Evolving Emotions: Joy-Poetry

Joy is a summer night.

Mosquitoes buzzing in the air and

The laughter of long-time friends

After your marshmallow erupts ablaze from

A fire that conveys ash, decorating the air like confetti


Joy is a sunrise.

In your grandmother’s home

Sitting on the hardwood

As a cat lay on the windowsill

Watching the colors blend in a symphony


Joy is a first love.

Butterflies swish inside

At the sight of that face

That makes your knees buckle

And a smile sparking fireworks to nip at your fingertips


Joy is in everything

If one squints hard enough

At dusty photographs

At events unfolding with torn edges

And at hands to hold, things to see, and moments yet to be

Evolving Emotions: Joy-Photography

Faking smiles is neither pleasant nor effective. Find trustworthy people to confide your demons in. You may feel a little lighter. You may even take down that mask one day.
This was taken another life ago but I can still recall the joy I felt. This feeling is as saturated and wonderful as ever.


Fairy lights were the best purchase I made for my dorm room. They light up my life! (Literally lol.)


Evolving Emotions: Joy-Poetry

Six Twenty-Five


Hospital chatter comprised of hushed whispers

A cacophony of voices

And low sighs


Six twenty-two


A cart’s wheels squeaking through the halls

Maddening in its movement

Never ceasing


Six twenty-three


Machines whirring on the hour

The PA system’s jargon tumbles into the void

The clock ticks methodically


Six twenty-four


A girl watches

She smiles where shy lay

Extended by

Wires and cords

An IV drains her


But the creases beneath her eyes

The folded lines circling her mouth

Refuse to quit

She smiles triumphantly

Whether it is old wisdom written in her genes

Or young innocence that drives her face


Is unimportant

She smiles despite it all


Her body decays

With fatigue that makes the bones melt

Pain that drives pleading

She smiles


It’s unnatural

And odd

A peculiar display

In such a place

The human will

Falls apart

And yet finds contentment


Her pale eyes gaze at blank white walls

Her ears absorb the speech in the halls


She looks inward

To starry sky camping trips

And family movie nights

To swimming pool laps with rounds of Marco Pollo

The times when things were beautiful


Her parents will be here soon

Her brother and sister too


She smiles at the thought of six twenty-five

Almost to the parking lot

And through the revolving doors


They will be here

Beside her

To reminisce and laugh

About what once was

And could still be


Despite it all,

She smiles

Bright and bold

Because things have been beautiful

And will again

At six twenty-five



Evolving Emotions: Joy

Embrace all flaws, aspirations, past triumphs and failures, and everything in between because you deserve happiness and contentment within yourself.
Happiness means building a life out of purpose and community. Those things take time! Give yourself some grace as you traverse this life.


There’s a lot to love about living, so stick around! Maybe stop and smell some flowers to pass the time. 🙂


Evolving Emotions: 2022-2023

Hello! I would like to give a quick rundown of what I will be working on during this academic year. To spice things up, I will create an assortment of pieces in varying mediums. Each month, I will focus on a particular emotion/theme.

  • Joy
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Anticipation

The mediums I will include are digital art, photography, poetry, and short story-making. I hope you enjoy what I put together, and feel free to leave comments if you’d like!

See you next Sunday,


Welcome to arts, ink.

Welcome to arts, ink., where our student artists and writers are given a forum to illuminate the Michigan student experience through art. If you’re a U-M student interested in becoming a weekly contributor, there may be a position available to get paid for your work. We review applications and hire new bloggers twice a year, in September and January. Read more about Blogging Opportunities here!
Email us at arts@umich.edu with questions.

If you want a nice snapshot of some of our favorite posts from the past year, check out the “Summer 2022 Reading List” tag!