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weathered, yes, but still standing



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Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:14 am
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niteowl says...



23. on inspiration at inopportune moments

when i am doing other things
(not always better,
but i am paid to do them,
so that makes them worthy enough),
words and images distract me.

and yet, when i am done
and have a moment to rest,
my mind will do anything
but write the damn words down.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:22 am
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niteowl says...



24. a rather stereotypical therapist visit

when was the last time
your mother said she was proud of you?


well, there was graduation
(with honors,
a year after my world collapsed)
and all the times she would brag
about what a genius I was.

so she was proud of what you did,
but did she ever say you were good enough
just the way you are?


if she ever did,
it was a drop in the fire
of fear she built within me.

Spoiler! :
A rough paraphrase of a real therapy session I had. It's kind of a stereotype that all you do in therapy is talk about how your mother screwed you up, but man it took a lot for me to understand how much her criticism really affected me. I'm not saying she was bad or abusive or anything, but there was just a lot of tension between us all the time. I am so glad I am not stuck in quarantine with her.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:51 am
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niteowl says...



25. on love and my capacity for it

i am afraid sometimes
that i do not know how to love.

because love
isn't pretty words
(not that i'm any good at pretty words,
but i at least understand the niceties
of how to say i love you,
though perhaps when to say it
and who to say it too
took more trial and error to understand).

actually, love is an action,
doing things you may not love
because the one you love matters
more than your comfort or laziness.

and here i am,
locked in an adolescent inertia
where i can't even overcome
the roadblocks of my own demotivation
enough to treat myself like i matter.

i have wondered sometimes
if i am truly incapable of love,
if i am some sort of narcissist
with paradoxically low self-esteem,
but i have loved and wanted
and felt the pain of those who hurt
enough that i don't think i am.

but ultimately,
i cannot take action,
and so i cannot love
the way my heart wants me to.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:20 am
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niteowl says...



Spoiler! :
prompt from a poetry prompt book I got at five below: chaos, film, gulf, silver, circle (bonus if it rhymes) Sidenote: I never noticed how these words don't rhyme well, if at all


26. in tradition v. greed, greed always wins

On the shores of the Gulf of Mexico
there was once an island town
so quaint and charming long ago
until the film crew came down.

And as their cameras circled round
the town almost kicked thim out,
for they enjoyed the place so much that
their footprints wore it down.

But their money was good, the mayor said,
and he didn't want to cause a scene,
so after the final lines were read
the town got to shine on the silver screen.

And as the world beheld the glory
of a place they'd never seen,
tourists came to pad their Instagram stories
and to the locals they were mean.

And so the town's charming spirit fell
as perfect as an old cliche
of those who fall under money's spell
and lose their heart along the way.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:28 am
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niteowl says...



27. on traitorous neurons

somehow my mind
manages to retain the knowledge
i gained years ago on a cereal box
or a random magazine article,

and yet,
when i ask it to remember
a single number for thirty seconds
it claims it can't do that.

Spoiler! :
So my job involves a lot of data entry, and I'm at home with just a laptop screen so it's harder to switch between tabs and such. So I try to remember a number long enough to switch tabs, but my brain doesn't trust myself so I have to look at it like five times.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:46 am
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Lavvie says...



My favourite so far is poem #24. Maybe that's because I'm entering therapy as a profession and reading how you engage with therapy is interesting (for a lack of a better word). The last stanza is particularly powerful and I had to sit for a few minutes processing it - intense. <3


What is to give light must endure burning. – Viktor Frankl
  





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Fri May 01, 2020 2:56 am
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niteowl says...



Spoiler! :
@Lavvie thank you! That particular session was years ago and I still think about it a lot. That therapist was just exceptional and I wish I could've brought her with me when I had to move :P. I mean, the one I have now is good, but sometimes I think it's not the right fit idk it's hard to explain.


Okay folks, we're in the home stretch here. These aren't great but there are 30 poems now.

28. on timing

i can't say there's ever a good time
for a disaster like this,
but it could have been so much worse.

my twenties have been a seesaw
between freedom and sanity,
independence and safety,
but now i am lucky
to have enough sanity to scrape by,
and independent enough
to have the luxury of feeling free
even locked down in an anxious world.

Spoiler! :
Idk I feel kind of guilty because this is a humblebrag...but I was really thinking about how absolutely awful this would have been if I'd been dealing with any of the other crap that went on in the last decade and then a pandemic hit. I feel so incredibly lucky right now that I'm even able to get through this and feel okay-ish.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Fri May 01, 2020 3:01 am
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niteowl says...



29. before i go

we are nothing but storms,
my friend,
our skin made of lies
and illusions to conceal them.

if you knew me,
or anyone at all,
or even yourself,
you would know that by now.

we are young, yes,
but are you really so naive
as to believe that you
are the only one troubled?

it's cold out here--
we all shiver
beneath our shaking smiles.

i'm not telling you this
so you think you can coax
my winds back to you
(winds only go forward
and they don't take kindly to persuasion).

no, my friend,
i am telling you this,
because i can hear the regret
in your voice,
and so i want you to realize
that when you find a new love
with new storms,
see them, and hold her close
so she doesn't have to be
alone with you in the room,
and you both can remember
what it's like to feel warm.

Spoiler! :
This was inspired by Lewis Capaldi's "Before You Go" because that song has gotten lodged into my head. Specifically the line, "If only I'd have known you had a storm to weather" because come on dude of course she had problems because everyone has problems. I actually do like Lewis Capaldi but that line annoyed me so I wrote a response poem.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Fri May 01, 2020 3:07 am
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niteowl says...



30. let's wrap this up with some bad geology metaphors

i look solid now,
my subcontinents stitched together
well enough that to the casual observer,
it looks like i have always been this way,
bits of granite and quartzite projecting
an image of stability.

but fault lines and limestone remember how
there were oceans that drowned me
and earthquakes so constant,
i thought the ground would always shake,
and no matter how many times i wake up intact,
i think the stability is a lie.

and if you looked closely enough,
you would see that i am broken too.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Fri May 01, 2020 7:05 am
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alliyah says...



Congratulations on making it to 30 nite, and with a solid collection of poetry no-less! I like how your last poem interacts with your title, and I think I've said this before but I find aspects of your poetry just so relatable, that there's parts that I read and am just like "YEP, HAVE BEEN THERE!" and that's true with some of these last ones too. Really liked the introspection in 24 & 25 and everything in these last two in particular. :)

Good job niteowl!
maybe i make up colors for poetic cadence, but i don't think i can ever love someone who doesn't understand that teal is a different color than dark cyan
  








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