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Poetry

1: GOLD

There are streaks of glitter in her hair that shimmer with the waves of her laughter, and you thought you’d never seen a sight more beautiful than the one you discovered in the dimple on her cheek

She knew how to put the world to shame with a laugh so hearty; she had a keen sense of mix and match, where right became ridiculous, and ridiculous became routine

She knows how to shovel liberal amounts of joy into the cavities of your heart yet you wonder, how someone who does so much shovelling can have such soft palms

Gold.

Something about her makes you want to let go, and enjoy dancing in the rain. Makes you want to spell undiluted joy as her name.

Gold.

There are streaks of glitter in her hair like the sun on the sea, like incomplete sentences caught on the wind

Gold.

They catch you off guard—you do a double-take

Gold.

Darling girl, when will you realise that you are the expanse of energy that lives within the nanoseconds of that double-take

Gold.

You are energy. Neither created nor destroyed.

Reflection:

This poem is inspired by one of my most cheerful, bubbly, wonderful friends! I really wanted to capture her cheerful bubbliness through this poem

About the placing of the word “gold”—the effect I wished to achieve was something like having two voices in your head talking at once

2: It’s okay if you can’t catch a breath

When something in you breaks, please mend it. Sit down, pick up a needle, and teach yourself to sew. Slowly. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t give up. On yourself. Because nobody else is going to raise battle axes for your fight if you don’t. Nobody else knows that your war cry should be louder than the voices that tell you to shut up. Go to sleep. That you’re a little girl worth nothing. Nobody else is going to love you the way you can love yourself. Mend. Just a little today, and just a little tomorrow.

Reflection:

I wrote this after a particularly bad day at school. The message I’m trying to convey is that you have to fight your own battles; you can’t rely on other people to fix you.

Other essay:   Poetry discussion

3: Asteroid

They ask us what it means to be in orbit, and I tell them to talk to the planets. I was never a planet. Girl, let me tell you this, all I was and all I ever will be is the taste of starstuff on your tongue, peeling plaster and aluminium foil taped onto these walls. I was a promise and I was glitter and I shone. I think everyone wanted to be the sun when they were younger, but I was that star in the corner of the library and you looked at me like there were comets in my eyes.

I don’t know about orbit. I will never follow the system. This is what it means to be a rebellion.

I used to be a star once and maybe my star chose to become me. Oh god, I just want to make her proud.

Reflection:

This piece is a bit out of my comfort zone. It’s talking about how I think I could’ve been successful, but I never was. I was never the planet my parents were looking for. But I guess that’s fine, because people still appreciate me the way I am.

4: Explorer

So she packed her bags and left. She left the house full of faded memories and dead leaves with concrete walls that are crusty and crumbling, fireplace that refused to light up, even when it’s the winter and the windows are broken and the cold penetrates the house like a bloodstained knife. Cold eyes and cold hearts and cold, cold smiles.

So she finally started to get up. To carefully bandage herself, soothing ointment minty on her fresh scars, put all those years of wounds and fresh scar tissue and tear-stained cheeks behind her for cities full of light. Where every little corner was filled with sunshine. Where everybody can be a diamond in the rough; you can slow down and take a breath lay in the grass and count stars immediately after a rain, and where shooting stars grant wishes if you try hard enough. If your heart doesn’t fail you. If you let yourself see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So she left the only life she ever had and ripped her heart from her sleeve, because that’s what it means to be an explorer. It’s all about leaving things behind and learning to turn the light on when it gets dark. It’s all about learning to apply that ointment; to heal because honey, we are not dust-collectors. We are fighters and we can blaze our very own paths there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and warmth in our heart, even when our hands are cold and our cheeks are damp with fresh tears, it’s all about forgiving yourself and going to a better place, because we are explorers. Because roses bloom in our wake and the stars light up for us at night; you have to believe.

Other essay:   Theme of death in poetry

So when the path seems too steep and your knees (and heart) is scraped and bruised my dear little explorer, please remember that your tiny human heart still beats resiliently and your tiny human mind can accomplish anything, anything If you set yourself to it. I know you feel so, so small sometimes but your heart is as large as the ocean and when you cry, there are so many tears new rivers are born; by which I mean your humanity is bigger than a silver façade. You were meant for greater things than wading through shallow waters, searching for streaks of sunlight.

So turn the faucet off dry your face and wave that tiny apartment, those sad girls, the bone-chilling cold:

Goodbye.

Chin up, little explorer. The world is waiting for you.

Reflection:

This piece is inspired by “girl in pieces” by Kathleen Glasgow. It’s about a girl’s journey from a whole world of sadness, self-harming, self-deprication into the outside world. She realises that it’s actually not that bad, that life is better than it seems. That she is better than she thinks. That she can actually heal, that there are second chances and hope in the world.

5: Baby we don’t stand a chance, it’s sad but it’s true

Once, someone asked me to draw a pretty picture of the life I wanted for myself.

Maybe I should’ve known then, that the first clue to figuring out how I truly felt about you was right under my nose, when my pencil easily forgot to sketch your silhouette next to mine.

This poem will sit atop a pile of cliché literature by the time I am done with it, but I need to emphasise that it was me; that I could never have worked you into my life, my patterns, my way of love. Your hand would have always felt temporary whenever it curved into mine. I didn’t know then, that what clawed at my stomach was not butterflies but the guilt of knowing that I would leave our song unfinished.

Other essay:   Poetry coursework

I could have never been with you and dreamt; a part of me knew that, so I never forgot myself when I looked into your eyes. Love never felt so dull as it did with you and when we went our separate ways, I must admit I cried in joy.

Pretending to love hurts. Pretending to love a person more than you love a pretty picture you painted for yourself hurts more.

Loving you did indeed hurt. But falling out of love with myself? Darling, that is what has killed me.

Reflection:

(Cue the pretentious love poems??) This piece was inspired by this romantic chick-flick I watched at 1am:

6: Family Gathering

Die silently

in the mouth

of a loud relative

visiting for the holiday.

Let her fingers peel you”,

like sweet oranges;

your chest as soft as pulp.

Squeeze the juices out

into an empty glass”,

and say cheers.

You know how this works”,

don’t you?

You will smile

and entertain the audience

until it’s over”,

you are not allowed

to burst.

Wait ‘til

the curtain closes”,

or until

the next meal is served;

another sibling

to grill and chew.

Swing back and forth

until the mirror stops laughing

with everybody”,

meaning”,

until you start getting numb

until your ears fall off

your head.

In a home-shaped grave”,

you will learn

to bite your tongue

as they fit all your love poems

in their mouths”,

each word

crammed in their throats”,

melting”,

salivas dripping

from the corners

of their mouths”,

slobbering nightmares

all over your face.

They’d call it a fact

or a joke

or an opinion

you’d be forced to swallow.

Some

would even call it love

and hell”,

you will laugh

until your tongue begins to rot”,

until you are back

to being nothing”,

until all that’s left

is a plate of leftover skin;

the hard, burnt edges left

after all

the constant grilling.

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