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Poems to Self: Responses to Solitude & Lesson from Karma

“The best thinking has been done in solitude.”

– Thomas A. Edison

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

– Maya Angelou


I self-published “Solitude” in 2012 as part of a project entitled, Contemplation of My Reflection. I was living in Virginia and had been working as an office manager for a government contracting company for almost one year. My first hire straight out of the Navy. This job, like the military, filled me with a sense of importance. I felt that I was of value to this company who had just hired a 23 year old black woman to set up their east coast office. The CEO of this company had to be the most humble rich person I had ever met. Well, I had never met a rich person per say, but I expected an ounce of snobbery.

He had even taken the time out of running global operations to have conversations with little ole me. As you can see in this writing from 2012, the heaviness of my heart was starting to leak through my potential to flourish. I had a weight that I was still carrying around with me. 

To the 2012 Voice of Solitude

Well you have a point there,

Such conviction you speak with.

And pain.

You reek of pain.

And anguish.

While it still holds true that much of society 

Thrives from looking down on others,

I must say 

That allowing your mind to be locked away

Due to immense concern of how others view you,

My Dear, it will stand in your way.

Fear alone will have you stagnant.

You struggle with your self image

Trying to decide which parts of yourself to show

And which parts to hide.

You cannot keep searching for a safe place

Because your safe place is inside 

Of you. No need to shatter

Your ambitious and frowned upon dreams,

The dreams you keep having for a reason.

One thing: from 2012 to 2023 

You continue to acknowledge that God is with you. 

God has always been with you. With me. 

And while you ran from the dark for decades,

Even as a child,

It’s the dark 

That reveals the spark 

That you need 

To no longer question your reflection in 2023.

Lesson From Karma

“Lesson from Karma” was included in my 2022 self-published project The Girl is Awake

This piece was intense. I said it before and I’ll say it again: after a stretch of chaos and unhealthy relationships, what becomes needed is a deep look within self. 

This poem is so fresh, and it still holds powerful notes that are relevant to me even right now.

Karma Taught Me a Lot About Being Toxic

It’s the poison that seeps through your eyes,

Imprints of the chronic

Need to feed that ego.

It’s the acid that deteriorates,

The poison that controls 

The need to be in control 

It intoxicates abilities to communicate 

It negates 

Emotional intelligence 

And presents apathy.

Toxic love

Lovers were toxic

Toxic friends

Toxic family

You can be toxic even as an enabler

Which I honestly didn’t know initially.

Abuse enabling

Enabling poor decision making

Enabling the passing down of trauma

To future generations.

Insincere apologies: toxic

Toxic are hidden agendas behind words

Toxic are you 

Was I toxic? Sticking around

When there was no action 

To improve a thing.

Enabling a possessive and gratifying spirit.

Toxic trust 

Lust is toxic

Toxic values

Toxic tendencies 

Lingering around those

Who meant not an ounce of good to me.

I choose to be positive,

I’m unavailable for heavy dumps of rants today.

I don’t have the capacity 

For negativity 

Keep the malignant jinx away from me.

I learned my lesson

My lesson from karma

I sat alone with myself 

I can face my ways.

Maybe one day you can do the same. 

Speaking life into myself,

I speak life into my kids.

I speak life,

Writing aimlessly –

I write to keep my life bright.

Than you for reading. I do have a relevant post to include here:

Read my first reflection of “Empathy Was My Excuse to be Toxic” in a new tab: https://jusjesspoetry.org/2023/06/11/empathy-was-my-excuse-to-be-toxic-reflection-1/

lit bonfire outdoors during nighttime
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

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