Photography © Jennifer Matthews

Hymn for the Hymnless
In honor of my spirit animal, Ke$ha.

‘This is a hymn, hymn, hymn for how we live, live, live.’


Who am I?
What am I?
Why the silly questions?
I have no face,
No religion, no sound.

Why must we put ourselves
In a generic praising pool?
God’s been known to take many forms.
If he did, God would be whisky,
The late Michel Jackson

Or leather chaps.
I walk the fine line
Between normality and wild child.
Gypsies live in my head,
Thunder wagers for my heart,

And my eyes are a kaleidoscope of color.
I am the wannabe hippies
That sing under bridges
Wearing floral tights, aviator shades,
And let our hair grow long.

Love, peace and flower power.
Nothing but good vibes
When we gather in groups.
I am the petite office worker
With bright red hair

And inked up arms.
Who trades in her pencil skirts for overalls
When she returns home to the farm.
Being a part-time pinup girl
Has its fun times too.

I am the marine
With racing strip socks,
Hiding underneath his combat boots,
And a surf board in his locker.
His bunkmates expect

An 80’s song
To be playing in his quarters.
I am the clean-shaven lawyer,
With a brief case in one hand
And an electric guitar in the other.

Heavy metal resonates with me.
I can live wild
And no one will judge.
I am the four year old,
With a foot in the kiddy pool

And a hand in the cookie jar.
My Big Bird sunglasses,
Ready to fall off the tip
Of my sunscreen slick nose.
I am the grandma

Who sits on her front porch,
Cracking pecans for a pie on her lap.
Her blue pit-bull
Sleeping blissfully at her feet,
Unaware of the jeering squirrels in the nearby tree.

I am the biker,
Who rides a classic Harley.
A macaw perched contently
On his shoulder.
His black cat passenger sitting in the sidecar;

Purring happily as the wind
Mercilessly plasters its fur.
The bikers’ wife rides behind
On her own magenta hog,
Their bloodhound, sitting passenger,

Wearing diving goggles
And a ball cap.
The mutts long ears
Flapping wildly as we cruse along.
Do I exist?

That question can only be
By the people.
For you are me
And I am you.


‘This is a hymn, hymn, hymn for how we live, for how we live.’

Whitney Cailin Stewart: “Initially I enrolled at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, with the intention of pursuing a degree in Accounting. But after only one semester of Finance, I decided it wasn’t the career path for me. By that point, writing was the only thing that remotely interested me, so I decided to switch majors to Creative Writing the following semester. My style of writing is all over the place; much of my inspiration comes from music, nature, movies, and sometimes my over eccentric mind. But that’s the way I like it.”

Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.