Category Archives: Poetry

Leaving Me Vulnerable

leaving me vulnerable

mean-spirited people

wielding their words like swords

cutting down others with every slash

my mood, once buoyed,

sinks whenever they’re around

accusatory phrases abound,

the blame game their main game

the attacks come out of nowhere

unprofessional and unwarranted remarks

leave me unaware of what I did wrong

(did I do something wrong?)

walking on eggshells,

avoiding at all costs

the saying goes,

don’t take criticism

from someone you wouldn’t take advice from,

yet the constant criticism and

hurtful words hurled at me

leaves me feeling vulnerable

questioning

unsure

even though I wouldn’t go to them for advice

why do I allow someone else

to have that much

power

over me?

am I too

sensitive?

I don’t think so.

Spring has Sprung in Jeju

Spring is…
sun shining
buds blossoming
breezes blowing
dogs walking
everyone smiling
plants sprouting
outside sitting
skin warming
energy rising

I’m absolutely loving the spring weather here in Jeju! The warmer weather, sunny skies, and gorgeous cherry blossoms make me smile. Today was a perfect spring day, and I couldn’t help walking around, snapping photos. I’m looking forward to riding my bike and taking long walks in the coming weeks. With Spring Break in two weeks, I’m excited to explore more of this beautiful island!

The Last Paragraphs of My Biography

Have you ever been inspired to write something from a book you’re reading? Well, I’m reading The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (which is great by the way!) and in it, Xiomara’s teacher gives her a few writing assignments that we, as readers, get to see. In the book, Xiomara (the poet) writes the rough draft as a poem, saying the truth, but ends up turning in an essay that is more in line with what she thinks is acceptable. Assignment number two, which was to write the last paragraphs of your biography, caught my attention. With a mixture of excitement and fear, it made me wonder…what would they say about me, about the life I’ve lived? I mean, really, What would they say?

Here’s Xiomara’s rough draft of her assignment:

And here’s her final draft:

Here goes…my rough draft of the Last Paragraphs of My Biography:

Jennifer loved with her whole heart and
treated her friends like family.
While she never married or had children of her own,
she developed strong relationships with her nieces and nephew,
and they came to visit her often,
wherever she happened to be.

During her lifetime, she lived
on six continents, traveling to the
far reaches of the world, in search of
adventure and understanding.
Her dream of someday living in Paris
came true. She spent her days wandering,
writing, and wondering. (Oh, and eating lots of croissants!)

She didn’t always get it right,
and she made lots of mistakes,
some she’d rather not share,
but one thing remained the same,
she always learned from her mistakes
and tried to do better the next time.

Despite all of her fear and worry and doubt
that she wouldn’t be good enough,
she finally authored and published a book
and then another and another.
Jennifer was also a sought-after
speaker and workshop leader,
sharing her passion for writing and the PYP.

Jennifer may be remembered
as many things: a friend,
an educator, a writer, a sister,
an aunt, a daughter, a reader,
a traveler,

but most importantly,
she should be remembered
as always following her passions,
standing up for what she believed in,
and for loving with her whole heart.

I think I’ll save the final draft for another slice. 😉

Frustration

frustration’s a funny thing

it starts off small

barely noticeable

like a tickle in the back of your throat

after a while

it chips away

at the positive exterior

poking its way into your life

making itself known

calling out to be tended to

to be noticed

until you can no longer

ignore it

then what was once a tickle

is a full blown cough

unable to be disregarded

once it’s there

in your face

you’ve got to deal with it

one way or another

you can cry

or pout

or shout

or discuss

or retreat

or take action

it’s up to you

but it must be dealt with

this frustration that’s

built up inside of you

More Days Like This

Today was a perfect day. I need more days like this.

A Perfect Day

Morning slicing
No rush
Sunny and breezy
The wind in my hair
Ninety minutes of stretching and kneading
Melting into a Thai massage induced coma
A short walk through the familiar neighborhood
My favorite Penang curry by the lake
A bit too spicy this time,
But still delicious
Quick stop for some Thai snacks
Before heading to the pool
Water the perfect temperature for lounging
And catching up with not one,
But two friends
Sunkissed, heading back as the sun set
Showered and in our pj’s
Pizza, laughs, and Netflix
The perfect end to
A perfect day

Stress Relief

It’s that time of the year where the stress has built up. It’s been almost 12 weeks since we came back from Christmas break, and we are all in need of a holiday. After school, I was frustrated. My typical response to frustration or a stressful day would be to come home, stew about it, veg out on the couch watching Netflix and eating junk food, feeling sorry for myself. But today I chose a different response. I chose to honor my commitment to the gym despite feeling cruddy.

Stress Relief

grumpiness started
to make itself at home
the chocolate chip cookie
doing little
to stave off the feeling of frustration
dreams of the couch
coming to my rescue
played in my head

but I have an appointment
do I cancel? or do I go?
begrudgingly i went
convinced I’d do my thirty minutes
and leave

the beat started off slow
then sped up
motivating me to row
faster than normal
picking up speed
with each passing minute

endorphins taking over
the stress started to thaw
my training session
over too fast
but i was ready
for more

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

Months of preparation

Countless hours of rehearsals

Making sure everything is just right

Stress and worry taking its toll

Will they remember their lines?

Will they get the timings right?

Will the audience be impressed?

Performance day is finally here

Sweating and pacing as the audience arrives

Did I remember to put deodorant on today?

Finding my seat, it’s time to begin

With each performance, my shoulders relax a bit more

All that practice was worth it

Everyone is doing their best

The audience seems to like it

The finale is up next

Will they pull it off?

This was always the shakiest part in rehearsals

They did it!

The audience is clapping and cheering

We all breathe a huge sigh of relief

It’s over

We made it

Happy and smiling after the show. Parents were so impressed and excited about the students’ performance today!

What I Don’t Believe

I’ve written two versions of What I Believe poems (attempts #1 and #2). Today I thought I’d try my hand at what I don’t believe.

 

What I Don’t Believe

I don’t believe there’s
one right way to do something
I no longer believe that you have to be married
to be complete
I don’t believe you should be the first
to leave
I don’t believe in pretending to be someone
you’re not
I don’t subscribe to the belief that
your horoscope will tell you how to live
I don’t believe life
was meant to be lived in just one place
I’m not a believer in
holding back
I don’t believe crying
is weakness
I don’t believe kindness
is ever wasted
I don’t believe in
an eye for an eye
I’ve got no place
for superstitions in my life
I don’t believe in giving up
when you’ve failed
I don’t believe anyone
stays the same throughout their life
I don’t believe in denying
yourself the dreams you’ve always had
I don’t believe there’s
only one way to love
I don’t believe
perfection exists

Writing a poem about what I don’t believe proved to be much more difficult than writing one about what I do believe!

On Photography #sol18

As an avid traveler, photography is one of my budding hobbies. I haven’t taken a class (I probably should ) and I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I try. That’s what counts, right? 🙂 Today, as I swiped through the photos I’ve taken so far on my trip, I’ve been thinking about me as a photographer.

On Photography

At first
center it
point and click
snap, snap, snap
quantity over quality

Through the years
I’ve evolved
no longer
am I satisfied
with mediocre

Now my photos
have to
tell a story
make the viewer
wonder and
question

The focus now
is less
on the famous
or touristy
and more
on the ordinary

Catching glimpses of
everyday life
made interesting
by the angle
the framing
and the focus

Color and
lines
grab my eye
intriguing me
enticing me
to take the shot

The goal to
get the perfect shot
the right angle
subjects in and
out of focus
framing it just so
better than editing later

More concerned with
quality over quantity now
many shots
don’t make the cut
but the ones
that do
are just right

Here are a few of my favorite shots: