Category Archives: Poetry

State Testing: A Poem

State Testing: A Poem

When you make State Testing

Two weeks long

And feel like prison

It becomes clear that a test

Is more important than my learning

Like something I deserve  

Because I am not good enough already

When I get detention for acting out

Because I am sad

My home is falling apart

I am hungry

It becomes clear that rules

Are more important

Than me

Than my dreams and aspirations

Than this pit that grows in my belly

And makes me want to scream

When you tell me

Through daily repetition

Of the importance of grades

My worth gets tangled up in abstraction

I learn that failure is inevitable

That I am worthless

Top students get praised

I get scolded

Words that burn

On top of scars

That are now my identity

Words that follow me

Everywhere I go

When you make sitting in class

More important

Than living life

I never learn to live

And I never live to learn

Oly Fall 2014-4

What is Portland? A Poem

I wrote this poem in response to a prompt on the Blog, Mismanaging Perceptions, which can also be found on the following link:

http://www.mismanagingperception.com/what-is-portland-response-1/What is Portland? 

What is Portland? A Poem.

Portland is cherry blossoms during a warm snap in February

That brings everyone out of their homes

To revel in what is quickly described as an “unseasonal event”

Even though it happens every year

 —–

Portland is a love of place but with a disconnect to now

A desire to occupy the charm of a slower, more intentional time

While finding itself being on the cutting edge

A city of people motivated to make a better future

Although sometimes in image only

 ——-

Portland is a town built on industry and exploitation

That forgets its past as it becomes a town of “new ideas”

Today, people see the glamour in a city that found its place

By pushing out those who once knew it as home

 ——–

Portland is long rainy winters and the best summers on the planet

A city of bridges, a city of roses

Of coffee, of beer, of bikes and of farmers markets

It has some of the best public transportation in the country

But, it mostly serves those who need it the least

 ——–

Portland is and has always been unique, but not always for sale

It’s soul becoming more transparent as it becomes a thing not a place

What makes it beautiful still exists, but only for some

Much of the “livability” disappearing

——

Portland is not a doughnut shop or an image

It is not the businesses that sell us our city back to us

It is not even a movement or a style

 ——-

Portland is the smell in the air after it rains

And people getting excited about “snow”

It’s the way the sun hangs on the horizon in winter

And it’s people who look each other in the eye when they pass

 ——-

Portland is a city divided, although you only know that

If you live on the “other” side

Where walking becomes a liability and you feel

That you are somehow forgotten anytime “Portland” is discussed

 ——-

Portland is beautiful, colorful, and full of life

Portland is my home

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Very Happy New Year to All!

I would like to wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year as we enter 2014! This past year has truly been one of the most amazing of my life thus far and I have enjoyed sharing my photography, poetry, stories and travel adventures with all of you who are following my blog! Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to visit my page and follow my work, I wish you all the best in the year to come!

Cheers,

The Perpetual Vagabond, (AKA-Lauriel~Arwen)

Poem: She Danced Her Way Through the Morning

She danced her way through the morning

The songs of the night before singing in her mind

If anyone could see her they might question such unabashed joy

They might be afraid of such raw emotion

But, she was alone with her thoughts

No one was going to see her smile

No one would see her dance through her day

Her happiness was hers alone

She knew that what she was feeling was special

And never guaranteed

So she cherished every moment of it

And since the music continued to play in her thoughts

She just kept on dancing

flowers-and-bugs-6

A Poem: Out of Reach

I wrote this poem in the summer of 2011 and thought I would share it again

I watched as my heart contracted

My mind teetering on the edge

I noticed how the pit in my gut hardened and sank

And how with each breath I sighed

I watched myself for a long time

I turned inward and noticed my thoughts

They went in circles

Never forward, never ending

My hands were still

As was my gaze

My right foot tapped to a beat that found its way in

Outside it was raining

The drops falling as the dream of summer faded

But, it was still July

The season never came, it was in hiding

Just as my dreams were in hiding

Threatening to break through the fog

But, timid enough to evaporate instead

There was a fatigue in my eyes

I could feel them droop

But, I hadn’t cried in months

Maybe because whom I cared for most

Was out of reach

Nothing else was as sad

And everything was empty in his absence

Out of Reach

I watched as my heart shrank and grew

My mind teetering on the edge

I noticed how the pit in my gut hardened and sank

And how with each breath I sighed

I watched myself for a long time

I turned inward and noticed my thoughts

They went in circles

Never forward, never ending

My hands were still

As was my gaze

My right foot tapped to a beat that found its way in

Outside it was raining

The drops falling as the dream of summer faded

But, it was still July

The season never came, it was in hiding

Just as my dreams were in hiding

Threatening to break through the fog

But, timid enough to evaporate instead

There was a fatigue in my eyes

I could feel them droop

But, I hadn’t cried in months

Maybe because whom I cared for most

Was out of reach

Nothing else was as sad

Yet everything was empty in his absence

I used to be

I wrote this poem in the fall of 2002…I guess my artistic recovery has been a long time coming…

I used to be a writer
Telling stories of love and adventure, comedy and tragedy
I used be a poet
Doodling on napkins and in the margins of long overdue homework
I used to be an artist
Drawing the faces of of those I had yet to meet
And imprinting forever the life I had led
I used to be a singer, a dancer, a composer of music
A designer of clothes
I used to be an activist
Leading the masses to a better world
Creating solutions for sustainable change
I used to play under the light of the full moon
And whisper to the elves living in the understory of the forest
I used to embrace my gifts
By sharing them with the world
I used to be willing to die for my beliefs
I used to find comfort in knowing who I was
And living my dreams

Home

6.26.2010~

The sounds and smells of this forest let me know I am home.

I can close my eyes and inhale the deep, dank, musky smell of the of the earth, sweetened by the spring rains and the warming hint of summer.

I know I’m home as I walk through the woods and am followed by a chorus of bird calls, the winter wren, the black capped chickadee, and the dark eyed junco, the ones I have always heard and know so well.

In the distance there are cicadas in the trees, their buzz drowning out my own thoughts.

I know I am home as I hear the wind move through the trees and ever so gently encourage the leaves into spontaneous, communal dancing.

.

Today

Today, I began to mourn the loss of my creative self that so long ago I buried deep within the recesses of my mind; never even allowing myself to return to the gravesite to pay my respects. The day of the burial I walked away without looking back, but could hear a faint cry for help as I had buried my artistic ambitions alive, left to suffocate beneath a mound of intellectualism, practicality, and cultural pressure. Instead I became a student, a teacher, a girlfriend and a traveler. I found artistic expression in nature and in my social circles, but never in myself. I retrained a passionate ambition to create, but with no outlet in my life, jumped from place to place, job to job, and vision to vision. Each new undertaking was only exciting as long as the initial newness and artistic imagery lasted. Not wanting to fully accept artistic death, I kept around a few hobbies, but routinely sabotaged my own work with self-doubt, distrust of others, and a wall of insecurity.

Today, my subconscious brought me back to the burial site and wouldn’t let me leave until I acknowledged what I had done. Now faced with the reality of my loss, I mourn, while at the same time fend off my inner voice that tells me to stop being silly and just let go once and for all. It tells me that I left behind my art for a reason and that it is a selfish and meaningless waste of time. I listen to these thoughts and weep at their cruelty.

Today as I grieve and question, I am also uplifted at the prospect of raising the dead and once again living an artistic life.

Today, I mourn, forgive and embrace the unknown.