A little bit of poetry… by Jocelyn

For those of you who were at the service this past Sunday, here is the text of the poem I read as part of the meditation; I wrote it as my final project for an arts course at my undergraduate university and just felt it fit well with this week’s theme of wandering, identity, and belonging…

Dirty, beautiful, strange, familiar
The city is the cocoon from which I emerged
A long time gone,
The prodigal son
Or daughter
Every city still feels like my own,
Still feels like my home
Prodigal not by my own decision
Every parting an incision
On the flesh of my heart
Too long gone I feel claustrophobic
Feel smothered
Like a child too long mothered
By an oppressive parent
The city, every city–my city–
Striking in its contrasts
Its rich, its poor, its ugly beautiful pasts
Its freedom, its oppression
All the cause of my obsession
I love each place
I can’t help having a taste
For all it has to offer
Every nation and race
Wish I had come of age
On this stage
With every turn of the page
With every turn of the corner
Crossing invisible borders
Don’t look at me and say
Where you belong you should stay
You look through me, not at me
Your vacant eyes looking past me
“If you’re not from here don’t come here”
I see the words in your eyes
As you cut me down to a size
That fits in your little world
But I am rootless and free
Can be who
And what
And where I think I should be
Don’t try and reprimand
A thing you don’t understand
What you never learned to comprehend
Every two years a new land
I am California, Colorado, Florida, D.C.
I am Boston and L.A. and every city I see
If art is an expression of self
Is the reflection of self
Then listen to me as I tell
How I see my life
And my love
And my perception of self
In every face on the street
How every city I meet
Opens up a new world
That extends out of the old
I have no luxury of hometown
No one place to settle down
I am a city girl that has been displaced
A casualty of just the way I was raised
To be unattached
So the pain doesn’t last
To be independent and strong
So when I have to move on
The change doesn’t kill me
Doesn’t break me and fill me
And now twenty years later
I have found a way to cater
To the lost feeling inside me
By choosing to find me
Myself and my home
In every place that I go
My soul in every city, not one
So I don’t have to feel so alone
So that before long
I can feel I belong
In a place that from my birth I had no claim on
So think and feel what you will
But do not doubt what you’re told
And that I tell what I feel
And that the city
Every city
Any city
Is my home
The why and the where and the reason I roam
The reason I hope
That I will one day no longer be a nomad
And finally become someone with a land.


POSTED 08.12.09 BY: paulabbott | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “A little bit of poetry… by Jocelyn”

  1. On December 8th, 2009 at 12:57 am Ian said:

    Love it Jocelyn, thanks for sharing it and leading a great service on Sunday

  2. On December 8th, 2009 at 3:12 pm grace said:

    "My soul in every city"… Jocelyn this is such great feeling. People who move a lot now Really move a lot now, you know? A lot of different homes in a lifetime. That thing of being passers-through, sojourners, comes to mind. "Abraham made his home in the promised land, as a stranger in a foreign land, living in tents. For he looked ahead to the city that has foundations"