I am writing this
in response to the
overwhelming hole I caused
within my own heart.
A heart that was
blackened by darkness,
shrunken and shrivelled
by the overhwhelming urge
to cast love away.
the first thing that books
never tell you about
is not the loneliness
you feel inside,
(lord knows I know enough of that)
but the loneliness
it creates around you.
(The very same loneliness that made
me push you away,
afraid of exposing the darkness within.)
You may ask why I kept silent,
but what you
may never understand
is that opening up about the darkness
is far more treacherous
than keeping it hidden.
(You can wrap a cold
heart in silence
until the broken beats
disappear from fuzzy ears.)
And it is for this reason
I never told you, friend,
and for that reason
I guess our friendship
has come to an end.
I am no better now
than I was then -
my heart is barely healed,
wrapped in patchwork fabrics of
silence, loneliness, lethargy.
There are days when I wake up
without feeling awake at all.
I am constantly
drifting in a sleepy conscious,
tip toeing a line between
the light and this darkness,
wondering if anyone
would try to stop me
from plunging into the deep.
The place where
my blackened heart lay, friend,
is the place where our
friendship is buried today -
wrapped in patchwork fabrics of
my silence, regret, and anger.
I am sorry friend
for the unanswered
calls and texts,
the cancelled plans,
and the friendship
I traded for rest.
There's a lump in my throat
when I talk to you -
a painful lump that is there
because I don’t know how
to speak to you
without wanting to burst out
But what you may never know
is how you still kept
the darkness at bay
even though I never
gave you a chance
to know that it existed.
So thank you
for healing my heart
without knowing its
“One need not be a chamber – to be haunted, One need not be a house; The brain has corridors – surpassing Material place. . Ourself, behind ourself concealed, Should startle most; Assassin, hid in our apartment, Be horror’s least.”Emily Dickinson
She holds regret between her teeth
like a red thread of punishment
she can’t fit through a needle -
every time she tries to get rid of it,
his face pricks the corner of her thoughts
and she starts all over again.
She sits there,
a reproachful patchwork of emotions
picking at the loose threads that lay
between him and her,
like a vulture who picks
at bones already clean of meat.
She was threadbare,
hanging like broken seams
cut from blue muslin squares
and bleached in the sun.
Smells of mothballs
and old fabric clippings
rushed the insides of her nostrils,
while she unspun a new spool of black thread,
replacing the red one -
frayed and covered in her saliva.
The remnants of desperate attempts
to force a broken thing into working.
When she pulls the black thread through -
when she no longer feels
a familiar tug on the sinews
connecting her heart to her ribcage -
she allows herself to take in the colours
of the world she knew before:
ochres, indigos, mauves, even pewters -
thimbles to the needle
memories that pricked her mind.
Weaving the needle in and out -
through loops woven from moments
stitched into her skin and mind,
the story of letting go.
Prompt: “1. … find a passage [of your writing] dominated by your attention to imagery and the way your language sounds… Transfer it onto a page and begin making a poem from this skeleton.” from Nancy Pagh’s Write Moves, pg 44.
Love came around on a Sunday afternoon.
A time when trees whispered sweet nothings to the wind
and her heart sung to the tune of another’s voice.
A time when faint lines danced across his face,
chasing the laughter and the smiles in criss-cross patterns of happiness,
when butterflies stormed in her belly after
having been awakened by the vibrant thumpthumpthump of his heart.
But heartbreak always comes with Monday morning.
A time when the muscles between her ribs ached for
a breath of relief from the constant holding of air.
A time where his lungs wished to be pushed into the deep
so that they may only feel the water and not the emptiness,
when the butterflies sunk down to her toes under the weight
of the splintered remains of his broken heart.
So love came around on a Sunday afternoon,
and suffocated on a Saturday morning.
I felt like crying but nothing came out. It was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can’t feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. But I think I have known it pretty often, too often.Charles Bukowski
I convinced myself that when you looked at me,
you didn’t see the marbled texture of my thighs,
my valleys and hills of tissue,
the shark’s teeth that lined my bottom jaw.
I hoped that your eyes would look somewhere else –
to my intelligence or beautiful wit or caring nature,
only loving the things I could not see.
I convinced myself that your eyes
did not see what I see –
and honey, that was the death of me.
I miss when writing came easy,
When words flowed from my veins,
Falling into perfect lines,
Flowing into flawless sounds.
I miss when mind and body would meet,
When I could write as fast as my thoughts,
Pouring blues and reds to purple,
Painting pictures using only word.
I miss when my thoughts sung in tune with these hands…
01.27.2019 – 11:08 p.m
My brain knows this loneliness well –
it has seen it many times before;
yet my heart still fights in protest,
saying it hurts just like the first time –
maybe even more.
She touched the glass of the picture frame with her index finger, holding her tattered letters in the palm of her other hand. She wondered if he were doing the same – glancing at her through a clear pane of melted sand from a faraway land.
It was as if she herself were stuck in quicksand – moving too fast to stop sinking, with no branch to grasp onto. The darkness was getting closer as the days since she last lay eyes on him grew larger in number. Sometimes she sits like this, eyes on the horizon, searching for a familiar silhouette.
The letters felt soft in her hand, pliable like supple leather from constant exposure to the oils in her fingers and the salty residue that leaked from her eyes. She no longer could read the words written in sloppy handwriting – remnants of a hand she likely would never hold again. But she didn’t need to read them anymore; she knew them by heart.
The sky was an eerie grey – devoid of any colour that may have warmed her sunken face and brittle bones. As she sat on the veranda, she could not make out the shapes in the sky they used to spot together. Only large globs of dirty cotton balls streaked the vast expanse – devoid of any shapes borne from creativity and excitement. She knew only the grayness now.
The picture frame she held was of oakwood, encasing the colour photo within its textured borders. She kept tracing his features – an index finger roaming the lines and crevices of his face as if it would rub the photo to life.
You get three wishes – me, me, and me!
His voice inside her head brought a tiny smile to her face, until she found that his voice was beginning to echo in her mind.
It became harder to bring back the heavenly sounds from the recesses of her memory.
Everything about him – except his image she held in the picture frame – was slipping away like sand from her skull. It escaped in the smiles she tried to extinguish when she caught herself being happy without him. It escaped in the rise and fall of her laughter when she saw a little boy toddle towards her with a captured frog in his hands.
One day she may look into the eyes of the little boy and not catch her breath at the sight of the familiar brown eyes. One day. But she knows that when she sees the boy all she thinks about is the man who gave him those eyes.
When the boy plays toy soldiers she horridly imagines the plastic figurines as the man in the photo, with the childish gun sounds replaced by the imagined gunshot in her mind.
The cries of mourning, however, she doesn’t need to imagine.
Feeling the heat of the sun creep onto the floor like a gentle reminder of the coming day, she trades the photo for a storybook – one about a Genie and a princess. She lets the crumpled paper flutter to the floor of the porch, some getting trapped between the cracks and crevices, sinking into the sand below.
The little boy waddles to her side and stretches his arms out – tiny branches for her to grasp and pull toward her.
She begins reading – and, just for a little while, she lets herself smile.
Prompt: “ ‘Ekphrastic’ means art that responds to art…. Put on some music that inspires, haunts, or moves you…Free write to it without an agenda. Experiment with changing the music every 10 minutes – how does your writing change?” from Nancy Pagh’s “Write Moves”
Yet another piece I wrote for my Creative Writing 265 class! I had written this piece in response to the prompt above – instead of following the prompt completely, however, I chose to write this story solely with the use of one song. This particular piece of score (“A Small Measure of Peace” by Hans Zimmer) evoked such strong notes of mourning and sadness for me, and as such I have tried to convey the hopelessness and longing I felt while listening to the soundtrack.
My love for movie scores knows no bounds, and often I hear the score of a movie before I even lay eyes upon the film itself. There is something facinating to me about being able to convey the emotional depth of a scene purely through sound. Hans Zimmer, in particular, has been one of the most celebrated composers in the industry – his many award-winning scores include The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Inception, Interstellarand my favourite (although lesser known) score – Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
The score I chose to write on – a piece from The Last Samurai – displays subtle references that build upon Japanese musical styles. Having instruments such as the koto string, taiko drum, and the shakuhachi (a Japanese flute) help to immerse the viewer in the world of 19th century Japan. However, these instruments, without the context of the movie, add a mournful and foreign sound to the unfamiliar ear. This, I believe, further adds to the isolational tone of the entire score clip. In turn, it helped to immerse myself deeper into the world I was trying to create – a mournful widow in a beach house – which was completely different from the world Hans Zimmer composed the score for. This demonstrates the universality of music, showing that no matter the circumstance, the emotions evoked within the listener are just as powerful.
I would strongly suggest reading this piece a second time while listening to the soundtrack, as you may have an inkling as to what mood I was trying to convey. I have linked it below for your convenience! 🙂
My hands are as cold as ice,
numbed with a lack of blood flow that stiffens the sinewy flesh –
splotchy and marbled and cold as stone.
As if they were the bones of a bird, they crack and pop easily
under the pressure of movement –
cries of protest from my hibernating nerves.
A ginger cat dozes quietly at the edge of the bed,
curled into a ball of warmth and soft down hair –
its paws wrapped loosely around its sleeping head.
The soft rise and fall of its tiny chest –
faint whooshes of air escaping a carved mouth –
both in time to the beats of low purrs rumbling in its belly.
Whispers of a television set in the living room
and conversations heard from walls away –
their quiet intonations travelling as if through water.
There are faint swooshes of cars travelling to and fro
through the glass pane of my window –
reminders of the outside world – already very much awake.
I can hear my heart pumping blood through my chest
and can feel its beats tapping rhythmically
against the door of my sternum.
The welcoming sign of life announcing its presence –
feeding oxygen to muscles tired and achy
with the strain of being deprived of rest.
The space heater generates a soft hum and a warm glow,
warming the expanse of the room ever so slightly –
a gentle nudge that tickles my toes.
With the heat’s arrival comes the ebbing of the cold –
I feel it melt away from my fingers and my joints
until they are no longer iced over in stiffness.
Through the slits in my window blinds pours the sun –
a beaming light show of golden hues,
casting a yellow projection of the vermillion sky onto my floor.
My lukewarm hands rub the sleep from my eyes –
exposing them to the glaring face of an analog clock
accusingly interrupting the
silent world of
the early morning.
This piece of poetry was written for assessment in my Creative Writing 265 class. We had to each choose a prompt from a selection in Nancy Pagh’s creative writing guide and anthology titled “Write Moves” and write a 1-4 page piece using said prompt. The exercise could take the form of a narrative prose, a simple list, a poem, a story, etc. I chose poetry because my writing most easily flows in the form of poetry nowadays – and that was of the utmost importance because I wrote this 12 hours before it was due, and polished it with 6 hours to spare!
The prompt I had chosen is as follows: “Make a llst of a dozen ‘small noticings’ in this moment: twelve tangible things you perceive with your five senses.” I hope this poem is able to embody the slow feelings and sensations of waking up in the morning. I believe it is within this point of time wherein the world is at its quietest, yet curiously at its busiest, as it slowly begins to awaken with the first rays of light. Happy reading. 🙂
P.S. I haven’t quite got the hang of the WordPress editing format – if I could remove those hideous lines between the stanzas while still keeping the gap I would!