Create What Awakens You

Creative advice abounds in today’s world of everyone-has-a-hot-take. We all have different ways that work for us, different things that inspire us and compel us to make stuff. This however isn’t a self-help article to tell you how to harness that magic for yourself. This is simply me, musing about how my imagination ignites, because it’s on my mind and I have to shake it out somehow. If it manages to spark something in you, well than all the better.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
—Maya Angelou

This past year is when I began actively writing poetry. I say actively because truth be told, my poems prior to the last year and some change were all accidental. They were sporadic moments when the spirit moved me to write something down. Then I’d tuck it away, not to be seen until months later when I was moved by something new. But last summer, I did my first poetry reading event, and within me that night, something shifted.

Whether it was the way people responded to my words, the confidence I felt in delivering said words, or something different entirely, I cannot say. All I know is that night, I felt awakened. A new candle was lit within me, and I wanted nothing more in those moments than to fan this new flame of it into something bright and strong and beautiful.

Writing poetry became a more frequent occurrence. The poems got better with each one, and expanded from internal struggles that I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about, to bigger world issues that I wished more people would be talking about. I started getting more funky and creative with them, mixing my styles and my rhymes and my rhythms. When I was writing poetry as opposed to my usual YA sci-fi work,which always feels like it must be so carefully written, there was a certain freedom and a new-ness that made me feel more alive and present than I had in a long while.

By the time I started sorting these new poems into an actual collection, I found myself wishing I had an artist who would be willing to do illustrations for it. I thought of all the artists I knew, but then thought of the empty-ness of my wallet. As someone who grew up with an artist for a sister, I know the value in their work, and didn’t want to ask someone to do it for free.

Around the same time, I’d entered a giveaway by an author I really admire, and actually won. Included in the prizes was a cool beanie, a bookmark, a pair of sweet headphones, and a sketch book, one that has the words ART HEALS painted on the cover…

Another new something had awakened. Another candle was lit.

Slowly, I started to find my medium. Sketchy ink doodles and abstract-y watercolors. I found a healing and a transcendence and a joy in making the art to accompany my poetry. It made them feel full, each work of art like the period to the sentence of each poem — something to complete them and make them whole. I was reminded of the Greek myth in which Zeus was said to have cut humankind in half, leaving each of us to spend our lives searching the soul we were split from. This fusion of poems and art pieces was like the two spirits of my creativity finding one another again.

The words informed the art, and the art deepened the meaning of the words. The further into my creative consciousness I ventured, the more myself I feel I became.

The original idea for this article came from my mulling over the phrase, “write what you know”. It is always the one creative piece of advice I have tried to follow, probably just because it is the set of advice most often heard. But as of late I have realized that writing what I know is only one small piece to the puzzle of being a creator. My poems and my paintings, my sketches and my science fictions, my blog posts and my Instagram stories — all of these things, different from one another though they may be, are part of who I am and what I create. Each of them ignites something different within me. Every form of art a single flame in my artistic bonfire.

When I walk through daily life, working a day job just to make it, I feel like I cannot wait to just lay down and go to sleep. But when I am creating, writing, drawing, and living the life that feels like I belong to it as much as it belongs to me, I am awakened.

I hope that you find the spark that awakens you, and I hope that you nurture that flame into a blaze that only you can make.



Cover Photo by
Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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0.17 … Ink

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.17 … Ink

I am nearly 5,256,000,000 miles
from who I was when
you last walked on
this Earth with me.

I am nearly 5,256,000,000 miles
into the jorney
of learning to live
without you both.

But unlike orbits about the sun,
some things cannot be quantified.

I cannot know
how many times I’ve cried
or
how many times I’ve asked God why
or
how many times I’ve smiled
or
how many times living has felt worth while.

There are things we cannot know
and there are things we can,
but one thing that’s been a certainty,
is that when a pen’s in my hand,
I am whole.

I know that
in my blood flows
an infinity of ideas, emotions, and ink.

Though my parents are gone,
the legacy they have given me
is a heart that can’t stop bleeding,
but the ink that has from it flowed
has helped me understand and know
that my reason here is to
write words and tell stories.

I wish they were still here,
but their absence molded me
into who I am.
I am a well of ink and hope
giving the world all I can…

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash | (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

0.16 Lost at Sea

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.16 … Lost at Sea

There will come a day
when I’ve lived more of my life
without them than with them,
and the thought of it
rips and breaks inside of me
like an angry, ocean tide.

I imagine the forever
worth of my days that they
won’t get to see,
each moment missed
like another grain of sand
on a lonely, open beach.

My children will be
precious shells they’ll never get to hold.
My stories will be
sandcastles they’ll never see me mold.
Memories of them are
a horizon lineuntouchable, distant gold.

Laying in the soft night sands,
I stare onward into the sky,
making constellations of
things that will never be,
a future where they hadn’t died.

Their love and the loss
runs through my veins
like salt runs through the sea,
but at least their spirits
are now like the water,
ever flowing, ever free…

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Frank Mckenna on Unsplash   |  (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

0.15 This Road

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.15 … Last Day

College graduation day,
and they aren’t here,
like they should be.

But I am,
even though I
almost wasn’t.

Four and a half years,
who knows how many all-nighters,
countless hours worth of tears,
and facing down every last
one of my fears…
yet I am here,
even though
I almost wasn’t.

I wish they were standing
here by my side,
so they could see
and could know
that I managed to survive.

But though they aren’t with me,
and are somewhere far gone,
perseverance became my inheritance,
and on this road, I’ll carry on.

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Johannes Plenio   |  (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

0.14 Over and Over and Over and…

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.14 … Over and Over and Over and…

When Mother’s Day rolls around,
when Father’s Day comes about,
when their birthdays pass,
when their death day trauma lasts,
I am reminded over and over…

What’s your mother’s madien name?
What’s your father’s middle name?
What’s your given birth name?
Questions that haunt me over and over…

Are you going home for break?
I’ll be at my parent’s till late.

I made them an anniversary cake!
Phrases from friends that plague me
as I am reminded over and over that
I have no house,
no home,
nor parents left
to celebrate.

They’re gone
and there is nothing I can do.
You can’t understand it
unless it happens to you.
Loss doesn’t happen and then go away.
It is felt eternally, every single day
in the smallest ways,
over and over and over and…

 

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Caleb Steele on Unsplash   |   (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

0.13 Alternate Reality

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.13 … Alternate Reality

Dad ruffles my hair
and tells me that
he’s proud of me.
He reminds me to keep my feet
like Bilbo told Frodo
because we share a love
of literature and adventure.
His smile crinkles,
the footprints of crows
at his eyes edges from surviving
so many losses, yet still living.
He hugs me.
I’m so happy…

Mom chokes back tears
and gives me just the right
glimmering card that somehow
perfectly and elegantly articulates
how much she cares about me.
I wipe the tears from my eyes,
(I am this sentimental because of her)
and promise to call her every night
so she might vicariously live
every college experience
that she never got to have
through me.
She hugs me.
I’m so happy…

These alternate realities
I built for myself from
crumbled could have beens
and noxious never wills
are all I have.

My college years
were not marked with
their loving hugs
and cards
and literary encouragements.
My college years
were stained with
my desperate arms
and empty mailboxes
and perpetual disappointments.

I survived without them
somehow,
but the scars run too deep.
So to function,
these alternate realities
have become longed for treasures
that I keep.

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash  |   (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

0.12 Redefined

el (1)

INDEPENDENT

0.12 … Redefined

Independent once
meant freedom, and
the chance to chase
down my dreams.

Independent once
meant stability, and
the chance to stand
on my own feet.

Independent once
meant untethered, and
the chance to dance
to my spirit’s rhythm.

But college admissions
must have missed that memo
and chose to redefine
what Independent
meant in my life.

To them,
it was the pretty
and professional way
to say orphan.

What I wouldn’t give
to rewrite their dictionary
so Independent no longer
reminded me of loneliness and
meant something beautiful
once more…

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 0
INDEPENDENT

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.

Cover Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash  |   (elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)