What I Learned After Reading My Angsty High School Poetry
A few days ago, I found a 20-year-old folder in my closet that probably should’ve stayed hidden forever.
Half-written songs, published poems in the high school magazine, depressing short stories...
Teen angst was in full force in the late ‘90s-early 00’s. And we poured it all out on typewriters between taking care of our Tamagotchi pets, memorizing Alanis’ lyrics on the Walkman and dyeing our hair strange colors.
Scary times, y’all.
Before I go on, it must be said…
If your high schooler is enrolled in Creative Writing, stop everything and go give that teacher a hug. And flowers. And send them Tiff’s Treats. They’re the real heroes.
There are so many other pieces I found that were so awful I couldn’t even post them here. BUT, there were notes - sweet, sweet notes - written by my creative writing teacher that showed genuine interest and concern. Reading the pieces I submitted 20 years later, I left with sore eyes and a headache because I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes while reading this junk!
I couldn’t believe there was a sweet soul out there who took the time to invest in us, a room full of smelly misfits with our absurd 15-year-old emotions. ALL the emotions and not enough deodorant. Goodness!
So, what did I learn after reading these pieces? So much, but here are just a few thoughts…
Eminem stole my lyrics. I can’t get into everything right now, but Bry confirmed the date of a poem I wrote and a song Eminem wrote and I wrote the opening lyrics to a popular song of his four months before it came out. Just sayin’!
I want to write pieces that speak HOPE and LIFE into my readers. Most of the pieces I read through were so depressing and included such awful, graphic content that it took my breath away. It reminded me of how transformational a life with Jesus truly is. He takes over every area of our life when we give Him access to every key of our heart (and I had so many keys I needed to hand over.)
Since I’d only known Jesus for a few months when most of these pieces were written, I didn’t fully understand the love of God. And writing about God is dangerous if you don’t have a relationship with Him.
Holy Spirit reminded me that I’ve always wanted to write. Finding these pieces reminded me that my desire to write and share words began long before the Father put the idea for this blog on my heart. And even though most of these pieces aren’t good, there are a few lines that made me do a double-take as I let them settle on my heart.
I honestly do not expect anyone to read these poems.
I simply want them documented for our own family so someday when I’m long gone, somebody somewhere will get a kick out of these atrocious stories! There are so many other pieces that aren’t even included here, but these are the ones I wanted to archive.
Proceed with caution, friends.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Forever Love, 1999
And I stare in his beautiful, blue eyes,
lost in my unimaginably gorgeous world,
filled with see-through ocean, and
romantic beaches with rippling waves
crashing at the shore.
And his soft lips read, “I love you always.”
I repeat these words over and over in my
mind until they fade away and I can
no longer remember how each one sounded.
And I gently touch his hands,
so soft in touch, yet rough from work.
When they touch mine, I am once again
reminded of this love we have and
I never want it to end.
And he talks of the future,
three children, two boys, one girl. An old
fashioned house on 23 acres that we
reprieved together, and the beautiful wrap-
around deck on the first floor he built himself,
just for us, he says.
And I believe him, for some reason.
My heart’s been beaten down bruised,
picked up kicked around, and taken
advantage of plenty of times in the past.
I didn’t think I’d be able to last
this long with him.
I love him with all my heart and soul
and that could never end, ever.
The priest stands to my right,
the Bible in his left hand, a red rosary
in his right. The soft music in the
background gives my mind and my
heart somewhat of a recollection of my
father’s funeral that occured a few months ago.
He speaks of what a wonderful person
this body lying before us was in the flesh.
Why is it past tense?
(What am I doing here?)
One hundred and three faces in the crowd,
each covered with a waterfall that is
created on the surface from the tears they cry.
You can feel the hurt
in their eyes and through these tears.
We feel betrayed and confused and
a million other emotions all at once.
The priest talks of, “the crash;
two survivors, one fatal descent.
This descent was my love,
It wasn’t to be taken from me,
it was meant for forever.
And all I can do is lie in this ocean
of my own tears and drown
deep, deep, deep within them.
We shall never be apart again.
Life spins around me,
my seat in the middle.
Chairs containing no balance,
no strength to give in case of falls.
Falling out always seems to hurt
worse than the ways led to them.
Darkness grasps me into its arms,
showing me a place of acceptance and no pain.
Knowing it would only cause more.
So deceiving to our desensitized minds.
It slowly repeats sounds of millions of words
wrapping around my skull in its indecent writing.
Spelling each word out so clearly, carefully,
slowly, too complex for my sullen mind to comprehend.
Staring at each letter running a race across my face.
Trying to fight each one off with my weakened arms,
yet not moving my fingers at all.
Stuck in this unstable chair,
I see souls fall into the opening of the darkness.
I see hearts once found, yet now lost in the
midst of Satan’s work.
The chair now following patterns of my life.
Feeling the turns throughout my corpse.
Wishing it would come to a stop.
Following the circles my eyes begin to make,
my body grows numb from the top of my head
to the tip of my toes, losing all feeling.
Every move takes me through my life in slow motion,
yet I look around and find the clock which proves that
it has been no more than a nanosecond.
I can’t hold the weight much longer.
Pains shoot into my heart as if they were
millions of knives stabbing into its weakness.
Turning each one in different directions.
I look to everyone but Jesus to answer my prayers.
Depending on myself and those around me to answer them.
To give me hope.
Little do I know, You are hope.
Lift me up to Your love, Lord.
Feeling You holding me.
Your warmth like blankets speaking to my
heart with gentle words.
“Write carefully,” you tell me.
No trust in myself.
How can I make my own destiny if it has
already been made on a cross?
Only fooling myself.
Like taking something and trying to
change it to fit my own liking.
You try to remind me I am doing it wrong,
and most importantly, You know the only way out.
Blocking out that still, soft whisper, listening to voices inside my head.
As if not wanting Your love to fall down from
the skies, wrapping stars around my broken soul.
Wanting to live for You.
So simply put.
So simply said.
Hearing Your voice say,
“If only there was truth for every time that was spoken.”
Ways I live my days don’t reflect
what my dreams would like to pursue.
Sometimes wishing we were born with no mouths.
To show with my life things wished to do
that would glorify You.
(But what to confess Your name with?)
Wanting to live for You.
Wondering why I don’t.
Pondering what could be so important to hang on to
and not let go, for even You.
“I take you as you are,” You say.
Not listening to words You spell out so clearly.
My heart surrounded by gorgeous castles and walls
made of fine stone.
Not letting them in.
Not trusting myself once again.
How will I learn to trust them?
“Lean on Me for the truth and the truth shall set you free,”
You tell me. “Trust Me, and it will all fall into place.”
Walking through the crowd of the cruelty of everyone else.
Not seeing my own face.
Have I turned into “just another one in this crowd”
that makes up Satan’s Hall of Fame?
Are there roads my life has traveled down which were
dedicated to his heart of stone?
Get me back to the narrow bridge which only a few find, Lord.
This world which I live in works so hard to work and
provide for themselves.
You say, “Follow Me and all will be given to you.”
Stop my selfishness.
Let this world fall into its sleep, and into holes it has
only dug for itself.
But let my heart fall into Your love.
Who will be spared?
You say not all who call upon Your name will
enter Your Father’s Kingdom of Heaven.
My beaten and naïve mind can’t help but think if You
were staring me right into my teary eyes when You
made this statement so very long ago.
Finally reaching the ‘top.’
The very best place for Satan to reach out his infected
hand, push me off the cliff, force me to fall, try to get
back up, and start all over again.
One big cycle,
it all is.
Hoping the room will stop spinning soon.
Just for seconds so my mind can stop and think.
This chair becomes the front seat to a roller coaster ride.
We race over curves at rates so fast, my eyes no
longer see what’s going on.
The ride beginning to slow down as we reach the top of a hill.
Not knowing what is to come next.
Only making assumptions.
Thinking about jumping off right here, fall into
darkness, leaving You once again.
Or staying on, keeping the faith I once had to see what
You have planned for me next.
To see what waits over this hill, including all the other ‘hills’ in life to come.
My head falls back.
Gravity pulls on me as Satan tries once again to pull me away from You.
Looking up to the sky.
Stardust falls on me as if it were Your love being
poured out with millions of words of anticipated seeking.
You give me a chance to make my own choices,
yet You already know these choices we will make.
I sin and can feel Your cries pour out to the lands of
this earth as lightening and thunder burn homes and
Your power is contradicted in the souls of confusion and disagreement.
They come up with theories to try to understand how
You can just wave Your magnificent hand across the
day-lit sky, making sunrises so beautiful that love is
connected through hearts and complications are solved in Your strength.
We say we look to You, when we are staring ourselves
between the eyes.
Everything becoming blurry in one of these last moments I will live.
One last quick turn around the corner of my life.
This unstable chair surprisingly slowing down.
I take in one last breath, close my eyes, and
feel myself begin to fly.
My dreams are finally coming true.
What I have been waiting for all this time is about to be mine.
I see the gates open wide and the angels by Your side.
Finally seeing You, so beautiful in all of Your glory.
Or is it just another dream?
I’ll see You in Heaven, Lord.
Forgiven through His grace.
Second Chances, 2001
It’s like the end
that’s always the beginning
when I don’t know where to start.
It’s like the dream
I never dreamt
when I don’t know how to sleep.
It’s like the stars
I’ll never embrace
when I stare at the world above.
It’s like the tears
I cry in vain
when I plead for only but a friend.
It’s like the sun
reflecting off my face
when the moon is out and all is calm.
It’s like the lie
I’ve never told
when I had all the words to speak.
It’s like the moment
I’ve never held
when it went on forever.
It’s like the love
I’ve never known
when it was right before my eyes.
It’s like the name
I’ll never scream
when the stakes are set so high.
It’s like the skin
I’ll never touch
when I hold you in my arms.
It’s like the life
I’ll never live
when I always had the chance.
It’s like the chance
I’ll never take
when it was my last to be given.
for the meek, 2001
Time will come and time will break
Break this heart of mine and take
Take the love I only know
Know of Heaven’s resilient glow
Glow you stars and broken dreams
Dream of days that will not seek
Seek of you in day and light
Light my life and hold on tight
Tight this wind beneath my wings
Wings of sudden broken seams
Seems my life is fading fast
Fast you’ll go, and don’t look back
Back to life where you came from
From the depths of this love
Love I solely hold so true to you
You and your vanity meek
Meek the virtue I first see
See these things I hand to you
You hold on one day you’ll see
See these things left from me
Hey little girl,
you lie in a puddle of your tears,
I thought you said last time
you had found your closest friend.
I guess those dreams were shattered
to the ground with all the rest.
Hey little girl,
lift your head up high.
High enough so I can see the moonlight
in your eyes.
But not as far as to the sky.
For the sky holds dreams,
far too confusing of a concept for your
limited mind to grasp.
Keep your head up high.
Hey little girl,
believe in yourself.
You feel you are nothing, but look at
all these somethings that I hold in my
magical hands and lie in front of your sullen face.
Hey little girl,
you’ve found what you’ve been looking for.
No more wandering and waiting,
for He is the One,
He has come.