Poetry on Odyssey: My Best Works

Poetry on Odyssey: My Best Works

Hopefully someone, somewhere will get something out of this.

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Hello friends, welcome to the most intimate part of me: my poetry. Here lies my best poems, the ones that express my emotions and hardships the most. Hopefully someone, somewhere will get something out of this.

Anxiety is a Hand

There's a hand wrapped around my neck, yet to squeeze,

but I know that it is coming from deep inside of me.
It's threatening to tighten, to close away my air,
shutting my eyes firmly as I try not to care.
The anticipation of it keeps me on my toes,
Where it suddenly came from? Nobody knows.
The feeling of anxiousness and close proximity takes me down under,

racking my head for ways to calm down, still so full of wonder.
Out of nowhere the hand begins to clasp around my neck,
tears streaming down my face because I'm unable to keep my feelings in check. The balloon within starts expanding as it fills up my entire being,
feeling so crowded and helpless, a blank page in my mind is all I'm seeing.

The Dress

Confidence became scraped, became abused.
And then came the splotches of brown and blue, forming every bruise.
Each risqué comment is a strike to the heart,
Building and building until I fall apart.
I hide beneath baggy clothes,
desperately trying to erase what everybody knows.
Ivory skin with bumps and curves,
Forgetting all that I deserve.
I became eye candy, not worth anything more,
Tears running down my face as I ask, "What am I good for?"
The mirrors up my skirt, the click of the camera as I walk by,
The iPad on my backside and a hand grazing my thigh.
The lump forming in my throat as I can't help but cry.
Each piling on top as I ask God why.
With every dress I buy comes shame,
The clothing that takes my figure and puts it in a frame.
It highlights my assets and makes me feel good,
but as I look in the mirror, I ponder on buying the dress and how I could.
It would put on display what people only see when they look at me,
holding me captive, never allowing me to be free.
so I throw the dress in my closet and I continue to hide,
hoping people will finally notice me for everything that's on the inside.

Slowly Erased

and I start the process as I slowly erase every part of you from my life—

from every text message you've ever sent me to every photo on my phone.

earrings left in my jewelry box, untouched,

items collecting dust beneath my bed.

I close my eyes and I try to shut you out.

I try to shut out every moment you made me smile,

i try to shut out every moment you made me feel the slightest bit alive or

the slightest bit h a p p y.

I try to ignore the pang in my heart at the very sound of your name

or the sound of a song playing on the radio that somehow ties back to you.

because even though i haven't seen you in days,

i see you everywhere i go.

i see you on the couch at the coffee shop we used to go to

i see you in my bed in my room

i see you in the simplest things

and i see you in the simplest of places.

i close my eyes and i try to make you go away.

i try to forget the way you made me feel.

because even though my head knows all the bad,

my heart wants to focus on all the good.

and even though we weren't meant to me,

and even though we're better off apart,

i can't deny the fact that you'll always be in my h e a r t.


Fire


you are my fire.
you spread heat through me as
I breathe in your oxygen.
you are my fuel
that causes the fire to burn brighter.

yet even as you stir up each flame,
you're able to extinguish it
the moment I melt into your arms—
yet bring it back to life the moment
my lips find yours.

perhaps the falling was the spark
that brought each flame to life

perhaps the aftermath;
the being—
was the smoldered fire,
calm, yet radiating heat,
quiet, with potential to roar again

The Garden

A garden sprouted in her heart and she grew,

each petal splashed with color, color without you.

Her leaves were her wings and she

learned how to fly,

she was stunted when she said hello, yet

soared when she said goodbye.

The Storm Cloud

Falling for you was like a storm cloud. Rain filled the soft cotton, refusing to spill, refusing to give in. It continued to build and build until one day, it burst.

And as it burst, drops fell from the sky unforgivingly; endlessly. It was a force unable to be stopped. It was a force unable to be broken.

Rain surrounded me, drops brushing against my skin the same way your fingers have so many times before. It nourished me, it brought me to life.

And as I stood there with my eyes closed so tight, I cried out into the night.

"Please hold me tight and never let me go, for you are the water and you help me grow."

The Tide

It washes over me in the way the tide washes over my toes.
The pit in my stomach feels endless, feels heavy.
And in my throat, I feel stopped up.
I can't breathe it in. I can't digest it.
It's like putting glasses on for the first time and finally being able to see clearly. But when I look in the mirror, I don't like the way I look. I worry others won't like the way it looks, either.
So I take the glasses off and I hide them.
And even though they're out of sight, the throbbing in my chest still remains.
The unsettlement in my stomach doesn't lift.
I push it down until one day, I become the glasses.
I hide myself.

Clone

Full of fear, full of doubt,

Unwanted feelings with no way out.

You write "Not good enough" on the mirror, letting it seep into your brain,

You're feeling adequate, you're going insane.

You base your value off what others think and how others view you,

Every negative comment sticking to you like glue.

Now every time you look in the mirror, that's all you see,

You don't listen to those who tell you over and over again that they disagree.

You don't know your true worth.

You don't know how beautiful you really are.

Even with every bump on your skin and even with all your scars.

You're beautiful when your hair is a mess, and when your makeup isn't on,

However, you don't feel that way. All you want is to be another one of society's spawns.

Maybe then they'll leave you alone,

but only if you're one of Barbie's clones.



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We ALL Have Some Kind Of Disability, Even If We Don't Acknowledge It

Sometimes we fail to recognize our disabilities simply because we have learned to live with them; yet, we criticize those who have visible disabilities even though they too have learned to live with them.
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Many of us have probably heard the famous saying: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

What many of us probably don’t realize is how true this may be in our own lives.

Everyone has something that may disable them from doing things that others can do.

Disabilities can be physical or mental. Maybe you have asthma, a speech impediment or a phobia. While these things may disable individuals from doing certain tasks, these are all disabilities that one can learn to easily live with.

Other disabilities are more visibly noticeable, such as limb amputations, lung diseases that require one to use an oxygen concentrator or scoliosis.

Regardless of how visible our disabilities may be, we need to recognize that we all have things that may disable us.

Notice that I said, “may disable us.” This is where "turning lemons into lemonade" comes into play. Just because something has the potential to disable us doesn’t mean that we must let it do so.

Yes, there will be things that we may be physically unable to do regardless of how hard we try. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot find ways to adapt. Humans can be stubborn and that’s not a bad thing.

Stubbornness may allow us to overcome our disabilities.

My grandmother had three amputation surgeries last summer, the last being a below-knee amputation. I have quickly learned where my stubbornness comes from as I have watched her recover.

She has quickly learned to adapt to the new methods she must use to do daily tasks such as moving around the house.

My grandmother has learned how to live her life as if nothing has changed; it is as if she does not even have a disability.

It is easy to see that my uncle, David, is physically different than the average person. His Down Syndrome causes him to be shorter, and he has distinct facial characteristics that differ from the average person.

What you may also notice, if you meet David, is that he doesn’t let these physical differences dictate his life. If you asked him, David wouldn’t know that anything is different with himself. It’s not that he has been sheltered from the fact that he is different.

He simply has learned how to live with his differences and has family members that are willing to support him.

One of my friends has Spina Bifida and, sadly, has faced unjust situations because of their disabilities. As a college student, it is very difficult for my friend to find transportation to classes.

One transportation company will only provide their services when an individual lives 500 feet from a bus stop; unfortunately, my friend does not.

Nevertheless, my friend is resilient and is taking online courses so that they may further their education.

I dare to say that everyone has something that may disable them. However, I also dare to say that many individuals do not recognize their disabilities simply because they have learned to adapt.

If everyone has something that may disable them, why do we criticize those whose disabilities are more visible?

I challenge you to reflect on your own life. Reflect on the things that may disable you. Reflect on how you have overcome the things that try to disable you. Reflect upon the judgment that you have unjustly given others due to their disabilities.

It is easy to laugh at someone else when they are struggling with something that we could easily do ourselves. But it is difficult when we are the ones being laughed at.

The next time you consider criticizing someone else because of their disabilities, remember that you, too, have things that may disable you.

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Understanding And Embracing The Prostitute Within

Are you someone who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same?

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Ever responded to a stressful situation and wondered afterward why you reacted in the way you did? Maybe it's because of nurture: your age, faith, education background, or culture. Or maybe, it's because of an archetype deep within you—a universal way of being that stretches across all divides and affects every human.


BLINDSPOTS

Understanding what archetypes are and which ones are actively affecting you can open your eyes to what's unconsciously driving you. By knowing what you didn't know you didn't know, you can then become conscious about your choices and actions and—if you wish—choose a new way to be. So here's how to understand your inner Prostitute—and how to make her* work for you.

*I am female so I choose a feminine pronoun for the Prostitute. Replace with whatever you wish.


ARCHETYPES

According to Carl Jung, an archetype (a universal mental pattern) is a part of all humans' collective unconsciousness. The child archetype was first suggested by Carl Jung as a role (along with the other archetypes) that we all unconsciously play out in our lives. Caroline Myss, a New York Times bestselling author, has elaborated on Jung's theory, suggesting that the child is one of four survival archetypes that develop early on in all humans' lives: the child, the prostitute, the victim, and the saboteur. Each one of these is present to some extent in you and your decision-making.


OVERVIEW OF ARCHETYPES

Some of these words have fairly negative connotations, right? If someone called you a prostitute or a saboteur, you might take offense. Despite the connotative meanings of the word associated with each archetype, each archetype is neutral: they have both positive and negative sides. To best understand the Prostitute archetype, it will be helpful to have a brief understanding of the struggles associated with the other survival archetypes.

The Child includes the wounded child, orphan child, and eternal child, and causes you to stay stuck in childhood traumas, responding to events today based on defense mechanisms you created as a child. You may feel abandoned, engage in self-pity, or become very cynical.

The Victim tells you that you're never good enough or that it's never your fault—it blames you, controls you, and causes you to wait to be rescued.

The Saboteur tries to self-sabotage you and encourages you to undermine your own choices.


THE SHADOW SIDE OF THE PROSTITUTE

The Prostitute came into being as a way to help you survive and protect your inner self, strength, and integrity. This is her being: it's neutral. But like all archetypes, the Prostitute has a light side and a shadow side, and her shadow side is often destructive, selfish, and fearful.

Have you ever asked yourself how you can make that cute boy think you're more interesting or engaging than you actually are? Whether you should bother helping your classmate with the upcoming exam if there's nothing in it for you? How you can get your boss to respect you?

That was your inner Prostitute. She negotiates your power away to other people and compromises as a form of self-protection.

The Prostitute's shadow side engages in selling out yourself—your integrity, creativity, standards—either because of fear, or because of gain (particularly financial). It's not just about you compromising yourself though—the Prostitute will also encourage you to seduce or control others.

Have you ever seen a friend stay in an abusive or neglectful relationship? Have you compromised your ideals at work in order to just keep your job? Have you put on a false front in order to impress your date? That's all the Prostitute at work. Negotiating away yourself in this way hurts your core and victimizes you.


COME BACK TO THE LIGHT

The flip side of the shadow self is seeing how the Prostitute can radically transform your life if you embrace this archetype and use it consciously and wisely.

In this way, the Prostitute creates and strengthens self-confidence and integrity. Have you ever met a man or woman who had the strength to leave behind toxic relationships? Who was able to freely express her wants and principles in a self-empowered way and know her own boundaries—but who also does not try to persuade other people to compromise their own selves? Who refused to manipulate others to gain their favor, admiration, or support, no matter how it might have helped him get what he wanted?

That's the Prostitute as she's meant to be manifested in a person: someone who knows how to protect and best use her energy and resources, who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same.


NOW WHAT?

How do we move away from the Prostitute's shadow side and live in her light side?


BECOMING AWARE

The first step to any sort of growth is awareness. If you're not aware of a problem, you won't know how to fix it—you won't even know there's a thing to be fixed. Begin noting when in your life you are trying to mitigate other people's impressions of you, or when you're trying to control someone else's actions or decisions. What are your standards? What standards are you willing to compromise on (with your time, your morals, or your body) in order to protect yourself or to get your own way? What are you willing to give up (in relationships, personal standards, job security) in order to be safe or not make waves? Note when you're breaking your integrity to achieve some end, the people in your life who use you and drain you, and when you're ignoring your gut.


WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

The next time you're on a date or with friends and start self-censoring to make yourself seem more appealing, reset. Take a deep breath, and just be yourself.

A coping mechanism that I find helpful is asking: what's the worst that can happen? Last week I was out on a date with this crazy cool person I really like and I started to talk about a subject I get really excited about and then hesitated, unsure if we were "there" yet in our relationship. Maybe this is too much, too soon?

Cue coping mechanism above: "What's the worst that can happen?" The worst that can happen, I thought, is that this person decides he doesn't like me and doesn't want to see me again. The Prostitute's response to that: well, if you being you makes him not want to see you again, then it's a good thing you figured that out sooner rather than later. And if he does want to see you again—then he wants to see someone who's genuinely, authentically you.


CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT

The Prostitute is a gut-based archetype rather than a mind-based archetype. Writing ways to encourage someone to follow their intuition is a little like writing ways for someone to learn how to dance: you can give them tips about timing and write out the basic steps, but at some point, they just have to get in the ring and experience it.

So when you're making decisions, check in with your gut. If it's not hellyeah, then maybe it's a no. If I find myself making a pros and cons list about whether or not I want to hang out with someone or kiss someone, I know it's not a hellyeah for me. And that doesn't always mean it's bad, or that I shouldn't give it a shot—but it does mean to stay attuned to your body and heart, and don't override them or scorn them for being silly or irrational.


YOU CAN'T HEAL WITH THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HURT YOU

Toxic relationships with someone you love are probably the hardest to walk away from. Understand it doesn't need to be a judgment upon them; maybe they're not a bad person. Maybe it is just you. And that's okay. It's okay to make decisions that are just for you. This is your life. Ask yourself: if your best friend was in an identical situation, what advice would you give him?

You cannot heal in the same place, by the same people, who hurt you. If you're spending your finite and precious energy on people and tasks that just drain you, you're not using your energy as you best could: to fully empower your own self so you can go out and change your own corner of the world.


COURAGE

Your inner Prostitute can seduce you to lead a life out of fear—selling out to protect yourself, selfishly get what you want, and manipulate others. Or your inner Prostitute can be an empowering force in your life—filling you with courage and determination, respect and appreciation for both your own boundaries and the boundaries of others, and protecting you from being manipulated or controlled.

Standing up for yourself to others, and standing up to yourself when you are trying to manipulate someone else, will surely be difficult at times. By embracing the Prostitute archetype that resides in each of us, you will be able to become aware of her encouragements within you and implement her empowerment, strength, and willpower in your life.


GO FORTH

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