Whisperings: A Decade of Poems by Jenny Katherine Luu

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last posted on here.  I apologize for my inactivity as I have been focused on other projects this past year (with one of them being compiling a book of poems).  As of yesterday, I have launched a new blog for my Poetry Collection at www.whisperingsbyjkl.com and plan to post to that on a weekly basis both before and after the release of my book in August 2014.

Publishing a poetry book by the time I was 30 has always been a goal of mine and I’m excited that I’m getting close to accomplishing my dream.  For me, poetry is a way to express my thoughts and emotions without leaving myself completely vulnerable to prying ears.  Through vivid imagery and angelic rhythm, I can connect with others to communicate universal human emotions.

The poems that you will read in this collection were written in my 20’s, which encompasses my college years and the years after graduation (as I start to make my mark on the world).  Through these poems, you will see a young lady discover herself, discover what it means to be a woman, and start to develop an opinion on the world.

I invite you to visit this blog and join me in my poetic journey.

whispering2

An Excerpt from 2006

Do you ever find yourself going back in time to discover the coolest things?  Sometimes when I go through old material, such as stories, poems, and journal entries that I’ve written, I discover a piece of my past.  Often, I have forgotten this piece of me, of the beliefs I held during that time and of the emotions I was going through.  Looking back, I realize I still believe in the same things, yet somehow, I’ve forgotten to make it a priority.

While going through old material to compile poems for my upcoming poetry book, I stumbled upon this interesting journal entry that I’ve written for a Creative Writing class.  Here is the except that really spoke to me.

One sleepless night, I came up with an awesome analogy, which has become my new philosophy.  Life is like a short story.  You need to have conflict, tension, connections and disconnections in order to experience triumph.  Sometimes I wished my life was perfect, but I really don’t want it to be because then it would be boring, like Happy Ending story 1 – they live, they fall in love, get married, and die.  I’d rather have the rollercoaster ride because when it goes down, I’ll have something to look forward to.  What comes down will ultimately go up again, ’tis the bittersweet cycle of life.

Writing is self-expression in that it is like a diary.  You can vent about life without being completely vulnerable because all your qualities and faults are placed in your characters.  You are free to alter the truth and let your characters be someone you’re not and believe in something you don’t.  That’s why I love fiction.

 

Nothing in Particular: Part 3 – Prose

The following short story is a flash fiction piece that I wrote back in 2006, which I really enjoyed.  It was based on a previous poem that I had written.  I had always wanted to combine poetry and prose in some fashion.  This piece was also meant to be a sort of vignette, where the images and descriptions speak for themselves without having to have some ultimate meaning.  The reader can take out of it what he will.  After writing it, I realized that it was kind of like a Neil Gaiman piece.

Nothing in Particular

Rain falls in a diagonal motion, wetting ground, watering plants, falling into puddles, making ripples in the pond. Outside, little boys in blue raincoats are chasing paper ships down the waterway. The elderly Mrs. Chan dressed in white, burns paper houses in a black cauldron for her dead husband. It has been a long night. The crow watches a raindrop slip off the golden leaf and disappear with a plop.

A moment of silence, and then the rain pounds harder, like translucent daggers hammered into doors. The crow flies off into the night, passed the children, passed the wooden house, passed the naked slithering worms, into the cemetery with Gothic gates where people are engaged in a ritual dance. Singing, shouting, dancing around and around, arms in the air, with the beating of drums. Crosses, crosses everywhere, there are angels too, all over the tombstones. R.I.P.

The crow flies off, passed the lovers skinny-dipping in the lake with moonlight glistening on their skin, passed the restless, thrashing waves, passed the fallen tree, occasionally dodging the wire-like thunderbolts, only to land on the sill of a barred window at the insane asylum. With his dark little pupils, he watches, waiting, anticipating … the scream.

The woman has her back to him. Her long black hair falls down her thin nightgown in a tangled mess, until the tips touch the floor. She stares at the granite wall, as if mesmerized. She counts: 1, 2, 3, until she reaches 13, and turns around. She is pale with sunken eyes and high cheekbones. There are cracks in her red lips. Upon seeing the crow, she screams and screams and SCREAMS!

Her voice drowns out the drip, drip, drip of the leaking faucet in the corner of the room. Her face is contorted in pain. Her eyes reflect the flickering light of the candle that sits on the nightstand. The crow does not flinch, but simply stares back.

The screaming stops as the woman brings her index fingers to her lips and kisses it.
“Shh …,” she whispers, “breathe in, breathe out.” Her chest rises and falls, rises and falls. All over the world, awake or asleep, people are breathing a harmonious song of nature. She spreads out her arms, as if to fly, and twirls around in circles at a steady pace.

“This is our moment, a special moment in time,” she whispers. She throws back her head and cackles, jumps up and lands sprawled on the floor. She slowly bites her finger until a trickle of blood appears.

“Shh…,” she whispers, gently putting down her bleeding finger on the cold cement. She writes in the flickering candlelight with the crow perched on the windowsill and the moon shining behind. There are no stars tonight, and she is no van Gogh. When her writing stops, she blows out the candle and the crow flies off. What does she write?

Nothing, nothing in particular.

Puddles of Memory

The theme for this month’s Inspirational Circle is “Dream” and I have written a poem to reflect the ambiguity of dreams by using imagery of rain.  I hope you enjoy this reflective piece as it carries part of me with it.

Puddles of Memory

Gloomy and gray,
it’s refreshingly cool
on an autumn day.

Lost in thought,
I step into puddles
of memories,
deep as the sea,
of all the things
I wanted to be.

Splashes of hope,
splatters of youth,
ripples of anxiety
twirling around
in my puddle
of memory.

Shimmering
reflections
of the past,
of the good
and of the bad
side of me.

Sprinkles of tension,
sprinkles of joy,
sprinkles of hypocrisy,
what do you really
expect from me?

Ripples of emotion
from a teardrop falling
PLOP
into a cascading beauty,
reflecting
my questioning eyes
as I step
into a puddle
of mesmerizing
color
overlaying
the wet,
cold
truth.

Knee deep
in splashes of love,
splatters of laughter,
ripples of melancholy,
reflected in
my puddle
of memory.

Dancing in the rain,
I see sprinkles
of you and me,
refreshingly sweet
upon my cheeks,
rainbowed-colored
raindrops,
reflecting dreams
that belong
to you and me.

Dancing in the rain,
laughing freely,
seeing sparkling
crystal raindrops
of reality
kiss me
on the forehead
lovingly,
refreshingly clear,
cold to the touch.
I dance in my puddle
of memory
as the sun comes up
and hugs me.

Inspirational Circle #11 – Dream

Remember being given a word, an idea or a theme and using that as inspiration? Remember the excitement that ran through your mind and traveled to your fingertips as your idea came to life?

The Inspirational Circle is back! This will be the last Circle of the year, and probably for a while, as I want to focus on compiling poems and promo videos for my poetry book starting next year.

To end the Circle with something fun and also contemplative, I have chosen “dream” as the theme :)  You can view it however you like (figurative dreams that you have at night, daydreams that you wish could happen, or realistic dreams that you want to pursue).  Make it fun, make it real, but most of all, make it “yours” as that is how the best art is created.  And, of course, share it with us on our Facebook Event!

All creative work will be considered – drawing, painting, photography, poetry, prose, mixed media, sculpture, etc. If you post the work of others  as inspiration, please cite the original source to give the artist credit. Please spread the word and invite others to join in.

Here’s a poem by Edgar Allen Poe that will give you some inspiration:

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

And now a cute poem about childhood dreams that I found here: http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poetryclass/dream.htm

My Bed is Like a Sailing Ship

My bed is like a sailing ship-
when I’m tucked in, I take a trip.
I leave behind my busy day
and sail to places far away.

I sail past beaches, gleaming white,
with palm trees swaying in the night.
I watch the waves break on the shore,
and then I see my bedroom floor!

I blink my eyes, I scratch my head-
my ship is home, I’m back in bed.
My ships goes sailing every night
and sails home in the morning light.

And now for some photos that I found googling “dreams”

dream

dream3

dream4

dream5

dream6

dream7

 

Inspirational Circle #10 – Family

Remember being given a word, an idea or a theme and using that as inspiration? Remember the excitement that ran through your mind and traveled to your fingertips as your idea came to life?

The Inspirational Circle is back! In honor of Thanksgiving, this month’s theme is “Family.” It’s time to capture your family, whether it’s happy, sad, weird, annoying, or just plain funny.  Make it unique and tell us what your family is like on our Facebook Event!

All creative work will be considered – drawing, painting, photography, poetry, prose, mixed media, sculpture, etc. If you post the work of others  as inspiration, please cite the original source to give the artist credit. Please spread the word and invite others to join in.

Here’s a perfect Thanksgiving poem to get you started:

Riches

© Jeanne D. Rhein
They say that times were tough then
That money was very tight
But I remember my childhood
And I know that can’t be rightMom would cook our dinner
Dad came home at five
We were all sitting at the table
Waiting for him to arriveWe wouldn’t eat from a microwave
Or a restaurant down the street
We all ate Mom’s home cooking
And boy that can’t be beatWe didn’t eat in front of the TV
Or with a phone in our hand
We weren’t plugged into a stereo
bopping to the latest bandWe would all sit at the table
Everyone in their place
There were never any surprises
We recognized every face

Brothers to the left of me
Sisters to the right
That’s the way we ate dinner
Every single night

We laughed we joked we talked we ate
We were a family don’t you see
Though some may have been raised poor
You can see it wasn’t me

We ate collards we ate biscuits
We ate fatback and blackeyed peas
We said yes sir we said no sir
We said thank you ma’am and please

So when you talk of family life
Or how it used to be
Though many had more money
None were as rich as me

Source: Riches, Poem about Family http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/riches#ixzz2BIIqiXK7
http://www.FamilyFriendPoems.com

Some other interesting poems:

A poem about generation gap

A poem about culture 

A sweet poem full of similes

Here’s a silly photo of my family:

My Family

My Family

And the beloved dysfunctional Family Guy

Once Upon a Time – Found Poetry

Since this month’s Inspirational Circle was “found art,” I decided to take a shot at writing some found poetry.  I had recently read an article in Entertainment Weekly about the show Once Upon a Time and loved the descriptive words that were used.  With that as my inspirational source, I started to jot down every single word that spoke to me, filling up an entire journal page entry.  It was fun.  I didn’t know where to start, so I started using the words to describe the show itself.  While it’s not one of my deeper poems that I would publish, it was a fun exercise nonetheless.  The next time I attempt to write a found poem, I reckon I will try to use fewer “found words.” :)

Portrait of Humanity

Once upon a time,
characters yearned
for happy endings
as they were believers
of childhood fairy tales.

Motivated by love,
boldly hopeful,
they went on a quest
to fulfill their longing,
only to be
misunderstood.

They realized humanity
was full of flaws,
tons of drama
and lots of deceit.

Overwhelmed
by the moral
complexity of life,
they felt cheated and cursed
the narrative
of their childhood
favorites,
this traditional sentimentality
was far
from the truth.

Life resembled
the acid-tongued soaps on TV
filled with demonic alcoholics
tormented by the repercussions
of their sins, taunted by
the beast within,
cynical
about love.

Damsels in distress
don’t find Prince Charming,
but rebels and villains instead.

Over time, their beauty declines,
literally crushing
their sense of identity,
taunted by magic,
incredibly jealous of youth,
a trippier development
reside in the princess’ mind,
resulting in a dark twist
of events, as she tries to tame
the beast
that she has become
and seek redemption
as the anti-hero, who was
blinded by emotion,
simply yearning
for
a
happy
ending.

For your reference, this was my journal page entry:

found words