A Lovely Madness

poetry

It’s lovely to think

that the mind has been healed,

that it works like everyone else’s,

until you realize

that you can never be healed

because your body opens new wounds

of its own accord

and applies half-hearted bandages

in a patchwork attempt

to seem normal.

It is lovely to think that

madness is beautiful,

craziness is kind,

until it turns painful

when it shatters your mind.

The Executioner

poetry
There is a space the length
of a small child's pinky;
a space that is harder to cross
than the harshest of rapids,
or the coldest of winters.

Unless you have needed to cross it,
unless you have tried to squeeze
the two sides together like
a pair of two clashing magnets,
it does not exist.

This space is the purgatory of being;
where you are stuck between
what you want,
and what your mind, your body,
allows you to do.

This space is the inch of room
between a guillotines blade and the
wisps of hair on your head.
One side a release, and one
a reminder of what is normal,
what is expected.

For this space is only rented to
the melancholic;
to those who have felt
the cold and nimble hands of apathy,
the wry smile of despair.

Those hands and smiles
lead you to the gallows;
to the inch of death rope,
the space of an empty pill bottle,
or to the space between your skin
and the green veins
you wish so desperately to slit.






When Two Gazes Meet

poetry

A fire burns strongly
in the night,
feeding off  the
oxygen that leaves
my body every time
his gaze meets mine.

I see his eyes’ warmth flicker
on and off
like the filament
of a lightbulb,
turning a shade darker
when scanning the mass
then
burning brightly when
the orbs align with mine.

Nerve fibres
catch on fire, kindling
to my sweaty palms and
the shaky breath
that rattles in my chest.

A fire has started that
we cannot control,
a conflagration
that burns the room
around us,
scorching the bodies of
the occupants within.

These people are oblivious
To the blaze that
creeps up the walls,
fed by the tug of heartstrings
pulled taught with separation.

They are oblivious
to the heat
to the burn
to the pain
of two people locking eyes
across a crowded room.


An Open Letter to a Lost Friend

poetry

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.

You see, 
the first thing that books
never tell you about
depression
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
in apologies
and explanations.

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
terminal illness.


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Thimble

poetry
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,
she embroiders
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.

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Love Came Around

poetry

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.


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