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Sweet Oblivion

By Jasmin Loren

Distributed by Smashwords



Copyright 2017 Jasmin Loren



Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Cover design: Beckie Billingham









Table of Contents

Dedication

Introduction

Life

Mind

Love

Heartache

Death

About Jasmin

Connect with Jasmin

Acknowledgements









Dedication



For Stuart. The fuel to the fire of my creativity.









Introduction

Poetry defines me. If you peeled back my skin, you would see the words of favoured, much-adored poems stamped across my muscles and bones. If you sliced open a vein or an artery, words would spill forth, congealing on the floor in some half-conceived, soon to be penned piece of my own. It's my life force. It is the thing my existence depends upon.

Poetry is a constant presence within my life, having been there for me in my darkest hours when others have not. For me, it is a form of release. A lot of the inspiration behind my poetry is drawn from past experiences. I find it difficult to vocalise my feelings in the wake of a traumatic event, but I do not find it difficult to spill ink onto paper. Though vastly different methods of conveying emotion, the effect is the same; the feelings are purged from my system, clearing up some much needed headspace.

Furthermore, writing poetry allows me to turn my more negative emotions into something more, into something beautiful. Any pain I have endured or upset I have suffered is transformed and that transformation, for me, is symbolic of my troubles dissipating.

Poetry soothes and heals me.

I have been writing poetry for nearly half of my life. My poems are scattered all about my home. Some hide between the pages of dusty journals, tucked away on shelves never to be opened again. Others exist only in files on my computer. I even have some that are scrawled upon scraps of paper that I have hastily grabbed at work when inspiration has struck at the unlikeliest of times.

Sweet Oblivion has been brewing in the depths of my mind for some time now. The reasoning behind its creation is simple; I simply wanted a home for all of my poems.

Sweet Oblivion, for me, is so much more than a book. It's my soul laid bare for all to see. The poems within cover a variety of themes, from the joys of life to the heartache of death. Each of these poems has helped me in one way or another. My Final Sunset helped me to come to terms with the death of my great grandmother. She fell victim to the horrors of dementia and her final weeks were spent in a hospital bed, nothing more than a withered husk. By writing My Final Sunset, I felt I was able to immortalize the memory of who she had been before dementia had claimed her, body and soul. I reimagined her death as something more dignified than what she got, as something I felt she had deserved after years of suffering.

I have drawn comfort from Sweet Oblivion and I hope that you, my dear reader, will too.

Jasmin Loren









Life

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Oscar Wilde

The small things

In a world where suffering and violence is rife

It's important to enjoy the small things in life

The smell and feel of freshly laundered sheets

The gift of a smile from a stranger on the street

The tattered, well-thumbed pages of a much-loved book

That in joke between friends shared with a single look

That first sip of cocoa on a dark, stormy night

The sweep of stars in the sky, high and oh so bright



Live it all and enjoy it all.



The ripple effect

When you smile, it's like throwing a pebble into a lake

The ripples from such a simple action spread outwards

Touching the mind and soul of one person, igniting another smile

And then another

And another

And another



Defiance is the sweetest revenge

I defy you with the mere act of living

By refusing to remain in the shadows

As nothing but an empty shell simply existing



Fleeting moments

Time is as fleeting as blossom on trees

Time is as fleeting as autumnal leaves

Time is as fleeting as the life of a butterfly

Time is as fleeting as shooting stars in the sky

Life, in all its infinite forms and beauty, is fleeting

Savour each moment, cherish each person

Because, in the end, time waits for no one



Hanami

Cherry blossom petals drifted in the air

Pink and white raindrops in our hair

We sat beneath a tree drinking beer

Grinning and carefree, hearts filled with cheer



Hope

Hope looks to me, so small and weak

And whispers

“If we don't try, it will look bleak.”



Unite

This world is broken and diseased

And gods look on, silent yet aggrieved

Senseless chaos creeps across the land

As humanity suffers at the human hand

Nations united in their pain and grief

As loved ones perish in the name of belief



But no faith teaches that hurt and hate

Are roads that lead to Heaven's gates

No faith preaches that destruction and death

Should be caused before one's final breath

And the individuals who claim otherwise

Are filled with poison and dangerous lies



These individuals are pitiful and weak

Their god's praise is not what they seek

They merely seek a world built upon fear

A world that is bleak and without any cheer

A world that exists, yet is broken in soul

A world that is easier for them to control



Mourn for the dead and comfort the bereaved

And know that our defeat will not be achieved

Muslims and their faith are not the real foe

They're but scapegoats who share in Earth's woe

United, we are strong and we are tall

Divided, we will crumble and we will fall.



The Writer

An aspiring writer

Sits hunched over

A table littered with empty coffee cups

And screwed up scraps of paper



An aspiring writer

With ink stains on their fingers

Bleeds their soul out onto paper

Turning pain into something beautiful



An aspiring writer

With a battered old notebook

And a chewed up plastic pen

Writes of happier days in better places



Blind

People amble by

Clad in coats

Wrapped in scarves

They scurry along

Their heads down

Hands rammed in pockets

Eyes open yet blind

Blind to each other

And blind to the world

Minds lost

Engulfed

In wave after wave

Of first world problems

Elsewhere, people starve

People lie trapped

Amongst the rubble

Of ruined buildings

And equally ruined lives

Elsewhere, people die

After days of torture

Instigated by gender or race

By who they love

Or what they believe

Elsewhere, people sleep

They sleep beneath bridges

Or in shop doorways

Stomachs growling

Bones trembling

Hope a fire long stamped out

And yet here

People amble by

Clad in coats

Wrapped in scarves

Hands rammed in pockets

They scurry along

Their heads down

Eyes open yet blind



Summer in the city

Office blocks reach towards a cloudless heaven

And people tut to the beat of a passing car's bass

A lone young woman sits on a lone patch of grass

Beneath an equally lone tree in this concrete jungle

She sighs into the mint choc chip kiss of an ice cream

Stray strands of hair caught in the stickiness of her sunscreen

Sunscreen hastily and thickly applied and potent as perfume

Elsewhere, a child runs out of a shop, grinning widely

As he gulps down a strawberry milkshake much too quick

His mother, donned in oversized shades and red lipstick

Soon follows suit, smiling at him as she sips at her own drink

Further along the street, the pavement is peppered with pigeons

Who peck furiously at discarded chip cones and mouldy bread

Summer in the city



Plane trails

Plane trails arc across the night sky

Like Selene's slender, pale fingers

Caressing the world and its people

Marvelling at their sheer perfection



The Poet

In the deep dead of night

Sat beside a bedside light

The poet furiously writes



Night's Song

Ah listen, the Night is singing her soothing, hushed song

A song she shares not in the humdrum of wakefulness

Listen, can you hear?

The whisper of the tree that sways in the breeze

And the hoot of the owl that rests upon its branches

The thud of the cat that jumps down from the fence

And the whistle of the wind dancing through the grass

Just listen, just enjoy, just breathe and just be

For these are the sweet, blissful notes of Night's Song









Mind

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

Plutarch

Map of scars

My scars are more than just simple scars

More than ugly remnants of years gone by

You see, each jagged line is part of a map

Each blemish a piece in a living museum

Showing far I have travelled since then

And how historic my anguish has become



Rebirth

I gaze out of my window, towards the horizon

And a smile tugs at the corners of my mouth

I reach forward, open the window and take a breath

Allowing the morning sun's rays to fill my body

To cleanse it of all the regret, sadness and hurt

Its welcome warmth thaws my frozen heart

And kisses away the dried tears still etched upon my cheeks

The smile wins and I return the sun’s happy beam

Because today is a new day and I am reborn



Do you know me?

You say you know me, but you don't, not really

Look carefully, can't you see that isn't actually me?

That's nothing more than a construct, a convincing puppet



This puppet that looks just like me is tired, though

See the cracks in its eyes, the pain shining through

See the faltering smile it now struggles to maintain



Please, look at me and see beneath this facade

Peer intently through the glistening windows to my soul

See the sadness lurking beneath this painted grin



See me

Accept me

And simply love me.



Miniature universes

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul

But look closer, gaze deeper, don't you see there's more?

There's oceans to be found amongst a simple blue

Sun-drenched hills and fields made of gold-flecked green

The earth, the root of all life, is that warm brown

Obsidian, unusual and piercing, is a star-studded night sky

And the dawn of a new day can be seen through eyes of amber

So, the eyes are not just windows to the soul

They are windows to new worlds, to entire universes

And when all is said and done, isn't that something of a miracle?



Numb

Although I am cocooned in numbness

And lost in a void in a sheer emptiness

I am safe and I am impenetrable

Your words, barbed and laced with venom

Simply bounce off this thick shell of mine

Because there's nothing you can say to me

That you haven't already said a thousand times before

I am immune to your misogynistic slurs

I am immune to that judgemental gaze roaming across my body

You've broken me down and there's nothing more for you to break

I am immune

I am empty

I am nothing



Depression is...

My mind screaming at me

Screaming of my worthlessness

Like an incessant white noise



Rain

The pitter patter of nocturnal rain

Soothes my soul and eases my pain



Destiny

Sad is all I ever seem to be

Perhaps misery is my destiny



Ghost

For years, this ghost has been haunting me

And, frustratingly, it's a ghost that only I can see

But trust me when I say this ghost is real

Even though its presence is one that only I can feel

It comes to me, in the deepest dead of night

And stays by my side until the morning light

It snuggles close, chuckling as it whispers in my ear

Breathing life into my deepest, most hidden fears

“You're worthless,” it croons, stroking my hair

“If you dropped down dead, no one would care

You're pathetic and useless and everyone hates you

And you'll never be good enough at anything you do.”

Night after night, just this ghost called Depression and I

Our existences intertwined until the day that I die









Love

The heart wants what the heart wants”

Woody Allen

Home

Home is where the heart is

But I left my heart with him



Electric touch

Even now, I can still feel the warm caress of your hands

It's an undying memory that hums across my skin

Electricity that sparks throughout my body with a single thought

You – your touch, your very essence – are tattooed upon my soul



Existence

With a single smile, you wove yourself

Into the fabric of my existence



Made for two

She smiled, an act so small yet seen by few

As she gazed at the single bed now made for two



And as if he felt the warm caress of her gaze

He turned to her, smile sinful and eyes ablaze



Gently, he took her hand, whispered, “I love you”

As he pulled her into that single bed now made for two



Facing the tide together

I fear the darkness of the impending tide

But you, stubborn as always,

Hold me close and anchor me to your side



Wannabe king

Another night in a half empty bed

And another night filled with dread

Is this the night he won't come home?

The night from which you'll now be alone?



You don't agree, but you are strong

Strong enough to right this wrong

Why do you live in such a way?

Wanting his love, begging he stay?



As the clock ticks towards midnight

While you wait beside the bedside light

If nothing else, understand one thing

You're a goddess compared to him

Him, the tyrant and wannabe king









Heartache

Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

William Shakespeare

I need waterproof mascara

If only

my tears

could

wash away

this pain

as well

as they

wash away

my mascara



The impossible path

People tell me that I need to move on

That I need to walk forward, head held high

They mean well, but they don't understand

They don't see the long path ahead of me

Don't see that it's fraught with danger

That it's covered in shards of my shattered heart

And that these shards prick at my feet with every step

Each stab reminiscent of the pain I felt that day

No, they don't see

They can't see

They won't see



Soul

Go on, reach inside my soul

Feel its shattered remains

Then try and look me in the eye

With a promise to make it whole



Lies

And he wove his web of lies

Ensnaring my heart

Until it withered and died









Death

Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”

Haruki Murakami

Where have we been?

Where have we been

And where do we go?

As we emerge into this world

Wailing in fear and confusion

Following that first shuddering breath

Do our parents ever gaze upon us

With eyes filled with love and ask

From where did our souls travel?

Do they wonder, as they hold us close,

Why we scream 'til we're red in the face?

Do we scream because we've just died

Some place else, some place far away

And are mourning the loss of those we have loved

As our souls are torn from a body now cold?

Minutes, days, months...hopefully years later

As our inner light fades before flickering out

Dimming the world for a fraction of a second

Do those we love gaze upon us

With love still in their eyes and ask

To where will our souls now travel?

Do they wonder, as we fight for a minute more,

Why we furiously resist the painfully inevitable?

Do we resist because we're not ready to start again

When there's still so much to be done here?

Do we eventually close our weary eyes

Only to open them some place else, some place far away?

Where have we been

And where do we go?



My Final Sunset

The sun is setting on my final day

As I watch in silence from where I lay

And this sinking sun, in all its glory

Will paint the final chapter in my story

A sky speckled in purples, pinks and blues

And my heart is light for this is my dying view



In Earth's Embrace

In a place where lunar light does not shine

In the embrace of earth's suppressing vines

There I sleep in a cool, hushed haven

Caressed by the night, dark as a raven



The sky cries upon the stone of my grave

And the raven, whose comfort to me it gave

Flutters its majestic wings and flies away

Leaving me alone to forever lay



Life, the world, the seasons slowly change

But I, in my lonely tomb, remain the same



Forgotten

I walk, bathed in the evening sun's dying rays

And I gaze at faded names upon countless graves

Names and dates, forgotten, eaten away by moss

Withered flowers, remnants of past hurt and loss

And silhouetted against the sun, like silent sentinels, stand trees

Tasked with guarding the residents of this forgotten cemetery

I lower myself onto a rusted, wrought iron bench and smile

Just happy for the chance to forget the world for a while









And breathe.









About Jasmin

Jasmin is a twenty-something year old writer based in England. She's a tea fanatic and can usually be found sipping at a mug of vanilla chai while reading some trashy romance novel. Jasmin enjoys travelling and has both lived and worked in Japan as an English teacher. Outside of work and writing, Jasmin collects anything panda related and writes book reviews on her blog, I Swoon Over Fictional Men.









Connect with Jasmin

Twitter

Instagram

I swoon over fictional men

Goodreads









Acknowledgements

A massive shout out to my best friend, Stu, for encouraging me in every aspect of my life. I would have thrown in the metaphorical towel long ago if it hadn't been for you. Thank you to my family for encouraging my writing and a huge thanks to my friends over on Wordpress, too, for giving me the courage to finally write this book. Last but by no means least, cheers to all the people who have inspired these poems. Some of you I adore, some of you...well, not so much.


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