How Camping Can Spark The Next Renaissance

Prominent prolific musicians, or those who just go off into the woods, often come up with magnificent ideas and creative projects when they camp. It refers to periods when they go off with a bunch of people to create an album. It could last anywhere from days to months at a time, but usually, it becomes a moment in their careers when masterpieces are created. The same can be done for other artists of different crafts.

Continue reading “How Camping Can Spark The Next Renaissance”

When Thought Puzzles Become Art

I like to think that my thoughts are shaped like puzzles that I can use to piece together in different ways. I like to think I can use these puzzles to construct new ideas and new concepts. I like to think that makes dreams the involuntary abstract ideas that run wild. Dreams are evolutionary. They grow and change as we grow and change until they become something more tangible, and even then, dreams still evolve as we age.

I like to think that opposing thoughts are there to push the boundaries and shapes of the thought puzzles and that these new pieces create even more structures and works of art that we had no way of seeing before you began inviting other thoughts into your mind.

All these things built by thoughts and ideas create new spaces with new rules. The spaces pool into new worlds and congeal together into varying universes. I like to believe that thoughts are things and things are thoughts and that if you keep pondering the confines of the known and unknown universe, that you will begin to create amazing things.

#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.

#OctPoWriMo | Oct 12 – 17

October 12 | Danger

The canyon lured me to the edge of its lips with its entrancing beauty, And I for one could never pass up the undulating rock formations jetting up from the crust of the earth.

I stare wildly watching the gliding birds soar above the rushing Colorado River, And I grin happily as I stand motionless before the natural wonder.

A deep vast canyon with towering red rocks tower before me as I peer into the depths of danger. If I tripped, a fast-paced rushing river would break my fall and carry my body out to sea.


October 13 | Universe

I am one part of the whole of the entire universe, And I gaze up into myself and watch myself gaze back at me.

My energy connected and my soul revealed to yours, I recognize the connection from one another is really the key.

I am the universe and the universe is every various shape and outcome of me. I exist in every possibility and, express myself in every way.

I am everything in this universe that I can and cannot see. I am every passing moment all at once and every single day.


October 14 | Love

Virgil says, “love conquers all things, so we too shall yield to love,” But unlike Virgil or Dante, I do not believe that such a thing is sin.

Powerful? Yes, but never wrong. Hell should not be the destination, nor should heaven or hell exist.

A life after life very similar to this where living and non-living organisms is our eternal kin.

Loves moves all thins and keeps life protected and moving forward, While love also drive empathetic pursuit of happiness and justice for all.

If you want love–love. If you want to give love–love yourself first, And loving everything else as yourself becomes the protocol.


October 15 | Ravens

The same two ravens see me out at the start of my day, And they peer down from their hung telephone wire onto me as I pass by.

I see their complex interactions shift and mix as they continue to spy, And then allow me to pass on my merry way.

They sit right outside my window of the room where I lay, And pitch their great black silhouettes prominently against the night’s sky.

I fear that they will be there beside me till the day after I die, And with all that they have seen still have nothing to say.


October 16 | Down

High on the mountains

We thought we’d never come down–

Until the sun fell.


October 17 | Purpose

I’ve allowed the earth to haul to hurl myself around the sun 29 times, And what that means is that I’m always moving forward.

I recorded my life in in tears and burgeoning laugh lines, And I
occasionally write them down in inked word.

Some rotations more recognizable than others though I keep living until I
die. Creating, learning, loving and crying I just scratch the surface.

I live exactly how I want to live and that is what I abide by, As long as I
never harm anyone or any living thing on purpose.

#OctPoWriMo | Oct 5 – 11

October 5 | Run

The First heel strike on the hard black asphalt sent a message to my brain that day that hasn’t left my mind since.

It took me outdoors and into the woods, up mountains, and past rows of tall and thick densely packed trees.

I let the message guide me along road races for miles across multiple states and in different terrains,

And I thanked the message for introducing me to a new life with so many wonderful and amazing friends.

I have found my new self in the outdoors because of this, and I wholeheartedly welcome the change.

Because of it, I have sen the world, and I will continue to do the same.


October 6 | Ocean

I allow my toes to dig a little deeper into the wet sand as you pass through my feet and flow by.

Your cool touch awakens me with surprise every time, but I continue to wander even further into youas the hour passes.

When my waist is held by your forceful embrace, I stand still while looking out onto the endless horizon.

You try pulling me deeper into you, and I oblige for amoment before even realizing it.

You continue to call out to me as my heart does to you, so I swim into your embrace for a while.

I leave as the sun begins to fall behind you, but I always promise to return.


October 7 | Moon

I look up to you under dark skies and see you sitting proudly above the heavens for all the world to see.

You light up the night and steal the wandering eyes floating in the darkness.

Without hesitation, you lift the tides that try to carry the mountains out to sea, and keep track of time after the sun runs away.

Your magical body shifts and contorts itself into dazzling shapes, and on your foggier evenings, you inspire intense stories that last generations.

You watch over the harvest, and occasionally visit while dressed in red or discussing blue.

You are a cosmic masterpiece hanging on a board with more than a billion stars.

In the evening, we rightfully focus our attention on you before the period of time that you graciously watch over us as we sleep.


October 8 | Writing

I married you in the spring while sitting in a Catholic grade school classroom,

And all it took was for you to emerge when I read my first chapter book story on my own.

You introduced me to new characters and took me on holiday to multiple places.

We travelled the world hand in hand and you inspired me to help build you up with my own efforts.

I fell in love with your words and the way you carefully arranged them in decorative ways.

You captured my attention, and I still have yet to steal it back.

You have become my life, my passion, all of my ambitions, and you have washed away pain and confusion as time has gone on.

You were with me when I first learned how to inscribe my name with your elements,

And you continue to guide me as I continue my life as a writer.


October 9 | Journal

I write it all down so I don’t forget the way I take me tea or the rendition of my favorite song.

I try to hold on to all the passing moments as they wisp by in the heavy current of life.

I arrange symbols on a naked page that is hungry for graphite and sticky wet ink.

I can relive my life in any memory, and can write down future messages to the newer me.

My story becomes a passage for time travel with every stroke of the pen.

And it evolves into a lasting memory of me and all of my deepest personal thoughts.

I write it all down for no one and nothing but myself.

The daunting task of scribing my life if for me to do as I continue to provide content to fill the pages.

Those pages are my most prized possession. They are my past, my future, and they are most certainly me.


October 10 | Suitcase

Filled to the brim, my international tie to home houses the essentials in my world.

It billows with grooming tools, warm cloth to keep me clothed, and the occasional snack or two.

It usually follows me from behind as I roll it through the busy passage ways that lead to the giant metal birds of the sky,

And it conveniently fits snuggly in overhead compartments.

Although my cat gets sad when she sees it, my heart jumps for joy as I drag the thing out from behind a pile of other bags in my closet.

It’s a symbol of freedom and independence, of wanderlust and getting completely lost.

It’s a seat on the side of the road while I wait for a ride in a car, a coat rack when I arrive in an entirely new destination,

And a portal linking my life at home to the rest of the entire world.


October 11| Flower

It grew in the dirt,

And reached up into the sky

Following the sun.

OctPoWriMo | Oct 1st – Oct 4th

October 1 | ASL

I watch as your hands fold and bend around invisible objects.

Your eyes widen, but your mouth barely moves.

Although there is no sound, I can hear the words that are painted with your fingertips,

And I can see the power emanating from your hands.

Your language is beautiful, and your descriptions of things lets me know how creative and smart you are.

Your movements are fluid, but unlike a dance they dive into a deeper meaning.

I envy those movements, and so I spend my nights learning to move just like you.

Continue reading “OctPoWriMo | Oct 1st – Oct 4th”

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”

Into the Land of the Dead

into the land of the dead, cemetery

A chill gush of wind breathes through my open coat as I step out of the big black truck. I spent the past ten minutes sucking down an incredibly hot almond milk latte from the nearby Starbucks only a few hundred yards away. However, as I shut the squeaky metal door of the truck parked alongside an untouched path of concrete and entered the solemn silence of the eerie land of the dead, the Starbucks we were at a few minutes ago could have been lightyears away. Continue reading “Into the Land of the Dead”

Eyes Without A Face

Eyes Without A Face

Sometimes I find myself missing literature that I have not and probably will not ever read. I find myself daydreaming of the non-existent day when some kind stranger returns the series of poems that my mother wrote and lent to a friend to read. I sit in the immaterialized section of reality hidden deep within my conscious to see the book of poems—forever lost—that I will never see.

I regard my mother as a brilliant writer able to make points, sway opinions, and write beautiful poetry and prose. She can spin stories with a pen out of thin air, but you can rarely capture her in the act. My mother said her love of writing poems died the day the book of poetry she wrote was lost under the guardianship of a friend who left them on an airplane. She would tell me that she had documented her entire life, up until that point, in prose.

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