BREATHE

 

Stop!

Slow down.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Let your body and soul relax and unwind.

Enjoy each breath.

For life is a gift.

 

PLEASE

 

Pacify you.

Placate them.

Propitiate who?

Please, me!

 

BILLS!

 

I cried.

I felt helpless.

The last sense of security I had withered and dried.

It fell off and evaporated in the scorching heat of need and lack.

I looked on defeated as the last Euros I had stashed away slipped off my hand.

I tried to hold on to them to no avail.

Bills were bills, and they waited for no one.

Not even me.

 

HASTE

 

There are things one cannot rush.

Don’t precipitate them.

If you do, they will not reach their destination.

They will get lost along the way.

 

CONFLICTED

 

I am full yet overflowing with emptiness.

I am whole, yet my emotions are a patchwork of splintered, broken dreams.

I am in good company, yet loneliness throttles me with its icy mantle.

I tread carefully.

I touch gingerly.

I edge forward with caution.

 

RATTLED

 

My heart almost jumped out of my mouth.

I was terrified.

My nerves were trembling and couldn’t breathe.

I didn’t know what to do.

The long calm wait was suffocating me with its ominous, foreboding, cynical smile.

I trembled, my palms were so clammy I could barely hold my key.

I felt the grating sound of approaching feet that echoed and thundered upon my eardrums.

I ran as fast as my wobbly legs could carry me.

My lungs were on fire as I tried to take in as much oxygen as my panting from exertion would let me.

I was tired, but I had to move on fast.

I wanted to stay alive.

 

EMERGING

 

It’s morning again.

I want to cuddle up.

I want to stay under the covers.

But, wake up, I must.

I peel myself from the warm embrace of my bed.

I step out to face the day.

First things first, I tell myself; as I wash my face and take my breakfast.

Dearest bed, I will make you pretty.

Yes, I will make my bed before I leave to face the day.

For you see, this is my first task and achievement of the day.

So make my bed, I will. 

 

PERFECTIONIST

 

What am I trying to prove?

To whom am I proving it?

Why do I strive so hard to please this faceless persona?

How did I become trapped in this maze of “perfection”?

When did I start demanding it from everyone else except myself?

 

Or, did I?

Aren’t I the first casualty of this lead mantle?

This stifling, strangling cape is snuffing the life out of those around me and myself.

I struggle with the shortcomings within me.

Oh! That I may finally be the imperfect human, I am.

 

I have many flaws.

I bumble, stumble and fall, often.

I fumble, bungle, and blunder.

I miss the mark many times.

I still dare stand tall, for I am moving forward.

 

I learn from my mistakes.

I am growing, albeit in a slow manner.

I forge through dense “undergrowth” of self doubt, guilt and judgment.

I release me and you all.

Let’s embrace who we are and be the best version of ourselves.

 

Work in progress, imperfect, but thriving!

 

FREE!

 

Oh! That I may be at liberty.

I want to  shake off these shackles that weigh me down and hold me captive.

Oh! That I may soar in the lovely expanse of the “life I have always longed to live.”

I am tired of toiling and dredging.

Peoples’ opinions and expectations have incarcerated me.

I am diminishing and dying in this prison. 

The slave master “fear” and “self loath” have beaten me mercilessly and starved me.

At times, they give me the loaf of “self-pity” and “polluted water” of depression for my meal.

Oh! How I long to be free.

 

JADED

 

She sat down; her movements were delicate, slow, and laced with pain.

She tried to swat away the dark thoughts that buzzed in her mind like flies on a carcass.

She sighed, a lonesome howling sound that emanated from the cave within her soul.

She wiped her hand across her exhausted countenance, in a bid to erase the signs of her anguished soul, to no avail.

The scowl that had comfortably snuggled on her forehead was reluctant to leave. 

 

LOVELORN

 

You smile and say hello.

You ambush me with your embrace.

You destroy and wreak havoc on my abode.

Then you walk away nonchalantly.

 

ARDENT

 

Intensely, that’s how she lived.

It never showed up much in her life.

For she always seemed slow and hesitant in her actions.

Yet, intense, she was and deeply so, in her soul.

For she was passionate, loved wholly, and hurt fiercely.

She had no filter, for she wore her heart on a sleeve.

She poured herself to others.

She loved out loud.

 

HOLD ON

 

Heavy heart.

Melting eyes.

Oh, so tired.

But live on, I must.

For each breath is a gift.

 

COUNT

 

Numbers, numbers!

They keep rising and gathering momentum.

They terrify me and leave me hopeless.

I keep wondering if I or any of those dear to me are next.

 

Numbers, numbers.

Am I becoming numb?

Is this how I insulate myself from these enumerations?

These tallies keep rushing in unabated.

 

I freeze them out of my mind, its the only way I can cope.

They don’t concern me yet, so they don’t matter.

They are just numbers, aren’t they?

Though I am trying to deceive myself, I know they aren’t neutral.

 

Numbers, numbers.

I empathize.

I offer my condolences.

I mourn with you, who grieves alone.

 

Numbers, numbers!

You are not alone, though your world has been shattered and turned upside down.

You whose loved one is part of these statistics, I stand with you.

Oh yes, I refuse to allow myself to become numb and indifferent.

 

For even though these numbers seem neutral, they aren’t.

They are proof of our connection.

We are all part of the big family of humanity.

These numbers reflect us all regardless of which continent we inhabit.

 

I, thus, stand in solidarity with my family of humanity touched by these here numbers.

 

DREAD

 

You are faceless, tasteless.

You are without form.

You have no voice.

 

Yet, you are a force to reckon with, merciless you are.

You have brought us to a standstill.

All we seem to talk about relates to you.

 

We’ve given you a name.

We’ve seen what you look like under the mighty microscope.

Yet, you remain an enigma.

 

We neither know how you came to be nor where you are going.

We know not when you will stop ravaging.

We don’t know how to contain you, yet.

 

We are working on it around the clock.

We are making progress towards a solution, though it seems so slow.

We feel so small and helpless at times in your presence.

 

You have no passport, no visa, no identity card.

Yet you traverse frontiers as you please.

Once you are in our midst, you slide, slither unbeknownst to us.

 

We only realize you were amongst us once you’ve walloped us.

Despite all this, we will not cower.

You aren’t the first nebulous entity to terrify us.

 

When hard hit, we tend to shut ourselves in, go into panic mode. 

We shut out and shun those you have contaminated.

We then arise and fight with all we have left till we find an antidote.

 

Just look back into our history, and you will see our exploits.

We rise and fall and fall yet again.

But we rise again though battered and shaken.

 

This time around, it will be no different, dear virus.

 

RESOLVE

 

I seem to have it all together; I don’t.

I seem to be above it all; I am not.

I am terrified.

I am out of control.

I want to hide from it all.

I want to take all my provisions and burrow into an airtight bunker, away from you all.

But I won’t.

I will live confidently despite being afraid.

Though petrified, I will move forward.

For these challenging moments are part of life.

 

HOPE

 

Fear rushed towards her, focused, and determined to topple her.

She tried her best to avoid it to no avail.

Dread rammed into her and brought her crashing to the floor.

She wrestled with fear as best as she could.

She realized that she was no match for her adversary.

Despair mobilized her on the ground, a smug smile on its face.

She gathered the remaining shreds of energy and cried out to hope for help.

She knew that hope was her only rescue.

 

FRAGILE

 

I always thought I had it all worked out.

I had everything under control.

“I plan, focus and move forward; I am the master of my destiny.”

 

That’s what I thought.

Then life happened.

Arrested in mid-flight, I am.

 

I cannot move forward.

It is all spiralling out of control.

I don’t know why.

 

I barely understand how I got here.

Yet, here I am!

My world is falling apart.

 

My body and home are in distress.

I now realize how fragile I am.

I own nothing but the present moment.

 

It is scary.

It is glorious, as I live a moment at a time.

It hurts, for tomorrow might not be mine.

 

PRESENT

 

I look at myself in the mirror, and I am still the same.

Nothing about me seems to have changed.

Maybe my hairstyle, it is not as neat as it was before.

I walk, stretch, and look outside my window.

 

It is the same again.

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. 

The leaves and flowers are budding. 

The butterflies are floating leisurely, and the bees are buzzing. 

 

Yet, despite the joyous symphony of spring; an invisible enemy lurks in the shadows.

This nemesis awaits, ready to pounce on us at any moment.

My daily habits have changed.

My carefree life lies at my feet blown to pieces by this silent, insidious foe.

 

So how do I live now?

A day at a time, I guess.

How do I find joy?

Make the most of each moment, I think.

 

For you see, I don’t know how to look far into the future.

That great unknown paralyses me.

I will bite all I can chew.

For me, right now, I can only munch on “the present.”

 

Yes,  hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second.

That is all I know to do.

I guess it is enough. 

Isn’t it?

 

HINDSIGHT

 

I always thought I had tomorrow.

Each new day was mine to dispose of at will, or so I thought.

I squandered and wasted today.

I got hung up on yesterday, relieving and regretting my choices.

I was oblivious to the fact that today was slowly withering and dying. 

I woke up to reality.

Yesterday was bitter and filled with “what if.”

Tomorrow was scary, for there was no plan, no vision put in motion.

The scales have fallen from my eyes.

I realize that today is the key that unlocks my tomorrow and gives me a sweet yesterday.