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“Poetry is what happens 
when nothing else can.” 
~Charles Bukowski~

In some of our darkest moments, that’s all we can do: Breathe and write. We can then regain our footing and become stronger through that experience. Even though we might be temporarily lost, we reconnect within ourselves by putting pen to paper and just breathing. Finding that inner sanctuary of stillness we can make ourselves whole once more.

This poem is one of those fleeting moments of darkness when poetry was what happened when nothing else could.
Photography by Brooke Shaden

The Air Finds It Hard To Breathe

Thick and arduous, my breath is stifled
I stop dead in my tracks and gasp for sustenance
My head spins and chest tightens.

I am doubting myself again, every last part
In this process I cut myself into little pieces
Putting it all under the microscope and peering through.

It all looks so ugly, isolated there in front of me
In the darkness I forget the beauty of the whole
This forgetting is a slippery slope and my light diminishes.

Tightness and panic, I struggle to inhale
My breathing quickens and my muscles tense up
I am here once again in desolate self-hesitation.

I discredit my achievements and victories
In this place they no longer hold meaning
The spotlight turns onto the failures and defeats.

I override my confidence and self-assurance
Degrading my self-worth, beauty seeps through my fingers
I am unable to get a hold onto anything.

My mind becomes the trickster, twisting and contorting
Every second takes me ten steps backwards
Revealing the transgressions behind the mask.

This colorless landscape terrifies me and I recoil
I know there is a better way, a happier path awaiting me
If I so choose to rise above the bleak and barren.

I take a breath, and slowly take another coming back into myself
I am so much more than my fears and wounds
In my arms I cradle all these broken pieces holding them tight.

Welcome to my curse, my moment of inner collapse
Restoring myself I fasten the parts together once more

Take another deep breath and turn the light back on.

Jenn Lui hails from a far and distant land impervious to the mundane and the conventional. Her eclectic interests always begin with an overwhelming curiosity, which catapults her into fanatical investigations and explorations. A lover of all creative mediums, she focuses most of her time on writing, painting/mixed media, yoga, meditation and picture taking. Jenn holds BAs in Psychology and Comparative Religion. She continuously thrives on furthering her understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection. With a penchant for all things beautifully extraordinary, Jenn recognizes the importance of honoring her shadow self, which in turn, creates a healthy respect for what lingers in its dark corners. Shamelessly wearing her heart on her sleeve, Jenn can typically be found with a book in hand, mala around her neck, and skipping to the beat of her own drum. Connect with Jenn on her blog'Perils of The Living', Facebook and Twitter.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


  1. i agree ... writing has often been my salvation.
    this is profound and speaks of those dark whirlpools ... i will share this on my page on facebook [she who holds space] lovely. truly. thank you :) g

  2. I know this moment...
    "I take a breath, and slowly take another coming back into myself
    I am so much more than my fears and wounds
    In my arms I cradle all these broken pieces holding them tight."
    ...and that place where breath and writing are the only response.

    You've captured it beautifully Jenn. Thank you...


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