Closer to Co-Existing – Poem by Me

The roses you brought me have opened;
I'm still not sure what they mean but 

oh, how nice is it to be surprised with
flowers. So delicate and special before

they begin to droop, not unlike us.
I count the veins on the leaves, lose count

when I peer closer. How many times
will we dance circles around our arguments?

How many bouquets of sympathy
will we hand over to each other, waiting

for something to stick and one gift
to be the thing that triggers peace?

The roses are dethorned-- of course you
would make sure nothing else can harm me

after you already have. 

I hope you enjoyed this piece! I know it’s a little heavier than a lot of the poems I’ve been posting lately, but I had a burst of inspiration based on some… complex family relationships I have and the developments in those lately. For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, I hope you had a lovely holiday given all the circumstances. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

10 Things I’m Grateful For

Hey everybody!

Surprise– here’s a bonus post for Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US who celebrate. If you don’t, it’s still always great to take a moment and recognize some of the aspects of life you’re grateful for, especially after a trying year like this one. This year has been so insane that I figured it was even more important than normal to share my gratitude with the world and try to spread some positive energy on this blog. If you’re interested in reading a list of some things I’m currently grateful for, keep on reading!

  1. My family’s health during this time – My family members and I have been very cautious throughout this whole pandemic, and I’m so glad that we’ve managed to make it through it and that for the most part, we haven’t had to make many huge sacrifices to do so (my father is lucky enough to work alone/with only one other person in his office, and my school has been online so far this year).
  2. The (slightly) chilly weather – It never gets that cold where I live in Southern California, but it’s still nice to have a somewhat change of season and get to break out my favorite clothing items again: hoodies and sweatpants.
  3. Fresh flowers – My mom is obsessed with flowers and has taken refuge in working in her garden during this time, so between that and her getting flowers at the supermarket, there’s always some pretty flowers around my household to look at.
  4. Zoom – I know it’s silly and we all are getting sick with Zoom, but think about how wonderful it is– without it, where would we be with distance learning / working? Aside from school, Zoom has also allowed my activities to continue virtually.
  5. The presidential election result – I don’t want to get too into this, but if you guys have read my blog for a while you might now I’m very invested in American politics. I’m thankful to see a shift in our country’s energy and I think this is a step in the right direction.
  6. My teachers – I am so lucky to have such wonderful teachers this year! I wish I could thank them in person with handwritten notes and gifts for the holidays (still working out how to handle this stuff virtually with something more personal than emails…), as they have all been so wonderful and supportive and understanding and everything you always want your teachers to be.
  7. Poetry – This sounds cheesy, but obviously I love poetry and I don’t know what I would do without reading and writing it. Although I know I have a long way to go with my own writing, there is nothing better than discovering new poems, and there will always be endless amounts of writers and pieces to read. Nothing hits the spot like a poem filled with visceral imagery.
  8. Pie – I, a self-proclaimed insanely picky eater, was never open to trying pie until a few years ago. Now I am a full-blown pie lover (although I mainly eat it for the crust) and therefore pie is now my favorite Thanksgiving food! I’m thankful for food in general, and my family’s ability to have a nice Thanksgiving meal together 🙂
  9. Rainbows – I haven’t actually seen a rainbow in a pretty long time since it hasn’t rained where I live in a pretty long time, but I used to be OBSESSED with rainbows and all types of rainbow/brightly-colored clothing and decor. I still love rainbows, and I hope I get to see one soon.
  10. Calendars/planners/etc. – This sounds so nerdy, but I don’t know what I would do without my planner and calendar. I’m grateful for everything related to organization in general, especially with how crazy my schedule has been pretty consistently throughout high school.

I hope this inspires you to write out at least ten things you’re grateful for! Tell your family and friends you’re grateful for them, and have a wonderful holiday (if you’re celebrating) 🙂 Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Morning Warmth – Poem by Me

Although I love the cold winter, 
there is something special about

the heat within, waking up under
warm blankets while white light

streams through the windows.
Just a little bit longer-- so feet

can stay toasty and all is peaceful
as the early-bird runners jog

down the street. We are here. 
There is no other way to be present,

dreaming of hot cocoa and sweaters
and lights hung up on all the houses.

But we are here, inside where
we can light a fire and forget 

about the cold, forget about 
what's outside again and again.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! Although it never gets that cold where I live, I’m definitely craving some winter weather at the moment. Happy-almost-Thanksgiving for all my fellow Americans out there! Make sure to stay safe and social distance. And as always, please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments.

Brooke

First Rain – Poem by Me

We are splashing in the swamp created
by the water that flooded those few squares
of concrete across the street from my house--
you know the ones--

and it's easy to forget that these days
only happen a handful of times a year,
sprinkled into our lives like clouds in 
the sky.

Water streaks down our light-rain 
jackets and soaks our muddy sneakers,
but there is still no need for rain boots
here. We pretend it doesn't bother us,

as we do with many other things.
And later, when we're soggy and
finally come inside, we can watch
the droplets streak down the windows;

it is comfortable in the warmth
but arguably much more boring.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! I wrote this as the first somewhat cold weekend started (“cold” meaning 50-60 degrees… I live in California if you’re new here). I love the cold but as a disclaimer, I also know that California cold is not actually cold at all! It’s a blessing and a curse– I don’t plan to stay in the area and there’s literally barely any other places that match California’s climate so I will have to adjust. Also, no snow here 😦

Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Ode to an Ending – Poem by Me

People will tell you endings
are beautiful, and they might be right,
but if we've learned anything,
don't we know that life doesn't have 
to be beautiful (or be anything) for us
to enjoy it?

I will be happy 
with the cloudiest sunset,
the biggest cliffhanger at the end of the movie,
the hastiest goodbye hug,
if they bring us
closure.

Weep when it comes,
but appreciate it when it happens;
when endings are over, 
what do we have left?

We can stitch together beginnings
and ends, different threads 
that blend into each other until
they are all indistinguishable.

An ending will still be just that,
and I will await it patiently,
as it is hard to live in the moment
until you know 
it is the end.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! I think it sums up my experiences with time and self-reflection pretty well. Although I’ve improved at living in the moment, I still tend to have this attachment to endings since I won’t realize how much I appreciate something until it’s on its way out of my life. Let me know if you guys can relate–I’m assuming it’s actually a pretty common feeling. Please feel free to leave feedback or writing challenges in the comments.

Also, a note from pre-Election Day me (writing this a week in advance, as always): hoping for a fair election and a peaceful transfer of power. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke

Stretched Skin – Poem by Me

I am dough, kneaded on the counter
before it goes in the oven to be baked

into some puffy, round delicacy that
will be gobbled up. Warm in someone's

fingertips, no one is expecting much
beauty. It folds and folds, making me 

sick when I think about the excess.
The chemistry of baking is more

predictable than our bodies ever will be.
It's okay, since we'll sit here and wait

for everything to boil over, pounds
to pack on and batter rising over 

the edges of the pan. I never wanted
to spill out like this, but it is a different

feeling for everyone. It doesn't come
at once, but no one knows when the timer

will go off.

I hope you enjoyed this piece! Like everyone, I have my insecurities about my body, but a lot of new ones have popped up ever quarantine/springtime since I haven’t had as rigorous of a workout schedule. I know bodies change as we grow up, and that’s something I wanted to address in this poem. Please feel free to leave feedback and writing challenges in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.

Brooke