Letter to Myself #1 (and maybe to you too)

I gave up on my dreams
and allowed the world to 
tell me where I belong.
I'm going to find my 
imagination again and
I'm going to create my
own path.

When I was little my imagination was so big; nothing seemed as if it were impossible.  What happened to me?

I let the troubles in my life stop me from dreaming and I’ve given up.  College may not have been the best experience, but I gained something from it.  I learned how to let people love me and how to make a family out of friends. I gave up on trying to please everyone, or so I thought, but I didn’t learn how to please myself. I never asked myself what would make me happy because I thought people would find it stupid.  That’s all I want though; I just want to be happy and I want the people that I care about to be happy.  Doesn’t everyone?

I’m too early in my story for the ending to be here now and so are you.  This is not what I will do for the rest of my life. I will inspire and I will achieve goals that I have only dreamed of.  They all seem so close, yet still so far. It’s okay though because I have time and I will not give up on trying to create me instead of letting someone else tell me who I should be.



Be the light when everything is dark 
and show others the way. 
Be the peace in a world of chaos 
and calm the minds of others. 
Be the love in a room full of hate 
and watch the tension fade. 
Be you and don't let anything change 
the good in you and who you are meant to be.

Missing Pieces of Me

Love is tricky.  We can give someone all of us; everything that we are and they can simply pick up and leave without giving us a second thought.  Once they’re gone it feels as if there is no light left inside of us, only darkness.  The hope that we once had for a lasting love is now gone and everything that we once were belongs to them.  How do we reclaim our light and restore our faith in the idea of a lasting love?  I believe it starts with self.  We were people with ideas, energy and love to share before they walked into our lives, so we must remember these things after they’re gone.  The next time love comes our way we must remember: if it does not nurture us then it is starving us.  Let’s stray away from starvation and find love that gives us the nutrients for a better tomorrow.


My Light in the Fog

You slowly appeared from the fog,
Like a lighthouse, 
Upon a darkened shore.
The calm amidst the turbulent waters of my mind,
Something to quiet the waves
As they fiercely rock me back and forth.
You helped me tune out the sirens' song
Filled with words of my own self- doubt 
And my quest for who I really am.
You, still there in the fog, stood tall
And stoic
As if it were your job to show me the way 
To safety; 
To save me from my self.
As I travel closer to the shore,
It seems as if you recede,
Away from me 
And back into the fog.
Now, I am forced to navigate these treacherous waters,


The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”
    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.
    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”
    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”
    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”
    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!
    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Break Away

I escape my shelter
Take a peak
Spread my wings
And fly away
No more protection
From the cruel world
Off on my own
To fly or fail
The weather will alter
The wind may be harsh
At moments it will be cold
But on I must go
To continue to soar
Is up to me
Nothing ever comes
Very easily
If I should falter
In these skies
I will not stop
Trying to fly
I broke away
I explored the world
I am off on my own
Just my wings and me


– J.S.Atkins

Mr. Perfect

To Mr. Perfect who has no flaws

And is steady tossing stones at others’ walls,

Does not realize he is not perfect at all.

To Mr. Perfect who can do no wrong

And is always singing the same old song

Of “woe is me” and “you should do”;

Believes he is different from me and you,

But one day he will see

He is not perfect at all.

To Mr. Perfect who judges most,

Stands up to make a toast

To himself in normal fashion

And says with such passion

That “perfection is the only quality

Bestowed upon him solely”.

Mr. Perfect will soon find out

That perfection is not for man

And that flaws are a part of God’s plan;

So that we will know humility

And be able to take responsibility

For all our actions, evil or kind.

Mr. Perfect is not perfect at all.

One day those walls will fall,

Due to all the stones he’s cast

Trying to make everyone else

Take responsibility for their acts.
– J. S. Atkins

Not a House, But a Home

A home is more than walls and beams,
It is a place created by dreams.

Let your spirit fill every room,
So that sadness can not resume.

May laughter take residence in the walls,
So you can still hear it while walking the halls.

When the outside world seems to fail
Know your home is a place where love prevails.

That's because of you and your beautiful soul
And that's what makes each room glow.

So much so,
The lights seem more bright,
There's a warmth that exist,
And everything just feels right.

You are what makes this home so golden
And you need nothing more;
Each and every visitor feels it,
When they walk through the door.

- J. S. Atkins

I wrote this poem for my friend and placed it in a shadowbox as a housewarming gift.  I really enjoyed creating a poem that was custom to the occasion, as well as the person.  I am hoping that more opportunities to create custom poetry will arise for other occasions because this was beyond amazing and the final product was beautiful.

Make Time

This is for the person who is

Too busy,

Too important,

Or too uninterested.

The moments seem so minuscule

Compared to your daily schedule;

You’ll miss them

Once they have passed

And everyone has moved on.

So stop!

Let people know they are not replaceable,

That you are not too important or busy

And that life simply would not be the same

Without them.


Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne) by James Baldwin

The lady is a tramp
 a camp
 a lamp

The lady is a sight
 a might
 a light
the lady devastated
an alley or two
reverberated through the valley
which leads to me, and you

the lady is the apple
of God's eye:
He's cool enough about it
but He tends to strut a little
when she passes by

the lady is a wonder
daughter of the thunder
smashing cages
legistlating rages
with the voice of ages
singing us through.