TITLESS

I always thought
my final resting place
would be in a kingdom by the sea

with nobody to attend the flower laying ceremony
but you and me
My priest, My caretaker, My mourner, My beast

A ceasefire was agreed as a prelude to full peace talks
(again)

Oh damn!
until

she drove you mad
you shot me dead but buried me
long before when
alive and kicking

laid me in a marble orchard
of your venomous words
and killing my trust

you died with me

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REDGREEN AND VIOLET-YELLOW RHYTHMS

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You dwell in my simplified compositions
in a world filled with squares and rectangles
pulsing with the rhythm of Mozart and Rilke
You’re my color master, my Blue Rider

I am a playful sense of absurdity
a prolonged line across your pages turning bolder
I’m your recovery from numb unresponsiveness
your deadness wiped away

You are my throbbing forms
my dancing hieroglyphs, and otherworldly creatures
children play in your head with paper patterns

I am your topsy-turvy checkerboards
in the metaphysical realm you inhabit
under screaming Tunisian suns

You are my Expressionism
I am your Creative Confession
on a star
amongst stars

We are Anne Frank’s marbles rediscovered
in the attic
toads populate our brains
returning to the pond of their birth to breed

 

JOURNAL OF A MOM – SHORT FUSE

My son B. may be the spitting image of his dad but he definitely takes after me with his short-temperateness, determination, perseverance (or stubbornness?) and reluctance to make concessions. 2.5 seconds he needs to go from ‘What a beautiful world’ to ‘I want to smash everything, especially your head’ has been a sign that couldn’t be denied by anyone, his mom in particular. However, whereas we tend to get upsfunet pretty quickly, it may take us ages to cool down. Everybody knows that and over the time they have learned the tricks to cool off, unlike us.

If we’re tired or stressed, we tend to get irritable pretty fast, whining about and to the world so better get used to it.

When somebody pisses us off…what do you want us to say?! Run and hide.

We are drama queens. (OK, I am. Mom can’t beat me.) So what?!

Being impatient is second nature to us and it’s incurable, mom says. Long (or short) lines at the supermarket, closed ice-cream shops, and hunger lasting more than 5 seconds are not our thing. The ‘if my fruit smoothie doesn’t wait for me as soon as I open my eyes, I’ll scream’ type of reaction is quite common. Trust us, everything’s negotiable (sort of), except an empty tummy. When we’re hungry, we bite and you’re the guilty one. So don’t come near us. That is, you may approach the bench provided you have that smoothie or milk shake. Make it quick and warm.

We’re cranky long after we wake up. Just shut your mouth and stop breathing. It’ll pass…in a couple of hours. (Who’s impatient now?!)

We like to tease just for fun (not to make you angry) so don’t freak out every time and don’t you dare raise your voice. We’re highly sensitive to high-pitched sounds.

Try not to make us laugh or, even worse, make fun of us when we’re annoyed and busy throwing a tantrum. You’ll make it worse and then you’ll be sorry. Very sorry. I’m better at ruining the world around me, meaning pens, pencils, phones, books, mom and dad’s stuff, toys, nothing is safe when something doesn’t go my way. Mom, on the other hand, is not prone to smashing objects around the house (though she could definitely use an anger room), but is much better at holding a grudge than me.

The bad thing about us is that we never actually know when exactly our trigger might go off, nor can we remember at all times what/who hurt us in the first place. Be that as it may, hardly anybody can beat us at being mad for hours. Mom says we’re just uncompromising.

Though we are generally sociable and talkative, we appreciate our alone time and silence. If we don’t feel like talking, don’t ask us questions. If we need your company, entertain us. Our refusal to be cooperative or cheerful is temporary. It could however turn into a long-lasting (not to say permanent) thing unless you (learn to) read the instructions clearly written on our faces.

We are terribly stubborn and might see things differently sometimes, which means we’ll eventually do whatever makes us happy (though often others miserable).

We rarely feel guilty for losing our temper ‘for no reason,’ as you call it. You see, we strongly believe that every ‘why’ has its ‘because.’

Many have given us anger management tips, suggesting yoga, meditation and counting to 10 but we think that kick boxing is more in line with our character.

When we’re in distress, you better steer clear of us. It’ll pass (maybe soon, maybe never). Go on pampering us, playing us Peppa Pig and feeding us. What are you waiting for? A thank you card?

We love our mom and have strong separation anxiety, crying every time she leaves. Show some understanding when we can’t come down.

If you don’t do anything when we’re not behaving sensibly, things may (will) go from bad to worse. Talk to us. Be there.

Though we are no strangers to sudden bouts of sullenness, we are generally enthusiastically fond of smiling and being happy.

Finally, we’re cuddly. When you see something’s not right, make sure you give us a comfort hug. The bottom line is all we need is love.

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JOURNAL OF A MOM – LEARNING TO FLY

It’s 7 AM and my son B. is wide awake. Without further ado, he’ll run to the door, press the door handle down, and dash down the hall and into the kitchen, impatiently hopping from one foot to the other saying yum yum. I’m still in bed; the boys can do without me…Obviously not today. Remember the time when I was waking B. up when he felt like sleeping in? Well, it’s the other way round now. My boy’s almost grown up and a good learner, his methods being not so subtle, though. He’s starving for my attention as I am for some extra sleep and will do everything in his power to drag me out of bed: jump all over me, sit on my face, kick and slap me, pull the sheets off the corner of the mattress, take my blanket, and sound as miserable as can be. I’ve been ignoring him for too long. You’re going to pay for this, little weasel! I put his hands over his head and hold them so he can’t move. I bite, pinch, kiss and hug him violently, which he hates when he’s not in the mood. He starts yelping and whimpering. It’s time to hug some. And hide under the blanket, shouting laaaaa, lu, lu, lu, qu-e, d-g, d-g, du da and aya, aya. And tickle. And giggle…and do butt jumps.

We’re up and heading to the kitchen. ‘Breakfast’s almost ready. B, can you pass daddy the bottle? …Thank you. Way to go, honey! Now the nipple…’ B. sees his fruit smoothie is not there yet and kicks the sink in frustration. ‘No! No!’ He hurls himself to the ground, screaming and rolling furiously on the floor. ‘B, take it easy. You’ll have it shortly.’ ‘No, no, no!!!!’ The collar is screwed onto the bottle, securing the nipple in place. ‘Here you are.’ He’ll grab the bottle hastily, open his mouth real wide, and, holding it with both hands, gulp his morning drink down in the blink of an eye. The tummy’s full and he’s smiling again.

My advice to people when meeting my almost two and a half year old son is to be careful what they do or say to him since he can go from wow’s and yay’s to ‘heated arguments’ (no no, no, no, no!) quicker than you can count from 1 to 3, let alone 4. To say that he becomes sad or upset if he can’t get something done right away would be an understatement of epic proportions. Desperation, more like it. Can’t open something? Despair. Can’t close something? Despair. Any other difficulty? Despair. However, kids are spot-on so eating or staring at TV or going into silent mode to avoid confrontation is not their way of dealing with a problem. Regardless of their reactions, they learn from their mistakes, unlike adults, and rarely give up. You have to appreciate their roll-up-your-sleeves attitude, whatever the outcome. Rest assured they’ll go back to what made them angry in the first place sooner or later. You may end up with a few gray hairs along the way, but hey…whatever makes them happy.

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It has been a challenge to keep B. busy and get him interested. Luckily, he has recently started playing with his toys (it was about time!) and, most importantly, alone so I don’t have to follow his every step like before. Despite this, once he gets bored, which is pretty much every 2 minutes, he wants to be in the spotlight again. He’s a natural showman and is never nervous or timid when on stage. Give him a thumbs up, and an approving smile, and he’ll be more than thrilled he did great.

B. enjoys going for a walk. Even if it means strolling around the apartment, he’d grab your hand so as to go places at least 1000 times per day. If I’m busy doing something, he’ll pull on my pants. If I dare to ignore him or not pick him up when he wants me to, he’ll resort to pushing my buttons, playing with a sugar/coffee jar and throwing things around.

He likes to empty crayon containers and toy boxes onto the carpet, and get on top of the desk, throwing down everything he finds there. Lately, I’ve been on a quest to find new ways to keep him busy. Straws and an empty water bottle is one of them. I give him a cup full of colorful straws and a bottle and he knows what to do. His little fingers take the straws and drop them through the mouth of the bottle, his tongue sticking out. Every now and then, he’ll stop doing what he’s doing to suck the bottle or put the straws in his mouth and chew. The bottle is full, but how on earth are we supposed to empty it now?! Concentrating…frowning…moaning…counting to 10. 1, 1.5…Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Frustration sets it again. I help him pour the straws out so that we can load them in again. It’s fun. In spite of losing it a few times, this may keep him happily engaged for a near record-breaking 5 minutes.

Playing with real cooking spoons, pots and plastic bowls is priceless. Just give him the real thing and he’ll keep quiet for as long as you want him to. Lastly, scooping and pouring small items, preferably beads or buttons, is yet another game he takes great pleasure in. But, since mom is worried he might put them in his mouth, she’d set out a bowl or tray of macaroni, and show him how to scoop, transfer, and pour them into another bowl. He’ll eventually pick up the container and turn out the contents on the floor so I’ll be the one to count to 10. Smiling and counting.

POETIC JUSTICE

There are problems that challenge our ingenuity. There are events that challenge our attention. There are people that challenge our beliefs. And then, there is art that challenges the imagination, touches the heart and engages the brain.

It started with a challenge set up by Brooke who dared Tom to upset the universe by inviting him to take part in a poetry game. Both earthquakes brought about by their poems resulted in damage of varying severity with violent shaking extending to far-off locations. The ground shaking is expected to cause landslides, and avalanches in days and weeks to come. The cup was then passed to Wulf whose poem was felt across great distances, apparently thousands of miles from the epicenter. The ground opened up and there were numerous instances of severe injuries after people had fallen into fiery pits. He then passed it to Susan whose poem led to a deadly quake, with a warning made only minutes before it struck, causing total destruction and most likely permanent changes in ground topography. The cup, one of the lucky few survivors, was passed to me yesterday evening. I’m still wondering how I made it.

I am honored beyond words to have been chosen to join this wonderfully unique tribe. I like big challenges and they rarely come much bigger than this. You set a high bar, my dear friends. Please take into account the fact that I was in junior high when I first attempted at writing poetry. Needless to say, this is when my endeavor to be something I was not ended.

Anyway, this is my first poem ever since. So, be gentle.

Let’s challenge the rapids together, my fellow rafters, shall me?


 

WHERE I’M FROM

I am from witches. I am from bitches
I am from demons. I am from ghosts
from cockroaches and from moths
from snakes and from dragons
from seraphims with flagons
I.AM.

I am from water and from flights
from eastern darkness and southern light
from northern distance and western might
from betrayals and from trusts.
I am from smiles and from frowns
from flaws and from scars
of perseverance and wishful thinking I am composed
I wish, I wish…
of non-perfection. I.AM.

Once upon a time, I was killed from the air.
Big Daddy’s whim.
An attack with a knack by someone with a flair for external decorating
someone who didn’t care about fellow Earthlings in a kingdom far far away
you’re not my masters nor the heirs to the throne of the world
you who blare up in the air, paired up with like-minded spirits. Beware, for
you’re just numbers for many out there. We shall all die one day.
Despair no more. We’re square.

I was stuck with a needle, I was tied to the bed
I lost my head (too much to mention)
aching, I said,
I need a med
I bled, I shrank, a shadow of my former self
oftentimes I fled (too much unsaid)…
Until one day I saw a flickering light ahead
and thought: ‘Drop dead!’
I’m off to get some French bread.

I’ve traveled afar, but
was out of range and out of reach
out of touch
away and apart, broken asunder, disjointed, disconnected, split in half, torn to shreds.
Touched by new friends. Strangers once. Skinheads for all I care.

I am from my son, from my women and my men,
from a profound silence, a profound chasm,
from profound sleep awoken
A profound thinker who renounced reason (sees no treason)
howling at the Moon. The rooster going cook-a-doodle-doo!
at the crack of dawn, ah bon?

I’ve dived to the ocean depths and aspired to great heights
I’ve touched the bottom
I’ve reached for the stars
I am not from here, I am not from there
I’ve seen paradise and been through hell.

I am from connections, separations
taking action to desperation
I am recollections. I am retrospections;
from equations to tax evasions
from elections, masturbation;
invaded, misdirected.
I am the stroke of a pendulum repeated in a back-and-forth motion.
A request I am
Redirected to a different department.
I am confessions over coffee
From a connection to an obsession
One Direction
One Conviction
A black Caucasian with a Persuasion. I.AM.I
who cries

Fuck colonialism, imperialism, absolutism, fascism, nationalism, radicalism, terrorism
Fuck racism, sexism, immoralism, determinism, egoism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, ethnocentrism, plagiarism, hypothyroidism and veganism
Fuck communism, fuck capitalism
Fuck ME baby, please fuck me! (Oh, fucking hell!)
Hail altruism, pacifism, humanitarianism, criticism, hedonism, onanism, conceptualism, if you will.
Atheism or deism? (If God were a DJ)

I am from sensibility to utter nonsense
from the utter limit, I utter a growl. I utter a ‘no.’
Utter bliss. I see an utter fool that is me.
Utterly in love with words. In love with the silence.
In love with the absence, in love with the presence.
In love with the Sun, over the moon.

I am yours but don’t fucking belong to you
I am myself, and you are too.


 

Aftershock…after aftershock…after aftershock. The ground is weak and giddy long after a sequence of strong earthquakes prompted by their poetry. So far, it has been shaken by an idealist, a visionary, a romantic, a philosopher, and a realist/wishful thinker.

It’s my turn now to pass the cup to the next poet. I spy with my little eye…..(I can feel seismic waves traveling through the Earth already)…

… a star-gazer.

Everyone’s a story, born, unfinished. What’s yours Tanya?

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

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  1. Be honest with others. (Gwen, I have to break the news to you. Warning: It’s upsetting. I HATE Jane Austen.)
  2. Stop kidding yourself. (You’ll never stop being bitchy and waking up grumpy.)
  3. Try not to overwork too often. (Your brain has every right to yell – Fire! (me.))
  4. Let yourself get distracted for a change. (You’ve done the hard part, i.e. staying focused. Now comes the easy one – losing focus.)
  5. Put off until tomorrow what you can do today. (It doesn’t make you lazy. You’re just on energy saving mode.)
  6. Don’t be such a perfectionist all the time. It’s soooo tiring. (Nobody’s perfect. Deal with it. Alternatively, close to perfect will do just fine. Find a shortcut, like you’re doing with annoying house chores.)
  7. Stop being a bad cop because someone has to. (Let others do it to introduce variety. You’ll find being a good cop much more fun with time and consequently less exhausting.)
  8. Don’t be like your mom, defending your kid when no one is attacking him.
  9. Be more like your dad. (Pretend you’re a good cop by neither attacking nor interfering. People will love you more.)
  10. Avoid the drama as much as possible. (I know it’s your favorite genre. Cool off! There are some pretty good comedies you don’t know of.)
  11. Try not to overthink and overcomplicate all the time. The basic idea is quite simple.
  12. Learn from mistakes for once in your life. (If you had, you could have been a rocket scientist by now.)
  13. Stop being so pig-headed. It doesn’t suit you. (I’m not stubborn. I’m right…When you start arguing and realize the other person’s right.)
  14. Think before you speak. There’s no rehab for stupidity.
  15. This one is such a cliché, but honestly, say I’m sorry and Thank you every now and then. It won’t kill you.
  16. Stay away from braggarts, one-uppers, soul-suckers, and no-no’s.
  17. Try to channel negative energy into something positive more often. (Drain the standing water away from the foundation of the house.)
  18. Stop blaming people for doing something, for not doing it or for doing it badly or wrongly (read: not according to your standards) and feeling guilty about it afterwards. (Isn’t it adorable when you blame everyone but yourself?!)
  19. Stop nagging. (You call it nagging. I call it – Listen to what I fucking said the first time.)
  20. Try to be optimistic at least once a week. (See the opportunity in every difficulty instead of difficulty in every opportunity.)
  21. Pamper yourself more. (For girls’ eyes only: Treat yourself with a spa day. Try aromatherapy. Have regular facials. Get your nails done by a pro. Schedule a full body massage TODAY. Soak in a hot bath ALONE.)
  22. Indulge in a treat you wouldn’t normally. (Celebrate your birthday for a change.)
  23. Try walking in someone else’s shoes. (This gives me an idea: a nurse, a stewardess, a maid? HM…I know at least one person who would know how to appreciate it.)
  24. Catch up on some lit. (2018 Essentials: The Price Of Inequality, Germania, The Tibetans, The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying, Why Marks Was Right, Capitalism: A Short History, The Deposition Of Father McGreevey, And The Weaker Suffer What They Must, Adults In The Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment, No Is Not Enough.)
  25. Get back into meditation. (Allow yourself to mentally decompress.)
  26. Practice breathing exercises. (You’re tense.)
  27. Start working out again. (You’re a doer, not a procrastinator, remember? A moaning doer, but still a doer.)
  28. Get that Swim Pass already! (Stop using your kid as an excuse for everything.)
  29. Get offline, go to bed early (or earlier) and catch up on some much needed sleep. (That thing I did 20 years ago was really dumb!)
  30. Pamper your heart like your pamper your mind. (Open your eyes wider. Try actually being there.)
  31. Try not to hold a grudge too long. (Slash some tires and call it even.)
  32. Practice some self love. (Look in the mirror and say: What’s with the grim? It’s so ugly! Even mosquitoes find you unattractive.)
  33. Save yourself. Don’t be such a masochist. (Others are perfectly capable of cleaning up their messes and picking up where you’ve left off.)
  34. PRACTICE, DON’T PREACH.
  35. FIND TIME.

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What’s been on your mind lately?