Poems – 9/2020 on

The poems are coming in. This is so lovely with its detail and its memories.

Where I’m From

By Ava McPartland

I am from seagrass,

from coconut and vanilla.

I am from Poppies

from Barney and Bean,

the moon and the sky.

I am from long drives

in the minivan,

a car that seemed to last forever.

The music whispers

as I drift off to sleep.

I am from the basket of recipes

tucked in the cupboard

filled with stained notecards

and memories

of cinnamon rolls, candied pecans,

and grandma’s chocolate pie.

I am from weekend business trips

spent waiting–

counting the minutes,

until he returns.

I am from nail-biters

and nervous-wrecks

From overthinkers

and water signs.

I am from origins unknown,

a past lost to the tides.

I am from an ocean of memories,

a sea of lost faces–

forever resurfacing–

like a message in a bottle.

Keeping us real and full of hope, just because of our stories, here is a new poem

What I Am From

By: Nicholas Oesterreich 

What am I from,

I am from my features,

My memories

My feelings

I am from masks

My breath passing through the cloth

The cleaning of the house

I am from my closed eyes,

My cats near me,

I am from that calm feeling

I am from math,

From long days spent studying,

But also goofing off with friends.

I am from books

From thousands of hours on my bed,

All spent reading

I am the mountains,

The thin mist blanket obscuring the view,

The dreamy days and long nights.

I am from the music at 10:00 pm,

The yells from family to quiet down,

From headphones I fall asleep with.

The things that make me me

I am from myself

— 

A new poem for a new year. We come from so many places, so many peoples.

Where I’m From

By Chau Vo Thuy

I am from Vietnam,

small country looks like an S shape.

I am from Ho Chi Minh,

the city has only hot and rainy seasons.

I am from Quang Ngai,

in the central part of Vietnam.

The place is full of hurricane and floods every year.

Where my people endure difficult lives.

But they always look ahead,

and smiles are always on their faces.

Never give up, never run away.

Love and proud of where I come from.

Because I’m Vietnamese.

Two poems: “I Want” and “Now” by two authors named Loren

These poems capture who we were and who we are now in different ways. While they are not “I Am From” exactly, they fit into the search we are all making, taking in our past and our future.

I Want to Be More

By Lauren McIntosh, Harrisburg PA

I want to be more than I am

I want to be someone with their life set out in front of them

I want to be college-educated

I want to be successful

I want to be someone who can get out of their childhood home

I want to leave the place I am now

The place I still feel trapped in

I want to be someone who doesn’t have to worry

Someone who knows everything will be okay

Someone who can take a minute and relax

I want to have friends that check up on me

That ask me to hang out

That make me feel appreciated

I want to be someone that easily makes people smile

That makes people happy with my presence

Not someone that could be a burden

Or an outsider

I want to be away from all the troubles I have now

All the troubles from my past

All the worries of my future

I want to be able to express who I want to be

Without feeling like I’m pushing it too far

I want to feel like I’m worth more than I feel now

I want to laugh, and cry, and scream without invalidating my own feelings

I want to be better than I am

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The Sun Shines In My Direction

Lauren Stanton

Now I feel the rays of sun I once couldn’t

Now my mind is finally made up after so long

Now I have my spark back and I feel more alive

Now I don’t feel trapped, I feel like I can thrive

Now I can feel as free as the wind

Now I am from a place of happiness, not gloom

Now I feel that I am able to bloom

Now my life isn’t haunted by the everyday demons

Now my life is filled with new friendships and great accomplishments

Now I am able to feel the sweet breeze swinging by me

Now my feelings can become an art form, one now filled with glee

 Now I bask in the new relationships I have, and reflect on the old ones

Now the cold of the thumping rain feels freeing, even if the moments feel as though there fleeting

Now I’ve figured out that there’s still so much to do

Now even with a bounding routine, I feel not as blue

Now with being stuck in one place the surroundings are now chaos

Now even with the surrounding chaos I still feel free, like this was meant to be

Now watching barren streets out of the cars windows feels like the calm before the storm

Now as I can only communicate with the outside world via screen, I still feel seen

Now as I hide from my old life behind a screen, I still feel the suns comforting rays

Now as my shoes hit the pavement, I feel freer in my own weird little way

Now as my moments around new people get sparser, I feel as though I’m starting to miss it

Now the little things in life have become my most productive

Now I realize have more to do and less of my demons

Now I truly feel the suns rays shining their light onto me in this life

Here is a powerful voice, a fine poem. Single poems provide time for contemplation. This surely does

I Am From Poem

Dr. Betzaida Arroyo “Betz”

I am from  pots and pans

From Goya and Vicks

From the city of dreams Brooklyn and Queens

Government Housing—don’t get out of your car, elevator piss,  gunshot sounds

I am from the sun

(One of our Gods was the sun–warm, bright, and strong)

I am from music and dancing

From Fidelina and Unknown

I’m from the people who cook pasteles and lechon

From drugs and alcohol and no lullabies

I’m from no religion, all religions, imagine no religion

I’m from Boriken and from West Africa

Rice, Beans, and plantains, the Tainos gift to us

From my fourth great grand-mother Matilde…She was an African Queen

An involuntary passenger on a boat, headed to Boriken, so called Puerto Rico

Not many photos from the family tree, the lynching tree, the hanging tree, and the burning tree 

The only photo, a document from the registry of slaves 

I am from I escaped, I am free, I am brave