom
The next we die
Trimmed back, pruned
Tamed

But it’s ripping off the dead parts of us
Though painful and not so pretty
That helps us realize who we are
We finally bloom fully

So while I’m proud of your flowers, dear
Do not let that be all I see
Open up, turn back the seasons
Tell me all your stories

A Brief Romantic History

Composed 10/8-9/13
Description: Another Literary Arts Magazine potential. Though, also a subject I’ve been intending to cover for awhile…

The first
He lured me in
Sweetly as a song
But he held me out
At arm’s length
Before I was there long
But I was young and clueless then
So I stayed firm by his side
Hoping that
One day
He would change his brilliant mind
A year or so went by
That was all that I could take
So I looked away and pushed him off
Drifting across the lake

But looking back
I see now
The blessing that heartbreak turned out to be
I lived life
And discovered myself
Only because I was free

The next
He crashed right into me
A derailed train
Unintended
We fell hard with hugs and words
But the illusion of our bond
Soon ended
So with a sigh of relief and sorrow
I pushed him far away
Thinking that I’d seen the last
Of any chance love had to sway

But looking back
I see now
The blessing that heartbreak turned out to be
I stayed true
And re-established myself
Only because I pulled free

The last
Remains a mystery
A construct
Hypothetical
And some days I do think
My beloved will stay
Theoretical
Especially when it seems
All potentials look away
And loneliness seeps
Deep within
As I go throughout my days

But looking forward
I admit
The blessing that heartbreak can frequently be
I continue to grow
And remain myself
As I savor the years of being free