Past Poet vs Present Poet

Sep 30, 2020 · Brittani S Avery


In between starting a new job, supporting the web design needs of a local non-profit, HALLINS Corporation, and even dealing with a surprise paperback purchase (which was awesome once I realized the email wasn't spam ), I've haven't had much time to write for me. Granted, I have not been the most inspired to write creatively, as mentioned in my last post. However, I decided to open up the file where I keep all my poetry, mainly to fix some formatting issues. The seemingly absent-minded task transformed into a trip into my past as I reminisced on the topics, styles, and quality of my poetry.

The earliest poem that I have saved was from 2002 entitled "Today is the Day." I don’t have the month or day unfortunately, but I do remember being in school, starting my first year of junior high (7th grade). I originally shared the poem with my family during dinner or right after it and they liked it, encouraging me to continue writing. It's about a runner training, winning, and remembering a race they entered. Looking back at it now, it isn't the best poem. But, it was a start.

For the last 18 years, I have written at least one poem each year. Some years only have two or three poems where others contain dozens. Seeing how poetry was my main source of de-stressing for years, you can easily tell when life got a bit crazy. Some of my best poems were between the years of 2013-2015 where I was dealing with difficult changes in my friendships and romantic relationships. These poems are quite personal and only a handful have been read by others. Those poems I didn't write to share but to release the turbulent emotions dwelling inside me. I'm not the best at verbally expressing my feelings, so written word it is then.

One of my favorite poems from that time is "Returned Jackets", a tribute to the men, or "jackets", that a friend and I had left behind without continuing onto marrying them, i.e. the final purchase. My friend loved it at the time and despite its age, I think it still holds up pretty well.

We've returned our jackets, my friend and I.
We both changed our minds right before the buy,
or rather the jackets somewhat forced our hands.
See, further research revealed some things about the brands.
Her former brand was great with her shape flaunted and caressed,
until the poor thing started unraveling due to being highly stressed.
Mine was pretty nice too but with some spots here and there,
but despite washing, the spots became far too big and ugly to wear.

So, we are free, happy, and jacket-less.
Window shopping is actually fun again. Oh yes!
The styles of jackets have all sorts of colors and sizes
and the availability changes with the sunrises.
We admire the pretty ones, the cool ones, and the slick,
careful to avoid the pricey ones who would weigh us down like bricks.
Sometimes, my friend hopes her old favorite becomes free again.
But me, we both deserve better, especially now compared to then.
I sometimes doubt I will ever find one that actually fits.
But then she reminds me of Jah, saying on him to never call quits.
Nevertheless, until we both receive our personalized rewards,
we have each other, jacket-less and never bored!

The one thing that I find ironic is that I have only written five poems this year even though life has been a dumpster fire for the past few months. I have missed writing poetry though and my sister gave me a suggestion of writing a poem a week, whatever subject or styles I want, as a way to jumpstart my creativity again. It's a good idea, one that I'll be starting this month. Feel free to take it if you feel like you're in a creative rut. If you have gotten out a rut recently, what worked for you? The more ideas, the better for me. Until next time!


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