Water Baby

Water was always my sanctuary,

The sea and its endless calm would wash my sorrows away

So why do I find myself drowning

In the same watery depths that once brought me peace.

An endless echo of silence as I call out

To anyone who can hear me.

I used to think of myself as a seashell,

Gently washed ashore by the rising tide,

Glistening in the moonlight as the sea breeze soothes my soul

So how did I become a crumpled plastic bag

Tossed aside by the one I trusted,

Disposed of without a second thought

Constantly wondering, where I could have gone wrong.

Saltwater tracing patterns on my skin,

Stinging the scars that I opened up

Just to let you inside.

I ask not for pity,

I have not yet reached the lightless depths,

I am but trapped beneath the surface

The sunlight reaching my skin, but not warming it

Hands pass by,

Gently caressing the water and I try to reach out

But they pull away at the last second

And I am left grasping at nothing

So close to the surface, yet unable to break out.

I had once dreamed of sharing my sanctuary with you

Sitting side by side as our feet dug into the cool sand

Perhaps I was naïve,

I built our sandcastles where the waves would surely arrive

Gave too much of myself to someone

Who never cared for the beach anyway

Looked away from the crumbling walls of sand

As you simply walked away,

Leaving my trampled broken sea shells in your wake.

I wish more than anything,

That I was like the ocean

Cold, calm and unfeeling

I wish that I was like you

But I am not.

It is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness

I wish that I was like you

But I am thankful I am not

I am the crashing waves on a stormy night,

I am the sunlight glimmering on a sunny summer day,

I am a vast coral reef teeming with life

And you are just the lifeless piece of plastic

That I refuse to be.

 

The next time I choose to dive into the endless ocean,

I will do it with someone who will dive with me too

And together we will discover Atlantis

Swim amongst the migrating herring

Bathe in the glow of sunken treasure

Together we will sit side by side, feet buried in the cool sand

And watch the sun set on my sanctuary once more.

Dawn

It’s been a while since I’ve written, or created something new,

An aeon since I let my heart, do what it needs to do.

The girl I used to be and the woman I’ve become,

Are strangers at best, enemies perhaps, far from being one.

My days fade into nights and my nights fade into days,

And all the while I’m left behind, squinting through the haze.

The wide-eyed child with unkempt hair, determined to be heard

Is like a dream, a faceless figure shouting silent words.

She paid a heavy price, for what she wants but doesn’t need,

Far from home and all alone in a vast and endless sea.

A crumbling coastline chipped away, by the gentle rolling tide,

A constant flow of harmless words, that fester over time.

A tiny flickering flame, floating amongst high waves,

A light almost extinguished yet still flickering none-the-less.

I refuse to be a number, in this rat race we call life,

Another cog oiled till it squeaks, carved perfectly over time.

I refuse to let uncaring hearts, use and then toss me aside,

I will honour the girl with the big brown eyes that never feared the night.

I will be kind and soft and caring, unafraid to feel,

Watch the sunrise with the one I love, heart full and at peace.

I may have lost my way, let my brain do all the talking,

But my heart is back with a vengeance, it’s compass due north pointing.

It may be tattered, battered and bruised, made mistakes along the way,

But I am back and unafraid, to feel the world again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For You.

You came into my life
Like sunshine peeking through drops of rain
Lighting up the sky with a soft golden glow.
You were soft jazz music
Playing on a Sunday morning
In a world that stood quiet
And watched us with a smile on it’s face.
You were a flickering flame
Dancing in the darkness
Showing me the way.
You were a starry night sky
In which I found constellations
Night after night.

You came into my life
To good to be true
And I was scared
Because happiness is never meant to last.
And I told myself
To resist your warmth
To shut my eyes and pretend you weren’t real
But you haunted me in my sleep
And every moment awake
That I spent without you
Was akin to agony.
You came into my life like a hurricane
Demanding to be felt
And I let you sweep me away
For I had no other choice.

You came into my life
When it was time for me to leave
And every fibre of my being screamed,
Telling me to run from you
With your words of silk
And arms that felt like home
A home that I could never make mine.
You came into my life
And I did not have the strength to say goodbye.
Because every time you said hello
My heart skipped a beat
It became my favourite word
And my worst fear.

You came into my life
And I vowed to never hurt you
For your sadness pierced my heart like a thousand frozen arrows.
I fell in love with your smile
Your laughter became my prayer
And every tear was a monster that I  would fight to the death.
But somehow I became a monster too
The worst of them all
I told you goodbye
And watched my world slowly fall apart.
Helpless as I did the only thing I knew how,
Walk away.

You came into my life,
But you never truly left.
You simply faded bit by bit
As I tried against all reason to hold on.
I was too weak to let you go,
Too addicted to falling apart every time you said enough.
I held on and you never left
But you did not stay either.
The warm fire that was once my refuge
Now became a frozen shield.
The arms that once pulled me into you
Now tried their hardest to push me away.
But I could not leave you completely
And for that I am sorry.

You came into my life
And I became your biggest regret.
You were a paradise which I could only visit
Not inhabit.
You were cruelly wonderful,
Everything I wanted
But could not have.
You were the most painful almost,
And the worst goodbye.
You are everything I want and I am everything you do not
So I must let you go.

Sorry

Sorry drips from my lips like a heavenly manna,
A lily extended to appease the gods.
Sorry is who I am, it is who I have learnt to be.
In this world full of flying arrows and angry bullets
Sorry has become my armor,
My undignified shield of white petals.
Sorry appears at the slightest sign of anger,
It escapes my mouth before my brain can react.
You see sorry is the only way to survive,
In a world where anger is only preceded by ego.
Sorry is a way of life, a form of warfare
Fought by those who do not wish to fight.
I am sorry when I speak out of turn,
I am sorry when you raise your hand,
I am sorry when I breathe your air,
I am sorry for who I am.
Indeed sorry does have a heavy price,
As it weighs my head down towards your feet.
Sorry extinguishes my flames,
Evaporates my thunder storms,
But in return it lets me live.

Is this a life worth living?
You ask.
With my words always muffled by sorry ‘s drooping leaves.
With my mind always screaming,
Raging to fight,
Fighting it’s rage.
You have of course misunderstood.
Sorry is not a choice, it is a necessity,
Borne by those whose tongues do not dance among the flames,
Whose skins cannot act as armor
Protecting them from the arrows of spite.
No sorry is for those,
Who feel too deeply to not be affected by the world.
It is for those whose humanity soars in a world
Where being human is a crime.
Sorry is for us,
The ones who wish to love, in spite of never being loved back.
Sorry is all we know,
Because it is all you truly understand.

You are not Beautiful.

You are not beautiful,

You are so much more than that.

Place your hand over your beating heart

And listen to the war drums proclaiming another battle won.

Close your eyes and listen.

Another day conquered,

Another step towards your goal.

Close your eyes and feel the sunlight permeate your skin,

You are strong, powerful, exquisite,

Don’t let one word hold you down.

 

You are not beautiful.

You are an infinite galaxy pulsating beneath flesh and blood.

You cannot be defined by a word as mundane as beauty.

Your eyes reflect constellations,

A million stars from which you are built.

Watch the tears fall from your eyes and rejoice,

For you are a living, feeling miracle.

Do not wipe them away but let them roll down your cheeks,

Leaving black trails that mar your pristine skin.

Battle scars that you should celebrate, don’t hold it in.

 

You are not beautiful,

You cannot be described in earthly tongue.

You smile through heartbreak and laugh at those who cheat you.

You wake up every day in spite of the shackles tied to your wrists

You wake up and slowly chip them away.

You are not the fools who leave you,

They were merely blinded by your light.

You are not the endless nights of wondering whether you are good enough,

Because you are.

More than you could imagine.

 

You are not beautiful.

Don’t let them tell you otherwise,

The vultures trying to silence your voice with a single label.

You are everything you wanted to be and more.

You go so much deeper than your pretty face,

You have hidden stories spelt out in your lungs.

Dark stories, stories which may not be pretty.

But these stories are a part of you wear them like a badge.

Show the world that you are not beautiful.

That you are a complex whirlwind of intertwined stories,

Stories of heartbreak and anger and failure and pity.

You are not beautiful,

You are human.

Enumeration

Seven pebbles in your unmarked hands:
Tears rolling down my face as mine protest at their emptiness,
I watch your dirt covered frame receding over the horizon,
Leaving me with the silence of the trees.

Eleven times I glance in your direction:
Watching you walk with the crème de la crème of the self-proclaimed kings,
A slight falter in your step when you notice my gaze,
That goes unnoticed by everyone else.

Fifteen times I tell myself to breathe:
As I watch your spotted face approaching like an exploding star,
Your breath mingling with mine as our lips touch,
And you steal my breath away for the very first time.

Seventeen bottles of beer that we steal in one month:
A tangle of confused limbs and hurried discarding of clothes,
As we lose ourselves in a cloud of smoke and chemically induced oblivion,
Sitting in your car at three in the night planning our battle strategies.

Nineteen hours we sit in each others arms before I leave:
You tell me about how your demons take the form of your brother,
Smiling with your parents as you fade into the background,
And I give you all that I have to patch your leaks.

Twenty one hours floating over a sea-of-clouds:
Shutting out screaming children protesting against the force of gravity.
You stand with crying mothers and stone-faced fathers,
Slightly taller, tanner, older and perhaps even wiser.

Twenty four roses on my birthday because I never had the heart to tell you I hate them:
A clean suit and a new dress head out to burn the town.
I end up taking off my heels and walking next to you down a misty alley-way,
Singing out-dated rock songs at the top of our intoxicated lungs.

Twenty eight steps to a white-washed gazebo:
Surrounded by the nauseating stench of musk-roses and the garbled laughter of crying couples.
You get down on both knees because you resist the status-quo,
And I say yes with dry eyes that I rub out of guilt and desperation.

Thirty guests at our small wedding by the sea:
Sighing with second hand happiness as we speak of eternal love.
A slow guitar riff encircles our swaying forms,
My head on your shoulder as you whisper that you will always love me.

Thirty two times you swear as she begins to cry again:
Her shrill cries piercing through the night and adding weight to my drooping eye-lids.
You storm out of the house after I tell you you’re not doing enough,
And I take our daughter in my arms as her tears mingle with mine.

Thirty six candles on your sugar-less chocolate cake:
That take three tries to be completely extinguished.
I kiss you on the lips then our daughter hands you a hand-made card,
And you pretend to be impressed as my stomach crawls beneath the spandex.

Thirty nine hours since you’ve been gone from home:
I pace the living room as she watches from the corner with watery eyes.
It’s four in the morning when you walk through the door and I run sobbing into your arms,
Only to recoil at the stench of perfume and alcohol.

Forty two miles to our brand new beginning:
I let our daughter hug you for the last time as I pretend to pack invisible items.
She gets into the passenger seat and I drive away without saying a word,
Pulling down my sweater sleeves to cover the finger prints.

Forty five dollars for a dress I’ll never wear:
That I buy because he likes the colour red.
I see you with a cigar balanced between your lips and my heart falls to the floor,
I run away hoping that you won’t notice, even though I know you will.

Fifty hours I lock myself in my room:
As images of a crashing car flash before my eyes.
The first time we kissed replays itself on my lips even as my eyes refuse to acknowledge your absence,
He asks me how I am, and I tell him I am fine.

Journey

Our humble origins lay in darkness,
Unstirring, yet somehow brimming with life.
An infinite curtain suddenly parted,
To let in gleaming shards of light.

Here our epic saga begins,
A journey of joy and sorrow combined,
Words drifted down from the heavens above,
And Day came and vanquished the reign of the Night.

Fragments from the farthest reaches of the cosmos,
Drawn together by forces hitherto unknown,
Came to be one awe-inspiring mass,
That today has been given the title of “Home.”

Green interspersed by shades of brown,
Raindrops coalesced to form oceans wide,
Cold mother Earth being given new form,
Life grew limbs and earth grew life.

Thoughts carried far by breezes gentle,
Flames rose high before frightened eyes,
The eyes which drank every sight to behold,
And studied the stars peppering velvet night skies.

The sun would rise to new horizons,
Rapidly changed by the morning light,
Green to brown and brown to gray,
Skylines proclaiming the extent of their might.

Ancient peaks watched silent as the new-born grew,
Intoxicated by the sheer power they held,
Building yet breaking in one swift motion,
Millions of fools playing God to build hell.

Those who thought different averted their gaze,
Believing the unseen to be an old wives’ tale,
While the poor blinded fools continued to carve,
Their names in the sand before high-tide came.

The once young earth now begged for release,
Sending out its cry to all who would hear,
And slowly but surely its voice was heard,
Even by those who had once turned a deaf ear.

A murmur began to rise, quiet at first,
Drowned out by cries of sorrow and pain,
Yet soon its melody reigned in the fools,
Whose hearts had begun to wander astray.

Centuries of mistakes finally took their toll,
And those who cared proclaimed, “It has been enough!”
Fool me once, shame on you,
Fool me twice and we’re all the foolish ones.

Together they rose, hand in hand,
Hearts united by a need for change.
Caste, creed or colour played no role,
In this brand new world that was born due to hate.

As the days passed, young hearts had now grown,
Tempered by their youth of hatred and lies.
Each new day would herald a better world,
Where the stars would shine and the sun would rise.

The letters you will never read

I told you I needed to see the world,

Savour life while I was young,

You smiled and waved and wished me luck,

“I’ll wait for your return.”

So I set sail on a wooden crate, hope acting as my oar,

Carried by waves towards the sun,

As you faded with the shore.

I fell in love with burning stars,

Night after cloudless night,

And every morning my heart would sink,

Without your warm eyes meeting mine.

So I wrote you a letter for every day,

I dreamt alone at night

It filled the empty void you left,

As I crossed the oceans wide.

I would tell you of the bright-eyed boy,

Whose laugh was just like yours,

Or the field of daisies in which I lay,

As the sunset warmed my soul.

I wrote down all the little things,

That brought me back to you,

And every night I spoke to the stars,

Hoping you were speaking too.

I drew pictures of the misty peaks,

Standing proud against the sky,

I told you how I felt so small,

And hoped that you were doing fine.

In strangers lands I wandered till,

My feet bled to the soil,

Then I would sit on beds of grass,

And tell you about it all.

Months had passed, perhaps years since,

Your arms had warmed my skin,

So I packed my bags and made my way,

To where my heart had been.

I clambered over mountains high,

Crawled through valleys low,

Till I set foot on native soil,

And waited by your door.

I waited till the stars came out,

To be covered by the clouds,

I waited till they disappeared,

And the sun came beating down.

I called your name for hours on end,

Whispered a broken prayer,

Until a pair of pitying eyes,

Told me you were no longer there.

You tried to wait, I was informed,

But your demons grew too strong,

You fought your battles in silence till,

They convinced you I had gone.

Piece by piece you ripped me out,

Until I was no more,

Than a faded imprint of what could have been,

And then you locked your door.

I wrote a letter for every day,

I wished you by my side.

But now you’re gone and they have won,

So I’ll leave them here to die.

Almost home

You gather me up with your artist’s hands,
Digging into the cold earth,
And slowly bring me to the surface.
Gasping for air,
My new-born eyes squinting in the dappled sunlight.
Your slender fingers wrap around my spine,
Playing a song on every vertebrae,
Until I stand up straight.
Your knuckles knead my knotted back,
Like a soldier marching to the drums,
Regular, rhythmic, soothing.
You breathe life into my lungs,
Drain out the coalesced rain drops,
A sigh of fresh musk-roses.
You drag your nails across my arms,
Raising tiny ghouls in their wake.
Dormant spirits that lay in wait for aeons.
We stand with our toes embracing the soil,
Our backs to the gnarled limbs of evil trees.
Our faces towards powdery peaks,
Balanced on which lie echoes of ancient promises
That fall to their end as we shout as loudly as our throats permit.
Fire-works shoot across golden sunsets,
A wolf sings his children to sleep,
Fireflies form constellations for those bound to the earth.
And we stand.
Two disfigured souls joined together by harmonic chords.
Your artist’s hands entwined with mine,
And we are almost home.

Stalemate

I can hear it in your voice.
The way your throat catches at the last syllable.
I can see it in your eyes,
The way they look at the ceiling, your watch, anywhere but mine.
You tell me you’ll be home a little late,
He won’t be in town for another six months.
He’s your childhood friend, you hope I don’t mind missing dinner?
I smile and tell you it’s alright.
I kiss your cheek which twitches slightly and hold you briefly before I let go.
Don’t be too late alright?
Of course darling.
As I shut the door behind you, I listen for your steps.
I hear you opening the door of our car,
You get in and drive away, even as I silently beg for you to run out of gas.
I see your car turn the corner,
And I pull the curtains shut.
I grab a bottle of wine,
Nothing too fancy of course,
The good stuff is reserved for special nights,
Nights when we stay in and have dinner on the patio.
Nights when your mind is always somewhere else,
In another woman’s eyes.
I suppose you grew tired of golden sunsets,
Began craving the icy blue of the Arctic.
We make small talk and I can see the way your lips spell out her name.
The way they long for another taste of her sweet lavender essence…
Fuck it.
I’ll have the special wine, I decide.
I take a bottle, an elegant glass, switch on some old jazz,
The kind of music you hate.
I enter your study with mild disgust,
Go to your drawer and pull out your secret cigars.
Flick, sizzle, burn.
I inhale deeply as I waltz around the room.
No one to dance with so I dance alone.
A sip of wine helps dull the hollowness,
Fills the empty rooms with a kind buzzing,
That distracts me from the thought of your arms around her slender waist.
The way you bite her neck, causing her to gasp in surprise.
The way you look into my eyes,
I mean her eyes,
And tell her how she’s the only one you’ll ever love,
How she is yours, and you are hers.
I wonder if she knows,
That there is a woman dancing to a lonely tune,
Sipping on expensive happiness,
Trying to wake up from this never ending nightmare.
I wonder if she sees the imprint of a silver ring,
That sits on your finger like a heavy boulder.
I go up to my room,
Change into your favourite dress.
The one that you said made me look like an elven queen.
I stain my lips red, the colour of the blood that rushed through my veins,
When we first made love.
I wonder if she knows,
How you recited my name like a holy chant,
As our breaths mingled as one in a forest of tangled limbs.
I wonder if you treat her as well as you treated me,
Or perhaps even better.
I go down to our living room and sink into your chair,
It smells like you.
A heady mixture of cologne and crashing waves.
I breathe smoke into the air,
And drown in the special wine.
I hear the doorbell ring.
I get up, slowly, purposefully.
A woman with all the time in the world.
I get up and open the door,
And he is here.
The boy who will help me get through another night.
A boy with the ruffled hair and deep set eyes that I have come to both loathe and love.
I wonder if you know,
That it takes two to play chess,
And it appears we have reached a stalemate darling.

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