#OctPoWriMo: Oct 24 – 31

October 24: Her

Sometimes I think about it in swiftly passing glances,

That it were me that you had chosen instead of her.

I ponder for a moment, but what I find in my intent is that I wouldn’t have lived my life this way.

I would have never climbed mountains, ran marathons, or have seen so many places.

I would not be the girl happily sitting here today.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Although a lot is what I endured,

But where I want to be and what I have loved along the way is being able to meet so many brilliant faces that have shaped the girl happily sitting here today.


October 25: Pretty

She was pretty.

Pretty enough to paint every line and curve that defined her face.

She could have been a portrait. Perhaps, she was a portrait, and we had been tip-toeing around a pretty inanimate object in the middle of the living space.

Room, she captured all of it, a space filled with eyes all resting on her.

She lived her life oblivious to the stares from the crowd.

She could kill any person with glancing murder.

She could have been an assassin. Perhaps, she failed at being an assassin because for her entire life she was a killer.


October 26: Light

I saw the light leave your eyes like the setting sun sinking softly out at sea,

And like the twilight of the evening I noticed the dark and grew concerned.

I was alone now under the floating tarp covered in thousands of twinkling lights.

Your light was no longer beside me.

And all I could do was continue moving forward.

Then suddenly, sometime soon, I know another sun will rise to greet a new day,

And I, like the dawn of the morning, will be drowned in warm light again.


October 27: Meaning

He asked me what I would say to God if I could have any question answered,

And I said that I would have little to say.

If I had to go on living after the question I would endure the rest of a life substandard,

And I would feel cheated at the end of the day.

To know what you shouldn’t know takes away the mysteries of life, And that is not how you should live.

You do the best you can until you reach the afterlife

Leaving everything else on earth with more stories to share and love to give.


October 28: Memories

We walk haphazardly down the street with our fake smiles

And all I think about are the other times we’ve been here in this place.

You think your own set of unique questions and I watch as your mind runs a race.

There are so many memories, but we comment on none.

We never pause to recollect or relive the fun,

And that’s how I knew we were over and passed the point of done.

I ended the relationship in my mind in an instant as if I solved our problem with a gun.


October 29: Language

I see your mouth move and contort into different shapes,

But I do not understand any of the sounds it makes.

Your voice has changed and the sounds that leave your body are unknown.

I listen to you like I’m having a conversation under water over the phone.

I know less of who you are as you go about your day. Your interests are different and you only deeply consider your pay.

Your familiarity grows strange as I lose my grasp of who you are.

You become the blurred details on the side of the road as I speed by in my car.


October 30: God

I am not a man.

I am the whole Universe,

Though no one believes.


October 31: Friendship

Here we are, five hundred and seventy- four fortnights after we first said, “hello.”

We were babies then and couldn’t imagine a life at the time where we ended up together.

You were the wild one, and I was the girl that was mellow.

We both rubbed off on each other and continue to evolve on this journey forever.

You said once that we were soulmates and I believe it to be so.

I think about this sometimes during the day, and I promise to find you in the next life when we both go.

#OctPoWriMo | Oct 18 – 23

Oct 18 | Fear

The unknown territory is rarely crossed and, for a reason.

When we don’t know, we are afraid.

We live with uncertainty in every season,

When we couldn’t explain it with science, we prayed.

Some let the strange thought slowly creep in

And push society to the next upgrade.

These “some” get charged with crimes of treason,

And forever crazy they are portrayed.

That is until society’s thought is no longer full of unreason

And society wishes no longer to degrade.

These “some” become knowledgeable with lots of expertise in

And all of their descendants are the ones lofty paid.


Oct 19 | Autumn

The leaf falls to the forest floor undisturbed by a passerby,

For it is during this time the leaves begin to slowly wither up and die.

The wind grows crisp and their air becomes cold,

And dampened leaves on the dirt-packed floor grow old with mold.

I walk along a nature-made path through the dying trees,

And crunch happily along the decorative piles of discolored leaves.

I praise autumn for the harvest and the spooky season too,

It is a time for great change and the time to start anew.


Oct 20 | Rose

The soft buds kissed her lips 

as she leaned forward 

and politely sniffed the floral scent 

from the deeply red rose.

Her eyes, half-closed, 

as she did so, 

flickered open causing her long dark lashes to flutter 

and her sweet smile to sweeten further.

The long stems, 

freshly cut, 

were still held in her soft and supple hands, 

and absent was the sharp harsh rose thorn.

She felt the love radiate from the other woman 

with a similar sweet smile 

through the fresh roses 

and thanked her passionately with a kiss.

She saw her future flash brilliantly before her in an instant 

and was so thankful that she did not pass up true love 

because of the way she was born.


Oct 21 | Fire

I peered deeply into the brilliantly orange glow 

past the puffs of billowing smoke from weathered bark,

And I outstretched my bare hands towards the climbing flames 

for only a sample of emerging warmth.

My back positioned toward the cold damp and darkening woods 

twitched with every wafting breeze through our home for the night,  

And my ears listened to the whispering ruffling of leaves 

through the robust towering trees.

My mind wandered a little to no thought in particular 

as the campfire beckoned for me to sit a little closer,

And without touching the miraculously crackling flames, I complied.


Oct 22 | Photograph

I found a photograph the other day and fell back into deep thought with you at the center.

The two of us were trapped on the page in a previous time and there was no erasing this.

There we were, still existing in a pause between breaths that attempted to move life forward. 

Our mouths were wide with smiles and our eyes frozen never seeing the day we grew apart.

Our flimsy time capsule tethered me to a past nearly forgotten.

We are no longer who we were, and we will one day notice change again.


Oct 23 | River

The swiftly swishing sound of the wild water in the rushing river 

Elevated the pace of the beating booming of my hasted heart 

So much so, that I felt the battered beating in my brain.

We were carefully crossing the crazy river 

When I nearly knocked myself down 

While tripping terribly over my tired toes.

I felt the fleeting flash of my fantastic life flood my flickering eyes—

And then I took a deep breath.

What I Learned While Floating Down The LA River

Jasmine in a bright orange kayak holding a double-sided oar and floating down the LA River

 

I ventured out on to the actual LA River this past weekend with the group, Black Girls Trekkin, and had fun kayaking and meeting our tour guide and four-time Naked and Afraid contestant from LA River Expeditions, Gary Golding. He took his time instructing everyone on how to navigate our watercraft and he really made the outing fun. However, my favorite part of the entire kayaking trip was the time he took to speak about the river’s history and how it wasn’t even considered a river at first.

 

I had briefly heard about the documentary that he mentioned before, Rock the Boat, where local satirical writer, George Wolfe, boated down the fenced-in waterway, hoping to have the EPA declare the river navigable. Wolfe was hoping that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act if he took the time to film himself kayaking down the river. He was, obviously, successful and I also enjoyed floating down the river as a result of his environmentalism, but I also couldn’t help but notice that there was still trash in the river.

 

I wrote a poem with the LA River in mind, but I also drew parallels between the river and the highways that weave in and around Los Angeles. This week alone, I witnessed three people on three separate highways throw trash out onto the road. Cups, a whole take away bag from In-n-Out, and— cigarettes. I’ve witnessed so many cigarettes thrown out of the window that I no longer find it surprising why California has so many brush fires along the side of the roads. I thought about how hard people, including me, work to clean hiking trails and the LA River, but it pains me to see people throwing their trash out on the road.

 

Yes, the river still needs a little more cleaning, but I also know that we can aid in the cleanup by first reducing the amount of trash that ends up outside in the first place. It’s not one person’s job or responsibility to do this, but as a group of mindful people, if we all at least make sure we throw away our own trash in designated trash receptacles, then we can make Los Angeles and California a better place.

 

 

The LA River

 

I was floating down the LA River

in a boat that weighed a ton

and I couldn’t help but notice

all the trash that lined the wet highway.

Rusted shopping carts

and plastic bags

clogged the pathways

and rising smog

sat between me

and the LA skyline.

There were people causing traffic

and accidents along the way,

and traveling several feet ahead

took what seemed like a lifetime.

 

We traveled with the current

and didn’t move very far

and I swear that 20 miles

shouldn’t seem that long.

Tent cities lined the river

and clothes hung off of bushes.

A man smoking a cigarette

nodded in my direction as I drifted by

and I couldn’t help but notice

the trash near his living space

while I floated down the LA River

in a boat that weighed a ton.

Sun Drunk

jasminedowe hiking in Hollywood
Instagram | @jasminedlowe

 

I’ve always marveled at the beauty of a California sunset, and I would cherish the times when I stayed up all night but got to witness the sunrise. I think our timely movement through space and around the star is one of the most beautiful things in the universe. It’s a small feat compared to all the supernovas, fleeing asteroids, and rogue black holes, but to me, in my world, it’s a daily reminder that we are alive and that we have survived another day of spinning and orbiting through space.

I wanted to write a poem about my love for the sun even though summer calls for a much more intense presence. I still stand transfixed by the view and wanted to write down my unorganized thoughts and share them with you.

 

Continue reading “Sun Drunk”

#OctPoWriMo: Oct 27 & 28

antique black classic phone

OctPoWriMo #27: Drive 

The young ones would ride in the back seat fearing for their lives. 
The old kids would learn how to drive in the front seat with you. 
I would panic at the thought of my cousins out on the road, 
but you would calmly teach the drivers who were brand new. 
 
We would sit in the back seat of your large van completely carefree, 
listening to music, playing with cousins, and the foster kids that you raised. 
My first memories of you were on the back roads in your car. 
You were always out helping your town which always left me amazed. Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Oct 27 & 28”

#OctPoWriMo: Oct 13th-15th

Pomona, agriculture apple apple tree

OctPoWriMo #13: Animals

A friend to horses, and a love of dogs;
A mom to cats, and a leader to hens.
I’ve watched you to take care of so many
whether they had two legs or four.
Your love of life extends to all
Your kindness radiates only love.
I’ve seen you save the life of the lost
And wonder how you still do more.  Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Oct 13th-15th”

OctPoWriMo: Oct 6th, 7th, & 8th

love and beach sunset

OctPoWriMo #6: Selflessness

Above you.
You place the entire world upon your shoulders
and put all the people living on top of the blue planet
before you.
Beside you.
Continue reading “OctPoWriMo: Oct 6th, 7th, & 8th”

#OctPoWriMo: Day 28-31 #HappyHalloween

OctPoWriMo Day 28: If The Sun Never Rose Again

IMG_0563A dark heavy blanket lies over the land,
and the bright white lights that shine through its holes
never dim as time goes on.

The moon in the sky still pulls up waves over the sand,
and those waking now from sleep
wait for eternity until dawn.

No more warm rays of light.
The night never becomes day.
If the sun never rose again
we would all fade away.

OctPoWriMo Day 29: Writer’s Prompt – “Breathtaking”

Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Day 28-31 #HappyHalloween”

#OctPoWriMo: Day 23-27

OctPoWriMo Day 23: Santa Ana Winds

It’s barely seven in the morning and I’ve just gotten out of bed.
The sun has just come up over the horizon
and I’m already sweating what seems like bullets of lead.

I get dressed, walk out the door, and feel the wind on my face.
The weather is brewing something evil
and spewing the devil’s hot breath like a canister of mace.

The mountain gap winds, so dry in their origin,
whip past giving whiplash to those who can still
withstand Southern California.

The Westward winds fan flames so unbelievably high
it feels like standing in front of a heater while dressed in a wool sweater.
Sadly, it seems the warm weather has made all my plants die.

 

OctPoWriMo Day 24: Water

Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Day 23-27”

#OctPoWriMo: Day 8-11

OctPoWriMo Day 8: The Sickness

She fades in and out of the haze trying to grasp reality.
Her new cough and shaky breath have become her banality.
High fevers and hot sweats plague the entirety of her nights,
As white blood cells guard the body in ongoing fights.

She keeps tissue on the end table hoping she doesn’t reach her end.
She sips tea for her sore throat praying the hot lemon will help mend.
Red medicine and orange cough drops stain the surface of her tongue,
And staying alive to see the sunrise again is her only idea of fun.

 

OctPoWriMo Day 9: Writing Prompt “Tapping the Ash of Her Cigarette”

Continue reading “#OctPoWriMo: Day 8-11”