House of Abundance Poetry’s four-year anniversary event fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance Poetry (HOA) and introduced an ongoing series with a single-word prompt for each writer: quarantine.
Collective member Arteria Richardson (@tearsof_art) started writing poems after she got herself out of a toxic situation. “Poetry has been a great coping mechanism for me to heal and reflect upon my past relationships,” Richardson notes, adding that she has a book release slated for 2020 that focuses on her experience with abuse.
She’s been a House of Abundance Poetry member for nearly a year and appreciates that the community has built a comfortable and vulnerable space for creatives.
Here is her quarantine poem submission.
A poem by Arteria Richardson
I used to be so fearful whenever you came around . My mind would go blank. It’s like all the logical solutions have been restricted.
The anxiety that swarms through my body when I feel like I lost the passcode to all my prized possessions.
My body would tense up . The kind of tension that you would make right before a collision because you know something bad, painful, & perhaps life changing is about to happen .
But who would’ve known that tension we put our body through , right before the crash doesn’t actually protect us . It prepares us for the worse outcome.
We don’t fight, we surrender.
We panic and we become victim.
Whenever you come around. I become victim.
Victim to thinking everything is too good to be true.
That I don’t deserve to be happy , it’s selfish to be happy
& being a good person makes me destined to be doomed.
Whenever you come around you remind me of the past.
You give me something bad to think about whenever I am in a good mood.
But the problem was, I always chose to surrender!!!
I know now when you come around I have to fight. Because you’re not here to help me progress, only to hinder.
So when you come around and bring up the past, I no longer get mad I reflect, forgive, perhaps even laugh.
Whenever you try to force me to second guess myself, I affirm to myself that I am doing my best. That things are working out in my favor and I am ready for whatever is next.
I learned to find the beast In me. I learned that you’re not powerful if I don’t let you speak.
That I must be strong because you don’t not seek after the weak.
Depression and anxiety will learn to fear me. They will learn to surrender because it will no longer be me. Trust me when I say we can go toe to toe in the ring .
Find a full schedule of poems, to be released weekly in partnership with House of Abundance, here. For more information, future events, and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram at @abundancehouseof.
Top Image: Photo: Arteria Richardson.