poetry for the end of the summer

As the summer season comes to a close, I have been forced to reflect upon and face myself. I am a firm believer that as there are seasons within nature, there are also seasons of life. This summer I have learned a lot about who I am, both good things and bad, and as this season comes to an end I have found that I am in a place where I must let go of a lot. This collection of prose is about precisely that: Letting go. Letting go of people, situations, emotions, etc. that no longer serve you. It’s hard to do. It is definitely a process getting over the things that have wounded you in your life, and doesn’t happen instantly. But hopefully, eventually, you will get to a place where you are ready to move on and grow. Sometimes you need someone else to give you the permission to move forward towards a better place, rather than holding on to the familiar. I hope that these words give you that permission, if you have no one else in this moment.




every day I wake up

slip into my spacesuit

step out into emptiness of your company


handkerchief over mouth

       no doubt

              i might say something stupid.


all this gravity was too heavy

       as I lurked on earth

this mind is made so cumbersome and flighty -

feeling bricks prickle out from skin

like feathers exploding out of a pillow








so i sit

with the wit i shot out of the atmosphere-

       attached it to a satellite to try and catch a signal


you’re not Houston –

        it’s otherworldly,

               but somehow you tuned in.


well aren’t you stellar?

it certainly is overwhelming

being from outer space.




Waiting to feel the shockwave

From the rumblings of my cries

I’m flooding after torrential rains

And tsumanis came hurdling in.

Emergency sirens blister air and ears

But all you do is sit cross-legged in your favorite chair,


With a book

So oblivious and dreamy…


The world looks fine, don’t it?


          Those damn birds were squawking for no good reason.




Hungry and green


Standing on nothing but this mound of dirt


Fresh cut grass and shady willow trees


Ever-present and existing elegantly on


The other side of the picket fence.


Looking up at blue skies


Clouds feathering underneath Father Sun


A growing, aching, urgency comes near


With the wind, blowing


Storming thunderclouds over to the side I’m still on.


Nothing but worms here


Death making up surrounding ground


Numbing these feet


Skin all purply


Needing to feel that warmth,


But now up to the knee in mud.


Missing the hug of a friend –


A bumblebee whizzing by


Sends a shiver through ragged bones


As summer air subsides.


Will this feeling last forever?


Who knows? Not I.


Loneliness becoming a cloaked companion


With whom I break bread tonight.




Moving out and clearing out

Heart is heavy, arms are heavy

Shoulders sore from carrying life

In unorganized battered boxes of junk


Boxes and boxes of little smirks,

meaningless gestures,

and whispered two-cents

That slid through my gut like a sharpened sword and

I let myself bleed out into jars that I saved in box four.


How easy it was to skate through everything so one-dimensionally

With my boxes carefully balancing on my back

That hike started off so easy

But the trail turned precarious

Then my boxes were rained on

The edges becoming feeble

Everything started spilling out

And all my stuff

Was there

For unknowns to consider and gawk.


How hard it can be to realize

Nostalgia is not my friend -

This life is only moments of

posed magazine pics of things wanted

Missing the props and models

of that time when you took the photo.




Look up!


Pattering raindrops fall on cheeks


Now look up


They slip through sunbeams cutting dark clouds


Look up!


Shoes are drenched


But look up


As you float away


Look up!


For now it’s okay to live in the space of in-between


When will you look up?


Gaze stuck upon cement won’t change the ground you’ve been walking on.


So look up -


Surrender your wings to the opening sky


Look up.


Elle Stempe