Poetry: Arrivederci

March 23 2024


So long

I just can’t stand the pain
There’s a non-stop herd of elephants
Stampeding across my heart


I’m leaving
I’ve done all I can

The disappointment that keeps getting delivered
Fractures my heart into a trillion pieces
My nervous system simply
Cannot take the rise and fall,
The dopamine hits
Of the delicious intense encounters
And the heart breaking let down
Of disappointment


I’m headed to the craft store
To buy glue, steel, and comfort

I’ll glue the pieces of my heart
Back together,
Melting the steel
Into the crevices
Smooshing in words of comfort, strength,
and resilience
More glue,
More melted steel
More words

So long

I’ll calm the elephants stampeding
Across my heart
I’ll take the love that has hit a dead end
The love that has no where to go

I’ll feed it to the elephants
Pouring the love into them,
Onto them, over them
Until they slowly calm
Inhaling the love with their snouts
Wrapping me in their herd
Taking me into their trust
Showering me with that same love

Showering me, rocking me with their love
Until my heart has healed
Reviving my ability to love
Showering until my light returns
Until the joy returns

They disperse
I disperse
Having a fortified heart
Feeling calm, peaceful

Dare I say
Ready to do it
All over again

That is, of course,
After this process has
Repeated from
Five to five hundred and fifty five times

So long

Camilla Downs 2024

Monday Night Poetry – Filling My Cup

March 23 2024

Monday Night Poetry filled my cup to overflowing! 🩷🩷🩷

Thank you Paolo, Isis, Levi, Jesse, Fredley, Caleb and a few others whose names I cannot remember (sorry!) for the hugs and holding space for me to share what I needed to share.

If you’ve followed my writing for some time, you know that I write to process life experiences. Nearly 100% of the time, I feel much better afterwards as it helps me to get on the other side of it.

Everyone at Monday Night Poetry instinctively understood that I was not asking for advice. I just needed to get this out of my head, heart, and body. And I needed comfort by way of hugs. That’s it.

I appreciate this wonderful group of creative folks so damn much! 💋💋💋


Throwback Post: Baking With Books and Art


October 5 2014:

Wahoo Thomas! He made gateau au yaourt (yogurt cake) this afternoon … all by himself! So good! Topped with a spoonful of creme fraiche. Yum!

October 5 2013:

That’s right … Library adventures! Wahoooo!

Stepping out of my warm, fuzzy cocoon tonight … Going to Sierra Arts and gonna hang out with some adult people at 7:30. Perhaps I won’t turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes 8:30. We shall see! If you see me there and I don’t see you please get my attention and say “Hey”!

Wonderful job Sharon!! Loved it!!!! Such awesomeness!

I Am a Trillion Parts – Monday Night Poetry

March 15 2024

Monday Night Poetry.

Prompt: How do you let go of something that won’t let go of you?

Such great poems were shared.

I Am A Trillion Parts

Why is it that I cannot let you go?

My mind is on board, most days
My heart agrees, most days

Yet, there’s this mystical thread
Connecting us

Some days it’s visible, strong and tight
Other days it’s invisible, and I am free to let you go

Some days it sparkles
Some days it’s sticky sweet
Some days it’s sharp and painful

I know it sounds crazy

One day, I’m free
Free to let you go
Feeling relief
Feeling strong
Feeling invincible

Two days later
I don’t want to let you go
I feel the comfort of knowing you’re there
Remembering, with pleasure, our time together

I am not one dimensional

Feeling so damn good having made
The decision to let you go
Feeling so damn good having made
The decision not to let you go

There’s the free spirit in me
That just wants to go with the flow
Enjoying life in the moment
Let what is, be what is

There’s the little girl in me
Who doesn’t want to lose
That which helps her to feel good
Makes her feel good
Feels so damn good

The little girl who doesn’t
Want the feeling of being abandoned to return
Covering her heart in a cloud of darkness

I am not one dimensional

There’s light at the end of this tunnel
The more I learn about myself
The more I uncover and walk through
The trauma of my childhood
The more my mind and heart connect the dots
Of not wanting to let go of past trauma
The closer I get to letting you go

Here I come again

And while I make my way to this place
Of letting you go, for good
Knowing that yesterday is gone
That time is lost forever
Time will not wait for me

Written on my heart
Is the knowing that my time
Is now limited
For the first time in my life
I can clearly see the finish line of my life

For that reason,
I damn well plan on enjoying myself
Enjoying the bright light of others
Enjoying the company of others
Hugging those that want to share this intimate
Love-filled act

I will wake up one day
After uncovering all facets of me
To finally be able to let you go for good
With no regrets

And that right there,
Is fucking freedom
Like no other.
Camilla Downs – 2024

my salad days – National Poetry Month – April 30th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 30/30 for April 30th – YES!!! I did it! 30 days, 30 poems!

(I want to work on this one more, but I wanted to get one posted for the last day of poetry month!)

my salad days

It is one of my favorite scents

When the thick, sweet
Scent enters my nostrils
I get a dopamine hit to the brain
sending me back to my childhood

Summer days spent
Outside all day playing
Riding bikes
Climbing my Aunt Mary’s plumb trees
Plucking yellow and purple plums,
sitting on a tree limb to eat them
Not too many
Or you’d have to run to the bathroom

Remembering the time I jumped
from the trampoline
Landing in a gigantic bed of fire ants

My Aunt Mary
Rushed me in the house
Tore off my clothes
Immersing me in a bathtub of cold water
Fire ant bites

Remembering the times
Helping my pappaw mow lawns
All the grandkids had to take turns helping him
It was hard work in that oppressive Mississippi heat
He always paid us for our help
Me and my cousin, Stephanie
Would walk to the tote-sum
Taking our time choosing penny candy
We’d leave with a good size bag of
Glorious sugar loaded treats

Remembering that time
My pappaw let me try
Some of his chewing tobacco
When I tell you I spit that shit
Out so fast
Nasty stuff!

It is one of my favorite scents


It reminds me of childhood summer days

Camilla Downs, 2024

Prompt: Think about your favourite scent. Write a poem depicting the things and activities it reminds you of.

do not drink me – National Poetry Month – April 29th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 29/30 for April 29th

Prompt: Meme poetry = Found poetry. I created this prompt, sparked by an idea from the poetry workshop I attended this past Sunday. I’ve grabbed sections of the memes I’ve saved, smooshing them into a poem along with some of my own words and some song titles.

do not drink me

You can miss something,
But not want it back

It takes more than inches
to reach a woman’s soul

Don’t try to explain yourself to idiots
You’re not the fuckface whisperer.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Why do you tell me lies?

Growing up in an unstable household
Means believing there’s something unlovable about you
Means seeking attention
Means oversharing with people you barely know
Means daydreaming of scenarios of people caring about you

Healing from things no one ever apologized for

Vacations are cool
But have you ever stayed home in
your comfy clothes and not spoken
to anyone for a week

Sometimes I wear my boogie shoes
To the grocery store
And I get down on it

Have you noticed that some people
get offended when you aren’t ashamed of
things they were taught to be ashamed of,
resenting you for not caring what
everybody thinks?

Normalize being okay with letting people
think whatever they want about you

New way to reply to emails
“Go away, never contact me again”

When I was in second grade
I lost my favorite pair of earrings
In the ditch at school
While waiting for my parent to pick me up

I was devastated
Crying until my eyes were so puffy
I could hardly see

Red ladybug earrings
with black spots
and a gold back

The distance you kept during my struggle
I’ll need to to double it during my success

If the vibes get weird
Move on
This is the end
of forced conversations
If it’s forced
It’s not worth it

Don’t mistake kind people for doormats
They’ve seen a lot
Been through even more
When pushed
They will demonstrate the emotional strength
They’re capable of

Let’s raise our glass
to being born this way

Settling for trash people is over
Being alone is approximately 7,000,000
times better than sitting here
questioning your self worth because some
fucking loser doesn’t know how to respond to a text

Be done with spending too much time
analyzing the emotionally unavailable person
Walk away

Some people be like
You have good energy
Hold up
Let me get my straw

I didn’t know what I was in for
When I let go
Of the stories
And said,

Camilla Downs, 2024

ode to opulence – National Poetry Month – April 28th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 28/30 for April 28th

ode to opulence

What are the real luxuries in life? Long walks and good books.
Slow mornings sipping coffee while listening to birds singing.
The ability to freely express myself, the best of all.

Camilla Downs, 2024

Prompt: Write a sijo poem (three lines, each averaging 14-16 syllables).

Parlor Games: Part 2 – National Poetry Month – April 27th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 27/30 for April 27th

Parlor Games – Part 2

Perfect happiness
is being able to relax into life
Not needing to figure out on a daily basis
how to buy food, pay rent, purchase necessities
While also being a full-time single parent
To two kids with varying degrees of special needs

Everyone who knows me
Knows that I love to share hugs

Being attracted to those
who are not a good fit for me,
My ability to easily settle for less than I deserve —
These are traits in myself I do not like

I’m a punctilious person
I pay attention to details
I like information
I enjoy solving predicaments,
Reaching resolution,
Finding answers

One of my greatest
extravagances is
food and drink

My upper arms
My inner thighs
My stomach
I’m grateful to all of you
But I dislike y’all

That is amazing
Love this
Love that
Love it
Words and phrases I overuse

Gen X
oozes from my feral pores
Leaving a trail of neon
Pink footprints
And the scent of strawberry lip gloss
Coating the air —
This, I treasure

The greatest loves of my life
Art —
My two kids —
Thomas Arthur
Lillian Paige
Myself —
and little Camilla

I am happiest when I am home
Sitting in a favorite spot

I am happiest when
I’m with like-minded folks
Who want me there with them
Who appreciate me

If I were to come back as
Something else after I die —

intimacy —
I most value in friendships

Some of my early parenting choices
One of my greatest regrets

When it is time for me to die
I want simply to have a knowing that
my time has come to an end
with enough time to say goodbye to friends and family,
I’d like to peacefully drift to sleep,
never to wake again.

Camilla Downs, 2024

*Prompt: Write a poem based on the “Proust Questionnaire”.

Parlor Games: Part 1 – National Poetry Month – April 26th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 26/30 for April 26th

Parlor Games – Part 1

I’m tired
I’m Irritated
I have a toothache
And I’m bloated from the chili
I had for dinner

Pure love is an art form
The artist not even aware they are creating

Reaching the finish line of life having
not said what I feel moved to say,
having not said what needed to be said,
having not experienced all I wish to experience
Is one of my greatest fears

I like it when the coffee cup
handles all face the same way

those who spew forth a steady stream of bullshit,
Like they are truths,
These are traits I deplore in others

Modesty as it relates to behavior,
manner & appearance
is one of the most overrated virtues

Starts with a T
Ends with a D
Has stopped paying
Child support
A whopping $195 a month
He is refusing to follow the law
Pay until child graduates from high school
No matter if they turn 18-years-old before that
Five months behind now
I’m kind of despising you right now

Life motto:
Tell others what you need and want.
I’ve seen only good things
Come from doing this

I am happiest
When I am content
and when those around me
are content

I am happiest when
I’m out for a walk
Listening to music

Raising my two kids alone
witnessing them as adults
being true to themselves
living life on their terms
Minus the shackles of conformity
This is my greatest achievement

Assertiveness —
My most marked characteristic

I dislike loud noises, being talked to
when I’m deep in thought,
or when I’m enjoying silence.

Before I die
I would like to walk the
Camino de Santiago

Camilla Downs, 2024

*Prompt: Write a poem based on the “Proust Questionnaire”.

hullabaloo while sleeping – National Poetry Month – April 25th

April is National Poetry Month. I’m going to attempt to write one poem every day this month. Today’s poem: 25/30 for April 25th

hullabaloo while sleeping

It was a family gathering
With my Italian step-dad’s
extended family

I think it was Christmas
Everyone was excited
Dozens of conversations happening
All at once

I didn’t think I would have gifts
As it seemed as if no one really knew me

I turned around to find a pile of gifts
Addressed to me
With others urging me to open them

It was loud
Everyone was talking
Everyone was laughing
Did I mention all the pasta dishes?
Loads of pasta

Minutes later alarms were sounding
It was chaos
Everyone was scrambling to get
out of the house

There was a fire in one of the rooms

I did not evacuate
I decided to locate the cause of the fire

My laptop had caught on fire
I kept thinking
Why would my laptop spontaneously combust?
Was I writing too much?

Somehow I put the fire out
My laptop still worked
But some of the keys were melted

Everyone began to calm down
I sat perplexed with a half-melted laptop

It was then that I woke up thinking
What the hell was that all about?

An otherworldly experience
In the comfort of your own bed

Camilla Downs, 2024

Prompt: Write a poem that includes a one-word stanza, anywhere other than at the end. Combined with this one: Prompt: Write a poem about a dream.