I promised my lover,
that some day I will write
a poem about him
*(never really knowing why)*
And after three long years
and a handful of second chances
I realised that for maybe some,
poetry bloom from the deepest form of regret –
of letting go, of moving on
and of falling in love.
Some nights I hiss at my choice of words
choking upon the bitter memories
that each metaphor hold,
I apologise to my mother
saying art is not something she should seek from me,
while she replies casting her tender smile
“Trap your pain my love,
before it starts to consume you.”
My heartbreaks wear faces that feel like home;
owning my metaphors,
abandoning my memories
and I like a shameless lover
not ready to accept my ends,
In fear, in happiness, in sorrow, in agony ;
I write till my lungs run out of air,
I write till veins run dry
I write till every sunset starts to taste bitter
I write till my summer starts to wither;
For I should trap my pain
before it consumes me,
For a writer always falls a little too hard
for faces who are never worth wasting poetry.
• I once asked my father what does the universe hold and he replied with a smile, “anything you feel is worth seeking for” and watching his eyes fill with grief yet his smile piercing through his sadness everytime I greet goodnight to my mother’s old photograph by my table, I decided to look for love.
• My idea of love was a sharing a fairytale with another a heartbeat; of happy metaphors aligned alongside the reds of the Sun’s laughter, of laughter spilling in and happiness blooming among the lavender valleys in midsummer, of autumn sunsets ending on a hopeful note, of winter fireflies draped around our tangled silhouettes.
• I remember us on a cloudless winter afternoon. It was the eve of Christmas and we stumbled across the empty hallways wasted, making our way to your dorm; some old romantics take over the party downstairs the next thing I remember was dancing underneath a string of tangled fairylights that hang from your window.
• The next morning you pack your bags and kissing my cheek with a smile you leave for your flight. With alcohol slowly fading from my senses I smile back waving goodbye, knowing your family and your beloved await eagerly one flight away.
• I sit beside my dad celebrating our Christmas dinner as he talks about my mother fondly. Seeing how memories of my mother act as a remedy to dad I often wondered more about the concept of love. Maybe love is the magic that keeps the hurting alive even after it is gone.
• “So did the universe found a love for you?” my dad asks smiling as I laugh, “Well the universe says that maybe the concept of love differs from person to person…well you know” My father nods agreeing with me but deep down I knew what love actually was.
Love ties his shoelaces wrong, love liked the smell of old books,love had freckles on his face, love is too lazy to entangle the fairylights on his window, love hates sappy things, love is a wild kid with a soft heart, love secretly owns a strawberry flavored chapstick, love likes to hold hands with me but above all love always leaves a bittersweet aftertaste.
The world may sing along the lines of “I met you, standing on the ledge“, but I want you to know that I met you when I was standing on the edge of my despair, tired of being the second choice to everyone whom I put first. You and I both share some same miseries. You wish to escape your heartache of losing your beloved sister, while I wish to escape from my own set of demons that crawl inside me. You live in the idea of tomorrow, a tomorrow that will finally bring sunshine to your life, while I drown in my own set of grey skies.
You meeting Finch was nothing less than a miracle. Finch was a circus act of his own and you Violet, you were his favourite audience. Charming, goofy, energetic and a boy who always wished to stay awake not to mention to also put a smile on your face, Finch too made me believe that falling in love was indeed beautiful experience but what made my heart melt was seeing you opening up-to new beginnings, opportunities, to life and to love. I remember you dressed in a yellow sweater and denim overalls with your hair open, dancing to the beat of the radio blasting from Finch’s car admist a field. You fell in love with life as you fell in love with Finch.
The connection between you and Finch was the only art that my heart longed for a while and seeing it end left most of us heartbroken. But you waste no time in mending them. When you said these lines,
“I wasn’t worried about what would happen if I lived. I was worried about what would happen if I didn’t.”
I knew the world might not be able to see iconic Finch anymore but there will always be a Violet – strong and wholesome – just like how Finch wanted you to be.
Violet Markey, you were a lot of things; a loving daughter, a dear sister, a good friend, a loyal lover, Ultraviolet Remarkey-able, a faithful companion, a pure inspiration but one thing that wil forever suit you is that, “You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”
What I know about the world out there is that it is vast than your small town. It is challenging, it is brimming with opportunities, it is calling for new beginnings, it is loud, it is happy, it is bright, it is sad, it is disturbing, it is chaotic – the choice is in your hands in what way you want to see it as. So go out in seek the world Ultraviolet. Make your mark in the world. Let them know that You Were There.
Just another girl behind her glasses.
A string of words beneath my skin sting sometimes, aching to get through; looking for some dead metaphor to rescue them/
Sometimes my words get caught up in the middle of a sentence, they demand more space; phases trying their best to pierce through every heartbeat yet meeting their fate with nothingness/
I seek for warmth in empty spaces; building my home upon withering roses I follow my mundane routine with a hollow heart and a caught up mind. The words beg for an escape and I try to hush them; promising them a dreamlike reality, I keep them quiet. First I fail as a lover, then, as a writer/
Maybe one day your familiar silhouette will sit at the end of my bed,flipping through my journal and will ask why are they all about heartbreaks. And I would say my words are stubborn, weaving the lost with intimate fingers that seek for second chances, denying its destiny/
I would always blame my words rather than blaming you for the inked bruises; for mistakes without a heartbeat weigh less than mistakes with one.
– excerpts of a book I’ll probably never write
I was told that the universe feels human emotions and craft them with poetry, that needs to be seeked for.
The concept of soulmates embraced my senses when I was around seven. It was another cloudless summer afternoon. I sit beside my sick grandma’s bed and watch her eyes light up like two emeralds glistening with stardust as my grandpa plays his old harmonica; tunes misplaced yet both of them smile, for maybe love was all about celebrating the little things in life.
If gratefulness happened to have a face, it would definitely be my sister sobbing softly as she rocks her little rainbow baby in her arms.
Perhaps happiness is a young poet writing about sunflowers and hope instead of the boy who broke her heart in some café; for maybe miracles did came true, if only one decides to believe in them.
Stories of pretty skies with alternating colours, raindrops racing down the window pane,daisies, the sound of shared laughter, soft pillows, artworks and poems, fireflies, popsicles on a summer afternoon, vinyls, sunsets, faith – miracles smile beneath all these little things holding the idea of everything will be okay; for everything is going to be okay someday.
I was on the edge of six when I wrote my first poem. It was nothing more than just a series of rhyming words scattered around the ends of some verses that hardly made any sense. But I proudly read it to my ailing grandfather, who smiles and says, “You are such a good poet,love”.
But I did not call myself I poet back then.
My ninth grade teacher asks, why do I write and read about Van Gogh’s paintings all the time. Upon which I say, how I find it so captivating that a living being, who never touched, sensed, felt or seen death can create such a masterpiece, all based on his power of imagination. How extraordinary life is, that artists die yet remain alive through their art; maybe for sometimes being alive is more than having a heartbeat.
But I did not call myself a poet back then.
Summer of 2010, I remember walking alongside the sea shore, hand in hand with my lover. At one point he looks at me and as the sunset floods my iris, he smiles saying how my eyes look like pools of honey; while I stood smiling back, wishing to say how his blue eyes holds all the secrets that the ocean seeks for and how they light up, as if the universe itself engraved them with the brightest mix of stardust.
But I did not call myself a poet back then.
On the edge of eighteen, the world of Plath’s poetry welcomed me. I realised that words could hold more than feelings and passion. They can walk on the road of regrets, yet sound like a love song that two happy silhouettes dance, on the moon’s good side.
I called myself a poet the day I started weaving my fears with threads of gold and silver, turning haunted houses into dreamlike wonderlands. For I was a poet painting constellations upon my worst nightmares.
For poetry was a lie that only a poet could tell.
Summertime at my grandmother’s
I remember a particular song
where two young lovers, dressed in pastel summerwear
Dancing upon hopeful forevers and a never ending series of ‘I love you’s
My first lover,
A relationship bonded with desperation and toxicity,
Two teenagers trying their best to figure out what “love” really holds
A few heartbreaks later, we scribble each other’s name on our list of mistakes,
Even promises of forever were limited
I ask the stranger beside my bed,
“What does ‘I love you’ actually mean?”
He smiles, “I believe that ‘I love you’s are silent promises for a little forever”
Shifting his gaze he speaks again after a while,
“And forever is us”
Four years later, I realise forever was really us
With smiling faces in a carnival photobooth,
A series of awkward dances in family weddings,
of quoting Chandler Bing in every conversation,
That each one of us carries a “forever” within
But only one craves for that little infinity with you.
He insists on walking back home after our evening classes and I always agree happily. We alternate between exchanging popsicle-kissed wholesome smiles and deep, unfiltered conversations by the riverside; and by the time we say our goodbyes by the corner of the old town library, I would have learned about a new constellation. We would spend most of our nights roaming around the empty streets of the old town, feet stomping against the cold rainwashed concrete as the summer winds whirl past our silhouettes. And the mornings that followed promised laughter upon every sappy poem we read sitting against the timbered walls of old bookshops, cheeky smiles when our favourite songs suddlenly play on the radio. If my summer with you came in colours,it would definitely be yellow; happy, bright and vibrant.
But bitter end to an almost “us” embraced us that night when
the wayfarer in him longed to be elsewhere and the silent lover in me let him go easily. Yellows begin to turn into shades of blue. Sunshine and smiles never got along. Poetries carried pain disguised as love.
Happiness always bloomed but fits of unspoken sadness grew stronger. Walking alongside the regret of letting him go and a hope to see him again, I have come a long way. Now every cloudless night, when the stars align and the moonbeam scatter across the old town, I gather all the bruised snippets of my unspoken beloved and finally start painting my life back to yellow.
For whenever we meet from now, know that I have never missed a day telling Orion and Lyria about you.
My journal has been nothing but a scattered cluster of unfinished poems held together by raw unfiltered strings of emotions, of random sketches of lone strangers I spot in empty mini bars and small coffee shops, of long forgotten days and repressed feelings, of mindless doodles of sunsets and silhouettes – of undressed metaphors, that craved a muse.I sit by the seaside this morning with my mother and watch my dog chase the waves back and forth. It was another breezy Wednesday, the sky alternates between faint grey clouds and the vibrant yellow sun, while I am still finding my way somewhere in between. My friend told me that you were back in town two weeks ago and since then I have always made way up to here every Wednesday.
I wore an yellow shirt on our first date and that’s when you started to call me your sunflower
“You resemble yellow” you said, “vibrant ,lovely, spreading smiles to many”
“Yellow is my colour of love” I smile back.
I remember those nights, when you used to silently paint the bedroom walls with strings of sunflowers and lavenders and everytime my friends admired you work, you used to say how these sunflowers were me and you resembled the lavenders. My lavenders. The winter that followed ended with regrets that last till date. Feelings of the younger me have always lacked gravity, and four years later I still wish only if I had not left you heartbroken amd helpless just for another new face.
I suddenly spot you in a distance, among a group of girls,by the benches along the coffee shops. You wore a pastel summer dress. Your hair is short. It falls in loose curls by your shoulders. You skin in not pale anymore. I guess summers in Italy did you good. I hear you laugh and I can’t help but smile. I wanted to walk up to you and say things like,
“Hey I have heard, no, I have read your book. It’s amazing”
“Hi Em, long time no see, how have you been?”
“I missed you, so much”
“Can we be both sunflowers and lavenders again?”
But I didn’t. Without speaking a word I walk back to my car as my mother follows along with my dog.
“You should go talk to her,Wilder. Maybe…she misses you too” my mom silenty speaks as she keeps Emily’s book inside her bag.
I turn back and smile, “I am the reason her poetry has tasted heartbreak mum”
Fabled pink mornings
Enfolded in faint dreamy clouds
Eager dates by the seaside awaited on breezy Wednesdays
I remember him wearing a sunflower-yellow shirt
“Yellow is my colour of love” he smiles
I painted strings of sunflower and lavenders upon my bedroom walls
Everytime I found it hard to fall asleep,
And they often admired
How the yellow your sunflowers blends well with my cluster of lavenders
Summer came with smiling promises
And happiness did bloom in our garden
But winter followed soon after
My lavenders crumbled with every passing day
Winter winds held stories of her own
Her feverfews smile in full bloom
Pleasing your sunflowers’ eye
Now only sorrow dwelled in our garden
Tonight as my wall of sunflowers and lavenders cast a fulfilled smile,
under the silent winter moonlight
I sit back and realise,
Maybe sunflowers and lavenders
aren’t just meant to be.