JCWriter

United States

I'm an aspiring novelist with a passion for free verse and epic fantasy (and occasionally being over-dramatic).
poetry collection: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089TXGJ68?pf_rd_r=KSED
been here since about 7.26.2017

Message from Writer

There is always hope.

"I certainly have not the talent which some people possess," said Darcy, "of conversing easily with those I have never seen before." (Jane Austen)

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." (A.A. Milne)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

~

If you're here looking for something to read, some of my favorites are "Ten Wishes--A Poem", "Light", and "A Possibility". :)

Published Work

Universal Knowledge

Plane Seats

It was the language
(unspoken, unwritten, undefined)
of humanity as one voice, a tongue we all
understand with an understanding
that does not require ears: the young man
stood up, moved,
to let the child sit by a window
and still be beside her mother––
to let the child wonder at the stars, wide-eyed,
as they all ascended toward infinity together,
while still safely, comfortably, within reach of mother's arms––
he took the aisle,
smiling a "You're welcome"
because none of them could comprehend
the other's spoken words.

Tree-Whispers

While sitting this afternoon, alone
in the family van parked outside Aldi,
I considered the improbability of history
aligning just so
so that I and the woman with the toddlers who took the cart
I was returning would meet, on this day,
for those brief seconds,
doomed perhaps to never meet again, to forget
the encounter and let the three or four words
we exchanged vanish out of existence
along with the memory of the other's face.

I think there is value in this kind of pondering;
every once in a while it is good to be amazed
at the fragility or inevitability of the present.
Then again, it could be that we are just two people,
our brief relationship as meaningless as the whispers
of trees in the wind––though that begs the question:
how meaningless are tree-whispers, anyway?

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Valediction

~~~ video performance at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz-W6aDlJhc&feature=youtu.be ~~~



I
do not want to say Goodbye—
the word hits me
    like a sledgehammer hits a stained-glass window,
I
do not like the jagged shards of bittersweet
    that line my path and scar my feet,
Goodbye—
the word echoes, echoes, echoes
    like a theme song on repeat,
but it’s the song they play during the credits
    after the movie’s
        over—
I
always dreamed of a happily ever after,
    full of sunshine, and smiles, and laughter
but this is just The End,
    and it seems that my dreams
        are doomed to remain just that—
fairy tales.

I ask why
    must I face these farewells,
why
    can’t I challenge these swells
        of change,
why
    must I utter Goodbye
        once again?

And yet—
even in the midst of my internal agony,
I cannot help but hear
    a still,...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Valediction

~~~ video performance coming soon ~~~

I
do not want to say Goodbye—
the word hits me
    like a sledgehammer hits a stained-glass window,
I
do not like the jagged shards of bittersweet
    that line my path and scar my feet,
Goodbye—
the word echoes, echoes, echoes
    like a theme song on repeat,
but it’s the song they play during the credits
    after the movie’s
        over—
I
always dreamed of a happily ever after,
    full of sunshine, and smiles, and laughter
but this is just The End,
    and it seems that my dreams
        are doomed to remain just that—
fairy tales.

I ask why
    must I face these farewells,
why
    can’t I challenge these swells
        of change,
why
    must I utter Goodbye
        once again?

And yet—
even in the midst of my internal agony,
I cannot help but hear
    a still,...

ocean sunset

the setting
sun
sinks slowly
down
as the cool
of night
seeps in

a river
reflected
on
the water
laps
gently
at the fire

magic

you want magic?
you want magic, child?
you want to lift your
hands,
and watch light twirl around your fingers, and
feel that fire roar in your heart?

then pick up your pencil, your pen,
child,
and write.

 

The World Anew

Qayıdış (A Returning)

    Fifteen months--four hundred and fifty-eight days--ten thousand nine hundred ninety-two hours.
    That was how long she had waited for this moment.
    Flavescent rays from spindly streetlights kept the blue-black darkness of the sky at bay, filling the air instead with an aura that screamed City! Despite the time of night, there were people everywhere; the flight in had been full, and now the crowd of taxi drivers waiting outside the airport doors was making the most of the opportunity while it lasted. They shouted and competed for patrons, the very non-English sounds meshing together to form a symphony of familiar but fresh noise. The brown-haired girl with the zebra-striped backpack grinned through her tiredness.
    At last, she was back.
    Even if she hadn't known it when she'd left, this was home.

Slow

Night hums,
    though no one listens;
She dances,
    but all the lights are on and
    no one sees;
She sings and cries a little,
    for come morning they look only for the
    sunrise,
    rejoicing for the dawn but never
    mourning the disappearing dark.

Night listens,
    hearing all that Day forgets;
She watches,
    seeing all the beauty,
    sadness, wonder, hope
    the noon is blind to;
She shields with shadows
    those who cry alone
    into the darkness,
    a friend to all the lost and
    (for a night-dark moment) hopeless
    dreamers.

Novel Writing Competition 2018

The Beginning

    He stumbled, gasping and reaching out a hand for balance - for something, anything, to hold on to. His hand met a rough, vertical surface.
    In, out. In, out.
    He breathed, feeling his body gradually relax, then looked up. His hand was gripping a - well, what was it?
    The word came to him. A tree. How did he know that? He wasn’t sure.
    He straightened, listening and turning in a slow circle, trying to take in his surroundings all at once. He stood on a browning mass of odd little shapes - leaves, he thought - that covered the ground as far as he could see - which, considering the number of trees surrounding him, was not all that far. Most of the trees had leaves clinging to them also, and these ranged in color from yellow to brown to scarlet.
    Something in his face shifted, and it took him a moment to realize he’d started to smile. He...

Slow

Night hums,
    though no one listens;
She dances,
    but all the lights are on and
    no one sees;
She sings and cries a little,
    for come morning they look only for the
    sunrise,
    rejoicing for the dawn but never
    mourning the disappearing dark.

Night listens,
    hearing all that Day forgets;
She watches,
    seeing all the beauty,
    sadness, wonder, hope
    the noon is blind to;
She catches tears
    for those who cry alone
    into the shadows.

The World Anew

Qayıdış (A Returning)

    Fifteen months--four hundred and fifty-eight days--ten thousand nine hundred ninety-two hours.
    That was how long she had waited for this moment.
    Flavescent rays from spindly streetlights kept the blue-black darkness of the sky at bay, filling the air instead with an aura that screamed City! Despite what time of night it was, there were people everywhere; the flight in had been full, and now the crowd of taxi drivers waiting outside the airport doors was making the most of the opportunity while it lasted. They shouted and competed for patrons, the very non-English sounds meshing together to form a symphony of familiar but fresh noise. The brown-haired girl with the zebra-striped backpack grinned through her tiredness.
    At last, she was back.
    Even if she hadn't known it when she she'd left, this was home.

The Winter

    The snowflakes fell gently, slowly. They were tiny, floating up and down on faint currents of frigid breeze, as white as the sky was gray. The wind was just cold enough to bite, its dagger-sharp touch sending shivers down the back of a lonely figure trudging a ravine through the snow-covered road. Trees swayed to the left of the path, leafless branches cutting a sharp contrast against the colorless expanse of forbidding sky above and the empty ocean of stark white to the right of the road.
    A whistling howl of wind tore through the shadowed forest, startlingly shrill. With it came several eddies of white that swept past the ankles of the hunched figure on the road, along with a small maelstrom of snowflakes that beat against the back of the intruder who dared brave the elements alone in such conditions.
    A long, dark cloak did little to shield its owner from the unforgiving wind....

Paint Swatch

Dispirited Fog

    Dispirited fog is the color of everything during finals week when you know you're moving in six--five--four days. It is the color of sleep-deprivation mingled with mourning, of the shaky smile you plaster across your face like frosting hiding a cake that didn't turn out right. It is the distant look in your eyes when the world becomes a dream and you can't quite focus on anything, and when you're so lost in thought that you can't find your way back.

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2018

We breathe the same air

Link to performance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=rkAln-KG1-I
***

We breathe the same air
as them, the rest of the world
but we are different
our own nation, separated
because we span the globe

We are one, but
it is because we are strangers
among "our kind," the people
we’re supposed to recognize
they cannot understand us

So often we feel alone
lost as polar bears in a rainforest
full of unfamiliar shades and shadows—
panthers and brightly plumed birds
each in their own place

We are the one piece of the jigsaw
that doesn’t seem to fit
and never has, the one piece
that lies forgotten beside
the full picture of a people—unified

We are the undefined, foreign
in every land we dare to walk
alien
forgotten even while we’re in demand
we fear the world will never understand

We are chameleons
forever changing color
to fit in
to match our surroundings
masters of camouflage

We feel our true selves slipping
amid...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2018

We breathe the same air

Link to performance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=115&v=qHypUb6usDQ
***

We breathe the same air
as them, the rest of the world
but we are different
our own nation, separated
because we span the globe

We are one, but
it is because we are strangers
among mankind, the people
we’re supposed to recognize
they cannot understand us

So often we feel alone
lost as polar bears in a rainforest
full of unfamiliar shades and shadows—
panthers and brightly plumed birds
each in their own place

We are the one piece of the jigsaw
that doesn’t seem to fit
and never has, the one piece
that lies forgotten beside
the full picture of a people
unified

We are the ones
who should be anywhere at ease
and yet we are the ones
who are always out of place

We are the undefined, foreign
in every land we dare to walk
alien
forgotten even while we’re in demand
we fear the world will never understand

We...

Love in 13 Words

El Bilir Ki

I didn't think I had a home--until I left. Now I know better.

Monostich

Little Candle

A little candle can spread light even if the room is big.

Zoom In

It Is My First Home

    Go to the little country by the little sea (or the enormous lake, depending on your point of view), where the air is always full of sand and smog because the wind is as constant as the sky. Then go to the city where towering infant skyscrapers dot the horizon near the coast, overlooking countless ramshackle homes of every shape and size. From there, delve deep into the city and go to the school--remodeled now, new and shining like a butterfly in comparison with its caterpillar-like former self. Then cross the street two times, dart between the buildings, stop in the courtyard ringed by yellow-gray apartment buildings, and stare up at the second-story window on the right of the building whose back faces the street.
    I don't know who lives there now, or if our old landlord still owns the apartment, whether they've remodeled or whether the faint scribbles on the wallpaper here and there can still be found. I...

The Unknown

I Do Not Know Much About You

I do not know much about you
I have never worn your shoes,
    been inside your mind,
    felt your enthusiasm,
    trembled at your pain,
    retreated from your nightmare terrors,
    glowed with nostalgia at your deepest memories,
    or watched your train of thought roll by.
I do not know what things stir your spirit,
    what deep passions land your feet on the floor every morning,
    what injustices shake you to your core.
I can guess these things,
    but in the end
    you are you
    and I am me
And we do not know what it is like
    to have lived each other's lives

Ten Words to You

The Land of Fire

Smoggy horizon, Caspian Sea, eternal flames, relentless wind. Tea; hospitality.

“In January”

In January

Here we sit,
inside
around a cluster of desks,
shoved together like
the easiest jigsaw in the world;
laugh, smile, talk, write

We listen to the thunder
of the athletes outside
as they dribble--
it's like heavy rain
drum-drum-drum-drum
they sound like an army

Clouds pass over the sun,
anxious masks too hurried
to pour out their tears--yet
instead,
they cast our room into momentary shadows
once in a while

So here we sit,
talking, writing, listening
to the thunder
that isn't thunder; and
I sigh into my computer screen:
"Doesn't that just sound like fun?"

We laugh;
It doesn't.

Intersection

A City

a teeming mass of concrete, grayness, steel
and glass and fluorescence; they say
that Mother Nature has forsaken this place,
the City

I know better

the polluted sea may be just that but
it still rolls along in waves, driven
by the wind that carries gritty sand
into my face

Nature breathes

the sky is gray but still the sky, still
full of clouds, and somewhere beyond those,
there's still sunshine; and down here, we have
the wind

Nature smiles

it may be a City, but there, see, there's a tree,
an evergreen, waving its branches and swaying,
gently, showing that Nature can still be found--
even here

Fernweh

Tacitagrim

tacitagrim: (noun) a deep sorrow/grief/anguish that is kept hidden
        pronunciation: tah - si - TAY - grim
From the Latin tacitus (silent, secret) and aegrimonia (sorrow, melancholy, grief, mental distress/anguish).

Usage:

Her tacitagrim had grown to the point where she would stop sometimes, just freeze mid-step, and bite her lip, her eyes swimming in a symphony of unnamed emotions.

It's hard to describe the feeling of tacitagrim--you just sort of keep living, but every now and then you remember it and it's like somebody stabbed your spirit, and your entire inside is crying but on the outside you just pause for a moment and sigh.

Why I Write

A Possibility

I write
because I want to feel the world
through my imagination;
I want to see the world
with sparrow's-eyes—from high
up in the air, beating my wings of words
and marveling at the magnificence
of everything.

I write
because it is the only way to trap
the memories
that constantly threaten to escape—
wisps of dreamland, dissipating
into the fog of long-term remembrance,
some of them mine
some of them imaginary,
all of them crying out
to be written—written!
before it's too late.

I write
because otherwise I'll never know
who I am;
how could I leave myself lost,
buried under a mountain of words
I left unwritten?

I write
because I have no choice;
stories are involuntary—
I can't help it,
they just fall
out of my brain, off my fingers
onto the page.

I write
because empty paper is simply
a possibility.

Flash Autobiography

Me, on the page

    Tap-tap-tap-tap, tap-tap-tap. My fingers are like lightning, flashing back and forth across the keys in a drumming rhythm that can only mean inspiration. Saturday sunshine highlights lazily fluttering dust particles and illuminates my arm, which is stretched across the pile of homework I am studiously ignoring in favor of the light bulb in my brain.
    There's this feeling that always comes when we stumble out of bed in the middle of the night, rubbing our eyes and blinking. The lights are all on; it's pitch black outside. No sounds penetrate the peace of the night except us as we run around frantically, complaining that our toothbrushes and hairbrushes have all been packed into the suitcases.
    There—that was good, wasn't it? No, forget whether it was good or not, just keep writing. And writing. My hands are a waterfall of words. Once in a while, a fragment of a guilty conscience persuades me to do a...

Third Person Limited

First Day

    The unintelligibly deafening murmur of voices washed over her like an ocean wave breaking on the shore, and she halted tentatively in the doorway. There were already a number of other students in the room—fifteen, maybe?—and they were obviously familiar with each other.
    No one acknowledged her presence, which made her position all the more awkward. Feeling the discomfort rising to her throat, she took another hesitant step forward. Her hands had grown damp against the pile of notebooks and textbooks she held tightly against her chest, and now her cargo began to slip downward. Forcing herself not to hyperventilate, she glanced around the room in desperate search of an empty seat, hoping against hope that she’d manage to drop her things onto a desk and not the floor.
    There! No one had taken the far corner by the wall yet—thank goodness for that. She darted toward it, feeling her books inch lower with every step....

Cosmos

Shining stolen beams
Through the window
By night
With no care
That they are not its own—
The moon.

They glitter
Like tiny sequins
Sewn to the indigo sky
By the hundreds
Or thousands—
The stars.

A campfire
For the planets
Its blazing surface
Gives them life
And warmth—
The sun.

All of them different
Like us
And yet similar
In some ways
Fascinating—
The planets.

Wonderfully perfect
And terrifying
Bright colors
And swirling shapes
Incomprehensible—
The galaxies.

So gigantic
Couldn't possibly explain
How something
Could be that big
And beautiful—
The universe.

Talking to “You”

A Tree

    You stand tall and proud—taller than many of your smaller brethren, and yet you are proud to be one of them. Thick branches curl around you; they are evidence of the ages of time you have withstood. Each one is bejeweled with glittering emerald leaves, but while the color is pleasing you do not think much of them. You know they will wither and fall, and then grow anew, and wither again—just as they always have. It is a cycle you have experienced since you were a fluttering sapling with branches barely thick enough to support the sparrows that rested on them.
    Sparrows—you have always been fond of sparrows. Your own stillness, aside from when the wind chooses to dance among your kind, has led you to regard the small winged creatures with a great fondness. They sit and twitter in a harmony of senseless chirps that brings a happy glow to your existence, a glow...

Writing Small

Light

Void surrounds me, my entire existence. Black. Empty. Despair. A desolate universe.
Silence fills the nothingness, all hope for a future lost. I'm alone.
You're not alone! a musical voice laughs. Then, suddenly—
Light.
She holds a match. See? I'm here. And I have light.
Hardly true.
"You are light."

Zoom Out

Same Sunset

    Muscle memory.
    He's working from muscle memory, you can tell—he goes through the motions so smoothly, so fluidly, legs flying through the air in defiance of gravity. His eyes are closed, but somehow he still sees, leaping higher than should be humanly possible, slowly working his way around the empty field. Jeans and a plain T-shirt tell you nothing of who he is, what he's seen, what he knows.
    He is a mystery.
    This clearing where he practices is mysterious, too, resting forgotten in a lost corner of the place where his adventures began. It is overgrown now, bearing no trace of the hopeful rebels who once frequented it. Success has drawn them away from their humble beginnings, and the dilapidated remains of their training grounds and their homes have been left to crumble as they will. The city is free, and they have returned to it.
    And yet the one who freed it...

My Memory Lane

    Others see only the tumbling stones, the broken branches, the uncomfortable closeness of the crumbling walls on either side. Few come here now, for it is I—only I—who knows what this place truly is, and now no one else can ever learn—not the way I did.
    For this place is my Memory Lane and mine alone, my book of golden summer days spent skidding up and down the cobblestone path, my laughter like the trickle of the brook that I always knew ran alongside me on the other side of the wall. It may have been long years ago, but I will not forget—not I, the only one left now of all the children who once played under the green-clad branches that today lie fallen and bare on the ground. Some have wondered that it does not pain me to come here now and see the broken remnants of my childhood falling into decay, but I only smile and...

Song of the Empty Page

I am no songwriter,
no musician
Don't know much about music
in general, to tell the truth

But
I have heard a song

And the song,
in its silence
spoke to my soul, and then
buried itself there

It is a melody
that stole my heart away,
never to return it
Or so I hope

A soundless song

It captured me
in its spell,
its noiseless enchantment,
and held me there

It was beautiful

I can never forget it,
not that I want to
I hope it stays with me
all the days of my life

It was the first to draw me
to the inevitable—
pencil, forming letters
keys, forming words

It was the song of the empty page,
Calling

Cosmos

Shining stolen beams
Through the window
By night
With no care
That they are not its own
The moon.

They glitter
Like tiny sequins
Sewn to the indigo sky
By the hundreds
Or thousands
The stars.

A campfire
For the planets
Its blazing surface
Gives them life
And warmth
The sun.

All of them different
Like us
And yet similar
In some ways
Fascinating
The planets.

Wonderfully perfect
And terrifying
Bright colors
And swirling shapes
Incomprehensible
The galaxies.

So gigantic
Couldn't possibly explain
How something
Could be that big
And beautiful
The universe.

Truths and Untruths

Ten Wishes—A Poem

I wish for more wishes—
Nope, scratch that,
Decisions are hard enough as it is,
I wish for a wish to come true.

I wish to be a fountain of similes
And metaphors as fresh as the first winter snow.
They're wonderful that way,
Like a juicy watermelon.

I wish to be inspired
By little things, and frequently.
It would make writing so simple—
Take that, Procrastination.

On to more fantastical things:
I wish I could fly.
Forget gravity! What freedom!
First wish, take note.

I wish I could stop time,
Maybe once a day.
Just for a little while—five or ten minutes,
To simply be and simply breathe.

I wish wishes were easier to think of.
Honestly, how hard is this?
Harder than I thought,
Apparently.

I wish waiting didn't have to take so long.
Especially when you're waiting
For something important,
Like a book release, or Christmas, or tomorrow.

I wish writing meant writing,
Not writing and rewriting...

The Winter

    The snowflakes fell gently, slowly. They were small, floating up and down on small currents of frigid breeze, as white as the sky was gray. The wind was just cold enough to bite, its dagger-sharp touch sending shivers down the back of a lonely figure trudging a ravine through the snow-covered road. Trees swayed to the left of the path, leafless branches cutting a sharp contrast against the colorless expanse of forbidding sky above and the empty ocean of stark white to the right of the road.
    A whistling howl of wind tore through the shadowed forest, startlingly shrill. With it came several eddies of white that swept past the ankles of the hunched figure on the road, along with a small maelstrom of snowflakes that beat against the back of the intruder who dared brave the elements alone in such conditions.
    A long, dark cloak did little to shield its owner from the unforgiving wind....