Perennial Sweet Alyssum
by Jonathan Charles Stephens (United States)
Audio: "Perennial Sweet Alyssum," read by Jonathan Charles Stephens
Frantically bloom in that certain spring room
whilst flurries spackle in a somewhat summer's heat,
the autumn dew refracts your leaved cheek—
such seasons never quite pass.
Ingrain yourself in a wild honey;
flail a standing ovation with petaled hands
All to beckon for that springs’ encore.
Five too many seasons passed that year
all of which
felt wasted and drowned
in the sweltering winter.
Continue to bloom
to maybe become
unlike this inconspicuous season.
Alyssum are a kind of flowering plant that are considered perennial. They can survive a light frost and spread in their small-chested wingspan. Thus, they tend to work as a subtle background texture to other plants, elevating the arrangement or natural occurrence through quiet competence.
Jonathan Charles Stephens, age 17, lives in New Jersey and spends his time hula hooping, collecting flowers to press, telling jokes, and writing about the world around him. With this poem he aimed to articulate his pandemic experience and hopes that you will find meaning both in and beyond that frame.
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5/17/22, 4:27 PM
5/16/22, 11:40 AM
I am waiting with anxiety what does she doesto fight back these things which are very complicate to handle for a teenager...... I am Very anxious because I am in the same situation..... So I want to know what will she do.....
5/15/22, 3:16 PM
This is such a wonderful piece. I love it so much!
Rain Wind Thunderstorm
5/13/22, 10:46 AM
You are really good at writing. And at such a young age! If you don't mind me saying so, your writing style is warm and cozy. And also at the same time, very deep, meaningful and relatable. I especially loved the "The Reflection" part.
5/13/22, 9:28 AM
I really wanna know what does she does to fight back these things which are hard to handle for a teenager.
5/11/22, 2:37 PM
I loved every word of this. Maybe because I am relating too hard. I hardly possess any of the love or filial piety I am expected to have towards my family. I am dubious of anything my grandmother says to me and have long learned to just swallow it all with a smile though I question how much I know. And. Just. Knowing. That you will be forgotten by your extended family for the rest of the year but still held up to their expectations. Thank you for writing this! I'll always remember a beautiful #ownvoices story :).
5/10/22, 6:57 AM
I really am curious about how she is gonna fight this situation and will she be able to fulfill her dreams which she once had
5/6/22, 2:03 PM
Ooh I really love this! What a great ending too. Fellow students, we've got this!
5/6/22, 1:53 PM
I love this piece so much. Novels and writing rarely makes me cry, but this was just too relatable.
5/6/22, 1:51 PM
This was so beautiful, and created such a detailed image in my mind!
5/6/22, 11:35 AM
I thought that was a truly insightful piece. As a teen writer myself, your words were a refreshing reminder of the meaning behind adolescence. Thank you for bringing your writing into the world, and hope to see more of it soon.