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clmathew Apr 2022
Become myself
written July 24th, 2021

I say I want
to be a better poet

but I am also stubborn.
I don't want

people telling me
what my poems should be.

I want my poems
to become better

at being me. I write to
become myself.
Love the song "Become You" by Indigo Girls, though when I read the lyrics, it's really about a very different topic than this poem. Just a light little one.
clmathew Apr 2022
The fox hunt
written April 20th, 2022

You think you want to know me?

People ask me
perfectly rational questions
not realizing that...

You see, it's like a fox hunt
the fox is backed into a corner
it doesn't stand a chance
and knows it

surrounded by the enemy
it screams in terror
stretching arms out in fear and rage
even though there's no help or salvation

oh, and it's not a fox
it's a child
without fox teeth and claws
and the enemy is your only love and safety

now a lifetime later
i look like anyone else
but that child lives inside of me

It wasn't that violent
but I don't know how else to describe
who I suddenly am

I write so often out of pain. I wanted to try to explain to someone what had happened when I misunderstood a question they asked. This was as close as I could get.
clmathew Apr 2022
The protector and the protected
written December 6th, 2021

The protector and the protected
created at the same moment
from the same material
by the same circumstances

one fiercely taking it all
laughing in the face of those
who think they can hurt her
those who would hurt her
unless they **** her she wins
and so far she has always won

while the protected
cries and weeps for the protector
the tears the other can not shed
yin and yang
always found together
if you look close enough

the protector protecting the protected
until there is nothing else to take
and she can withdraw back inside
while the protected
tries to curl around her
and silently scream
both of their pain away

the protector and the protected
two parts of a whole
eternally locked together
but always looking for  
yearning for  
separate from
their other half.
This one is so personal. It wasn't that violent, but it felt that violent. I worry about how words and lines fit together. Eventually I just can't figure out any way to make it clearer, and post. It is the shape it is.
clmathew Apr 2022
Those not heard
written April 13th, 2021

I write this poem
for those not heard and not hearing
long dead or not yet born
bound with chains in prison
wild children who never learned language
the feral and the afraid
the multilingual multitudes
whose language I never learned
the signs I don't recognize
those too busy or drowning in stagnation
the refugee walking alone across a barren desert
the mountaineer on the highest summit
the castaway on the island in paradise
the captive in your neighbor's house
those lost in their own minds
or lost in the country - the city - down the street
ones who took a wrong turn
we with headphones intent on our cellphones

I write this poem
thinking of all the ways we don't don't hear
                                reasons we don't hear
                                things we don't hear
                                people we don't hear.
I have been honored to know and hear the stories of some of those I list up above. I am also in that list somewhere. Who don't I hear?
clmathew Apr 2022
Bright star
written November 22nd, 2021

A star is placed in the sky
when each of us is born.
It is all the things we can be,
the brightest version of us.

Life breaks and makes us
but somewhere up there
we are always brilliantly

My sky may seem dark and starless
but I know I am up there
(and so are you) shining
without anything diminishing us.
I love reading these in my head. Feeling the words...
(and so are you) shining
I keep realizing how essential the reader is to these poems.
Thank you for being here with me.
clmathew Apr 2022
North Star
written May 14th, 2021

I grew up with the stars
but nobody pointed out
the North Star to me

I still found my way out
with the luck of those
never innocent

Now I am older
and more innocent each day
in a city that has stolen the stars

I dream of getting into the mountains
for just a night
where the stars still live

Come with me
show me your North Star
so we can both stop getting so lost.
Every single time. I write these words, these poems. I love them after a few days. Every time, I think this is the one that isn't worth posting. And so, I keep posting, even if only I ever love them. Refusing to be invisible.
clmathew Apr 2022
The struggle of these poems
(of me)
written December 19th, 2021

I struggle so many ways
to write these poems
(to live each minute
of my days

struggling to think they are worth
putting pen to paper for
(to think that I am worth
putting pen to paper for

struggling to trust that I will find
the words to finish the poem
(to trust that I will find my way
to the proper end one day

struggling to polish
the rough edges and gaps
the parts that tear the page
the parts too dark to say
the parts too bright to see
(to polish myself...
do I leave the jagged edges?
can I smooth them even if I wanted to?

struggling to find the self-love
to take the time to write
(to find the self-love to be here
living my life not lost in my mind

struggling to have the courage to share
(to be brave enough to speak out loud)

that these words are enough
(that I... am enough)
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