Note from Jen:
Since I was 12, poetry has been my outlet. It has allowed me to tell the truth about myself and what I’m feeling—cryptically. I’m not good at feeling exposed. Vulnerability takes courage and practice. But when I’m penning a new poem, I’m not afraid of what I have to say, and I’m not afraid to lose track of what I don’t say. I invite you all to read between the lines. Maybe you’ll hear my thoughts in the words I could never find the right ways to express.
Thank you for always being quick to listen and slow to judge.
Lingering winds stir dormant sentimentality
Till still life confronts the living
And accosts this false complacency.
Every whisper’s a soothing balm
To enduring sorrow,
That most nameless injury.
Flickering lights startle faint resolve
With each graphic glimpse of destiny,
At fault if only for resemblance to reality—
That unsuited fantasy, seldom mistaken.
Its song is that which we call bittersweet,
A heart-aching confession:
Love can’t hide.
Truth can’t lie.
Life can’t die.
Yet we can…
Yet we do…
Pain wavers, a white flag in pouring rain,
And bows to whatever is left to save.
Shackle forgives that trussing force of chain,
Of grinding iron, someone’s weary slave.
Mourning gives in to Heaven’s tearful song,
An eternal ballad of mercy for
Conquered spirits in search of everlong—
Fiercest beacon to Losing’s darkened shore.
So come, waning ghost from within your shell,
To this dauntless restoration of self.
And come, to yesterday’s you bid farewell;
Refuse the wrath you’ve wrought upon yourself.
Misery has forgotten how to cry,
But you won’t have to suffer if you try.
Mortality’s a phantom of still night:
A credulous victim of sated breath.
Embers of fatality do ignite
Kindred spirits to that strange warmth of death.
Cold hearts seem not to thaw till fingers frost,
Till deepest feelings coaxed by tender fire
Revitalize faint souls for too long lost,
And bleed them till resentment does expire.
Surely, there’s no light without loss of life,
No atonement without unspoken crime.
Truly, there’s no now without afterlife,
No running without running out of time.
Rest, then, till magnolias bloom again;
Forgive your morbid tales, my darling friend.
Fleeting, is the heart that eventually strays,
Not capable to hold, only to take;
Battered, is this fitful hum of heartache
That no longer recognizes emotion.
Love bleeds, a surge of mortal wine.
With empty reverie, it intoxicates.
Wretched, is this hand that’s long forgotten
The way to reach for camaraderie.
Shallow, is each breath that yearns for redemption,
A feeble, orphaned attempt.
Alas, the hero runs away and the coward stays,
And neither finds his place.
I can’t have guessed that even pain will tire;
Sorrow, though not fleeting lacks devotion.
How sirens of fond hearts do now conspire
Against youthful prowess of emotion.
Profundity leads misery astray,
Away from pity’s unremitting gaze.
Sagacity faults not that bygone day,
And weakest flame sets yesterday ablaze.
Indian summers yield fine recollections,
Renewing scarlet tides of youthfulness.
Wane and ebb, they morph into reflections
Of yonder years once brimmed with fruitfulness.
Make haste, life loses track of timelessness;
Inhale, exhale faint scents of lifelessness.
To Never Know
I lose myself in the ordinary
To put this strangeness to rest,
Unnerved by devouring vacancy and
Susceptible to quivering instinct
That begs to never know all that’s best left alone,
To be ever free to disown this undesirable shadow.
Yet rather amiss is this embittered compass
That knows not which way wanders moral direction;
How undeserving is this weak resolve that relents when led
Astray, away, in search of more pain.
Tar sizzles, insensitive to tender
Toes, to dainty soles of quaint ambition.
Nature’s unreliable messenger
To fervent truths and untelling mission.
Ether’s ought to be devoted parson
Of eternal wings’ relentless barter,
Steady contender of deadly arson,
That most humble, compassionate martyr.
Oh, that uplifting blanket of fondness,
That unrelenting presence of salience
Is indeed a torch of stunning promise,
A firm, intricate shield of valiance…
Only dreamers forget reality.
And vision knows naught of finality.