The In Between Poems, Part 3

Part 1 // Part 2

This is the final installment of Anthony McPherson‘s poems written based on notes from an interview. The author is not me, but the sentiments and emotions are mine.

 

3.

When you say goodbye,

No one leaves,

Not until everyone glues plans to each other.

Do the stars know that the constellations exist?

The future used to be as big as the sky,

Now, it’s a bunch of agendas in a jar.

Every step I take is scheduled.

How can you run free when you’re always a step ahead of yourself?

It’s already tomorrow

I need to make resolutions for the year after next.

Fireworks are no longer spontaneous –

They’re marked down for two days out of the year.

Am I calendar?

Am I dates and windows, matched with pictures of exotic locations that most people will never see?

On what day do I fulfill my purpose?

 

If Elvis were to come back to the world,

Everyone in my family would fall still.

He’d tell them about heaven,

But no matter what he says,

Inevitably,

Their mind will imagine clouds.

As hectic life rips the months out of us like pages,

Elvis will eventually become a normal celebrity.

A tabloid magazine

That people might pick up

Glance through

But probably won’t buy.

 

Thank you to those who have been intentional about reconnecting with us during this time of transition. To those who have invited us to dinner or let us stay in your guest room, your hospitality and generosity will not be forgotten. Thank you to friends and family that have cheered us up with packages and rallied behind us with loving phone calls, emails, and texts. Thanks to those that have listened to our stories and cared about the endings.

 

We are so thankful for the amazing friends and family in our lives.

 

With gratitude,

Ceebs

 

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The In Between Poems, Part 2

We’ve been back stateside long enough to blend in now. The wear and tear of living abroad has worn off now. The shock of repatriation is beginning to wane. We’re still floating and waiting for the job ship to set sail. Until then, the process continues. Our stories are told in English with more fluidity. We have perfected the elevator speech and dwindled 2.5 years of life into 2.5 minutes. Just because we seem to blend in and life seems a little more put together does not mean that we’re no longer affected by reverse culture shock. No, no. Quite the contrary. Enjoy McPherson Time’s perspective on this time in our lives.

 

2.

The future used to be as big as the sky.

But here, everyone’s tomorrow is as tiny as the stars.

Why reach out for a target so tiny?

To connect with people here is to make constellations.

But there are barely any stars when I look up in this city to begin with.

They don’t want to hear my stories,

They want me to make their imaginations come true.

I’ve collected all these huge fireflies, but they want to make my jar go dim.

Jars aren’t supposed to shine; they’re supposed to keep useful things, like preserves or change.

When I speak of magic,

Why do their imaginations wander away from the wonder I have to tell,

Only to capture things mundane,

Things they’ll see in their tiny tomorrow.

Maybe my world is too jarring.

Maybe I should speak smaller

Maybe my stories need to be less lightning bug,

And more laser pointer.

 

Thanks again to poet – Anthony McPherson – for taking the time to write these words. I am honored and amazed to read my own thoughts through the artistic eyes of others.

 

Love someone big today.

 

Cheers,

Chelsea

The In Between Poems, Part 1

We talked about reverse culture shock in my last blog. One aspect of repatriation that I was not prepared for was the inevitable down time. The time in between the fun happy hours and coffee dates. The time in between job hunting and going hiking. The time in between when everyone is at work and you’ve already accomplished your to-do list for the day. The time in between waking and sleeping.

 

Before I left Mexico, I reached out to friends who have gone through (and still going through) the PCV to RPCV transition. I asked for any advice they could give me during the transition and repatriation. Some responded with a brief, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t do so well in that department and you probably shouldn’t take any advice from me.” Others gave me a long list or ideas of things I could do to help myself. One dear friend who is also a RPCV, actually asked if she could interview me as part of a finals project for her Master’s theatre education program. She studied repatriation, reverse culture shock, and the transition from a RPCV perspective; I was her case study. She interviewed me and used her notes to inform her performance piece at the end of this semester. Being well connected and in NYC, she shared her notes with a slam poet – Anthony McPherson – and he took the time to write poetry about MY feelings. I am honored and amazed at the results; what a blessing to read my own feelings and thoughts through the artistic eyes of others.

 

1.

I have no goodbyes,

Only good times to come.

The future is big, a target we can’t miss,

Not even if we tried.

Our circle is already coming together again.

Even when I stand in place,

I feel the ground passing under me.

Travel plans swirl in the soles of my feet.

There are too many directions to walk.

All these roads, but for now I am back home.

I can appreciate the familiar sights,

Because soon, my eyes will be gone from them.

It will not last.

Elders say,

People come and go from each other’s lives,

But our circle is a little bit more important:

For the first time in our lives,

We had a place that felt like ours.

We had a place that felt like home.

 

Here’s another clip of McPhersonTime if you’re interested. This is his piece during the National Poetry Slam Finals.

 

Thanks for reading! Stayed tuned for more updates and more poetry!

 

Abrazitos,

C