Friday, 19 June 2015

Right Words

Looking for the right words
to say all the wrong things.
The heat is passing through
this city, making every breath
unbearable. It's an effort to

Everything outside of me
is dry, cracked, broken.
My mind and heart
are still rejoicing
a monsoon
that seems too far
from where I live.

There is so much I want to say.

I see things:
The tremble of beauty,
the solid sorrows of time.
It is a skill to break
down into language.
I have it, and every day
I am thankful for it.
I do not want it
to become my only
way of interaction
with the world.

I will not find the right words.
I don't want to be afraid of that.
I want to embrace it.

I want to calm, sometimes, the bubbling
in my belly, the thunder in my fingers.
Perhaps I must shrug off the structures
around which I organize my world.

The chaos terrifies me,
but I will learn to love it.
There's a new crisis
every day, a new and
wholly different way
of looking, of learning.

harder, faster, sooner
than I'd want to fall through
the various rabbit holes of
passing days.

Friday, 15 May 2015

midnight meditations on meaning

After a long day, I lay in my bed, listening to the fan whirr, cool wind from the window brushing against my thin shirt; preparing myself to sleep, I stretched my legs, felt the muscles tense and pull, and I thought: I thought about the marvellous, opaque, diamond of a world, and how it produced the first spark of life, of consciousness, a single cell that trembled with agency, and how woefully, miserably meaningless that was - how it evolved, step by painful step, and all the meaningless deaths on the way; life, and how it filled the seas and the skies, and how there were creatures that could scream in agony and in ecstasy, make tools and make wars, and how we evolved from there, how my tensing muscles remind me of my forest roots, my singing seas, my sparks of life that created this complex body based solely on survival and need; I thought about how meaningless it still is, how much more life there is and yet, how little it does, how the sky is a hundred shades of blue and the sea is mighty and tidal, and how they will rest against one another in an endless dance and that will really be all there is in this world, no matter how hard we try to leave scratches on the rocks of our lands - and yet, as I lay there, cool wind caressing my hair, I thought about my day, about how I inhaled the scent of home after months, and how my sister's eyes shone brighter than the sun, how I unpacked my memories disguised as empty boxes and paints and scarves, how sunbeams fall in shafts on my bed, how the books that line my shelf are trembling in eagerness to be read, and how I could smell the spices from the kitchen as I bathed, cool water rushing down the caves of my body to meet with the earth, how summer fills my heart with warmth and I feel clean and alive, how I can still hear the ringing laughter that I laughed today on my parents' bed, limbs intertwined and hands held by warm hands; and I thought about how much joy there is in this world, in my simple life, in a warm day. If there is such joy in this world, can we not find meaning? And if there is such joy, do we really need meaning? And if there is such joy, is it not meaning enough?

Monday, 11 May 2015

homeward bound

home isn't home anymore
it's a place of transit:

home is where I go back to
after things end
before things begin.

it is the secret I hide
in my pockets.
the word that i say
when I want to leave -
even if it's not really
where I want to go.

home is the smell
of lemongrass incense
clinging to my hair.
the half-smile on
my father's face.

it will be sunshine
in the summer -
everywhere, shafts
of solid light falling
on furniture and floor.

home is the music
my mother listens to
when everybody goes to bed.
the sound of it wafting down
to my bed, raining down

it is where I always return
to settle in my skin, if only
for a few days - where everything
I've learnt and unlearnt in all the time
I've been away untangles slowly, and
falls into place in my mind. that's home.

right now
I'm almost homeward bound

I reek of exhaustion:
sleeplessness buried in bags under
bloodshot eyes, and
my mind an overfull cup.
mosquito bites and bruises
leave purple blossoms on my skin.
my bones, made of shafts of light,
ache. throb. sigh.

I need you to caress me
as gently as you can.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

sunshine music

listening to sunshine music
at 4 am - humming to Nietzsche
under my breath,

i'm feeling all of summer at once:

the heat that rises up my spine
and murmurs on my skin like dust;

the songs that wrap themselves
in my arms and ask me to listen;

memories of faces that once
lived inside of my life and composed
the harmonies of my days - faces
that faded faster than smoke,
whose curves and smiles
i can't quite recall anymore.

summer murmurs different melodies
to me every moment -

the joy that flutters in warm wind,
and the summertime sadness
that settles on my shoulders,
heavy as light.

there are
new faces now.
they change
in darkness and light.
there are
new eyes i want to confide in
but i am shaky and restless, unstable,
i'm floating - trying to learn
from wild hearts that break mine.
my heart says it's wild
but really, its a baby, and it doesn't
understand the nuances of the world.
afraid of rawness. afraid of settling.

sunshine music settles in my heart
like wildflowers. warms my shoulders.
it is heavy as light.

Friday, 8 May 2015


this sneaky sun
finds its way everywhere

slips under my bedsheets,
winds itself in my hair,
hides in corners.

summer beats down

names every month
and sings a song
of fire

weaves a blanket of sun
on the world: cobbled streets,
concrete walls, dying grass.
sun lays itself down,
burns through skin
lights up the white secrets
of my bones and flesh.

my fingers are laced with sun.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


fingers tapping to the beat
sitting politely in my bell jar
i smile - milkshakes and madness,
fingers laced with fog, silly heart.
i wish i could make music
mellifluous and kind

something that you could
weave around yourself
like a blanket
or the ocean.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

April 30: Summer endings

Heat leaks through walls and wind
and spreads itself out in dusty rooms.
Summer is here, with its particular
joys and sorrows, days stretched 
elastic over wavering horizon as
scent of sun clings to everything
we know. All I have with me is

does description presume emotion?
Recollection, revolution, regression,

The fingers of a poet
itch to write life into
passing days - words
are only a way to hold on, 
to remember in contortions
of language, keepsakes of 
this restless traveller 
known as time. 

My stories are blinded by sun
today, the brightness sits in every 
corner of me and leaves no space
to breathe; all I have is the promise
of night, of petrichor and moonlight,
of wind running through my hair and
claiming my wild heart as its own. 

There is no time yet
to consolidate
no time to breathe easy
and sink into water and soil
grow flowers or new leaves.
No time, no time, no yearning
days and quivering nights, just
the sighs of summer endings,
closures and conclusions.

I will gather ideas and words,
colours and scents, pack them
gently into empty boxes: I will
have memories to unravel over
days and weeks, new promises
to write into my fingers, new 
blossoms to wait for in faith.

These grounds are parched,
these cups are full: with time,
balance will restore my mind.
Monsoon will nourish my 
desert dreams, and time
will take wisely from
my overfull cups,
leaving space
for me to

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

April 29: O Stranger

Your name sounds strange
in the tentative caves of my mouth,

but it tastes of truth.

I folded my fear into a perfect
sphere, and tucked it in my pocket.
When I came to meet you,
I wore courage alone.

All night, moving in time
with the rhythms of your body,

I almost forgot the music.

O stranger,
your eyes shine in my darkened days.
I wanted nothing more: the smiles, the
words, the laughter and dance. I needed
the conversation, the reminders that life
is full of beautiful people and moments,
the gentle nudges to remove what fragments
of fear I still had wrapped around my waist.
The scent and murmur of your skin might
fade in my mind with time, the tremble of
desire and memory might leave no trace, but
I will keep your generous smile, your gentle
truths and your kindness, the exuberant joy
of your body as you dance. I will keep the
hope you gifted me graciously. I will keep
the courage I discovered in your company.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

April 28: Solitary

in a room too big
walls too wide roof too high
i curl in one corner,
taking up no more space
than a blanket or a bag

music leaks from the speakers
spreads over the room like ink
finding its way under my shoes,
behind the bed, inside the closet
and in the murmur of my skin.

bittersweet memories and scent
of life passing by gently, roughly,
slowly and too fast all at once.

there are stories in my hands
that tremble like water
there are dreams i write into
awkward mistakes and tears

and we laced conversation into darkness
and dealt with the world from our safe haven
time moves just right but also too fast

mellifluous. pebble. harmony. tremble. hiraeth.
all the words remind me of your footsteps

Monday, 27 April 2015

April 27: Samsara, over lunch & dinner

Dinnertime today:
Darkness settles: the swarm
of mosquitos swells around
silhouettes, a bulbous moon
swimming in a cloud-faced
sky. Big smiles and flutters,
living large in a small life;
I float my expansive soul
like a kite in starless skies.
I will find joy and name it
I do it every day.

Lunchtime, though:
'Everybody you love
will die one day', we concluded
in philosophy class today. Heart
burning with unmentionable fears,
I walked, didn't even pretend like
it doesn't matter. It matters. It matters
that my civilization looks at the world
as sorrow, as damnation, as something
to be cast off. Samsara, the endless
cycles of life and death, of birth,
where life is only


what nonsense!
Life is not suffering - life is
pastel shades and warm lighting,
dark forest secrets and midnight kisses,
life is mysterious cloud shapes, lost letters,
new lovers, lilting laughter, thunderous rain.
Life is the happiest thing we know. Of course
everybody I love will die, of course sorrow
is certain and joy is so delicate, fragile;
but that is not all. That is not all.

We grimly declared the
'surety of our sorrows' and
the 'precariousness of our
pleasures' and my heart
swelled in sadness.
You know what,
you're wrong - I have faith
in my life, and it will blossom
and bloom in colours you will
not imagine, it will transform
and tremble in moonlight and
every moment will be precious,
every moment, even the ones
where teardrops lace my face,
I will remember that it is

Give me a hundred lives.
I have a jarful of light and pocketfuls
of patience; I will survive, and I will
make music. I will write sorrow into beauty;
fragile, yes, but trembling in joy. Trembling.

"In this world, it is very hard to escape happiness. That's how it is."
- Manu Joseph, The Illicit Happiness of Other People