Poetry: Words that Cut Deep (After “Stumble” by Amanda Baker)

I previously shared that I was really starting to enjoy this “after” poetry idea where you write a poem based upon a line from a poem you’ve read. Tonight, Amanda Baker (a poet, therapist, and yoga instructor who has guest blogged for me over on The Essential Creative and was the inspiration of my last after as well) has inspired me again.

Amanda taught me about AI-generated art and I am slowly falling in LOVE. As someone who has always enjoyed abstract painting, I really enjoy entering phrases and seeing what comes of them! This post includes a few of them from Wombo Dream, an app you can download for your phone.

Here is her original post:

As soon as I finished reading, I thought of how impactful the statement “I stumbled on the dirt I never chose to hold in my mouth” was, but between reading it and typing, “stumbled” became “choked”. Here is my after based upon what I felt when I read Amanda’s poem.

AI generated art by Wombo Dream app. Abstract looking person rising out of a lake of lava.

Words that Cut Deep

I choked on words I never chose to hold in my mouth.

On dirty words that made me feel broken and uneasy.

On hurtful words that changed how I saw myself and the world.

On degrading words others spoke over me, to me, and about me in an effort to control me.

On jagged words that cut deeper than any knife ever would.

I choked on words I never chose to hold in my mouth and you sat by and watched.

You didn’t try to help when I signaled in distress.

You grabbed a shovel and ensuring I was six feet deep.

You stood by and helped shovel dirt upon me.

You laid flowers and started writing a eulogy.

But no one realized that all along someone else was watching too.

Someone who saw potential where you saw disgrace.

Someone who saw success where you saw failure.

Someone who saw beauty where you ugliness.

Someone who saw restoration where you saw disaster.

I used the dirt you heaped upon me to build the platform upon which I stand today.

I used that platform to reach others and save them from the silence I knew all too well.

I used that silence to construct sentences that built stories that now are told throughout the world.

And never again will I choke on dirt I never chose to hold on my mouth,

Because I now know that opening my mouth provides all the air I need to breathe.

~Shell Vera (2021)

AI generated art by Wombo Dream app. 

"I used that silence to construct sentences that built stories that now are told throughout the world.
And never again will I choke on dirt I never chose to hold on my mouth,
Because I now know that opening my mouth provides all the air I need to breathe." (from the poem in the post) overlaying an abstract picture of a woman trying to breathe.

Stop by and visit Amanda on IG if you enjoyed her poem. Follow her and show her some love. She has been such a source of inspiration since the day I met her and I love what she is doing. She has a poetry book coming out later this year and published one last year entitled “Ask”, which you can buy on Amazon.

(The above link is an Amazon Affiliate link. By clicking on it, you will pay the same price you would have paid if you went to buy the book from your app or by entering Amazon another way, but it will ALSO provide me with a commission for referring you there. This commission helps me to keep the blog ad free. I only recommend books that I have read myself and own within my library.)

A graphic with the words of a poem over a line drawing of a man yelling at a girl/woman.

Want to read more poetry? Try these posts.

3 Comments on “Poetry: Words that Cut Deep (After “Stumble” by Amanda Baker)

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