Poetry: A HOME IN THE WORDS

smiling woman using laptop

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Home, in spite of the house.

Home, in spite of the neighborhood.

By the fourth grade, the many homes I’d had

Could be counted on two hands.

Make new friends, be social,

Strike up conversations to be normal.

I talked with words,

Hoping to find another

Who would talk similar words at me

So we would have some words in common

To talk about.

Report cards chastised my love of words—

“She talks a lot.”

“She talks too much.”

“She talks in class.”

Little girl, hush!

Home, in spite of the city.

Home, in spite of the state.

The state lines blurred and swirled in my head

Class clown or introvert?

But the truth is, when the talking came

To a merciful stop,

That was home.

School bus rides spent in solitude,

Left to my thoughts.

An inconspicuous corner in the park

To people-watch.

Quietly learning things

That can’t be taught.

Silently yearning

To accompany none.

To simply be

In the comforting company of one.

Alone.

Talk is tiresome.

And I’ve talked for too many years.

Home, in spite of society.

Home, in spite of deity.

I covet, I desire, I lust to communicate.

It’s a sin to have waited this long.

To let these words languish,

Unused and unloved.

Herds of unwritten pages

Penned and left silent

Under the varnish of a social façade,

Confused and shoved aside.

The words that aim to hit a woman’s heart,

Not her eardrum.

The words that pull laughter from a man

Residing in the slum of his despair.

The words that inspire the inner child,

Not to give way to fear,

But to demand fear bows at their feet.

Smiling, no matter how many tears scroll down their cheeks.

Surviving collateral damage in the years they toil to be unique.

Braving the verbal batter all the peers who scold their defeat.

Home is right where I write.

Home is right where I think.

Home lies in the honesty of humor, humanity, honor and humility.

Home is in the words

That haunt and transcend language.

And they linger, patient

In the periphery

Needing no translation.

It is the holy dialect of our motherland.

That is the tongue I long to speak.

By: Erica Ruhe 

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Poetry: Apexia

blonde long hair of smiling woman

Photo by Neemias Seara on Pexels.com

A tangerine and lavender dawn bleeds across the horizon and

I drop my hiking pack on the cold, rocky ledge.

My breath rasps cold and jagged down my throat,

Much like breathing in a piece of amethyst,

Depositing it into the quarry of my oxygen-starved lungs.

The air at this altitude is shallow, lacking nourishment,

Much like the education that inebriated me

Throughout my formulaic youth.

Every facet of my life had been fastidiously polished

With superficial pageantry and public praise.

Until I became a ghostly reflection

Of the studio lights that shone on me.

Condensation swirls from my lips now,

As if a few society’s expectations

Escapes with each exhale.

Alone at the summit,

I am sober.

There is no intoxicating high of over-proof self-worth,

Only a calm, pure proof spirit.

I sit cross-legged on the cold, rocky ledge.

Admire the bruises blossoming on my shins.

Much like purple merit badges bestowed from the mountain.

By: Erica Ruhe

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Poetry: Fire Effects

We are of Taraxacum.

A volatile genus in duress.

Our heads disseminate, blown from our stems.

Rash thoughts ignite into words and whirl

On the wind,

Take seed in a flash of tongue and slice of eye.

In the young, loamy soils

We till fears deep.

They spring up from the ground and

Spark into being.

Fractured fragments of the whole,

Born from friction, this contempt consumes.

And it is like a wildfire.

Thick, fiery vines twist and coil.

Flowers, stoked to an angry bloom, blaze and burst,

Throwing open petals wide with the backdraft of odium.

It scorches and scars the skin of the earth.

We are barbaric in this unnatural state.

Hearts sterilized by the heat of hate.

Hearts full of bitter sap and brambled embers.

Roiling smoke stings and blinds us,

Chokes away our empathy.

This fury lashes through our humanity

Until there are only blackened sticks and

Smoking patches of ashy dirt.

The afterglow of spent, searing sentiments

Fade from the carpel.

Here, a pistil of arrogance and one of defeat,

And here, a pistil of disgust

And another of ignorant nostalgia.

Fear singes the last delicate cell walls

In a red, luminescent squall line.

And finally, fully charred,

The spent bloom wilts and crumbles.

But their fire has not left me infertile.

In this crackling, wild prairie,

There is a budding, a delicate anticipation

That the rains of my sorrows will sprout new growth.

I must germinate, cultivate

A bright breath of compassion,

Lest the world around me burn out and

Smolder into cold nothingness.

 

By: Erica Ruhe

woman in red lipstick near green plant

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Poetry: California Wildfire

fire

Our first kiss was in the depths of a

Fetish Room

It was summer, the time of year

For love to blossom like wild daisies

We burned bright and dangerous

A forest fire gone rogue

Suddenly, I felt more daring

Not thinking about tomorrow

The killer of passion

All I wanted to think about

Was how your kisses

Ignited fireworks in me

Exploding into the brightest colors

Whenever we were in the same room

We transformed into a danger zone

Our flames devouring the walls

And although our hearts had

No fire escape to lead us out

We kept on playing Russian roulette

Loading our guns with six bullets

Because death by love

Was ultimately better than

A slow, tedious death.

***

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

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Poetry: Bad Habit

I’m like a smoker

In need of a cigarette

I need you, even if

I know you’re detrimental

To my health

But the rush you give me

Is worth more

Than saving myself.

smoke

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

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Poetry: The Lessons We’re Taught

lavinia2

Men are taught to take what they please

Women are taught to relinquish their treasures with a smile.

It’s why women mistake brutality for love

And men believe a woman’s body is for them

to seize without consequences.

***

lavinia

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

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Poetry: Not Missed If Not Departed

bloodgirl

The bathwater is turning scarlet red.

I wonder what you will think

when you will find me dead.

Never would’ve missed you if you hadn’t left.

Never would’ve loved you if you hadn’t said goodbye.

But very soon you will wonder why,

you abandoned me here to die.

One of these days,

One of these days.

The scent of blood lingers in the room.

Will my death bring you possible doom?

Never would’ve been obsessed if you hadn’t left.

Never would’ve loved you if you hadn’t said goodbye.

But very soon you will wonder why,

you abandoned me here to die.

One of these days,

One of these days.

This scalding blanket of vulnerability

Is giving me more security.

Never would’ve adored you if you hadn’t left.

Never would’ve loved you if you hadn’t said goodbye.

But very soon you will wonder why,

you abandoned me here to die.

One of these days.

One of these days,

You will miss me.

***

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

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Book Review: Almost Home by Madisen Kuhn

almost home

A gorgeous poetry and prose collection that explores the meaning of “home” and the profound discovery of finding it within oneself.

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Pre-Order on Amazon

Publisher: Gallery Books

Price: $14.99 (paperback)

Plot Summary:

In this stunning third collection from Madisen Kuhn, Madisen eloquently analyzes some of life’s universal themes within the framework of a house. Whether it’s the garden, the bedroom, or the front porch, Madisen takes you into her own “home,” sharing some of the most intimate parts of her life so that you might also, someday, feel free to share some of yours.

Filled with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations from Melody Hansen, this boldly intimate, preternaturally wise, and emotionally candid collection encourages you to consider what home means to you—whether it’s in the lush, green-lawned suburbs or a city apartment—and, more importantly, explores how you can find it even when home feels like it’s on the far-off horizon.

Grade: B+

Review:

For someone like me who has been on the move since I was born, reading a book that explores the meaning of home was very relatable. What’s the difference between a house and a home? And how do you know when one feels just like a house and what makes a home a home? The poetry is very heartfelt and emotional. For some home is a physical place or location, while for others the meaning of home is a person. What makes us feel at home? Ultimately, it’s the place where we feel safe.

One of the most poignant lines was, “I am jealous of what you have but not of who you are. Regardless it withers me.” I’m sure many people have often felt this way, feeling envious of what someone may have but not being particularly keen on the person in question.

Many of the poems explore the meaning of finding a home within a person. I think that we all yearn to feel at home with someone, although oftentimes that is merely a mirage and we’re far lonelier together than when we are alone.

This poetry collection really hits a nerve for me because of my incessant search to feel at home. If you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur or Amanda Lovelace, then this book is for you.

*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Poetry: The Way You Left Me

cry

I housed dreams in my heart

You used razor blades to tear them out.

Hope lingered on my lips

You bit down hard till they bled.

You left me bloody and empty.

In a world that wants us to be whole and pristine.

***

Did you enjoy this poem? You can find this poem and many others in Bleed Like Me: Poems for the Broken

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