Cage Poem by Janet Kuypers

 Reading by  Oz Hardwick…Music by DMJ

……..when I was a child,
I wanted to get away from my family
wanted to get away from my town
I wanted something bigger, faster,
stronger than anything I ever knew before

and so as I grew older
I took those childhood memories
those childhood toys, those childhood stories
and one by one
started placing them on an Island
surrounded by deep water
where no one could touch them
and they would always remain
just on the horizon


I have always loved the water
swam all my life
I swam in pools with friends when I was little
I swam along side the tropical fish off the Oahu coast
I swam with dozens
of White-Tipped Sharks off the Galapagos Islands

when I get closer to water
I get itchy to just jump in

but even when I could let go in the water
I’d see that Island in the distance
holding all of my childhood traumas
and I still never felt entirely free


one day
I decided to face these ancient cages
that still hold me down

I wanted to face it all
battle all of those past demons

so I went down to the shoreline
arched my hand along my eyebrows

looked for that Island of mine

the water at the shoreline lapped over my feet
pushing the coastline farther inland today

I kept searching
until I realized

my Island fell into the ocean


everything from my past disappeared
except my memories


that day,
I couldn’t go into the water


we all have our cages
sometimes we can’t see them
but they’re there,
holding us back
restraining us
holding us down
holding us in

as I sit in my cage right now
I look at these walls
hear the cars driving past me
and I think of these things that hold us down


maybe we sometimes need these cages
to protect us
when we don’t know how to protect ourselves

Copyright © by Janet Kuypers, All rights reserved

Carbon poem by Janet Kuypers


by Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

I used to see the magazine ads
and the tee vee commercials.
All I was taught
was that a big busted blonde
was all I could aspire to be.
So I would dye my hair.
So I could act the dumb blonde.
I could still beat them
at any mind games,
but men don’t like the truth
shoved in their faces,
because they refuse to believe
anything that doesn’t stroke
their ego.

So yeah, I was a carbon copy
of what the media shoved
down America’s throats.

And yeah, as time went on
the dark-haired women
started to gain some popularity back,
but they still had to be anorexically thin
and they still had to battle
the notion of all men
still adoring the dumb blonde.
And yeah, as the years wore on
I didn’t have to die my hair,
but I still had to be thin,
I had to be the carbon copy
of the dark-haired, gaunt,
soulless faces
plastered on billboards,
papers and screens.

I pass the magazine stands,
see carbon copies of the models
on multiple magazine covers.

I pass the media store
with rows and stacks
of repeated tee vee screens,
showing carbon copies
to the world
of what we’re supposed to be.

I don’t want to be
a carbon copy of anything.
I want my own thoughts.
my own ideas,
and I want to spill them out
for the entire world to read and hear.

But carbon copy or not,
I end up resigned,
knowing that despite our differences,
we are all carbon—
based life forms.
I mean, when scientists
look for life on other planets,
they always only look
for water first.
Well sure, hydrogen, oxygen,
life as we know it
needs it, I get it.
But carbon-based life forms
are all we know.
I mean, whether or not
they have arms or legs,
or gills, or a mouth, or a brain,
they all have carbon in common.

So when I see
the atrocities mankind causes:

when I see Adolph Hitler,
the vegetarian artist wanna-be,
when I see Adolph Hitler
collect his cult followers
to systematically slaughter

when I see the stacks
of the skin and bone emaciation,
stacks of bodies in ditches,
or in rooms, stacked in a pyramid
to the small hole for air in the ceiling
after their final “shower”…

when I see the pope
visit Cuba
and wear a sombrero…

when I see chickens
crammed into rows of cages
they cannot move in,
for their eggs, for their flesh…

and when I see
the rows of pre-packaged
barely recognizable cow flesh
wrapped in cellophane,
row after row in the grocery store…

It is then I have to remember
that despite everything,
and as much as I hate to admit it,
we are not all that different.
I mean,
if nothing else,
we are all
carbon-based life forms.

Lithium poem by Janet Kuypers


by Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

I know I needed you around me, I was desperate.
I know I wanted you in my life to calm me down.
I know I needed you to stop me from my manic episodes.

They told me it’s not an addiction I have with you,
but then they told me that if I broke away from you altogether
I would cycle back to my old psychotic, unhealthy ways.

So please don’t tell me I’m crazy for wanting you.
But I just couldn’t stand being me. I just wanted to calm down.
I was desperate for you. I wanted to feel normal again.

You were the one to calm ME down, but the thing is,
you were the one that was also supposed to help me
with my poor judgment and aggression.

Because when I was with you, I felt like my blood was on fire.
With you around I couldn’t eat any more. I felt dizzy with you,
I’d feel tremors and twitching. You made me unsteady.

On the surface, you seemed soft to me, with you silver-white hair.
With your lightness, I forgot how metallic you were when we joined.
And now look what we’ve become.

when we finally got together, when we fused together,
when we were finally ready to take each other in,
we became the source for the most violent explosion.

We became a part of a preordained cycle I couldn’t escape,
we became radioactive and caused something so unstable
that we destroyed everything we had.

You helped my destroy everyone that was me.

Helium Poem by Janet Kuypers


by Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

I couldn’t help it.
I was attracted to you.
You elevated me.

You seemed so content, so light,
and when I saw you, you looked
so hot, like a solar flare.

Whenever I see you outside,
I feel you penetrating my pores
every single day.

But I didn’t realize
that outside like this,
we were never truly alone.

But being near you made me giddy,
I’d even raise my voice
whenever you’d come near me.

But only now I learn
That even though you’re hot, you’re colder
than anything I’ve ever touched.

So maybe
it wasn’t your heat
that drew me to you…

I think you’re truly unique,
but you tell me you’re common,
even though you’re still so hard to find.

I’d have to
search the Universe for you
to realize

you’re not as special
as you’ve led me to believe.
So, I’m sorry.

I couldn’t help it.
You have this effect on me
whenever you come to me like this.

I’m always so tense,
but with your low boiling point,
and the way you connect with me

you’ve calmed me down
and shown me a new perspective.
Because of this,

I avoided the fact
that we don’t really mix well together.
Either way, I still hoped

you could help me –
I mean, you can make me
feel like I can fly when I’m with you.

I just have to remember
that even though,
Every once in a while,

I can literally breathe you in,
A few second later,
you’re gone.

Hydrogen Poem by Janet Kuypers


by Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

when I thought of our relationship,
when I thought of your relationship to me,
I thought of a molecule of Hydrogen:

how you were afraid of me, but also
how you were so obsessed with me…
and although you always kept your distance,

you were always revolving around me.
and when we finally eventually fused together,
you were like a Hydrogen bomb:

forcing me to push away everyone I loved,
forcing me to hurt everyone close to me.
and that is when I snapped and lost it,

because I couldn’t let you use me like this.
I couldn’t let you cause so much destruction.
I couldn’t let everything I valued be destroyed.

I know it was a basic attraction with us,
but although you might not have liked it, I think
it was better when you just kept your distance.

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