Tag Archives: Chelsea DeVries

Guest Post: The Story Behind The Poem “Unacknowledged” by Author Chelsea DeVries

On March 10, 2020, I sat down and wrote “Unacknowledged,” but before I ever sat down and wrote that poem, I already had so many poems I wrote while working in the toxic workplace.

I began working there as an administrative assistant after Thanksgiving 2018. I recognized that the place was dark and dimly lit and seemed to be full of problems. After the interview, I realized how much I truly did not want to take that job but felt like maybe the difference I made at my last job by being a force for good by choosing kindness and mercy would be something I could extend to this place.

Everyone I know was happy for me as I finally would be working full time following college, but not everything that glitters is actually gold. 

To cope with the harassment and abuse, I would write poems, but a lot of my poems started hinting at something I never saw coming. I was definitely falling in love fast and hard with the young man I had befriended there. 

It was therapeutic to work eight hours a day there and try to do whatever good I could while also have this secret love that no one knew about.

Which was how “Unacknowledged” came to be. I had all these feelings that were basically suppressed instead of expressed, which I understood was the key to my healing. 

Once I sat down and wrote that poem on March 10, 2020, I knew it was time to let this poetry collection pour out of me. 

“Unacknowledged” was 35 stanzas and 738 words. And what came out when I sat down to write this poem is the same poem you read in the collection. I present to you “Unacknowledged.”

Unacknowledged

I shouldn’t be writing this

A psychic told me that

“Nothing would come from this situation.”

A counselor told me not to feed you

With my thoughts or mental energy

I keep thinking about when I put a novel out

Should I acknowledge you and your seasonal

Part in my story?

It’s this persistent picture that

keeps playing in my head.

I see your nickname on the page

Where you dedicate a book to someone.

How do you dedicate a book to someone who blocked you on Facebook?

Ignores your texts?

Never offered an explanation

About why he no longer wanted to be friends with you?

Were you scared that I would beg you to love me?

I am sorry that I left without telling you

Why 

That I would never blame you for the

Bad and evil things I witnessed and experienced

at the hands of someone

with envy in their heart

and greed stuck

between their tongue

and their teeth.

I didn’t know what to say to you

I didn’t know if you would 

Tell me to stay or

be angry With me

Because

I saw them

For who they are

Instead of just pretending

I was dumb, deaf, and blind.

Gone is your musical laugh and the sparkle in your eyes

As you would smirk at me  

With this synchronicity

You thought it was

All a ringless circus too.

The guy in the top hat

The Greatest Showman

No Hugh Jackman

He couldn’t juggle,

Tell jokes,

Or tame a caged lion.

Spitting fire was his one and only talent

As the master of Ceremonies,

The elephant he rode

Would spray water from her trunk

Killing dreams, Hopes, and new ideas

Left and right

Unlike Dumbo,

She was angry because her ringmaster clipped

Her wings and convinced her she couldn’t fly.

Fly she could but he kept her chained.

Chained and dependent on him

for bread, water, and a place to rest her head. 

Yet, he would demean her

Keep her feeling small

So she always had to

Validate herself 

In his eyes only…

It was a dark and dreary

Tim Burton movie

We were a part of

But like Zac Efron and Zendaya

In the Greatest Showman,

The characters we played

Were not convinced

Their love was enough

To make it.

Were you mad that I cared about you

Or were you mad because

there was nothing we could do about it?

Were you mad that I had the courage

And open door to grasp my freedom

Before they hung me

Like the witch they believed me to be?

I did care about you.

I was so thankful for you.

I think you are a beautiful person.

So ordinary but extraordinary all in one person.

So complex

Such an enigma.

To me, you will always be a mystery.

Our timing was neither wrong nor right.

You were good to me.

I encouraged you.

You made me feel heard.

You didn’t look at me

For my body or physique.

Yet, whenever I looked at you

I felt ok to be me.

And for that,

I can’t regret

How I fell for you

With no real

Motive or reason.

I just loved you.

I still love you.

But you won’t talk to me.

So I guess I will write you the dedication

After all.

Because it feels better to acknowledge you

Than pretend you didn’t matter to me.

That you still matter to me.

That I don’t think of you when I listen to Billie Eillish

And remember how I made you laugh because I said she may be a Satanist.

She’s not.

Yet, just the notion of that didn’t make you

Flinch or judge me, and you never forget

Someone like that.

Someone who runs towards you and your outlandishness

Instead of away from it.

Someone who makes you repeat what you said

Even if you mumbled it because it deserved to be

Heard.

Someone who always helped me, talked to me,

And believed in me until you didn’t.

Someone who I miss

Someone who I pray for every single day

Someone like YOU

You have to acknowledge someone like that.

Even if it was only a series of moments

they made an ordinary boring job and 

made it

memorable.

Just the thought of you makes me look back

At those months of my life and smile.

Even with tears in my eyes.

I’ve let you go

 but I just had to let you know  

that I acknowledge

all you were to me and

all I hope you become.

Mr. Suncoast,

This is for you

About the Author

Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.

Sticks and Stones: Full Story Edition by Chelsea DeVries Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author and poet Chelsea DeVries take readers on a journey of finding the strength to rise above the toxicity in life in the book “Sticks and Stones:  Full Story Edition”.

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The Synopsis

In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. Newly expanded with more full color photos, 41 new poems, and a rewrite of Drowning in An Ocean of No Tomorrows, DeVries shows a full poetic picture of turning pain into poetry in order so you can rise above whatever is pulling you under.

The Review

This was a brilliant and heartfelt collection of poetry. The author did an incredible job of creating poems that evoked strong emotional responses within the reader while also speaking to the reader on a multitude of levels. The imagery and tone the poems struck were particularly powerful, as the poems crafted their own narratives in the reader’s minds that evoked the raw feelings that the author was able to put onto paper.

For me, the themes the author explores in these poems made them feel that much more compelling. The ways in which the author brings important topics to life,  such as mental health, workplace harassment and harassment in general, toxic behavior, and the prospect and loss of love, made this collection feel truly engaging and mesmerizing.

The Verdict

Haunting, emotional, and thoughtful, author Chelsea DeVries’s “Sticks and Stones: Full Story Edition”, brings hope in the face of adversity through powerful poetry in this must-read collection. The personal and thought-provoking experiences the author shares with readers at the beginning of this book keep the reader invested in the author’s journey, and speak to the hope and strength that they drew upon to face down those adversities to become the person they are today. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.