Poetry by Joee Starke, Page High School's 2020-2021 Poet Laureate
I feel empty, insignificant.
I walk my dogs up and down the street.
I watch from the corner of my eye, as my neighbors watch me… like hawks eager to see their prey make a false move. I walk, blank in the eyes, as countless scenarios bring about significance to my existence.
Cars that hit me. Police butchering me with questions about why I’m in this suburban neighborhood [the nigga, with a hoodie, basketball shorts, and Nike slides]. Getting shot down by racist white men. Etc.
As I walk down the street, tussling my dogs to the same areas they’ve sniffed hundreds of times before; the dogs and I roam continuously through an endless cycle.
The cycle of repetition.
Complete with emptiness,
Complete with longing for something bigger,
I feel as though I should search for something bigger than myself but
my words whilst contextual enough
will never fully grasp the true meaning of
“something bigger than myself.”
I hope one day the circle may break…
but for now, I wither…
like a rose in a garden full of weeds,
Chameleon skin wraps me,
I graze every color I touch.
Afraid to leave from my cocoon of falsities,
Afraid each touch may turn me to ash
With the simplest graze.
I fear the sunlight and shade alike,
Scared to roam too far into the light
and risk exposure of my true nature.
Scared to remain in the shadows
and risk succumbing the dark.
Most fearful are those who fear themselves above all. The world remains a pen of temptations, written in ink made from the blood of the dead. Many fall prey to chameleon skin, the greatest feat is to remain clean from the lingering dirt of an illusioned façade.
Love to fear and fear to love.
The World in My Hands
I forgot that it mattered anymore,
The symphony died down and the power slipped from my hands.
I touched the baton one last time before I broke it over my knee,
The last sound was the crack before I walked away.
The passion called for me, but I couldn’t hear a word.
It was as if the world in the palm of my hands was slipping from my grasp, but I refused to acknowledge that the world was falling right in front of me.
I taught myself to forget that if it fell to the floor
It would shatter before me,
And no amount of work
Could put the glass back together once it had shattered into a million pieces.
The world is frozen on the edge of my palm,
Still able to be saved but if faltered
There will no going back in time.
The world will fall to the floor and break
As I hopelessly watch.
I just have to remember that it matters…
That it all matters.