How I found my voice in being silenced and rediscovered myself through poetry

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Poetry: introduced in simple rhymes in kindergarten.

I love my dog

He is fun to pet

We go swimming

We get wet

Later on in elementary school, I would focus my time on assessing words that rhymed. I would look to the almighty God of poetry, Dr. Seuss, to find inspiration. Once I put words that rhymed together, I would be completely confident in my poem: a fresh piece of writing inspired by my life. I was at such a high from creating an art form that was solely mine, and not even the bothersome notion that nothing rhymed with “orange” could bring my little fourth-grade self down.

The sunset was orange

The ocean was blue

I couldn’t stop thinking of you

The grass was green

The flower purple

My heart was now all murple

My high would rapidly descend when I would get scolded by a gray-haired, pointy nosed, denim skirt-wearing teacher saying that “murple was not a word.” My immediate thought was if the greats, such as Dr. Seuss, could make up words and be a genius, why was I marked down? I could instantly feel my soul slowly but surely start to fill up with defiance and perseverance. I continued to write. The defiance and perseverance that I acquired soon accumulated outside of the classroom and into my lifestyle.

Getting in trouble for the things I wrote and said soon became a habit. When I wrote, I broke grammar and structure rules within my poetry; when I spoke it was either too loud, or I tattled tailed and sometimes I even sang. I would attempt anything just to be heard. When my voice was thrown away by teachers, peers, and parents, I soon turned to my journals. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Sometimes, I went on for pages with no structure, just continuous thought flowing from my heart and exiting through my right hand. I found that my more profound writing tended to be the ones stemming from events that were twisted, gloomy and gray.

When you see a face with death

You quiver with a fright

For not long ago that death filled face was once filled with life

I want to scream out, get rid of the pain

My grandma is dying and nothing is the same

My head fills with moisture

My heart filled with stone

But the stone will lie broken

When I am here alone

I have so much to say

All the love I want to relay

Yet I sit at this desk

In a puddle of fear

Waiting for a call from Dad

Saying that the end is near

I had to figure out what made me radiate positivity, so I could emit the good vibes through my writing.”

I continued to write as I transitioned from middle to high school. Middle school gave me an abundance of time to explore my style, my passions and to experience more of life. Writing the “dark stuff” came so naturally to me. I could not tell you why that was. I was not a dark person at all. I assume people thought I was since I had lost my outspoken, opinionated nature after being continuously shut down for speaking up. I held myself back from talking since I was silenced so much. But through my physical silence, my mentality had time to blossom. Beautiful words sprouted inside my head and ideas started to grow. My dark and twisty poems soon had a light at the end of the tunnel.

When you see a face with death

You quiver with a fright

For not long ago that death filled face was once filled with life

When news broke out I wanted to hide

I dug a deep hole and I buried myself inside.

I stayed there for days and the hole turned into a salty sea

And blood red liquid poured around me

Soon a white tarp was tucked into me

I looked up to find a sun shining in my eyes

That not even my layers could cover up

“It’s my angel,” I screamed, she came back for me!

So I swam my way out of sorrow and woe

And lifted the tarp forgetting what was below

When I finally climbed out all I could see

Was a promising yellow orb watching over me

My transition into happy endings in my poetry felt so refreshing. My strictly sad poems were simply for me, I was never writing in order to impress an audience. It was when I was overcome with emotions that resonated on a low frequency, a place to vent, to express what I was hearing. And maybe someday, my voice would be heard. Then I had an epiphany. From the beginning, all I wanted was to be heard. But why did I feel the need to be heard? It was because I wanted the reassurance that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. I deemed that as selfish and decided to turn the tables. I started to write poems to reassure others that they were not alone. But that was not all. I wanted to give them hope. Hope that the twisted, gloomy and gray feelings they were feeling have the possibility to have a brighter outcome.

I soon began the thought of “what makes me happy?” I had to figure out what made me radiate positivity, so I could emit the good vibes through my writing. While many small things made me happy, a broader area of my happiness was reflected in nature. I found when I wrote about nature only pure ideas could be written down. Twisted, gloomy and gray writings were substituted for feelings of serenity, peacefulness, and hope. Still, the bad subjects did still show up in my poems about positive things. Forest fires would wipe out beloved land filled with sacred trees, yet a new generation of foliage would break through the ashes and all would be beautiful again.

While I write for others now, I still write for myself. And not everything is dark, just like not everything is positive all the time. It took growing up to find beauty in the pain. It took growing up to be aware of others. Poetry is my voice. When my voice fails, after becoming accustomed to not talking all these years, when ideas need to be spread amongst many people – poetry is there.

I cannot find home, for lost have I been

Infinite woods seeping forever

Seeking my heart from original sin

A good God who banished can’t be so clever

Only a being could aid me to safety

Guide through prickers and float me through rivers

Could you imagine inner peace daily?

A touch of a human I would quiver

How could one not lose humanity here?

Out in this jungle surrounded by fright?

Here I stand upon the land nothing queer

My heart content my body clear; ignite

In the woods I walk alone they come clear

My soul, earth, the sun and myself shed not one tear