How Do We Embrace the Jagged Narratives? {poetry}


There are many lanes in the forward movement of a revolution. There are many conversations to be had, with ourselves and with others.

There is the immediacy of change upon us, and we are thrown into turbulence trying to adapt. The crippling past carries on today. And amidst this, there remain no solid plans or answers in how we will operate in our togetherness. How will we work, learn, and live due to the onset of a pandemic? Is there a new dawn unfolding, and are we ready to embrace it?

There is so much complexity in the events before us. In this necessary social change, there are interwoven narratives, nuanced and blended. There are also the ones of pain, frustration and bitterness. How do we hold and embrace jagged and sharp narratives, piercing our hearts like shards of glass? These are not delicate or bright spots in history.

The narratives are not perfectly held, one inside the other like a trinket of Russian Dolls — encased to make a whole. The narratives poke out and explode, leaving us wounded and ashamed. Some days we wish the turbulence would go away and the nasty past and continued present were not true.

In all of this complexity, I feel hope. I see souls searching for answers and new ways of being. I see there are moments of beauty between and in the pain. To remain focused on the good, I gravitate to art. I recall the painter Gustav Klimt, his regal work reminds me of kingdoms and great empires. I think of Africa and the jewels in time we may have overlooked. May we find the beauty unfolding in our midst.

“She is a wild, tangled forest with temples and treasures concealed within.” ~ John Mark Green


The painter stared at a blank canvas, trying to conjure magic,
He had dreamt of Egypt,
Nefertiti’s golden headdress and a placid sphinx.

He began with large brushstrokes, in the haze of cigar smoke,
His tabby cat luxuriating in the studio’s sunlight.

Two long-term lovers on his mind,
Osiris and his goddess Isis.

How does one paint sapphires and stained glass,
as if there are iridescent, shimmering hues with different views?

Paintings have no sound, but there is the flutter of awe,
hummingbirds and the magnetism of radiance,
She was strewn in gold,
wonder morphed into skin.

She was a cornucopia of constellations,
beautiful chaos, inherent grace.

The fragrance of crushed flowers, incense and perfume
was carried in her titian hair, draped across his dressing robe,
She longed for a complete apology.

A matter-of-fact, direct request,
Osiris had offended her the night before,
His decision did not meet the standards of his queen.

Her heart brilliant and raw,
She turned away from his lips,
An upturned alabaster face, embraced.

Cigar smoke lingered, then parted,
The tabby cat had long since left.

The cosmos captured, delivered in the delicate dance of two,
a composition with inlaid geometric shapes.

Dusk settled in, on an ancient, majestic land,
One of kings, queens and sunlit pyramids.


Jolie Marie Carey is an East Coast native who has spent much of her life traveling, living and working outside of the U.S. Her favorite travel stories include hiking in Nepal, hiding from the law in Timbuktu, Mali, and living in a tent in South Sudan. She derives inspiration from magic in the everyday, words, conversations with random people and close friends. She believes laughter is the key to transcending all differences. She has been fortunate to teach Yoga in Haiti. As a Gemini, she is pulled between living simply, dancing under the stars, and trying to impact the world through bureaucratic means where she benefits from high-end parties.


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