INTRO: I wrote this poem after my first public performance following a storytelling course I had attended. I was very nervous. Not about performing but about remembering my lines. The course had ignited my confidence and I was determined to drop my shield of shyness and allow my bright personality to shine through my performance.
I performed quite well, I thought. The audience applauded. At the end of the performance, I mingled with the other students and the audience. A mature lady came up to me and out of her mouth poured negative criticism about my performance. I stepped back thinking “Who is she?” She had not introduced herself to me before launching into her judgemental assessment of me. It was obvious she did not approve of me as well as my performance.
She disapproved of the bubbly personality that I brought to my speaking style. She deemed it ‘inappropriate‘. Well, that’s just what I needed to hear after my first performance! I stood there stunned as she walked away. “I can’t believe that just happened?” Well, it did, and I learnt an empowering lesson from that experience. I was open to receiving constructive criticism from my course teachers about my speaking technique, but not against my personality, the core of who I was as a human being. Beverley Joy
PODCAST – The Black Rose Garden
I lifted my head high
Took a deep breath
Prayed for courage
Then stepped out on a limb.
I took a risk being myself
On life’s centre stage
A flower in full bloom
To show my true colours.
‘It was the first time I performed
At the end of my course
I was nervous but excited
I performed quite well I thought.
Afterwards, a woman approached me
Learned and cultured
Whom society respected
Old school, an insider.
With each stroke of a paintbrush
With heavy bristled tongue
I was painted black.
The black words
Of criticism and judgement
Painted with confidence
Posture and culture.
The paint weighed heavy
On my tender petals
I couldn’t breathe
The heart of my flower bled.
I chocked on black painted words
As the well-worn brush, stroked
My fragrant coloured petals
With relentless black paint.
My flower drooped
In heavy disbelief
“Why paint my colours
In shades of black?”
Why didn’t my colleagues rescue me?
Did they also disapprove?
Hiding in shadows grey
Behind garden rules of “no colour here.”
As I looked around me, I understood
I had blossomed in the black rose garden
My bright colours were unwelcome
My personality, my speaking style.
I earnestly prayed to the Great Gardener
To save me, rescue me fast
But, I suffocated, my petals died
In the black rose garden that day.
Then, the Great Gardener dug me up
And planted me to grow fresh, anew
In His own colourful garden
Where I blossomed stronger than ever.
Beverley Joy © 2014 of Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved.
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Image by Darkmoon_Art from Pixabay
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