I Am Not A Poet

Tough Love

You know those questions they ask you
On the first day of school
When they’re trying to guess the story that lies behind you.
Like “if you had to go to blank, what ten items would you take?”
They never ask “what would you leave behind you?”
They constantly try to define you
But they could care less about what binds you,
Or designs you.
I want someone to ask me
“When you are blind, who finds you?”
Or “when you forget, who reminds you?”
I don’t want to be learned inside out,
Pointless facts about my likes and dislikes do you no good memorized.
I want someone to turn me inside out,
Watch how I react and fight it out
And when I can’t take it anymore, help me cry it out.
I want someone to push my head underwater,
Hold me down until I drown
In my own thoughts and fears.
Wait-let the H2O blend with my tears
Until I can no longer separate the two.
Like water so cold you think it’s hot
Or water so hot you think it’s cold so
I can’t divide pleasure from sorrow.
Drown me until I can’t distinguish
Between ease or struggle.
So when you let me breathe
I am unaware of the difference between today and tomorrow.
Since I don’t know what day it is,
I might as well keep moving forward and just
Spend my time hoping for another one.
I’ll keep placing one foot in front of the other one
Until I find that certain someone.
Someone who cares enough to think before they speak,
And contemplates on how their next act
Can affect the feelings of me.
Don’t misinterpret
I’m not asking for a push over,
Just someone who is willing to search for it.
Finding my heart is like looking for a four leaf clover.
No luck if you discover it,
Because you still have to uncover it.
Untangle these veins of pleasure and pain
Wrapped around my sinful secrets.
Only the lover of this heart
Will have the right to keep it.
At night, rock it to sleep and
Nurse every single dream
Whether I did or did not reach it.
Don’t be afraid to kiss me, then dis me.
I need to know what it is
To miss someone who isn’t me.
I need to know that someone
Besides that girl in the mirror
Can just as quickly disappear.
Give me someone to long for.
When I’m weak, Slip me a reason to be stronger.
When my face fades,
And my favorite thing is black lace,
Remind me of the fact that you have my heart,
So even when I’m gone,
I’ll still be here.

love2

I wrote this poem when I wasn’t a poet. I wasn’t a poet because I told myself I wasn’t a poet.

Anyone who has experienced emotion is a poet. Poetry is not triggered by some magical force. Poetry is playing with words, sounds, structure, rhythm, and punctuation to capture a story, emotion, or idea.

Since poetry does have different types of structures, there are ways to make it more effective. Structure doesn’t have to limit your creativity. In fact, it can force creativity. For example, Haikus follow a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. So the words you use have to serve a purpose because you only have 3 lines and 17 syllables.

Some tips to get you started:

  • Diction – Choose words with connotations that relate to the poem’s central idea
  • Action Verbs – Don’t say a man is strong, show it! What did he do that was so strong?
  • Grammar – don’t try too hard, it’s poetry. Write how you speak.
  • Imagery – what images can you create that will help the reader connect with your idea? (ex. black lace in my poem above)
  • Go until you’re finished. Then, come back to it.

Don’t be a Silent Poet! You owe it to yourself and the world to share your poetry. In the next post, I will talk more about breaking your silence. Look out for it!

It’s Not What You Said, It’s How You Said It

Andrea Gardner produced the above video with her husband to show the power of words – hence, the title. Gardner is a qualified Heal Your Life coach, Hypnotherapist, and author of the book “Change Your Words, Change Your World.” She also has a viral marketing company called Purplefeather which specializes in online content creation helping prospects expand their brand.

Gardner’s video shows that if your message isn’t being heard, then change the way you’re saying it. To get your point across, add a shocking element to grab attention. Further, don’t say what has already been said.

How many times have you seen a homeless person hold up a sign that said “Homeless. Will work for food.” You may have given them food or money, but most people didn’t. Most people can’t relate to that type of situation. The blind man’s revised sign that read “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it,” was effective. It forced people to realize that someone could not have something they were taking for granted. By changing the words around on the sign, the blind man’s message encompassed everyone around him. People couldn’t help but sympathize with him.

In her book “Change Your Words, Change Your World,” Gardner discusses how our word choice influences our lives. She explains how our words can transform relationships, improve our health, and help us find our purpose.

Gardner says we need to simply slow down when we’re speaking. Often, we do not give our brains a chance to process what we want to say before we say it. In these moments, we don’t give ourselves a chance to really say what we want. We all know that’s dangerous.

For example, I am taking a public speaking class. I. Hate. Public. Speaking. I do the whole sweaty palm, heavy breathing, st-st-stutter thing. I’ve noticed, though, if I take a deep breath before every point I want to make, my mind has time to think about what it is I am about to say. Then, it comes out the way I planned for it to. Instead of some sentence full of unnecessary “ums,” and “wells.”

Have you had a situation where your words came out wrong? Let’s talk about it! Comment Below.