Yecheilyah’s 4th Annual Poetry Contest Winners 2021: Jasmina Jammison

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Introducing Jasmina Jammison

Instagram: jillrxse

Please, tell us what inspired your poem.

I wanted to challenge myself with this poem. I have a love for Greek Mythology that I wanted to incorporate into it. But that is just a part of it. My main inspiration was my current relationship. I’ve learned patience and communication, which was something I lacked in other relationships. I also learned self-love and how important it is to have. You’re supposed to be learning how to love someone else, and the best way to start that is to know how you want and need to be loved first.

Well said!

What do you love most about poetry?

I love the freedom of expression when it comes to poetry. Everyone’s voice is different, but we could all be going through the same thing, and your words need to be heard. Poetry is healing and therapy to me. That’s what I love the most. Being able to put everything down on paper and releasing it. I perform most of my poems, and the stage is where I get the most out of it. Letting the pain and stress or discomfort out in the open for everyone to hear and not to have to worry about it be bottled up inside anymore.

Beautiful. We’d love to hear you recite your poetry one day! We’ll have to set that up. For now, you are a new contestant. In what way do you think contests such as this one are beneficial to authors?

Contests like these are beneficial because of the exposure and the opportunity to step out and be bold. I stepped out of my comfort zone when entering, and I placed. Sometimes you have to step out on faith and believe in yourself, and these contests give authors like myself a place to be bold.

How did you get started writing?

I started writing young. I never really took it seriously. I just knew I loved poetry. I started taking my poetry seriously during my first year of college. I read a poem I wrote to a friend, and she asked me why I hadn’t performed any of my pieces. I had terrible stage fright back then. I would never have dreamed of actually being on stage and performing something I wrote. It scared me to think of what others would think about my inner thoughts, but I loved it. Loved opening my truth up to others because some people felt just the way I did. I found a family that wanted to help me perfect my craft and push myself. I owe a lot to the Deep Release Poetry Society at Valdosta State University. Without that organization, I wouldn’t have challenged myself or continued with my writing.

I admire all the winning poems this year because you guys stepped outside the box.

In your case, you used the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of love and beauty. What went into this decision? What was the process of writing this poem like for you?

I pulled all my best ideas into this one. I wanted to make sure everything made sense, so I did some research to ensure I had my Greek Mythology right. The first night I started writing, something happened. I can’t remember what exactly, but I did not finish it that night. It actually took me longer than I thought to finish the ending, but it came together. I enjoyed writing this poem because of the care I put into it.

What would you say is your writing strength and weakness?

My writing strength would have to be relatability. I write to make the reader feel what I mean, not just read it. I want my words to bring out the emotion as much as possible to get the message across. When it comes to my weakness, it would have to be not finishing certain pieces and stopping. I have a bad habit sometimes of having writer’s block and just leaving it there. I have many short poems that need some love.

I feel you. Are you working on any writing projects/books?

I am working on a project and hopefully a book as well. It is still in the beginning stages, but I am hoping to get it launched in the next year.

Yess! Well, be sure to let me know. I’m here for it.

Where do you see yourself a year from now?

I see myself winning more contests, haha.

Okay, you sound like Dondi!

But seriously, I see myself taking my writing to the next level. I know that I have the potential to do more, and I’m ready to act. Sometimes we fall short of knowing what we are capable of, and we stop ourselves from doing more. But this time next year, I hope to have one book under my belt.

That’s right, sis. Speak it into existence! Be on the lookout for her book next year, ya’ll.

And without further ado, I introduce to you “The Secret Garden,” by Jasmina Jammison

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Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash

I once dreamed I lived in the Secret Garden
Where I mastered patience and understanding
Where dreams were reality
Where faith didn’t have to be the size
Of a mustard seed
And she lived there with me

We knew each other in and out
In this garden, we were mythological
Like something out of a Greek novel
Aphrodite graced us with her presence

And we learned love without conditions.
We shared passions and pains
Learned how to inhale peace with every breath
She loved me for just me, every ounce of me
But this is a Secret Garden after all

I woke up
Because dreams are only real when you’re asleep
There was no us
It was just me
No garden to hide in
No one to love my flaws
Cupid didn’t exist in this world
No arrows to hit me with
No infinite peace

So I learned how to build
How to pick up bricks of my past
Lay down and surrender to every slab
Of cement in between
And mold a fence of love and understanding

We can build the Secret Garden.
With every ounce of despair
With every love lost
With the love of oneself
We can build a mansion

I know this because she is here
In the walls of this fence
And she loves me for just me

She picked up my bricks
And helped me build
I put down her insecurities
As she laid down my losses in cement
Together we know peace and intimacy

We built this mansion on a foundation
Of affliction
She gave me the blueprints to her heart
And I made a note of every measurement
Handmade every detail to perfection
Carved my name in the outline of her heart
And I pray she’ll keep me there forever

Because this love only comes
Once in a lifetime
we made sure this house wouldn’t collapse
These walls are too sturdy
We never needed the Secret Garden
To build what we have
Aphrodite taught us that

Copyright©2021 Jasmina Jammison

Published by

Yecheilyah

I write Black Historical Fiction, and Soulful Poetry for the freedom of all people. Visit me on the web at yecheilyahysrayl.com/

3 thoughts on “Yecheilyah’s 4th Annual Poetry Contest Winners 2021: Jasmina Jammison”

  1. Mission accomplished! We did more than just read it sis..we felt it ! Beautiful poem. I also can relate to your story, although I didn’t necessarily have stage fright but I had fear of not being good enough. It’s crazy because I would always hop my butt on the stage but then become very self conscious while standing before a crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

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